Goblinworks Blog: Programmed by Fellows with Compassion and Vision


Pathfinder Online

Liberty's Edge Digital Products Assistant

Discussion thread for Goblinworks Blog: Programmed by Fellows with Compassion and Vision

Goblin Squad Member

I do love an early blog post :)

[Edit] And in one of those weird coincidences in life, one of the bloggers I read was just talking about The Nightfly :)

Goblin Squad Member

Very cool, Andrew! I've spent a lot of time thinking about tools to help programs be more data-driven, so this is exactly the kind of thing I geek out on.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

I do love an early blog post :)

[Edit] And in one of those weird coincidences in life, one of the bloggers I read was just talking about The Nightfly :)

I do love getting home early to read an early blog post. Love seeing what go on behind the curtain in making a game it all so interesting.

waves at Nihimon.

Goblin Squad Member

Diella wrote:
waves at Nihimon.

*waves bacK*

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

Yes, I can see that this tool would be extremely helpful. Being able to make small, quick changes allows you to test, re-test, and triple test stuff without much fuss. And lack of fuss = shorter test time = quicker release = less time till we can kill whatever looks sideways at us.

Not that I would, mind.

Probably.

Goblin Squad Member

Goblin Works Blog wrote:
This week, programmer Andrew Richter takes a look at how the designers' ideas get implemented in the actual game through the use of design tools.

Great to read all these different angles from GW. Some of these "tools" could have saved me hours in one of my previous jobs (working with excel). I should probably add pathfinder data looks much more fun than telco data.

Goblin Squad Member

Good look under the hood.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Cue everybody noticing that the wizard has a much higher reflex defense than the rogue, and making wild speculations about other things.

Standby all of the texture geeks, font geeks, and portrait geeks remarking on the captured image, you're on in 5..4...

Goblin Squad Member

I'm actually curious if we'll have access to this kind of tool when we're using Pit Fighter.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Hello, Andrew, and thanks for the blog. Nice look under the hood for a non-computery person like me; I had no idea that the same spreadsheet program I can't do without at work is also so useful for game programming!

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:

Cue everybody noticing that the wizard has a much higher reflex defense than the rogue, and making wild speculations about other things.

Standby all of the texture geeks, font geeks, and portrait geeks remarking on the captured image, you're on in 5..4...

Seriously.

Players: Please share information from development with us!

Developers: Ok well, bear in mind this is in-process and doesn't represent the final product...

Players: OMG the graphics on this interstitial placeholder demo of a mechanic suck! OMG [blank] monsters have X [blanks] instead of Y in this utterly preliminary screenshot! This game will be teh suxx0r!

Goblinworks Executive Founder

@Mbando

One way or the other, we've invoked Poe's law again.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

I was going to ask about the Wizard having a higher Reflex than the Rogue, but I figured why bother since it's clearly way to early to be worried about class balance.

Thanks Andrew for giving us a loot at your design tools, it looks like it will be very easy to implement an change or roll back on the fly, which will be a great time saver for us who are waiting to get our hands on the game ASAP.

Goblin Squad Member

@ Decius and Mbando

----> ;)

Goblinworks Game Designer

Deianira wrote:
Hello, Andrew, and thanks for the blog. Nice look under the hood for a non-computery person like me; I had no idea that the same spreadsheet program I can't do without at work is also so useful for game programming!

Industry wide, an awful lot of game systems design is spreadsheet-based, because it makes it very easy to apply formulas and ratios in a consistent manner across a bunch of different number-bearing game elements and see the results all laid out. The programmers here giving us an automated way to translate spreadsheet data directly into the game is a big help, because otherwise the "translation method" would just be a designer looking at the spreadsheet on one monitor and typing it into Unity in the other. :)

Imbicatus wrote:
I was going to ask about the Wizard having a higher Reflex than the Rogue, but I figured why bother since it's clearly way to early to be worried about class balance.

All data in the picture is an arbitrary example for testing purposes.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The most important detail in this blog for me was that GW is on pace, making their benchmark goals.

