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Member Since 20 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Oct 25 2015 10:42 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Is there any space left for games about zombies?

25 October 2015 - 10:45 PM

I voted yes and no. I don't think zombies are any less relevant a game genre, it's the experiences had with them that are getting old and the characters that are surviving that mean less and less to the audiences. Don't explore zombie stories unless you've got a great monster story that is worth telling. The common thread for every monster story is the relevance to current events the common views of the audience and of course fears of the masses. It's been polled that the greatest fear most north Americans have is the corruption of authoritarian organizations like governments. Zombies are the most meaningful monster in this day in age because they represents our lack of trust in the communities that surround us. They are the mindless masses that devour free will and steal the soul from an individual and turn them into, just another zombie. We're afraid of that because life often feels that way. 


As for the gameplay you mentioned, it all came off a bit general. Nothing really caught my eye. You mentioned it's 3rd person. How come? Is the control setup unique in some way or are you planning on bringing something new to the character design that makes the 3rd person view meaningful. When resident evil did it they used complex controls and slower character animation to build suspense. You could use this and explore a character evolving from bumbling, terrified zombie chow into a militia Zed-killing expert with a scaling skill system in the background. Many characters are quite flat in most zombie games, where the writing changes (maybe) but the player's skill defines the character's skill making replay lack suspense. If the character's animation actually helped describe the character and evolved as the player survived encounters and the characters actually bore the experience of surviving this horror it could be refreshing. To make this less linear you could have encounters that you fail but don't die, where another character saves you and you don't earn any experience from the encounter but grow a connection with the character that saved you, etc.


As for story bits, something you could try is moments where the player is about to die, you could flash back to moments that show the character learning skills from a mentor like martial arts as a kid or firing a handgun with an uncle, etc. These playable moments would test the players skills in the moment and if they succeed they're returned to the main timeline with all the zombies in that area cleared. (hope that made sense) Failure is obviously up to you how you handle it.


My last suggestion, don't focus so heavily on the weaponry. There is a lot of this out there and it takes players out of the "monster moment" that I feel you be focused on trying to create. I would have a "go to" weapon your character prefers, a few throw away alternatives and some fun mods the character can get creative with in the mid and late game but I wouldn't over do it. 


Remember to prototype it to undeath

In Topic: New take on Conversation in Video Games

23 August 2015 - 12:49 AM

This takes you away from a dialogue system per say but I've been playing with the idea of an icon based language. Many RTS use icons for most everything anyways so much of the character interaction with NPCs could use emotes to express feelings and icons to indicate things, actions, places, people, etc.


I thought a basic short term, long term (based on repetition of short term) and recall memory (recalled by other characters) could allow AI to apply emotes to events and actions of other characters or the player character. The way to weed out minor events is influence. A character's influence is based on their connection to other characters earned through socialization (with individuals), success in combat and interaction with scripted events. Connecting to characters with higher influence works like a shortcut to earn fast influence with those already connected to the higher influence character. Scripted events can help connect the player character to many NPCs all at once as they watch or hear about the event. The key to make this viable is creating a system for characters to forget. The recall memory would allow a character to be reminded of some events returning it to short term but with all the old data of the amount of times it was communicated about. Keeping short term memory reduced to a certain size with influence of events and long term is a limited collection of repeated short term events could keep every character's memory to a manageable size. Hope this makes sense. 

In Topic: survival-strategy game win conditions

12 July 2015 - 10:50 PM

Some good suggestions, a couple others


- alignment with nature and finding a balance in its habitat as either a predator or prey finding the dynamic equilibrium with the surrounding renewable resources

- unification, with a classic strategy structure, using economy, diplomacy and might to bring all species together 

- historical realization of common ancestry, with a focus on exploration, puzzles, clues and resourceful combat

- proving the existence of a higher power that names their species worthy to the other species

- uncovering a common enemy

In Topic: 2d game - aerial view or view from angle

04 June 2015 - 10:39 PM

I attach the fidelity of graphics directly to gameplay pacing, if your prototype is fast paced more focused on pixel perfect twitch timing gameplay, you can get away with less fidelity from your graphics however if you've got a slower paced experience, you're relying more on emotional immersion, more ambiance from you sounds and music you will need to use higher fidelity graphics to create clearer visual cues. The more time your player has to think about the game the more strategic their mind becomes seeking for clues in everything they see to better succeed. The more clues you give them to find in your game art, the more interesting the game. Never add art to a game that isn't attached to gameplay even in an ambient manor. It removes immersion as the players brain works to attach the art to the experience. 

In Topic: An unsual idea for a casual MMORTS

03 June 2015 - 06:56 PM

If you want to bring a fun spin to the resource collection, try bringing environmental destabilization to the table in an epic way. Its a full planet, so the looming threat of over extraction of resources makes (for an end game and makes) the end game more dangerous. First you could add predators that emerge from sectors of extracted resources puting your operation at risk. Then as more and more resources are removed a world could become unstable and a player's (possibly?) persistent "score" of resources could be at risk if they don't leave the sector in time at which point the world could end. To increase the risk reward you could make it easier to extract more resources near the end of a world. An end game can also allow you to better cap the number of players in a server since a worlds resources could act as a indicator for a cut off on letting new players join. This enables a bit of progression as well since new players could start with small worlds (shorter matches) and higher level players could choose to enjoy bigger worlds (longer matches, more players) with more resource extraction potential. 


I've been pondering a casual world based MMORTS as well. Spherical maps are a great way to explore strategy on a wider scale with no edge of the map strategies. 


Want to get rid of players dropping from matches because they're getting "owned"? Give players the option of surrendering to another player, a surrendering player becomes a military subordinate to the player that they surrender to, allowing them to continue with less losses but sharing a % of any resources they gather with the player that they surrendered to. This could allow a commanding player to issue objectives to other players that have surrendered to them and offer units, research, resource bonuses, etc as incentive for carrying out their commands. That way a newb doesn't need to always be matched with other newbs and can learn higher strategy from better players instead of just leaving a match because they keep losing.