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lightbulb-o [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)

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21 Jul 2017 01:33 #1 by main_gi
main_gi created the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Short discussion/rant thread. I like Gem Hunt. It's my favorite mode as I am not incredibly depressed when my time is tacked on 1 minute because I went OOB with a checkpoint. But as fun as MP is, the implementation of Singleplayer in PQ is pretty much... well... you can't just take the MP system and make it one player.

I'm not an experienced player, and to not spoil myself, I've only played the first two Hunt levels. Regardless, though, I hope some of this is taken into account. I have some analytical experience, so I'll try to use that here.

First, this should have rung some alarm bells. MP has randomness, (mainly in the distance between each player relative to the cluster) but it's usually balanced out throughout the course of a match even if I'm not too fond of that. With only one player, though, a cluster can spawn as close or as far as they want, which really amounts to a time penalty if it's arbitrary.

Second, I don't know if the PQ levels have more gimmicks regarding the points system (I'll be disappointed if it's underutilized), but as of now, the only time that a gem color in Singleplayer matters is if you are about to run out of time. Spawning the next cluster requires the collection of all gems anyway. Not the only area where singleplayer fails to simulate MP.

That's why a min-max system is less important in MP than it is in SP. A spawn's point value worth 10 points or 30 points in MP will have roughly equal effects for the game, but it's game-deciding for the SP match. So that's my first suggestion. Nothing like the image at the bottom of this post where you can have 1 point worth or 38 points worth spawn. It wouldn't be hard to implement compared to some of the other suggestions here (yes, I'm doing these in order from easiest to hardest, I think).

Next, I'm going to address distance in two ways - the distance of the cluster, and the spread of the cluster. Notice how many more gems you can get in a mode like Gem Madness in which you can intentionally not cover the same ground. That is pretty much what happens with closeby gems vs. faraway gems. Of course, I know calculating the space between like a pathfinding algorithm is a little more tricky, and I also don't know how the cluster starts to spawn in the code of either online/MBU, so I'll just vaguely say that the distance of the cluster should represent the overall value - rarely see a blue spawn closeby, but you'll probably will see a blue spawn far. This isn't perfect, of course - you could have a platinum spawn on the other side of the map, but that's not a big deal if a teleporter happens to link the two.

The spread is where the pathfinding algorithm would have to come in, and would be a lot trickier. You'd basically have to simulate the best path of getting all the gems, which definitely won't be easy taking into account speed and level geometry. Note that here, value efficiency is important. An extra red gem too far spread out would actually decrease the player's overall cluster score vs. time.

Now at this point, everything so far is "fair". However, like all things that still have RNG, it isn't as interesting as it would be in MP, so here's some more ideas that are tangentially related:
- Alternate the system to randomly give you better or worse cluster drops, but cycle them so that in a small sample, like 3 clusters, that they balance out. Obviously this still means the tail end of a game has RNG, so a quick bandaid is to just make them all "average" clusters, or the "best".
- Timer to collect the gems, simulating an MP match more.
- More level gimmicks that change the point dynamic, much like how Time Travels change the time dynamic.

I feel I need to say this again, so here it goes: Just because some of these suggestions, like the pathfinding algorithm, might be "completely impossible" for someone who has source access, that doesn't mean the whole post is completely unreasonable. Pick what you want. I just think more is better.

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21 Jul 2017 02:58 #2 by Frostfire
Frostfire replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
just make all gems red, legit
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21 Jul 2017 09:45 #3 by hPerks
hPerks replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Great post! Hope Frosty's not turning this into a joke, cause I completely agree with your complaints and I like some of your ideas for fixes. The thing you mentioned about gem colors in singleplayer gem hunt is something I brought up with the staff before, in discussions about platinum gems specifically. Their idea was to keep them in singleplayer and tone them down or remove them (would have been nice) in multiplayer - to which I argued that platinums were arguably more unnecessary in singleplayer than in multiplayer, since as you said there's no option for a player to ignore them if they're too hard to get quickly.

You have an interesting idea of essentially factoring in some heuristic for "estimated collection time" to decide whether a spawn is good or not, and thus whether to balance it out later with worse spawns. I know that with all the development and bugfixes going on this sounds like a very low priority issue, but the ability to grind for luck so much is probably the biggest issue with competitive singleplayer gem hunt, which seems to be a very big part of PQ. As someone who's had some of the luckiest hunt runs in history (Marble City, Architecture, Horizon and Spires being notable examples), I'd be in favour of any and all ways of reducing the impact of luck on singleplayer hunt scores. A stricter min-max system would help a lot I think, and I'd add that because it's singleplayer, removing the possibility of double spawns doesn't have the downside of encouraging camping. If all this fails, maybe even make the spawns deterministic, like singleplayer MBO did back in the day. This would be a last resort though I feel, because it would remove the improvisational element of gem hunt which makes it interesting.

One thing I think was done well in levels like Terrace Tundra was time travels. I love this part of singleplayer gem hunt when it's done well because it means there's less of a penalty when your spawns are very far away from each other, cause you can actually save time by traveling across the map. Pity that in most hunt levels, time travels either are absent or seemingly in more precarious places that don't really make up for the loss of time going from one side of the map to the other. Another thing to think about.

Anyway, again, great post, it's something we've been thinking about for a while but you've summarized it well and brought up some interesting new ideas on the issue which is always good. Something we can hopefully work out, so that PQ's hunt mode is as good as it can be.

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21 Jul 2017 10:35 #4 by Evoker
Evoker replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Yes I agree with both your comments, from a personal point of view, what wouldn't work about your suggestion main_gi is the distance/spread of gem clusters. When you think about it, there aren't really any spawns that have been created that can't be collected in 10 seconds or less, it is just a matter of the player finding the most logical route through each gem spawn. I don't think this should be 'optimised' for SP as if a better min-max feature was implemented, this might even things out enough. And to be completely fair, a lot of blues are slightly harder to get anyway.

