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Malabyte

Member Since 31 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 30 2014 02:33 PM

#5085233 Morality compatibility

Posted by Malabyte on 12 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

I think it depends heavily on how it's presented, but overall I think it's not something that a game developer should bet all their money on. Morality is heavily ingrained in people, especially those who make an active attempt at showing it. Personally, I don't believe in morals, because most "moral values" I know about are vague and "true just because they say so". I prefer the causality of human ethics. And the idea that kids are discarded isn't just another moral flavor, it's a core human ethic and highly unscientific and irrational. All people are good for something. They don't need to be good for more than a select few things in order to deserve life, because we almost always put out more than we get in. Especially when looking at human beings as groups and societies, and going beyond the isolated individual.

 

If anyone would find this enjoyable, it would either be because of a highly exceptional, rare set of "moral" values or in spite of their otherwise common morals (because it's a computar game fantasy and not real life).

 

You also have the macro-evolutionary problem. If parents can just euthanize their kids everytime they throw a tantrum, then a number questions arise:

 

1. When did this change of morals occur?

2. How come society hasn't become extinct yet?

3. Would there be additional rules to this moral that tells you to only dispose your kid if society has enough kids to survive?

4. Would kids' tantrum be clearly known by the kids themselves as punishable by death?

5. Do parents only dispose kids within a certain age range? (as to prevent younger kids to be disposed for don't understand the consequence of tantrums)

6. How many kids do people have, and are pregnancies common enough to physically support this moral?

 

(and so forth)




#5085225 Mathbook for dummies, any recomendation?

Posted by Malabyte on 12 August 2013 - 10:29 AM

I would actually advice you against buying any kind of math book, when all its information is available for free on the internet:

 

For Kids:

http://www.math.com/

 

For All:

http://www.khanacademy.org/

 

A list of other free math-learning websites:

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/08/a-list-of-great-free-math-websites-for.html

 

Online Megacalculator:

http://www.wolframalpha.com/

 

 

Enjoy! biggrin.png

 

 

I'd try to make it a rule of thumb not to buy books that insult its readers on the cover.

With regards to insults, I personally subscribe to the idea that if you don't get it, then people can't do it. wink.png




#5085071 What's so fun about city builders?

Posted by Malabyte on 11 August 2013 - 07:41 PM

Well, using Simcity, Civilization and Settlers as a basis, I personally just love the economic aspect of it and propagating/evolving something out of nothing. Trying to figure out the system, learning how to earn the most money, how to dominate and ultimately how to get the most "points" is what drives me to play these games.

 

I've been a little demotivated after the SimCity reboot though, but I do like a good economy game if it's deep enough. But it does need to be deep enough, that's one of the most critical parts of these games IMO. Very easy to become too shallow. EVE Online is superb with regards to depth, but the only problem I see with that game is that it's too slow-paced for my liking. So pacing is definitely a factor as well, that whole idea of feeling that you have to wait forever for something. If a player needs to wait, then you should occupy him with something else to do that's similarly enjoyable. That's what creates true depth in a game, IMO.




#5082924 How can you design a level for a side-scrolling shooter?

Posted by Malabyte on 04 August 2013 - 02:01 AM

What you're asking takes some amount of explaining to answer. But to give you some feedback:

 

A successful "level" in any game is essentially the same as a successful gameplay experience when in that area. Whether it becomes boring or not depends largely on a number of different factors and not all of them are about the visual design of the level. Consider the following:

 

- How interesting are the overall game mechanics and how are they taken advantage of in the level? (movement, manipulation, combat etc.)

- How do enemies behave and what level of variety is there, both in the type of enemies and their range of behaviour?

- What is the overall aesthetics of the level and how does it differ from the previous/next level?

- What kind of macro features are there (major features of the overall macro design - some specific major attention focus, e.g. the Boss fight at the end or minibosses)?

- What kind of level design details can we see (background or architectural details), and do they add to or distract from the overall level experience?

- How fun and/or frustrating is the combat?

- Does the player character and the enemies have interesting looks, animations and personalities? Are they memorable?

 

As you can see, there's a lot you need to think about. But if you just break it down into parts and address them one by one, it won't seem as difficult to work out.




#5082772 Newcomer Question - How is the game design career outlook and are you happy?

Posted by Malabyte on 03 August 2013 - 11:21 AM

Well, this isn't a direct answer, but here's a nice video on what you should expect as a Game Designer:

 




#5082682 Should I load models and textures at the beginning of the game?

