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Open Beta Discussion  » Island Forge (FREE Beta, indie MMORPG)

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72 posts found
  Reizla

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/09/08
Posts: 2891

MMORPGs are no longer about the mass multi-user anymore *sadly*

11/15/11 8:50:33 AM#21
Originally posted by Nyhm

Nov 15 starts with a bang! (Actually, more of a crash.) My personal apologies to anyone who experienced the crash on startup this morning. A new version has been released, which fixes the problem.

Don't feel ashamed of the crash. Most AAA-publishers have trouble getting a clear launch. Just look at DCUO going F2P earlier this month ;-)

GL on the beta!

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  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  11/15/11 9:11:48 AM#22

Thanks for your support, Reizla. Buggy software really bothers me, so I try to make mine as stable as I can. When there is a problem, I like to be open and professional about it.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  11/16/11 10:18:07 AM#23
Originally posted by Nyhm

Help us out by playing Nov 15, 2011

Thanks to those who stopped by yesterday - site traffic at islandforge.com was our second-highest ever, and several new players registered!

Beta is still ongoing. Next, try out the built-in editor, allowing you to create and publish your own islands and stories to the world. As always, community feedback is welcome.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  DashiDMV

Novice Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 322

12/11/11 3:25:27 AM#24

Lets see been playing a couple days most doing gatehouse runs. Here is some of what I found positive and negative.

 

I like the exploring idea, I like the danger of not knowing what you have face next. For those who play, you get bonuses if you explore more of the island.

What I do not like whatsoever is when I just explored an island for 45 mins having to go back and try my luck getting the materials I need. No, no, 1000 times no. In real life would you take something to a store and say "Here's my money make whatever you want even if I don't need it". I don't want to waste my time clearing things just to be at the mercy of a RNG. Add a selection menu for finished products and that should take care of itself. It's already 3xp to make a weapon if you get everything you need first time, don't add more effort on the playerside because you are too lazy to add some code in.  

I don't know how to feel about hp=xp. One one hand it does have a little bit of strategy because you can set what hp you want to be at before you explore. I make it so I am at 99 hp(100 would mean it gets converted into xp) so then I can clear an island 100% and get more rewards. On the other hand I don't remember any old school RPGs that had a system like this in place. It's not terrible but adding a more standard xp/hp system would hurt either. Nothing gamebraking though.

 

When you explore islands(So far from what I have seen) there is really no added incentive besides finding monsters to kill. How cool would it be if you found a treasure, an extra crafting item or a cave in a secluded area. I mean half the fun of exploring is the hope you actually find something.

 

Overall I like the game and if you think of islands as dungeons, it's a but of an old school crawl. Either you make it out with treasure or you die and lose it all. If you get to greedy it will be the end. I like that part of it, but still a lot of work to go. As for paying for this, that is where it will get tricky. You will have some die hards and supporters that will chip in, but as far as a regulart player or a player ona limited budget, not sure. Maybe a Runescape type model would fit this best. Free and 5 dollars for some extra things like more islands that you can create, more char slots, and a couple free items a month. If the devs expect 10-15 a month for this at it's current state, they might be hardpressed to find that. Still overall I think it is going in a positive direction.

 

Also an on/off feature wouldn't hurt. When I want to FIGHT I will click a guy and attack. When I want to RUN I click an open space towards the gatehouse. That means I don't need my guy turning around every 2 seconds to attack. Sometimes I have to run with 20 HP left and it's still not good enough.

 

 

 

 

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  12/11/11 11:38:27 AM#25

DashiDMV, thank you so much for providing this feedback. We are (I am) very open to constructive feedback like this. I'll be taking note of all your comments, and considering how to improve the gameplay. Here are some of my thoughts:

The hp=xp model is the brand-new part. It's a design aspect that I think is unique to Island Forge. Thank you for describing your thoughts on it.

