Universal Idle Realm (by Eat the Moon)

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by Eat the Moon, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    The sheer amount of wreckage that happens with 20K troops is crazy. It's enough to burn everything to the ground, very very quickly. By the time you have 20K troops, you are basically at the end of the game and should just stomp everything to get that victory and restart.

    Exactly. If I do the achievements and challenges, even with hidden conditions, the internet will reveal it also. So laying everything out in plain sight might be best for those things, with the internet explaining HOW to do it ... which might also spoil it... it's a tough one, for sure.

    Thank you! I want suggestions and criticism and I'm glad you can trust me with it :)
     
  2. RinoaHeartily

    RinoaHeartily Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
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    Hey dev my kingdom is vast and I am losing control of my buildings. Sadly the management of buildings become super cumbersome. I don't know what needs to be upgraded. I know u are looking into this.. Hope it's sooner than later. Coz it's annoying and I feel.some players may give up altogether.
     
  3. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    Correct. Once you have victory conditions, you have goals. Some victory conditions will require you to go down your tech tree a very specific way, others will require you to build a certain way. In the end, they push you to try to do things differently when you replay the game. Sadly, there is not a lot of variation to the victory conditions in the game currently, but there are a ton of great ideas that I want to add that will help in this mater. Plus, I let you keep playing after you satisfy a victory condition, to keep adding more onto the pile and get better rewards at game restart.

    This is true. Plus, starting a new game feels very much the same as the last one you started, as there is no "prestige" bonus like a permanent boost to production. If there was a production and/or knowledge bonus that gets tacked on as you restart, new games would go faster and you could get further in the game, quicker, but there needs to be carrots-on-a-stick, so to say, that you really can't get unless you spend a LOT of time in your current game, or restart a few times to make it easier.

    Oh man, I have so many ideas on where to take the map system. I can create maps of various sizes to simulate all kinds of stuff. A horizontal or vertical map, for example, where you start on one side and build toward the other side. The problem with the map system, though, is letting the player see the content.

    And now, time for me to reveal what's under the hood, when it comes to the world map you play on in the game.

    Right now, I have three maps in the game. I use my map editor to place player starting zones, enemy troops and bases, ruins locations, everything. The game then does some magic to balance parts of the game, move things around, and finalize the map before you are able to start your game. Until you start exploring the entire map, every game, you probably won't notice this and it will feel unique every time.

    Although I have code for procedurally generating the map and placing everything with a biome system and dropping down enemy locations (map editor does this for me if I want), I have not finished the code for picking good locations for starting areas, enemy bases, or ruins. If I finish that code, then I could provide unique experiences every time... but if there is no replayability in the game, it wouldn't matter.

    Some of the features I have planned could be rolled into the replay system. Completing a victory condition could provide Victory Points (VP), maybe even unlock additional features.

    But why should the player replay the game? That is the question to be answered.

    For example, what if you could upgrade your Town Halls? Once you complete at least one victory condition and restart, you are informed of a new feature (Town Hall Upgrades) that lets you add boosts or abilities to a Town Hall. Owning 1 VP, you have access to only one slot per Town Hall that can hold the upgrade, but maybe an additional slot opened at 10 VP. Maybe the upgrades can be leveled up as well, with the max level being locked to whatever your VP would allow.

    Continuing with the Town Hall upgrade system, there could be various upgrades and boosts available for it, again, locked behind the VP system. Once you beat the game a few times, your next couple games will go faster and you'll be able to reach the end quicker.

    But again, this goes back to the real questions, why would replaying the game with these boosts and upgrades matter? What is the thing that the player is trying to achieve in the game or see, that they can't do until they beat it a few times and restarted? That is something I need to figure out.

    I have two idler games that I started playing recently: Realm Grinder and Endless Frontier. I wanted to see the single player and multiplayer effects of these games and I find myself still playing them, even though I don't like them, mainly to see what is "next" to unlock or do.

