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Member Since 01 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 02 2013 02:55 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Searching for a specific game theory about basic interaction

06 January 2013 - 06:12 AM

Thx for all the tips and links, took me a while to pore through them but it was fun! Especially looking for the right video in Extra Creditz's...

All in all, most articles are similar but not exactly what I was looking for (but still good, so I'm thankful for them). CulDeVu, the article you referenced (Chemistry of game design), comes closest to what I am looking for and is an interesting read. I'm not sure I buy the 'gameplay = learning' as an end-all concept but the material is surely useful.

Skinners box application to games is coming close, but I think there is more to it than just the negative 'grindstyle' implementation. All games must be Skinner boxes at some level because we would not do anything if it wasn't rewarding. It all depends on what question you want answered. Instead of 'how can I make players play longer' you could also use it to try to answer 'how can I make players be more engaged'. The person I got the theory from mentioned something about 'pathing' (not sure it was exactly that word) to describe the way you get players in stage 1. (Presentation) to understand which actions they can take.

Anyway thx again, I'm going to stock up on my general knowledge of 'Game Studies or Gaming Theory' smile.png

In Topic: Very early alpha of a retro 2D game -- keen for community critique

16 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

One of the things that I think is interesting is that you showcase a lot of technology, but not a lot of gameplay yet. This is not a critisism, it is more of something I recognize from my own work. As a programmer I am delighted that it all works. But as a game designer I think; that does not make a game yet. I have this with my own work more often than I would like.

Maybe you can make a few playable levels first to get a feel for what is fun in this game, before creating the entire crafting engine. I know this might sound boring, but I'd bet that you get some ideas and some more valuable feedback if people can play a level or two.

In Topic: Very early alpha of a retro 2D game -- keen for community critique

16 December 2012 - 04:11 AM

Wow. As I'm working on something similar, I appreciate all the technical details in this game (LOS with lighting!). I think it it has lots of potential. It runs very smooth, path finding is nice, the graphics are basic but work and I even found that there is some strategy using lava to deal with the undead.

But as Morikubo implies: the first thing you need to work on is the pacing of the game. The first minute seems to feature everything there is in the game:
- bad guys
- pets
- treasure
- gear
- deadly lava
- doors
and probably some stuff I didn't figure out yet :)

What annoyed me about this version was that I did not have time to figure out the controls before the first group of bad guys arrive, making it hard to actually explore the game. Oh, and please look at the control scheme. The use of the mouse to pick up gear clashes with the rest of the keyboard interface. Can't you just pick stuff up when you touch it, like you do with coins and health?

But I applaud your effort and I love seeing a game like this in Java!

In Topic: Awfully many sprites, what to do?

14 December 2012 - 05:54 PM

Measure before you optimize. You might convince yourself you don't need to. And even if you find out that you do need to optimize, you are now capable of measuring the effects of your optimizations.

Use System.nanoTime() at the start and end of your render cycle to get a feel for your render time. Don't use System.currentTimeMillis as it has an unreliable resolution that can be in the order of 20ms.

In Topic: Memories in Games (long)

28 October 2012 - 04:30 PM

This is a construct that I think is nice: I like the idea of fading memories and how you can convey this in a game.

First off: from what you write I am totally not getting the concept that Justas is forgetting about his daughter that he is in the progress of rescuing. I fully acknowledge that I have way to little info to go on, but the devil is always in the details. Why is Justas forgetting? What exactly is he forgetting? This may be useful questions to style the scene and give it more meaning in the context of the rest of the story.

Also I don't believe that you will get any mileage from the words "find the sweet spot between obvious and subtle changes". This sweet spot depends on factors like target audience, game style and others so you will have to figure this out yourself (or give us lots of more information if you want advice). But we can brainstorm a lot of ideas that you can use in this scene anyways. Ideas such as:

- The color scheme could go from bright to sepia or black and white
- If you want to highlight changes you can always just have the changed items be... well highlighted in some way at the start of the scene. If the birds disappear then you can start the scene just before Justas enters. The birds are there and slowly fade out. Then Justas enters. You can also have things fade out when Justas gets close to them. This would change the scene into a sort of hide&seek thing.
- I am curious why the buildings are uninhabited, this struck me as contradiction to the rest of the uber-happy scene. If one of the changes you want is in the tone of the scene then the state of the buildings is a good subtle change candidate
- Changes in or removal of sounds and music. Lots of possibilities here.

Most of all I think the hardest part of this scene is how to keep the players interested in re-experiencing it several times throughout the game. I would be tempted to press cancel sooner rather than later once I -as a player- figure out what the scene means and there is no additional value.

You can make subtle changes to what it means if Justas is not just remembering, but if he is actively trying to remember. So that it has consequences in how good the player performs at this. Then exploring each repetition is at least rewarded (but might still not be interesting enough just like that).

The opposite route to go, is to gradually remove the player interaction, and have become more of a cut scene each time (thus removing the burden on players to do repetitious actions). Actually I quite like this idea, as it also implies loss of memory. First the memory is so vivid that it feels like you are still making the decision. Later the detail decisions are remove, etc, until all of your memory is a movie or even an image.

I hope this all helps and I am curious what you decide to make of your dream/memory sequence.