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Mratthew

Member Since 20 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 07:06 PM
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#5168037 Respect for the player. Forgetting violence fetishism. Exploration. Notgame?

Posted by Mratthew on 20 July 2014 - 05:29 PM

I'm pretty fond of the idea of playing with physics. I feel like so many games touch on physics or play at implementing physics however orbital physics is a true challenge to fly and use. Even just exploring the use of orbital mechanics to sling shot or decelerate from extreme speeds on the approach to a solar system could be pretty exciting. What types of thrust and ways of moving through space and time have you been thinking of exploring? 

 

The super complicated thrust based control system of Star Citizen is very impressive though I think it's a bit of an engineers wet dream more so then a players. Since for the player all it really means is figuring out the limitations it presents. I'm not sure what types of controls your game would present to the player to navigate the universe but I would seriously mull over the ways the player could/would do this as this represents the way your player connects with your presentation and is the way the player expresses and communicates their feelings about the experience which can even be deciding factor on the directions the game takes as you prototype the project. 




#5167967 Respect for the player. Forgetting violence fetishism. Exploration. Notgame?

Posted by Mratthew on 20 July 2014 - 11:15 AM

Unlike you're design this project stills adheres to a lot of the basics found in other games, many of your ideas remind me of the game No Man's Sky currently in production by Hello Games. If you haven't seen it already you should take a look at that project and consider how you want to differ from that ambitious project. I'd imagine sharing your game related influences and explaining how you want your project to stand out would help get more pointed feedback.

 

I'm personally curious. What is the player's character? Can you describe this organic entity?

 

I'm not entirely sure what the player is challenged with in your game design. However I'd like to point out that, its simple to assume combat games are just "warporn" it's important to note the challenge of achieving victory in combat has a goal that reaches beyond combat and deals with conflict at its core. Sun Tsu the Art of War describes the ideal strategy as "taking whole" or the idea of reaching victory beyond combat by knowing victory over conflict itself instead of just knowing victory over your "enemy". Although it's hard to see this in most combat games, it exists in all of them. We learn a lot about a person by "fighting" them. In a game that doesn't explicitly explore war directly, you might think you are somehow above it. But conflict is what makes our universe interesting to explore and is at the heart of any challenge and even puzzle. If the player has control over any physical matter in the game, they will be exploring conflict in an attempt to "leave their mark". To respect humans as emotional is to respect our "lower brain" or the more conflict prone part of our brain that evolved earliest. That part of our brain will do anything to survive. Be sure to consider that in your design.

 

Respect players by knowing that they game to meet challenge safely but still crave the raw intensity of it feeling dangerous.




#5166588 Closing the loop: player death in a schmup?

Posted by Mratthew on 13 July 2014 - 10:14 AM

Instead of creating a linear level design, why not build a dynamic AI to mix up the episodes a bit. Use perma death as a method of making the level design more dynamic. When the PC dies, the player starts the level again with enemies rearranged, treating the location of the death as a boss location. When the player beats the boss they "rescue" the other pilot (where they last died) keeping their "squadron" alive. This would essentially be an in-fiction numbered lives system. You could explore branching paths as well, enabling the player to choose a different path to earn special weapons to fight the bosses. 

 

Perma death could mean the player gets a stronger connection to the characters that make up the squadron and make "death" one of the episodes dynamic challenges which means players won't just role back to old saves when they "fail". 




#5164950 Combos for shooters

Posted by Mratthew on 05 July 2014 - 05:05 PM

Bulletstorm scores players based on "creative kills". I've never played it so I can't say much for it, but that's an example of one if that's what you had in mind. What did you have in mind for combos? 




#5164061 How to make ww2 naval combat fun?

Posted by Mratthew on 01 July 2014 - 10:22 AM

PT boats, used in both WWI and WWII. Deadly little blighters. WWII hull was a racing boat design or planning-hull to move in fast do big damage to large vessels and bug out. The wiki has some interesting info about this type of ship. 

 

Queued way-point navigation mixed with on the fly steering and speed control to make evasive maneuvers could build a bit of complexity to the navigation.




#5163987 How to make ww2 naval combat fun?

Posted by Mratthew on 30 June 2014 - 10:51 PM

I'm with Penguin, not many boat games capture the true mistress of navel combat. The sea! Tides, weather, depth, waves. Push those little boats around a bit and let mother nature be the dice in the game. The navigation should be a challenge on its own. I can honestly say I don't know a lot about the topic of navigation at sea and learning more, bit by bit about the nuances through gameplay would be fun.

 

Adding skilled play in general beyond the shooting is important I think.  Creating skilled reloading of weaponry (timed event, rhythm based, etc). I watched the terrible movie Battleship recently. I must say exploring the different sized vessels and weaponry made the movie more interesting from a "naval tactics" perspective. 

