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Design by comittee


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#1 Angelhelm   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:43 AM

It is really good to see some interest!

Plan of attack is to follow a typical development cycle starting with pre-production, build a prototype and being production in which we will use weekly sprints to follow our progress (we will use google doc's to follow the sprints).

As well, i am willing to put in the majority or effort on this project but, if you are going to submit an idea or design please be willing to do some follow up research or work. ( I feel 1 of your hours to 5 of my hours. This could range from drawing pictures to writing our documents or cutting up video footage of a game to communicate an idea. The better communicated and displayed idea's will probable be more likely to get chosen.)

Tho shall refer to objects when possible as grey cubes. This is to prevent a large amount of pretext from entering into the design.

For example I would prefer, The player character is a grey cube that can move left and right jump his own height has the ability to melee attack, he also has the ability to shoot objects with a grey cube which will pull him to that location.

Rather then, The player is a ninja who can move left and right he has the ability to jump his own height he can attack with his ninja sword he also has a chain shot which he can shoot at objects to move himself to the location of that object..

The later seems more entertaining because of the pretext "ninja's are sweet" i feel that it is not a fair way to judge mechanics and thus the I would really like to drill down into design of mechanics and grey cube metaphor is a good way to rid yourself of that pretext. ( I do realize that a certain point it breaks)

This will also prevent from story getting into the design, not that i don't think story is important it is but gameplay is king as a such that should be awesome before we introduce a story to it.

Scope: I am only one man, so scope will have to be kept on the low side, however if the idea is awesome enough and more people want to put some serious effort in then we can expand on scope. THIS MEANS NO MMO's ;)

All right lets hear some idea's!


Please if you feel their should be more guidelines or you need more direction on what i am asking of you feel free to ask!

Sponsor:

#2 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31785

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:55 AM

Just so you know, you might not want to call it that Posted Image

Design by committee is a term referring to a style of design and its resultant output when a group of entities comes together to produce something, particularly in the presence of poor leadership. The defining characteristics of "design by committee" are needless complexity, internal inconsistency, logical flaws, banality, and the lack of a unifying vision.



#3 PolarEnigma   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:02 AM

Needless complexity? Internal inconstistency? Logical flaws? Count me in!

</sarcasm>

I would actually be quite interested. I frequently get ideas for games that I have no chance of making with my lack of artistic talent and unfortunate ineptitude regarding mathematics. Throwing some ideas around sounds like a grand ol' time. As long as an entertaining game gets made, I'm up for it.

I'm more the advisor type, y'know? An ideas man, not an executive.
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#4 ThatGuyinaBlackSuti   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:24 AM

I am definitely interested in this. I have got a couple of ideas that I feel would never be heard without something like this

#5 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3413

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:29 AM

Brainstorming ideas into reality. Finally my molded Jello army will rise! Count me interested.

#6 sirkibble2   Members   -  Reputation: 140

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:11 AM

What are the guidelines? This is already seemingly falling into the "internal inconsistency" just by the lack of structured info needed to actually build something. Posted Image

#7 Angelhelm   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:12 PM

Just so you know, you might not want to call it that Posted Image

Design by committee is a term referring to a style of design and its resultant output when a group of entities comes together to produce something, particularly in the presence of poor leadership. The defining characteristics of "design by committee" are needless complexity, internal inconsistency, logical flaws, banality, and the lack of a unifying vision.


Well i guess hoping that we can leave our ego's and political view and other nonsense at the door and just focus on the art of design.

I am an idealist what can i say! Posted Image

#8 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2242

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:24 PM

Okay, I'll bite. The player is a grey cube that can move around and jump in a 2D or 3D maze. The player also has keys to resize themselves one magnitude larger or smaller. The maze is fractal, so there are paths and enemies (grey cubes) at all magnitude levels smaller than the beginning size. When you're bigger you can stomp enemies and travel quickly, when you're smaller you can squeeze through tiny gaps in the walls. Preferably it is not possible to complete the maze using one size only.

#9 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3413

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:17 PM

The player is a grey cube that can change to different shaped grey cubes. The enemy is also a grey cube thay change to different grey cubes. Each shape of grey cube has strengths over some grey cube shapes and weaknesses against other grey cube shapes. Grey cubes have a large array of shapes they can choose but a limited array is chosen between each battle.

#10 PolarEnigma   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:26 PM

This one's 2D, side-scrolling, with minor platforming. The player assumes the role of a grey cube, with an assortment of different weapons. The player picks up key grey cubes and uses them to solve logical puzzles, and receives storyline information by grey cubes that they recover from around the levels. Sometimes the player has to jump over small chasms, swim through flooded areas, navigate dark rooms by grey cube, or repair grey cubes with items found in about the level.

