I like ludus's and swiftcoder's idea, the mechanic of physically shaking the peripheral be it a mouse, swiping on screen, accelerometer on a device or even motion captured video from a webcam. I would reconsider exploring a 3D dice and hand, using actual physics and rigid body dynamics could make for a cool experience. The click and hold of the peripheral of choice would loosely grab the dice, and the release would actually open the hand releasing the dice. You could even explore hand positions that alter the throw if you want. This connection to dice and the feeling of controlling the release of the dice is what fools people into thinking they have control over this almost entirely luck based type of gaming. I always thought this would make a killer AR app for a phone:) Happy to help animate just msg me.
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MratthewMember Since 20 Apr 2011
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Game Design, Character Animation and Nature
Posted by Mratthew on 26 November 2013 - 10:45 PM
Posted by Mratthew on 23 November 2013 - 12:36 AM
You could explore a finite money/score system.
Starting with a finite resource along side a regenerative resource and the ability to use up and/or destroy both. Making the finite resource a more effective resource but obviously limited in quantity and the regenerative resource (slow to regenerate but faster to extract) less effective for crafting goods. Create a population with a philosophy and market designed to encourage infinite growth at every turn (a kingdom where the control of the crown shifts between NPCs based money/score and popularity). To help encourage this infinite growth there could be "banks" where everyone loans money/score from with interest (making bank owners likely candidates for the crown). Obviously this money/score would be used to buy the things needed to then collect back enough money/score to pay back the loan, the interest and make a profit. Make the extraction of the resources destroy the surrounding area thus creating monsters that threaten anyone nearby, this makes jobs for warriors to protect NPCs that can't fight (but can pay good money to survive). To arm the warriors the people need to craft better weapons which require (you guessed it) more resources. Then let the player explore this sandbox of doom. Allowing them to get rich, trash the world along side the rest of the pre-programmed NPCs and watch as the NPCs desperately pay and give up anything and everything to survive as the world falls apart.
Of course maybe you don't want to make a sim game...
Posted by Mratthew on 05 November 2013 - 10:02 PM
Software like this could help to easily animate the 2D elements you paint. Certain post processing effects are used as well as particle systems to create the real polish but otherwise it's the grunt work of 2D animation. The 3D look is achieved with the overlapping layers moving with a slight offset. Like the weapon in the foreground of the example you posted. Its broken into 3 maybe even 4 parts in front of the character's hand. Using dark areas to separate the areas and offsetting the movement by a pixel or two. The blink is huge, past login characters haven't had it and it looks terrible. The more layers the more complicated the workflow as you attempt to give the character a sense of weight and natural movement but the better it will look. Subtle movements will look better since your movement is limited to hinge and chain movement. But exploring a variety of transform, scaling, skew and perspective alterations can allow for a bit more flexibility. Photoshop enables a transformation called warp that could enable a lot of the bending you see in the video. I look forward to see what you come up with.
The game that kind of popularized this style of animation in my opinion is Homeworld and Homeworld II cut scenes.
Posted by Mratthew on 03 November 2013 - 08:59 PM
Almost any/every creation we make, is seeking approval from peers, masters or whichever audience we respect. Keep in mind that mastering anything takes 10 000 hours. Given that game production is a multiple disciplined endeavor that's a lot of hours. Don't fret over one game. It'll get better the more you focus and hone your skills.
If you feel like you're hitting a wall in certain aspects of the process or feedback is indicating that one or a few parts of your finished project (by the way, way to go on finishing a project, there are very few of those:) are lacking in finishing touches. Use that feedback to create and use your post-mortem in the production of your next game. Seek help and work along side others with experience in the areas (I believe marketing was mentioned;) to help expand your own skills.
Posted by Mratthew on 02 November 2013 - 06:42 PM
I'm not sure what your project is, but chances are anything you need to know about achieving it with Blender is in one of these links. Hope this helps.
