Jump to content
  • Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

rmsgrey

Learning by not doing

This topic is 5571 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Just a belated afterthought to the threads of several months ago on learning through failure, etc. How about if, whenever you improve in a skill, you get some sort of serendipity points for all your unrelated skills - and when you get enough serendipity points for a skill, it spontaneously improves. The idea is that, in real life, doing something apparently completely unrelated can suddenly give you a new insight into an area where you''d hit a block.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Guest Anonymous Poster
someone ought to reply, I think it makes sense, though it may be hard to figure out what skills relate, truly random increases might look weird to the player

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''m still not 100% sure what I''m aiming for... sort of nibbling round the edges of an idea. Part of it is to encourage diversity in a character rather than extreme specialisation - rather than having a master of all swords that wouldn''t know how to get a sound out of a recorder if you stuck the pointy end in his mouth, have a slightly more rounded character that has pretty much mastered sword-fighting, but can also play a musical instrument or writes poetry or knows how to behave in court (royal or legal depending on setting). The sort of individuality that a good p/p GM encourages.

I intend to pretty much assume a range of 0-100 for skills any time I throw numbers around.

Some ideas:

Have some sort of plateau effect, whether static or dynamic - once a character reaches a certain point in a skill, further training just doesn''t help much any more. There''s some concept that he just doesn''t get which holds him back. This could happen at fixed levels (25,50,75,85,90...) or every time the character misses 3 chances to improve the skill in a row. Once you hit that plateau, the only way to improve further (at the normal rate?) is by doing something unrelated until the key idea suddenly drops into place. For example, Marcus the Legionary can perform any individual sword move or sequence of strokes perfectly by the book, but he has difficulty moving from one sequence to another, changing mid-stream or improvising in an actual fight - as long as he fights in formation with the legions he''s fine, but he''s tying to go freelance. When he takes up Pottery (say) one day he''s struck by a chance resemblance between the shape of his latest failed pot and a sequence of strokes. Playing with the clay a little, his pots don''t get much better, but he finds forms that, in his mind, resemble the various sword strokes and sequences. Seeing the clay forms flowing into one another under his hands, he suddenly intuitively grasps the idea of improvising in combat in a way that eluded him previously. Next time he picks up a sword, his new insight enables him to surpass his previous performance and learn freely once more (until his next block...)

I think serendipity point gain should probably be proportional to: gain in new skill; 100-new skill level; and level in old skill. There should probably also be something in there to reduce the effect of studying something closely related to an existing skill at higher level.

Under this iteration of my idea, accumulated serendipity points just give you a percentage chance of unblocking a skill, and maybe a one point increase. I like the idea of reaching the stage where the only way to improve in a skill is by generally broadening your mind. I''m not sure whether hitting a block should stop all progress in a skill, or just slow it to a crawl (say 100 times slower)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That''s a pretty cool idea, I like the goal of encouraging non-specialized character development.

Another way to go about it might be to make a secondary skill affect the way the character uses their primary skill (rather than acting as a "key" to further advancement ). For example, sufficient skill in a musical instrument ability might give a swordsman a certain kind of special attack, like a "Rhythm strike" or something like that. You could either build those skill combo bonuses in explicitly for skills that the designer identifies as working well together, or come up with some kind of a system for generating the skill combos automatically from the attributes of the skills themselves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The key to making something like that work in the general case, is to abstract objects in the style of some puzzle games (classic example: the scythe in Grim fandango, it has about a hundred sensible, realistic uses) if this kind of system is skillfully designed, diverse exploration of the game world and it''s objects is easy and as narrowly or broadly designed as the player makes it.

********


A Problem Worthy of Attack
Proves It''s Worth by Fighting Back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hamdoon - interesting idea, but two immediate problems spring to mind: firstly, doing the skill combos by hand squares the complexity of the design work on the skill system, while automation requires a lot of work to come up with appropriate synergistic features for each skill (a list of primary and secondary or enhanced and useful subskills might do it). Secondly, and more seriously, barring superhumanly good game balancing, there will be at least one ''broken'' skill combination that is significantly more powerful than most - again discouraging diversity.

walkingcarcass - I''m not convinced abstract objects would provide any kind of answer to skill-maxing. OK, you''d avoid the problem of the PUSD (Platinum Uber Sword of Doom), but you''d still have the problem that everyone ends up as a standard fighter or mage or fighter/mage with damage dealing skills maxed out, while any skill that doesn''t directly help progress in the game is left at or near default level. I agree something should be done about the PUSD, but it probably belongs in a different thread...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your example of Marcus the Legionary is a neat illustration of the idea, but I think it would be impractical to develop an engine capable of modelling epiphanies. I''d rather see a system in which the character changes with skills, rather than simply acquiring them.

