Monday, 13 December 2010

Statistics

I have to admit that I love statistics ... well, especially in games. I suppose that is why I enjoy playing RPGs that allow you to change attributes that affect play. Weighing up the odds of using one weapon over another, or cogitating which attribute or skill to increase all add to the excitement (in my opinion). In recent years, I have seen how games have also introduced other statistics, like the number of kills or deaths, etc. These too, have an element of intrigue, and is something that I want to include in Better The Demon.

Knowing which kind of additional statistics to include can be a difficult thing to govern. After all, I don't want to turn an RPG into a number crunching exercise. That said, I do like the idea of keeping track of the players own number of deaths (for each PC) and the total number of kills each PC may have attained. To this end, I have included a simple statistics GUI that keeps track of exactly this. To access it, the player must use the game's Main Menu. Thereafter, the player is presented with a simple GUI for the list of PCs being played. (See composite image below.)


There are a couple of things to note regarding the new GUI:-

1) The GUI highlights the PC in the list that the player is currently controlling.
2) The death tracking is broken into the three styles of recovery that will be available in the game: Raising (via spell), Rebirth (via Life Essences) and Respawn (via the console).

Hopefully, this kind of information will appeal to other players as well. There may be other possibilities for statistical feedback for this GUI, but that is all I have done for the time being. However, if you have an idea for some feedback you would like to see included, then let me know. If it is possible to include, and does not require too much backward coding, then I will consider including it.

In other news, I have continued to write conversations and start to design another interior area. As describing any of this would be a spoiler, there is little more I can add.

14 comments:

Hoegbo said...

I think I once said I|m gonna steal alot of ideas from you (as I have stolen shamelessly from kamal chaos wielder ,dorateen and others). this is no exception I to do like browsing statistics from time to time.

what interior are you working on ? can you update the area document? you could have some of mine if you do not mind a a "prefab" that is if I have something like what you need.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Hoegbo,

You are more than welcome to have/use anything I have made. :)

I will contact you directly about the area so as not to give away any information. However, it is the last interior area that had not been started in the area list for module 1.

I would like to increase my areas as much as possible, just to give a bit more variety. Therefore, if I can use any of your areas, I will. :)

Cheers!

Lance.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... How about a "critical hit" counter? Or even a normal "hit" counter, though that's probably not worth the effort. But I find statistics fun, no matter what they are about.


Also, the blue letters for the kills are barely readable, you should change it to another colour.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Anon,

I'm glad you like stats too.

Unfortunately, I am unaware of any function that can capture if a critical hit has been made or not. I suspect that is hard-coded. If you are aware of a function that can give this info, then please let me know and I will look into it. :)

As for the blue font ... it is MUCH clearer in the original image. The blog's degrading of the image before presentation is responsible for the poor visual in this case. However, I may still change the colour to a light blue, subject to any other stats that I might be able to add.

Do let me know if you have any more thoughts on other stats.

Lance.

E.C.Patterson said...

You tried the stats item in Trinity right? The stat I like most, and have always liked in other games, is time played. It's pretty easy to compute as I have it on the module heartbeat (so not 100% accurate but accurate enough).

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi E.C. Patterson,

I know I did play Trinity to completion, but I cannot recall any specific stats at the moment. That's a problem with my memory, I am sure - and I wil probably load up your module again at some point to check it out again. :)

And I can conirm that TIME PLAYED is already in Better The Demon, and has been from day one. (I included it with Soul Shaker as well, and I like this articular stat myself.) This stat is shown on the Main Menu as opposed to a specific stat menu, and shows both a SESSION TIME PLAYED and a FULL TIME PLAYED.

Like you, I used a heartbeat, which is reasonably accurate (and I have tried to include some correction checks as well).

If you read this and get the chance, can you remind me what stats you included in Trinity.

Many Thanks.

Lance.

Shaughn said...

Kill stats are good, but by themselves they don't really offer much information. Hvae you considered breaking it up and displaying kill types?

Someone who went rat stomping and has a 1000+ vermin would have an impressive kill count but a dragon hunter who has killed several dragons would be underrepesented.

With the racial and sub race breakdown it may be difficult to track creature type but banding either creature level or challange rating may be a more meaning stat.

Rat Stomper: 1000+ CR 1/4 or lvl 1
Dragon Slayer: 3 CR 18 or lvl 20

Another approach to improving the death count would be an CR or level avarage. As a list of banded CR/lvl would take up a bunch of room on the gui.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Shaughn,

I do like the idea of breaking the kill types up. And as you say, perhaps I can show it as CR level attained to keep the GUI more straight forward.

