Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Keeping Recourse Collection Entertaining


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
20 replies to this topic

#1 Rybo5001   Members   -  Reputation: 487

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 07 September 2012 - 07:38 AM

Continuing on from my last topic, what are some ways to keep recourse collecting interesting and fun?

Chopping down trees with a swinging accuracy button?

Whack a mole style fishing?

Other minigames? Automation? Hiring others to do it all? "Attacking" the recourse with an axe/pickaxe?

Sponsor:

#2 nox_pp   Members   -  Reputation: 487

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:13 AM

Does it need to be fun? Resource collection is in general a means to an end, and not an end in itself. It's something that you have to do, but not something that you want to put too much effort into doing. With it being such a repetitive task, there's no way around it eventually becoming boring. Most games just jump right past that eventuality, and try to make resource collection as unobtrusive and simple as possible.

Between Scylla and Charybdis: First Look <-- The game I'm working on

 

Object-Oriented Programming Sucks <-- The kind of thing I say


#3 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4118

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

Does it need to be fun? Resource collection is in general a means to an end, and not an end in itself. It's something that you have to do, but not something that you want to put too much effort into doing. With it being such a repetitive task, there's no way around it eventually becoming boring. Most games just jump right past that eventuality, and try to make resource collection as unobtrusive and simple as possible.

Ugh, I don't like that approach at all. It's boring because it's more repetitive and less strategic than it needs to be. Resource collection absolutely should be rethought to make it fun. Combat is expected to be fun for dozens or hundreds of hours, there's no reason resource collection can't be the same. The simple proof of that is that resource collection can be done through combat. But that's not a solution in and of itself, because resource collection would be better utilized as an alternate activity to give the player a break between combat sessions. An what is an alternate activity to give the player a break between combat sessions? A minigame!

I personally am a big fan of resource collection and crafting done through well-designed and developed minigames. No, not something half-assed like an accuracy button while chopping trees or the usual pathetic minigames. It needs to be a proper highly-replayable and fun game of its own, on the level of things like tetris, pinball, a turn-based solitaire, etc. Something the player wants to do for its own sake, and would even log on just to play minigames for half an hour then log out again and not feel deprived that he didn't fight anything in his gaming session.

Edited by sunandshadow, 07 September 2012 - 02:59 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#4 ShadowValence   Members   -  Reputation: 365

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:17 PM

A great example would be Fable 2's gambling minigames. Let's face it, you need cash to buy better equipment, outfits, etc. Why not gamble for it? Sure, they had the *bleh* tree stump chopping & blacksmithing. But I'll be honest - I spent a good chunk of the game gambling my coin.

As a matter of fact, the mini-games were so well thought out that they were pre-released (I bought them) and you could incur quite a stash of cash (or debt if you weren't careful). They (Lionhead Studios) even incorporated things like debt to the lender into the game. They'd send people out after you to collect their dues. :D

I might turn that game back on tonight.... :D

#5 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1313

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 08 September 2012 - 12:21 PM

I think the ideal way to make resource collection fun is the make the win condition of whatever meta-mechanic you use, permanently upgrade the collection ability of the unit(s) involved. Either in quantity or creating a limited window of higher quality production (hinting at higher quality resources during that period) like a "production quality buff". Making some units incrementally superior.

You could do quest based resource transport where a base wide upgrade done by a distant structure could give a personal upgrade to a resource collection unit if the resources are brought from a specific location personally by one of the resource collection units to the structure used for the upgrade. Just a bit of micro control added to the automated process.

#6 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14811

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 08 September 2012 - 12:52 PM

Does it need to be fun? Resource collection is in general a means to an end, and not an end in itself. It's something that you have to do, but not something that you want to put too much effort into doing. With it being such a repetitive task, there's no way around it eventually becoming boring. Most games just jump right past that eventuality, and try to make resource collection as unobtrusive and simple as possible.

