Sooo I need some community input

pc
evolve

#1

Given the recent news that’s been going on with Evolve, I thought I would get some input from the community. I’m diving into making this unnamed project with @GrizzleMarine in earnest in addition to taking on another project on the side which I’m going to be developing in tandem with this (more on that at a different time) and everything else going on in my life.

Now with introductions out of the way, here’s the TL;DR, but I seriously want constructive criticism, so read the entire post. Posts such as “Lol Evolve was stupid,” without giving a serious reason as to why will be completely disregarded. If anyone on the Dev team at TRS has issues with me polling the community, let me know privately, and I’ll be happy to remove this thread myself. The last thing I really want to do is make anyone on the team uncomfortable.

TL;DR: I want constructive criticism about the core gameplay of Evolve. What do you feel could have been improved upon? I also need ideas on some characters & abilities/load outs (I want to differentiate the game from OG Evolve).


So the TL;DR’s out of the way, here’s what I want. Follow the instructions and give a well-thought out post so I can flesh this out more.

What aspects of the core gameplay of Evolve could have been changed in your opinion?

Movement; how do you think Hunters & Monsters should get around?

Skill-floor; How do you think the game can be made more accessible to new players while still retaining the high skill ceiling the original game had?

Environments; Which was superior in terms of level design, Stage 2 or Legacy?

Individual Characters; How do you think some of the individual characters could have been balanced and made to differentiate themselves? E.G. Legacy Wraith, how do you think you could get her kit to work well?

Power gaps; Can you think of a way to retain the original Stage 2 & 3 power hikes from the early days of Legacy as a monster? What about Hunter Progression (a handicap once the monster stages up to 2 to even things out)?

Questions such as this. I’m sure I missed something.


I’m pretty much at the point where I have a decently solid design overview/doc of what I want to do in terms of the characters overall. I have not started brainstorming for individual characters (yet), but I do want to follow similar archetypes in Evolve while giving them their own individual charms that differentiate themselves from the game itself.

The people I definitely want an opinion from are @deanimate, @Puggims, @Wednesday13, @Seedsy, and @SuperBadJuJu at least off the top of my head (as I already tagged Grizzle - and we’ve already discussed this at length privately), and while I want opinions from the Devs as well, I feel they’re too busy to directly tag them.

Anyway, that’s my piece. As normal, ground rules apply; don’t be a jerk and don’t bicker. Criticizing ideas is good, but do it in a constructive manner, don’t insult someone, debate them. Why in your opinion is it bad?

Some ideas are better than others, and remember its my (and the people I end up working with on this project) decision at the end of the day whether to incorporate it or not.


What Happened to the $15K Evolve Tournament explained
Evolve had a lot of potential but it was wasted
#2

Awww, I’m not wanted :frowning: Saddcow is sad.


#3

I tried tagging more people, but it kept giving me errors. lol I’ll be back in 20 or so. Got some stuff to take care of.


#4

Oic :smiley:


#5

The biggest thing that I’d like to know is what does the ‘team’ want? I understand you want to poll people and whatnot, but what is the direction YOU want to go with? Because that itself would determine how best to answer the questions. Its all well enough to make something that is ‘popular’ but most ‘popular’/community voted projects turn out to be fairly… soulless and ‘general’ in nature.


#6

What kind of project is it? Is it a reworked version of Evolve or is it something else? Judging by the following questions in the middle of the post, I assume it’s a reworked Evolve.
I know someone who could probably help you because he’s a programmer and is currently working on a project he called Evolve: Stage 3, but he’s terrible in english and might have a lot of troubles trying to understand you. He has already created a powerful AI in Stage 2 by his programming skills.

But the question is, do you need any other people to help you? Art? Modeling? Map design? Etc…
For the art, you can have Shika. For the programming, you can have BearStream and/or the guy I mentionned. For the modeling, you can have Precise_sculptor. There’s plenty of people to ask for help if you need any.


#7

@MaddCow A refined Evolve is what I want. The original game does it well, if only with a few hiccups. There’s just some bits and pieces that need to be fixed imho, but I wanted to poll the community and get a broader view before I start getting into the nitty gritty aspects of the things that need to be done. It is not going to hurt to get some extra opinions as I could have missed something. It’s why I said “I have a solid design overview/doc.” I should also mention that it’ll be a standalone game, not Evolve itself.

@Dovahkick I’m not quite at the stage where I’d be comfortable bringing more people on board yet. I appreciate the offer.


