Sign in to follow this  
chaosmech

Something for Everyone?

Recommended Posts

This idea has been stewing in my head for a while, and has only recently come to the front burner, so to speak.

I want to start by recognizing that not everyone is going to like every game. People have their preferences, and so it would be ridiculous and unfeasible to try to force everyone into a certain type of game.
However, I am proposing a game that would combine many different genres of game into one, not forcibly so, either. It would be an MMO space game, but would essentially incorporate elements of multiple genres into the efforts of a faction toward an end goal. For example, a faction would be overseen (oversaw?) by a 4X player who would guide things generally, such as diplomacy, production, research, etc. Space battles would be conducted in the Space RTS style (in my mind, like Star Wars: Empire at War). Planets, or more specifically, cities on planets, could be built/goverened/maintained by a SimCity aficionado. Ground battles would be conducted by traditional RTS players. On the ground itself, however, the FPS players could vastly affect the tide of a battle, much more so than an AI-controlled soldier under the supervision of the RTS player. Research for a faction could be boosted by players playing puzzle games. Those who prefer space flight sims like Freespace would have fighters available for flying within the scope of the space RTS. Every facet of play (FPS, RTS, 4X, etc) would affect at some level every other facet. The working factor is that you'd have to trust those on both the "higher" and "lower" levels to know what they're doing, since the higher levels can't directly control you, but perhaps they can see something you can't. The "higher" levels have to trust the "lower" levels to do their task better than the AI could.

I guess the question I'm really asking is this: is such a game even possible from a market perspective? I've dabbled in many of the different game genres, and sometimes I find one too tedious when I've played it for a while. Then I have to switch games entirely and lose all progress, like I'm starting entirely anew. From my perspective, being able to still contribute to a faction regardless of what I'm doing (4X, puzzles, RTS) would be a great thing. What are your thoughts on such a game? Would you play it? What other genres could be incorporated into the game? Is it absolutely impossible from a technical perspective, or do we just have to wait for better technology?

Thanks for your time and attention

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This idea has been flung around quite a lot. Keyword here is: complex. As in "making this kind of game is enormously complex".

I would probably play it, if done right. But chances are such a project would suffer from overreach and feature creep and, in time, would just horribly fail. Also, how would strategic-tactical perspectives merge exactly? A 4X player doesn't exactly enjoy having his units disobey orders, or go wandering off on their own because they have "better things to do.." - same goes for RTS players. And don't even get me started on what someone playing this as an FPS character would think if he had to wait until an engagement became available.
In the end, this is all solvable from a game design perspective. The real question then becomes: how do you manage such a game without it becoming a gigantic juggernaut of fail?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since every "minigame" would be worse than a full game of that genre, no, I wouldn't play it.

It would also cost a fortune to make and no one would fund it.

Scope! It's not just mouthwash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='rip-off' timestamp='1297963354' post='4775468']
Pong, Tetris, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Peggle, Farmville...
[/quote]
And Shanghai (and all of its clones).
In other words, "of course it's possible, games that can be played and enjoyed by 'everyone' have been made many times before."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well. It's possible to build an MMO which has multiple types of parallel optional content rather than one linear type of content. But you're basically making one game for each type of content, so if you want three types of content you're doing the work of making three types of game. And many of your players will totally skip one or two of those games. If you're combining multiple casual gameplay types, or several casual with one hardcore, that seems to work pretty well. But combining multiple hardcore types doesn't seem likely to go over well. Just look at Spore - professionals with a big budged, but they were trying to put too many types of games into one and they got a skeleton with barely any content worth playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='DarklyDreaming' timestamp='1297961536' post='4775454']
This idea has been flung around quite a lot. Keyword here is: complex. As in "making this kind of game is enormously complex".

