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Member Since 05 Aug 2013
Online Last Active Today, 02:39 PM

#5179607 Question: 16px versus 32px sprites

Posted by Dodopod on 11 September 2014 - 09:14 AM

Generally, what I would suggest is that you try both. Maybe do a sample screenshot or just a couple of sprites in each style, and then compare. See how long the one style takes compared to the other and which one you like better.

#5179371 Question: 16px versus 32px sprites

Posted by Dodopod on 10 September 2014 - 11:07 AM

Personally, 32px sprite, 8bpp indexed color is my absolute favorite style for 2d games. I don't think I've ever actually considered the relative times of making the two. On the one hand, the '4 times' figure seems off, since drawing doesn't take much longer for 32px, and blocking in colors should take roughly the same amount of time. On the other, I'm sure it takes a lot longer, since 32px sprites demand shading and detail and sometimes hand dithering.

#5179222 Designing the Overworld

Posted by Dodopod on 09 September 2014 - 09:38 PM

I would choose the first option and make the map locations like normal levels. That way the player only has to learn 2 interfaces (levels and the world map) instead of 3. I don't think running into the edge of the level would ruin immersion for anyone, at least as long as you make it reasonably clear where the edge is. For example, if there's a gate or a path leading out of the area, but not if it's just an open plain and going too far in any direction leads the player back to the map.

#5153664 Expanding an outer space game

Posted by Dodopod on 14 May 2014 - 04:18 PM

Why 35 ships? Why not let the player go until they die?

#5153662 Names of stats (competence & corruption)

Posted by Dodopod on 14 May 2014 - 04:14 PM

You could also change competence to ability or aptitude, which might be better than Shane's suggestion since a dishonest henchman isn't corrupt if they only lie when the player tells them to.

#5153327 List of Narrative Gameplay Options

Posted by Dodopod on 13 May 2014 - 10:03 AM

Have you read Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations? He lists more situations than you do (you have 21 if I'm counting right) but some of them probably aren't suitable for translation into gameplay; in other words, I'm challenging game designers to translate them anyway. Regardless, you will most likely find not only that his list contains additional possibilities, but that two or more of his Dramatic Situations fall under one of your Narrative Gameplay Options or combine more than one or even that your list has things he never thought of! To give some examples, I believe your first option -- "Player must acquire an item / a person" -- encompasses Polti's "Daring Enterprise", "Obtaining", and "Ambition", and that "Player must develop skill in a particular field" has no analogue in Polti (probably because he never read a Shonen manga).


What this suggests is that neither your options nor his situations comprise the elements of narrative, gameplay or otherwise. This in no way invalidates your enumeration, of course, it only implies a certain status -- namely that it is informal, or to put it differently, that it is fine for a bit of gameplay to fall between or outside of your archetypes, if it fulfills its function/s well. Naturally, if you can work your list into a definitive periodic table, or if someone else develops one, this status would change (I doubt this possibility, and perhaps you do too, but there is a strain of game design that sees itself as a proto-science a la alchemy in the age of Boyle).

#5153156 Dialog Mechanics

Posted by Dodopod on 12 May 2014 - 04:38 PM

Dodopod, something like that, but not quite... deeper in the background, but I want to make gui simple so that you would maybe only get those 1-word stage directions on the surface but underneath that the choices that you've made in the past and what you've thought/said about these topics/people are taken into into account to weight what your character does.

So does the player always know (or have a very good idea) what their character is going to say after any one choice? And if so, how? To take your example,


there might be a selection of honest or deceptive in the options and what that means would depend on what the characters positions are... If you've said that you agree with what this person said in the past and then you select to be deceptive you'd say you disagree for example.

What if the player forgets that they've previously agreed with this person? Does the game simply ask the player whether to be honest or deceptive per se, and if they don't remember what their character would consider honest or deceptive, they're forced to gamble with their words? Re-reading your post, it seems like you want to give the player a menu where all their character's opinions are spelled out (or at least the relevant ones, which would make it easier if the player is looking for one in particular) and can be changed. Is this correct?

#5152682 Dialog Mechanics

Posted by Dodopod on 10 May 2014 - 09:07 AM

In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the player is given a choice of 3 or 4 1-word emotions (eg annoyed, detached, curious) or tactics (eg intimidate, placate, absolve), though these are actually (except in persuasion mode) a 1-to-1 abstraction of a traditional dialogue tree. Is this like what you're proposing?

#5149668 Magic advancement system

Posted by Dodopod on 26 April 2014 - 10:55 AM

The background to the system is that the mage could 'draw' energy from the surrounding environment, and channel that to cast the spell.

So what exactly are you thinking of? I can interpret this sentence in a couple ways: The player could simply have an automatically regenerating mana pool. Or they could have a 'draw energy' ability that keeps them from attacking/using weaker spells (or possibly even moving) in order to charge enough to use a more potent spell. (The player would just charge their energy to max every time before going into combat, so you might want to limit its use, maybe keeping them from holding on to energy for too long.)


