Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growing

General Stuff about Armagetron, That doesn't belong anywhere else...
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Lucifer
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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Lucifer »

Oddly, I got partway into blondie's post before I had the same idea she turned around and presented.

We could do it like Google separates the paid advertising (which is still keyword-driven) from the organic search results. There's plenty of room.

We could have the servers authenticate with the master servers, and the master server can tell the client which servers are quasi-official, and therefore which ones to put in that list. We can additionally make those servers allow any players, regardless of experience level, and be generous with handing out mod powers on those servers (to keep the bullying to a minimum, if not outright eradicate it in those servers).

By sharing banlists, we can even be sure anybody banned from one of them is banned from all.

If we do that, I'd say we go with up to 6 servers, total. Three types of settings, with each setting type having both single and team versions. So we could have a LMS default, team default, then I'd probably say Breakfast in Hell and Team Breakfast in Hell, and the Mud Puddle and a team version of it. Actually, instead of default physics, we resurrect the goshdarn physics. Those three game types, I think, are responsible for generating the biggest group of players we've ever had.
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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Z-Man »

There are no such things as download bots. I looked into the disparity between downloads and actual new players a while back; most downloads never make it online, and of those that do, most only come once. That's where the tutorials and server experience levels come from, each tackling one side of the problem.
blondie wrote:I don't think it would be inappropriate for there to be one or two quasi-official low rubber deathmatch servers, with the same default physics as the default in local mode (although not necessarily the same default as there is currently) and pinned to the top of the server browser.
Yep. Fun fact, if you make them, they will already stick to the top (for 0.4 clients) for new players.

Lucifer: That's also a bit of Word's Tron Police idea. Technically, I'd keep it simple (with authentication, you also need a way to revoke the certificates): The masters just have a list of IPs/Hostnames and server name search patterns for the server name; servers that match get the "recommended" flag set in their messages to the clients.

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by takburger »

S0lutai wrote:Why posting this kind of stuff anyway, tak? Not meant to be rude or anything, but if you are not saying anything regarding this thread, should keep the spam for yourself.
Well I was on my first post. And then I'm answering to you as well as making general observation. Which is people write too much text. I spend most of my days shortening sentences as a part of my job, sorry if all that text hurt my feelings.
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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Lucifer »

Z-Man wrote:
blondie wrote:I don't think it would be inappropriate for there to be one or two quasi-official low rubber deathmatch servers, with the same default physics as the default in local mode (although not necessarily the same default as there is currently) and pinned to the top of the server browser.
Yep. Fun fact, if you make them, they will already stick to the top (for 0.4 clients) for new players.
Fun as that is, it'd be nice to be more flexible about settings options. ;)
Lucifer: That's also a bit of Word's Tron Police idea. Technically, I'd keep it simple (with authentication, you also need a way to revoke the certificates): The masters just have a list of IPs/Hostnames and server name search patterns for the server name; servers that match get the "recommended" flag set in their messages to the clients.
Yeah, his idea was more of a grassroots thing that had wider scope. I did assimilate part of the idea, considering it manageable on a smaller scope. ;)

I say do hostname, then. IPs can change, and server names can be faked, or might want to change for special occasions (Breakfast for St Valentine, considering the next stupid holiday coming up?). But hostname should remain the same. It should even be ok if the hostname has to be sent in a PM or something and then manually added to the master servers (HOST_NAME or whatever it is can be forged, after all). It's not like we're talking about having a huge network of servers that need a significant sized volunteer staff to keep them running. Just a few casual servers that promise to keep out the smegheads and help new players with a small army of trusted players that promise to show up every now and again and play.

If it turns out to be a great idea that Really Works, then we can look at adding management tools to the master servers, if need be. I realize you prefer to keep the master servers as thin as possible...
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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Durf »

Lucifer wrote:Those three game types, I think, are responsible for generating the biggest group of players we've ever had.
On the grid before time, there were only a few variations of what servers could be:
- regular (low rubber or medium rubber as it was called back then)
- high speed
- high rubber
- both high rubber and high speed

There weren't even any real differences in the accelerations; pretty sure there weren't any zones at that time (maybe just a win/death zone).

Point being, THOSE old fashioned game "types" were successful just as they were and were simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Plus, servers like .dBd|High Rubber, that are close to these old-school settings, are suitable for noobs (although there are pros that still pwn in there).

