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Member Since 08 Aug 2012
Offline Last Active Feb 26 2015 05:25 PM

#5102633 Game modes?

Posted by on 19 October 2013 - 09:22 AM

For an online game, I'd consider things like auction house, NPC shop, forum, equipment management, minigame, PvP arena, and that sort of thing to all be game modes.  I'd define a game mode as one that has a distinct set of common player actions, a distinct set of relevant information, and a GUI adapted to these.


I would say those examples are sets of mechanics. A game mode has a more persistent aspect during the game play. A game mode could be two players sharing the screen, one of the players could die and the game would become single player, but the original mode selection is what matters. On the other hand NPC shops are temporary stages, unless you choose playing in the shop from the beginning, e.g. as a clerk, and you are mainly constrained to your role. That would be a game mode for a mini-game.

#5102429 Game modes?

Posted by on 18 October 2013 - 09:48 AM

First, yeah, I was missing the obvious: rules as game mode. That would be different sets of mechanics during the gameplay, that could change minimally or produce a whole new game/mini-game.
Just trying to find here the details that I have overlooked for the second-layer game engine. It also helps to proof-test other ideas already designed and implemented, and organize the engine's workflow by categorizing features. The tool should be as broad as possible to cover the different design decisions, whatever is too specific can be added as features or virtualized by the mechanics language.

#5100970 Massively Multiplayer Cloud Gaming

Posted by on 13 October 2013 - 03:32 AM

A player might be connected to several servers.


If you divide the population of an area in multiple servers, but still connect each player to each server, that won't remove the complexity, you are just replicating the areas and their population. If you want to split the population you have to communicate the severs between them.




instead of a few complex interactions I want many simple interactions


If the server is not authoritative, it doesn't matter how simple or complex the interactions are, since these are calculated in the client side. But if you don't want players to cheat you need to calculate most of the interaction from the server side. Even the simplest approach doesn't remove the requirement to transmit and process a huge amount of data in a small frame of time. And the problem is that you have to return the result of every other player in the same area to every player.


The main theory behind cloud is that you can easily add and remove servers in your system while it is running.


I think that theory is related to clients that don't interact/see all of each at the same time in milliseconds. Maybe for 5 people working on the same document and updating changes every few seconds? But when there is full interaction, there is probably a decay in the capacity achieved by stacking servers. If you manage to optimize this to the point of making it linear, then you will be spending a linear amount of money. That is without including the bandwidth, infrastructure and maintenance/managerial personnel of the farm. Otherwise, the amount spent will be exponential until reaching a point when the stack of servers won't be effective. You could prolongate the curve by creating a hierarchy of severs, but the exponential cost will still persist.


It's an interesting problem smile.png

#5100887 Massively Multiplayer Cloud Gaming

Posted by on 12 October 2013 - 03:58 PM

Are there other games that allow millions of players on the same map?


There probably are several MMO games with server software that is designed to support millions of players... the problem is finding, buying and maintaining all the hardware that is required to run it.

#5100145 Wasting potential, and seeking cloning

Posted by on 10 October 2013 - 05:52 AM

To make things even more confusing, the games I truely enjoy are often games no one else likes, and I mean the type that get reviews of 4-5/10. So it's kind of a bad idea for me to use them.


That's even better because that means there is room for improvement. As an exercise you could find out what makes that game suck, then clone the good parts and improve the others, replacing or adding new elements. For example, I like a crappy game called Prision Tycoon. The idea behind this game is interesting and there are plenty of opportunities to make it entertaining, but it seems the developers made several bad decision during execution and also release the game in a broken/unoptimized state. So it can be greatly improved and many people play this broken game because there isn't anything similar, so there is also a market.

#5100045 Wasting potential, and seeking cloning

Posted by on 09 October 2013 - 08:00 PM

I'm not a designer, maybe a game design entusiast. That said, I think you should clone the game that you like, or some parts of it, and then work very hard to shape it in the way that you want. One shouldn't aim to make something original, because originality is an illusion, but instead make it interesting.

#5100025 A better character creation system?

Posted by on 09 October 2013 - 06:04 PM

Why is gender agnostic a desirable feature? It feels like it takes away options, rather than offering more.


Well it's not exactly about giving more or less options, but gender feels too human-centric, and I'm looking to build a character creator for species of any kind. In a galaxy, far, far away, evolution could allow the development of life forms that procreate in trios, instead of couples as in Earth. And why does an artificial life needs a genre at all, anyways. If gender is required by the human language, there could be male/female/neutral options, so the player doesn't feel "denaturalized".

#5099103 Mechanic for internal struggle of an empire (strategy)

Posted by on 06 October 2013 - 07:19 AM

I think internal struggle is something that is hidden for a king, until bad things happen. The way to discover it on time is through the eyes of his spies. So you could use queues of spies (thinking on Master of Orion) for the cities of your own reign and foreign cities. These spies will reduce or increase problems in a city. The actions could be controlled with slides or could be a mini-game like trading cards. This will depend on how complex you want the interaction to be.

#5099022 Mechanic for internal struggle of an empire (strategy)

Posted by on 05 October 2013 - 02:36 PM

Is there a way to get rid of the overdone map+units mechanic yet still get the feel of an empire building game?


Well, if the problem is the map (2D/3D), you could make the game dimensionless. For example it could be like a trading card game. If your empire is attacked by another, you could choose an action from your hand, like sending another army to fight, resist from a city, exchange a beautiful princess for peace. Each win could give you points to build cities or armies, learn technologies, do diplomacy, etc.

#5095649 Cheat prevention?

