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Member Since 31 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 02 2015 10:44 PM

#4969100 Beyond gameplay, reasons to stay in the game? (RPG)

Posted by on 13 August 2012 - 09:50 AM

What I'm looking for is a way to make the game interesting for the player after those quests have been finished. The monsters are now buried, what is the character going to do now with his own life (appart from maybe getting married)?

But that could be said about anything that isn't infinite. At some point, you have to either add some game elements that are infinite (e.g. creative features like in Minecraft and similar) or keep on adding bigger and bigger scopes (WoW, anyone? Posted Image) until you decide that there's no real need for more, because players won't bother progressing that deeply into the game before moving on to a new game.

I think the most important thing any game developer can do in this regard is to just add new core elements to the game - I.e. new dimensions of gameplay, as opposed to taking an already existing dimension to new heights. The problem with being too linear with the game content is that, if a given game feature lies too far into the future (inaccessible to newbies), then fewer people will end up enjoying it because they may very well get fed up with the game before that time.

One example for me was Age of Conan. I tried it till level 25, and then I got fed up. It just felt too repetitive. But then some people said that I should get to max level because that's when the fun starts. Well, I'm not going to play a game where I need to do a million different boring things just so I can get to the fun part. So I quit. A game should be fun to play when you play it. No excuses.

I think proper progression in a game is important, but I also think a lot of people overestimate that importance and let it get to their heads. One way of solving progression "bottlenecking" is to provide players with additional dimensions of progression - something that is available to everybody, regardless of their current level of progression. This is what is sometimes called "horizontal progression".

A good game should have a nice balance between horizontal progression (n specializations) and vertical progression (the depth of each specialization), IMO.

#4968701 Beyond gameplay, reasons to stay in the game? (RPG)

Posted by on 12 August 2012 - 07:33 AM

Three points I wanna make:

1. There's a lot you can do in terms of adding "supermonsters" to the game or other superchallenges (or a combination). Instead of beating Final Fantasy 7, you could grind yourself up to taking on the various "Weapon" bosses in the game or, in FFX, the Dark Aeons and later Penance (after killing all Dark Aeons), the strongest boss in the game or Nemesis (after beating all Arena monsters).

2. Non-combat-wise, consider how minecraft caters to a player's creativity (which is arguably its main reason for success). In a RPG, there's can be a lot of possibilities for creativity if you just design the world around it. I think too many people think inside the box when in comes to RPGs, that an RPG must somehow be focused around combat-based progression only.

3. Don't limit your classes too much. Class systems are a nice way to group players and also to introduce new players to the game (a more focused learning curve). But classes can also limit players and eventually we all get fed up by the main role of our character. Some choose to reroll, but the ability to reroll won't always cut it. A lot of players (including myself) want to just have that 1 character to focus on until the end of time.

E.g. A warrior class who can only reach so far in trading is much better than a warrior class that can't trade at all. Same with gear restrictions and more.

#4968691 How does a nobody actually make a game?

Posted by on 12 August 2012 - 06:10 AM

Suppose, I actually had a great idea for a game, and suppose, that were it to be produced, it would not only be hugely successful, it would be really big. Just suppose.

How does someone like me (a little knowledge of c++ and a good idea of how to develop this game IF I had a big wad of cash) actually go about getting it done?

I'll bet that almost everybody on Gamedev.net has some idea that'll sell huge if he or she just gets it made, hehe. The idea is to actually get it made, as has already been pointed out above. Don't worry about finances, just focus on getting the basic functionalities of the game made and a steady job to pay your bills if you can't afford to go full-time dev.

Games are, according to Game Design - Theory & Practice (Second Edition) by Richard Rousse III (a highly recommended book to any game designers), typically designed in a highly modular way - you design some base functionalities for a game and then elaborate on that later on. However you're filling in the wholes depends on how much and to which user group(s) you want the game to sell and what you're looking to convey (main pitch, side features etc). Successful games are a fine balance between business sense and expressionism.

E.g. from having 1 resource in a game to having 3, from having no animations on ugly entities to having full animations on your amazing artwork, and so on. My biggest lesson in my own path towards game development is to not have too high expectations of my early builds - that'll come with time, trusting your own ability to make it shine. Initially, your main concern should be to just design that bad-looking, shallow game that works. Then you'll focus on the finesse and aesthetics in order to make it feature complete and sellable.

If there's something you suck at, e.g. artwork in my case, then you can just pay someone to make it for you (or just make games that don't require as much art, until you get better - which is what I'm gonna do). Consider FIFA Football Manager 20##, a successful AAA series with almost zero artwork (just a bunch of menus and lists). In either case, hiring for specific, smaller jobs shouldn't be too costly. But one method that I'm going to pursue, is to not even attempt making my most ambitious project until maybe 5-10 years from now. Instead, I'm making a bunch of Java games that'll (hopefully) be semi-successful and then use their success as my backbone towards that monster title.

Heck, maybe your current idea of a monster title is even vastly inferior to what you'll end up with (the way I understand the industry).

