Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Mratthew

Member Since 20 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 04:52 PM
*****

#5014260 Feedback on RPG Assets

Posted by Mratthew on 25 December 2012 - 04:21 PM

The mage and paladin type characters look great, I might explore some more diversity in armor design for the sake of color, lots of grey going on there. The swordsmen looks like he saw an old man fall off a bike. Not so much angry as a "yikes" and the rogue looks like he's smelling something unfortunate. Unless that's what you were going for ;D




#5007643 What are various ways to "do evil/bad" or "do good" in a game?

Posted by Mratthew on 05 December 2012 - 11:34 PM

It depends on the cultural norms you want to establish. It could actually be a really neat exercise to write/explore>play in a culture unlike anything we are used to and learning what that culture considers good/acceptable or bad/taboo. Learning a new way to live. Where the "F" word can be said in front of your grandmother but giving a high-five is illegal. No matter what the cultural norms however, your first step is to determine the actions you'd like the player to explore, (gather objects, help someone, move something, build something, find something, etc).

Check out lists of verbs and find ones that stick out for you and write out a situation based on the verb. Take the action and consider the most wonderful outcome that could follow that action (affecting the character or affecting many people) and the worst and you're dichotomy is set.

I would like to point out that the great part of most stories is exploring the grey area of things. When the worst actions can be justified where morality as we know it crumbles under circumstance. Creating a third option for players to explore good, bad and subjective.


#5003648 What would you want from a zombie apocalypse simulator.

Posted by Mratthew on 23 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

You should make a Black Friday game ;D no need for zombies. Surviving a store is scary enough on Black Friday.

Have you played Left 4 Dead? I'd say it sets the bar for zombie combat. Plenty of dismemberment there. However realistic weapons use here could be interesting (since you're looking to simulate).

You should consider the use of zombies as well, being able to trap them "alive" and use them as weapons against other dangerous survivors could be interesting. The idea treads on some grey area but I've never seen this done in a zombie story (short of necromancers I suppose).


#5003260 What would you want from a zombie apocalypse simulator.

Posted by Mratthew on 22 November 2012 - 10:04 AM

Crowds, real threatening crowds of humans and zombies and the true spread of panic and confusion. Watching the faces of people shift from being unsure and unsettled, to worry, to panic then to horror and true fear and flight. Dynamic true sim of group fear during a disaster. If this is meant to be a simulator then this is the angle you should explore, navigating the chaos of panicked dangerous people. Capturing the emotional distress of the masses and the true disaster of the chaos these masses create. Zombies aren't scary, people are scary. Zombies (like all monsters) just show a side of people that we can't escape.

I disagree with this being something other then a zombie game however if its suppose to be a simulation, then zombies should be just another part of what is the real survival during this type of apocalyptic outbreak. Since the real threat is surviving each other. Finding ways to survive together (this is why walking dead is so go).

The book World WarZ explores the idea of people losing their mind and believing that they are zombies and how dangerous they are because although they can feel pain they have full mobility these are proper running zombies.


#5002178 Something that bothers me...

Posted by Mratthew on 18 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

TheChubu I kind of agree with this statement if we're suppose to be getting immersed into a game's world, we shouldn't be thinking about the camera and any head bob or sway should be minimal at best to seem natural not to remind us we are in first person (this should be self evident;).


#4994349 Affecting the actual player as an alternative to affecting the playable chara...

Posted by Mratthew on 26 October 2012 - 11:52 PM

DaveTroyer's right Hideo Kojima is the king of blurring the lines between an in game experience and a player's experience.

*Spoilers below* The battle with Pscho Manits in Metal Gear Solid actually read the memory card on the Play Station this boss battle involved Mantis making comments about the games the player had made saves for, required the player use another controller and pretended to change the video input on the tv by momentarily going to a blue screen and displaying a familiar green "Hideo" in the top right corner. These mechanics made for a great boss battle.

A reflection of the player's choices represents that the game designer(you) are interested in the players, this conversation is important in any art, but like so many game design ideas it doesn't mean it will be fun. Build and test! Its the only way to be sure.


#4989831 So, What makes players to play a game over and over?

Posted by Mratthew on 13 October 2012 - 11:37 AM

Lauris I'd have to agree. There are stories we come back to because its plain and simple a good story (not just a novel idea). It is harder to nail down the tangible elements that make these stories something so successful (other then great writers). We tend to come back to our favorite stories especially to share with people. IMO Interactivity only stands in the way of a great story if it ruins the pace of the story's progression. I feel this element of story telling is important and so often overlooked.

I'd also say the control choice is hugely important. The peripheral or control scheme defines the players connection to their experience, like so many people are attached to physical books (compared to digital books) its the tangible connection to our experiences that make them memorable


#4985920 Should you make games easy or hard?