So the only thing I personally think would need doing to SP hunt levels is either:
- keeping only the spawns that fit within a min-max range
- changing the spawns that are outside the min-max range to fit within, so that there are an equal number of different spawns in the SP and MP versions of each map

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21 Jul 2017 12:02 #5 by Frostfire
Frostfire replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)

hPerks wrote:
Great post! Hope Frosty's not turning this into a joke,


yeah no haha, I was totally serious, guess I didn't convey it properly

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21 Jul 2017 12:54 - 21 Jul 2017 13:01 #6 by main_gi
main_gi replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
hPerks: Apparently he was serious, but that exaggeration does make a point - yellow, blue, and platinum gems are mechanically identical to red gems spam placed in the editor. They just represent a spread between the gems of 0. If you didn't allow that and kept the gem Spread the same, it still wouldn't fix the Distance problem where some red gems could spawn next to you or far away. In addition, point values are all relative to the other gems, so if all of Battlecube MP's gems were yellow instead of red, it would make no relative scoring difference either.

And yeah... A platinum and two red gems is literally the same as two blues and a yellow gem 99% of the time. The only issue in MP is if a platinum gem is too swingy and only spawns like once. Whereas with blues, if too many are trying to collect it, you can maybe get a +3 point bonus minimum by choosing to stay out of the collection. Platinum gems don't really have a much more interesting gameplay result than blue gems the way they're currently implemented.

Technically, Variance is completely useless from a balance perspective, but that's not why people play Hunt. You could have a "balanced" version just by spawning the same gems deterministic-ly, like you said. But if we only had "red gems spawn close - red/yellow spawn medium - red/yellow/blue spawn far", we'd miss the interesting Spread patterns found in stuff like blue-close and red-far. So yeah, definitely on the interesting/dynamic part which I hoped to push.

The issue with Time Travels are that you also have the same effect as with Distance - it can be too convenient. For example, a run that takes a longer path to take a Time Travel will never be as efficient as if the gems had spawned so that the Time Travel is already to the path to the marble. The only way this would be fixed is if there were Time Travels that intentionally could not be in the middle of the road to gems, intentionally out of the way, but then kind of the whole point of these Time Travels is to see how efficiently the player can detour over to it and get back into the playing field as fast as possible.

Also, Time Travels in Multiplayer are a mechanically interesting idea, but I'm kind of thankful they aren't added. The dynamic of some players not being able to gain gems, having this new dynamic field where less and less players exist to fight for gems at the very end is interesting, but probably not worth the extra wait time some players are sitting there doing nothing. Also, players could camp just to get the time travels, and then get gems with no competition. Some things that could simulate that without the problems are:
- Gems that respawn. (Not a great idea, possible to ignore the clusters)
- Gems that spawn in clusters, but not necessary to cycle the clusters (Pink Gems that give +0.5?)
- "Tail Travel": extends the end of the game (or could just add to a portion of stocked time at the tail end of the game), BUT during this overtime mode:
For players without or who have run out of the Tail Travel clock, they compete as if nothing changed.
BUT players with Tail Travel in stock won't have gems disappear on their screen if other players without Tail Travel collect them.

Evoker: I think you missed that Distance is not the same thing as Spread, and therefore didn't include it in your calculations. If we were to do just the first things on the list being the minmax system, there'd still be significant RNG: will the gems spawn next to me or on the other end of the map? That's what Distance is. And sure, maybe Spread doesn't matter so much currently, but look at the 1 vs. 38 gem spawn. That cluster, while much more efficient in value than the 1 red, is technically much worse in Spread, but it's also below average in Spread even now. The most efficient path looks like going from the top right and making a curve through all the gems, then jumping down, but you could mess up, which increases the Spread.

Here are some more ideas that could make MP more interesting and dynamic. Here are the ones I mentioned before:
- Cluster Timer: Makes SP more like MP. This is actually also a way to prevent gem camping or staring at the last red too long, but Quota works better for that purpose because the risk is tangible.
- Pink Gems: I mentioned this before. Worth +0.5, spawns around clusters and is not necessary to trigger the cluster's replacement.

And the new ones:
- MULTIPLE CLUSTERS. I cannot believe this idea has not been coded yet! I think games with 4 or more players are a nightmare even for the top scorer - you get a lower and lower portion of overall gems.
- Checkpoint "claiming.: Imagine singleplayer checkpoints that only allow one per player to take them - the checkpoint shows their name on it. This could help frustrations with trying to do spawn abuse and not really knowing where you'll spawn.
- Showing Next Cluster: Showing, whether through powerups or highlighted squares, the location of the next spawns. If this is too predictive, you could have the squares show the spawn for the 2nd next spawn.
- Gem Value Effects: As a game designer type, I see so many games make the mistake of not using some of their core mechanics. You could have powerups (OR gameplay locations like buttons) that directly impact this:
-- Highball: Score of gems increase by 1 for a limited time. (Especially rewards reds.)
-- Size Up: The gems are physically larger. (Glitch abuuuse!)
-- Bluifier: Makes gems all blue. (Especially rewards high cluster count BUT there is also a risk/reward if the effect is global.)
-- Bluicide (thanks HiGuy): Your next blue gives you +5 points and then this is immediately consumed. (Remember that this takes up the powerup slot, so basically you need to be really good to get the blue without a powerup ready.)
- Cluster Effects: Going to a certain spot of a level increases the max cluster size (permanently or some time).
- Quota: Fixes the "last red" issue: dock points/cause a loss if you fail to meet the gem quota for a certain amount of time. This is way too punishing for newbies, but fixes it primarily in matches with relatively even skilled players.
- Mad Hunt: The names, "Gem Hunt" and "Gem Madness" practically point several arrows to the name "Mad Hunt". Again, I'll be disappointed if nobody else had this name idea. Basically, I'm allowing certain features from both to exist in both modes.
-- Permanent Clusters: Well, it's a bit of an issue there's not a simple or single way to show you what gems are respawning/clusters or not, but yes, this is an option to make games more consistent.
-- OOB Effects / Lives: To slowly change how many "suicides" and the player accuracy over time. I currently have bad marble accuracy as I was never really an experienced player, and I think stuff like wasting a minute on checkpoints is too punishing, but that's a topic for another time. Hunt is the only mode where OOB is not so significantly punished, so what if there were lives or point penalties for going OOB? Again, both ideas can be combined so that blue suicides and such would not punish you unless abused.
-- Actually Game-Changing Platinums: If it were me designing, the platinum gem would spawn on a cluster but not be part of the cluster (if you collect everything else besides the platinum gem a new cluster will spawn), and then make the challenge to get it much more challenging. I feel like that design won't work for a lot of maps currently, but I think it will end up being more interesting in terms of gameplay.