    In Realm Grinder, there are so many achievements and challenges, but the game is basically the same thing every time I abdicate (first soft reset of the game), but plays faster. Then, I get to the point where I need to reincarnate (second type of reset) and everything drops back down to zero boosts, but I get reincarnation bonuses which help out. But I keep playing it to see what new thing will unlock, but it doesn't really change how I play.

    For Endless Frontier, I am always trying to max things as fast as I can and then it looks like the thing to do is PvP and Guild stuff, basically multiplayer. There is something to be said about creating a team and then showing it off to the world and trying to be the best and the meta that goes into said system. Also, if I am active with the guild, attacking other guilds is basically one army vs the other, but then there is the raid system which is kind of like a community PvE event, as your guild battles a giant boss with huge HP, requiring multiple battles in order to succeed.

    So what to do with Idle Realm?

    If it was PvE, as it is now, I could introduce stronger enemies that will require the boosted empire status in order to beat. But ... that is basically "Can I beat the enemy? *press the button, get immediate result* Nope!".

    If there was an enemy that plays out more like an event, moving around or claiming territory, then you will need to be able to defeat it in order to get some kind of reward, but if you can't do it fast enough and it expands too much, you just aren't strong enough and you'll have to wait till next time.

    There could be parts of the map that are time based, and in order for you to make use of it or unlock that part of the map, you need to get there before the timer expires. It wouldn't be an actual timer on the screen, but it could be an island that is sinking, for example, and if you can find it in time, there is some cool stuff you can do in your current game. By introducing time based goals in the game, you then get an interesting path to follow where you know you need to do Task A so you can do Task B, which makes it easier to do Task C. If your empire isn't boosted enough, time to get more VPs, restart, and try again.

    I have multiplayer-like features planned, starting with a leaderboard system and cooperation elements. This provides a way for people to compete on a leaderboard, get rewards for competing, and show off. But, the current plan is just a leaderboard, as there is no way to "visit a player" in the game.

    As for PvP, I'm not entirely sure I want to go down that route. But if I did, should the player have a smaller, PvP island that they control and build up, used only for defending against enemy attacks? Now we're channeling Clash of Clans in some strange way. Should players be able to send raiding parties to these islands, land on a coast and build up their base and try to destroy as much of the enemy base as possible, probably with a timer? Remember, you still have to use resources, build buildings, scout, and more. I wouldn't want a PvP raid to happen and take several hours or days, but time limits and special building and production rules could make a fast paced building game. Would that even be fun?

    By earning VP and restarting the game, you get stronger, therefore you get to win more PvP scenarios and climb PvP leaderboard. You have tons of extra content, as every island you face is different and will require some slight difference in strategy.

    The dream, of course, is that I am able to build this game up in such as way that I wouldn't need a future game. Each major version (2.0, 3.0, etc) would almost be like a sequel. If a feature doesn't work out well, I don't want to leave it in there as an abandoned feature. I would want to make it better, much like I plan to do with the Docks building.

    That wasn't bad at all :) But my post is MASSIVE. My ideas for where to take the game in regards to the replay system are not really fleshed out, but off the top of my head, those are what just popped out.
     
  4. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    A building management screen will be added soon! Not version 1.2.2 (which Apple is reviewing), but maybe 1.2.3, assuming no major bugs pop out to push it back. My release schedule for this game for the first few months is a release every 2-3 weeks. Version 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 were special cases, because there were some glaring bugs and issues that needed to be addressed. 1.2.3 ... maybe near the end of this month?

    Also, full disclosure, my studio is working on another game at the moment. Idle Realm is our flagship title and I am working hard on it, but I am dedicating a couple hours a day on the other title. The second game is a project one of the artists pitched and we all wanted to do. It's a very small, simple game for the 2-6 year old age group and is a paid app. Thankfully, the prototype is already done and we're just balancing it right now with some kids helping out. The art will be the bottleneck for the game, so I don't need to work on it much right now. I imagine that once 1.2.3 is done and ready, I'll peel off onto the second project, finish it up, then move on to 1.2.4.

