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Mratthew

Member Since 20 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 23 2014 09:01 PM

#5066902 Strategy Game - Unit Damage

Posted by Mratthew on 02 June 2013 - 11:02 AM

I think if you're going to have a range of damage it should represent a few types of damage and not just the luck but the visually obvious variables that alter "luck" the types of damage could be: hit, graze, puncture, armor impact, knock-back and miss. The range of damage could represent each of these and use visual indication of each type of damage. As the character attacks, the attack could also show off the type of damage its going to do. The miss could have the attacker turn his head and blindly attack while the puncture attack would clearly represent a slow controlled attack with thoughtful intent with each one in between having a clear indication of what is going to occur. As for the damage types  0-5 damage could be 0 miss (distract), 1 armor impact (weakens armor maybe), 2 graze (slow for X time), 3 knock-back, 4 hit and 5 could puncture (possibly hitting another enemy). If you aren't going to take the time to make the range of damage visible and meaningful to the gameplay then just do fixed damage. 




#5062801 Controller Interface Questions

Posted by Mratthew on 18 May 2013 - 08:54 AM

1. Make movement a toggle. That way the player can set a vector for their character then look around while moving forward (or backwards?), moving the upper body and head. If its gamepad controls you could double tap D-pad controls or press in the joystick button once you've set a forward speed. The character can easily re-orient by looking the direction they want to move and resetting the forward movement toggle.

 

2. Use one key for both but make it look and context sensitive. If the player looks down and hits (Y like you suggested) button the character ducks, if they're running the character dives forward. If the character looks at a ladder they hit and hold the button to climb. A multi-purpose action key.

 

3. Since your movement is already toggled I would use variable joystick controlled speed. However some players might get frustrated waiting for the character to get up to speed to set sprint speed. Holding the action (Y) button and toggle forward movement could set a sprint. This only becomes an issue near context sensitive things like ladders or consoles. 




#5055541 Advice on writing a design document

Posted by Mratthew on 21 April 2013 - 11:26 AM

I find my documents tend to change from game to game to accommodate the design focus and the team I'm working with.

 

Like any writer, I start with a creative document (most of the time I use a Microsoft Office Outlining [View>Outline] ) like point form or a story web or even a collage just to get the ideas someplace for me to recall and rework them if need be.

 

Next I move onto my design brief. This is a document that works like the conversation you have with people when they ask you what you're working on. If you start this part as part of a development blog then you can actually answer people with the link to this document. Make sure this document lives up to its description. One paragraph or two and don't worry if people compare your game to other games at this point. (Only worry if they compare it to bad games ;)

 

Last is the main document, start with focusing on parts of the game you can't or won't be building. Its important your team has direction first. Then shift gears and work towards the areas of the game that will be earlier milestones (as you indicated your game would have a focus on how the AI reacts). Next focus on the parts of the game that have any emotional connection with the player and then "finish" the document for the dev team so that when they ask "Can I read the design document?" you won't need to tell them its a work in progress. No design document is ever really finished. Even post launch changes are encouraged. But having a document with a beginning, middle and end for the dev to keep as their bible is important. All members of development should have access to all aspects of this design document because a game is entirely interconnected and having all the teams eyes scouring the design for early bugs is important.

 

Once you are in development, make your document illustrated. Keep it updated by inserting all the concept art, screenshots, videos and fan art, so that the dev team always has a reason to look back at it. This keeps your document the end all be all go to for anyone on the team. Teach you team how to navigate it and tricks to search and narrow down answers to questions they may have along the way. If you've done it right your team will have days where they don't seem like they've gotten anything done and when you ask they'll say, I spent a bunch of time reading through the design document. JLW is right, Chris Taylor's template is where I started as well. Hope this helps.




#5052057 What would you design if you had UNLIMTED funding?

Posted by Mratthew on 11 April 2013 - 03:51 AM

Caution theoretical production structure. (never been play tested;)

 

First take your design ideas and put them in front of your peers, mentors and any members of the demographic you can reach for feedback. Work with other designers to zero-in on the game you should/will design and make. Build a budget for that game and coordinate with the team you currently have to understand what you can achieve. Not what you want to achieve but literally estimate projected hours of production and try and nail down a release date (this day should matter and will effect the game's success no matter what the game's quality and marketing). Now break your design into priority milestones. Then the real work starts.