You need to start somewhere. Just start mapping out your game with some kind of design document for your own perusal. A document can help you become more systematic and also to remember that big "wall of crazy" ideas that you just can't wait to implement (eventually haha Posted Image). And let me tell you, my main project has a gargantuan wall of crazy Posted Image. But first though: Basic functionality ftw.

Good luck! Posted Image

#4968049 Thanks Game Dev

Posted by on 10 August 2012 - 05:30 AM

I've gotten the impression that C is non-object-oriented, C++ is object-oriented and C# is object-managing (even more top-down than OOPs), whereas Java is merely inspired from C and C++ to create an easier to learn and use language that uses basic programming with simplified object-orientation. Is this true?

In either case, afaik most great programmers won't learn just a single language. A great programmer is fluid in several languages.

(Edited for clarity)

#4967177 How to create Achievements in games in AS3?

Posted by on 07 August 2012 - 04:28 PM

KA bookmarked Posted Image

I'm doing Game Programming bachelor's in about 6 or 18 months, so I need to brush up on some math. Revisit some of the high school stuff and then learning more about vectors, logarithmics and other related stuff.


#4967154 In-game economy idea - Your thoughts?

Posted by on 07 August 2012 - 03:32 PM

I just wanna thank you guys for the feedback. This is exactly what I look for in a discussion. Lots of pinpointed opinions and ways to look at and consider things.


#4967116 How to create Achievements in games in AS3?

Posted by on 07 August 2012 - 01:41 PM

About your side note, did you see that lecture online? Will be cool if I can have a look at it; I have a BS in CS so I think won't be much of a problem ;)

Let me link the youtube channel instead, since it's a lengthy college course (if you wanna see all the videos):

About this, you mean like a place in the game where the progress of achievements appear?

Yes, the frame or window showing you the list of achievement obtainable or obtained. An achievement pane is essentially the same as a game screen, except that the entities/files used are 2D images and text rather than mobs, loot and buildings.

Cheers. Posted Image

#4966881 How to create Achievements in games in AS3?

Posted by on 06 August 2012 - 07:57 PM

Well, an achievement list is nothing more than stored values and often graphics changing one image file to another - or - (if simplified) from one stored value to another.

As a side note, I've just watched a lecture on data structures and algorithms, in which the tutor talked about looking at the problem in the simplest possible way. If your algorithm is way off, then it's gonna be a nightmare to process no matter how hard you optimize your program or hardware. But even a great algorithm can be the wrong one, if it boils down to you overthinking the problem.

More on-topic:

Supposing someone wants a fancy image-based achievement system like in WoW, here's a rough algorithm:

1. Add the basic "zero-achievements-awarded" pane (whatever graphics).
2. Add collapsibility to the pane (or separate windows for each category and link them together).
3. Add a 1D locational array to each page of achievements.
4. Give each array item a separate instance of a global variable (let's call it gloVar), set to 0 by default.
5. Add darkImageX to achX (etc for all possible achievements).
6. Add preconditions to each achievement (visually and syntaxically).

Now, to make achievements actually work in WoW:

7. When all preconditions are met, replace darkImageX with litupImageX and run the ImageXtoast animation in the main game window.
8. Set the array item's individual gloVar to 1.
9. Have achX swap place with the array item above it, if {varBinary == 0} - OR - the array item above achX has a name earlier in the alphabet. Else, do nothing more.
10. Update any group achievements that may be attached to this achievement.
11. Done.

I think paired If statements are the way to go. (1) If (action == true) {varCounter++} and (2) if (varCounter == 100) {update achX} (using pseudo-syntax here).


I'm not familiar with AS3 myself, but hopefully my reply nonetheless added something useful. Good luck on the system though.


#4966399 god games, what happened?

Posted by on 05 August 2012 - 11:20 AM

The way I see it, it's like this:
"Ok, so now I've spent all this time painstakingly making this epic thing, now what?" and then the game is over because what you just created has no real practical use. It was fun to reach the goal, but the goal itself isn't useful. Once you fill up the entire map in Simcity 2000 with endgame city superscrapers, there's no challenge left to defeat.

I think a lot of God games suffer from this. They're great for players who like the submission of working towards a goal and then get some bragging rights. But I think most players want to reach that goal because it opens up something else. You can't do much interesting with a Minecraft fortress, but maybe Minecraft's success is because it sure is fun to build those things and it can take a lot of time doing it. But if you get bored, you just go on a Zombie safari and you're having a ball. Plus, you're still vulnerable.

#4966372 Chances of getting a job at Gamestop

Posted by on 05 August 2012 - 09:20 AM

emark hasn't asked about the retail job as being valuable for working in game development.

I guess I was just continuing on frob's line of thought. You are correct, of course.

I'm going to tell the story of a friend of mine which shall remain anonymous.
That person worked in the games division of an electronics shop much akin to Gamestop for a few years.
She is now in the game industry. And yes, the position she had was instrumental in securing that job.

