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Motivation Problems

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O.K., I know some of my entries haven''t been super-serious, but I need advice. I''m toying around with an abstract,SimAnt-like RTS-style game called Swarm, where you controls a nest of creatures, have them breed, etc. Its coming along nicely, ''cept for one problem; motivation. I need some kind of motivating tool to keep the player on his feet, some opponent. Please help. If you request it, I can post a more complete treatment on Swarm. ALso, if you think its stupid, feel some sympathy; I''m only 11! -"The enemy is in front of us...the enemy is behind us... the enemy is to the right and the left of us...they can''''t get away this time!"- -General Douglas Macarthur

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I guess it all depends on the creatures you have. Either way, come up with some sort of natural predator and have their population within a vicinity of your creatures population so that their existance is always present. Then only until your creature''s population has become great enough can you effectively defend yourself.

Just and idea:-)

Derrick

PS - Weather is also a nice threat to put in there once in awhile.

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Hmm, motivation. You''re asking more about negative motivations (to provide the conflict of the game, basically). Negative motivations like predators, natural disasters, shortages, and barriers are important, but don''t forget that players like positive motivations too, especially in sim games.

Sim-city uses a rewards-as-population-increases system that could easily be improved upon. Some games use a trophy system - you get prizes and keep these in a trophy room, but the prizes aren''t good for much other than looking at. Might be fun to steal an opponent''s treasure. I personaly like Warcraft/Starcraft''s system - every scenario you have to build up your technology/magic/mutation/whatever level in a different way to achieve the scenario''s goal, and you get to play with new max technologies as you advance through the campaign. You could also take a more EVO approach - your ant-creatures have to gather some sort of widgets that you can spend to evolve them in different ways. You could take a creatures approach where the player only has a few creatures which he/she names and values as individuals, like pets. What approach you would take would probably be limited by what kind/amount of graphics you could get made for your game.

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Ok I know this is coming from a newbie,but how serious do you really want it to be. Every 30minutes to an hour, bring the human influence into the game. The pesky kid with the microscope, the sprinklers coming on,lawn mower,rover the dog,ect. Introduce these each via cutscence or by art or just a little announcement. Also do you want the player to micromanage or will most of work be handled by the computer(AI).If it''s micromanage, give the ability to customize to the players content, adding mutations or new abilitys each level and making several breeds of ant(the hunter,builder,warrior,ranged attack or whatever you want.If it''s not micromanagment, provide constant action to the player, random events and the enemy ant hive. Well I hope this helps ya in someway or another!

Sabin

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