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The Fifteen *crash* TEN Commandments!

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In documenting my groups design philosophy, I found myself writing these guidelines out. What do you guys think? "Really Great Games are: 1. Unified All parts support a theme. The music, art, gameplay, writing, and everything else was written to achieve the same end. Nothing feels out of place. This helps the game feel more like it is it''s own world. 2. Original This one goes without saying. Even if a game is just a rehash of something else at heart, it should always have something new to bring to the table, even this is just a new combination of old ideas. 3. Balanced If the core of a game''s design is balanced, you don''t need to create abstract limitations afterward. For example, if the original D&D system had natural balance, they would not have needed to create abstract limitations such as demi-human level limitations and the silly notion that a wizard cant use a sword. 4. Meaningful We in the game industry should really have to fulfill the same creative contract as movies or novels. Most players feel cheated if they beat a game and there''s no more to it than that. You set out to do something and you did it. There is a deeper layer of meaning that sets truly great games apart. 5. Symbolic Many games have stuff that happens for no other reason than the designers think it would be cool to put in. This is also a problem in Hollywood. These ideas are best saved for another time, or transmuted into something more directly signifigant to the game''s design. As a general rule, everything in your game needs to happen for a reason. Everything needs to be indicitive; symbolic. This is an area of control that you can''t afford to sacrifice if you''re going to do divergent pathways in the plot. 6. Believable Suspension of disbelief is a MASSIVE problem in games. It prevents most people over a certain age from enjoying them. It isn''t hard. Even the most outlandish sci fi film has to pull off suspension of bisbelief to be any good. The original Star Wars and William Gibson''s novels do this really well. Battlefield Earth, however, did not. 7. Challenging Oh, god, there is othing I hate more than a great game that''s over too quick, because it''s easy. I feel that a game has to make the player lose AT LEAST ONCE, so that they know and fear the game''s version of death. If a monkey could beat the game, or if it only requires pressing one button over and over (read: most console RPGs), I feel I have wasted my money and time. 8. Mutable Mutable means that the player has had some change on the story; made waves in your game somehow. If the game never changes no matter how good or bad you are, no matter what choices you make, you''ve wasted the most powerful tool interactivity has to offer for your story. 9. Customizable Make the player at home in your little application. Allow them to set their own character details (as far as the story permits), window functions and CONTROLS. The more comfortable they are with the construction of the game, the easier it is to forget they''re only playing a game... 10.Substantial Games should be as deep as they are long. Deeper. Easter Eggs, secret characters, mutually exclusive event order. Try to make the game worth playing again. This is not only for replay value, but adds a sense of realism to the world, since things don''t revolve entirely around the player. This doesn''t mean you should go creating a fully functional reactive environmnet, just try not to make things too linear (did I just say that?) There we go. Any thoughts? Corrections? Additions? ====== "The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates "Question everything. Especially Landfish." -Matt

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wow, seems pretty complete to me! Definetly has the most needed parts of a game. Good job.

"with the birth of the Artist came the inevitable after-birth of - The Critic."

==============================
\\// live long and prosper; \||/ die short and rot.
==============================

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You forgot one thing:

11. Fun

If it''s in the game, it better contribute to the entertainment value of the game. Example: if the player thinks something is tedious, it shouldn''t be in the game.

-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

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Hmm. Well, I think that I would add:

11. Characters

Characters are the most powerful tools available for getting your player emotionally involved and giving them a satisfying gaming experience. The player should be able to react emotionally to your characters as if they were real people. It''s not interesting to hear about characters doing stuff unless you also get to hear about what they think and feel about what they''re doing.

Corrolary: If you get your player to care a lot about a character then it is not generally a good idea to let the plot events abuse the character.

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BTW, great thread name I love the Family guy

----------------
*car screeches, man cries out as getting hit by car*
"My God, are you Stephen King?"
"No, I''m Dean Koontz..."
"Oh...."
*car starts, reverses over man laying in road*
----------------

Classic......


-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

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quote:
Original post by pacman

BTW, great thread name I love the Family guy

----------------
*car screeches, man cries out as getting hit by car*
"My God, are you Stephen King?"
"No, I''m Dean Koontz..."
"Oh...."
*car starts, reverses over man laying in road*
----------------

Classic......


-------------------------------------------
"What''s the story with your face, son?!?"


The Family guy?? Who was that? The title was from Mel Brooke''s "History of the World Part I". Did he get it from this Family guy? Just wonderin.....



==============================
\\// live long and prosper; \||/ die short and rot.
==============================

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Family Guy is a series on Fox ...Thursday(?) nights. It''s the funniest damn show on TV, no joke.

BTW, sunshadow is right, good chars and good characterization is crucial.

-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

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Excellent list, Landfish. I''d add:


12. A game. Not a story. Not a movie. Not some mutated form of art because artistes might look down their noses at our form of expression. Just as a poem or a song is worthy and valid for what it is, without having to be butressed and validated by some other art form , so to are games.

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

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Wow, great job Landfish. I got a thing to add.
13. No stupid NPCs. The most mental person in the world would walk around saying "Welcome to the dumbest town on the Earth. I am Bob, and I am scared." Give some realism, like talk to people in your town, and try to mix the stuff together to find how people really talk. Maybe change that mental NPCs words to "Who are you?" and the next time, they say "Stay away from me" and the last time they say "I told you to stay away from me!" and they run away. Hey, i''ve had that happen a lot of times!

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Though I agree with all the addenda you guys havc posted, I think I can still preserve the nice round number of ten by saying the following.

A. It''s understood we are dealing with a GAME. It does only take the smallest amount of gameplay to make something a game and not something else, but even something Wavinator thinks he might not like would prolly be pretty cool if it followed these things to the letter. Although i generally agree, it pisses me off when people (myself included) forget that they''re dealing with video games here. We need to avoid taking ourselves TOO seriously (but also not seriously enough.)

B. I think that it''s understood that the GOAL should be fun, and these commandments are simply a way to make that goal happen.

C. Good characters are a componant of the game. These are guidelines that should apply to all componants of a game. Hence, characters must be believable, symbolic, original, etc. IF you follow these guidelines, I hope that your characters, as well as the rest of the game should come out fine.

Maybe I''m just bullshitting to keep it at ten, but I think those are rather viable explainations...

======
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
-Socrates

"Question everything. Especially Landfish."
-Matt

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Great list. I think that its very RPG orientated though. Correct me if i''m wrong. The reason i say this is because of the 6th point on the list "Believable". Many games that are not RPG don''t need this. I won''t go into a list of games because this wouldn''t be achieving anything. But i think it easy to say that this is a very good top ten points that RPG''s should be based around. Thanks for sharing this with me/us as i know you are coming from a dedicated rpg background that you''ve put a lot of thought into

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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quote:
Original post by Lynck

Wow, great job Landfish. I got a thing to add.
13. No stupid NPCs. The most mental person in the world would walk around saying "Welcome to the dumbest town on the Earth. I am Bob, and I am scared." Give some realism, like talk to people in your town, and try to mix the stuff together to find how people really talk. Maybe change that mental NPCs words to "Who are you?" and the next time, they say "Stay away from me" and the last time they say "I told you to stay away from me!" and they run away. Hey, i''ve had that happen a lot of times!


DAMN STRAIGHT! "NPC''s are people too!"

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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quote:
Original post by pacman

Family Guy is a series on Fox ...Thursday(?) nights. It's the funniest damn show on TV, no joke.

BTW, sunshadow is right, good chars and good characterization is crucial.

-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"




Family Guy is over-rated

The Simpsons is way better IMO. Sorry Landfish, but it wouldn't be a Nazrix post if it wasn't useless and off-topic, would it?




"NPC's are people too!" --dwarfsoft

"Nazrix is cool." --Nazrix first, then Darkmage

Edited by - Nazrix on September 2, 2000 2:47:52 PM

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Oh, yeah, and Believability. When I talk about suspension of disbelief, I really mean cohesion as opposed to realism. It has more to do with how dialog is constructed, plot is exposed and events occur than the rules of the universe. For instance:

A snippit from Countdown Vampires: "Wow, this sure is a great horror show. Wait, no, it''s real!"

Thank you, writers for having someone TELL us exactly what''s going on when we could have seen it for ourselves.

A Snippit from Metal Gear Solid: "A Hind D? What''s a russian gunship doing here?"

Note how both of these passages reveal the information needed for the player, but only one does it in a way the doesn''t make me want to turn the game off. THIS is believability. Niether of these games have particularly realistic stories, but you''ll note REALISM is not on my list.

======
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
-Socrates

"Question everything. Especially Landfish."
-Matt

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quote:
Original post by Landfish
THIS is believability. Niether of these games have particularly realistic stories, but you''ll note REALISM is not on my list.


*Blood pressure drops*



I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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I understood you LF. Believablility in a Medieval Magic Oriented system is really kind of tagential to any ''realism'' at all. I would like to see you realistically explain a dragon or how you make a flame appear from your finger tips (actually, I can do this... But it requires some metho )

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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Perhaps I should have stated it differently. Of course, the goal is fun when making a game. However, even in good games, there are sometimes tedious, unneeded things that add little if anything to the game. A section that you just play through to get to the good stuff. I think that when adding things, a designer should look at this thing and ask "is this going to be something the player won''t mind doing?" So that''s why I said "fun". Sorry about the generalization.

Actually, after thinking about it a little, you could add to the "Meaningful" section by saying "everything and every part of the game should be meaningful, or at least not tedious". That''ll keep the number to 10 .

-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

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I think that the apparent ''tedium'' that you talk of is more about adding responsibility into the game. The player needs to feel responsibility for their character and thus must look after them. It is more about the wellbeing of the player-character relationship than anything else (I am talking about eating and sleeping here more than anything). Otherwise, the player just plays the game for the goal, not the character. Build the player into the game and you have a more worthwhile game

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          

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The "15 *crash* TEN COMMANDMENTS" is from Mel Brooks' "History of the World". The Family Guy was just replaying it. The Family Guy has very little original material. It just takes old pop culture references and applies it to its characters. Its still hilarious though.

Edited by - Caffeine on September 5, 2000 6:45:06 PM

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Actually, Chris, I think you''re wrong on that one. If it were responsibility that bugged the player, then Tamagotchi would never have happened. The stuff that bugs be is (as I say on my website, coming soon) the stuff that gives you CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME from doing the SAME THING OVER AND OVER.

BTW, that whole schpeel was realy what I meant by symbolic. Nothing happens for no reason. If all combat had a role in the story, button smashers would vanish. sigh. I can dream, can''t I?

The main point being; if you truly feel you have followed these points, and your entire game holds up to it, it shouldn''t ever be tedious. It shouldn''t ever be boring, unless you started with boring material... as so many of us do!

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Yes, the "carpal tunnel" crap. I hate it. ALL OF IT!!

I recently tried playing dragon warrior 4, just to see if I had missed anything as a kid. God, how did I play that mind numbing crap for so long? Every 5 freaking steps I was attacked, and I thought, "this is the most pointless activity I have ever done." Then it hit me, I had done this same thing years ago when I played the first one!!

It''s amazing how much we grow in such a short time.

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"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

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You might not after reading what I said in you rant thread

And you can''t have my Bud light, either

-------------------------------------------
"What's the story with your face, son?!?"

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