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DemonSlayer
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Joined: 19 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:35 pm    Post subject: Feedback Reply with quote

This is the thread to give feedback on the campaign. Whatever you liked, whatever you didn't like, whatever you thought could be better, or simply suggestions for the next campaign; please, post it here!
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fauthsie
Street fighter


Joined: 21 Apr 2011
Posts: 70

PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts

1) Too many resources.... Although it did lend it self to realism, the fact that were 9ish different reasons meant that it just became a hassle to have some of them. From my understanding there wasn't a universal way to exchange the resources, as the only method was through the goblin FH. This meant that if you had use a FH letter to try and trade the resources additionally this lends itself to the idea that those who became friends with the goblin got a better deal. Meaning that those who didn't had little incentive to try and trade with him later on (especially if the campaign lasted longer) as they didn't have a relationship with him.

The number of resources also made creating a projects etc more difficult then they had to be as at least I found myself trying to strike a balance in the cost of the various resources. This just took up extra time.

2) Unfortunately in a shorter and smaller campaign, the role of Figureheads is much harder to use and implement effectively. I don't know what you originally had planned for length of the campaign but general rule of thumb is that 2-3 turns is needed just to establish a relationship with said FH. With only a 6 turn campaign, few relationships would have really bore any fruit. I am of the mindset that in such shorter campaign settings FH should be limited in choice and scope.

3) The campaign engine was good albiet the territories seemed to fall too easily. Although I know were were fighting over segements of a city, the fact that they flipped by a single report in many cases seem a little to easy.
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van Rensselaer
Militia


Joined: 23 Apr 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Nez, Lyonesse

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only big problem was the little to no incentive to fight each other, we fought for a couple of turns, but eventually e just kind of settled into Exiles vs. Peasants and Knights vs. Nobles and Merchants. I felt a bit disinterested in the Peasant v. Exile battle by the end too, leaving at least me unsure of what our relations with them were. If we had more reason to battle it out, since I think you designed the factions to make compromise easy, we might have battled more.
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Draig
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Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First up congratulations. It doesn't get said enough, and especially in a feedback thread you can sometimes lose sight of what you accomplished in light of all the suggestions and complaints. So before you read this, great job. It's a huge undertaking running even a small campaign, and you guys did well. Thumbs up.

My feedback from my chair, your mileage may vary.

Something that had a large effect was timing. Too many campaigns running at once stretched people out. I know the schedule is cramped with WE planning one, Asrai.org to follow, and AC in January, but I think all the campaigns would have been better served by communicating better and staggering themselves. Campaigns are the players. You get enthusiastic, involved players and they really take off. I just get the feeling that some players didn't know where to go. Some stayed with one campaign, some tried to do multiples ( I definately fell into this trap), and involvement suffered.

Basically the exiles were Timbor, Beithir and I. I was grabbing locations on my own, doing a benny hill dance with the Peasants most of the second half. That was a little frustrating, as you feel alone and a bit unimportant. I like the epic battles, where your faction really feels great taking the bridge, or the market district. Here it was extremely easy to capture on your own and the low numbers and constant swapping of locations made a cap feel a bit unimportant.

On the plus side the feel in our faction was loose and relaxed, with no pressure, but with that came no real engagement. It felt a little like people were here and playing, but not truly engaged with the campaign.

I think partly that was the crush of four campaigns at once, but the other half of that would be the setting. The hook and plot that drove the campaign never felt all that compelling to me, I'm afraid to say. Again, these things are intangible. If your faction gets enthused about some random thing, or one guy goes on an awesome fluff tear or pulls out a whacky project idea it can really spark a campaign off and drag people kicking and screaming into a setting they are not that interested in, but it never really happened for me here. Partially time, partially the schedule of campaigns, and I think partially the setting not grabbing me.

The characters mostly seemed good and strong from what I read, and as I said I wish I'd had more time to write to them. That's my main regret with this campaign. I'd love to see some of the background you guys wrote for them.

Site worked well, no complaints there from me. Map was easy to understand, everything seemed to work smoothly. Thumbs up.

I think the idea of a single city setting is a good one. I've discussed it with fauthsie before, and I've always wanted to run a small scale city campaign across multiple levels of a ruined stalingrad style city. I think you could expand the concept and it'd be great. It'd also be a nice way to find a niche for yourself in the Campaign market as it were.

That's about it from me. If you wanted to discuss anything by PM or MSN, feel free to drop me a line. And as I said at the top, it's lovely to see other campaign teams springing up and doing well. Looking forward to City Fight 2.
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DemonSlayer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies so far Smile. I agree with what's been said thus far;

Resources
This indeed proved to be a major pain at several times. While I still like the idea of having more than one resource, eleven might've been a bit over the top. Many weren't even being used! The point was to provide a more economically realistic system, but keeping track of economics just became too complex in a system with that many resources. In addition, having no actual rules or exchange rates didn't help, either.

