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Member Since 25 Sep 2000
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 04:32 PM

#5167489 How to exit the game gracefully?

Posted by kseh on 17 July 2014 - 03:55 PM

The problem is more about unintentionally leaving the game and loosing your current status. I think one place where this is an issue for me is when I'm looking at reloading a saved game and I'm trying to get through the UI as fast as possible to get back to my game but I end up selecting the wrong thing. In this case, an "Are you sure" dialogue sometimes helps but not always as I can press buttons pretty quickly if I'm thinking that I know what's about to happen. The other time I think it happens to me is pretty much a similar situation is when I'm playing something like Civilization and I'm trying to end a current game and start another. After playing for several hours, my brain has turned to much and I can't seem to figure out which of the two menu options "Quit to Desktop" or "Quit to Main Menu" is the one I really want to push.

I think a timer that forces me to wait before I actually quit won't work because I'll be sitting there in my half zoned out state pushing buttons on my controller or mouse waiting for the game to do whatever it was I thought I had selected (probably "load game") instead. It'll be too late for me to react by the time I notice I made the wrong selection.

If you think about it, the more a user is interacting with a particular area of the UI the greater the opportunity will be for mistakes. So if you're expecting your user might be going into the Save or Load menu options regularly, maybe it'd be a good idea to put some separation between those options and the one to quit the game. Perhaps both in the physical screen real estate and the number of button presses required. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to require a user to use slightly more thought and interact just a bit more to do something that he will only be doing intentionally once per game session.

#5166812 How To Make Combat Formulas Work Better ?

Posted by kseh on 14 July 2014 - 02:46 PM

What formulas have you tried and in what way did they not "work"?

In what ways do you expect player affects the stats that you have available?

Most importantly, how do you want a typical example of combat play out? What can a player expect to happen more often than not?

Given the experience that you know you want the player to have throughout the course of the game, can you find a way to make the numbers represent that experience and continue to represent that experience as the game progresses?

#5165899 Indie Game Development - My Path Options?

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

SFML is an API. Why are you thinking you might need to look into learning the Win32 API?

Your question is probably a good example of one of the cons of going ahead on your own. Not understanding what an API is, what they're used for, and why you might choose one over another might hold you back if you find yourself in a situation where what you're currently using isn't suitable and you need to find something else. But understanding such things aren't exactly a prerequisite for being able to use them.

If you're finding the SFML syntax pretty straight forward to work with then I have to think there's a good chance that it will suit your needs for quite some time. If you find that it has limitations that are getting in your way then you probably want to consider looking at something else. For that matter, there really isn't anything stopping you from trying out different APIs at any time just to see what they're like. Though you'd probably want to have a bit of experience with one so that when you hold another against it you understand what you're comparing.

Though some tasks may be easier with one API over another, results will vary depending on the experience and tenacity of the developer.

You sound like you have some good tools at your disposal and it sounds like you'll be comfortable working with them. I say don't worry about what you don't have until you find an actual need for it.

#5164772 So... I'm a Molecular Biologist....

Posted by kseh on 04 July 2014 - 12:36 PM

There is a difference between making a game that is based on molecular chemistry mechanics and creating a library that can be used by multiple platforms to simulate molecular chemistry mechanics, even if you intend for that library to be something that impliments a simplified model of those mechanics. As it sounds that you don't have a significant background in programming, the recomendation that people have been making is to focus on making the game. Personally, I see nothing wrong with focusing on making a library for people to use but if that's at the heart of what you want to accomplish then you should only be focusing on it and put the thought of making a game aside.


Further, regardless of the idea for a game, it can be difficult to recruit programmers to work on your idea as they tend to have their own ideas that they want to work on. Unless of course you're looking to hire programmers to do the work in. If hiring programmers is an option, you might want to consider looking for people that have some sort of background in the field so that you can effectively communicate with each other. (Recruiting programmers here is something you would do in the Classifieds forum, but I suspect you won't find many people with a molecular chemistry background around here).


Putting those things aside, your third option for discussing your idea is to come up with an explination of the game that you have in mind that is simple enough for most people to understand. Speak about your game in terms of mechanics and elements that you see in other games. Get the high level design worked out first so that people can at least envision what you have planned. If you can't communicate that to people then you're going to have an even tougher time when it comes to discussing the technical and scientific elements of your project.


Do you actually have the details for a game worked out already? You haven't described any yet, you should share it if you do. If you don't have an idea for a game it's going to be even tougher to talk to people about producing something that fits your vision. If you have a fear about others stealing your idea (not an uncommon thing), you should try and put that aside and talk about your idea anyways. In the first place, it's difficult to steal someone's idea and produce something that is inline with the person's original vision. Meaning, if someone did "steal" your idea, they'll never actually produce what you had in mind so there's always the opportunity for you to do so. Secondly, the idea sounds as though it'd be pretty complex to technically execute so it's unlikely that you would see anything created overnight or in such a timeframe that you wouldn't have an opportunity to somplete your own project. Third, it's always possible someone else had this idea already anyways.

