10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Feedback and general discussion of Slime Rancher

10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Postby Kindlesmith » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:14 am

So. Bought it because it looked like simple fun, a nice change of pace from everything else I've been playing. Turns out I like it. Good job so far. Iron out the bugs and you have yourself a finished game already. :) I'd be more than happy with the game just as it is, not that I have been everywhere and seen everything; Bought all ranch upgrades, only now have access to SCIENCE! and I've only managed to unlock 2 doors. As far as slimes go, I've found pink, phosphor, Tabby, Puddle, Rock, Boom, Rad Slimes as well as encountered Tar, Gordo, Feral, Gold and Lucky Slimes, met and made some Largo Slimes too.
As long as all the zones are done up as the rest of what I've seen, yeah it's good.

Naturally I have a few ideas myself which may enrich some areas. This has been more or less copy/pasted from steam forum with large edits and a few additions.

There's some spaces that could do with something in them. Never fun having to go through an area and there is literally nothing there. If it's a main path that is used often, this is even worse. It is bland. The blank spaces aren't adding value to the game, and one rule of thumb in game creation is, if it's not adding fun, don't bother having it.

More interactivity for the slimes. Let them interact with more things in the environment. Even with the player. Get creative!
> use the player as a spring board.
> runs away from a player when the player looks directly at them
> creeps up to player to push them
> pulls silly faces when a player sees them but is not looking at them directly.
> comes within a few feet of the player and just stares at them for a bit.
> communicate/emote to one another
> dance with one another
> sing
> throw/spit/juggle items
> smelling flowers/fruit/vegetables
> bring items to the player or just wanting to be in the players view all the time.
(just imaging being hounded by slimes all delivering items I don't want to vac and just getting in the way XD).

I have read letters of others, but aside from an introduction they are never heard from again (besides the request board). Ever played or seen Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles (Gamecube, 2003) or any of the .hack// games on the PS2? You can respond to letters (albeit with minimal choice) and keep up a form of correspondence with them. Would add a bit of life and give reason to go home. Quite frankly there is little reason to ever sleep in the game.

The ability to raise slime. rather than go out and hunt for slimes every time a request asks for slimes, you can grow your own perhaps with a special food researched and manufactured.

This last one is more of a minor complaint along with a suggestion.
Management games are all about efficiency and the overall design of how the ranch is expanded is not good. There is only one place you can sell plorts, which is far from the only one place you need plorts to build gadgets. Neither of those two locations have the 6 plots required for pens (to have 4 corrals for largos,1 corral for a pure and one pond) and the roughly 3-4 required plots for farms to supply those corrals.
One way one to improve this is to have a dispensing place for every zone that instantly transports food to the correct corrals, plorts to the market and plorts to the research place. The food placement would be governed by the food dispenser at the corral. Or the storage plots which should house each different crop, have a shared inventory accessible anywhere where a storage plot is built. Easier solutions than reworking the map. Running such far distances to get between plots is not fun. Right now I've only made of the main area and the one with all the chickens (which I've place 3 coops and one corral for boom/rad largo slimes. Too much running required!
The other method would be to make entire new zones away from the first with ever increasing number of plots as well as all the facilities for research and the place for the market. Or have a large enough empty ranch with limited plots and upgrade by having more plots appear and the research facility too. Neither of these probably are that fun for you as that would require a bit of reworking the world.
The Ranch 'upgrades' feel more like tedious running additions than practical use.
I am not looking forward to finding more slimes I need to make use of the research base. More long distance running from one point to another that gets old fast.
EDIT: Ok so there's warp tech which allows to build exactly what I am after. The downside is getting the resources which I have no idea where some of them are found. My wild guess, extractors.

Not sure the direction you are headed with this, but 10hrs plugged into this game already so it's definitely something I am enjoying at the moment.
Last edited by Kindlesmith on Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Postby Twerps3 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 8:38 am

nice concepts, like the slimes emoting it seems cute!
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Re: 10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Postby TheGreciansHousehold » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:41 am

These are all great ideas, but the slime ideas would take ridiculously long to program and would cause lag.

The ranch is supposed to be disorganised and difficult to control - if you could do everything in a matter of seconds with no difficulty, there would be no point to most slimes' rancher risks.
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Re: 10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Postby EmeraldPlay » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:15 am

Slime interactions would be a great thing to have!
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Re: 10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Postby Kindlesmith » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:45 pm

TheGreciansHousehold wrote:These are all great ideas, but the slime ideas would take ridiculously long to program and would cause lag.

The ranch is supposed to be disorganised and difficult to control - if you could do everything in a matter of seconds with no difficulty, there would be no point to most slimes' rancher risks.


Actually the emoting is quite simple to code in. Yes every bit of code adds more for the game to cycle through however this is quite minimal impact at all considering the extremely minor amount of code required to do this (When I say minimal I mean incredibly insignificant). Does not require an over abundance of emotes either, just a few for flavor. Time sink, minimal to implement. Not sure how slow they are with art, it's just a matter of skin/texture swapping as it looks like they have all the animations already in place.

The silo idea is less complicated than the one currently in place for silos in terms of coding. Having drop boxes for both market and research at every place only adds more instances where the existing code can trigger so is quite negligible on performance. Simple really.

Hazards can come in many forms, such as faulty equipment, slime breakouts, predators/pests invading the land, disease, climate/weather, literal sabotage from some unfriendly/prankster-ish sort, market de/inflation, etc... There are two main things this game has you do; Tend to a ranch, and explore a world. They aren't choices these two game elements as you need to explore to get the initial slimes and crops so you can unlock things at your ranch to continue exploring. These two game elements are linked as not all slimes can be caught, and some inventions at the research base require specific plorts. Now if either one of those two game elements become the sole focus, you are cutting off half of the integral part of the game. I'm going to throw in a comparison of a popular management farming game.
The Harvest Moon franchise. Your main aspect of making money is by fixing and building up a farm. Efficiency is paramount if you plan on ever getting to do a lot of the other things the game has to offer. As you get more money, you'll expand your farm for even more money. Expanding creates more work for the player to have to deal with however, the player gains upgrades that eliminates most of that. Lets go back to Slim Rancher.
Slime Rancher gives you more plots to use, but doesn't provide a player with any means to make things more manageable. Some examples I will throw down which should be evident in your game.
> Plots are far too scattered to be of good use.
>The automatic feeder wastes a large amount of food.
>The plort collector doesn't work most of the time unless manually pressed
>There is no auto-harvest of crops to make sure they don't go to waste
Upgrading causes more work than it solves in Slime Rancher. That's not how upgrades should work. With every increase of complexity the player should be given an equal boost to make that complexity trivial (generally through upgrades which the player must work to obtain). That is basic game design 101. Now I know there are portals in this game and I haven't had the chance to try them out as I get lost a lot trying to find my way around in the world, and I need specific plorts to make those portals. I don't know if they last forever and if they need a specific place to set them up. So my distance issue may very well be moot. Just need to find out if I can place them where I want them for easy of travel and remembering.

The letter correspondences would take some time to be creative in writing up. Again it is a very insignificant process requirement of the game's code since it's just text and remembering some key choices from the player. Take a gander at how small those old text adventures are and what they are capable of just as an example. Also not difficult at all to implement.

Sorry if it seems I'm throwing my coding/game design knowledge around, XD. These people here have all the required skills already to make any of my suggestions happen, if they choose to do so. In the end it is really up to them. If the suggestions aren't taken, I wont be upset over it. I have played my moneys-worth of entertainment from this game already and will probably plug in a few more hours to continue to explore the world.

EDIT. fixing up my English. My English teacher would be so proud :P XD
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Re: 10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Postby TrainCody » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:29 pm

The player push mechanic would be paramount for my Rust Slime concept.
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Re: 10 Hours In, Some Concepts.

Postby WOLRUS » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:28 am

I personally would like to breed slimes. Adorable baby slimes and I wouldn't have to run fourteen miles to get a boom slime when some mysterious occurrence (my trolling brother) messes up my game and pitches everything either into the slime sea or chucks it everywhere. I'd also like the player to be able to interact besides stepping on and kicking slimes. But otherwise, the game is great!
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