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Member Since 27 Jan 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 03:16 PM

#5221617 Factory, managers, interfaces for noobs?

Posted by Khaiy on 06 April 2015 - 08:29 AM

I think that thisis a good resource for programmers new to design patterns. There aren't distinct sections for the particular patterns you are asking about, but managers and factories do come up in various places.


I also think it's important to point out that they aren't exactly pieces of game engines so much as they are solutions to common programming problems. It isn't that game engines use a pattern in scenarios A, B, and C, but rather that games need to execute tasks often have needs that are met by patterns, like any other software.


For your specific questions, SmkViper has already provided good answers.

#5208984 Do you like food? Non-Combat RPG Discussion

Posted by Khaiy on 05 February 2015 - 09:30 PM

I think you can keep a lot of the elements of RPG-style combat in any game that uses an RPG-style format. What if, instead of encountering monsters and fighting them by using weapons and magic while losing HP, the player encounters recipes and applies cooking techniques and ingredients while losing dish quality? The format could be essentially the same as, say Final Fantasy.


The key things for me would be to give enough background to make the cooking seem worthwhile and to have enough depth in the cooking system that I feel there interesting options for me to explore. Those are equally important in any other RPG I might play, so I definitely think that a cooking-themed RPG could work.


I remember an old anime called Fighting Foodons in the U.S. (Kakutō Ryōri Densetsu Bisutoro Reshipi in Japan, which may or may not be an equally stupid sounding name) that was combat based, like Pokemon, but the monsters were food and you powered them up with recipes and special ingredients or something. It doesn't have to be fighting, but if the food could do something other than be eaten or sold that would open up your options a bit.

#5208116 What kind of math do you use to balance games?

Posted by Khaiy on 01 February 2015 - 06:50 PM

This is a shot in the dark, but if you can't get more detail from the group that posted the job I would brush up on Decision Analysis concepts, specifically Bayes' Theorem and one- and two-way sensitivity analyses. Even if that's not exactly what they're looking for I think you could make a convincing argument that you could bring some applicable skills to whatever they want balanced.

#5206400 Research system idea

Posted by Khaiy on 24 January 2015 - 10:49 AM

It does not make sense to me from mathgematical point of view (of course I don't deny players not always do what's optimal or mathematically correct )
Assuming you need 10 turns to research some tech:
If you spend 5 turns researching weapons and got it half done and 5 turns on propulsion and get it half done you still have nothing at the moment. If you spend 10 turns on weapons and 0 on propulsion you already have one working weapon tech (and you can start destroying the enemy now). In 20 turns you would get both weapons and propulsion tech no matter which route you went, but with 100% focus you get first benefits at turn 10 (instead of turn 20). Therefore 100% focus is clearly superior strategy, always, no exceptions.


Not really. I could see that being the case if all techs at a given level take the same amount of time to research, have zero cost to deploy, and produce instant benefits, but that doesn't come up too often. A game where you can assign research percentages but it is always a mistake to do so is one that has a poorly designed research tree.


I really like valrus' suggestion if you want to get away from that system altogether. Having research priorities like in the OP feels to me like a nerfed version of the research system you don't like, but valrus' is a new system that shouldn't chafe people who don't mind the "old", standard way for research in a 4x.

#5206303 Research system idea

Posted by Khaiy on 23 January 2015 - 07:13 PM

What about Master of Orion IIs system? You could only research one thing at a time, but if you tried to tech up evenly across all the different fields you're almost guaranteed to lose on anything but the easiest difficulty level. And for most species builds you can only choose one technology from each field per level to research at all, so while you can choose the order of research you can never have everything. Pax Imperia II had a percentage allocation system, and I very rarely put all 100% into a single field because it's a worse option than a mix. 


The system you're describing, as I understand it, sounds really restrictive to me, and for not much of a reason. I don't think it would be a game breaker for me, but it would be annoying. What is the gameplay value of forcing me to research something I don't really want, even just a little, versus specialization? I would rather see a system that makes "total focus" impractical or suboptimal than one that forces me to play in a way that I don't want to, to no purpose other than satisfying the developer's arbitrary preference. 

#5205196 4X combat - the need for combined arms

Posted by Khaiy on 18 January 2015 - 09:04 PM

What sorts of combat mechanics are you intending to simulate? I could imagine something like to-hit modifiers making smaller ships harder to target, so capital ships' guns are less effective for combating fighters or other small ships. You could simulate more detailed ship capabilities so that larger ships could have specific abilities crippled, which the player can make more likely by sending specialized ships along with others. Crew requirements? Large ships might need more crew to operate effectively, making them more expensive, or maybe require better trained crews, making them harder to field.


I don't know how the rest of your game is set up, but for an outside-of-battle idea it might work to have higher-tier ships be too expensive to just keep on hand and too slow to build to pump them out in time for a conflict. Mechanics like these could help create an incentive for balanced fleets regardless of in-battle performance.

#5205136 A new beginning, some questions for pointers for a stranger to coding

Posted by Khaiy on 18 January 2015 - 03:24 PM

- What language would be best... [?]


It doesn't really matter. I think Java is a major language to use with Android, so that coupled with Java's gentle early learning curve might make that a good choice for you if you're really focused on mobile development. C# is also popular and easy to get into. I don't recommend C++ because it can be fussy and it's very easy to make mistakes, particularly when you are inexperienced. Learning to program games is a special subset of programming in general and so you would be better served if you focus on developing programming skills now rather than zeroing in on the exact type of product you want to make and how you plan to deploy it.


I don't think that your friend's language choice should be much of a factor for you. You've no guarantee that he will be successful in learning it well or at a pace that will suit your own, and a huge amount of the benefit of having other people to learn with will be about things like code structure and design. These are less language-specific than particular syntax requirements and other linguistic details.


- What program should I use? ...


I can't help you with specific recommendations for Java, but the compiler or IDE you use is not too critical a decision. You can always switch to a different one, and the language you program in doesn't change from one to another.


What program would you recommend for the type of programs I could be using?


It's not very important. You can use MS Paint all the way up to professional versions of Photoshop and Illustrator. The term "programmer art" is used for exactly what you're describing-- low-quality art used in development, and it's frequently replaced with better art later. The program doesn't really change in this process as long as the type of picture (like a 2D image or a 3D mesh) doesn't change either. It will just look better with the better art.


Do you have any tips or maybe pointers for beginning tutorials for me in regard to the games I want to learn to create first ... [?]


My main advice is that if you're just starting, even Tetris is ambitious. Learn the basics of your chosen language first, like the syntax rules, and make very very small projects. The list you linked to may start with Tetris, but a standard first "game" project is Guess the Number. Bigger projects have different challenges than smaller ones and deal with problems that are addressed with design choices. It's easier to make good design choices once you have a stronger grasp of the language, which you can develop most easily in projects small enough that design is less critical.


Other advice includes avoiding tutorials for the most part. There are thousands of them and you will not be able to judge their quality for a while, which can lead to bad habits which will make it harder, not easier, for you to make what you want. Tutorials also lend themselves to copy-and-paste approaches. Even if you aren't actually hitting ctrl+c and ctrl+v, it's hard for the tutorial format to teach the problem solving aspect of programming. And unfortunately, that aspect is the major piece of programming.

#5204639 Best First Project?

Posted by Khaiy on 15 January 2015 - 11:26 PM

I'm not sure how you're planning to divide the work between yourself and your helper, but if you're just starting out I definitely recommend using an original design. Other people will probably tell you about the legality issues (which are real), but I've found it hard to focus on good practices and workable design while getting excited about content. And, if you're using an existing franchise of any kind, 100% of what you're talking about is content.


Even an original design might be too much if you're new to a project like making a game. It's incredibly easy to get ahead of yourself and outpace your game-creation abilities; I know I have. I'd suggest focusing on an extremely small game idea, as in too small to even have much plot at all, and then once you've made that you can start messing around with more exciting features. If you can produce a simple, two-room adventure with a single enemy you'll have something you can build on with story and cool features later. If you go the content-first route you might end up with a pile of half-coded features floating in a mess that's nowhere near playable.


If this is genuinely your first project, even that might be ambitious.

#5202147 Basic Game questions from (learning C# by Programming Games) book

Posted by Khaiy on 05 January 2015 - 10:27 PM

The Game class declares a variable of type ContentManager, named "Content", in the same way that the Balloon class in the code you posted declares a variable of type SpriteBatch named "spriteBatch". You are correct that a Game object will have a ContentManager object, and the name of the ContentManager object will be "Content". The ContentManager object has a property called "RootDirectory", which is type String.


The fully qualified variable would be: Balloon.Content.RootDirectory. This accesses the ContentManager object of Balloon, and the RootDirectory property of Content.


For future reference the word "class" is usually used to refer to a class definition and "object" is usually used to refer to an instance of a class. The code in "Game.cs" defines the what a Game object is, while something like "Game game1 = new Game()" is creating a specific Game object called "game1".

#5123160 Programming experiments/surveys (games)?

Posted by Khaiy on 12 January 2014 - 05:38 PM

Any language can do the things you're describing without much fuss. Python can do it, but you'll also have to do code an environment (like a window that has clickable buttons). That shouldn't be too hard to do though. I'm sure someone here can recommend a library that will take care of most of that for you as well (I would, but I don't use Python and don't really know resources to use with it very well).


If you're interested in switching to a new language, I'll recommend C#, namely because you can use WinForms with it to make programs that run in windows and can do point-and-click input already. But you don't need to use something different to do what you're looking for, so if that's your only reason for considering a change I would suggest sticking with Python.

#5116600 Alchemy System, what would make alchemy fun?

Posted by Khaiy on 12 December 2013 - 06:41 PM

For me, the most important thing is that the products be useful enough to justify the trouble of collecting the ingredients and spending the time needed to make them. After that, I always like to see a broad range of possible effects (by broad I mean more than just "Potion of fire damage" vs. "Potion of frost damage").


After that, I like lots of different mechanisms involved in the process that behave in different ways and possibly affect ingredients differently, just like real chemistry. It's fun to need distillation apparatus of a certain quality, or with certain intermediate components or conditions needed to extract some compound from an ingredient. So a big part of the alchemy piece of the game becomes building, stocking, and maintaining a lab so that you can make the things you want.


Finally, I always like crafting processes to be part of a larger aspect of the game. This becomes more important to me the more grinding is required. Something like a store where NPCs can come to commission things for you to make, or buy from a selection of wares you've already produced sounds like fun to me. If there's some kind of reputation system in which you can become better known by making better products and then charge higher prices or get access to better NPC customers that would be even more fun for me.

#5114234 Any Game Makers Here?

Posted by Khaiy on 04 December 2013 - 12:11 AM

All of the technical stuff is just busy work to bring a game into fruition. I would rather bypass all the programming and modeling and stuff and just have my game pop out of a microwave oven so that I can play it ASAP. 
In fact, I would rather the whole technical process be skipped (wouldn't we all)? 
Talk Game Theory and Game Mechanics, and then you are talking game design


I don't see many posters here who are interested in just discussing game mechanics or other design features. I do see a large number of people who want to make their specific dream game, right now, no matter how much thought they've given to the actual design of it. There's nothing wrong with that on a public forum, but until they start developing the skills needed to produce the game it's all just fluff and no amount of design discussion will get them even a single step closer to what they want. Maybe your approach is different from what I'm interpreting it to be, but I personally think it would be kind of cruel to prod people into developing their designs into the greatest concepts ever just to know that, at the end of all that, they still won't be able to even begin to make it.


I do see lots of suggestions that people with nothing beyond a fleshed-out game design try prototyping with board games or pen-and-paper games, which sounds like it would fit pretty well with what you're advocating. But the vast majority of the "I want to make a game!!!" posters here seem extremely resistant to that. Whatever their individual reasons, they want a video game, generally at a level that might as well be a AAA title given how much they can actually do to produce it. If it's not a step that moves them an inch closer to a playable video game, they won't even pretend to consider it.


Maybe you'll have better luck. But I personally see all too many people come here already with "game ideas" who don't care about, or intend to develop, programming skills or other practical game-making skills at all. Unfortunately, discussion of game design and mechanics doesn't seem to interest them much either. It's just not what most beginners seem to come here for.

#5109627 Thoughts on Elevating "A Link to the Past" gameplay to F2P Model?

Posted by Khaiy on 15 November 2013 - 08:46 PM



That's all well and good, but the thing is that it doesn't help Orymus3 pay the bills. Ultimately, a free-to-play game hopes to make the dev some money, and if that's the case the goal is to somehow entice players to buy something. Once you've gone down that path, your design -- which ought to include 'monetization design' pretty-much necessarily *shouldn't* reward players just for being good or persistent -- all that really does is say "I give my game away to people who are good or have more time than you. You're terrible or have better things to do, so you have to pay." If your goal is to make money, there's no reason to preferentially incentive good/persistent players in this way over any other type of player; if your goal is to have a large, happy user base, you ought to just make the thing free, period.


... [other good points and information] ...


Now, from the sound of it, what Orymus3 has is a single-player, non-social, (probably) largely non-persistent adventure game, and to be frank that seems to be kind of a perfect storm for the free-to-play model -- "successful" games in this vein might be popular but make very low return-per-player (the big boys call it ARPU, Average Revenue Per User) so they subsist on the shear size of their user base. If you cannot achieve such a large user base, low ARPU won't be paying your bills. With a lower user base, you need to maximize ARPU if money is a goal, and that means creating monetization potential in the game -- integrating social aspects, multi-player, persistence, and designing to encourage steady purchase of consumables (which includes, of course, pricing them fairly).



I fail to see how my suggestion about speed-repairing items is materially different from yours regarding "Easy mode" amulets and spare ammo. If a player is interested in speeding things up, they can pay real money. If not, they can grind doing something else while their equipment is repaired or they can just wait. If they're grubbing through monster corpses for stray arrows because arrows are necessary to the game but you have the binary choice of "grind for ages and hope" vs. "spend $3" the same good-players-play-cheaper is still in force: good players will need fewer arrows and therefore not have to grind as much. Good players will be able to avoid fire traps in dungeons and therefore not need to pay for an amulet as much. Or they'll have less need for extra inventory slots. Or they'll need to buy fewer healing potions. Or whatever else. Purchases that make the game easier inherently favor the less skilled or less patient players, and have less appeal for the best players.


And there are exactly zero elements in my suggestion that would conflict with any other mode of real money content purchases. If the approach is similar (in practical terms) to other difficulty-reducing sales schemes, the ARPU value of the feature and game overall should be the same in either case.


Would you be willing to elaborate a bit more on the differences between the approaches we've outlined? It may be just because I'm not too plugged into the business end of things or paying much for F2P games, but I'm not seeing the divergence.

#5109597 Thoughts on Elevating "A Link to the Past" gameplay to F2P Model?

Posted by Khaiy on 15 November 2013 - 06:35 PM

I have two ideas:


1. Items or abilities that the player can get which can be preserved through skillful play, but which can be damaged and rendered unusable or much less effective through less skillful play. These can be repaired by some in-game mechanic for free (in real money) but take time to do so. Players can pay real money for an instant fix. They can play the game either way, but may not be able to access certain areas or will just have a harder time without the items or abilities.


For this I'm inspired by the Master Sword from Link to the Past, where if you keep your life meter full it shoots beams. But if you make a mistake and take a hit, the sword is still good but suddenly less effective than you know it can be. I like mechanics like this because you can have everything without spending any money but in exchange you have to become good at the game. I get double satisfaction-- I'm good at the game, and my skill lets me enjoy "deluxe" features for free!


2. Minions! I always love having commandable minions in a single player game. A minion might be able to do dull tasks for the player (like rounding up arrows or other disposable items, with some exposure to danger while getting them) or maybe accompany the player in dungeons. Minions can be developed by grinding, just like the player character, but the player might also be able to just buy a better minion right from the start.


I never like the idea of having features locked away because I haven't paid, such as dungeons and equipment, even in a F2P game where that sort of attitude doesn't make sense. I feel a greater sense of investment from my time than from a few dollars, and if I've played every part of a game that's available for free it always rankles a bit to have to go through the formality of spending a couple bucks for what feels like such a small expansion of the experiences I've already had. If I get almost the whole game for free, it's odd to pay $2 just for a grappling hook.

#5109348 Being Relevant in a MMO

Posted by Khaiy on 14 November 2013 - 09:02 PM

This totally breaks the model of the MMO though. It is by and large an "endless repetition" genre of game, and "completing" the game by finishing everything in a given server destroys that. And you lose a lot of scope to do things like be a merchant, show off rare equipment, etc. Plus, what happens when Player A doesn't log on for a week and returns to find that the server has been cleared? What content remains for him or her then? If the total server population is only 100 players, wouldn't the world seem desolate and empty unless every single player was online then too?


From what you've written I think you might be coming at this from the wrong angle. You don't want a pared-down MMO, you want an MO (multiplayer online), which is really just single-player++ deluxe. If Skyrim had a co-op mode it sounds like that would be most of what you want.