How is the playtest going?

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darbycmcd
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How is the playtest going?

Postby darbycmcd » Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:32 pm

So I am assuming that the playtest is ongoing but off the forum.... how is it going? Any general impressions? How does the combat system work?

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby mwaschak » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:02 pm

Turn collection has been challenging and I can't quite figure out if it is a RL issue or trouble with the 2e format.

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby darbycmcd » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:39 am

So people aren't turning in their turns? But that is good information to figure out, if there is a problem with the forms, it is a good time to find out. I do think it is really helpful to have the game sheets set up for download when the game goes commercial. But still, it seems a pity if the play-test has stalled out so soon. How many turns have you gotten done in total?

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby darbycmcd » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:45 am

I just saw in the General thread that you are working through the playtest(s) at a fevered pitch, that is great to hear! I am hopeful for this project. Can you give an outline of where the tests are, any issues that might have come up, surprises, that sort of thing?

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby Emiricol » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:02 am

Hi, just realized I hadn't checked in when I got back online. I lost internet for quite a while, phone included. I've been back on for a couple weeks maybe. I assume my little empire got removed from play. It sucks, but there wasn't anything to do for it.

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby mwaschak » Thu Aug 29, 2013 2:30 pm

Emiricol wrote:Hi, just realized I hadn't checked in when I got back online. I lost internet for quite a while, phone included. I've been back on for a couple weeks maybe. I assume my little empire got removed from play. It sucks, but there wasn't anything to do for it.


Oh yeah. While we learned a lot I think my GS setting was the biggest problem. Players didn't seem to like the senate and wanted a more traditional 4x. I couldn't keep anyone interested.

-Jay

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby OneMadOgre » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:20 pm

I'm more inclined to think that we needed a better way to make sure we got our turns in. The two week cycle meant I was always not thinking about it. For a play test, I might suggest we go nightly and just suffer that sometimes we'll miss. We are play testing after all. :)

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby darbycmcd » Sun Sep 01, 2013 6:02 am

So then what? Is this project dead, or are you going to roll with no public playtest, or are you going to start a new one or ????? Of course I totally understand that you are under no obligation to tell us anything, but I don't really understand the lack of communication here. There was a playtest, it ended but no one said anything. Tyrel is MIA. No updates. Ok, this is not your day job, understood. But isn't it kind of fun to have the community of people here that want to play your game? Give us something. Or say it is dead. I mean there is virtually no activity on this board. Is this the way you want to treat your (potential) customers? It is just sort of strange to me that this is the way this company is rolling right now. A monthly update takes all of 15 minutes.

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby mwaschak » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:56 pm

darbycmcd wrote:So then what? Is this project dead, or are you going to roll with no public playtest, or are you going to start a new one or ????? Of course I totally understand that you are under no obligation to tell us anything, but I don't really understand the lack of communication here. There was a playtest, it ended but no one said anything. Tyrel is MIA. No updates. Ok, this is not your day job, understood. But isn't it kind of fun to have the community of people here that want to play your game? Give us something. Or say it is dead. I mean there is virtually no activity on this board. Is this the way you want to treat your (potential) customers? It is just sort of strange to me that this is the way this company is rolling right now. A monthly update takes all of 15 minutes.



I am sorry to cause any frustration with this. Tyrel and I are spending a great deal of time, hours just in the last week even, going over details for the next round of changes. I guess at this level of detail it didn't occur to me do any write ups. We can do that, but I didn't think there wouldn't be any interest since we are through the exciting developments like tech and combat. There are only small, but extremely time consuming things changing now.

We want 2e to be right. We already have a campaign system out there, which we feel is pretty good and almost ten years old now. So if we are going to make you shell out any more cash it had better be an improvement. There are so many games out there in the market that we don't need another "ok" or even "good" game. It needs to be not only worth your money, but worth your time to play.

FA was close to this for me and why each change I have to make after that playtesting was done was so frustrating.

Tyrel and I are pretty good at running playtest campaigns that emulate a game with 4 to 6 players. This is why I pushed for the larger setting with GS as it is something that only a large group could accomplish.

-Jay

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby darbycmcd » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:55 am

That was very nice to hear! See, just posting something like that every 2 weeks or a month would be very nice. I don't think it was excessively time-consuming, and it makes a very very very big difference to see that there are some signs of life. It could be worse than me harrassing you for info.... it could just be silent here ;)

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby mwaschak » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:26 pm

It is going well. I have personally been having a lot of conversations with Charlie about how to recover some of these abandoned projects which were completed on our end, but never followed through with the partner company. This is obviously not an easy thing to suss out.

-Jay

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby PaulB » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:27 pm

Will any of the advancements made in FA translate to 2E? Like the border campaign, and so forth?

I haven't played Federation Commander in quite a while, but the fact that book never came out is still a huge disappointment for me as a player. I can only guess how you, the artist behind the book, feels about it.

Hopefully my arguments with SCole on those forums didn't contribute to his apparent lack of interest in the project.

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby mwaschak » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:38 pm

PaulB wrote:Will any of the advancements made in FA translate to 2E? Like the border campaign, and so forth?

