Recent posts by Pantothenate on Kongregate

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Topic: Game Programming / public var intVariable:stuff

Ah, I see.

This is all awesome stuff, guys. Thanks tons.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / public var intVariable:stuff

Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

I’m assuming you never made a package and just threw variables in the .as file by themselves.

EDIT Edited the caps part of your thread title.


Yeah, that sounds about right.

I didn’t bother posting the code because I know it’s completely irrelevant. I just don’t know how Flash is structured. There’s tons of literature out there going over the small details, but none of what I saw mentioned the macro-structure of Flash.

Now that you’ve said the magic password (“package”, which is also the magic password to the back door of the local cougar bar), the proper branch of Google has opened up to me.

Hopefully you don’t mind if I run my understanding of how it works by you, to make sure I properly understand: When you’re writing scripts, every single global class and function gets saved in its own .as file, in its own directory. The root program, which executes everything, is stored in the root directory, and calls these variables one at a time with an import command at the start. When you compile the flash, the entire directory sctructure beyond the root is essentially compressed into one single file, retaining its structure.

That seems like a pain compared to the one-document blob of organized text, but it does make a lot of sense, and I’d imagine it would keep things much neater.

Quick follow-up, though—does the load order matter? Like, if I have one object class that contains a variable from another object class, will declaring the parent before the child cause the fabric of space/time to rend within my motherboard? (‘Cause, seriously, that can only happen to you so-many times before your insurance adjusters start to get suspicious.) Or would it save the explosions for when it’s asked to call on a missing class?

Thanks again for the help. And yeah, I guess the caps was too ugly, but I would’ve personally preferred “public var intVariable:nope” or “public var intVariable:kaboom” or something along those lines. Then again, I’m not naming a child, so stuff works fine.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / public var intVariable:stuff

Hi.

I didn’t see a “silly stupid little babby’s first flash newbie questions” thread, so my apologies if this I’m bumping real content with this.

I don’t know Flash. I have experience programming in other languages, but I’ve got to pretty much re-learn, because all those languages are dead (Oh COBOL, I hardly knew ye… literally), and I haven’t touched any sort of programming in years.

Anyways, while I’m not a proper programmer, I love games and mechanics and whatnot, and figured I’d try my hand at working on a collaborative project. And, while I definitely don’t have the expertise to try making AI without failing in a most spectacular way, I do have mechanical layouts, pseudocode, and flowcharts out the wazoo for every other element of it, and figured it’d be a fair bit easier finding a team if they know I’m dedicated, involved, and actively contributing, rather than someone who wanders into the collaborative forums and says, “I have an idea for a game. Make it a side-scrolling platformer, like Fancy Pants, only his pants are, like, not fancy. And he’s wearing a shirt. Like, a fancy shirt. So when are you gonna pay me for this?”

So, yeah. I’ve been trying to lay out all of the global variable classes the game would require and some basic global functions using FlashDevelop, in the hopes of being able to make an extremely primitive demo with which to fish for a programmer and/or artist. So, naturally, I did my research, cranked out a few functions and a crapload of class declarations, clicked the Check Syntax to double-check, and:

:6: characters 0-6 : parse error Unexpected public


That’s my first line of non-commented code. Nay, my first word of uncommented code.

So I’m doing something tragically wrong here.

Everything I’ve been working on thusfar are global variables and functions, so I just started typing at the top of the page. I seem to recall Java using a bunch of wacky containers with a declared ‘root-level’ starting point (mind you, I haven’t even thought about Java programming in over a decade), but couldn’t find any documentation on Google about Flash having any such thing.

Could any of you let me know what I’m doing wrong, coding-wise?

Thanks.

- Pants

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Programmer partner wanted for concept game

Alright, thanks for the feedback thusfar. I have one more quick question:

How do I shot Flash?

I want to make a rudimentary version of some of the mechanics as a proof of dedication/competence (and hopefully jam a foot in the door when I hit the limit of my laughable skills and need a real programmer), so I grabbed a Flash program, looked up a bit of ActionScript stuff, and realized… there’s no bloody input box. I know what I have to do, but don’t know where to do it.

I’m using the Flash program that comes in the Adobe Suite, and it seems to be all about motion and junk. Do any of you know if there’s some way to get it to deal with text instead of this picture junk? Most of the commands I can find look like they belong in Photoshop.

What in the crap ever happened to the good ol’ OOT “empty textbox and nothing else” deal?

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Programmer partner wanted for concept game

Originally posted by Zoltam:

Several months of work of an experienced programmer is expensive. If you find someone to do the game without previous payment, he will expect to take most of the % of revenues.

Anyways, I like the way you suggest this project: It looks like you have a real detailed design backing it.

I have no problem with offering a fair shake. How dickish is it to ask for a time record so that revenue can be split based upon invested time?

