• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

Archived

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

Landfish

Magic Alternatives?

60 posts in this topic

Well, Dark Sun was different! Psionics were acceptable there, but what isn''t acceptable in a place where you could be EATEN BY HALFLINGS! C''Mon!

Ahhh. What a cliche-breaker that world was.

This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok Landfish.. i think you''ve gone far enough.. since you''re so worried about magic, then what about dealing with the way the magic came about in the lands?
Your game does have a story behind it, doesn''t it? How did these mystic powers that be come about? who first found out about them and how? That''s all game design as well. While i think looking for a good magic system is all well and good, it''s justification of a magic system that makes it credible. Like you said, Psionics didn''t exist in a medieval time, it was all attributed to "magic". Even if it was some mental ability, it wasn''t phsyonics that caused it. Magic is just a name we gave to things we couldn''t explain. But for everything we couldn''t explain, we made up an explaination. Gods, monsters, creatures and heros. all fake for the most part, yet.. they gave us magic and made us believe Isn''t that what it''s all about?
So, i ask you.. is it not better to justify the system you have in a proper way rather than make a system that works well and seems to go along with the game, but has no justification? I could very easily rewrite history so that mankind gained the ability to control the forces of nature with their minds, and thus was born a subrace of humans called the Psyce who the normal human population embraced as their lords and saviors.. hehe That''s what we do when we design, change the past to fit our own personal bill

J
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Umm, I might do that, if I used magic in a game.

(Urp) I don''t really like fantasy settings though. The closest thing I will make to a fantasy setting as you all know it in games will be VERY based in historical reality. Why? because the real world is so much more interesting!

If magic ever gets as cool in video games as it is in reality (or rather, the way people believed magic was performed in reality) then maybe I''ll use it. Till then, though, no thank you. Take your amnesiac monster hunters and get the hell away from me! =)



This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That''s a cop out if i''ve ever seen one

You should design one that''s as cool as you say.. show us how well that brain of yours works Cause i''m working on a few right now.. so.. hehe.. you don''t want to let me take all the glory, do you?

J
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just figure my game design career will go nowhere, but everyone will use my ideas. I''ll be that guy who nobody''s heard of, but all the famous people say inspired them. Like that guy on all the "Behind The Music" specials! Yeah!

Naw, I will cave eventually and make a goddamn fantasy game. But when I do, watch out! Can you say weird? But first I have to make a completely Modern-fiction game, an ancient Sumerian Game, a Modern South Africa game, a historical fiction game, a Lovecraftian Horror game, and a tear-jerker. Then, maybe, I''ll do fantasy.

Urp?

This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I figure I will chime in here. I have to agree with everyone that Shadowrun has probably the best magic system in any RPG that I have played.(Though Call of Cthulhu was pretty fun too) I am going to mention two FASA products in this article because they both have pretty amazing magic systems.

First Shadowrun. In the game there was a time in 2053 where magic returned to the world. The awakening brought demihumans, magical beasts, and magic back into the world. Scholars, universities and corporations began to study thaumaturgy again. What they discovered was that magic has always been with us in one form or another. It sometimes is untappable due to social, religious, and/or intellectual beliefs. This explains the lack of magic in the early 21st century. FASA clasifies magic as manipulating a force that is all around us. The Astral plane is where spells are born, summoned creatures are anchored, and magic items retain their magic. This astral plane is everything to the magic system.

When a spell is cast that is a mana spell, the mage directly manipulates the astral plane to do his bidding. The spell travels in the astral plane to hit its target with magical force. Mana spells as these have become to be known can only knock someone unconsious. They fatigue a person by attacking the spirit/astral presence of a person. When your astral presence is sufficiently damaged the additional fatigue causes real damage. It is a direct attack on your essence which is a rating in the game indiciating how magically powerful you are and how human you are. This makes cyborgs much more difficult to hit with magic cause they are more machine than human and less tied to the astral plane. Mages in the astral plane could even attack a mana based spell on its way to its target in hopes of blocking it.

Mages also have the ability to force the end result of the spell to manifest itself on the physical plane. This manifestation causes more drain but does physical damage first. It is harder to cast spells because of this. While I am on the topic of manifestation, summoned creatures can manifest into the physical plane. Elementals are a good example. Since they expend more energy to project to the physical plane it reduces their rating or health the longer the remain projected. The reverse applies for humans in the astral plane. Elemental manifests physically too long and it dies. Human projects into the astral plane too long and the body left behind dies, stranding the human in the astral plane.

