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#41 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 05:46 PM

Be careful. All of this plot-generation stuff looks to me like breeding ground for cliché. Perhaps a more difficult but classier approach might be to create a liner narrative, then establish the two or three actions can be performed on anything in the game. Then go about defining consequences when the the player messes with the story.

This way, you keep the feel and symbolism of a linear plot, without the restrictions. The player always knows what she can do withing the rules of the game... I dunno. I''m tired and this seems WAY obvious. More later.

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#42 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1210

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 10:46 PM

LOL! Claim that it is ''Causality'' and that changing the past also changes the future. The player is attempting to create a paradox and therefore the game rejects that and forces the linear story (which is like in real life if you ask me ).

I still like the idea of screwing with peoples heads though. Use their foreknowledge and prejudice against them to cause them to do the evil in the game... A lot more fun on the whole

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#43 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 10:53 PM

That really is neat dwarf. I can''t wait to see that (in your game ).


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

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#44 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1210

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 11:23 PM

I am slowly getting there. I have scrapped the tile engine a few times now and started again. At this rate I will never finish, but hopefully I will have a partially complete version ready next December

I can't wait to see what I can really do on this project. Now all I need to do is enlist the help of a few of my friends. Then I will have to teach them all how to program in C/C++ (they only use BASIC, Pascal, Eiffel and Delphi - maybe VB). Then I may actually speed this project up...

Oops... Just realised I went a little OT... Anyway - as I was saying, prejudice is something that I have NEVER EVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE used against the player in a game. I think it adds a whole new element of surprise. What do you guys think? It may also hold a message in its midst too - mind your prejudices, because your opinions may not be correct in society also

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


Edited by - dwarfsoft on October 12, 2000 6:25:33 AM

#45 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 05:44 AM

I things work out for my evil secret plan, as it''s looking like they will, I''ll hire you to make your game, DS. You too naz.

#46 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 09:41 AM

DS, I think that would be really cool if you did that in your game. It would take a lot of courage to try it though. Your game would be kind of like high art

LF, hire us to do our own game? That's interesting hehe


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 12, 2000 4:48:10 PM

#47 Jiggold   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 10:29 AM

I think there''s something fundamental to gaming that''s being missed, here. I read through the posts and, yeah, there are a lot of great points and ideas on getting a more interactive and "real" world. But, the thing is, games aren''t about the real world, per se. I read an interview with Eugene Jarvis, game design pioneer (Robotron and Defender to name two), and there was something he said that struck me. Currently, game designers are working to make their environments more life-like and with less limits for the sake of less linearity and more realism, and as a result, more absorbing for the player. But, games are about limits. They''re about playing by rules. Now, obviously, there are rules to the games and environments: HP, rules of combat (turn-based or real-time), and other things. Take the game of chess, probably the most-widely and well-known game of any kind in the world. You have 64 squares and 16 pieces. And, no piece can move however and whenever it wants, each has a set pattern that it must follow. Now, this is a game of limits. But, it''s also one of the greatest tests of one''s mental skill. It''s arguably the ultimate game. The point here is not to loose sight of why people play games in the first place. To escape the real world. Not to have to try to figure out how to navigate through a new one. Now, obviously, this is the perspective of the "casual" gamer as opposed to the hardcore gamer. But, a point to ponder, none the less. Who''s your target audience?

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"Until next time, boobie. Push the button, Frank."

#48 Gladiator   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 10:33 AM

hmm, the title reminds me of something i saw the other day while i was eating my burger at Burger King... they have the following text on every burger on the menu "say ''cheese'' please" which costs you like a buck if you want it on your burger

you can guess im bored right?

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I'll screw up whoever screws around with the gamedev forum!

..-=gLaDiAtOr=-..

#49 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1605

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 10:57 AM

Jiggold,

I definitely think this is a matter of audience. Why are you playing? To learn a set of rules, a system if you will, that you can beat? This, in itself can be fun or mindless, depending on your state of mind and overall tastes.

When I want simple rules and a quick gaming burst, I fire up MAME and get in and out. Or I play Swarm for a few levels, then quit.

