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Subject: Tikal at Spiel-By-Web, is it me, the game, or site? rss

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Jason Sample
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I have been playing Tikal at Spiel-By-Web over the past few days and I have not been having much fun. I think that the interface and the implementation are pretty good. I think that the game is decent but I just haven't enjoyed it. Is it the game? It seems to me that it is a decnt game. The strategy eludes me a little bit at the moment (but I am an idiot) so that might be it. I would like to keep trying, but I am not sure I understand why it isn't fun.

Tell me what you think.
 
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William (Andy) Anderson
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Short Answer to your question is it's you.

Hey, some games I like and others don't and vice versa. If you don't like Tikal, then move on to a game you like. It's just that simple. Thank you Spiel-By-Web, I'm enjoying several of your games!
 
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Flannel Golem
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Honestly, if it weren't a decent game, someone probably wouldn't have put in all the time to program it in.
But I do know what you mean: the first time I played the boardgame six years ago, I was rather nonplussed. So now I come across a PBEM implementation of it and decide to give it another try -- and I'm hooked! I think much of it the first time was a) not knowing the strategy, and b) not having the right number of meeps at the right places at the right time. Coming back to it six years later I approach it much like Reef Encounter: I *could* expend all my resources every turn on incremental improvements and count on luck of the draw to have the right resources at the right time to carry me through the rest of the game; or, I could quietly build up in the beginning while everyone else fights over the scraps, then have the manpower in place when the really big scoring opportunities occur.

So, in answer to your question: yeah, it's probably you. arrrh
 
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Werner Stangl
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2ndPlace wrote:
Short Answer to your question is it's you.

Hey, some games I like and others don't and vice versa. If you don't like Tikal, then move on to a game you like. It's just that simple. Thank you Spiel-By-Web, I'm enjoying several of your games!



Sorry, but why are you so harsh and take this as if it were a frontal attack on SBW? Since when is it unappropriate trying to figure out why something doesn't work for someone.

I love the way the folks on SBW implement games, I also like Tikal face-to-face (though only as a 2 player game), but I also have a hard time getting into it on SBW, while I enjoy most of the others (safe Hoity Toity which simply isn't my cup of tea).
 
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Oh, so you actually think about what you are saying?
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I actually had the opposite reaction to Tikal on SBW. I really have enjoyed it thus far and it improved my overall opinion of the game as a result. On the other hand, I have done nothing but struggle with playing Reef Encounter on SBW and much preferred playing face to face.

There is such a difference in the pace of play and ability to concentrate and know what's going on between face-to-face play and SBW email play that I think it really changes how a game plays. Each of us will have a different opinion about which game works better face-to-face and which works better by email.

For my part, I like the fact that all of the potential analysis paralysis of Tikal is removed (or at least you don't have to wait through it) when playing by email. Likewise, you can take as much time with your own turn as you want without feeling like you are holding someone up.
 
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I will say that while I am delighted that Tikal (a game I love) has been implemented over at SBW, I have not enjoyed my online games as much as I have enjoyed the face to face ones. I don't know why, but I seem to play much worse on SBW. (Not that this has stopped me from joining and creating more games of Tikal there.)
 
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Myke Madsen
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generalpf wrote:
I had the same feeling. I don't think the game is that good but the brutally slow implementation kills whatever fun is left.

Now, I don't want to slag the work anyone's done, but would it have killed the developers to add the bit of extra code required to allow you to move a worker more than one hex at a time?


I'll summarize as briefly as possible the reason we avoided multi-hex moves and then direct you to the Tikal SBW forum, which would be a more appropriate place for any further discussion of what would and would not kill SBW developers. meeple

I see two ways of approaching multiple hex moves:
1. Find all endpoints
Click on worker => game shows you all possible spots you can move based on remaining action points (not just adjacent hexes)
Click on destination => moves worker and update action points based on optimal path between source and destination

The debate with this approach was whether or not the game should find optimal paths for the player. We decided that the game shouldn't. Implementing the path-cost-optimization was an intriging problem to solve -- but in the end we decided we should let players move their workers inefficiently if that's what they end up doing. Making optimization decisions for players is a slippery slope.

2. Assume repeated worker movement
Click on worker => show adjacent hexes where you can move
Click on adjacent hex => move worker, update action points, assume player wants to move again
Player either clicks to move again or clicks "I'm done" to stop moving.

This is fewer clicks for multiple hex moves but more clicks for those times when you're doing a single hex move. Again, we debated this and decided this wasn't a favorable tradeoff.

I just thought I'd try to demonstrate that there is a method to the madness, so to speak. We did throw a lot of ideas back and forth during the development of this game and during the beta testing process. We tried to come up with an interface that was fairly straightforward to new users without being overly cumbersome.
 
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Jorge Montero
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Slippery slope? I never thought that naming a logical fallacy was considered an argument

I can see how someone could say that figuring out the shortest path for your worker in Tikal can be part of the fun of the game, and doing it for the player might make it less fun, but the current UI drains the game of fun too. IMO, it's an easy tradeoff to make.