There are numerous types of enemies, some quick and weak, some strong and slow, some ranged, some melee, some a mix of everything. Balance between the ability and wisdom in fighting enemies (They are no longer in the room and thus it is safe to travel through) and the wisdom in avoiding them (conserve grey cubes, grey cubes, and grey cubes) is part of the scheme of the combat system. The player is capable of jumping over small enemies and, with proper timing, has the ability to perform a "juke" that will place them on the other side of larger enemies (the player can also vault over some foes if they stun it with their grey cube weapon). The player can jump higher and farther with momentum, and can slide with sufficient running speed, allowing them to bypass many types of enemies if they execute the maneuvers correctly.

The player can recover their vitality slowly over time if they have [grey cubes] in stock, or can immediately heal with a [grey cube]. There are boss grey cubes that require tactics and logical thinking, as well as boss grey cubes that require reflexes and precision. There are many areas that the player is not required to go, but will be rewarded for doing so (though grey cubes, "ammunition" to use grey cubes, or plot grey cubes). It's up to the player if they want to experience the plot in its entirety or simply complete the levels.
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#11 Angelhelm   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:07 AM

Okay some questions for each design so far.

First,

Okay, I'll bite. The player is a grey cube that can move around and jump in a 2D or 3D maze. The player also has keys to resize themselves one magnitude larger or smaller. The maze is fractal, so there are paths and enemies (grey cubes) at all magnitude levels smaller than the beginning size. When you're bigger you can stomp enemies and travel quickly, when you're smaller you can squeeze through tiny gaps in the walls. Preferably it is not possible to complete the maze using one size only.


I like the idea, it is original and fresh, it offers some very fun puzzle designs.

Some questions.

Is fractal mazes completely necessary to this design, or is it feature that would be really enjoyable? If so why is it necessary and what does it enhance about the game play? As opposed to just having level's designed out.

As well it seems that being the largest size would be the best options at all times, what reason other then to fit through small holes is there to change size?

And finally what elements of this game are fun? Or rather what mechanics make the game fun? ( I can already see that changing size to solves puzzles is a really unique concept for level and puzzle design. Why are the enemies fun or rather what do the enemies offer to the player in terms of challenge and why is that fun. The goal of this is to isolate individual mechanics and analyze why they are fun not because this will ultimately the overall gameplay.)


Second,

The player is a grey cube that can change to different shaped grey cubes. The enemy is also a grey cube thay change to different grey cubes. Each shape of grey cube has strengths over some grey cube shapes and weaknesses against other grey cube shapes. Grey cubes have a large array of shapes they can choose but a limited array is chosen between each battle.


I like the idea, it seems to promote tactical thinking about what shapes that you bring into battle.

What range of shapes are there?

How does battle happen? What does the player do in battle? What is fun about battle? (maybe run thru a mock battle of what it might be like, just so i have a better understanding of what battle is)

How many shapes can you bring into battle?

What is fun about having different shapes battling different shapes?

What is fun about having a limited amount of shapes you can bring into battle?



Thirdly,

This one's 2D, side-scrolling, with minor platforming. The player assumes the role of a grey cube, with an assortment of different weapons. The player picks up key grey cubes and uses them to solve logical puzzles, and receives storyline information by grey cubes that they recover from around the levels. Sometimes the player has to jump over small chasms, swim through flooded areas, navigate dark rooms by grey cube, or repair grey cubes with items found in about the level. There are numerous types of enemies, some quick and weak, some strong and slow, some ranged, some melee, some a mix of everything. Balance between the ability and wisdom in fighting enemies (They are no longer in the room and thus it is safe to travel through) and the wisdom in avoiding them (conserve grey cubes, grey cubes, and grey cubes) is part of the scheme of the combat system. The player is capable of jumping over small enemies and, with proper timing, has the ability to perform a "juke" that will place them on the other side of larger enemies (the player can also vault over some foes if they stun it with their grey cube weapon). The player can jump higher and farther with momentum, and can slide with sufficient running speed, allowing them to bypass many types of enemies if they execute the maneuvers correctly. The player can recover their vitality slowly over time if they have [grey cubes] in stock, or can immediately heal with a [grey cube]. There are boss grey cubes that require tactics and logical thinking, as well as boss grey cubes that require reflexes and precision. There are many areas that the player is not required to go, but will be rewarded for doing so (though grey cubes, "ammunition" to use grey cubes, or plot grey cubes). It's up to the player if they want to experience the plot in its entirety or simply complete the levels.


Okay there is lots of different mechanics going on in this design. It sounds a little complicated but overall could be a fun rewarding experience.


I have a few questions.

It seems that the players grey cube has many movement type abilities that are focused moving past the enemies( sliding, momentum jumping and juking) thus making enemies part of the platforming experience? Does this make platforming a major part of the game? If so why? If not why? Why is that fun? What does it add to the game by having these abilities are they necessary? why?

