AdVenture Capitalist

AdVenture Capitalist

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Hyper Hippo Productions  [developer] Oct 6, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Can AdCap Be Completed?
Hey Capitalists! I’m Cody, the Lead Designer of AdCap, and this message is in response to a lot of the inquiries and concerns regarding whether or not AdCap can be completed.

This message is a long time in coming, so forgive me if you’ve been frustrated or confused as to why it wasn’t being addressed in a timely fashion. I’ll do my best to explain what’s been going on.

And, as a side note, I’d like to give many thanks to the multitudes of players who have sent messages deconstructing the math and play patterns of AdCap to illustrate their points. Some of you have even taught me about the deeper mechanics of the game. You’re awesome.

So, let’s dig in. First, I’d like to set out a few design objectives I try to follow. This is not an exhaustive list - just some principles that are pertinent to the conversation:

AdCap should be completable. I am a completionist myself. Baiting players with impossible goals is unethical.
AdCap should be enjoyable for free. You shouldn’t have to spend money to finish it. It should feel awesome if you do spend money though.
AdCap should be delightful, no matter what platform or play pattern someone may employ.

Straightforward enough. So here’s the boggle: AdCap is very very difficult to balance for everyone. And it’s not just due to players spending money - it has more to do with engagement metrics and platform specific bonuses.

When AdCap made the jump from the Web to other platforms, we saw a catastrophic shift in how players were playing the game. Retention, screen engagement and sessions-per-day exploded. More sessions and longer engagements meant more efficient resetting and optimized play. As a result - players started completing the entire game (at that time just Earth content) in weeks as opposed to months.

In response, we designed new content to pace these new explosive metrics more slowly. This took the form of the Moon. But there were a number of knock on effects - the most serious of which is that Steam players, by not having access to some of the additional multipliers present on mobile platforms (opt-in ads and social media logins), were at a terrible disadvantage.

Thus the question: can AdCap be completed? AdCap was ​originally designed to be completeable on any platform, and this design was made with free and paid players in mind. Since we've been receiving feedback from players on their experiences, we are working out the timeframe and what new features need to be added to Steam to ensure the right balance is struck for all play types and variables.

So that’s where things sit right now. Which begs the question what are we going to do about it?

Well, lots, hopefully. We’re working on features right now that will be rolling out of the next few weeks/months which will have a big impact on AdCap’s balancing. And we’re hoping to experiment with stuff that gives Steam players the missing edge players on other platforms have.

What kind of stuff? Well, I don’t want to be too specific yet, in case we build something, test it, and find out it sucks. But we’re hoping to introduce some new mechanics, and more interesting choices. We’re also considering some balance tweaks, such as making Mega Boosts much more effective, but we’re trying to gather more data before we tweak these values.

So if AdCap doesn't seem achievable at the moment, don’t lose hope. We’re working on adjustments that will hopefully be worth the wait.

Let us know if you have any questions, comments, ideas or critiques. Thanks for reading, and for your continued interest in Capitalism.

--
Lead Designer Cody
Last edited by Hyper Hippo Productions; Oct 7, 2015 @ 11:53am
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Showing 1-15 of 307 comments
Jasiek Oct 6, 2015 @ 4:50pm 
Just one thing: As you may be aware some of us - players - have done some research to carefully choose which investments should be megaboosted and which shouldn't be...
You said "We’re also considering some balance tweaks, such as making Mega Boosts much more effective [...]."
I really hope that these tweaks are going to change profit of every investment in the same scale. I mean: don't make situation where shrimp boats would be first choice to boost.
Gibe Moni Plox Oct 6, 2015 @ 5:32pm 
Incremental games should be a gradual game with no end.. make the achievements easier, but not finished. I finished Mars recently and I dislike the place now, it's like a tapped well, no fun at all. It's about the journey and the accomplishments, not the ability to uninstall the game stated, "Oh boy, all done now on to Clicker Heroes or Time Clickers". Ect.

Keep up the good work, I don't personally pay for in game transactions, but I might just change my mind soon if you guys keep up the good work! Every good deed deserves just compensation.
Zypre Oct 6, 2015 @ 10:05pm 
Why are you people so much better at communicating than other companies? It's great to hear about new developments like this!
qaccy Oct 7, 2015 @ 3:14am 
Yes, hopefully these coming 'tweaks' address the fact that nobody who isn't a real-life octogintillionaire can possibly finish all 626 unlocks on Earth. Which audience was that slog intended for, exactly? Mobile or otherwise, you can't even get close to completing the game. Was it really an accident or was it intentional to keep people engaged until more content was added?

I like feeling like I'm making progress, which unfortunately stopped abruptly on Earth when I hit 498 unlocks.
Last edited by qaccy; Oct 7, 2015 @ 3:24am
Scorcher24 Oct 7, 2015 @ 4:33am 
The frustrating thing is not when the "end of the game" is far away, it is more when you progress so slow that even having it running multiple days offline, you cannot reset or do anything. I can let it run right now multiple days on Moon and I can't reset. That is not the case with ClickerHeroes or any other game of that type.

