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Member Since 23 Apr 2000
Offline Last Active Today, 03:19 PM

Topics I've Started

Tabletop/pen-n-paper gaming systems as research for video game design

04 September 2014 - 06:19 PM

TLDR: what's your favorite tabletop system (mechanics only!  not about the setting!) and why?


Longer complicated question: I've never played tabletop or pen-and-paper-and-dice RPGs much, so I'm not very familiar with how many there are that are distinctly different from each other, not mostly-clones.  I was contemplating that shelf in the bookstore's games section the other day though, thinking I really should do a little research to get myself familiar with the variety of tabletop gaming systems, especially things that are quite different from the old few tabletop systems that RPG video game systems were originally based on.  I want to get familiar with innovations in tabletop land in the past 15 years.  So, anyone want to recommend a unique system or new development within a system for me to look at?

The psychic insta-game generator!

15 August 2014 - 02:34 AM

In the novel Biting the Sun by Tainith Lee, the main character at one point plays a game which is generated on the spot based on scanning her mind to find out her likes, dislikes, and what she's currently in the mood for; the game is delivered as an induced dream.



That's an interesting scenario, but I think it gets even more interesting if we make it a bit less high tech and more of a conscious process.  Let's say we had a truly human-like AI and it could instantly brew up any game you wanted - you just had to seed it with 3-5 memories of something you liked.  Recommended memories would be of a book, movie, anime, or other game.  If you adore one aspect of your seed idea but hate another, you can specify to the AI which part to include and which to ignore.  So!  What seed ideas would you pick so the AI could whip up the perfect game for you to play today? smile.png

Starting a shared universe, questions

11 July 2014 - 06:57 PM

Just curious whether anyone here has been involved with starting or running a shared universe project.  I was sort of invited to start one.  It's mecha themed (with a twist of course) and a closed-but-easy-to-enter shared universe, if anyone wondered.  I have enough experience with the editing parts, but I've never been deeply involved in a shared universe project, so I could use the perspectives of anyone who has been.  Current plan is to make concept art, put it into a webpage with the info about the universe, and link that to a forum for discussion of the universe and working on specific projects within it.  Probably not going to do a private archive, but instead encourage participants to use the ao3 archive for free work and something like create space, lulu, or etsy for for-profit work.  There isn't currently a kickstarter planned, but that's an option for specific projects within the universe.


So yeah - share your thoughts on how to run a good shared universe project. smile.png

Congratulations, you died! :)

26 June 2014 - 09:15 PM

Currently I'm playing Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, which was recommended to me when I asked for games where one could strategically die or restart to improve one's position within a game.  It does fit that description, though it's not at all obvious how to actually use the system for your advantage.  It's really quite backwards from the way I was hoping it would work; the only way to permanently improve your character is by beating the game, but what do you actually need to improve your character for if you've already mastered 90% of the game's content???  (Arguably, the fact that you keep your equipped gear and learned skills when you die or restart could be considered a permanent improvement, but the high level gear actually seems to make little difference to the difficulty or speed of the combat, and some of the skills come with a detriment that actually makes it harder to survive to the end of the game every time you use that skill.)


Anyway, here's my question for you all: say you are an assistant designer, working under the lead designer of a single-player RPG with survival elements.  The lead designer tells you, "In this game the player is supposed to die.  We want the player to be rewarded for dying and starting a new life.  I want you to brainstorm ways that dying could be beneficial, and story reasons that going back in time or starting a new life with memories from a previous attempt would make sense within the world and not make the plot look nonsensical in light of the player's future knowledge.  For example, say an NPC employer betrays the player on the first time through; the second time, the player's suspension of disbelief and immersion would be damaged if their only path is to get betrayed all over again, with no apparent reason for disregarding their future knowledge."


So, how would you make dying a good thing?  Both in gameplay mechanics, and in the context of the story and world.

Best Achievement System?

02 May 2014 - 02:21 AM

What games have you seen that had great achievement systems?  Along with the game's name, please specify if it is single-player or MMO, and RPG, FPS, or other. smile.png  Also, does it have an interactive story, no story, or other?


(I'm personally looking for a single player RPG to play, ideally a fantasy one that is colorful and somewhat humorous, but I'm interested in other examples too.)


I haven't played too many games with achievement systems myself.  Tokyo Jungle is probably the best; that's a single player arcade/brawler survival game where you play as an animal in post-apocalyptic Tokyo.