But lately I''ve been absolutely BORED OUT OF MY SKULL with simple rules games because I WANT a world to explore(this one doesn''t have warp drive technology yet, and I''m itching to wander the cosmos! ) I want to escape the endless limits, rules and no left turn signs that modern civilization is choked with! Games that are expansive and deep are the only things that allow me this in an "interactive" way.

So it''s definitely a matter of taste. Defender can''t hold me the way Fallout could, but I like both at different times.



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Just waiting for the mothership...

#50 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1605

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 10:59 AM

quote:
Original post by dwarfsoft

Yeah naz, we are really Americanized over here in Aus. People wear around those jumpers with "USA" on them... Why they don''t rearrange them to "AUS" to be patriotic to there own country is beyond me! . We get a lot of US television over here too, and dis has definitely been picked up from there




You will become one with the borg.

You will __ALL__ become one with the borg.



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#51 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 11:13 AM

Original AP here (not the other guy - maybe I should register if I''m gonna keep this up).

No, I don''t know that I play games to learn rules and figure out how to beat them - I could go to law school if that''s what I was about. I certainly don''t play games for the ''plot''. They''re usually lame in CRPGs compared to what you can find in film, literature or face-to-face RPGs.


What I look for in a computer game is immersion. Immersion is an easy word to use but tough to define and the subjective factors that contribute to the phenomenon for any given player vary. For me what contribute the most to immersion is the sense of being part of a consistant and unpredictable event - the game - that places me in a role and world I find believable. The more consistant (reliable behaviors and rules) and unpredictable (not scripted or repetative) the world is the more believable my role and the world become to me. I don''t care whether it''s Red Baron 3D or King of Dragon Pass, Alpha Centauri or Daggerfall. I''m there, in the zone.

Now, the moment I find myself dealing with predictable, shallow, cardboard cookiecutter NPCs, events and plots like you find in typical fantasy adventure/CRPGs I start yawning. Even good games like Torment or Fallout eventually had me thinking that I could be reading a better book or a nice graphic novel - I''d still get a good story and not have to futz about with inventories or spending time foozle bashing for foozle treasures. I don''t want to play /your/ adventure. I want you to make it possible for me to discover an adventure of my own. Um. Please?

I liked the other idea about the engine being two steps ahead and having this orbit a loose skeleton plot, perhaps a double-jointed skeleton at that.

#52 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1605

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 11:17 AM

quote:
Original post by dwarfsoft

This is excellent and definitely something that I wish to get in on. Plot, hmmm.... I still beleive that you require a reasonably sound plot, no matter the characterization involved, however... I am 100% in agreement that strong characterization is needed to further a plot. I never really stepped back and said "They don''t do that, but they should". The reason that I say that plot is required is because without it, you have a great excuse for the player to criticise your game. They may like a little interaction, but they will on the whole diss your game. Nuff said




Characterization might have a hidden strength, though. I''m not saying get rid of plot, but I am saying that with strong characters your player(s) might infer more substance and content than you''ve actually provided. It might even drive them to think about the character motives, the nature of the game world, it''s history, etc... all without actually experiencing it.

The best example I can think of was the Orz, a race from Star Control 2. You came away from the game (and will find fan pages) wondering *what in the hell* they were. They had the most bizarre form of speech, communicating through approximate metaphors. They talked about *more parties in the middle* and *happy times* incessantly. They appeared funny and nonsensical, yet they were __DEADLY__. In fact, as a plot event where they caused an entire race to vanish, you found yourself wondering (because you''d gotten to know them enough) *what the hell they did* with the missing race.

So strong characterization and a somewhat weaker plot __MAY__ allow a more non-linear methods of exploring the game, while still giving you strong authorial over the user''s experience. This is because the mind fills in the blanks that a less linear plot can not.


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Just waiting for the mothership...

#53 Ironside   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 11:42 AM

I think there''s probably alot of other game designers who have asked these same questions about gameplay, depth, story, and interaction. While I do not propose that all avenues have been expored, I think that there is relatively little room for improvement in the single player expirence. A field where I see great potential for true interaction with the story is in Massively Multiplayer(MMP) Games. Players actually create the stories and quests themselves, form their own true friends and enemies, and instigate their own quests with partys of real people. I think single player games will be hard pressed to match the level of interaction and customization that massively multi player games provide. Additionally there isn''t much history to MMP Games and the field is still wide open for innovation.



