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Sayid Ahmed

Member Since 11 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Jul 16 2013 09:39 AM

#4945630 The Lean Design

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 02 June 2012 - 12:56 PM

I think that's a good approach before committing to a big (and potential expensive) project. You'll notice that some games, such as indie MMOs (look up Path of Exile) or niche games like Minecraft which you mentioned, bloom as a result of the developers keeping in contact with their following as they watch each other develop and have fun. I think minimalism goes well with independent development.


#4929564 What game aspects should be most innovative?

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 09 April 2012 - 08:31 AM

IMO:

For RPGs, maybe the combat - because everything else is going to be similar or on par with each other.

For FPS, probably the multiplayer features. Killing Floor is one of the best multiplayer co-ops and I've been playing for almost a year straight.

For strategy games, like Total War series, probably the variety of units and functions - the more planning and thinking the better.

For TBS strategy, like Civ, probably the trivia - the interesting policies, the fun diplomacy, good graphics and stuffs.

But remember, this is a very subjective topic.

Some indie games are loved by their communities because almost everything about them is unique. Look at Mount and Blade, as an example - what other game allows you to hire a bunch of peasant recruits and then train them up to become knights and soldiers and go claim your own little fiefdom in a feudal world full of war, bandits and trade, whilst being able to take part in the heat of battle with full customisation of your character?


#4929525 Generating ideas for using game mechanics to create balanced factions

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 09 April 2012 - 06:01 AM

This is always a tough one, how about:

Even Faction Size Mechanic

Allow players to have the choice of faction along with diminishing returns on the size of a faction

Summary

Players can join an existing one or create their own small one. Joining a large one leads to more protection and item sharing, but limited responsibility or involvement. Roles within a faction, such as Marshall of War, or Minister of Treasury, can only be filled by one person, can go through cycles to create fairness but only really appeal to experienced players. Players who become more experienced and want an active role can create an off-shoot faction. To add more to the mix, maybe attacking larger factions reaps more rewards? Or requires more administration costs?

Addressed player motivation

To prevent player dissatisfaction; promote co-operation through real life friendship etc; preventing the creation of overly large factions and superpowers.

Used in what game

Not that I know of


Predicted impact

+Balancing the size of all factions

+Freedom of players to chose allegiance

+Opportunities for players to have significant roles

-Creation of many small factions; creation of coalitions and reversing the purpose of this mechanic

-Constant migration of players

-Difficult for new players to understand; may automatically join the big factions, not knowing the disadvantages




#4926526 Name Ideas for RPG Free roamer driving game

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 29 March 2012 - 08:11 PM

Brakes are for ...
Pocket rocket racers
This is my rental
Gas Guzzlers
Roadhogs
Petrolheads
Armchair racers
Backseat drivers
Sunday drivers

More to come but going to sleep - all the best with your game Posted Image


You have inspired me to conjure the following:

Benzine
Electric Chair Racers
Frontseat & Backseat Drivers [with the slogan of 'which seat shall you take?']
Friday Drivers


#4926524 Breaking In - Help, Strategies and Critiques

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 29 March 2012 - 08:08 PM

I admit that your comment about making a text-based game brought a smile to my face because, while studying Computer Science in college some eleven years ago, I was instructed in the absolute basics of Turbo Pascal 6 and proceeded to use the language to construct my magnum opus, 'The Castle of Deceit', a sprawling, path-branching, and doubtlessly crap, tale of swords and wizardry that, in essence, was a 'Choose Your Own Adventure Story' in digital format. This is, as best as I can remember, the only full game I have ever programmed, though I'm now going to try to put something together in StencylWorks in a bid to get the creative juices flowing again.

Thanks for the advice and good luck with your text-based adventure. I'm sure it'll turn out a hell of a lot better than mine did.


Hehe, no worries mate. It's not always about how great the product is, but what you learnt from it and how you can transfer those skills! And besides, PHP is a lot different to Turbo Pascal 6, I'd imagine.

With the website, may be you want to get a more flexible/modular blog script? I've never dealt with blogs so I can't help you there, but I'm sure there's a simple solution.

Good luck.


#4926511 Game Economics

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 29 March 2012 - 07:21 PM

An NPC only providing basic materials for crafting is almost the same as the players gathering basic materials through mining/farming/extraction for crafting. Just one has a different label and interface to the other. You're pumping resources into the system at the player's request, at some cost, albeit maybe a small cost, whether it's money or time or inconvenience. You could have a regional bias in the resource extraction, but like you say, you could also regionalise the supply chain of the NPC vendors, depending on the game. But from a net wealth balance it's exactly the same (value in - value out = accumulation).

