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ShawnCowles

Member Since 20 Feb 2011
Offline Last Active Oct 11 2012 09:02 AM

Topics I've Started

Hypothetical Idea, a peer to peer online game.

17 August 2012 - 04:04 PM

So, I just had an interesting idea. Completely unrelated to my current project but I thought I'd share it in case it was of benefit to someone else. The idea is a game where each player has their own section of the "world" that is theirs alone. They can add friends who can visit this area, or travel to random areas that may or may not have other players.

I framed an implementation as Space Minecraft, which the player can build stuff in space as well as build their own spacecraft in the familiar minecraft way. Each player has their own "zone" of space which is filled with asteroids that they can disassemble and use for construction. They can make friends and travel to their zones for visiting or whatnot. An guild could even could set up a zone as a space port for their members.

Griefing is prevented by only letting players travel to zones that they have been given permission to travel to.

Players who need more raw materials could travel to a random zone for harvesting, which may or may not have other players in them. PvP would be a logical consequence of this.

The server for each zone would be the computer belonging to the zone's owner (random zones would be served by the developer), which should drastically reduce maintenance costs.

Furthermore, players could play offline without the ability to have friends visit or to visit friends. Likewise the random zones they traveled to would not have anyone else occupying them, and would probably have reduced resources as well. (to reward players for chancing PvP online).

Might be tricky to implement, but I think it could pay off in lower costs for running the game.
I supposed you could kind of view this as a peer-to-peer mmo.

Making Newtonian Spaceflight Accessable

08 March 2012 - 08:52 AM

There's an idea that's been floating around my head, one that I really hope to be able to do one day (but it's far beyond my present experience and abilities). I short it's a Newtonian space trading game with large scale ships. If you imagine Star Trek Online's space combat and ship scale cross-bred with Freelancer's open gameplay you won't be too far off.

I'm from a rather physics heavy background and as such I'm a big fan of Newtonian spaceflight. The problem, of course, is that most people don't have such a background. The learning curve for such a system of flight can be rather steep, making games that utilize it not very accessible to the layperson.

The solution I came up with is to have the AI do the driving (with the player optionally taking direct control). That's fine if you're flying from place to place, but it doesn't work so well in combat. A thought just popped into my head to address that shortfall.

Often in Star Trek the captain will order a particular evasive or attack pattern. ("Attack Pattern Delta Two" or such). Similarly a row of buttons could be added to the UI (next to the buttons to fire weapons and use abilities) that would trigger preset maneuvers. When these are activated the AI would take control of ship navigation and move it according to the pattern.

Some Examples:
Attack Pattern Omega - Keep the ship pointed at the enemy and keep close.
Attack Pattern Alpha - Keep distance from the enemy and fly evasively.
Evasive Pattern Alpha - Run directly away from the enemy.
Evasive Pattern Beta - A zig-zag run from enemy.

The player would have the option for direct control, of course. But the attack patterns would let the player focus on using abilities and targeting weapons.

Sphere of Destruction or Unstoppable Monster

15 October 2011 - 06:37 AM

My brother and I were having a discussion the other day, and I'd like to see what you all think of it.

In this scenario there is an unstoppable evil trapped underneath the world, and a bunch of cultists are trying to free it. If the players don't stop the cultists in time the evil will be released and the world is going to be destroyed.

In the instance that the players fail, what would be the most effective (from a psychological standpoint) way to do it?

I proposed a giant monster, able to destroy buildings at a touch, with almost limitless hit points. I think this would be the most effective because (as it is a creature) you might think that you have a chance of killing it and saving the world. As you attack it however you realize that your most powerful spells, weapons, etc do absolutely nothing to the creature as it smashes cities and fortresses. The fact that you thought you had a chance, but are totally ineffective I think would add an element of failure to hopelessness.

My brother proposed a sphere of destruction that slowly expands unstoppable destroying anything it touches. The players realize there is nothing they can do about it from the start.


I prefer the monster (if you couldn't tell), but I'm interested in seeing what other people think. Keep in mind, however, that when this thing is released the world is over. It took all of the power of a god just to contain the thing. Admittedly it emerges somewhat weak, but it should still be an unstoppable force of destruction.

Storing 8+ GB of data in 64,000 pieces.

04 October 2011 - 06:04 AM

I'm developing a world generator targeted at a minecraft server. Unlike the normal server, however, mine does all of the world generation up front in order to do some more sophisticated simulation work.

The smallish test worlds I'm generating are bout 17 km sq and take up roughly 4 gb of space. I'm currently saving each chunk (of roughly 64,000) as a separate file on the hard-disk, with a cache set up to minimize file IO by keeping the most used chunks in memory.

The question I have is: would a database be better? I don't know much about databases, so I'm not sure if storing the chunk data there would be better. This server isn't going to be nearly as lightweight as the standard minecraft server, so having a large database engine as part of the system is acceptable.

Thoughts? Need more information?

Smart MMO AI

27 August 2011 - 05:43 AM

I was pondering artificial intelligence the other day and I got to thinking about MMOs. I've only really played WoW, with maybe a few hours of guild wars, and as far as I can recall even in dungions/raids mobs just stand there until a player catches their attention. It's all very static and boring.

The hypothetical idea is thus: add a strategic "master" AI for an entire zone or dungeon. This master would control the moments of squads of normal mobs in order to achieve some objective. (AI within the squads would be more or less the same, so the standard tank tactics would still work) This sort of strategic oversight by the master would keep things dynamic and interesting for the players, requiring cooperation on their side as well.

Has this been done before? Is there some flaw I'm missing that would ruin it?

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