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# If you think you are a good designer then answer this.

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Warsong    100
Well like one poster said how does one practice to be a better designer? But the thing is how do you measure how good you are? Well if anyone knows of any I would like to know but one way I see it is to take a simple game and see what some can do to it with some constricting ways. For instance let’s take PONG. How can you make it better? Do not include art, sound, or power ups. Just add different elements to the game. 1 One example would be to have the paddles be curved so when it hits a certain part it bounces a different way. Well you can change the rules if you want but this is just an example to get some creative thinking going on, so dont be shy.

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Obstacles in the playing field.
Controlled Paddles on all four ''walls''

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Extrarius    1412
An interesting idea I had for pong would be to make the 'ball' an irregular polygon instead of a circle - start out with a highly tesselated circle approximation and then randomly remove about 70% of the verticies to make it odd shaped. Then apply proper physics instead of just reversing the velocity and increasing the speed =-)

Would be extra fun for a break-out type game, especially if the 'blocks' were simmilarly generated.

[edited by - extrarius on October 12, 2003 4:13:19 AM]

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Syphoon    122
Chuck a planet (or blackhole) or two in the field and let their gravity well pull at the ball''s path.

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TechnoGoth    2937
you could make the walls destructable, so that if the ball hits the same enough times a gap opens up in board. Which counts as point for the opponet for the play who knocks the ball through a hole.

Also allow the player to angle their paddle would also add at the the game play.

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Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
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liquiddark    350
Make the paddles small, but massy and deforming, so they stretch out, but only for a limited time. You don''t just have to be in the right place, you also have to judge the deformation of the paddle correctly.

ld

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Coz    169
You cannot only move the paddles, but you can change their sizes.
You can make it a little smaller and bigger, a bigger paddle hits are softer, and the smaller the paddle the stronger the ball bounces from it.

Up to 4 players can play, each one in each side of the screen, in versus mode. There is also solo mode.

You have "moves" that you can make the paddle to hit the ball in proper direction, like rotating around the leftmost and rightmost points of the paddle quickly to send the ball in the way you want.

If the ball is hit a defined amount of times, within a defined amount of seconds, the ball goes in to fire mode, that makes the ball faster by making acceleration +1, the bounces get slightly more innacurate (thus adding some randomize function to wreak havoc ;D ), and affects some types of level elements like the ones I'm telling down

Acceleration is always negative unless the ball is on fire. Bouncing on the paddles just adds speed not acceleration. Tweak acceleration and speed to make it perfect

And the beginning of the game you can choose different levels, types of balls, and "super moves" for yor paddles.

The levels would be randomly generated using the elements you want in it. Some elements could be:

-Water blocks: The ball goes a just little slower by making adding to aceleration -1 when it crosses these blocks, thus working as a speed limit in easier levels. The balls on fire also lose their on fire status. They are not placed in any place in the screen, but, they are placed just before the paddle in harder levels and in the middle of the room in easier levels.

-Breakable block: These are just in the way to make you mad and they return the ball back to you if you hit them For harder levels.

-Spring: These are just put in the corners, and in less than 4 players situations, they could be in the sides covering it totally or partially. When the ball bounces on them, it adds certain amount of speed, not acceleration, that remains negative as is. If the ball is on fire, the spring adds twice the speed and explodes, and becomes just a breakable block

-Bumper: Just for boss levels(yup, bosses!). This freaking thingie is in the freaking middle of the freaking level. Same as Spring but is not affected by a ball on fire and uses correct physics.

The balls would just have different accelerations and different settings on when it gets on fire.

The supper moves could be three:
-Normal: You get three strong foward hits per life. Simple.
-Advanced: You get one super strong hit foward per life.
-Expert: You get unlimited super dupper strong foward hits, but unless you score without it bouncing you lose one life!!! If it's your last life, you can use it but if you fail you won't lose, but lose the ability to use your super move and also your normal rotation moves!! By the way, if you fail, no matter last life or not, the game continues playing as if nothing happened, so if you used and hits a breakable block that gets past your paddle, you lost two lifes just like that.

The game has various stages in solo mode from 1.0 to 21-0 for example and different areas from *.0 to *.9 being the last one the boss. Stages don't have all to have the same number of areas. All stages have their own speciality and characteristics.

