I just wanted to cross post a comment that I placed on the BigDaddy site regarding iOS Caylus to see what the general consensus here is on the app and in particular it's multiplayer functionality.
I would welcome any opinions you may have...
I hate to come across as negative but I’m finding the multiplayer games very frustrating only because this is a very nice port of the boardgame and I want to be able to play with other human opponents more effectively.
The major barriers to Caylus multiplayer being an enjoyable experience are as follows:
1) Not being able to invite friends / setup a ‘private’ game. Because you are currently forced to play against random opponents there’s no guarantee you’ll draw players that are in the same time zone or are happy to play at the same pace as you. You can try to suggest the game ‘type’ in the title but you very limited on characters.
Based on my experiences as a result 9 out of 10 games end up with someone quitting after a 24 hour period and the game being cancelled and a waste of everyone’s time.
2) Limited to 3 online games. This seems an very arbitrary ceiling considering other app games allow far more. Why limit a player to just 3 games at a time as long as they make their moves on a timely basis?
3) Not knowing which games are currently awaiting your move. I would have thought this would be a fairly obvious feature and the lack of it is probably one of the biggest causes to game delays because a player must log into each game they are currently involved in (which isn’t a particularly quick process) to work out if they need to make a move. Some sort of highlighting is needed on the ‘Your Games’ list for those where it’s your turn.
I’m not suggesting this is an exhaustive list as previous commentors have also raised other points but I would suggest the above needs to be given priority for Caylus multiplayer to operate in a more effective manner.
On a positive note thank you for the speed at which the first update has been delivered.
- Last edited Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:39 pm (Total Number of Edits: 3)
- Posted Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:35 pm
I realise it's a new app, but at the moment I think it's pretty poor.
Positive things first:
- The graphics are clear, and look nicer than the real game in my opinion (for example I like the fact that the provost and bailiff sit in between the buildings rather than on top of them, as it makes it totally clear which buildings are in play and which aren't)
- Generally the user interface for the game play itself isn't bad (I use it on an iPhone and given how much there is to fit in it's reasonably effective)
- I haven't noticed any really major bugs
On the downside, however:
- The AI players are so poor that it's just not interesting to play against them unless you're an absolute beginner who's just trying to get a general feel of how the game mechanics work. To give just one example (although there are so many it's hard to pick one), I had an AI player pay one denier to move the provost past an unoccupied building when he was the last player in the passing order.
- That leaves multi-player, and it just isn't very practical. For example, if someone drops out (or fails to make a move for, say, 24 hours) why not let the AI take over for that player so that the game isn't over for everyone (with the option for the player to join back in later if he wants)? At the moment the only practical way to play is to assemble a group of friends and agree to play at times when everyone will be online. Clearly there's a network effect here and no doubt it will improve as more people start playing, but in the meantime it's a bit frustrating. Also, why not allow a mix of AI and several human players from the start? I prefer the five player version but there aren't always enough takers, so it would be good to be able to play with (say) three human and two AI players.
- Some actions need to be confirmed and some don't, with no particular logic. For example, in the phase when you're placing workers, if you don't have enough money to place a worker at the going rate then you still have to click Pass and then confirm that you "really" want to pass, i.e. two pointless clicks. You also have to tap to acknowledge the start of a new turn and to indicate that you've seen the message about who the best builder was in this turn (if it wasn't I, then I'm not that interest). In other situations where you have a genuine decision, one wrong click between two buttons that are quite close together on an iPhone can totally screw you, with no "are you sure?" option.
- With some of the of buildings, when you have a worker on them and they're activated you are first asked whether you want to use the building, and then asked how you want to use it (e.g. with the lawyer you're asked if you want to build a residence and then where you want to build it). Since you spent money and a turn to put the worker on the building, there's presumably about a 99.9% chance that you do indeed want to use it, so it would be better to go straight to the options for how to use it and just have a separate button in the corner to opt out of using the building altogether (and this one definitely should have an "are you sure?" option!)
- In the castle building phase, as far as I can tell there's no way to see the board or see how many batches other players have already offered in this phase. Sometimes I'm not concentrating when the other players are doing their building, and when it comes to my turn to build I want to build enough batches to make sure I've built the most but no more. You can see how many batches each player has offered in total, but not how many they've offered this turn. Not being able to see the board is less of a problem, but there might still be situations where it would influence your decision of how much to build and what resources to pay.
- When I was playing against the AI earlier I noticed that there were two architects on the board. I wasn't really paying attention when they were built so I don't know how it happened, but unless I've misunderstood the rules that shouldn't be possible, should it?
Having said all that, I acknowledge that it's early days and eagerly look forward to some improvements being released.
Some very good points, especially the area of action confirmations. I don't think anyone has explained it to that depth and improving it would certainly make the game run more smoothly.
Especially async MP games where you can be waiting a day or two for someone to pass when that is their only option.
I also like your idea of being able to use AI players within MP games with other people and a good solution to the player quitting problem.
I've had games just completely disappear. I log on and my game list is empty.
I've had games just completely disappear. I log on and my game list is empty.That does sound strange. Usually when someone quits while you're offline you still see the game on your list the next time you log on with Game Finished on it.