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Member Since 15 Nov 2012
Offline Last Active Dec 16 2012 12:30 PM

#5009475 Help Learning to Design a Tile Based Web Game?

Posted by on 11 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

Completely agree with all of the above.

You couldn't spend the first twelve months of your career better than creating 3-4 small games. Being able to prove you can move through a project from start to finish is MUCH more important to employers, than having fantastic ideas and starting things that go nowhere.

Plenty of time to make your MMO after the first twelve months. :)

#5007606 What are various ways to "do evil/bad" or "do good" in a game?

Posted by on 05 December 2012 - 08:20 PM

Personally I think it's easier to determine figure out how to represent karma AFTER the type of game is worked out.

For instance:
Strategy - good could result in small boosts to various things such as higher crop yield, scientific breakthrough, better battle odds and bad could result in small penalties such as higher disaster chance, worse combat odds, etc.
RPG - karma here could affect the type of treasures found, chance of finding secrets, maybe even a special quest (either a good aligned quest or a bad aligned quest). The most obvious for RPG's is that karma determines the skills and class abilities, even spell lists of the player.

I could go on, but there's a lot of genres and my lunch break has run out. :)

#5006915 Space game ideas

Posted by on 03 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

I like the suggestions above, just giving you another option:

Whilst questing, rumors of new quests come with the navigation coords of that planet. Those coords are entered into the ship's navigation system, which then allows you to hyperspace to it.

BTW, if you only allow hyperspace jumps between planets, there is no need to have the entirety of space in game (ie: Infinity style). You'd be able to get away with each planetary system (ie: star plus any planets, satellite objects, etc) being an isolated scene, thus making it easier to manage.

#5004332 Future career help.

Posted by on 26 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

Colbya, I wouldn't worry so much about school, and start focusing on your portfolio.

My experience with game studios, and the IT industry as a whole (17 years in IT before moving to games) is that a diploma, degree, etc is just seen as a piece of paper. A nice to have, but doesn't prove skill. Your portfolio is where you will show potential employers what you can do.

#5004260 iOS / Android online turn-based strategy

Posted by on 26 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

I think you need to have a clear and concise idea of what this game is. At the moment it sounds pretty rambling (which you acknowledge). One problem you may have is that whilst thinking of these ideas, you may end up with the complexity you said at the top you want to avoid. For instance, having workers return to an apartment and shopping at malls.

Here's what I'd suggest:
- Describe what you want this game to be in one simple sentence. eg: This game is a turn based role play game that takes the player through each day of their life. This allows you to focus and avoid feature creep.
- Decide exactly what "a turn" simulates: an hour, a day, a week, a year, etc.
- Once you figure out what a turn is, then think of some tasks a player can achieve in that turn which is directly related to your description in the one sentence above, and you want each task to be either finished in that turn, or finished in a couple of turns: chop a tree, go shopping, go to work, build a house.

You should be on a roll from this point on. Posted Image Let us know how you go.

#5003822 Causual gaming ideas!

Posted by on 24 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

Here's one big secret to design:

Inspiration is all around you! You just have to 'see' it.

Basically, yes you can sit there and try to "force" yourself to think of a certain game design, but in my experience this is not the best way to go about game design. I find that my best ideas just come to me whilst simply going through my normal life. What you need to do is recognise when you have one of those ideas and note the idea down in one sentence. Then later when you sit at your desk instead of trying to "force" yourself to think of an idea, you already have your initial idea from inspiration to start from.

Note: this is based on the number of ideas from "forced" and "came to me" that I throw out.

#5003724 Design: Hellish Administrator. Feedback?

Posted by on 24 November 2012 - 06:12 AM

I very much enjoy the idea of this kind of game. Admittedly even though it is effectively Theme Hospital with a Hell skin thrown over it I love the imagination it takes to come up with such an idea in the first place and I applaud you for your ingenuity! I do think this would be worth pursuing as a development project and I believe with the right humor (you want to keep it lighthearted or it may offend more "conservative" gamers) and art style it could be a big success. If you get some conceptual stuff out there (artwork/gameplay) I believe you would find a decent following in no time at all. Good luck in your endeavors and I look forward to hearing more about this in the future!

