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# Mage duel action deathmatch game, what u all think bout this idea....

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Also any comments or input..here is the summary: You play a mage class (necromancer, evoker etc...) depending upon what mage class u pick is what kind of spells you can cast. You cast spells via a Gesture system like black and white. You run ur mage around using something like wsad keys, and the left mousebutton fires a spell and the right one gets u into cast spell mode (where you do the gesture). The view is yet undetermined, its probably going to be either FPS (doubtful requires a lot more resources than i have). Third person view (like fps doubtoful). Top down sorta diablo view 2d (most likely with my current resources). The game play should be fast, like a death match (though the very nature of the casting of spells will slow it down some). You say a gesture system is flawed, and u can miss gestures...thats on purpose and by design, since the magic casting games i like to play have a fizzle chance or a wild magic chance, and the gesture system captures this element. the idea is you run and stafe as ur casting and then unleash the spell. I would like the game to allow players to join a server, pick their name their characters and enter the game (the server tracks then stats for a brag board sorta of different mages that enter and play in a server). Id like the players to have characters that level by gaining experience and perhaps can also up some statistics. Now keep in mind this is meant as more of an action game, so the leveling will have to be fast, and balanced.... There are some obvious design crossroads I am at with this little idea, i.e. the best view for the game...exactly how to gain experience, and keep the levels balanced (I mean u probably get levels by killing a mage, but then one mage keeps getting higher and higher and harder to kill and more powerful...perhaps a level cap or making harder higher level spells to cast longer to cast (more complex gestures thus leaving the mage open to die) a bounty idea was also suggested. Id like there to be many spells in the game for each mage, some are cast on the mage himsefl as a buff, some as area effect, some taht alter the level enviroment and some that actually do damage... So any ideas? additions? changes or anything, just tired of thinking in a box, want to tap out to see what other ideas are out there (any endevour is benefited by more brains working on this at once) look forward to hearing more! -Shane

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I like the idea of making spell casting feel a bit more tactile. In most games, casting spells doesn''t feel much different than just shooting a gun. I actually wrote up a similar game (more abstract & turn based though). Instead of mouse gestures, I used the keypad. You had to type in the right sequence of numbers to cast spells. Higher level spells required you type type longer sequences faster.

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Interesting idea. Although I am not sure how to implement gesture system, it have a potential to be a good game because of its originality.

" Do we need us? "

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Actually the gesture system is already implemented and just waiting for the game dev to get more underway to be used...and of course tested...

any artists lookin for a project *grin

Shane

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Anywho, how bout this as an idea...make the mages collect cards in a game, they start with so many cards and then collect more in an arena (the cards probably appear randomly during play) and if its a school of magic they can cast the card (think magic, ether lords, lost kingdoms) goes into their repretoir, perhaps there will be a max of cards a mage can have or what not, but each time before logging into the arena the mage can assemble their deck of spells to play with..

though this makes it less death match ish as the spells (weapons) wont be appearing on the map for instant use like in a quake ish game, it might become more of a tacticle game , is my assembled deck of cards good?

Plus this will add to a nice stat/brag page about a mage, showing off his used repretoire (sp?)

Any other questions ideas?

-Shane

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One caveat about the gesture system, especially in a fast-paced game like this: It may end up being a bit clumsy in the interface if you''re not careful. Be sure that gesturing doesn''t preclude movement or any such silly thing.

Other than that, it sounds like an interesting idea- the biggest problem wtih what you''ve sketched out that I can see would be in controls... Shigeru Miyamoto once laid out the guideline that no action game should require you to keep track of more than two buttons in an action sequence, and I think that''s probably a good one. Having a keyboard full of hotkeys may become rapidly overwhelming... The solution to this is probably to trim down the controls as much as possible, and also make the pace of the game relativley slow (Mind you, I''m not saying that it should crawl, merely that it should probably be paced slower than, say, Unreal Tournament).

Anyhow, it sounds like an interesting idea- don''t let my nitpicking discourage you.