Regarding your request to find treasure while exploring... there is actually just such a feature (with an interesting twist) scheduled for a post-beta release. Forgive the project management talk, but maybe if enough people felt this would be critical to the success of the game, it could find its way into beta.

When trying to run away, enemies can hit you, which blocks your path (ala Dragon Warrior). I was once down to -99hp (dead in one hit) and barely escaped by casting Hinder (to slow down the enemies). That's the goal of the game design, but again, you are very insightful. I considered a Fight vs Flight switch, much as you described. However, at least for now (beta), players must be attentive to their avatar when trying to escape.

Regarding the random output when processing raw materials -- I understand your point. I have considered what you've said, and am planning to improve this feature of the gameplay. Just for the record, when it comes to code, I'm anything but lazy.

Thanks again - this is what beta is all about.

Also be sure to try the island builder: Create your own islands and stories for others to explore!

http://islandforge.com

PS: On a personal note, I'm also a fan of CCGs and board games (and I've just subscribed to your blog's feed). The game design of Island Forge is influenced by both genres in various ways. I think board/card gamers will appreciate the style of gameplay Island Forge offers.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  12/12/11 3:40:14 PM#26

FYI: I've put out a new version (Island Forge Beta v0.9.6.6) with economic adjustments inspired by DashiDMV's comments above. The new economic balance is not directly what you suggested, but does make raw resource processing free (no XP cost). For details, see the Economic Balance topic in the player forum: http://islandforge.com/forum/

Thanks for the input! Constructive community feedback is most welcome.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Kazuhiro

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/03/07
Posts: 374

12/15/11 12:47:55 PM#27

I gave this a try I think almost a month ago. Spent a solid 48 hours making a crazy detailed island, then went to add a good storyline.

Sadly the game currently makes doing so impossible. You can't place monsters, you can't make complicated quests, you can't add any real life to the story beyond what you can add via a few lines of text.

It's a brilliant idea, and I really hope it reaches a state where you can make a working rp inside it, but it's not there yet.

This isn't to say it's crap, just a fair warning in what to expect if you want to try it currently.

PS: Please note I said I tried it under a month ago, so things may have improved a bit here and there.

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  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  12/15/11 1:03:32 PM#28

Kazuhiro, thanks for your feedback. I appreciate you taking the time to report your thoughts on the game.

Regarding story creation, you can actually do much more than add a few lines of text. Each actor can be given a full dialogue tree, with multiple choices for the player to select. Each choice can branch to other text. In addition, you can set tasks, which also allow you to control your dialogue.

For instance, you can have an NPC (actor) request the player to talk to someone else or go to a certain location. Whether they have accomplished that task can change the dialogue. You can assign tasks with an icon that the player sees (such as a Key labeled "Find the lost key"), or assign "hidden" tasks, which allow you to keep track of progress through the story.

All your actors are "aware" of these tasks, allowing the entire island's population to be scripted to tell a dynamic, interactive story.

You cannot place monsters because creature encounters are controlled by the game logic, per the layout/terrain of your map. That said, this is a good feature to bring up. Do you (and others) think that creature placement would be an important feature?

By the way, even if you never finished your story, please consider logging in to publish your map. Even non-story islands are very fun to explore and clear!

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Stizzled

Gumshoe

Joined: 9/13/07
Posts: 908

Kill Your Heroes

12/15/11 1:08:54 PM#29

Making use of Reiner's Tilesets I see. Great place to get decent 2D graphics, all for free. Good luck with your game, I may give it a shot if I ever get some free time.

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  12/15/11 1:21:20 PM#30
Originally posted by Unreal024

Making use of Reiner's Tilesets I see. Great place to get decent 2D graphics, all for free. Good luck with your game, I may give it a shot if I ever get some free time.

Indeed! You're the first to notice (and say so). We're a really small operation (you're talking to him), and I was able to license some of the graphics from a couple sources (as credited in the game). I'm not an artist, and I put a lot of time and effort into customizing and integrating them. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think!