Summary:
Players can sell goods to npc vendors, which will increase supply of that good (globally or in a region), which will reduce prices.
Players can buy goods from an npc vendor, which will decrease supply of that good, and this will increase prices.
NPC vendors should sell most types of goods available.

Additionaly, the game should be made so that every item sold by a vendor, must be found or crafted by players.
I do think this is a good solution for mmorpgs, and in mmort's this could be a marketplace
(only individual supply per marketplace, compared to regional/global supply for npc vendor).


Mortal Online is planning to implement a broker system; an NPC waits in town and you make them trade your goods to buyers, but with a transactional fee. That way your physical presence isn't required for trade and it sinks some of the money in the game.

I believe that's the same as what you're describing?

In EVE Online, buying/selling goods is done by putting up buy orders and sell orders, and these are located at specific station (the goods will stay at the same station). Personally I find this a bit to much. After loosing a ship, I spent simply to long time buying a new ship and with a decent fitting, where the parts were not bought at ridicilous prices.

An npc vendor/market offers simplicity. You buy and sell everything instantly and one item has one price. In mmorpg games, like WOW, you do have auction houses, but I find these very impractical. Just as in EVE, they're very time consuming. Note that for items that are very rare and expensive, direct player transactions or auction house is probably the best.


What you need to remember is that convenience isn't always great; well ok, it is good for most games, but for an economy-driven game it isn't. Sometimes you want to subtly guide your players to play one way (the barter system is an example of a harsh option). Eve Online works because its players are greedy and want to destroy each other. They think that way because they are in control of who makes profit and who suffers. Stability may be great in the real world, but in the virtual world you want boom and bust of different players/guilds at different times. Again, this all goes back to what is the endgame - I'm biasing towards an economy-driven game with lots of PvP, guild cities and all that kind of crap. A game that focuses on dungeon raids, social immersion, skill grinding, PvE etc, would probably want a very predictable, controllable and stable economy. If I was playing WoW, or Rift or any of the latter types, I wouldn't want to spend months leveling up a top character only to find that the type of weapons I've skilled up in have spiraled into high cost and suddenly my character is rendered crap because of the irresponsibility of the wider virtual society.

Oh and before someone smites me, I'm not saying economic-driven PvP is the best idea in the world! It's just an idea of a good MMO and it has been executed in some games.


#4926140 Name Ideas for RPG Free roamer driving game

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 28 March 2012 - 04:07 PM

Rubber Soul Burners

Racing Gadgets RPG

Racing Racists

Super Mega Car Racing Gadget Racing Racers

Kars


#4926079 Game Economics

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 28 March 2012 - 12:23 PM

You might give some consideration to making money (coin) a focussed resource as well. One way in which I could see this utilised:

Each country produces it's own coinage - inflation/deflation becomes the control mechanism on its purchasing power. Utilising precious metal resources to produce the coins would open up another use for the metals as well as defining a limit on how many coins could be produced. Not to mention the creation of a monetary exchange system. Backing the coin with an actual value i.e. the gold standard would tie up precious metals kept as backing for the coins value or alternatively the coin itself is made of gold..in which case if gold suddenly became very valuable would melting down the coins suddenly be viable and correspondingly forcing an increase in bartering as the amount of coin diminishes.


That definitely sounds good mate, might be hard to implement in my game but perhaps it can give a better function for the 'precious metal' resource in mine. i don't know if this has been used elsewhere. Perhaps it would be easier to have one universal currency which could have its uses in things which other resources do not, like paying wages or funding research or skills. Nonetheless I'll take what you said into account.


In this 1 transaction, the real resource of value is the copper. But the gold helps the players buy this copper.
What if the buyer only had oil, a crate of oil might be worth 200 copper bars. and he only needs 5. He might not want 195 copper bars lying around.
That is why currency is good. This is why we have used it for 4 thousand years.

If you don't get it this time I give up.


As I said for about the 5th time, currency is great for exchanging goods.

Well lets put this bluntly, hustlerinc. It is impossible for the player to profit by selling to the NPC without finding a cheaper alternative, such as loot or theft or by-product of resource extraction. And what did I say before? Almost exactly that.

In the case you have explained, the player must sell to another player who does not have the benefit of an NPC. And what did I say before? You cannot have a good economy with just NPCs, you have to have some free market for players to make profit and here we are - a situation where the NPC cannot provide the excess of goods to the player's demand and thus another player must provide this on a private trade.

And why does this mechanic control inflation? - because you're introducing a reliable exchange to convert a currency into a more hard or functional asset or service within in the game. Effectively introducing a money sink. And I wonder I said at the start when I introduced this topic?