Sometimes the player has to jump over small chasms, swim through flooded areas, navigate dark rooms by grey cube, or repair grey cubes with items found in about the level. Why are these fun? Are all of them necessary? (if we remove one of them does the overall game suffer) Are some more important then others? If so why? Overall what do having these different area's or goals offer the player experience.

Is receiving storyline information by grey cubes important to the game play itself ? Does it change how the player plays the game itself? Why or why not?

It would appear that there is some sort of resource management in the form of Healing over time [grey cubes] and Full health [grey cubes] as well as Ammunition [grey cubes] and Plot [grey cubes]? ( correct me if i am wrong on the fact of resource management in the idea of different [grey cubes] that the player uses over time)

Could you explain why each one is important to the game? Are some more important then others? Is it necessary to have all the different types [grey cubes] ? Why or why not? What aspect of the game suffers if we remove them?

What do the different types of enemies do? What type of experience do they create for the player? Can the player kill the enemies or only just stun them? What do you mean by wisdom? ( I could take it to mean puzzle solving around enemies but i don't want to presume)

You mention ammunition [grey cubes] for multiple weapon's what are these multiple weapons? What do they do? How does it change the game play experience?

I think i asked you the most questions of anyone ( you wrote the most Posted Image !) Don't feel overwhelmed if i am asking you to response more then you can handle but please choose one main mechanic that your game will be about and explain the choices for that mechanic. Ie What it is, and how it effects the game play. We really want to nail the core of the game and build around that.

Finally,

The goals that i am trying to find out with these questions: Mostly why each choice was made and how it will effect the game play experience. It is okay to not have an answer yet for all of these questions but these are important to design. Every choice we make as a designers must have a reason and a why to it. Also a lot of these questions are repetitive in an attempt to really drill down into the core of each mechanic.

It is my belief that by starting with a strong core mechanic and building sequential mechanics around that, that the overall game will be stronger and we as designers will have a better vision of what the game is truly about.

If anything i have asked is unclear please ask me to clarify . Also i can think of one answer for each of these questions. I hesitate to just jump in and tell you what i think and would prefer to draw it out of you so we can discuss the reasons why we are making these decisions.

To give you a bit of heads up in the coming weeks of some of the things i might ask you about your design are the game design pillars of your designs and perhaps the mission statement of your design.

see this link for the definition of pillars that i will be using. http://technicalgame...04/pillars.html

As well i will in the next few weeks i will want to talk about the aesthetics in each of these designs. Please read http://www.cs.northw...hunicke/MDA.pdf

Please read specifically the part on aesthetics *note: their are actually nine aesthetics the ninth being competition.

Thanks! You guys are doing great! Posted Image


PS: Others please ask questions, but do it in a format that is critical asking why or how is awesome. We don't know exactly what the designers vision is and it is infinitely more valuable to understand the why and how of a designers choices rather then just telling them what you think. As we begin to understand others reasoning for their choices, it allowing us to asking more probing questions and possible undercover holes in the design, in which the designer will have to deal by iteration upon the design.

Ultimately leading us to being better designers and creating better games.

#12 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3413

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:27 AM

Please note: with an intention of providing a game design idea in keeping with minimal complexity i.e. no MMOs Posted Image. I am deliberately maintaining the elements to the minimum core needed. Aspects like multiplayer, custom maps and all the whizz-bang’s which posters might suggest as ideas aren’t really wanted as suggestions at this point. Well not quite true I always love suggestions but am pretty much going to not incorporate them until we are beyond this stage.

Battle is an arena setup. Two opponents fight till one is defeated. Arena area is large but not extreme and includes sufficient air space for aerial combat shapes and a sufficiently large enough body of water for water shapes. One design idea is to shape the arena into a giant sphere. The internal bottom half being water, the top half being air, and a platform level at midsphere level.

The shape shifting aspect is to provide access to different tactical options so as to gain advantage over the opponent. For example Grey Cube turns into a strong melee combat shape, in response Beige Cube shifts into an Aerial shape with a distance attack. Grey cube responds by dropping into water and altering to a water shape thus avoiding the attack. Beige cube chases Grey cube into the water with a new water shape only to be met with an ambush by Grey cube. This is extremely poorly written combat I might point out.

The range of shapes would encompass shapes suited to air, land and water as well hybridization of these elements. As a very rough idea each shape would have three characteristics, an attack, a defense and a shape ability unique to that shape. For example a shape that might be used akin to a squid might have an ink spray ability to literally create a fog of war scenario, a jet of water to propel itself out of range quickly and a grappling attack. The shape’s unique ability could also be a secondary attack or defense option as opposed to a completely different ability.