Posted by Mratthew on 28 October 2013 - 11:01 PM
This is along the same lines as what Mippy suggested for global scoring system. I would suggest giving a personal goal as well as team goals that coincide, that way a player is gaining points for themselves and by happenstance they are winning for their team. That way if they are losing it is a personal loss. I would suggest objective based play over plain team death match as well since it keeps players focused. It also gives narrative to a needless conflict and problem solving lasts longer then blood lust.
You can't control players but you can keep them busy and reward them for following the learning curve as well as make it less fun when a player is changing the rules. However the best way to keep these players playing is to anticipate the common "rule changing" situation and design game play around those possible outcomes.
For example, if someone decides they are going to change the rules(friendly fire, voted off the team, etc), change that character's color from red or blue to purple. Enemy of all, friend to no one, yet. The team that kills the purple player has that player respawn as their color with no friendly fire for X amount of time. This keeps the player's head in the game but requires them to reorient their perspective of how they play. Since the game becomes complicated (purple) then regimented (respawn with team). Add objectives to this and a player should be kept in the game even after they decide to screw around for a bit.
Just a theory.
Posted by Mratthew on 19 October 2013 - 07:34 PM
If someone makes a game they should have their facts straight.
Haha because this is something that breaks my immersion in a fictional game world, it's accuracy when considering social contract theory. I remember the last time I played a game and thought why is the governing body of this city letting me just kill this hooker and take this floating money and only sending one blood thirsty cop to drive me off the road and kill me?
Property, governing, power and the ruse of authority. Call it all what you will(monarchy, empire, corporations, government, civilization, etc) and feel free to complicate it as much as you like with modern law, but the fact is we're all slaves to the notion of ownership and fooled by the idea of power. It's all just socialization from childhood that helps to keep this broken thing we call civilization going with it's anti-economizing "economic system". When in reality any programmer worth their salt, willing and able could build a better resource tracking, accounting and allocation structure along side automated production and distribution systems better then any capitalism focused governing body, globalized market exchange economy could ever hope to match. Providing more goods and services more economically to everyone on this planet, educating more people, advancing technology faster and more efficiently and offering better health care all the while better sustaining this finite world and its fragile structure. Tangent rant complete! On to more important matters then saving the world from itself.
how exactly such mechanic should work
Depends on the scope of the game but you could limit the entire game to a single(throne) room or expand as much as to explore a sandbox across multiple kingdoms. Depending on how many visual assets you feel you can get done along side the code and their use in displaying the plight of the kingdom. I was thinking of something like Fable III combined with more social/choose your own adventure gameplay. NPCs(peasants, nobles, military, spies, etc) bringing the issues of the kingdom before the king, using a back end economic system that enables the player to exercise economic foresight and upkeep the kingdom. A conflict map to display the armies and known enemies of the kingdom and a council table to seek insight from "experts". Challenges could include the uprising of most if not all of the kingdom(uprising nobles), a foreign threat, a none human threat(monsters or pests), expanding the kingdom or any combination of those or other plights of a civil population. Win conditions could include military might, economic prowess(buying allegiance), emotional manipulation (kidnapping, torture, winning the heart, winning the mind, etc), death of a single powerful foe, death of an idea or again a combination of these or any other strategies to win and hold the hearts/minds of the populace. To boot mechanics to keep your character happy, healthy and to protect your legacy could be a nice addition as well.
Posted by Mratthew on 18 October 2013 - 12:34 AM
Instead of getting rid of map and units system, make it "in fiction". Almost every sovereign uses a table, map and pieces to represent generals/captains/etc. You could try playing out a kingdom game from the place a ruler used to do it. From his throne, council room and war room. The delegation of tax money and labor kept the nobles in line and in return they would offer knights and soldiers when the kingdom required it. The most intriguing part of all this would be in the use of spies and council meetings.
It's easy to assume this structure only applied in the medieval times but honestly current day capitalism enables a lot of the same imperial structure that existed then.
