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For my final exam in school, how would you do it?

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I am currently writing my thesis for my final exam at the university of skövde in sweden. I am to design a loot system with a real cash economy, ie a player can use his debit card to put money into the game and then get loot by using the tools he can buy with his money he deposited, he can then get loot and sell it and if he makes a profit withdraw that money if he so wishes. However gambling is not allowed without a license in sweden so my main point for the thesis is how to get around this. The law says a system like this can not be random as it would then be classified as gambling. I do have quite a few ideas on how to possibly do it but still interested in how other devs would do it. One of my main ideas is that you actually tell the players where loot is with skillgains. Ofcourse this have to be hard to figure out what the skills mean exactly and so on. Any dev has any other ideas how it could be done?

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The site has a general rule (it might even be an official policy) about helping with things that can be considered "homework" which this probably falls into that category!

With that said lets think how we can help! :)

What have you tried so far? This would be good to know just so that our first 30 ideas aren't a repeat of your own.

Second, market forces affecting the price of items aren't random. They're just affected by so many externalities that anyone attempting to predict from within the system is unable to do so reliably/accurately. This is why the markets work, some places can make something cheaper than others due to real world conditions such as labour costs, technology, material cost & availability. If you reflect that in the "game" then you can take a chance on a material, transport from where you bought it cheap, sell it where it's in demand and profit... of course if someone has the same idea then they may get there ahead of you and flood the market thus lowering the value of your material investment. Net result is that you lose money.

This isn't random, it's just not possible for you to predict.

Andy

Edit: "is" vs "isn't"... a slightly different meaning!

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Original post by NineYearCycle
The site has a general rule (it might even be an official policy) about helping with things that can be considered "homework" which this probably falls into that category!

With that said lets think how we can help! :)

What have you tried so far? This would be good to know just so that our first 30 ideas aren't a repeat of your own.

Second, market forces affecting the price of items aren't random. They're just affected by so many externalities that anyone attempting to predict from within the system is unable to do so reliably/accurately. This is why the markets work, some places can make something cheaper than others due to real world conditions such as labour costs, technology, material cost & availability. If you reflect that in the "game" then you can take a chance on a material, transport from where you bought it cheap, sell it where it's in demand and profit... of course if someone has the same idea then they may get there ahead of you and flood the market thus lowering the value of your material investment. Net result is that you lose money.

This isn't random, it's just not possible for you to predict.

Andy

Edit: "is" vs "isn't"... a slightly different meaning!


well sure it might be considered homework. But i am to research differnt possibilities to do this and thus i need to read and study and i think that studying what others might have done would be the same thing as study a book. Sadly i havent found a single book on the subject of loot systems :P

So far i havent tried anything, i'm mainly just trying different ideas in my head. What i think would be a good way to do it is to in some way using math, perhaps numbersiprals or perlin noise in some form and in layers form "veins" sort of. These veins would then spawn loot multipliers in a grid system. Mobs and ore etc would then be attached to these points so that mobs get a loot value. the more perlin noise in one spot and the more layers the higher the loot would be.

Now to not make it random a player would have different skills, for hunting for example he could have rifle, and damage and weapon usability. These skills would all have differnt meanings. Rifle could for example mean you have loot somewhere in 360* around you in a certain range. Damage could then mean you have loot somewhere 180* in front of you and weapon usability could mean 180* behind you. Then when the player get's a skill and has figured out the system he would know where to go. Ofcourse how often and what skillgains he get would have to be balanced but the balancing is not the important part for my thesis, it's how the system works that's the imporant thing and that it will not break the swedish lotterylaw.

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Original post by iller
well sure it might be considered homework. But i am to research differnt possibilities to do this and thus i need to read and study and i think that studying what others might have done would be the same thing as study a book. Sadly i havent found a single book on the subject of loot systems :P


Well yes and no. A key difference is that you can't really cite your sources/references on a forum where people are effectively anonymous. Even if people post their real names, there's still an issue of authority. Many - probably most - people posting on this forum are not employed as games designers. Many are not even in the industry at all. Many are not even out of school yet. Citing a 14 year old student who may have no practical experiences of actually designing games doesn't sound very impressive in your references section, regardless of how good that student's ideas may be.

For that reason, I think it would be better for people to limit their replies in this thread to information about where to find suitable resources, e.g articles, books, existing games etc.