Yes and working at McDonalds can be instrumental in making you the owner of your own restaurant chain (no sarcasm intended - you literally get opportunities if you do a great job and mingle with the right crowd). My point is that it's not necessarily the fastest path to your ultimate goal - even if it's indeed a path to walk. In either case, it's a job and it's whatever you make it out to be - something that isn't great, isn't necessarily bad either. It can be average. I'm currently making rollators for a living and it's boring industrial work - but I learn to deal with people, manage resources and manpower and, most of all, techniques of making boring things seem more fun and motivating. None of those things will help me much in landing a game development job but, if I do indeed land one, those skillsets can severely improve how I do my job because a lot of these skillsets are about doing an effective job - regardless of what specific tasks you're doing.

As for the OP, if you love the business side of gaming, then GameStop is a great first step. But doing an excellent job is even better, so be sure to do that. It's all on you to shine in your job and do that little extra effort. Do that, and you'll definitely get opportunities beyond your core job description.

Cheers and good luck. Posted Image

#4964358 [Weekly Discussion] on RPG Genre's flaws - Week 5 : "Accessibility"

Posted by on 29 July 2012 - 06:51 PM

If you'd like to discuss the state of the industry, I'd recommend starting a thread in the appropriate forums. I don't think it belongs in this weekly design discussion.

I thought I was just elaborating on the topic and branching out, to discuss the bigger picture of why the jRPGs are having problems by exploring why games in general have a problem. But I guess I got sidetracked, sorry.

(But to just answer one of your comments quickly, I wasn't claiming that indies are surpassing AAA titles in any way. I was implying that game made with 20x the number of people and 1000x more resources shouldn't be just 2-3 times better - no matter the diminishing returns on manpower. But as you said, this is off topic so enough said.)

As for jRPGs, I just think that it's gonna be hard understanding why a specific genre of games is having problems if you don't understand the industry as a whole - or the individual jRPG and it's individual feature cells, for that matter. My immediate response would be that jRPGs tend to be clones of eachother on a much higher frequency than wRPGs. In that regard, I think that the accessibility factor is less relevant, though still always there.

I personally don't like jRPGs because I think they are complicated, have un-immersive combat, they show off a lot of overhyped superpower stuff that ends up being a parody of itself and they often have a ton of dialogue that I'm just waiting impatiently to shuffle through because I didn't pay $50 to watch a movie. One of the great exceptions to this was Final Fantasy 7, an almost perfect jRPG which still had some of the negatives, but made up for that with tons of positive content - a ridiculous number of mini-games, a vast story arc that was well-defined with compelling characters and unique personalities.

I haven't played too many jRPGs the last year though, so I'm probably not the right person to ask.

#4964326 Why do most FPS games have 2 teams?

Posted by on 29 July 2012 - 04:05 PM

Apart from free for all, most FPS have 2 teams. Why not more, i.e 3 or 4?

It's predominantly because it risks becoming a mexican standoff, which can hurt game sales because people are interested in winning and these things would promote pacifism (statistically, not absolutely). Even numbers, however, isn't as risky as odd numbers and the mexican standoff scenario also assumes that we're talking about instant, direct action and not about lengthy tug-of-war found in strategic games. But even strategy games can become mexican standoffs - e.g. if all 3 players in a Starcraft match goes for tech and amasses a maximum-size army. Then everyone waits for the first guy to act and you get a stalemate - because you know that a smart player would attack the base that is left undefended.

For those who are unsure, a mexican standoff is (originally) a duel between more than 2 people. It creates a situation where, if person A kills person B, then person C will kill person A. In practical terms, it means that the first one firing is almost guaranteed to die so everyone just stands still until one man cracks from under the pressure, shoot one of the others and gets himself killed by the third.

Also, the most effective griefing method in a game is to attack players who are already fighting someone else (so that they are both weak and distracted) - a similar scenario that most players simply frown upon.

#4963118 Game company funding?

Posted by on 25 July 2012 - 06:34 PM

Having a steady job on the side, for one thing. Posted Image

#4963116 Are open pvp + full loot SANDBOX mmorpg's still possible?

Posted by on 25 July 2012 - 06:32 PM

I think the biggest problem with these games is that players are sitting anonomously behind a pc screen. They're not held accountable for their actions in the same way as in real-life. Coincidentally, that's also why I tend to frown at any analyses concerning how real-life behavior and game behavior are linked, how they "can model eachother".

Anyways, as long as there's no real punishment for being a complete jerk to other people, this isn't going away any time soon.

#4963113 Chances of getting a job at Gamestop

Posted by on 25 July 2012 - 06:23 PM

Not to be too harsh on Gamestop, but that's like applying for a McDonalds position, if you ask me. Main thing you'll learn is which games come out when, plus some general costumer service (depending on the individual store and it's policies). Unless, of course, you get lucky and get to do some higher-up management stuff, then you *may* get to do some deeper costumer service stuff. But I don't see what that's got to do with writing methods for a company (if that's your end goal).