I haven't played Federation Commander in quite a while, but the fact that book never came out is still a huge disappointment for me as a player. I can only guess how you, the artist behind the book, feels about it.


Yeah, that is one of my 2e projects. As I saw in GS if there isn't interest in the setting the audience just won't want to play it. I have been told most players want to build their own setting. And hey, that is great! It just presents a challenge when pairing random major and minor objectives with a ship construction and tech system. So far the most successful campaign was the 2 year long Wing Commander game with 8 players.

Tyrel and I talked about our own tactical system where we would own the material, the sources, and not depend on other companies who could pull the rug out from under us. But there are so many good ones on the market today. I suppose if I went that route I would build something at a fleet scale since that would fit VBAM campaigns a bit better.

I haven't played FC in a long time either. In hindsight I would have built something much simpler for FA without the objectives and local campaign rules (since this has been the vast majority of the issues I have run in to) and saved all that for 2e.

PaulB wrote:Hopefully my arguments with SCole on those forums didn't contribute to his apparent lack of interest in the project.


I honestly don't think it hurt anything either. I sent that original manuscript back in early 2008. This is one of the projects Charlie and I were looking to salvage in some sense. We get in to the issue that there is a lot more interest in the SFU setting than any of ours and most of the FA rules depend heavily on an attached tactical system or setting.

-Jay

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby PaulB » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:39 pm

mwaschak wrote:Yeah, that is one of my 2e projects. As I saw in GS if there isn't interest in the setting the audience just won't want to play it. I have been told most players want to build their own setting. And hey, that is great! It just presents a challenge when pairing random major and minor objectives with a ship construction and tech system. So far the most successful campaign was the 2 year long Wing Commander game with 8 players.


Well, the strength of VBAM is its flexibility. This allows people to adapt it to their current game, run a generic vanilla exploration and conquest game, or plug in one of the provided settings. The people involved in creating these settings, such as yourself, Tyrel or Charlie can probably gauge interest by how much any given book sells. Personally I haven't played the game much at all, but I still enjoyed picking up and reading the setting books and I'm sure for some other players this would be the case as well.

I'm not sure what difficulties there are exactly, but one approach might be to provide different modules that can be plugged into the rules. These modules might help facilitate different types of gameplay. VBAM is built upon the Babylon 5 universe for example, as I believe it was originally intended to work in conjunction with Babylon 5 Wars. So the map layout is in the style of B5 in that it uses jump lane format.

But another module might be introduced to emulate the warp style movement.

Or the lightspeed style movement.

Similarily some modules might be introduced to facilitate different cultural elements. Like different political systems or relationships. What's the difference between first contact diplomacy and broken empire diplomacy? Or different states within a confederation or union of states? Or maybe there are just rules for setting up different political systems for example.

mwaschak wrote:Tyrel and I talked about our own tactical system where we would own the material, the sources, and not depend on other companies who could pull the rug out from under us. But there are so many good ones on the market today. I suppose if I went that route I would build something at a fleet scale since that would fit VBAM campaigns a bit better.


Well, to be blunt "there are so many good ones" is not a reason not to try.
For example I'm currently reading a book on Video Game design. Most of it is about the video game process, but other elements do apply to both other sorts of games and other sorts of mediums.

In the medium of video games, there are huge companies developing games for hundreds of millions of dollars, yet in this space there are still smaller independent games which can find their niche and still garner a lot of income.

The book says that they do this not by trying to emulate an existing successful game, but rather trying to do one or two things well that no one else is doing. If you can provide an experience that a person can't get anywhere else, then you can get an audience for it. But if the game is just an inferior version of an existing game then there's not much reason for people to play it (besides perhaps a budget price point, or the setting).

But for example, the fact that your tactical system would tie into VBAM seamlessly is already something that it could do better than any other game. Further not many systems are very adaptable, and I find that most of those that are tend to be either too complicated or too simple.

But for me I've often had a similar experience. As an artist I look at what other people have done, and think well they're already creating art that is so great, why bother trying because I'll never be as good? Same goes for writing, or animation, or creating wargames or video games, etcetera. I myself even dabbled very briefly with the idea of creating a starship tactical system as well but I ran into some early hurdles and threw it on the backburner along with another dozen projects. :)

I will say that for me as a player, I tend to prefer campaigns to be a backbone for a tactical rather than the game itself. Also I think VBAM could benefit from a little bit of computerization. This would help facilitate online play much more. Like if there were simple tools for GMs and players to create and process turns and to track unit costs and so forth. Though it would of course depend upon someone with the computer skills to create it. And there's maybe not much point doing it until the rules are finalized.

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Re: How is the playtest going?

Postby OneMadOgre » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:32 pm

Also I think VBAM could benefit from a little bit of computerization. This would help facilitate online play much more. Like if there were simple tools for GMs and players to create and process turns and to track unit costs and so forth. Though it would of course depend upon someone with the computer skills to create it. And there's maybe not much point doing it until the rules are finalized.


I'm patiently waiting. :)


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