The other solution I can see would involve some AJAX, allowing the user to move his worker over the squares, letting the mouse movement decide the movement route, like you could do in a drawing program. Unfortunately, that's significantly different than the UI SbW currently uses, but I think it'd be the best solution overall.
 
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Myke Madsen
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Hey now... we were supposed to take this over to the SBW forums.

"Slippery slope" can be a valid argument. It's not always a fallacy.

What I meant by slippery slope was that if you start making optimization choices for a player, where does it end? Pretty soon you're just playing the game for them, and soon after that we're allowing people to marry their pets!! And pretty soon it's the end of civilization as we know it. Now you can see that clearly it's not just the life of SBW developers at stake here.

This is clearly not a fallacious use of "slippery slope." I can prove (using my copy of WFF'n Proof of course) that doing path optimization for players would, in fact, lead to the end of civilization. PM me to see the proof (but be warned, it's quite graphic!).



==============

Obviously an AJAX implementation would be very nice for lots of reasons. We may look into using one of the AJAX development kits that are now popping up in a future game implementation.
 
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Seamus Kleissler
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I'm not sure why we can't discuss this here. I love SBW and I find the topic of how some games are more fun on-line v off-line interesting (and true).

Regarding Tikal, I really like the SBW implementation but I think the ability to move multiple hexes would be nice because the moves do take long. But I also know that I can't program and the decision not to do it obviously makes sense. btw, I also have no clue what I am doing yet strategy wise (I am an idiot too) but I love the exploration feel to the game.

I love learning games on pbw before even trying them out at home because it helps learn it better for teaching others. Also, I can test out whether I want to buy a game.

I want to love Bus on SBW so much but those games move much, much slower than Tikal. Partially the problem is that few people are involved in the games it seems. But I like the game conceptually but I cannot say that I have much fun. I find it hard when it is sometimes days between moves to generate a reasonable strategy. I'm learning Amun-Re much quicker than Tikal in part because it seems easier to learn but also because the action moves along quicker.

I play T&E here a lot but almost neverplay at home. I enjoy it both ways but I never have anyone to play with so playing on BGG is what I got. Both yucata.de and SBW are developing Hacienda which I've never played before. It will be interesting how different the two implementations are (yucata is java based I think so it is very different).

Btw, I love how closely SBW is integrated with BGG.
 
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Houserule Jay
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Playing any game on play by email does not excite me at all, though I have not tried it and don't feel the desire. I do enjoy BSW as it is in real-time now that I am used to the horrendous interface and issues. I also enjoy other sites and even playing against AI, but doing one turn and then waiting and back and forth just sounds to me like all the fun and tension would drain out of ANY game.
 
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Seamus Kleissler
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jayjonbeach wrote:
Playing any game on play by email does not excite me at all, though I have not tried it and don't feel the desire. I do enjoy BSW as it is in real-time now that I am used to the horrendous interface and issues. I also enjoy other sites and even playing against AI, but doing one turn and then waiting and back and forth just sounds to me like all the fun and tension would drain out of ANY game.


For me, I probably wouldn't play ANY online games if I couldn't do it while doing other things and making my moves at my leisure. PBW is something I can do anytime, anyplace I am on the internet. It actually helps keep my mind focused when I'm trying to draft a document or something and run into mental block. My mind is sharper because of it.
 
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Myke Madsen
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seamusk wrote:

For me, I probably wouldn't play ANY online games if I couldn't do it while doing other things and making my moves at my leisure. PBW is something I can do anytime, anyplace I am on the internet. It actually helps keep my mind focused when I'm trying to draft a document or something and run into mental block. My mind is sharper because of it.


That's me exactly. PBW fits my schedule a lot better than BSW. I used to play on BSW a lot, but it's less appealing to me now. It requires undivided attention that I just don't have.
 
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Jason Sample
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Thanks for the honest replies to my question. I have taken several more turns today at SBW and I think that I just don't get it. It being Tikal in this case. I like the idea that I just have not grasped the strategy yet and once I do, it will be better. I think that the fact it is play by e-mail amplifies my not getting it because the amount of time to complete this, my first game, is longer than usual. The first time I played PR, fr'instance, was at BSW. The game flew by, I really did not get it, I came to BGG, read some articles, went back, got it (a little better), and enjoyed myself a lot more.

I think that I will like Tikal a lot more once I get it. 'cuz:
1) the theme is groovy
2) nice bits
3) I like the flow of the game
4) I like the "action point" mechanic

Do not get me wrong, I am not trying to be critical of SBW/TIkal/or its iplementation (though it may have come across that way). SBW is a great site and I think youse guyse do a great job.

Anyhow, I needed a dose of brutal honesty to get me through. Thank you for not giving me the "It's not you, it's me" routine or the "I love you, but I am not in love with you" routine.

Cheers,
Jason
 
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Seamus Kleissler
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speaking of spiel-by-web, am I the only one who can't connect there this morning? Or is this a broader issue. I was wondering if somehow the dns information got mixed up.
 
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Ed Rozmiarek
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seamusk wrote:
speaking of spiel-by-web, am I the only one who can't connect there this morning? Or is this a broader issue. I was wondering if somehow the dns information got mixed up.


I can't get there either. Looks like it may be a dns problem.
 
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