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Demiurgic_Amon

Which is the more complicated mechanic: Set-in-stone, or build it yourself equipment?

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I've come up with yet another long term project that (hopefully) has lower resource requirements than my previous suggested project, but the key to most of that is the use of the game's customization/equipment creation system (which does not have pre-made equipment for player use; it instead allows you to create your own armor and weapons in specific patterns that are partially pre-ordained.)

 

What I mean by this is all equipment used by the player is created by them using different materials that determine what the weapon will be, such as a hilt for swords and daggers, a shaft for spears and halberds, different stock and barrel lengths for guns, etc. The same is done with armors, with lamellar, laminar, scale, plate, and splint (among other) patterns available.

 

However, the question I came to ask was if having all the equipment pre-made and "set in stone" would be easier to do than the reversal I had just described above. The reason being that I have noticed that no other game has used the system I have described, and I wonder if there is a good reason that nobody has tried the system I proposed yet.

 

There are other reasons the game could be complex, but one way to cut down on the resources necessary while still having a customization system with a significant degree of depth would be to use the method described above (or is it?)

 

Anyways, what do all the professional game developers think of this system? Would it be more complicated that using pre-created gear?

 

 

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I don't have a total answer but I would think having it all flexible like that would make balance more difficult (depending on the type of game of course). I can't think of a game off the top of my head that does it entirely this way (maybe Minecraft but that's a lot more basic). Fallout 4 is having a similar system where players have incredible freedom to craft where stats are determined by what the weapon is composed of. Worth taking a look if you haven't just as it is so cool.

 

I like your idea, I don't see it as really being a problem and I am sure it has been done before. It does take control out of your hands and put it into the player's hands but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Edited by Nanoha

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obviously, variable weapons (IE weapon design) is going to be more complex to implement that hard coded weapon types.

 

Yes, that I understand, but would it be more costly and require more resources that hard-coded weapons?

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The biggest challenge I foresee with custom weapons would be the interface users use to create the weapons. The resource consumption logic as well as weapon stats logic could be kept fairly simple. I guess the artwork would also be more work, but may not be too bad. You could have a single piece of artwork for each part and simply recolor it for different material types.

 

Another thing you should consider is complexity for the player. Having to learn the forging mechanic along side with the other mechanics of your game can be overwhelming if you try to throw too much at the player. If you do decide to allow players to forge weapons and armor, I would be sure to introduce it gradually and be sure not to throw too much at them at the start of the game.

 

I do like the idea, I think it would be a great mechanic for those who want to master the game. You could have some pre built items for the player to find for those who don't want to dive deep into the forging mechanic, but you could allow the more dedicated players to explore the forging mechanic to try and build the most powerful weapons adding more depth to the game.

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Yes, that I understand, but would it be more costly and require more resources that hard-coded weapons?

 

depends on your definition of costly:

 

1. a weapons design system will require more design time to come up with the rules, than it would to come up with the rules for a set number of hard coded weapon types. balanced rules that make sense and work with the rest of the game are vital.

2. additional weapon design UI screens are required, this requires additional UI design time. a well thought out and thoroughly tested weapon design UI is required.

3. more code required to implement. both the rules and UI screens.

 

graphics can use a shared pool of resources to draw weapons using a CSG type approach. you might actually end up with more weapon combos possible for a given amount of graphics assets than with hard coded weapon types and graphics for each type.

 

audio can use a shared pool, but doesn't "CSG" as nicely as 2D sprites or 3D meshes. realtime mixing can be used to expand the number of sounds you get from a given number of wavs, but results may not be impressive. so the total number of sound effects can be a limiting factor. and thus an area where you may want more assets to work with, which means creating more assets, which is more work.

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Yes, that I understand, but would it be more costly and require more resources that hard-coded weapons?

 

This would depend on how many weapons you would have hard-coded.

With a good working systen, you can have many more weapons through build-it-yourself,

these weapons will tend to be uninspired/not individual pieces of art, which means the players will need to provide more of the (creative) content.

The cost(s) will, off course, depend on your overall design, and not just one part of the design,

and likely it would be better to see which design choice you yourself are better with thus decreasing cost.

 

edit:ninja'd by Norman

Edited by powerneg

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edit:ninja'd by Norman

sorry man - my katana is swift! <g>. 

 

5738329_orig.jpg

 

PS i actually own one of these. its a blue orchid. and yes, i own a copy of "the art of drawing the sword".  ph34r.png

Edited by Norman Barrows

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Hardcoded weapons/items are easier to implement - unless you're planning on hard-coding 100s of them.

 

Hardcoded weapons are simple instances and won't require the bookkeeping that a customizable weapon system would require.

 

An alternative to the possible hassle of a complicated weapon customization system is a hard-coded customization system. So instead of having a "Weapon" which consists of an attached "Hilt" "Blade" "etc", you hardcode all the permutations. Manually if there isn't a ton of them, via a script if there is a ton of them.

 

So you have something like this when the program starts if you want 100s of them:

foreach( hilt in Hilts ){

foreach(blade in Blades){

foreach(doodad in Doodads){

MakeNewWeapon(hilt,blade,doodad);

}

}

}

 

then MakeNewWeapons looks up whatever stats that particular component adds to the weapon, creates a Weapon item in a list called WeaponsList or whatever and *kazam* you've got 100s of weapons. Then when a player creates the weapon, you find the right weapon in the list using the components the player used to "create" their weapon.

 

You'll still have to have all of the logic that a standard customization system would require ( classes for each component) but you won't have to track and save new instances, since they'll already exist. Your "weapon" object will just be a single class instead of a class with references to other classes. Plus, your player inventory will probably just hold an index number. So Gold Blade, Gold Hilt, Emerald Doodad = 341 or whatever.

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