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Member Since 20 Jun 2002
Offline Last Active May 16 2014 09:31 PM

#5112860 Final Project Design

Posted by on 28 November 2013 - 05:57 PM

Do you mean someone with a disability? Because a lot of people just want to "fix" them. Behavior modification, you can "get better" all you need is a little help, etc.


Which is quite different from accepting that a person is not able to do something, such as running or seeing color. And the frankly bizarre notion that they must therefore be "better" at something else to appease some sense of fairness is in my opinion an attempt to negate acceptance.


Maybe something that presents the difference between trying to change the person to fit the environment versus changing environments to be more suitable to the person.

#5110630 Hex Directional Movement prototype, feedback appreciated

Posted by on 19 November 2013 - 06:07 PM

Here's a great site on hexagon map math

#5106333 How to pace level progression, when a game has no end?

Posted by on 01 November 2013 - 02:59 PM

There's a problem with using exponential growth, which can be illustrated like so




Imagine the blue line is Level, becoming less profitable over time. Eventually of course it won't be worth doing at all, often happening surprisingly suddenly and soon. As an extreme exaggeration: If a player can earn 100xp/second by killing stuff with their continuous beam atomic ray gun, how long will it be before the player's character no longer levels up in a 40-hour week of gaming? Briefly, with a doubling xp/level rule, that's 14million xp/wk, taking the character to level 23. It will be several weeks before level 25, and over a hundred years of 8-hour days to get to level 30.


What happens along the way is that prize xp is increased (the red line in the graph) in an attempt to create the more linear balance (the gold line) for player level progression. But as time goes by, the difference between red and blue becomes very large in different directions, and it becomes apparent that x^2 - log(x) is not a linear graph. Also, as the two competing forces diverge, even the most subtle random variances throw the thing out of balance. Eventually the whole formula engineering thing is tossed out the window, and the developers rely almost exclusively on quest and level-specific xp opportunities to arrive at the level-up time frames.


So rather than go through that whole rediculous bit of re-discovering that exponential diminishing returns models are problematic, just make a table of how long the player will wait to get their next reward, and assign level-ups to it.

#5104207 Strictly Dominant Strategies and the Tech Tree

Posted by on 24 October 2013 - 04:20 PM

Some tech trees offer 'upgrades' that serve the same function and are an improvement in every way to their predecessor -- a strictly dominant strategy, and therefore it's not a choice, it's a no-brainer.


In some games (Endless Space:Disharmony, for example) new technology is hard-coded to imitate such a forced decision, even though the tech is only a weakly dominant technology. There are times when a price, time or space advantage could have been better, but the interface is designed to prevent such considerations.


If we consider the environment, (such as Galactic Civilization 2's rock/paper/scissors weapon & defense systems) then it can become an interesting interplay. Guns aren't automatically inferior to Lasers, it's a matter of what the other player is doing.


There's also a mentally compartmentallised problem with price. 'Upgrade' techs almost always have a higher resource cost, be it materials, time, space, research points, whatever. But it's not a tradeoff, because that implies a set of valid choices, which is not the case when there's a strictly dominant strategy. So the game ends up senselessly inflating the price of stuff.

#5102308 "Pixel-Perfect" Collisions...

Posted by on 17 October 2013 - 10:59 PM

Allegro - Pixel Perfect Collisions

#5101583 Ideas For Video Game About Autism

Posted by on 15 October 2013 - 11:10 AM

Autistic Spectrum Disorder

  • Prefer being alone, seem aloof; they are self-sufficient on a social needs scale. Frequently don't understand emotional communication.
  • Focus on expertise in a narrow skill set; they repeat known, comfortable behaviors, and become quite good at them.
  • Prefer night to day; often have trouble sleeping at night, and are not 'morning people.'
  • Often have heightened senses; experience pain at loud noises, displeasure at potent flavors, prefer cloudy days to sunshine, etc

So an idea for your game about Autism is they are the noctournal genetic variant of Homo Sapiens. They are designed to operate alone in the dark. They are cats and regular people are dogs.

#5101317 Algorithms

Posted by on 14 October 2013 - 10:17 AM

Can someone please share their ideas on what algorithm should be use on games

Something that comes up a lot is over-use of IF/THEN statements, which can result in a complicated and confusing mess. If we examine what an IF/THEN statement is all about, then we can begin to understand how to approach much better solutions (which have already been developed.)


IF/THEN clauses are essentially a lookup operation; given one scenario or set of conditions, do the perscribed behavior/function/whatever. If this situation, then do that. It's basically a dictionary entry. A better way is to use a container that allows a sort of Key->Value lookup operation. Given a condition, look up the answer.


So a developer behavior algorithm for eliminating most strings of IF/THEN spaghetti is to re-write the IF conditions as Keys and THEN conditions as Values, and then store them into a dictionary type container for easy lookup.

#5100884 AI in a 4X Game Combat (see prototype video)

Posted by on 12 October 2013 - 03:29 PM

One way to improve this fleet vs fleet combat could be by having an AI "player" at a higher level than the individual ships; a fleet commander that directs the targetting.


The way to win is to destroy the enemy's ability to wage war as quickly as possible. So the AI player allocates ships to targets in a manner that eliminates the most enemy firepower in the shortest amount of time.


AI "Personality" would be how much risk of failure the commander is willing to gamble, when estimating firepower to destroy enemy assets. For example, AI fleet commander George might be willing to be wrong one time in five. But AI commander Ricktor insists on being wrong only one time in twenty. So Ricktor's estimate of necessary firepower to do the job is going to be much higher than George. Ricktor will frequently allocate lots of overkill, wasting some damage potential. But George will allocate lots of underkill, and fail to kill ships as quickly as possible.


An alternative to the Fleet Commander solution is to use a system of contracts. First unit sees a target to kill, estimates the firepower necessary, and puts up a 'contract' to kill the target. Next unit checks the contracts list, and makes a bid, offering his firepower and time-to-target. Same thing with all units.

On the next pass, the first unit sorts the bidders according to ability, and selects the top guys who can make it happen. He then messages them that they have been selected for the job (making it a binding contract), and marks the contract closed.

On each pass, units check first if they are in a contract, then if the contract needs to be re-evaluated (like if a team member can't make it), and then either work on executing their contract, bidding on another contract, or making a new one.

#5099953 Post Mortem on 4x Strategy Games

Posted by on 09 October 2013 - 11:37 AM


How about a mechanic where outposts or settlements further from the "core" of your empire are more prone to corruption, inefficiencies, and rebellion?  The people there are more isolated, benefit less from the luxuries and protections of the empire, and it takes longer for both troops and supplies to reach them in any case where they aren't self-sufficient.


Or reverse that, so that the 'core' becomes burdened with political infighting, greed, stagnation and too many meetings to get anything done. The smaller colonies could then be thought of as 'starting' with a technology set identical to the core, but being small and nimble, and of less consequence, they could experiment and try new things. Which might lead to interesting new developments. Like New France (which didn't last) or the USA (still happening).

#5099784 Methods of controlling attack waves

Posted by on 08 October 2013 - 07:36 PM

I have an idea that I can store a list / array of times that a certain wave is triggered but I am stumped on the best way to actually achieve it.


For example if I check the array and a trigger has been reached (say 5 secs) and that triggers 50 of enemy01 to spawn what is the best way to manage that. Using something like a switch seems like it's going to get huge especially if there are 100 waves (for example).


You could set up a Priority Queue, that has time delays for it's key, and a collection of enemy counts for it's value. Then call something like isItTimeYet() and have that pop the top value if it is time.

#5099761 Latest trends in procedural quest generation

Posted by on 08 October 2013 - 07:00 PM

Maybe generate something based on plots and literature. Someone once said (in a reeeely long book) that there's only ever been seven plots. Seems like NPCs often provide #3 "The Quest" and that's pretty much it.

  1. Overcoming the Monster: Hero learns of a great evil threatening the land, and sets out to destroy it.
  2. Rags to Riches: Surrounded by dark forces who suppress and ridicule him, the Hero slowly blossoms into a mature figure who ultimately gets riches, a kingdom, and the perfect mate.
  3. The Quest: Hero learns of a great MacGuffin that he desperately wants to find, and sets out to find it, often with companions.
  4. Voyage and Return: Hero heads off into a magic land with crazy rules, ultimately triumphs over the madness and returns home far more mature than when he set out.
  5. Comedy: Hero and Heroine are destined to get together, but a dark force is preventing them from doing so; the story conspires to make the dark force repent, and suddenly the Hero and Heroine are free to get together. This is part of a cascade of effects that shows everyone for who they really are, and allows two or more other relationships to correctly form.
  6. Tragedy: The flip side of the Overcoming the Monster plot. Our protagonist character is the Villain, but we get to watch him slowly spiral down into darkness before he's finally defeated, freeing the land from his evil influence.
  7. Rebirth: As with the Tragedy plot, but our protagonist manages to realize his error before it's too late, and does a Heel Face Turn to avoid inevitable defea

#5099749 Many-worlds interpretation

Posted by on 08 October 2013 - 06:21 PM

..how can the many-worlds interpretation be used in a game?

 Long ago, I played a space game where the save files constituted a tree arrangement of progression. If the player reached a death or found themselves insoluble, they could go back up the tree and explore alternative choices from any save node.

#5099018 Post Mortem on 4x Strategy Games

Posted by on 05 October 2013 - 02:08 PM

I'm having a hard time trying to see how Israel could somehow defeat the United States of America in combat...

From a simulation standpoint, your 'corporative' approach assumes there is a market, not that this is a war machine we're talking about.

Since, in warfare, there is no 'client', territorial claims have much more importance.

Size is often significant, but it doesn't seem to confer a permanent advantage. For over half a millenia the Ottoman Empire used to rule most of the Medeterrainian Sea, and died out only a hundred years ago. Recently the USSR fell. And the surprisingly small nations of England and France used to have colonial ownership over much of the civilized world.

#5099006 next-gen AI

Posted by on 05 October 2013 - 01:26 PM

Fast pathfinding via Symmetry Breaking


The explicit identification and elimination of symmetries in pathfinding domains is an idea that until now has received little attention in the academic literature. Approaches for dealing with symmetry, such as Jump Point Search, provide us with powerful new tools for reducing the size of explicit regular search spaces. By eliminating symmetry we speed up not just A* but entire classes of similar pathfinding algorithms.


Also, consider: JPS is entirely orthogonal to almost every other speedup technique applicable to grid maps. Thus, there is no reason why we couldn't combine it, or other similar methods, with hierarchical pathfinding approaches, memory heuristics or even other optimality-preserving state-space reduction techniques. That means the results presented thus far are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of performant grid-based pathfinding methods.


#5098845 Mechanic for internal struggle of an empire (strategy)

Posted by on 04 October 2013 - 06:44 PM

So, I wonder, how to make a game (or find an appropriate mechanic) which is about an internal issues of an empire (or other things that are not just war and moving units around).

With one player I see discovery, exploration and construction. With two players there's competition, cooperation, trade. With three, there's the ability to team up against the other guy, political games and confidence games. Four players introduces team vs team sports.