Making Chicken Invaders Universe more of a universe

Now I think the universal question among everyone is: What do I mean by ‘making it more of a universe’?

Come to think of it, Chicken Invaders Universe plays in one enormous galaxy of various sectors and equally as many planets and missions. But that factor alone makes the Universe feel so unnecessarily big - empty, almost. In fact, a quick look onto the map shows that about 90% of all players are sitting in the same sector/area on the map.

Even I am no different. I first of all have no apparent reason to go on the other side of the galaxy, nor do I have a reason to not stick around players. Fuel and it’s cost makes it rather difficult to explore anything further out, making the ‘sitting duck’ technique rather worthwhile.

I guess to put it blunt: The universe feels like there is no reason for it to be a universe. You could basically make a solar system with 1 sun, 9 planets, several moons, and be equally as served.

But that’s not the point of the game! In fact, I want to go ahead and make a few suggestions, a few insights and changes in the current system, going even more in-depth about player-base, economy and mission rewards.


Economic%20changes%20test
The Problem: Many areas even just around the high player base area offer high economic advantages, offering discounts with high reductions, or giving high key/score fluctuation bonuses. On top of all that, it’s easy to find semi-decent key farming spots, whilst still staying around the populated area.

The effect: This causes the player to have almost no reason to go explore, or go further out. In fact, you will very quickly find yourself to be better served by staying in the populated area, or even just the area you stay in. All missions give you what you need, some of course do less so once completed too many times.

The solution to this issue are economic changes. You see, by giving the player all he needs within the area he’s staying in, you discourage him from venturing any further. I am not trying to say we should take everything away, but hear me out.

By making places become less prosperous the more players have been there, you already make a huge difference in how players act. For instance, a station could have much lower price reductions, if many players have visited it, or have been in the surrounding area. So in other words, there is still a price reduction, but it’s not as significant.

In turn, sectors that are rarely visited, or with a low initial player count, could be far more prosperous. So the same station type in the bottom right corner of the galaxy for example could have a much more beneficial price reductions. So the station in the starting area (as example) could have an all-time low sale of basically only offering 5% off, while the lonely station in the bottom right corner is in an economical high, offering perhaps up to 30% off. That way, you already have one way to encourage the player to spread out.

On top of that, missions could increase in prosperity and rewards the further out they are. The key fluctuation is a good base for this, or score fluctuation. The procedure is basically the same. In areas and sectors where players are commonly present, and missions are often completed, the fluctuation could easily go to somewhere within -30%, while in a sector that is never visited, and the mission completion quantity is very low, it could go to +30% or something, if you catch my drift.

This change in particular is very important to encourage players to do missions farther away from their initial point. Same goes for shopping.

Additionally to this, bonuses such as those should only apply to missions directly done on-location, and not done through the favorite tab.


cartographics
Exploration is what I personally would believe to be incredibly crucial, if not essential in a game with a scale of this size. Therefor, exploration should be rewarded and treated as such. We are getting keys for exploring planets and sectors, which is all great and dandy until you realize it doesn’t matter what you explore, it just matters that you explore.

Similar as above to be honest, we could treat exploration just the same, although probably a little bit differently. Here is what I thought about:

Sectors and planets that are basically commonly visited are claimed by the player’s faction. No idea what it’s called again, just know I mean the main federation. Those planets and sectors give a much lower payout, expecting it to be at around 3 - 6 keys, depending on sector and planet. But just the same here, the further out you go into territory that is unexplored, or at least uncommonly visited, could have such a high payout. Like, what if we actually went for 30 - 60 keys for planets that have been very rarely visited? Or even having a first discovery reward of like… 50 - 100 keys? Just a general idea. But this would also encourage the buying of fuel, and exploring the galaxy.

Obviously, values and mechanics need tinkering, and if you want to be especially in-depth, you can also offer a “Detailed exploration bonus” for completing all missions of a planet, and all planets of a solar system.