#54 Anonymous Poster.   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 02:19 PM

Ironside-

While Massively Multiplayer Graphical Games are a fairly new and exciting development, Massively Multiplayer Games have been around almost as long as computer gaming itself, in the form of MUDs. I don''t mention this to split hairs or anything, but if single-player gaming is a dead art, then what''s so special about MMG''s? Should I postulate from what you''ve said that MMG''s will be out of fashion in five years or so, since it took roughly that length of time for computer gaming to evolve that form? And after that, will we need virtual reality for something new to do? Balderdash!

Single-player gaming is here to stay, as long as we are still sitting in front of a terminal and pushing buttons. Game designers are still finding ways to innovate w/ current technology, and every boost in technology finds its way into new game designs. When technology''s levelled out, I predict you''ll see a slight dip in sales, but single player games will continue to innovate in terms of content and new forms of interaction. Just because Blizzard & Id clones are dominating the current market does not mean that innovative games do not exist and will not continue well into the future.

Look at movies. At first, "moving pictures" were all the rage, whether it was a moving picture of a train, a field, a horse, whatever. The novelty was the thing. Then there was a period where the quality of the motion improved, and a slight jump in the quality of the content. Soundtracks were added and you had Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplain. The technology plateaued for awhile, then the tech whizzes added color, and there was a second period of novelty where movie-goers were content w. just about any moving picture, so long as it was colored. The novelty of this wore off quickly, and you can imagine that people probably were nay-saying Hollywood at the time. And we all now what followed shortly after- What many refer to as the Golden Age of Film. Now, I do not personally care for most of the movies that came out during this period. On the other hand, Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, and The Matrix are among some of my favorites. The first, because it has such an original dramatic structure, the second for partially the same reason, partially for its characters, and partially because I love the word "motherf*cker" and only the last impressed me w/ its special effects.

Now, there''s no unwritten law that video games will follow a similar trajectory, but its very likely the case that they will. So from this we can abstract that more than likely

  1. The novelty of "interactive entertainment" will wear off (or already has).
  2. The gaming industry will plateau along w/ the related technologies. (hasn''t yet)
  3. Game designers will start looking for new modes of interaction, content & overall game structure.
  4. This process will not slow down any time in the near future.
  5. Despite the technological plateau, new developments on the technical front will not grind to a halt any time soon, either.


Just my. . .ah forget it
I apologize in advance to your retinas.

If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him. -apocryphal

#55 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 12 October 2000 - 03:24 PM

Y''know, Anonymous Poster. It''s very odd that you mentioned Fight Club there...

Y''see the rant you just gave was the VERY SAME one that I traditionally make. The analogy to film as an example of how games will evolve, your past posts where you''ve stolen the words out of my mouth... I''m beginning to think that we might be the same person. Have you ever worked a night job as a projectionist, or a banquet waiter?

#56 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 06:00 AM

Wav, I agree that deep representation of characters can add to immersion and non-linearity. I remember when I saw American Beauty I was drawing lines in between different events, and I was thinking it was likely that the writers hadn''t exactly planned. It''s due to the deep characters, and great acting also.


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#57 Ironside   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 07:52 AM

Every now and then an industry or technology expirences a paradigm shift. Intel for example started off primairly as a memory manufacturing company, when japaneese competators under cut intels memory prices, Intel had to re-invent it self in order to remain viable. As for the movie example. When movies first started having audio many silent film stars said that it was just a fad. Few silent film stars were able to make the transition to the new type of media and many began a downward spirial that ended there carieers (sp?).

From my perspective, i rarely buy a game unless it has a mulitplayer aspect, with some exceptions being (fallout, planescape torment etc.) I never even finished the single player side of Diablo. The immursiveness and reality of interacting with a real person in a fictional world is just so much more intoxicating then the single player story.

It''s like the difference between choose your own adventure books and AD&D.