And this other stuff about resources must be useless to someone? Well, as a dev you have to design this problem out of the game. As I said...

I hope we are all getting the picture now.


#4926063 Game Economics

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 28 March 2012 - 11:36 AM

It's obvious, unless the player pays what the seller wants, the seller simply goes to an NPC. And you are the one to mention bulk, i am comparing same amount whatever the price. bulk of 10 could be 100 gold and 105 gold, it would be retarded to sell for less than what the NPC offers wouldn't it?


No I am sorry it is not obvious. Why would you even bother going to a player vendor to buy copper when you can buy copper from the NPC, unless like I originally said, the vendor can get hold of it even cheaper than the NPC rate, e.g. theft, loot, etc

Why would the oil vendor give away something of less worth? They'd be losing money.

Misunderstanding me again, the oil vendor might not need 14 shovels from the shovel producer just to meet the worth of HIS oil, the oilvendor doesn't give extra items to get rid of the oil obviously that would be retarded. But every item is not useful to every player, thats why economy was introduced in the first place, the first account of currency is from 2000 B.C. Do the math, why would you want to go backwards in your game?


Of course I am going to misunderstand you if you make no sense. Why would you even put non-useful items into the game? If however, you mean, one resource is not useful from the perspective of the oil vendor, then he's not going to trade oil for that resource and the value of that resource is now reduced. Why would I want to go backwards? Sorry, but WTF does that even mean?


I think the contrary will happen, players will have a difficult time getting rid of the accumulated goods without a general currency, and a economy like this is very much dependant of the community, how exactly will that community grow? dont expect to get full servers and flowing exchange in the beginning.

Anyway I don't know if you misunderstand me on purpose or are too in love with your idea to understand my points. I'm not trying to change your opinion, my last posts have been trying to explain my first post.

Let me know how successful your economy is once the game is released.


LOL what? Why does it suddenly have to be difficult if every player needs to either trade or fight in this game? How will that community grow? Ever heard of a mechanism known as advertising or marketing, perhaps?

Don't expect to get full servers in the beginning? No, I never said I would. And why would it have to be full in order to function?

Too in love with my idea? What idea? When did I even propose my game idea here? I am just summarising real life economics in a basic way that can be implemented into a game! You, however, are talking crap that makes no sense to me whatsoever. Unless someone else could please clarify your points in a manner in which I am capable to comprehend, other than the idea of NPC for basic goods, everything you've said seems illogical to me.

And when did I ever say I will make a successful game? I'm merely having a discussion. Whether my ideas are brilliant or absolutely stupid doesn't matter because it is the implementation of making a game in the final run that matters - we are not discussing that part of the process.

You are trying to make me sound pretentious when I'm really not. Posted Image


#4926047 Game Economics

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 28 March 2012 - 11:00 AM

Based on this statement yes:
"As a game dev, you could counteract this by making things cost more, such as travelling, skill training, levelling up etc etc, and by doing that you are adding function to that currency and giving it more value. This doesn't apply to currency only, but any resource really."


How does that imply anything?

You're misunderstanding me. Let me explain. If the NPC buys copper for 10 gold, the player will obviously sell it for atleast 11 gold to another player or he "can just go to the NPC and sell it" commonly used in tibia and other games.

On the other hand, if the NPC sells copper for 15 gold, the player can never sell it for more than 15 gold, because then the threats to go to the NPC comes from the buyer instead. Put a maximum cap per day on the amount of resource the NPC sells to each player and you have somewhat steady prices, but still a means for players to set their own prices above those of NPC.


How would they sell it for 11 gold? This doesn't make any sense. Why would a player pay for a big order at a rate of 11 gold and not a small order of 10 gold? Bulk orders should be cheaper if anything.

But me personally I wouldn't play a purely resource based economy game. Because it makes it inconvinient, sure there might be a market for it, but it's a very niche market. And it will be extremely difficult to balance.


EVE Online?

Coins is a means to put a price on items, the players manage this very good themselfs, You can still have a resource and accumulation based economy, just that the oil vendor wont have to give away too much oil for something of less worth. In a resource based economy players are forced to trade useless items just to get the full worth of their items, while coins is more measurable.

But if noone values these coins, they become useless, so it is still resource based. This is how economy works, and there is a good reason for it. Even in the stoneage they used pieces of rock to do this.


No, coins are a means to exchange resources easily. They don't necessarily have to reflect the true value of what is being sold.

Why would the oil vendor give away something of less worth? They'd be losing money.