Placement Suggestions, if no map changes:

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]


And individually:
EES - Stands for *Easter Egg Spot*. Common, isn't it? Will require either a powerup or special techniques used to get to it.
GJS - Stands for *Gyrocopter + Jump Super*. Yes, I'm that smart. Always requires powerups.
"Randomly" - These are Platinum gems, so when I say "random", I DO NOT ACTUALLY mean random - in a way this is the most deterministic thing. Randomly here means as far away as the players as possible. When I mention something that could also be applied for multiple locations (like Blast Club or Playground) I still mean this sort of "random".

Again, not suggesting they all be put, lest not at once. For example, the Cluster Timer in SP could be set to not appear in Hunting Around to make the first level to use easier, and I am perfectly aware when certain ideas impact certain playstyles positively or negatively, which is why you can mix and match ideas to work or not work for certain levels.
Last Edit: 21 Jul 2017 13:01 by main_gi. Reason: Highlighting and fixing stuff, hopefully easier to read

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21 Jul 2017 14:22 #7 by Evoker
Evoker replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Ah yes, I guess I did kind of miss your point about distance. Still, we need something to make the games vary!! You are totes going overkill atm.

Some of the ideas you've mentioned in that long bullet list seem good, but most are a bit unnecessary. It's great that you're coming up with ideas though.

I think the best ones would be (in order from most best to least best):
  • Quota - this was sort of introduced with the MP Training mode which I thought was really good but didn't have much chance to use. This would be very good to reintroduce in SP - I'm sure I've seen a Consistency+Haste combo for one SP level, maybe a Gem Hunt+Gem Quota combo is a possibility for some levels?
  • Actually Game-Changing Platinums - a lot of the plats atm just make me feel like they've been put where they are for the sake of it. They aren't rewarding enough :( We do need some more clever placements, but the ones you suggested are perhaps not the best.
  • Highball powerup - some clever placements needed
  • Multiple clusters (MP ONLY)

The worst ones would definitely be:
  • TTs in MP - it's too complicated and wouldn't work as well. The thrill of knowing you've both got a countdown near the end adds some interest too.
  • Checkpoint claiming - ... what's the point?! We have spawn abuse.
  • Showing next cluster - again, why ruin the improvisatory element (great way to put it Perks ;)) of Gem Hunt runs? Not knowing where the next spawn will be is what makes it exciting to watch as well.
  • OOB Effects/Lives - we aren't trying to get ourselves punished, this is just a game!

I do value your comments here - I really really think this should be discussed by the PQ team as it is a bit of an issue really. I do love the Gem Hunt SP levels, but some improvements could be made to make sure it's not like MP is - they are two very different 'game modes'.

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21 Jul 2017 14:53 #8 by main_gi
main_gi replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)

Evoker wrote:
Ah yes, I guess I did kind of miss your point about distance. Still, we need something to make the games vary!! You are totes going overkill atm.

Some of the ideas you've mentioned in that long bullet list seem good, but most are a bit unnecessary. It's great that you're coming up with ideas though.

I think the best ones would be (in order from most best to least best):

  • Quota - this was sort of introduced with the MP Training mode which I thought was really good but didn't have much chance to use. This would be very good to reintroduce in SP - I'm sure I've seen a Consistency+Haste combo for one SP level, maybe a Gem Hunt+Gem Quota combo is a possibility for some levels?
  • Actually Game-Changing Platinums - a lot of the plats atm just make me feel like they've been put where they are for the sake of it. They aren't rewarding enough :( We do need some more clever placements, but the ones you suggested are perhaps not the best.
  • Highball powerup - some clever placements needed
  • Multiple clusters (MP ONLY)

The worst ones would definitely be:
  • TTs in MP - it's too complicated and wouldn't work as well. The thrill of knowing you've both got a countdown near the end adds some interest too.
  • Checkpoint claiming - ... what's the point?! We have spawn abuse.
  • Showing next cluster - again, why ruin the improvisatory element (great way to put it Perks ;)) of Gem Hunt runs? Not knowing where the next spawn will be is what makes it exciting to watch as well.
  • OOB Effects/Lives - we aren't trying to get ourselves punished, this is just a game!

I do value your comments here - I really really think this should be discussed by the PQ team as it is a bit of an issue really. I do love the Gem Hunt SP levels, but some improvements could be made to make sure it's not like MP is - they are two very different 'game modes'.


Like I said in that post, I don't advocate them to be all used. Some would have to be level-specific. For example, Citadel has a traction and acceleration boost, but surely nobody would advocate that to be through the whole game. But thanks for going through them!
  • Quota
  • - Consistency/Haste I have only seen in the first tutorial level for both in the Tutorial section.
  • Actually Game-Changing Platinums
  • - Yeah, they're the best I can do for being unable to modify the maps. I've always thought a lot more MBG or MBU levels could use more, smarter easter eggs.
  • TTs in MP - I already said I think MP TT's are not a good idea in the post, so I proposed alternatives. But yeah.
  • Checkpoint claiming - Spawn abuse has RNG to it as well because it's not documented and could change in the code.
  • Showing next cluster - I didn't say all players should see them at all times, and that's not what I was thinking making the idea. I'd like to see them as a reward for paying attention - like if you notice that a red tile was there when looking around the map, you have a visual model of where the next spawn is. If the idea encourages camping too much, it could be pushed to the 2nd next spawn instead of the 1st.
  • OOB Effects/Lives - Not really sure I understand what the problem is. OOB is already really punishing in Expert levels for example, and I think the lack of OOB punishment is the least close thing from Hunt to regular gamemodes.

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21 Jul 2017 15:28 #9 by Frostfire
Frostfire replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
TTs in MP

ive experimented with this a lot, it's hard to make it work, you lose too much time trying to get TMs for there to be much point to it.

Showing Next Cluster

as far as mp goes, i don't think this would work sadly. It would result in less luck but waaaay more camping, the losing player would need to be playing catch-up from the get-go.

