Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Talk about Sarah's upcoming game in the Rebuild series.

Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby Ophryon » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:52 pm

A couple of quick observations from my first play of .43, specifically on selecting a perk from a backstory.

1) When the option to choose a perk came up, I always wanted to see the character's stats and existing perks to ensure I was making a good choice. I could open the character page easily enough but then it obscured the four perk options. Not sure if this is feasible, but it would be great if the appropriate character stats came up easier (like clicking on the name or maybe just automatically) and side-by-side with the backstory for easy comparison.

2) Will we be notified somehow when a character is ready to chat about themselves? Unless I missed something, the only way is to click down the character list looking for a new speech bubble. That gets time-consuming as the roster grows.

Otherwise, I'm loving the perk/backstories and what they add to the game. Fun!
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby jaydedman » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:59 am

I played a quick game on easy (and "small" size town). I never once noticed anything about player perks. Where do these things pop up? Is it on the right hand side? What's the wording that says it's a perk?

I still pay turn-based mode. I kind of miss the way Rebuild 2 would have a "log book" open up at the end of each turn that told you what happened. Currently, the notices that pop up on the right is something I really ignore.

Rebuild 2's logbook told me a story as well as updated progress. The current sidebar just updates progress and is pretty uninteresting.
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby Chah » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:12 am

I didn't notice it either until I read the other playtester comments.

You click on the Survivors tab and go through each Survivor in the list.
Some of them have a word bubble like "..." to indicate they have something to say to you. When you click on that bubble, it displays a backstory and you get to choose a Perk based on that.
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby jaydedman » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:35 am

First, I want to give a big up to Sara (and her artist+musician) for taking Rebuild 3 to the next level. Its very attractive and well-crafted.

But let's talk about gameplay. If the perks are hidden in the Survivors tab, then this feels like a bug. I rarely go into that tab. Is there a way for a character to "glow" that prompts me into that menu.

Though then there's the problem of character stacking. I always start building groups of characters, so not sure how the "glow" would work. Unless the whole group glows, then I click to reveal which character needs attention.

I just feel that the perks are supposed to deepen our love for the characters, so these stories need to be front and center. Ill again vote for the "log book" that would pop up at the of every turn in Rebuild 2. It was a way to tell the story of the game.
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby sarahnorthway » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:42 am

Good point about wanting to see their stats while picking a perk. Maybe I could have a stats mini-popup that appears when you hover over their portrait (just about the list of perks you're picking from). Maybe also over their name when it appears in the text. That popup might be useful for other events too.

I'll probably add the chat bubble indicator to the survivor's face on the map and on lists too, although that could be annoying if you choose to not talk to them for some reason. Right now I'm doing it this way to see if makes you regularly look at survivor details. Does it?
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby jaydedman » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:11 am

I just interacted with some of the character perks. Very cool! I love the back stories and the chance to pick how a character can grow. I just feel that this is a really important part of the game so it needs to be front and center.

I found it tedious to click on the Survivor tab, scroll through to find a character with a speech bubble, read the story, then choose a skill to learn. THEN I HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN. Too much clicking. I'd love to find all perks in one place without having to go back into Survivors tab for each person.

I feel it'd be better to have a "Perks" icon on the left sidebar with the survivor, food, and buildings. The Perks could glow when a character needed attention. Then I could go in and easily read everyone's idea without so much clicking.
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby jaydedman » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:18 am

Im answering myself here. Or instead of having a "perks" icon on the left hand sidebar....just have the main "survivor" icon on the sidebar alert me when a perk is available.

This actually holds true for items that need to be equipped as well. I've always had the problem of noticing that I have a bunch of items that Ive found, but didn't know I needed to equip them.

Basically we can take advantage of the left hand sidebar by creating "alerts" on the survivor/food/buildings icons. If there's no alert, I rarely have a reason to click on them.
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby jaydedman » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:31 am

Okay, Im just using this thread to document my thoughts on the perk gameplay.

Since Sarah has built the right-hand side bar with alerts, I'm trying to pay attention to them. Maybe the "perk alerts" could go here. "Sebastian is asking for you". Click on the alert, and it brings up his story and the choice of new skill.

Interestingly I noticed that there was an alert that "You found a gun", but then when I clicked the alert, it just showed me where the gun was found. I'd rather it bring up the equipment page so the gun could be issued to a character.
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby Ophryon » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:25 pm

sarahnorthway wrote:Maybe I could have a stats mini-popup that appears when you hover over their portrait

On the backstory portrait sounds ideal for picking perks -- just a simple reminder of skills and previous perks that appears unobtrusively only when I need it. Perfect!

sarahnorthway wrote: I'll probably add the chat bubble indicator to the survivor's face on the map and on lists too, although that could be annoying if you choose to not talk to them for some reason.

Did you mean individual survivors on the map or just one on the left side icon for Total Survivors? Agreed, the former could get annoying but the latter would be helpful, especially if combined with bubbles on the Survivors List. I would see the main bubble, click it to open the Survivors List and then scroll to the appropriate character. Very efficient.

If I wanted to not talk to some characters, then perhaps their bubbles could fade to gray after a turn. The main map icon bubble could also fade to gray, only lighting bright if there are new backstories that turn.

sarahnorthway wrote: Right now I'm doing it this way to see if makes you regularly look at survivor details. Does it?

It does, but not really in a good way right now. :) Checking it every turn "just in case" didn't feel like a rewarding use of time.

On a somewhat related note, I wanted to feel more like I was "earning" the backstory perks. Maybe I just haven't played enough to learn the triggers but it seems like I should have to make an effort to get to know people. Maybe they only want to talk after your main character has completed a mission with them?
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Re: Selecting Perks from the Backstory

Postby davea » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:39 pm

Seems like we agree on a couple of feedback points: don't make us click each survivor in the list to see if they have something to say; and when we are picking perks, let us see what skills the survivor has.

Some other suggestions related to back stories:

* Since the writing is very interesting, I'd like a way to re-read the stories. That is, for a survivor who has previously told us a story, can you have an icon like a greyed-out thought bubble, or maybe a "diary book" type of icon, which lets us see their story even when there is nothing new?

* Will some backstories add nicknames? I seem to recall there was an "explosives damage" event or similar from R2, and after that the survivor's name changed to like "One Eye" Smith. Once I know that a survivor is a rock singer, or a grandmother type (the acorn tea backstory) having a significant chance of getting a nickname would help me remember which survivor has which backstory.
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