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Member Since 05 Oct 2010
Online Last Active Today, 10:19 AM

#5212327 Is buying assets cheating?

Posted by Acharis on 22 February 2015 - 03:23 PM

So should I buy some assets, or is that considered cheating. I'm not sure how I feel about it personally. I'd love it to be 100% my creation, but it would definitely speed thing up.
It's a very dangerous approach. Your goal should be to make a fun & playable game (optionally to also make a lot of money, but that depends if you are a hobbist or a pro :D). Your ego is irrelevant.


Cheat all you need to make a game. It's the only moral thing to do (no player will care what percentage of the product is made by you, they just want to have fun).

#5211468 Making small ideas work

Posted by Acharis on 18 February 2015 - 10:15 AM

Don't confuse small ideas with small execution. Small ideas rarely works. Also don't confuse number of features with a deep & complex gameplay.


Check my "WizTowerSim": http://www.silverlemur.com/minigames/

Is this game simple or complex? How long would it take you to implement something like that?


You can make a complex & interesting game in a few days/weeks. If you use dirty tricks of course smile.png


It's funny because the little game I have right now looks a bit like this or I should say has the same basics. It's some stuff where you build your base and every random amount of times you get a random attack and you have to survive it. At least that's the final goal but it's not finished yet (almost tho when it comes to programming).


I think the main idea is not bad but random events part of it sucks, I wanted to make it multiplayer but I am not good enough at coding networks. So this is the kind of thing that pisses me off a bit.

Do not escalate :)  No multiplayer, you are not looking how to add yourself more work but how to remove some work :)

If you have a working concept, go for it. Do not add unneeded things.

#5210964 Making small ideas work

Posted by Acharis on 16 February 2015 - 05:54 AM

Don't confuse small ideas with small execution. Small ideas rarely works. Also don't confuse number of features with a deep & complex gameplay.


Check my "WizTowerSim": http://www.silverlemur.com/minigames/

Is this game simple or complex? How long would it take you to implement something like that?


You can make a complex & interesting game in a few days/weeks. If you use dirty tricks of course :)

#5210096 Movement in a Space Tactical Combat System

Posted by Acharis on 11 February 2015 - 02:35 PM

I have not read the first post, but I will give my opinion anyway :D Gimme a simple movement system I can understand without thinking, I could not care less about physics and such. I hate when these ships move around, move around, move around... and never are in the position to fire :D I don't want "parking simulator", I want a fleet of ships that fire at each other (shooting being much more important/frequent than movement). I want to give commands like "full starboard salvoe" not "move tiny to the left, no too much, to the right, no to the left!" :)

#5209139 Game ethics

Posted by Acharis on 06 February 2015 - 02:49 PM

I don't believe I've ever consciously put any efforts towards thinking about ethics in my games. The thing is, I make what I'd like to play
Me too. I think this whole "ethics in games" is blown out of proportions.


BTW, contrary to common belief sex does not sell :) In practice, making games ethically correct brings more money :D With few exceptions, as usual.

#5208406 "Miniatures" games on pc (space combat)

Posted by Acharis on 03 February 2015 - 08:56 AM

They made Panzer General's clone in space (it was Space General maybe?) but it got terrible reviews.

The thing is ship vs ship is far less exciting than soldier vs soldier (terrain, trenches, formations, visibility system, morale, etc). Anyway, approaching it as a traditional hex based tactical wargame seems to be a dead end.

#5207868 Promotional texts for my game

Posted by Acharis on 31 January 2015 - 10:43 AM

The game is a 4X space empire builder for PC. Here is a full topic:



The game is kind of original, many traditional assumptions of 4X genre were challenged, many standard features were cut down/replaced. Also, the game is purely single player with assymetrical gameplay (aliens play by different rules). One of the core design goals was "no micromanagement" (it's probably the most visible aspect of the game). Also, it kind of gets a minimalistic feel (I'm not sure), since many stuff was cut down or replaced with simplier versions. On one hand it seems to be fast paced and small (mechanics), on the other the scale seems epic (500 planets total, you are supposed to get like 50 planets at the early game and around 150-200 and the end of the game). As for the feel, I aim, for the player to feel like an Emperor (throne room, audiences, prestige) and not like a logistics officers (moving units around abstracted a lot, you can't even give orders to an individual ship), a lot of boring mechanics were abstracted or automatized.



