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Luckless

Member Since 27 Aug 2003
Online Last Active Today, 04:22 PM

#5253096 Battleground Fantasy- crowdfunding question

Posted by Luckless on 19 September 2015 - 02:19 PM

7. Get backing and community support rolling BEFORE you start a kickstarter campaign. 

- Something I've frequently seen in failed campaigns (as in failed to meet their minimum goal) is that they try to get the ball rolling on "Day 1" of the kickstarter campaign itself, rather than months before hand. If you don't already have a solid fan base worked out and interested in your upcoming campaign, then you're in for a very hard time as you then have to try and drum up enough interest to fund your project with a hard and fast deadline rushing toward you. Get your core fan base lined up before your campaign goes live, and then you can easily push back "D1" and only launch when conditions are feeling best for you.

 

Once you have a solid base that you can rely on to probably meet your minimum goal, then you can leverage them to drive your campaign forward and do more of the advertising for you with good use of stretch goals.




#5253052 Currency in post-apoc / zombie world?

Posted by Luckless on 19 September 2015 - 10:17 AM


If you set it in Canada, you have two more coins to work with! ( 1$ loonies and 2$ toonies)

 

Actually we now use polymer bills, so the new $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills will survive fairly reliably, but we got rid of the penny awhile back, so you're only going to find those in caches of thousands of the useless things tucked away in forgotten locations wherever someone stashed the large jar of them and never did anything with them...

 

Personally I would say that it really depends on your game design, and what is needed.

 

If you look at real world barter economies that aren't focused on a form of currency then you find that they're not actually the "I'll give you 3 sheep for the cow..." as much as they are "Sure, you've done a lot of stuff for me in the past and you're known to be an honourable person, so go ahead and take these sheep."

 

So you really don't need to earn 'currency', but rather you can just earn and spend 'renown' or something, which can even vary between different communities. Things can get even more interesting and meta-game when you consider that gaining renown in one community could in turn also affect your status in other communities. 




#5250263 Idea for a GoogleMaps Strategy Game

Posted by Luckless on 02 September 2015 - 08:25 AM

Also be careful about the copyright issues. That map data is provided for use, but there are limitations on it. You'll have to study the TOS very carefully and make sure you're not stepping over any lines. Some of the data providers selling into Google Maps have been VERY aggressive over improper usage. 




#5233209 I'm being trolled by my own game

Posted by Luckless on 06 June 2015 - 01:37 PM

Vaguely reminds me of the testing issue I dealt with a few years ago as end user QA. Dev team kicked us more than a dozen builds that had some some graphics glitch blocking the very last puzzle. Each time they said they had fixed it, and each time we sent it back to them saying it was exactly the same as before. Recoded entire sections of the whole thing, added massive error checking, and burnt weeks of dev time sorting it out.

 

Then someone realized the guy fixing the bug wasn't properly merging his code with the QA build branch... Reverted and properly merged, and the original fix actually worked.

 

Good times.




#5229461 Marvel/DC Comic Games Copyright / Royalty

Posted by Luckless on 17 May 2015 - 10:33 AM

I would suggest finding other IP to work with. Either come up with your own, or go and seek out smaller comic artists who are building up their own IP.

 

In theory you could try and run a Kickstarter campaign as a 'blank slate' project before you've settled on a world. "We're still on the hunt for the exact story to tell with this, but here is our core game design and what our software can achieve: [neat if slightly generic action stuff, none of which clearly ties into any given IP or character designs]", but I do not suspect you would have much luck getting backers unless you were an already insanely popular dev group. (And if you mentioned DC or Marvel, even to say you were hoping to license their IP for the final product but were open to others, you would already be on terribly thin ice and open to lawsuits.)

 

 

Be careful, and pay attention to IP law.




#5227143 Business Sim Game How to simulate the Market

Posted by Luckless on 04 May 2015 - 09:05 AM

Wait, are you going to model each customer, and calculate stats based on how they liked each product in the market on the fly? Because that sounds like it would be a lot of number crunching and data storage that really isn't needed. 

 

Look at it from a 'market trend/desire' stand point, and grow or shrink them over time. So you have an overall desire for Product Type X, which then has market desires for various features. From that you compare the various products of Type X on the market, and calculate its market share. You can achieve a market simulation using just dozens of values, rather than millions.




#5226741 Copying a scene from a movie?

Posted by Luckless on 01 May 2015 - 12:52 PM

I think Tom Sloper's reply really should have been a "No.*" 

 

* The general idea of a team dropping cards from a plane onto a mountain and chasing bad guys in and of itself is not readily something you can claim copyright over. You could probably try claiming ownership over something like that, but it is unlikely to go over well in court for whoever tries to push such a vague claim. However, if you're actually copying elements of the scene, then you're getting out on thin ice.

 

Taking the line "Dropping cars out of an airplane onto a mountain and racing/chasing bad guys", and then running with it to design a scene for your game: That's good.