    1.2.4 will most likely be the fall / Halloween update, and we got "plans"
     
  5. Cronk

    Cronk Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    #105 Cronk, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    o_O


    I can already tell that if I'm going to chat with you at length, one finger typing on a phone isn't going to cut it. So I'll keep this short and toss more at you later when I'm at a PC.

    I'll just talk about Realm Grinder and Endless Frontier for now (I'm a dad and social worker, so idlers are a passion of mine... I've played these two at a pretty high level)

    Endless Frontier: there's a couple of games that play very similarly, but for a gatcha game this one does one thing better than most: it's VERY generous with giving out regular gems. And it has very cheap packages that give a nice little boost. I supported them monetarily for that reason first and foremost.

    But that's just business model: it's gameplay that keeps you going for months, and this one had that as well. The true hidden gems in EF is how well balanced they put in the changeups. You'll be gunning for t3 artifacts, break into t4, and get a power spike. Then you'll pull a character with free refreshes that gives you another. Then that character will evolve and suddenly your artifacts are a piddling amount of your power. Then you'll unlock a pet and focus on them for a while and they're 60% of your power, at which point you can now unlock t5 artis and you're propelled further again.

    The point? Your growth isn't linear. You don't have one goal, you have 6. And every time you think you unlocked the secret to strength, you uncover another layer that used to be worthless and suddenly its a huge hunk of your power. Like, you'll get units that raise your max possible troop level, and you'll get enough to add up to another hundred (your max will be 1270, then 1275, until that magic day it hits 1300). That new tier of power from bonuses you get for lvl 1300 units suddenly makes everything else seem tiny, and you've advanced another 200 stages.

    There's also a lot of strategy in unit choice. And ideal compositions. Etc etc etc. there's depth there that is rewarding in the long run. If you're not breaking into stage 2k yet, you probably haven't scratched the surface yet.

    Same with Realm Grinder. The pull of that game is choice. You can do an active build that rewards active play and clicks, or restart as an idle build. And there's another whole level of reincarnation. It's not just abdicating, you'll give up all those gems for a reincarnation that changes the way the game plays. As you reincarnate, you unlock new gameplay mechanics, advanced races, custom races (mercs, where you pick your powers basically), etc.

    Here's the caveat to all that, and why I mention it. Realm Grinder, for example, was built over years, and they added layers of complexity as the game moved on. At R3 (reincarnation 3), when you get mercs, everything changes. Everything. That was an advanced build, way after release. They built more mechanics into R7, layered in some permanent buffs and achievements throughout, and generally continue to add more into subsequent R#s while streamlining the whole thing.

    You could potentially do that with this title. Personally, I'd recommend picking at least one of those two games to play more (for homework). EF is a stupid high time investment, and worse, it's a battery hog that demands constant play on phone. Huge no-no and why I ultimately set it aside. RG, however, has far more depth and applicable mechanics to what you have here, as well as a far smaller time commitment to get far into the game. I'd suggest reading some guides and pushing for R7, at the very least, to get an idea of what that game truly has to offer, and why it's so beloved when it offers literally nothing graphically.

    You have a hell of a framework laid out here, with some serious potential if you figure out how to add on successive layers of content. First off: I'd suggest holding off on PvP until you've got a LOT more in place. PvP is a gimmick, not a mechanic, and while it WILL draw players in, this game isn't necessarily at a stage where you WANT that kind of draw yet. IMO save pvp for down the road when you're ready to truly advertise what you've got, and ready for the big times.

