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Member Since 23 Apr 2000
Offline Last Active Today, 06:57 PM

#5290512 Most important principles of game design?

Posted by sunandshadow on 06 May 2016 - 11:01 PM


The actual problem you have, the X of the X Y problem, is: "What do your students need to learn to be able to design a game?"

You however are asking Y: "What can you, with the least time spent on research or teaching, teach that has something to do with game design?"

Being in a hurry is very detrimental to all of teaching, learning, and especially designing.

#5290487 Most important principles of game design?

Posted by sunandshadow on 06 May 2016 - 04:35 PM

It sounds from your responses that there are no hard and fast basic principles. I am reading Fullerton's book and she goes over things like conflict, objectives, procedures and rules. There is a lot and I don't want to waste time with things that won't carry over into digital. Someone who teaches table top game design said they find the two most important concepts to be conflict and iterative design. But what about all the other stuff that makes up a game? 

Clear example of The X Y Problem here.


#5290392 Most important principles of game design?

Posted by sunandshadow on 06 May 2016 - 04:10 AM

In my experience the most crippling problem young designers face is when they don't know how to research, analyze examples, document their ideas, keep that documentation organized and updated, and use brainstorming techniques to fill holes and increase originality and thematic unity among their ideas.  I see this as step 1, while game design fundamentals, like you are asking about, is probably step 3.  Though, I suppose the analysis part would be hard to do without having a vocabulary of design principles to describe the examples with...


Step 2 would be a general discussion of entertainment - why and how humans enjoy entertainment, why we are motivated to create it, how it contributes to culture, how games combine several other mediums like story, art, sound, and interactivity.

#5289678 Soulbound Items in MMORPGs

Posted by sunandshadow on 01 May 2016 - 11:22 PM

Honestly, I think the smartest thing to do is make most items soulbound on drop, and have cash shop items (fairly cheap) that remove this restriction. I've seen that pretty commonly with recent games.


Then you might end up with an auction house that's empty of lower level items.

#5289677 Soulbound Items in MMORPGs

Posted by sunandshadow on 01 May 2016 - 11:21 PM


This leads me in a follow up question I got when thinking about a unique item drop mechanic, where an item has a low drop chance and only drops once. Should an item like that be soulbound and making it impossible for other any other player to get it, or should it be in your opinion, a tradeable item, resulting in a high auction price, if the player decides to sell it?



Personally I dislike random rare drops; I favor fixed drops like, the 10th time a particular avatar participates in killing a particular boss, that avatar gets the boss's rare drop.  If 2 or 3 characters are all on their 10th time, they all get one.  But whether that drop should be salable totally depends on your game structure, as I was mentioning in your previous post.  Is your game a trinity-based themepark where you want all players to spend the majority of their time repeatedly running dungeons?


Unique items are something I don't use at all in my designs, because I think they are pointless, but if you're going to have them I don't see any reason to make them non-salable.  In fact auctions of a particularly rare item like that can turn into interesting community events.

#5289642 Soulbound Items in MMORPGs

Posted by sunandshadow on 01 May 2016 - 05:38 PM

Item binding is the most widely-known way of preventing players from trading items, but not the only one; people tend to overlook the simpler expedient of making items impossible to list in the auction house or trade directly to another player.  The best reason for ensuring that items can only be used by a single player is to prevent players from cheating themselves or each other out of gameplay.  Pet breeding is my favorite example; if you want players to have fun spending time capturing and breeding pets, you need to make sure the market isn't flooded with bred pets being sold more cheaply than the player could breed their own.  With gear, the idea is that if the gear were salable then it would remove the motive for players to run dungeons, especially beyond the first run.  In a system where dungeons don't scale to 1 or 2 player groups but instead require at least a full trinity of tank-healer-dps, everyone would have more difficulty getting a group to run a dungeon with them if there weren't a whole set of unique gear dropped by the boss.  Other types of drops, like mounts or vanity pets can also be bind-on-pickup drops that provide this kind of motivation, or the unique drop could instead be an expensive crafting mate that was used to craft the desired gear, but gear tiers work as a pacing device if the set of gear from one dungeon or region is actually necessary to survive the next dungeon or region.  If you need a whole dungeon party with most or all of the first gear set in order to survive the second dungeon/region, that's a fairly strong encouragement for a group to repeatedly run the first dungeon/region until everyone gets some gear.  And the economics of MMO design are largely about getting players to spend the most time on the least content, which results in players spending money on either subscriptions or cash shop currency with which to speed themselves up one way or another.

#5287533 What is the concept of "Unifying Color"

Posted by sunandshadow on 18 April 2016 - 02:50 PM

Well, in the context of Unity I really have no idea.  If we were talking about fashion design, it would be a color that's used in many small areas on most or all articles of clothing that make up an outfit; like you could have a red and white jacket with gold buttons, blue pants with gold piping, and white sneakers with gold laces, and gold would be the unifying color.


I guess in some cases if you are using colored lighting, the color of the lighting could be a unifying color?  For possibly related terms, I've heard of color palettes having a "central color" - that's defined mainly in the negative, by the fact that all colors that clash with the central color are forbidden from the palette.  The flesh tone of the main character would be an obvious candidate for a central color.  And another thing I've heard of is a "key color" or "identifying color" - that's the one which is rotated or substituted to visually distinguish between different factions, settings, or monster variants.

#5284779 Ways to implement hybrid procedural gen/handcrafted worlds

Posted by sunandshadow on 02 April 2016 - 02:06 PM

- One approach is to hybridize by location: have precreated rooms (especially boss rooms or puzzle rooms) and generated hallways/generic mob rooms, or precreated town layouts with precreated houses randomized into the layout, and the towns randomized into the generated world map.


- Hybridizing by location can be done in a more abstract way; for example each NPC in a town might need to live in a house (maybe assigned to a specific bed in that house) and work at a shop, and walk from home to work in the morning, and back again at night.  But the house and shop can be in randomized locations in town, and the times can be semi-randomized, and you can use some AI to have the NPC take environmentally-appropriate actions depending what objects they pass when walking; for example if they pass a fish pond they can pull out a bag of food and throw some to the fish.


- Another approach is to apply a theme over top of a generated layout.  For example, in one dungeon you replace all the water with lava, all the rocks with reddish rocks, any crystals with obsidian or fire opal, etc.  Then in another dungeon you replace any flames with flame-shaped pieces of ice, any rocks with snowy white or blue rocks, etc.  And in each dungeon you might have something generic like "key" or "quest item" which would be replaced with a unique precreated item per dungeon.  Generated dungeons also commonly have a scaling scheme applied to them, with all monster difficulties and loot being adjusted to the player's level or the number of times the dungeon has been conquered or the number of times the player has advanced the global plot/timeline, etc.


- A third approach is to generate a bunch of levels or maps beforehand, then playtest them all, get rid of the horrible ones, tweak the problematic ones, rank them all by difficulty if applicable, then provide them as a pool for the final game to draw from.

#5281267 How to give Sense of Progression in a procedural generated game?

Posted by sunandshadow on 14 March 2016 - 05:44 PM

Azure Dreams (PS1) is an example of a game where the combat takes place in a roguelike dungeon, but there's a non-generated home base which is the marker of player progress, as the player repeatedly brings back their treasure and improves the home base.  Some other roguelike games have a permadeath/reincarnation system where achievements made during a life unlock bonuses for all future life; player progression is thus shown by the strength and variety of options available when starting a new life.

#5278740 how can i fix this quest?

Posted by sunandshadow on 29 February 2016 - 01:54 PM

I'm also in favor of using a landmark.  Though a craftable dowsing rod might also be an option unless it's too magical for your game.

#5277801 Why are there no AAA games targeted towards the young adult audience?

Posted by sunandshadow on 23 February 2016 - 05:05 PM

Although clearly not an AAA game, I stumbled over an interactive story/visual novel game on steam that's clearly similar to YA fiction:


#5277341 Why are there no AAA games targeted towards the young adult audience?

Posted by sunandshadow on 21 February 2016 - 04:36 PM

I was at the bookstore today, and I took a good look at the YA books and I came to this conclusion: YA books aren't AAA products.  In this context it makes a lot more sense that the most direct game equivalents of YA books aren't AAA games.  In fact, the percentage of AAA novels has been decreasing annually in the same pattern that the percentage of AAA games has been decreasing annually.

#5276100 Why are there no AAA games targeted towards the young adult audience?

Posted by sunandshadow on 17 February 2016 - 02:16 AM

hypester, are you familiar with The Longest Journey and Dreamfall?  They are actually pretty close to having a Dialogue-rich adventure game (with a female character, even).  Despite having quite high-scoring reviews this series fell into the same pit as the Myst/Uru series, of just not being able to produce the profits to keep producing the series.

#5275355 Which quaternion fractals are your favourite?

Posted by sunandshadow on 11 February 2016 - 06:03 PM


If you're serious about purchasing a printed copy of Tornado, I can add a version without the stand. Just let me know.



Ah, sorry, no, I don't buy art.  I don't even have enough room in my house for the art I make and the art my siblings and cousins make and then give me... ^_^;

#5275235 Which quaternion fractals are your favourite?

Posted by sunandshadow on 11 February 2016 - 02:13 AM

Bolt is probably my favorite as-is, though it looks distinctly like the innards of a seashell to me, and not much like a bolt.  But I think Tornado could be really cool if you could rotate it to stand upright instead of laying down.  And a blue or black material would be a lot better than gray.