A perk system for GRIP

From turbos to missiles, discuss Grip's pick-ups here
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potterman28wxcv
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A perk system for GRIP

Postby potterman28wxcv » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:18 pm

I was just reading this recent article from RPS about GRIP.

In particular :
RPS wrote: I also wish they had ripped up the clichéd “pickups” tradition and instead allowed players to customise their cars to use certain types of weapons – essentially encouraging “builds”, something that would add a kind of metagame to any future online play, and to give you something to tinker with between races


I disagree with restricting power-ups / being able to select which one you want to use. I have played Firebugs which features this, and the result is quite awful, since you will just select the most versatile power-up. And the cars who have situational power-ups are just left behind.

However, GRIP could have a perk system, in which you could get to choose from a list of upgrades like:
  • Improve by 5% the explosion radius of the Scorpion
  • EMP effect lasts 10% more time
  • Your turbo is 25% more effective if you're last
  • .. imagination .. it should stay specific to power-up upgrades

Each of these upgrades should be slight enough, so that neither of them are gamebreaking.
However, it would add a layer of rpg-like personalization that would please a lot of people, give some "characterization" to the car.

What are your thoughts about it ?
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby TheOnLY » Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:02 pm

If you are talking about perks that i can choose additionally to my car then:

I never liked perks in games i am pretty sure i wouldn't like them in grip either.

If you talk about each car having a unique feature:

I wouldn't mind if well balanced

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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Queadah » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:59 am

Mmmh, I can see where this critics is going. I kinda like it (as long as it's not too predominant)
  • whatever the idea, it will take a hit on dev time
  • devs already had some customization in mind and I DO believe it's the easiest and most elegant way to influence car AND pickup stats along the way !
  • e.g. new front = different armor level AND weapon efficiency, different bottom = different engine (speed) AND various levels of aegis/mine efficiency, different rim = different braking action AND different EMP strengh etc...

That being said...
1. Points
Based on Potty's idea with an allocating point system. To make a parallel with EVE online:

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Racers have a number of "league authorized enhancements" (the "Unassigned Attribute Points" above)
  • Instead of "Intelligence", "Perception" etc... you have the pickups
  • You can assign amelioration points to enhance the use of, say, EMP, over mine efficiency, for instance
  • You get the idea X)

2. Modules
Like NFS :/ or drag and drop modules in predefined slots of the car. Mechwarrior comes to mind.
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[Boy I was young ^^]
  • It's also point based in a way (inducing limits on combinations based on weight/whatever)
  • ...except you have to develop the lore tremendously (mechanical parts, names, and if not 3D appearance, at least symbols)
  • More of a burden but might fit better the mechanical universe ?

Whatever the idea, weilding effects, sparks and cool animation would have to be involved in a revamped menu.... with slight variations on car appearance ? (Dev time to the roof) X)
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Sigrid » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:50 am

If i remember well, the developpers want to add car customization but it should only allow us to modify the look of our cars, because they don't want us to use some piece only because it is the most efficient, when we would prefer the looks of another one.
I can only approve, and don't think it should be otherwise.

Then maybe there could be some kind of points to distribute between different classes (like acceleration, top speed, brake efficiency... i don't know), but in my opinion this is absolutely not necessary. I'd rather have more different car classes than that, eventhough three car classes are enough if you ask me. I'm really more interested in visual customization. :mrgreen:

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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby potterman28wxcv » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:03 am

Sigrid wrote:Then maybe there could be some kind of points to distribute between different classes (like acceleration, top speed, brake efficiency... i don't know), but in my opinion this is absolutely not necessary. I'd rather have more different car classes than that, eventhough three car classes are enough if you ask me. I'm really more interested in visual customization. :mrgreen:

You seem to emphasize on acceleration/top speed/etc..

But my point was mostly about the pick-ups. Be able to change how efficient they are, in order to "specialize" into a particular pick-up
(for example, if the gattling is your favorite pick-up, then you would privilege taking bonus on the gattling)

It could also be a modification of this power-up. For example, instead of sending only one big missile with the scorpion, you would send two smaller missiles to the two enemies in front of you, each of them having less chance to hit.. Perks with a trade-off like this would be the most interesting ones.

