PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

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Xanom.
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PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Xanom. » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:28 pm

Been playing PSCD 1.1.2. Up to the side-mission screen after mission 7. Some feedback:

(1) Skip dialogue - I think this should disable after an encounter, in the same way it disables after a choice dialogue. As it is, if I skip back to an encounter, I need to remember to go to the options screen and toggle it or else the game keeps skipping as soon as I'm done.

(2) The multiple types of save panes are confusing. What does it mean to have multiple auto- or quick- saves ?

(3) On losing an encounter, it would be good to have a "try again" option which returns you to the card selection screen. It's the most common reason for wanting to restore a save, but as it is you need to remember to manually save on the card selection screen (there's not quick-save that I can see) or else the game auto-saves on battle completion.

(4) The interface can be slightly sluggish in the combat screen. If I'm acting fast, I'll play a mod card on an in-play card then click the card to act and the game will miss the click.

(5) Cards that damage "random" cards seem to damage the weakest card. Which is IMO a good thing, but not what the text says.

On the tactical rules:

I can't figure out what "redraw cards" does. It seems to discard the last drawn card, which I can't see how it is useful unless my hand is full.

There's a general issue with resource economy vs card draw vs pacing. Most cards cost one of some of the resources, but I gain 1 of each resource but only draw 1 card each turn (with very minor exceptions). This means that after a few turns my limiting factor is either credits or card draw, not resources. And only drawing 1 per turn means that it's very easy to get unlucky and draw a bunch of "credit" cards and be totally stuck. While stuck, the opponent keeps playing cards, so I can't catch up because anything I play is quickly removed. (Problem is even worse with a bunch of 1-3, 0 credit foes).

Suggestion: modify redraw to allow one or more of (subject to balance testing):
- Pay 0-1-1-1 to draw another card
- Pay 0-2-2-2 to draw another card
- Discard a card and pay 0-1-1-1 to draw another card

I expect that #1 is sufficient, but might make it too easy to spam cards into your hand. Either of #1 or #2 will let you normalise a resource surplus into hand cards and provide a comeback option if your draws are stalling.

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Anima_
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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Anima_ » Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:35 am

2) Ren'Py is using a rolling autosave system. So it will not overwrite your latest autosave but your oldest when making a new one.
5) There is a target weakest category, it could be that Jack chose that. But it could also be just luck.

@redraw cards
With this option you will shuffle all n hand cards back into the deck and draw n-1 cards. In case you simply have nothing playable on hand. There are also cards that allow you to draw more cards per turn. And some spell cards that will let you draw a card when played as well. If you run out of cards too often, maybe choose a few of those for your deck?
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Franka
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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Franka » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:21 am

Xanom. wrote:There's a general issue with resource economy vs card draw vs pacing. Most cards cost one of some of the resources, but I gain 1 of each resource but only draw 1 card each turn (with very minor exceptions). This means that after a few turns my limiting factor is either credits or card draw, not resources.
This is a deck building issue, made worse by the fact that you haven't played far enough to unlock new cards. When you get more control over the contents of your deck, you will be able to build decks that play to the resource rules rather than struggle against them.

You will unlock many cards that cost more than 1 Resource as you progress.

The AI decks will also start featuring more cards that reward Credits, sometimes multiple, as their decks evolve.

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jack1974
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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by jack1974 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:40 am

Thanks for the feedback, regarding your questions:
1) I use an automatic feature of Ren'Py to autoskip after menu choices, so I am not sure if I can have it remember auto-skip even after battles, I need to look
2) as Anima said it's another feature of Ren'Py. In the game I "force" an autosave before menu choices or battles, so in case people forget to save often as they should, at least they can load a previous save fairly recent
3) I guess I could move the autosave to the deck building. I was thinking that players would want to retry with the deck immediately and not do changes. Maybe the best thing is to give the choice to load from deck building or from beginning of battle, will try to do that.
4) Eh I know :( Unfortunately it's a limitation of the library I'm using. I'll try to see if I can improve things!
5) I just put random in the card parameters and I don't think I touched the AI code for that, so I don't think it should always target the weakest? (this is probably a question I'm asking to Anima myself :lol:)

About the other things: yes redraw puts all your card back on the deck and redraw them all, less one. So if you have 5 cards you'll see 4 new random ones. Of course, if your deck is small and you have similar cards, it's possible that you will redraw almost the same cards. That's probably what gave you the illusion that it just discard the last card, in reality it's redrawing everything.

As for the deck economy, yes what Franka said. If you're coming from games like Hearthstone I can imagine this is a bit confusing at first :) But in practice you need to learn to build the decks to always have cards that require low resources, in particular credits, since only on a few missions you start with 1+ credits, otherwise you need to kill enemies to earn them.