#8

You can still give it a try, it doesn’t hurt to ask.


#9

No, it doesn’t, but the point of this project really is for me to learn the ropes of game design and start building a portfolio as I go to school (at least from my prospective).

And its still in the very early stages; if someone wants to join in, they can, but progress will be slow as hell. I’ve been working on my own doc for around a few months now on and off. I work full time and am going to school part time. Its why I’m not comfortable asking people to come on yet.


#10

Then take your time, it’s important to learn before getting serious. I want as well to become a developper, but I have very limited knowledge for that and it’s difficult for me to find guides for programming.


#11

Precisely what I’m doing, good sir. I’m at the point where I’m comfortable asking about this from the community. Its why I posted that questionnaire.


#12

What I mean is you noted specific people you wanted input from and most of that seems to come from a higher skill group of players, so are you trying to make it high skill floor/ceiling similar to Stage 1, or more mainstream accessible aka Stage 2?


#13

Ideally, retain the high skill ceiling from Legacy, but making it more accessible to lower level players. There’s some fundamental movement mechanics on the Hunter side that can be changed around to give lower level players a higher chance of success, but allowing skilled players to have their fun too, as an example in addition to (in some cases) making it more difficult to manage your jetpack.

I don’t want to ‘noobify’ the core gameplay. For instance the major changes from Legacy to Stage 2 were jarring to say the least. I want skill involved, but it should be more intuitive. Like ‘oh you do this to make this happen,’ sort of epiphany.


#14

Personally the thing that appealed to me the most is when it was a cat and mouse game. I.E. not just eating as fast as possible, but laying traps, ambushing and juking hunters. However, that was never the ‘optimal’ path and the game devolved into a series of slug outs. The best games were when the game followed the cat and mouse games despite not being ‘optimal’ play.


#15

I intend to retain that. That is something I miss heavily. I still remember scaring the shit out of Grizzle in Legacy by jumping out of a Bush as a Wraith.

The philosophy I’m going with is: Flexibility. I’m not going to limit playstyles, if you want to FT3, you can, but you’ll be heavily penalized for it.


#16

Might be a bit of tough love in this, so please forgive me anything comes off as demeaning. Haven’t played Evolve in a while, so most of these things are in retrospect, but I know some folks like @SledgePainter can vouch for my Monster when it was at its prime.

Movement: I think the mobility TRS gave us was, for the most part, an optimal means of doing so. Traversals, climbing and creatively using extra abilities to gain more ground was a great way for Monsters to move fast, and Hunters using jet boosts but for the large part being slower overall than the Monster is a smart move.

I think the issue with Evolve’s movement was not that the methods of actual movement were bad, but the routes in which monsters and hunters could use were very restrictive. Most Evolve games I played in the height of Stage 2 went like this

  • Stage 1 feed route
  • Stage 1 dome
  • Escape, start picking off buffs
  • Fights, more buffs
  • Stage 3 fight, if need be.

This is what every game of Evolve came down to, and pretty much every game’s movements and dynamics were the same. It was all a big race of whether or not the Monster could deny certain buffs to the hunters as soon as possible, and that meant that every match pretty much played out the same. The flow of the game was stilted, and while the actual combat was truly my favorite and most exhilarating parts of the game, the actual in-between moments of the fights, which were the most crucial periods, played out the same virtually every time once you got good enough at learning how to outpace your opponent, with very little means of changing things up to gain an advantage. These things are crucial to a competitive game, with matches being just as much a test of your wits as your skill. Evolve was a test of speed instead of wits, and thus, it became boring to watch. I’ll go into this a little more in my next section.

Skill-floor: In the old days, I would always shout the same thing; RNG had no place in a competitive game. But, I think I was wrong. A friend of mine who has played video games as long as I have told me something I thought might have been quite true. “Games with all skill and no RNG are fun to play but not fun to watch. Games that are all RNG and no skill are fun to watch but not fun to play.” Evolve was VERY heavy in requiring skill. Not just doing the right combat moves in the right order on the right person at the right time, but also knowing where to go, where to be and when. There were a dozen factors you needed to be aware of and if you weren’t keen on one of them, it could cost you the game. Part of Evolve’s issue is that it was easy to snowball your advantage, especially once you knew where the buffs were and when they were going to spawn. Thus, I think the best way of closing any sort of skill gap is to make the times when the buffs would spawn random, as they were really your best means of a comeback, but if you were too busy picking your teammates asses up, or too busy just getting out of sight, you were completely denied that.