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Original post by Sandman
Quote:
Original post by iller
well sure it might be considered homework. But i am to research differnt possibilities to do this and thus i need to read and study and i think that studying what others might have done would be the same thing as study a book. Sadly i havent found a single book on the subject of loot systems :P


Well yes and no. A key difference is that you can't really cite your sources/references on a forum where people are effectively anonymous. Even if people post their real names, there's still an issue of authority. Many - probably most - people posting on this forum are not employed as games designers. Many are not even in the industry at all. Many are not even out of school yet. Citing a 14 year old student who may have no practical experiences of actually designing games doesn't sound very impressive in your references section, regardless of how good that student's ideas may be.

For that reason, I think it would be better for people to limit their replies in this thread to information about where to find suitable resources, e.g articles, books, existing games etc.


well i wont be citing anyone from here, i'm merely looking for ideeas on how to approach the problem.

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Original post by iller
well i wont be citing anyone from here, i'm merely looking for ideeas on how to approach the problem.


Any ideas relating directly to the subject matter itself should be cited, otherwise you are effectively claiming them as your own.

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Original post by iller
well sure it might be considered homework. But i am to research differnt possibilities to do this and thus i need to read and study and i think that studying what others might have done would be the same thing as study a book.

That's a stretch. Your assignment is to read and analyze, but you're asking us to write "on demand" (on request) the reading that you need to analyze, and that's an attempt to force a loophole in the rule.
You have to look at other games, read up on how their systems work, and work out this problem for yourself.

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Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by iller
well sure it might be considered homework. But i am to research differnt possibilities to do this and thus i need to read and study and i think that studying what others might have done would be the same thing as study a book.

That's a stretch. Your assignment is to read and analyze, but you're asking us to write "on demand" (on request) the reading that you need to analyze, and that's an attempt to force a loophole in the rule.
You have to look at other games, read up on how their systems work, and work out this problem for yourself.


well the thing is there is one other game doing this concept, and nothing is written about making a real cash loot system. So i sort of have to come up with ideas myself. But we are allowed to get design "help" from a teacher at the school so in my eyes this could be considered the same thing sort of. I'm not asking for a full write up of a system, just some basic ideas on how it could work and what you think of my ideas and such.

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Read on virality and monetization. You'll know that, even if the LOOT isn't approached per se, internet has already its share of medias based on money games. You can learn and extrapolate from there.

I won't discuss my personal thoughts however.

Google them up, seriously.

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Original post by iller
But we are allowed to get design "help" from a teacher at the school so in my eyes this could be considered the same thing sort of.


Your teacher will have guidelines on how much help he or she should give, as well as a better understanding of what is required of you for credit. Really, you should be discussing this stuff with your teacher.


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Thinking about turning WoW to a non-gambling version.

Use pvp a lot.

For resource mining have 1 vs. 1 duels so that the last man standing gets the resource. Show the respawn times on the deposits.

For dungeons have team vs. team pvp fights and the last team standing gets to enter the dungeon. Have the loot random but randomize beforehand and announce the final boss loot beforehand so it's not random to the players. Replace need rolls with an auction, possibly with a currency that can only be gained in pvp battles (honor points in WoW for instance) so that the player who wins pays honor points to the others in the team.

Replace random critical strikes with a counter so that each strike/spell with a n% chance adds n to the counter and scores a critical hit when the counter goes over 100.

Make the rare monsters that wonder the world at random and drop rare loot spawn at known places and times but only when no players are inside a certain radius from the spawn point. Guide them by a non-random AI that for instance goes to areas it hasn't gone to in previous spawn cycles or prefers to move to areas players have or haven't been to recently or where normal monsters have or haven't been killed recently.

Again, randomize the loot of those monsters at spawn time but make it possible for the players to learn about what items those monsters will drop - for instance by paying some NPC for the info. [edit]In fact this can work for all monsters - make some race/class ability to scan monsters and learn what their loot is and allow the other races/classes to buy some consumable item that achieves the same - it doesn't matter that they don't use just that they have the _option_ to use it.

You don't have to cite me lol. Also, IANAL so not sure if my ideas would stand in court.

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Original post by swiftcoder
You should probably take the time to watch James Schell's presentation 'Beyond FaceBook' from this year's DICE. It will be a solid source of ideas, if nothing else.


Thank you so much for bring this to my attention. Absolutely fascinating, both scary and yet with the potential for great benefits. Will have to watch it again to fully digest everything he mentioned.

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