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Robert Ortiz

Member Since 14 Aug 2009
Offline Last Active Sep 27 2013 05:15 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Making an Ability both a Curse & a Blessing?

25 August 2011 - 06:31 AM

There's only 1 status/condition, let's call it "sickness" and it goes from "mild" to "sever" with maybe 3-4 levels of severity. There is a single medicine you can take to reduce your Sickness level by 1, or maybe 1 half. Contact with certain entities raises your level. My goal is to make each level provide 2 sides of a coin -- to encourage the player to utilize it, but not to depend on it (the abilities, that is).


In Topic: Making an Ability both a Curse & a Blessing?

24 August 2011 - 10:03 PM

Here are the positive benefits I've considered so far, in order of lesser to greatest:

- Become neutral to certain enemies
- Short-circuit electronics
- Pass through walls

Negative effects so far
- Cannot operate electronics
- Attract certain enemies
- Takes damage (when passing through walls)
- Messing with the GUI

I don't know how possible it will be to affect their screen because the more I delve into possible effects, we seem to be rather limited.


In Amnesia: the Dark Descent, for example, when the player's sanity is waning, their vision becomes blurred. I'm not sure if that's even something our technology/processor will let us do, unfortunately. It just seems like one of the few things we can do, really. I'd love to make them hallucinate though.

In Topic: MMO Postmortem Project - Player Impressions

24 August 2011 - 11:48 AM

I played a good, solid 10 minutes of the WoW trial and thought the graphics were weak and the interface too painful to look at. I also found myself confused with the quests I was given and had difficult navigating the map.

I've played Guild Wars for 4-1/2 years and I thought its best feature was the combination of excellent support/patching, along with good graphics and gameplay -- not to mention it was free. The only thing I disliked was the (probably unintentional) bias towards grinders/speed clears; the game became less about enginuity and more about playing the same build of skills that everyone else has played.

I played FFXI for maybe a year and found it to be the most addictive thing I've ever done. I loved the graphics, classes and so much else about it. The only 2 things I didn't like: Subscription fee and the fact that leveling up was rarely a solo act, and that it felt like you needed to level up before actually enjoying any of the primary story lines and missions. Finding a party was always problematic, and therefor leveing was problematic. I absolutely loved the open feel of its world, being able to travel on foot, boat or by chocobo.

In Topic: What Would You Need for a Solar System Simulation?

22 August 2011 - 03:25 PM

Things wouldn't need to necessarily occur in real-time. There could be a brief cinematic to show the effects and when it ends, you're left with the results of the event. Not as awesome, of course, but again -- this didn't need to be an exact, real-time replica. Just simulate likely outcomes and processes. And by simulate I mean produce -- nothing happens without the player's direct or indirect involvement.

Everything that's been said on this topic has been way over my head.

In Topic: Do you write different content for game stories vs. non game fiction?

22 August 2011 - 02:44 PM

I can certainly agree that my approach to writing a game design out vs. writing a short-story or novel are completely different, but that mostly rests in how I'll present the material -- for a novel I'll be, well, writing a novel but when I approach a game, I break it down into its core elements and make lots of lists; I'm often tempted to write about the game as if it were a story which is a habit I'm still trying to curb. As far as content goes, no I don't think my approaches differ too strongly; I try not to 'target' an audience and simply attempt to produce an experience that I want to share with others, one that I think will touch a variety of viewers. I think that can work for games and normal fiction.

Also, people tend to work on what interests them -- so just because you don't see anyone else trying to construct a romantic simulation, doesn't necessarily mean that others couldn't jive with that type of game. I can only work on projects that interest me or else I become bored quite easily. It also depends on how you approach a game-type. Rather than putting gender labels on games, find a way to make them appeal to a wider audience. I think Fable's inclusion of the whole sexual reproduction/family system gave some players a chance to participate in a certain type of gameplay that they wouldn't have, were it standalone -- it presented the aspect in an RPG, fantasy setting that seems to appeal to a wide audience. With that said, I don't see why we can't create games that compromise and present the player with uncommon activities that are presented in a familiar way.

I think for the most part, games are designed to satisfy a target audience and by that very process, they're obviously going to exclude some audiences. I can see creating games to fill a vacant niche market if you're really focused on creating something marketable, or trying to make something that can satsify a niche that has gone unattended. I hear a lot about "hardcore" and "casual" gamers now a days and that tends to break games into either FPS or family-friendly pickup games; there are of course other games that try to appeal to players who love a game with stories, or thought-provoking gameplay, but these games (at least in my opinion) almost supercede the hardcore/casual label since you could easily find people in either category who are more interested in experiencing a story as opposed to simple fire-fights or party games.

I think if you, or anyone, has a really interesting idea -- even if there doesn't seem like there would be an obvious market for it -- to just follow through with it and see what happens. People will buy almost anything and it's hard to accept that something can't have a target audience; they're out there, you just have to lure them out with something new.

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