Queadah wrote:whatever the idea, it will take a hit on dev time

Yes definitely - I think this should be worked on after all the pick-ups are there.
This is a long-term thing
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby yellowquiet » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:37 am

I like this idea.
Blur (another car combat game) had a similar system where you could pick three perks that made certain power ups better. Such as an extra shot for bolts, ramming ability for shields. To keep this from having any superior metas, it should follow a similar path. Like the raptor firing faster or longer, faster scorpion movement speeds or a bigger radius. Pretty much what potty said at the end of the first post.
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Sigrid » Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:06 am

potterman28wxcv wrote:You seem to emphasize on acceleration/top speed/etc..

Not especially, but i have to admit i hadn't understood you were talking more particularly about pickups, my bad! :roll:

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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby potterman28wxcv » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:21 am

Sigrid wrote:
potterman28wxcv wrote:You seem to emphasize on acceleration/top speed/etc..

Not especially, but i have to admit i hadn't understood you were talking more particularly about pickups, my bad! :roll:

My bad as well, I modified the original post so that it's more clear :-)
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby wantfastcars » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:58 am

I'm gonna disagree. In racing games, especially combat racing games a la Rollcage or WipEout, it's really important to be able to recognize the properties of another racer or weapon at a moment's notice. Adding in unknowns like "Will this missile slightly destabilize me or throw me 600 feet in the air?" or "Is that car tuned for speed or handling?" will only encourage extremely defensive playing (or min-maxing a certain powerup into absurdity) and add a layer of uncertainty that, in my opinion, shouldn't be present in racing games. Sure there's RNG with the weapons already, but we know how they're going to interact with your car and what they're going to do, and everything after that is the player knowing the track and knowing their car - and that's what racing games are about.

In short, racing games - and GRIP - should behave in consistent manners (apart from RNG of getting hit by weapons and stuff), and changing it so that all weapons don't behave the same in all circumstances removes a lot of that consistency.
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Queadah » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:21 pm

Legit concerns. I'd say we watch what happens with pickup stacking first (the combining of 2 similar weapons "in-race") and see where we go from there; if an extra layer of complexity is desirable.

(I'd still be for a light touch of RPG-aspect to GRIP in the future).

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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Django » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:40 am

A "Perk" System would be great if it would be a modul or upgrade system. (Its a car game after all.)

- Should be only for singleplayer or everyone can give the same money or points into upgrades of his car before the race.

- Stacking (3 times ! :)) should have a higher priority

- perfect would be to have only visual and "performance" upgrades. The performance upgrades should be visual too but dont have too.

- Visual only and other upgrades should use different point system. So you dont loose the money for your better missile with better bumper stickers.

- Performance upgrades could benefit from having downsides too. So better weapons or better shild but you get heavyer in return an loose top speed or sth. Better traction but more effected by EMP. Yada Yada

So the upgrade system could also give the AI players more personality.

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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Broscar » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:57 pm

Firebugs was a mess because they created a ridiculous and needlessly convoluted powerup system.
I agree with wantfastcars as well.

Could it be fun if executed well? Hell yeah.
But let's face it; getting something like this right is damn near impossible.

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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby yellowquiet » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:34 pm

The more I think about it and the more I look at other examples, getting a perk system perfect is nearly impossible. A idea that I felt was kinda wasted in stage 2 is certain cars having certain weapons. Maybe instead of a perk system there could be weapon slots. Like we have our standard missile, boost, machine gun,etc for all cars but then we have certain weapons that have to be manually equipped. Like perhaps potentially more powerful weapons such as a rail gun or the EMP and such. Sure it might still be hard to make sure there isn't a single meta of weapons to equip but it would probably be hella easier than getting an entire perk system balanced.
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby potterman28wxcv » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:16 pm

wantfastcars wrote:In racing games, especially combat racing games a la Rollcage or WipEout, it's really important to be able to recognize the properties of another racer or weapon at a moment's notice. Adding in unknowns like "Will this missile slightly destabilize me or throw me 600 feet in the air?" or "Is that car tuned for speed or handling?" will only encourage extremely defensive playing (or min-maxing a certain powerup into absurdity) and add a layer of uncertainty that, in my opinion, shouldn't be present in racing games.

You have a very valid point here. It's true that a great part of combat racing is in trying to predict what the opponent can do to stop you.
If there is some uncertainty like you pointed out, you can be surprised and it can ruin your race, cancelling all prediction attempts..

