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Frosty4k

Gameplay Feeling Lackluster

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I want to begin this by saying I love the game so far and I hope you guys continue to make miracles happen.

 

But of course, there's always a couple nails sticking out that need to be hammered in, and with this still being pre-alpha, I'm hoping some of those gameplay decisions can be changed. What is concerning me right now is the general feel of the game as I play it; I am essentially a sloppy town planner. I haven't had to use spells and I just watch the little people run around. What's worse is I don't even feel a connection to the village I'm building, so I'd probably never make it to the space age before I get bored. Here are some changes to key parts of the game that I (with my totally unbiased opinion... :/ ) feel need some love:

 

1. Camera movement - It's almost perfect, but the scrolling needs some work. The camera in Black & White 2 was my all-time favorite and made it feel so natural. In particular, the player was more in control of the scrolling because it was more precise with each turn of the wheel. Also the camera zoomed into where your cursor was located.

2. City Management vs God Sim - Currently the game is a city manager. I'm sure you've heard this comment many times, but I just want to put my take on it... The manner in which the god places most buildings down turns him into a mayor. I think it shouldn't be necessary if the god isn't interested. There could be many other things the god can do to keep him/her busy (I will speak to this in another point). 

3. Dynamic villages - To follow up on point 2, having the god place structures in a certain way should inspire the villagers to automatically try to replicate that form. For example, the god places housing tightly together in rows. The villagers understand the design and attempt to continue it. Or you might want to place a couple random houses or structures on a hill or near a forest, the villagers then learn that's probably the ideal location for those types of buildings. Of course if the god stops demonstrating desired placement, then the village can take it in their own direction (but not completely forget the gods teachings as they still have many examples at this point). It would be neat to see different styles of housing based on where they are placed (climate, elevation, etc) and how close they are to other buildings. I understand how much work this would take, and maybe it's something to consider after the game is released (for a DLC), but it may also be far simpler to put the framework in at the beginning (which is why I wanted to mention it asap).

4. Research System - The current system of tech and evolution research is kind of cool, but I think it can be way cooler.

4a. Tech Research - It's kind of strange how all these technologies just fall into my queue pile when others are completed. A more sophisticated tech tree that requires a villager to research would be nice. Like maybe I want to skip hunting and specialize in fishing and berry picking.

4b. Evolution Research - I understand that evolution is just a bunch of random mutations, but only the mutations that actually help a creature to survive is what would be passed down. For example, the black bear in the north pole died off to it's evolutionary descendant (polar bears) because they mutated white fur. If polar bears mutated green fur they would have died instantly. With this in mind, I'd suggest that the system be changed to be dynamic - not just random. If my villagers are living in dry arid conditions, then after living there for some time they should evolve traits such as less water requirement, better heat dissipation, more efficient movement to reduce stamina loss, etc. These traits can then stick with you regardless of what biome your people expand to... but if you maintain that you can only research one at a time, then the player then has to choose which biome he'd prefer to prosper in.

4c. Cultural Traits - Ah yes, a third type of research. This would be entirely based on how the god interacts with the village (including through god mail). It isn't like traditional research, where you pick a choice and wait for it to complete. Rather it's a reflection of how the god chooses to handle situations. For example, the god throws fire at a wolf. From there, the villagers will fight off wolves with torches and incorporate fire into more parts of their lives. If the god decides to pick up wolves and relocate them, then the village will too. If the god decides to crush the wolf with a rock, the village will prefer to use traps. Some choices could even make the village change how it looks, like having more torches handy, or people who go to the barber prefer to get certain haircuts, etc.

5. Climate - I think this one is just more or less that the current weather/climate system needs tweaking. A desert should not be snow covered in winter (nor should a tropical climate). Biomes should be based on the rotation of the planet around the star(s). It doesn't mean there can't be hotspots in unusual places (maybe there's a tropical island in the arctic region caused by volcanic energy).

6. Starting Planet Customization - It'd be nice to have some say as to what the planet looks like. Such as water coverage, atmosphere hue, average temperature. I'd like to have continents separated by ocean or just many sub-continents that stone age people could get to by boat.

7. Sea-faring - This was touched on by point 6 but I figured it's a large enough addition to have it's own point.

8. Religion & Worship - I should be able to tell my village to worship me in various ways, such as dancing at an altar, sacrificing something, going to morning worship, etc. Also I'd like to push them harder if I felt like it... maybe Joe killed somebody, so as his punishment he has to dance around a rock for the rest of his life. This could also have an impact on the 4c Cultural Traits idea.

 

Anyways, I hope something in this list is inspiring!

 

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I totally agree with you.

 

I mentioned this over and over again. Yes we have a pretty stable city builder with resource management and some kind of technical progression at the moment. That's great and I appreciate the status at the moment. The only problem I see is the lack of god game mechanics. We have a secular city builder and we're the mayor. We suppose to be a god but we have no power. Putting a few godly powers upon this secular base gameplay will not change gameplay at all. We'd still have a city builder with some godly powers on top.

 

There needs to be a secular gameplay way (which we already have and it's working good in the latest patch so far) and a godly gameplay way to please all players. I don't want to speak for all, but I'm sure most players will compare (like you did) this game with black & white which was a great god game (beside some flaws in design of course and the lack of an endless game mode). Is it unfair to compare? No. The Universim was introduced as god game.

 

Talking about the situation at the moment. The player has no real influence as god. The nugget tribe is forced to protect itself from wild animals with watchtowers, natural disasters like windstorms and tornadoes and you as god can't do anything if a tornado is destroying the buildings.

 

In black & white you could perform godly miracles to protect your believers.

 

To talk serious. As I said. Adding some godly spells on the secular basement is not the solution if The Universim aims to be a god game.

 

I'd be happy if you contribute to the research topic HERE Every Idea is good. It's an brainstorming area. :) 

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Oh I totally missed that topic. I'll copy my fourth point into the research topic. Thanks!

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