Arbitrary rules like dogfight's are a bad idea. A noob doesn't want to have to remember extra rules or anything extra they should have to avoid (especially since they don't understand). The game should be as simple as a classic HR server; you win because your name was next to "Winner: ", that's it.

Also HR in general is easier for a noob to grasp onto than any low rubber server. There is a value in HR (plain HR) that local gameplay will never be able to provide; that is what got plenty of the users stay on tron in the first place, even if they no longer play any HR.

The simpler the better; noobs like HR. (off-topic side note: HR is not Fast Track. Though both have high rubber settings, they are very different in concept)



Also, If you're going to consider heavily moderated servers, I suggest taking a look into the bad word filter that is available in sty+ct+ap, and also just go with the tron police thing. Having a dedicated team of in game moderators will be far better than a local list for specific servers (Word's mention of it is not the first time this idea came up, but it's a good one nonetheless). The point is to have at least 1 trusted user available at any hour of the day to serve the greater tron community (either by dealing with a troublesome user on some server, or helping out with general administration, settings changes, and most importantly teaching noobs). I say, kill two birds with one stone and let the police moderate those kinds of servers.



I have some things planned that will hopefully take care of a lot of the issues mentioned, including detailed tutorials, so at the very least, most of these issues will be solved with some time (my goal is to be completely done by summer 2015; I have a lot planned, including remaking all my tools, so we'll see).






Random sidenote: I've downloaded this game like...20 times? I'm not 100% sure on the total number. But that happens when you like a game.
I've bought Guitar Hero 3 twice and illegally downloaded it another 3 times; bought GTA4 3 times, traded for another copy, and then bought it again later.
Point is, each user will download more than once, and when the game is free there is no limit to how much you can download it.
If you take my example of 20 downloads for 1 user: 52,000 users then becomes 2,600 - a much more likely scenario for what Z-Man says.

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Tank Program »

Lucifer wrote:If we do that, I'd say we go with up to 6 servers, total. Three types of settings, with each setting type having both single and team versions. So we could have a LMS default, team default, then I'd probably say Breakfast in Hell and Team Breakfast in Hell, and the Mud Puddle and a team version of it. Actually, instead of default physics, we resurrect the goshdarn physics. Those three game types, I think, are responsible for generating the biggest group of players we've ever had.
Durf wrote:On the grid before time, there were only a few variations of what servers could be:
- regular (low rubber or medium rubber as it was called back then)
- high speed
- high rubber
- both high rubber and high speed

There weren't even any real differences in the accelerations; pretty sure there weren't any zones at that time (maybe just a win/death zone).
If we're really trying to bring back the best examples of game play from Armagetron history to entice new players, I wouldn't recommend more than one or two servers with the teams, and one of those being the "default" physics. Setting things up originally team play wasn't really much more than a novelty, at least that's how I remember it. Lucifer's list nails it, but I'd of course include Classic Play ;). (Technically an Armagoshdarn relative, but still.) BIH/Swampland/Mud puddle all sound good. Durf brings up an excellent point though of the idea of variations. I'd be particularly happy to see the "speed boost" concept, where brake is negative. Heck, even more plain braking physics might be nice. Some capture the flag might be good too.

I'm not too fussed about high rubber, but to some extent that goes hand in hand with speed boosting. The real question, I think is, has anyone tried to fortess armed with a speed boost button? :D
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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Monkey »

Durf wrote:Also HR in general is easier for a noob to grasp onto than any low rubber server.
I couldn't disagree more. Firstly, the local game is very low rubber and should be what any sensible person tries first. Secondly, HR is illogical (you crash into a wall and don't die) and hence, IMO, a terrible game mode/style to get used to, which I think puts a lot of people off when they play mutliplayer online for the first time.

Personally speaking, I learnt on low rubber servers exclusively (especially fortress), finding HR to be horrible and off-putting.
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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Durf »

I wasn't referring to what they expected (because of a movie or local play).
(sidenote, I went straight into online play, no local play - I knew HR existed and went straight for that - in fact, found something better called Fast Track)

I was basically saying that even a mentally disabled person can deal with HR for the first time; whereas, playing low rubber for the first time online vs people who are very much used to low rubber can be difficult and probably frustrating (die too quickly = getting discouraged and leaving).

