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GemuhDesayinah

Can ANYONE here come up with a FRESH game design?

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Pardon my flame :-) 99% of game designs I see around here seem to be variations of RPGs (kill troll with sword+3) or action games (Shoot monster with gun). A whole slew of commercially popular games fall outside the above spectrum. For example: (1) Lemmings (2) Tetris (3) Puzzle Bobble / Bust-a-Move (4) Magical Drop (5) The SIMS (6) You don''t know JACK (7) Dance, Dance Revolution (8) Word Whomp (See www.pogo.com) (9) Civilization None of the above games rely on the "kill troll with sword+3" or "Shoot monster with shotgun" dynamics. How come more of such fresh game designs aren''t seen more often on these boards? Heck, I''m yet to even see a good Trade Sim design! In my opinion, a good game designer should be able to design games all round the gameplay spectrum: inability to do so indicates a lack of talent. For what it''s worth: I personally find high quality game design INCREDIBLY difficult - more difficult than programming even! Prove me wrong if you can. Post your awesome game designs!

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This post comes off to me as somewhat irrelevant, but I''ll reply none-the-less.

Yes, most game designs are variations of RPG''s or shoot-''em-ups. Why? RPG''s and FPS''s are awesome. They''re fun, and if that''s what people like, that''s what people are going to want. Furthermore, if I was going to create a game, I''d want to create something I would want to play. What do I care if other people hate it when I don''t? In my opinion, they can bitch at me for my lack of originality when I''m killing a troll with a sword+3 and shooting monsters with a gun and having fun doing it.

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I have to say, I definitely prefer more original ones.

There are lots of types of games which are NOT FPS or RPGs (or in fact, both at once).

It''s just they''re a little less mainstream.

Resource management is one - the likes of "Pharoh" (4-5 years old now I think) springs to mind.

One of the best games I''ve played recently is Pontifex II, where you build bridges. There are no guns, spells, it isn''t set in Narnia, middle-earth or anything

Strangely addictive.

On the other hand, there are always more variations on word-games to be made, and some quite interesting puzzlers come along from time to time.

As soon as I think of a killer one, I won''t be telling you though

Mark

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A lot of us hear are hobby game dev''rs, including myself. I''m making my RPG for the thrill of the challange, and to give life to something that emerses the player into a world of it''s own. RPGs are great on both of these points. My personal favorite game genre, as well as 90% of my friends, is the age-old RPG. Having my friends play my game will give (and has given) me great joy...and I KNOW that my buddies are always up for playing old-school RPGs. If it makes me a few bucks, great! If it gives my something more to show at interview, great! But if it''s fun to make and play, mission accomplished!

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RPG''s and FPS''s are common game designs because any game idea that begins "You play a guy that..." ends up in one or the other category. That''s not to say that such games cannot be innovative or interesting (see the thread about honor in games).

For what it''s worth, I don''t like 6 of those 9 games (3-8), so I''m certainly not going to design something like them.

The games I tend to enjoy are of the type "You play a _____ that _____" and "You command _____ who _____ by doing _____." which end up being role-playing (although what sort of role you play is a more open question in my mind than some others) and strategy games.

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The action games out now have not been improved yet and still suck, but that’s my opinion and preference since most games are not challenging. Also games that you mentioned don''t sell well since why bother designing them since many want violent or sexual content game.

I have a few ideas for games that aren’t violent like games that deal with color mixing, games that deal with reflecting light from mirrors kind of like puzzle bobble but in a bigger scale, more advanced memory games, more fun comprehension games, physics games, and others but these are some simple examples.

As for posting an entire game design, why? There is a site online that let people post their game designs at www.gamediscovery.com which you can see some design documents in a way.

Freedom for a barbarian is to want to see violence. To glorify and show violence to a civilized person is to take away their freedom. Ela Reenie etho na Yelas "Profanity is for those who lack intelligence and imagination to otherwise express them selves." "You are what you repeatedly do; Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

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quote:
Original post by GemuhDesayinah
Pardon my flame :-)



It''s fine to vent, but I think you''ll get more mileage out of your stay here if you try to see why people are motivated as they are, rather than just assuming they''re not interested in new ideas. Many of the RPG and action designs I''ve seen here over the years stem from frustration with existing designs or limits of existing games. This can be as creative as new concepts.

quote:

99% of game designs I see around here seem to be variations of RPGs (kill troll with sword+3) or action games (Shoot monster with gun).