Posted by Mratthew on 09 October 2013 - 09:11 PM
I don't think rewarding a player for failing to achieve the game's primary goal (survival) makes a lot of sense. However changing the goal or the challenges is a great way to keep the player motivated and continue them on the learning curve of the game's language. This is especially useful if you can do it in fiction, like using alternate side missions when one mission is failed. As for multiplayer, I feel helping other players has to exist in the game's mechanics to be effective, frankly I find often players are too sensitive and have far too much ego on the line to simply listen to each other. The mechanics that guide a player through a single player adventure should be used in multiplayer to help players guide one another and teach one another the learning curve of the multiplayer game. RTS game ping system enables players to cooperate simply by informing and suggestion. Which is really the only way to get other players to do anything really.
I think multiplayer should have more cooperative and command elements. I've toyed with the idea of death match that evolves into team death match by having each kill add that victim to the killers "team" thus building combat groups that face off against one another until all units are united under a single player. I still haven't tested it but I like the idea that skilled players could be shadowed by newbs and perhaps even the skilled player could use tactical command controls to guide the new players into situations where they're able to achieve kills. Naturally each match would end (after unification is achieved) with a survival level of increasingly difficult AI enemies or titan enemies. Giving the group of players a chance to try and survive alongside one another.
Posted by Mratthew on 30 September 2013 - 11:25 PM
If your idea of wealth is only determined by currency then building an objective difference in wealth is quite simple but a person can be holding a briefcase of millions of dollars in the middle of the desert and his wealth has no value. That value is subjective. The arrows in your example may not have a range of quality but that doesn't mean the arrows would not have subjective value to different players based what those players need and what they can spend to achieve those arrows. Much like the person with briefcase, I bet after a day in the desert with nothing else they'd be happy to give up that entire briefcase for water. A player with lots of gold to spend and not enough arrows will spend the money to get arrows because they feel they need them.
Your inkling about societies seems to be pretty historically sound since nothing lasts forever (possibly energy, but black holes muddy that water, as far as my understanding of physics goes).
Value exist because people need things (or are made to think they need things). As for purchasing options, a wealthier nation simply needs more options to waste resources on to uphold its ruse of wealth. The true measure of wealth is subjective. Wealth is by definition the abundance of valuable resources or material possessions and as my example pointed out, money has no value unless someone else needs (or thinks they need) it.
When Africa was colonized its potential to increase it's quality of life along side other nations was lost to slavery, civil war and stagnating traditions causing cultural stagnation do to the lack of access to the necessities of life. When you're country is trying to join the global market, it's hard to win any ground when the wealth of your nation belongs to foreign interests. This is the fate of the middle east since its easy to buy a nation that can't afford to fight itself.
As for you're tangent. I'd like to see games that explore the fall of corporate empires as well. It'll be refreshing to join Star Citizen since it's story seems to be based during the decline of an empire.
Posted by Mratthew on 18 September 2013 - 09:42 PM
Scarcity of necessities (be they required or perceived) creates the pressure that brings conflict to any population. You could make the scarce resource popularity the units high school students and the game would work. The key is limiting the resource while still giving the player a chance to feel like they've built something out of it.
If your going to stick with just those three. I would suggest bringing a certain level of realism to the equation since many players think of warcraft right off the bat when they see these three. Here's a few ideas that might mix things up. Lets start with farms, creating farms on farmland should pollute the surrounding area limiting the amount of farmland a player can build (driving players to seek out more arable land) and no forest can ever grow there(more on this later).
When clearing a forest it should repopulate as long as the player doesn't kill the predators that stalk the edge of the forests. Although these animals kill wood cutters and nearby livestock they represent the expansion and succession of the forest (needed organic cycle for a forest to reproduce), if the player does kill these animals the forest should turn to swamp (slowing and even killing units that attempt to cross it) this swamp land could also release toxic clouds that drift across the map and kill indiscriminately, lastly halting any chance for the forest to return.
