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Nick Don't Fall Into A Trap!


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Nick,

 

The criticisms you've received as of late have you closing off. Don't do it! Keep your mind open and your passion will be rewarded. Locking the most recent thread you have added is the opposite of what you must do. Now is the time to listen to your customers.

 

I've played Koro, he plays a very methodic game as though he is on the ground in an ACW battle. He's very nice to play. But very few players use the software that way. They play to win! They look for all of the oddities in the system to tailor the game to their needs: not your expectations on how they will play.

 

There are two roads for you to go down:

 

1. The first is atypical of most Humans, and poor business people, that of the defensive posture, clinging to managements ill conceived reasoning even as their customer base slowly disappears.

 

2. The second is to acknowledge the folly of the past ( too much noodling, keep it simple!) and watch players that are on the ground playing 10-15 games a day. This is your customer. These are your average guys that find all the loopholes in the software and use them.

 

I will tell you this my friend, simply look to the drain of players in the last 6 months, not from the view that the game has aged but from the revisions. Acknowledge this, see this, change paths.

 

Nick, what you created incited the greatest of passions, you should be proud of this! You have mastered so much, greater than so many other games. But transcend the urge to tune out. Listen to your worst critics, embrace them. They bring the truth.

 

Huzaah Nick!

 

Good Luck!

 

Brian

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Brian,

 

We, meaning me and Game Labs, do listen to feedback all this time and this is why we have offered so many updates after official release. Many players, silently enjoy the game without posting to the forums. Usually players write to complain and to advise improvements, like you do, and we deeply appreciate them. Other players move on to other games, they will come back again whey they are fit to do so. It does not mean they do not like the game anymore. We need to move on to our next projects as well and not make circles over a finished product. The last patch did use feedback from various types of players and was mostly based on elite players like Koro and others, who wanted the best challenge in Single Player and Multiplayer. 

 

This is a reason why the challenge level of Single Player Mode was raised significantly and why Multiplayer is depended very much on skill, more than ever. As I get it, this is the problem with you now with the Union, that you cannot win with them? But maybe it has to do with the way that is needed to play with them and you refuse to accept or find a counter reaction vs skilled opponents. I consider myself a good player and have won many matches very easily vs various CSA opponents. So easily that maybe I should make another patch to fix it? Not necessarily, because my battle successes don't  imply that the game is broken but that I know this game very well. I believe that if a game allows a good player to clearly distinct from a bad player, it is in the proper direction. You ask that the game should become mostly even for all, so everybody should have chances? Well I believe that a game should be competitive and reward every bit of better skill, like chess and real life... This is my personal philosophy that I stand my ground.

 

In multiplayer everyone plays much differently than in single player, sacrificing everything for the win, very aggressively. So in multiplayer, you have to decide fast what is the best method to beat several styles of attack and defend. I have played with opponents that played very strangely, to the point of craziness. There is no way to stop people playing like that, in any game, than making game mechanics which punish crazy play... arguably this happens for skilled players who use realistic style of play.

 

Playing in Single Player vs the AI is a different story, because the AI usually is playing in a more predictable cautious manner. I personally never thought I would get complains from players that they do not like losing from the AI so often. When I was modding, every time I forced the AI to be a better opponent I was getting positive feedback... now I get complains. Well all I can advise here is to play more cautiously, because there is a campaign and you have limited resources (limited units to sacrifice into your attacks over a series of days), something that again many players realize after many failures. 

 

In the end, it is impossible in any game to bring total balance and total satisfaction for every single person of the player base. I would accept any complain about broken mechanics, control issues, bugs that cause CTD, several factors that can stall the game, and make it completely unplayable. But complains about difficulty for a particular style of average player, is something that is very difficult, for me personally to follow. Be sure though that we respect you and everyone who writes to us, because this helps us to improve our games and offer better products in the future.

EDIT:
And I want to clarify that I completely agree with your point about the average player base which we need to satisfy. UGG is easy to start understanding how to play, one of the easiest games on that sector maybe. But to master the game must be difficult. It should have enough depth to allow many different tactics and approaches for the same battle scenario.

Edited by Nick Thomadis
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Well, look at me for example, I love strategy and I bought Ultimate General: Gettysburg probably a year ago, hell it might even have been more than 1 year! I love the game and yet guess how much I played it? Only 111 minutes, because after playing a multiplayer game I realised I was playing with very skilled players and had no chance to win, but that doesn't mean the game isn't good, that means that I am sh** and that is my problem to resolve. I find the game well balanced and I'm downloading it once again right now to try and face an opponent again. ^^

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I find the game in it's current iteration very good. I sincerly don't understand why the game is getting these complaints. Maybe old players are used to things that worked for them in previous patches and are having a hard time adjusting to the new feel of the game.

Again, I find the gane almost perfect. There are some little issues still that bug me but nothing major.

Keep on going with the direction you are going Nick. I'm sure next games will get even better.

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I'm a life long student of the era. Been to Gettysburg over 3 dozen times and spend an average of 5 nights in town. Six of my ancestors were there in various Georgia regiments. I've walked the ground where they walked, studied the terrain, read every first hand account of the battle that I can find, paid licensed battlefield guides to give me tours specifc to the regiments my ancestors served in, etc.. No, I'm not an expert, but I know a heck of a lot about the Gettysburg Campaign.

 

I'm a SP user and play a LOT. Rarely ever play single, random scenarios, but rather full campaigns. Usually as CSA because it's harder to win. Not because the game is unbalanced, but because in the actual campaign, the CSA was outmanned, out supplied, out of reliable info from their cavalry and probably most important of all, the Union had the "good ground". The terrain played a huge part in the outcome. Of course, this is all my opinion. 