Perhaps different types of spell would use different types of energy and so the player would have to pick which spells they want to be able to use (they might have a cap on total energy). Perhaps different areas would have different energy concentrations, adding a tactical depth through maneuvering. Or certain areas could be drained of energy, either just because they have a limited amount, or by using a specialized 'drain energy' spell (that would of course be less efficient than 'draw energy', if it exists, but could deprive an enemy mage of power).


That kind of switched from interpretation to brainstorming half-way through, didn't it.

#5135902 What makes a game fun

Posted by Dodopod on 02 March 2014 - 02:15 PM

Before I decide to play a game, I see a lot of screenshots, gameplay videos, trailers, concept art -- in other words, the graphics. If the game doesn't look good, that can turn me off of playing it.


But once I get immersed, the graphics go away. The sprites/polygons become people, buildings, streets, what have you. Unless the art suddenly changes style or something doesn't jive with the color scheme or the graphics glitch out or some important item blends in with the background, I don't even notice.

#5131590 Game Story vs World Design

Posted by Dodopod on 15 February 2014 - 12:53 PM

Have you heard about the GNS framework? It seems as though you're trying to choose between Narrativism and Simulationism.

#5131589 Twists on the Generic FPS genre

Posted by Dodopod on 15 February 2014 - 12:43 PM

You could play around with the gameplay balance, and try to find something fun that you haven't seen before. To list some of the dimensions of this balance, there are range, mobility, firepower, armor, and verticality. You can adjust each of these across the entire game, but also individually for a team or class.

#5118619 Achieving photorealistic game models/assets

Posted by Dodopod on 21 December 2013 - 02:35 PM

I'm a 2d artist, not 3d, but making a character look realistic takes a lot of anatomy. You need to know how large the character's bones are, where their muscles connect, how bulky the muscles are (in different positions), which veins are visible on the surface, etc. Then you need to know the textures of the skin (which in addition to texturing and diffuse and specular reflectivity requires subsurface scattering to look right in most lighting), the eye (the way that the eye's lens refracts light hitting the iris is important), hair (I assume that making polygons look like strands and locks is extremely hard, since it's hardly ever done well, even with the rigid, short styles modellers use to keep from dealing with hair physics), nails, and other tissues. That's without putting the body in motion, or even making it look right in an environment.

#5116581 Alchemy System, what would make alchemy fun?

Posted by Dodopod on 12 December 2013 - 05:02 PM

It might be exciting to have intermediate steps, each one creating a potion which is useful on its own, but even more useful in a later/final form, like the steps of the Magnum Opus. Of course, if one had to go through multiple steps to get the final product every time one needed more, it could easily become tedious. So, there should be some way of automating the steps once one has done it once (like fast travel).


Or a potion might need to be mixed at the same time it's used, so creating a higher level potion would be impracticable in a fight, unless one has cover. Then, I don't know that this is supposed to be that kind of game. But this kind of mechanic may still be applicable outside of combat.

#5115199 Looking for people to review my game

Posted by Dodopod on 07 December 2013 - 02:44 PM

I realize you don't have much leeway in terms of gameplay. I also realize that this game was made, not to design a game from the ground up, but simply to bring a game program to completion. I don't have access to your source code, and this isn't in the Game Programming section, so I can't say anything useful about your programming, except that it never crashed for me, and I haven't run into any bugs. It uses more CPU and RAM resources than I would have expected -- nothing critical, but more that I expected. What I can critique is just the presentation.

The one actual flaw in the gameplay itself is a lack of cat's-game detection. When I come to a point where neither player can win, I don't want to have to put X's and O's down pointlessly, I want the game to automatically count a draw, and start over.

The controls of the game are a bit awkward. Esc is the natural choice for a pause button, not Backspace. Esc quits the game, yes, but this is a windowed app -- I can use the X to quit. It's also not entirely clear that Backspace returns to the main menu from the information menu.

But beyond specific keybindings, there is the greater issue that the use of mouse and keyboard doesn't gel. To see my point, note that everything in the game is done with the keyboard -- the cursor doesn't even show up on screen when it's over the game window. The info menu says nothing about the mouse being used. Then I press Enter to begin the game, and find I can't do anything with whatever keys I press. The game has suddenly switched to being mouse-only.

This is trivial to fix, as long as you're willing to add clickable buttons to the main menu. Then mouse control becomes integral to the game, with a few hotkeys that I can easily find listed in the info menu.

What the game really needs is feedback. Win a game and *POP* the board is reset instantly, the only recognition that anything even happened being the incrementing score counter at the bottom. What you need is for the interface to be juicy: To start with, play a sound effect and a short animation. If you draw a strike through the board, that's good. If you draw a tally in the win column for X or O, even better. The point is that the player feels like something is happening whenever they perform the smallest action (say, putting the cursor over an empty square) and something bigger elicits a bigger response from the game. Sound effects are much more important than music for exactly this reason.