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mrimer
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
quote:
Dohi64 wrote:
I tried to email you guys about linking my drod games to my account because I couldn't found any info on how to do it myself, but the email sent to info@... bounced back. is there another, working address I can use? thanks!
Send me a PM and I'll help you out as soon as I can.

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12-04-2015 at 02:38 AM
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Dohi64
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quote:
mrimer wrote:
quote:
Dohi64 wrote:
I tried to email you guys about linking my drod games to my account because I couldn't found any info on how to do it myself, but the email sent to info@... bounced back. is there another, working address I can use? thanks!
Send me a PM and I'll help you out as soon as I can.


thanks! I kept trying in the meantime, info never worked but support seemed like it did, at least I didn't get an error message.
12-04-2015 at 12:08 PM
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logicGamesFan
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+3)  
I was watching a recent "Cooptional Podcast" (a podcast organized by TotalBiscut) and it made me realize how important the short game summary might be. I'm referring to a 2-3 sentence description in the top-right of the Steam page (under the logo). In the podcast they were running through all the week's releases and that included "Monstro: Battle Tactics" by skell. The phrase "dumber than the average grandmaster" didn't translate the formula too well. I guess it's critical to remember how alien the DROD concept can be for an average player. The description is clear for any DRODer, but generally people don't understand that dumber (or more precisely deterministic) can mean better if used in logic game format.

I don't know how the summary should be phrased. I guess it could be pretty difficult to write something that will catch people attention and get the point of DROD across. It would be a good idea to check this summary with non-DRODers before launch and see how it works for them.

GaTEB seems to be doing a good job in getting newcomers invested in the game, but you have to make them play it first (even if a demo is available). DROD will be mistaken for some generic dungeon crawler or rouge-like by a lot of people. People just LOVE to think they can assess the game by looking at a few screenshots, but I guess there's no point in worrying about that. Let's players / first impression reviewers are more open, as long as their interest is caught in some way. Maybe this summary is a good place to start.
12-08-2015 at 06:27 PM
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
quote:
logicGamesFan wrote:
I was watching a recent "Cooptional Podcast" (a podcast organized by TotalBiscut) and it made me realize how important the short game summary might be. I'm referring to a 2-3 sentence description in the top-right of the Steam page (under the logo). In the podcast they were running through all the week's releases and that included "Monstro: Battle Tactics" by skell. The phrase "dumber than the average grandmaster" didn't translate the formula too well. I guess it's critical to remember how alien the DROD concept can be for an average player. The description is clear for any DRODer, but generally people don't understand that dumber (or more precisely deterministic) can mean better if used in logic game format.

That's an extremely good point. Do you happen to remember at what time they were discussing this?

Btw, I've changed the description to "Monstro is not unlike chess, except the units have statistics and your opponent's moves are comfortably predictable. It's a completely deterministic puzzle-tactical game spiced up with a ridiculous, tongue-in-cheek lore." for now.

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12-08-2015 at 08:16 PM
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logicGamesFan
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Here's the link with a time-stamp:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ri2Vc4ml14&t=157m34s
12-08-2015 at 08:30 PM
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That reminds me of the Kongregate comments on Flash DROD complaining that the AI is bad because roaches get stuck on walls.

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[Last edited by Pinnacle at 12-08-2015 09:39 PM]
12-08-2015 at 09:39 PM
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I went and read them and found this gem:
quote:
The controls are awful, mainly because you need to use the numpad to move. If you resort to the arrow keys you can't move through diagonals and its really annoying to switch hands, also Q and W are too close together, Q and E would be just fine. This is an old game, but yeah, the controls aren't great

quote:
also Q and W are too close together

And this guy seems to be serious and not related to udderdude at all!

[Last edited by Someone Else at 12-09-2015 01:26 PM]
12-09-2015 at 01:14 PM
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+5)  
Ok, so the post by logicGamesFan prompted me to actually check out the descriptions that DROD games have on greenlight with an uhh... open mind and see if there might be anything wrong with them that might turn off potential new players from the game. I'm gonna cling to every minor detail, so this is gonna be a long post...

I don't know if those descriptions will be used for the actual releases on steam, but even if they're not, I hope my criticism will help write better ones.

Quick links to greenlight pages for reference: GatEB / TSS / RPG

_______________________________________________
Let's start with GatEB.

>"Deadly Rooms of Death" (DROD) is a turn-based puzzle dungeon crawl.
>
>It is a 2D top-down puzzle adventure that focuses on hardcore gameplay mechanics, best described succinctly as "Zelda chess."

Yay marketing buzzwords! Not that there's anything wrond with them, but...

>dungeon crawl

What? I'm not so sure about this because I can't find a concrete definition of what a "Dungeon Crawler" is, but wikipedia classifies it as a sub-genre of Role-Playing Games and that's also the impression I get from searching for Dungeon Crawler tag on steam. I see games with health bars, mana/energy/whatever bars; various items found in RPGs, like weapons, armor, potions; inventory for managing said items; occasional game with randomly generated levels. Those aren't things present in DROD. Well, aside from weapons and potions, but those aren't items you can carry with yourself (at least not without scripting), they're puzzle elements. If anything, DROD RPG is more of a Dungeon Crawler than regular DROD.

I guess you can argue that Dungeon Crawler just means that you spend a lot of time in dungeons? But then why not also generalize RPGs to "games, where you play a role of a specific character in a story"? Thing is, DROD is just not the kind of game I imagine when I hear the words "Dungeon Crawler".

>It is a 2D top-down puzzle adventure that focuses on hardcore gameplay mechanics, best described succinctly as "Zelda chess."

Did you just shove the word "hardcore" before "gameplay mechanics"? What does that even mean? I'm geniunely confused. That whole sentence reads like it's trying as hard as possible grab the reader's attention, but not in a good way. Why are you trying to describe DROD succinctly? That's not a thing you should do with a complex game like this. If you want the reader's attention - well... they've already clicked on the game and they're reading the description, so you've got that far, why not write a short paragraph propertly describing the gameplay instead of two sentences shoving generic meaningless vague safe filler (ok this joke got old fast) words that can be used to describe tons of other games. I barely got any information out of that. Turn-based. Puzzle. 2D. Top-down. Adventure. Sure, plenty of games are that. What makes yours special? Hint: just the combination of these terms doesn't.

>"Zelda chess."

So you're saying this is actually a chess game with pieces being characters from Zelda series? I'm legitimately confused as to what you're expecting readers to get out of that phrase. It's hilariously ambigious.

>This game is not about the graphics.

No. Please. No. NO. Do NOT. As a developer you simply CANNOT say that about your game. You're getting into defensive position before even telling the reader anything (meaningful) about your game. That is really unprofessional. This is not something you do when you talk about your game, it sounds like you're not confident in your product. It sounds desperate, like you got offended by someone telling you that the graphics are bad and now you're telling them "well our game is not about the GRAPHICS, it's about THE GAMEPLAY.", which is maaaaybe fine if you're just talking about your game to someone on a forum or in comments, but you DON'T put that into the game's description. And if the developer himself admits that the graphics aren't very good RIGHT IN THE DESCRIPTION, why should the reader trust the developer when he talks about other more relevant parts of the game?

Besides, I think DROD looks pretty good, especially so with the graphical upgrade that TSS received. I get that you're trying to avoid negative comments like "game looks bad, downvote :thumbsdown ", but those people aren't the audience you should be catering to anyway, so why bother? Especially why bother at the expense of possibly scaring away the players who might actually be interested in playing the game. "This game is not about the graphics" is something that PLAYERS should be saying to convince others to check out the game (if they really, really have to resort to that), not the developer himself!

>It's about clever puzzle design and unique play mechanics... etc, etc...

Good so far... Except what's so unique about the game exactly?