I also found it interesting that they described the difference in development at this stage for a sandbox vs. a theme park MMO. I'm looking forward to the possibility that game mechanics can actually be far more complex In a sandbox as opposed to a theme park.

Great job GW, keep on chugging along. I can not wait to get my toon into Pit Fighter!!

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

I didn‘t see the picture the first time around....

Perception check fail blamed on my phone.

Goblin Squad Member

2 people marked this as a favorite.
DeciusBrutus wrote:

@Mbando

One way or the other, we've invoked Poe's law again.

I can't tell if you're being serious or not.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

The next three messages:

'If wizards are going to have a reflex of 170, then this game will never amount to anything. 169 or 171 are fine, but 170 will be the death of PFO.'

'No, the 170 reflex isn't the problem. The problem is GW's use of the term "rogue". Everyone knows the name of that class is, was, and ever shall be the "thief".'

'You're both wrong. PFO will never work because it won't incorporate my favorite Pathfinder house rule: Rolling a natural 20 on an attack roll, followed by a natural 1 on the critical confirmation roll, results in the instant death of both the attacker and the defender. No computer game that excludes this house rule should ever call itself Pathfinder.'

Poe's law fulfilled.

Coming back to reality, that sounds like an awfully handy tool. Good idea!

Dark Archive Goblin Squad Member

You know, that last house rule sounds rather interesting.

Maybe a bit annoying, though.

Ehehehe. (Insert evil racoon here.)

Goblin Squad Member

Thanks everyone, I'm glad you all enjoyed it!

Goblin Squad Member

What an awesome idea and neatly designed tool. Kudos to you Mr. Richter!

I am sure you all have thought of everything, but I'll throw in my thought regardless.
My suggestion: include a way to keep and restore backups or even better, track revisions and edits as each occur and keep a chronological list of them. This of course allows you to go back and easily revert to a previous working set of values if anything goes wrong...like something catastrophic.

I only bring this up because I am currently using a large excel file to compile data for my masters thesis. I'm using dropbox to have multiple technicians access and enter data "on the fly," daily. I've already discovered to my horror what happens when multiple people are trying to simultaneously access an excel file and update it...you get accidental overwrites and lost data. Thank science dropbox allows me to go back and see past revisions, when they were saved, and even who did the editing.

Again, this is probably irrelevant. I just like to ramble sometimes...


I'm just glad I learned about this law. The more you know!

Because knowing is half the battle.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:

The most important detail in this blog for me was that GW is on pace, making their benchmark goals.

I also found it interesting that they described the difference in development at this stage for a sandbox vs. a theme park MMO. I'm looking forward to the possibility that game mechanics can actually be far more complex In a sandbox as opposed to a theme park.

Great job GW, keep on chugging along. I can not wait to get my toon into Pit Fighter!!

I agree with this. It can be very difficult to catch up once a project gets behind. I'm happy to hear all is still on schedule.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

For reference, Poe's law is roughly: It is impossible to be so sarcastic or humorous on the internet that nobody takes you seriously.

The first corollary: It is impossible to take certain positions so seriously that nobody thinks you are parodying the position.

Goblin Squad Member

Making the tools before the content just seems so right.

Epiphany: getting the escalations working first means you have a perfect way of adding new monsters to the game after EE. Where themeparks would have a to open a new region (or overnight replace existing wildlife), in PFO the new monsters will appear quietly in a wilderness hex and build up to take over the world from there.

Mbando wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:

@Mbando

One way or the other, we've invoked Poe's law again.

I can't tell if you're being serious or not.

LOL (or...um?)

Goblin Squad Member

I think the title "Rockin' up the Richter scale" would keep in line with the rock lyrics references in previous blogs.

Its great to see that GW is on the right track and also that they make tools that will make the small dev team able to work at a disproportionately high pace because, well, we don't want developer burnout.

It made me giggle imagining the ensuing horror if a designer happens to add an extra row in their spreadsheets by mistake and ending up making sword attacks heal or some other silliness :)

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I seem to recall arguing vehemently with an Andrew Richter (different avatar) on the forums here some time ago.

