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Member Since 26 Jun 2000
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:25 PM

Topics I've Started

Object Focused or Action Focused?

31 July 2013 - 05:16 PM

Assuming a game has a large number of objects and actions an avatar can perform, which do you think is clearer to the player, a design built around choosing objects and performing actions granted by them or choosing actions and selecting objects to realize the action?


For example, consider planting a listening device: If there were a range of devices to choose from, it might make more sense to have a "Bug" or "Surveillance" action with the ability to choose the right bug to plant. But if there was only one type of bug but several ways to plant it, it might make more sense to select the listening device and then choose which action you wanted to perform. But if there is both?


Another (more out there) example: Let's say you have a city and can do things at an abstract level in different locations within the city. Maybe you can burgle or vandalize, or help the needy or guard locations. Which makes more sense, to have a range of actions you choose and then locations to perform them (with each block sort of acting like an object), or to maybe make each location context sensitive, showing the available actions maybe when you click on it?



Specialization Bonus for General Skills

11 July 2013 - 11:11 PM

I'm trying to build a trade off between how players train skills. I've got about 40 general skills, things like Gunnery or Science or Survival, and each has a number of specializations which enhance the general skill. So Gunnery might have Light Arms, Science might have Biology and Survival might have Arctic. I'd like the player to choose between putting resources toward the general category or specializing in a part of it.


My question is what the bonus should be for specializing and how it should work. Initially I was just going to make specialization a cheaper way to add a +1 or +2 or whatever, but constrain it to a specific category, but that's pretty dry. Another thought was to remove critical failures, but again that wasn't very inspired.


I should note that skills are meant to be tested against the general category only, so that someone with the appropriate skill level should pass a test regardless of specialization, but should get a more favorable result for specializing. Skill levels are open ended, requiring geometrically more resources each time you gain a level in the skill, though without the more lazy +1, +2 etc I'm not sure about specializations.


Any ideas? What should you get for putting the effort into Light Arms as opposed to just Gunnery?



Really, Google? Really?

05 July 2013 - 01:51 AM

You know, I heard that evils like texting, social media and the nefarious autocorrect were dumbing down civilization and contributing to the inevitable day when robot overlords rule us all, but I didn't believe it until I saw it for myself...


Attached File  GoogleDocsThief.png   83.69KB   9 downloads


And to think Google, of all noble organizations, is involved. For shame!

Like old classics like Starflight & Star Control? Check out Void of Darkness!

28 June 2013 - 01:02 PM

Hey all. Just wanted to put the word out for a cool indie 2D space RPG project called Void of Darkness. The developer, Justin Sampson, aims to capture the feel of old classics like Starflight and Star Control, giving you a giant sandbox of real-time space combat, fleet battles, trade, exploration, and alien interaction, all within a non-linear story and dynamic universe that sounds like it's going to be different each time you play. Check out the Indiegogo campaign at:





The Search Skill - How Should It Work?

17 May 2013 - 03:25 PM

Search in a lot of RPGs is pretty standard: You have one or more characters in some environment with a skill called search which, if it succeeds based on some test, reveals something not otherwise obvious (a hidden door, treasure, a trap, etc.).


In a lot of games its pretty generic pass or fail. In some you can spam it at no cost. I've been thinking about making search resource based (maybe you need special particles to "scan" an environment), in order to give it an opportunity cost, with a kind of "getting warmer / colder" dynamic.


Are there better implementations out there that you've heard of?