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Reviews for "In the Time of Pandemia"

There seems to be a very strange bug in this game where infected people will refuse to isolate, leading to their infecting others.

That's obviously a bug because nobody is that stupid in real life. It's not intentional. It's a bug. Nobody does this. It's a BUG. NOBODY DOES THIS, DAMMIT! IT'S ABSOLUTELY 100% A BUG AND NEVER HAS HAPPENED OR WILL HAPPEN EVER!

This game makes me unreasonably misanthropic.

kikill responds:

Someone too close for comfort actually did that.

Okay I get what you're going for. Money doesn't matter as much as as people getting sick, people getting sick but recovering doesn't matter as much as deaths. In addition, you want to somewhat realistically model the difficulties of people ignoring isolation or quarantine as well as limited hospital and governmental resources.

As a pure simulator of those things, this is great, and a good education tool, and I want to stress I commend you for that, especially since I'm going to go on a math rant in a second and get pretty critical on the game aspect of this. So just like, remember that I *really* appreciate that and the work that went into it before the rant starts XD

As a game the design is pretty bad. You're telling me to get below a score that will be RNG determined 90% of the time. It's infuriating and bad design for a game. My only options as a player are tests, isolation, lockdown, and hospitlization. Let's take Zone 4 as an example. It has 40% compliance and only 10% observance of things to keep infectivity down. You start the level with 5 out of 25 people infected (says 24 total on intro screen but that's apparently a mislabel). Even assuming I immediately started the level by testing everyone and telling everyone to isloate and locking down *everything* with no regard for money (so making it hard to avoid going over par already), statistically 2 people who are infected will continue running around with another 8 healthy people, with a decent chance of getting them sick. Par is set at 5004, so if a *single healthy person* gets sick, I have to restart. To not get fudged, I'd need either every sick person to listen or the surrounding people to listen, and while the math on the second is harder to get, the first is ever so slightly over a 1% chance. So even being super generous with the second situation and going up to 5%, that means that only 1/10 times am I even going to have a *chance* to beat par on zone 4. While this might be a realistic model that's very useful for teaching us, it's a *terrible* playing experience, and it's only the third real level of the game.

Basically what I'm saying is, if you want to keep the realistic simulation there (which I know I'd prefer as well), you need to relax par a bit or it's just nightmarish to play. And its easier to teach people through things like this if they don't rage quit after a few levels.

kikill responds:

I appreciate your giving the game some thought and for acknowledging our labors in making the game a vehicle for players to understand the difficulties and dilemmas of pandemic management.

You're right, deciding on the par scores was a struggle. On the one hand, I wanted to make the players feel a sliver of how it's like to battle the current crisis, on the other hand, I also wanted to keep them in the game long enough to absorb its message. It's a design risk I took to lean more towards the former than the latter. The frustration, desperation, even rage that running after the par scores could evoke in the player I believed was part of the message. The pandemic is a maelstrom of disparate variables and random happenstance can overturn the most studied of strategies.

However, your saying that the score is 90% random is a bit of an exaggeration. Certainly, there is randomness, but you are given access to tools and can strategize with these to cope.

In Zone 4, you don't need everyone to comply with isolation to succeed. In the scenario you described, you have 2 infected and 8 vulnerable individuals who won't isolate. That means you have 15 who are compliant. The game becomes something of a physics/geometric puzzle at this point. You can strategize with how you isolate the compliant people such that they'd shield the vulnerable ones. This is roughly similar to cordoning certain sections of town to contain the virus.

Having said that, this game design is a living document which I continue to iterate on in response to feedback such as yours. The par scores were just taken from my best scores. Although I can see that several players have already beaten those and some even messaged me that the early levels are too easy, I'll try pushing back the par scores a notch for each zone.

Thanks again for sharing your observations.

P.S.

Good catch on the "24" mislabel. It's from an earlier iteration.

You are missing mechanic for people who are recovered with lifelong decreased function. Making individuals travel around to work, banking, food will show interactions and difficulties better.

kikill responds:

That's a splended idea actually. We have to carefully select the details to include in this attempt considering the limited time and resources (the team was made up of volunteers). But thanks for suggesting this. We'll discuss it for Version 2 of the game!

This game is fun but it calls for improvements. For me, there are some complex words that i would prefer to be much simpler so as to be quick in playing the game and there are also quite a few symbols in one page that got me confused for a minute. This makes the game a tiny bit complicated. This is just how "I" see the game and pleaseeee don't let this affect your opinion. Still check this game out and give your honest reviews!

Zone 4 is impossible. You can only have 5 people sick, but you start with 5 sick, and they will not isolate at all... Out of 5 people who have the illness, 4 say they will not isolate. That's 80%, not 40. The chances of having 4/5 when the chance is 40% of not isolating is actually pretty low, yet that seems to happen a LOT. I don't think that this game is doable in any reasonable respect. The percentages are definitely not in line with what's going on in the game.

kikill responds:

Hello panthchesh,

In each game in Zone 4, the chance someone complies with isolation is 40% as shown on the level's intro. Sometimes you will have more compliant people, sometimes less. Either way, there are strategies around someone not complying. It would be more rewarding if you discover that for yourself. :) As you can see on the scoreboard, several people have figured that out. Or one can simply get lucky and be dealt with many compliant people at the start.

I'll be waiting for your par score on the scoreboard. Good luck!