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Luctus

Card game & action games

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Ok, this is not an attempt at bashing one or another. I''m just going to use an it as an example for an idea I just got. A regular action game, be it rts, fps, rpg or any other common genre, is fairly linear in gameplay. You go through the game from start to finish (with maybe some optional sub-paths, but they''re not making the game much less linear). Now nothing''s wrong with linearity, it would be pretty impossible to make Myst truly dynamic..and that game''s great anyway. However, I came to think of card games. There you get a set of cards and you follow the rules of the game from start to finish. Now (similar to a linear game), you have a start and a goal. You (usually) get the same limited set of cards (52 for a standard deck) each time you play and it always starts and ends the same way (unless you paint yourself into a corner or something, but that''s possible to do in a a linear game as well). However, depending on which order you get your cards, the game will play different _each_ time you play it. I was wondering if it maybe would be possible to extrapolate the same idea of having a finite set of abstract elements, a start and a goal as well as set of rules to make an action game? Let the creative juices flow.. -Luctus
Statisticly seen, most things happens to other people. [Mail]

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talk about painting yourself in a corner in video games

i was playing a Dungeons and Dragons game for Sega a long time ago which let you save anywhere/anytime you wanted. anyway i was walking through a large poisonous swamp which of course subtracts from your HP. so I was walking and thought well this thing is pretty big i might die before i reach the end so i better save it. save it i did. and died i did. so i reloaded it from my save game and started walking back to the edge i started at. died i did. reloaded it and tried to find another path. there wasnt one. died i did. and the only way to keep playing the game was to reload from a saved game. no respawn somewhere option going on. so i was pretty far in the game, but couldnt do anything else because i couldnt get out of the swamp.

moral of the story is.....stay out of poisonous swamps. unless you got "resist poision +500 amulet of the frog" or something

"A soldier is a part of the 1% of the population that keeps the other 99% free" - Lt. Colonel Todd, 1/38th Infantry, Ft. Benning, GA

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I dont mean to be negative, but I think it''s just a question of perception, you know.
Maybe for you playing a game of cards is a totally new experience every time, but for me it''s pretty much the same scenario over and over again.
I dont mean to say I dont *enjoy* playing, I just mean that option wise, the only thing that makes the game actually different is the chaos factor of random card distribution combined to human error/mind games.

It''s like Chess really. From one point of view, it''s a new game every time, if you look at the pieces'' positions. But if you take a broader look, you always end up in the same type of situations, really : opening, strengthening your defenses while opening the path to launch an assault, then middle game where you start killing one another to seize the advantage, and finally the finish where whoever is left tries to finish the other side.
Oh the *tactics* are different each time, the order in which you play your pieces vary, but the spirit is essentially the same and there isnt that much difference from one game to another (in my limited experience).
If I suddenly decide to play defensive, I am pretty sure I am gonna lose. Because domination of the board is the key to victory.

Similarly, if I play Cossacks, I might have a mighty good time building a huge fortress and all, but in the end, I am gonna have to launch an attack if I want to win the game...
I might have, technically speaking, the ability to do what I wish, but the game, to be won, must still be played in one and only one way (which is why I cant stand bloody RTS and their stupid resource management).

Anyway, I am not sure I am actually helping you on this one


Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

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quote:
Original post by ahw
I dont mean to be negative, but I think it's just a question of perception, you know.
Maybe for you playing a game of cards is a totally new experience every time, but for me it's pretty much the same scenario over and over again.
I dont mean to say I dont *enjoy* playing, I just mean that option wise, the only thing that makes the game actually different is the chaos factor of random card distribution combined to human error/mind games.



Well, yes, a card game is essentially the same each time, but I'm not proposing a kind of game that's got nothing in commong with the last game that was played. I was merely trying to find a design where the "chas factor" you were talking about is more present.

When looking at a RPG, for example, I guess you couldn't say that each game is _identical_ each time..you pick different weapons, cast different spells, etc. But I was thinking that one maybe could come up with some way of getting a game that had this "chaos factor" making a more significant differance each time...using a set abstract game elements which was to be combined in different ways each time you play. You would recognize the elements, but it would change the premises of the game (like different chess board setups change the way the rest of the game will play). Now, I don't have anything worked out on how this would work, I kinda hoped the you other gamedev'ers would help out with that.

< ramble >
If I'm allowing myself to let my mind wander a bit, I can imagine something like a set of "plot elements" that was shuffled at the beginning of each game. Then, with some kind of ruleset that was acting like some kind of interpreter of the elements, which would decide what was to happen next.

Now, that was mostly geared towards an RPG or at least a game relying a lot on plots, and I'm not sure if it was that I wanted. I believe my original intent was to create some new setting which would allow this "abstract elements"/"ruleset" idea.
< /ramble >

-Luctus

Statisticly seen, most things happens to other people.
[Mail]


[edited by - Luctus on February 8, 2004 4:45:20 PM]

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What if the player is "dealt" a bad plot? It seem very dangerous to leave an important element of your video game up to random chance. If I really like a game, I''ll play thru it agian and make different choice to see what happens. Instead of letting the computer decide the plot, put that work into designing a branching plot that will let the player decide what should happen.

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You say that perhaps the plot elements could be shuffled around, yet a starting position and an end goal must be present at all times (although not necessarily known by the player). Im not sure that this would be easy to implement as the main plot of a game, nor do I think it would be very effective. However, if a subplot were to run this way, I think it could create a very fun and interesting game.

Take for example, a game where you are an intergalactic bounty hunter. (Maybe not the best or most original idea, but stick with me). As a bounty hunter, you will travel the universe searching for your prey. Now the main plot would involve certain targets that you would have to locate, and certain objectives, each of which would reveal more and more of the main story. The 'chaos factor' could easily be applied to these smaller subplots, without changing the main plot (whatever that may be).

Perhaps the first time through the game, while searching for one of your targets, you run into an old friend of the main characters on some spacestation. At this point you would find out some of the characters background, or perhaps some interesting side story that isn't integral to the main story. If the second time around, something else happened when you stopped at the spacestation, (such as your ship getting stolen by the bandit who ends up being your next target) the player would be more interested in continuing to replay the game, as it would be a very different experience each time.

Im not sure if this idea would work or not, but I think it has some interesting possibilities. Anybody know of any games that already make use of such a tactic? I can't think of any off hand, but I wouldn't be surprised if some exist.



[edited by - Sensei Maku on February 13, 2004 4:19:30 AM]

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