Another possibility to "fix" camping would be to have a spawn with three gems or less left in it disappear after ten seconds of no pickups (i.e a full spawn would never disappear - once the spawn was reduced to three points, if no gems were picked up in 10 seconds, it would disappear and the next cluster would spawn.) The result of this would most likely be to see both players camping on the tail-end of undesirable spawns, which could lead to interesting and far more strategic than luck-based battles deeper towards the center of maps; physical fights for the better position and judgment calls, risking a high-point spawn on one side of the map for the more likely lower-point spawns on the other. At any rate it would give both players completely equal opportunity to prepare for the next spawn without the pressure of "camping is dirty".
Alternatively this could even lead to players not camping at all and picking up the last red while leading (assuming the losing player isn't camping) because they aren't going to gain a better position anyway. IMO both of these options are better than the current camping-wins-games-but-i-think-it's-dirty mentality that plagues competitive and casual matches.

OOB Effects

I think this would also be helpful, my suggestion would be, to prevent spawn abuse, respawning early results in a deduction of five points, allowing the respawn time to play out fully does not deduct any points (loss of 3-4 seconds), this way weaker players who fall OOB accidentally aren't punished (much) and the quick-respawn spawn abuse is punished.

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21 Jul 2017 20:38 #10 by hPerks
hPerks replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)

Another possibility to "fix" camping would be to have a spawn with three gems or less left in it disappear after ten seconds of no pickups (i.e a full spawn would never disappear - once the spawn was reduced to three points, if no gems were picked up in 10 seconds, it would disappear and the next cluster would spawn.)


Frosty and I were talking about this and the rest of his post in Discord, and I suggested a tweak that we both preferred: the gems in a spawn go on a timer to disappear as soon as the first gem in that spawn is collected. Having three (or any number of gems) as a cutoff point is pretty ugly and arbitrary, and would influence strategy no matter what in ways that could be equally annoying. Of course, the timer would be longer than 10 seconds (probably varying per level), and there should be quite a bit of warning before the gems disappear - perhaps the gems should flicker for 5 seconds. I think this solution is a lot more intuitive and a perfectly fine way to solve what I call the "littering" problem (leaving behind gems).

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21 Jul 2017 21:54 #11 by Evoker
Evoker replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Yes, I like this solution to camping - actually showing the next gem spawn or part of it or whatever is just a bit too nice to players - but some kind of timer is a good idea.

Thanks for your comments on those things I put in my comment too, useful to see what you think. As well, I think spawn abuse could be banned for MP but maybe still be kept in SP? In MP it can definitely be used as a tactic in MP but I should think less so in SP surely.

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23 Jul 2017 12:21 #12 by main_gi
main_gi replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
For newcomers, I thought it'd be best to post some kind of term list here, as there was some miscommunication I had to ask to clarify.
- Camping: I thought this meant a winning player camping on one of the last gems but being almost next to it such that no other player could get it before them. This would nullify any loser's advantage of a centralized power-upped position.
- Spawn Abuse: I remembered this term used in an MBO video. It's basically trying to abuse the OOB and respawn system. In PQ, I don't like this system very much, because now it seems inconsistent.
- "Running Red": Leaving the last gem or gems to the losing player, who must collect them (if the circumstances were reversed the winning player could simply wait). This has no consistent name and as far as I know I'm the only one to call it running a red just for the pun.

Asking, it turned out:
- Camping: Is that, plus Running Red.
- Spawn Abuse: Uh, how is this different from respawning? :P

I'm not a great fan of the spawn system in general, because it really does seem arbitrary unless you know the specific points and triggers, and with .dso I don't think so. It's just as annoying in SP since it's undocumented. For example, in Triple Trail I did a Super Jump from the annoying part of the orange land to the blue part, bounced twice, went all the way over, OOB'd... and I was back to the orange part, killing the run. Traditional checkpoints would at least make that clear, and be something to aim on for SP.

The extra information about "camping" (which is why I thought Frostfire's argument didn't hold at first) was actually just miscommunication there, as for my previous definition of camping, a camping player couldn't go search for the next cluster spot.

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24 Jul 2017 22:01 - 24 Jul 2017 22:06 #13 by HiGuy
HiGuy replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
So I've been reading over this list the past few days and I've assembled some of my thoughts here.

First off, the 1-point spawns were not supposed to happen. There is actually code in PQ trying to prevent this, which somehow isn't working properly. It's programmed (in singleplayer) to try and spawn at least 3 gems and 5 points. I need to look into this and see why that's not taking effect.
In the future, should we look into changing how gem spawns work? Currenly they spawn a group of gems around a randomly chosen center, with the chance of any specific gem spawning being based on that gem's value (eg if a Platinum is close enough to spawn, there is an 18% chance it will). Would it be better to spawn a certain number of points chosen to fit a value rather than a count and distance? Not certain, needs more discussion.

For the cluster timer, would it apply from the start of the spawn or the time of the first pickup?
  • Start of the spawn seems like it would change the penalty of a bad spawn from being -10 points to being -10 seconds, -20 points.
  • First pickup is not a bad idea, not sure how it would tip the balance though
  • (SP Only): What about training mode-style where you just have to collect a majority of the points?
Multiple gem clusters - Actually I like this idea for larger games. Not certain how the mechanics would work exactly but I can see this mitigating the "7 other players got there first so I'm not going to bother" problem

Powerups that affect gems - all interesting ideas, would increase complexity of the game though. Would these apply to just your player, or to all players? I could see some interesting results if these applied to all players (would make for good counterplay).
  • Bluifier / Highball - talked with Whirligig who had a good suggest that this instead turn all the gems yellow. Imagine turning a platinum into a yellow right before someone gets it. Also then it wouldn't be so overpowered. But turning every gem blue would be pretty bad for balance.
  • Here's another one: What about a powerup that just spawns the next cluster? It would despawn the current one in the process. Might create good counterplay as well.

Another thought from Whirligig that I've tried mentioning on Discord (with minimal success) is having a "handicap modifier" to gem scores for each player. When playing against a better player, gems are worth more (eg a red might be 1.5 points). This would be dynamic and based on both who is playing and your previous scores on that level. Having a lower average score would make points worth more for you.


There are also quite a few things that I don't think will work, or at least would take too much effort for very little change:

Pink gems - major problem here is how to show partial gems. Whirligig's idea for fractional handicaps has the same problem. What should "half a point" or "0.35 points" look like?
Checkpoint claiming - not really a good idea, you don't get enough time to see and it would just confuse people. main_gi mentioned "Spawn abuse has RNG to it as well because it's not documented and could change in the code." Not sure if it's officially written anywhere but the mechanics have not changed since MBUltra: you spawn closest to the trigger where you last touched the ground. Maybe you are finding this inconsistent because the server is worse at finding when you touch the ground (because networking).
Showing next cluster - not possible currently, as clusters are generated randomly on the fly. Doable but I don't think it is worth the effort. Would also make camping much much more beneficial, which is a bad thing.
Time travels in MP - every time I've thought of this I can never see where this is more beneficial to the losing player. Either you go out of your way to get it you lose points and position. The winning player usually never gets these unless they're so far ahead you won't catch up. Then it's just adding insult to injury.
Cluster effects and where you change stuff by going to a certain place would be very hard to inform players of what they do; I can't think of any way to do this cleanly.