How much more needs to be in the “better pitch”? Like I mentioned, I’ve got some background in programming, archaic though it might be. I’m fairly confident I can pick up some super-basic Flash to do some of the ‘grind work’-type of stuff—making arrays, organizing basic data interactions/calculations, etc. Should I do some of this beforehand and include it in the pitch? Or would this likely be a waste of time, since it’s not even my call to pick which language to use (Flash, Java, PHP, I don’t know, Cobol, C++, Command Prompt Batch File Scripting, whatever), and all work I put forward before finding a partner will inevitably, by virtue of Murphy’s Law, have to be flushed.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Programmer partner wanted for concept game

Originally posted by Bananenbuiger:

- When you say that the proof of concept will be standalone, what exactly do you mean? Do you mean it can be played offline? Or maybe something else entirely?
- Do you have any skills beyond writing and game design that might be needed during game development? Please do not let me be misunderstood, those are useful skills, but i wonder if you have additional skills that might be usefull during the game development.
- Maybe a bit of a redundant question since this is a site about flash development, but i’ll ask it anyway! Is this going to be a flash game that will be hosted on kong or something, or are you thinking more of a “traditional” distribution where people can buy the game off steam (or similar)? If it’s not flash, what platforms (pc, mac, xbox, …) do you wish to target?


I think Tribal Wars is the only MMO that I really drew from, but that doesn’t matter. When I said ‘standalone’, I meant something that can be hosted anywhere without connecting to a central server, as many of these types of games do. So, yes, something that can be played offline, as is the case with most single-player games on Kongregate. I was also designing a lot of the concepts to be simplified—like an inventory system that’s “weapon/armor/accessory” instead of having a different piece for each part of the body, or a substantially smaller job tree.

I used to be able to program in about a quarter-dozen languages, all of which are obsolete (oh, Visual Basic, I hardly knew ye), but I haven’t touched any of that in years. Debugging just drove me absolutely batshit, and took all the fun out of it.

The proof of concept was going to be a flash game that could be distributed around all the flash game sites, like Kong. If it made enough of an impact to raise interest in a larger version, different options could be explored from there.

I realize that an MMO expansion would be buttloads of work for all the people who aren’t me. That’s the reason why I squeezed as many ’if’s in there as possible.

One of the things I liked about taking this idea to Kong is that, like I mentioned, the idea is a bunch of elements running parallel—completely independent of each other. In theory, you could retain the core idea of the concept with nothing more than the characters, the automated combat system, a handful of item types, and a random dungeon generator. Or, you could scrap the combat system and items altogether, and have your buildings determine stats, and flat stats determine combat results.

I’ve been open to working on other projects, but I’m not one to sit around and wait for a gravy train to choo-choo my way. Though I’d like to see the whole thing, I’m flexible on scale.

Quick question, though—how hard would it be to piece together a game that’s made in modular chunks? If they’re all designed with integration in mind, of course.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Programmer partner wanted for concept game

I've spent a solid part of the last few days hammering out concept work for a game that's inspired by--well, a whole whack of different RPG and management games: Tribal Wars, Idle Quest, FF Tactics, FFCC: My Life As King...

The general concept is to make a Mercenary Management game where you build up your base, much like Tribal Wars, but also get to upgrade and quest with the mercenaries you've been hiring and training. Combat would happen in real-time, but be completely out of your control--it would essentially work the same as Idle Quest (which works the same as Progress Quest, which works the same as every Final Fantasy game with an 'auto' option), so that you can manage your base while your heroes are doing their thing, or sit there and watch them kick ass (or get obliterated).

There are a good number of training options, various quest types, exploration and dungeon diving, item enhancements, resource management, and so forth. The idea is to give any number of different options for developing your wealth and your characters--do you do fetch quests for money so you can upgrade, or grind for experience and loot? Do you hire a bunch of low-level mercenaries, or train a few into monstrous powerhouses? Do you spend your upgrade budget on training facilities, or do you upgrade your quest-givers and resources? Do you spend time levelling up, or do you spend time searching for new dungeons?

So I'm sure you're sick to death of me yammering on without knowing whether or not I've actually put any work into this.

I've got over a dozen pages of notes and diagrams written up on how everything is to work. (My hand hurts, and my pencil is starting to look awfully nubby, thanks for asking.) The game essentially boils down to multiple processes running in tandem--your countdown timers, your battles, your explorations, and your idle tasks. Combat is basic RPG fare (I've sketched out a flow-chart of the process anyways), items are fairly straightforward (standard RPG 'item grade' list used for base items, with up to two bonuses for 'enchantment' and 'upgrade'), and skills follow a pretty simple job system.

I've also figured out how to make a levelling system that works with the stat-training, without getting rid of experience altogether. It's a little... different, I suppose you could say, but as far as I can tell, it'll work.

What I'm looking for is a programmer (and eventually an artist) to make a standalone 'proof-of-concept' version of this game. If it works out and finds a niche, the idea could be easily expanded and made into an MMO--you are, after all, a mercenary camp; it only follows that you'll be sent to war (pvp). I realize that's getting ahead of myself, but one of the stipulations is that, if the project works, and is well-received, I'd like to find someone willing to expand upon it.

Well, there's the pitch. I still have a crapload of work to do on my end, but I believe I have enough to get a partner working on the basic mechanics of the thing.

Payment would be a flat-out share of profits and ownership.