I would like to see as little restriction on the sheer number of shapes available outside of combat as possible. I am very much aware that interface systems really do not lend themselves very readily to smooth combat transition etc with too many choices, hence the solution being a limited range of shapes chosen for any one battle. If I could figure out a way to effectively utilize a thousand different shape permutations into an active match I would dispose of the limitation of shapes in combat. (Excepting the idea of strict match play with set rules etc again a design point for later on).

On the other hand being restricted to a defined number of shapes requires the player to sit down and extrapolate a battle plan in his/her head and add the shapes appropriate to completing that plan. I would argue 5-7 shapes as a standard count for a match and would probably think a required shape from each pure element base. Sufficient versatility in battle options without drowning the player. (Design point for later would be the increasing of number of shapes available etc).

The key point for all the shape shifting is to create a constantly evolving scenario where the player is shifting to new shapes in order to minimize the effectiveness of attacks against it whilst maximizing their own attack potential. The consistent evolution between the two combatants would bring very much a constant think on your feet situation and provide a very unique form of fluid combat.


Inspirations behind this this game idea come from a number of sources:

Mortal Kombat/Street Fighter
Mixed Martial Art combats
Pokemon

Puss in Boots - the fight between him and the ogre
Harry Dresden - the fight between Listens-to-Wind and the Skinwalker

#13 PolarEnigma   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:31 PM

Whoo boy. That's a lot of questions. Well, here goes:

It seems that the players grey cube has many movement type abilities that are focused moving past the enemies( sliding, momentum jumping and juking) thus making enemies part of the platforming experience? Does this make platforming a major part of the game? If so why? If not why? Why is that fun? What does it add to the game by having these abilities are they necessary? why?


The game could technically be called a platformer, however the emphasis is not on jumping over many pits and chasms (though it happens in some levels, I'll get into that shortly). The movement options are mostly to traverse the enemies and to skillfully reach certain areas.

For example, let's say the player enters from the left side of a room. On the right side of the same room, there is an item, in this case an optional reward, but the item is behind a sturdy door that can only be taken out with a blast of some kind. The player lacks any explosive items or weapons, however in the middle of the room there is an enemy that fires an explosive attack. The enemy is too tall to jump over, but with correct timing the player could juke around it and end up on the right-hand side, allowing them to bait it into blowing the door open.

Another scenario would be a room with segments of the floor missing. Should the player fall in these fair-sized holes, they instantly die. On the flooring between certain missing segments is a slow but thick-skinned enemy that paces dumbly back and forth. The player could expend their resources trying to kill the enemy up-close or at range, or they could wait for the enemy to get near the edge, get a running start, jump onto the enemy and leap off of it onto the next piece of flooring. This would be an efficient way of traversing the room. Again, however, the player can kill the enemy and just sprint-jump over the pit.

The answer, then, to the question of whether enemies would be part of the platforming experience, is If the player has the desire and/or the ability to use them in a resourceful manner. You can kill every enemy that is in your power to kill, and sometimes this can be the best way, or you can use your enemies to your advantage and bypass them using movement options. It is all up to the player. I would find this to be fun because I would have a choice in how I approached a situation. I wouldn't have to do any one thing, I wouldn't be restricted to one solution. I could use my ingenuity, my skill, and my imagination to overcome the game's obstacles.

I would like to add that I did not include ways in which movement-oriented grey cubes could change the gameplay, such as (purely hypothetical) a grappling hook to swing on the ceiling, a zip-line to quickly travel / or \, a jetpack or wings that allow the player to travel upward, or even having a means to perform a basic rocket-jump ala Quake. One or two of these elements could add continual variety to the game, whether in pre-determined areas or upon obtaining permanent power-ups. I feel that once a general system is in place, the ways to enrich the gameplay will naturally evolve.

Your next set of questions requires that I add some pretense into the equation, which I will try to keep as vague and general as possible.

Sometimes the player has to jump over small chasms, swim through flooded areas, navigate dark rooms by grey cube, or repair grey cubes with items found in about the level. Why are these fun? Are all of them necessary? (if we remove one of them does the overall game suffer) Are some more important then others? If so why? Overall what do having these different area's or goals offer the player experience.


This part, depending on your school of thought, either requires a setting, or decides upon the setting. Not all of these are essential, in fact it could be best that not all of them are implemented. If people believe the game is going to be a platformer in which they run through rooms and fight enemies, they most likely don't want too many interruptions of that specific style. However, sometimes it enhances the experience by granting them reprieve or increasing the tension. An occasional, slight gameplay shift can be refreshing. It can also be annoying; the key is knowing how far to go and for how long.

Swimming -- Can allow the player to see a new side of the environment, as well as present new controls and new obstacles. If done periodically, this also allows the net difficulty to increase without any alterations to the "main" game. I personally feel that this would have to be done sparingly.

