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Member Since 25 Sep 2000
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 12:47 PM

#5199183 Hands off economy (planetary improvements)

Posted by kseh on 19 December 2014 - 05:42 PM

I'm thinking if each planet had its own food preferences and if things are such that one corporation producing multiple types of foods results in greater costs, meaning less tax revenue and less efficient food production, then it might be in the emperor's interests to mandate what types of foods are produced or how they are taxed. It might be that the most efficient and profitable food production comes from everybody producing only one type of food but the trade off being issues with morale / productivity, possibly health, and perhaps supply security concerns due to lack of diversity.

The emperor could have the ability to affect research into more efficient means of production. Perhaps also into ways to reduce corruption or enhance security (probably temporarily since someone always finds a counter-measure).

Production of commercial goods could be outright banned in an attempt to redirect production to some other area that's needed or for security purposes. But the trade off could be that those commercial goods would have otherwise be an element that inspires invention and affects the population's morale. Specific commercial goods could also be thought of as a product of an individual planet's culture. If there are cultures within your empire that have a tendency to clash with each other then the production, distribution, and taxation of goods might be in the emperor's interests.

#5197904 Where to go from here?

Posted by kseh on 12 December 2014 - 07:23 PM

Another game that I think a beginner should consider trying (after guess the number) is Blackjack. It also works very nicely as a text only game and what I like about it is that you can start with a very basic implementation just trying to get to 21 with random numbers from 1 to 10 and then adding support for 1 through 10 and the face cards, adding logic to handle the ace as either 1 or 11, simulating shuffeling the deck of cards, adding betting and a dealer (the rules dealers follow are pretty simple).


The other thing that's nice about it is that, when the time comes to try working with graphics, Blackjack can look good with just static images. You don't have to worry about moving things or animation until you're ready. Also, it shouldn't be difficult to find or create your own art resources.

#5196531 The magical games atmosphere ?

Posted by kseh on 05 December 2014 - 06:12 PM

Being a teenager and saving the world before y2k is not going to be the sort experience or feelings that a teenager might have today.

Knowing your audience, what's on their mind, what their experiences are would help. If you've already saved the world 20 times and killed Dracula 30 then these things don't have the same appeal to someone that hasn't done these things yet.

I also think that when you can break a game's elements down into simple things like dps, cool-down, tanks, glass cannons, & healers you start to loose some of that sense of immersion.

#5196465 Difficulty setting pointless in my game?

Posted by kseh on 05 December 2014 - 11:22 AM

I might look at anything that would turn the game from a quick one where you can just go in and blast the hell out of everything you see to one that's a longer campaign where you need to make careful decisions . Though I suppose it's not as much changing the difficulty as it is changing the mode of play.


Some simple adjustments that I can think of might be:

Unlimited ammo vs limited.
Weapon cool-down time required required or not.

Friendly fire.

Unlimited cargo space vs limited.

#5193540 [4X / TBS] Diplomacy...

Posted by kseh on 18 November 2014 - 07:15 PM


Would it add anything to be able to warn, turn, or otherwise escort ships away from your territory rather than fighting them? Say that you're not at war with a player but for whatever reason (probably trade related) you don't want his ships in your territory. Turning a ship away asserts your control of your territory without the escalating effects that would come with destroying or capturing the ship.



Do you mean, an actual forcefield or tow-lock of some kind? Or a political sanction? I feel that a mere chat system would allow for these types of warnings, would they not? Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point here though.


I'm thinking of is where you have two players who are not at war but not really allies and one decides to try and probe a bit into the other player's borders. Or perhaps a player wants to implement some sort of blockade. A chat system alone could work but if you have two players who aren't officially at war and they have a fair number of ships to watch over it might be something worth automating somewhat.

#5193330 [4X / TBS] Diplomacy...

Posted by kseh on 17 November 2014 - 05:08 PM

Would it add anything to be able to warn, turn, or otherwise escort ships away from your territory rather than fighting them? Say that you're not at war with a player but for whatever reason (probably trade related) you don't want his ships in your territory. Turning a ship away asserts your control of your territory without the escalating effects that would come with destroying or capturing the ship.

#5190982 Player character emotion.

Posted by kseh on 03 November 2014 - 01:52 PM

This is completely off-base. Ask a fan of Dark Souls about that.

