So Johnny and the devs ...

Sparky79
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So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Sparky79 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:07 am

...I am curious about something.
Do you guys ever get inspiration for classes, class changes or any mechanic changes from the forums?
Like you read a post someone made of a class or weapon and say "Hey, thats a good idea, we should use that in LW!".
Thanks. :)

Psieye
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Psieye » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:47 am

I cannot speak for Pavonis, but in general the picture looks like this for software devs: for every 1 idea from the layman that's actually good; there's 9 ideas that turn out to be dead ends upon investigating; 90 ideas that are obviously bad; and 900 ideas where the Idea Guy has no idea what's feasible in software development - especially when the idea comes with an expected delivery date. Having said that, the art of brainstorming is that one person's bad idea can sometimes inspire a good idea in another person. So, there are a lot of Idea Guys spewing ideas with no work proposals because they don't have the expertise. They get to have fun and the devs get to have an extended brainstorm session if they can weather the facepalms.

One thing to note: LW2 is a mod. Pavonis are getting LW2 assets translated into the WotC SDK format. The ideal would be for the community to produce their own takes of LWotC from these assets. I don't need to say what happens when that ideal meets reality.
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Phaseless
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Phaseless » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:10 pm

I'd like a class where you shoot pidgeons from the sky with a bullet that creates a giant Explosion when the dead bird hits an advent's head.
Get to it, pavonis. And don't tell me the Odds.

Sparky79
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Sparky79 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:15 pm

Guys, lets not drift away from the question. Do the devs get inspiration from these forums?
I am not asking them to "make this idea a reality" and I am aware that if you have an idea that you really want in LW you can make your own mod. Just if they get inspired from these forums. :D

cryptc
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by cryptc » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:32 pm

I can't speak for PI specifically, but having been in creative charge of similar projects with random people coming with ideas, I'd say that yes obviously someone will come with some simple idea and solution that made me think "why didn't I think of that?" and immediately use that.

But for every one of those moments were hundreds of moments where I facepalm since what someone think they want and what they'd actually want in a finished product differs quite significantly, so it's best that the ones making the decisions are making them based on the whole vision they have and not fragments of ideas that even if isolated is good, might not at all fit in with the rest of the product.

So I'd say, post all great ideas you come up with, but the probable reason PI generally doesn't reply to them (even the good ones), is that most ideas are just terrible in some way that is probably hard to explain without it sounding condescending in some way and they also don't want to get tied into discussing even the good ideas publicly (but I'm sure that on their private forum the discussions are going on).

Steve-O
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Steve-O » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:30 pm

Sparky79 wrote:Guys, lets not drift away from the question. Do the devs get inspiration from these forums?
I am not asking them to "make this idea a reality" and I am aware that if you have an idea that you really want in LW you can make your own mod. Just if they get inspired from these forums. :D
I can't speak on behalf of Pavonis either, but I know I've seen JL himself make posts in these very forums along the lines of "that's an interesting idea" or "we'll think about it." (Paraphrasing! Not direct quotes!) I guess it's debatable whether or not comments like that qualify as "taking inspiration from the forums."

Maybe they were already planning to do something similar anyway. Or maybe they were just being polite. One thing's for sure though - they are definitely reading the forums. How much our mindless banter actually influences the course of LW2, I couldn't say, but at least they're looking.

If you're wondering whether or not you should spend time throwing your ideas up here, I would say it can't hurt. See what happens.

Saph7
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Saph7 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:00 pm

Cryptc and Psieye's takes are fairly accurate.

Speaking personally: as part of my day job, one of the interview questions I'll occasionally get is something along the lines of 'where do you get your ideas'. And it's awkward to answer, because the assumption behind it is that the idea/inspiration/concept is really important. The truth is, in creative fields, ideas just aren't worth very much. Everyone has ideas. You can find them all over the place. It's good execution that's in short supply.

Say three guys want to build a house. The first guy says: "we should build a house in this spot, with this many floors, and it should look kind of like this." The second guy does the architectural work and draws up blueprints. The third guy actually builds it out of brick and cement. One of those jobs is a lot more replaceable than the other two.

Psieye
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Psieye » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:33 pm

Copyright and Intellectual Property have made the layman think the idea is the most valuable part of a job. Sayings like "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration" add to it too. I think the best model to describe the reality goes like this:

Value of final project = value of idea * value execution

Range of values for idea: $-1 ~ $20
Range of values for execution: x1 ~ x1,000,000

Translation: a really good idea with no execution is worthless compared to a completely average idea with a mediocre execution.
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cryptc
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by cryptc » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:20 pm

True, but on the other hand figuring out what will be the optimal solution before starting to build the house is better than changing mind once it's half-built. So while ideas are super cheap, they are also good to have many of from many different viewpoints, then the devs can feel confident they have considered most alternatives and that the house they are building will end up being good (I won't say "the best", since people will always have different tastes).

