Golden Xan

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Hey everyone,

Excuse me if this isn't the proper forum category to post this, I thought it would be the most fitting.
I've re-watched the stream twice now to see if I picked up everything properly and there are a few general things I'd like to comment on. Also, I'll be replying to Denis that asked for feedback on specific topics, particularly so on some of the questions I brought up.



If my feedback pertains to any specific point of the stream, I will refer to it.

General feedback

1. Seems like it would be a good idea to give Iain a headphone for him to listen to the game during the stream. Blood Omen is amazing in great part due to the narration, it is a shame that he's missing it. :)

2. Also, let's try and be patient with Iain. Blood Omen is indeed an old game now and he is simply used to the mechanics and controls of today's games. Older games had different kinds of concepts to get acquainted with. He's doing pretty well, actually. ^^

3. At 41:20 - Denis actually had mentioned the Vista Pro in another stream, but every time he retells a story he remembers a new detail about it that I personally find interesting. I'm guessing others might feel the same.

4. At 1:54:47 - You actually get the "Whelp" classification for the majority of the game. The amount of secrets you find are directly related to the rank you get. So you'd need to find a lot of secrets and kill a much higher amount of units to rank higher, it's not that you're actually doing poorly, @Iain Stenhouse. Just the way the game classifies players.

Feedback on specific topics

1. At 0:25 - This is personal opinion on my part, but I think either pacing, fast or slow, can work. Ultimately, I believe a slower-paced combat feels more impactful because of how you can appreciate your character's power and movements and its manifestations in the world.

2. At 2:20 - On showcasing more narrative in the game, demonstrating how story fits in with a multiplayer game: that's great. I understood that the game was in an early stage of development, so these kinds of things hadn't been implemented yet, but it's good to know that we might be seeing how story will feel like soon. I'm wondering about dialogue options and conversations, whether this is going to be an RPG game in that sense as well.

3. At 4:35 - On the subject of True Death, this is my understanding: Actual death in your gameplay terms is when you "lose the match". That seems to happen when all of your health statuses, Vitality, Magick and Essence, are completely consumed. If you get to True Death, you just lose the mission and have to start over. If you lose one of your statuses, it will likely simply force you into another plane of existence, just like Raziel would go from the material world to the ethereal world in Soul Reaver if he got hurt. That won't cause a loss, it will only require you to stay in that other state until you recover, somehow.

The way I'm imagining it is that most undead will live in the material world. Once their Vitality is consumed, they get to the Magickal world in a sort of ethereal form. If they die in the Magickal world, they get transformed into, condensed into, or are recalled to an object/artifact. While in that artifact state, you cannot interact with the world in the same way and you may depend on other players to recover yourself (such as having them carry you and help you collect enough essence to recover, perhaps?).
And if you don't play with others, if you're solo, you may simply stand still in your artifact and use powers to influence the world, possibly even casting spells or possessing people, to try and regain your control and get back to the Magickal and eventually the Material realm.
Is this basically how it works?

4. At 5:08 - There's always people who are willing to challenge themselves and get their names in the annals of history as overachievers. Hardcore mode is something some of us suggested before and I think you should consider implementing this into the game. The difficulty of it itself will depend on how complicated it is to achieve True Death and the actual capabilities of our enemies, but it will definitely draw a share of the population who is into that stuff.
Additionally, you should make sure that playing Hardcore is rewarding, such as gaining items and cosmetics that allows a player to showcase his achievements on any character, hardcore or not, once conquered.
Hardcore is often not my thing, but on the games I did decide to play Hardcore, they were actually pretty enticing to do so (and rewarding). Those were mostly Dead Space 1, 2 and 3.

5. At 8:50 - The combat mechanics, when they get fully crafted, will be something that I'll enjoy discussing with you people a lot. For now, there is not much to go on as it is in such an early stage, but I am truly hoping for an expansive system that allows us to choose how do deliver our strikes outside a limited moveset. Instead of commenting further, I'll just say that I'll be closely watching its development.