    So you need to figure out how to add complexity and depth onto your framework, and more importantly, figure out how to flesh out your framework to allow for future complexity. Your map system, whichever way you take it, needs SCALABILITY. Maybe that's advancing left to right (which is where procedural generation will be important, since it'll need to get harder as you move right and in theory, go on forever, so you can't generate it all at once at game start but do it in chunks, possibly "erasing" the far left area to keep memory reqs down). Maybe it's advancing maps, which each map getting harder and harder until you literally can't go any more and have to reincarnate. You could build a lot of mechanics into that kind of system, where there's some huge curveball switch up on map 7 that makes you rethink your approach, for example. So you reincarnate after beating 6, and start investing in some new direction (army boosts?) than you used to since your old tricks (diplomacy?) don't cut it anymore.

    There's lots of possibilities, and I can't think of a better framework to study than RG.

    I have other thoughts but you've probably got enough to gestate on... it's not my role here to tell you what direction I think your game should develop in (what map system I prefer, for example), but to try and impress upon you the need to construct a proper framework to express your own creativity upon... hence my suggestion for playing RG as homework :)

    Good luck man! You've got something here! And talking about it is cathartic compared to worrying about my more serious client load as an underpaid social worker, so I'm happy to be a sounding board... it's fun :)

    Edit: ow. My finger :(
     
  6. johnkittz

    johnkittz Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2017
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    Since you have to restart and start a new game for finding new relics is there any carry overs? Does somethings keep there level? I think a carry over system would be neat.
     
  7. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    Yeah, when I started the game, the onboarding was very generous. I also spent money in the game and felt pretty good about it. I think I'm topped out at level 3650 right now, filling out the pet list and upgrading 20 something pets, maxing out the 6* artifacts that I have from honor points. Each day there is definitely a bunch of goals for me to do, like you mentioned, and there is a lot of strategy involved to pick the right builds or choose between doing 2 or 4 core.

    For the single player PvE, it really feels like I'm trying to push as high of a level as I can. This makes sense in a gacha hero collector, as you are collecting and upgrading your troops all the time. But it feels like, at the end of the day, I am doing everything I can to push this number up. There is lots to do in order to prepare for my next level push, it's the setup and build up that makes it fun and enjoyable. As I make progress in the level grind, I would unlock new parts of the game or finally be able to use a part of the game and, like you said, change how I play.

    I'm also trying to build up to unlocking the last gold quest in the list because the name implies something might happen. I could look it up on the internet, but if I did that, I might not have stayed with the game as long because that is my current carrot that I'm chasing and it will take a lot more playing and upgrading specific things to even get the amount of gold to unlock that thing.

    This is true. I am inching close to R4 right now and the mercs are definitely helping out with that. I started tackling some of the challenges as well and that's been interesting. I agree with all of your points about Realm Grinder, so I don't really have much to add in that regard. But looking at guides might help me understand some more of what I need to do right now to progress in the game, so I'll be doing that :)

    I don't want to add PvP right now, honestly. It would be so bare bones with nothing to support it and would completely show as a gimmick in the game's current state. If there are more systems in place that help with progression and a feeling of becoming stronger as an empire, then PvP could be worthwhile.

    This is an interesting idea and could work. The benefit is that you could play your current game as long as you can, then press the reset button and try again with your revival abilities or upgrades. But it would also be procedurally generated, so it might not be as nice looking, layout wise, as a hand crafted map. But there would need to be some mechanic in place that trims the left as you progress right, because scrolling to the left for a few minutes in a long game would be difficult and tedious. Then, what would I need to do about the existing buildings? But I think I like the next part better:

    I like this idea for several reasons, but the prime reason is different maps.

    Lets say that starting a new game would be like starting a new campaign. You get to set whatever permanent bonuses up that your victory points allows, you can start off stronger, and you go. By beating a map, there is another type of bonus that can be increased just for your current campaign, so as you progress through the maps, you can also get stronger in some other ways. When you reach as far as you can go, you restart the campaign, get new or better permanent bonuses for your game and start back at the beginning.