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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Anima_ » Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:08 am

jack1974 wrote: 5) I just put random in the card parameters and I don't think I touched the AI code for that, so I don't think it should always target the weakest? (this is probably a question I'm asking to Anima myself :lol:)
Nope random is just that random, checked the code again. Must have been just luck.
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Franka
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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Franka » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:21 pm

Anima_ wrote:
jack1974 wrote: 5) I just put random in the card parameters and I don't think I touched the AI code for that, so I don't think it should always target the weakest? (this is probably a question I'm asking to Anima myself :lol:)
Nope random is just that random, checked the code again. Must have been just luck.
Also remember that Invisible enemy units are not eligible to be chosen as random targets.

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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Anima_ » Sun Jun 12, 2016 6:25 pm

Franka wrote:
Anima_ wrote:
jack1974 wrote: 5) I just put random in the card parameters and I don't think I touched the AI code for that, so I don't think it should always target the weakest? (this is probably a question I'm asking to Anima myself :lol:)
Nope random is just that random, checked the code again. Must have been just luck.
Also remember that Invisible enemy units are not eligible to be chosen as random targets.
Unless the ability ignores invisibility. That can also happen. (Not sure if there are any in the game, there is a check in the code for it though.)
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jack1974
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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by jack1974 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:00 pm

No I think I checked all random abilities so that they don't target invisible units :)

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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Xanom. » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:59 am

jack1974 wrote:1) I use an automatic feature of Ren'Py to autoskip after menu choices, so I am not sure if I can have it remember auto-skip even after battles, I need to look
Slightly confused about your answer.

What I see is that when I enter a battle from "skipping", the words "Skip Mode" appear in the top left corner. If I go to options and play with the skip toggle, the words disappear and it doesn't skip after the battle finishes. I suggest that entering a battle should automatically disable skipping (if possible).
jack1974 wrote:2) as Anima said it's another feature of Ren'Py. In the game I "force" an autosave before menu choices or battles, so in case people forget to save often as they should, at least they can load a previous save fairly recent
3) I guess I could move the autosave to the deck building. I was thinking that players would want to retry with the deck immediately and not do changes. Maybe the best thing is to give the choice to load from deck building or from beginning of battle, will try to do that.
I agree, but what I see happening is that the game auto-saves immediately after the battle resolves for mission battles, which means restoring to the last auto-save doesn't let me retry the battle at-all.

I see two different goals for restoring save:
(1) Fail battle - want to restore game and retry
(2) Win battle, immediately quit - want to continue where I left off.

Unless I'm missing something, the current behaviour supports #2 and makes #1 require much manual work. At least the first time I failed a mission battle, I had to go back about 4 encounters + dialogue to find my last manual save. There were four auto-saves, one post-battle, and the others from after dialogue choices from a couple of hours play previously.

Checked save / load behaviour. Loaded a mission game from the deck-building screen. Entered battle. Game flashed up "game saved". Deliberately lost the battle. Went back and couldn't find the save game to load - only one I could see was from a custom battle from 5 minutes earlier. I'm now totally confused. I'm sorry to be annoying but can someone lay out exactly what to expect re auto- and quick- save behaviour, because I don't understand the model?
jack1974 wrote:About the other things: yes redraw puts all your card back on the deck and redraw them all, less one. So if you have 5 cards you'll see 4 new random ones. Of course, if your deck is small and you have similar cards, it's possible that you will redraw almost the same cards. That's probably what gave you the illusion that it just discard the last card, in reality it's redrawing everything.
Tried it out a few times. Seems to be working, yes. Lack of animation can give the impression nothing has changed if the new cards match the old.
jack1974 wrote:As for the deck economy, yes what Franka said. If you're coming from games like Hearthstone I can imagine this is a bit confusing at first :) But in practice you need to learn to build the decks to always have cards that require low resources, in particular credits, since only on a few missions you start with 1+ credits, otherwise you need to kill enemies to earn them.
So, am I correct in assuming that:
- Early in the game, if I get a bunch of unlucky draws early (too many credit cards), I should be able to redraw and then use my surplus of other resources to play a number of non-credit cards?
- Later in the game, there are more cards that require multiple non-credit resources (the only ones I've seen so far are some of the turrets), and thus resource shortage after the first couple of plays remains meaningful?

Thanks

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Re: PSCD 1.1.2 issues / features

Post by Xanom. » Mon Jun 13, 2016 4:22 am

Minor nitpick: after defeating the Horcoos, while talking about psionic bands, the Mira's lip-ring is on the wrong side (image reversed?).

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