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dfTruF

My golden rules for golden game

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Greetings, In my opinion those are features which make game more playable: 1. In-game, difficulty levels, which can be chosen by a player in a game, after progress in playing experience (not at the start of a game). 2. No saving cheating (like in angband, adom, nethack, etc.). 3. No general time pressure option (player can go to easier levels whenever he/she likes). 4. Element of randomness. 5. Freedom of path planning in a game (non-linearity). 6. Hard to find special artifacts, secret levels, etc (always in different places and with different characteristics in new game).

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Quote:
Original post by dfTruF
Greetings,

In my opinion those are features which make game more playable:


1. In-game, difficulty levels, which can be chosen by a player in a game, after progress in playing experience (not at the start of a game).

2. No saving cheating (like in angband, adom, nethack, etc.).

3. No general time pressure option (player can go to easier levels whenever he/she likes).

4. Element of randomness.

5. Freedom of path planning in a game (non-linearity).

6. Hard to find special artifacts, secret levels, etc (always in different places and with different characteristics in new game).


Hmmm... I see these as the icing on the cake. But without a good cake will the icing really make it any better?

I've come to the conclusion that the core of the game is far more important than any individual fluff item. If my core is solid then anything I add will have a far greater ability to enhance the game. If my core is weak then no amount of icing will save it.

As far as #2 goes I don't know that I exactly understand what you mean by that. I think you mean modifying save files to get more items, cash, etc. Any sort of cheating isn't desired in a game. So how do you recommend getting around it?

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#2 means you can't save except when you quit. And your save dies when you die.

It's by and large a horrible feature (and easy circumvented by copying the game dir after you quit).

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Original post by Telastyn
#2 means you can't save except when you quit. And your save dies when you die.

It's by and large a horrible feature (and easy circumvented by copying the game dir after you quit).


Aah so save cheating is copying the directory. I've recently played lost labyrinth and yeah... I've done the save cheating :p. Its hard to disect an old game when you have to restart every time lol. Anyhow what I don't get dfTruF is do you mean you don't want them to copy the directory to save the game? Or that the way those games save is flawed? As I see it any time I can save a game I can also copy the save game directory.

I do agree its a horrible feature :(.

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Original post by dfTruF
Greetings,

In my opinion those are features which make game more playable:


In my opinion, these only apply to some very specific genres, and even then I'm not terribly convinced by some of them. Particularly 2.

Tetris doesn't have 1,3,5 or 6. In fact, applying 1 and 3 would completely break the gameplay. 5 and 6 don't even make sense for tetris.

Since they're neither universally applicable, nor uncontroversial, I think it's a bit much to call them golden rules.

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Original post by Andruil

Hmmm... I see these as the icing on the cake. But without a good cake will the icing really make it any better?



I think that icing in a game are all multimedia (graphics, sounds, animations, etc.).
These six features, which I mentioned, are mixed with the core of the game and enrich satisfaction from playing (in my opinion).


Quote:

As far as #2 goes I don't know that I exactly understand what you mean by that. I think you mean modifying save files to get more items, cash, etc. Any sort of cheating isn't desired in a game. So how do you recommend getting around it?


I didn't have on my mind modifying save files (such thing is worse).
Saving cheating - this is action when player make saves before hard moments in game and after unsuccessful event reload the game as often as situation is favourable for the player. This cause boredom because the game then is a piece of cake, simply too easy.
For example in old games (angband or nethack) such cheating is eliminated. This is cool only when player can go to easier levels any time (players choose their own actual difficulty level based on experience). Satisfaction from such feature is increased by additional attention for playing. Such feature can be implemented in every single-player game which have any difficulty levels and doesn't have time pressure for achieving main goal of the game.

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I'd say most of these are more than just icing on the cake. It's true that your core mechanic has to be solid for any game to be fun, but there are certain "rules" that (to me) make the game less fun if you break them.

I'd take issue with #2 though. You have to remember that people play games for fun, which is different for everyone. For more of the hardcore style player, being able to save before a difficult point is cheating. But for someone who has less time (or is more of a casual player) that could be a deal breaker.

Personally I hate checkpoint style save games. I get really frustrated when things get too hard for me, and nowdays I'm more apt to put a game down and never play it again if I have to replay an entire section because I couldn't save where I wanted. IMO if the player is playing the game, they should be able to play it how they want.

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Well, I'll be the first to fully support #2.

It doesn't mean you have to start over or lose progress when you die. There are plenty of extremely mild penalties to employ for failure or death. If you can't come up with one, then at least implement an automated safety-net for tricky moments, and don't leave it up to players to guess where they may be.

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#2 is a horrible suggestion. (no offense)

No saving before bosses? And the term "cheat saving" makes no sense because if the save is put there by the developer its not cheating.

With games, you have to realize there are many different styles of players. Some people don't save and they want to go see how far they make it. Other players are casual gamers who will get frustrated having to replay the same parts over and over just to beat a boss and just stop playing your game.

Then there are some like me that are a hardcore player, but don't have the time to spend more then 30 min a day playing a game. There are many games I have not bought because I read in reviews about the save features sucking. If there's not a decent amount of saves especially saves before big bosses I consider it poor design and so do many other players. Who wants to redo an entire level just because the boss killed you and you couldn't save before hand? This forces replayability not offers replayability (and forcing is not a good thing).

I think it should be left up for the player to decide where they want to save.

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I'd love to see more complex gameplay modifiers for difficulty. Many games already have easily configureable settings for damage done, ammo dropped, damage taken, etc. - and yet still railroad you into selecting one out of three pre-defined sets. Save mode could be used as part of a custom difficulty setting, choosing between checkpoint and free-save, for example.

It always amazes me why some game companies presume that if I want to fight a harder AI, I also want my computer opponents to get an unfair advantage (glaring at Medieval 2 here at the moment), or, if I want to play on a harder difficulty, I want to have very limited saves...these options are presumeable easily set configurations, so would a 'Custom' options with siders really be two hard (in the same way graphics settings have Low/Medium/High and Custom (which I normally tweak to work best for me)?

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