Powerups:
  • Size Up is not possible if it's for one player only, doesn't really seem like it would help much either
  • Bluicide seems like it would just let the person in the lead get further in the lead. After all, they're getting the most blues

Mad Hunt - (fun fact: "Hunt Madness" was an MBElite feature at some point. Same exact idea as Gem Madness just different name.)
  • Permanent clusters - I feel like these are impossible to balance. Either they're too high valued and the random spawns are worthless, or they're too low valued and can't help losing players catch up.
  • OOB effects / lives - I feel like this would just hurt lesser players who generally fall off more. Preventing spawn abuse isn't worth making mistakes more costly. Also, I'm not even sure I want to prevent spawn abuse (if I wanted to btw I could just use random spawns every time you fell off).
  • Game changing platinums - would be difficult to place these where better players couldn't just save a gyrocopter and snipe them. Again a lot of effort for marginal improvement / probably worsening

Another idea I've had (and tried to make years ago but wasn't able) is a mode where the next gem cluster spawns closer to the losing player. Problem with this was that I couldn't find a way to make it easy to cheat as well (ie let losing player get last gem while you just wait next to them). Maybe possible with more discussion but I wasn't able to get it at the time.


I've seen some good ideas in here and agree that hunt mode needs some help with balance. Single Player is too dependent on random chance and Multiplayer is too often in favor of the winning player. So maybe we can find some mechanics that help even out the massive divide between the very skilled players and the lesser skilled players. I don't want to add anything that would cause matches to be entirely random chance, but I want lesser players to have a chance at victory some of the time.

PQ in a nutshell
function clientcmd12dothepq() {
    commandToClient(LocalClientConnection, '34onthedancefloor');
}
Last Edit: 24 Jul 2017 22:06 by HiGuy. Reason: Wording
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24 Jul 2017 22:53 - 24 Jul 2017 22:54 #14 by Evoker
Evoker replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Thanks HiGuy for reading this and sharing your thoughts. It is appreciated I imagine by at least most members of the community, not just those who have shared their own ideas here.


Spawning a certain number of points chosen to fit a value - this is a better idea than having a certain number of gems within a distance from a central point. I do think that the current system has some good things to it though, as it ensures that all the gems can be found without great difficulty, even if getting them can be difficult-ish. My concern would be that if there was one platinum and a few reds for example, that the platinum would be way too far away from the reds and it would cause imbalance.

Cluster timer - I don't think this should necessarily be a fully implemented feature into all games. But maybe it would benefit everybody more, I don't know. Spart of a spawn seems more logical, but maybe it should be based on the spawn itself - e.g. if a spawn with the new 'certain number of points system' contained a platinum rather far away, there should be some time to get it. Maybe then this cluster timer feature would just be best after the first pickup. It could also be modifiable in MP depending on players' skill level.

Multiple gem clusters should only be used in MP (I'm sure this is the assumption anyway).

Powerups - I agree with your point about changing all gems to yellow rather than blue - blues are rather too valuable to be the only value in a spawn, but yellows are not. A powerup that spawns the next cluster could be interesting - but how would you prevent it from overuse? Maybe only one should be included in the map as obviously the players would have to wait for it to respawn before using it again.

Handicap modifier - Great idea. It would show someone if they played a map well or badly in comparison to their average performance. However, may I suggest that would this be implemented that it would force ratings off - basing ratings from matches with unequal handicaps doesn't really seem right.

Gem cluster spawning next to last player - if this only happened say in the last minute of a match, I feel it could work. Obviously having this happen all the time would create imbalance, and possibly complete fluctuation between which player the next spawn appears next to.


I've tried to make my post as clear as I can. I guess with these sorts of discussions the reality is that detailed posts are more helpful!!! I do as well appreciate all you've been doing with the little updates as well HiGuy (and probably others). I have no doubt that what you and the rest of the team will decide about Gem Hunt in SP and MP will be right for the community as well as the game.
Last Edit: 24 Jul 2017 22:54 by Evoker. Reason: OCD formatting ftw

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25 Jul 2017 19:52 - 25 Jul 2017 19:53 #15 by main_gi
main_gi replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Yeah, I believe that's the most important and easiest part - the min max thing. The only worry I have is many of the current WR's and scores for levels that were set probably all had average + above average spawns with few bad ones, since this might make them unbeatable. I think spawning points, while maybe not the way to think about it or implement it in code, is definitely the way to think about it in design. Count and distance just account for Spread and Distance, two other metrics, though of course the code might think about this in a different order.

Cluster timer
Start of the spawn: I was thinking this at first, but the first pickup is I think a better idea.
First pickup: hPerks went with this, and now so do I. It also works well in SP. The only annoying part I can think of is if someone so radically overshoots a cluster but hits a gem in SP, the cluster might overpunish the penalty. I'm not sure if I care to encourage that gameplay, though - for SP, that kills a perfect run anyway regardless.

I think the real question of the timer is how long it should last. Obviously it'll be arbitrary (like base systems and that MBG/MBU time travels were 5 seconds), but how much? For First Pickup, I think ten seconds is good.

Evoker: I disagree that the gems currently can all be found without great difficulty. No cluster has stretched the definition of cluster TOO far, but there are definitely good examples where high spread clusters are visible. The 38 gem cluster is an example, but also many platinum and blue gem spawns in Maximo Center, as well as the bluified spawns that sometimes appear in Gravity Tower. (Of course I might be misinterpreting your statement.) Please note that your example does not apply in the vast majority of Singleplayer cases. If a platinum is far away from a couple of reds, it will have no difference from one red being far away from a couple of reds with a platinum.

Multiple clusters
The way I envision it is just that a cluster is created when a previous cluster runs out of time or is all taken. I feel like there'll also be maybe an issue if there are so many clusters people can't tell what gem belongs to each cluster because they have to be too close. But for most maps, that's not an issue. It should scale on players, though, and I have come to a mathematically simple-feeling solution, based on my own experience.