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  username509

Novice Member

Joined: 3/22/10
Posts: 669

12/20/11 12:01:31 AM#31

First storybricks, then Islands of war, now this!

We don't even know if this type of game will be successful yet, and there's already 3 companies making the same thing!

Never trust a screenshot or a youtube video without a version stamp!

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  12/20/11 8:43:11 AM#32
Originally posted by username509

First storybricks, then Islands of war, now this!

We don't even know if this type of game will be successful yet, and there's already 3 companies making the same thing!

That's the excitement of an emerging genre. Island Forge is very different from these other games.

Island Forge is fully playable (now in beta), and we're looking for more island creators and storytellers (as well as adventurers to explore the world).

We're a tiny operation (me), and I've been working on this for quite a while. I've always wanted to provide creative players with the tools for building maps and stories. That's what Island Forge is all about!

Island Forge provides a unique balance of brand-new player-created content and old-school RPG. Have at it!

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Vryheid

Novice Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 471

12/21/11 1:44:16 AM#33

I'm gonna be honest- progression in this game feels like I'm a rat on a treadmill, endlessly hacking away for some trivial reward rather than roleplaying an adventurer on an epic adventure. I think the main problems with the game are how much work it is just to do the most basic tasks and how agonizingly repetitive the gameplay is.


When I started playing I was pretty confused as to what the heck I aught to be doing, as there was next nothing in the way of a tutorial and the icons used for menus are ridiculously small and unintuitive. After getting my bearings I decided to try to get a set of gear, only to discover that there's no such thing as "shops" or "currency" in this game despite several buildings being misleadingly labeled as such. I was determined to get an axe, as I had set my character build to specialize in them and I did not want to eternally stick with the set of default clothing. But before that, I wanted to try my hand at killing a few monsters.


Combat in this game is simply a matter of moving a few squares in the fog of war until the inevitable mob of monsters bumrushes you, then waiting around for a minute or two until your character slowly whacks them all to death. Repeat this about 20 or 30 times, either until your "health" bar looks like it's about to run out or you've seen the whole map. There seems to be maybe four different mobs in this entire game (with some graphical variations at higher difficulties), all of which do nothing but melee you, so I don't understand how there's supposed to be any strategy here.


In fact, the most complicated thing about this game is the damage formula- it's based on so many bizarre formulas and convoluted statistics that I still only have a vague idea what any of the stats actually DO in this game. Not that it really matters, since you don't have any real options (other than weapon type) for what equipment you get to wear. If you're still determined to get gear like I was, my experimentation showed that armor, shields and weapons tend to provide a significant boost against monsters, while the rest of the equipment was basically useless.


As I stated earlier, to get that axe I wanted it's not simply enough to kill a few monsters, get some gold and buy one in the shop. Instead, you have to collect random materials from monsters which in turn you transform into random production items. I spent ages hunting down the random materials I needed for the production item metal, which of course never showed up until after I had burned through the raw materials from at least four adventures.


During my adventuring, I quickly discovered that the health bar isn't like any other MMO- the minimum health actually goes BELOW 0, to a minimum of -100 before you get killed. The max health is 99, but if you go over that your health bar resets and you go back to 0 again (this is how you get experience points). This means it's important to trade in mats to the healer before any adventure to get this health to go up but not QUITE hit 100 health, otherwise the health disadvantage means you will inevitably get killed trying to explore the entire map. This strategy feels absolutely ridiculous in practice and means players will have less materials for crafting, which defeats the purpose of adventuring in the first place.


When I finally WAS able to craft a piece of metal I quickly went to the weapon shop and was ready to combine it with a piece of wood, only to discover that I needed to use up one of my valuable experience points as well. That's right, the same experience points needed to level up (they are NOT easy to get in this game) are used to make items. I grudgingly said goodbye to character progression in the name of semi-useless gear. But, since I had already decided that at least not running around naked was better than an arbitrary stat boost, I was satisfied with burning XP on basic equipment.


