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Member Since 06 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 12:10 AM

#5315801 Couple of questions for game art designers/animators

Posted by on 19 October 2016 - 05:13 AM

@Scouting Ninja


Thanks a ton for all your help :) I really appreciate it! You've cleared up a lot of things so I can prepare for the future now. I think I'll remove the idea of hiring an artist and sound designer and look for a mix of store assets/my own simple work/hiring temporarily for some niche jobs. I won't hire an artist as a hobbyist, but I'll see if I can look for a sound designer. Otherwise I'll pay for them temporarily as well.

#5315181 Stronger versions of enemies?

Posted by on 14 October 2016 - 08:22 AM

There are a lot of creative ways to increase the difficulty of a creature in a positive way. Only increasing their stats simply makes things harder, not more interesting or fun. I don't think a game should ever be about being harder solely for the sake of it. Dark Souls, for example, was not meant to be such a brutal game. It simply came out that way as a product of the design.


As Scouting Ninja mentioned, diablo gives the stronger enemies special abilities. In Diablo 3, these abilities were randomised. They were all part of a central pool and when an elite monster spawned it would select a number of abilities from that pool that you had to deal with.


Another way to increase difficulty is to improve the enemies AI.


Or you might change its role from 'stronger enemy' to 'group commander'. The elite monster of a pack of goblins is able to command those goblins as an army, rather then having them fight you haphazardly.


Or even change their fighting style. A goblin may wield a small spear to strike at its target. An elite goblin may wield a large spear, using it expertly to attack from a far range, perhaps incorporating more attack variations to mess with the players rhythm.


There are endless possibilities to make an enemy harder. I always notice when a game simply increases an enemies stats and pretends the enemy is now 'harder', and I always hate it. Trust me, it is the perfect example of anti-fun and lazy design. Do not do it.

#5314591 Looking for advice on design of a game I'm working on

Posted by on 10 October 2016 - 05:55 PM

Okay, first just take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm not an expert, but I've designed a couple of games by myself. This is what I've learned on building the documents.


First thing I would say is to not split your design documents up so extensively for the prototypes. The first problem with doing so is that it will unnecessarily complicate things. The second problem is that you're restricting your team members access to the various bits of information.


I don't really understand what you're trying to do with the prototypes however. I get that you want to play-test whether something works or not, but you don't need a separate prototype each time you do that. Again, many prototypes would just unnecessarily complicate things. If you want to play-test many of your features external from the game you're building, just make a single prototype that does that function.


Next bit of advice I would give is to split up your documents (I know, ironic). For my own projects, I create the following documents:


Business Plan - marketing, the future of the game/team (say are you going to build a company around this etc.) - if you're ever looking to sell your game for money, do a business plan


Project management - managing the project, including QA and things like that - anything about the project that isn't directly related to the game itself, or the business plan


Game Design Document - The game itself. Target audience, scope, what do you want to achieve, what is in it - gameplay, story, GUI etc. etc. etc.


Technical Design Document - The technical details of the game. For example, this two-handed sword deals 5 damage. The player has a base of 3 health and 1 damage. At this specific moment, the player will say this text etc. etc. just every technical aspect of the game. Balancing is included in this.


Level/Art/Sound Design Documents - this is fairly simple. Details the level, the art and the sound design. Each will want to take from the atmosphere explained in the game design document. The art document should have concept art and than the real art.


I believe most people put the game design and technical design documents together as one, but I like to separate it - makes it easier to get to what you need. I also sometimes separate the GUI from the game design document if it is a heavy design aspect (say for an RPG).


The only reason I create the separate documents is that it becomes much easier to access the information you need without having to trawl through extra unnecessary things. I find it helps a lot when you're working on the game (but that's just me). I haven't built enough games to know if this assumption is correct.


Right now, though, your biggest problem is that you just don't have anywhere near enough information about the game. Make your prototype first. Is it fun? If the answer is yes, then go to your design documents and build your game extensively. It'll save you a lot of headaches in the future.

#5281171 Game blurbs

Posted by on 14 March 2016 - 02:53 AM

I would blend the two. You want to engage the reader while also telling them what the game entails.

#5261039 Looking for books on developing a business plan/general information on the bu...

Posted by on 08 November 2015 - 05:17 PM

See if you can find a copy of Secrets of the Game Business
Edited by Francois Dominic Laramee
Paperback - 338 pages (March, 2003)
Charles River Media; ISBN 1-58450-282-7.0


Thankyou, I had my eye on that one. I'll see if I can grab it.

#5201469 "Story" for this mechanic (SF, strategy)

Posted by on 02 January 2015 - 10:42 PM

You could go for an old trick where the alien races have limited resources, and Earth is a figurative gold mine. It could begin from attempting to fight off the first invasion, which nearly wipes out the entire human race. Then The Empire is formed with the remaining population, and you reverse engineer the aliens and what they had to gain a basic advancement, sort of leveling the playing field without making you strong yet.


