Suggestion: Bonuses to Labs based on surrounding squares

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

Re: Should there be different types of research facilities o

Postby Llapgochmaster » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:40 am

Chah wrote:The core of my idea that I think is worth discussing is whether each town should have a different strategy, what those strategies can be, and whether lab research can be one of the backbones that make each town's survival strategy different or whether it's destined to just meld into one singular strategy.


I agree with you here, and I think that lab research being a foundation of the player's "strategy playbook" is almost inevitable. But I'm also not convinced that making labs specialized via adjacent buildings is a desirable way to go about it. One the one hand, it doesn't seem necessary, and on the other hand, it seems likely to create a lot of complexity during the map generation phase and perhaps impinge on other building/tile-related ideas.

Re: lab specialization, I think I'd prefer for the Tech tree to be one of the big variables that the player is free to move around without many constraints outside of how many resources the player can spare for research. One way of mixing up the strategic play would by by making the Tech tree sufficiently large and expensive to navigate that your Tech Development Path is something you'd need to carefully craft in order to confront and overcome the challenges of each map. In other words, the player will be forced to adapt different play styles depending on what's available and what the immediate threats are. Will there be multiple approaches to a given map nonetheless? I hope so, but I think that's something best left to "emerge" out of a bunch of beta playtesting and balancing iterations.

But hey! Map tile synergistics is an idea no-one had proposed before and it's pretty nifty. Kudos there.
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Re: Should there be different types of research facilities o

Postby Chah » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:25 am

Llapgochmaster wrote:I agree with you here, and I think that lab research being a foundation of the player's "strategy playbook" is almost inevitable. But I'm also not convinced that making labs specialized via adjacent buildings is a desirable way to go about it. One the one hand, it doesn't seem necessary,

This is one part I don't understand. I hope lab research can be a foundation for making each town play differently, but it didn't seem to work out that way in Rebuild 1 and 2. It's not inevitable, it won't happen unless things are tweaked in such a way that strategies fork into different paths that are each valid but don't blend together into one strategy.

Llapgochmaster wrote:and on the other hand, it seems likely to create a lot of complexity during the map generation phase and perhaps impinge on other building/tile-related ideas.

The map generation can be done randomly. It doesn't need to purposefully create certain combinations.
I feel the idea is actually less complex than most, because it can be implemented without the creation of new tile types, although it does require programming a type of tile-checking that hasn't existed before.

Llapgochmaster wrote:Re: lab specialization, I think I'd prefer for the Tech tree to be one of the big variables that the player is free to move around without many constraints outside of how many resources the player can spare for research.

This is another thing multiple people have stated that I don't get.

In a game of Rebuild so far, you already don't have control over when you get a lab. Sometimes there's one close to you, sometimes there isn't. You never had complete control over when to begin research; it was always tied to the map. I haven't heard complaints about that, it shouldn't suddenly become a problem when there are multiple research facilities.

Imagine there being a "Military Base" tile where you can research various weapons. Imagine there being a "Government Virus Research Bunker" where you can research various anti-virus tech. Imagine there being a "Garage/Workshop" tile where you can research vehicles. You see these scattered across the map and choose which one to expand towards first. The lab system I'm proposing is essentially the same thing.

This is more natural. It's also just plain better gameplay. I feel that most strategy gamers would agree if asked in a vacuum, but because of the precedence of Rebuild 1 and 2, you guys are not seeing it in those terms. You guys are thinking, "What, I captured a lab but the game is telling me what I can and can't research effectively?" instead of "There are different facilities each offering different research potential and I get to choose which one to capture. Exciting choices!"

Think of how there are different tiles like a Giant Graveyard, a Heliport, and City Hall, each with their own victory condition. Would it be a better game if they were all one type of building, and you could choose any of the victory conditions from them? It would be interesting to think what the difference with this case and the case of different research facilities is.

As the tech tree gets bigger, I just think it's more natural and better gameplay to have multiple facilities.

Llapgochmaster wrote:One way of mixing up the strategic play would by by making the Tech tree sufficiently large and expensive to navigate that your Tech Development Path is something you'd need to carefully craft in order to confront and overcome the challenges of each map. In other words, the player will be forced to adapt different play styles depending on what's available and what the immediate threats are. Will there be multiple approaches to a given map nonetheless? I hope so, but I think that's something best left to "emerge" out of a bunch of beta playtesting and balancing iterations.

I wished that different situations required me to research different tech first, but that hasn't happened much so far. I'll write about that in the other thread. It has mostly felt correct to research the same tech first in about the same order, and the relative importance of each tech from game to game was about the same.

I certainly hope these things can be tweaked and balanced so that you want a different tech each game depending on the situation. The tech tree being big also helps a lot, since you might not be able to research everything and might specialize in a few branches as a result. I'm not sure it will work out that way, but maybe that kind of specialization could happen if each tech can be researched multiple times for a slight increase in effectiveness.

But balancing different abilities to be about as good as each other is seriously hard. For example, I usually study Zombie Vitals first. If I'm lacking people, fighting more effectively frees up people for other jobs as well. If I'm lacking food, fighting more effectively lets me clear the squares with scavenge-able loot or defend a farm after I take it. Also, I usually study Farming before Electricity because with the extra food I can just party every turn to raise morale, while Electricity's morale boost ends up being only temporary if other aspects like food aren't going well.

It's important to try to balance these, but it's also seriously hard. I don't see why there shouldn't also be a built-in mechanism to make different tech more relevant or less relevant each game. It could be something other than the map; maybe when you recruit a Scientist, some of them already come with some previous research under their belt, like having completed 30% of Binculars research.

I like making choices, and I want these to be fresh, open choices, not stale, forgone conclusions.

Llapgochmaster wrote:But hey! Map tile synergistics is an idea no-one had proposed before and it's pretty nifty. Kudos there.

Thanks, Llapgochmaster.
Chah
 
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A quick summary

Postby Chah » Sat Dec 21, 2013 3:57 am

So here are some ideas raised in the discussion so far:
A) Balance the techs very carefully so that 1) you might choose to research different tech in each game based on developing conditions and so that 2) the same map can sometimes be approached with different strategies based on what tech you choose.
B) Make it so that you can research the same tech multiple times to raise effectiveness of that tech, as an alternative to just researching every tech.
C) Have different types of research facilities such as Military Base, Garage, Virus Lab, etc.
D) Instead of C), make Labs with adjacency synergy act as a stand-in for those different types of research facilities. (It's possible that you can still research everything in each Lab, but with different effectiveness based on what's nearby.)
E) Instead of D), make those Lab bonuses/limitations apply only to higher tier tech. (For example, for high-level farming tech you use a Lab with a farm next to it, etc.)
F) Have Scientist perks give boosts to particular branches of research (it could be a one-time boost like a newly recruited Scientist saying, "I've researched Zombie Vitals up to 30% before. If you just get me to a lab I can continue from there.")
Chah
 
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Re: Suggestion: Bonuses to Labs based on surrounding squares

Postby Llapgochmaster » Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:16 pm

Hey Chah -- I had lengthy, thoughful reply for you but I managed to lose it. I'll try to get back to you another time!
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