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shanytopper

Overfeaturing?

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Hi all I'm currently working on a gamedesign for a RPG (not MMO). I got some really cool ideas that I'm thinking about putting in the design. Now, not one, but several of them are very big features, so the question is: What is better? Overfeaturing( which might make the game too complex), or Underfeaturing (which would make the game less exciting)? Ofcourse, I guess the best lays somewhere between those two extremes, but I just want to hear your opinion on the subject. With many thanks Shany Topper

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You shouldn't base your game on the features it has.

The features it should have, are the ones that complement or improve your game as a whole in some way. They should do more good than harm. You modify the details of the features in order to avoid the extremes.

Now answering directly, both will make people drop your game and go play something better. Except that overfeaturing will be make you lose more inexperienced players and underfeaturing might make you lose more experienced players. Choose your poison.

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Have all of the features and then as a player gets more experienced they can use the more complicated ones?

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What you're seeing is potential for "creeping featurism" or featuritis.

The best thing you can do is detail a set of 'milestone' steps that you intend to accomplish, for example:

v0.0.1
- map generation and traversal
- loading/saving of edited map points (3d?) or tiles (2d?)
- basic gui system for buttons and text
- configuration using xml files

v0.0.2
- day/night transitions based on time-of-day
- animated walking creatures
- particle effects

v0.0.3
- improved gui system for input boxes and menus
- etc...


Once you have a clear understanding of what you want your game to do, before writing a line of code, you'll be able to proceed its development without worrying about too bad a case of featuritis. ;)

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Let me explain myself better.

The features I'm talking about are rather big, and therfore can not be "switched on and off".

Some examples: a unique,open, combat system. usage of "time powers". and some more...

Now, those features (if I'll choose to use them), will be mixed with the plot itself, hence why the can't be "switched".

I need to figure out how many of them to put in the design. So, I'm just asking for what's your opinion on this.

With many thanks
Shany Topper

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I think it doesn't matter how many new things you throw in. Just be sure there are many "old things" the player can recognize fast. The game should look familiar in the first moments. Highlights will catch his attention when announced but he wants to start in a friendly environment and then be surprised (from time to time) with new features.

GL!
Cod.

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Do a (really) quick prototype to test and implement these 'big' things. Keep it deep and narrow and identify whether the things you're thinking about are actually practical and fun, or if they're just added complexity for the sake of it. Often ideas (especially 'really cool' ones) end up being totally useless in practice, or need to be heavily redesigned to be any good. This way you find out early and with minimal effort.

If your idea is so compicated you can't do anything short of a full implementation then it's probably useless - everything can be stripped down to its core ethic, if it can't be you're confusing complexity for fun.

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This is my suggestion:

Simplify the game maechanics until you can get no simpler without the gameplay denuding.

THEN build the game.

Feel free to add more features once the first release is completed, but get something done first.

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Quote:
Original post by shanytopper
Overfeaturing( which might make the game too complex), or Underfeaturing (which would make the game less exciting)?


Don't be the drunk who falls off his horse on the left because he was warned he might fall off on the right!

Include features that fit the feel and gameplay and overall effect you're going for. Throw together a prototype and see if the features work together. See what has to go. See what can stay if it's modified a bit. If it's one or the other between two of your pet features it can be hard, but you're better off making two games.

If you really want an answer as to whether I think you should bang your head against a rock or a hard place, I'd say underfeaturing is preferable to create a lower barrier to entry (And who says it's less exciting? The best games tend to do one thing very well as opposed to many things at varying degrees of success.)

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