Additionally, in relation to focusing on one Empire, you could say that due to their limited resources much dissension within the alien races was created, and so their is no significant power left. The problem you arise with there being only one Empire, is that there is no plausible reason (that I can think of) for any significant advancement in power/numbers over time.


On the note of the 'Eliminators', I think it could work quite well. Perhaps the reason Earth was attacked now is because a prophecy, or event, has taken place that revealed to them their limited time before the 'invasion'. Over time, through defending the Empire you created and collecting information on your enemies, you discover this. By that time, you have become a lot more powerful, and so you will shift away from the minuscule fights with the aliens and face the much larger threat at hand. This could easily explain a change in difficulty as well.

#5171015 Horror Story Help?

Posted by on 01 August 2014 - 07:37 PM

While I do agree with most of the points above, I don't think a horror game meant to be psychologically scary has any real need to make sense. Reason is one of the factors that helps us rationalise things, not to mention that humans are afraid of the unknown (extremely so). One of the great things about focusing on cult's is that, generally, what they do does not make any sense. Beyond the whole 'sacrifice lesser beings to summon/appease greater beings', most sacrificial cults just do not make sense at all.


I noticed how you said you wanted to be 'somewhat' authentic. To be honest, occultism isn't widely known, or even thought of, beyond the sacrificing. People only see a cow getting massacred and say 'wow, that's barbaric' which is ironic but that's going off-topic. What I'm getting at is you should only really be looking at going authentic with something if you believe that your audience has knowledge of the topic. Unless you personally feel the need to.


In the case of occultism, I'd say research 'sacrifices' and make that authentic. Anything else you can either draw some inspiration from real world occultism or make it up completely. Note that when I say sacrifices I'm not including resurrection, I believe that resurrection is something that varies from cult to cult, so there's no real need for it to be authentic. However, you may disagree and want to have a lot of the cult workings authentic, so I'm providing some material to look at:






I found various other ones in my research, but all of them were either fictional creations or people disgusted at cults (not really explaining them, rather degrading them). Interestingly, or rather logically, people seem to avoid the subject all-together. it's very hard to find a reputable source of actual cult in-goings, and no I don't believe its because cults are very secretive (although it could very well be).


What I could suggest is going onto the cult wikipedia page and looking for tangents. It'd be your best bet of finding cults, but it'll also be very time consuming.


Let me wrap up by repeating what I said previously, reason is one of the things that makes a game less scary, so don't worry about how much sense it makes. Just focus on what you want it to be like.


Side note: I think it'd be cool if the game starts where you wake up and you're chained to a stone table with a ritual being performed around you. You see dead body's strewn around the place as you look around, before you look down on the table. The tables completely covered in blood. Then you frantically look up to see a knife plunge into you and you black out again. Next time you wake up you're among the dead bodies, and the ritual is still being performed with more people. You were fortunate enough for them to have missed your heart, but to be physically dead for a few seconds. This is your chance to escape.


I had a chat with my mother who did some research on occultism. She said to read between the lines. Think of what's posted online as a net. A lot of it is their in order to find new recruits. They're seeking people crazy enough to join their cult, so they post things similar to what their cult actually practices in order to find people interested in it.


But besides that, their is not much you can find online. These cults truly believe in what they're doing and are very close-mouthed about it, you're either with them or dead. Your best bet would be to join a cult itself, but I highly recommend you do not. Not only would it be extremely dangerous, if you couldn't stomach it you'd be found out immediately.

Side Note: She said that as she has not had first-hand experience in a cult she cannot guarantee this, its possible that some cults let their members leave on the condition that they do not reveal any information. But in that case, you wouldn't find anything out form them anyways.


She suggested that your best bet would be to go to a library and look up certain key phrases like 'summoning' or 'sacrifice. A lot of the information of cults are old historical documents detailing certain practices that happened in their time. If you fail to find much in your local library, it might be worth travelling to a larger library.


Also, this is a forum focused specifically on occultism that I found: http://www.occultforum.org/forum/index.php?sid=eb9514ea4248849b599cf6993b146041


It'd be a gold mine for real cults to grab fanatics, so I'd say there is a lot of material their that originates from real cults.

#5168832 Games dependent upon the use of (improvised) external auxiliary instruments

Posted by on 24 July 2014 - 03:37 AM

Well simple cryptography would be an interesting angle. You could have the device be a backer perk. It wouldn't be required, but if you don't use it then all your communication is clear-text and open to interception by the enemy. ;)


It'd be quite problematic to implement this online, but it'd be a lot of fun offline. Quite interesting, I feel almost compelled to use it.

