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Member Since 10 Dec 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:27 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: [RTS] How to encourage base-building without the game taking too long?

30 March 2015 - 05:02 AM

Remove building times and come with a finite amount of resources perhaps?

That way, your base building will hit the ground running.


Also, you can sequence things as in Ground Control where reinforcements are shipped in waves, thus, there is no incentive to fire a first volley of troops to catch your opponent unawares (shifting the focus towards the 'puzzle box' of trying to maneuver units around enemy's units).


One thing that might become stale however: if both bases are sturdy from the get-go, then the game will be one of attrition as the defender will always be advantaged and no player will have the incentive to fight. In this scenario, I would recommend using a different approach...

What if all units are AI controlled and behave like a mob? That way, you can always focus on your base, and not worry about each player avoiding to send their troops.

As the game progresses, mobs on both end would become more powerful/numerous, so that only the 'best base' would stand. It looks a lot like a mirror tower defense now doesn't it?

In Topic: wanting feedback on two design ideas

29 March 2015 - 08:55 PM

but I do hope to be able to build at least a prototype of each idea in about 18 months.


Please define what you mean by prototype.

If its only a matter of testing your core gameplay, you can probably do without the documentation and just test the mechanics and iterate until you find 'the fun'.

Otherwise, if you feel you have a full-fledged game ready to be written down, think again. You should probably prototype mechanics individually first and see if they're any good.

No amount of theoretical work can ever beat a simple prototype when it comes to hunting for fun gameplay.

In Topic: Gui/ Ui Designer

29 March 2015 - 07:56 PM

Some places yes, but more often than not, UI designers don't necessarily need to know how to program (perhaps only how to integrate within a set engine, etc.)


When you say, in Photoshop, I'll assume that it is properly layered? (buttons on standalone layers so that they can easily be exported as standalone assets with different states, etc.)


As for button states specifically, you'd either need to make different assets for each state yourself and export them standalone (or on different layers).

Some engines (such as Unity) also allow some cheap out-of-the-box solutions such as using a single button but having a modifier on its colors so that it looks darker when being clicked, etc.

In Topic: tcg card design method validation question

29 March 2015 - 07:53 PM

I meant from player to player, it is balanced. The only imbalance being who starts. WIthin my game not all cards are of equal value, just they all have the same constraints. everything in reality operates under the same laws but they aren't all the same. I cant honestly tell what you are suggesting, it seems you are suggesting to not have a system at all and just make things up. But that would result in a total mess... and given how inherently unfair it is, no player will have fun for long. 


That is not what I am suggesting.

Also, your understanding of 'game balance' is flawed if you fail to see the difference between symmetrical gameplay and actual value of individual pieces. Once again, as per a TCG, chess is drastically unbalanced in the pieces it fields. It is only because the environment is controlled (symmetrical in this case) that this does not hinder gameplay.

Another way to explain this would be: you have 16 pts to spend, each piece costs you 1 pt. There is a dominant strategy if you choose to go for 15 queens and a king (and your opponent goes all pawns for example). In this regard, chess is highly unbalanced, but the controlled environment circumvents the need for an actual economy balancing.

In other words, bringing chess into a TCG argument is very clumsy at best.


As for suggesting chaos, let me quote my original reply:


Having every card answer to an intrinsic 100 points system would be a baseline,


As I mentioned, having a system in mind is the ideal goal, but you have to know you'll need to break your own rules for it to truly work. And that's assuming your original system handles true value, not theoretical value.

One of the TCGs that I've designed used a point system on each card that both determined its value, and was somewhat related to its cost. Most of the original pts cost was theoretical (and flawed). Through playtesting it extensively, I've adjusted on a card-by-card basis based on what appeared flawed and dangerous. Some cards ended up overpriced if only by fear that they could've broken the game altogether.


As a starting rule I've set out to avoid this. So while many tcg's are operated under this model, it doesn't have to be so. And it will not be so in my game. I will make an ethical game that is enjoyable. And players will want more cards to offer them more and deeper strategies, and stronger more optimised decks to face their opponents with, not just buying new boosters to get the newest overpowered cards. I want every card I ever design for the game to have a place regardless of how much time passes and how many new cards are introduced.   

When I say that Pay2Win is an inherent part of TCGs, I did not necessarily mean that everyone set out for it to be that way. I've known of several attempts at TCGs that are 'fair' and provide more sidegrades than actual power curves. My assessment was simply that, to this day, I have yet to see one that works. 

Studies indicate that a lot of TCGs' appeal has to do with this power creep, and so, while it may appear like an undesirable outcome of money hungry corporations, it is to be noted that it is also core to the appeal of the genre. In fact, removing all form of pay 2 win from TCGs altogether would risk alienating the genre to the point that the target audience would not longer feel it works.


What I think you are overestimating is the will of players to invest in 'new ways' when they already have found an optimal way. Without certain powercreep, the metagame will remain largely unchanged, and this can quickly hurt your game ecosystem (people will leave the scene by lack of change). 

In a nutshell, there's a lot more to 'pay 2 win' in TCGs than you might think, and choosing to do 'without it' may not reconcile fully with making a TCG in the first place.

In Topic: tcg card design method validation question

29 March 2015 - 03:27 PM

Chess is pretty balanced and it is considered fun... there are many examples of balanced games that are fun. I have to disagree with you. Also, I still consider the proposed system fair rather than balanced. Especially considering some cards that have abilities or deferred abilities, those cant possibly be considered balanced.


Chess is not a balanced game as far as options go.

True, it is a symmetrical game (which has nothing to do with a TCG) but as far as options go, treating the queen as equal to the pawn would be a definite mistake...

Don't mistake balance and symmetrical.


if players are better just for having cards, then it isnt fun for new players. And also, its akin to pay to win models... 


The 'well kept secret' of TCGs are that they are essentially Pay to Wins. It is undesirable, and design attempts to minimize that, but the infatuation of collecting cards is only emulated by the sheer ability to grow in power.