 

I can win against the Union but only once was it an Epic Victory and that was several updates ago. Marginal victory is about as good as I can do now. As the union, I can get that Epic win. Again, though, never once has it occurred to me that the reason for that is because the game play is unbalanced.

 

I love the game!

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Nick,

 

Well put, and again your championed by so many of the above. But Its too easy to type out a few sentences by those that would not set you off in a self critical direction, so takes those with a lump of salt.

 

I win as Union plenty trust me. Many of you probably played me, I use my sons account Benukis alot, so you know I've done fine as Union. And why do I insist on Union? Because REB is just too easy to play and win now. You see I like a challenge. But currently the game is pretty much unplayable in Multi mode, the Union morale is just set too low.

 

But lets move on: You tuned it just right some builds ago. But you listened, perhaps too much, and know the game has dissolved into a lopsided contest in multiplayer.

 

But hey, I'm far more productive at my company for it! As I have stopped playing the two hours a day I was devoting to the game.

 

Nick, you live and you learn, and I am so sure that the next game will cause the appropriate consideration promulgated by so many critical voices that have been put forth here. I would only recommend that as you synthesize the data and move forward:

 

1. No need to noodle too much with both armies, better for game play that the behave more alike ( gets the players to really think about tactics more ).

 

2. Don't listen to too many voices! Keep the armies simple and elegant! Focus on maps and options for a myriad of different scenarios.

 

And yes, if you can tell I was a game developer for about 15 years: EA mostly, NAMCO and yes I'm that old 3DO! I and others eagerly await your next great game!

 

Cheers Nick!!!!

 

Best regards,

 

Brian: The Collectors Showcase

Edited by The Collectors Showcase
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  • 2 weeks later...
I personally never thought I would get complains from players that they do not like losing from the AI so often. When I was modding, every time I forced the AI to be a better opponent I was getting positive feedback... now I get complains.

 

 

That's the thing, Nick Thomadis - this isn't the niche playerbase of something as obscure and non-mainstream as a hardcore mod. Real people in the real world do not enjoy losing. This is not why we play video games. You'll do well to remember this.

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That's the thing, Nick Thomadis - this isn't the niche playerbase of something as obscure and non-mainstream as a hardcore mod. Real people in the real world do not enjoy losing. This is not why we play video games. You'll do well to remember this.

Well, come on. Having such a good AI (which, moreover, plays by the player's same rules) is great - and it's the reason why there are 9 (nine!) different difficulty levels to fit each player's skills.

 

So I say that it's excellent to have an AI which goes from (very) easy to (very) hard... as it's only up to the players to choose the difficulty they want to play at.

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In my opinion Total War did this. Millions of strategy games fans are now used to tactically outmach an AI at every battle with simple flanking maneuvers. Now it hurts their feelings to be struggling against an average AI in UGG even if they have a playmode that match their set of skills. I allow myself to say this cause I've been there, til I persisted and I can assure it felt most rewarding to see the improvement. Every AI is beatable, just don't expect to do so after a few tries with the new patch

 

I don't see the point yet for UGG to engage into mainstream logic and start making easy games. It's still a "niche" game and will remain so for some years at least, the series has plenty of room for improvement and doesn't have to satisfy millions of players like CA does. And it's exactly why it's so refreshing and innovative.

 

So yes... please keep it hard and challenging above all else. There are 12 billions games that can offer some easy grand-scale massacres, let's not have UG become one of these.

Edited by Col_Kelly
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  • 1 month later...

That's the thing, Nick Thomadis - this isn't the niche playerbase of something as obscure and non-mainstream as a hardcore mod. Real people in the real world do not enjoy losing. This is not why we play video games. You'll do well to remember this.

 

I don't agree. The fact that this game exists in its niche market is indicative that Game Labs is not a big game development company. And if it does become one, I don't want to see it operate like one. In actuality, Nick would do well to follow his own dream in this regard, and not listen to anything but his own convictions. Game developers these days have gotten to the point where they just make games that sell, and not necessarily an innovative experience. UGG is an innovative experience, and that's why I play it. Well done, Nick! Keep kicking a**!

 

Nick,

 

Well put, and again your championed by so many of the above. But Its too easy to type out a few sentences by those that would not set you off in a self critical direction, so takes those with a lump of salt.

 

I win as Union plenty trust me. Many of you probably played me, I use my sons account Benukis alot, so you know I've done fine as Union. And why do I insist on Union? Because REB is just too easy to play and win now. You see I like a challenge. But currently the game is pretty much unplayable in Multi mode, the Union morale is just set too low.

 

But lets move on: You tuned it just right some builds ago. But you listened, perhaps too much, and know the game has dissolved into a lopsided contest in multiplayer.

 

But hey, I'm far more productive at my company for it! As I have stopped playing the two hours a day I was devoting to the game.

 

Nick, you live and you learn, and I am so sure that the next game will cause the appropriate consideration promulgated by so many critical voices that have been put forth here. I would only recommend that as you synthesize the data and move forward:

 

1. No need to noodle too much with both armies, better for game play that the behave more alike ( gets the players to really think about tactics more ).

 

2. Don't listen to too many voices! Keep the armies simple and elegant! Focus on maps and options for a myriad of different scenarios.

 

And yes, if you can tell I was a game developer for about 15 years: EA mostly, NAMCO and yes I'm that old 3DO! I and others eagerly await your next great game!

 

Cheers Nick!!!!

 

Best regards,

 

Brian: The Collectors Showcase

 

I don't like your demeanor, dude. It's irrelevant how many game companies you've worked for. As far as I'm concerned, that business model works to make money, but doesn't turn out particularly awesome games. I think it'd be better for Game Labs to follow their own path, and not get in line with the inept development practices of the prominent developers of our current era.

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