Why, what would he tell me? Having not played the game I read the brief description of the gameplay on wikipedia. It sounds to me like the primary experience is repeated trial and error to complete a task (which pretty much is the way games used to be before people decided it was necessary to hold the player's hand from beginning to end). The one difference being an additive "punishment" for failure. I can see how this might create a sense of apprehension within the player or a desire to stay alive but because trial and error is expected with errors frequently resulting in death, the player accepts death as part of the game and it stops meaning as much, even if the game does get harder.


The game certainly sounds difficult but does that directly translate into a player being emotionally invested in the player character and the game world in such a way that at the end of the game the player walks away feeling in some way enriched beyond the satisfaction of completing something difficult?

Reading this I rather strongly suspect you missed that this was a sandbox game. With heavy Roguelike elements. Kinda changes the tools I have to work with.

You're right, I did miss that. Working in presenting stuff for the player to read would be more difficult to do but I stand by my statement that having the player read something is a good way to get into their head.

If you're knee deep in development already I'd say you have an even greater challenge ahead of you. In my experience as a player, I find that it's even harder to develop an emotional connection to the PC or the environment when you can do anything you want. If you're still in the early planning stages I still suggest sitting down with a good writer, particularly one that has had experience with the sort of psychological drama that you're intending to create. If nothing else maybe you get some inspiration for things to include in your game.




See, this is why I wanted guesses to be done through PM. I can't tell you if that's it or not here.

Not to burst your bubble or anything but as soon as the first person completes your game the secret will be out on the internet anyways. You should try to rely on your game's presentation, not the twist.


Oh, and in the event that I'm sounding a bit skeptical of the idea or something (re-reading my post I see how it could), I really only meant the above as like, "I think these are challenges you're going to face and you might want to consider" sort of a way. Maybe my thoughts are helpful to consider or maybe not.

#5190935 Player character emotion.

Posted by kseh on 03 November 2014 - 11:00 AM

I think that when a player finds himself playing a game where PC death is an expected, regular, or normal then the player is likely to detach himself emotionally from the character. With the lack of connection to the PC the player then asks the question, "so what the heck is it that I'm expected to do here?" If the player thinks that the answer is, "you are expected to die," and the player accepts this, I think it's going to be difficult to invoke emotions within the player because he's already seen through what's going on.

In any case I think the single greatest mechanic that you have available to try and achieve what you're aiming for is simply providing text for the player to read. By reading something, a person is pulling another person's ideas and thoughts into their own head. Assuming that the reader feels compelled to follow you all the way through the experience you intend for him, you'll have formed a connection that is different than the one you can get by only exposing him to sights, sounds, and events. Combine all those things in the right way might give you the sort of result that you're looking for. In any case, I think you're going to need a really good writer for this one.

#5190480 What's next?

Posted by kseh on 31 October 2014 - 04:46 PM

I agree that tile based collision is a good next step. But I suggest maybe holding off on smoother movement for a bit.

- First maybe you could add some other people or critters of some kind and have them move about randomly but not through things they shouldn't. It just generally adds some life to your game.
- Maybe after that you could add a number of coins or something to random places on your map. If the player collects / collides with one remove it from the game. If all are collected, game over. No real need for inventory just keep a count of coins collected.
- Maybe after that you could have the critters you added earlier move towards the player if within say 4 tiles. If they collide with the player then game over.


I'm thinking that at that point you have a really basic game to continue building on. It really doesn't take much to getting sucked into doing feature after feature with no gameplay of any kind in your project (which is the problem I have at the moment).

#5188810 What Is Your Game Design Technique?

Posted by kseh on 23 October 2014 - 02:16 PM

For my solo hobby project, I have no real initial plan and I just make it up as I go along (referencing development notes as needed). But I would do it differently if I was working with a team or trying to make money off the end result.


The point of having things like a design document or a planned release date is so that everyone on the team has an understanding of what's expected of them. An offshoot of that is that you are also giving everyone a way to recognize that a project is actually completed successfully or not.

You can certainly get away without a GDD, but you can probably see value in having a way to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

Also, as mentioned, prototyping an idea to get a handle on the fun factor, or to identify potential challenges you might expect on the way, is a good way to ensure that you're not wasting effort. But this could be looked at as a sort of project in of itself and so, again, maybe your team could benefit with a common understanding of what's expected of them as they're working on the prototype.

#5187426 Two Way Tower Defence-ish?