I would probably play it, if done right. But chances are such a project would suffer from overreach and feature creep and, in time, would just horribly fail. Also, how would strategic-tactical perspectives merge exactly? A 4X player doesn't exactly enjoy having his units disobey orders, or go wandering off on their own because they have "better things to do.." - same goes for RTS players. And don't even get me started on what someone playing this as an FPS character would think if he had to wait until an engagement became available.
In the end, this is all solvable from a game design perspective. The real question then becomes: how do you manage such a game without it becoming a gigantic juggernaut of fail?
[/quote]
The strategic-tactical perspectives would not merge seamlessly; from a technological and gameplay perspective, that would be near-impossible. Instead, there would be "slots" for a particular position, say, the commander of a region with an RTS perspective. The higher you go, the fewer the spots and the less likely you are to be able to get to a spot. That being said, the "higher" levels also require much more human supervision and can't be abstracted by AI nearly as much, so there's a much higher demand which can make up for the fewer spots. Switching perspectives or roles would not be instantaneous, just as you couldn't instantly travel from HQ to the frontlines instantly.

As for the interaction between "higher" and "lower" levels, the fact that not all of your units obey you is actually a crucial piece of the game. All the AI-controlled units, would, of course, do exactly as you say, but you have to balance the increased benefit you get from good human players with the fact that they might not fit into your grand scheme. It's a balance every military commander (particularly naval ones) have to balance; between autonomy and expertise on the low levels and cohesion on the high levels. This would, I think, be a much more accurate representation of a "real life" war scenario.

You're absolutely right about having to wait. I imagined at first that the number of people involved and the size of the galaxy would essentially mean that there would always be SOME engagement raging, but you make an excellent point, especially in the early pieces of the game where each faction is sort of getting its footing and probably not fighing a whole lot.

To this end, I suggest "simulation" battles available, similar to playing against the AI in an RTS as opposed to multiplayer or the campaign mode. It would be instant action, and would count as if you were simply playing it in a simulator in-universe; no huge losses from losing, no huge gains from winning, but it would be a facet of one's reputation which would increase the chances of being respected and/or hired by a faction. You wouldn't have to wait for a "real" engagement to get going on any level, and puzzle games could be done all the time. It could also be multiplayer, like if you wanted set up a little 4v4 deathmatch in FPS mode.

[quote name='rip-off' timestamp='1297963354' post='4775468']
Pong, Tetris, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Peggle, Farmville...

Or are you only talking about something that would appeal to hardcore gamers of the various game genres?
[/quote]

Mostly I was referring to genres of game, like FPS, RTS, Sim, Puzzle, etc. From what I'm understanding, you're suggesting classic arcade-style games. I'm all for it, but I can't see how they could contribute to the overall objective of a faction. Got any suggestions?

[quote name='typedef struct' timestamp='1297964297' post='4775482']
Since every "minigame" would be worse than a full game of that genre, no, I wouldn't play it.

It would also cost a fortune to make and no one would fund it.

Scope! It's not just mouthwash.
[/quote]

The game as I envision it is designed to appeal to gamers who want to play multiple games of different genres but only purchase (or open) one. And while it probably wouldn't be able to match the giants of the respective genres, the appeal I believe is in those who enjoy multiple genres of game and might like to see their efforts in the different areas contribute to a single endgoal. So while the RTS section may not be as great as Starcraft, it would have a 4X or FPS element that Starcraft could never have. I dunno, I find this to be an attractive prospect.

I'm also attempting to gauge whether or not the idea is even worth pursuing. I don't imagine it would be easy or cheap, but if the demand for anything is great enough, there will be funding and there will be effort. I'm pretty sure WoW costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to run every year, but it is still one of the most successful games of all time. I'm just wondering if the demand for such a thing (which would appeal to multiple genres of gamers) would be enough to justify the time/monetary cost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think that your idea, while incredibly complex, is probably doable. But you'd need a huge pool of resources to draw from, in order to resolve the issues people have posted above.

But I think that there are a lot of differences between game genres that would be really, really hard to resolve. Like time, for example. The time scale in a 4x game is massive, decades or even centuries. The time scale in a SimCity-esque game is much smaller, decades, perhaps. An RTS? Who knows, since they have to train units one at a time on demand and build/research all of their equipment for each engagement.

How much depth would there be in each component? If the technological level of an entire space empire is low, like at the early stages of a game, is there less research to be done on the field for the RTS part? How would you compensate for the reduction in play choices that results for the RTS player? A big part of city building sims is building the city. Once a city hits a certain size, how would you motivate players to continue running them? How do the technological advances at the 4X level affect the options available to the city builder?