I think the combat should remain the same for the most part. It was my favorite part, and I’d have to think more on it before advising any changes.

Environments: From an artistic standpoint, Legacy blows Stage 2 out of the water. From a gameplay standpoint, Stage 2 beats Legacy in a landslide. Legacy maps were beautiful. I loved exploring them as Stage 3 in bot matches just to admire the work TRS put into making the maps. However, Stage 2 was clearly designed with gameplay balance in mind. It’s hard to strike a balance between these two. I think maps with the balance decisions of Stage 2, but the general aesthetic of Legacy would be amazing. Maps that are well designed, but also feel amazing and fun to explore. All the maps we lost…arguably the thing I missed most jumping from Legacy to Stage 2. So much beautiful work. That being said, I felt like God Domes were much less of a problem in Stage 2.

Individual Characters: A bit of tough love. I applaud TRS for paying such great attention to the community and trying to balance off of our concerns. However, there foresight in balancing was severely lacking. Look at Sunny. How did she ever make it past balance concepts? One of the most powerful projectiles. A disposable drone with a huge radius that does Hank’s job, while also being a hyper-utility character with a weapon that boosts the most important thing a Hunter has against the Monster. She is cool, and as Matt said, TRS did a great job at bringing us these wicked cool characters that were all unique, but sometimes the cool things these characters have render all these other unique characters absolutely irrelevant. Everything in moderation. If Sunny was going to be hyper-utility, then her shield drone should have been way inferior to Hank’s Shield Gun.

On the flipside, look at Behemoth. A monster with ALL skill shot moves. Nothing ‘mindless’ so to speak, like flame breath, charge, Decoy, Supernova, etc… TRS tried to fix this in Stage 2 by making Fissure very big. It worked to an extent, but this still left Behemoth with 3 skill-shot moves, one of which (Rock Wall) wasn’t a really offensive attack, but used for boxing Hunters in. Which didn’t always work. Here I am bitching about Bob after all this time. I miss him, and I feel that often I was too hard on TRS, especially given what 2K allowed them to do with the game. Behemoth was and still is a cool concept, but ways to make him less dependent on skill-shot moves would have made him a much stronger monster. Legacy’s Lava Bomb was a great way of closing off huge areas at once. This was a good idea and I feel this should have stayed. One big lava bomb is fine, but puts Lava Bomb as yet another skill-shot move. Kraken has the same problem, where after the issue that was level 3 Aftershock, Kraken was reduced to Lightning Strike, Mines and Vortex. Mines were mindless enough, but Aftershock was way more risk for way less reward now. Which leads me to the final thingiemcjigger.

Power gaps: I can’t really speak for Hunters. With the exception of Lennox and a bit of Kala, I was squarely a monster player. I played Lennox because she reminded me of Goliath. That being said, what separated the higher tier monsters (Goli, Meaty, Elder) from the lower tier Monsters (Kraken, Wraith, Glacial) was that the higher tier monsters didn’t have a hard time with putting their abilities together into a combo. I particularly was fond of Leap Smash > Pounce > Rock Throw > Charge/Fire Breath/Melee/Mix and it did soooo much damage. If I missed Leap, I was still fine and I could still do huge damage. Other monsters, like Wraith or Kraken, can’t really do that so much. They needed their big skill shot things to hit and if they couldn’t land it often (Warp Blast and Lightning Strike were not the easiest abilities to land), then they were hard pressed for damage. I think most Monster changes in Stage 2 would be okay and fit fine in Legacy. If I had to say anything about Hunters, it would be to say that not one Hunter is easily better than any other pick, and that not one Hunter is easily WORSE than any other pick. Which…is much easier said than done.

Other: More game modes, whew. Even single player stuff, like a Rampage-esque mode for Monsters, see who can get the biggest score as who. Want a speedy game? Do something like Gorgon-Queen where teams compete for the best time to kill a monster. I get that Evolve was meant to be multiplayer, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have single player components. If Evolve had a destruction mode, you bet your ass I’d be playing that like mad! I’d work for that Behemoth top score! Nothing makes me feel more like a giant monster than breaking big buildings, tearing everything to the ground, eating helpless civilians! Playing as a giant monster brought me to Evolve. I’m sure there was more that could be done. Game modes are hard though, and take time to program. Obviously not something TRS could do so quickly.


