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Default Pathway - Update and Interview

January 7th, 2019, 04:39
Pathway has a new update about recent developments.

Pathway Devlog #5 - Introducing Brunhilda & More

12 December, 2018 - Leth
Say "Hello" to…

Brunhilda, Queen of the Valkyries (aka Helga Bjarnsdottir)
Vitals: 28 year old female
Nationality: Icelandic

Helga was part of a traveling circus where she used to perform as a female wrestler and strongwoman. Formerly known as 'The Female Volcano' (a reference to her nordic origin), she once rescued Jackson and his crew during one of their adventures, and later decided that "somebody that cute" could use her protection. Since that day, she has stayed at his side to protect him from harm.

Tall and buxom, Helga has a very impressive physical presence, and tends to run berserk in the heat of battle. She has a secret crush on Jackson and is not too subtle with it. Subtlety is not her strength - strength is her strength.

"That's just my stage name. It's Helga for you, sweetheart."

Boots On The Ground
Over the past few months, we've had an opportunity to exhibit Pathway at three different events; specifically, we demonstrated Pathway at Twitch Vancouver (on August 19th), EGX Rezzed (on September 21st) and most recently at Day of the Devs (hosted by Double Fine on November 11th).



Above are images of our booths at EGX Rezzed and Day of the Devs. Also, we have uploaded an excerpt from an interview with Stefan Bachmann - one of the coders on Pathway and a co-founder of Robotality - that was hosted during our exhibit at Twitch Vancouver[twitchvancouver.ca]

loading…



These events have been great for both observing the 'new player experience' in Pathway (or for any unreleased title) and for connecting with new fans in general. Also, conventions tend to be filled with other industry professionals and development studios interested in exchanging those oh-so-valuable 'industry trade secrets', and also with some large publishers/distributors who are scouting new games for their platforms.

On RNG…
In Pathway and other turn-based games, Random Number Generation (RNG) is used to determine if you will hit your target when you fire on them, but this has led to some player frustrations in other games. At the end of the above interview video clip, Stefan took an opportunity to discuss how we have addressed those RNG frustrations in Pathway:

"[RNG is] something that a lot of people that play XCOM get frustrated with… where you can stand next to a unit and you have a 99% hit chance, you still miss them, right? Super frustrating!

So we try to address this in a way that I think is quite elegant. Which is, basically, if you are exposed and open on the field, you get a guaranteed shot… You got a straight shot? 100% hitchance - no matter what.

But if you're behind cover, that's where RNG comes in. So, as soon as you go behind cover, you got maybe a 50% hit chance or a 75% hit chance. And I feel like that's a really neat twist on that system… it makes 'flanking' an interesting strategy. The game becomes a lot about 'how do you position your units to make sure you can optimize on that guaranteed hit'…"


That's just a snippet of information from this interview so if you want to know more - and also want to see some of the game (still a work-in-progress though!) - then take a look at the 14 minute video above.

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That's all for this devlog! Follow us on twitter, Facebook[facebook.com], or here on Steam to stay up-to-date on any news or upcoming events for Pathway!
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January 7th, 2019, 16:11
I like their resolution to the random number generation dilemma, seeing how it actually works while playing the game should prove interesting. Yet another game for me to look forward to playing sometime this year.
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January 7th, 2019, 17:42
Looking forward to that game, maybe even the game I want to play the most in 2019.

However I am not sold on the RNG idea and in fact it's rather similar to Xcom, where you have high chances if the target isn't in cover plus additional crit chance.
The problem? The problem is that distance doesn't play a role anymore, and it's only about cover/no cover. And if it also calculates the cover as xcom does (if you are at least 1 behind cover next to you, you get the full bonus) it will feel extremely stupid.
However this game will have the advantage over XCom that it has clearer graphics.

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January 7th, 2019, 18:40
It would be pretty easy to add distance to any random number generator. You would have to add a numerical value for the distance then take that into account when you make your random number and add that too it/or subtract it depending on how you have your hit rolls generated.
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January 7th, 2019, 18:56
But if no cover means 100% to hit, that also means that there cannot be any relevance to distance.
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January 7th, 2019, 18:58
My personal solution to players frustrated by their own confirmation bias is to educate them on how it works. There's absolutely nothing wrong with RNG. It's all in people's heads and it's a shame they must be pandered to.
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January 7th, 2019, 19:07
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
My personal solution to players frustrated by their own confirmation bias is to educate them on how it works. There's absolutely nothing wrong with RNG. It's all in people's heads and it's a shame they must be pandered to.
I don't quite agree with that. Personally I actually disliked XCom partially because of RNG, but ofc it's not the RNGs fault, it's the underlying systems.