These are just a few example questions, but there are going to be a lot of design issues in blending such distinct game types, each of which already takes liberties with logic or reality in order to make that type of game fun to play.

Easier solutions might involve abstracting each component from the others. That is, RTS players may be thrown into a campaign given certain starting conditions which will represent broad stages of 4X game. If you collect information about how individual campaigns and battles unfold under those conditions, you could apply them to the 4X player's game. If there is a war, a city might suffer damage from a battle. This could be an event a city would have to deal with in a scenario in which there is a war, with the amount of damage being estimated from RTS matches that took place under similar conditions to the scenario the city builder is playing under.

A method like above doesn't allow for direct interactivity between game types, but it allows the events in each type of game provide a richer impact on the other types based on what players actually do, rather than what the game designer's algorithm dictates will happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[b]The Enabling Circumstance
[/b]
Re: chaosmech

It can be done. Not only can it be done, but it can even save development time. In my judgement the question on
evaluation, i.e. "whether it can be done", is closed. The question should be on design: i.e. how can it be done effectively?

In my analysis, I am not just considering your narrowed case about RTS, FPS, 4X. I am considering the fundamental
question. You can consider these questions in this order:

1. Is it possible to throw a party that every one of your friends want to go? Even if it is a potluck?
2. Is it possible to throw a party that your entire neighborhood would want to go, even if it is a potluck, and some of the
.. neighbors have never met?
3. Is it possible to throw an online party that every one of your friends who has regular access online would want to
.. participate? Even if they prepare something or create something to share?
4. Is it possible to throw an online party that all members who are regular visitors of an entire network would want to
.. participate? Even if they have to create or do something for some other members that they have never met?

If you think in terms of design, this is what you think:

[i]In what [b]circumstance[/b] would the situations above happen?
[/i]
In other words, think like this:

"This game has been online for 10 years and it is still [i]the[/i] combined game for RTS, FPS, and 4X. Why do you think
it happens? What do you think is the most important thing that this game did right, from the beginning? What did the
designer know from the beginning that made the game a success?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Wai' timestamp='1298003055' post='4775698']
It can be done. Not only can it be done, but it can even save development time. In my judgement the question on
evaluation, i.e. "whether it can be done", is closed. [/quote]

Since you're asking us to trust your judgement, could you provide some qualification for it? What makes you capable of making such a statement so authoritatively that you don't need to provide evidence or even rhetoric? Or are you just talking out of your ass?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Re: typedef struct

In my post I deleted a few lines. The original first paragraph was like this:

"I don't have the charima nor the motivation to convince the others that it can be done. So just between you and me, the question on evaluation: i.e.
whether it can be done, is closed. The remain question is on design: i.e. how it can be done."

I deleted it because I realized that if I said "between you and me", I could be misunderstood as thinking that no one else so far understood that it
could be done. Therefore, I am not asking you to trust my judgement. I am trying to give the OP assurance that if this thread becomes a debate and
stays on the question "whether it can be done", it would just be a waste of his time.

I don't have a reason to convince anyone else. It is not my priority. If later on I explain it and you happen to read it, they you will know it. If I don't
explain, why would you care anyway? This isn't even something you want to do. If you don't even believe in the design, what is the point of my
explaining about the design tools?

But the bottomline is: Why would I care if you don't understand it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have not read your first post, but I will reply nevertheless :D The thing is I wouldn't play it. I wouldn't play it because I don't like the concept of a game for everyone and even if you managed to make one that is super excellent and would be loved by me I would not play it because I would not know about it. I would simply ignore such a game and you would have no chance of marketing it to me.

I could give more reasons, but that one is the most accurate. As a player I would just ignore such a game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just think of it like this: Trying to please everyone is like trying to balance spinning plates on sticks. One plate/stick combo is pretty lame. Two is good, Three is risky, but still awesome. Try adding four or ten or twenty-nine and then they will start falling and cracking. The more people you try to please the easier it is to not please them. It's best to stick to a moderate amount and just focus all your energy onto a few things than the vast majority. That is why people specialize instead of being generalists.

If you had four guys who were alright at coding/art/music/design/writing, or four guys that only know their respective field, but know it better, which is going to perform better?

