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Author Topic: People shocking themselves  (Read 3358 times)

grey_shadow

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People shocking themselves
« on: April 05, 2018, 03:26:03 am »

I've not done any extensive research to see how widespread this is, but, the park masturbation event (where a student masturbates openly in the park) has the thresholds set such that the requirements on a person doing the event are less restrictive than the requirements on bystanders to not impose a reputation hit - in other words, if the participant were a bystander, they would score you a reputation penalty.

That strikes me as being the wrong place to balance things - it's one thing for a prude to be scandalised by a free spirit, but if the most prudish person present is the one performing the lewd acts, that shouldn't be scandalising the spectators (they might be surprised, even shocked, but "I saw Jane Smith doing something I'd happily have done myself if she hadn't beaten me too it" doesn't seem like the sort of thing that should harm your reputation).

Like I say, I've not checked to see if this is an isolated case, or whether it happens more generally that you can lose reputation for something that anyone present could be picked to do. Either way, it feels like it's on the wrong side of the line.
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Spinner

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 04:26:04 am »

Yeah, I wouldn't get too hung about it.
As with your stats algorithm quandary (pop turn over discussion) getting close to one sub-element won't enlighten you on broader game balancing.

If you really want to gain more insight into all, spend a few months reading code, understanding all the rules, clubs, subjects and event effects.
- The game is actually very complex, and there is a lot to understand
- And even once you have a good grasp, testing what if's over the course a full play through is still required if you want to change things

For example, balancing rep costs versus ease of gaining rep, isn't a matter of changing this or that event
- The event you're referring to fires in a manner that's consistent in the context of other things that happen
- And the effects applied, have a net positive effect on game progress
- The ppl approving, have generalised voyeurism effects (i.e. they see something and it corrupts them in the broader sense)   
- And the disapprovers get directly corrupted by the experience

So, in a nutshell, you spend some rep, and gain by the spending

The trick, overall, is making it such that there's a challenge, but a solvable challenge
- And consistency goes to overall feel of the game, not an invisible sub-element
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 05:06:11 am by Spinner »
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Reddead

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 08:59:15 am »

Please don't hold it against me, but I think you sometimes look at the game too much from a developer's rather than a player's point of view.
You know the internal processes of the game, know how the individual parts of the game interlock and of course always have the challenge for the players in mind (in German this is called "betriebsblind" - "business-blind". I don't know the correct English translation or can hardly explain it. Maybe someone can help out). But there is the player who has no idea of all this and only has his daily life experience. And it says that it is rather rare for people to masturbate in public, be it in a park or at school (see my postings regarding the very early sex events). And experience in various games teaches him that progress in development rather means something positive - and not that one has to weigh these progresses against each other. By this I mean the principles which, if I remember correctly, should be switched on and off again in order to preserve his reputation.
To all this there are hardly any hints in the game. As a player you only know what effect the policies have after extensive tests - which the 08/15 player is unlikely to be ready for.
I know you've already done a lot for the game and I hope you will continue to do so - and I think every player is very grateful for that! But please also consider that the players have no idea of the algorithms and codes. As long as you're still tinkering with the game, that's not really a problem. But as soon as the game approaches a state where you could call it "almost done", please take some consideration for the players and their expectations. Give some explanations and rework some illogical things (e.g. public masturbation on the school floor in the second week of play - that is absolute nonsense and the explanation here in the forum "Maybe the student was so messed up by the previous director" doesn't help either. How would the player know that??).
Please don't misunderstand: I don't want to attack you or devalue your work on this game! I just want the game to be better for everyone, that's all. I hope you understand what I mean.
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Spinner

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 10:43:45 am »

I do understand what you mean Reddead
And, as you know, I think about what you and others have to say and (when I can see the merits) I respond by implementing a change.

In this instance though, I'm not sure how your above refers to my response to grey_shadow?
Doesn't seem to, so will assume it's more of a generic response in the first instance.