If you're interested, send me a private message with your thoughts, and we can exchange emails there. If you want to see my credentials, my profile (labelled "Another writer? WHO'D HAVE THUNK IT?!") is still on the front page. Please, only offer to work on this if you're serious about it (read: capable of setting and keeping realistic deadlines).

Also, if you can offer any logistical insight, I would be more than happy to hear it--I've never tried to spearhead this type of project before, and am unsure of exactly how many who's of what we need when and where. Any headaches that the more experienced of you can help me avoid would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Topic: Collaborations / Another writer? WHO'D HAVE THUNK IT?!

Originally posted by averagejoedev:

Show some links or examples of your work. If your claims are true, then you should have plenty of examples eager to show.

I’d like to know what you charge. Is it a profit share or a flat fee?

I have plenty of examples of work, but none of them are particularly relevant. I could link to some actual advertising work I’ve done, but that tends to end up being fairly dry and scripted. I could link to my portfolio, which is more interesting, but it’s still a completely different style than writing for games. If you’d like to take a peek at either, I suppose there’s no harm in sending you a link.

I don’t currently have any short stories hosted online, but if anyone’s curious, let me know and I’d be more than happy to email you a couple.

Several ages ago, I wrote for Loading Ready Run under the moniker Johnny_Lunchbox, examples of which can be found here and here . (Man, I hope I properly linked those.) Those might be a little more relevant to writing for games (old though they may be). I was actually originally planning on moving to Victoria and joining the troupe, but complications with the transfer to U-Vic put a wrench to that, and I lost touch with them shortly before they joined The Escapist.

I’m pretty fluid about payment. Hourly, royalty, and per-word rates are all common in different facets of writing. Different methods of calculation would work for different projects, and different tasks and different levels of involvement would change what any of those rates are (for example, editing and rewriting are considerably easier on a per-word basis than writing from scratch). The rule-of-thumb I’m trying to stick to until I’m a little more established in the medium is to work it out to about local minimum wage for the time I put into a project, with wiggle-room afforded to what advertisers call “dog-walkers” (meaning small, low-budget projects that you work on for considerably less than usual, if not nothing, knowing it will stand out in your portfolio).

If there’s anything else I’m missing, let me know.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / [Idea] Just giving it away

If you want to give it away on here, there’s a very specific way you ought to go about it:

What you’ve got, you gotta give it to your momma. What you’ve got, you’ve gotta give it to your papa. What you’ve got, you’ve got to give it to your daughter. Do a little dance, then drink a little water.

What you’ve got, you’ve gotta get it put it in you. Thrice. Then, reeling with the feeling, don’t stop. Continue.

Realize that you don’t want to be a miser. Confide with Sly. You’ll get wiser. Young blood is the loving upriser.

What you’re doing now is trying to keep it like a Kaiser.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Another writer? WHO'D HAVE THUNK IT?!

Eh, I figured everyone just used the Kong private message system for inquiries. Further details (like email and Messenger) aren’t really necessary ’til one signs into a project.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / List of Available Talent

Hi. My name is Will, and I’m a writer.

Like, literally. For reals. In the “‘Spartan, what do you do for a living?’ ‘Ah-oo! Ah-oo! Ah-oo!’” sense. It’s not a hobby—it’s what I do. By professional title, I write for advertising, though I’ve done everything from fiction to sketch as well. I’m also a huge nerd when it comes to systems analysis, and would like to believe that I’m at least somewhat qualified to collaborate on gameplay mechanics (since I used to draw up rules and mechanics for my own tabletop games when I was a kid).

Work’s a little slow right now, and I’m interested in starting a side project. Exactly what project isn’t terribly important. Since I haven’t written for a flash game, and since many programmers think that ‘I can write because English is easy and anyone can write good and make good enough story for game that does not need story for game’, I’m willing to work on any project that piques my interest for relatively little (or even nothing-at-all, depending on the nature of the game).

For more information, you can check out my thread URL below), or PM me directly.
http://www.kongregate.com/forums/8-collaborations/topics/240668-another-writer-whod-have-thunk-it

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Another writer? WHO'D HAVE THUNK IT?!

Seriously. Every thread looking for a writer gets bloody swarmed. Lots of English majors, casual fiction writers, and pen-and-paper gamers out there. Which is good. The craft isn’t dead, and casual writing can be a great passtime.

That said, I’m not a casual writer. I’ve got a BA-Hons in Creative Writing and have been using a post-grad degree in Advertising/Copywriting to do freelance work. I’ve written short fiction, long fiction, non-fiction, websites, brochures, lyrics, and postmodern absurdist poetry. I’ve made a point of dabbling in all the genres (though I’m admittedly awful at harlequin romance and creepy fanfiction). I currently have time on my hands, and a crippling urge to write some interactive that isn’t trying to hawk breath mints and penis enlargement. (Okay, I haven’t worked on either of those accounts, but you get my drift.)

Furthermore, I’ve got about a third of a degree in Computer Programming and Systems Analysis—the former is useless, since none of the languages I learned are actually used anymore, and even if they were, I can barely remember any of it, but the latter tapped into my inner math nerd, and I actually enjoy working with stats and conceptual game mechanics.

