Gone to the dogs 2

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I keep getting asked to make Gone to the Dogs 2 so I am half way through revamping everything, however I;d like suggestions as to what to do for a sequel and what would people like to see and change from the first one.

Add your ideas below.

 
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have betting better imean #1 you bet on highest chance to get more money it should be the opposite
but im glad your making # 2

 
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gone to the dogs 2 u should change that name it will be better :)

 
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you should make more names like spottedick ,(lol) and a few extra things,(lots of them actually)
1:training should be more fluid and to actually to do something,maybe a few levels of training like basic advanced and elite ,and you should be able to train more than once a week or to do numerous activists.
2:longer game don’t make it a “how much money can you earn in X days” make it like,be the bast dog trainer in the world,to win you need to win a big and hard championship.or to make an unlimited game mode.
3:more choice at the start.
4:training shouldn’t make you worse at some things and better at other,you don’t see me lifting weights and then not be able to run properly.
5:more trainers,a training program perhaps.
6:more places to do the tournaments,other countries and continents.
7:obstacles,jumping above poles,under poles.
8:skills,active ones,passive ones,doesn’t matter,just make them.
9:LOTS of upgrades,you love upgrades,he loves upgrades,she loves upgrades, we all love UPGRADES!!!
10:EVEN MORE UPGRADES!!!!!
well,im done for the moment,i will comment when ill have more ideas.

 
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OK, so I went and played a full season of the first installment. Here are my comments on the game:

Technically, there is something really wrong going on whenever the player clicks on the racing button. The game halts for 5-10 seconds, FF flips out and asks if the script should be halted, etc… Same when getting back to the main screen after a race. Obviously, this problem should be looked at and taken care of.

Regarding the game design now. The main problem is that there are few decisions for the player to make, and you don’t provide enough information to make the decision process meaningful. Is it better to pay for a training session or buy an upgrade? Highly unclear since neither description gives any quantitative information.

Random events: They suck. When they don’t punish the player (and randomly punishing the player is always bad, Bad, BAD) they provide monetary rewards which are either vastly superior to race payouts (in the beginning) or chicken feed (in the end of the season). They’re funny, and even witty sometimes, but that doesn’t compensate for their issues. Cherry on the random punishment cake: A trainer once did nothing except take my money. Near as I could tell the event was just the game being a dick. Don’t do that.

Betting: Betting seems highly exploitable. At least multiple bets aren’t possible, but it’s still possible to make a lot of money out of it. On the other hand, it’s also possible to disregard it entirely, so I’m not sure whether I would keep it or scrap it in your place.

Races: Regardless of length, a race is always one turn. That’s bad. It doesn’t help the player at all in figuring out what matters and what doesn’t in terms of stats, why they won, or how they could have done better. Also, there seems to be a lot more dogs than spots in the race, so that most dogs only run every third race or so. Why is my dog running each and every one, then? Having a racing calendar and choosing which races to enter would be a lot more interesting from a strategic standpoint, but that would imply the player would have some way of knowing what distance and conditions are best for their dog, which is far from obvious at the moment.

The goal of the game is not clearly spelled out. I realized on week 16 that oh, yes, there is an end to the game, but mostly you left to the player the task of figuring out what they should be doing and how. In the end, the actual goal (getting the highest possible score in 20 weeks) did not match the goal I had set for myself (train a beastly beast that could win every race). I was therefore disappointed by the ending. I was even more disappointed to realize that the game has no replay value: I had hoped achievements would give me slight boosts in a new game, or maybe an extra dog to pick. Nope, nada. Achievements are worthless or, depending on one’s standpoint, purely cosmetic.

Now, I may sound overly critical in my analysis, and if I come off as such I apologize. My intention is to focus on the less-than-ideal aspects so that the second installment may be superior to the first, not to senselessly bash someone else’s game. The game has a lot going for it as well, I just don’t see the point of spending much time complimenting those aspects.

 
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Preamble
Having never played Gone to the Dogs, I decided to play it to create some feedback. The following post contains my thoughts from playing the game.

Starting from the top
At the dog selection screen I was offered a choice of four dogs. I was given no explanation as to what the attributes did until after I picked my dog. The description for attitude wasn’t entirely clear to me; was more or less of it a good thing? (Eventually I figured it out.)

The “To the races” button was hidden down in the bottom-right corner, making it somewhat unintuitive was to what to do next. I think the overview GUI could use an overhaul, but I don’t have specifics on what I would do differently.

