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lpsoftware

2 different options for random situations

8 posts in this topic

Hello everyone. In my game, I''ve decided to spruce up the gameplay by producing random situations that will either help or hurt the player. A couple examples of these situations would be invincibility to the player, or super fast speed and a smarter AI to the enemy. The question is this: Would the player rather encounter these random states when a "question mark" item type thingy is picked up, OR, would he like to have these random situations be even more unexpected and pop up at various times during the gameplay? All input appreciated. Thanks, Martin
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Maybe i missed something but what game are you talking about?
Please give us more to go on..
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If you make it utterly random, you reduce the level of control one has over their character. You will hear utterances such as "oh, I get the damn invulnerability NOW when there are no damn enemies around!!", accompanied by the sound of a keyboard being smashed to bits. Also, you miss out on giving the player an extra opportunity to feel good about their own actions: when a player spots a power up and has to go for it, they feel good when they mow down the last beastie and just manage to grab it. They feel they did well, they feel they deserve the new toy!

If the player does well, it should be cos they did something right. If they did badly, they should know that they can get further next time with a different strategy. This is why total randomness is nearly always bad in single player games. Always try to give the player the illusion of control.
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Kylotan, thanks for the suggestions. What do you think of this: At random times, "prizes" will pop up at certain "hot spots" on the map and will either be invulnerability, fast speed, etc. but they will be characterized by separate tiles (this is a tile-based game). In this way, the player will notice the prize that he should get (since it is not around the whole time) and go for it.

Thanks,
Martin
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Sounds good. You can keep the random element, but ensure that the player has some influence in choosing to / being able to get it. It leads to a more satisfying experience
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If i could voice my thoughts on some trival stuff. I believe smart bombs and invinciblities are critical signs of game design flaws. I just thought it could help.

You could always chuck some ai behind the random event calander.



WE are their,
"Sons of the Free"
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Paul Cunningham: I couldn''t really understand your post, but I''d like to hear more about what you''re trying to say. What do you mean by "smart bombs" and "chucking some AI" in there? Also, I don''t see how my ideas are design flaws. Maybe I forgot to mention that my game is a fast-paced arcade type game. I''m not offended in any way, I just want some more feedback.

Martin
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Well as i''ve read in many review and thought about it myself... If a game need a smart bomb at any point (shoot''em up are a prime example) then there''s a sign that the designer stuffed up some where. What you have to ask yourself is, can i get around in my game without using smartbombs or invincibilities. There has to be a better way.

As for the ai comment, rather than having complete randomness you could use some ai to make the computer configure when to have an event of sorts occuring.

I''ll elaborate later, gotto run for a train.



WE are their,
"Sons of the Free"
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Ok, i''m back so elaborate further..

Consider what abombs/nukes do in games. Do they take away player choice? How about the need for interaction, where''s abombs and invunribilities taking the game. Why not just watch a movie instead?

Super fast speed is good if it adds to the players fun.

Good AI is a great way to improve your game, not enough people give this element enough work. Best of luck there. You might want to check out the thread here on AI. Myself and Niphty have had some interesting and helpful things to say here that you might find useful too.

To give you a helpful pointer, don''t forget game balance in respect to abombs and invinc''s. Where''s the balance? This is becoming more and more a critical issue with players not just game designs these days. So bear in mind that if a player see that collecting or hunting abombs will get them through easier then they will not because your game isn''t fun but because its human nature.

You as the game designer acts as the mentor for the players who play your game. But you can''t forget that people/players will always choose the easiest route through your game regardless. and you have to supply them with a good reason to player your game as much as possible as well.

I mentioned,
quote:

As for the ai comment, rather than having complete randomness you could use some ai to make the computer configure when to have an event of sorts occuring.

I was more or less just proposing an idea here rather than advice (earlier).

Most games configure hot spots in games for when random enemies will attact. I''m proposing not get rid of hot spot at all but using AI to determine things like what were the creatures that attacked last so it won''t roll the same creatures onto the player twice in a row. These little variety improvements add a lot to a game from my experience (goo goo gaga days).

Did this clarify things, if not then please ask :-) [again if necessary]




WE are their,
"Sons of the Free"
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