6. At 19:34 - There's always gonna be people inclined to seeing one class or another. I'm excited to know all of them. However, I think it is best for you guys to focus on whatever it is that you feel is time to create at any particular point. But, if that's not important or if you can work on any class first, then it would be a good idea to open it up for voting. :)

7. At 1:13:05 - On the idea of being able to choose how you died, here's something to think about: Some games, such as the first Dragon Age, allow you to pick one from a selection of backgrounds depending on your race. Each backstory provides a different prologue to the game, that ends up converging to the actual first mission of the game, which is the same for everyone else.
The problem with this is that if you want everyone to have a unique story you can't do that, unless you find an interesting way to make procedural generation create new experiences every time.
The second issue with procedural generation on this is... what if the story/missions generated are boring, too difficult, or any other combination of complicated? You'll be condemning the player to have that beginning unless he wanted to delete his character and start over, which is simply not a cool thing to do.

I think that you need to find something that allows a player to pick elements of his background, but ultimately have most of it either obscured (as in undefined), unrelated, or predefined.

Another option is to have all characters be a part of the same event in the world's history. For instance, let's say all players were in a mass grave, and they were all risen from that grave by a specific powerful individual of the main story. That way, everyone is free to have their own personalities without having to create an entire system just to explain how they came to be undead. It would still allow you to pick elements of your former life, but they wouldn't necessarily need to be shown in the narrative, they would only serve as customization, altering attributes and things like that.

Feedback on specific questions

1. At 14:35 - This question was very similar to one I made on Discord. It seems that Denis already duly recognizes the potential of enemy AI that learns from the players. Let me just add to that: Deadhaus is already breaking barriers in many aspects. One of the things that most games haven't been able to overcome lately is precisely enemy behavior. To an experienced individual, it is possible to often imaginarily see what the enemy is thinking and react to it. Very few games have enemy AI that surprises people. One such game was the first F.E.A.R.

When I think of smart enemy AI, I don't mean an AI that collects billions of information about all players' actions and changes their ways to fight against them (though that does have its value). What I actually mean is an AI that feels alive. Enemies reacting to your strategy. Trying to flank you if you are in a defensive position, or trying to tire you if you are spending too much time running from one unit to another, or protecting themselves and avoiding open areas if you are in an advantageous position casting area spells.

And, together with that, you make an association with difficulty settings, if they are present. For instance, instead of making easy mode easier by having weakened enemies or making you cause more damage, you make it easier by having enemies be less adaptive to your playstyle. And on higher difficulties, you don't make it hard by just sheer amount of enemies or having them stronger than usual, but by making them play like a more experienced foe, like an actual human were giving them commands.

If you guys can do that in a meaningful way, this will be one of the many reasons why DHS introduces a new golden era in gaming. People will feel it, and will be positively surprised.

2. At 25:20 - My question was mostly because I actually dislike not having access to older content in MMO games. The example I gave was World of Warcraft. If you play the game as it was on release, it's one thing. After an expansion is released, many quests are removed, locations are changed, weapons and features get changed or substituted for something else, and as a newer player you'll never be able to experience what the game was like before.

I asked this question because I think that's a shame, especially if older contents provide incredible experiences. There are people that, due to real life circumstances, won't be able to play the game in a certain period of their lives and it would be a shame if they were to miss a story event that happened in one of the Ages they couldn't participate, for example.
I understand not being able to change the events in previous Ages, or influence them, but it would be interesting if there were mechanics for newer players to be able to play through what older players had the chance to play. Some of the community members, including myself, had some quick discussions about how that could work in the ask-a-dev Discord text channel, if you want that as reference.

I believe this is something very worth considering. I don't like the idea of being unable to play a content (or Age) forever because of circumstances outside my control, I believe others might feel the same.

3. At 35:46 - I meant trivia indeed, actually, which is essentially the same. But the answer was what we all positively expected to hear: that the rivalries will be meaningful. I hope that means there will be combat between the undead themselves.

4. At 43:35 - Yeah, maybe like this one:

Screenshot_2.jpg
To be clear, I was just kidding. We don't need a werepenguin. :p

5. At 46:12 - I have a specific question about this, which I posted on Discord. For reference:
If the game is instance-based and levels are procedurally generated, how could other players potentially find locations that players in older Ages went through?
Following the example in the third stream, if a Liche kills everyone in a village and raises them as zombies, wouldn't he be doing that in a procedurally generated level that no one else could find? If so, how would that particular exploit be shown to others? Would it have to be manually picked by the devs and transformed into an actual mission or location for others to find?