I was unable to see the effects of upgrades I couldn’t afford. This made it difficult to determine if it would be a good idea to save up money for a particular upgrade.

The option of betting against my own dog seemed a bit odd. Do dog owners often bet against their own dogs? Are dog owners even allowed to bet?

The newspapers after races were a nice touch.

Summary of suggestions
Explain what the various attributes do before we pick our dog.
Re-consider the design of the GUI, especially the overview screen.
A transition effect between screens would be a nice layer of polish.
Give us the option to name our own dog.
Perhaps combine the rule-bending and the betting into one screen?

 
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Haven’t played it. I might come back to this thread and try it some time to give some feedback.

But it totally should be called “Gone 2 the Dogs” because cheesy number-insert titles like that are the win.

 
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Awesome people, thanks for all the feedback so far, thats exactly the sort of thing I was after.

So far a list of bullet points based on your feedback which I think are stuff we will do:

- Make it longer than 20 weeks, open ended gameplay.
- Call it “Gone 2 the Dogs”
- more choice of dogs at the start
- Make random events more balanced
- Make a decision on betting to keep it or not, or tone down your max winnings.
- Trainers dont have a negative effect on any values and more trainers
- Other countries for the races
- Sort out the pauses (this is due to saving data down)
- Explain what the various attributes do before we pick our dog.
- Re-design the overview screen.
- A transition effect between screens would be a nice layer of polish.
- Give us the option to name our own dog.
- Transitions between screens
- Redesign the shop with a lot more upgrades and show what they do for stuff you cant afford.

 
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Oh yeah and anyone who replies is signing up for being an ai dog in game :)

 
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I have played Gone to the dogs alot lately because of this topic, and i think you should be able to do stuff in the training, equal as the training in Animal RaceWay is how it should be! =)

 
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Alright, I have actually played this game before. But I played it again so I could give decent feedback.

  • Regarding the “longer game” suggestion, I recommend you do have an ‘end’ to the game, but let the player play after that. Maybe a super-challenging post-game tournament or something. I’ve also always liked New Game +. Start over, keep your stats, and replay the game with higher stat caps, tougher opponents.
  • Perhaps ‘random events’ should trigger a kind of minigame. Then the player deserves whatever they got. Bonus props if the minigame takes your stats into account. (That way rewards scale as you get further in the game)
  • Some of the random events seem to read wrong. I got a Hollywood deal and it said “$15000 fee” and I was like “Wat.”
  • Training minigames. Watching a bar move for like 3 seconds is boring.
  • Why do I have to press ‘start’ and then choose a rule bender and then press ‘continue’? How about I just choose one (or don’t choose one) and press ‘start’.
  • Achievements should give me things. As far as I can tell they don’t. Also there should be more of them.
  • The benefits of things should be more easily recognizable. Perhaps each stat will give a quanititative measurement of its current effects. For example, when you mouse over your speed stat, at 55, it says “Increases average running speed by 80%” When I mouse over it at 60, it says “Increases average running speed by 87%” or some such.
  • The same principle can be applied to items.

You did a lot of things right in Animal RaceWay. It’d probably be beneficial to analyze the differences between the two.

 
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robotJAM here’s MY suggestions:

o Customizing the colors of the dog/s
o Training Mini-games
o Infi-days mode (Sandbox)
o Evolution? Grows bigger? Hairier? Becomes a robot?
o Cyborg Dogs, Alien Dogs, Earth Dogs and Fish Dog Races. Each has a Special Trait.
o For each Race has 3 types of dog, Runner (faster), Iron Dog (Stamina), and Sensitive (Reflex)
o Upgrade Places : Leg Power, Feet Endurance, Ears (reflex), Weight Control (fitness)
o World Map? Tour de Dog?
o Individual Training? (w/o payment, but very low improvements?)
o Easter eggs? (rickdog? Lol.)
o Bets are more balanced.
o Custom Mouse?
o Rehab? I mean, come on! Slower speed higher endurance? Other way around?
o Each has max set attribute, like you can only go halfway through Speed in Fishdog.
o Feeding matters. What you eat is what you are!
o A Cat-astrophe? The Dogs are slave to the cats?
o Story line. Please?
-———-
That’s all I can think about.

