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Nomax5

How do you make the spoiler sites work for the developer in your game design ?

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Nomax5    122
Players of popular games have the backing of numerous and sophisticated web spoiler sites, I hear in the case of Everquest some of these sites have full time paid staff !! with a quality any large corporation would be proud of. Their databases are dynamic filled by the players them selves and are very comprehensive. A lot of these sites were duplicated for “Dark age of Camelot” well in advance of the games launch their databases ready and waiting to be filled. Within days of the launch quests were documented, maps were produced, Trade skill max’d and price tables displayed. The game was torn apart for all to see like a corpse on the savannah, thus is the power of the press. I believe these spoiler “organisations” have the power to make or break a game, they are a “necessary evil” with the power of the press and “free speech” on their side. Any new game development must give them serious consideration. In light of this I want to share ideas of how this can be dealt with in the game design. Here is one idea to get us started I’m sure your design doc’s are filled with others. “Phased delivery” I propose that only a portion of the games content is initially launched, with a large amount kept behind for later releases indeed content should be constantly introduced throughout the games life. How do you make the spoiler sites work for the developer in your game design ?

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Symphonic    313
quote:
Original post by Nomax5
“Phased delivery” I propose that only a portion of the games content is initially launched, with a large amount kept behind for later releases indeed content should be constantly introduced throughout the games life.
While I can appreciate where this is going, you will always be able to find a hardcore gamer who will have torn through most of your game on the first day of release, and also documented everything that he/she found. This idea of Phased Delivery, while appealing, can only damage your reputation as a developer, if you have the material you should release it! Otherwise you''re just being a money-monger (whether this is true or not, it is the image that you are putting across).

I have great hopes for Oluseyi''s Narrative Interpolation idea, which promises great things particularly in the field of MMO-games in which servers can be made to spend their time generating quest after quest, which (hopefully) will not be rehashes of previous quests, and nor will they be very predictable.

George D. Filiotis
Are you in support of the ban of Dihydrogen Monoxide? You should be!

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Nein-Ja    122
I''m not an expert or anything, but the solution seems to lie within the problem itself in my opinon.


If your game relies upon mostly ''static'' and ''pre-defined'' content then it should be expected that such things would be analyzed. For there are and always will be those whom make it their goal to gain as intimate and inside information through analysis and experimentation of a game structure to discover its inner workings.


To defeat this the game world has to be expansive and as dynamic as possible, or better yet adaptive to the players and their play-styles. Market economies need to be realistic and dynamic enough to where many factors could influence how and why it operates a certain way, such as a lack of iron ore due to an orc infestation of a local mine making the prices of swords skyrocket as they become in short supply, and a cascade of other events that would be derived from such.


Not having ''fixed'' quests which always lead toward a specific or even a general goal. Quests/adventures/goals/epochs should be generated by the needs of the game world and how the game is being played. For instance since there is a lack of Iron ore, and a bunch of nasty Orcs infesting the mine, a quest may be generated to erradicate the orcs infesting the mine. So say the players drive out the orcs and the dwarves are happy now and can mine their ores, but resultingly the orc-surviors were driven into the nearby forest which upset the elves, and the elves no longer wish to allow the peoples of the land to fell trees for wood, and the cycle continues as the NPC''s and world behaviors that define the world dynamicaly build the content in the long run.


Yet there should also be ''pre-defined'' quests for training newbies in the game world, and to allow newer players to get their feet wet and used to the game world. As well as special event quests generated specificaly by in game moderators which may also spawn automated quests on their own.


There''s no real solution to preventing players from making maps and the like of your game, nor should there be. Yet super-expansive game-universes can be generated proceeduraly that nobody in their lifetime would be able to explore in their entirety, but such methods tend to lack definition and detail and are repetitive.



Although I must honestly admit there isn''t any system that cannot be deciphered given enough time and certain baselines can be drawn by these "spoiler-sites" for which players can reference from, but in effect it is helpful in it''s own little way. For they provide references and insite into your game that average players may not have know about and will make them want to play themselves to find out about on their own.


In summary I would just say that by providing enough ''consistent'' content to allow for the "Spoilers" to generate interest, and have enough ''dynamic'' content to leave a level of uncertainty and unpredictability in the game, so that nobody can always say "Been there done that."


Nein!

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benfinkel    136
Why concern yourself with them as a developer?

People are going to try to open your game and rip it''s innards out, no matter what you do. What effect does that have on your game?

The idea is make something that is fun for as many people as possible. Some gain enjoyment out of finding/creating that content, and others gain enjoyment out of using that content. Why would you wish to deny or remove that aspect of enjoyment from your game?

User knowledge doesn''t change the game at all (unless via cheats, which are a totally separate issue), it merely changes that particular user''s experience. As a game developer, you are out to steer their experience, not control it.

--Ben


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Kylotan    10010
I agree with Nein-Ja 100%. You can''t create content faster than they can log or analyse it. Instead, your system should be largely dynamic, procedural, and emergent. Dynamic in this sense implies that the players or the developers can make significant changes to the game very easily. Perhaps they can build houses, or burn them down, take over areas, and so on. Procedural refers to the ability to automatically generate content. Given a good algorithm, you can create enough generic content to keep people happy. Add good design tools to customise this and it won''t be discernible from a totally hand-made world. And the emergent side is achieved by making the true value of the game come out through interactions between objects and players. These interactions shouldn''t be pre-programmed: instead, they should be a side-effect of the properties of the items.

I don''t think you can make these sites really work for you, but I think you can minimize the negative impact of them while still giving them something to write about. (Positive publicity for you.)

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