Events
Some of you might remember my “Ambient events” idea - And this is somewhat similar, except this one becomes a lot more versatile and embedded into the system. Galactic events would be the next option of expanding the spreading of players. Let’s imagine this: You currently play the game, and suddenly the radio of your ship starts speaking. “Mineral rich comets spotted in ‘insert system name here’, require pilots for extraction!”

So you look onto the map, search for the system, and you see it’s rather far away. But what could that mean? So you make your way to that location, finding yourself with more players there. And as you do that special event mission, you get rewarded with a huge amount of points, keys and perhaps even achievements/titles.

And we could do this on so many more levels. Like, having an actual chicken plague in systems appearing, where the difficulty of all missions becomes the maximum, but the payout becomes absolutely godlike.

Or how about an infestation spread? “Chickens with a dangerous virus spotted, requesting immediate assistance” - And boom, you have to fight against zombie chickens. Or something like this. The opportunities for that one are definitely endless, and could be as absurd as “Chicken couple is getting married” or something. I mean, why not? Chickens also have rights - At least in some ways.

Of course we could also have seasonal and hosted events. How about a cyber-chicken event, where bionic-enhanced chickens are spreading terror in a sector, and threaten to take over?


power%20play
As a sort of addition/enhancement of the above section, we could also introduce power play. Factions, which can take spaces over, and players can assist those factions to expand, or eliminate others. That sort of power play can be done through special missions. “Faction service mission” - Which is treated like a normal mission, but has an influence on the faction.

We could also have chicken factions. “Cyber chickens” or “Zombie chickens” - Something like having variety between chickens, and defeating different chicken types can reward different things. I mean this idea is relatively simple and is probably understood easily. Factions, factions can expand, factions can give benefits, etcetera.


Point is, those are my suggestions for making the universe alive, for giving players a reason to actually explore. Thank you a lot for reading!

Kind regards ~ Your favorite wyvern, Peri

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Your ideas are well thought out, but I feel I muſt point out that your premiſe is juſt plain wrong.

You ſee, the galaxy view only ſhows the players within a certain range of yourſelf, plus the locations of all your contacts. Thus, it always looks like moſt of the players are in one area.

Becauſe of the even diſtribution of players, I don’t think changing prices baſed on player location is a good idea. Not becauſe it’s intrinſically bad, but becauſe the effect would be negligible. I do think the price fluctuätions ſhould be more extreme ſo that at times people could actuälly make keys buying and ſelling in different parts of the galaxy.

The ſame problem of even diſtribution applies to your improved cartography fix, although this might work:

Although that actuälly encourages players to ſtay in one place rather than exploring.

I like your event ideas, but they’d have to be deſigned ſo as to not penaliſe offline players too much.

I don’t like your power play ideas as much, becauſe aren’t we ſuppoſed to be fryïng chickens, not puſhing each other around?

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I guess I might be wrong with that, then. But the Universe still feels dead, it doesn’t have that certain amount of interaction like it should have. As mentioned already, economy already gives away a huge portion of that, although economy right now isn’t treated like it should.

Based on player count was based on the initial thought of “CIU basically being evolving around the same sector”, due to the fact you apparently have limited viewing range, but that in specific makes me wonder why the viewing range is shaped like a bean, making it actually look like there is barely anyone farther out.

Every company or sector can have economical lows and highs by proxy, which could be randomized pretty much every time. That being said, this randomization shouldn’t just work from system to system, but rather sector to sector. Not just would it make the general… I guess traveler’s aspect a lot more alive, but it would also encourage to switch the sectors every once in a while, if you truly want to grab a discount, or bonus in keys from missions.

Same pretty much goes for Cartography. There isn’t really much more that can be said to that. Our universe isn’t the scale of Elite: Dangerous, hence linking the bonus to “What as not yet been explored” might become difficult. But perhaps, as I said, this power play could pretty much be implemented into that system.