Overall, it's a noble thought to make "Something for Everyone" but to do so is very hard and hardly ever goes as planned. I'm not telling you this to break your dreams or anything, but more to aim your creativity in a better direction, I guess?

Anyway, it's an opinion of mine, so take it lightly like with all other opinions.

PS: Remember SPORE? They did something similar, take a look at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Zummy' timestamp='1298049841' post='4775969']
Just think of it like this: Trying to please everyone is like trying to balance spinning plates on sticks. One plate/stick combo is pretty lame. Two is good, Three is risky, but still awesome. Try adding four or ten or twenty-nine and then they will start falling and cracking. The more people you try to please the easier it is to not please them. It's best to stick to a moderate amount and just focus all your energy onto a few things than the vast majority. That is why people specialize instead of being generalists.

If you had four guys who were alright at coding/art/music/design/writing, or four guys that only know their respective field, but know it better, which is going to perform better?

Overall, it's a noble thought to make "Something for Everyone" but to do so is very hard and hardly ever goes as planned. I'm not telling you this to break your dreams or anything, but more to aim your creativity in a better direction, I guess?

Anyway, it's an opinion of mine, so take it lightly like with all other opinions.

PS: Remember SPORE? They did something similar, take a look at that.
[/quote]

Another game to look at would be The Saboteur. That game tried to be way to many things all at once. The end result was kind of a mess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Zummy' timestamp='1298049841' post='4775969']

PS: Remember SPORE? They did something similar, take a look at that.
[/quote]

SPORE is not as bad as people often make out. Yes i did die inside once ihad played but that was because of my expectations above anything else. Each"level" or section of the game was relatively good, especially theinitial two levels, but they were all very basic. In the end it was obviouslyaimed at a much younger audience, which yes is rather stupid for such a"complex" genre, and several people who were around 10 at the time ofits release loved it to bits. There are things to be learnt from SPORE but ithink that’s mostly from a marketing point of view in my opinion.

Anyway before i go on to much about SPORE I'll to back to the originaltopic.

Would there be a market for it? Yes probably, CO-OP gaming is becoming morepopular and this fits snugly into that, the wide range of appeal could be agreat selling point as well.

Would it be expensive? Yes to be done properly anyway. Chances are you wouldneed to create your own engine and unlike other games you will have to makeseveral very good games instead of just one. This could mean, if you have fourgenres in a game, you will have to have four games that could stand uprelatively well on their own.

Is it possible? Yes i would think so but as i kind of said before it’s justa case of time and money. You would also need some very talented programmers etc.for it to work smoothly.

Would i play it? Personally i have always wanted to design/play a game likethis so yes i almost certainly would, if it was done well of course.

As for my general thoughts on the game you described i would have to agreewith most of the other posters. It’s very complex the nature of it would meanyou would be inevitably tempted to add more elements to the game which wouldalmost certainly ruin it in the end. This sort of project would require you tobe very very strict with what you do and how you do it, even more than youwould have to be when you design a "normal" game. If i was you iwould at least attempt to design you own standalone game for each of the genresyou intent to use instead of jumping in at the deep end as it were. You couldplan to do what CCP are doing with EvE and DUST "random number i never remember"i.e. make one game that’s a space based MMOG then later create another, in thiscase an FPS, that has some form of indirect effect on the MMOG and visa-versa.There even issues with that but it may work a lot better in the end than an allin one game.

In terms of game-play there would need to be several tweaks from what youhave said. In the RTS sections i would be tempted not to make them classicRTSs, I’m thinking mainly about the ground one, but to make them almostRainbow6 or even the Savage series style of games. One of the FPS players is a"commander" and can call in certain support/create buildings/giveorders but the whole time there’s very much on the ground and part of theaction not just sitting over-viewing the battle. The other elements would, inmy opinion, need to be largely independent from each other in a sense. Havingan amateur city builder or in fact not having one at all at the current timewould not penalise a 4X player to much and make the game impossible for the 4Xplayer. Also what would happen if it took a few weeks to build a perfect cityonly to have it destroyed a day later by another faction? There’s a reason theSim City doesn't have another player storming your city with troops at random.