I've found MP to only be playable with 1v1 or 1v2 (2 or 3 players). I think that not only will adding more people after 3 give a lesser % of people who each get gems, but they also increase the penalty for being even just slightly slower. If you're the 2nd player to some gems and the 1st player got 25% of the gems early, you compete for the remaining 75%. If the same happens but you're the 4th player in a 1v3 FFA, let's just say you will probably only see 10% of that.

So: For each 3 players after the first,
1-3: One cluster. 4-6: Two clusters. 7-9: Three clusters. And so on.

While I'm confident this would work well for 1 through 5 players, and pretty confident about 6 and 7, I'm less certain about just adding more and more players. This is because competing for clusters is just a scaled-up version of competing for gems. And unlike with gems, I did not suggest anything about adjusting the clusters themselves so they aren't biased to spawn towards one player or the other, since I think there is value sometimes having unbalanced distances between players. But with more players, the chance at least one player will just get the short end of the RNG stick gets higher and higher.

Short, but important tangent: I didn't discuss too much MP gem hunt, I mean look at the title. But where a cluster's distance should definitely be adjusted is in the start of round cluster for MP. If there are two equally skilled players, the luck of whoever spawned closer is going to win. Of course this advantage applies for all players.

Evoker: I think I agree with you for this one. In particular it'd be good as a measure against camping and red running, so it benefits equal skilled matches. But I don't think this is bad for SP, either. Maybe not for all maps, but in particular it's great as an RNG migitator or even a current-situation helper. You can skip bad spawns until you're close enough to them. Again, not for all maps.

Powerups that affect gems - Powerups aren't usually global (in fact right now they're NEVER global) so most of them I suggested are singular. But I do see the value in global powerups, and so I did intend some, like Bluifier, to be global. Highball, Size Up, and Bluicide are designed singular. But they can really apply anywhere, like pressing a button to give everyone Highball. Usually though, MB global effects would I imagine be activated through a physical world action.

Bluifier / Highball - I assume you put this in the same category because you're suggesting a change that would make the two powerups very similar, but I intend Bluifier to take up different design space than Highball. Don't get me wrong, I do like Whirligig's idea to change them to yellow as well, but I think it would make the two powerups seem too similar. Let me explain what my intentions were with them, and also why I disagree with Bluifier.

Highball - It's a simple timed powerup that gives your gems +1 point for a while, the same time as the Super Bounce and Shock Absorber. Unlike those two, though, it doesn't have the side effect of sometimes being detrimental, so that was the design space I was going to use. It's great as an additional "pathfinder/optional" powerup and should be placed near, but not in the middle of, cluster spawns. You can also use it as a powerup swap tool while traveling to a cluster and hoping to get a bonus for preperation.

Bluifier - It's a one-time use powerup that changes all gems to the 5 point blue gem globally, and it won't run out. The gameplay instances I imagine this having would be big - no map in MP spawns anything full of blues. Unlike Highball, there's a big risk/reward for using this when you're not next to the gems. Therefore, this powerup should NOT spawn anywhere near any clusters, as it can be extremely detrimental. I'd place it as a reward for certain areas that don't have clusters spawning and are tricky to reach - think top of Promonotory. (Evoker: The purpose of Bluifier was indeed to make a big effect powerup.)

Now, your issue with this was balance, but this is a powerup! It's equal opportunity for any player - they can gain just as much as the other! But I do think I know what you meant saying that - it drastically increases the visible point gap between a worse player and a better player, even just slightly different skill levels, or unfortunately, lucky spawns where the distance is short.

I think the biggest case against Bluifier is actually something I came up with on my own - the luck based spawns. So though I like this powerup's design, it would only be used in cases where you could make sure no player had gems spawn on themselves.

But I don't think you have to worry about the skill gap problem. I notice newbie players don't tend to touch the Advanced category, and that's perfect for a powerup that's meant to make games more interesting in equal skill leveled matches. I'd recommend placing it there.

Make Next Cluster Spawn - I like that idea, but I do agree with Evoker here. This might also be an issue with powerups that just spawn too frequently to comply with powerup respawning consistency. The "Yellowifier" powerup suggested earlier would also fall to this problem of powerup spam even if there was only one in the game, especially with multiple players. I would prefer this as a global effect designed in levels - you can track players who are going there and it wouldn't feel as random when a cluster just moves elsewhere.

I think I would also prefer that this isn't a true cluster spawn - instead, it would spawn a temporary cluster (again, not sure how to mark temporary gems vs. ones not in a cluster, maybe slight transparency?) - effectively not a cluster at all - that doesn't spawn another when it's fully picked up.

Handicap Modifier - I... sorry, I don't like this very much at all. I feel like this is like having heavy aim assist for weaker players in FPS games. I think this would help the morale of weaker players, but it wouldn't encourage the mentality of wanting to improve and it would actually hurt it.

Let me take my example. Frostfire tends to win with an extra third of the points I do. (The 1v1's I do with him tend to have him winning, say 100-66.) In other words, for every 5 gems, he gets an average of 3 of them while I get 2. That doesn't seem big to a newbie, but of course this naturally "snowballs". The winner seems like they're getting more and more, but they aren't really. And if we were to play a match where I got 30 free points at the start, I would still lose. Of course, your example is multiplicative, so let's address that.

- Yeaah, not a fan of partial gems. In particular, gem math becomes pretty much impossible. Like if I was at 72.8 points with a multiplier of 1.4. How many points did I actually get? (The answer is 52.) And that's not even considering comparing that quickly, or irrational amounts. Nor because it's dynamic I'd have to constantly rethink the multiplier as I level.
- It won't actually prevent the reality of the better player getting a majority of the gems.
- The extreme for extremely weak players, out of a cluster of 9 gems, they will get... 0. The multiplier will not help here.
- The mentality for trying to improve has a weaker resolve. What's the point of trying to do better if I'm already "equal" to other players? How do I even check if my gameplay gets better? I can't compare scores and will have to look over footage for stuff like that.
- Almost nobody will get +1 for red, +2 for yellow, +5 for blue, and +10 for platinum in MP anymore. Good luck with the newbie questions about why nothing about the points system is consistent.