Posted by Malabyte on 03 August 2013 - 12:38 AM

I'm not familiar with openGL or DirectX just yet, as I'm a newbie like you. But what I know is that a program is a set of processes that you want to keep to an absolute minimum at all times. You don't wanna use unnecessary processing power in redundant areas when you can instead use that same power on something else that makes more sense. As long as you can get the information easily from the library, there's no reason why it should be stored in memory when it's not used.

 

For huge multi-threaded programs, this becomes especially important because you're already running several processes at once. It becomes easier to crash the program for having run too many processes simultaneously. So in general, everything should be rendered and called upon when needed. For instance, in a voxel-world game like Minecraft, Castle Story or Cubeworld, only the textures on the cube sides that are actually visible to the player, are rendered (afaik). All resources are (or should be) treated this way, afaik. It should be there when you need it and not when you don't. If you render all six sides of 29 million blocks (which is a full 360* Far Distance world of Minecraft), that gonna take some serious resources. Especially when each side consists of 16x16 pixels (a whopping 7.4 billion pixels rendered per tick).

 

If any of you Pros could mention any inaccuracies of my reply or otherwise situation where this minimization is not as important, relevant or even the best method, please comment. I'm curious myself as to the details of this.




#5082401 Non-random evasion in turn-based games?

Posted by Malabyte on 01 August 2013 - 11:38 PM

A game I played had a defend mechansim where a character could defend instead of attacking. This would skip your chance to attack, but would reduce the damage done to said character. This was especially interesting when battling ranged units.

 

I didn't read all the other comments, so I might be repeating something. But with SillyCow's comment as a basis, here what I feel:

 

Imagine a game where, in your own turn, you attack and the opponent can defend. Vice versa in his turn. Depending on what you choose to defend and how you defend against it, that will affect how you can counterattack him in your next turn. This way, you will get a turn-based game that is also, to some lesser extent, reactive and immediate.

 

Consider a turn-based card game such as Magic: The Gathering. The entities are cards but the principles are very much the same. You have the ability to play certain moves at certain phases of either your turn or the opponents. Depending on what you specifically play, this can have consequences (either good or bad) for any of the subsequent turns. On one hand, you might play a powerful Wrath of God or Armageddon spell that kills all in-game creatures or lands respectively, including your own. On the other hand, you might want to place that extra Land or other ability that either gradually (over time) or instantly (after a countdown) makes you stronger.

 

Now try implementing these mechanics into a turn-based fighting game between 2 Bushi. No armies, no lands, just the Bushi/Samurai in a turn-based version of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Instead of creatures, you could have Chi buffs in soft spots that the opponent could try to attack with his moves. Instead of Lands, you could have Mindlessness or similar that over time gives you a greater ability to recall the various sword moves that you've learned thus far. The sword and other attack moves would be the equivalent to the spells in MtG. And so on.

 

Shouldn't be too hard.




#5082393 Procedural Rhetoric in Game Design

Posted by Malabyte on 01 August 2013 - 10:07 PM

There’s nothing that simulates “being prepared” like the consequence of death. In game play language, this means “save game”. If you remove the multi-save system and replace it with a single save game (preferably not on the player’s PC), then the player MUST be prepared at all times or risk having to start over. There are a few games out there that have this, but only a few…..

 

Well, the problem in a lot of games is that players get very immersed into the experience, which means that they easily forget about metagame concerns such as saving the game. But if they're gonna have to worry about saving all the time, then this is going to affect their sense of immersion. It would be cool to see some in-game interactions with regards to saving though. Some advisor telling you that it's time to "go back to your ship" or "Recuperate at a Health Station", like an indirect hint that you should go and save. It could even be an item upgrade.

 

The autosave function and, to some extent, quicksave, is very good IMO. Save points is another way of handling it, but developers are moving away from this method (because it's just very unintuitive and clumsy, especially if the player ever feel like he didn't deserve that death, because it was too random and unpredictable).

 

What I just said depends on the game, of course. But as a rule of thumb, you generally don't want the penalty of death and poor decisions to be a major loss of progress. In the Diablo series, your gear and quest progress is saved and it doesn't take too long to get back into the fray. In most MMOs, you end up at some resurrector and pay some money and/or get a debuff. But if you keep dying, you'll also get additional repair costs on gear. Progress itself, however, is still retained and unchanged. It was you wasting your time dying, not the game wasting your time penalizing you excessively.