It is ok if it takes time to complete, just get rid of the wait spikes that are in between. I am on 133 Unlocks on moon and try to get those juicy 666666x and 888888x etc, to be able to finally progress. I guess I need a month or so to get there. I can reset mabye every 5 days or so and that is just boring.
bnmbv Oct 7, 2015 @ 4:51am 
Originally posted by Gibe Money Plox:
Incremental games should be a gradual game with no end.. make the achievements easier, but not finished. I finished Mars recently and I dislike the place now, it's like a tapped well, no fun at all. It's about the journey and the accomplishments, not the ability to uninstall the game stated, "Oh boy, all done now on to Clicker Heroes or Time Clickers". Ect.

Keep up the good work, I don't personally pay for in game transactions, but I might just change my mind soon if you guys keep up the good work! Every good deed deserves just compensation.
bnmbv Oct 7, 2015 @ 4:51am 
Originally posted by Scorcher24:
The frustrating thing is not when the "end of the game" is far away, it is more when you progress so slow that even having it running multiple days offline, you cannot reset or do anything. I can let it run right now multiple days on Moon and I can't reset. That is not the case with ClickerHeroes or any other game of that type.

It is ok if it takes time to complete, just get rid of the wait spikes that are in between. I am on 133 Unlocks on moon and try to get those juicy 666666x and 888888x etc, to be able to finally progress. I guess I need a month or so to get there. I can reset mabye every 5 days or so and that is just boring.
ERROR Oct 7, 2015 @ 5:33am 
Originally posted by Hyper Hippo Productions:
More sessions and longer engagements meant more efficient resetting and optimized play.

Sorry, but what? People leaving a game running in the background doesn't make it an effective or optimized play. If that's what you based the game progression on, you clearly don't understand PC gaming.

Every single feature introduced over this past months came with even more gold purchase attached to them. Money investments in a game like this should come as a support, not feel as a requirement.
Hyper Hippo Productions  [developer] Oct 7, 2015 @ 6:01am 
Originally posted by ERROR:
Originally posted by Hyper Hippo Productions:
More sessions and longer engagements meant more efficient resetting and optimized play.

Sorry, but what? People leaving a game running in the background doesn't make it an effective or optimized play. If that's what you based the game progression on, you clearly don't understand PC gaming.

Every single feature introduced over this past months came with even more gold purchase attached to them. Money investments in a game like this should come as a support, not feel as a requirement.

The reference in Cody's post was describing what we saw (from an analytics standpoint) when we launched the game on different platforms (EG. Mobile vs. Web/PC play patterns).

When we launched on mobile, we found that players reset more often, checked their progress more often, etc.; this can pose some interesting challenges when it comes to balancing the game!

-Ryan
ERROR Oct 7, 2015 @ 6:46am 
Originally posted by Hyper Hippo Productions:
When we launched on mobile, we found that players reset more often, checked their progress more often, etc.; this can pose some interesting challenges when it comes to balancing the game!

-Ryan

Then why don't you balance the game (based on this analytic standpoints) differently for each platform to accommodate this different play styles?

It's obvious that you can't come up with a middle ground and how could you, when there are people who probably spent hundreds of dollars on buying multipliers just to feel they wasted that money on the next re-balance patch.

This statement should've been made when the game launched on Steam and ensure that everyone is well aware that the game is still in development and that any money you spend on the game, being it for support or just trying to progress has no impact on the game in it's current state.
Last edited by ERROR; Oct 7, 2015 @ 6:47am
Hyper Hippo Productions  [developer] Oct 7, 2015 @ 8:57am 
Originally posted by ERROR:
Originally posted by Hyper Hippo Productions:
When we launched on mobile, we found that players reset more often, checked their progress more often, etc.; this can pose some interesting challenges when it comes to balancing the game!

-Ryan

Then why don't you balance the game (based on this analytic standpoints) differently for each platform to accommodate this different play styles?

It's obvious that you can't come up with a middle ground and how could you, when there are people who probably spent hundreds of dollars on buying multipliers just to feel they wasted that money on the next re-balance patch.

This statement should've been made when the game launched on Steam and ensure that everyone is well aware that the game is still in development and that any money you spend on the game, being it for support or just trying to progress has no impact on the game in it's current state.

Definitely! As Cody mentioned, we're going to look at finding ways to balance the game so it fits the Steam platform a little better. It's always tricky when there are so many different types of players involved (EG. Players who pay for upgrades vs. players who don't, dedicated number crunchers vs. casual players).

Since Steam was a new platform for us, we didn't fully understand how players would play the game (or if they would play it at all), so we couldn't make an accurate assessment of how to tweak it. As we go, we're learning how Steam players specifically enjoy the game, and we're tweaking as we go. We've learned from our mistakes (EG. Cloud implementations, changing achievements), and we're working on making sure Steam players get the most out of their specific experience.

From day one, we've been very open with that fact that AdVenture Capitalist is an iterative game experience, and our goal is to make sure that everyone is enjoying the game as much as possible.

