5 comments on “Threadbare Games Video: Zach and Jamie talk Shifts and game design

    • Thanks. From my Shaolin monastery, where I have devoted my life to the mastery of video games, I continue to refine my Shifts strategy. Because, after all, that is the only way to be the savior of mankind.

      I now have three games over 53K.

    • What? And give away my trade secrets? I’m the Best In The World at something – granted, it’s a video game, but it’s all I’ve got. (grin)

      More seriously, I agree with your advice, preserve Arks at all costs (everything else is repairable, Arks aren’t), and scan, scan, scan.

      The one insight I might have is that you lose Arks in two different ways, and you care about them differently, depending on the stage of the game. At the beginning of the game, I am fanatic about minimizing percentage losses of Arks, and am relatively indifferent to losing 15 Arks a pop. When I’m down to 100 Arks or less, I could care less about percentage losses, but will do anything to not lose the 15 Arks a pop. Between those two points, I slowly care less about percentage Ark losses, and more about losing 15 Arks a pop. The key to having a high score is to minimize percentage losses of Arks for as long as possible. Remember, your people actually get better at fixing things as time goes on, so if you can keep the game going for awhile with a high number of Arks, you’ll tend to do well.

      So, I tend to deploy my robots to minimize Arks losses, given the priorities above. However, Shifts has replay value because you never face the same situation twice, so rules are made to be broken. Depending on circumstances, I may use a robot on an non-Arks repair, if use of that robot is the difference between not fixing something this turn, and a guaranteed fix this turn. Also, I (usually) will do a fix if I am losing 15 hull points a turn – if you are losing 15 hull points a turn, you will be doing little other than fixing hull points, whereas 10 hull points lost a turn is tolerable.

      I have a number of other rules of thumb, but those are the key ones. It also helps to be lucky – on expert level, you are going to lose frequently, no matter how well you play.

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