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Subject: Increasing the fun factor - better off dead rss

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Danny Frahm
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Space alert never really piqued much interest with my group. And I realised why recently when talking with another gaming group. He said, "we always survive/win even if we make lots of mistakes". [edit note: this is from tutorial/simulation missions only, but remember that is minimum 8 missions some of which you repeat, and its at this point interest in the game is determined]

In co-op games surviving a run should be a great accomplishment. A rare occurrence.

I concluded that we would rather be harshly treated and killed than survive and score low. So we played with the new rule 3 damage blows up the ship. Harsh. But sooooooo much more fun and tense. Failure = death, not a lower scores because you didn't kill every threat. The only scores worth noting anyway are from close to flawless runs.

I just left after playing 10 games in a row of SPace alert and we only won 1 of the games and had rotating captains. And it was SO MUCH FUN! Scoring is boring. We only score observations out the window on successful runs minus any damage.

I really think this simple change made the game x10 more fun. Has anyone suggested it before?
 
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Lee Fisher
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Get the expansion.
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Alison Mandible
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I am finding it hard to believe that you were winning nearly every game from the very beginning of your group playing it. What difficulty are you playing on? (White, white/yellow, or yellow?)
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Cameron Chien
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Get the expansion with the red threats then come tell me if the game is too easy

Cameron
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Joshua H
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Are you certain you're playing with the correct CD? Several versions misprint the training CD as the mission CD.
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Danny Frahm
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Ok, I should mention these were all simulation missions S06-08. But whenever we come back to the game we always run simulations.

The point still is that when something goes wrong it doesn't kill you fast enough. Especially with the intro missions. Its fun and funny if the ship explodes due to our bad planning. Its lame if inspite of our screw ups we end up surviving. It gives you something to strive for.

I'll let you know how we go with the real missions now that the group is keen on the game. But right now making graduation is something we are having great trouble (and fun!) in achieving.

We are all looking forward to the next game because we all want to be the capitan of the ship when our team finally graduates! And we finally become a fully fleged crew.
 
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Danny Frahm
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Be honest though guys. Is the game really that hard? How often do you run successful missions? 50% of the time? It looks like you could outright ignore half or more of the threats and survive.
 
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Cameron Chien
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You're playing with white threats right?

The rule of thumb with cooperative games is that if your group finds it really easy, you're playing something wrong.

In the specific case of Space Alert, yes, with my seasoned crew mates, all white threats are a walk in the park. I don't know about ignoring them entirely, but they are easy to kill.

Yellow threats can be lethal, and the red threats are especially so.

Cameron
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Sean McCarthy
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I don't understand why you are making up rules to make the tutorial harder when the full game is available to you. But if you're having fun, that's cool.
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Danny Frahm
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SevenSpirits wrote:
I don't understand why you are making up rules to make the tutorial harder when the full game is available to you. But if you're having fun, that's cool.


I guess this is the main point I'm trying to make. The "tutorial" is really long. It's up to 8 games, and more if you replay.

As they are it makes the game feel boring because even if two people severely mess up you don't die and it is more exciting if you do. It punishes you with a "you lose" ending. Making you want to play again. Nobody likes you have a "really damaged ship" ending because you still won so who cares.

We play yellow and white mostly on scenario 8 on the tut cd. But note we did lose 9/10 games.
 
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Cameron Chien
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I'm confused. You don't like how easy the tutorial missions are, yet you keep playing them.

I don't make new players do all of the tutorial missions, just three at the most.

Cameron
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Sean McCarthy
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FinalAttack wrote:
SevenSpirits wrote:
I don't understand why you are making up rules to make the tutorial harder when the full game is available to you. But if you're having fun, that's cool.


I guess this is the main point I'm trying to make. The "tutorial" is really long. It's up to 8 games, and more if you replay.


The tutorial is 3 games long (and the first game is really just half a game). The handbook basically says to go on to the next level if you felt comfortable with the previous level and were able to win. You say you've been feeling the games are EASY, so you are clearly above the suggested threshold for continuing. If you play more than 3 games of the tutorial, that's your choice, but it should be apparent that the game is going to be too easy in that case.

Missions are harder than the simulations; that will help with the difficulty. After those are too easy for you, you can add in yellow threats. Then you can switch to all yellows. Then you can get the expansion which has an incredible amount of optional difficulty available and will probably last you forever. The game provides abundant ways to make it harder. It's just baffling to me why you are still playing in the tutorial if it feels easy to you, and even adding house rules to make it harder.
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Reis
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I'm also baffled as to why you are repeating the tutorial missions over and over again when the actual game is available. Even if the tutorial was intended to be 8 games long (it's not), you are clearly done with it. Add in the gold action cards and move on to the real missions. If they're still too easy, mix in the yellow cards.

It's worth noting that the tutorials are structured in such a way that it is unlikely that you will fail.
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Danny Frahm
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Luce wrote:

It's worth noting that the tutorials are structured in such a way that it is unlikely that you will fail.


I guess this is what I'm getting at. This lack of failure during training has turned off many groups. Players like being rewarded when they play well, but that's only meaningful if they lose when they stuff up.
 
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Richard
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FinalAttack wrote:
Luce wrote:

It's worth noting that the tutorials are structured in such a way that it is unlikely that you will fail.


I guess this is what I'm getting at. This lack of failure during training has turned off many groups. Players like being rewarded when they play well, but that's only meaningful if they lose when they stuff up.


I agree. Definitely play the actual game at some point
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Reis
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FinalAttack wrote:
Luce wrote:

It's worth noting that the tutorials are structured in such a way that it is unlikely that you will fail.


I guess this is what I'm getting at. This lack of failure during training has turned off many groups. Players like being rewarded when they play well, but that's only meaningful if they lose when they stuff up.

Can you back up the idea that the "lack of failure during training has turned off many groups"? I also have no evidence, but I would guess that most players accept that "tutorial" means "tutorial" and actually move on to the actual game once they've learned how to play. Tutorials aren't meant to be rewarding - they're meant to teach.
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Brian M
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Quote:
edit note: this is from tutorial/simulation missions only, but remember that is minimum 8 missions some of which you...

I'm really kind of curious where you got this "8 missions" from. There's no need to play 8 training/sims. When our group learned Space Alert, we only did 1 training and 1 sim before proceeding onward. Since then we almost never even use a sim to teach - and if we do, we immediately proceed to a full game afterward!

But, really...a simulation is not Space Alert. You aren't trying to win a simulation, you're just learning to press the buttons and move the enemies.

Next time, play a full game. I bet you won't need any variants. Be sure to toss in the yellow threats if you are feeling cocky. devil
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Cameron Chien
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Now I'm really confused.

You say that a lack of failure has turned off "many groups" (who, exactly?), and I can understand that if a cooperative game has no challenge, it can get dull. Yet these are tutorials, which aren't supposed to just crush you mercilessly.

But, then you go and just keep playing the boring, no-challenge tutorial missions. And then you mention you're doing simulations, which should be the same as a real mission, yet you keep winning easily,

This makes about as much sense as buying a Corvette and then only driving it in parking lots at idling speeds. And then complaining on a Corvette forum that driving the car this way is boring and they really should make the car more fun to drive.

I am confused.

Cameron
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Reis
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Quote:
And then you mention you're doing simulations, which should be the same as a real mission, yet you keep winning easily.

Notably, simulations are not as challenging as missions.
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Matt Smith
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Based on the discussion in this thread, I think it's clear the OP misinterpreted two aspects of the game:

1) You don't need to play 8 training/simulation games.
2) You aren't meant to score training/simulation games, only full missions.

As others have said, the training/simulation tracks are only there to help players learn how to play the game. In no way are they meant to provide the full challenge of the game. Your group should only play training/simulation games until you're feeling comfortable with how to use every system on the ship, and how to deal with both internal and external threats. This should take, at most, three games (1 training, 1 simulation, 1 advanced simulation). Then, put away the training/tutorial CD and never use it again!

The full mission tracks have more combined levels of threats, more communications down, and include the gold cards. Only when you start playing the full missions should you even think about scoring the game. If your group doesn't like to survive with lots of damage, use mostly yellow threats (at least 75%). Many of them are lethal if they survive too long. With this setup, you'll rarely survive with a lot of damage.
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Brian M
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Quote:
This should take, at most, three games (1 training, 1 simulation, 1 advanced simulation).

Now, our group did go back and play an advanced sim again. Our progress went like this:

Training - win.
Simulation - win.
Advanced Simulation - lose.

"Ah, what the heck, we just made one little mistake, we're ready for a real mission!"

Mission - lose
Mission - lose

"Um...maybe we should try to beat the advanced sim first."

Advanced sim - lose
Advanced sim - win!

"Yay, NOW maybe we're ready for a mission!"

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Reis
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StormKnight wrote:
Quote:
This should take, at most, three games (1 training, 1 simulation, 1 advanced simulation).

Now, our group did go back and play an advanced sim again. Our progress went like this:

Training - win.
Simulation - win.
Advanced Simulation - lose.

"Ah, what the heck, we just made one little mistake, we're ready for a real mission!"

Mission - lose
Mission - lose

"Um...maybe we should try to beat the advanced sim first."

Advanced sim - lose
Advanced sim - win!

"Yay, NOW maybe we're ready for a mission!"


Sounds like you used them exactly as intended! How is your group doing in the game now?
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Reis
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matzi1 wrote:
Hmm.. The OP did not confused the Mission CD with the Tutorial CD, right?

The Tutorial cd has less tracks than the mission cd.

It has the same number of tracks, but the first track is shorter (I think the first two are both shorter actually).
 
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Evgeny Reznikov
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The first two tracks on the tutorial CD are test runs, and are only 7 minutes long each.
 
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