But taking the actual scene itself, and trying to run with it? That's not so good. Don't hold up screen capture or clips of the movie and try to recreate that in your game, because that IS stepping on their copyright. (And potentially trademark if you model real world stuff too closely.)




#5225340 Steam's compensated modding policy

Posted by Luckless on 24 April 2015 - 04:26 PM



 



When fallout 4 comes out, I begin porting the mod to fallout 4, and release small patches every few hours, until it's done. Would valve allow that kind of early-access style stuff to occur? Would the potential hit to their reputation justify this model? I could see them stepping in to prevent cases like this.

 

If I was a developer, and I didn't like it, I'd disable Steam Workshop for 45-90 days until after release. And for the next game I release, I just wouldn't enable Steam Workshop until I wanted to.

 

But I don't see it being a problem... especially if you're basically selling day-one DLC that the developer gets a significant cut of, without the developer doing any production work. And I seriously doubt it'd detract from official DLC sales, unless the official DLC is crap, or unless official DLC shows up alongside 3rd-party DLC (currently it does not).

 

Plus, many games sell their official DLC from within their own game (though it requires Steam-overlay or the program minimizes and poping up the Steam client for you), whereas very few games have built-in Steam Workshop support within the game's interface.

 

 

Paid mods made by third party developers who hand over a cut of their sales, and who can be kept at arms length from the publisher and developer? How is that remotely a bad thing from the stand point of the dev/publisher? 

 

"Hey look at our awesome game with its great core game play, expansive official DLCs, And beyond that there is even more large scale quality polished mods! Oh, that mod was a flop and sucked? Yeah, we heard about that, but the only thing we can do is suggest that customers avoid stuff from those guys. Oh hey, speaking of avoiding stuff from those guys, have you seen our latest DLC?"

 

Don't want to pay for mods? Don't click on the paid mods filter.

Don't want to make people pay for your mods? Don't release them as paid mods




#5223488 When you realize how dumb a bug is...

Posted by Luckless on 15 April 2015 - 12:33 PM

My usual programming stance is to update comments to reflect that there is a change in progress, and describe what the change is, how it is supposed to work, etc, etc. Keep updating comments as I go along with code and section tests, and then when I'm done I go back and clean up the comments a little, moving outdated info into a module journal. It means I write two or three lines of comments for any given line of code, but it also means that when I get back to my code after a random break I'm able to not only read the code itself, but read the random little thoughts I had along the way and get back into the same mindset I was in when I first came up with it.

 

So far I haven't gotten myself into too much trouble when I put that much more time and effort into it, but rather often have problems when I get lazy and put it off till some time 'later'.

 

 

Also, my biggest headaches tend to come weeks or years after I came up with something 'really neat and clever'. So my general thought now is that if I think I was being clever when I wrote something, then I probably should rewrite it.




#5223481 When you realize how dumb a bug is...

Posted by Luckless on 15 April 2015 - 12:02 PM

Simple tool code being written more as a proof of concept/rapid functional prototype that I've been working with off and on for more than a year. There was some weird edge case that would break filling some data into a tree structure for display that was giving me issues because of how I had laid out the initial code for it, but I thought I had a solution to the problem while eating lunch. Quickly scribbled down pusdo-code on a pad before heading back to the office, and then really quickly wrote a new function to drop in place of the old one. It worked, covered all the edge cases, and I was able to fire the system up for a demo a few minutes later to show off a 'bug "free" version' of the program. 

 

The tool worked, did what we needed it to, so 'good enough', and Surprise! All my attention is now needed elsewhere, the tool was considered 'done' as it met all our needs for internal use, and we would worry about any bugs in it if and when they popped up. We expected that I would have a few hours later that week to go back and tidy things up a little before actually parking all the code, but the days of that week turned into weeks of that month, then months of that year. When we finally DID have to go back and make some updates to account for a slight change in process... Well, Surprise, I had never actually gotten around to writing comments for the new code. And I had stupidly copy/pasted some of the old code in rather than taking the time to rewrite all the variables and internal stuff that I still needed. So a coworker ended up trying to sort out what was going on with my 'graceful and clever' bit of code based on comments for code that did things in an entirely different manner.

 

 

 

Another fun and memorable mistake was one I ran into early in my career when I was doing more testing than code. I was working on a mobile game as a new guy, and since I was never working on anything critical I would often get tasked with sitting down and running through the entire game on an end-user testing check to make sure bug fixes were, you know, actually fixing things. There was a fairly minor bug in the alignment of some graphics at the very end of the game, but it was rather critical because you couldn't actually finish it. Ran through the game the first time, reopened the ticket because there was no change. Few days later the new build is ready, and the bug is flagged as fixed. Nope, reopen. Comes back a few days later, same thing. This repeats a dozen or more times, and we eventually realize that the guy who was fixing it kept forgetting to roll his branch of the code into the main trunk line, so he never actually deployed his fix on to the general build server, only his personal builds.