#5168293 Your focus as a creator and consumer?

Posted by on 21 July 2014 - 09:00 PM

1) I've never really thought about it before, but it seems pretty logical for a focus to be apparent in story writing. I find myself taking a world approach the same as you, interestingly enough I actually do this in both my game writing and my book writing. It has a lot to do with how my mind creates or imagines. I spent a lot of my younger days envisioning different scenario's about myself in my imagination. But instead of focusing on myself, I focused on the world and put myself in their to see how I would act or react to different things happening. I could take a guess and say this directly correlates to my focus on the world to date.


2) Matthew Reilly, an Author, has a few book series. One of those series is focused on a character called Captain Shane Schofield, so I'd say its very character-orientated. I'd say, however, his other series is more story-oriented. So perhaps we focus on one of the three every time we write something new. Who knows.


3) there's other focuses, but they all are really sub-genres of the three you have already mentioned. I can't think of a focus that is external to any of the three, but I may be wrong.


I would also mention that you don't always focus on one thing. In quite a few of my own pieces, I use the world to tell the story but I also use the characters to tell the story as well. They're equally important in the story's progression, so its safe to say they're both the primary focus of the book.

#5167745 Games dependent upon the use of (improvised) external auxiliary instruments

Posted by on 19 July 2014 - 01:02 AM

I've always loved a mix of both physical and virtual game mechanics. For example, if I'm seeking to find an easter egg or something else of equally hard-to-find nature, I prefer to have my notes on how to find it by my side and not on the screen. It's not just about what I like, its simply better.


it allows you to access a resource without having to remove yourself from the game. Most of the time its simply easier then, say, having notepad up and tabbing out of the game every 5s to look at your notes.


Because of this, I've always thought about a better way to implement physical 'notes' of such. For example, there's a game called Legend of Grimrock. This game has a spell system, where there is a 3x3 grid of symbols:




Activating different symbols in combination allows you to cast a spell. To know the combination you have to find spellbooks found in the dungeons. I jotted down on a piece of paper the spell and its requirements every time I came across one, so if I started again I knew what to do. There were also a lot of puzzles that you had to do to progress, along with puzzles that contained secrets, and while I attempted to keep track of them on paper it just became too messy to do so.


however, what would've been great is if you bought the game and it came with a notepad where you could put it down in an organised fashion instead of having a bunch of mess everywhere. Half of the book could come with pages like this:



The other half with pages like this:



with the left being the puzzle and how it works, while the right being the first couple of pages explaining what the map means. Then there could also be a few pages at the end to jot down some extra notes if you need to.


To be honest, if I had of had something like this I would've played the game for a lot longer. My opinion of physical notes is they should be something you accumulate yourself, but the developers should provide the material to cultivate this. That way you can both organise your notes and at the same time have a single source to access them.


I mean, massing a source of information for your game is an achievement within itself. It's fun and you become better at the game. A lot of the reason why developers don't implement such things like this is most games are being moved entirely virtual. Its only big name games and console games that are really being bought in stores anymore. I bought the Legend of Grimrock on steam, so I wouldn't have gotten a physical notebook even if they provided it.

#5167511 How to exit the game gracefully?

Posted by on 17 July 2014 - 08:09 PM

the problem differs from game to game. If you're playing a game that loses progress if not saved properly, or cannot be saved, then thats where the quitting option becomes a problem.


Their are quite a few games that implement a time feature GameCreator, however most of them are mmorpg's, which is reasonable as the online feature can cause problems if disconnection is immediate. There have been quite a few times where my internet has turned off, but it took a few seconds for my character itself to be removed from in-game, causing me to die. Some mmorpg's implement both the time and are you sure features together, so once you click quit you are given a 10s window in which you can click quit again to close the game immediately. It's a mostly irrelevant feature, save for the off chance you need to leave in the space of the 2s required to click the quit button, but its nice nonetheless.


The problem with this, well, problem, is that their is no entirely correct solution. its a Comfortability vs Security problem, where adding to one will always minus from the other. It really just depend on what game you are playing, as I stated originally. A game that does not have a dynamic or auto save feature,or no save feature at all, would lean more heavily on the security side. Where as a game that does will focus more heavily on the comfortability side.


If I was leaning onto the Security side, I'd only have a quit to the main menu option on my menu bar. most games allow you to continue where you left off from the main menu, so in most cases this stops potential problems. however if that is not the case, I would make sure that accessing the quit option takes at least more then one click once you access the menu (basically a sub-menu, probably accessed through options). Finally I'd implement an are you sure to feature. An additional thing you could do is make sure that each click has to happen on a different part of the screen, so that rapid clicks in the same area don't cause a quit. This would remove 99% of the accidental quits, that 1% being the extremely unlucky person.