Agreed on the humor. It can be a sensitive subject in some circles. But I think with a cartoonish style, and ludicrous humor it should take any connection to the religious angle.

BTW, I find ideas come to you in the strangest of situations, and my tablet isn't far away so I can also make a note to myself and come back to it later. For this idea, my son (who's 6) was sitting next to me on my tablet watching Youtube videos. I was watching some show on Discovery that was talking about Hell and the seven sins. I don't know how or why he watched it, but he pulled up a Theme Hospital video. That was one of my favourite games in my younger years and I was telling him about the game when it just hit me. "Imagine if instead of a hospital it was Hell!"

Like I say, ideas come to you at the strangest times. :)

#5003657 Final Project Planning - Survey

Posted by on 23 November 2012 - 10:06 PM

1. M
2. 31-40 and 10 and under.
3. Play or make? Play, about 6 hours a week.
4. Yes.
-Future: 1
-Civil War: here I'm going to create a new category and call it "no interest". It's not dislike, it's not like, it's not neutral, it's completely no interest in the category.
-Modern: 3
-Roman: 4
- Med: 5

6. 4x
7. Time grinding

#5003583 Design: Hellish Administrator. Feedback?

Posted by on 23 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

I'm guessing from the up-rates and no comments that you're all stunned into amazement? ;)

#5002876 Design: Hellish Administrator. Feedback?

Posted by on 21 November 2012 - 03:59 AM

Hi all, I've been working on an idea for a few days and just wanted to run it past some people to see what they thought of it. The game will be a business sim, based on the processing of souls in Hell. The player acts as the administrator of the facility and there will be a number of levels.

I think this game would work quite well on a tablet, as the time to play a level is not too long (5 minutes?) and the game would fit the touch and swipe input method quite nicely.

The premise is that the player is one of the administrators of Hell, charged with running punishment facilities in Hell. The level will have a shell in which the player must place various rooms which either fulfill the functions of reception, diagnosis, treatment, public facilities and staff amenities. A variety of preset room sizes allows the player to touch the desired room and then touch within the shell to place the room. The player then touches the required objects to place within the rooms. Staff need to be hired by the player, who will draw a regular "pay" from the power metre.

The goal of the game is to process enough souls to generate the required power as set on each level. The game takes inspiration from the Bullfrog classics and will be presented in a comedic cartoon style. Please feel free to leave any feedback on this idea as I'd like to see if it's worth developing the idea further. A very short design idea brief follows.

Thanks for reading. :)


Hellish Administrator!

You are an administrator of Hell, charged by Satan to maintain the operations of Punishment Facilities within the Seven Hells. Satan and his cohorts are off battling God and the angels, so you need to ensure the steady flow of soul punishments to fuel Satan's power. If you fail, Satan will fail. If you succeed you will be rewarded handsomly in The Chaos.

The campaign takes place over a number of levels. Each era of Earthly time requires the administration of each of the Seven Hells. Through the campaign you administer each of the Seven Hells during each era. The eras are: Anchient, Roman, Medieval, Renaiscance and Modern.

As administrator you are given a section of Hell to manage. You are required to process incoming souls, determine the punishment, deal the punishment and collect the extracted power. You will be paid for each service provided by you, which in turn is then used to hire staff, pay for maintenance and expand your operation. Each level will be completed when you have collected the goal amount of power from souls. As well as collecting power, your operations will have a satisfaction rating based on feedback from the processed souls. Satisfaction is rated on things like waiting times, ability to process required punishment, cleanliness and maintenance, as well as other factors. If your satisfaction rating drops too low you will fail the level.

The game is a real-time construction management sim, very much the same style of play as games like Theme Hospital, Theme Park and SimCity. In the allocated space you are required to build a reception area where incoming souls are processed into the waiting queue. From the waiting queue souls are required to see a Soul Practitioner who will evaluate the soul and recommend a punishment for the soul. The soul then joins the queue of the relevant punishment room and when the room and a Punishment Practitioner are available the soul enters the room and the punishment is dealt. If the punishment is the correct one for that soul, the soul's power is collected and the soul is free to leave the Punishment Facility.

In the event a punishment is recommended by a Punishment Practitioner and that punishment room has not been built yet, the soul will wait around for a short period of time hoping that you build the punishment room. If the soul's waiting time expires, the soul will turn to dust and be scattered on the floor. The soul has perished and will negatively impact your satisfaction rating. Punishment Practitioners can also make mistakes, thus decreasing the satisfaction of the soul. A Practitioners experience will determine the chance of a mistake being made.

The amount of power extracted is determined by the soul's life force. As a soul spends time in Hell, its life force depletes. It is important to process souls quickly, as the quicker a soul is processed the more power from its life force is extracted. Souls may only remain in Hell for a period of time before their life force is spent and the soul returns to Pergatory. One of the tools available to the player is to speed up or slow down diagnosis. Speeding up diagnosis will allow your Practitioners to process souls quicker, but increases the risk of a mistake being made. Vice-versa, if diagnosis is slowed down, the risk of a mistake drops but Practitioners process souls slower. A player can over-ride a diagnosis if they see a mistake has been made or to send a undiagnosed soul directly to a punishment room.

Punishments will be based on the seven deadly sins. Souls will have visual clues as to what sin they have performed to earn being send to Hell. Some clues will be subtle (such as a fat soul for gluttony, or a green soul for envy) whilst other clues will not be so obvious (for instance the liar). If a player recognises these clues they can take a risk and send a soul directly to the relevant punishment room. The liar is the hardest sin to diagnose, as not only can a soul lie verbally to the Practitioner, the liar may also display other sin's visual clues.

The game is won if the player collects enough power from souls to meet the level's goal. The game is lost if either the timer runs out, or the satisfaction level of the Punishment Facility drops below a set threshold.

#5002871 Remaking an old game - Ethical?

Posted by on 21 November 2012 - 03:18 AM

I'm pretty sure if you use the same theme you'll be alright. As long as the assets are new, you don't use the same names or story, and the game has a large enough amount of unique elements to obviously distinguish itself from the inspiration.

#5002165 4 X Economy & Layers

Posted by on 18 November 2012 - 06:03 PM

I disagree with your analysis of Civ4's workers, but that's a design issue rather than any other issue. In Civ4 the decision simply became "can I build a mine? Yes, build it. No, build a farm". ;)

We have strayed far from the topic though now, best we return to the regular scheduled program. :)

#5002126 4 X Economy & Layers

Posted by on 18 November 2012 - 04:20 PM

I disagree. RTS's can be 4X, and can be good 4X games. Think of it logically, in a 4X you explore, expand, exploite and exterminate. There is no way you can convince me that the Age of Empires style of RTS does not fit that classification.

Well, maybe this indeed is logical, but it's not how I feel Posted Image I like 4X games, I don't like RTSes (with many exceptions). I would not buy a 4X strategy that was advertised as having any similarities to RTS.
Again, you might be completely correct, I don't see any flaw in your reasoning, but the 4X lover in me can't agree with what you said Posted Image

Also, micromangement can work in a TBS. Take a look at Civilization 2 and Civilization 4, the most successful TBS games, and based completely on micromanagement.

Well, the primary question is about quantity of micromanagement. In Civilization 2 you can have like 10-20 cities (and you are actively discouraged by the game to have more cities), in Stars! you can have like hundreds planets and have no penatlies if you get more. This is a completely different story Posted Image As they say, the difference between a medicine and a poison is in the quantity Posted Image
Besides, take a look at Civilization 4. They completely killed micromanagement whenever they could compared to previous series. Yes, Firaxis defintiely sees micromanagement (even though in Civilization there is not too much of it) as the root of all evil.

What helps to control MM is optional automation.