Posted by kseh on 16 October 2014 - 10:24 AM

"Two way tower defense" in effect is an RTS, even if it is a done with a side view. You will probably have to face the various design considerations that others have with this type of game (resource gathering, unit balance, preparing for "the rush"). Even if your game has quite a few difference from a traditional RTS, I would think that articles written on the subject might help identify issues you'll want to consider as you design your game.

#5186969 Light from items

Posted by kseh on 14 October 2014 - 10:49 AM

Earlier this year, I was playing around with RGBA values to give the sort of day / night cycle effect that you're trying to do. Ultimately, I abandoned the technique between issues i had and not being so sure what it added to gameplay.

If you use a circle that is filled with a gradient where the center is the most white and if you play with different types of blending using multiple layers, you can get some ok results. To get it just right, you need the right combination of blending operations (I forget precisely what I did) otherwise the light sources can add to each other which isn't really what you want. I had a few frames of circles like this that were filled with gradients using different falloffs and randomly switched between each frame to get a campfire flicker effect that I liked.

Some drawbacks:
  - The technique is great for lighting the ground but not quite right for things standing on the ground as there were no shadows being cast by the light source. I think this article on 2d shadow mapping might have an idea for dealing with that but I never got into it because of the hardware limitations I had.
  - The hardware limitation was something that came up when trying to do blending using multiple layers. It probably could've been cleared up with an updated driver but that sort of thing was locked down on the laptop I was using.
  - If I was ever going to have a really wide field of light, I can't imagine that this technique would be at all practical.
  - Though I never got far into using this technique, I figured that I'm likely going to be limited to having a set number of sizes of light fields. There'd be too many different textures otherwise taking up too much memory.
  - I took a stab at manually drawing a gradient circle every frame but it's quite a slow technique to use. It might be ok if you don't mind the light's falloff being less than smooth. Or maybe there's something that can be done with shaders to improve performance (I know nothing about them).

There's probably much better ways to go about doing this with multiple tilesets or shaders. And it will probably never be the most ideal setup because you're working with 2d sprites. But I found it to be a bit of a learning experience and it was pretty cool to play with for awhile. Had the hardware issue not been a concern I'd probably wouldn't have abandoned what I had.

#5186075 Educational Browser RPG

Posted by kseh on 09 October 2014 - 04:05 PM

Some thoughts...


I haven't played Cooking Mama but I would assume that part of what makes it enjoyable is the ability to experiment and see what the results are (demonstrations of cause and effect where users influence elements can be quite interesting). And as you said, it's something that people can get a sense of how it might relate in the real world. So, perhaps you can get similar enjoyment if players are given the ability to experiment in different ways relating to different subjects you want to approach. Or if an experiment isn't quite intuitive for the subject, maybe a puzzle or task of some kind that at least shows the usefulness and application of the various subjects. I would suggest that experiments or puzzles be something that's done outside of any kind of exam element you might want to include. Since a fundamental part of what you intend is for things to take place in a classroom, it might make sense to present experiments and puzzles as the actual "class" when a player enters the room. However if this is the only place where such things occur, you might be making it more difficult to demonstrate how various topics might relate to the real world.

There's also an in-game clock and day-night feature.

Is there something that you envision the player doing at night that you haven't mentioned?


You also used the words "multiplayer online game". I do get the appeal of creating a living online world but I would recommend that you take a hard look at whether doing so might detract from whatever educational experience that you're trying to provide. Especially since it's been well established that people often don't play nice when they're online.

#5185817 Business advice? (Non game development related)

Posted by kseh on 08 October 2014 - 12:54 PM

In addition to the above, consider looking into what government programs for small business start ups may be available to you. It's also possible that a bank might have some sort of small business program.

#5184424 Balance (early game difficulty) [strategy]

Posted by kseh on 01 October 2014 - 03:58 PM

If there's a bunch of other planets that are not colonized, is there maybe a reason for that? Presumably the existing empires have known about these planets for some time. So whatever reason that those planets aren't under the control of an existing empire could be the same reason why they won't bother the player in the first place.

Might existing empires simply ignore the player until a certain level of tech is reached?

Or maybe the home planet is just simply cloaked by some ancient technology and the power source is going to die out in X turns.

Or maybe not so much a cloak but some other piece of tech the player has come into possession of or invented that returns false scan data and it takes time for the existing empires to devise a counter measure.