All in all the magic system in Shadowrun is the best explained and balanced magic system I have ever played. It could be even better if the dice system used in Shadowrun wasn''t slightly flawed.(nother topic entirely)

Sorry about the length. FASA created another RPG based in the medieval times. This was called Earthdawn. It was based on the same premis of magic origination that Shadowrun was except it personalized magic a bit more and made it more mundane. Magic was not just in the astral plane. Magic was fundamental to all objects. As an object was used, the experiences that the object had been through became strands of magic in an intricate pattern. This made the object more powerful to the person that understood the complexities of the pattern. It could take years for a pattern to form, and decades over for someone to decipher the pattern to unlock the magical attributes of that weapon. Spells were a quick way of drawing and using patterns. Intricately simpler, but just as personal. Every mage used his or her own pattern to cast spells and weave strength into an item or skill. All in all I like Shadowrun better but Earthdawn was none the less interesting in its approach.

What I am trying to get across here is that what makes these systems so complete, is that much like "Warp drive" has its foundations in real world physics, magic in these worlds has a meaning, a purpose, and feels like it is supposed to be there. In ADnD, I some times get the feeling that magic spells are jsut a simple energy conversion formula with no real reason as to why it exists in the world other than to genocide goblins.(had to) Without magic in Shadowrun, Shadowrun does not work. Without magic in ADnD, it is an effective RPG for the physical world. In your games magic needs to be of the former to retain its appeal to the player.

Thanks for reading this. I hope it helps in the discussion.
Kressilac

ps One last system that was not too bad. It has its weaknesses and strengths. TORG. It is another extinct roleplaying game that had a good idea and a bad implementation. The acronym stands for The Other Roleplaying Game.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SR was always cool, but I still prefer Mage: The Ascension. So open ended...

This post was brought to you by the letter "Land", and the number "Fish!"
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Look at magick systems this way:

In most Arthurian legends (you all remember *those*, right?) magick was less of a "bang, you''re dead" flashy explosive and in-your-face effect, and more of a coincidental thing. You want that guy to die? Make sure that there''s something near him that can explode or a boulder that can mysteriously topple over onto him, or a banana he can slip on, etc. Every effect occurs because of circumstance, and if there is no way for that circumstance to be evoked upon said enemy, then the spell fails. Eventually, you would assume that an area will run out of ostensible ways for a person to die, and the magick will repeatedly fail. In this way, you can easily implement necromancy into the game - you kill an enemy, and then cast "Vla-Necro-Tok-Tok-Tok" (a silly name for the spell, but you get the idea) on that enemy, and he is suddenly reanimated under your control. Any thoughts?

-Jaemes Weare, President, Paladin X Productions
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Something occured to me while watching Sleepy Hollow about magic. If the world the game is in is close to how Earth is, magic would be very mysterious. If it were the middle ages and the world were like it was on Earth, someone who practiced magic would be feared but also would likely be considered to have ties w/ the devil. It would be an interesting game where you could use powerful magic but most people will fear and hate you. Perhaps mobs will hunt you down. I don't know ...just an observation...

Also, Jaemes Weare's idea about coincidence is a good one, but it seems like it might be tough to implement in a game...

Edited by - Nazrix on June 14, 2000 8:59:02 PM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From what I''ve been told, Niphty has a BIG SECRET PLAN about that coincidence thing. But he won''t tell me... =(

Anyway, the thing about mystery in magic, I couldn''t agree more. Any suggestions that haven''t been noted in prior posts?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is on magic and spells in general:

I agree that Loom had an interesting magic system. It would have been the perfect game to have had the ability to discover new spells on your own without have to have learned them first. It was also a good idea to make the spells change every time you started a new game.

Magic in Books: I like the idea that the user and their character have to work together to figure out spells. Like have a book with some unknown language and symbols and some parts in english. As the character builds levels he/she/it can read more of it. The generation of a new way to cast the spell each time you started a new adds replayability.

Casting spells: Have the character act out casting the spells and have the user control their character''s actions (which could be physically or, even better mentally) For example, it could be like tai bo (or its mental equivalent). Maybe the results of your cast would have different efects in different parts of the world (sort of like the way water drains clockwise in the northern hemisphere and does the opposite...(you get the idea)). Or maybe you could have the spell be able to be cast with different proportions of physical / mental power with different effects.

I''m sorry that this is off topic but I needed to say them before I forgot them and it seems like they might actually have a chance at being used usefully. I''m also sorry if this post is confusing but I find it hard to express my ideas clearly because I have so many different (*strange*) things running through my head at once but they all fall out (maybe I should plug that extra hole in my head )

- TMOLI 42
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites