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Member Since 07 Jul 2011
Offline Last Active Jan 25 2015 06:21 PM

#5205846 Designing an Ore Mining Game

Posted by on 21 January 2015 - 03:03 PM

There are two main possible solutions to that: procedurally generated content, or player-created content.  Note that these aren't mutually exclusive and you could potentially make use of both.
Hope some of that helps! smile.png

Very helpful post! +1

While I already have procedurally generated content, I have completely forgotten about player-created content.

That is definitely a direction I want to go for more content.

#5148414 Is the Eve Online style time based leveling up system good or bad?

Posted by on 20 April 2014 - 04:10 PM

I am not in favor of the time-based-leveling system but one could see it as a "less demanding" version of the typical MMORPG grind. In most MMORPGs, you grind experience or gold to unlock the next character or equipment level. You are forced to spend X hours/days/weeks grinding to get there.


Instead of making you sink time into grinding, they just automate the process. In either case, you are forced to wait X amount of time to get to the next level, but for the time-based system, you can spend that time doing what you like instead of being forced repeat boring grind.


Unfortunately, players don't tend to see it that way. As pointed out by someone in this thread, because it takes away agency, players feel as if they don't have any control or impact on the leveling process. The time-based system could be timed in a way that it matches optimal grinding, but players will probably still feel bad about it.

#5147755 Is the Eve Online style time based leveling up system good or bad?

Posted by on 17 April 2014 - 04:48 PM

The MMORPG Eve Online has this skill advancement system where you pick a skill and it accumulates "experience" on its own over time. Once it accumulates a certain level of experience, your character obtains or level up the skill.
It might take minutes or hours to train low level skills, and months to train high level ones. There is no way to speed up advancement, and you can only train one skill at a time. E.g. you want to pilot battleships, you choose to train battleship and one month later you acquire the skill.
I used to be quite against this type of level system. I have seen similar systems in free to play (FTP) games where you have to "wait X days" to upgrade or build a new weapon for example. I always thought this was a blatant way to force players to pay to speed up the process.
But recently, I started wondering if this might be a good way to spread the game out more. Instead of letting players grind through all the weapons in a few days, you can force them to play with each tier and wait 1-2 days before they unlock the next.
What do you guys think? Have this sort of system been implement well before?

#5147526 Designing a central goal in exploration games without RPG elements.

Posted by on 16 April 2014 - 09:04 PM

It seems like "exploration" on its own isn't strong enough to be the central focus of an entire game.


I just discovered a fishing flash game where you sail around on a boat catching fish. The mechanics of fishing is simple but it drives the exploration. Players want to explore new areas to catch new fishes and sell them to buy equipment to "level up" their boat. I guess I really need a central theme like that so players will continue running the hamster wheel.


I am trying to avoid the easy solution of incorporating the typical RPG combat in my game because I find that it takes a great deal of time and energy to make a good/detailed RPG combat system. Time and energy which I don't have right now.

#5146731 Designing a central goal in exploration games without RPG elements.

Posted by on 13 April 2014 - 11:15 AM

How about this idea from the incremental game "A Dark Room"?

Later in the game, there is a part where you explore a post apocalyptic wasteland but your food and water supply, and your limited inventory size limits your exploration range.

Unfortunately, this is basically "leveling up", where you level up your water/food/inventory containers.

#5146596 Designing a central goal in exploration games without RPG elements.

Posted by on 12 April 2014 - 05:48 PM

I have a very basic game running right now: using the WASD or arrow keys, the player can move around on a huge empty 2-D grid map. E.g. if you are in the box (0,0), you press the "up" arrow, you end up in box (1,0). The grid lines are there but are invisible to the player. There are some capability for multiplayer interactions: sending each other items (trade perhaps) and messages but not full fledge multiplayer.
I am hoping to design a bare bones exploration game around this. Crucially, there will be NO RPG elements. No EXP, leveling up, combat etc. Currently, I have the player finding materials and combining them to unlock new areas. E.g. finding materials to make a rope to reach a cliff area or building a boat to sail to an island.
However, I am finding it hard to have a central long term goal that the player can strive for without combat. Games usually have RPG/combat elements so players are driven to loot, improve their equipment or level up. This combat driven goal can last forever as new levels or more powerful items can be added to extend the endgame.
Any ideas?

#5136386 How to design spaceship missile combat?

Posted by on 04 March 2014 - 03:38 PM

Thanks for all the suggestion. To sum up the advice from this thread that I will be using, and summarize the current design:


1) Missiles won't be devastating nukes that kills in 1-2 shots anymore. Instead, they just do a lot more damage than guns/lasers, and hit 100% of the time (no chance to dodge). Guns/lasers miss x% of the time depending on the size of the target.


2) The trade-off is that ammo is limited, you need to sacrifice a gun/laser mount/slot to equip a missile launcher, and the missile takes (for example) 1 turn to reach the target while guns do instant damage.


3) Another trade-off is that the target can equip ECM or other anti-missile technology to give it a X% chance to reduce missile damage significantly (or dodge the missile entirely).

#5136151 How to design spaceship missile combat?

Posted by on 03 March 2014 - 12:54 PM

I have been thinking about the design of a very simple, very minimalistic spaceship vs spaceship pen & paper game.
I am going with the bare minimum and trying to build the game up without too much complexity. Currently, the game is only 1v1 (two players), there is no board or movement or range. Each control a fleet of ships, and they take their turns simultaneously (write down their orders and reveal together).
There is no shields or dice roll...yet. Ships fire guns at each other and take damage until they explode. The fleet has one "big" ship (battlecruiser/capital etc) and a few fighters. My next step is to design missiles but I am a bit stuck.
A lot of spaceship games have missiles that is basically another type of lasers/guns. I am going for a feel that is more like the Battlestar Galatica series remake. In the series, nuclear missiles (nukes) are deadly and kills a big ship in 1-2 hits. Big ships tries to protect themselves with fighters or anti-missile guns.
But how could I design this scenario into my game? If nukes can be shot down by fighters, every time a player launches a nuke, the opponent would just use his fighters or big ship to shoot it down. I can introduce dice rolls and make it so shooting down a nuke has x% of success, but the same old strategy applies: target the nuke with as many fighters and anti-missile guns as possible to maximize chances.
Must I introduce a board and add movement + range into my game to make missile combat interesting? I was hoping to not have movement so the game is portable playable in locations like the backseat of a car etc. Does anyone have any interesting ideas or know of interesting implementations of missile combat?

#5133591 Is it possible to make a true "massive" battle game?

Posted by on 22 February 2014 - 10:33 AM

(I feel that you are trying to approach it as if you were making a full blown 3D MMORPG while the sufficient approach is to make it like a sophisticated HTML website).

Actually, I am really curious why you feel that I am trying to approach it as if I were making a full blown 3D MMORPG.

Because node.js + socket.io + mongoDB + HTML5 Canvas is a natural replacement/upgrade for Apache + HTML + PHP + MySQL that Urban Dead and traditional PBBG uses. But they have not ever been used for a full blown 3D MMORPG (and I don't think they are suitable). The only "HTML5" MMO I know of is Browserquest, and it is 2D.

Furthermore, a full blown 3D MMORPG would require working with a 3D engine, sophisticated server/networking, enemy AI etc. None of which I am even remotely considering or working on. It is really just real time Urban Dead and really very simple programming.

#5124683 Designing "leveling up" in competitive multi-player games.

Posted by on 18 January 2014 - 12:22 PM


A word of caution on monetization - paying real-world money isn't fun or enjoyable for players.


Monetizing your game is a good idea (you deserve to get paid for the work you've done), but be cautious when adding new features, systems, or mechanics to your game. If one of the reasons you want to add something to the game is to get the player to pay you money, then it might not be a good idea because that goal (get players to pay more money) conflicts with the player's goal (maximized return on investment - the most enjoyment for the least cost).


Keep in mind that before you even start asking your customers for money, you need to have a product or service that customers want to pay money for. How many players does the game have and how many donations have you received? These are indicators of how much people like the game as it is, and these are the people you should reach out to for feedback to understand what your players like and dislike about your game. If either or both of these numbers are low, then you should focus on attracting more players and making the game more enjoyable before you consider adding more ways to make money. This is why so many video game Kickstarters fail to make their goals - they're asking for money before finding out what people want and they end up finding out the hard way that people don't want what they're pitching and they end up with a handful of donations from friends and family.


Make sure that the players want what you think they want before you spend time developing this system. You don't want to spend months developing a system that the players end up despising. There may be something else you can do that takes less time to develop and results in more enjoyment for your players.



