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Europe 1300 - released & "postmortem"

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#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 10:30 AM

First, I would like to thank all people who were providing me the feedback (especially to all of you who don't play this kind of game and were just checking it as fellow designers).

 

In the first post there is a standard "release promo" and I will post the postmortem on the second post.

 

 

 

=============================
Link: http://europe1300.eu
Description: Realistic historical medieval sim
Genre: simulation
Theme & period: medieval, year 1200-1400 (with focus on 1300)
Time needed: you should login 1-2 per day for full efficiency, generally (as most/all my games) it's designed for people who don't have much time to play.

e1300-pr-map_zps2991d8e3.png

How it works:
There are historical kingdoms, players join these. Then they elect a king (contrary to common belief in medieval tiems, and especially around year 1300, there was no such thing as absolute monarchy but a feudal system, where nobles were sometimes even more powerful than kings), the king wage wars, distribute royal offices and so on.
You can take a role of a commoner (merchant, craftsman) or a noble (knight, baron, bishop) and many special ones (minstrels, pilgrims, priests, monks, scholars). Commoners usually craft final goods and trade (there is a very nice market system, I'm very proud of it), nobles usually tend to their fiefdoms (produce food and raw resources), compete for Countial positions and control of provinces. And many more.

e1300-pr-city_zps8ed80558.png


The main differences to other games (not that there are many in that genre):
* I went for historical accuracy, no magic, no imaginary kingdoms and no political correctness. The aim was to simulate the spirit (not necessarily the letter) of that era. There is a strong Church (just one, no "alternative" religions/churches) with the Pope (a player choosen via conclave), crusades against saracens (infidels shall die!), the mongols golden horde (which rampaged through eastern europe in that period).
* Low time commitment
* Interesting and balanced market system
* A lot of fighting between kingdoms with protections against "farming" the weak (the game was designed so very unbalanced kingdoms, in terms of number of citizens, can coexist). No way to eradicate a kingdom (but there is an option to vassalize weaker nations).

Link: http://europe1300.eu


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


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#2 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:02 AM

"Postmortem" (I'm not sure it's the best name for a game that was just released, but well, that's how we call it so let it be :)

 

 

What went right

* Theme was a really good choice, I feel really comfortable in medieval setting and it was helping me a lot as a designer.

 

* Overall it turned out to be a good game (despite many of my worries on the way). In the end the players liked it (I'm not sure why :D).

 

* The marketing premise seem to worked out (preying on partiotism "join COUNTRYNAMEHERE to help in battle against ANOTHERCOUNTRYNAMEHERE")

 

* Market system (I love it, I can't believe no one implemented something like that before, I mean it's obvious it should work like that, I totally like it)

 

 

What went wrong

* Too long, it all took too long. 3 Years in development... compared to 2 weeks on my first game it clearly shows there was something very wrong in the process (and/or that I go down the drain as a designer :D)

 

* Too unique & original - you know, it's always good to be original but I REALLY went way overboard here. In the end I finished the game by removing some of the original stuff and put in place ideas I "stolen from others". I don't mean it's bad that it's original (no one would care about it if it was not) but... one or two or three original ideas are fine, not every single mechanic :D Besides, in the end I had to remove a lot of these original things so it was no point...

 

* My distrust in the design - I kind of abandoned it... overlooked that in its core it is a good game (I came to my senses when I noticed that after like a year of abandonement and no marketing at all there still are like 25 people who play it day after day after day). I definitley should not trusted my taste and acknowledge that players might have different tastes and that I, as a designer, will see flaws in my creation (even if these flawas are not that big of a problem for the players).

 

* Perfectionism - yeah, as always :D No matter how I try to kill it, perfectionism always raises his ugly head and try to devour my newborn games :D I'm glad it didn't consumed that one :)

 

* Insane number of rewrites (feature added, removed, new one add in that place, removed...)

 

 

What I would change if I were to start now

Overall I made it... and as I can see it that game will survive. So, no matter the flaws in the process it lead to a good product (yet, 3 years... I'm not sure if it was worth it). What would I do if I were to start now?

* Trust myself more (in the end I'm the designer and it's kind of my vision the players will follow - distrusting ones own taste makes no sense - in the end you can't design a game you can't understand...)

* Go for copy/paste of majority of the mechanics. I will NEVER AGAIN MAKE 100% MECHANICS ORIGINAL in any game ever. It's insane, it won't work. And in the end you look how feeble these are and replace them with some standard. And even if you make something original that works players find it confusing :D OK, I'm exaggerating, this game is an originality feast, but still, I'm not gonna go for 100% original ideas, more like 30% original and 70% standard, seems much more sane.

* Go for combat early. I had big ideals, simulation, roleplaying... OK, it works, but... The combat system (even through it's not the most important one) is the most exciting to players for sure.