- HC

-- EMail: cloweh@rpi.edu
-- AIM: SeigfriedH

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Yes the gesture system would be clumsy and slow and that is by design...to make actually casting the spells mimick how it would really be in say D&D with the gesturing there and how spells can fizzle.

And hmmm I guess a lot of this would of course have to actually be play tested...and there are some other issues to resolve to not let the action become hotkey intensive, like how to assign spells (or cards depending upon the approach to go...) to hotkeys, or gestures automatically (i.e. they can have one card per gesture, each gesture is a level of spell..but that gets very limiting but surely removes the need for hotkeys)

Preclude movement? well if its a 2d game it would be easy to not make the gesture reclude it, FPS not so easy, but that could be by design to. When mages casts spells they should be supseptiable, this could be represented by u holding down the right mouse button, and it locks ur view straight ahead if FPS and then u can do the mouse gesture because moving the mouse wouldnt move ur view with the RMB down...then u let go and its casts (if the gesture was correct)...this means while casting all u can do is strafe....

This is also true with even a 2d game perhaps ...

Thanks for the critcism!
-Shane

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I''d say go for the 2D, it will save you work on many different area''s and it can still be made fun.

It sounds like a fun thing to do, waving your mouse madly around to cast spells

I would advice you not to use ''fast levelling''. If I understand it correctly it would be relatively quick to get to full level. That would mean that only new players would have the disadvantage of not being full level. That would be misantropic of you

One if the most important parts is to try to get a good amount of spells that are truly different.

(frost ray & fire ray are not different if they deal different amounts of damage and are prevented by different types of resistance: they are different if the frost slows you down and the fire does good damage to point blank hit and some damage if it went close by, for example. If you are using resistances, then choosing a resistance woul actually mean something)

Also I''d explore what types of spells you want. Summoning, magic shields, maybe even deflect spells that have to be timed just before her attack.... etc.

healing spells, gradual damage spells, spend a lot of time thinking what you do and do not want for spells in this.

Good luck.

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I like the 2d reinforcement, once again it would be easier for me to get "something" working on it, over 3d. Id still be in dire straights for an artists (because just seeing my own art makes me want to puke) but i could prototype something up im sure, with my own art even.

The spell lists i have in mind already are probably going to be good, I am aming to make a generic enough system (with many variable of spell types, not just school types) to allow for spells to be pretty dynamic, and in 2d hopefully i can represent what I really want to do: Let the player use spells in creative ways...like for instance a (very loose example) would be the flesh to stone spell, usually makes the person instant die sorta by turning a mage into stone statue, but you can then in some levels go around casting the same spell on statues in the level and turning them into minons to fight for you...(like a one attack then they die sort of thing) sorta could be a cool suprise chasing a mage into a room and he unleashes that...

An ice room, cast wall of fire or a fireball or somethinga nd it turns portions of the room to watery death traps...

These are general interpratations..

Plus if I go with the card system I sorta got this idea earlier:
Make a small single player game on the order of yoda''s adventures (i think that was the name) where it makes a random dungeon for u to fight through, and find cards through, and cards are found sorta in a way that some cards are rare, uncommon and common (Sorta the Magic: The gathering theme here) and you can build ur repretoir of spells this way, then before a multiplayer game select x many cards to play with...there is balancing issues here of course too...but I think the idea is a good start.

If I could make the magic spell system work really good, it would perhaps be cool to make downloadable "pathces" that would introduce new spells to be had in the game and put them up for download every so often...
(I have the Programming RPG in directX book i might turn to for agood way of doing this).

So any other ideas? these have been great so far.

Thanks!
Shane

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Sorry to be a party-pooper, but this idea just won't fly as it stands: It's much too easy to cheat... in fact, there are existing tools that will record and playback mouse movements. The honorable players would be overrun by the cheaters ruining the game, and they'd feel obliged to use the hacks too.

You need to design more strategy into the game mechanics rather than the interface... don't design a game around an interface.

Quick edit: Don't get me wrong, I *do* like the idea... it would make for an interesting game among people who weren't cheating. It's just not workable on the Internet.

