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Member Since 05 Oct 2010
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 02:00 PM

#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)

#5200560 Isometric visibility problem

Posted by Acharis on 29 December 2014 - 09:22 AM

Alternatively you could try top-down view. Visibility works great there.


(google for "roguelike development" then "raytracing" to get a simple algorithm)

#5200434 Isometric visibility problem

Posted by Acharis on 28 December 2014 - 11:03 AM

I'm trying to make the view isometric because if I switch to FPS camera there will be a new COD/Battlefield/etc... I want to make the game a bit more unique...
That's not true... There is still a lot of potential for uniqueness in FPS. Let's take a look at Half-Life for example. It's great and unique and everyone wait for HL3 (even me, and I don't play FPSs in general).


I'm not saying that you should/shouldn't/can/can't so it isometric/FP, but not for this reason. Making it isometric will not make it unique, making it FP will not make it a clone. It simply isn't about this.

#5199282 An Inexperienced Guy with Concepts for a JRPG (much more to be added)

Posted by Acharis on 20 December 2014 - 12:36 PM

If you are making a jRPG I recommend RPG Maker. I used to play with it and it's an awesome tool (really, and I'm talking about a version from late 90s). And since jRPGs are mostly about story it should be sufficient.


Also, even if you don't plan to use RPG maker I stil recommend checking it, you will learn tricks that will let you code a game like that more efficient.

#5198345 AI in 4X

Posted by Acharis on 15 December 2014 - 10:23 AM

In this topic I will be talking how the current AI in 4X games sux and how I can make a better one even through I never did AI before :) Please, please join the discussion, find the weak points and overall let's find out if this makes sense.



Typically in 4X there is a "grand master algorithm that evaluates the situation from scratch each turn". Like there are fleets and the AI each turn decides where to move these... Well, it sux (anyone who played 4X knows the AI is not very smart and can be abused by a player quite easly). In short, it does not work, plus it's not realistic (it's not how a real empire works - with one overmind on the top decising about everything).



My plan is like that: Instead of a single master AI based on an algorithm, make several hierarchical independent AIs based on memory and simple algorithms. It will also need persistent memory (so the AI can "remember" things from turn to turn).

Something like this:

- first the game runs a very simple simulation and makes a "grand plan", like each race decides before the game starts what their goals will be, based on this they will put "claims score" on various systems (based on proximity of the homeworld mostly)

- there is a civilian AI, it gives "desire score" to all systems (based on proximity (claim), resources presence/need, political consideration (if a system is owned by a friendly race it will get lower desire score)

- then a strategic military AI puts strategic orders (conquer/defend and a priority) on systems (based on the civilian AI desire score and military factors), in case there is not

- then an operational military AI puts operational orders (where to move what forces from where), based on the strategic orders. In case it faces problems (like not enough forces to do what they ask for) it might send a request to strategic AI to "be less greedy" then the strategic AI takes over and might reevaluate or not, then it goes back to the operational AI (which is not allowed to make more requests and do what it was told :D)

- then comes a tactical military AI, it decides only when to attack and when to retreat, based on operational orders


Note that each of these AIs can send feedback to the higher level in the hierarchy saying "I'm too weak to do it" or "it makes no sense", if a lot of these requests are propagated to the top civilian AI it might decide to go for "make peace with the enemy" or even "surrender". These requests going up are purely a notification and if the higher level AI does not change the mind the lower AI will obey and do what it can.


Once all of these AIs made their decisions (they simply put invisible "markers with priority" on the map (visible to the developer for easier debugging of course :)) it's ressolved. First units are moved around based on operational orders, then attacks/withdrawals are made based on tactical orders.




Note: if you are interested in a non traditional AIs topic check how "AI Wars" did it, it's probably the first and only one so far that broke from the traditional algorithm approach.

#5196934 Game that takes place in real life, allows firing at other players from all o...

Posted by Acharis on 08 December 2014 - 06:12 AM

Note that ideas is really overused. It pops up here (and everwhere else) on regular basis. It will be hard to compete with such high number of competitors...


Anyway, I would start by checking how existing games of this genre work and what flaws they have. At least the most p[opulat ones "everyone plays".

(unfortunatelly I'm not into these so I have a vague idea what are major games of this kind, just heard about these a lot from various random people - mostly non gamers, seems to be an extremelly casual market)

#5196867 Space terrorists (not exactly)

Posted by Acharis on 07 December 2014 - 04:24 PM

Hmmm, maybe let's forget about the "terrorists" parts for now. And think about some group inside the empire that opposes the Emperor.


What would they want? How they are named? Who supports them and why?


This may be an idiot question, but what is your Emperor like? Is his character shaped by the player? Just wondering.
No... The Emperor is not represented and is most likely not a character at all, it's just the player. Like in basicly all strategies (civilization, all 4X, etc).


In short the emperor IS YOU :) So obviously he/she is the most smart, competent and up to the job person that was even born in the whole universe :)

(how glad I am I can count on natural player's megalomania here, no player will question how marvelous and natural born leader the Emperor is :))

#5196865 Name for an MMO (Browser) Game

Posted by Acharis on 07 December 2014 - 04:16 PM

Of course you can reach the same goal with different theme! I did exactly the same thing with Europe1300. Players do go there driven by nationalism/patriotism (it's just some countries (non europen) are not present, yet Spanish players from Brasil for example go to Navarre/Castille/Aragon, so it's not that bad). You could go for Victorian era, alternative history (still can use ALL real countries here!)


Or at least make some other uniqueness there like PixelRepublic (modern times like all the other games, BUT all graphics/avatars are pixelated cute minecraftish/voxelatish peoplez).


Anyway, I strongly suggest to start with what is unique in the game and then select a name that represents it best.

#5195897 Name for an MMO (Browser) Game

Posted by Acharis on 02 December 2014 - 11:07 AM

Note: The original was "Online Republic" (and some guys cloned it, greatly improving it of course, and that's where they got the eRepublic name) :D


You are looking at it from the wrong angle, I mean, why do you want to associate your game's name with the existing ones? Take a step back to Game Design and think what is the unique part of your game that will differentiate it from the others? Why it is better (might be in subjective way only) than the others?


For example I named my game of this subgenre Europe1300 and moved it to historical setting :) It's obviously superior to eRepublic and others because I have knights and they don't :) And, while it might be not true in absolute sense, a lot of players (history freaks and medieval times freaks) agree it's superior.


Do you really need this theme/period? Maybe go for future? Like "Shadowrun Republic" (if you have the licence, but it might be acquireable) or "Mars Republic" or "Alpha Centauri Republic".

I have doubts (marketing wise) that yet another online republic clone set in modern times could get any attention (or course it might, who knows).