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FREE SOFTWARE GIVEAWAY

We have 4 x Pro Licences (valued at $59 each) for 2d modular animation software Spriter to give away in this Thursday's GDNet Direct email newsletter.


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Opwiz

Member Since 05 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Nov 23 2014 11:18 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Planning a Complex Narrative

16 October 2014 - 02:27 PM

I recommend using a program like Evernote for organizing your work. It helps you organize a bunch of notes using tags etc. it loads and switches between documents fast which is good when dealing with a large amount of notes. As for organizing the narrative I think you should at the center have some kind of unifying theme - something that ties all the story-lines, events, scenarios, character developments, world developments together. E.g. lots of things happens in the Lord of the Rings - bunch of different races, power-struggles, various battles, various disputes between characters and groups of people, but at the center is the ring that symbolizes this dynamic of unity / domination, it's about uniting against evil. Tolkien didn't put all that complicated stuff (multiple races etc) for random world-building reasons, they served a purpose for the narrative.

 

Your Baccano! quote suggest you are looking for a theme that is more open-ended, but you'll still have some kind of theme. What is the game about? Where does it take place? What can the player do? What can't the player do? What paths can the player take and how does the player progress? Think about your choices and preferences and how they might tie into some kind of theme. 

 

The more open-ended your theme is the less you actually need to organize your story-lines and scenarios. E.g. if it's about "power-struggle" then you can just let the game mechanics of the game tell the story - different factions battling, different ways to influence factions, to gain power, etc. You don't care so much which event takes place in what order, the direction things are going, just how they influence the power-dynamic. In that case you just need to have certain parameters in place for a certain event/story-line to be triggered, e.g. if faction X controls castle Y and you are from faction Z then you can do story-line C which on completion changes the parameters and potentially opens up for new story-lines.


In Topic: Rewarding bad players

10 October 2013 - 04:46 AM

I think having some kind of skill-equalizing mechanic in the game isn't necessarily a bad thing - depends on the nature of the game. If its a social, family game, casual game or for children, then giving bad players a "leg up" and having mechanics keeping really good players from rolling over everything, makes sure everyone is having a good time and have a chance of coming up on top. 

 

However, I'd think carefully on how to implement such mechanic. Just giving bad players power-ups is a kinda cheap way of doing it. I'd make it integral to the core gameplay (not something added on top of it).. just an example from the top of my head: lets say in a fps, for every points you get (for kills) the bigger and more "shiny" you get, and the point reward for killing you goes up.. this means the better player you are the more challenging the game gets (all want to kill you) and weaker players is less of a target and can focus on killing the shiny guys... 


In Topic: Driving the story forward in a free-roaming world

02 October 2013 - 07:29 AM


The problem with forcing the player to conform to your pacing is that you are taking control away from the player.  If you can pull it off in a way that doesn't break immersion, then good.  Otherwise, the FAQ writer will call you out (you will then see an unavoidable cutscene where you are kidnapped and taken to a sewer hideout).  I councel against anything that gives the events a contrived feeling.

 

I agree. It has to feels organic, non-contrived and not compromise the immersion and story-telling. I'm hesitant of using time-constraints because I don't want the player to feel pressured in a "ticking timebomb" race-against-time type way.. one of the charm of certain open-world games is being able to set your own pace - to groove in the story world if you will..


In Topic: Driving the story forward in a free-roaming world

02 October 2013 - 06:57 AM

Rockstar uses telephones in their games to remind you that there is a track that they ultimately want you to follow, but it always remains optional.

Prophetic dreams when a character or party stays at an Inn can get the game back on track.

Unavoidable timelined events can section off parts of the game world forcing the character to move to other areas and interact with the content there.

 

The problem with forcing the player to conform to your pacing is that you are taking control away from the player.  If you can pull it off in a way that doesn't break immersion, then good.  Otherwise, the FAQ writer will call you out (you will then see an unavoidable cutscene where you are kidnapped and taken to a sewer hideout).  I councel against anything that gives the events a contrived feeling.

 

Timelined events that section off parts of the game world seems like a nice way to organically funnel the player in a certain direction. Makes me think of FTL where you explore sectors but are pressured to move on to get away from the pursuing rebel fleet. 


In Topic: Bad to release game with incomplete levels?

01 October 2013 - 08:55 AM

Seeing as your game is for free you can release it in any state you want IMO. If you where to sell the game then releasing an incomplete game or a game with game-breaking bugs is a big no-no. I still think its a bad idea to release a game prematurely, even if you label it as alpha. First impressions count. If your game is incomplete and/or with severe bugs, that impression is going to stick with people and if you allow meta-critic scores & market place ratings they are probably going to reflect that first impression.

 

There is a growing trend of releasing games prematurely and fixing/adding content later. This is a very bad trend that only hurts consumers and the reputation of game devs. If you consider your game to be "complete" with 10 missions, then I think you should release it when you have 10 missions.


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