>Gameplay is turn-based...
>...and by making moves as fast or as slow as you like...

Yes, I'm pretty sure that IS what turn-based means. I don't know why did you feel the need to emphasize that you can "make moves as fast or as slow as you like".

>...you can experience the action...

It's turn based. As a DROD player, I get what you mean, but to an outsider this might sound really confusing.

>This game features a completely unique puzzle-adventure play style.

Again, what's so unique about it?

>This game is the latest title in the ongoing DROD franchise... etc...

Now that's great, while this paragraph doesn't tell much about the gameplay, it tells plenty of relevant things about the game itself. Also...

>The level layout is has multiple hub areas to explore.

Typo.

>...making for a delightful blend of fun and challenge.
> * Active player community
> * Over 25,000 usermade rooms available for download! ... etc ...

That's... an awkward transition. Did you forget to put a header like "Key features" before the list?

Also, the "over 25,000" rooms is a GREAT point, because it, firstly, proves that the game does indeed have an active player community, as is stated in the first point, and secondly, shows that the game is at least good enough that it managed to generate sooo much usermade content. Seriously, 25000 is an impressive number for a rather obscure game. If I didn't know about DROD and saw that, I'd be sure to consider checking the game out. If this point is absent from the release's description, I'll be very, very sad.

>The story: ... etc...

Don't see anything wrong here. I just wish that gameplay got as much attention as the story.

_______________________________________________
Moving onto TSS

>dungeon crawl
>"Zelda Chess."

Pls no.

>hardcore turn-based strategy

That sounds hilarious. You can't just shove the word "hardcore" anywhere you want and expect it to make sense. Hardcore game/gameplay? Sure! Hardcore strategy? wat

But honestly, just remove the second sentence and the random "hardcore" from the third one, and this paragraph provides a pretty decent introduction to what DROD is. At least much better than anything in GatEB description.

>Guide Beethro Budkin, professional dungeon pest exterminator... etc...

No problems here. Even the word "hardcore" was used properly! Hooray!

>Experience with previous titles in the DROD series is not necessary to get into and enjoy everything in DROD:TSS.

That'sss... a lie, sorry. Just because the first few levels are kinda accessible to new players, doesn't mean the rest of the game is. I'm also pretty sure this is something that DROD community has generally agreed upon, so I hope I don't need to explain myself here.

>Main game features: ... etc...

Cool! Wonder why GatEB didn't have this.
Some points seem kinda not very relevant to players new to the series, but if you advertise the game as for experienced players, it's fine.

>Other goodies you get with DROD: ... etc...

Aww! Here's the sad tiny list from the GatEB description! It looks so small next to the previous one. It actually makes the "over 25,000 rooms" seem kinda insignificant. Dunno what to do about that. Maybe move it to the previous list. I mean, that seems like a huge selling point, not just "other goodies"...

>greenlighted

Greenlit.

>Same for everyone who has a registered copy any content released on Steam as DLC.

I'm not sure but I think you might've missed a few words there?

_______________________________________________
Does anyone here even care about DROD RPG? Well, I do!

>DROD RPG: Tendry's Tale is a 2D RPG-lite resource management puzzle game.

Umm... did you mean RPG-like?

>This game is not about the graphics.

I'm not gonna repeat myself here, even if the graphics in RPG actually are worse than in regular DROD.

>What makes DROD RPG different from the typical role-playing experience... etc...

Cool! This is also a pretty decent description of the gameplay. Although maybe you can tell the reader more about how the lack of randomness makes this a puzzle game. Like how you have to decide whether you want to fight a monster and get the reward for killing it now or maybe come back later when you can take less damage... yeaaa, I'm not very good at explaining this myself.

_______________________________________________

Should I write something in conclusion? After writing this wall of text I don't think I can think straight, but anyway.

