Day[9] and Single-Player Game Design

Was watching an old Day[9] video talking about single-player game design. He talks at great length about how “setbacks” are crucial for allowing long-term play and growth in most games. He uses the example of the Hearthstone ladder as a comparison point to building your city in a city-building game. He points out how on the Hearthstone ladder, you can lose and therefore go down in rank, whereas in City: Skylines, your city just continually gets better.

Interesting to see similar musings to my thoughts on single-player game design. Sounds like Day[9] might enjoy the single-player ladder in BrainGoodGames! Maybe someday…

You can find more of my thoughts on single-player evergreen games here

Minos Strategos Update 1.03a is Live

-Allowed you to view leaderboards when game in progress
-Added option to adjust Draft Mode rank
-Fixed bug with merging minotaurs not able to be attacked
-Fixed bug with merging minotaurs not getting golem buff
-Fixed bug with minotaurs spawning on top of player soldiers (edge of board)
-Fixed bug where a surrounded unit (that can’t move) was being highlighted during normal move
-Fixed bug with hydras sometimes not showing their path
-Fixed bug where leaderboards would swap when you entered bonus mode screen quickly

Chillout Games

Been playing a bit of Stardew Valley as a way to unwind from release, and I’ve come to really value the way it provides a relaxing atmosphere. 

Like a soothing piece of music, or meditative poetry, I think this chillout vibe is something I want to explore more. Puzzles like Sudoku already demonstrate this kind of thing in a way, and I imagine the decreased rigidity in games may allow for even more of this. I’m curious to see what playing around with winrate %s, rank presentation and a couple other things does to de-emhpasize learning, growth and calculation and emphasize meditation, relaxation and the feeling of things “falling into place”.

I have a couple ideas in the tank for an experience like this, and I’m excited for when I’ll be able to show you guys more!

Ridiculous Axes and Acres Ranks

Just wanted to highlight some of the truly outrageous Axes and Acres ranks out there. I had no idea ranks this high were even mathematically possible. Allan is truly a gifted player.

I’m super excited to see that several players have passed the 100 hours played mark at this point, with a few over 200 (and beyond!) 

I have a few planned features to support extremely high level play, and to allow for returning to the game after a break more easily, so stay tuned for that!

Design Lessons From SkyBoats

Couple random design lesson thoughts from SkyBoats:

-Tutorialization process went much better for most people than for Axes and Acres. The semi-guided FTL style tutorial seems to work well, and is going to be the default for BrainGoodGames going forward.

-Wind patterns do a good job of allowing players to create a cool machine to score points with, and heavily rewards smart forethought and play

-SkyBoats does a good job of making your moves feel like an AWESOME thing you did, rather than just scraping by. I really like this aesthetic

-Unlockables that trigger on win and loss are a good way to take some of the sting out of a loss

-Depth is great, but I need to more strongly consider the amount to which a player can process/where the information horizon is placed (Minos Strategos does a better job balancing this I think)

-Wind patterns are a cool mechanic, but some players are too overwhelmed to really dig into them

-Being able to use boat powers in any order is a good example perhaps of somewhere that the complexity ramps up a bit too hard

Having said that, there are a lot of things that are really neat about this system that I want to explore a bit more. I want to try adding a stripped down version of the concept as an alternate game mode. Smaller board, hand of cards rather than goods providing powers, fewer boats/one boat. Would you be interested in a mode like that?