-Ryan
qaccy Oct 7, 2015 @ 3:30pm 
Originally posted by Hyper Hippo Productions:

Definitely! As Cody mentioned, we're going to look at finding ways to balance the game so it fits the Steam platform a little better. It's always tricky when there are so many different types of players involved (EG. Players who pay for upgrades vs. players who don't, dedicated number crunchers vs. casual players).

Since Steam was a new platform for us, we didn't fully understand how players would play the game (or if they would play it at all), so we couldn't make an accurate assessment of how to tweak it. As we go, we're learning how Steam players specifically enjoy the game, and we're tweaking as we go. We've learned from our mistakes (EG. Cloud implementations, changing achievements), and we're working on making sure Steam players get the most out of their specific experience.

From day one, we've been very open with that fact that AdVenture Capitalist is an iterative game experience, and our goal is to make sure that everyone is enjoying the game as much as possible.

-Ryan

You guys are still kind of beating around the bush with the fact that you seriously flubbed up Earth's progression past 498 unlocks. It doesn't matter whether you're playing on Steam, or mobile, or Kongregate, or even how many boosts you have. The simple fact is that it's entirely impossible to complete under any set of circumstances. Would it be possible to get an explanation for that?
MarioVX Oct 7, 2015 @ 5:49pm 
Wow, I'm genuinely impressed how quickly and openly you react to this issue, and highly appreciate that you explain your stance on this so thoroughly!

From how much I was surprised myself to figure out how long late game earth takes (looking at the multipliers, this is in no way apparent), I can well imagine you were in a similar situation and it's indeed extremely hard to fine-tune on a logarithmic scale, especially to the degree of accuraccy demanded by the extremely sensitive, unstable dynamics of progression in this system.

And of course, the planets being completable too quickly is just as serious of an issue than them being not completable at all, arguably even more serious, as the latter can be fixed subsequently, whereas the former can not without forced hard resetting all players' progress.

It's totally ok to take your time, gathering data and modelling cautiously, rather than updating hastily. Players fully understand that.

You might wanna go through some creative brainstorming to loosely gather ideas what could be done to provide incentive to play beyond "completing" a planet, whether you'd rather just add more unlocks in the future (this is more of an interim solution) or can come up with a new post-late-game mechanic in some way, idk.

On the subject of optimal strategies, the way the game is set up right now means that there is one singular best solution to the entire playthrough, even though that is hard to pinpoint. The megaboosts are doing a good job in the direction of opening this up a little because there is player decision to which business to boost and it changes the optimal build sequence to a notable extent. You might want to consider features that offer a variety of pathes instead in which only local optimization is possible, for instance by having upgrade options which benefit some businesses but adversely affect others, and other options that provide synergy between specific businesses. An elegant method inciting players to decide between the pathes without trying to fully determine which one is ultimately slightly better is by having them encourage and reward different play patterns (screen engagement, sessions per day, etc. as you mentioned). E.g. having one path containing rather few, expensive, big upgrades with big profit gains that will take longer between the upgrade steps for preferably idle players, and one with rather many, cheap, small upgrades with small profit gains that reward active playing that buys them whenever they become available, beating out the other path for active players, but falling short behind the other if you only check occasionally and don't want to spend so much time on it. Stuff like that.
Especially synergies, but also adverse effects, could well be fitted into the capitalism theme of the game as well.

Awesome job on community management and game development, keep up the good work guys!
lart Oct 7, 2015 @ 7:57pm 
Originally posted by Hyper Hippo Productions:
Definitely! As Cody mentioned, we're going to look at finding ways to balance the game so it fits the Steam platform a little better.
Is this the reason for completly breaking earth, invalidating all paid upgrades?
Personally I feel it's more related to the new $99 upgrade.

It's always tricky when there are so many different types of players involved (EG. Players who pay for upgrades vs. players who don't, dedicated number crunchers vs. casual players).
Is there an estimated date for fixing Earth?
Ossi Oct 8, 2015 @ 4:42pm 
There are just a few things that anoyed me in my Capitalistic Adventure. The biggest point for me was (i don`t know if it got changed or not) the fact that AIs spend raise the amount of money needed to gain new ones, lets say i get a juicy new upgrade but it would still cost me 1/4 of my AIs, while it increase my speed 10times or something. Now i either don`t buy it or i buy it and wait longer for the next reset because it has to pay out to take the 25% of my Ai stack for this upgrade. There are even people that overdid it alot and weren`t able to play any more (spending way more AIs than they should have).

I think that only unspend AIs and AIs spend with that reset and not prior resets should count for the price of getting new once. Not sure if i am completely reasonable with this, it would lower the risk, or completely extinguish the risk of screwing yourself. It would speed up the progress since you could buy expensiv upgrades without risk, i sure don`t know how much it would speed things up.

I really shouldnn`t write things on the internet right before i go to sleep and i hope that i could point out what i ment.

It`s a great game, it`s alot of fun for me. Mars came and went quite fast, i enjoyed the updates on earth and moon and i might ask if there will be Mars achievements? Personally i think these would be the hardest to balance since eitherway everybody get all in a week or two (not counting possible extensions) or they would be a huge timeconsumer if they are far beyond the unlocks or upgrades.

have a nice day and thanks for this nice game.
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Date Posted: Oct 6, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Posts: 307