Matt's playthrough stream - suggestions

Discussion in 'Open' started by ZeroGravitas, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    I'm glad that @Matt is doing these streams, but the game play has clearly been a struggle, so I wanted to offer some general feedback, suggestions, requests and reassurances. (Not preaching specific game trivia.) Other viewers, tell me if you agree/disagree.:)

    First off: big respect to anyone playing a game in front of a live audience - I can't cope with that myself, let alone reading and responding to chat(s) and another person in the room. And to try and learn the ins and outs of the game in this situation... Eek, crazy!:confused: To help with this...

    (1) Insist your guest streamer take charge of chat. Reading and replying - Friday can be a partial day off this responsibility for you.:)

    (2) Guests shouldn't totally take over the playthrough - the point is (I think) that it's your first time playing right through. You should take full ownership of what's going on. Just have your more experienced co-pilot advise you (maybe show specific tricks if words are inadequate).

    (3) The majority of viewers (in chat) are probably more experienced playing the game. That's OK. We're not watching for pro-tips and impressive feats. We want to see your reactions as you figure stuff out! :)We're curious to see if you have some of the same experiences and problems as we did. (Also, leaks.;))

    (4)
    Make your peace with spending a significant proportion of streams sat still building. TerraTech is, foremost, a game about building things. It's not at all possible to get through with the same, shallow level of cobbled together build as you get in death-match. You should expect to spend entire hour long streams on individual builds, as you get to late game. (Remember to snapshot them!) Again this is OK, as long as you're letting us know some of you thought processes, etc. It's certainly better than...

    (5) Milling about aimlessly for the sake of moving is a bad plan. It's way more frustrating to see 'ants in your pants' antics, than to take a little too long building/organising. Leaving useful blocks to despawn, early game, when you have almost none is kinda 'triggering'.

    Wandering about absent-mindedly is merely irritating in R&D, but it's pretty much the most dangerous thing you can do in campaign. If you stay fairly still in a clear(ed) spot, no enemies can physically reach to you.

    (6) Don't make such a big deal of apparent failure, with regards to 'deaths'. Again, it's not deathmatch, there's no score for that. In fact, the free techs you get from dying could be very handy for you to bootstrap a better inventory. You can even farm them by (deliberately) repeat dying in one spot, then collecting the blocks.

    (7) Block inventory is the main measure of progress - there's no additional hp or damage points from your XP; higher GSO levels, in themselves, just make things harder. So (a) pick everything up, (b) go straight back to death spots to reclaim your carcass (most non-explosive blocks should remain), if you pile a few more blocks up from 'loosing' free GSO techs, that's a bonus.

    (8) Stand and fight! - unless you have very high mobility (boosters, etc) and a clear escape route, it's generally too late to try and escape once an enemy has picked off the back of your tech. Driving slowly away in a straight line is the worst thing you can try to do (unless they're stuck on a rock). It prolongs and ensures destruction.

    Once you're taking fire, it's almost always better to face off. Especially as enemy techs are held together with Blue-tac, compared to your own (a subtle game design helping hand). Of course, once you have a definitive shield advantage, it's easy wins, as long as you stay charged, etc.

    (9) Look at what's going on - Learn to hold right click almost all the time, so you can pan around to the enemy that's attacking you and see the lay of the land in general. It sounds a bit silly, but it's a fairly tricky and important dexterity to pick up.


    Anyway, I didn't want to get too prescriptive, with precise plans of action; I think that if you take your time then it'll come together.

    I definitely didn't expect any Fabrication in there (for months), even though it's entirely viable and extremely effective from level 2. But it would be good to see you set up a temporary (Erudite) mine -> Refinery -> Delivery canon, for quick cash, while working on your main tech. Or even just carrying a Silo/collector with wood in, to feed an anchored generator when you need power (once you have batteries and bubbles, again).