    The first map could be a smaller map, allowing for a faster and tighter experience. They probably won't be able to research or build everything before they beat the map, it's that quick. The player would only need to focus on that specific map's victory condition, while also deciding whether or not they want to do any secondary victory conditions (from the relic collection). Plus, by providing a map victory condition, the player will immediate have a goal they can see and work towards, instead of playing blindly for a while. To move between maps, the map victory condition must be completed, and if I went with the victory points idea, map victories could provide 10 points and each additional secondary condition could provide 5, or perhaps a number that is proportionate to the difficulty of the task.

    Moving between maps will essentially start you over, building wise, but there should be some kind of benefit or system in place to make it easier on the next map. Carrying over resources, perhaps even research, might help in that area. Not needing to focus on researching everything again and just continuing on your tech tree would feel good and will almost be like just scouting around and starting a new settlement.

    I could also introduce "bonus" maps that happen every 2 or 3 maps where it's a special, smaller map with some crazy mechanic. These maps are randomized, so it you don't know what you'll get and will make your map grind feel more fresh when doing restarts. This would be more like an added feature down the road, as I would need to make sure the map progression felt good before adding extra stuff to it.

    I agree, I need to have a strong framework to work from. There are so many ideas and things I want to add to the game, but they won't matter if restarting the game doesn't feel rewarding, so I definitely want to close that gap as quickly as possible. I could probably talk for hours and days about what I could do and the various systems to make it work, but I think the first order of business should be to make restarting rewarding first.

    Most likely today and tomorrow will be spent reading more about Realm Grinder's late game stages, redesigning the restart system and getting feedback on it. Once I have settled on a system that I like and should work well, I'll start working it into the game. I might dump my thoughts in this thread as I go as well, to see if it resonates well with anyone.
     
  8. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    The only thing that carries over is your moon coins, relics you found, victory conditions you unlocked and any items in your inventory (not resources). All research resets. I am currently designing a new game restart progression system that will aid with this and provide more incentive for starting new games and beating the map you are on. More information will come soon, and I just did another post above this one talking about some of the ideas. :)
     
  9. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    #109 Eat the Moon, Aug 11, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    Version 1.2.2 has been pushed to the app store, so you should be able to start downloading it soon! This emergency update has the combat loot fix and the production boost fix for manufactured goods. Those who have a game going will also receive 100 Moon Coins and the Production Boost Lvl 2 item (8 hours of production boost, instead of 30 minutes) to say that I'm sorry for those bugs :)

    So, be on the look out in the app store for version 1.2.2! I'll switch inform the old servers to push the update notice after 24 hours has past, to give enough time for the app store to populate with the latest version.

    Thanks everyone!

    edit: Now that the update it out, I'm going to go back to the 2-3 week release window per update. As usual, if you want to review the app, either with stars or a review, I would love to see it :)
     
  10. RinoaHeartily

    RinoaHeartily Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2010
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    What should I do?

    Decision decision decision!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Zaraf

    Zaraf Well-Known Member

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    Wow, what amazing discussions that are happening here.

    So I found a bug with the Port and trading. Not sure if it's been mentioned yet but here are some pictures to demonstrate.

    https://s14.postimg.org/cs2b47lup/IMG_7412.png

    https://s14.postimg.org/99qb7tkyp/IMG_7413.png

    So basically you can buy stuff without needing the gold. Basically you have infinite resources once you get the port with the current bug. So it's pretty significant:)
     
  12. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    Yeah, I had a support ticket come in stating the same thing. The plan is to remove the docks in the near future and redesign the docks feature itself so it is more rewarding and can justify having more than one built in the game. The exploit will probably be around for a little bit, as I have decided not to do another emergency update to address this one thing. If other major bugs appear, then I'll get out a fix for those and address this exploit then.

    Till then, I will keep pushing on for my next content update, which should be within the next 2-3 weeks and include the exploit fix then.
     
  13. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    In other news, I believe I have wrapped up the design for the new progression meta game for Idle Realm. I am presenting the information to my team and teasing out a few final details, but should hopefully have another post on Sunday, detailing my plans. I really like where this idea is going and can't wait to share it!
     