I’m looking for something new. Beyond that, I’m fairly open. I can guarantee a reasonable time commitment to a project that piques my interest. If you’re looking for someone and have made it this far, I’m most likely interested in hearing you out, whether you’ve already started programming a simple-premise game that you think might do better with a plot and story, or are just a programmer in a similar boat as me and just wants to put your creative juices into something completely different, and want to collaborate with a partner who might have an unconventional view of things.

Though, truth be told, I would most likely lean towards the unconventional concept.

I can provide writing samples upon request.

Starting with the one you’ve just read.

Oh, just a side note; this ought to go without saying, but I’m only interested in working with people who are dedicated, serious, and professional about meeting deadlines and actually finishing the project. I’m not a drill sergeant by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve poured time into dead-end projects before. Not fun.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / For the 'idea' people

Originally posted by Shalmezad:

Most people can come up with ideas (after all, everyone is a writer, and artist, a poet, and a composer, whether they realise it or not).


And this, my friends, is why there are so many bad games out there.

Writing is an acquired skill, as is ideation, art, poetry, and composition. Saying that anybody can do anything artistic simply by virtue of being physically capable is a parasitic, corrosive mode of thought that not only devalues well-written, rendered, or composed things, but also leads to the production of a lot of half-assed work from people trying to speed through a potentially powerful element of a gaming experience. Your statements have revealed that you are no gentleman, good sir, and I fart in your general direction.

I, as a member of the ‘other team’, could easily argue that programming is a binary form of expression: It either works, or it doesn’t, and there is therefore no such thing as a quality programmer, or a well-programmed game. I could say that it immediately follows, then, that the programmer can take credit for a quality game in the same way that a shoelace can take credit for winning a marathon, or a bolt can take credit for winning an Indy race. I won’t attempt to make that point, however, because it’s just as ignorant as saying all of the ‘right-brained’ elements aren’t important. If either side undervalues the other, your game is pretty much guaranteed to be unimpressive at best.

That said, ‘idea’ is a word that is generally used to refer to a blanket-term that includes vague notions like “A Tower Defence game set in space. Maybe it has aliens or something,” but can also be used to refer extremely specific things like mechanics, plots, characters, genre-benders, the integration of elements, and so on. If someone gets to the point where they can break it down to pseudo-code, I think it might be a little narrow to classify them under the same blanket as the guy who comes in saying “I was sitting on the toilet, and I was thinking to myself, ‘you know what we don’t see in flash games? Bowling.’ So, like, yeah. Bowling.”

 
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Topic: Spiral Knights / Bombs 'n' Swords And now also guns!

Originally posted by nol5000:

Good gunners tend to stay alive for a long time, They really are handy when people need reviving. Even if they are using a weak gun. I once came out of a red arena(Hard) and the only time i lost health was when I revived people, Never got hit once.

You could say the same thing about bombers. Only with more skill. And way more trolling.

Just sucks that Cap’n Hack-‘N-Slash doesn’t generally know to keep bad guys in the blast radius. Sometimes, he seems to love the monsters so much, bombers find it necessary to air-mail them to him…

 
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Topic: Spiral Knights / Welcome, New Kongregate Players!

I think a clarification of how crystal and mist energy works is extremely important for anyone thinking of putting Kreds into this game, and really poorly explained everywhere. Most places talk about crystal and mist energy as though they were completely different--like crystal energy was a currency, and mist energy was a timer.

All the energy is interchangeable. You can adventure using your cash-energy, and you can craft using the free-regenerating mist energy. Also, this gives both monetary and time-regenerative values to everything. So a few things to keep in mind:

- At the starter pack purchase rate, each point of energy is worth about $0.0027.
- A full tank is 100 units of energy, and takes 22 hours to fully regenerate. That means:
-- A full tank is worth about $0.27
-- The game gives away, as regeneration, just over a penny an hour.
- It also follows that, since the starter pack has 7500 energy, it's worth 75 full tanks, which is 1650 hours (or just over 2 months) of constant regeneration.

When you look at it that way, you see two things: Time-wise, paying into it might very well seem more worth it, but on the other hand, it makes free play seem considerably less fair than it might initially seem. There's been considerable boasting about how everything in this game can be done either free or pay, but consider it in context:

- To do a single dungeon floor (10 energy) costs a free player over 2 hours of regeneration, or a paid player about 3 cents
- For a free player to craft a two-star item (50 energy) puts him out 11 hours of regeneration. This is time taken away from actual gameplay, and makes crafting more or less completely prohibitive at the levels where it isn't downright impossible
- Crystal energy can be bought by free players, but you have to consider the suit-energy cost of dungeon-running for the required crown-money. Before even considering it, run an average dungeon floor, take note of how many crowns you got during your run, and plug it into the following formula:

[Crowns collected] / 10 = Crowns per energy Point Spent

Take your result, and then look the crown price of each point of crystal energy. Keep in mind that, beyond access to special items that cost over 100, crystal energy is _the exact same_ as mist energy. They're _completely interchangeable_. How reasonable an option does buying crystal energy with crowns seem now?

