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Shpoonj

The Real Future of Gaming

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I've read a lot of posts about what's wrong with the games we play and how the next generation will bring a few changes but not as many as we're hopinh for. To be honest, I don't think all the possibilities have been discussed. Does anyone remember when Lionhead and BBB were working on growing trees and aging villagers for Fable? Wouldn't it be amazing if a game was filled with towns and people who looked different each time you played? Where is a combat system that doesn't use the same three animations for attacks over and over? Why hasn't someone done the math and calculated which angles compliment each other and made a system where you can choose what angle you attack from and had impromptu animations each time? Where's the AI that knows how to learn from you? You know, the one we've been promised countless times. The one that watches your best moves, and implements them flawlessly. Maybe the technology isn't at this point yet, but I have a feeling it will be soon. If you won't make these games, I will, but it's giving me a headache. Let me know how you feel.

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Original post by Shpoonj
Does anyone remember when Lionhead and BBB were working on growing trees and aging villagers for Fable? Wouldn't it be amazing if a game was filled with towns and people who looked different each time you played?

I like the idea of being able to have a character’s in game age, etc. I think that you shouldn't make it so that the player can no longer recognize the characters, especially if you are dealing with a game that uses quests as a main part of the game.
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Original post by Shpoonj
Where is a combat system that doesn't use the same three animations for attacks over and over? Why hasn't someone done the math and calculated which angles compliment each other and made a system where you can choose what angle you attack from and had impromptu animations each time?

Again, this is not a bad idea. I've thought of this a fair bit myself. But, there is a problem. How much control do you give the user?

If it is too much, the game will become overly complicated and only the truly hard-core players will want to play it. Even then that might be pushing it.

It might work if don't give the player all that much control, because then you can program the algorithm to decide how to attack. The only problem that I can think of occurs when the player disagrees with what the game decides to do.
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Original post by Shpoonj
Where's the AI that knows how to learn from you? You know, the one we've been promised countless times. The one that watches your best moves, and implements them flawlessly.

This might be a bit harder than you think. I don't know how far along any of these projects are, but does anyone remember Dodo Dada and the other "AI"s that were learning to construct English sentences?

The last time I checked on any of these projects was about 4 years ago, and almost all of these projects required supercomputers just to run. It might be a while before we can implement a truly learning AI.

Also, you don't want the AI to become to difficult to play that the player decides to discard your game. So there might have to be a limit. Like a maximum amount of information that it can hold.
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Original post by Shpoonj
Maybe the technology isn't at this point yet, but I have a feeling it will be soon.

I don't know exactly all of the information about this, but it was mentioned by one of my professors. He was mentioning that computer technology is currently "slowing down" in terms of advancement. This is mainly due to the fact that information can only travel so fast along the circuits, and we are currently getting close to that limit.

--Ter'Lenth

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Village Different Each Time/Changing World - This idea always seemed like a lot of work for not much payoff. I don't care about the village changing so much unless it is MY character affecting the change. Some time triggered events could raise immersion and I see this in RPGs often. It's a good effect and great for showing time passing or the player's impact on the world, but I wouldn't call it revolutionary or brilliant.

Angles of attack, etc. - Closest thing to this might be "The Way of the Samurai". In that game you get a ton of swords with different sword styles. The weight of swords affected swing speed and sword styles varied angles of attack. Additionally, where you were in a combo or certain button presses could further change the angle of attack. Additonally, although ripostes were difficult to pull off, you could press buttons to deflect an enemy's attack and open their guard.

AI that learns from the player - Most fighter games have this in them and it isn't lauded as a big feature anymore. If you remember fighter AI in some early games, it was either very predictable and easy or it knew exactly the "best" attacks to make in every situation and instantly pulled them off whenever it needed (unlike players who had to do fancy button presses for harder moves). Newer games learn how players play and change their tactics over time even if you play on the same difficulty setting.

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I invented an algorithm/structure that enabled possiblity of dynamicaly changing world with reasonable computing power and memory allocation demands.

Of course majority of computer programmers weren't teached to try something wastly different, and marketing department would scold them if they'd do it.

It's also much more nice AI that learns its tactic itself than AI that mindlesly copies player action. BTW how did it know what should be copied?

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I don't know how to use the quote function on these boards, so this might be a little rough.

"This might be a bit harder than you think. I don't know how far along any of these projects are, but does anyone remember Dodo Dada and the other "AI"s that were learning to construct English sentences?

I tried making a program that could learn english from me, and although it's not impossible, every step of the way ten new things would pop into my head and I wouldn't know which ones were needed and which ones weren't. But, it seems, a computer that can learn is a needed technological advancement, and it would greatly benefit all technical industries. So much for pet projects.

"It's also much more nice AI that learns its tactic itself than AI that mindlesly copies player action. BTW how did it know what should be copied?"

It would copy what worked... what led to a point. Have you ever played a sports game where you can score nearly everytime by doing the same thing over and over? That's what I'm talking about. The AI needs to know if it's not working well enough.

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Original post by Shpoonj
Where is a combat system that doesn't use the same three animations for attacks over and over? Why hasn't someone done the math and calculated which angles compliment each other and made a system where you can choose what angle you attack from and had impromptu animations each time?

There is a somewhat older game called 'Die By The Sword' which implemented something similar to this. Essentially it let the player directly control the game character's arm using the mouse or the keyboard. The system might not have been very refined, but it would probably be a good place to start if someone was looking to implement a more dynamic combat system.

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Does anyone remember when Lionhead and BBB were working on growing trees and aging villagers for Fable? Wouldn't it be amazing if a game was filled with towns and people who looked different each time you played?


Because you're suggesting a visual change that has no impact on gameplay, I think it would be a huge waste of a limited budget. What does it matter if the town crier has more gray hair if the gameplay is the same as any other game in the genre? While company A would be spending time putting in old people, company B would be spending time putting in more monsters, items, spells, quests, etc. I think players might get excited by company A's game when seeing it touted in the mags and on G4, but company B's game will have more and likely stay with them longer.

Now, if you're a group I've learned of that believes that gameplay is graphics, then we have no argument-- because you want a type of game that I wouldn't buy.


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Where is a combat system that doesn't use the same three animations for attacks over and over?


How many animations should an attack have?

Quote:

Why hasn't someone done the math and calculated which angles compliment each other and made a system where you can choose what angle you attack from and had impromptu animations each time?


You're talking about procedural animation? If so, that's an emerging field, and like all new technology will take a great deal of stumbling before perfected.

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Where's the AI that knows how to learn from you? You know, the one we've been promised countless times. The one that watches your best moves, and implements them flawlessly.


What about AI that uses a wide range of combat and non-combat actions to take you down? Rather than an AI that mimics my tactics, I'd rather have an AI that surprises me with a wide variety of approaches. Maybe he starts rumors behind my back that get me kicked out of my guild? Maybe she poisons my most trusted ally, who was supposed to prove to the king that I was innocent?

Quote:

If you won't make these games, I will, but it's giving me a headache.


I think that you're urging us to think not outside of the box, but inside of the box you're in. It sounds as if you'd be perfectly happy with games as they are, as long as they showed more graphical variety. But game companies are already moving in that direction. Oblivion is coming with procedural forests rendered right down to ferns and shrubs. There's some zombie game in the pipeline that has different body types for each zombie. Several MMOs customize characters right down to the width between the bridge of their noses. Fable already showed us an (abruptly) aging character.

So except for the wish for AI that mimics or counters your moves, we already have what you're talking about.

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I think it's safe to say that graphics provide an enormous amount of immersion... Maybe I'm wrong to think that, but I'd rather play Splinter Cell than Mine Sweeper.

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