  14. Cronk

    Cronk Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    I'll be curious to hear about it. I just beat it again for the second time with like 4 victory conditions, and I don't feel much pull to start it for a third time.

    Any idea how you'll handle ascendancy with games partway through? Itd be nice to know if I got more out of being at the end of a game, or for having more total relics.
     
  15. Zaraf

    Zaraf Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    Yeah there is currently very little replay value. What little there is seems more like an afterthought than design decision.

    Also, there should be a way to make taps scale in how much they provide. As it stands, there is no point in tapping for resources beyond maybe the first 30 min of play.
     
  16. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    Okay, so here's the breakdown of my thoughts on game progression currently in Idle Realm and what I would like it to be. Feel free to give me comments about it. This is not locked down in stone, but it's pretty close. I feel there is room for improvement or tweaking to the ideas.

    Section 1: Background

    Idle Realm was not designed to be a one-off game that you simply play and quickly beat and then walk away from. The vision for the game is to provide a solid idler mechanic that blends in kingdom management and map exploration. I believe that Idle Realm has reached that goal, but only for the first game you play. Basically, the core mechanic. To succeed at being a true idler or a true kingdom management game, there needs to be feature unlocks, goals to work toward, and ultimately a carrot-on-a-stick. The game lets you know that you'll get something after playing it a few times and once you get that, it lets you know of something else to strive for. Goals are good, especially if these goals provide features and new ways to play the game. That is what the meta game is, and Idle Realm doesn't have a good one yet.

    Idle Realm is in its infancy. I could have kept the game unreleased and added more features and a better meta game, but if the core mechanic wasn't fun or worthwhile, everything else would fall apart. So, with the response to the game so far, I believe the core mechanic is solid. A framework for the game exists and works, so it's now time to make it even better.

    Section 2: What Needs To Happen

    Current Problem

    The replay mechanic is not rewarding or fully fleshed out and other features that compliment the game and work well together don't exist yet. Thus, the meta game is flimsy and non-existent. Currently, the only reason to restart the game is to get more relics for the relic collection, to try and unlock victory conditions. But the player doesnÂ’t feel a desire to restart, as the game is more of the same, every time.

    Solution

    There needs to be a feeling of progression for the player. They should feel like their new empire is stronger than the previous empire, via bonuses and new feature unlocks. The meta game should provide this strength, these bonuses and new feature unlocks.

    Section 3: The New Meta Game Plan

    The meta game is split into three types of progression: Island Progression, Realm Progression, and Leader Progression. Island Progression feeds into Realm and Leader Progression. Realm Progression feeds into Island and Leader Progression and Leader Progression feeds into Island and Realm Progression. These three things compliment each other and provide a way to gauge how much progress the player has made in the game, provide goals for the player to aim for and to ultimately make the player's game stronger over time.

    Parts of Progression

    Map Progression

    Starting a new game would be starting a new campaign. The campaign is made up an essentially endless list of islands, starting off small, then scaling up in size and/or difficulty as needed. The player would begin on Island #1, which has its own specific victory condition. By completing the victory condition, the player then moves on to Island #2. By tackling these island victory conditions, the player makes progress in the campaign and can always see their best campaign results, so they know how far they made it and what to aim for next time.

    Moving between islands, the player keeps all research unlocked and can bring with them resources from their current island settlements. This allows for the second island to start faster (as you have existing research and resources) and you can get right into the thick of things. Eventually, the player will reach an island that they cannot beat, due to the limits of their empire and Realm progression. When this plateau is reached, as with most idler games, the player then restarts and is given bonuses and they try again.

    Some features could be locked behind Map Progression as well, such as new tribes to play as or technologies that can be unlocked.

