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Game modes?


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#1 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 752

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:48 PM

I'm looking for a list of game modes, but first, what is actually a game mode?

 

meh.ro6988.jpg

 

Remembering the classics, the game mode refers to the number of players and the difficulty. Nowadays what else could be considered a game mode:

 

  • Multiplayer
  • Team
  • Equipment/vehicle
  • Level/map
  • Spawn point
  • Tutorial mode

Any ideas?


 

 


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#2 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1236

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:56 PM

Wikipedia has a pretty good write-up on the subject:

A game mode is a distinct configuration that varies gameplay and affects how other game mechanics behave. A game with several modes will present different settings in each one, changing how a particular element of the game is played. One of the most common examples of game mode is the single player versus multiplayer choice in video games, where multiplayer can further be cooperative or competitive.
Changing modes while the game is ongoing can be used as a means to increase difficulty and provide additional challenge, or as a reward for player success. Power-ups are modes that last for a few moments or that change only one or a few game rules; for example power pellets in Pac-Man give the temporary ability to eat the enemies for a few seconds.
Other examples include the availability of a sandbox mode without predefined goals or progression. The division of game content in stages or chapters, where each stage expands the rules that a player can use with respect to the previous stage, increases game complexity and variety. If the game advances through these stages by moving through different areas, these areas are called levels or maps; if the character unlocks new abilities through activities or rewards, they receive a currency called experience points. These points can be used to upgrade or augment various pre-determined abilities.
A game mode may restrict or change the behavior of the available tools ( e.g. play with limited/unlimited ammo, new weapons, obstacles or enemies, a timer, etc.), establish different rules and game mechanics (e.g. altered gravity; win at first touch in a fighting game; play with some cards face-up in a poker game) or even change the overall game goals (following a campaign or story vs. playing a limited deathmatch or capture the flag set).


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_mechanics

I think this covers quite a bit. Personally I think that there are much better things to worry about than modes, so I probably won't talk extensively about it. But since it is a real subject, I'll digress.

#3 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 752

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 07:07 PM

Hmm, I'm already worrying about everything else:

 

http://gamelix.com/mechanics/GAMO_map.png

 

Ok, so the article introduces temporary game modes... but that would be like any other mechanic. I guest we could say that a game mode is a game mechanic that is applied globally, since the beginning of the game play, modifying the gaming experience. How does it sound?


 

 


#4 ShadowFlar3   Members   -  Reputation: 1254

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 06:17 AM

I'm looking for a list of game modes, but first, what is actually a game mode?

 

 

But first, why are you going all philosophical about it? Are you trying to figure out a list of game modes for your game?

 

Wikipedia is good but perhaps it's also of some help to think about how game modes could be planned and added:

 

1) Single player, Splitscreen Multiplayer, Network Multiplayer are often decided in pre-production because they hugely affect the budget and needed skills and resources. Multiplayer and Singleplayer traditionally have distinguished gameplay with single player focusing on story and multiplayer focusing on interaction between players, whether it is co-op, versus, team, deathmatch, capture the flag...

 

2) Usually during the development process the authors and game testers might find that some section of the game has unique gameplay and want to make that part easily replayable. They could make it a minigame inside the game, like Snowboarding and Motorcycling in FFVII but they might as well make it an additional game mode that unlocks after you've beaten the game.

 

3) Developers can add additional game modes that highlight one aspect of the game. Batman: Arkham Asylum is good example on this with it's "Challenge Mode" covering Stealth, Fighting and Predator each of which are distinguished game modes with different gameplay and rules. Mercenaries mode available in some RE games highlight the intense action part of the game, leaving out the puzzle and story parts.

 

4) A lot of random things like Time Attack modes in racing games or extra-hard difficulty levels are an example of re-iterating through your game content with different ruleset and gameplay. Some of these aren't even that meaningful or hard to achieve like Reverse Tracks / Double Speed mode but they could be viewed as adding gameplay content. Because you're using the same content they often don't require huge amount of planning or resources so you can decide on these depending on your genre and as you develop your game. You can even add them post-release as DLC or patches if you still have motivation for it. smile.png


Edited by ShadowFlar3, 18 October 2013 - 08:02 AM.


#5 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 752

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 09:48 AM

First, yeah, I was missing the obvious: rules as game mode. That would be different sets of mechanics during the gameplay, that could change minimally or produce a whole new game/mini-game.
 
Just trying to find here the details that I have overlooked for the second-layer game engine. It also helps to proof-test other ideas already designed and implemented, and organize the engine's workflow by categorizing features. The tool should be as broad as possible to cover the different design decisions, whatever is too specific can be added as features or virtualized by the mechanics language.

 

 


#6 mippy   Members   -  Reputation: 1002

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:01 AM

My view on the matter: 

 

I see game modes as collections of special settings and game features, defined by the game designer. If the code is made properly there will be many modular features and variables for the GD to tweak and combine. What you would consider to be a level is in itself also a combination of variable values, where each item itself is also a set of values. 

 

For reasons of simplicity, balance, marketability and test-optimization the GD limits the availability of all these variables to something very limited. 