It think it would be good to automate it, but also allow 'playing' it. Example: You hire fishermen to fish for you, and they do so at a fixed rate (with some random variance to keeps things interesting). Say: 1 fish per fishermen every 2 1/2 minutes.
But, you can go and fish yourself, which provided two benefits: You can catch more than one fish every 2 1/2 minutes (maybe 10 fish a minute), giving you instant-gratification when you need extra fish. Plus, it can be that you are "training" or "motivating" the fishermen, who are watching you fish. Depending on how you do (on a scale from -5 to +5), for the next 15 minutes after you 'showed' them, the Fishermen either fish better or worse (by adding your last results to their current fishing level), before gradually returning to their original 'Level 5' scale of fishing.

You can also upgrade fishermen by paying money for better equipment - So the Fisherman might be level 5 by default, but after fishing for 10 hours leveled up to level 6, but also you bought him a really good fishing pole which increases his level by 0.75, and a really sweet looking fishing hat, which increases a further 0.5 (making him level 7.25). Then, since you recently fished in his area, and you scored a +3.5 (on the -5 to +5 scale) in the fishing minigame, all the fishermen at that pond, including this Fisherman, gained +3.5 to their levels which wears off gradually over the next 15 minutes, and the Fisherman with the sweet hat is now temporarily level 10.75, making him fish you a fish every 1 minute, 20 seconds, instead of every 2 1/2 minutes.

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.                                                                                                                                                       [Need free cloud storage? I personally like DropBox]

Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal


#7 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 371

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:26 PM

I'd say that you treat it the same way people treat combat, although you may require a bit more ingenuity. Don't make minigames. Make actual games that you put into the main game.

#8 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4118

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:42 PM

I'd say that you treat it the same way people treat combat, although you may require a bit more ingenuity. Don't make minigames. Make actual games that you put into the main game.

Combat pretty much is a minigame. A minigame is just a part of the gameplay that has its own UI, control scheme, and possibly some measurements of score, time, ap/movementp/hp/magicp that aren't relevant to the main mode, which is usually the exploration mode.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#9 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14811

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 03:57 PM


I'd say that you treat it the same way people treat combat, although you may require a bit more ingenuity. Don't make minigames. Make actual games that you put into the main game.

Combat pretty much is a minigame. A minigame is just a part of the gameplay that has its own UI, control scheme, and possibly some measurements of score, time, ap/movementp/hp/magicp that aren't relevant to the main mode, which is usually the exploration mode.

While what you said is true, and his wording was rather ambiguous, his point seems to be don't treat resource collection as self-contained and detached from the rest of the game, but make it thematically integrated with the rest of the game, in the same way combat is usually thematically integrated with the rest of the game. So don't have a serious dead-pan world and then toss in a cheery colorful fishing minigame that clashes with the rest of the game's theme and feels like a self-contained flash game found on the web was copy+pasted into your game.

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.                                                                                                                                                       [Need free cloud storage? I personally like DropBox]

Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal


#10 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1313

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:19 PM

I think its fine if it feels separate, so long as it isn't a requirement to the success of the game. Keep the original system of resource gathering, just add relevant perks to the resource collection mini-game you create. Ideally it would use much of the same control systems and UI as the basic game in order to the experience some continuity.

#11 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4118

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:06 PM

Well, I agree with the idea that a crafting minigame should feel smoothly integrated into the theme, style, etc. of the rest of the game. But I don't think the controls should be the same; half the point of having resource gathering is to have a different kind of gameplay so the player has a way to keep playing while taking a rest from the main gameplay. That helps prevent the player getting bored of the main gameplay. As for whether it should be necessary for success or progress, it would make sense if the player would have to complete easy tutorial sessions to progress, but that higher levels/higher scores/more difficult achievements would not be required for progress; they could produce rare drops but these could be purchased from other players or an npc, or won as a pvp reward, etc., if the player wasn't skilled at that particular minigame. That's another reason why controls should be different; there should be a variety of crafting minigames such that every player has at least one they enjoy and are particularly good at, to use as a time sink and trade the rewards for those produced from other minigames.

