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Member Since 03 Oct 2001
Offline Last Active Nov 08 2013 10:39 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Wasting potential, and seeking cloning

09 October 2013 - 10:08 PM

mm, my bad. After rereading your OP, you should definitely take the learnings of the games you love and build on top of them. Those games themselves took from and built on top of predecessors.

In Topic: Wasting potential, and seeking cloning

09 October 2013 - 09:41 PM

I'm not really talking about commercial failures, or something that one might deem an aggregate failure via metacritic. You don't have to ship failures.


The best kind of failure is just a prototype, a thing where minimal art assets were committed, minimum peripheral effort, before identifying a bad idea. "Bad" is obviously subjective but for me it's anything in the category of "this isn't that fun after all...".


On the flip side the best moments in game design for me are the "holy shit" moments of being suddenly invigorated and excited by some combination of elements that are just super fun to play with.


Even then, depending on how you define failure, there's no way to create guarantees of "success" (also depending how you define that). This is especially true in the realm of commercial-failure, where you can create a highly polished, excellent game with an excellent critical reception, and sales could still be abysmal.


Even cloning a successful Final Fantasy game, if your art doesn't match up to what the original game studio produced using thousands of hours of top-sourced professional industry talent, you're at a disadvantage in the inevitable comparison.


Like probably most typical game designers I'm afraid of failure too, but I create for the fun/love of it. I think personally my obsession with tinkering and building things would always outweigh those negatives.


I think you could probably modify your thread title (if that can be done?) or at least your OP to be more like "ways to avoid failure during game design/development" as a more concise way to get that advice.


It's a huge subject. A much bigger subject than whether to be original or to heavily appropriate.

In Topic: Wasting potential, and seeking cloning

09 October 2013 - 08:17 PM

I'm not really sure what (or if) you're asking here... So I'll just throw in my off the cuff reaction to your thoughts and you can make of that what you will.


So, firstly; why do you make games?


I ask, because your approach to game design and game development should ultimately stem from what you personally want to bring to the table. If your primary motivation for getting into this line of work is a simple passion for game design, then I'd say get your sloppy and unprofessional games done in all their non-glory and use them as probably the best possible way to learn and grow as a game designer.


If on the other hand you're more of an entrepreneurial person with a primary interest in business growth - straight up cloning is one way to accomplish that faster. I do have a moral problem with cloning, in that a game seeking only to replicate (as opposed to build upon or improve) is likely to be, by design, a redundant object. (* this is also a generalisation with hundreds of exceptions).


I think (hope?) you probably meant "appropriation" moreso than "cloning", which is quite different. Say you wanted to bring back the core experience of FFVI in all the ways you feel you can identify as being mechanically excellent in design, an then use that foundation to tell a different story and maybe also throw some new things into the mix, then I think that'd be fine, and even quite normal.


Or a similar example: lets say you wanted to do an FPS. Nobody expects you to come up with entirely new inventions there. You're entering an established genre that ideally leverages years of collective design knowledge.


To directly answer your final line:

If you're at a novice level now, then it's virtually impossible to "waste" a project, as long as you learn from it. I don't really think you can go from novice to expert by copying alone.


I'm quite sure you'll find that most game design experts are at the level they're at because they have en enormous history of incredibly useful failures behind them.

In Topic: Thoughts on implementing four damage types in an action-strategy game

08 October 2013 - 07:28 PM

RPGs have been doing for a long time definitely, but it's not something I can remember seeing in an RTS title before, and as for the Tower Defense genre, some dual-damage type systems are common, but I'd say greater than that is pretty uncommon.


@Sandman - I agree that if all it brought was inventory management it wouldn't constitute any real depth, but it should be easy to do better than that.


as a (simple) example: enemy A can only be killed with energy damage, and is flanked/guarded by henchling units that can only be killed with fire damage. It creates a threat that occupies two of your three hero units working together (that might simultaneously be otherwise needed elsewhere), or that demands a certain tower arrangement, or a combination of the two.


Another example, borrowing from the TD trope of one unit becoming another one (kill an orcish wolf-rider, the kill the orc on foot that fell off), a unit that transforms four times, with drastic resistance changes at each transformation. You need your entire team, plus lean on a tower configuration that makes up whatever difference you've left yourself open to.


I like your examples, but they wouldn't necessarily require specific damage types as much as just being special effects that certain weapons have. That kind of thing could be done additionally once the core is sorted out.


Bear in mind, I am in no way hinging the entire game off this four damage types thing, it's just one feature of a fairly involved game (more-so than most TD) with a considerable amount to do and manage.


I'm confident multiple damage types could be used in lots of ways to create interesting and fun gameplay, my concern is just that people don't get overwhelmed with info in the heat of battle, and also how to depict this mechanic in sensible, intuitive ways.

In Topic: drag and drop menus

27 August 2013 - 07:21 PM

I would go for distance rather than rect. you might be intersecting two or more possible drop targets.


Just take the distance from current drag location at the time of release to the potential drop targets, and snap to the closest target if it beats the threshold check. if it doesn't, it snaps back to where it came from.