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fakemind

real ingame chemistry proposal

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i have a neat idea that i would like to throw out there and have everybody give me their opinions. i was thinking that usually games have preset "materials" i guess you could call them. ie. do you want your armor to be a) steel, b) iron, or c)titanium. where steel wieghs this much and gives this much protection, iron weighs this much and ... etc. and the user simply picks one of these preset materials. well, what if we could have, oh, say 64 basic elements in our game (i just came up with the number 64, but follow me). and then the user could research and try and put elements together in certain order and try and find new chemical materials that would, oh, weigh less but give same protection for example. so there would be a HUGE amount of materials just waiting to be discovered. then when you and your friend fight, your entities in the game could be very diverse depending on which chemicals each of you have stumbled upon while researching. if done right, this could lead to a very high level of replay for the game. a way i could think of to do the ingame chemistry thing is to somehow create a function that would take the string of chemicals and figure out their properties (properties could be anything you wanted i suppose). this function should also be designed so some computer "hacker" couldnt cheat and know the end result chemical properties he wanted and find which chemicals in what order produced the desired result. (we could probably take some information from encryption algorithm developers to figure this part out). what do you think? - jeremiah http://fakemind.com Edited by - fakemind on November 19, 2001 11:52:55 AM

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and they use these materials they invented (with the chemicals) to make armor and stuff?
this sounds pretty cool.
to give the ultimate replayability, have the program make up which combinations make what material each time the game is restarted (they stay the same if you save and go back later, but when you start a new game they change).

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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they could use the materials for armor, or a more powerful explosive, or whatever. it would all depend on the properties of the material (sequence of basic chemicals).

i thought about having it randomize what the basic chemicals produce each game. im still not sure about online multiplayer support for this though, since you would need universal outcomes in this case. also, lets say you have researched for a while and found an awesome material that you want to use against other people and it would be your "secret weapon" or whatever. anyway, how could we get it to work but still keep the people you are playing against from knowing how to produce the same material?

- jeremiah
http://fakemind.com

(editted, had some more ideas)

Edited by - fakemind on November 19, 2001 1:15:49 PM

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It''s a good concept, but you''ll have to make it so that the player can actually predict what the end product will be like, ie, if you have a list of made up elements, the player wouldn''t know shit about what should go with what, hence it will be pure chance whether he/she gets a good combination.

Instead, how about making up a mini periodic table, using the same sort of rules... That would give enough insight into which elements could chemically go with which other elements, yet they wouldn''t be able to recognise names actually used in real life for explosives etc, as the names will be made up.

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hmmm...i made a program which you could make compunds out of stuff on the periodic table and would name them, but it kept giving me the proper name for water

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Intriging idea. It would allow the play to become completely customizable. There is one drawback, you assume the player knows chem. It would be neat if it were just alloys that you could make, but that would limit you to about 10-15 elements. Explosives and the kind of stuff are quite complicated and involve lots of thinking. Still a neat idea.

~mse61

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I think it''s alright for the player to have to know a little chemistry. Or perhaps the game could have a small chem primer. This could be a valuable teaching tool if implemented properly. It''s been too long since I''ve played a game that actually taught me a skill as I was enjoying myself.

FragLegs

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in UltimaIV you had to mix up "reagents" in the proper order and concentrations to make magic spells. i played that game before the internet was readily available, so i had to figure out all the combinations myself (although a few were given away by NPCs). this was with no knowledge of chemistry; if you are not using real-life components, and real-life chemistry (electron shells, valence numbers, ionization energies, etc) then you don''t have to know any real-life chemistry.
fakemind: sorry, i missed it when you said this would be a online game. the formulas would have to be constant then.
oh, and you should allow for certain mixtures (the ones that are found through trial-and-error) to blow up in the would-be chemist''s face

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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Yeah this is a great idea. I am actually implementing that in my game right now, I just need to work out the graphics before I go into it seriously. But if you wanna see my VB game where you can make your own spells just by combining different things, ask me I was also thinking of doing that with spells, too. Let''s say you cast ice blast and then you cast meteor shower. You''ll get the new skill/spell Ice shower! =P Good luck to you.

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hmm, interesting ideas... .

a mini made-up periodic table is a good idea. i also like the idea of the risk of trying new "mixes". like if you were trying to find a more powerful explosive for you to use in the game theres the risk of it being too unstable and harming yourself.

now how would the player go about experimenting with new materials? if we had 16 base chemicals (our made-up periodic elements) .. two combined would give 256 (assuming you cant mix a material with itself: 240), three combined would give 4096 (3360), and four 65536 (43680). you could even incorporate into the game super-awesome elements that require like 6 elements put in the right order: 16777216 (5765760). with these amount of combinations, its not plausible to have the players manually combine elements, there would have to be some sort of automation. i wouldnt want to try each of even 65536 combinations manually, and id probably loose track of which ones ive tried and which ones i havent. lol. so how could we automate the mixing process but still keep it fun and interesting and actually involve the player to think about which "mixes" to try?

- jeremiah
http://fakemind.com

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