Posted by on 20 September 2013 - 08:15 PM

Interesting topic, how does this work with games developed in Mono/.NET? Are these as simple to cheat?

#5085292 Mass simulation with statistical maps

Posted by on 12 August 2013 - 03:30 PM

You could simulate every object


Actually what I want to achieve is the contrary to simulating entities, that is simulating a mass as a whole, and giving the player samples from that mass to fake entities. While in GTA this information is static, I still think the same technique can be applied dynamically. What you find in the city are samples of the conditions in a given zone.
When writing the original post I was thinking on pixel "clouds", that could for example represent the density of members in a flock in the map. In order to move the flock from one place to another, pixels could be moved from back to front of the cloud, which is determined by the direction That way the area/volume of the flock will be constant. Physics could be solved this way, for example if the flock enters a city, it could move thru the streets. Probably this is mostly related to fluid simulation. At the moment I'm not sure if it would be better to make it using pixels or using polygons. Pixel operations are easier to design and program but might be slower, while polygons could be more powerful to solve the simulation but the math could be quite challenging.

#5077574 The definition of "game mechanic" is incomplete

Posted by on 14 July 2013 - 07:20 AM

Yes, what a game is, that's something that will take us a long time to understand, fortunately. But one of the parts of a digital game is interactive narrative, and reaching a good narrative should be the goal of us game developers. With a new definition of "game mechanic" we can now have a new set of tools that eases our work. Getting closer to good interactive narrative requires a new step in the stair, and that is a second-layer game engine. First-layer engines manage communication, then second-layer engines will manage options. That's one little step further to master the abstractions of interactive narrative.


Games already manage options, but remember what happened when first-layer game engines appeared, how these changed game development. Developers obtained the tools to achieve better game<->player communication. Now a second-layer game engine will provide a foundation to build more advanced game mechanics. Developers will be able to focus even more on the creative side.


Not only we can have a new definition of game mechanic, now we can talk the language of game mechanics, and second-layer game engines are approaching.


EDIT: This is the definition of game mechanics from Ernest Adams and Joris Dormans book:


"The video game design community usually prefers the term game mechanics to game rules because rules are considered printed instructions that the player is aware of, while the mechanics of video games are hidden from the player, that is, implemented in software for which the player is given no direct user interface. Video game players don’t have to know what the game’s rules are when they begin; unlike board and card games, the video game teaches them as they play. Rules and mechanics are related concepts, but mechanics are more detailed and concrete. For example, the rules ofMonopoly consist of only a few pages, but the mechanics of Monopoly include the prices of all the properties and the text of all the Chance and Community Chest cards—in other words, everything that affects the operation of the game. Mechanics need to be detailed enough for game programmers to turn them into code without confusion; mechanics specify all the required details.



Game designers are perfectly comfortable talking about a game mechanic in the singular form. They don’t mean a person who repairs game engines!
 Instead, they are referring to a single gamemechanism that governs a certain game element. In this book, we prefer to use mechanism as the singular form indicating a single set of game rules associated with a single game element or interaction. One such mechanism might include several rules. For example, the mechanic of a moving platform in a side-scrolling platform game might include the speed of the platform’s movement, the fact that creatures can stand on it, the fact that when they do they are moved along with it, but also the fact that the platform’s velocity is reversed when it bounces into other game elements, or perhaps after it has traveled a particular distance ."

#5077484 The definition of "game mechanic" is incomplete

Posted by on 13 July 2013 - 09:17 PM

Where did you read that a game mechanic was "a rule"?  I'd agree with you, game mechanics are composed of and/or guided by rules, but a rule alone is definitely not a game mechanic.


Sorry jbadams, I was afraid to be right on this definition and not reaching the discussion temperature point to obtain replies on this topic.


Thanks for the links, I'll read!

#5077451 The definition of "game mechanic" is incomplete

Posted by on 13 July 2013 - 06:28 PM

I've been deeply researching on game mechanics for almost a year now, and I don't like the current definition for "game mechanic". Is it really a rule? Yes, a game mechanic has rules, but is not "a rule". Starting from the fact that has a set of rules, not one single rule, and that there is much more that makes a game mechanic. This is such an incomplete definition.


Now I want to declare that a game mechanic is "a set of options and consequences".


To arrive to this conclusion, we have to think on how current game engines work. What are game engines all about? Communication. The game engine manages input and output. The engine receives instructions from the user, and represents a world for the user to keep entering commands. But just receiving commands and rendering is what a video player does. So the game is about options, and the minimal sets of options are given by each mechanic. For that reason, the elemental option-consequence is THE game mechanic.


How is this important? Focusing a blurred concept allows us to have a better vision on the future of game development. It will allow us to have better tools for modeling mechanics.

#5064866 Optimizing code statements into expressions?

Posted by on 25 May 2013 - 05:18 PM

It amazes me that I never received a straight answer to my question, which I considered pretty basic. Some commenters had the genuine intention of guiding me, thinking that there is a flaw since they really don't have a full picture of the system. I can understand that, but then many are just repeating the concerns of others, and are poisoning the thread to the extreme that my words are being taken out of context to produce more concern. Now you ask for an effort on my side to further explain my design... you haven't done a single effort to answer my question, so you get nothing. In conclusion all this evasion from my question leads me to believe that it's difficult to achieve full statement-to-expression with C#'s non-overridden operators, and that saves me some time investigating them actively, I'll do it passively. I'll determine if the task is impossible later on. Answering all your concerns I was able to proof test my system's design. Also, now I know that not many developers will adventure in this field due to the "don't program that way or I hit you with a stick" mentality. Answers were helpful but only indirectly, the thread will be closed since it's already poisoned. Thanks biggrin.png