Great advice. There are too many "skinner boxes" out there. I have a friend who joined the casual/social game industry and the first things they were taught were to design "frustration points" that pushes players to pay up....instead of making the game fun.

#5124682 Designing "leveling up" in competitive multi-player games.

Posted by on 18 January 2014 - 12:20 PM

I've been working on this problem in the back of my mind at work today, and I have a suggestion if you intend to implement a level system for a skill based game.


What you're looking for might not be a "leveling up" system. You might be better off with a rating system (similar to the ones used in chess). A player's rating would increase or decrease based on their performance in game, giving them an idea of their relative strength compared to other players.


With a large player base, you could use calculated ratings to pit players against other players at similar skill levels.


The Glicko Rating System


This is a brilliant idea actually and fixes a potential problem: bad players getting to high level (through grind or purchasing accounts) and getting stuck with "pros" in games.


On the other hand, the majority of the players will get stuck and never progress beyond a low/mid level. Which....might be a good thing actually, since we do want to separate the pros from the regular players for the benefit of both groups.

#5075442 Should RPG mechanics/objects be mysterious or have easy/clear expanation?

Posted by on 05 July 2013 - 06:37 AM

I have been playing a lot of Rogue-like RPGs recently. Basically, those are RPG dungeon crawlers with perma-death. In many of them, there are mechanics/objects that are completely unexplained or documented: you just have to experiment and find out how they work for yourself.


E.g. there is often an "Altar" that one can pray or sacrifice corpses at. The first time a player come across an altar, he might not even know that he can pray at an altar, or know that praying can result in a bad outcome.


I was thinking of adding similar things in my RPG: magical fruits that players can pluck and eat. Different fruits do different things. Some heal you, some are poisonous etc. There is no way to tell except to experiment. I was hoping this (and other mysterious objects) would give players a sense of exploration: finding out strange things and trying them out.


Is this a good idea or pointless "busy work" that frustrates player? Should I instead document the effects of each fruits in the user manual (on a website)?

#5074180 Reviving/resurrecting players in semi-realistic RPG?

Posted by on 30 June 2013 - 10:07 AM

Thanks for the input! A few points to clarify:


1) The game is designed around death and getting killed: you try to avoid gruesome deaths but this isn't always possible, I expect players to die a lot - even intentionally to collect achievements. But it isn't a "hardcore perma-death" RPG where you spend hours or even days leveling up your character, only to have everything wiped out when you die. The game will be designed in such a way that when you die and start over, you actually don't lose a lot - hypothetical example: the more enemies you kill, the higher your score is, so the goal is to get the highest possible score before dying.


2) Reviving the character in my game serves the purpose of letting the player continue playing the game basically. Its multiplayer so no saved games. This thread was meant to sort out how this will function Lore-wise.


Right now I think I will go with weymiensn's suggestion: let the player die permanently. Then, restart then over with the same player name and appearance. With zero explanation given! If anyone asks, I will blatantly tell them their character is auto-saved every time you start an adventure and reloaded when you die - just like in a Single player game.

#5074101 Reviving/resurrecting players in semi-realistic RPG?

Posted by on 30 June 2013 - 03:49 AM

I am making a small RPG with limited multiplayer. In science fiction RPGs, I can revive players from death with technology: cloning, reconstruction of body etc. In fantasy RPGs, there is always magic: resurrection spell, healing spells etc.


How do we revive players in semi-realistic RPGs that does not have high technology or magic?


One way to do it is to say the player didn't die, he or she gets seriously injured and later recovers. But I am really hoping to have death and macabre ways to die in my game, so this is out. An alternative is to have the player control a team instead: a team member can go out, adventure, dies and be replaced. But this is loses a lot of immersion and role-playing since everyone is controlling generic team members.


I will be so grateful if someone has any other ideas?

#5066920 Why cards in a game design?

Posted by on 02 June 2013 - 12:50 PM

Have you made a game design involving cards, tabletop or otherwise?


As a lone indie developer with a tiny budget, I find cards much cheaper to produce.


E.g. It is cheaper to order 5 pieces of art (can be just head shots or half body portrait) to make 5 cards that represent creatures, then slide the cards around on screen to represent movement/combat. Than it is to order 5 3D creature models or full body sprites, animate them, and order all sorts of effects for movement/combat.


Then, sell the game as a card game and save a bunch of money and development time. :)