  • P.S. Good Luck to Gone 2 the Dogs! *
 
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GIve us the option to buy more than one dog, people might not like this one but ake it so that they can be injured and have a speed or stamina problem.
Other than that, lovd the first game hope the second one is just as good.

 
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Create a random code for each dog. Using the code, the dogs are able to gain traits that may or may not benefit them in a race. Of course, the code simulates DNA. Four different nucleotides make up DNA. Three nucleotides make up a codon, which makes up an amino acid, which makes up a protein, which controls one of the functions an organism uses to live. Or, in Layman’s terms, things called nucleotides make up a DNA. There are four different types of nucleotides: A, T, C and G. Arranging the nucleotides in a particular order makes a codon, and a codon determines the traits of the thing that is holding the DNA. There are 4^3=64 types of codons that can be made. One codon makes up a start codon, and one codon of three possible codons makes a ‘stop’ codon, i.e. it is found at the end of a particular area of a DNA sequence. So what I’m saying, you could create a random code for each dog. The code has a particular sequence of code at the beginning and a particular sequence of code at the end. Having certain segment(s) of code will benefit/disadvantage your dog. In fact, you could make a cheat for that: when you have finished a certain amount of the game, you can unlock a cheat section of the game. The section will be devoted to genetically engineering your dog to become even better in races. And you could also add in mutations, where you drop random bits of code into random areas. The mutations will be harmless, unless they hit the first segment or last segment of code. Or if one of the segments of code is changed into a certain other segment of code. If the mutation does any of these things, the dog will go down with terminal illness, and will die after a certain period of time. Or you don’t even get the dog at all. That’s if you want to include it. But anyway, that’s my idea. I hope I wasn’t too technical. ;)

 
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Jason, I got the bit up to “create a random code for each dog”, then my brain sort of exploded into a pink paste like substance.

 
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Oops, sorry about that! I’ll try again. (Hopefully this will be a bit slower this time.)
Before I begin, organisms are living things. Remember that now.
When you create a random code for each dog, I thought you could use the code to simulate DNA. However, after making the code, you mutate the DNA. The idea is that DNA in create proteins. The proteins evolve certain traits in organisms. For example, different hair colour is as a result of different proteins. DNA is arranged in a way that it is able to create all the proteins needed for an organism.
DNA is made up of nucleotides. There are four different nucleotides in DNA: adenine (A), thymime (T), cytosine © and guanine (G). By arranging the nucleotides in the correct way, you will create a protein which will make a trait appear/change in an organism. A set of three nucleotides put together is a codon. A codon codes for a particular amino acid, and 125 amino acids strung together make up a protein. Every amino acid is important in a protein because when you change the amino acid, you also change the protein made. There are 64 different amino acid combinations. 61 of the combinations code for 21 amino acids. 3 of the codons are ‘stop’ codons, which is the DNA’s way of coding where the end of the protein is. Only one combination codes for one amino acid (methionine) which is the ‘start’ codon. That basically means that when DNA is going to code a protein, the ‘start’ codon must go first.
You could create a random code for each dog. The random code will use 4 letters. Add a particular combination of 3 letters at the beginning (the start codon) and a particular combination of 3 letters at the end (the stop codon). Also place a random number of letters in the middle. You can have as many letters as you like- as long as the number of letters is divisible by 3.
After doing that, randomly mutate the code. You know, randomly pick letters in the code and switch the letters to something else. You could make the mutations potentially dangerous (if the first three letters or last three letters of code are touched by the mutations, the dog’s lifespan is reduced, and is given a random period of time to live. But make that possibility very small if you decide to do that.)
After doing that, you know the bit of code between the first three and last three letters? Split that into sets of three letters, and each set of three letters will give the dog a trait. The trait may benefit the dog, disadvantage the dog, or be a dud trait (i.e. a trait which lets you customise you dog to look awesome, but does not do much else.)
I think the idea of random code simulating DNA is awesome because it is a . I mean, how awesome would that be? After you have completed the game to a certain extent, a Genetic Engineering section pops up, where you can create a dog with a particular trait/genetically engineer a dog you already have. And then give the dog a test drive. Also, you could add ‘super-traits’- if two consecutive codons appear in a particular order in the dog’s code, one of the characteristics of the dog will be dramatically better. However, that might be hard to get in your game, especially if players will have a one in 4096 chance of getting them. Anyway, I hope this was better than my last post :)

 
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Oh, and if the post was too hard to understand, try googling ‘transcription’, ‘translation’ and ‘DNA’ to get an idea of what I’m trying to say.