What I look for is some promotional text (just the main points, what I should try to focus on, I can reword it later) that would be compatible with that game/mechanics/title/mood. Note, that at that point I can still change the game itself, so it's partially a game design question too.



My current concept:

Title: Pocket Space Empire (I would hate to change that one :))

Description: lightweight, fastpaced, no micromanagement, epic scale, turn based, space empire builder

#5206277 Designing an Ore Mining Game

Posted by Acharis on 23 January 2015 - 05:21 PM


I don't see how you could put user created content in there, actually, these games are purely about "mechanics" so the "content" is almost nonexistant. Unless you meant open source and thet they code the game?

I'm admittedly going on second-hand information (primarily gameplay videos on YouTube), but what Minecraft seems to have done--aside from custom objects with custom "crafting recipes"--is allow mod-makers to create some degree of custom gameplay, built around the core interactions of the game, or custom UIs--just look at Mystcraft's linking books, and their associated dimensional jaunts, or Ars Magica's spell system.


It's coding, not "content", based on "hacking" the code (which is possible in Java kind languages only). And each mod immediatelly stops working after any update of the main game. I would rather go for open source (generally, Minecraft mods system is, well... probably the worst on this planet :D I think a better example would be mods for Civilization 4, which can be installed by anyone without studying pages of twisted instructions, but it's a strategy game (so it's easier since modders, they want to change units & rules) and they simply exposed scripting language, and have separate dlls for AI).


Anyway, it's my opinion of course, but I'm not believer of the "let the players code/invent the game themselves".  They are the players and they paid for the game *we* made :) Asking them for both their money and then ask to make like half of the game is kind of weird to me :D


Plus, a small thing, before they start providing content/coding the game needs to be popular (and therefore fun and complete). So, if we already reached the point when we got player's content/coding we don't need it anymore :) It's just a bonus then.

#5205327 Starting at Max Level

Posted by Acharis on 19 January 2015 - 10:48 AM

I don't recommend. There is a natural psychological need (especially for kids/teenagers) for "growth". Level up is so powerfull because it caters to that need.

#5205135 4X combat - the need for combined arms

Posted by Acharis on 18 January 2015 - 03:21 PM

The game is a 4X space empire, the combat is autoressolved (players are not manually moving units around during battle - althrough there might or might not be some "orders" given to units before combat (like what targets they should shoot first)).



The scenario is simple, two fleets, made of several various space ships, meet and a battle starts.


The question is, how to make a battle mechanic that promotes combined arms (I mean how to make boring strategies like "make 100 uber battleships only and annihilate everyone" inferior to "make 50 battleships and 200 small escort ships")?

#5203958 Will indies have ps1 throwback games?

Posted by Acharis on 13 January 2015 - 09:52 AM

Hopefully pixelfanatics will die a horrible death so we can get some enjoyable games, seriously. This religious belief that pixels somehow is the all to go to answer for everything is sickening. They don't even try to make the game look pleasurable, "But it's pixals! It's suppooooosed to lewk lajk dat y00! Retro maaaan!".
Judging from the down vote (you obviously got from one of those fanatics :)) there is a niche for pixel games and indeed some see it as religion. But I would not bet on blindly making your game pixel art (it not always work).


Overall, I agree that some people "But it's pixals! It's suppooooosed to lewk lajk dat y00! Retro maaaan!" are going for pixelart alone without any content or soul in the game (but again, it's not working in the end).


The key aspect here is money. You can make pixelart cheaply, so it's a critical factor for indies.


Another aspect is that people (and I'm not talking about pixelart fanatics, even on people I ask on the streets) are tired of AAA. No one (of course exceptions) desire AAA art anymore, sure they might like it or whatever but it's not a selling point anymore. I think people got used to it sooo much they see super graphics as standard, and kind of see "ugly minecraft blocks" as originality. Honestly, I secretly suspect they do not realize how hard is to make AAA art and they thing that since hardware can render it it's not an issue and that people who do stylized art (asciiart/voxels) don't do it because they can't do AAA but because they want to convey some artistic vision or something :)



A funny story from one of my games. I had no budget and I made sticky white/black people figures (I mean really uglish, I spend like 30 seconds per picture (including saving the file). Then I got real decent graphics and I replaced these. What happenbs? Some people were outraged and were saying "I'm destroying the game" :D

(I even sold some t-shirts with my original programmer art...)