I don't agree with that one. Master of Orion 3 tried to do it, it was an epic fail. After MOO3 I became convinced that partial (optional) automation in principle is a veeery bad thing. Either make it always manual or always fully AI controled. Maybe it's not always true and it could work but... so far I have seen it do much more harm than good. If it's too much for a player to handle then make it simplier. Don't make tools that will play the game for me. I'm the player and I want to play the game myself. I definitely don't want to decide if I want to do something automatic or manual. The game is supposed to make me do it all manually. If I'm resorting to automation (in a turn based game) it means I'm BORED and that I find the game TROUBLESOME, and these are cardinal sins for a game... Really, as a player I don't find "yeah, the city management is boring, but we make it so you can turn an AI governor to do this chore for you" a valid excuse. If you made these cities then make managing them FUN, so I would never ever want to give away the management of it to the computer. And if there are too many cities to handle then limit the number (whatever way you want, I don't know or care how, I'm a player Posted Image) until I can handle these without resorting to delegating tasks to AI.

I too am a huge 4x fan. However I don't mind playing a 4x RTS (if it's stelar). I prefer TBS though.

Yes quantity of MM can cause headaches. Again back to Civ2 in the early game it was nothing to manually manage 20 workers. But in the later game when you could have a hundred workers it was an absolute nightmare. Choosing one of the automation commands is what I'm talking about with "optional automation". In the end game you want to focus on anything but workers, so you set and forget about them. (Note here: the quality of the automation should not detract from the actual point of automation, specially in Civ's worker case haha). As a GOOD example of optional automation, look at Colonization's (the original) custom house and wagon links. The player manually transports good via wagon and ship from the New World to Europe. You can set a trade link for a wagon which automatically moves goods from one place to another (ie: from inland to a harbor). Then using a custom house the harbor automatically sells those goods to Europe. This is GOOD optional automation which eliminates mundane boring MM.

Agreed MOO3 was a tank. But one example does not invalidate the hundreds of successful automation examples. ;)

#5002117 Making a 3d Game Engine.

Posted by on 18 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

Sorry, you've confused me. You say you want to create a "3d game engine" in Ogre, which (when combined with a couple of plugins) is already itself a 3d game engine. I'm not sure what you're trying to achieve.

Are you looking to create your own actual 3d game engine, or are you looking to create your own game base to write your own games on using an existing 3d game engine?

If the former, then I would say don't bother. The number of free and commercial existing 3d game engines more than cover the industries needs. Unless you have some pretty specific engine needs, which is unlikely (even the pros use existing engines rather than making their own), then there is no need to create one. If however you are adamant to create your own 3d game engine, download some open source existing engines and delve into the code to learn how they do it (and how you could possibly improve on their methods).

If the later, then the first thing you'll need to do is assess which game engine is suited to you. A lot of people use Unity3D which is a really good free engine (they also have a pro version for a cost). The community is massive, there is heaps of tutorials and help, and there's lots of plugins and code examples already written. But ultimately the choice of engine is up to you.

#5002108 4 X Economy & Layers

Posted by on 18 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

Oh, that explains a lot Posted Image Well, I don't think 4X games have much (or even anything) in common with RTS games. Experience from these probably will do more harm than good.

In RTSes micromanaging is the part of the game, also it never slows the game because it's realtime. But 4X are turn based (at least majority) so micromanagement can kill that kind of game because the turn will take forever.

I disagree. RTS's can be 4X, and can be good 4X games. Think of it logically, in a 4X you explore, expand, exploite and exterminate. There is no way you can convince me that the Age of Empires style of RTS does not fit that classification.

Also, micromangement can work in a TBS. Take a look at Civilization 2 and Civilization 4, the most successful TBS games, and based completely on micromanagement. What helps to control MM is optional automation. For instance, the city governor in Civilization, rally and way points in RTS's, the command hierarchy of Hearts of Iron 3 (where you could automate entire theatres of war or any point down to individual units if you wanted to). Using good automation allows the player to eliminate MM in areas they're not immediately interested in, so they can focus on MMing the areas they are focused on at that point in the game.