 
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makes more sense, just that we only have 5 stats for a dog. Speed, Stamina, Health, Attitude and reactions as well as a choice from 6 colours.

So theres not a huge amount of customisation we do really, its kind of hard to get too many stats per dog in as even with just 5 it is quite hard to see how the stat actually effects them in a race. Its basically stuff like reactions determines how quickly they start in comparison with the the dog. ie a dog with 90% reactions will get out a but faster than a dog with 80%. But it also depends on how fit the dog is. A fitter dog with a lower reaction score can out start a dog with a higher reaction score.

The stats really start to get quite complicated with just 5 of them interacting. I do kind of like the idea you have though but we’d need some sort of dog breeding thing adding.

 
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Have you considered having a section in your game which explains these interactions quantitatively for the interested power user? I’m thinking mostly about me, and players like me, who view strategy games as sets of equations that need to be solved. In a game like yours, assuming it’s not possible to simply max out everything, choosing the right combination of upgrades for the race/weather conditions can make the endgame very interesting.

For instance, from what I understood of the rules of the first game, a dog with high speed and low stamina should dominate a dog with low speed high stamina in a short race on dry turf, but be destroyed in a long race on soggy turf, so that choosing the proper outfit for your dog to play to their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses on each particular race would become important. This would assume the dog has ‘slots’ such as ‘head’, ‘body’ or ‘paws’ and various upgrades can be purchased for each slot, but only one can be worn in each slot at any given time. Let the player outfit their dog once they know the conditions of the race.

(Also, if you put me in the game as an opposing AI dog, please name my dog ‘Ace Woof’.)

 
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Ace, yes you are right about understanding the rules for how it works quantatively.

I dont have the code in front of me but it was basiclaly worked out on a per 100m basis. So a dog with 50% on speed will do 100m in 50 units. On his second 100m his speed is then a proportion of itself based on stamina. So second 100m if his stamina is 50% he will do the second 100m in 100 units (twice as slow). Fitness was an overall multipler so if you had 100% health your stats were correct. At 50% health all your stats were effectively 50% of their actual values.

Mud and rain had an effect of just making the race into a longer race. So we just made the race 25% longer for light rain and 50% longer for heavy rain.

Even knowing all that its quite hard to work out exactly which dog should win as you dont know the other dogs stats you are racing against. Would you think showing others dogs stats would be a good idea ? Or some overall rating for the dog made up from the stats ?

 
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Depends on what you think. If you want to add an element of challenge to the game, don’t include other dogs’ stats, otherwise if you want to make the game easier for the player, add the stats. In any case, keep in mind that it would be nice for the player to know what he/she may be up against.

1) For every stat, get the highest and lowest stat of the dogs, and then subtract the lowest stat from the highest stat to get a range.
2) Use a random number generator to get a number between 0 and 1. Then multiply that number by the range.
3) Add that number to the lowest stat to get a ‘spec stat’.
4) Optional: Humans like to round, so if you want to make a human give you a tip-off of what you’d expect, maybe round to the nearest 5/10/whatever.
5) Also optional: Add on another random number to push the stats up/down. Whether you want this, that’s your call.
6) Compulsory: Make a disclaimer that ‘spec stats’ may not be accurate, and that the actual dogs’ stats will probably exceed the stats guessed. This is key, because you don’t want your players storming off after they think the spec stats board lied to them.

And if the spec stats get a bit too… variable… you could always push find the median stats and push them up or down by a random number. (Use a small number to do this though.) But the players must understand the spec stats will not be a judgement of the best player/opponent.

 
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I would define ranges for AI dog stats (say 0-10%: ‘abysmal’; 10-20%: ‘terrible’; 20-30%: ‘bad’; 30-40%:‘weak’; 40-50%:‘average’, etc…) and tell the player that. So mousing over an AI dog they’d see something along the lines of:

AI dog: Ace Woof
Last races places: 5th, 4th, 5th, 8th, disqualified.
Speed: Three-legged
Stamina: Asthmatic
Reactions: Lightning fast
Health: Dying
Attitude: Rebellious

Also, having qualification rounds for the races (potentially in different weather condition than the race) and displaying the qualification time for each dog would be a help. In general, giving race times would be a good idea so the player can get an idea if they won/lost by an inch or a mile.