The extra rubber appeals to those newbies that don't have the skills or reaction time to cope; by default they CAN hit a wall a not die...reacting when they can and going from there. In this case, rubber is kind of like a health bar (HP).

More advanced uses of rubber include knowing how to dig (getting closer to the wall than your opponent, faster than they do so as to surpass their grind and win). In this case, rubber is a tool for you to learn how to use properly.

Even more in depth usage on rubber: Y'know how one can learn to make the best use of the brakes in fortress / sumo (typically a stab to get by)? Well in game types like Fast Track (where the rubber is high, the brakes are intense, and the speed is typically high) such effects are amplified and it creates a steeper learning curve for that particular skill (you begin to understand how to use that strategy to it's fullest potential).

The ONE THING this game has over any other light cycle game, ever, is rubber. Rubber may have been designed with the intention of compensating for lag (a very normal reason to have it) without the intention of going past 3 or 5 rubber (as that would be high rubber for you types), but what it turned out to be was something more. As soon as you turn up the rubber, the game changes; you're SUPPOSED to hit walls and not die; that should be expected. Tactics become different and a whole new skillset is required to win. So, I don't blame anyone for disliking HR or FT because they tried to play it like it wasn't what it was.



So in your case, I would say that everyone is different / you weren't trying to play HR like it was HR and that's what made it frustrating to you (like when a tronner who doesn't believe in double binds tries to beat a double binder in a server with low cycle delay - of course they'd find it stupid).
If you ever decide to give other HR-based game types a try, I strongly suggest going into it with an open mind since it's not the same game, and you can't expect it to be.

Sidenote: Racing is HR - example of a completely different game type, different tactics (even different from HR) yet it has high rubber. This should be enough to tell you not to discriminate against game types simply because of a single setting (rubber). (for everyone hating on Fast Track or HR in general - broaden your horizons and just play them all - win at them all)


My basic point was that reaction time isn't needed (for noobs) when it comes to HR. That can be comforting / relaxing - this is a game meant after all; you're supposed to have FUN.
That being said, you have your own preferences and you might find it more fun to try an adhere to the expectations set by the movie or local play. That isn't a problem - to each their own.

Still though, (if you ignore the expectations set by the movies and local play) HR is by far an easier game to deal with (I didn't say "learn", I said deal with - in terms of frustration and learning curve, it's easier, slower).
And I'm not trying to discredit low rubber types either; I see the issue as 2 sides to the same coin (users typically stick to one side of the issue and leave it at that - I say play every game type you can and embrace everything the game has to offer with an open mind).






....and Tank...omg how I want fort with a speed boost. I wouldn't even care if there wasn't a rubber increase, but it would take away brakes and change everything (mostly)!
Sounds like an excitingly new frontier to explore (similar to when I tried to merge Fast Track and Fortress together, but that was playing on acceleration while still having brakes - I think these ideas have merit to them, the trick would be to find that perfectly viable configuration that makes it nice and playable)

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by S0lutai »

I disagree with the whole "hr is better for newbies" idea, simply because people have a really big chance of getting used to it. And then when trying low rubber servers, they will most likely fall and get bored because they will find it hard to survive.

It's like everything, you do easy stuff only, you become mind closed and lose the capability of doing anything else besides that;

When you play Fifa on novice difficulty only, you have problems with harder ones.
When you only play easy stuff on the guitar, you can't play anything harder.
And also, when you play hr only, you make the transition to low rubber at least 75% harder and 75% slower. Than someone who got used to play low rubber since the start.

I think I am right and no one disagrees when I say HR is the easiest thing available while tronning.
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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Durf »

you do easy stuff only, you become mind closed and lose the capability of doing anything else
^ I agree with this 100%.
I think you're disagreeing with what I said for the wrong reasons.
I never tried to imply that HR was all that anyone ever needed (though if that's their choice then so be it).
People can begin in HR and move onto other gametypes; my point was for STARTING on a particular game type, and what makes starting on HR special (compared to other low rubber game types).
... you make the transition to low rubber at least 75% harder and 75% slower. Than someone who got used to play low rubber since the start
^ Well first of all, yes. A person who has only ever played HR will be used to that and expect that, but like I've said before, they shouldn't be trying to play a game type like it's something it's not (can't play LR like it's HR, can't play HR like it's LR). You are basically making note of a user's experience when trying something new (obviously someone who has experience with low rubber game types will have the experience to learn another low rubber game type easier - same applies for HR).
I think I am right and no one disagrees when I say HR is the easiest thing available while tronning.
^ This is kind of confusing because you're basically agreeing with me.