I personally believe that the massively multiplayer tecnology shift presents a potential paradigm shift in how games are made and played. True it is an immature field and singleplayer games are an established tecnology with lots of history, thus some of the finer single player titles today could make some MMP''s look rudimentary and Kludgy. Even so the levels of interaction and reality in MMP''s are basic building blocks for these games, where they are a tecnical marvle and huge challenge for single player games. This alone presents what I would consider a potential paradigm shift.



#58 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1605

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 12:11 PM

quote:
Original post by Ironside

I personally believe that the massively multiplayer tecnology shift presents a potential paradigm shift in how games are made and played.



MMP's have one huge problem for me and many players I know: other people.

No MMP that I know of can get away from the "Butthead factor" the way a single player game can. You can't get the same guarantee of experience the way you can with a single player game. Some people will hack. Some will cheat. Some will be offensive and rude. Some will be completely out of character and intentionally disruptive. MMPs __CAN NOT__ prevent these people from playing, and it is a fundamental drawback as well as being an advantage.

Even if you have other people, I do not see you able to implement deep, complex game experiences because you have to keep many people occupied. I'll cite the multiplayer problems of empire games like Alpha Centuari or Master of Orion: A long, enjoyable game that's a drag to play multiplayer.

MMP definitely will have it's adherents and advantages SP lacks, but in the end it'll be no more than a matter of taste. When you and you're buds are slaying kobolds in photorealistic real-time 3D with home fiber optic connections, I'll still be forming Machiavellian plots to take over the world in my single player god games (if only to keep away from the Buttheads with l88t skillz).

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Just waiting for the mothership...

Edited by - Wavinator on October 13, 2000 7:12:06 PM

Edited by - Wavinator on October 13, 2000 7:14:35 PM

#59 Ironside   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 October 2000 - 01:30 PM

-Wavinator

Buttheads are the bane of MMP's and typically get everyone riled up and pissed off. But this is just the type of real interacion I was describing. Mr. Butthead finds a way to trick your buddy into dropping his sword, he runs off with it laughing all the way to the store where he sells it. Well your buddy has just had an emotional expirence, someone has just ripped him off, it's a real action with a real conciquence. It may not be the most plesent of expirences, but it's true emmersion into the enviornment.
Wavinator

Well, you and your buddy talk to some of your honorable friends and you go on a quest to find him a new sword. By one butthead a whole story has begun to form, and while it's not scripted or artistic, it is gritty and real. Something we as humans can all relate to.

As far as hacking is concerned, much progress has been made of late and games like Acherons Call have shipped with very little... or no hacks/cheats.

The one point i must conceed on though is the depth. I like you agree that Games are more then just interaction and reaction. They are a medium of expression in wich some value or moral is passed onto it's players. As of yet i have not seen this implemented well in a MMP. But that's not to say it can't be done. If and when it is, you as a player will have a most enjoyable expirence before you in wich you not only participate.. but learn.

Dan

Edited by - Ironside on October 14, 2000 3:15:57 AM

#60 Tom   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 352

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Posted 14 October 2000 - 02:32 AM

Ironside: You have described exactly the type of "real life" experience that destroys multiplayer gaming. You are forgetting the most important reason for a game''s existence: to provide fun. Forgive me if I don''t consider getting ripped off to be fun in any way, either presently or in retrospect.

In fact, knowing that there are hordes of assholes in multiplayer games is exactly the reason I don''t play them. You will find many people saying MMORPG''s are all the rave, that you can do anything with anyone. These are the people who haven''t had to deal with other players yet.

I propose an addendum to whomever posted the original message that brought massively-multiplayer games into this topic. A multiplayer game will be fun if you only play with people you know you can trust. In the general populace of gamers, this might be about 10 percent. Among your own friends, 90 percent or higher.

I stopped playing Diablo online the same day I started just because some asshole flamebolted me to death for absolutely no reason other than to be a total prick. I hadn''t even spoken to this loser, but he apparently felt the need to make an enemy of me. On the other hand, I played Hellfire (expansion to Diablo) with my friends for about six hours straight.

(Off-topic note: anyone who has played Hellfire knows it does not have multiplayer support. Actually, it does. You just have to hack it to get it working.)

To conclude my rant, I''m saying that multiplayer is absolutely wonderful if you play it with people you trust, and absolutely baneful if you don''t. Anyone disagree?




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