All normal opponents in one stage uses the same AI, but the beggining ones have an error percentage, that is used with a randomize function. If the randomize tells that it's error time, the opponent will do something random. With the first stage, opponents instead of doing random stuff, they do something stupid They have super moves too, depending which strategy that stage uses and how high is the area number. Their super moves are the same as you. They can't change the shape of their paddles like you.

The bosses have all diferent AI and different error percentages. They all have different super moves, but not yours, but one of their own. Their paddles are different, they could be wider but weaker, smaller but stronger, weak in the middle but strong in the sides, be two paddles instead of one, have faster but weaker paddles, and so on. Don't give any advantage without an equal disadvantage. Their super moves could be the ability to make the ball to get the on fire status, charging their hits, shot at the ball to change the direction, and so on, but they are limited to use them 3 times or 1 time depending on the move.

If you beat the bosses in record time, you get their paddles and super moves for versus mode!
-----------------
But wanted a pong idea?? I hope this is enough lots of ideas were started by the other ones that posted before me

And something else..
How do you practice game design? By designing games. How do you measure your expertise in design is how do you measure your ability as a player.

How do you measure your ability in playing games?? By noticing how much you kick AIs and friends ass!!
How do you measure your ability in game design?? By noticing how fun your game is!! :D

EDIT: Btw, anyone has something good or bad to say about the ideas?

[edited by - Coz on October 12, 2003 11:12:25 AM]

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Warsong    100
You guys said some interesting ideas, but I bet everyone can say more. You don’t have to say the ideas but you can also count how many you have in mind.

Cos-
Good info, but I think you got too excited and “forgot” the exercise since it seems you put mostly power ups. I should have been more specific I guess. I think you intimidated the rest from replying, but I also think you had this idea before I posted this topic and if not then you have a game to make.

*How to practice= Well I don’t since I have a formula so all I need to do is choose form the formula. But for other to achieve that they have to dissect the game and understand the basic structure. Or then look at real world examples and implement them in games. And another solution is to do something like this by making the best out of very little resources like this exercise does.
*In playing games you can do that, but there should be a game that does that more accurately.

******************** ok new rules*********************

So to adjust things lets say the more ideas the better and the ideas that you think are very good and are a must for the game. So lets maybe to have a score board we count the ideas and use a grade letter A,B,C,D for quality like 10B meaning 10 ideas and they all average up to a B. Hey I am making it up as I go.

Also to restrict more to get you to think more lets say your control is restricted. The more you have on the lesser value the better. I advise not using the letter to measure your abilities better
1) You only have 2 buttons or one rotating paddle.
2) After you came up with all the ideas from that then the same as before but with 1 button.
3) Same as above but with more buttons.
a) If you want to flex your abilities for more then you can add game rules
c) You put power ups

==============??
Is this better?????????? Or can you make it better? I am counting on someone else to make it better because I know I left gaps in the layout. If people don’t then how can some say they are creative designers when they can’t so something as small as this?

If this doesn’t work then I''ll go for another simpler example like chess next. lol

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bishop_pass    109
quote:
Original post by Warsong
For instance let’s take PONG. How can you make it better?
Leave it alone. Move on.

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kseh    3837
The ultimate evolution of Pong was Warlords by Atari done somewhere around 1980. The coin-op version was vastly superior to the console game. I''d much perfer to pump \$20 into that machine than any modern ones.

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superpig    1825
quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
quote:
Original post by Warsong
For instance let’s take PONG. How can you make it better?
Leave it alone. Move on.

Probably the best plan. But for the sake of the excercise...

Hmm. Aside from the basic expansions - upping it to four players, for example, how about this:

The game takes place in a large polyhedra, where the number of large sides corresponds to the number of players (it''s a networked game). Your paddle becomes a 3D hemisphere defending your ''surface,'' and the ball gets hit at any of the other players.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.
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Coz    169
quote:
Original post by Warsong
it seems you put mostly power ups

I guess I misunderstood you :S In your first post you mentioned it, but I tought you meant getting power ups from blocks, or having them around. I guess you meant that you didn''t wanted upgrades of any kind to the currents elements in the game, but you wanted to include new elements? I''m I right?