    Good luck.;) Sorry I won't be around this afternoon. I know this may all take a back seat, today, if Simon's on with you - it would also be good to see him at the helm, of course.:)

     
    #1 ZeroGravitas, Oct 5, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
  2. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    #2 ZeroGravitas, Oct 5, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
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  3. Matt

    Matt PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    Hey @ZeroGravitas,

    I realise this is coming from a good place and we really do appreciate the feedback, but posts like this could very easily be taken the wrong way.

    I've made light of the fact that it might not look like we know what we're doing most of the time but, and I cannot stress this enough, we do know what we're doing!

    I'm not going to go into great detail on how/why/what we stream as frankly it would take too long and also we shouldn't have to justify these things. I will however highlight a few points:

    While we know there are a lot of regular TT players that watch the stream there are also a few newcomers who we need to cater to. So trying to get the right balance is tricky. In an ideal world we would be absolute pros by now but obviously this isn't the case so we have to make do with what we've got. If that means stumbling through the game like a noob then so be it.

    However, like you say, I don't think people watch for the pro plays or expert builds. They join the stream to engage with the dev team, to get insights into what we're working on, ect. For example, we actively encourage chat to offer advice and suggestions. Otherwise they might as well just be watching a let's play on YouTube. Shoutout to Ssundee and Lathrix!

    So at the end of the day it really doesn't matter what we're playing or how well we're playing it, as long as it's fun. I'm not saying we could just play minesweeper and answer a few questions (although my minesweeper skills are OP), obviously we want to show off our awesome game as well as engaging with our audience and this is the best way to do that.

    Thanks,
    Matt

     
  4. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    That was my main, initial notion (ended up as part 3) - to reassure that "stumbling" is fine. That it doesn't need covering up (or justifying).:) Sorry, I'm sure I've inadvertently buried that, incorporating it into a web of related, secondary thoughts, with dogmatic phrasing... :oops:

    The stream has only been less fun (or at least has been distracting from the interesting dev interaction) where it seems like you guys were trying to hurry along and gloss over learning new things. Or, at least, I think that's what I was thinking. Maybe this was totally unremarkable for the other enthusiast/experienced player viewers..?

    Probably I'm just being oversensitive and controlling, as usual, overthinking. It's all well intentioned feedback, as always, as you say. Not personal criticisms. Only because you guys are engaging and already doing a good job. I'm trying to put into words what others might also be thinking - useful critique is hard. Was any of it potentially helpful? If so, how might such feedback be offered up to avoid being misconstrued? Rephrasing away from assertions? Just less detail? In a different place?

     
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  5. Zeena

    Zeena PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    Perhaps if this was done in a more private way, it would be received a little better.

     
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  6. Matt

    Matt PAYLOAD STUDIOS

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    Suggestions and feedback about the game or what content to stream are always welcome. As long as it's constructive. But we already know this.

    Let me preface this next part by reiterating that we know there was no ill-intent behind this post and that you were genuinely offering solid suggestions. We're all friends here :)

    I will say that the content of this particular post feels like you're telling us how to work and comes across as slightly unintentionally condescending. There's a fine line between suggestions about the game and suggestions about the company/business and this felt like it verged towards the latter.

    We know that there is a lot of love for TerraTech and Payload Studios and you all want it to succeed as much as we do but I would ask that you trust we have the right people in the right job to make that happen.

     
    #6 Matt, Oct 5, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2018
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  7. Rockfarmer

    Rockfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I watched most of today's stream.It was your typical frankentech driving around aimlessly shooting up small bots - the new guy (sorry I forgot his name) did actually spend a little time trying to construct something decent, though. But same typical questions "any news on X", "You should really work on Y", "When are we getting Z?" as per normal.