In XCom (and we are talking about Firaxis XCom) you have only a small number of characters, which also only have 2 actons per turn.
Which means that you put a huge focus on one single roll.

In the original XCom you have many more characters, and in the original XCom as well as the Jagged Alliance games you can shoot multiple times per turn.
You still have RNG, but "bad luck" is mitigated by the amount of rolls.

If you have a system with very few actions per turn, it should have a very low impact via RNG on each action.

If you have lots of actions, more RNG doesn't hurt that much.

Another approach to rng is to position it differently, and you actually see that with lots of modern rpgs: Don't let the RNG determine whether you hit or not, let it determine how much damage you do.
Of course that's not working in every case though.
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January 7th, 2019, 21:41
Yeah I'm not completely sold on their resolution either, but I think the only real way to test it will be when we can play the game. Right now, anything else is just sheer speculation.
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January 7th, 2019, 21:44
True. The previous game also wasn't great due to the combat but because of lots of other stuff done right (and comat not being horribly bad).
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January 8th, 2019, 00:38
Brynhilda was not Icelandic. Her brother was Attila the Hun.
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January 8th, 2019, 10:18
The comment of the dev about RNG/Non RNG is a design quite developed into Storm Guard Darkness is coming.

There's no cover but a develop gameplay around facing and flanking. And flanking is guaranteed hit. There's also a few spell that will apply a debuff that guaranty that all hits will hit during a few turns. Some special attack can stun which also involve guaranteed hits. Some special attack have guaranteed hit(s). Some skills allows attract their attention to force them change their facing and then allow different flanking attack with guaranteed hit. Many spells are guaranteed to hit. Also biggest enemies are quite more dangerous but will often allow guaranteed but also have a large front non flank area making special flank attacks harder to apply.

Also an enemy facing is fixed by going close contact to the enemy, and you play the party at will, so you need not forget do stuff like:
- Move to an enemy, fix its position, move a long or close range unit for flanking and attack for guaranteed hit.
- First apply a debuff that guaranty hits before to start attacks.
- Mix both, to finish kill an enemy but see if you can't kill it before spend the debuff spell.
- Use aggro to change the facing, and allow another unit get special attacks requiring flanking, or just with very high damages and guaranteed hit from the flanking.
- Accept the price of an AOO to ensure a flank attack.
- Position some front units and exploit obstacles to setup a front not allowing flanking attacks.
- More.

And to spice it up, some aspect aren't that basic to exploit, for example the aggro isn't enough obvious and basic to allow basic systematic exploit.

All in all, I could play a campaign with the feeling it's almost without RNG.

But where SGDC really impress me it's with its management and zones of control and AOO. This design is just great and increase tactical value.

That said, for combats without RNG, Phantom Doctrine is rather great. Alas it's a game mainly designed around spies and stealth for its game flow, despite 2/3 of its design content is for combats. You can play all missions with combats and its quite fun but rather artificial. Also it's not a game enough tuned on gameplay aspects, it's the typical project that grown too much and become too complex, the added too many features, and could never fully tuned well the mechanims, skills, gameplay. The best aspect is the combats but it's a stealth game firstly.

Moreover the Phantom Doctrine no RNG combats generated a lot of negativity, from misunderstanding in my opinion, and because at first they seem overwhelming. Many players was chocked to get 3/4 damages from very long enemy shoot, without to realize your unit could absorb 10 shoot like that and it makes a huge difference. Also a mechanism is dodging that totally avoid a hit, and many players didn't get much the rules around it, this giving a bit a feeling of RNG, this hiding them the non RNG aspect.

I like a lot such approach, efforts to minimize or even cancel RNG, but my experience is it's very hard to manage at com levels, many players are very negative about that, at least by principle. I quoted that particularly strategy players are quite aggressive and pro active to request high RNG and argue it's the only way to have fun tactical combats, or the only way to have challenging tactical combats.
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January 8th, 2019, 10:31
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
My personal solution to players frustrated by their own confirmation bias is to educate them on how it works. There's absolutely nothing wrong with RNG. It's all in people's heads and it's a shame they must be pandered to.
Well players need also be educated to understand that RNG is RNG, if you can guaranty beat a combat with RNG it's either because you have mechanism to just cancel it. Either because a series of bad luck, which exists, won't matter, you'll beat it anyway, the reason, you dominate largely the combat.

There's a weird myth around that and many players seem think that RNG can be controlled, lol. You generally have rules to increase chances to hit, but at end RNG is RNG and many players are unable to understand it.
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