Hopefully this will give some of you a better sense of context. None of the explanations of energy, either in-game or in the FAQ, are really terribly clear, and it's always better to have some reference as to what things are worth.
 
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Topic: Spiral Knights / The GMs want nothing to do with Kong ilk?

Originally posted by Helios_SK:

As is noted in the Welcome Sticky, you always have the option of contacting support via this page. It does not require you to be logged into a specific account.

Ah, aright, thanks.

And to everyone else, I’m a believer of not expecting everything to be free. If I enjoy a game, I have no problems showing the developer some gratitude by paying into it, especially if they offer playability without paying (because the other way around is just scummy). What I’m having issues with is diminished playability after paying into it. Kids these days are so damn entitled. No bloody respect for developers.

 
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Topic: Spiral Knights / The GMs want nothing to do with Kong ilk?

My mist energy’s been draining for no bloody reason, in pretty large chunks, since I dumped money into this bloody game. It ate 70 when I made the transaction, and then dropped from about 64 to 14 for no apparent reason while I was running around town after using a mist can and doing a few floors of dungeon.

I sent a bug after the first drop, but wanted to talk to a GM after the second. Thing is, when you use the in-game feature, it asks you to log into your steam account to request support. Since I’m on Kong and not Steam, I interpreted that as them lighting their cigars with the cash monies they’d just scammed me out of on a game that breaks the second I pay them.

Seriously, this game literally cheated me out of my money the second I paid into it, and it’s not giving me an option to complain about it. And it’s very, very frustrating.

 
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Topic: Swords & Potions / The ZOOL Guide to Guilds (and totally not a recruitment thread in any way)

Originally posted by MajorDanger:

As a bit of a “newbie” to this game, what is considered ‘good’ co-op levels? Is ‘good’ determined based off of a ratio to the other levels, or just a flat number? Example (my two guys, Carpenter and BS) 13Learn, 14Inn, 11Co-op and 17Learn, 11Inn ,16Co-Op respectively.

It really depends. If you’re literally just starting, and can’t afford many projects yet, ditching a character with high crafting and innovation for someone with high co-op doesn’t make that much sense. You want to be able to take care of your own before you worry about others, and you do that by researching, building, and selling better stuff. As the items you craft become worth more and your need to research decreases, that’s when you can start looking to trade up.

As for gauging how well-off your characters are going to be doing once you hit that level, it’s bloody impossible to say. Levelling is completely random, so your high-co-op smith could get mostly innovation points over the next few levels, or your low co-op carpenter could get a whole mess of co-op points. Or both could get mostly crafting points. The best way to think of it isn’t whether your guys are great—just whether they’re better than whatever potential replacement you have lined up.

 
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Topic: Swords & Potions / Guild Efficency part 1 (Nanny guild)

Man, kinda wish I caught this in my ZOOL thread. I never even considered that business model.

I’ll add it to the FAQ.

 
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Topic: Swords & Potions / The ZOOL Guide to Guilds (and totally not a recruitment thread in any way)

Let's pretend for a second that there's more to a guild than whether or not they're looking, and that there's more to a recruit than dumping points every now and again into some random open project. Would it not benefit users (and guilds) an open forum, so that they know what they're getting into (beyond an escape from sitting in chat saying "1k sorc for 1k any")?

Well, I thought so, but the popo evidently believed that it was merely a recruiting thread. Which it isn't. So I'm starting this thread not for potential recruits, but rather for the heads of guilds to openly discuss the nature of their membership, and debate the validity of different guilding philosophies. If you're in a guild, why are you happy (or dissatisfied) with it? What do you want in a guild?

The old FAQ, which dealt more with how to be a productive member of a guild than the nature of guilds themselves, has been broken into two parts, with an interjection (well, more of a placeholder, because it needs way more feedback) about the different types of guild available. The first part is the FAQ on how to be an efficient, high-output member of your guild. This was all mandatory for ZOOL; I'd be interested to hear what other styles of guild think about it. The last part is just to give you an idea of what the hell I mean when I say "guild philosophy" in such a socially limited game.

THIS FAQ IS TERRIBLE AND YOU SHOULD FEEL TERRIBLE (Guilding Guide)

Q: My carpenter is level--

A: Stop. That doesn't matter. My first carpenter got to level 70, and he had a whoppin' 34 cooperation skill. And, since he levelled slower, that made him worse than the 34-coop level 40 with whom I replaced him. He was fundamentally useless for anything but making flutes. (Scores of flutes. Oh, the wond'rous number of flutes he could make...) Your workers' point distribution is far more important to your guild than your crafter levels.

Q: Is it really?

A: Well--okay, no. Not always, anyways. Having a sorceress with a crappy co-op isn't a huge deal for earlier-level guilds. In fact, it might be preferable; it puts more points into her production, which means more potions and trinkets and junk to float your store's adventurer economy (and she's the best at burning through rare materials so you don't get overloaded from quests).

Q: What about thug levels?

A: There doesn't seem to be any absolute, concrete explanation on how the thug defensively works. His co-op skill is attributed to guild defense, but there's no telling how substantial a difference it makes (compared to, say, the quality of your own thug, or your door or rug or whatnot). The effects of being vandalized/intimidated/stolen from seem to be fairly minor and very short-lived, and S&P doesn't let you get machine-gunned by the same guy, so I wouldn't put too much stock in it.