Now I consider myself a patient gamer, but trying to get one simple set of gear REALLY tried my patience. The twentieth time you've inched your way through the same map against the same monsters you start to not look at it with excitement anymore, but with a growing sense of loathing and annoyance. The fact that we have to do this to get ANYWHERE in this game particularly struck me. Do you really think it's too much to ask to have our starting characters do something other than run around in burlap sacks slapping monsters to death? You're telling me we have to spend countless hours grinding against the same monsters over and over again just to get beyond THAT?


The nail in the coffin for me was when I finally finished my set of gear, and I decided to level up. I saved up the 8 XP after more grinding and went to the training center. I got my stat bonus, and I walked out again ready to smash some more monsters... only to discover that ALL THE MONSTERS HAD LEVELED UP WITH ME. Gameplay wise, nothing had changed, except now all my gear does less damage and gives less protection. Meaning I have to do all that grinding all over again just to get back to the point I was beforehand.


As far as I can tell, leveling up in this game is completely useless, and the game does absolutely nothing to indicate this until after the fact. My growing frustration with the game honestly turned to anger at this point. There is something fundamentally wrong with dangling a carrot in front of a player for days on end just to snatch it away when they finally reach that stepping stone of accomplishment.


I can't bring myself to play this game again. I really can't. Sure, there are other maps available, but they do nothing to fix the fundamental flaws in the UI and gameplay. Regardless, here are some relatively simple suggestions I have to make the game at least playable, if not particularly coherent:


1. Replace the buggy, antiquated point and click movement system with arrow based controls

2. Make the movement and attack speed of characters something like twice as fast as it is now

3. Make the equipment menus actually close when you click elsewhere on the screen

4. Give mapmakers the option to add more than one of each building type

5. Give us some materials and extra XP to start out with so we can actually TRY OUT THE CRAFTING SYSTEM before collecting all these mats we don't know what to do with

6. Permanently set the level of novice monsters to 1, average monsters to 2, and expert monsters to 3.


I don't think ANY of this is too much to ask. It doesn't even involve changing the fundamental game mechanics or adding new content, just making player interaction a whole lot less painful. Especially that movement control bit. Seriously, the pathfinding is ridiculously wonky, and I can't make my character run away from monsters without him tripping over his feet every three steps.

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  12/21/11 11:18:13 AM#34

Vryheid, while it's clear you're not an immediate fan, I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to detail the reasons why. This is what's great about participating in a small independent game's community. We are open to contructive criticism. Your post is a bit of a rant, but I appreciate that you're passionate and articulate in your feedback. The fact that you became so involved in the gameplay means a lot to us.

There are those who do like the style of the gameplay, but I understand that we're catering to a niche audience, in terms of the style and features. The game world is very open and requires some self-direction. I'm not sure when you played, but the Mainland now features NPCs that assist in guiding new players.

There is no currency as such. Instead, your character must earn XP and craft all items. The combined HP/XP system is unique, and ties experience to heath and items. Equipment is made of crafting materials that you earn on expeditions, along with the character's blood, sweat, and tears (HP/XP). This is an intentional departure from the traditional economic model, and another good reason people like to get involved with independent games. (Note that the economy was recently rebalanced to make crafting easier/cheaper.)

Overall, the game deisgn is intentionally less about character leveling and more about exploration. You are correct that weapons and armor help fight enemies, and the other items (enchnated rings, amulets, charms, gloves, belts, boots, spells, potions, etc) are auxiliary items that boost your ability. For those not into the old-school character system, more stuff generally equals better performance. The Player's Guide explains the numbers for those who really want to tweak out their character.