Posted by Mratthew on 01 October 2012 - 06:24 PM

Any aspect that takes rhythm, timing, reaction speed, pattern recognition, recall physical memory, or requires physical accuracy (there are probably more that I'm overlooking) should all be almost impossible to master in a design (depending on how many of these are a part of your design). However the learning process to achieve the mechanic should be (IKEA/LEGO instructions) simple and comfortable to learn as well as build confidence in a player and their skill as they learn to use the mechanic.

Create complexity by combining a variety of mechanics. I reuse old mechanics as the primary game structure (what's needed to win) and new mechanics as secondary(macro, advanced, creative, player specific gameplay style, etc) design. A hard game is found in the complexity of its mechanics or how each of the many different mechanics work together. Challenging players to understand the puzzle of which mechanic is applicable and important to the challenge they are faced with is the key.

Positive reinforcement is important aspect to making a game easy to learn. Its a confidence builder. If the win condition isn't clear then no matter what reward you use it won't be worth playing towards (aka its not fun). If the game is easy to learn then the win condition is clear (though good game's will make you question why you are achieving it).

@Bluefirehawk Its not a slogan, its a way to look at your design to ensure it's worth a player's time. "Super Meat Boy" is hard because the designer used a wide variety of the above challenges (at the start of my post) within the limits of the very easy to learn control structure of so many other 2D scrolling games.


#4985565 Should you make games easy or hard?

Posted by Mratthew on 30 September 2012 - 06:09 PM

easy to learn impossible to master


#4985506 Advice needed

Posted by Mratthew on 30 September 2012 - 04:05 PM

Training, the older soldiers should be able to bestow knowledge to new soldiers. This could give the buff of earning experience faster. Hard to say if this applies to your game but its a good way to handle soldiers that have managed to dodge the old meat grinder.


#4983908 What programmers want from a designer

Posted by Mratthew on 26 September 2012 - 12:50 AM

[...]only does character animation... well, in my experience, the character modeling and animation is much easier to find talent for than things like environment art, and maybe we could ditch that guy and find someone whose skills are more well-rounded. Everyone wants to be a character artist it seems (just get on DeviantArt and see for yourself) [...]


A character artist I might agree but few are willing to put in the effort to rig and very few can or will decently animate (hence the terrible animation in countless games). A large minority of DeviantArtists animate. I find Indie games tend to run and hide from animation all together for the most part, but even major AAA projects with beautiful character models don't get a decent animation polish like it should. Many are motion captured and then cleaned up with a dry eraser, leaving lots of odd poses or jitter that they often cover up with terribly sped up timing. Its a shame really. I couldn't agree more that great 3D environment artists are hard to come by but I think that that's more to do with the fact that it often turns into an architects job instead of just a modeling gig. However environment artists, like character artists are easy(er) to come by (many that can paint a unique character can paint a lovely environment since perspective skills are used for both). Could be that you have different experience then me but I would say there is a pretty good distinction between those that have graced the world with there Deviant collection and those that rig and bash out a couple thousand frames per day.


#4983123 What programmers want from a designer

Posted by Mratthew on 24 September 2012 - 12:40 AM

[...] a core gameplay idea, which is well defined, but also flexible, along with completed art assets; they don't have to be "production quality", but they should be good enough to make people think: "... Ok, I believe that he could polish this into something market worthy.".
You could also try making screenshots: You don't have the game, but you can paint a screenshot of what you have in mind for the final product. Or, even better: Make a 10 second animation that clearly shows the basics of gameplay.


Best part of a post I've read so far, a personal opinion of a physically achievable goal to set as priority for most any designer when posting.
Wait! You aren't job? I'll try to more thoroughly read before I post next time. I appreciate it. Be good at you are job, heh. Common the latest sit down between John and Ben Burtt would be pretty rad and it would have me on board for an indie game faster then most any game design idea, but maybe I'm shallow that way. Think of Wall-e! God that movie sounded good.

@Cornstalks That's the kind of folk I like to work with too.

I'm hoping to hear personal accounts of classified posts that stood out, indie devs that got your attention not just because of the ideas they presented but because their post painted a whole game worth making (in your opinion). I want to know the elements in those posts that made the difference. Maturity, professionalism, explore the box sort of aspects are pretty drilled around this forum (for good reason) but occasionally there must be designers that make you excited about games and I'd love to hear about it. The suggestions made by Goran are very applicable to my situation but there must be more out there. Maybe game or genre specific examples of "raising the classified posting bar" or plain old creativity in a classified post worthy of mention.


#4983095 What programmers want from a designer

Posted by Mratthew on 23 September 2012 - 10:16 PM

@AlterofScience I guess you'll never know. Not that I disagree on the whole but not exactly the pre-flight list I was looking for.