6. At 49:06 - This was mostly wondering whether you had plans to use the skinning and Modulate together with anything else. I'm happy to see that Denis more than recognizes the potential of good text-to-speech, but I will not hold my breath on that feature. If anything, seems like something that won't be happening for a long time and there are indeed other priorities. But I've seen how people got excited in the Twitch chat about the idea of having modulated narration on their RPG games, so I know this is something to keep in mind for the future.

The question I had about captions was rather whether the subtitles will also include descriptions of sound-producing events near your character, in the way Half-Life 2 did. That's mostly for people who are deaf.

7. At 55:28 - This was a serious question, but not carried of any expectation. I wondered what sort of stories and motivations the undead may have, and how they would resonate with us. Romance is but one of those motivations, albeit a very strong one. I just wondered whether everything would have to do with self-loathing and anger on Deadhaus, or there would be enough interesting varieties.
It is not necessary to have romance in the dark world of Deadhaus, but Denis said everything: if they do it, it will be done in a tasteful manner. And yes, love and Vampires do seem to match well.

8. At 1:04:37 - I think you should make it clear in the Store page that the weapons and armors are merely cosmetic items. Currently, it can be interpreted as actual items that you get to use in-game, with their own benefits.

9. At 1:18:26 - My question was not actually about animations, but about proportion. For instance, if Gigahaus turns out to be the next House developed, how will you make a giant that is 200 meters high fight against a human-sized Vampire that can barely look up well enough to see his face?

In most MMOs, animations and their synchronization with what is happening are very simplistic. One character waves his weapon in the air, the other pretends to get hit. If you fight against an enormous beast, it will pretend to hit you, and your character will pretend to get hit while sitting in place, when in reality a gigantic beast would throw you to the other side of town, or straight up smash you on the ground.
How will this be approached in Deadhaus Sonata?

10. At 1:13:17 - My question was more about whether there would be small objects in the scenery that become a part of the world and react to what's happening. For instance, if you blow someone up, whether their gibs will hit the walls, fall rolling, and then be able to be kicked around as you hit them with your feet when walking. Or any other number of possibilites involving fragments of objects and structures. Of course, having clothing and hair moving dynamically is important for realism, and that is also part of the question. In any case, it's nice to know you have plans to make meaningful physics simulations.

11. At 1:38:24 - On this one, it seems Varik misinterpreted the tone of what I was trying to say. I was criticizing the fact that most MMOs have silly and out-of-place emotes and cosmetics, such as itens that belong to another universe or era and emotes that joke in a tone unfitting to the game. I was asking if Deadhaus had considered implementing such things in the game. Seasonal content can be fine, as long as it makes sense and isn't merely a cash-grabbing event, as is the case with most seasonal updates. Basically, the question is whether if you will add seasonal and festive content to the game and, if you do, will the tone match the dark atmosphere of Deadhaus?
It was not something that I was asking for. :)

12. At 1:46:45 - I was asking whether Vampires would get constipation when doing so (drinking monster or undead blood). ^^

13. At 1:48:45 - By tools, I mean which editors will be made available. We know about a map editor of sorts. Will there be a texture editor, a model editor, an animation maker, a music creator, that kind of interesting tools? I understand if there can't be confirmation of any in particular yet. But it's great to know you want to make it as broad as possible, Denis.

And that's all I had to contribute. Thanks for listening.
@Jalen.P, I'm counting on you here. :)
 
Last edited:

derula

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The way I'm imagining it is that most undead will live in the material world. Once their Vitality is consumed, they get to the Magickal world in a sort of ethereal form. If they die in the Magickal world, they get transformed into, condensed into, or are recalled to an object/artifact. While in that artifact state, you cannot interact with the world in the same way and you may depend on other players to recover yourself (such as having them carry you and help you collect enough essence to recover, perhaps?).
And if you don't play with others, if you're solo, you may simply stand still in your artifact and use powers to influence the world, possibly even casting spells or possessing people, to try and regain your control and get back to the Magickal and eventually the Material realm.