 

If a game is to have loss of progress as a death penalty, then the devs should IMO also remember to follow certain preconditional rules:

 

1. Death is rarely, if ever, random. Players need to feel that the death is somewhat deserved and reasonable.

2. Loss of progress must not reduce overall experience. E.g. players often accept a loss of up to 10 or even 15 minutes worth of play, but not 1-2 hours.

3. The penalty of poor decisions is only death if the player has first gotten some preceding non-death penalty and then ignored them.

 

These are just things I thought about right now, I'm sure others can flesh these things out better than me. But IMO, I feel like "Save Game" is just scratching the surface of what a game designer can implement with regards to death penalties.




#5081715 Procedural Rhetoric in Game Design

Posted by Malabyte on 30 July 2013 - 08:35 AM

Adding random hazards to a ... game...

 

I remember Dustin Browder (Lead Developer, Starcraft 2) was talking about this in an interview once. Initially, he wanted to see Protoss Carriers and other units just fly apart as they got destroyed and there was even some talk about environmental effects to "add to the experience". Eventually, they decided that too much of this random stuff just wouldn't work, especially since an RTS is a game about calculated risk-reward and deep strategies that you expect to work. So while you can see environments and NPCs popping out here and there for the Single-player campaigns, there very little randomness in multiplayer.

 

I think this is one of those cases where an expectable core gameplay must be the thing that everything else revolves around and is dictated by. Random events are just annoying moreso than interesting.




#5081336 Procedural Rhetoric in Game Design

Posted by Malabyte on 28 July 2013 - 08:35 PM

I've seen walkthrough videos where the player is fully aware of the proper and best course to take, and automatically chooses to select every possible incorrect path first, "just in case." It can come across like some variant of gambler's disease.

 

Haha, boy can I recognize myself in that. rolleyes.gif It's not gambler's disease, it's just the feeling of completion that a lot of people have. The consequence of wanting to complete an overall objective can result in excessive gaming and, potentially, gambler's addiction. That's why I feel that developers need to take responsibility for their games and maybe have some laws rammed down their throats, because they're sometimes creating addicts that didn't already exist by exploiting human nature and psychology. Similar to how McDonalds exploit our instinctual desire for sugars and fat.

 

In their defence, however, I think they're just trying to promote the sense of exploration. Somewhat ignorantly and I agree that it doesn't feel right. I think one reason is that you can't go back once you've moved on. Like on Dead Space 3, I've missed a lot of the progression because of this. If I wanna correct that, I'll need to restart the game (afaik). Now I'm not going to, but others might and I know I would a year ago.

 

I think you're onto something, but I'm not sure if I'd do things exactly the same way. But that's alright, we do things our own way and hopefully it'll pan out.




#5080952 Procedural Rhetoric in Game Design

Posted by Malabyte on 27 July 2013 - 09:10 AM

...looting every garbage pail and back alley in search of a tiny little bit of collectible thingy? That's a little...odd, isn't it?

 

I'd almost think you're one of TotalBiscuit's handles right now lol. I was watching his "WTF is... Tomb Raider" video on Youtube, where he addressed the exact same thing as you do now. I have to agree, it looks really odd when you're called upon to do a bunch of completely unrelated tasks that will do nothing but reward you with a completely useless item.

 

At least they could have the decency to make the items useful in some sense or another. I remember back in GTA San Andreas, there were essentially 4 different collectibles you could get. If you managed to get them all, some in-game permanent bonus would occur. The collectibles included spraying turf tags, collecting horseshoes and oysters, and taking photos of Photo Ops. The tags and photo ops made sense with regards to the plot of Los Santos and the city style of San Fierro, respectively. As for the oysters and horseshoes, they didn't make the same sense but, in order to collect them, the player needed to be smart and take advantage of various game mechanics such as the Jetpack flying and other things.




#5080654 Procedural Rhetoric in Game Design

Posted by Malabyte on 25 July 2013 - 09:48 PM

If you take a game such as Minecraft, you'll see that it tries to balance the effective randomness of procedurality with some clear rulesets for what to expect within a certain range of possibilities. In some areas, Minecraft succeeds expertly at it. In other areas, Minecraft is absolutely horrendous.