[edited by - Pyabo on February 2, 2003 9:48:23 PM]

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Sounds like Magestorm by Mythic Entertainment (except the gesturing and cards).

In that game you played a mage of some sort and battled in arenas. It was team based with 3 teams, each team having a shrine to protect.

Anyway, you could research spells as you leveled up.

So basically, you''re adding gesturing to a game that already exists .

This could be good or bad. I wish you luck no matter what you do.

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Well the game wasnt being designed around the interface, it was more designed around a spell system that was robust, and the point of these posts is to get more ideas since it was just me working on it, i wanted to hear what others thought. The gesturing system just lended itself to mage casting, i mean I could of made it a keyboard thing, sorta like playing street fighter 2 or something where the moves u did casts a spell, hmmm im checking out magestorm as we speak (or downloading it at least.)

-Shane

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I think that each mage you play should be uniqe in some way, i.e. one mage is maybe specialized in fire, another casts quick spells...lot''s of such attributes that make each mage more unique, either you choose what kind of mage you want at beginningen with some random stats or one can do it rpg-like and give the player a few choices every now or then (levels?) which defines the mage..and the gestures should not be the same for all mages, based on the attributes each spell has a different gesture so one can''t just look up on the internet which gesture gives what since it''s different for every character..

Just throwing around ideas..

-Luctus
Codito, Ergo Sum (Courtesy of ThinkGeek)

[Mail][DreggSoft][Fileformat Guide][n00bs]

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Actually, you could record the mouse gestures, say, three levels
back. If a gesture is equal to one of the last three,
you''ll know the player is cheating.

You should go play one of the PC Harry Potter games. I believe
they used a gesture system for spells.

-Hyatus
"da da da"

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I like the ideas presented here. I''m going to take a little different approach in my suggestions.

Give all players access to all spells at the very beginning. Don''t have levels. Play is based on skill, not on accumulated totals. Experience then becomes a REAL thing, not a computed value. The best players ARE the BEST players, not the people with the best characters. Keep the 3D system. Allow players to bind certain gestures to certain spells for player preference.

Player mages have a mana pool that slowly recharges. Each spell takes a certain amount of mana. Each spell takes a certain duration of time to cast. An enemy mage is notified of your intent to cast a spell (preperatory casting) before it finishes. Some spells give a longer warning (harder, more powerful spells) If you attack you are taking the initiative, which, as you shall see, isn''t necessarily a good thing.

Defensive spells in general take less time to cast than attacking spells but more mana. Attacking spells take more time but less mana. More powerful spells take more time and more mana. You''ll find out why in a second.

Here is a scenario that best decribes this system. Two mages face off. One of them [mage 1] prepares to cast a spell, thereby taking the initiative. Mage 2 sees a caption or symbol above mage 1 that says he is going to cast magic missile. Even better, a voice says aloud that mage 1 is casting magic missile. Mage 2 would know this because he would familiar, due to his training (background story), with the hand gestures and words associated with each spell.

The player playing Mage 2 has about 1-1&1/2 second to react and cast an almost immediate low level defensive spell like "wind" to redirect the arrows. He could also cast "wall or air", "stone skin", or even a "dispel magic" spell. He can then wait for the attackers next spell or he can launch an attack of his own immediately. You''ll understand soon that there are ramifications, good and bad, to either approach.

By the time the missiles come toward him his spell will have attempted to foil the attack and will have completed just after the attackers'' missile spell. Now the defensive player could have attempted to immediately attack after his defensive spell or he could wait for the attacker to attack again.

Should he immediately attack he is hoping to gain the initiative. Should he cast a fast enough attack spell he may sneak a spell in faster than the opponent can cast an attack spell. Thus, hitting the opponent before with a spell before he gets another off. BUT the attacker may have decided to go defensive and wait to see if the previous defender switched to attack. Mage 1 may have decided to quickly chain attack spells together in succession. Mage 2 Switching from defense to attack leaves him open to low level fast attacks by the opponent that will do the same to him, penetrate before his attack spell is launched.

