Tori-Santa 2019
Original Post
Replays and the feedback loop breakdown
I originally posted this in the TBN thread, and was advised by my clan mate to post it here instead, more likely to get dev eyes on it.

There's a lot here I could have phrased better, but I think my point about how some players (read: me) feel a lack of reward is valid - those that don't care mainly about tc/market/collecting/events and so on.

Player created media has had to fill the gap on replay sharing for over a decade.

Originally Posted by DrGonz View Post
Replays are a big goal for many players. The lack of an in game mechanic for sharing clips is a big gaping hole - in fact it's a breakdown in toribash's feedback loop.
What is to many players the best part of toribash, has functionally been very weak. I think that's part of why some players quit early.

Imo TBN needs to have something resembling these things:
1) better replay indexing (tag replays automatically for decaps, or custom manual tags) and custom parameters for auto-saves (again, decaps for example)
2) Heavily improved replay browsing, to see top replays this week/month/all-time
3) an integrated "clip" function, to make gif-like thumbnails in the browsing menus, click it to dl/view the replay as normal.
4) personal replay pages integrated with replay/player browsing menus, in which players can customize what replays appear and in what order. Almost a splash page for players, with a small static image of their textured tori
5) an actual, functioning friend mechanic, that can take you to their replay/splash page
6) better automatic mod downloads so there's less replay glitching, or make it clear from access point that you need a certain mod, and make it visually easy to click a button, many new players don't know / commands
7) maybe the ability to comment directly under replays, tbd by the uploader - moderated ofc

These are general ideas, take from it what you will - but the point is clear.

To me, improved replay functionality is required for tb to grow. A huge portion of new players that don't get into tb never go on the forums/disc. The player base has had to go to great lengths to share replays - to the extent that many just get video makers to make them a vid, and never share replays. Hell, lately I've been screen-grabbing with OBS, converting to gif and posting on my clan disc.

To rely on the playerbase to carry such a huge part of the feedback loop is a problem. I understand it and I'm not complaining - tb works the way it works atm hence TBN - but it needs to change.

It's super fucking clunky downloading .rpl's, and most players never even bother with it. I know that it likely won't stay the same file type when TBN comes, but if it's functioning comparably to now we'll have the same problem.

The replay subforum on TB is dead as hell, and has always been rough - even our old, advanced players have to bump their threads for cnc, all bc it's such a pain to download replays.

To me toribash is not a dead game. I've never come online and seen 0 other players. As much as our community likes to talk crap about it, they keep coming back. Our players don't just enjoy tb, we LOVE tb. To me toribash is alive. But we all know our playerbase has dwindled. Sure tb is hard when you're new - but they're also missing the reward of the feedback loop. Who can blame them?

I do see the point in making TBN, stability and so on, but if these issues aren't addressed my appreciation of the new platform/system for play will be very, very watered down --

Because at that point what functionally changes in the feedback loop?

GrampaGonz

just like daddy. Thanks Tasaki.
A good portion of that is actually already in the game. Reordered your list a bit to better structure my answer.

- better replay indexing (tag replays automatically for decaps, or custom manual tags) and custom parameters for auto-saves (again, decaps for example)
- maybe the ability to comment directly under replays, tbd by the uploader - moderated ofc

These have been a thing since 5.33 (released in Sep 2018) - you can move your replays between folders, assign tags and share them online by uploading to server. Uploaded replays can be rated / commented, too.
Custom conditions for autosaving sound nice but I cannot say anything specific whether it's going to be added in any near future.

- better automatic mod downloads so there's less replay glitching, or make it clear from access point that you need a certain mod, and make it visually easy to click a button, many new players don't know / commands

When downloading replays with game client, it also downloads the replay mod if it's missing. Won't be the issue for tbn as it has mods included in replay files.

- an integrated "clip" function, to make gif-like thumbnails in the browsing menus, click it to dl/view the replay as normal

This one isn't going to happen, a gif essentially takes as much space as the whole rpl file. Having a single screenshot to showcase the replay sounds a bit better but you can barely tell what the replay is about by a single screenshot - a proper replay name and tags would be just as descriptive.

- personal replay pages integrated with replay/player browsing menus, in which players can customize what replays appear and in what order. Almost a splash page for players, with a small static image of their textured tori
- an actual, functioning friend mechanic, that can take you to their replay/splash page

Solid ideaa, may be added in future updates.