    But my reason for asking in chat, and for replying here as to why we want to see you progress:
    I am seriously beginning to think that you have never tried to build anything moderately large. If you had tried to construct a proper flier that you can comfortably play the campaign with for a good 20-30 minutes, destroy 20 large-ish enemy techs, you would experience why people are asking for better flight controls.
    If you have tried to setup a crafting system and craft some cruise missiles from raw resources, you'd experience why the crafting system is kinda borked.
    If you played the game slightly more seriously, you'd experience why you still have dedicated people in the community like @ZeroGravitas who just want to help you make the game better. Most of us are well above 13 years old at this point, so just driving around aimlessly is not going to be entertaining forever. We all ask for more depth in the longer game. and by seeing you play the game to its fullest, perhaps you would also experience where the game is lacking. That is why some of us 'old players' want to see you play through the game.

    I'd suggest that for an upcoming community challenge, you could turn it around - let us challenge you? Say, have the community build a few different techs with size restrictions and have you build a tech that can beat them ("Matt takes on all comers!") ;) ? There are plenty of ideas to increase interactiveness that allows us to see you play the game closer to its limits.

    Here is the community challenge I did a while back: VTOL Challenge

    Here are some of the builds I have done:


    And a base:


    So, we aren't bickering trolls, we just want this game to full fill more of its endgame potential, so we can get back to playing it ;)

    regards,
    Rockfarmer

     
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  8. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    Yeeeaah... I'd say it definitely can be seen that way.:oops: Thank you all for being professional, giving the benefit of the doubt, etc.:)

    I'm trying to communicate an opinion of what I think I'd like to see, as a community member, but going overboard in 'solutionising' what that might involve. Overly specific. And forever with a blind spot, somehow expecting a totally detached analytical reception (contrary to my own experience, if the other way around). Sorry.

    Thanks for saying.:)

    I tend to default to public communication to sanity check what I'm saying. I want to give others the opportunity to scrutinise and refute/clarify what I'm saying. A kind of scientific community ideal, I guess, if I'm being generous to myself.

    Also, to diffuse quietly held tensions, if there are any. (People generally tend to just hold back even minor criticisms, up until emotions boil over, one way or another - less likely to be constructive then.)

     
    #8 ZeroGravitas, Oct 6, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  9. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    Thanks for supporting 'my cause', but I think we played that out in this thread already.:) (Where I was also over-stepping.:oops:)
    I'd caution against focusing on the "you", especially if it's not intended as a personal criticism, which it shouldn't be. Payload are taking on a whole host of new staff (which is very encouraging:)) and it's not reasonable to expect immediate expertise (or game omniscience in general). I didn't foresee that as an implied criticism in what I was saying, and I don't think it would be fair. (Yeah, I lead this dance already too, I admit...)

    I think that you're doing down the sophistication of 12-13 year olds (maybe halve that number ;)).

    I'm trying to give feedback with wide relevance. For example, if I thought crafting issues were just a niche, deep play issue for enthusiasts, then I probably would have left alone. Similarly, here, I don't think that what younger, new players want to see in the stream would be entirely at odds with things I'm suggesting.

    I'm also not certain that most stream viewers *are* over 13, or not... I mean, there may well be a majority of non-visible viewers on Twitch (for all I know about it). Like on Steam, where I'd estimate the 'public' view count to be roughly 1/3 the real number. YouTube view counts have been over 100 at the end of streams.

    So it's probably sensible to acknowledge the dual roles of steams: to court new players as well as provide an anchor for the enthusiast community to congregate around. And to receive feedback from both, in balance.

    I think that (in all things) creation is 5% good ideas and 95% hard work (and a pinch of 'luck'). That is to say that I'm certain that Payload Studios is already busting with great game ideas, wanting to give us all this and more we've not even thought of. But that takes a huge amount of work time to implement, needing many skilled coders, who are hard to come by. (I don't think it's at all damning to acknowledge this.)

     
  10. NotExactlyHero

    NotExactlyHero <custom_title_subtitle_[username]_display>

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    Well it's time for me to join in on this delightful conversation which for some reason I forgot to watch!(This is gonna be interesting!)