Well, I''m famous here for whining about the lack of science fiction RPGs-- course, that''s not what you''re talking about, right?

quote:

Prove me wrong if you can. Post your awesome game designs!


Anybody on this board can come up with half a dozen wild game designs at the snap of a finger, all of which are seemingly new and innovative. But the devil is in the details.

If I tell you of a design that features being a profiler tracking serial killers, or one where you build things with the emotional energy of a civilization, or one where you construct an environment in 3D and navigate it at the same time, it may sound innovative. We can both congratulate ourselves for being oh so creative and non-derivative. But lurking inside every great design are actual problems with implementation, interface, balance, gameplay mechanics, etc, and those problems can be severe enough to quash any idea.

On this board I''ve seen designs that involve playing a lion managing a pride of lions; I''ve seen posts on making a romantic adventure game; I''ve seen ideas for a sports game where the players have real lives; and I myself have posted ideas on a non-combat RTS

Now, maybe for all our innovation, we all deserve a cookie. Goody for us. The real work isn''t coming up with the idea, it''s the execution and follow-through.


--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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"Anybody on this board can come up with half a dozen wild game designs at the snap of a finger, all of which are seemingly new and innovative."

See, that''s *my* problem... of course, I also need to limit the ideas based on my technical skills and free time... but still, I always have problems comming up with ideas for a game.

-Greven

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I''ve read the responses to my original article: Most people on these boards specialize in RPGs or Action games (I''ll henceforth refer to these as RoAgs) because that''s where their interests lie.

That''s perfectly fine. I just wish there was more idea diversity on these boards, given that:

(1) I think it''s EASIER for a hobbyist designer (like most of us are) to actually create, complete and make money off a non-RoAg than it is to compete with the big boys in the RoAg market.

(2) I don''t think RPGs and Action Game lovers (myself included) form the mainstream: we''re a NICHE!! The SIMS series is the highest selling PC series of all time! Games like Deer Hunter and Myst kick the butt of most action games at the game "box office" (so to speak). Sports games and racing games and RollerCoaster Tycoonesque games do fairly well also. I can''t help but feel that the vast majority of gamers out there have no desire for violent RoAGs. We''re a big niche, but a niche nonetheless.

Still, we''re mostly hobbyists with no allusions to professionalism in game design, thus there''s no need to design comprehensively or stretch our conceptual horizons. Hence, we design what we like :-)

Peace out.


markr wrote (about non-RPG and non-Action games):
------------------------
It''s just they''re a little less mainstream.
------------------------

Warsong wrote (about non-RPG and non-Action games):
--------------------
Also games that you mentioned don''t sell well since why bother designing them since many want violent or sexual content game.
--------------------

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All these are human game ideas. Thought up by humans, made by humans for humans. We''ve pretty much explored the thought space on these ideas. What we need for new games ideas is to introduce non-human game forms. I suggest evolving AIs whose sole purpose is to entertain us, or use animals. Give a monkey a board of checkers, see what they do with it, after they poop on it.

Introduce your dog or cat to the finer point of chess or uno.

You get the idea, just mix it up.

Good Luck!

-ddn

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hardcore gaming implies piracy.

The middle-aged self-supporting casual gamer who wants to play The Sims and Deer Hunter is going to actually _buy_ his games, whereas the college-student hardcore gamer with not much cash who plays Deus Ex is going to download warez.

So IMHO sales don''t reflect popularity accurately : undoubtedly best-selling games _are_ popular, but games that don''t sell so well are not necessarily unpopular.

Just my $0.02

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quote:
Original post by GemuhDesayinah
(2) I don''t think RPGs and Action Game lovers (myself included) form the mainstream: we''re a NICHE!! The SIMS series is the highest selling PC series of all time! Games like Deer Hunter and Myst kick the butt of most action games at the game "box office" (so to speak).