 

Games tend to be built around some specific game-mode but if it's well built it can be used for more modes than the initially intended one. I think this is always something to strive for. 



#7 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 834

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:54 AM

As was mentioned a game mode is any distinct game configuration. People creating mods will make new game modes.

 

As for a list of game modes, it's important to be more specific. I don't think you're looking for a dictionary, but because game modes are defined by the contents of a game you could reference the dictionary, and the urban dictionary. Here I'll give it a shot.

 

In English:

Game modes referred to by an accepted common phrase, or a single word: http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Game modes from slang, completely made up words or phrases: http://www.urbandictionary.com/

It is quite possible to even have a random phrase generator, in case you exhaust the above two lists, so any combination of words will be used as a game mode.

 

There are new words in foreign dictionaries, but I doubt you'll have time to read them all.


I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.


#8 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4859

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:04 PM

For an online game, I'd consider things like auction house, NPC shop, forum, equipment management, minigame, PvP arena, and that sort of thing to all be game modes.  I'd define a game mode as one that has a distinct set of common player actions, a distinct set of relevant information, and a GUI adapted to these.


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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. I also love pet-breeding games.


#9 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 752

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 09:22 AM

For an online game, I'd consider things like auction house, NPC shop, forum, equipment management, minigame, PvP arena, and that sort of thing to all be game modes.  I'd define a game mode as one that has a distinct set of common player actions, a distinct set of relevant information, and a GUI adapted to these.

 

I would say those examples are sets of mechanics. A game mode has a more persistent aspect during the game play. A game mode could be two players sharing the screen, one of the players could die and the game would become single player, but the original mode selection is what matters. On the other hand NPC shops are temporary stages, unless you choose playing in the shop from the beginning, e.g. as a clerk, and you are mainly constrained to your role. That would be a game mode for a mini-game.


 

 


#10 ActiveUnique   Members   -  Reputation: 834

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 08:03 PM

Because we have not passed the fundamental game mode definition yet, I'll extend the problem of understanding what it is by presenting an informal theory, I did not investigate if this is a real theory at all so you should know it's more of a quick funny idea I had on the spot .

 

I will be using common children's games such as tag and cops and robbers for an example.

 

If I'm not wrong we all understand tag is a game where a player who is "it" chases someone tags them and says "you're it" then they switch places until they get tired. Now the game can be played vanilla (no additional rules), where the entire point is kids run around poking, sometimes relying on deception such as "no I'm not" to cheat and they'll run away victorious somehow (I won't get into this). Introduction of new rules like "touch a tree, count to three, safety" and "freeze tag" give the game completely different modes by introducing rules, making trees useful, yes even more ways to cheat like fast counting and puppy guarding, but we still understand this to be tag.

 

Another example is cops and robbers, the players pretend to shoot and die, play acting more than anything. Theoretically someone may have a rule "cops always win," I'm not really sure if this is a variation or not. To compound the confusion of game modes, if this requires two players it apparently has  one mode, "cops always win" one player has lost, the other has won from the very beginning. The game is most likely to end after the robbers are dead, or a time limit is up, cops winning by default.

 

 

Informal Theory: The number of game modes present in a set containing sets of rules can be determined by finding out which rules will never intersect in a set of players who follow those rules correctly.

 

Maybe the theory definition could use work, but the examples should convey my complete meaning.

 

The two examples I stated are believed to have only one mode each before adding, changing, and breaking rules. However, this is because it is easily mistake that these games require two players. If you took these examples and designed a single player game out of Tag and another single player game out of cops and robbers you'd have two games, and three modes. If you used my Cops and Robbers example, you'd have two games, or two modes for one game.

 

How did I conclude this? The rule sets are applied to individual players, so they are not playing the same exact game all at once. They really have four different rule sets in all. Tag rules = {"player who is it", "player who is not it"}, Cops and Robbers rules = {"cop", "robber"}, so you see that's four different rule sets to follow, and two game rule sets. However, I did not say there were four modes, this is because some rules exchanged hands during the game of Tag. When a player who is it touches another, they will become it, so they swap roles (as well as rules) and they all played the same exact game, same opportunity. In the game of Cops and Robbers there is no swapping, if you started as a robber, you play as a robber, you are essentially playing Cops and Robbers: Robber "mode."

 

If I made a video game that was out of Cops and Robbers, I could take advantage of both rule sets by porting them to different modes in single player, I could also make a two player game. Players will have to choose between cop or robber to play as, unless I append a rule that they switch sides and a game is really a number of rounds... this is getting complicated fast.

 

If you had 20 different roles (each role has a rule set a player would follow) to play in a game, a 2 - 4 player game, each combination of roles create a very different experience and the game itself playing differently based on which set of player roles are accepted, unfortunately you still wouldn't know how many game modes there are because if any role could exchange hands at some point then it no longer adds a new mode. If the game changes because of the combination used, then theoretically each new set of rules available in the game would have to also count as additional game modes, but in all this is a finite number because it would be limited to the number of roles available.


Edited by ActiveUnique, 19 October 2013 - 08:24 PM.

I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.





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