Here's my suggestion for handicaps. Let your opponent decide. I have seen gameplay of various handicap footage - don't jump, don't blast, don't use powerups. This idea I stole from... myself, who had this idea for another multiplayer game. At the end, the handicapped player will get an experience boost. But really, this acknowledges a lot:

- The weaker player is absolutely acknowledged in their role.
- Really weak players get the opportunity to get gems.
- Weaker players actually do get an equal amount of gems.
- Point-gap increasing stuff like Bluifier can be fairly used even in matches where the players have different skill levels.
- Gives even the stronger player a goal because they could start losing with the handicap.
- Gem points are actually consistent.

Evoker: I think that's the only aspect I like about it. However I don't think it's worth that much. If I wanted to do something like that, I would have a match rating system that would only be used for this and then tie it into the predictions, or add a rating based prediction system.

Pink Gems - Not globally applied to all the gems and it's only a 0.5. Time modifiers also show decimal point values. I'm not a fan of decimals either but I think this is the only time I will find it necessary. Plus, you already have a . available from the timers.
Checkpoint claiming - I disagree, you can put the name on the checkpoint. I think that's about as readable as a marble username (which I already find easy to distinguish). I think if I saw a name on a checkpoint (it'd have to look different from the username colors though) this system. Anyway, this was just an extension of the thought of implementing more singleplayer oriented things into MP. Actually, I think I stick with my original thought - I can't just go looking into the code to see where triggers lead me to. I actually was able to reproduce my Triple Trail issue - there aren't triggers corresponding to the floating floors. But I wouldn't know that without really deeply exploring that. You say it'd be confusing, but how much more than the current spawns?
Showing next cluster - Same consensus now that I know what camping is. I think it's worth noting camping isn't an issue in SP and it could actually have potential there.
TT's in MP - Argh, guys! I was never suggesting this as a good idea. I only brought this up because it had interesting properties that I was tapping into with other ideas! :P
Cluster effects - We might never see eye to eye on this part, but I think a lot of PQ already has this issue where things aren't explained as an attempt to make things look simpler. Fundamentals of Physics is a great example. While if a map had a global Bluifier in the middle I could mention that in the level's description.

Size Up - If it's that big of an issue I don't think this will be added. The design space is incredibly close to Mega Marble's already, but it does have some cool side effects that I think are somewhat worth it.
Bluicide - But would they get blues as easily without a Gyrocopter or Super Speed, or some other powerup? This takes up that slot. Unlike other point powerups I don't think this has that problem.

Permanent clusters - Note that for the suggestions labeled into Mad Hunt, this isn't primarily a multiplayer suggestion. That being said, I do think this is much worse as an idea in MP than SP, whereas you can implement permanent gems in SP with great effect I think. MP on the other hand, you'd have to make ugly solutions: like let's say you put 40 reds that line the side of Bowl. (obviously I know you're not going to change MBO maps, but for example) The best solution for me, which is still ugly, is to disable that line (locally/for the player only) when 3 are collected, making it small but still relevant.
OOB effects - Mainly, this is because Gem Hunt's design is very anti-MB if you think about it. No other mode punishes OOB this lightly, and kamikaze blues are rarely punished - sometimes, OOB isn't even a punishment! Like, in Horizon if I kamikaze'd for a blue I would rather go OOB than stay on the level, since it resets my speed and potential unnecessary Gyrocopters.

I again want to say that I would change some things to make a MB level OOB punishing, but I know not only does it go against the community ("who is this guy suggesting to change all WRs" | "we practiced avoiding going OOB") but some of my own sentiments about this very topic. In a way, I find it strange a game originally designed where OOB means restarting a level all over again, and thus has players who all practice not going OOB, the multiplayer mode allows and encourages it so much.

"True" platinums - Yeah, in that way Gyro is just that good. It's worth noting though that it's its own kind of punishment to keep a Gyrocopter as a spare powerup, as other powerups don't have the problem of not being able to control how long it lasts + no boost to get to spawns quickly. The Gyrocopter+Super Jump requirement that I've suggested for some also means two powerups are required, which is significant as a time penalty too. The risk/reward is also very real, since if more than one person goes for it the ones that went for it and failed really lose out vs. people who still go for the clusters. I don't think sniping is as easy as you describe it.

I highly encourage you check out the handicap mechanic. I notice you care a lot for 50/50 games, which I think is a great ideal, but not so much that I agree when you say some mechanics too strongly favor the winning player, as the gap in points would still increase naturally over time, and sometimes I think that bias too strongly directs cutting ideas that could increase interesting gameplay with equal-skilled players. The average performance of both players across the match is the same, with a slight edge to the winning player (from camping and red running). If a skill-based game doesn't make a distinction between worse and better players, why even make it a skill-based game, in my opinion?

Evoker: I really appreciate the feedback and I'm glad so many people showed an interest in discussing this. Especially the very skilled players who play this game - I know for many other communities, doing a post like this could result in skilled players disagreeing because the newbie doesn't have enough experience and does miss depth-based things. So thanks, everyone!
Last Edit: 25 Jul 2017 19:53 by main_gi. Reason: italic fail
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25 Jul 2017 22:21 #16 by Evoker
Evoker replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
My goodness, that was a LOOOOONG post. Didn't quite read everything but read lots of it! Thanks, I'm glad you appreciate my feedback. I do feel the same way as you about Gem Hunt so I want to try and help with suggestions where I can. Here are my thoughts and calculations (warning long post ahead):

Multiple clusters (please excuse my heavy formatting...)

I think the best way to do this is consider the average number of gems in a cluster and work out the best way to 'divide' that cluster between a number of players. Let me illustrate why with some of your examples:

For instance, let's assume all players are of equal skill and the average number of gems in a cluster is 6. Having 4 players and 2 clusters would mean an average pick-up of 3 gems per cluster. It's quite high but much better than 1.5 per cluster. Having 6 players and 2 clusters would result in 2 gems per cluster which is also pretty decent. Now, if there were 7 players and 3 clusters, that would give 6*3/7 = 2.5 gems per cluster. 9 players and 3 clusters = 2 gems per cluster.

It seems that at an equal skill level, all these would work fine. But, let's say that half the players are worse than the other half. For argument's sake, the better players will get twice the number of gems than the worse players. This results in:
  • 4 players, 2 clusters = better players get 2 gems per cluster, worse players get 1 gem per cluster. (not so great for the worse players)
  • 6 players, 2 clusters = better players get 1.33 gems per cluster, worse players get 0.67 players per cluster. Really, that's 4 gems per 3 clusters for better players (still hardly anything) and 2 gems per 3 clusters for worse players (really bad). This is dramatically different from before!!