 

So remember to check your build and version handling.




#5220793 Unloved colonization

Posted by Luckless on 01 April 2015 - 02:54 PM

maybe look at it as populations/control, and loyalties/resistance.

 

So Population would add to a faction/players control over a planet and its resources, but there can be modifications to the control level based on military power and such. Throw in loyalties within a population, so that a given player can work to not just try and rule by force and suppress the existing populations when they try and take over, but they can actually lure them over to their side. 

 

Having a battle fleet in orbit of a peaceful agrarian culture who has no military power might mean that you have no population there, but effective control. If you have no loyalty points within the population, then you could face stiff production penalties if the population has any kind of resistance traits.

 

This lets you craft different kinds of populations, such as a highly passive species who is happy to work, but really doesn't care WHO they work for. They'll have no loyalty to you, but at the same time offer no resistance to your control. As long as you stay 'in power' then you get the full benefit of them as if they were your own population. But if someone kicks you out, then they will face no penalties from that population, they'll just switch over without a fight.




#5207962 Roguelikes and "dice"-based combat

Posted by Luckless on 31 January 2015 - 05:25 PM

In traditional styles the 'skill' is in decisions and thinking several moves ahead. Yes, it is highly random, and you can get sessions where you get a series of really bad rolls which lead to situations where you can't see a way out, but that is part of the game. Often if you die it was because you over extended yourself, moved too deep and let yourself get caught fighting too much too close together and couldn't make use of healing methods. It Is a risk and gamble when you move to 'the next square', but you're not really meant to just keep moving forward blindly. Careful thinking with regards to the mechanics is where the skill lies in many of these games, and making decisions like taking several steps back before moving forward to make sure the combat happens when and where it is most favourable. (Usually very applicable to ones that implement some kind of character collision detection, and forcing combat into bottle necks where you aren't as easily flanked for example.)




#5201950 Is it a good idea to block android phones that cause lots of trouble?

Posted by Luckless on 05 January 2015 - 08:35 AM

In general you should avoid having your app trying to run on devices that Can't support it, and do your best to sort out what is causing problems on various devices before you declare that the device can't actually support it. Digging into the problems can help you find some rather critical errors and design flaws, and can greatly improve how the app is running on other devices that run correctly most of the time.

 

Out sourcing a limited bit of testing to a larger testing house may be worth it for your app. Some testing houses will take small scale contracts for device sweeps and such, and since they're supporting dozens of clients they can have hundreds of models of Androids to test against. For the cost of a few dozen devices you would add to your library you can instead gets days of dedicated professional testing against a far wider range of devices.




#5200322 When is it okay for a player to get "stuck"?

Posted by Luckless on 27 December 2014 - 03:43 PM

I don't think that players strictly need a big flashing red sign saying "YOU LOSE!" when they have failed the puzzle, but rather the mechanics should allow them to gracefully revert and move forward again.

 

Take a look at how portal (Probably one of the most commonly known puzzle games that is so well executed) handles things:

 

The player either dies, and the level reloads for them (fell into fire, acid, allowed themselves to be shot too many times, or possibly crushed? I haven't played through in awhile and forget all the ways you can die), and this represents a 'hard failure'. This is opposed to a soft failure, such has dropping a block in acid, or passing it through the nullification field. You've screwed up, but it is fairly obvious that you probably weren't supposed to do that, and either they automatically give you a new tool piece to work with, or you have to manually go and press the button to get one yourself. (And if you try to request too many then it will very obviously destroy the previous one on you.)

 

Challenging is fun. Deciphering a complex system and working out a solution? That is interesting. Being frustrated is not fun. You don't want to simply hold the player's hand and make things a cake walk, but do make the process of moving through puzzle sections as streamlined as you can. Give them clear methods to reset or revert easily if they need it, and make cause and effect fairly obvious. (Don't have a button in a 3 stage puzzle that has a 'random' effect for example on the last room, but can only be pressed in the first.)

 

 

And avoid the 'false choice' effect in puzzles. If you have 3 'doors', two of which contain your death and one the solution, and zero information before hand about them, then you haven't actually given the player a choice. You're just slapping them in the face going "HAHAHA, I'm so much cooler than you because I'm the developer and I already know all the answers you stupid little twit" because they have zero useful knowledge to help them make a choice short of making a choice and then memorizing the outcome. If the only way I can pass a puzzle is by pure luck or having already failed in all the possible ways, then it is a bad puzzle because it is instead a memory/luck based obstacle that you grind your way through, not a puzzle which you actually devise a solution to.




#5200159 When is it okay for a player to get "stuck"?

Posted by Luckless on 26 December 2014 - 05:24 PM

Failure of a puzzle game really should either be effectively instant, such as falling into the acid in portal, or should allow the user to seamlessly return to the beginning if they feel they may have messed something up.

 

Add a 'teleport pad' or something beyond the 1 way door, which carries the user back to the initial part of the level, and clearly tells them that the task has been reset. 






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