But yeah, when it comes to creative projects like this the best is to let them create what they feel is good. If someone were planning to create a mod like LW2 but for every decision how to do something in the mod they would let players all vote for alternatives, I would not play that mod. Democracy is not a good basis for designing a mod.

And if some part of the end-result bothers me, I could always mod that part myself (like the name of the Shinobi class is kinda annoying to me, but I don't care strongly enough to mod to change it, so I have only myself to blame :P)

JulianSkies
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by JulianSkies » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:38 pm

cryptc wrote:True, but on the other hand figuring out what will be the optimal solution before starting to build the house is better than changing mind once it's half-built. So while ideas are super cheap, they are also good to have many of from many different viewpoints, then the devs can feel confident they have considered most alternatives and that the house they are building will end up being good (I won't say "the best", since people will always have different tastes).
This part's a bit weird in software development. Because you're not just going to change your mind halfway through making that house, you're going to change it AFTER it's built, and you're doing it two hundred times. Iteration is very important.

dethraker
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by dethraker » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:37 pm

To put things more simply, I'm sure that since JL and the others read the forums regularly that they do draw some inspiration from things said/posted but it's just as likely that they don't always know if inspiration for a given concept/idea is their own, from the forums/fans, or somewhere in between.

dstar3k
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by dstar3k » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:52 pm

JulianSkies wrote:
cryptc wrote:True, but on the other hand figuring out what will be the optimal solution before starting to build the house is better than changing mind once it's half-built. So while ideas are super cheap, they are also good to have many of from many different viewpoints, then the devs can feel confident they have considered most alternatives and that the house they are building will end up being good (I won't say "the best", since people will always have different tastes).
This part's a bit weird in software development. Because you're not just going to change your mind halfway through making that house, you're going to change it AFTER it's built, and you're doing it two hundred times. Iteration is very important.
More importantly, in _most_ situations (games are, actually, one of the very few exceptions), what the customer _wants_ will change repeatedly before you're done.

And then you discover that what they want and what they actually need bear absolutely no relationship to each other.

And then you start drinking.

What? Yes, I'm a software developer, how did you guess?

cryptc
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by cryptc » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:11 am

dstar3k wrote: More importantly, in _most_ situations (games are, actually, one of the very few exceptions), what the customer _wants_ will change repeatedly before you're done.

And then you discover that what they want and what they actually need bear absolutely no relationship to each other.

And then you start drinking.

What? Yes, I'm a software developer, how did you guess?
Yeah, I am too, and this is exactly the situation best avoided if possible.

Obviously a lot can be reused, changed and iterated on. But a lot of time gets wasted, and in LW2 I think the primary waste of time is on the testers. If they make a LWotC that uses fatigue instead of infiltration for instance, then testers test it, then devs decide "nope, lets go back to infiltration", it's (probably) not that big a problem to revert for the developers, but all the time testers spent testing is now completely wasted.

Jacke
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Jacke » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:10 am

cryptc wrote:Obviously a lot can be reused, changed and iterated on. But a lot of time gets wasted, and in LW2 I think the primary waste of time is on the testers. If they make a LWotC that uses fatigue instead of infiltration for instance, then testers test it, then devs decide "nope, lets go back to infiltration", it's (probably) not that big a problem to revert for the developers, but all the time testers spent testing is now completely wasted.
The obvious solution is that a potential LWotC use both Infiltration and Fatigue together. It's another pair of interacting features that need to have their respective influences judged and together be balanced. But that's not just a drawback but a synthesis that can deliver more that either alone. And that means testing one feature is never wasted.

I'm doing that right now with LW2 and Grimy's Morale Mod. Both require me to actively use more soldiers to complete missions. Infiltration means I have to think ahead when deploying troops and even if their Will hasn't been eroded, it limits how often I can use troops. Grimy's Morale Mod means that troop's Will matters too and even fresh troops can break in combat.

I just started a new 1.5 campaign and in Gatecrasher two soldiers under most of the ADVENT fire took the stress, one coming close to breaking with 0 Will, the other panicking and hunking when wounded. Will matters. I can sometimes break ADVENT troops, especially if I get the hack Hypnography. But XCOM with low Will, whether from low max Will or fatigue will be a weakness I will have to adjust my tactics around or suffer the consequences.

cryptc
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by cryptc » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:41 am

Jacke wrote: The obvious solution is that a potential LWotC use both Infiltration and Fatigue together. It's another pair of interacting features that need to have their respective influences judged and together be balanced. But that's not just a drawback but a synthesis that can deliver more that either alone. And that means testing one feature is never wasted.
That you find something good does not make it "obvious". Personally I don't think a combination of Infiltration and Fatigue is a good idea, but that's off-topic here. I've discussed that on those threads though.