Q: So I should join a guild to give and receive those delicious 1k bundles?

A: No. The only reason your craftsmen should ever reach 1k skill is because they were stuck researching something. Think of it as a two-cup glass that you're filling by poring water from a 1 1/2-cup glass. If you wait until it's completely full, you get wasteful spill-over. I usually try to empty them out at between 400-600 points, in case I lose track.

Q: I want to make half-plates, so that's all my tailor is doing.

A: That wasn't a question, but it's wrong. You should never idle. Ever. Every hour you aren't producing something is a handful of lost co-op points you aren't contributing. You see those 15k draperies that are stuck at 14,976? That's because some asshat was too cool to add another plain clothes to the mountain of throw-aways instead of waiting for the smith to finish up. Every craftsman should have one (and only only one) one-hour dump item they can crank out constantly to compensate for the wonky coordination of multi-discipline items.

Q: Why only one dump item? And which item?

A: The customers come in and ask for either an appropriately levelled item that you likely can't make (usually high-level magic items), or a random item from your inventory. To keep your war machine rolling at optimum speed and still crank out a good number of delicious multi-discipline items, you're going to need to fill in some construction gaps. How and with what are improtant. When someone comes in asking for a random item, it seems to come based off of the numbers (not stacks) of usable items. The important part here is the word usable. When deciding on dump items, consider things that can only be used by one or two professions, such as instruments or thrown weapons. Also, since you can only haggle when someone comes in asking for an item you already have, you're going to want to get rid of this junk as soon as possible to make sure those above-market offers aren't wasted on toy swords and refreshing herbs. Whenever someone gives you a below-market offer you can't haggle on, suggest a piece of crap. Oh noes, they only paid half-market for a plain robe! You lost a whoppin' fifty bucks! You get the point. Also, keep in mind that stacking singles isn't the only way to fill time--2-hour items are easier to clear (and give you a little more of a pittance when sold), and, depending on how rushed you are, it might even be worth lining up a cycle of proper items--instead of taking a 3/4-hour co-op item with the first crafting a crappy 1-hour item in between, craft a 3/4-hour item, with the first starting a 5-hour awesome item and the second a 4-hour not-quite-crappy one. Note: This section of the FAQ was written pre-patch. Since they borked the success rates for quest item suggestions, the negative value of smaller objects is now slightly greater. I would seriously recommend finding a functional multi-craft circuit to fill time instead of just using filler objects.

Q: Wait--you said only one... but then you said to make lots of stuff...

A: Make the least garbage-y garbage as you can. I was doing this wrong when I started, so I can't tell you how hard it is, but I would suggest based on what I know now that you keep an eye on what your crafters can use to fill time, and consider how much demand those junk items are going to soak up. No point using something as common as a sword once you get high enough to crank out one-hour throwing knives, or to make something as common as clubs once you can crank out one-hour flutes. And try to keep track of how much time projects are going to take--you might be able to finish one co-op with one craftsman, segue into another co-op, and then finish the same time the second craftsman is done the first to start it all over again. Ballparking based on the figures in the recipe screen (for example, a 4-hour item that requires 100/75 of one craftsman and 50/25 of another will probably take 4 hours for the first, but only 2 from the second) and using the progress bars to gauge how close your currently-crafting craftsmen are to finishing ought to help you co-ordinate.

Q: Is that a header down there? So that means that's all you have to say?

A: There's tons of literature out there on how the game works. I just wanted to clear up a couple of misconceptions about a player's relative value to a guild.

SO WHAT KINDS OF GUILDS ARE THERE?

Who bloody knows. That's part of what I'm here for. I'm not even the head of my own guild anymore--passed the torch because real life recently sprung up and bit me in the ass. From what I gathered, there are a few different options:

The Sweatshop

This is what I ran. It isn't as bad as it sounds, and I'm going to post my 'About us' FAQ after this section to help clarify exactly what we were and what how we did things. Ideally, this is basically an obsessive-compulsive's dream; we set out to put our minds to getting everything finished as quickly as possible. This type of guild is ideal for people who play games like this to level up.

The Frat House

I honestly couldn't tell you if these types of guild exist. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they did, formed by closed-off groups of pre-existing friends. Essentially, they would log on to chat and chill with their guildies. This endeavour would, I'd imagine, be sort of ill-fated and short-lived, simply for the fact that S&P really doesn't lend itself to social interaction; the in-game chatroom is abysmal and intrusive, the Kong chatrooms are split 12 ways, and the messages are not only intrusive, but fairly limited in length.

The Random Invite

Nothing says life-long friendship quite like junk mail. There are benefits in being in a guild with undedicated, non-like-minded people--the co-op bonus, the occasional person contributing to your improvements, and that weekly earnings achievement (which ZOOL got with 6 members, by the way, so it doesn't really need a huge recruitment drive)--but it would likely be best not to stifle yourself in a guild with whom you don't share a purpose.