E.g.

< CR1 (RAT MEAT): 100 KILLS
CR1-2 (THE RATS): 67 KILLS
CR3-4 (BULLIES): 32 KILLS
CR5-6 (TOUGH NUTS): 12 KILLS
ETC.

The titles probably need a bit of work, but I reckon this should be reasonably straight forward to include ... but, maybe, only as a PARTY STATUS KILL, as it could get quite a long list for a large party of PCs to list, if you see what I mean?

That said, it may be something I can expand even more on at a later date, when the adventure is at least nearing a more completed state.

EVERYONE: CR TITLE SUGGESTIONS WANTED!!

Cheers!

Lance.

Shaughn said...

Here is a list that I put together. I used bundels of 3 for the CR and maxed at epic.

CR, MONSTER TITLE, ADVENTURER TITLE

<1, INCOMPETENT VERMIN, RAT STOMPER
1-3, KNEE BITER, BLUNDERER
4-6, UNRULY THUG, DUNGEON CRAWLER
7-9, VILLAGE RAIDER, SELL SWORD
10-12, MAN EATER, BEAST SLAYER
13-15, THING OF NIGHTMARES, RIGHTEOUS OVERLORD
15-18, ARCH VILLIAN, SAVIOR OF THE MASSES
>19, EVIL INCARNATE, LEGENDARY HERO

Sorry about the multiple post and delets, ran into some copy and pasting issues.

Anonymous said...

I love statistics. I planned on having them in my mod to begin with, but EC and "Trinity" made me realize I had to do it. A minor addition, overall, for a big gain.

I included these in my stats page for the record: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_aQ7iBja4_mg/TJgSjNMRCXI/AAAAAAAAA4U/7O74LCW23KY/s1600/stats2.png

Keep it up! Your UI work inspired me to learn xml. :)

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Shaughn,

Great list! I was struggling to think of a few last night and hoped someone may have put together a few suggestions. I had thought of going for a list of 10 titles in a similar spread to your own, but with more variation at the lower levels. As alignment can vary in my module, I am going to stick with titles that can apply to any alignment (otherwise it may confuse). I will try to put something together today ... titles can still change later if need be.

0 ------ 0

Hi Chaos Wielder,

I remember seeing your stat screenshot before and thought back then that I really must work on including some of my own. :) As my module caters for multi players, I have to be a bit more choosy on what to give feedback on so as not to make too big a list, but would like to consider a few more stats if possible.

It's great to hear that my own work has inspired you to learn XML ... that is a great blessing to both of us.

Lance.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi All,

OK, I currently have this list to reflect PC achievment, but would like your feedback. Would you prefer different titles?If so, please help name them. The category name has to be alignment neutral and its name reflect the level of competence that the PC has achieved.

NB: Categories cannot be too spread, as it is possible for an encounter to have differing CR creatures in the same battle, meaning a PC could easily jump a category if they killed both creatures.

string sStatus = "Incompetent"; // CR < 2
if(fCR > 1.00 && fCR < 4.00){sStatus = "Blunderer";} // CR 2-3
if(fCR > 3.00 && fCR < 6.00){sStatus = "Huntsman";} // CR 4-5
if(fCR > 5.00 && fCR < 8.00){sStatus = "Beast Bane";} // CR 6-7
if(fCR > 7.00 && fCR < 11.00){sStatus = "Sell Sword";} // CR 8-10
if(fCR > 10.00 && fCR < 14.00){sStatus = "Dungeon Crawler";}// CR 11-13
if(fCR > 13.00 && fCR < 17.00){sStatus = "Fortune Finder";} // CR 14-16
if(fCR > 16.00 && fCR < 20.00){sStatus = "Slayer";} // CR 17-19
if(fCR > 19.00){sStatus = "Legendary";} // CR 20+

Lance.

Kamal said...

Is there some kind of bonus for doing enough things ala SoZ with it's explorer feats? Otherwise something like this I'd probably just overlook as I follow the story, to be honest.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Kamal,

At the moment, it is included purely as an interest item. Not everybody will be interested in its inclusion and is why I don't want to spend too much time on it.

I just find this kind of thing interesting to look at in my game. ;)

That said, maybe there might be a use for it in future design. :)

Lance.