The thing your comments above (and some of your other comments) leave behind is a simple fact: It is a game.
-  If you play (e.g.) Skyrim or similar, there are things that attack you that no real life experience can possibly prepare you for
-  And, obviously, that's not because the developers aren't seeing the big picture, or the player's POV
-  In fact, quite the opposite.  They are intentionally building a game where you have to figure out what's what in order to win

The same can be said about HHS
-  Obviously that is not to suggest HHS has the same development resources as main steam games
-  But it is to point to the fact that building in unexpected things is not from lack of understanding or myopia or some such
-  The game has (metaphorical) mine fields.  And they are there on purpose to add difficulty.
-  It's considered.  It's tested (by playing).  And, it's measured in terms of too much, or not enough, challenge.

As I've commented before, there is logic to the firing of the masturbation events, and you should simply treat them as some of the mines
-  Moving forward, and consistent with the underlying story line, you are likely to see more not less

I know from some of your comments, you perceive everything should revolve around the things the player creates or causes.
Not sure where that perception comes from though.  As, the things you discover about Smallville (i.e. you don't cause) include:
-  A corrupt newspaper editor perfectly comfortable with destroying careers in order to achieve their personal preferences
-  A school teacher who moonlights as a dominatrix (with clients that head up the school system)
-  A drug-addicted senior nurse, willing to steal her drugs from where she works, and is too slack to ensure her daughter doesn't find them
-  A school teacher who moonlights as a prostitute, and engages in late night sexual trysts with your neighbor in a public park
-  A neighbor who has a fetish for both young boys as well as school teachers
-  A recreational-drug using teacher, so into it she brings her drugs to and uses them at school
-  A head nurse, happy to let you fuck her daughter as long as she gets in on the action
-  A teacher happily willing to exchange sex for money, so she can further her career
-  A teacher who's groomed a student to be a sex partner, behind her husbands back
-  Most of the parents are willing to commit adultery, as long as it's with someone pretty (and some don't even care much about that)
-  Many of the teenagers are willing to have sex with an older man/woman, if they are pretty (and at least chat them up a bit)

And yet, in this environment, you find it so totally surprising to discover there's a few students who may be a bit out there in terms of public displays...  ???   


On the subject of "as you develop, then everything should get easier":
-  Doesn't seem to be a thing in mainstream games
-  In fact, as you develop, they just throw bigger monsters at you
-  In HHS the "monsters" are rep point hits
-  And yes... as you develop there are more of those
-  But, that is mitigated by the fact there are also more ways (discovered, not created) to win them back
-  And, by paying attention, dodging the bullets is much easier
-  That includes paying attention to what happens when you switch on rules
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 11:19:12 am by Spinner »
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grey_shadow

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 01:29:46 pm »

Okay, from a developer's perspective, with an in-depth knowledge of the game's checks and balances, I can buy that there's a net positive effect from the event.

From a player's perspective, the event significantly reduces your reputation (the game tells you by showing a red number and adjusting one of the stats at the top of the screen) and, I guess, might marginally improve some of the other stats the game reports numerically, depending on how many students are present. Or, I guess, if you keep a spreadsheet open with records of every character's state of dress each time you observe them, and run a statistical analysis, you might eventually pick up a correlation between a slight improvement in characters' state of dress and taking that reputation hit? If the player doesn't know/intuit that public sex acts progress the town towards general debauchery, then the message the game sends is "going to the park is bad now".

More generally, my observation as a player has been that, in the early game, the park is a semi-reliable source of reputation. Having that change to become a semi-reliable reputation sink tells me that I can't rely on reputation sources, and that I can't predict what actions will be reputation-safe.

Yes, with enough hours of studying the game you can map out the mine-fields and determine what's safe and what has the potential to blow your leg off, but in the meantime, you have hundreds of hours of getting your legs blown off...