 

Consider the chain of commander, have the player following the orders of a commodore and give that commander some character. Giving the player the sense that they are winning in the eyes of a mentor, beating the odds against authority, finding the third option, etc are all decent narratives for the player to feel like their actions have purpose. The other way to go with this is scoring and points.

 

Lastly I would consider giving the enemy some character through the AI and audio. Grabbing some authentic Japanese radio transmissions would be incredibly immersing. 




#5163981 How to greatly reduce fleet micromanagement?

Posted by Mratthew on 30 June 2014 - 10:20 PM

Servent, one good example of this is the new Planetary Annihilation. The player can double click any structure(like mass selecting units) to select all alike structures (SCII does this as well if I'm not mistaken). Once the player has mass selected the production structures they can then not only select a group rally but create queued rally location and/or patrol areas for all units produced to move or attack-move to. Its a great system in real time and I can only imagine it would be useful for turn based as well.

 

As for unit speed, I've always thought it would be interesting to have variable control of unit speed using the mouse wheel (or something of the sort). It would be interesting to be able to push ships beyond their engines capability at the risk of a meltdown. The variable control of the mouse wheel could be case sensitive as well. Cursor over friendly ship to adjust shields, cursor over enemies to adjust power to weapons, group select and micro a squad of starfighters to "set shields double front" or "go in full throttle this time, that should help keep those fighters off our back", etc.




#5163364 How to greatly reduce fleet micromanagement?

Posted by Mratthew on 27 June 2014 - 09:49 PM

To simplify fleet management, maybe explore commanders and rank. When a flotilla wins a skirmish the surviving captains earn rank for the victory, these commanding officers return to a shipyard to find the shiny new ships you've commissioned and dock their corvettes and supporting detail. Your own rank increases from commander to rear admiral and you now have squadron at your command and all your commanders now have task elements of their own to command. The increase in rank allow the player to feel connected to characters instead of just unit types or formation types. As you move up in rank you are tasked with logistical consideration of not only what to build and where to put it but also, who should command it. This simplifies fleet management since the player is always only really in command of a dozen or so individual units, however as rank increases that dozen change from single role ships to outfitted fleets of their own. Players can select a commander and micro manage their units/formations or simply put that commander in the right place at the right time with the knowledge that they know how to handle their own units. Hope that made sense.




#5162908 Making a weapon feel powerful.

Posted by Mratthew on 25 June 2014 - 09:31 PM


Okay. Now I'm pissed. Why do people assume every game with guns is automatically another fucking CoD clone? I'm really sick of this shit. Just because this game has guns does NOT mean it's another copy+paste ludicrously unrealistic, proudly jingoistic, blatantly racist hallway simulator with NO self-awareness for violent, paranoid, right-wing shut-ins with no capacity for higher reasoning. QUIT making that assumption. This is NOT a "modern shooter". This is a SURVIVAL game. I have SAID THIS already. I will NOT say it again.

 

I may have misjudged of the technical term for your game's genre, but at no point did I call it a Cod clone. I think its fine to have an opinion of a genre, but honestly you're being rude to other developers (that are here to help you out). I wasn't trying to upset you with this post, I honestly thought with the level of experience you have about weaponry it made sense for you to focus on a game where simulating weaponry is the focus, that's generally a modern shooter, no judgement of the genre either way. 

 

Given the survival genre of the game, you could explore giving the weapon a less weathered look then the other weapons. Where most the weapons (assuming they're found among the ruin of a post tragic event) would have signs of wear and might not fire as clean or true (bent ironsites, etc), this weapon could be less worn(believably) and fire just the way the player would expect it to. Or to be brief, you could believably gimp other weapons in the interest of this weapons focus. Good luck with the survival game.




#5162185 Making a weapon feel powerful.

Posted by Mratthew on 22 June 2014 - 06:16 PM

I guess there is no need to argue if it "doesn't fit the game design" or the "realism" your trying to recreate. But the reason for my non-sequitor is to push the point that the best way to show off the power of a ranged weapon is to show off the results of it's power.

 

Seems like all you have left is post effects. Blurring, fuzz the HUD, play with Z depth, etc. Given that you're using a ranged weapon you could look at the particles on the enemy as well, exploring the "pink mist" if you will. Best of luck with your modern shooter.




#5162158 Making a weapon feel powerful.

Posted by Mratthew on 22 June 2014 - 01:38 PM

I'm not coming from weapons firing experience, I'm coming from gaming and game design experience. Weapons that have a metallic sound in the games I've played sound heavier to me, as if the mechanism to move the ammo can be heard over the explosion it makes the gun seem just as powerful as the shot it fires and the added bass allows the player to feel the shot as much as hear it. The other way to go is the way of sounding like close by thunder for more energy based weapons. 