Why the hell would you have useless items in your game anyway? Look at the 3rd heading in my OP. And if coins supposedly reflect the value of those 'useless items', how in the hell does that make them more measurable than the items themselves?

Players need to acquire goods for whatever reason, be it war, crafting or whatever the endgame scenario is for the game. Currency can be introduced in order to allow for these goods to be exchanged more easily than bartering. Economy is good when resources are being extracted, they are crafted/converted and value is added to them, and they are being supplied to those people who demand them, in return providing other people with the resources and items that they need. Some provinces have an abundance of some materials and the other provinces have other materials. When one province gets hold of too much value of materials, war and theft can occur in order to break the imbalance. Money flows from pocket to pocket and the world is being productive and destructive.


#4926018 Game Economics

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 28 March 2012 - 09:57 AM

I'm done with this discussion. Bye.


May your future errands grant you peace and gracefulness.

They're certainly not necessary. A game can exist without them, but then relies heavily on active player input.
What do you see as the benefits of a "free market system"? What about disadvantages?
To me, having NPC vendors gives you - as the developer - a control over the market. Whether their prices change, or stay constant, it gives you an opportunity to step in and change the economy if you don't like where it's going.
Without NPCs you have no control (short of making your own characters to try and force change), if things "go bad" - how are you going to recover the economy? Or do you rely on a bullet-proof system from day one?


I see the benefits of a free market system where resource production, conversion, creation (etc) is a driving force for the game. Greed lets players profit and want to grab more. There is an incentive for players to act based on supply and demand - e.g. the main oil producers are stockpiling too much oil and not supplying the world trade with enough, the big oil consumers go to war over it until equilibrium is re-achieved and then eventually another resource is up for grabs.

Actually, you may have control but this all depends on what the setting of the game is and how it works. An NPC is just another proxy for how you as a dev interact with the players in a virtual world. I know for my game, as a dev I will rebalance the economy by affecting how the natural resource generation works. For example, if there is an excess of coal being generated into the game due to whatever reasons, such as high demands have led to high supplies, players have misconceived the importance of coal, or maybe the algorithm in which new areas are being produced has just randomly created too many coal providers, then as a dev I can tweak the mechanic for generating new nations with new players, so that less coal is being created as a resource in new countries,and compensate with another useful resource, like gas or whatever.

Disadvantages? Yeah, you need to have player input. You are relying on players to create both supply and demand for goods. This may be tricky, but pulling it off with the right incentives for players to take part in your game is the magic of creating a game, I feel.

I hope that makes sense.

You don't want an accumulation of money in the system. Or rather, you don't want an excessive accumulation of money in the system.
If you have too much money flowing into the system, and not being sunk, the prices of everything go up and "prices" in general become redundant. You want a constant flow of money, through the players, not an accumulation.


Wyrm.


Yes, agreed. I didn't mean to say it was desirable to get an accumulation of money btw.

I don't assume anything, just answering your question. What do you mean by "money sinks"?



Actually, you said that it was unfair for new players who had less money than the rich ones, so yeah, you did make the assumption that this price raising would happen half-way through the game starting.

A money sink is the opposite of a money source. The same way you have a heat source and a heat sink.

A money sink would be anything that costs money really. Whether it's paying for items, travel, land, healing, bribing, whatever.

They will still profit from it, and if the demand is high enough players will buy and they wont have to sell to NPC.
However if the prices go down too much, having an NPC with fixed prices is a fallback, so the players wont have to sell too cheap and still earn good money.
And the NPC's could only sell common goods like copper etc, and only a certain amount per day/player to benefit the server.


How does that work? Why would they be selling above the NPC price in the first place? They would only be able to sell cheap, and even that's assuming they can gather that resource/item at a cheaper rate than the buying price from the NPC vendor - e.g. from the environment, loot, etc.

With regards to the common goods being supplied by NPCs, why yes that's actually pretty useful. Sometimes you need a quick currency exchange to something with more use. Plus, maybe that way you won't have crafters/merchants having monopoly of basic goods, but would have to specialise into more higher-value or niche goods. So yeah, good for pointing that out, I might use it.

Aaah, I see where you're coming from. I was definately looking at it too basically.
How would a player become a merchant to begin with? One resource would have to be supplied to him with which he could barter his services as merchant, in order to grow? This is not a role I would choose to take on within the game - too much risk, hard to start-up (I'm thinking it's a role that is often given to NPCs), but it certainly opens my eyes to how such a system could work.

And then your point "All a currency does is provide convenience." - I would say that players want convenience.
And so, short of any genuine reason not to have currency (a lore point, for example), it would be a smarter move to include it.