    Currently in Idle Realm, your settlement spawns on a random location on a large island map. A typical game could last 3-7 days before the player feels the desire to restart. That's a lot of time invested in one island map. With the new meta for Idle Realm, the islands would be smaller and be expected to be completed in a much shorter amount of time, especially as the meta progression systems get leveled up.

    Also, this allows for me to add bonus maps to the campaign, which change up the rules of the game or provide a mini-game like aspect to the island. For example, in the campaign, island 1, 2, 3, 4 could be normal maps, island 5 is a special bonus map, island 6, 7, 8, 9 could be normal maps, and island 10 would be a hard, almost boss-like island map. Island 11-20 would follow the same pattern, and so on. Bonus maps could be set, so you always get the same map on island 5, for example. Or, they could be pulled from a pool of maps, so every new campaign can possibly have a new experience on island 5.

    By putting Map Progression into the game, future game updates can include new types of maps and victory conditions for them in the later parts of the campaign, to keep pushing the max campaign progression higher and provide new and exciting events for the veteran players.

    Realm Progression

    As the player completes the victory conditions in the game (the map specific ones or the unlocked victory conditions from the relic collection system), they earn Victory Points. These Victory Points will unlock new features in the game (such as Leaders), provide passive bonuses to various parts of the game (resource and knowledge production, tap harvesting multipliers, storage space, combat buffs) and show the player what is coming up next once they reach a certain Victory Point amount. For example, you might have a +10% boost to production if you have 30 Victory Points and the next boost will require you to have 70 Victory Points.

    The Realm Progression only happens when the game ends, before a new campaign begins. During the campaign, your Realm bonuses are locked in and won't change.

    It has not been decided if the Victory Points work like an experience point system, where you level up your Realm by earning the points to unlock these features ... or if it should be a currency system that lets you purchase the Realm upgrades, with the ability to reset and respec as needed. There are pros and cons to both ways of handling it and I need to figure out what would make the most sense for the game.

    Over time, updates to the game can provide more features to unlock via the Realm Progression system and allow for even further progression into the game.

    Leader Progression

    Since the Realm Progression bonuses are locked in when you start a new campaign, there should be a way to make smaller bonus increments during the campaign, allowing the player to pivot to meet situations that arise. For example, Realm Progression might provide a +10% production boost per level it reaches, but the leader would only add an additional +1% per point in their stats. The leader is meant to slowly push the numbers up.

    There will be a list of tribes in the game (some of which are referenced in the lore found on the relics and buildings) that the leader can come from. The leader would have 4 stats that can be improved, each affecting a different part of the game (combat, pacifism, resources and research). Tribes will excel at one stat, be awful at another, and average for the other two. Tribes are just for the leader section and don't actually affect the look of the game. In the future, there might be skins for the Town Halls based upon the tribe you play as, but that would be the extent most likely.

    At the start of each island map, the player can assign new points into the stats. The player can respec the leader, either at the start of the next island map, or at any time (I haven't decided), that way you can adjust to what happens on the island.

    Over time, updates to the game can provide more features to the leader itself, perhaps adding abilities or extra things to tweak.

    Section 4: Timeframe To Make Changes

    I would expect no more than 4-6 weeks to make these changes. I have an update planned for the Fall / Halloween update to the game (to be available October 1st). My hope is that I can get the new meta game as well as the Fall update into the game in the same app version. Doing so will let me focus on more content and features for the inevitable Winter update. I feel that the meta game is incredibly important and these changes need to happen ASAP.
     
  17. Cronk

    Cronk Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2013
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    All looks good to me. Only thing I'll comment on is the leader respecs: how about an optional 1-time-per-map respec, so you can use your current leader for all new maps and assign points as needed, but if mechanics change you can do a respec on that map. I think that's a nice balance between having options and not feeling like we have to constantly min-max leader attributes.

    Another important point is to eventually be able to skip the beginner portions. If the first map takes a day on the first play through, eventually it should only take a few minutes. Whether that's starting with more resources, or having more clicking power, or whatever, we shouldn't feel exhausted by the idea of grinding out early game every time we get stuck. It should feel faster and better regularly.