So, for the next campaign, I will introduce a limited number of resources- four or five, tops. I'm thinking;

-coin (rather than gold, silver and brass)
-food (rather than food and ale)
-raw (rather than steel, wood and parchment)
-goods (rather than goods, art and weapons)

And possibly some other category to define a workforce (slaves, paid workers etc.). And I'll definately make a proper table for exchange rates! At that point it should be possible for people to buy/sell their own goods via an interface, rather than via PM/figureheads. Also, I should make an interface for handing players to give resources to other players.

Figureheads
Trading with Grish was originally meant to be much more than "give me three food, I'll give you two ale". I wanted to let players buy "special" stuff from him. Warpstone. Slaves. Books on the nature of magic. Deeds to certain buildings. You name it. Unfortunately this didn't happen, which as Draig pointed out has a lot to do with the lack of immersion (which is really my fault for writing hasty fluff updates and such).

Warmonger... Failed completely. Nobody was even remotely interested in him, which is why I had him offed by Thierulf. The story of Thierulf itself proved to be a bit harder than I anticipated, too; I didn't want to railroad people into going after him and making him the focus of the campaign, but this led to him becoming an unimportant side-effect, rather than a focal point to the campaign... Which wasn't how I intended it.

As for Luc, Tristan and Theodore; I feel these figureheads were played very good. Fauthsie is of course right in saying that the campaign was a bit short to build any real relationship with them (I don't think even a tenth of what NewGuy wrote ever came to light, although he has announced that he'll use the character in a future campaign), but Tarlen, Dunrik and NewGuy did a stellar job with each of them.

Easy conquest
Yup, noticed this as well. Needs a lot of work. There was hardly any real conflict- something that really should be there when five warring factions are set loose in one single city...

Can't we all be friends...
To be honest, the factions were all designed to be morally gray. However the Sons were a bit dark from the get-go (they were actually toned down from my original idea- a band of orcs, beastmen, and chaos warbands), and the Chevaliers, well, Blacksquig and Mogsam made that faction black as night within five seconds of singing up Wink.

When designing the campaign, each faction really, really, really hated all other factions. However, since everyone was a rival, it also meant everyone had common enemies, which actually promoted NAPs. Then, of course, there's the point that the map is relatively big (with only six moves, people would barely be able to cross the whole map in the entire game!), which really limited the amount of fighting that could be done. Basically everyone could be happy with their little corner of the map (except Blacksquig and Mogsam, of course Wink)...

Timing
Well, honestly, I did not foresee that three other campaigns would be started simultaneously. In fact, the anouncements for each of the campaigns went out at just about the same time! I wasn't really able to predict that one, and besides, this was the only time I'd be able to run a campaign (ie from work, where I sit behind a computer 8 hours each day- plenty of time to check the site, write fluff, etc.). So I took a bit of a gamble, which didn't turn out as well as I expected.

However, the point is, there's a LOT of big campaigns out there already. W-E in the summer, Sentinels of Shadows shortly after, A6 come January... Basically there's a three-to-five month window in the spring, and an even shorter window in the autumn. That's not a lot, especially considering that people will need some time to recharge after campaigns (an entirely new concept for me that I did not anticipate; I could play them nonstop).

Blandness
Hate to admit it, but yup. Sure, there was some mystery going on, but I think maybe two or three people bothered to look into it. Not as successful as the Lilith element, by far. And if you take that away, it was a generic power struggle for a generic little town. Fun, but nowhere near as epic as the complexities of fighting over Estalia, Tilea or the Empire.

And I know that's not due to scale. It's due to a lack of immersion, which can be blamed on pretty much all of the above- too few fights, factions that all got along, not enough time for communcating with figureheads, etc etc. As draig says, it was fun, but not immersive enough. Which is something to work on. 'sides, this campaign was mainly a testing ground for the mechanics- we'll go all out with the next one...


As a side note, I really like the thought of a "City" niche- especially since several ideas for future campaigns I have revolve around a city as well!

Keep the feedback coming!
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Dihenydd
Militia


Joined: 26 Apr 2011
Posts: 38
Location: Coach is in the Dusty Drum Tavern

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mechanically everything seemed to flow nicely, no complaints and plenty of kudo's!!

There definitely seemed to be lots going on that I didn't fully understand fluff-wise with the FH's. I had some interaction with a few of them and unfortunately the communication wasn't always consistent. I realize Real Life issues came up, so perhaps holding it later when there would be more people available would have helped.

I think I double posted results twice, so perhaps something to help avoid that?

Also, and I think that's my fault, I was completely in the dark regarding the 6 turns aspect of things, it seemed stuff was just starting and then it was over. I was trying to take a 'long view' of my personal project which now seems a bit silly in a 6 turn campaign. I would have liked to finish those RP ideas that came up tho.

My special projects were fun, and I'm quite happy with that aspect of the game. I think thats a great idea. I think I would say I'm in agreement that perhaps too many resources were offered, I appreciate why, but in 6 turns that's too many.

Awesome campaign, I had fun and would participate in the next one!!


GO BUST LOOSE! BEST BB TEAM EVER.
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Sir Guy de Trabuchet
Street fighter


Joined: 20 Apr 2011
Posts: 51

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that your mechanics were spot on and the ebband flow of the turns was orchestrated well.

