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Full Version: First impressions on gameplay
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OK it seems to be a common problem I've got stuck on the fungal level. After many attempts I've googled the instructions on how to do this and am wondering why I have to follow specific steps to get to the next part.

Game play seems to be:

Press fast forward until a balloon pops up. When it does, pause, click balloon before it disappears.

Repeated this until I eventually buy necessary points to buy transmission and resillience abilities.

If I evolve a new symptom then I pause and devolve it. (It's particularly annoying when I have to stop to click a banner telling me something completely irrelevant)

Continue for next half hour until every country in the world is infected, sometimes waiting ages for just one last island to be infected.

Then when the world is infected I try to save up enough points so that I can select as many lethal symptoms as possible and also delay research.

Scientists start researching the disease and manage this faster than I can kill off the world's population.

I've only played 5 hours and I'm wondering about playing something else instead. I was enjoying the game until the fungal level. Where's the variety? Where's the excitement and involvement? How are people supposed to decide on a strategy if there is just a single line of text for each ability and they don't really know what options are available to them?
I have to agree with Mathilda.
The bubble popping thing needs variety and is absolutely senseless, if you can just stop the game to have all the time in the world to pop them.
There should be more to consider, when evolving symptoms than increasing infectivity, severity or lethality.
There needs to be a lot more explanation on what you evolve, achievements, etc..
The general gameplay is still a bit simple.

I believe the main problem is, that though it is ported to pc, its still kind of a mobile game.
But then again it's still in alpha-stage with many features not released yet. Have faith in the devs! =)
Get the auto-popper. Less popping more time for thought.

Your welcome.
It has since helped that I found the "How to play" screen (and had a quick nap). When I first started playing I was looking for a tutorial option in the main menu. I found it in the single player menu and it isn't finished (I have no problems with that considering that it is early release). I found the "How to play screen" by pressing escape in the middle of the game and that gave me some useful information.

It would have been useful having some kind of tool tip or help option when selecting a symptom, ability or means of transmission for further detail. For example, if I have invested in the transmission abilities and have now infected the entire global population, do I no longer need them? The swirly red pattern in the infected countries looks like people getting constantly re-infected, or is this just an effect? When a new symptom evolves does it get applied to everyone at once or does it spread through the population? Choosing bird, insect, flea and livestock transmission increases the chance of mutation, does this still apply once the whole world has been infected?

I finally won the fungal stage by saving up about 100 DNA points and spending them all at once the moment a cure started to be researched. I had previously spent DNA points as soon as I could but then once the world was nearly fully infected I stopped getting any DNA point baloons to pop and had nothing to do but sit back and wait while the researchers got to work and found a cure. I ended the game a few times because of that.

One problem I found is that I can only see what symptoms I have chosen and the next one in the tree that I will be able to buy. I can't plan ahead thinking, if I buy symptom X and then Y then I will be able to buy Z etc. A very large part of strategy for me is being able to think many moves ahead.

In terms of increasing the strategy aspect of the gameplay, it would be useful to see more clearly what mutations would benefit which countries. I could see icons in the country menu but could only guess what they meant. But I get the sense that more things like the of icure (whatever that is) either working or not because of excessive sweating could add to the strategy if you have some way of finding out more details about them.

I had previously tried spending money on selecting the 'reassemble strands' abilities to add more work for the researchers but it was not very effective. A help option or tool tip would have been able to explain whether it is more effectively used the genome has been sequenced or whether timing is unimportant. In the end I just chose more symptoms whenever I could.

In terms of speeding it up and pausing it, I ended up just leaving it on full speed all the time and popping the balloons as they came up and only pausing it when I wanted to check another screen.
(18-04-2014 11:52 PM)Mathilda Wrote: [ -> ]
  1. For example, if I have invested in the transmission abilities and have now infected the entire global population, do I no longer need them?
  2. The swirly red pattern in the infected countries looks like people getting constantly re-infected, or is this just an effect?
  3. When a new symptom evolves does it get applied to everyone at once or does it spread through the population?
  4. Choosing bird, insect, flea and livestock transmission increases the chance of mutation, does this still apply once the whole world has been infected?

  1. Yes and no. You do not longer need them, but selling them would lower the complexity of your pathogen, making it easier to find a cure.
  2. Just an effect.
  3. New symptoms add to the global disease stats, applying to the whole population at once.
  4. Yes.
Thanks for the replies.

I've thought of an alternative form of gameplay that could be quite interesting and more realistic.

It struck me as unrealistic that you can infect the entire world with a harmless fungus and then use up almost a hundred DNA points on symptoms which allows you to kill the global population in a very short space of time because the symptoms are applied to the entire global population at once.

It also strikes me as quite unrealistic that you have an island which is 100% infected and you have to wait a long time for an infected boat to leave and infect another country.

An alternative would be to have infection travel between countries far more easily. This would make the scenario more scary and would help sell the game. You also get more far more DNA points more frequently.

But to counteract this, when you apply a mutation such as a symptom or a new form of transmission, you have to choose a starting country and have it spread throughout the world again. An intelligent player would choose the next starting country wisely so it can spread faster before being picked up by the scientists.

But you can also give people immune systems so you can't ever kill off 100% of the entire population with a single strain. You would then need to repeatedly try re-infecting the entire world. Your disease then would come in waves with previous strains dying out.

If the scientists find a cure, then it is only guaranteed to be effective against the strain they were researching and not against any new mutations brought in since the cure was found. There can be a chance of the cure being effective against new strains when taking into account how many new mutations were since added.

For me this would give the player a reason to fight until the very end. The best strategy board games always gives the losing player a chance to make a come-back so the winning player needs to work at maintaining their lead. It would also mean that you have to continually pay attention to the news because if a country shuts its borders you will have to adapt even if you have already previously infected it. The news can also give clues as to the future behaviour of a country based on whether it looks like an insular or hard-line government gets in etc.

You could have it so that some mutations cancel out previous mutations, meaning that there is more reason to devolve and you can tailor the disease as the circumstances change.
(18-04-2014 09:05 PM)LiquidBacon Wrote: [ -> ]I have to agree with Mathilda.
The bubble popping thing needs variety and is absolutely senseless, if you can just stop the game to have all the time in the world to pop them.

Think about Multiplayer and how you have no pause-time to click all the bubbles. Wink

~Hollow.
(19-04-2014 04:15 PM)Hollow Wrote: [ -> ]Think about Multiplayer and how you have no pause-time to click all the bubbles. Wink

~Hollow.

Im more concerned about features, which are already implemented at this point. Smile
I realised that pausing the game didn't actually help too much with popping the balloons because they would soon disappear even when paused. What it does mean though is that you know that you aren't going to have too many balloons and banners popping up at once.

I'd love to see a model where you need to repeatedly reinfect the world with new mutated strains though. It would make the game both more realistic and improve the scope for strategic playing. The battle between the plague and the scientists would become an arms race and would better capture the nature of evolution.
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