- Heavily improved replay browsing, to see top replays this week/month/all-time

Sounds good, doesn't work
But yeah, this actually does sound good in theory but won't just start working as expected if we add a way to view the top - and that's the core issue here.
Players need to have an actual reason to go watch recently uploaded replays to rate them and thus form some sort of rating. Current system obviously doesn't really work as replays barely get any downloads (and even less ratings) in that sense. The solution may be to introduce "watch N replays" quests but imo that would be just annoying for players - this is the sort of thing mobile games would do to give you some e-bucks.
If you have any suggestions regarding that, please share your thoughts.
Originally Posted by sir View Post
Sounds good, doesn't work
But yeah, this actually does sound good in theory but won't just start working as expected if we add a way to view the top - and that's the core issue here.
Players need to have an actual reason to go watch recently uploaded replays to rate them and thus form some sort of rating. Current system obviously doesn't really work as replays barely get any downloads (and even less ratings) in that sense. The solution may be to introduce "watch N replays" quests but imo that would be just annoying for players - this is the sort of thing mobile games would do to give you some e-bucks.
If you have any suggestions regarding that, please share your thoughts.

don't reward them for watching. reward them for getting their replays (liked).
and they will take care of the advertisement.
most people are addicted to social media because they are addicted to getting likes anyways, so you don't even need to reward them, getting likes is a reward on its own. but obviously something like "most liked replay of the week/month/all time" will increase the satisfaction.
It could work great with the friends and player profile idea.

and talking about this I realised how much we need a player profile.
Toribash youtube channels are there to show replays because there's no easier way to show people.

This is how it would look like:
Its basically the current inventory i turned into profile.It's half assed because i didnt have much time. But you get the idea.http://imgur.com/gallery/fiAdjWr
Last edited by Mafia; 2 Weeks Ago at 12:35 AM.
You can't fight change. You can't fight nature.
If I didn't quote it, it probably means i'm satisfied with that portion of the response, or understand, etc. Thanks for your time, I'm pretty ineloquent when I get in the weeds of how the systems i imagine should function, appreciate you getting thru the noise.
Originally Posted by sir View Post
you can move your replays between folders, assign tags and share them online by uploading to server. Uploaded replays can be rated / commented, too.

A good start, not nearly sufficient. I think the reason for it's lack of engagement isn't because players don't want to engage with replays through the client, but because it's non intuitive and doesn't scratch the function itch players are looking for in community replays.
I know you're aware of the current problems w community replay system, you allude to them later, most popular replays are highest dl's, years old, very, very few ratings and comments, anywhere. Very few dl's for recent replays, tho there is small activity.
The search function is very limited. Even some things as small as common tags to click would improve it, more date filters, etc etc i've already suggested. But that alone isn't enough in this age of the hyper social web, and I stand by my suggestions that are lacking in the current system.
If the current community replay system was something to be proud of it would have a link on the tile menu. I knew about the current community replay system, but literally forgot because i find it bare.
Having a single screenshot to showcase the replay sounds a bit better but you can barely tell what the replay is about by a single screenshot - a proper replay name and tags would be just as descriptive.

There are all kinds of clear moves in this game, giving player ability to screenshot a replay at whatever frame/camera position they want and strap it to the replay browser would be much more effective than just tags. Also, motivating people to tag when they upload - hence why i said auto tags, but even just a tag-cloud you can click on when uploading a replay.
Solid ideaa, may be added in future updates.

Glad to hear. My above suggestions, all of this applies to integration with this social page thing. If it does get added it will get more traction if it comes with a community replay overhaul..... just sayin... cos i'm grinding this point to a nub lol.
Players need to have an actual reason to go watch recently uploaded replays to rate them and thus form some sort of rating. Current system obviously doesn't really work as replays barely get any downloads (and even less ratings) in that sense.

Don't make the mistake of conflating the lack of interest in community replays in it's current state with a lack of interest in community replays. People go to extremes outside of the client to post replays and get eyes on them.
If the systems were improved it would see more use. Build it and they will come - no one wants to play baseball in a cornfield if it's still all corn.
The solution may be to introduce "watch N replays" quests but imo that would be just annoying for players - this is the sort of thing mobile games would do to give you some e-bucks.

I agree that's not the solution so much so that I'm quoting it just to say so.
Originally Posted by Mafia View Post
don't reward them for watching. reward them for getting their replays (liked).
and they will take care of the advertisement.
most people are addicted to social media because they are addicted to getting likes anyways, so you don't even need to reward them, getting likes is a reward on its own. but obviously something like "most liked replay of the week/month/all time" will increase the satisfaction.
It could work great with the friends and player profile idea.

Yeah, all of this. What I compare toribash to when thinking of these suggestions is games like CoD, and how they've handled community replays over the years, the ease with which you can navigate community replays (or could, i haven't played any recent ones).
Obviously there's a massive resource disparity, but it doesn't hurt to try and emulate the big shots. Their handling of community replays during the rise of esports is part of why they're so dominant. They have R&D, ykno lol.
Toribash youtube channels are there to show replays because there's no easier way to show people.

People go to crazy lengths outside of the game to share in game replays. If toribash handled that traffic themselves, they'd get more player retention.

Addendum:
I imagine: Death20 kicks me out of dojo in l3ng (shocker), but say I don't know him. Click into his custom page, see his stuff, rate it.
Pipe dream part: doing that while staying in room, between your fights..... I said it was a pipe dream part.... lol
Last edited by DrGonz; 1 Week Ago at 10:22 PM.
GrampaGonz

just like daddy. Thanks Tasaki.