Edited by sunandshadow, 09 September 2012 - 05:06 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#12 jefferytitan   Members   -  Reputation: 1170

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:41 PM

I agree that new approaches could be worthwhile. Why would you ever want to put something boring in a game that people play for fun? Now sure, just for pacing purposes that may be good, e.g. "I'm all combatted out, I need a break", but something you spend a considerable time doing? No way.

I like the idea of it being optional, but you get a low yield for auto-fishing etc. I think playing it should allow a better yield or special items. You could also add special events to keep it interesting. For example one giant catfish that you need to find, find it's routines, get special equipment and tactics for, etc. If you don't put in the effort... well, you catch a regular fish. No harm no foul, but there are bragging rights to landing the big one. And special things can be crafted from it.

#13 Rybo5001   Members   -  Reputation: 487

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 08:26 PM

Thank you everyone for all your wonderful contributions, really got my mind ticking now!

You can also upgrade fishermen by paying money for better equipment - So the Fisherman might be level 5 by default, but after fishing for 10 hours leveled up to level 6, but also you bought him a really good fishing pole which increases his level by 0.75, and a really sweet looking fishing hat, which increases a further 0.5 (making him level 7.25). Then, since you recently fished in his area, and you scored a +3.5 (on the -5 to +5 scale) in the fishing minigame, all the fishermen at that pond, including this Fisherman, gained +3.5 to their levels which wears off gradually over the next 15 minutes, and the Fisherman with the sweet hat is now temporarily level 10.75, making him fish you a fish every 1 minute, 20 seconds, instead of every 2 1/2 minutes.


This in particular caught my attention, the idea that you can upgrade the way you collect recourse so it's a balancing act: "Do I get a better axe for my wood-collecting or do I invest in better fishing poles??" - in my game money is hard to come by so this makes a lot of sense.

#14 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 371

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 September 2012 - 08:44 PM

My point was actually more about making resource collection something you would want to play in your own right. If you let people play minigames to let people fight better, then resource collection is a means to an end. Also, people generally put more detail into combat then resource collection (have you ever gotten a status effect from mining? Have you had to keep a close watch on the "fresh air" bar and "energy" bar on the HUD?). How many quests have you gotten in games like Skyrim that not only didn't focus on combat, but didn't require any combat whatsoever? How many times have you slain monsters so that you could use the crafting materials to make something knew to help you collect more resources so that you could craft even more?

#15 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 10 September 2012 - 06:02 AM

I find that games make resource collection fairly easy just by the instant gratification of the process. You mine this, you get this. Then they toss on a slight percentage for a "higher quality" acquisition, but the acquisition is still there. If you lower the amount of goods harvested versus what is needed the harvested product becomes more valuable once obtained. This keeps demand(crafters) high resulting in harvesting(supply) valuable.

Lower amounts harvested is something to look into as I know it is often the case in the real world that gold miners are extremely happy to find a pea sized nugget. Yet when we play games the ground that we mine just have large chunk after large chunk of ore to pull out of the ground? Not aiming for realism as that would result in needing to make mining a really REALLY fun activity, but something a little less bloated.

#16 EngineProgrammer   Members   -  Reputation: 295

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:58 AM

A nice example is Runescape.
Gathering resources (cutting trees, fishing, mining, etc) is fun because you gain levels through the gathering. And after a certain level you can gather better/more expensive resources which make you want to reach That needed level.

That's the number 1 reason why resource collecting in that game is fun. The second one is that they use quests.
For the quests you need a some requirements.(example: you need level 17 woodcutting, 10cooking, 35mining).
The quests give nice rewards meaning you also want to get those levels.(and you still gather resources on a fun way)

And then the third reason, when you reach around 90+ in a skill you can collect very expensive resources which you can sell to get rich fast. :-)

#17 PyroDragn   Members   -  Reputation: 404

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:52 PM

Resource collection doesn't have to be fun in and of itself. It depends on the style of the game, and how much resource collection you have to do.