The funny thing is, most people I was talking to was assuming I did my art because "I had artistic vision" (and frequently they added that "their 6 year old brother could draw it prettier", which I would not deny). I think the gfx got fans because I did it super ugly (but consistent, consistency it always critical for making people believe you did it on purpose), if I was trying to do it slightly better I think they would not find it appealing (I mean, if someone draw much worse than a small kid it can't be because of skills, right? It must mean it's art or vision or something like that :D)

#5203929 4X Game - Making sure players 'can't have it all'

Posted by Acharis on 13 January 2015 - 08:35 AM

And if anything, a "anything fit here" slot would probably have the opposite effect, and allow users to put even more weapons, foregoing things as critical as shields and sensors in the process to make these "kaboom" ships.
That's the key issue here. In *ALL* games with slots I have ever seen (OK, except Endless Space but it's a game far from standard) the player first go for all weapons they can fit and then fill the rest (slots where placing weapons is illegal) with some specialized modules.


I strongly feel it should be the other way round. Allow ANY number of weapons to be installed, without any limits at all. And make limited slots for special stuff. Make the special stuff more desirable than weapons of course.


I mean, you kind of approach it from the wrong side, starting with the assumption that 100% weapons ship is the best and thinking of a way to limit this strategy. It's not fixing the inherited flaw (weapons desirability). Instead weapons should be heavily nerfed and/or special modules should be significantly boosted.


Which can be done quite easily, make a module like "all weapons deal x2 damage" and then you won't see players putting only weapons ever again :)


One interesting you bring forward is, once again, the need for actual components/modules to be interesting and provide actual meaningful choice.
This also fixes the meaningful choice issue, since special modules are more interesting than weapons (which almost always could be reduced to utterly boring and trivial to compare "DPS" anyway).


Forget the weapons, these are standard and all just do damage and you can't think much fun/originial stuff here. Instead go for aux modules.

#5203893 4X Game - Making sure players 'can't have it all'

Posted by Acharis on 13 January 2015 - 06:08 AM

Drop "weapons slot" and make instead "anything fit here" slots.

If you make weapon slots players will always put there weapons... Not that they have a choice :) And of course they will put there the best weapon possible :)


But if they have aux/fit all slots (or at least slots that have more than one purpose) they could put "all weapons get +100% accuracy" module instead of yet one more "best weapon" (MOO2 did it best IMO, I frequently ended with tons of special modules and rather few weapons, beacuse I always wanted these modules more :)).

#5201181 Space rebelion mechanic

Posted by Acharis on 01 January 2015 - 04:03 PM

4x game in space, the player runs an Empire, there is a "rebelion event". I look for a mechanic for it (I especially look for balance).



My quick idea is:


* each planet has "empire/rebel" support stat, but it does not necessarily mean which planet will rebel. When a rebelion starts a center of rebelion is choosen (randomly one of the highest rebel support planets). Then each turn each planet has a chance to switch sides based on both rebel suppot and proximity of other rebel worlds (so, even highly rebelious world will not rebel is it's in the middle of your loyal empire, but even a loyal planet might rebel if it's next/surrounded by other rebel planets (note that a planet rebelling does not mean the "people there wanted it", it does not change the empire/rebel support values, it only  indicates who control the planet). Also, a loyal world can become rebelious if the rebel fleet invades it succesfully (in such case your loyal citizens there are kind of "rebels against rebels" and might do some guerilla job).

[note: it's a domino effect mechanic from Twillight Struggle if you played it]


* fleets are more problematic, one concept is each fleet has a commander/admiral that has a loyalty stat, which affects if it will rebel (but then what if all fleets rebel? it's kind of hard to balance...) Alternatively the imperial fleets always stay loyal (lame :D) and rebels get some free fleets (that they were producing secretly in order to start the rebelion) and they fight using these (it's easiest balance wise, but...)


#5200857 Name for an MMO (Browser) Game

Posted by Acharis on 30 December 2014 - 01:36 PM

You are still tormenting yourself with this? :D


nationsonline.com is taken


A practical tip, for a browser game thinking up a name is almost useless since it will be most likely already taken :) Instead I try various combinations of names on registrars (extremelly important: DO NOT DO IT ON GODADDY, they can and *WILL* register for themselves any sensible sounding domain name  you enter in their search box (and then sell at premium) which you do not buy for yourself immediatelly, it happened a few timers to me already)


Another tip: forget about finding any "normal" name for online republic clone, everyone and his dog were attempting to make these for years (depleting the pool of possible domain names), try to think outside the box (some weird combination, or something)