Dark Rooms -- This is mostly going off the idea that horror would be a design choice. While most areas would be medium-to-fast paced, these areas would slow the action down. They would require careful planning, thorough observation, and a good amount of caution. Your vision would be limited to a cone in front of you, and possibly you'd be limited to one-handed weapons, assuming the light-emitting grey cube is carried. Enemies could startle, noises could instill paranoia. The player's imagination could work against them in these areas. They'd be brief, never spanning whole levels (I personally cannot stand most gimmick levels), and could be a breath of fresh air to someone weary of the faster-paced gameplay.

Repairing Things (Item Hunts or Mini-Games) -- As stated, the action would likely be medium-to-fast-paced. The player would be maneuvering through rooms and past enemies to proceed along what I assume to be a line (Point A to Point B, few required stops). Sometimes there will be rooms and floors you can explore, but it will seldom be necessary. These types of objectives periodically placed allows for small puzzles and gameplay shifts, such as the above-mentioned "explosive blast" puzzle, or having the player travel through a darkened room or flooded segment. It allows key-elements of the story, pieces of information that are crucial to understanding what's going on, to be placed somewhere the player is certain to travel through. It also allows for the player to find new weapons, movement grey cubes, enhancements to their avatar, or hints to how to deal with a problem yet to come, such as a new enemy type or a boss. Sending the player in a new direction, giving them new (and simple) controls to learn can shake up the gameplay enough for it to remain fun throughout its entirety.

Phew. (Sorry if I'm over-explaining or stating the obvious, but I'm genuinely having fun with these questions!)

Is receiving storyline information by grey cubes important to the game play itself ? Does it change how the player plays the game itself? Why or why not?


I would liken the game's method of exposition to that of System Shock. The player would find pieces of information here and there. Some of it is on the path you must take, some of it is in the optional zones, and some of it is downright hidden. It's both a way to encourage exploration in gamers who like immersion and who care about story, and to give free reign to those who couldn't care less about the plot and just want to juke things and kill enemies. Pieces of information along the required path would explain what is necessary to understanding the player's own journey, but the setting, history, and fate of other characters would be in less obvious places. You wouldn't even have to obtain the information laid before you if you didn't want to. Sometimes you can get hints to puzzles, the location of a great grey cube, or learn about the upcoming enemies or bosses.

It would appear that there is some sort of resource management in the form of Healing over time [grey cubes] and Full health [grey cubes] as well as Ammunition [grey cubes] and Plot [grey cubes]? ( correct me if i am wrong on the fact of resource management in the idea of different [grey cubes] that the player uses over time)


You are correct. The general idea would be a Healing-Over-Time grey cube resource, an Instantaneous-Heal grey cube resource (less common than the other). In terms of weaponry the player would have types of Ammunition grey cubes to use in different Weapon grey cubes (normal/hollow-point handgun rounds, normal/flaming crossbow bolts, etc). Finally, Plot grey cubes would be more along the lines of Key Item grey cubes (keys, levers, wrenches, bags, batteries). The player would find small stocks of Health and Ammunition grey cubes, but would seldom have large reserves unless they conserved their resources well. The amount of each grey cube they could carry would be limited as well.

Could you explain why each one is important to the game? Are some more important then others? Is it necessary to have all the different types [grey cubes] ? Why or why not? What aspect of the game suffers if we remove them?


The reasons for HoT and Insta-Health as separate resources are to keep a degree of forgiveness and reward playing more conservatively. If the player is starting out and makes a small mistake, they can use a HoT grey cube to make back what they've lost, because it is somewhat common and best used to recover when not under pressure. Players can experiment, try new things, attempt to master tactics and learn enemy patterns, without being hampered by low health. Later the game offers it less readily, but it is still there for when the player makes a small error yet comes out of it alright. If they succeeded, they likely learned something from the encounter, so ruthlessly killing them and throwing them at a checkpoint or beginning of a level would probably be annoying on some level. The HoT grey cube would works too slowly for frantic situations, so having a means to recover health instantly (not full health though) is nice. The Insta-Health resource is far more limited, and should be saved for when the player is in heavy danger. It's best saved for bosses or used when on the verge of death, with no time to use the HoT resource.

Ammunition grey cubes function on a tactical level. Certain enemies are more vulnerable to certain types of Weapons or Ammunition, and some enemies cannot be hurt at all by anything except one means of attack. Learning what enemies are weak to what resource makes combat more intense, as having insufficient resources to combat a difficult foe effectively results in the player having to think on their feet, use an alternative means. When conquering a challenging foe, the player should feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as pride in having outsmarted (or even overpowered) a tough opponent.

I think the resources add both a security blanket for players early on that are prone to make mistakes, and incentive to outmaneuver insignificant enemies/obstacles. If the HoT resource was removed, I think the Insta-Health resource would be depended upon too much, and players would have to learn more through trial-and-error than by practice. Likewise, if the Insta-Health resource was removed, the player would have a hard time learning boss patterns or getting out of frantic situations.