It would be very bad to get hit with even one low spell because this would then increase the time it would take to cast the next spell. In this manner you''d increase the intensity of the spells.

If mage 1 casts missile, which is deflected by mage 2 and then mage 1 immediately casts a more powerful spell, like ''raise land'', mage 2 may have cast a quick attack spell, like ''fist of air'', that finishes BEFORE mage 1''s powerful spell. Since mage 1 is casting an attack spell he doesn''t have the chance to cancel and attempt to deflect mage 2''s faster attack. It would hit mage 1 and foil his spell, knocking him over and stunning him, giving mage 2 a chance to safely attempt to cast a more powerful spell which would take longer.

Basically every attack leaves you open to the possibility of a repost while your attack is in progress. This makes attacking very strategic. You''d never start out with a super powerful spell because it would take too long to cast and the defender could basically sneak in a faster less powerful attack that would decimate the attacker. The best playes would be those who have memorized the most spells and understand the best combinations for attack and defense.

Attacks would start out with weak fast spells to test the other players'' skills. It would quickly become evident who was the better mage in a duel. The mage who fubar''d the low level spells first would obviously less skilled that the more experienced mage who has the timings down.

A skilled mage would know how to start out fast and escalate quickly to larger more powerful spells.

Here are some possible spells with some counter spells as well.

a == attack
d == defense
n == neutral

a: Magic Missile
d: Wall of air
d: Deflect

a: fist of air

a: Blindness
d: Dark Veil - self

a: Dark Veil - opponent
b: Penetrate Darkness

a: Mana Drain

a: shifting earth - make them lose their footing.
d: root self
a: swallowing earth
a: raise earth
a: Ice storm
a: Fire storm
d: rain storm

a: Lightening bolt

a: Thunder clap
d: Vacuum sphere - sound won''t travel through a vacuum.

d: Force shield - general defensive spell.

d: dispel magic - dispel area affect spell
d: Foil spell - Foil the casting of another mage

a: Force of Wind
d: Split Wind

a: Poison - slowly affects them. Good to use if you can keep them busy.
b: Antidote

n: Heal wounds - for team play
n: teleport
n: regen mana
n: speed
n: magic leap
n: Foggy Mist - can be blown away by force of wind

You may even want to allow the player to have defined auto reaction scripts, like, if mage 1 casts magic missile mage 2 may have an auto script that will cast "deflect". These would be dangerous to use because mage 1 may figure out that there is a script and find a way to exploit the timing of the script.

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One more thing. This method prevents abuse or over zealous computer controlled use of scripts by draining the mana pool during the fight. Trying too many spells too fast would drain the mana pool quickly.

Defensive "Bots" would be at a disadvantage because they would immediately counter act every spell thus draining the defenders mana more quickly than the attackers (defense costs more than offense because it is less efficient). Making a bot an over zealous attacker would also be bad because the timing windows for attacks would allow the defender to slip in well timed quick attacks in between the bot''s attack script to attempt to gain the initiative.

Predefined attack/defend scripts don''t take into account player movement, obstructions of the playing field, mana levels, etc.

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Dang this is great, lovely I like it. It was suggested by one of my friends to use components, but this system is more timing based, though if I were to go with that I would have to be extra meticulous to make sure enough feedback information was given to the player (either via graphics or sounds as u suggest)so they can learn to time their spells accordingly. As you said a more inexperienced mage would get beat down by a more experienced mage, but it would be unfair to not let the inexerpeicned mage not have a avenue to learn as to why they are getting beat down so bad, so thus a sound que or graphical one should help with that id hope. Great little spell list too...sounds like a more naturesque sorta of mage, I like.

Cool suggestions...might be enough I need to get going on the design more so.

-Shane

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Codejoy,

As I implied earlier, build the feedback system into the back story for the game. Basically every spell requires certain hand movements, words, postures, items, etc. A wizard/mage would be trained to cast the spells himself so he would recognize when someone else was casting the spells as well. You could either script body movements when casting the spell that would indicate each spell or you could take the avenue I mentioned and use text or a voice to denote the spell being cast.

