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Logic or Reaction? Which?

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Alrighty, as some of you might know, I've been working on a game for a while now. And, it only now occured to me, that perhaps my idea of a fun game, is in fact not a fun game to all but the most extreme people? And so on thinking deeper on this, it really came down, to me at last, as a battle between the need for logic, and the need for reaction time. So I ask you, the good citizens of gamedev, to give me your honest opinions on the following text, my game design, etc, anything that comes up after this. Any and all comments are welcome, provided they are not outright bullocks [smile] 1 - Logic or Reaction: It seems to me, that nowadays, all people want to have in a game is the need to react quicker then the enemy, and kill/neutralize/whatever him. But I personally think that there is a great surplus of such gameplay, and would like to put (a lot) more emphasis on logic, puzzle-solving, etc, instead of the standard 'who's synapses fire quicker' game. But is putting such great emphasis on tht a good idea? Is logic and puzzle-solving a lost art, that no one does any more, because it died out years ago? I'll be trying to sell this idea (in finished game form) eventually, so I kind of need to know if it would really be any good in practice, you know, off the drawing board [grin] 2 - The Game Design: Okay, I'm aiming for a puzzle-solving logic based game, with minor (sometimes major) action in places, but emphasis on the logic. Also, I want good immersion, etc, I want to drag people into the game, and keep them there until it's done [smile] Here's my basic plan on how to do that: I believe, a while back someone posted an idea about a game that revolved around hacking, etc. That thread started an idea in my head, to do something with it, expand it, make it something that more then the hardcore playah would ever think about picking up. To do this, I would, instead of putting all the focus on hacking/thinking, have it thrown as a sort of (major) side dish in a 2D top-down FPS game. Basically, you would be some agent/operative/whatever who has to get into (insert various locations here), remain undetected, find terminals, and then, once you get there, hack through them, and do whatever objectives you would have. Here comes my favorite part. To get that immersion I mentioned earlier, I give you an example: In one mission, you would, perhaps, have to sneak in to a bank, grab some files, decrypt them, and get out. So, you would, in-game (FPS mode) get to a terminal, hack your way in, and get the files, and then the files would actually be put on your drive, in a specified place, for you to open up, do stuff with, decrypt, whatever. And you could use pre-supplied tools to work with them, send them to your 'overseer' on completion, whatever. I think this would add another level of depth, because you wouldn't actually have to do all this in one sitting, just maybe get the files, work with them over the next few days, when you're done, get back in game, send them off, things like this. My real question is, would your average (not programmer/hacker/sysadmin/insert-geek-synonym-here) joe schmoe be interested in this sort of thing? Do people still enjoy a good game that stretches the grey cells? Or is it all in the twitch-shot nowadays, so to speak? Also, if you think my idea really sucks and say so, please at least provide another option which you think is better, that way, everyone's happy [smile] Wow, I don't think I really managed to pull my thoughts together very well for that one.. But it would take to long to write over again, so I guess you'll all have to live with a bit of waffling [grin]

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I like a combination of both. The NES game "Adventures of Lolo" did a good job of adding reaction time to puzzle solving. Right now though, I'd like to see some of the opposite - take an FPS (for example) and make the world extremely simple and spend 99% of the dev time on AI (and don't just go by what you know, read a book or two at least!) so I can spend time figuring out how to beat the AI because it is good at strategy {and I don't mean it does a 500-ply search} not because the programmer gave it an inhumanly fast reaction time {and the only reason I don't die instantly is beacuse my gun does 50x times more damage}.

Personally, I really don't think I'd play the game the way you described it. I don't want to play an FPS for 5 minutes only to have to pull out a hex editor to procede. I also don't want a game putting anything on my HD after install except for config files and save games. You should be able to do everything in the game itself, and IMO the puzzles should be something you figure out using a strategy and not the kind of "know it or dont" stuff always found in "test your hacking skills" sites.

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Puzzle games are by no means a "dead-art". You still see them quite a bit, although the trend seems to be to "embed" them into your game-world rather than making them look like an obvious puzzle. Consider the use of "jumping" puzzles (a la Prince of Persia).

Now, jumping puzzles by no means make for intense thinking. The idea you present are (at least to me) very interesting. As you say though, the appeal of such puzzles might be low due to the high possibility of frustration. Not many people are willing to sit down and decrypt a file. I believe that this is even more true these days with the large audience that video games cater to. Used to be that only the computer geeks would be playing video games, but this is hardly true these days.

One way to perhaps mitigate the effects of this would be to provide different ways of solving certain puzzles. If a person would rather not slog through the decryption process, perhaps they could take it to a crypto-analyst in the game (who would, of course, make them do something for her more in line with what the player might want; consider the Stealth vs. Guns-Blazing choice given in Deus Ex and Vampire:Bloodlines).

To answer your questions though (after all that meandering), I think that it would not appeal to the majority of players. My questions to you is, how big of an audience did you want to target in the first place?

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@Extrarius
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I like a combination of both. The NES game "Adventures of Lolo" did a good job of adding reaction time to puzzle solving. Right now though, I'd like to see some of the opposite - take an FPS (for example) and make the world extremely simple and spend 99% of the dev time on AI (and don't just go by what you know, read a book or two at least!) so I can spend time figuring out how to beat the AI because it is good at strategy {and I don't mean it does a 500-ply search} not because the programmer gave it an inhumanly fast reaction time {and the only reason I don't die instantly is beacuse my gun does 50x times more damage}

That's an interesting idea, I've always wanted to work on a full-fledged AI system for an FPS... And since I left room in my engine for a 3D graphics module.. Hmm, that couldbe an interesting something. Heaven knows I'm not far enough down the lane of development to actually lose all that much at all if I simply scrapped my current plan and went FPS :D
Quote:

Personally, I really don't think I'd play the game the way you described it. I don't want to play an FPS for 5 minutes only to have to pull out a hex editor to procede. I also don't want a game putting anything on my HD after install except for config files and save games. You should be able to do everything in the game itself, and IMO the puzzles should be something you figure out using a strategy and not the kind of "know it or dont" stuff always found in "test your hacking skills" sites.

I was thinking more along the lines of patterns etc, as opposed to brute encryptions of the 'guess what the creator was thinking' type. Also, you wouldn't have to stop immediately, it's not like there would only be one thing to do at a time :D What kind of game would THAT be?

@TheWanderer
Quote:

Puzzle games are by no means a "dead-art". You still see them quite a bit, although the trend seems to be to "embed" them into your game-world rather than making them look like an obvious puzzle. Consider the use of "jumping" puzzles (a la Prince of Persia).

Now, jumping puzzles by no means make for intense thinking. The idea you present are (at least to me) very interesting. As you say though, the appeal of such puzzles might be low due to the high possibility of frustration. Not many people are willing to sit down and decrypt a file. I believe that this is even more true these days with the large audience that video games cater to. Used to be that only the computer geeks would be playing video games, but this is hardly true these days.

That's good to know, I always enjoy a good puzzle,and it warms the cockels of my black heart to know others do as well [smile] (Useless trivia alert) IMO, the gaming world, especially that of multiplayer FPSs, would be vastly improved if it were composed mainly of geeks :) Because 95 times out of a 100, geeks are far more polite and understanding then your average angsty teenager :/ Speaking from personal experience here...

Quote:

One way to perhaps mitigate the effects of this would be to provide different ways of solving certain puzzles. If a person would rather not slog through the decryption process, perhaps they could take it to a crypto-analyst in the game (who would, of course, make them do something for her more in line with what the player might want; consider the Stealth vs. Guns-Blazing choice given in Deus Ex and Vampire:Bloodlines).

There's a good idea, I must say.. Thanks!

Quote:

To answer your questions though (after all that meandering), I think that it would not appeal to the majority of players. My questions to you is, how big of an audience did you want to target in the first place?


Not that large of an audience :) Hell, I'd be happy to sell one single copy, as at that point, I'd be making a gain [smile]

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Original post by SirLuthor
[...]I was thinking more along the lines of patterns etc, as opposed to brute encryptions of the 'guess what the creator was thinking' type.[...]
I think that most creators of such thing believe 'there are patterns anybody can see', when in reality it ends up being a 'guess what the creator was thinking' because only the creator would come up with the patterns.

Quote:
[...] Also, you wouldn't have to stop immediately, it's not like there would only be one thing to do at a time :D What kind of game would THAT be?[...]
The modern kind =-/

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Original post by SirLuthor

Here comes my favorite part. To get that immersion I mentioned earlier, I give you an example: In one mission, you would, perhaps, have to sneak in to a bank, grab some files, decrypt them, and get out. So, you would, in-game (FPS mode) get to a terminal, hack your way in, and get the files, and then the files would actually be put on your drive, in a specified place, for you to open up, do stuff with, decrypt, whatever. And you could use pre-supplied tools to work with them, send them to your 'overseer' on completion, whatever. I think this would add another level of depth, because you wouldn't actually have to do all this in one sitting, just maybe get the files, work with them over the next few days, when you're done, get back in game, send them off, things like this.



I think thats a pretty interesting idea. But it would deffinitly have to be done correctly.
For one, people dont like thinking that there could be files on their compute rthat they dont know about. its sort of like entering someone's personal space.
However, Suppose the game creates a new directory on your desktop with those files. It woudlnt clutter the desktop, but the player would know exactly where they were. Now, to encrypt/decrypt/etc your files, you should have to play little mindless mini games. something on teh scale of Minesweeper. When they beat the little minigame, they have done the objective they were supposed to do with the files.
For example, you're supposed to take the files off of a computer in some company, take htem to your lab, make copies of the files, and then attach trojan horse viruses to the files to put them back in the company.
The player could play these mindless, but addictive, minigames while chatting on AIM, or doing other things on teh computer. Basically multi-task games.
That would sort of simulate the character going to the lab and doing generic work.
You get done wiht the files, and have to load up the game to return the files or do a mission with them.

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