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

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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. Don''t sing me a song :''( noooooooooo

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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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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.

Writer, Programer, Cook, I''m a Jack of all Trades
Current Design project
Chaos Factor Design Document

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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.


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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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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.

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.

As for what you asked.
*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
b) You add other elements
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

Don''t sing me a song :''( noooooooooo

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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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