So my biggest problem with the descriptions is the lack of gameplay explanation. While I feel like DROD gameplay might be pretty hard to showcase in a trailer, it can be described reasonably well. Case in point:
http://drod.wikia.com/wiki/Deadly_Rooms_of_Death
Under "What is DROD?" section is an excellent explanation of the gameplay. It's not very short, of course, but it can at least give you ideas what to talk about when describing the gameplay instead of throwing around meaningless marketing buzzwords such as "unique."

My second biggest problem is "This game is not about the graphics." I said enough about that already.

I'm done. I think. Good luck with the steam release!

[Last edited by DezzTech at 12-09-2015 02:35 PM]
12-09-2015 at 02:35 PM
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Things really went downhill after Caravel fired Danforth Strout for his questionable TSS "Instead we gave you this!" advertising methods.


Also, great post DezzTech :)

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12-09-2015 at 05:09 PM
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kieranmillar
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I have always described DROD as a puzzle game masquerading as a dungeon crawler. The game screams dungeon crawler at me. Then again any tile based game where you go around dealing with monsters while exploring a dungeon probably falls under this definition for me and hey, that's exactly what you do in DROD.

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12-09-2015 at 05:59 PM
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mrimer
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Thanks for the thoughtful and constructive feedback, DezzTech et al! This is quite helpful. I had already made some changes on the Steam store page texts, which are currently hidden from view until we publish, but hadn't touched the Greenlight pages. I've made many changes to these three. Please read over them again and feel free to post another round of comments.

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12-09-2015 at 09:24 PM
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DezzTech
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
Looks much better. I only have a few very minor issues now, I'll post about them as soon as I'm able.

EDIT:

Second round of comments:

_______
GatEB

>"chess in a Zelda-like environment."

OK, I think I get what you're going for here now, but this phrase still seems somewhat confusing. Maybe something along the lines "turn-based Zelda-like game on a chessboard" would be better? Actually, scratch that, it sounds silly. And moreover, why are you trying to compare DROD to Zelda, now that you have a pretty good explanation of the gameplay?

> * New and upgraded in-game artwork, including three all-new terrain styles, with real-time lighting and a range of environmental effects.

That seems unnecessary. If the game is designed with newcomers in mind, they're probably not going to care about new room styles. They probably don't even know what that means yet!

_______
TSS

Everything looks good to me. Well, apart from Zelda comparison, but I've talked about it already.

For the actual store page description it might be a good idea to move the note about this being a game for more experienced player closer to the top.

_______
RPG

Looks good as well.

Although, another minor thing I remembered. Maybe for the gameplay explatation you can note that resources are limited and the player has to make the best use of them. With the rest of the paragraph that would probably be a good enough explanation of how this is a puzzle game.

[Last edited by DezzTech at 12-10-2015 06:37 AM]
12-10-2015 at 05:33 AM
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For the record, 'Zelda Chess' was my argument. You're basically doing zelda-like dungeons, and it's turn-based like chess.
12-10-2015 at 07:14 AM
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Maurog
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I just like to remind you guys that unless you have "this is not an RPG, this is not a roguelike, this is a pure puzzle game" in like the first sentence of the description, people will assume it's one of these based on the screenshots.

Likewise avoid mentioning dungeon dwelling, kingdom of Dugandy, smitemasters, monsters, quests and adventure of any kind until you have cleared the point that it's a puzzle game a few times.

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12-13-2015 at 05:33 AM
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Jacob
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quote:
Maurog wrote:
I just like to remind you guys that unless you have "this is not an RPG, this is not a roguelike, this is a pure puzzle game" in like the first sentence of the description, people will assume it's one of these based on the screenshots.

Likewise avoid mentioning dungeon dwelling, kingdom of Dugandy, smitemasters, monsters, quests and adventure of any kind until you have cleared the point that it's a puzzle game a few times.


Good points.

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12-13-2015 at 10:54 AM
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mrimer
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Thanks again, all. I've made additional changes from these suggestions.