#5163269 Need help - can't find the fun factor

Posted by kseh on 27 June 2014 - 12:12 PM

Personally, i don't find combat logs very interesting most of the time. Key word there being "most" as so much of what happens in combat is just hit after hit. The more frequent a specific thing happens in a battle, the less interesting it is. Is it at all possible to let the combat play itself out and then take the log that was generated and summarize the battle or other wise conversationalize it?


"Yeah, earlier today I ran into a snake. It got me a couple of times but it was no match for me. I quickly knocked it out and made it pay for annoying me. Damn thing poisoned me though and I didn't have a potion handy."


If you can provide a summary or analysis on what a character does and maybe something of their opinion about that given their traits, perhaps it can help the player develop more of an attachment to the characters. Perhaps in coming up with such information you can find that a character has reason for a falling out with you and perhaps becomes an enemy or rival.


Though you have some backstory, you don't have anything for the player to really measure his progress against. There doesn't seem to be any antagonistic forces that the player has to keep up with or be challenged by. You need competing factions, or kingdoms, or gods or soemthing like that. Something that forces the player to grow.

#5162422 From designing and creating the concept of a game to implementing it: How do...

Posted by kseh on 23 June 2014 - 05:13 PM

Another problem is, that everytime I take a break of a few days, I have a hard time to understand my own code because it lacks documentation.

I've gotten in the habit of writing (typing actually) my thoughts down in a seperate file before, while, and after I code. And when working on the actual code, I put a comment that is just today's date so I can refrence my notes later if I have to. Over all, this helps me remember what I was doing last time and also when I come to a piece of code where I go, "what the hell was I thinking when I wrote this crap?" I can refer to my notes and actually answer that question. I do this for both my hobby projects and professionally (I'm not a game dev though).


Aside from that, experience is probably going to be what helps you determine what you need when in the design phase. Think about what went wrong last time and try to plan ahead to avoid that situation again. Think about the features your going to develop and the risks are involved. And write all these things down.


That being said, for my current hobby project, I have no real design. I'm basically just developing various features and don't really have any sort of game. Ultimately, I expect the project to collapse under its own weight. It's kinda close to that actualy as I'm finding issues between SFML and my target machine's ancient graphics card. Also, I recently decided that the way I structured my objects was giving me no end of grief and I had to spend a week or two restructuring things and accounting for those changes as well (was really close to giving up there). Plus there's a couple other ideas for projects that I got in my head that I'm curious to try and the current project has been going on for about two years without a lot of progress towards an actual game. Of course, those ideas would be quite unable to make use of anything that I've developed in the past two years too. So um... yeah... plan ahead as best as you can or else you'll probably end up with a mess like I have on my hands at the moment.

#5162360 Idea for samurai/ninja game

Posted by kseh on 23 June 2014 - 10:57 AM

Sounds kinda like Inindo: Way of the Ninja but with more of a sandbox style of play to it. I've had that game in the back of my mind as something to aim for one day for so long now (has it really been two decades?). The studio that made that game had a lot of experience making historical strategy warfare games and figured out how to combine that with a typical story based RPG. Essentially your character runs around Japan doing whatever and then at the end of the month the game switched to a mode that resolved the strategic moves between the Daimyos. If you were ninvolved in a battle, you had to be at the appropriate castle at the end of the month.


I think Facehead had some good advice, look at making games or projects that focus on the individual elements of the game you have in mind. Each of these elements will pose challenges to sort out on their own but hopefully you'll feel as though you're working towards the grander goal and remain motivated.

#5161118 Attribute and Formula Help

Posted by kseh on 17 June 2014 - 12:03 PM

You need to decide how the combat rules should behave, then formulas that fit the requirements will be easy to find.


I believe that this is the right idea. You should have an idea of what you want the player(s) to experience when combat takes place and try and find formulas that create that result (at least as a starting point) keeping in mind that, assuming the game is player vs computer, at the end of the day you want the player to win.


You probably already have several types of units in mind and an idea of how they will do in various situations and how they should be used most effectively.

  • Without bonus modifiers, what should a player expect when unit A and unit B confront each other?
  • Should A quickly over power B taking little to no damage?
  • Or should A typically win after x rounds of combat taking a moderate amount of damage?
  • How many times without healing should a player expect to be able to use unit A to fight unit B's before unit A is destroyed?
  • What about with healing?
  • Answer all those questions again but this time unit A has maximum bonuses or special abilities.
  • Again but with unit B has maximum bonuses or special abilities.
  • How much experience in the game will the player have and how much advancement (if any) will unit A typically have before encountering unit C?
  • How should unit A do in combat against unit C before and after that advancement?

#5159365 Alternatives for a 1-up icon?

Posted by kseh on 09 June 2014 - 04:59 PM

It's going to depend a lot on what other elements are already going to be in your game that you wouldn't want confused with a 1up.

Life Potion
A coin (a reference to a credit for an arcade game)
Some symbol associated with your game's god of life (if you have one).

TechnoGoth suggested a soul and you mentioned a helmet. So building on that, how about a helmet that's kinda ghostly pale and maybe glows a bit?