Ammunition resources being removed would result in what I feel would be gross oversimplification of combat. Players would have no incentive to be strategic, they could just kill every foe they came across without repercussion (save for lost health at first, but as their skill increases they will most likely avoid damage with more ease). The amount of Weapon-Ammunition resource variants, if within the right range, would spice combat up enough to make it feasible without making it THE solution to everything.


What do the different types of enemies do? What type of experience do they create for the player? Can the player kill the enemies or only just stun them? What do you mean by wisdom? ( I could take it to mean puzzle solving around enemies but i don't want to presume)


Some enemy types are fast and small, taking few hits but coming in larger numbers (a weapon that attacks in a cone-shape or swings/fires rapidly would take them out best). Some enemies are medium-sized and fire projectiles (a simple ranged attack would be best to kill them). Some enemies are huge and slow, dealing and taking large damage (very powerful weaponry advisable, or the player can bypass them). Some enemies are huge and fast, requiring quick reflexes and fast thinking to overcome. Some enemies create other enemies, and some enemies heal each other. The player has to, as stated, use different Weapons grey cubes or Ammunition grey cubes on different enemy variants. The player can kill or stun the enemies, though the power to stun them is acquired. The player always has a weapon that requires no Ammunition grey cubes, such as an axe or a sword, that if used correctly can be very efficient. Many enemies, however, outrange that weapon or shrug off its hits, so it is prudent to dispatch them with the appropriate weapon.

Enemies have different attack patterns too, which is important to avoiding them. The player could duck under or side-step ranged attacks, juke around large melee enemies, leap over groups of smaller enemies, etc. Some large enemies can be stunned, or if caught by surprise (turned around), used to as a platform to leap further. No enemy can be handled in only one way, there are always alternate ways to bypass them. In some situations the player may have to fight. In some situations the player may have to run. These instances are rare and would have to be intentionally designed that way.

By wisdom, I mean both using enemies to access areas or bypass obstacles, and the fact that killing them means perhaps using a resource you'll need later. You may kill the enemy only to find that you cannot get to a place without using it in some fashion. Sometimes there will be alternatives, but in rare circumstances there will not be. Whether or not to make these errors unable to be fixed (enemies never respawning, for instance) is something that would require careful consideration, so as of right now, I admit I am unsure about it.

You mention ammunition [grey cubes] for multiple weapon's what are these multiple weapons? What do they do? How does it change the game play experience?


I feel I should refrain on saying what these weapons are in name, as that would add pretext; they can be guns, they can be magic, they can be medieval tools, they can be natural defenses from a living creature. I will try to be as vague as possible, and just say:

Weapon 1 = Melee, kept the whole game, start out with it. Does minor damage, swings at decent speed. Has a stronger version that can be found.
Weapon 2 = Weak ranged attack, fires at above average speed. Has two types of Ammunition resource, effective against different enemy types. Has a stronger version that can be found.
Weapon 3 = Attacks in a small cone. Moderate power, slow firing speed.
Weapon 4 = Rapid-firing, rather weak. Has a stronger version that can be found.
Weapon 5 = Quick, straight-moving missile-like projectile, deals damage in a radius upon hitting a target. Ammunition resource for this is rare.
Weapon 6 = Melee, stuns whatever it hits for a small window of time.
Weapon 7 = Ranged, attacks in a streaming pattern. Deals very rapid damage to anything in its range.

They all have different functions, situational uses, and intended targets.

I've been at this over a collective 2.5 hours. Thank you for asking so many questions, you've given me plenty of things to think about. I would love to do the pillars thing, but this one post has waaaaay too much in it, and my brain is tired. I think I'll sleep on that particular bit.

Also, Stormynature, I think your idea is pretty sweet. It's original, rather simple, and sounds like a blast. I really wanna see it develop more.
I don't believe in signatures.

#14 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3413

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 05:23 AM

I should point out for people who are interested in taking part but haven't jumped in yet --- JUMP IN!

#15 Angelhelm   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 07:24 PM

I am currently traveling so my questions will be shorter today.

Stormynature your posted reminded me of this http://en.wikipedia..../KISS_principle

If you haven't heard of K.I.S.S I strongly recommend reading it.

Overall you guys have expended on the design and thus I have a much clearer idea of what your games are about but you guys didn't really answer why something is fun or why you made that chose for your design. Try to answer the why of something.

Now onto questions.


.

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Battle is an arena setup. Two opponents fight till one is defeated. Arena area is large but not extreme and includes sufficient air space for aerial combat shapes and a sufficiently large enough body of water for water shapes. One design idea is to shape the arena into a giant sphere. The internal bottom half being water, the top half being air, and a platform level at midsphere level.