As you level up, you can wield a larger variety of equipment, to achieve the balance you desire. I understand this is not immediately intuitive, but the balance is there - your higher level gives you more (numerical) range to equip your character. Your "old gear" will actually perform even better when you level up (to a point). Similarly, I agree that when the creatures level up, it seems like you didn't gain anything. Similar to the weapons - the balance is there, but it is not intuitive.

The early game is slow, and I think you're right about either giving new players items to start with, or making the Mainland especially easy just to get started. Once you get over the initial buildup (which, as you discovered, requires you to spend most all of your earnings on healing), you can start to earn items. This is another old-school design balance that many of today's MMO players don't seem to appreciate or have the patience for. Thanks for expressing your experience of the early game. We're open to suggestions to streamline the early game - frustration is not the intent, and we'd hate to lose people just because they didn't immediately "get it."

Regarding technical issues walking around - I'm not sure when you tested this, but there was a Windows navigation bug, which was fixed recently. Thanks for providing your 6-points of improvement, as well. I will be reviewing all of this during beta to help improve the game.

We're hoping to build an intimate community of creative players and I hope you'll continue to be involved as we improve.

Overall, thanks for your input - this is what beta is all about!

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  1/20/12 9:24:56 AM#35

Island Forge Beta 2 is released! This update includes significant gameplay improvements, largely based on community input (our thanks to the beta players).

We're excited to welcome new players. Island Forge is more playable than ever (more intuitive interfaces, more help, quicker path to craft weaponry and level up, rebalanced weaponry and creatures). Even if you tried it before, please let us know how you like the updates.

Island Forge is all about your creativity: Create islands and stories for others to explore!

http://islandforge.com

 

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  anthonyman6

Novice Member

Joined: 12/29/08
Posts: 75

1/20/12 9:30:39 AM#36
Originally posted by Nyhm

Island Forge Beta 2 is released! This update includes significant gameplay improvements, largely based on community input (our thanks to the beta players).

We're excited to welcome new players. Island Forge is more playable than ever (more intuitive interfaces, more help, quicker path to craft weaponry and level up, rebalanced weaponry and creatures). Even if you tried it before, please let us know how you like the updates.

Island Forge is all about your creativity: Create islands and stories for others to explore!

http://islandforge.com

 

 

Currently at work, but I'm going to give this a go when I get home! Looks awesome!

Waiting for: GW2, Planetside 2, The Secret World, ArcheAge.

Playing currently: RIFT, Guild Wars, Vanguard, Tribes, DAoC

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  1/20/12 9:53:14 AM#37


Originally posted by anthonyman6

Currently at work, but I'm going to give this a go when I get home! Looks awesome!


Thanks anthonyman6! We're a small operation (me), and we're very appreciative of comments and compliments. I hope to see you in-game sometime.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  2/13/12 11:31:32 AM#38

Update on Island Forge: Beta v0.9.8 released today with new feature: Exploration Medals of Achievement (read more in the player forums).

Many interface, balance, and gameplay improvements have been released already this year. Several folks from the mmorpg.com community have provided really constructive feedback (here and on our forums), and many of the latest updates are a direct result - We really appreciate your input!

We're very excited to have hundreds of registered players, and we're ready for hundreds more. Even if you've played before, you should check out all the recent changes. As always, your feedback is most welcome!

islandforge.com

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  2/27/12 9:13:05 AM#39

The Island Forge site ( islandforge.com ) is improved, and a new site feature has been added:  the Atlas page shows a gallery of player-created islands.

Today I'd like to ask the mmorpg.com community for feedback regarding the site itself. Is it effective/enticing/tolerable? When you visit, do you feel you understand what the game is about? Do you want to play?

Thanks for any input (either here or on our player forums) - I've appreciated this community's responsiveness.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

 
OP  3/06/12 9:15:39 AM#40

We're looking for more (beta) players to try Island Forge (create your own islands and stories).

Can anyone here recommend other forums with users who might enjoy games based on player-created content? Thanks for any recommendations!

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

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