The Big Kahuna Speaks: 8/6/18!

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Rumblings are heard, and at first people fear a volcano, or possibly an earthquake. But no… thankfully, that’s not the case. Instead, a soft, cool smoke appears, and out of it steps the Big Kahuna himself. Then, as though on queue, a voice emerges…

BIG KAHUNA: Aloha! Before we jump right into the questions, I want to send a massive, heartfelt thanks to all TriPeaks players out there for contributing to the Club Double Gift event we ran benefiting the Alzheimer’s Foundation. Your generosity was overwhelming. I know this is just one worthy cause of many, but this one is very near and dear to this Kahuna’s heart. We’ve done many things during my time as the TriPeaks Kahuna that I’m proud of, but none moreso than this. You can bet we’ll be doing more events like this in the future. Though we won’t be able to get to every worthy cause out there, we’ll sure give it a go!

And now, on to the questions (and where I have them, answers!)

From Penny_F_Sigmond : I’m really glad the Club Quests are back, but they seem to be a lot harder than they were before and sometimes the prizes you offer really aren’t worth it. My team usually finishes right around the top of the 100 Clubs and as much as we play, there have been numerous times we didn’t get the Club Quest finished. Can you make them a little bit easier or at least make the prize better? Also, it would be great if instead of getting a little check when someone has helped with the free Club Gift let there be a check mark when we’re working on the quest and when we have finished it so we know who to give a little nudge to.

So glad you’re having fun coordinating to knock out those Club Quests! All of us on the TriPeaks team are very grateful for everyone’s patience while we re-tooled them earlier this year. Our primary goal was to ensure that when we brought them back, you could be sure that if you did the hard work to finish a Club Quest, you would definitely get your rewards. From what we can tell, it looks like we’ve got that into a much better place than before.

We DID try to sneak in a few other improvements as well, but we couldn’t do all the ones on our wish list (or yours), or the feature would’ve been in the garage forever. Among those we haven’t gotten to yet is providing a better way to keep track of who’s done what on a given Quest. Talking with the team, there are a few different ways to do this and they each have their pros and cons. We just need a little time to account for those and get it into the game.

Also, I acknowledge that some of the tweaks we were able to fit in had some unintended consequences (i.e. – the sometimes underwhelming rewards). The Quest system in TriPeaks is designed to adjust the next Quest you get based on your activity in order to keep them fun, rewarding, and challenging for you over time. However, that also makes it require a little of art *and* science to get them all sorted out when we make big set of changes like we just did. We are working through these now (they don’t all need new versions of the game to address) so keep an eye out. I think you’ll see these start to improve soon. Thanks again for hanging in there.

From Raechel: Is the game programmed to adjust the cards in real time during the game in response to what cards the player plays, or is each hand set in advance like a common physical deck of cards? Also, are the cards supposed to correlate to a true deck of 52 cards with only one each of Ace through King of each suit? I hope my questions make sense. Sometimes it feels like a hand has six of the same numbered card (probably just seems that way.) And sometimes it feels like the game is programmed either to be especially difficult or especially easy, and that it is not simple randomness. Thank you in advance for the information!

I definitely encounter levels when I play that make me do a Jon McEnroe (“Four 10’s on the board at once? You can NOT be serious!”) but that actually is just an unlucky run of cards. The cards are dealt at random like a shuffled, standard deck.

Earlier this year, a designer did go a little cuckoo for a minute and tried out a few levels that required more than 52 cards (between the board and the foundation stack). Because you could theoretically could encounter five instances of a card, and that could cause folks to wonder if we were dealing fairly on other levels, we quickly ditched that idea and brought those levels back to be 52 or less. Maintaining random deals is sacred for us, so that was a no-go! Moral of the story: watch out for symptoms of TCS (Temporary Cuckoo Syndrome) in your designers… you never know what they might try in the name of fun!

From TerriC13: A lot of great suggestions. But here’s one I don’t see…

Please program your Tikis to only go to games that don’t already have a Red Star. I mostly play for Tributes and it’s so hard to get the Red Star Quests when I’m playing the same games over and over again that I’ve already won Red Stars for that week. And you’ve got a lot to choose from when I’m in the third world.

Oh, those pesky Tributes! They’re like me and my favorite restaurants… going back to the same ones far too often! I know that this makes it a pretty tough choice between optimizing your time for winning Red Stars vs. hunting down more Tributes. There are (good) reasons why they often appear close to your last completed level, but we definitely agree we should find a way to get some more variety in where the Tributes show up across the islands. Putting them on levels with more Red Stars available is a really interesting idea. I’ll share with the rest of the team!

From Susan Murphy: Hello! When you posted your first Big Kahuna Speaks, in June, 2017, you responded to my question about you changing the chat thing so everyone would notice. You said you were working on that. When can we expect to see the changes! I recently started a new club. I’ve probably had to remove a hundred players because they did not respond to numerous posts while they were active. Thousands are booted from Clubs every day because of this. They say they were kicked out of a Club “for no reason”. I want players who can communicate. How about a sign that says, “CHAT” pointing to that little arrow? Come on, you have a terrific game here, you can do it! Please? There are so many Clubs that don’t even know it exists.

My question was the first you answered last year and nothing has changed. How about it?

Kindest wishes,
Susan Murphy
Leader of “Susan’s” and “Susans Island” (moving to “Susans Islands”)

Hi again, Susan!

I’m super busted right now! I DID say we were going to work on this and we HAVEN’T done it yet. And it has been a WHOLE YEAR. Thanks for keeping me honest!

I take the blame for this one. I’m guilty of over-promising on behalf of the team (and I should know better). I won’t make that mistake again by promising we’ll do it now, but please know that we do believe this is very important and know we need to solve it. It’s an even bigger deal now with Club Notes stashed away there, too.

As it happens, we recently did an in-depth study with a bunch of new players during their first week in the game and found all sorts of things we can improve, especially around helping new Club members learn the ropes so they can become strong contributors right away. We know it’s not ideal right now and, quite honestly, we applaud all of you who’ve managed to “swim your way upstream” to becoming exceptional club-mates. We’ve been making improvements already (Club Notes, Perk re-ordering, etc.), but there’s a lot more we’re working on.

From dcfarmer: 

What does the Big Kahuna look like without the mask and his dog?

To be clear… Poi belongs to Tiki, not me (though you’d never know it by how often I have to take care of him).

Alas, I have no permanent earthly form; I’m merely a benevolent being that exists only to make sure Tiki and Poi have all they need to live their happiest lives, and to make doubly sure that the TriPeaks team has all they need to do their best work.

However, on occasion I have manifested as a large, round, frog-shaped island. I don’t do that anymore and not everyone got to see that because I’m sneaky. Very, very sneaky.

Huge thanks to everyone who posted their thoughts and questions in the Solitaire TriPeaks Forum! You may discuss the answers in the forum here: Forum Post on Big Kahuna Speaks 8/6/18