With a faction system I don’t mean we fight each other. But just like real companies, everyone is going to push one another around. You know, not forcefully. But sectors will be taken over and companies expand/shrink based on current high’s. That’s what I meant. And I didn’t mean like we have 3 major factions, but more so having several capitals of our known store-system. I mean, we have several store brands, after all.

Basically that.

As for this part, well, you see… I currently repeat the same two missions in my sector over and over for points and keys, farming them up very quickly. I barely have any need to continue at this point. Well, with that being said, having a completion bonus actually encourages you to visit different star systems and planets.

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Don’t you get hit pretty hard with the unoriginality penalty?

I would’ve thought you’d continue for the pleaſure of hearing the chickens’ death ſquawks, or to collect all the medals.

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After certain time the missions feel the same but that’s because of the nature of the game. This is still a space invaders game genre, just on a much larger scale. More bosses, more chicken types, more weapons would be nice but ultimately, it will all still feel the same after certain amount of time played.


---------- * UNIVERSE AND MISSIONS * ----------

I would agree that firstly, planets should get different types. I love the planet generation and the whole uniqueness about it but… there is nothing more to it than that.
What would be lovely is more planet classifications (terra, desert, oceania, tidally locked, titan, gas giant, ice giant…) and more space objects, like nebulas or supernovas, as well as displaying comets and asteroid belts in star systems.
And it would be optimal if this weren’t pure cosmetics but that each of these types of objects have it’s own type of special mission (alongside the already existing missions) which can only be played once and which are specially designed for that type of object… aka comet object gets comet wave missions, asteroid belt gets asteroid waves, supernovas get supernova waves, oceanias gets it’s own set of missions that can be a special mission, etc.


---------- * MULTIPLAYER * ----------

Another thing is the multiplayer element that does not exist right now, or at least not in the sense of direct interaction. What would be minimal effort but fun would be addition of ingame chat with players around the universe.
Chicken invaders games all have speech bubbles designed for hero and enemies to talk to us (player) and narrator trough the game. Implementing something like space stations scattered trough the universe where players can just park their space ship and talk to other players would be nice. Of course this would require determining which player is online and which is offline.

What could also be a possibility for multiplayer would be the ability to add other players to your fleet and play missions together when they are online.
Thinking about this one made me realize, what if some members of your fleet are on the other side of the galaxy? Well introduction of new fast travel or teleport one-time use items like ‘pocket wormhole’ that could teleport you to a nearby star system but you would lose more fuel than traveling normally or some long term but rare and really expensive items like ‘ultra quantum fuel’ or some form of thruster additions that would make exploring universe worth it.


As of now, exploring universe serves only to finish missions and finishing missions serves to explore the universe and it’s a perpetual loop of one and the same. This is early access version after all tho and again, it’s not supposed to be a really complex game but this level of development that I described would really pleasantly surprise me.

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I like your ideas, but I’d like to point a few things out and make a few clarifications.

Asteroid belts are already added and they have asteroid wave missions. Same applies to stars - they always have a few supernova missions. Comet chase missions can be found on suns, but it’s up to IA to decide whether they should be in asteroid belts or on stars.

Environmental missions have been suggested and are on IA’s list of features that he is planning to add. His list is private, I assume it’s a Word/Excel document on his computer.

IA said he doesn’t want to add in-game chat because apps like Discord, Skype and TeamSpeak already do the job. It’ll be much easier to maintain a server which doesn’t have to update every time someone sends a message.

IA is going to see if he can add multiplayer or not after the Early Access phase’s over. There’s a slim chance it’ll arrive, but it’s still there. With our suggestions and help from programmers (or simply users with minimal networking knowledge), we might just make it work. After all, getting a helping hand in tricky situations is very fortunate and appreciated.

That won’t be necessary. There’s an item called Warp Drive. It allows you to travel faster. Warp Boost, on the other hand, makes Warp Drive charge faster. In the end, traveling becomes extremely quick and it costs the same amount of fuel. As far as I know, getting a more expensive engine means you get better fuel efficiency, i.e. traveling costs less fuel.