If my recollection is accurate, that stealthy avatar is very apropos (and suddenly I find myself worrying whether my propensity to argue might have backfired on me! AAAiiieeeee!!!!).

Goblin Squad Member

Mbando wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:

@Mbando

One way or the other, we've invoked Poe's law again.

I can't tell if you're being serious or not.

I almost spit coffee all over my monitor :)

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
I seem to recall arguing vehemently with an Andrew Richter (different avatar) on the forums here some time ago.

I think you might be thinking of Ricther Bones.

Goblin Squad Member

Andrew Richter wrote:
Thanks everyone, I'm glad you all enjoyed it!

Thank you, Andrew. However, I now have 5 different Goblinworks posters bookmarked so I can search their posts. Can we please reconsider a Dev Tracker?

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Andrew Richter wrote:
Thanks everyone, I'm glad you all enjoyed it!
Thank you, Andrew. However, I now have 5 different Goblinworks posters bookmarked so I can search their posts. Can we please reconsider a Dev Tracker?

Yes, please! Nihimon's an invaluable source of information, but a direct dev tracker would be great. Or is this something that won't happen until we have separate PFO forums?

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Being wrote:
I seem to recall arguing vehemently with an Andrew Richter (different avatar) on the forums here some time ago.
I think you might be thinking of Ricther Bones.

Whew!I believe you have the right of it as usual, Nihimon.

I really need to curb my tongue and let all the people I argue with incessantly over the slightest detail simply be wrong and have satisfaction knowing it is so.

heh

Goblin Squad Member

Very nice blog! xlsx format for storing data made me cringe a bit, though.

Nice to see you are on track with your goals :D

Goblin Squad Member

I think the storage is serverside in Unity: the .xlsx are like flexible batch files that feed changes into the master file.

So the designers get all the functionality of relatively mobile spreadsheets and it all feeds into the backend. Maybe from Starbucks down the road.

As much as I use spreadsheets it looks like a very desirable system.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

Aizom the Tiefling II wrote:
Because knowing is half the battle.

And killing people is the other half.

I hope they test the tool with weird entries, like extreme negative numbers and such, so they don't have to kludge in a fix later.

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nihimon wrote:
Andrew Richter wrote:
Thanks everyone, I'm glad you all enjoyed it!
Thank you, Andrew. However, I now have 5 different Goblinworks posters bookmarked so I can search their posts. Can we please reconsider a Dev Tracker?

I have my Feedly ('cause Google killed their Reader) tracking:

Lee Hammock - http://paizo.com/people/LeeHammock/posts&xml=atom
Lisa Stevens - http://paizo.com/people/LisaStevens/posts&xml=atom
Mark Kalmes - http://paizo.com/people/MarkKalmes/posts&xml=atom
Ryan Dancey - http://paizo.com/people/RyanDancey/posts&xml=atom
Stephen Cheney - http://paizo.com/people/StephenCheney/posts&xml=atom

Scarab Sages Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
One way or the other, we've invoked Poe's law again.

It's just a theory.

Goblin Squad Member

I can foresee this...

Developer: "Oops, I saved that Excel file with a zero in the HP column for Rogue. Let me correct that..."

Then all the Rogue characters in the world instantly die. ;-)

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
As much as I use spreadsheets it looks like a very desirable system.

Absolutely! The cringe was purely from a personal reason. I tried dealing with the format before I had the understanding of how to process data.

Goblin Squad Member

cipher_nemo wrote:

I can foresee this...

Developer: "Oops, I saved that Excel file with a zero in the HP column for Rogue. Let me correct that..."

Then all the Rogue characters in the world instantly die. ;-)

It would be difficult not to LOL forever at that :)

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

@Keovar

Hey, Thanks for those links! I've been meaning figure out how to do that for a while now and just haven't..., well, I just haven't. Appreciate the assist.

Community / Forums / Paizo / Licensed Products / Digital Games / Pathfinder Online / Goblinworks Blog: Programmed by Fellows with Compassion and Vision All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Online