I am sure that the FH mechanic was fine but since I dont deal with FH, I never pursued that avenue.

I think that Warmonger was not needed at all. I dont know that anyone viewed him as a threat (I know I wasnt concerned yet with him) and his mindless violence took away from the tensions of the factions, imo. I dont think it was nesessary to have him. If he had galvanized some of the factions, it might have been worth it but just feel you didnt need him.

The number of people, how many did you think were going to be able play? I know I set my sights on about 15 players for the Karibbean campaign. With everyone coming off a big campaign and all thes little ones popping up, did you set your expectations too high? I know Mogsum and myself were alone at the end, not sure if Scurrdi wasnt able to play or we drove him off! I hope it is the former and not the latter. But going forward you may consider a few less factions so that there are more folks? I am no sure as to your aspirations so I dont know if that even helps! Smile

I think it is a fine idea to consolidate your resources. I know I couldnt think of a thing to use all that Art for! 4 types makes it more managable and still keeps the flavor you like.

Background. I would have liked to have seen a more extensive history and background on the city. As we were confined to the city, it was the key feature and I think it could be awesome if you can flesh it out more. Districts, places of Interest, things like that. Your big hook for this campaign is that is taking place in the confines of one location and I think with some more love you have a really different aspect of campaigning to offer.

I am onboard for the next one for sure!
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Draig
Militia


Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure everyone will like this, but a Euro game element to the resources could be very interesting. Requiring different resources for different things, say constructing buildings, running projects, equipping your army, and making sure you never quite have enough. I'd set up a trading NPC you can use for free, with a terrible exchange rate, and let the players offer better ones. This could force trading between players and cause some fun shifting alligences if you plan it out carefully. It means you also have two things to fight over. Strategic regions that help your position, and resources that let you do things.

I think the issue for me with the faction construction was this. Each faction seemed constructed more around antagonism to other factions goals than their own background. Faction X hated Y and disliked Z. That was the focus of the background, but it seemed like if you'd dumped all those Factions somewhere else, you'd have had the same effect. That kind of made the city itself a bit periferal, as these Factions really just wanted to rip each other a new one rather than take the city itself. Also I think with all the hatred towards each other I didn't get that feel of 'this is my faction, this is my identity'. Their scope seemed to be pummling the other guy and maybe looting the city, and so it felt like an isolated event rather than the campaign being just a single a part of the story of my faction, if you see what I mean?

With the timing, I totally appreciate your problem. It seemed like a perfect storm of people deciding they had to go right now. I think the schedule is less packed than it appears though. Assuming these run every year.

Animosity 1st Jan - end of March (3 months)
Warhammer Empire July - Late August (2 months)
Asrai.org 31st October - end December (2 months)

Thats basically just over half the year, seven months. Now granted, Campaign running around the clock will see some people not play in all of them, but I think there's plenty of room for getting another 2 teams in without overlapping.

Not saying you should move mate, just that teams talking to each other and trying to find a gap in the schedule might result in more participation for everyone.
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Last edited by Draig on Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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DemonSlayer
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, the point you make about the factions is a very good one. That's a really good observation, and something I can definately work with next time Smile.
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Mogsam
Street fighter


Joined: 24 Apr 2011
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NPC's - Slight issue in that the Goblin was hard for anyone trying to play through fluff to talk to them. My character would kill him rather than barter with him as I explained quite early on.

Also Warmonger/second evil dude was a questionable choice, there was no real motivation to speak to him. Big evil doers aren't very interesting other than as people to kill. He detracted from the storyline being about the players and made it more about him being super evil.

I was a little disapointed by my responses when I actively insulted the NPC. I thought there could have been alot done about that! Was hoping that he might give me something to work with but it was just insults in response. Or he could have done something to hinder me.

Monies: I agree, the money was complicated and hurt casual gamers.

Factions: We had one faction write to us the whole campaign! Made it very difficult to care.
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Bran Wyr
Street fighter


Joined: 22 Apr 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resources: Loved them. However I was not clear on what besides upgrade stuff I could spend them On. And I know that is my fault because I was too busy with the City of Skulls.

Figureheads: Again I loved them, but really didnt have the time to really invest my efforts.

Easy conquest and battle Reports: I actually loved the mechanics behind this campaign. Simple easy, select location and push submit. It is really easy. But it trusts the players to be honest and not just fake results. The Fact that it was a city made it easy to grasp that locations could easily be taken by armed forces.

Timing: For me it was horrible, and I should have known. But I had no idea how much work went into running the City of Skulls until it was too late.


Blandness: Again I did not have time to really get into it all that much, and so it seemed bland to me, but thats my own fault.


Fluff: I actually really liked the fluff and theme of this campaign. And personally I think the small scale was great, and allowed almost every player to be mentioned in the fluff one or more times.


Overall: I think it was a good campaign, and next time it will be even better, and maybe we can coordinate so we dont run them at the same time.


Cheers!
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