In an RTS resource collection is done alongside everything else, you have to keep a watchful eye on your resource collectors, protect them from attacks. It's something you have to be constantly aware of, and it's just a part of the 'main game'.

In MMOs like World of Warcraft, or Guild Wars 2, resources are scattered around so that while you're going about your other business you can snatch a bit here or there. You don't have to do it if you don't want to. If you focused solely on it, it can become tedious.

In shooters you (may) gain money simply from playing the game, and that allows you to buy upgrades. It's not something that the player necessarily thinks about, but you have to think about the balance of cost/return. You don't want to end up encouraging the player to 'grind' something endlessly for cash, or even worse - forcing him to do so.

If you need to resource collect constantly, then it needs to be integrated into the gameplay seamlessly. It should just be 'part of the game' and if the game is fun, then it will be too.

If resource collection is optional then you need to think about how often the player is going to want to collect resources because even the best game in the world can become tedious, especially if it doesn't fit into the rest of the game. If you were playing Guild Wars and every time you wanted to mine for iron you had to stop and play a game of pacman then it'll get old very quickly. It doesn't matter if pacman is a fun game if the player really wants to just play Guild Wars.

Resource collection doesn't need to be standalone. But at the very least, it shouldn't make the rest of the game less fun.

#18 EngineProgrammer   Members   -  Reputation: 295

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 10 September 2012 - 09:54 PM

To the one that votes me down: isn't Runescape a good example?
From my experiences at gaming that game has the most fun resource collecting so please, tell me your opinion about this topic...

If you vote someone down it's gentle to comment the reason with a quote or something.

#19 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14811

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 10 September 2012 - 10:29 PM

[off-topic]

You can click on the number (the -1 or +1) and see who rated you down (retaliatory ratings are frowned upon by the community, though).

Meh, people will rate people down - sometimes they don't have enough time to respond properly (running out the door, or at work, or on a device like a smartphone where it's harder to type), but still want to participate through rating.


I rated you and PyroDragn up to compensate, since I think your contrary opinions add to the discussion.

[/off-topic]

It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.                                                                                                                                                       [Need free cloud storage? I personally like DropBox]

Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal


#20 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 371

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 11 September 2012 - 02:29 PM

To the one that votes me down: isn't Runescape a good example?
From my experiences at gaming that game has the most fun resource collecting so please, tell me your opinion about this topic...

If you vote someone down it's gentle to comment the reason with a quote or something.


You're saying that you can make something fun by adding levels, and rewarding the players for it and for leveling up. Other than the fact that I think it's obvious someone would do that, it's vague and by itself doesn't help that much.

Resource collection doesn't have to be fun in and of itself. It depends on the style of the game, and how much resource collection you have to do.
In an RTS resource collection is done alongside everything else, you have to keep a watchful eye on your resource collectors, protect them from attacks. It's something you have to be constantly aware of, and it's just a part of the 'main game'.
In MMOs like World of Warcraft, or Guild Wars 2, resources are scattered around so that while you're going about your other business you can snatch a bit here or there. You don't have to do it if you don't want to. If you focused solely on it, it can become tedious.
In shooters you (may) gain money simply from playing the game, and that allows you to buy upgrades. It's not something that the player necessarily thinks about, but you have to think about the balance of cost/return. You don't want to end up encouraging the player to 'grind' something endlessly for cash, or even worse - forcing him to do so.
If you need to resource collect constantly, then it needs to be integrated into the gameplay seamlessly. It should just be 'part of the game' and if the game is fun, then it will be too.
If resource collection is optional then you need to think about how often the player is going to want to collect resources because even the best game in the world can become tedious, especially if it doesn't fit into the rest of the game. If you were playing Guild Wars and every time you wanted to mine for iron you had to stop and play a game of pacman then it'll get old very quickly. It doesn't matter if pacman is a fun game if the player really wants to just play Guild Wars.
Resource collection doesn't need to be standalone. But at the very least, it shouldn't make the rest of the game less fun.


Did you click on the link in the OP? You're missing the entire point. The point is to make resource collection fun as a central part of the game.




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS