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Member Since 23 Apr 2000
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 02:33 PM

Topics I've Started

How long ago did you play the games that inspire your design?

28 April 2015 - 08:40 PM

TLDR: My major influences have consistently been games I played 4 years ago or less, how about you?



I saw an interesting discussion elsewhere about how much or little one's childhood affects one's adult artistic creations.  So I'd like to know, are any of the games you played as a child or teen still inspirations for your current designs?  If you are older than your twenties, are your current designs significantly different from what they were as a young adult?


Me, I started designing games as a hobby when I was about 19 (would have been 1999).  At that time my major inspiration was Final Fantasy 7, which I had played the previous year.  I was also interested in MMO design, though I'm not sure exactly which MMOs I had played by then.  My oldest major inspirations at that point were E.V.O: The Search For Eden (1993) and Myst (1993), even though I had been playing various games since about 1985.  A few of those older games were lingering as minor influences, like Invisible Bugs (1989).  But mainly when I began designing none of my important influences were more than 6 years old; actually they were probably more like 5 years since I didn't play those two when they were new.


Currently, I'm 34.  My oldest major influence on current designwork is probably Disgaea 1 (2003 release but I probably played it in 2006). (Again, I don't know which MMO I played which year, so I should exclude them).  But anyway the point is that all of my major influences were replaced, and at no time have I been heavily influenced by a game I played more than 9 years ago; most major influences are games I played 4 years ago or less.  How about you all?  Is my 'gamer memory' unusually short or are you all mainly influenced by games you've played in the past 4 years also?

If you're familiar with both Harry Potter and Naruto...

18 March 2015 - 04:02 PM

The Harry Potter world and the Naruto world actually have a ton of similarities, despite one being British and the other Japanese.  Both start with young teens going to a special school where they learn magic-like skills.  Near the beginning of both series a rogue teacher draws the main character into a dangerous confrontation over a valuable artifact that the rogue wants to steal.  Then the main character becomes part of a 3-person group that alternately squabbles and works together tackling various adventures, missions, and opponents.  They are constrained by their low rank/not being recognized as adults, and have to compete to earn certifications to make progress towards becoming full-fledged warriors considered as equals by their teachers.  Destiny is shown through information about the main character's dead parents and a prophecy.  And so on.


I'm thinking about inventing a new world of this general type.  Right now I'm trying to figure out what kind of special ability the main characters should be trained in, why this school exists, what kind of tests they should have to go through (probably a tournament, but what kind, and held by who), and who the enemy actually is.  I don't want to have any explicitly supernatural elements - no ghosts, vampires, demons, or gods.  (Edit: This means I really don't want to do the prophecy thing that both examples did.)  Magic is ok, as long as it is presented as either a natural part of the laws of physics of a fantasy world, or natural biological abilities of a non-human race.  I'm not sure I want to have elements be involved, and definitely not good vs. evil.  I want to have a more explicit process of specialization, where the teens have to decide what role they want to specialize in, then earn it, and there would be some kind of irreversible metamorphosis.  The end result should be an almost insect-like social structure where the group as a whole is the reproductive unit; no nuclear families.  Similarly, individuals would usually not have jobs in some kind of capitalistic system, but instead the group as a whole would be an economic unit.


So, what's the actual question of this thread?  Well, two things: What do you all think is good or important to include in such a world's design?  And, do you want to recommend any similar series as research material?  I'm aware that jedi in the Star Wars universe are kind of like ninja, but I never liked the philosophy or culture of the Star Wars universe much; I see jedi as being like paladins or clerics, and I strongly dislike religious warriors or mages.  The anime series Bleach similarly has shinigami who are like ninja, but although there is a shinigami school, the main character doesn't attend it, and he doesn't really act as part of a team either.

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