As would be expected, the spell would take a bit of time to cast. This is where the timing and strategy comes in. Basically when a spell is being cast the player has to do some things:

1. Evaluate which spell is being cast.
2. Determine proper response based on spell.
a. Attack and take initiative and determine whether to chain attack.
b. Defend
c. Move to avoid target area
d. Cast neutral spell to conceal, thwart, redirect or avoid attack, heal, regen stamina.

3. Execute response.
4. Execute Mana Well to try to re-coup mana. Mana well is a quicker regen of mana than normal regen but takes time and makes mage vulnerable to quick attacks which lead to chain attacks.

You may want to add stamina and health as two more factors. Movement reduces stamina, spells affect health, etc. If you run out of stamina you can''t run so it is harder to avoid area affect spells.

Cheers and good luck.

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Here''s an idea. Instead of compilcated key combos or gestures to cast spells, why don''t you have different mana pools for different levels of spells? That way you could free up the mouse/keypad for targeting. Key combos could still be used and assigned to spells, but you wouldn''t need 1 million of them.

void Signature(void* Pointer)
{
PObject(Pointer)->ShowMessage("Why do we need so many pointers?");
};

Two guys walk into a bar. One''s an Isreali ambassador, one''s a Palestinian ambassador. They both get drunk. Then they start peace talks.

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I''m not convinced Random Task''s suggested scheme is compatible with a gesture driven spell-casting system - in order to announce the forthcoming spell to other players, the game would have to be able to identify it first - which means waiting until enough of the gesture is completed to uniquely identify it. Of course, if you have few enough spells, the start of the gesture may be enough, but I suspect in practice you''d want to include too many spells to create unique prefixes for each. Of course, being able to tell someone''s casting sounds like a good feature, but maybe it would be better to just display their gestures (draw the symbol they''re creating as they do so) - that way, an alert opponent can still identify your spell (through game knowledge) and attempt to counter it, but will have to be observing you in order to do so.

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Good points. Basically there is a fundamental immbalance with the gesture idea anyway. Because "gesturing" is difficult to do you reduce much of the skill in the timing to a matter of "gesture ability". Also, a mouse movement program could easily pull off a gesture WAY quicker than a human could. I probably wouldn''t use the gesture system or what I''d do is allow them to gesture but don''t actually start the spell casting until AFTER they have completed the gesture, at which point the other player has their time to react. This means that the casting time isn''t dependent upon the time it takes the player to gesture but rather on a static time, predetermined for each spell.

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I dunno, a magic-based FPS soudns cool to me...
A change from the usual UT.

I''d say the very concept is semi-innotative enough not to get hairy over the other stuff...

I''d go for a skill/level system where the more you use spells the more skill you get; the more skill you get the better the spell gets and you can get more spells.

I wouldnt do gesture stuff- it might work, but it would probably be a headache to learn. I''d say that it would be better for a sword game.

For controls, I would do functionally UT-type controls:
wasd, plus numbers for spells(you can hit a button multiple times and cycle through), then point with the mouse.

Interface- again,I like UT.

You might get special items/powerups from places in the level(remark: this would be much more believeable in a magic setting than in a tech setting like quake or UT.)

Bigger spells are at the top of the level system(yes there is a level cap- make the skill points go up exponentially), and take longer to cast.

So anyway, I say a 3d FPS with option to switch to follow-player view. Much like Jedi Knight/JUedi Outcast.

I would buy that if the demo was fun.

Codejoy: look into Jedi Knight aka Dark Forces 2. The demo ''should'' be floating around online somewhere.
Its a 1997 game, so the sys specs shouldnt be too bad.
The graphics arn`t bad with a Voodoo3 accelerator.

If you really feel like making life fun and fulfilling, you can find the GPL Q2 or Q3 sources and hack that into a mage-based FPS. Dunno if UT''s had its code GPL''d.

V''lion

Bugle4d