RPGs and action games are the mainstream among ''thinking gamers''. Deer Hunter and The Sims don''t really come into the equation. (No offense intended to anyone who enjoys those games.)

quote:
I can''t help but feel that the vast majority of gamers out there have no desire for violent RoAGs. We''re a big niche, but a niche nonetheless.


It all depends on how you want to define ''gamer''. If a gamer is anyone who''ll buy a game, then you''re probably totally right. If a gamer is someone who is devoted to games and probably buys several, I think you''re quite wrong.

People prematurely called the PC RPG market dead about 5 years ago. That because there had been no new RPGs of any quality for some time. Then Baldur''s Gate came along and suddenly we''re relatively swamped with them. Pretty much any genre is in demand when it''s being done well.

I said the following on Greg Costikyan''s blog and I''ll also say this to you, in response to your original post; "originality is only one of the axes of quality".

[ MSVC Fixes | STL Docs | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost
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quote:
Original post by Kylotan
RPGs and action games are the mainstream among ''thinking gamers''. Deer Hunter and The Sims don''t really come into the equation. (No offense intended to anyone who enjoys those games.)



Pardon? (Not sure I understand what you mean by thinking gamers). Do you believe that RPGs require intelligence or that the only reason people who play The Sims or Myst don''t play Baldur''s Gate is because ''they require thought''? I think it is more to do with silly subject matter, a harsh set of punishments (ie. being killed by Kobolds) for not wanting to bother to invest lots of time in learning to play it.

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I try not to counter-flame, but this is bullshit.

I''d say that characterizing "action games" as anything with the objective of eliminating opponents with force ("Shoot monster with gun") is a broad and dangerous notion.

How do you define originality in this context? Is it enough to replace the monster with a person, or to replace the gun with a bow? Certainly not. Is "Manhunt", then, indistinguishable in form and content from "Halo"? Certainly not. These two "action" games appeal to different players, offer different gameplay experiences, and have different strength and weaknesses.

You cannot expect to find a game that is 100% original. If you view a game that is 10% original as just being a knock-off with a few cosmetic tweaks, then you will not be satisfied with the rate of changes in video games. It amounts to watching a pan of water be heated.

"This is just a pan of water."
"Now it has a few bubbles in it, but it''s not really any different."
"Okay, now they threw a few bubbles on the side of the pan. Not innovative enough for me."
"Well, it''s neat that some of the bubbles float up to the surface, but that''s not enough to make it different."

And so forth, until there''s a roiling white mealstrom of steam and water in the pan and you say, "Meh. No big deal, I''ve seen most of this before."

Lemmings is just a platform game with indirect control and a class system. I could frankenstein up something like that. Here: Make a game that has side-scrolling adventure (Mario), control the character with the Zapper pistol (Gumshoe), have alien ships trying to kidnap him and other little guys (Defender), and make the player fight them off by shooting them (Duck Hunt). Nothing original there, and it''s the purest form of "Shoot monster with gun," but the experience would be unique among video games. Throw in some basic AI for the people, some RPG levelling for them and the player, and a few weapon powerups (shoot monster with gun +3), and you''ve got a sequel. Hell, throw it online and make it MMO, with a trivia event between levels.

Innovation takes baby steps. If you look closely, you''ll find many small steps being taken here. I don''t know how long you''ve lurked here, but you''ve been registered less than a week, and made three posts in that time. Not an auspicious first impression.

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Another small thing to say is that most people are not original which is why you get no original ideas. It’s too much work to think of something cleaver and many try to come up with something that has been proven just like companies do all the time. Even when someone does come up with something original many don’t want to work on it since its too original and are unsure if the effort they put in will be meaningless.

Also some people think they can make original games and think that an original game it to stick one element in a game that hasn’t been done and they think they are great. But many do have some good ideas but up to a limit. People also want to remake old games and see them in a new light since they are fans of it.

Freedom for a barbarian is to want to see violence. To glorify and show violence to a civilized person is to take away their freedom. Ela Reenie etho na Yelas "Profanity is for those who lack intelligence and imagination to otherwise express them selves." "You are what you repeatedly do; Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

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I enjoy thinking up strange videogame ideas, and in fact post a lot of them to my site.

I''ve been taken lately by a lot of building/construction/design games, and I really like them and would like to build one in the future.

I think whatever I make next will break out of the mold of "shoot monster with gun", as you put it. It has to; I''m getting bored of it.

Resist everyone
I am your only friend. Click here for more information. (MOVED)
Penguin Ninja!

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Hardcore gaming implies piracy.

The middle-aged self-supporting casual gamer who wants to play The Sims and Deer Hunter is going to actually _buy_ his games, whereas the college-student hardcore gamer with not much cash who plays Deus Ex is going to download warez.

So IMHO sales don''t reflect popularity accurately : undoubtedly best-selling games _are_ popular, but games that don''t sell so well are not necessarily unpopular.

Just my $0.02



Well, as someone who does this for a living, I don''t care about the hard-core gamer or popularity if it means they aren''t going to pay to play. Just a personal prejudice of mine.

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I''ll toss out another variation on this whole conversation.

If you look at the number of people who own and use computers and the number of folks who buy computer games, you''ll quickly see that the game industry is only tapping a very small portion of the computer market.

Is this because all those "other" people don''t like entertainment? Or just computer entertainment? (They seem to be watching television, going to movies, buying books, tickets to sporting events, opera tickets, subscribing to magazines, etc.) It seems that they are consuming almost every form of entertainment _except_ computer games. But yet they continue to use their computers to chat, send email, surf the net, etc.

So is the problem those folks? Or the fact that the computer industry is fixated on only publishing titles that appeal to the hard-core game players?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Because most people think that computer games are for children, that''s why. In the minds of the uneducated masses, children play games, while adults only do serious work.

Japanimation has a bit the same problem, for most people they''re just cartoons (thus for kids), when in reality a lot of it is made for the adult age group.

IMHO games will eventually be widely enjoyed by adults, once the generation that has grown up playing video games ages : that is, the one that grew up in the 90''s. It''ll then just be accepted practice to entertain oneself by playing games, instead of playing solitaire / freecell for hours on end like an idiot during work (I think of my Dad when I say that, lol) and hypocritically claiming that they are not interested in computer games

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quote:

Anybody on this board can come up with half a dozen wild game designs at the snap of a finger, all of which are seemingly new and innovative. But the devil is in the details.

....The real work isn't coming up with the idea, it's the execution and follow-through.



Very good comments!

I've been approached by a lot of people over the years who want to give me (or sometimes "sell" me) an idea for a game. And they always seem surprised that I don't see much value in an idea.

Almost anyone who's every played a game can come up with an idea for a game. The real challenge is to have the discipline to deal with the detailed planning that is required to "make" that idea a "real" game.

I'm probably over-obsessive with preperation and planning, but I believe that the key to success for a small developer is to not make mistakes. A development team for EA or Sony can survive a few mistakes. For us small guys, a single design mistake - or detail not planned out and thought through in advance - can put us out of business. And the only way to avoid design mistakes - which turn into development disasters - is to know ahead of time exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there.

Personally, I tend to spend about two years on the "early design" phase of a project before I ever write any code. When I roll Power Politics III out the door next month and start my "new" project, I will be "starting" a project that has been in the planning and design phase for over three years.

When I did my Doonesbury project for Mindscape, I _started_ the "design" phase with a working design document that was almost 300 pages.

My approach won't work for everyone. But I've survived quite a few years now as an independent developer, so I guess I must be doing something right. And one of my fundamental rules is that I never talk to anyone (potential publisher, corporate sponsor, team member) until I am confident that no one is ever going to ask me _any_ question about the design or development process for the game that I am not totally prepared to answer. I figure that one question I can't confidentally answer just shot down my whole presentation. That level of preperation and planning takes an enormous amount of time and effort. But in the end, I think its well worth it.

(One "learning experience" I'll share that really influenced my approach to project planning and design. I was brought in to write the docs for the first release of the Front Page Sports: Baseball game. I did the full manual about five months before the game went into beta. I never saw a working copy of the game while working on the documentation. The manual I wrote was based strictly on the design docs and a few screen captures. But the game that was eventually released matched my docs exactly. I've never forgotten how detailed those documents were - and how faithfully they completed the project based on what was planned. I keep a copy of that design document in my office as a reference - and guideline - for how detailed and specific a good design doc should be!)

Just my opinion.... and figure that it's worth what you paid for it.


[edited by - RandyChase on March 25, 2004 6:43:08 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

Japanimation has a bit the same problem, for most people they''re just cartoons (thus for kids), when in reality a lot of it is made for the adult age group.


Or maybe it is the perception of what the genre deals with ie. sci-fi rocket ships, OTT ridiculous fights, stupid monsters with lots of flashing lights, pornographic stuff, tentacled monsters raping schoolgirls, lurid graphic violence. Not stuff that mainstream audiences go for if you look at popular films, they aren''t action oriented and are usually a lot more tasteful.

Likewise, people don''t care about swords +1 vs. orcs, killing lots of goblins, (saving princesses?), or the sci-fi stuff,



Or indeed much of the fictional groundings that we use.

And then there is a question of horrendous interfaces that require speed, agility, precision and the learning of not just what each button does, but how the in-game control works.. ie. to jump do you press it once, or hold it down for fractions of a second? Give people a mouse, and let them play at their own speed.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
---- QUOTE -----
Or maybe it is the perception of what the genre deals with ie. sci-fi rocket ships, OTT ridiculous fights, stupid monsters with lots of flashing lights, pornographic stuff, tentacled monsters raping schoolgirls, lurid graphic violence. Not stuff that mainstream audiences go for if you look at popular films, they aren''t action oriented and are usually a lot more tasteful.
--- END QUOTE -----


OFF TOPIC :

Ah you see, there we have it.

My parents think that playing Quake is like practicing to kill people in real life. Also that playing RPGs is plainly escaping from the real world into a fantasy world. Over all they think, like a lot of non-gamers, that computer games are all about killing people and make you dumb.

That''s just how they perceive it, it''s not a completely false point of view but nonetheless doesn''t correspond with reality.

Your vision of japanimation is also just a collection of cliches, far from being false (there''s a ton of bullcrap in that form of entertainment). The reality is, there''s more to it than tentacle porn and dragon ball z. Ever heard of Grave of the Fireflies, Wings of Honneamise, Jin-Roh : The Wolf Brigade, to mention just a very few well known titles ? I seriously doubt it.

The result is the same as with non-gamers towards games : one''s prejudices make it difficult to come in contact with a seemingly unattractive form of entertainment.

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Lots of people like chocolate. But there are so many different kinds of chocolate in shops. So why do people buy different kinds and not the same type every single time? Its because they taste different. Just like games, sure, games like Call Of Duty are ''shoot ''em ups'' like Counter-Strike, but so many people dislike Call Of Duty and love Counter-Strike because of the extra bits the game has. It also works the same way. Some people hate Counter-Strike yet love Call Of Duty. Its what the game adds to the genre not what it shares.

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quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
quote:
Original post by Kylotan
RPGs and action games are the mainstream among ''thinking gamers''. Deer Hunter and The Sims don''t really come into the equation. (No offense intended to anyone who enjoys those games.)



Pardon? (Not sure I understand what you mean by thinking gamers). Do you believe that RPGs require intelligence or that the only reason people who play The Sims or Myst don''t play Baldur''s Gate is because ''they require thought''? I think it is more to do with silly subject matter, a harsh set of punishments (ie. being killed by Kobolds) for not wanting to bother to invest lots of time in learning to play it.


It was a flippant remark and not one of my better labellings. The implication I was trying to make is that Deer Hunter and The Sims come closer to my definition of toy than of game, and that they have a very low barrier to entry but tend to have an accompanying low complexity to the game play.

No doubt the subject matter has an effect also, but I expect that''s lessened in these days of Lord Of The Rings and Harry Potter.

An analogy to illustrate my original point; real musicians don''t tend to write pop music. They are drawn to more complex and engaging forms of music, so that''s what they usually end up writing. I assume the same goes for game developers, when unconstrained by commercial requirements.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL Docs | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost
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