    So I guess now we sit and wait! I only hope you're able to balance out life and game dev stuff, because it'd be neat to see this get off the ground in a timely fashion :)
     
  18. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    I think this is basically the plan. Your leader and their current stat points stay the same between maps, but for every new map you make it to, you get new points to add to your leader. When you are distributing the new points, you have the option of a respec as well. This all happens at the start of the current map. If I did allow for multiple respecs during the map, I would want to lock it down somehow with a timer or other method, so it's not just a "I'll do this whenever I want" type of thing.

    Agreed. With the boosts provided from Realm Progression and Leader Progression, the early levels should go by really quickly or be possibly skipped, via special abilities or options. Thematically, it could be faster ships or existing scrolls of maps that take you to the higher level maps. Even with 1000% research speed, there will still be some waiting going on, although not much.

    The thing that makes each island map scale and become more difficult will be the winning condition requirements, such as an enemy with a million HP. Getting 30K troops won't take care of that, so you'll need more troops and/or combat multipliers from the meta progression to even have a chance.

    Once I have the system in place, I'll need to see how building cost, building upgrade cost, and research time plays into things. I imagine with a 500% boost to production and knowledge, for example, you'll be almost at the point where you're just building things, almost all the time. Things will be cheap when you are producing so many things, with land space being the only thing holding you back. So either I add more levels for buildings (instead of an art upgrade to the building every level, it happens every couple levels until it is at max), or I change the cost of all the buildings and upgrades, making it so you probably won't be using Level 2 and Level 3 buildings until several restarts. I don't like that option as much, so I'll be keeping an eye of things to see how the building economy works.

    That balance is rough right now, but I can make it work :)
     
  19. Zaraf

    Zaraf Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2009
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    I really like the direction this is all going in

    One thing that I think is really important to also address is a streamlined interface.

    Having repetitive and pointless clicks is super annoying, especially if you are restarting often. Look at how in Endless Frontier, they used to have it so that you had to unlock every single quest individually, but now you can just click on the farthest unlocked quest and it will automatically unlock everything before it as well as enable its auto quest. This streamlines the process. I just wish they did something similar to the unit leveling page.

    So for your game, something like a menu to be able to see all of your various buildings, or be able to upgrade multiple buildings together the way that you can build multiple buildings together is important. Research should be queuable, especially if it becomes very fast. Or just have something like all research that reaches the "click for free completion" which I think was within 3 minutes can just be automatically completed instantly with a single click. Thus allowing people to focus on new stuff.

    Research would need to be rebalanced so that buffs would provide step like progress (ala Endless Frontier) and not just easily unlock everything too quickly.

    Also, having research trees and "choose a path" options like in Realm Grinder could be good. Just mindlessly upgrading everything the same way every time is boring. Having an option to choose which direction to go is interesting and can vary play style.
     
  20. Eat the Moon

    Eat the Moon Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
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    0
    16
    Founder, Eat the Moon, LLC
    Washington, USA
    There is a building management screen that I'm adding which will show you every building on the map in a list, grouped by type and level, with the ability to upgrade right then and there or demolish them. I could add an option (a toggle) that lets you upgrade all the buildings in the group, which does sound nice, when you have a lot to upgrade.

    There will be other quality of life changes that will need to be made to the game once the meta progression is in. I don't mind tapping the free upgrade at the start of the game, if it's only 3-5 that I'll need to deal with. But if the progression pushes a lot of upgrades into the free upgrade range, requiring 20-30 upgrades to get auto-completed, doing it all in one go will be huge.

    I'll be testing the various realm progression levels you get and seeing how far I need to go before I start noticing the early game creating a chore in regards to tapping so many of the same buttons. Then those screens will probably be up for redesign as well, to streamline the process.

    Yup!

    I would love to add these as well, but probably in a later update after the meta update for the game. :)
     

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