@jbadams Big list of stuff you don't want and plenty of "be good at you're job" but I think you missed the question's mark. I'm trying to get a clear picture of what you like to see from designers to achieve this list of expectations you've shared. Clearly a lot of what you're asking is entirely reasonable but when someone is posting an offer what sort prep work do you prefer to see before they post? What's enough to get you hooked and coding that day? Certainly don't sweat the length, I appreciate the detail. This is a post that should matter to a lot of devs that come to this site IMO. (On that note, I probably should have named it better...;)

@Tobl I agree, designers definitely need to know how to properly coordinate the talent to achieve the design whole and this skill is an incredible juggling job once the crew is in the thick of it but I'm going to try and steer us back on course a bit. You as a designer know you're design, but you don't know what the talent needs to appreciate the design and want to add to it (other then piles money and a brand new game genre that uses the latest in mind reading peripherals). The trick to creating a "perfect reveal" is an art I'm curious about here and I'd like to hear from programmers mostly because they speak with the machine directly and the project doesn't happen without that. Many programmers are a bit primadonna because of this (who can blame them?) and understanding their expectations (beyond the complaints) is very important to anyone fighting to see a game come to life. Even other programmers.

@Servant of the Lord Great naming convention change, I couldn't agree more that everyone likes to work with someone that knows their job. But I'm really trying to dig up the first stage of all those expectations of a designer. I don't think people should waste time on good ideas unless they're willing to work to make something better out of it. But "the reveal" is the key ingredient in the freeware world (especially on these jaded forums). I'm glad you bothered to gather some skills and I'm glad you're proud of them but they don't do anyone here any good unless that person can get you're attention and that's my aim in this post.

To give a bit of background on this question, I'm a character animator. I can bring anything to life with a chunk of free time (this isn't my own horn, I do a technical process that anyone can learn and should, game animation is always brutal) but if I want anyone to do anything but stare and react at what I create I need a programmer. So I'm eager to figure out how to get programmers to ignore the dollar signs and explore ideas. I know programmers have plenty of their own design ideas and have all dealt with unreliable devs on dozens of free projects that have gone no where. But like all of us here, they too keep coming back for more (though I think the reputation growth helps too). So I'd like to figure out upfront what they need because otherwise that's the stage I'll be at forever (unless I stumble upon a steady stream of hefty passive income it seems).

So if you program, what is it that catches your eye on a project, sexy screenshots of zbrushed models that belong in the next Gears game, my latest 18 000 x 18 000 pixel photoshop masterpiece, a library of tombs detailing item by item spec info with multipage skill trees and archetypes to match each branch, the next LOTR but screen written by Joss Whedon, John William's latest sit down with Ben Burtt, etc. I'm curious what elements (aside from money and along side a design idea that is worth posting) matter to you when a designer is posting in the classifieds.


#4983055 What programmers want from a designer

Posted by Mratthew on 23 September 2012 - 06:03 PM

Note:  This topic has been re-named to aid discovery through search, as it contains some valuable information.  The original title was "So you're a programmer?"

-----------------------------------------------------------

 

A question out to all the code-heads out there. I'd like to get a sense for what you as a programmer like to see out of designers to spend a few dozen/hundred hours on writing code for free. I'd also like to ignore the topic of the game design idea, we all want to build the next great game idea but I want to know the elements aside from money and design idea that has drawn you to a project. This post focuses on when you're reading the classifieds you're looking for something out of a team or the individuals to instill a sense of commitment and components to indicate a unified design idea but what are those components. In a priority list what matters to you?

I'll do a little addition to this to keep the post from continuing down the abyss-like spiral of venting frustrations, I'm sure its very cathartic for you all but this isn't meant to be the point of the post. I'm looking for positive experiences, constructive re-constructions of moments where you as a programmer have looked at a free project (no monetary incentive at all, money is for suckers anyways) and decided to join the project and what it was about that project that drew you to it. What are the classified "hooks" that matter to you? Fancy art, clean sound&music, that backdrop of a good story, team structure, learning possibilities, % completion etc. I'd like to know what you personally have been drawn to and why.

There is a wealth of knowledge here that is drilled into designers to suit the needs of the industry this post doesn't need anymore of this info (its all over the site if you need it) I've gotten a few decent answers but I'd really like to hear more personal experiences of useful situations for designers to add to their own toolbox.




#4982992 Level Diversity in Small Games

Posted by Mratthew on 23 September 2012 - 12:31 PM

You'd have to add a shake or a screen double tap to make the character and the dynamic obstacles jump up to give a bit more control to achieve the idea but you could try creating a secondary objective of placing certain dynamic objects in certain locations to make images, solve puzzles (like unlocking areas of the level where special items specifically drop down to), give access to high platforms, etc. These dynamic obstacles would slide and jump into an outlined (UI or simply a transparent indicator tile?) location on the map and lock there to achieve the secondary or tertiary objective(s). Multiple dynamic obstacles could lock in challenging locations for more difficulty and secret none indicated lock locations could delight the obsessive completionists ;D Locking Dynamic Obstacles (ah naming convention) Hope that makes more sense.




PARTNERS