Lastly is gold. This could be extracted from a mine leaving an empty mine (boring), or you could replace gold with coins instead. Why coins you say? This could give you the opportunity to show off the flaw of economy. In order to build certain units/structures you would need coins which requires the player to build a bank, the resource of coins could be extracted from a bank at interest (this is important) creating an ever growing dept to the bank. The existing coins extracted would allow the player to create/upkeep units and infrastructure. The coins would then exist in the "private" sector where the well being of structures(armor) and soldiers(moral or speed) depends on their being gold to pay them on a on going bases, this means the extraction and sale of extra wood and food to pay the interest back and extract more coins. If the player doesn't have enough gold to upkeep structures and units their city is weak to siege and their soldiers lack in moral or will. What if you just keep asking for more coins and never pay the bank. Civil unrest, the city accuses you of greed and uprising starts. This can be kept at bay with the military but the player then has to fight the war on 2 fronts.
You don't need to use exactly these ideas but hopefully they still prove useful.
Posted by Mratthew on 05 September 2013 - 10:13 AM
I agree with wintertime, instead of incentiviseing "waiting to win", why not build a multipliers for playing more often and playing longer. For example if a unit in the game requires 3 hours to build. I would make either a resource bonuses or build time reduction for returning to the game before that 3 hours.
Or on the topic of the interest rates, instead of keeping a locked interest rate, make it variable interest. If a player, plays for an hour the interest rate maxes out (9.5%) and the more a player is inactive the more the interest rate drops (maybe half every hour of inactivity), that way your players will be encouraged to play more often earning a higher interest rate for playing more and playing more often. You could create interest rate boosters which the player could earn by completing challenges as well, that way players don't feel oppressed by having to log on every 45 mins just to keep their interest rate up. Try to challenge players at least once every time they log on.
Creating build time reductions can be done "in fiction" as well, saying that your factories are "inspired by your presents". This also encourages focused play, separating hardcore players from casual players.
I would only explore interest rates and other banking complications if you're going to build fun game play challenges around them. Banking isn't fun (at least I don't think it is). So if you're going to add banking elements make sure you have a reason to add it and not just to ensure you're player has resources, because their are always way more fun ways of gathering production resources then just waiting for them to accumulate (for example: salvaging ruins, recycling lesser units, completing exploration/gathering/combat/puzzle tasks, etc:)
By the way I like the back story, its a fun fiction and it does draw me in. My only suggestion would be to create a personal layer of story. To connect the player to a handful of individuals. It's challenging, but it separates good RTS from great ones.
Posted by Mratthew on 29 August 2013 - 11:19 PM
Limit the game's number of core resources, alloys and alchemy, tools, items (weapons, etc), craft locations and services. Make all items basic items (upon crafting all stats are default) and use missions and challenges to add additional stats to tradables (to make them rare and worth trading). Create a mission builder that allows players to request services in exchange for tradables. For example if a player needs an Ice Sword to slay a fire dragon a smith could trade a special sword to the player(that will become the ice sword) in exchange for completing a frozen blade quest where the player would gain a frozen dragon tooth tool for the smith to turn X amount of swords into ice swords. If the trade post system always has NPCs making offers on player's needs and posting needs as well then the economy won't become stale. The quality of the game will directly correlate to the number of meaningful missions you are able to get into the game. Most importantly is to keep a paper rock scissors structure otherwise you will get trapped by linear leveling and players will quickly find the "end of the game". For example, paper that has all the possible stacked stats the game has to offer should at best draw against scissors but never win against it otherwise player's won't have a reason to go looking for scissors and the economy will go stale.
I would create 3 levels of services. Tactical services (engage target, access location, access item), Operational services (engage team, protect character, produce item) and Strategic services (engage dungeon, protect characters, produce items). The different levels of services enable higher level tradables to align with higher level services.
Let me know if this idea makes sense. It's inspired by the new Star Citizen game in production and its economy structure.
Posted by Mratthew on 11 August 2013 - 12:34 AM
Can I suggest creating an item specific actions (equipped weapons means attack controls, equipped shield means block controls). M1 and M2 could correspond with left and right hands of the character.
Brink used a very intuitive system for evasive maneuvering. If you added attack controls to a system like that, I imagine it could be a lot of fun.
You might try a toggled movement system as well (Double tap W key to toggle moving forward). The reason for this is the ability to look in a separate direction from the direction you are moving (really useful for using melee weapons) and could make a targeting system really interesting.