The Newbie Guild

This is how ZOOL started. It was three guys who didn't feel like hawking points in chat. We all played roughly the same amount of time, contributed roughly the same amount of points, and grew at roughly the same rate. Whenever someone lower level came up and asked about ZOOL, I always recommended they either find or make one of these. Low guild fees, no major commitment.

The Nanny Guild

This one came up in a thread literally as I was posting the FAQ for the first time. They work thusly:

A high-level player (or 'nanny', because it's only vaguely insulting and fits the construct) finds a bunch of lower-level players (or 'children', for same reason as above). The children all contribute all of their points to the nanny's larger projects, while the nanny splits their points amongst the children, hammering off their smaller projects with ease. While fairly inefficient, math-wise, it's actually far more psychologically efficient than the sweatshop approach; the nanny is rewarded with the satisfaction of constantly bashing out improvements instead of spending in-game weeks watching a single bar creep up. There are two downsides: One, the nanny's own projects will raise very slowly, since the children will all have under-levelled, and non-specialized craftsmen. And two, the nanny will have to drown their children like a sack of puppies when they get too big. (So-to-speak.)

And now, the old ZOOL FAQ:

THERE IS NO GUILD, ONLY ZOOL (About Minions of Gozer)

Q: I don't get it. Zool? Gozer?

A: You poor, uncultured fool. You go watch Ghostbusters; if you need me, I'll be in the corner, weeping for the future.

Q: What is the fundamental ZOOL philosophy?

A: Initially, "If I wanted to sit in a chat room and spam trades, I would be brokering, not playing a game." The transient model of early guilds becomes completely inefficient the second you can afford a 50g daily stipend. Seriously--one toy sword can save you from spending an hour sitting in chat, trying to get rid of your sorc points.

Q: What is the current ZOOL philosophy?

A: Essentially the same as it was in the beginning--I just want to set up the most efficient system of collectively improving the shops of everyone involved.

Q: I was attacked by some guy! Bring the thunder! MAKE HIM PAY!

A: You can message guild members requesting retaliation. Just don't expect to drive him completely out of business; thug attacks are little more than a nuisance. Still, your thug's there, and he's gotta harass someone. Might as well be a proper enemy of the guild.

Q: How do I make you love me?

A: This part of the FAQ said that ZOOL wasn't a sweatshop, but wasn't an opium den, either. The fact of the matter is, that's kind of a lie; ZOOL is a sweatshop. Its primary purpose was to barrel towards an endgame of all upgrades completed, as quickly and efficiently as possible. As such, our requisites were high co-op, frequent gameplay, and fair distribution of improvement points.

Q: Fair distribution?

A: You're going to need to use your judgement. If there's something that's been sitting there for a long time, or a member whose stuff hasn't been worked on in a while, by all means, start it. Help complete things that are partially finished. When in doubt, check the guild feed--it'll give you an idea of who's more active, and where the points have recently been going. The guild currently isn't so big that anyone can be forgotten, so you don't need to worry about being neglected.

Q: Are there any other hints on where to put my precious points?

A: Carpentry is the big problem with this game. Everything else can go wherever you please, but to keep a steady flow of work to your smith and tailor, you'll need to place priority on projects that lead into multi-disciplinary improvements. For example, when you complete Blacksmith tools, they can start the next level and give your blacksmith something to do, whereas when you complete wood flooring, that only leads into more wood flooring. Weapon racks don't lead to anything, so they generally have a lower priority than everything else.

Q: Does that mean if I join my guild, I'll never get my floors finished? :(

A: If you want one improvement more than the others, just tell a member to get it started. Even if it's only 10 points, seeing a project that's been started will bring contributors. People don't like to see things part-way done. It's human nature.

Q: This has been a lot of words.

A: Yes it has.

Q: What does ZOOL currently have to offer?

A: For you reading this FAQ, nothing. This isn't a recruitment thread. As was mentioned, ZOOL is a great example of a sweatshop-type guild. Members are hired based on co-op output, and conversations within the guild are kept to newsy stuff--introductions, notifications, so forth.

Q: If a smaller guild is so important (to keeping track of how evenly points are spread out), then why were you recruiting (and are totally not recruiting at all with this thread in any way)?

A: Originally, it was a matter of too much supply, not enough demand. Now we've got a nice spread of members over various points in their development. We don't really need members at all. But we're always open for like-minded people who want to grind up their improvements at ludicrous speeds while helping us do the same. OR AT LEAST THAT'S WHAT I WOULD SAY IF I WAS HIRING! Seriously, though, there's a point at which the escalation of the improvement costs slows everything down, and that tends to drag a member's activity down. Keeping fresh blood helps to keep the guild active. As well as providing a constant flow of projects.

ENOUGH WITH THE FAQ ALREADY (Recruitment Form)

There is no recruitment form. THERE IS ONLY ZOOL!

When there was a recruitment form, these are what we considered:

- Co-Op levels of your carpenter, smith, tailor, and sorceress

- How many in-game days you usually burn through on any given weekday and weekend.

That's it. Anyone who could provide a consistent throughput of points, and wanted a consistent throughput in return.