However if I was leaning onto the comfortability side, I'd have the quit to menu and quit to desktop on a sub-menu within the quit button. Well, less of a sub-menu, and more of a replacement for are you sure. It removes the need for are you sure and makes quitting feel nice, at least in my opinion. I would also make sure that clicking on them happens at a different part of the screen to avoid rapid clicks, however I'd do this at a lesser degree to make it less movement for your mouse. This makes it a lot less effective, as rapid clicking usually occurs in an area and not just one spot, but we are not going for Security here. There's not much else you can do for this, though I may be wrong, so its the easier of the two.


But to be honest, these kind of features are the 'that'd be nice' kind of features. I'd only worry about it after you've created your game, but by then a lot of developers have already moved onto their next project. moving off-topic, I never really liked the concept of starting a new project so soon after finishing your first one. Give at least half a month of extra time for a refresher, and another half to come back to the game you made and see if their are any design flaws, or areas you can improve in. Not to mention most of them will have already been pointed out by the community. But I digress, that's all I have to say on the topic.


EDIT: in light of the next two posts, I want to rephrase that I was talking about what things worked towards the goal of security, and what worked for the goal of comfort-ability. A combination of the two are generally good for most games. if you're playing a game like CoD Zombies, then you can spend up to entire days (theoretically infinite) playing it. You can't save your progress, and any disconnection results in the loss of your game. During this time you'll be taking plenty of breaks and, more often then not, won't be paying attention to the small things. In a case like that, i'd like as much security as possible. However on the contrary, you can play this game for one minute and then quit.


So on rethinking, I'd prefer to have this 'extreme' version of security as an optional feature. That way when im going for that score break or just want to play as long as possible, I can select it to ensure I don't accidentally disconnect.

#5166002 Respect for the player. Forgetting violence fetishism. Exploration. Notgame?

Posted by on 10 July 2014 - 07:33 AM

I am also very interested in including some level of persistence in the universe (not an MMO), in the manner of allowing player behaviour to result in data used to drive changes to the universe, allowing the algorithms to mutate themselves. This kind of world excites me, because even as the developer, I can never discover everything it is capable of.


I'd explain this more in-depth, this is what captured my interest (I'm not aiming to join the project however).

#5165045 Communicating "scariness" without openly showing the enemy

Posted by on 06 July 2014 - 08:39 AM

one of the scariest things I can imagine is being lulled into a false sense of security. the second you drop your guard you're dead, yet you cant help but think you're safe.


Accentuating on seongjun's comment of showing previously afflicted victims, perhaps you could use that as an opening. Employing what I'm saying as well, you start off in a neutral-friendly environment. This continues on for a short span until you happen upon the other victims etc. in some form or another. then you just have to stimulate the concept of a monster through visual and audio queues, their imagination will do the rest.


Which is another thing, never reveal the monster. A persons imagination will always be far more horrible then the reality. Playing on this strength, or weakness, of humans is a great way to instill fear without revealing identity.

#5156276 Gain power without being chosen one feeling

Posted by on 27 May 2014 - 08:59 AM

It's very hard to separate those two, but it's generally done through making the abnormal normal. Generally, the only way to make a character feel like they are just one of many is to, well, make them one of many.


This can be done through normalising any method of gaining powers such as:

- everyone is born with a power, each one different from the next

- rigid training over many years can master an art that gives you a unique power (ninjutsu and the sort use a variation of this method)


etc. etc. I would say the first one suits you best, from what you're describing you want him to have a unique power.

You also added in especially a power that has never been used before however, by marketing to that criteria specifically, your person cannot avoid feeling like a chosen one.


What I can suggest to you is to take a skewed approach to this. Instead of focusing on whether the world thinks you're a chosen one, focus on whether the character thinks he/she is. It's quite easy to manipulate a character's past or personality to create someone who would feel that the power was given to him by accident, or even that it is a hindrance as radio suggested. You can even go so far as to have your character being originally chosen, but choosing to forsake that path to make his own.


In essence, what you would be making is an anti-hero. It all depends on what kind of world you wish to create, do you want emphasis on the world or the character? If it's more world-oriented looking through the eyes of the character, I'd suggest the normalisation of a method. However, if you want to focus on the character and their adventures, then I'd suggest making them an anti-hero and focusing on their personal development.

#5155385 naming my game

Posted by on 23 May 2014 - 04:33 AM

To be honest, this is a discussion you should be having with the group who created the game. WHile it is always enticing to seek outside helps for creative dilemmas, no-one knows the game better then the creator's. Just collaborate between yourselves and start cutting down the list of titles and names until you reach the one you want. While we can guess the setting, dark and grim, there are millions of games that are dark and grim.


Think, what makes your game unique, and start working from there.