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When it comes to game-design philosophy, I might label myself a reductionist simulationist. I want it to be possible to take an isolated element of the game out of context and have it make sense, and for the explanations to make sense within the game-world's logic without requiring an immediate appeal to the game's nature as a game (obviously, once you start probing beneath the surface, you'll always hit "because it's a game" sooner or later, but I prefer "later")
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Spinner

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 10:52:03 pm »

Yeah, the above was just responding to Reddead's points (sorry for any confusion caused by the overlap)

My points to you were more about: Try and avoid missing the wood for the trees
-  From a players POV, many elements progress the game to your end goals
-  Some of them apparent, and some not so much
-  The point you raised was about looking at the code and finding an algorithm you perceived contained an inconsistency
-  However that element is invisible to the player. i.e. you can't see it or know about it (in any way) without looking at the code
-  Likewise, my response re the net positive effects was about a similarly (but not quite as) invisible element
-  The key being: The perceived (invisible) inconsistency leading to a cost, in fact results in a gain

Now, stepping back and looking in from the outside
-  Relatively recently, a question was posted about how one gains rep
-  I and others responded with some clues.  In particular, pointing to the park (where of course there are regular rep gaining events)
-  Then someone wrote that they avoid the park because of the large rep cost from the masturbation event
-  And (with my players hat on) I asked myself: "That's odd.  How come I've never come to the same conclusion?  Am I missing something?"
-  Next play through (with the above in the back of my mind), I found I still didn't come to that conclusion
-  Interest piqued, I opened up the code and did the math.   And I found out why I'd never come to that conclusion.
-  What I had perceived by playing, was confirmed by reading the code: The net rep gains from the park and surrounds outweigh the net rep losses

So, rather than "getting your legs blown off", one gets wounded, but patched up and made even stronger than before
-  Important in the context of all this:  I'm not smart enough to keep all the event firing rates and gains versus losses in my head
-  The above sequence of events is as it was:  I played.  I kept using the park (and the other rep gaining events) to patch up rep.  And that worked.
-  I didn't need a spread sheet.  Just an eye to the rep stat, and which way it was going.

My conclusion: Some might receive the message "going to the park is bad now".  Others won't.  And certainly not anyone who's paying attention.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 01:53:33 am by Spinner »
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Untolddead

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2018, 10:14:07 pm »

Well my thoughts are that it's a free game and supper easy to mod. So if there is something I find annoying I just change it. If you already found the spot with the stat then just change the number to what you think is right. It won't break the game or cause problems. If you feel a lot of people would want the change add is as a mod in the mod section. :)
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Spinner

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2018, 12:57:04 am »

That is true Untolddead.  But a lot of community inputs in fact lead to things being improved (and are welcome)

Reddead has variously provided good insights into events firing in a way that's inconsistent with the story.
And those inputs have been acted on, and the game changed for the better (IMO) because of it.

Likewise, grey_shado is obviously coming up to speed on the code, and using that to provide informed feedback.
And, because of that (e.g.) I found a bug I had overlooked when looking into another community member's tip.

So yeah...  If the official game doesn't change to one's liking, one can always change it.
But it's still valuable to aim to influence the official game (even if not all one wants gets past the post)...  ;)
« Last Edit: April 07, 2018, 02:48:16 am by Spinner »
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grey_shadow

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 05:29:27 pm »

(been offline for a bit so taken a while to respond)

I had a run ended by that park masturbation event, so it's not always a net positive - and I may be disproportionately gunshy about it as a result.

If your reputation is reasonably healthy, you can afford to take the occasional hit and make up for it (I'd have to dig back into the code and check the other events to figure out how far RNG can screw that up), but if you're dangerously low, then trying to use the park to bring it back up has a chance of ending the game (unless you save-scum around it)
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Spinner

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Re: People shocking themselves
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 01:01:26 am »

Yeas it does... Letting your rep go too low, results in loosing
-  Not just as a consequence of this one event, but other events, rules, etc.

And that's a central tenet of the game
-  There are various decision-specific game ending outcomes
-  But the broader (and general) game win/loose scenario is all about getting away with stuff, by keeping your rep high
-  i.e. The notion is: As long as you look after rep, the RSD leaves you alone to do your thing
-  Fail at that though, and yes...  it's game over

Personally, I prefer to keep rep in the 80s
-  Partly because I like spending it when the need arises, and (more recently) because I have a WIP sub-story that requires it
-  Either way though, I don't find that too hard to do
-  Does mean using all the tools available.  But meh...  to me that's just how one plays this game
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 04:54:34 am by Spinner »
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