It seems that in order to give good fair games for everybody with multiple clusters, a complex system by which players can effectively state the difference in ability between the players in a match and thus have the number of clusters judged would be in order. I don't suppose this would be particularly fun to do, but I could have a go at using some math to work it out.

Highball and Bluifier

To be fair, I don't think we'll really need these, it might just seem like there's too many features in Gem Hunt otherwise. I like these ideas though, tbh most of the ones down the bottom of your last post could really spoil it imo. What makes this game mode exciting is the players, and their showmanship and sportsmanship (lol I sound so formal). What I'm saying is that adding too many features would take away from this excitement and make it become 'another game mode.' I hope others agree with me on this one.

Make Next Cluster spawn

Perhaps this could be like a one use only for each player? Would probably have to limit it to 3 players as well. A match with 6 players for instance would cause utter chaos if people used it one after the other.

Handicap modifier

I see your point here. For weaker players playing against really good players, this of course would not work out. My suggestion was to have it as an option, not a requirement.

I think that the current options for disabling powerups etc is still a good measure. Perhaps some form of rating system could serve well, as long as it isn't overcalculative and based on minor things like 'ability to get last gem in a spawn without other player(s) camping'. I think a prediction based rating system would be pretty useful, but for something no one might have considered - what if you could see how well you were doing at different points in the match?

My idea with this is that there would be some sort of graph with time on the x axis and relative performance on the y axis. What I mean by 'relative performance' is a basic comparison between predicted scores for each player at certain points (every 15 seconds?) in the game. And by relative, I think that this would be based on an average of all the players' scores, as though it were acculumated throughout the game at a constant rate. (E.g. if the average score was 80 gems and the match was 4 minutes, it would treat the average predicted score as 20 at 1 minute through). Using this example, if someone had 30 gems at 1 minute through, and another player had 15, the 'relative performance' unit would show 1.5 (30/20) for the better player and 0.75 (15/20) for the worse player. I really hope this makes sense!

Of course, how this affects the server's performance is important. If this sort of system would eat up fps during the match, it's probably not worth it. And if it took ages to generate this line graph then no-one would bother. I should hope that with all the stats being just whole numbers and fractions, it shouldn't be that difficult for the server to do considering how it has to process far more complex things in an actual match. HiGuy, what do you think about this, and do you also like the idea?



My intention was to give really concise answers here. To that I say pfft lol :lol:

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10 Aug 2017 19:01 #17 by main_gi
main_gi replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
Quick reply here. I still want to wait for HiGuy and others to get back on this, but Evoker and I discussed this before and he decided he would prefer to leave the conversation for others. I think as this discussion grows people will have to be more knowledgeable - even I might not handle it. So here we go.

Gem maths: Actually... This was not where my issue was going. My issue is more of Gem RNG in most. Your example is only a single axis, and I don't really know what you're pointing out here. If it's just that the gem value is low... that doesn't matter. It literally does not matter. If you double or halve everyone's scores or gem values, it doesn't matter. If a player loses 100-50 on one map and also loses 200-100 on another, did he do twice as badly on the second match? You still have to normalize for the natural fact that during regular conditions, the definition still holds.

(side note: "worse players get 0.67 players per cluster" :P)

The only reason you would have to do that is to show that the gap between a bad player and a better one becomes NOT one-half. But you proved that wrong with the results - it is exactly one-half!

Now I think this unfortunately was his intent... but I'm hesitant to reject it outright. The reason is because there is indeed a value of less than 1 there. And low values are the whole reason this thing was suggested in the first place - if 3 people are already going for a spawn, the speed they take it at makes it a no-bet for player 4. This is why Evoker's comparison is too narrow in the context of everything else.

Other things that affect player count are cluster speed (which from my conversation, was not taken into account), competing over stealing gems rather than splitting gems, and player-to-player logic. That last one almost guarantees that the math works out properly between clusters. The worst case scenario: 4 players, 2 clusters. All four spawn next to one, and the other cluster is somewhat far away. This would seem to lead to the same outcome as 4 players and 1 cluster, but I can tell you it won't. This is because each player can choose to skip the close cluster and run to the far one, having to split the gems between 0 other players instead of 3. But since this applies for everyone, a subset of players will always go for the far one, leveling off at 1/2, mostly depending on distance.

The conversation ended before I got to this, but thankfully I don't think the powerup statement is meant to be unreasonable. Players can't will powerups into existence, and players are nothing without a game. There really isn't any other game mode (MP, anyway), and the powerups I'm suggesting specifically target the point system, so you literally could not add these in normal Singleplayer.

While I do like prediction systems, that wouldn't work in terms of players on their normal performance. I guess already it's a 'flaw' that if you got 200 on one map and 200 on another map, that 200 doesn't mean you had equal performance, not even roughly, most of the time. The real issue is that your score will naturally look worse the better the other player is, and the concept of an "average player" is not applicable to 99% of matches, and would also be fluctuating.

But yeah, I'd also like HiGuy's feedback on a better prediction algorithm. Right now it's okay, but has flaws - like going down when covering the distance between gems and going too high when picking up the gems. As well as various map quirks that slow down collection time, and not extensive for a match overview.

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11 Aug 2017 07:26 #18 by Kalle29
Kalle29 replied the topic: [Discussion] Design in Singleplayer Gem Hunt (aka Gemstones: RNG of Warcraft)
There is a great fundamental flaw in MP in general - the gem values. The maps that are in play have small clusters and blues/plats are generally very easy to get whenever they show up. meaning it largely comes down to who has the best RNG. Look at my match with Jack earlier today, we went exactly even on one map, but on the rematch I lost by almost 60 points.

I would honestly support turning all gems into reds, or at least removing all plats from the game, blues are already extremely questionable.

Regarding MP matches between players, one should ideally play many more games to determine a winner than just five. Considering the fact that MP comes with a huge amount of luck involved, you need to play much more to get a decent idea of who deserves to truly win.

Not to be that guy but I feel like a lot of what is being discussed here is essentially avoiding the real issues I pointed out above about randomness and gem colour. I would love to see a few tournament matches played with red gems only.

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