The more i think about it the more i think it is doable but also the overreliance on a guild like system and thus limit the appeal of such a game to adegree. It may work better as a single player but that would probably requirecutting back in areas.






Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
" It would be an MMO space game"

Well you've already lost me as a player. I don't really have the time to play MMOs, and space is probably my least favorite setting for a game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah I thought about this a little while ago. I'm making a game at the moment (no name yet but based on elite/frontier). I have more than 750 million star systems all totally different with individual planets. My aim is to be able to land on said planets and leave the ship and interact with the environment. But I was thinking along the lines of everything that could be done with it and thought of an amazing idea......

I think the best way to do what you're thinking of is to have something like what I've been doing but having some sort of content creation tool in-game so that people can all program extra content for the game that everyone else can use too. Imagine on one of my worlds someone creates a Colin Mcrae style Racing track. Anyone that wants to play a racing game could then go there, Pay the creator to race there (ingame currency maybe) and off they go. That way some worlds with have cities with Bowling alleys, dance clubs, casinos etc. Could even become so successful that game companies would start making games for not only the pc/wii/ps3/xbox etc but also for "The Galaxy Platform" LOL. Think of it as a cross between Elite/Grand Theft Auto/Second Life etc :rolleyes:

edit...I think second life tries to do this but it just doesnt work at all well. grand theft auto 4 has some success in it and i sometimes load that up now just to play pool for a laugh :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd like to make my comment on something else than how possible and complex it is.

I'm more inclined to agree sunandshadow. It wouldn't be really a game for everyone. It would be a compilation of several games together. And I personally think it wouldn't be something for everyone.

People don't like too much complexity. As they say less is more. And this type of installment would just add unnecessary things to games that people are used to play. It would be something similar to sports festival. It's fun to gather for that type event once in a year for a few days. But the longer and more complex it is the less people will understand what their actual individual goal is.

The most complex thing here isn't the engine. It's how to merge all these games together in a way that players wouldn't feel restricted and confused. As example I would like to present you with a situation: A match is lost. FPS players feel like they did their best but lost due to the faults of the RTS players. And it repeats over and over. How to handle the frustration that would arise? If any of the games would limit the possibilities of others then the players would stop playing it. And if we remove any type of limits then what is the point of merging them together.

This post isn't meant to discourage or offend in any way. It's meant to point to a problem I see within this idea and I'd like to hear how this could be prevented. If a mechanism to actually pull this off would be found then it would make one epic gaming universe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]It would be a compilation of several games together. And I personally think it wouldn't be something for everyone.
[/quote]

I understand what you mean there as many games are starting to try and do this and failing. I am a great fan of science fiction though and really interested in how a lot of things which are predicted in books usually come to fruition. (<did i spell that right lol) A recurring theme is always how life becomes more and more emulated in viirtual reality and I think one day you will go into a gaming environment in order to actually code and distribute your game and it will be played in that world. Complicated yes? But did we think 15 years ago that the internet would be what it now is? ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Don't forget the technical side. Imagine a pair of maxed 200 supply armies duking it out. But you've got an FPS player in there, so now imagine instead of units taking damage as fast as the AI can decide which one to shoot, you have to raycast for a bullet against the hitboxes of those 400 units. The computational requirements grow pretty fast. If the level above the FPS was a turn based strategy, you might be able to pull that off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@Equality: If we ignore the time factor then technical side doesn't really matter when discussing a concept. Because sooner or later the technologies will be able to handle it. If this idea would be tried to implemented right now then... I don't know. I'm not experienced enough to evaluate whether or not it would be possible from the technical side.

@Spacer: I see your point. Personally I'm pretty sure that when after 20 years I'll take a look in the past I'll be amazed how different things and possibilities have become. However I'm more pointing to a different factor here. Human. And as closer we get to simulating reality in games the more I remember the quote "Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else." People don't look for reality in games. They want to feel that exactly because of their effort something has changed, that they have achieved something. And frequently reality doesn't offer strong enough stimulus to satisfy this desire.

To be clear I'm not talking about games in general. I'm talking about computer games oriented to planting player within a world where he expects to have both a role and freedom.

PS. Fruition it is. When in doubt consult to Google :) (English isn't my native language)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this