 

You know... in reality I don't know how would I do it if I were to start that game now :D Maybe it was meant to be done this way... I simply know I don't want to go through a hell like that ever again :D


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#3 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4049

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 01:41 PM

I created an account to check out your game.


Developer with a bit of Kickstarter and business experience.

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#4 Navezof   Members   -  Reputation: 1266

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:10 PM

First of all congrats! :D

And thanks for the post-mortem, it's always nice to know of other's experience. Especially your point about being too original.

Anyway I checked your game, and it seems huge and there is so much to do! Maybe I will try some more (even though this type of game is not really my prefered) :D

So once again good work, and see you in space for the next (probably?;) )



#5 DpakoH   Members   -  Reputation: 1009

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 01:23 AM

Hi there,

First, congratulations on the game, it shows that you have put great effort in it! Keep up the good work :)

 

And now my feedback. I am a huge fan of this kind of games, but I have found only few to be good enough to spend time for them. Unfortunately your game is not on the list. I created an account a few weeks back, logged in and ... I got lost. Tried to follow the tutorial hints but after a few they got really unclear. I had to discover on my own where are certain buildings and how to build them. It was not simple and not fun. Maybe I didn't get to the fun part, but I doubt that a casual gamer will pass my efforts. And yes, maybe if you get used to it, then it will be easy, but in the beginning is not :( And that is what drove me away. 

 

Of course, building such a game is not easy and again I want to congratulate you on the efforts and I hope this game becomes really popular! :)



#6 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 05:28 AM


Anyway I checked your game, and it seems huge and there is so much to do!
Heh, to me it seems like quite a simple (I cut down on complexity a lot) game with not much to do :) But I guees I could be completelly mistaken :D

 


So once again good work, and see you in space for the next (probably?;) )
Maybe :)

 


I got lost. Tried to follow the tutorial hints but after a few they got really unclear. I had to discover on my own where are certain buildings and how to build them. It was not simple and not fun.
Hmmm, do you say improving tutorial would help? Like adding more text (I tried to make minimum text there, maybe I should go for more)? Or maybe add small screens "where to click"? Or something else I should do?

 


Maybe I didn't get to the fun part, but I doubt that a casual gamer will pass my efforts.
Yeah... My games slaughter casuals mercilessly :(

Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#7 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4049

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 06:39 AM

Created an account and have some suggestions.

 

List the items that would be gained like the forest Gather Clay.

 

As for the Tutorial could you add a green ring highlight for the buttons that need to be hit.

It seems like it would be fairly easy to put into effect if you are using PHP.

 

Wish list:

Fiefdoms - Would like to have a preset list of names.

Prompts - Especially, in the Feifdom window there are very few prompts to setup things.

MinMax - Wish there was more data on the stats and their effect

 

Questions:

Where does the products of the market go?

Could people sell bread and drink to the tavern?

 

P.S.

As a fellow PHP programer if you are looking for custom solutions to issue I would be more than happy to help.


Edited by Navyman, 30 July 2014 - 06:50 AM.

Developer with a bit of Kickstarter and business experience.

34410.png

#8 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 07:04 AM


List the items that would be gained like the forest Gather Clay.
List where?

 


Prompts - Especially, in the Feifdom window there are very few prompts to setup things.
I don't understand.

 

MinMax - Wish there was more data on the stats and their effect
I'm not sure I understand :) Physical + courage is used for duels. Wisdom boost offices (that one is more complex and confusing I suppose) the rest are used for various things (like fiefdoms management, countial claims). Anyway, where you propose to add this information? Just a big wall of text on the bottom of the attributes page?

 


Where does the products of the market go?
It's complicated :) It goes to the Market, they have internal warhouses and regulate the flow of these goods. They are the middleman.

 

Could people sell bread and drink to the tavern?
No. Same for weapons.

Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#9 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9967

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 07:14 AM

You had my upvote at the mere fact you've finished the game ;)


Edited by Orymus3, 30 July 2014 - 07:14 AM.


#10 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 07:26 AM

You had my upvote at the mere fact you've finished the game ;)

LOL. But it's tue, finishing a game is (almost) all that counts for a game designer. We can talk, plan and everything but... only when you see your game released and played by others, even if it's not a beauty and a bit crippled, you know why you were doing it in the first place. Not to mention an insane dosage of endorphins if produces :)


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#11 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4049

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:04 AM

Items gained from activities could be listed after the posted Stamina cost.

 

Fiefdom:

Maybe have the peasants in a preset, to allow people that do not see they need to reallocate peasants.

Additionally, The Crops, Livestock, and Resources could use some warning when nothing is selected, but has peasants allocated.


Developer with a bit of Kickstarter and business experience.

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#12 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9967

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 08:31 AM

 

You had my upvote at the mere fact you've finished the game ;)

LOL. But it's tue, finishing a game is (almost) all that counts for a game designer. We can talk, plan and everything but... only when you see your game released and played by others, even if it's not a beauty and a bit crippled, you know why you were doing it in the first place. Not to mention an insane dosage of endorphins if produces smile.png

 

I fully agree. I applaud to it even.