Agreed. Though I must say by exploring the universe you can find unique mission types. You can’t stay in one place and do dailies/weeklies all the time, after all. I look for boss rushes, comet chases, squawk blocks and retro missions for the most part.

Yeah, there’s definitely room for more features in the game. I’d like to see most of these added as well. The universe does feel slightly barren.

2 Likes

How do you know?

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I read this somewhere, I’m pretty sure. But even if it’s not correct, that doesn’t invalidate my entire post.

Edit: I found Planetary missions generator and I assume IA might add planetary/environmental missions if he’s liked the post.

Edit 2: Item Highlight Bug
Unless IA meant a different kind of list here.

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From what I see nothing points to him adding it… the generation of the missions themselves as they are now points to it being highly unlikely.

What I suggested is a special type of mission tied to planet, for example sake lets call it ‘planetary mission’ but not the ones we have now, rather a special one. I have not played the latest CI (cluck of the dark side) so I wouldn’t know how biomes work, but I’m pretty sure this would give us new reason to go out and explore.

I agree about the chat however. I’m pretty sure the base systems are there… but the serverside programming of that and actually maintaining a server is not something that would be profitable here. I however am of opinion that apps like discord don’t make the experience more fulfilling… having this in game would still be better than the alternative, but yes… I get what the limitations are.

The only thing here that I don’t really get is… if this is a huge scale multiplayer experience with a focus on exploration… I don’t really get much out of it. I actually get more fun from previous games than this one… but again I get it… it’s a new game, it’s in early access and it’s made by only one person. This already is enough of achievement.

I would also suggest that if there’s a concern of people not playing/buying the previous games if the waves in this new game are the same (concerning the cluck of the dark side biome levels), this game should just go for all out original waves as well! It was done before so why can’t it be done now?

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That’s variable. Some people enjoy Universe more, others - less. I, for example, really like Universe because it has more variety, better ship customization, more ship models, an entirely different spaceship (the bomber) which has its own volley system and max power…

To make the game more interesting for everyone, we’ll profit from sharing and constructively criticizing good suggestions. I’m pretty sure there are thousands of possibilities which have not been considered before. However, we could start by bringing in more active users to write reviews for ideas (and give them likes if they’re good). It’s not untrue that some ideas sink in the ocean of posts because they didn’t get enough attention. This would make one assume the idea wasn’t good for it to be ignored in the first place, but that’s not always the case.

Here’s an example: Paintcode - share your spaceship look

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. Since it’s November, IA should get back to working on the game pretty soon. We have to give him some time if he has personal issues to deal with, or maybe he’s on vacation - everyone deserves it every once in a while.

Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure IA is going to add original waves at some point, maybe after Early Access.
Here are some ideas for waves I stumbled upon right after looking it up:


If you’re interested, check out the full posts.

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IA actuälly didn’t like the fatal hypnoſis poſt, but I’m not ſure whether that’s 'cuz 1) he doeſn’t really like it, 2) there are technical conſiderations making it hard to implement, or 3) he juſt didn’t ſee the poſt.

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The comet chase missions are not only available on suns. The planets have comet chase missions too.

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Oh yeah, I was just giving these posts as examples to show that original waves are most likely going to be a thing in the future.

Yeah I do hope too. What I just suggested is to have the special universe objects on the map itself… like comets circling in the solar system that you always know will have comet chases. That way if you want to play that level, you’d go out to explore another star system that has it instead of guessing which planet has them.
Same with asteroids and supernovas. Tho I haven’t opened the suns yet I guess they do have supernovas, but it would make universe more diverse if supernovas were their own thing, while suns had their own missions.
Nebulas could also be an addition but I’m not sure what type of missions should even be considered for that type of space object.

I like to fantasize about space exploration if that isn’t already apparent :joy:

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New modes of gameplay should be suggested as well like on Darkness missions.

I’ve suggested one which applies drag on all kinds of spaceships, unfortunately it didn’t came up well maybe due to “gamebreaking” consequences.