    So yeah despite not having watched a single second of @Matt's playthrough, I've come to the assumption that he's gotten through all the basics and is right now, based on description, wandering around murdering innocent prospectors for their blocks, reputation, and money, in a relatively small tech(compared to the monsters that are most endgame techs(Scrappy Joe sized, I'd imagine?)). Seems legit.

    I can see the attraction from "the enthusiasts" to have him sit down, build a big ol' Tech that will trump anything I have ever made and take quite a long time, perhaps even an entire stream! But this is 1: kinda boring, as usually YouTubers skip most of the building process because it takes forever to make anything big and/or complicated. For reference, the Glorsgaurde Fortress took a whopping 1 and a half hours to make, and it's not even that big, and I made it in R&D(to be fair it is me building it, so it would probably take a newbie/nub/noob less time to build something bigger and more complicated). Building anything big takes ages, and new gamers will probably not be attracted to it. I mean, gamers who are new to TT but have experience with sandbox building games would probably want to get the game, but new people who might have never played another game(or a building game of sorts) might feel bored or even overwhelmed by watching big creations be built, which can take a long time. And(Yes, that was all one thing.) 2: "Hmm I can't think of anything else, must of 'accidently' covered all my points in the first one. Or I'm just forgetting something."

    Wait what how has he been struggling?

     
  11. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    I've just caught up with it myself - it was good [YouTube | Twitch].:) (Maybe I should have held my peace for a few more hours...) Nice and chill, we got to know Si (@SCH) and see and hear a little of what he's picked up in his first week (fixing bugs already, good stuff). The build started slow and took a while, but came together and worked out well, and there was chat throughout.:)

    In that the game save hadn't progressed as smoothly as if he were just playing it in peace, by himself. Struggling for blocks, largely due to a string of distracted guests taking the reins, etc. (More important and interesting as it as it is to see all the team.)

    Do you think many gamers who are (exclusively) into action/FPS games could be persuaded to get TerraTech? Like a gateway game into liking sandbox style games? Or does it make more sense to appeal to those who already like other games more like this?

    Properly big 6 hour builds, that would be tricky to steam, for sure. Can't see that being viable, here. But the game play doesn't need to be action packed when the main draw is the devs, giving the inside scoop and answering questions.:)

     
  12. NotExactlyHero

    NotExactlyHero <custom_title_subtitle_[username]_display>

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    I think it's feasible, but the only thing that I think wouldn't work(coming from an action game "background" here) would be the building.(Even though that's defeating the point of them getting into sandbox style games) But I do have something. So I guess we'd add some ready made techs that can be used and are decent, being not sucky and not OP. However, I think that they'd lean towards the sucky side, encouraging these players to get into the building part of TT and build their own techs. I think that if this were to be added it'd be with the addition of a blueprint system, to avoid frustration of having to manually reconstruct techs.

    Oh Noes I Made a Gaem Suggestions.

    Umm........................
    O yaeh Maat I haet how big weels suddnley decied to go n revrse wenevr tey encuonter hash sloeps.

     
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  13. Jamie

    Jamie PAYLOAD STUDIOS
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    I remember when the TT community would love nothing more than giving top tips to new members of the team while they play through the game on stream. That was a always a great way to introduce someone to Payload.

    This thread is a shame. You guys should help new players get better at the game, whether they're developers or not.

     
  14. ZeroGravitas

    ZeroGravitas Breaker of Games

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    :confused: I thought that's a big part of what my first post was...? (Aside from over-stepping and bad phrasing.)

    I'm happy to give a couple (more) suggestions for exactly what to try in the playthrough itself, but only if you devs were to, say, make a new thread and explicitly ask for advice and suggestions. I'm trying to take a break from telling devs what to do.:) (Oh, oops, I think I just did it again...o_O:oops:)

     
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  15. QuackDuck

    QuackDuck Duck

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    Yep, points 4-9 are all very useful game tips.

     
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