 

Before you agree to any money, build a demo (either video or playable, depending on whats important and achievable) and finish the design bible (the document everyone on the team can use to stay on track). Using your budget, projected milestones and release date, pitch the game and agree to the offered sum. Always do the paperwork (especially with family). Here's where things get tricky.

 

Begin milestone development as well as a crowd source funding campaign using a small portion of the investment (preferably an amount you can pay back if this whole thing falls apart). Once you have your hands on the money of your crowd sourced backers, leave the rest of the investment money banked. The crowd funding success will help determine scope and popularity and with any luck should exceed the investment amount. This is where you can start ramping up development as well, bringing in more talent and push production forward (be sure you restructure the budget and either change the release date at this point or push to really nail it).

 

The only other part of the budget the investment money should cover (now that you are in development) is the marketing (website and kickback incentives) that way the crowd funds are all focused on development and the investor can get a little more involved at this point. This is good idea since they will most likely have good contacts that can help widen the scope of the marketing. Launch beta and focus on distributing on the projected release date. Launch the game. Payback whatever you can and decide if you're going to take a stab at a second game. If your budget, design, milestones and projected release date all worked out you should be able to payback and give a kickback to your investment partner as well as offer gamers a great game with updates and support. No matter what the size or type of game you make.

Let me know if this actually works ;)

 

If it was unlimited fun-ding (/not family money), I'd be building my dream game Peaces. A paired down marriage of tactical shooter combat mechanics with/against commerce focused RTS on a small spherical map. This free-for-all explores a few different unification win conditions including a non combat alternative and wraps up with a survival mode. It'll demand that the best player's prove their worth in both a combat and a command role and give newbs plenty of targets and objectives to follow. I designed it to make survival more important then domination for everyone playing. If you dig any of these ideas or could use an animator MSG me.

 

Last point @samoth You didn't answer the question. You just told him not to be stupid with the money.

 

Good luck Supes, on both school and the upcoming project!




#5048015 How should a Mini-Map work on infinite terrain?

Posted by Mratthew on 29 March 2013 - 09:53 AM

infinitely!

 

I'd add a layers system, a [+] and [-] key, drag and drop for sharing between players above the mini-map to overlay an interactive layer for notes, strategy, simulation, obscene pictures, etc.

 

Painting and erasing over the map.

 

Any RTS controls/commands like unit selection, waypoints, marking targets, etc are useful again depending on what the player needs.

 

A simulation system could allow players to test gameplay ideas in the mini-map before they attempt it in game. So they don't needlessly lose lives (if lives are a gameplay aspect).

 

Augmented reality display, allows the player to overlay the map's data as an extended HUD.

 

My $0.02




#5043694 Why are simulaton games fun?

Posted by Mratthew on 16 March 2013 - 09:49 AM

Will Wright (creator of the original Sim City) describes his game's as toys. A fun proxy for the systems of life that allow us to understand, test, theorize and most of all play with aspects of life as well as make mistakes along the way opening up a lot more creativity then the average game. Toys are generally thought of as something that children play with but simulator games (and many other genres) enable anyone with youthful ambitions and creativity to explore something more important then themselves, or events they allow them to explore ideas while challenging them with the same regulation found in the systems of life. Toys open our eyes to bigger worlds, where a toy cube opens a child's eyes to shapes and spacial relations a flight sim can open a players eyes to the forces of flight, the challenges of sustaining flight while exploring dramatic orientation and often the challenge of survival in that enviroment.

 

Playing the newest Sim City I find myself driving or riding the train through Vancouver and thinking more about city planing and the choices the city makes as time passes. It makes me smile to think that a game helped me to understand some of the driving factors behind the choices the city has made in the past and to think that it helps me to play the game as well.

 

My $0.02




#5040713 What would you make armour out of?

Posted by Mratthew on 08 March 2013 - 12:37 AM

Good old fashion human flesh, skinned, sewn and worn. It fits like a second skin, because it is one.