I'll try to check on this later tonight if I can muster the time.

Gratz again!

 

Edit: I think there's also a sub-forum for these kind of announcement, and also the indie awesomesauce sub-forum for indie stuff. Might be considered cross-posting though, but it appears more fitting than 'game design'? Plus you'd probably get more exposure in announcements methinks.


Edited by Orymus3, 30 July 2014 - 08:37 AM.


#13 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 10:41 AM

Fiefdom:
Oh, fiefdom...  I will recode that one later anyway :)

 

Crops history is quite interesting (from the deigner's perspective). First I made some fields the player owned and would harvest daily. But it was not so great and confusing so I removed it and made fiefdoms - mini village you own and upgrade. But... it is not so great either :) So finally I made Fields buildings, just like a forest where anyone can came in and harvest wheat as any other resource :) Players liked this best (consistent, not confusing, balanced, and SUPER EASY TO IMPLEMENT :D), I plan to also recode fiefdoms so these grant instantly gold daily without any action.

 

So... My questin is, why, why have I tried to make that part so original/twisted!? Couldn't I just make it like all other gathering resources mechanics from the start? Why, o why, in my stupidity I needed to code two complex systems before I dumped them and went back to the trivial simplicity I could code in 5 minute!?

 

Tell me, WHY, why I did such nonsense mistake :D Why I made my life so difficult!? It was so completelly unneeded :)

 

Edit: I think there's also a sub-forum for these kind of announcement, and also the indie awesomesauce sub-forum for indie stuff. Might be considered cross-posting though, but it appears more fitting than 'game design'? Plus you'd probably get more exposure in announcements methinks.
Designers sux as players, so I don't count on much promotion here :) I posted here because there are a lot of people I know here.

(and I posted in the forum you mentioned too, of course, no one read these fourms - that's the whole point of these, so people can post things no one wants to read :D)


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#14 Navyman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4049

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 11:05 AM

I think the mini-village is a great idea. For people to be able to gain income and maybe raise small armies that they can take into defending the Kingdom.


Developer with a bit of Kickstarter and business experience.

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#15 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:40 AM

I added some FB page  (I barely know how this FB thing works biggrin.png) Not sure what for but since everyone is doing it my game can't be worse biggrin.png

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Europe-1300/752036018176665

 

I think the mini-village is a great idea. For people to be able to gain income and maybe raise small armies that they can take into defending the Kingdom.

Yeah, I was thinking it works great as well. It was one of the reasons I cutted and throwed parts of the code later sad.png Unfortunatelly things that sound great on paper not always work in practice sad.png

 

 

BTW, do you have comments on my postmortem? What are your thoughts? Maybe you you find something I/we could learn from this project (like why it took 3 years and if it was unevitable to toake that long, about removing parts of finished code, etc)?


Edited by Acharis, 31 July 2014 - 07:40 AM.

Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#16 Avalander   Members   -  Reputation: 1045

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 02:23 AM

First of all, congratulations for finishing your game!

 

I've not tried it yet, but I will. I'm curious about the "low time investment" part because usually what keeps me off playing that kind of games is the amount of time they require if I want to avoid being farmed by users who spend more time playing than I do. Could you explain a bit what did you do to achieve not needing to invest a big amount of time?



#17 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3888

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:57 AM


I've not tried it yet, but I will. I'm curious about the "low time investment" part because usually what keeps me off playing that kind of games is the amount of time they require if I want to avoid being farmed by users who spend more time playing than I do. Could you explain a bit what did you do to achieve not needing to invest a big amount of time?
Yeah, I kind of targetted the niche of "people who don't have much time to play". How I achieved this? Quite simply actually, different mindset. Most games & developers measure their success by how much time players spend on the game. I try to kick out players quickly (of course they can do some stuff for much, much longer - especially the social things (negotiations, talking, making plans, plotting, etc)) and measure my success by how many months/years they logged on to the game at least once per day (so my goal is long term retention).

 

The rest was easy, no mechanics that made you wait (instead there are points you can instantly spend). So, while a traditional game would make you wait one hour before you can harvest a field and then you wait next hour to do it again I made stamina points that accumulate up to 18 hours and you can spend them in one burst (harvest the field 50 tiems in a row without any waiting :D). From balance point of view the effect is identical, it's just no useless short-period waiting.


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#18 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 837

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:32 AM

That's awesome, the fact you finished something that took so long. Counteract that negative karma of people who give up.


I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.


#19 Tobias Stone   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:32 AM

This is a great game!



#20 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1463

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:39 PM

The game seems to need translating, i can translate into Dutch. (i got one working and two dead links in the translators office, not sure whether this office is supposed to be content or not)







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