Or you would have to be informed of everyone's perks but then it would be a mess, since in a race you're not likely to remember "oh hey it's that guy who got the super scorpion !"

yellowquiet wrote:The more I think about it and the more I look at other examples, getting a perk system perfect is nearly impossible. A idea that I felt was kinda wasted in stage 2 is certain cars having certain weapons. Maybe instead of a perk system there could be weapon slots. Like we have our standard missile, boost, machine gun,etc for all cars but then we have certain weapons that have to be manually equipped. Like perhaps potentially more powerful weapons such as a rail gun or the EMP and such. Sure it might still be hard to make sure there isn't a single meta of weapons to equip but it would probably be hella easier than getting an entire perk system balanced.

Broscar wrote:Firebugs was a mess because they created a ridiculous and needlessly convoluted powerup system.

What you described yellowquiet is exactly Firebugs system. Out of all the pick-ups (that are a copy-paste from Rollcage Stage 2, literally), 5 of them are car-specific.

Ice Sheet is specific to the purple car (unupgraded ice sheet - yes, the purple car is useless in that regard), Driller is specific to the red car, then there isone with the teleporter, one with the leader missile, and i think the fifth one has the machine gun.

In the end, I was only using the Driller car because it was the most versatile power-up..

In such a system, you will always have the "strongest pick-up of the moment", and it's very hard to balance that effectively.
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Ryu Makkuro » Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:45 pm

Well, there's a quick solution to this. You know the thing that most racing games have that shows you which player is on which position, while RC and GRIP have that weird... thing that indicates as much as it doesn't?

Now imagine that you could have icons next to the names of those people that would represent the perks installed. So you're coming up on someone and you wonder what he can do to you, you see the icons on the race leaderboard and you know what's what. Those icons can also be implemented in more detail in the pre-race screen, so instead of the loading screen we can simply see what each opponent has equipped.

In case the screen clutter becomes an issue, the icons can "rotate" with the name. By that I mean the name can be seen for 2-3s and then it shows the perk icons for 2-3s for example.
If we could customise the UI a lot in this regard, then it would be even better, so those with 21:9 aspect ratio monitors or 3-monitor setups could keep names and icons on at the same time since the screen clutter won't be an issue for them, while those with the good ol' 16:9 could opt for different options (no names at all for example).
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Chris_CE » Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:55 am

Potty, once there's been a bit more discussion in here can you sum up with notes so I can easily see everyone's suggestions/thoughts?

Maybe next month, when we'd be thinking about something like this
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby potterman28wxcv » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:38 pm

Chris_CE wrote:Potty, once there's been a bit more discussion in here can you sum up with notes so I can easily see everyone's suggestions/thoughts?

Maybe next month, when we'd be thinking about something like this

For sure - don't hesitate to remind me when you feel like it's the appropriate time
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby Diapolo10 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:06 am

At first it may seem like a perks system would be unsuitable for multiplayer, but please hear me out on this one.

While perks would normally give people an advantage over the other players, it can be countered quite easily:
  1. Make some of the more powerful perks double-edged swords; if one gives you a speed boost, make it also reduce your armour.
  2. Create a system where the perks are lost after each online race session (eg. make all races last for 4 maps, then reset after each race). The players gain money based on their score and the finishing order of the race. The money is used to purchase perks used for the next map(s).
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby wantfastcars » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:38 am

I see what you're saying and I get why you're saying it, but GRIP already has issues with runaway victories. Rewarding the victor of a given race with a better car at the beginning of the next race only makes that issue more apparent. Win a race > get an acceleration perk > whip out in front right at the start > never get caught. It's an interesting idea, but I think it would only exacerbate the (currently existing, at least) balance issues.
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Re: A perk system for GRIP

Postby potterman28wxcv » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:45 am

Diapolo10 wrote:Create a system where the perks are lost after each online race session (eg. make all races last for 4 maps, then reset after each race). The players gain money based on their score and the finishing order of the race. The money is used to purchase perks used for the next map(s).[/list]

I'm not a fan of it. I like to keep the money I gained, and not having to spend it to have more chance to win my next race.
Besides, when you just play race after race, you don't really have time to continuously set up your gear for the next one.

The next stage of this kind of mechanism would be to sell an in-game temporary speed boost :roll:
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