Hm, my understanding was a bit different, but obviously I could be wrong. I was thinking that "in-between" characters could arbitrarily switch between their forms of existence, as long as the corresponding "health bar" is not empty. So classes at the edges (such as Liche or Revenant) could not switch willingly, but e.g. a wraith could change between magickal and contained form, while a vampire could choose between all three. Admittedly, I pulled that idea out of my behind.

The second issue with procedural generation on this is... what if the story/missions generated are boring, too difficult, or any other combination of complicated? You'll be condemning the player to have that beginning unless he wanted to delete his character and start over, which is simply not a cool thing to do.

The other day I was thinking "hm, maybe I should buy into Crypt of the Necrodancer or it's Zelda-themed spin-off," but then I looked up some footage of it being played, and due to its procedurally generated nature, every map looked extremely ugly and horrible. Not saying you can't do procedural generation right, Minecraft is a much better example, that stuff can be really impressive. But I bet it's extremely hard to get right.


(Are you sure you mean "dully" and not "duly"?)

When I think of smart enemy AI, I don't mean an AI that collects billions of information about all players' actions and changes their ways to fight against them (though that does have its value). What I actually mean is an AI that feels alive.

Props to you for knowing the difference. Of course one can create a neural network that learns to always take the ideal action in each situation, but that probably won't end up feeling fun or realistic. Humans never act like a machine who always calculates the best option. Emotions can sometimes get in the way, sometimes open up a way that's even better. So you can't just "throw AI at the problem until the enemies are a challenge to defeat" but to make them feel real, you have to do much more handiwork.

I asked this question because I think that's a shame, especially if older contents provide incredible experiences. There are people that, due to real life circumstances, won't be able to play the game in a certain period of their lives and it would be a shame if they were to miss a story event that happened in one of the Ages they couldn't participate, for example.

An additional problem is, if roleplay is encouraged, and old information isn't available anymore, players who come in later can't reasonably play characters that have experienced those events. So the world will be filled with new characters whose backstory consists of "amnesia." (This problem still exists if some people volunteer to write long summaries of past lore, since not many people are willing to read those walls of texts).

8. At 1:04:37 - I think you should make it clear in the Store page that the weapons and armors are merely cosmetic items. Currently, it can be interpreted as actual items that you get to use in-game, with their own benefits.

Hm, yes, that wasn't clear to me either.
 
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Golden Xan

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Hm, my understanding was a bit different, but obviously I could be wrong. I was thinking that "in-between" characters could arbitrarily switch between their forms of existence, as long as the corresponding "health bar" is not empty. So classes at the edges (such as Liche or Revenant) could not switch willingly, but e.g. a wraith could change between magickal and contained form, while a vampire could choose between all three. Admittedly, I pulled that idea out of my behind.

(Are you sure you mean "dully" and not "duly"?)

To be whole in my answer, I don't really know how the death system works either. It was just a mix of speculation and what I remember Denis telling us. We'll have to wait and see, seems like something that could use some more clarification.

Oh yes, you're right, I keep swapping these two words up (dully and duly). :p
Thanks for your contribution. ^^
 
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Jalen.P

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Hey @Golden Xan , you were clearly playing close attention to the stream! I've asked for some clarifications for some of your questions, and here's what I got:
  1. The items that come with Founder's Packs are cosmetics, yes. We're playing around with the idea of making them more meaningful (The Necroliberiatas may speak to the player, for example), but we'll see about making that distinction more clear.
  2. Your understanding on True Death and the 3 realms of existence is very close. All undead exist on at least one of the three planes, but they do not have to inhabit the material plane. Wights, for example are natives of the essential plane, and don't have any reason to travel to the physical. If an undead cannot enter one of the three planes, they experience True Death.
  3. With regards to procedural generated levels, not every place you travel to will be randomly created. Some dungeons will be kept for other players to explore, or towns that witness significant events will become their own areas. There will obviously be a set world map for Deadhaus Sonata, and other permanent areas will appear as players explore.
I hope I've cleared up a few more questions for you. Obviously I couldn't get to everything in this post, but I've saved a few of the questions I did not get to for the Friday night streams.
 

Golden Xan

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Thanks very much for your follow-up, Jalen. I'll be looking forward to the streams themselves, as always. I hope my feedback was useful.
 
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