#5036622 portfolio

Posted by Mratthew on 26 February 2013 - 01:07 AM

I would focus a little less on caricature work and make your next piece a full body sculpt with proper anatomy (plant, animal or human), if you can recreate the complexity of realism the choices of what to exaggerate can be left to your client. You clearly have the skill but modeling, textures, rendering realism shows you know what details the eye looks for.

 

You seem to be offering the skills of a whole studio, I would structure you website to reflect a studio instead of yourself. Clients don't care who does the work when it comes to paying for the whole package (like you offer) they just want the job done and done right. If you get a contract that is more then you personally can handle then you get the chance to add another skill to your impressive list of abilities, you get to hire someone. I personally would remove the blurry picture, setup the contact info to look a little more formal and work towards building a demo reel for the website as a whole to show off the combined skills like a studio would. One video on the page to reflect the work you (your studio) has achieved thus far helps clients see what you offer quickly.

 

Hope that's somewhat useful. Nice to see some sculpting here.




#5036591 List of Video Game Design Exercises?

Posted by Mratthew on 25 February 2013 - 10:26 PM

Listen to the radio, each song that comes on do your best to build a game before the song is done. Classical music gives you more time and often builds better games but any genre will work. If you have lots of time with the radio like I do (driving) then you'll find this exercise good for building a collection of ideas. Hope it helps.




#5032111 Having Trouble with Character Profile

Posted by Mratthew on 13 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

This isn't a knock against your drawing, please read the whole post. I would suggest checking out some anatomy reference to decide on the 3D shapes (sphere, cylander, cube, etc) of certain details of your drawing to help decide how they would look from other angles. Keep in mind 2D illustrations are a depiction of a 3D world, if you look, everything can be simplified into simple shapes. Many painters draw a carrot shape (up side down cone) for people in the distance.

An exercise to help with deciding on the character's features in profile is to assign shapes to the difference parts. Take a tracing paper and use a light table (your window on a sunny day, etc) to trace over your character and loosely sketch 3D shapes to represent the major parts and the minor features of the character. These decisions will help to determine how the profile of the character should look. Use other drawingslike yours to help this process as well. Since other artists will have nailed down some appealing shapes already that you can take and alter or just use.

An artist's most powerful tool is reference.


#5032090 David and Goliath, how do you compete with a game giant.

Posted by Mratthew on 13 February 2013 - 06:54 PM

Take the risks Goliath can't/won't take.




#5030910 udk and blender excercises

Posted by Mratthew on 10 February 2013 - 10:03 PM

might be a few here http://www.design3.com




#5020945 What Immerses you into an FPS game?

Posted by Mratthew on 12 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

Depends on the sub genre, there are the arcade style FPS like Serious Sam that keeps you immersed by mixing up the combinations of enemies and throwing in the odd puzzle and there are tactical narrative driven experiences like almost any of the modern shooters that use the pacing of story telling to keep you buried in the killing without losing your taste for it. Many decent shooters mix these elements. In the case of a zombie shooter its more the Serious Sam style of play. Arma goes another direction by keeping you busy with tactical and strategic focus, taking the player away from the gun just long enough to make them think they understand the battlefield. Elder scrolls could technically be considered a FPRPG but it deserves to be mentioned that other genres can be married to the genre to immerse gamers as well.




#5019236 What makes an RTS great?

Posted by Mratthew on 08 January 2013 - 05:00 PM

You probably shouldn't talk for everyone Shiftycakes, but you do make a strong point for the shortcomings of past RTS, its time to show off the worth of the individual surviving unit in an RTS. Black Ops 2 took RTS elements and used them in a FPS (fairly successfully from how I hear it) but this couldn't have happened without standing on the shoulders of successful RTS games.




#5019197 RTS Factions With Different Organization

Posted by Mratthew on 08 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

I think so long as the game offers unit growth (so each soldier can be as strong as the strongest factions unit) then this works fine. Balance is something that strategy games should be fighting against in my opinion. The whole idea of strategy is to use it to beat the odds. To outsmart your enemy and use all strategies to win against them. Balancing became an issue with "races" because players would get attached to a race and hated to lose with that race. I think there should be weak and strong factions to represent the real strife that any organism has to face. Adapt and evolve or be wiped out.






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