The shape shifting aspect is to provide access to different tactical options so as to gain advantage over the opponent. For example Grey Cube turns into a strong melee combat shape, in response Beige Cube shifts into an Aerial shape with a distance attack. Grey cube responds by dropping into water and altering to a water shape thus avoiding the attack. Beige cube chases Grey cube into the water with a new water shape only to be met with an ambush by Grey cube. This is extremely poorly written combat I might point out..


This helps a huge amount I have a much better idea of what your design is about and how and what gameplay is about.

Why do we have different levels(air ground water) i like the idea and you mention that is allows for tatical choices. Why is that fun. In a way you have already offered an explanation but i would like you to drill deeper into that. (in theory you could do all the same things on a level surface and it would still have the same mechanics what does having those different levels really offer. )

What I really want is to clearly identify what is fun and start to build a pillar based on that ( is it the changing of levels in the arena, the combat between you and your opponent etc, find what is the fun part of it and clearly define that once that is done. Then we will start to compare our choices against that to move forward.)


Thanks for the references it can really help give us a clear vision of the game.


The answer, then, to the question of whether enemies would be part of the platforming experience, is If the player has the desire and/or the ability to use them in a resourceful manner. You can kill every enemy that is in your power to kill, and sometimes this can be the best way, or you can use your enemies to your advantage and bypass them using movement options. It is all up to the player. I would find this to be fun because I would have a choice in how I approached a
Thanks for the references it can really help give us a clear vision of the game.
situation. I wouldn't have to do any one thing, I wouldn't be restricted to one solution. I could use my ingenuity, my skill, and my imagination to overcome the game's obstacles.


What does platforming mean to you? How would you define it? You say that if the player has the desire/ ability it is platforming but if they don't it isn't. What is it then?

Some enemy types are fast and small, taking few hits but coming in larger numbers


What does having small fast enemies that take a few hits and come in large number do for the player experience. Why is that fun? What wouldn't be fun about that.



You mention many weapons what purpose does each one serve. Why have so many? What does it offer the player experiences? Is there any downside to having so many weapons?


What is the core of the game about. At this point I am not 100% what the core of the game is( platforming, shooting, resource management, explorations, story) I really want you to try and give me a small statement about what you want the core of the game about.(This can change over time and isn't a final THIS IS WHAT THE GAME IS ABOUT!) At this point i am not really sure because we have so many different mechanics and facets of the game. This is good because we have lots to work with but I want to really nail down the core of the game before we keep adding in features.

What games inspire this or are like the vision of the game you see.

Sorry for my brief questions. ( I am sick and traveling on the road right now)

Awesome work regardless.

#16 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3413

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 09:46 PM

K.I.S.S. has been hammered into my head for a very very long time. I have a habit in my creative writing to interweave multiple story arcs under one overarching arc. So the need for purity of purpose and simplicity of design has been an ethos I very much live with. Probably helps that I studied engineering at Uni as well.

_

Why is that fun. In a way you have already offered an explanation but i would like you to drill deeper into that. (in theory you could do all the same things on a level surface and it would still have the same mechanics what does having those different levels really offer. )

What I really want is to clearly identify what is fun and start to build a pillar based on that ( is it the changing of levels in the arena, the combat between you and your opponent etc, find what is the fun part of it and clearly define that once that is done. Then we will start to compare our choices against that to move forward.)


Okay am going to separate fun into two types; Transitory and Long-term.

Transitory fun:
  • The Shape shifting process itself
  • The transition between elements
  • The introduction of new forms
  • The introduction of new arenas
  • The initial novelty of the game itself
I cannot perceive a prospective player other than anticipation or novelty values having a constant source of fun through these aspects of the game itself. I have placed the idea of new forms into both lists but unless that particular design point was added would not assume it to be more that transitory. One aspect that could make long-term fun out of the above elements is the player themselves finding a particular desire to play with certain shapes and/or arenas but this is more an individual trait rather than a pervasive aspect.

Long-term fun:
  • The actual combat and its interaction with the elements,
  • Planning the list of shapes you will take into combat,
  • Multiplayer combat (if implemented - future design point)
  • Ranking systems (if implemented - future design point)
  • Shape creation model maker (if implemented - future design point)
In truth it truly comes down to the fact that I see the "fun" of the game arising purely from the actual gameplay of combat. The constant striving to outdo the opponent, whilst trying to survive their attacks. A game of chasing after each other whilst also running from each other. Executing a pure transition into a different element flatfooting the opponent or attacking across elements thus effectively catching them unawares. I want the elation to be from the ability to defeat my foe from having done a particularly clever set of transitions or feel the crushing disappointment of being defeated mercilessly by the opponent outplaying me forcing me to go back to the drawing board and rethink a stratagem or tactic.

why you made that chose for your design


You are so done by the spelling police btw -- I am going to assume you meant "choice".