WOW, THAT WAS A LOT OF TEXT I JUST IGNORED. CAN I START TALKING YET? (Discussion Request)

I want to be able to finish this FAQ. I've got plenty of experience running a sweatshop, but I haven't really had any first-hand experience with anything else. I'd like to be as thorough and detailed as possible, but, as my 'guild types' section has likely told you (unless you really did just skip to the end, in which case take my word for it), I don't know that much about how the other guys run.

If you're a part of a different type of guild, or you want to be a part of a different type of guild, tell me about it. I want to know how the others work, or even how others fail--if there's some inherent limitation that become breaking points (like the late-game improvement slowdown that we've faced in my guild).

 
Flag Post

Topic: Swords & Potions / The ZOOL Guide to Guilds (and recruitment thread, I guess)

Originally posted by OperaGhost:

Hey I would like to join your guild, here are some of my stats

BS lvl 30 / c24
Sorc lvl15 / c16
Carp lvl30 /c21
Tail lvl21 / c15

Stats too low?? Wait!

I am on my 173th day now and this is only my 3rd day playing this game(yes I have no life), probably gonna reach day 190 when I go sleep. So think, considering you guys only play for 14 in game days per rl day, i play 4 times more then you guys so technically my coop output will be 4x as well, that is even higher then some of the high level applicant I see posting on here. And if I continue on this rate, my workers will level up and my output will definitely increase.

So please do think it over and consider me.

I have a question too, how much is this guild fee currently?

reply here and we shall see how it goes, or mail me in game, ign OperaGhost :D

OG

Wouldn’t the guild fee hit you too hard? I guess not, since we keep it small enough for the guild fees to be under 100 gold a day.

Anyways, I’ve had to step down as guild leader because my work situation changed and I no longer have enough time to keep on top of everything. I’ve handed it to Mistermind for the time being—so he’ll have the final say on who joins the guild.

There have been a few people interested in joining a lower-level version of the guild. Since you’re pretty damn active, you’d actually be a pretty ideal candidate to jump on the helm of one. Could be an interim guild for people who are training towards ZOOL, could be one whose expectations grow alongside its members. Who am I to say?

If you’re interested, you could get started by getting in touch with Marison, who posted earlier in the thread, was looking for an interim guild, and another user named FuzzyIceCubes who recently sent me a message stating he was in pretty much the same boat, looking for an interim guild. Also, feel free to use this thread for your recruitment—it’s always handy to have all the rules-of-thumb and build goals laid out for you.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Swords & Potions / The ZOOL Guide to Guilds (and recruitment thread, I guess)

Originally posted by Marison:


I would love to join as well, if that’s possible. I know I don’t meet all the requirements quite yet, but I would hate to dump all my coop points into the projects of my inactive guildmates till I have levelled up enough to be able to join ZOOL.

Eh, I’d recommend the same thing to you as I did to Blueshanks when he was still grinding up his crafters: Try to find an active guild that’s more your level. When your co-op is still fairly low, you don’t need more than one or two guildmates to keep your crafters busy. If they idle, quit, or slack, just ramble on and find someone else about your level.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Swords & Potions / The ZOOL Guide to Guilds (and recruitment thread, I guess)

ZOOL is opening its doors again.

For one member.

One.

As in, less than two.

We’ve found a size that most of us agree is most efficient, and it’s one more than we’ve got now.

If you’re interested in a guild whose exclusive goal is to finish everyone’s improvements as efficiently as possible, apply here with the following:

- All your crafters’ co-op levels
- How often you log in (IE how many in-game days you average every real day)
- If you could choose six words to put on your gravestone, what would they be?

Mine would be “I’ll be back for your brains.” But that’s neither here nor there.

The rules of the guild, in case you don’t feel like clicking back:
- Distribute points as evenly as you can. Use the updates list if you’re not sure who has and hasn’t been receiving points lately.
- Let us know if you’re going to be away for a few days.
- Don’t spam our crafting lists. Have one or two projects for each of our craftsmen, and replace them as they’re completed. (I realize you’ll inevitably have a bunch of carpenter projects pile up, but still, try to keep it neat as possible.)

That’s all there is to it.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Swords & Potions / The ZOOL Guide to Guilds (and recruitment thread, I guess)

Hiring is temporarily closed. I’ll update the thread when we start looking again. But feel free to use this forum still to discuss the FAQ, ask about the guild, or call me names or whatever.

 
Flag Post

Topic: Swords & Potions / The ZOOL Guide to Guilds (and recruitment thread, I guess)

Originally posted by 613TheEvil:

In-game name 613TheEvil

Yes I know my Tail and Carp are too low…

At the moment, I’m the guild leader. You’re right—your tailor and carpenter are currently too low. One might be possible to overlook, but the carpenter is, and will likely always be, the greatest bottleneck faced by any guild, and therefore is the most important consideration in recruitment.

Think of it this way: Waiting until your crafters’ skills are higher is how we keep ZOOL worth waiting until your crafters’ skills are higher.

Even if we close recruitment soon (there’s been a little buzz about keeping it small enough to keep track of everyone, so nobody gets left out), let us know when your lacking crafters are upgraded. We’ll keep a seat warm for you.

…not that shopkeepers ever actually sit, per-se…