Wyrm.


Yeah there are many ways to pull it off - that's your job to be creative. The example Tiblanc gave is something I'd agree with.

For merchants, it depends on the game, but essentially players/countries/factions will grow, produce more but also consume more. You can design the game so that everyone has an imbalance of what they produce and what they consume, forcing them to either trade or attack each other for useful resources. When one player recognises that they have something of value in abundance, which other players might need, they will offer it in return for currency or resources or service etc.


#4925894 Game Economics

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 28 March 2012 - 12:12 AM

First of all Im not asking for specific advice about my game. just discussing for all MMOs. how the hell would this work in single player without NPCs?


#4925816 Game Economics

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 27 March 2012 - 03:56 PM

I don't think increasing the cost of needed things like travelling and skill training benefits the game economy, since new players will have a more difficult time when the bar is set higher the later they enter the game.

With an economy that benefits the rich and makes it difficult for new players to get into wont help the game grow and is likely not to work in the long run.

Also NPC's have a good use, they help maintaining the economy by adjusting the prices. If you use them right they can be a great tool to maintain the servers economy.
Like the NPC selling items to keep the prices down, and buying other items to keep the prices up.


How does that work? If you match the money sinks with money sources then you won't get an accumulation of money in the system. You're assuming these changes are being made after the game has already started.

With regards to the NPC vendors, why would you want that to happen? You want the players who have rightfully invested in their resource extraction or production to profit greatly from it, and the ones who have lost out to react to it.

For me, the key to starting a good Forum discussion is questions.

You bring up a lot of really relevant info, and no doubt there are STACKS of helpful posts lurking around here to help form ideas in your head, help you brainstorm, etc.

However, at the moment, I see a wall of awesomely enthusiastic, but really complicated, text that I just don't know where to start with.
I'm thinking other people might be able to dive in and be a great help, but if you'd like more feedback, opinions, etc. etc. from me - then shoot some questions off.
(You could wait until other people have put in other points, and then load up a "round 2" that I might be able to jump in on ;D)

I'm a big fan of a good, in depth discussion; it's always mutually beneficial ;)

Wyrm.


Alright then Posted Image

I'll start off with:

1) Do you feel having NPC vendors within a game is necessary or do they remove the benefit of the free market system?

2) Have you ever played a game, or felt like it would be better, to have no currency in an economy, and stick to a barter system, giving more incentive for your characters to be more self-sufficient and develop their crafting & mining/farming skills?


#4925709 Ideas for a large, multiplayer online strategy game mechanic.

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 27 March 2012 - 09:55 AM

True - I must admit most of my attention was being focused on the warhammer i.e. 2 sides (not counting the tyranids eldar etc) and not so much about the empire creation of each player. Your concerns are valid with respect to that unless you perhaps design a mechanic by where the empires themselves are inviolable and everything takes place external to them...somewhat like Age of Empires Online where the Capital city is basically separate to gameplaying itself (unless you like decorating that is). This would effectively protect each player but then does this belittle the idea of an actual "empire".


I see what you mean - honestly I don't know anything about warhammer. I'll probably need TexasJack to comment again so I know what he really wants.

But maybe you could have everyone with their core capital region of the empire, where all the trade and recruitment and research is carried out, then there are 'no man's land' in between each other. Players claim different territories and where they collide they are instanced into a more tactical zoomed in view of battle deployment.


#4925702 Ideas for a large, multiplayer online strategy game mechanic.

Posted by Sayid Ahmed on 27 March 2012 - 09:38 AM

I must admit I considered that option myself - then thought to myself: "MMO" - people logging on at all hours of the day and night, some people completing battles swiftly whilst others taking hours, somepeople logging off or dc'd in the middle of a battle. It kind of turned me against too much of an arbitary "stop-go" system of play. Also in terms of the war it wouldn't be unreasonable to have battles occuring up and down a frontline whilst other parts of the line are asleep with inactivity. A hugely successful battle might cause an offensive opportunity if other players also battle in that section to push forwards whilst defenders join in to "Hold the line". In some ways that measure of fluidity would offset the turn-based play nicely imo.


All I can think of is that armies and empires will be long-lasting and old aged - is that workable with your game?


Very true - but given the success of warhammer which is basically a neverending war I think it could be workable. Treat it the right way and it could grind out it's own niche market that supplies tabletop players with a new variation upon their games in the virtual world.


Well, the main concern I have with this being an MMO is that you will get people who are inactive or just not active enough and will have their empires completely swallowed up by their neighbor who will quite easily become the main regional power. You could have game mechanics to mitigate this but who knows how this specific game will turn out.




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