Those are my thoughts. I still wish Evolve would have succeeded. Sometimes I really miss it, but it just doesn’t grab me anymore. I think the game wound up in the perfect storm to collapse in on itself, which is a shame. I really admire the aspirations TRS had for it, but what can you do? Sometimes life steals your kidneys and pisses in your coffee while it’s at it.


#17

I think incentivizing more fights throughout a match would have done a lot of good. It would have made the combat more fun because there’d be more of it. Especially at lower levels of play, there would only be a few confrontations throughout a game, if that.

Tracking the monster should also be more hands-on so the “running simulator” misconception doesn’t have as much behind it. It should be more clear how to find the monster, and there should be multiple ways to track it and figure out what it’s doing. Conversely, the monster needs more ways to work around being tracked and dupe the hunters.

The monsters have the right direction in unique traversal skills, but hunters should have more interaction with their environment.

One thing new players struggled with–and this goes back to the infamous “running simulator” complaint–is that it wasn’t obvious how to find the monster, nor did new monsters get that they were supposed to engage early and get strikes on the hunters before fighting them for the last time. Introducing mechanics or even just tutorials that make it more obvious what the ideal strategy should be would mitigate this and make the learning curve less brutal.


#18

You could make it so that you want to ‘encourage’ small skirmishes by having evolution ‘points’ or whatever earned through combat instead of JUST wildlife. Or, by fighting wildlife you get generic buffs. I always thought the idea of eating a mamoth bird gain + electric attacks or Elec armor. Eating a Sloth would give increased mass which means more health/damage. Stuff like that. Fighting hunters would give specific traits abilities to either exploit their weakness, or shore up your weakness to them. For instance, downing Markov would give you resilience towards mines. Downing val would make it so your attacks spread damage around. Downing someone like EMET would make your single target damage more at the expense of AoE… So you don’t ‘have’ to engage, but engaging would be more beneficial. I also like the idea that the game isn’t binary. Make it a s’coring’ system so even if the monster wipes the hunters, if they played well, they could still ‘win’.

I also like the idea that the ‘relay’ portion of the match ALWAYS takes place in it’s own arena. Kinda like the Dragon Ball Z games where a special move (Or in this case final evolution or a timer) would then have a short scripted event where the combat takes place outside of the regular map and the ‘losing’ side gets their specific arena for the final combat.


#19

@GoGoGoliath What you said about RNG & levels gave me an idea. L4D2 did introduce an element of randomness to levels, that could be used to mix things up in a subtle way. I’m not sure how procedurally generated levels (levels that are pieced together like a jig-saw puzzle from several random related elements) work though, it might be something worth looking into.

I was thinking something Titan Fall-esque for Hunter movement, parkour with quick bursts of speed involving the jetpack, only 2 dodges in the pack, but the dodges cover more distance, and fuel regenerates very quickly. Flight would be largely the same.

You’ll have to elaborate on that. ‘Encouragement’ is the name of the game honestly, the team can select 4 assaults for all I care (which is in the cards, actually), but your party dynamic will suffer as a result. It’s subtly encouraged to use the original Med/Supp/Trapper/Assault dynamic, but is not necessarily enforced.


What I’d like to do is make the dynamic change once the monster player goes Stage 2, the shoe will be on the other foot. It will be strongly advised to obtain a ‘crutch’ that will drop at a random point on the map for the team, the Monster can hunt them in the mean time or continue to feed. While it is strongly encouraged, it is not necessary to win the fight, it will just be slightly more difficult to deal with Big Bad and Ugly.


#20

Well for instance in the old Evolve, the game was ‘won’ by either killing the other team, or the hunters win by timing out. Instead of a ‘kill the other team’ a scoring system would be good. Like surviving for X amount of time gives points to the hunters and/or penalties for the monster. Giving points for protecting objectives gives points to the hunters and/or penalties for the monster. Getting downs or doing damage (Not just health to the monster) gives/takes away points. This way even if you don’t ‘kill’ the other team, if you played smart you should at least feel like you accomplished something.

The scoring system would also tie into how the final battle arena takes place. If the hunters did REALLY bad, have a Hunter favored last showdown. If the Hunters did a little bad, have it slightly favored for them. And vice versa. This way it doesn’t feel like you did 95% of the monster health but still lose. It should feel like a close struggle in the end and the scoring system could reflect that.