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Inmate2993    222
You''re a good designer when you come up with a game that the critiques like, it sells well, and they have to start a new genre just so they know what to call the dozens of ripoffs that will be occuring in the months to come.

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sirko    122
You are a good designer if you can concept a whole game instead of only having ideas.

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m_wherrett    122
http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/~wedgey/slime1/

Now that is how to take Pong to the next level.

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5010    122
quote:
Original post by Warsong
For instance let’s take PONG. How can you make it better?

Here''s one:
Move the paddle while in contact with the ball to give it a "spin" momentum that changes the bounce physics and curves the trajectory.

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BlahMaster    122
quote:
Original post by m_wherrett
http://www.student.uwa.edu.au/~wedgey/slime1/

Now that is how to take Pong to the next level.

Great game! I really like it! The only objection I have to it is, it isn''t a pong game. If I''m not mistaken pong is supposed to simulate ping-pong or tennis, but your game is simulating volleyball, but nice game anyhow.

* * *

Improving the original pong game through adding different elements seems counter-intuitive, since pong is trying to simulate tennis. I would assume that the Pong creator was trying to simulate Tennis. Only more realistic tennis games such as Virtua Tennis should be considered true evolutions of pong. So I would have to agree with bishop_pass, let''s move on.

Also, I think there really isn''t any point in trying to find how good of a game designer you are, since it doesn''t prove any purpose except ego boosting. I think we should discuss how we can be better game designers. Like what Warsong originally said "Well like one poster said how does one practice to be a better designer?" I don''t think I''ve read that post, but I think there are techniques that a game designer uses. Techniques such as adding power ups, increasing the number of players, adding stuff in the playfield, etc. I would like to know what these techniques are. List as many of them as you know.

Here is my list:
-Introduction of character types, each player has a different set of moves.
-Increase/decrease number of players
-Add more gameplay elements such as bombs, fire, water, etc.

I''m sorry if I am changing the subject.

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krez    443
quote:
Original post by BlahMaster
...since pong is trying to simulate tennis.

i would bet my paddle (all 8 pixels of it) that it was trying to simulate pingpong ...

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Thunder_Hawk    314
My version of Pong featured a special meter that refilled over time. If you had a full meter, you could induce a gravity effect on your opponent (yes, they had to play themselves) until your meter ran out. You could also trade in a small portion of your meter to create a confusing illusion that displayed multiple fake balls lined up vertically with the real ball along with a distracting background. Of course, I made sure the AI was also affected by this trick. I really like these ideas, but I didn''t develope them well because it was my first "big" computer game.

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iNfuSeD    128
redesigning pong can be done in one simple loop. mind you this is the first peice of c code i ever learned to.

while(!horse) beat();

i think my teacher was kind of a nerd if you ask me.

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BlahMaster    122
quote:
Original post by krez
quote:
Original post by BlahMaster
...since pong is trying to simulate tennis.

i would bet my paddle (all 8 pixels of it) that it was trying to simulate pingpong ...

Yeah, you''re right. I don''t know of any game that tried to simulate pong in a more realistic fashion so I tried to say it simulated tennis in order to bring in the example of virtual tennis.

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Buzzy    312

http://www.liquid.se/pong.html

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eldee    122
quote:
Original post by Warsong
Do not include art, sound, or power ups.

how are powerups not a design element?

-eldee
;another space monkey;
[ Forced Evolution Studios ]

Do NOT let Dr. Mario touch your genitals. He is not a real doctor!

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Coz    169
quote:
Original post by Thunder_Hawk
My version of Pong featured a special meter that refilled over time. If you had a full meter, you could induce a gravity effect on your opponent (yes, they had to play themselves) until your meter ran out. You could also trade in a small portion of your meter to create a confusing illusion that displayed multiple fake balls lined up vertically with the real ball along with a distracting background. Of course, I made sure the AI was also affected by this trick. I really like these ideas, but I didn''t develope them well because it was my first "big" computer game.

I played that game!!! Long ago ;D
But actually I found the gravity thingie not really efective, it was a hell lot better to use the metter for the fake ball effect, not because of the fake balls really, but because of the disturbing background, of course the fake balls + weird back = bigger disturbance, but not to one but both the players.