[Prototype] Manorial

edited in Projects
Heya this is a tile laying prototype.
Inspiration from playing the carcassonne board game.

Trying to make something "simple" that has strategic play. I've tried adding this via the adjacency rules for the different tile types. I was thinking of adding points based on how many connected tiles there are to the placed tile rather than straight up adjacency. I Thought this would be a good time to get some feedback.

download link https://pmlomb.itch.io/manorial



  • edited
    This is pretty rad so far! It's definitely a fun puzzle mechanic, and the theme is really charming.

    Something I felt while playing the game, is that it's quite hard to remember the rules. Like "Is a pile of corn good next to a sheep, or good next to a field?". Some of the rules make sense (like "grassy fields are good next to sheep" and "Water is good next to more water"), but others seem more arbitrary (like "rock next to some things is bad").

    I don't think the game would be improved by having text with all the rules on, that would just slow the game down. But maybe indicate the level of improvement through graphics, like sheep turn towards a tile if they like it, or the corn grows if a positive tile is placed next to it. An audio/visual clue might also be offer moments of entertainment (like a tree exploding into blossom, or growing fruit).

    I don't think you need the negative numbers. I think it's hard to remember that rocks make sheep unhappy. I think you could just scale the points, so very positive actions give three points, mildly positive give 1 or 2 points, and rocks next to sheep give you zero points.

    Unless you were placing things like bears or wolves, in which case it would be easy to remember that they cause negative effects on sheep.

    In the prototype graphics I couldn't tell that the corn was corn, I thought it was piles of wood. But I imagine that won't be a problem going forward.

    What are the ugly red balls that you place last? How about something more thematically negative, like deserts with cacti? or locust swarms, or dead animals with crows or something.

    The final placement of a house is also pretty unclear regarding the rules... Because there is only one placement per round it is hard to learn the rules through trial and error... It seems like quite an important placement, maybe there is a way to provide clues beforehand?

    Even though I think the restrictive space produces quite a nice puzzle space... a freeform version of this, that just keeps growing, definitely appeals to me.

    I think I'd eventually want this to get more complex, with more specific tiles (or something like that) that I need to prepare for. I feel like having to make a nice space for the end piece is the most far reaching goal (and using all the tiles in a sensible shape). I think the amount of complexity here is great for a start, but I'd like to master more rules eventually.
  • @EvanGreenwood
    I agree with the rules being too arbitrary to remember, I think this comes from the theme not being fully obeyed. I love the idea of using reactions before placement as a guide to whats "right" like a visual tooltip. It seems like a great way to tie the juicing into meaningful feedback.

    I didn't like the negative numbers as I implemented them, glad you've re-affirmed that.

    The red balls are supposed to represent something bad, Dragon, Bear, Trojan Horse ultimately whatever thematically makes sense. I've not settled on Medieval manor management as the theme, making art for a pirate themed game intrigues me, so that might be the direction this thing goes.

    The placement of the house happens as soon as there no 2 adjacent open cells, it's important to have tried to create a favorable location for the Manor to maximize the one tile placement, I'm thinking of adding a belt of coming up tiles so you can more easily make strategic choices.

    It's an interesting idea for a free form version, I had not thought of it being free form. I can definitely see that being an interesting way to take this if there was a bigger variety of tiles to play with.

    Thanks for taking the time to play and reply.
  • The art as always is lovely :). Plus it's a fun little idea - creating these little biomes of things :).

    I think you could add depth by changing the shapes generated. It feels a bit like Tetris, but the challenge is planning and placing the object, so having different shapes of 1-3 would add a little bit more challenge and also flexibility.

    Not crazy about the points system really, it feels arbitrary because I have so little control and there's few variants on the system. If there was different shapes, and a bit more depth, it would feel a bit more rewarding with points :).

    There's not too much depth right now, but I think you could add some with a little sort of 'Little Alchemy' combination mechanic. If certain tiles combined with others, that would lead to planning and thinking past the current turn. "Sheep + Water = hippo" or something silly like that. Perhaps next time round you can place that new creation from the start too. That way, depth builds at a metagame level, allowing more to play with per round. You could start with a little village and end up being able to create a whole castle or something :).

    I think with a direction like this, you could remove points entirely, and just enjoy making biomes/unlocking new pieces.
    Thanked by 2mattbenic Pomb
  • I really enjoyed this as a start to a great idea. I think the obvious comparison to me would be to Triple Town, and as @evengreenwood mentioned above some growth in complexity as in TT would be great. Of course all his feedback is great, as usual.

    Thinking of his suggestion of the play area growing, and @bensonance's negative feedback on the points system, what if points were earning you growth in the play area? Start with something smaller, and add squares to the play area based on the number of points each match gives you. This would give more incentive for the correct matches, and add more variety to the playthroughs.
    Thanked by 1Pomb
  • @Bensonance
    I'm glad that you found building little biome things fun :D

    I agree about the points not fitting, I like the idea of the meta game reward, so progression is felt with every play through that you get further. Having odd tile shapes is also a neat idea! I want to get to that place where the points can be removed!

    I love the idea of the placement area growing with each placement, this helps me get rid of the points since the points are effectively placement options.

    I'm growing more and more fond of the idea of a traveling unit that can move on tiles based on whats been placed, so when you place open ground next to the tile he moved onto it, if you place a skeleton he moved in the opposite direction, this combined with the growing area seems like it rids me of the numbers.

    Thanks for playing and the suggestions guys. This is given me quite a bit to change and play with.
  • I also neglected to mention in my previous post that while the visual direction you have in the game is great, I absolutely love the look of your concept image. If there was a way to get closer to that look in the actual game it would be amazing :)
  • Pretty cool so far.

    The thing about understanding the rules has been mentioned above, so I won't repeat that here (but I agree with that).

    One tiny thing that bugged me, is that when I click to place a section, the new section immediately comes up and kind of blocks my view of what I just placed. It creates a little bit of visual confusion. Maybe the new tile can animate/grow in over a very short period (like under 1 second), just to give a kind of transition to the next placement.

    Hope this makes sense.
  • Great as always :) Really enjoyed playing this.

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    Thanks for playing guys.
    @mgeorgedeveloper I'll definitely juice that up! The thing I want to fix is the tile being on top of the other immediately, I think having the concept of a hand where there's a choice of tiles to choose from is going to fix this.
    @shanemarks, thanks man :D

    I've tried prototyping a version of this where the grid expands based on your placement it looked something like this:

    I didn't like the direction it was going so I've abandoning the idea of the free form grid. The placement possibilities didn't seem as interesting as when it was constricted by the bounds. Something that did come out of that prototype was unit movement on the tiles. In that prototype it was a Pirate moving towards open tiles and treasure and away from tiles that had skeletons, which was quite a cool way to alter the tile value after placement. The next version of Manorial will hopefully have these elements I found fun.
    I'm also thinking of creating a hand so the player can choose between two or three available tiles to place, this combined with the other suggestions of differing size tiles will make more interesting choices on placement.
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