#5159285 Simple(?) question: What does/should a Quest icon look like?

Posted by kseh on 09 June 2014 - 10:08 AM

I rather like the idea of a wax seal. But it should have an emblem and be a color that represents the organization that the quest is for. Unless maybe you're rescuing some kid's cat from a tree or something then maybe just a Q would work.

#5157056 Getting a rectangle to land on top of a rectangle

Posted by kseh on 30 May 2014 - 04:52 PM

The way I've implemented scrolling in my game, the "camera" position does not affect the logical game world position of any objects. The camera is more of a way of determining what objects and tiles I want to display on the screen. And though the camera affects where on the screen an object is displayed it doesn't affect where in the game world it is, As a simplified example, if my world is 128*128 tiles and my camera position is at 25, 30 (this is where I start bltting objects) and my view is 10*8 tiles wide, I display everything that's within tiles 25,30 through 35,38. If I do something to move the camera, the co-ordinates for the camera change but I still display 10*8 tiles of game world stuff starting from my new position.


But my sprites and other game objects all work in game world co-ordinates. That means when I'm testing if things collide with each other, I don't do any calculations based on the camera co-ordinates. Unless maybe I was only going to test stuff that's occurring on screen but then if two things were to collide off screen, the collision wouldn't be processed.


I suggest you start with looking at a solution that doesn't involve scrolling or cameras first. Once that's working, look into ways to display objects on the screen based on camera position without affecting the game world co-ordinates of the objects.


(I have a feeling my example is poorly worded but I hope the basic idea gets across)

#5156152 Would you play this?

Posted by kseh on 26 May 2014 - 05:54 PM

I've never really understood why people ask this question. I don't see how answers for it should be the impetus behind a game's development. I know there's a whole market research thing that makes sense to do before producing a game but I think that's more when you're looking at investing sufficiently into a project that you want to consider the risks of going any particular direction. Even then, that sort of research goes beyond asking "would you play this?" into stuff more like "how many people have played a game like this?" and comparing things like production costs and quality vs returns.

For about a year (I think 2010) I regularly played and commented on assorted in-browser games on a couple of sites that offered them. I noticed two things. One was that what I choose to play is based mostly on a combination of impulse, visibility, and accessibility where impulse can be overridden by a curiosity instilled in me by reputation. So, yes, if your game satisfies those things sufficiently, I just might play your game. The second thing is that there is so much garbage out there that gets published to these sites. As unpleasant as it was to come across a game that was poorly designed with horrible graphics that was a complete rip-off of the popular trend of the day, it feels like 10 times worse to realize that I don't have something up there. When my attention is diverted for even 30 seconds to play such a poorly made game that has some how gotten onto what I consider a fairly reputable site, I really have no excuse for not publishing a game of my own.

What I'm trying to say is, as much as you want to be known for a well made game, it's going to be the marketing that will be deciding factor on whether your game will be played at all (and by extension if it will make money). It's a whole other beast to tackle beyond creating a game.


Honestly, it sounds to me like you're again looking for a project that you'll be passionate enough about to see to completion as other projects have hit discouraging road blocks and been abandoned. I say do your best to get something finished and, if you can, ensure that everything (or as much as possible) you do can be transferred into future unknown projects.

#5156037 I need ideas for a game...

Posted by kseh on 26 May 2014 - 10:29 AM

If you want to make a browser based game then maybe look for inspiration in some of the established browser based games out there that are popular. Personally, I rather enjoyed playing Travain for a few months and there was another one I don't remember the name of that was some space empire. See what works, what you like, what inspires you. When you have a fairly solid outline of what direction you want to go, start doing what you can and come back to ask questions about whatever might be stumping you. Questions more like what the best way to handle turn processing might be, considerations for securing data, and the ever popular questions about how to find or create art assets. Specific questions that are aimed at tackling specific problems for a project that you already feel passionate about. Because, it's going to be tough for anyone to give you ideas that you'll be passionate enough about to to see a project through. It's a lot of work after all.

#5154842 Crafting system, making economy that matters to player, discussion.

Posted by kseh on 20 May 2014 - 11:02 AM

I would start with figuring out the production and consumption of food. Determine what formulas work best for you to represent say a game year's worth of food production and consumption with no disruptions and test it out to see if your formula supports the population. Put the formula in a test program, loop through it, and output all the variables to see how they change and verify the effectiveness of the formula. Each iteration of the loop represents whatever period of time you want whether that's a game year, month, day, or hour. Then, when I'm ready to display NPCs in some way, rather than having assorted NPCs implement the formula, I would have the NPCs represent the formula for the period of time that has elapsed.

#5154137 Game Development - Where to start?

Posted by kseh on 16 May 2014 - 04:41 PM

I believe the conventional wisdom passed around here is to get a CS degree as it's likely to keep you open to a broader range of industries.

However, "Getting into Game Development," can mean different things though. There's differences in what you'll want to look into if you want to just make a game, get hired by a AAA studio, or go the indie route with your own studio (hopefully a profitable one).

What is it exactly that you want to do?