Minetest - What's the Point?

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Minetest - What's the Point?

by Garrosh » Wed Nov 23, 2011 18:44

Summary: I think it is important for the players to control the threat level they handle if the mode is to please everyone. Think of it as a difficulty level. It is also critical to define the player incentive and the rewards associated to that. DF is a great example of a survival game which rewards players with futile "achievements". If survival is meant to be the incentive, than man up and make it hurt to die...

Context:I was reading this and it got me to thinking. I've played DF, a little minecraft, and plenty of other games I have always found lack what I really want. I think Minetest has great potential, the engine rocks and there is already some loyal community members.

*** WARNING ***
Lots of INFORMATION ahead. INFORMATION = why and how.

First, here are the thoughts that inspired my ideas:

1 - I think trying to reward players with self-satisfaction is dumb : in-game awards for a tall tower is pointless. However, there could be a building contest thread on the forum. The mechanics of that contest would need to be worked out, but I have a few ideas. A contest like that would help you building a community as well as provide some "official bragging rights" awards people can try to go after if they are so inclined.

2 - Keeping 1 in mind, that this game is awesome for the things you can make in it, having a default mode in which the player HAS to keep fighting for survival and where monsters destroy things you make forces players to choose different playing modes. If you want to unify the community under a good "default" mode, it should be possible (possibly hard, but mostly time-consuming) to participate in 1 without needing to be in a safer sandbox mode.

3 - Like in DF, you should be able to "play safe". Play the "boring" way, without any FUN. Of course, reaching that state can be hard, but it should always be possible. Having to worry all the time about protecting your beloved structures can be worse than making them and will utimately lead to less people enjoying the game. DF is a great game, but not so many people will take the time to make anything "pretty". The focus is a lot more on FUN. You know. I think a little less focus on that kind of FUN would simply provide more options and freedom to the players.

4 - Did you ever play Dungeon Keeper? What I really liked about that game was using a hacked version that allowed me to place heroes where I wished. I could make myself the biggest baddest awsomest maze, and then test it by spamming heroes until about 10 lv 10 avatars spawned. And then get raped. Great FUN. And even if I had no outside threats coming, I still had to handle my Reapers or they'd kill all my other creatures.

5 - In DF, there are 4 noteworthy ways to get FUNed (lol). By yourself (think terminal hissy fit), by society (mandates), by nature (poor lava managment) and by enemies (obviously). We can all agree that DF FUN is harsh. Just 1 block too much and kiss goodbye to your fortress. Start a new one. But it does make it fun. Minetest doesn't let you have FUN with yourself, nature not so much, or with society either. That just leaves enemies, but always having to manage repairs no matter what you do isn't so cool.

6 - Constructions are kind of sacred in DF. The fortresses Dwarves build for themselves remain where they are after the player dies. They can't be unmade by anyone. Hence the rewarding effect of having built something in DF.

7 - Incentives are key: DF has survival as it's first incentive. Player satisfaction can be increased by doing futile things, things they shouldn't have time to worry about, they're about to die! Not supposed to make yourself a glass tower to make all your dwarves vomit just for fun! Yes, you still die, but hey, look! That's the glass tower I made! WHEEEE!!!

8 - If survival is to be Minetest's first incentive, it should be easier to survive short term and harder to survive long term. Survival difficulty needs to ramp up, not down. Meaning ultimately everyone dies.

9 - In Dungeon Keeper, having a fortified wall meant almost perfect safety. It was really good to get your dungeon nice and ready before throwing an all out attack against those pitiful heroes.

With these items, I came up with thise suggestions:

1 - Forum contests for "artistic" accomplishments, based on user votes.

2 - A mechanism to force monster away from player-made structures. I'm thinking monster wards. Or blocks that can't be destroyed by monsters, or both. Building fortresses would really make sense with monster-proof blocks. Of course wards could fail under too much pressure, meaning it would be increasingly difficult to manage a large fortress.

3 - Movable, upgradable\downgradable and activatable monster generators. Just imagine the havoc you could create if you're at war against someone else with one of those things? Or how nice it could be to have a predictive flow of aggro monsters coming your way? It could also provide a nice standard way to spam players with monsters more and more as play time increases.

4 - Wilderness and safe areas: This concept has been used by lots of games, and would greatly encourage new players looking to learn without pressure. Of course, players looking for a challenge could just run off to the wilderness. And of course, going underground counts as going into wilderness. It would simply be a matter of distance to safe areas.

5 - Enforce ownership of every block!? Ouch... Somehow force users to DO something before they can reuse their fortress if they died, you know, like DF. That would definitely provide efficient penalty for dying...
Last edited by Garrosh on Thu Nov 24, 2011 00:58, edited 1 time in total.

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by Staffs » Wed Nov 23, 2011 18:52

Well i stopped reading in half cause im lazy anyways i think the background of forum should be with sand texture not mud :/
I love mods :D

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by sdzen » Wed Nov 23, 2011 18:59

man your ideas are okay but... man I just skimmed thats a pretty weighty subject! :)
Last edited by sdzen on Wed Nov 23, 2011 18:59, edited 1 time in total.
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by Mark » Wed Nov 23, 2011 23:23

I feel he should stray away from what Notch did with Minecraft and do it his way,I like some of what you suggested but I think he should primarily do what HE wants to do for the game,not what the community asks for.If he likes the idea you wont hear me complaining,you have good points.But Notch wanted to make Minecraft more realistic and then he put magic,dragons,teleporting demons and the list goes on,he did most of this because the community wanted a fantasy,I hope c55 isn't thinking of doing what Notch did and he makes his own game,not just Minecraft 2.0...
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by Calinou » Wed Nov 23, 2011 23:29

I think survival should be harder, yes. Like the game gets harder every day. REAL survival.

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by Garrosh » Thu Nov 24, 2011 00:53

Staffs wrote:Well i stopped reading in half cause im lazy [snip]

Hence the To summarize item at the end... hmmm... I'll edit that I think. [DONE!]
Last edited by Garrosh on Thu Nov 24, 2011 00:59, edited 1 time in total.

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