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12-16-2015 at 02:36 PM
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lepke1979
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I know, skel, in another post made some good videos on scripting and whatnot earlier this year. Those might be enough. But one thing that might also be worth doing is creating or improving videos on how to use the editor to make holds. People who make holds would better know what would be (or would have been) useful in this regard.

Heck, even a link to the hold board might be enough, but that might also be daunting too. In any event, the videos/link would let people know you can go beyond the main game, basically. Get more bang for you buck.


It can also can give the player insight on what goes on through the mind of the evil bastards that made the game you are currently playing. :P
12-21-2015 at 06:01 AM
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I think the idea of an "intro to architecture" video series is a good one, not just for the technical "how to use the editor" side, but also things like the puzzle design process for different architects, best practices for both room design and level/hold structure, and a lot of other topics that are generally understood but rarely explicitly talked about.

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12-21-2015 at 05:22 PM
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mrimer
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+2)  
DROD RPG is now ready and releasing on Steam this Friday, Feb. 12, at 8am PST!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/351330/

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02-08-2016 at 06:13 PM
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Neat!

But I really think the description needs work. Calling DROD RPG a 'roguelike' is really weird, since it has very little in common with actual roguelikes. I mean, saying:

"What makes DROD RPG different from your typical rogue-like is that it contains no randomness or procedurally-generated areas"

is kind of like saying:

"What makes CAKE different from your typical PIE is that it has no CRUST or FILLING"

A weird metaphor, but I think it fits. I think nearly every use of the word 'rougelike' could be replaced with 'RPG'. So the problem sentence above becomes:

What makes DROD RPG different from your typical RPG is that it contains no random encounters or item drops."

Then you can carry on about the hand crafted resource manage puzzle that DROD RPG actually is.

other people probably have better words about this

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02-08-2016 at 06:38 PM
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mrimer
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Thanks for the feedback. I'd be happy to improve the description. We've had other conversations about the description here on the forum. I think the consensus is that DROD RPG is a lot closer to a rogue-like than it is to your typical RPG.

Edit: RPGs typically contain party members, leveling, and skill upgrades. Players will expect these if we call it an RPG. Which, I guess, we actually do...but we're not changing the title now.

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I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the
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[Last edited by mrimer at 02-08-2016 07:41 PM]
02-08-2016 at 06:42 PM
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quote:
Tendry's Tale is a puzzle rogue-like similar to "Desktop Dungeons", combining the unique puzzle elements of DROD with the rogue-like fare of player stats, one-on-one monster duels, and loads of loot lying around for the taking.


Actually, as the chat had pointed out DROD: RPG is really "Tower of the Sorceror".

Also, while being used in every paragraph in the description, it is in no way a "roguelike" game; they're totally different and incompatiable. It's actually a (hardcore) resource management game. I'd suggest dropping roguelike throughout the descriptions and replace it with resource management instead, perhaps with only a little paragraph that hyperme had mentioned.

The "Description" part is really much, much more important that "About this game" because it's what people will see when they hover over the game in Steam games list. So it has the most urgent need for a rewrite, perhaps into something like:

quote:
Tendry's Tale is a strategy game similar to "Tower of the Sorceror", combining the rogue-like fare of resource management and mechanics-based tactics, with the perfectly deterministic and hand-crafted aspect of DROD.


I think this brings out the real meat of Tendry's Tale.

(Everything in the "About the game" should be adjusted according to the new description, of course.)

[Last edited by uncopy2002 at 02-08-2016 07:08 PM]
02-08-2016 at 06:53 PM
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mrimer
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Believe me, I'm perfectly aware how DROD RPG is inspired by "Tower of the Sorcerer". I wrote the game, after all. Maybe this isn't general knowledge.

However, though this is true, we need to ask, how many Steam players know about "Tower of the Sorcerer"? I don't think that many do. Possibly even fewer than know about DROD RPG itself. I don't see how dropping that name will benefit your typical Steam player when hovering over the game.

I'm fine with altering the description to "rogue-lite" or "rougelike-like" if that would help. IMO, it feels more like games in these genres than like games in the resource management genre.