Probably the major reason I made the choice to use this particular design amongst the many stalking through my head is practicality. A post inside a forum proposes an idea "Design by Committee". I do not know the poster nor do I know the other respondents in this post, but I like the ideal proposed. So I indicate my interest along with 2 others (at this stage...big hint there to the fence sitters by the way Posted Image). Lo and behold I suddenly am faced with the reality of having to provide a game idea with descriptive grey cubes as my noun of choice.

My decision came down to the following reasons:
  • I am not fully aware of the skill sets within the committee.
  • I am unsure as to the long-term commitment of those currently involved.
  • I needed to utilise an idea that at its very heart can be defined by easily perceived constraints and simple elements, and;
  • I wanted it to have a reasonable chance of being completed successfully.
This particular game idea does not stand out in me as being more important than other ideas I have developed nor any less important. Its strength lays in its inherently simplistic design with a great deal of potential that struck me as being appropriately applicable for the "Design by Committee" experiment.


On a completely personal note: I hope your health recovers soon or at least it should when I can find where I put that doll to take the pin out. Posted Image

#17 Angelhelm   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 02:48 AM

Great post!

(O nose the spelling police, please i didn't mean to it was an honest mistake. I will do better I swear. Posted Image )


In truth it truly comes down to the fact that I see the "fun" of the game arising purely from the actual gameplay of combat. The constant striving to outdo the opponent, whilst trying to survive their attacks. A game of chasing after each other whilst also running from each other. Executing a pure transition into a different element flatfooting the opponent or attacking across elements thus effectively catching them unawares. I want the elation to be from the ability to defeat my foe from having done a particularly clever set of transitions or feel the crushing disappointment of being defeated mercilessly by the opponent outplaying me forcing me to go back to the drawing board and rethink a stratagem or tactic.


Awesome, Now I think that you defined that the main player experience or fun of the game is going to be combat, and not just combat but intense competitive combat.
(please correct me if I am wrong!)

With that we can build our mission statement and design pillars to support that. Now I am not sure if the mission statement should be more focused on "creative use of different shapes for battle" or something more focused on "rapid shape shifting combat".(these are just examples) I do feel that the missions statement should make reference to shape shifting and battle. What do you think the mission statement should be?


Once we have the mission statement we can build or pillar and begin to organize everything into a design doc.

I would like to have a Skype conversion at some point in the future. To discuss this further.

#18 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2242

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 04:32 PM

Fair questions! I admit I don't have all the answers, but my first stab is below:

Is fractal mazes completely necessary to this design, or is it feature that would be really enjoyable? If so why is it necessary and what does it enhance about the game play? As opposed to just having level's designed out.


Good point, there's pros and cons to both. Going down to fractal level allows a player to solve problems in more possible ways, however the experience of generated content may be less fun. Also the player may get "lost" in such an affectively infinite landscape.

As well it seems that being the largest size would be the best options at all times, what reason other then to fit through small holes is there to change size?


I'm thinking it would also be a way to avoid enemies you can't beat. Based on the smaller-things-go-faster philosophy, if you go down one magnitude they would be huge and slow, a second magnitude and they would be a static part of the landscape. You could even climb on them. Plus at smaller levels it would open up a more jumpy platformy way of playing.

And finally what elements of this game are fun? Or rather what mechanics make the game fun? ( I can already see that changing size to solves puzzles is a really unique concept for level and puzzle design. Why are the enemies fun or rather what do the enemies offer to the player in terms of challenge and why is that fun. The goal of this is to isolate individual mechanics and analyze why they are fun not because this will ultimately the overall gameplay.)


The sort of experiences I can imagine are being chased by a huge enemy, running for your life to an open space, then going two magnitudes larger and squashing them like a bug. Or shrinking two magnitudes and using an enemy as a landscape to climb up and jump somewhere you couldn't get before. And of course the mental puzzle of figuring what size is best for solving a puzzle. There may be many possible solutions, some with larger and some with smaller.

#19 Angelhelm   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:42 PM

I am having trouble picturing what the player experience might be in a fractal environment. It is possible you write out a 30 second player experience of what the player might do and how.

Also the fractal pattern might making it hard to puzzles and level design. Do you think that this would cause major issues for development of this game? How could you work around these issues. Also to make fractal puzzle in theory you could keep going up or down magnitude's for infinite

I'm thinking it would also be a way to avoid enemies you can't beat. Based on the smaller-things-go-faster philosophy, if you go down one magnitude they would be huge and slow, a second magnitude and they would be a static part of the landscape. You could even climb on them. Plus at smaller levels it would open up a more jumpy platformy way of playing.


This sounds awesome, could you draw out a puzzle of how this could work because that will be the hardest part. Especially with the fractal patterns.

I would like to have a skype call with anyone interested in talking about the designs that have been laid out here.

Please let me know when we can schedule a meeting.

#20 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3413

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:43 PM

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