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iNfuSeD

Systems and how they're presented

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any game out there has systems in it. the jump system, the weapon system, the levelling up system, the whatever system.. etc... some games are more complex then others.. usually turn based strategy games. the majority of people like to keep things really really simple. they don''t like huge complexitys that confuse them. alot of games are still resorting to the keep it really simple. it seems that designers only give the players the bare minimum. lets look at reality for a second.. how does wind form? its obviously there. is it imperative that we know how it works? no.. all we know is that its there an its useable. game designers need to learn a lesson from nature. RPG''s for example.. I was looking at the newest most badassed out RPG on the market, final fantasy 10. some of u might disagree and i would probably side with you. the game isn''t to impressive. the magic system for example is BIG! but very very very simple. the levelling / attribute system is still the same as it allways was.. not very complex but its not even taken advantage of at all due to the confusion it would create. why not make a HUGE GIANT complex attribute system that is so insanely complicated that no one would ever bother to try an figure it out.. but have it hidden behind a simple lil presentation. 100 traits could all be run through algorithm''s to decide what all the simple things like charisma, agility, alignment, character class, etc... should be.. and it is all affected through the entire game through this huge complex system that the player can''t see or begin to comprehend.. but the knows it works. much like gravity.. or light. its there.. it works.. do we worry about how it works? sometimes if we''re really bored. anyone following me? "The human mind is limited only by the bounds which we impose upon ourselves." -iNfuSeD

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I agree that there''s little reason to dumb down systems when it comes to computer games, but people will figure it out - or at least, the important bits - no matter how complex it is. And you can''t really make a system more complicated than makes sense. You can add in factors but eventually the factors start to get irrelevant.

The other problem is that larger systems can be harder to balance. A good understanding of mathematics goes a long way here, but unfortunately a lot of designers don''t care much for that sort of thing.

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I agree completely: if the user needs a dumbed-down system, (s)he probably shouldn''t be playing a computer RPG. However, a massive system like the one you describe is bound to be highly abusable. Even if no player could possibly figure the system out in its entirety (an unlikely outcome, at best), all a player would need to do is master a certain part of the game system and mercilessly hammer out power combos using this part of the game. It would take a LARGE team of designers and playtesters to balance such a system enough to prevent this from happening.

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I''ll be the lone wolf and COMPLETELY dissagree

quote:

game designers need to learn a lesson from nature.




scientist have long known that nature is the biggest follower of the KISS principal ( Keep It Simple, Stupid ).

everything from plants, animals, to the weather patterns follows a small set of simple rules. The apparent complex is a result of multiple permitations of these basic rules...not on millions of very complex rules that act on a small set of variables.

The fact that we cannot currently acuritely predict the weather, DOES NOT exclude it as being a overly complex system...we just don''t know what the base rules are yet (or each of the small number of variables that the rules act on).

Time and again it has been proven that once you shift through the apparent complex systems that SEEM to exist in nature...once most of the permitations are known, you end up with a simple rule set that generates the multiple permitations.

Heck, scientist are even working to discover the "theory for everything", that has mathamaticly been proven to exist.





A game example of a simple magic system that can seem very complex could be:
four basic magic componets (red, yellow, blue, green)
add 8 of these together to generate a unique spell (say red, red, yellow, green, red, blue, yellow, blue, red = a magic missle)
and there you have it...a simple system that can generate upwards of 65,536 unique spells (four to the eigth power) basied, in part, on DNA....simple stuff really

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I agree with infused.

I remember playing an old PPRPG (paper and pen RPG) called TimeLords back in the day. It had a very complex but very realistic combat system, with a damage modelling system that I''ve yet seen equaled. In the foreward of the game the author says that when he was designing the game, he was deciding between making a simple game with lots of abstractions that was quick to play, or a more detailed and intricate system that required less arbitration. In the end he opted for the latter. Why?

Because he said you can always make a simple game out of a complex one...just chose which rules you want to use and which ones you don''t. But you can''t make a complex game out of simple rules. Bow, it''s a bit different going from PPRPG''s to computer RPG''s, but the principles is the same. You can make a lot of complex interactions but hide them behind other things, or abstract them into a larger whole that the the player sees, but the computer system still sees as complex.

And if you want to tweak the game for power users, then expose the "hidden variables" for them to tweak.

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quote:

Because he said you can always make a simple game out of a complex one...just chose which rules you want to use and which ones you don''t. But you can''t make a complex game out of simple rules.



He must not have played Chess then? ... which has a tiny set of very simple rules, but it is a very complex game...if simple rules = simple game were true, then wouldn''t nearly everyone that playied Chess achieve grandmaster levels of success after only playing a few times?




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a variable level of depth for statistics is relevant here (it came up in the thread on designing games for old people)

basically, you want the detail to be there, but you don''t necessarily want to have to deal with it all the time. its like heightened awareness, you typically only experience it in particularly dangerous situations, for example.

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Here is just an example of how I'm implementing this. Say you have two arms (almost everyone does); if you fight with only one arm shouldn't it get stronger compared to the other? So a complex attribute system would devide all general attributes (such as strength) to relevant parts (such as right/left arm strength.) But of course, your right arm is not the only part which gains strength when you fight with it, the rest of the body should gain strength as well, but at a decreased rate compared to the chosen attacking arm. And the whole while this is happening it is hidden from the player, therefore making incredibally unique characters by the way the player uses them (the characters.)

[edited by - Shambles on September 15, 2002 6:35:28 AM]

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you hit the nail right on the head there. this kind of complexity could easily be stretched out over the entire game.

"The human mind is limited only by the bounds which we impose upon ourselves." -iNfuSeD

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