Another thing, most of the ‘training simulators’ out there have some sort of ‘general condition’ stat that goes up and down depending on what the dog/monster/robot/girl does outside of the contests and influences most aspects of their performance. Resting, luxury and having fun raises it, while training and going through hardships lowers it. You know what I mean. Depending on how in-depth you’re going with the out-of-race part, you might want to make health (or attitude?) into something like that.

 
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1) I definitely agree that there needs to be a more quantified way of seeing what your stats are, that is probably the most important thing

2) I again agree that the training should be slightly more interactive but not so much that it loses the feel of being what it truly is, a manager game, which is why I particularly like coolguy’s suggestion of a training program.

3) I don’t believe the stats of the opposing dogs is necessary but if you do implement it there should be a combination of Jason and Ace’s ideas. Give descriptions that hint at the stats without stating them directly so there is some guess work involved AND make those descriptions slightly inaccurate. After all no opposing manager is ever going to know exactly how good a dog that isn’t there own is.

4) There should be ways to train every stat and training shouldn’t drain time. A crippling part of Gone to the Dogs is that there is no way to improve fitness outside of training and yet fitness is probably the most crucial stat. Furthermore training almost crippled you in a way because it took away a precious week. If you train just 4 times you have spent 1/5 of all the time possible in Gone to the Dogs training instead of earning money, that’s a tough blow to overcome.

5) The random events need to be revamped. They are huge amounts gained at the beginning but by the end the winnings and losings from it are chump change. It should be scaled according to where you are at in the game. Also I agree with Truefire, the events should be “deserved” in some way. That doesn’t necessarily require a minigame to be made for them it just means that they should, at the very least, be related to the actions the player has made off the racetrack (if that becomes a more in depth part of the game…)

6) Which leads me to the next point. The off the track part of the game should be more in depth. If the point is to create a manager game then there should be more options in what to do to make your dog better. Not only would it make the game more interactive as the player has more options for what to do but it would also increase the replay value as there would be different paths to try to take in order to “beat” the game. Maybe add in different buildings, one could be a shop, another is a training center, another is a dog show perhaps to gain extra money on the side of racing, another could be a beauty shop to allow customization of the dog, another could be an airport which would allow to travel to other countries perhaps to compete but also to travel for vacations allowing the dog to relax and as Ace mentioned regain a general condition portion, similar to a kind of heath bar and what the fitness level serve as in the last game a multiplier for the stats. The tricky part about that would be finding the balance so that 1-2 training sessions that chew up 2 weeks don’t force your dog to have to rest for a week, that’s not a realistic standard. (That’s just one way to do a more in depth off track system, something else may work better for what you have in mind).

7) Finally there should be some end goal in sight. It could be to win a certain championship or to gain X amount of money, and there can be a time limit on it. The key is to be able to play beyond that limit if the player desires, or having a separate unlimited mode similar to a practice run.

That’s all I have for the moment and I can’t wait to see what you come up with for Gone 2 the Dogs. And sorry about how long the post is but I loved the original and am thankful for the opportunity to possibly get input on how to improve it for a sequel.

 
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Ok cool cheers for more great feedback. I’ll start posting a few screenshots of some of the new screens fairly soon.

Im kind of thinking of going down a more career based system. so you start off in one league and have to work your way up to different events, and maybe there’s some kind of dog race of the world which is the ultimate race to win.

So rather than just being 20 weeks you play out over the career of your dog, maybe a few years and then he retires.

 
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maybe a few years and then he retires.

As everyone has said, forcing someone to end the game isn’t something anyone likes. You should probably allow an option to keep using the same dog (maybe in a ‘no-score’ mode or something) once he’s “retired”.

If you’re into doing “research”, there’s a Monster Rancher game for the GBA that features a similar scenario involving fighting monsters. After your monster reaches a certain age, he can no longer be trained, and thus (unless he has maxed out) is effectively useless to in the game. This really upset me the first time it happened — my monster was ALMOST good enough to win the S-rank tournaments, and now I would have to start all over if I wanted to beat them. I found out later on that there was actually a ‘monster fusion’ mechanic that allowed you to combine two monsters and get a new one based on their types and stats. It made older monsters serve a purpose, in that they could be combined with a younger monster to create a brand new monster with boosted stats. You might consider trying something similar to this (Of course, dog fusion is a bit silly, but maybe the old retired dogs could act as a kind of dog mentor to the current dog or something, increasing the effects of training?)