Welcome to the Age of Myth! Now kings can pore over the ancient manuscripts to learn about the Kingdoms of Olde. Each time you win a game, a screenshot will be saved and preserved so you can marvel at your past exploits, and look for patterns to further hone your strategy!
Full Patch Notes:
- Added “Past Kingdoms” gallery to main page, allowing you to view previously finished games
- Farm wood cost decreased by one (now 1)
- Farm starting yield increased by one (now 6)
- Hunters hut now spawns a rabbit between 6 and 8 spaces away from your starting location, if possible
- Marketplace card actions swapped (gain one of each resource now takes a worker)
- Buffed castle build action, card ability, and royalty to all give 2VP
- Fixed bug with marketplace allowing you to go to negative food if there was something to gather on the space
- Leaf animations now update on the title screen when you click the option in settings
- If quick move is off, number of steps display is disabled
Let us know about any bugs, or any feedback you have about the building balance after the changes! We’re listening, and want to make as many buildings and strategies viable as possible. Congrats to Allan, mawendt and Kenbutsu for achieving some absolutely crazy ranks (62, 50 and 45!!)
Thanks as always, you guys are amazing.
Axes and Acres patch 1.03 is live today! We are bringing some new and exciting changes that we think you guys will love. Patch 1.03 brings the Rank Leaderboard to Axes and Acres. Now you can see how your rank stacks up compared to the very best strategists playing Axes and Acres. If this sort of pressure bothers you, don’t worry, we are also introducing a practice mode so players can fool around and try out new tactics without worrying about their rank.
With all this focus on the ranking system we have also made a couple changes to the way rank difficulty scales. As you make your way into the highest ranks phase 1 will now have a cap on the number of Victory Points required to get to phase 2. To compensate for this phase 2 and 3 will increase in difficulty at a faster rate than before. We feel that these changes will help deal with phase 1 being the most difficult and that all phases of the game will now being equally challenging.
These changes should make the tier 3 buildings even more important than before, and as such we have tweaked the numbers on the Castle. The Castle will now cost only 6 stone to build and will provide 8 VP when finished. Get building master masons!
We have also made a number of small quality of life tweaks, from the ability to undo moves, to altering the way some of the objectives appear after specific events. We have also added visual queues to assist with long distance movement, and to remind you which buildings provide you with points in the buildings tabs. Finally we changed the build farm objective to give one more point, and changed the bridge to provide a victory point on construction.
We hope everyone enjoys the patch, and can’t wait to see you all play! Feel free to let us know about any issues or bugs you find, or just to let us know what you think about the new patch!
PS SkyBoats is coming to Steam on August 23rd! You will be able to check it out here when the store page goes live: http://store.steampowered.com/app/510780
One of the tricky aspects of creating single-player games is that the game has to slowly get more and more difficult for a long period of time in order to keep the players challenged. In a multiplayer game, a good system can allow players to all increase in skill, and constantly provide a challenge for each other through competition. With single-player games we have to replace the competition provided by other players with rising difficulty. Where this might max out has been a concern for us. A game doesn’t necessarily have to scale forever, but we do want to provide great value to our players.
(And I thought rank 18 was high!)
A discussion about the skill cap in Axes and Acres came up a number of times during development, and of course in theory it has to cap somewhere. We eventually decided that the skill cap was high enough it wasn’t something we really needed to worry about. The vast majority of players would never get to a high enough rank for the game to be impossible. Recently we have implemented Steam stat-tracking features so we could get an idea of what ranks people have achieved. We were shocked to learn how high people have reached! I personally doubted that ranks lower than what people have achieved were possible. It really makes you wonder if there are strategies people have developed that as a game designer you never even dreamed of.
Considering all of this I feel that Axes and Acres was a success with regards to a skill cap. I’m sure it still exists, but it is so far away its existence feels trivial. Ideally, we would like to come up with a system that has no skill cap, but we are still debating whether such a thing is possible in a single-player game.
Anyone have opinions on this?
When we designed Axes and Acres we wanted to create a single-player game that could be enjoyed for many hours of play without relying on content. This is partially on principle and partially for practical reasons. A small studio like us couldn’t hope to make a game with even 10 hours of well done content. Here at BrainGoodGames we rely on systems which make games interesting even with repeated play. It is difficult to create a system which can stand up to a large amount of play. On top of this, we want the system to be as elegant as possible and to have a limited number of rules, such that the play can learn ALL of the rules and make strategically informed decisions.
The limit for rules or complexity probably varies from player to player. Certainly based on the feedback we received for Axes and Acres we had responses spanning from “its too easy” to “this is impossible to learn”. Perhaps that means we found a solid middle-ground – I’m still not sure. In either case, Brett and I both prefer a more complicated system to one which can be easily solved. Truly great games have systems which are both elegant and simple in their rules, but have incredible depth of strategy. I think Go is the classic example of this.
This delicate balance becomes even more difficult however when you are making a single-player game. Removing the multiplayer element forces us as designers to come up with interesting and challenging replacements for other players. This ties back in to my previous discussion on Ambiguity (http://blog.braingoodgames.com/2016/05/19/a-discussion-on-ambiguity-in-games/) – other players provide a form of ambiguity that is difficult to replace. In Axes and Acres we tried to replace this with input randomness, and we felt that it was quite interesting and stayed interesting for a long period of time, but perhaps the learning was a little too difficult for the average player. However, if you can get past the early learning stage I think the game is great fun and provides tons of interesting strategic value.
As always I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on all of this!
Finally to let everyone know Axes and Acres is coming to Linux and going on sale on June 13th! It’s a great time to pick it up for anyone who doesn’t have it yet!
We’ll be revealing more information over the next couple days. One thing we can reveal though, is that the Barbarians and Woodsmen are pretty excited about what’s to come.
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