 

As far as stun lock, the trick would be to blend movement with the hit animation (based on where the shot lands of course) then follow up with AI for the unit to find cover using a damaged state movement (like a desperate dash or a lifeless dive for cover). Its important that the timing between shots and the movement for a character to evade is well spaced to ensure pacing. If the weapon is meant to feel strong, then characters and environment should react appropriately to the weapons power. The numbers offered above seem useful if those are the animations you want to use. I've always hated the flinch animation most games use when characters get shot. When I unload a light automatic into an enemy and it does two or three flinch animations then a death animation, it drives me bonkers. I like to see characters(who still have an intact brain) think about the damage I just did to them and move appropriately to the pain and suffering I've cause by using such a sloppy weapon. Seems like every enemy in every game out there is morphed up and tweaking on adrenaline, its boring. I want to see the effects of my weapons and the only time I don't want to see it is when I've hit the mark. If I've done my job, the enemy crumples. 

 

With particle work, all that matters is that the player thinks it looks right. This will all depend on the weapons design. A couple games that really sell the "feel" of powerful weapons are Gears of War(obviously) and Warhammer Space Marine IMO. As for heat warble, smoke and the likes, each gun should be just as much a character in the game as the NPCs and enemies the player faces. Think about each gun and its history, give it meaningful interesting and useful quirks, even with the most standard weapons, it'll be worth it.

 

As for knockback it depends on what the weapon's ammo(type) is doing against the type of surface its hitting. Obviously penetration is only going to create knockback if the character becomes mindful of the shot, possibly falling back after realizing they are beaten. But a few successive rifle shots against an armored target should push them back (especially if the shots are high). Even grazes and shots that connect with the shoulders should cause characters to reel back to A)create a smaller silhouette to land a second shot on and B)to inform the player of where the shot landed. This is all just visual feedback. The character could flash red if you want but in the end the player needs to know they've connected their shot with the target and a knockback allows the pacing to change. As the player checks whether the shot has finished the job. 

 

Key word in video games in my opinion is video. Successive images to depict movement. The more you explore movement and its meaning in your game the more you're exploring the element that separates video games from any other number crunching card, board, dice games, etc. 




#5162001 Making a weapon feel powerful.

Posted by Mratthew on 21 June 2014 - 10:05 PM

Firing animation, sound fx, particals and enemy reaction animation to that weapons ammo type.

 

The firing animation should show the gun has kick without giving the player much actual recoil even shaking the camera, the sound should be metallic with decent bass, the particles should clearly indicate the weapon is effected by firing (smoke, heat warble, muzzle flash, etc) and the weapons ammo type (which can apply to other weapons obviously) should trigger either good knock-back, penetration, gore, etc on the enemy units. 

 

I would prioritize enemy reaction animation, as its not as broad in scope in most games and was IMO what made old games like Golden Eye for N64 stand out and still does in modern games today. Its one thing to kill the enemy, but its good to have feedback for grazes, minor wounds, armor hits, debilitating hits, and major wounds to let the player know they missed the mark. 




#5161190 Brainstorm

Posted by Mratthew on 17 June 2014 - 06:54 PM

I commute a lot so I like to change the radio to any station that's playing music and when a song starts I build a game to match the music. Often songs I haven't heard of are easier to build ideas on, its the top 40 and classics that I have a harder time with. When I'm done driving I usually jot down notes and the song and listen to it later to further the brainstorming.




#5160550 Ideas to make dialogue fun/engaging

Posted by Mratthew on 14 June 2014 - 02:30 PM

Chris Roberts has an interesting new design idea in his dialogue system for the up coming Star Citizen, using a simplistic dialogue tree system but using the webcam to drive the character's facial rig, using physical cues to alter the NPC's response and interaction with you. This obviously is insanely complex. But it brings to mind how much of the dialogue systems are static. Body language, posture, expressive or reserved behavior could all be explored and instead of a turn based dialogue tree players could experience a dynamic real time tree where the player chooses a frame of reference(topic and opinion), then has control of only the characters movements as mentioned above as the conversation plays out. 




#5154461 How to make moving units on this map?

Posted by Mratthew on 18 May 2014 - 12:14 PM

From a tangible side of things (depending on peripherals of course), a click and drag with snap to locations (cities, towns, areas of interest) as well as moving to open ground (to stage units) could work. This could carry over to touch screen using the zoom in gesture (putting one finger on the unit, sliding the other finger to the desired location). By choosing this gesture you can also explore a variety of LODs of your map, when you select your unit and give it a location to move to the map could zoom into a new LOD with the view zoomed in on the unit, their destination, the route (roads, railroad, powerlines, etc) they are taking and perhaps with ETA (#of turns if its turned based, seconds if its real time). The damage the rebels do is important, since its stopping these actions that necetates the player to move units so deciding on threats and levels of threats will bring other moving mechanics to the forefront of your design. 






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