Anyway, saying something like, "HR isn't good for newbies because they will all stay newbies (HR's fault)" is basically making assumptions.
While it may happen like that for some people, it doesn't have to for everyone.
(Just because you stick with LR only and refuse to play HR, doesn't mean a HR player will refuse to play LR - some embrace all game types)

Specifically I think of it like there are 2 games within tron (for this example anyway):
LR vs HR
Which is like categorizing all servers by their rubber setting.
I would say it's only natural that those who start on one side, to need to work towards the other (in order to play it).
If they choose not to, they will stay where they are comfortable (meaning your argument applies for LR too - as many of the LR players here have shown their distaste for anything HR - yet if they learned how to play HR like an HR player did from the start, they wouldn't complain since they'd understand it's a different game).

To me, it shouldn't matter this much / people will play what they want to play.
What I was saying was pertaining to "how to keep armagetron growing"; and how the environment of an HR server is less frustrating to a newbie (overall) than a LR server is (for those who get easily confused / frustrated at why they keep dying so much / so quickly - the thing is, it just happens less often in HR).
I wasn't trying to encourage all our new players to stay in HR; I don't want our newbies to be "stuck", and unable to play any LR.
But let's be honest, would you be okay with trying to answer "how to color text?" or even worse "how do I turn?" while you're trying to coordinate with your team in a fortress game?
I know for a fact that HR is a place where people can learn the basics of tron (overall, for all gametypes) with comfort and ease.
(note, this doesn't mean people can't start in LR servers, I'm just making note of the easiness / environment / expectations / skill required)


I don't want to start a whole debate on rubber settings; like I said: "What I was saying was pertaining to 'how to keep armagetron growing'".
For noobs, I believe HR is a more welcoming environment, and it doesn't have to limit any future abilities (regarding LR game play).
I think you're disagreeing with what I said because of the assumption that players will be limited to the types they started in; if there's another reason, I'm interested.

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by blondie »

marginally related: can we stop using "colored text" as an example of something that is valuable or relevant for players to learn?

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Lucifer »

blondie wrote:marginally related: can we stop using "colored text" as an example of something that is valuable or relevant for players to learn?
This is the most intelligent thing said in this thread.

We're not discussing high rubber vs low rubber.

If we're going to have a few "official" game servers (the display is always left to the client), then we're going to base it on what worked in the past.

Modern versions of High Rubber may be working now, but the biggest population boost happened when High Rubber was 8, in 0.2.6.1. Which translates to about 5 now (check out a Ladle server for exact values, those settings didn't make themselves, they were copied from Breakfast physics).

So that's what we'll do.

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by /dev/null »

Im against any kind of central server, other than that, this is mostly full of good points.

The last time we relied on a single point of failure, it ******* failed. Not too interested in doing that again.

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by Word »

BTW, I like how this topic has evolved into a fruitful discussion and the forums seem to be more meaningful again. Hey sinewav, Tiberius became an emperor after he returned from his self-chosen exile (and subsequently created a climate of fear and terror, but nevermind that part). :)

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Re: Armagetron is NOT dead, here's why and how to keep growi

Post by S0lutai »

I agree with the central servers. Though it needs a bit of effort in it:

-A console/fullscreen message that tells you what to do and how to move. Personally the first time I played this game and put local I didn't know how the heck start to do things. Had to figure out keys by pressing every one.

-Bots: What if no one is playing on the servers? Again, personally I'd leave no doubt. Why? Because I started playing tron to whoop everyone's butt. Not to play alone/vs the armagetron bot. Bots should be a must and be around 4 or 5.


- About settings/physics: Not meant to sound rude, but I(anyone) didn't download tron to play breakfast in hell or sumo or mud puddle etc. Should be a team and solo match with default local settings IMO.

There isn't one game in the market that can outdo this game's content right now. True fact. The game itself delivers a total modifiable experience which is where all tron clones fall completely short.

Just a thought.
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