 

Minecraft is rather good at giving the player some pre-emptive ideas on how difficult the next tiers of challenges are. The Nether area is fairly brutal for a poorly geared player, but Ghasts that shoot fireballs with their distinct screams is a tell-tale sign that you've just entered an area that'll eat you up if you don't tread very carefully. So the player will prepare a little, and then he'll move on out. But if he then chooses to fight the neutral zombie pigmen, he'll quickly figure out a new tier of difficulty and retreat back home. Assuming that he knows how to enchant gear, find diamonds and make diamond gear, the player is able to reach a point when even the Nether is effortless.

 

That last sentence, regretfully, is also a testament to Minecraft's greatest weakness. You can't realistically play Minecraft to the fullest unless you also use the Minecraft Wiki website as a supplement. With such a daunting number of crafting recipes and no clear ways to actually learn them (except randomly putting items in the crafting window and trying to "figure them out"), it's a prime example of how Minecraft fails to present the player in-game with his boundaries. In other words, Minecraft has a lot of content that is rarely, if ever, going to reveal themselves to players who don't also use the Wiki effectively. Now, using the Wiki is no effort at all, but I just think that it's sloppy for any program to rely on other programs in order to work to its fullest.

 

Personally, I'm a great and strict fan of gameplay-promoting lore and tutorials. At the same time, you don't want to tell the player something he should be able to figure out quickly on his own. For instance, I like the idea that players are forced into gameplay bottlenecks that promote imagination and trying to figure things out. But if there's no way for the player to realistically figure something out, it's going to be a diminished experience for the player. Not only that, but there's going to be a lot of superfluous, unused game design floating around (which btw is also true for these "infinite" procedural worlds that nobody will ever be able to explore even 1% of).

 

Will Wright got it right. Possibility space is the key. But not just what the player is potentially able to do (with no ways of learning about them), but specifically what the player is actually able to do because he or she knows exactly where those boundaries are (or is guaranteed to learn about them at key progression thresholds).




#5080122 What program is this?

Posted by Malabyte on 24 July 2013 - 07:49 AM

Edit: skipping through, he's using Unity throughout.

I know, except for the 0:55 seconds mark. wink.png

 

 

The brainstorming bit at 0:55 looks like FreeMind/XMind/etc

And indeed it is (XMind). Thanks for the tip, I just DL'd it. smile.png




#5080111 What program is this?

Posted by Malabyte on 24 July 2013 - 07:01 AM

(Original Topic/Question:
Does any of you know what kind of program the guy in the video below uses @ 0:55 seconds?

Thanks in advance.)

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

Updated Topic:

Here's a very nice mind-mapping tool (shown @ 0:55 seconds in the video below) for you beginners out there (It's called XMind, although most of the video shows Unity):
 

sshot-1.png

 

(Image URL acquired from the official website (where you can also download it for free).)

 

 

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

Other mind-mapping tools include Freemind and Mindjet.




#4971715 Help! I'm trying to make a game.

Posted by Malabyte on 20 August 2012 - 10:38 PM

What you're asking is essentially the same as asking if english or french is the best language to use to say "Hello" so someone. "Allo" might be 1 letter shorter than "hello", but that doesn't mean that french is better (even at saying hello). This is where context and abstractions come into play. One judges a given language based on complexity/processing, ease of learning/understanding and how fast you're able to read, speak and write something with it. In those regards, C++ and C# are so similar that it doesn't really matter too much which you learn - especially since you'll eventually know both of them eventually.

Being 13 years old, you actually have a major advantage over people like myself - time. You'll probably end up knowing 10+ languages, whereas I probably only got time for half. When you start doing programming professionally, you will most likely learn both C++ and C#, because when you've learned 1 language, it's much easier to learn a second one. Most serious programmers end up knowing maybe 7+ different languages, in addition to knowing mountain climbing, karate, economics, driving a car or whatever. You don't have to worry about not having the time to learn more than one thing. It depends on your focus.

But, regardless of how many languages you know, that's not as important as learning the methodology of programming. Programming science, essentially. How to approach any given problem, make it readable to other people (or yourself), figure out a solution algorithm (recipe) and only then comes the actual language itself with which you solve the problem.


Here's what I would do, if I were you:

1. Figure out which language is more interesting, by getting an introduction to both. (Youtube is your friend.)
2. Simply choose that language. If you can't make up your mind, then just flip a coin and go with what the coin says. If you cannot decide, then neither choice will be that bad anyways.


Good luck and have fun. Posted Image




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