Wikipedia lists roguelikes as
quote:
Roguelike is a subgenre of role-playing video games, characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally-generated game levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player-character.
DROD RPG is all of that, excepting the parts we call out as being different.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they
used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the
turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-08-2016 07:42 PM]
02-08-2016 at 07:12 PM
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kieranmillar
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
I think "dungeon crawler" is a better term than roguelike. To me, what makes roguelikes genre-defining is the way you have to prepare for unknown future decisions that are unknown due to randomness, a key feature that is not present in RPG. Desktop Dungeons can be compared to a roguelike, for example.

A funny aside, noticed that in the screenshot with the pirates captain, Tendry has a speed potion, but there aren't any in the second half of TT (not something worth changing, it just amused me).

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(07:23 PM) Pearls: Kieran is correct.
02-08-2016 at 07:16 PM
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mrimer
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I'm personally fine with "dungeon crawler", personally. We talked about the pros and cons of that too. My understanding is that DROD RPG is not really like any other games that would be called a "dungeon crawler" as its main attribute either. It's a genre-busting game that's hard to peg. So, my preference would be to label it so as to be relatable to those players who have the highest probability of enjoying the game.
quote:
kieranmillar wrote:
A funny aside, noticed that in the screenshot with the pirates captain, Tendry has a speed potion, but there aren't any in the second half of TT (not something worth changing, it just amused me).
Good eye! Yeah, I recall doctoring at least some of those screenshots. If nothing else, it might be worth updating them with the new graphics at some point. (If someone would like to provide updated versions, I'd take 'em!)

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turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-08-2016 07:42 PM]
02-08-2016 at 07:21 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+2)  
Yeah, the fundamental thing is that if I'm a roguelike player looking for a new roguelike, and I try this, I'm going to be disappointed that it's not what I'm looking for (even if I end up enjoying it for different reasons).

The specific issue here is not so much "can you argue that it counts as a roguelike", but rather "will you get reviews saying it's not a roguelike and possibly marking it down for that". And unless you're drastically changing the game itself, the answer to the second question will be "yes".
02-08-2016 at 07:25 PM
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mrimer
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(Wow, a lot of comments suddenly coming out of the woodwork, here. We had been discussing this for several months already without so much interest.)

That's a good point. I agree it's not a "rogue-like". We can call it a "roguelike-like" if there's consensus that's better. We can call it a "dungeon crawl" or "resource management" if there's consensus that's better. Currently, I'm reading that each individual has their own preference for what it should be called, and hence we don't have a consensus. It's not really any of those genres.

I'll try mentioning "dungeon crawl" and toning down the "rogue-like" and you can see if this sounds better. I think the game sits between the two, and not mentioning both will cause the reader to miss out on some of what DROD RPG is.

Edit: there, updated the description.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they
used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the
turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-08-2016 07:38 PM]
02-08-2016 at 07:31 PM
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Schik
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
DROD RPG is an Order of Operations Optimization Game. An OOOG. It's in a dungeon setting, but that's not terribly important.

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02-08-2016 at 07:35 PM
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mrimer
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Okay, now I think I'm just being trolled. I did a search on "OOOG", and some completely unrelated stuff came up. Maybe it was on a later search page.

I think I like this term best so far, though.

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they
used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the
turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 02-08-2016 07:44 PM]
02-08-2016 at 07:39 PM
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skell
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quote:
mrimer wrote:
Okay, now I think I'm just being trolled. I did a search on "OOOG", and some completely unrelated stuff came up. Maybe it was on a later search page.

Matt did not troll you, but I think Order of Operations Optimization Game is a very nice term which has two benefits - it's a surprisingly accurate description of the gameplay, and it's a term people won't be familiar with and thus might be more inclined to look the game up.

Not sure if that's the way to go but I personally like the term a lot :).

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02-08-2016 at 07:44 PM
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