I picked it as an example just to show how late major changes in design is costly.

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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Phaseless » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:51 am

Since they work professionally, I'm quite sure pavonis always have a pretty detailed concept before they start working. Once you start working, you don't want to start anew on a theoretical Level. Also, what are classes? Classes are nothing more than descriptions for Units, and Units are just a sum of what they can do. What matters from a technical perspective is what they can do on the battlefield and on the strategical Level. And there, you are limited to what the engine can provide and what you can mod into it.

A class Needs to make sense both in relation to other classes and in relation to Alien troops. So with all that considered, I believe there is not much room for suggestions and new ideas to be implemented, because they would have to fit into an already existing puzzle. Classes Need to be different from each other, to an extent where the Player will say, yes, a shinobi cannot be replaced by an assault without giving up on a number of cool Things the assault could have done. Like harming several Units at once with trench gun, or drawing OW fire without getting hit, or disabling Units safely with his arc thrower.

I saw something similar in PoE 2. They were asking about how the some of the more experimental classes could be called. Like a druid/rogue hybrid or something. I saw that as proof - at least for this and similar games - that what classes do is almost pre-defined to a certain extent because they Need to fit the Framework of the game. The mechanics are already in place and now you bestow different abilities to different classes. Once that is done and it's balanced and the skills distributed in a meaningful way, then you can worry about giving it a Name - but first, it Needs to work on the gameplay Level.

At least, that's the Impression I got.

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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Psieye » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:18 am

Phaseless wrote:Since they work professionally, I'm quite sure pavonis always have a pretty detailed concept before they start working.
I cannot speak for Pavonis, but the number of professionals (software developers and other people) who 'hit the ground running' without a 'pretty detailed concept' beforehand is staggeringly high. A bad environment (deadline hell, unclear specifications, corporate politics, etc) can make even people who know better succumb to ramming into cliffs.
dstar3k wrote: More importantly, in _most_ situations (games are, actually, one of the very few exceptions), what the customer _wants_ will change repeatedly before you're done.

And then you discover that what they want and what they actually need bear absolutely no relationship to each other.
I once read a nice metaphor on how to deal with this: a customer asks an interior house designer to "make my kitchen really kewl" - the customer has no vocabulary to describe exactly what they want, they just have money and a vague desire. They also want to feel like they're contributing because it's their house at the end of the day. So the designer throws some chaff at them: like 'which decoration tiles should be used?' which the customer can change their minds on 200 times without affecting the project deadline. Meantime, any decisions with actual meaning aren't even shared with the customer - like where the sink goes relative to the washing machine.
Last edited by Psieye on Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Phaseless
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Phaseless » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:23 am

Psieye wrote:
Phaseless wrote:Since they work professionally, I'm quite sure pavonis always have a pretty detailed concept before they start working.
I cannot speak for Pavonis, but the number of professionals (software developers and other people) who 'hit the ground running' without a 'pretty detailed concept' beforehand is staggeringly high. A bad environment (deadline hell, unclear specifications, corporate politics, etc) can make even people who know better succumb to ramming into cliffs.
I believe you. Since pavonis are a small Team though, I think they are less affected by the Problems developers typically face. (but more affected by other Problems probably)
And since they started doing mods for free, I think they had a rather specific Vision of what they want to accomplish. They didn't get Money in advance and then the Task to make something happen for it.

cryptc
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by cryptc » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:22 pm

This is the comic we use around the office

Image

Psieye
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Psieye » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:39 pm

Cool, that's a couple new panels since I last saw that a decade ago.
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cryptc
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by cryptc » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:05 pm

You should google it, I found like 5 different versions when looking for one I could post here, I was surprised with the evolution too :D

Phaseless
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by Phaseless » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:33 pm

I laughed pretty hard at this.
Coincidentally, I am applying for a job as pricing analyst.
So now you know what I will be doing wrong in the imminent future :D

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SonnyWiFiHr
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by SonnyWiFiHr » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:19 pm

Funny :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Can I save the image ?
For non com. use . It is good joke
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cryptc
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by cryptc » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:56 am

SonnyWiFiHr wrote:Funny :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Can I save the image ?
For non com. use . It is good joke
I just grabbed it from google, so not sure who you'd have to ask, I'm sure it's probably fine considering how many different versions of it has been made.

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SonnyWiFiHr
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Re: So Johnny and the devs ...

Post by SonnyWiFiHr » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:53 pm

Good joke.
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