For instance, a man trained all his life with hammer and tongs might be a fine blacksmith. He''ll be industrius, physically powerful and able to do whatever he wants with metal. However, he''ll be a simple man with little imagination and almost no knowledge of the world outside his smithy. If this man takes up a hobby, like botany for instance, that has him walking through forests and fields, and examining things that grow there, then he''ll gain a certain insight into nature, and an appreciation for the symmetry and balance that can be found there. When he returns to his forge, he will be a different man, and his work will change to reflect this transformation.

So perhaps it would be best to have some kind of aptitude system. Someone with a rich artistic background will be more apt to do imaginative, creative things, but will perhaps lack the ability to solve problems through sheer perseverence. Someone trained in combat will be strong and brave, but might lack the diplomatic skills that would make him a great leader.

So the optimal character wouldn''t be the invincible warrior or the undetectable thief or the powerful mage, but would be a true renaissance man, able to apply his understanding of many disciplines in any given scenario. Technical skill would be there, and physical capabilities would of course be essential, but true greatness could never be achieved through single-track training.

The fighter who butchers hordes of goblins would never be as terrific as the fighter who butchers goblins, trains with other people, practices archery, plays chess, reads philosophy and plays the bassoon while holding a good job as a cobbler.

Of course, how you''d implement this is beyond me. Maybe some kind of sum-of-parts system for each skill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dungeon Siege doesn''t do anything as sophisticated as your description, but it takes a step in that direction. For example, using a sword increases strength, but it also slightly increases intelligence. And the opposite also applies. Using magic increases intelligence, but also slightly increases strength. The helps keep the characters from becoming too much of a specialist.


--
http://www.3dcgi.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you guys played UO? That game required combinations of skills for you to be well off. With skill combinations it gives the players many more doors in which they can develop their characters. Sure there will be a few combinations that are superior to others but that is what patches are for, that tone down these combinations so that the game is balanced. I feel that for a player to be a good swordsman, it shouldn''t just be based on their swords skill, base it on how well they know their opponents weaknesses (anatomy skill), where to hit the player(tactics), and basic swords skill. After playing many MMOG''s, I still feel that UO''s skill system is way more dynamic than all others, and gives the player the most freedom. That is what made the game interesting, that every aspect of your character was molded to your liking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Your example of Marcus the Legionary is a neat illustration of the idea, but I think it would be impractical to develop an engine capable of modelling epiphanies. I''d rather see a system in which the character changes with skills, rather than simply acquiring them.


The example with Marcus the Legionary goes into rather more detail than the game engine would - in playing the game, the player (Mark) trains in sword fighting (and possibly regimented fighting depending on details of skill set - probably not an option). After a while, Mark''s character stops improving. In order to unblock the character, Mark knows he has to try working on an unrelated skill for a while - he picks pottery, and after a couple of improvements in pottery skill, Mark goes back to sword fighting and can advance some more - until next time his character stops improving.
quote:

The fighter who butchers hordes of goblins would never be as terrific as the fighter who butchers goblins, trains with other people, practices archery, plays chess, reads philosophy and plays the bassoon while holding a good job as a cobbler.

Of course, how you''d implement this is beyond me. Maybe some kind of sum-of-parts system for each skill.

My proposed system has the advantage that the renaissance man who is always ready to turn his hand to something new will tend to develop more overall than the highly focused specialist (with only a handful of side skills) - at the expense of not really mastering any one skill completely. The obvious disadvantage is that it doesn''t ever make the epiphany explicit - you know your character has had some sort of insight, but the details aren''t reflected in the game... to implement that, you''d probably need some sort of categorising of skills to help reduce the quadratic complexity - and for game balance, you probably want to keep the differences reasonably cosmetic - the nature loving blacksmith who makes works of art and the science loving blacksmith who develops better steel both improve the value of their work by about the same amount, but the artist''s work is more ornamented and the scientist''s more durable (which raises some of those game-balance issues again... bother)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!