Jump to content
  • Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Wavinator

Forcing the player to gamble (cursed items, etc)

This topic is 5944 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I'm dusting off an old space game idea I haven't posted about in awhile (been busy ) There are lots of games, usually cRPGs, that have cursed items or items with unknown characteristics. Some apply the affects as soon as you pick them up, others when you "identify" them. I've got a debate going with a friend on whether this is actually fair, and how to implement this "gamble" that a game forces you to take. I'm applying the concept not just to items, but to people that can come aboard a starship you control. I've got two approaches, and wonder which you think at a glance would be better: Quick Basics, First People essentially are bonuses to your own ship's stats. They also have a wrinkle in the form of * Alliances - Who they're cool with, and who they hate * Quirks - Womanizer, gambler, smug and self-centered, etc. * Skills - These are the bonuses they add to stuff like Engineering, Navigation, etc. First Approach: Transparent Stats My first take is that all of these stats should be visible, and that when you hire someone, you should know what you're "buying." Part of the game, then, is travelling from station to station, trying to find the right people and get them for the right price (as they won't stick around at each base). Second Approach: Forced Gamble A friend thinks the first approach is too boring. He thinks that the player should have to take a risk when he hires someone, and part of the fun would be in dealing with people who turn out to have weird quirks. They'd claim certain skills, just like a real job candidate, but might have hidden drawbacks, or not even completely have the skills they claim to have. It's kind of an interesting approach, but I'm not sure it's entirely fair. Technically, when you force the player to gamble, aren't you removing intelligent play decisions? If they get screwed, it's more a matter of bad luck than bad play, right? Any thoughts? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership... Edited by - Wavinator on February 7, 2002 9:09:58 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I think the ideal is a middle ground with some sophistication. If the graphics are excellent, it might offer hints (based on the character''s looks) as to how he might behave. For example, a self centered character might be vain with his looks.

Even better though, is how the character behaves. The program should model the bahavior of the character based on the stats of the character, and hopefully the player can pick up on these traits to better identify the traits of the character. Additionally, some type of resume might be in order for the character. As an example, what services did he offer before, was he fired, what has he accomplished, who has he worked with, what type of individual is the character with whom he worked with, etc. And then perhaps references could be checked: did he really complete such and such job or did he really work for so and so?

This type of procedural generation of a character''s history could be fun, not terribly difficult to code, and add interesting detail, interest and gameplay strategy.

___________________________________

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a clarification...

I''m taking the absolute low cost approach to this... people will likely be represented by a range of picts or icons, and won''t even be animated (heh, unless procedural generation of head & shoulders busts becomes a possibility).

I''m aiming for the audience that''s comfortable with some level of stat mongering, and don''t expect detailed personal behavors. The idea is to add objects and people which modify percentages, which in turn generate a long serious of weird and quirky events.

For example:

Ned the Drunken Pilot (Example 1)

Occassionally, you get a notice that Ned''s drunk. The length of time that Ned is drunk is the length of time that you''re without your navigation bonus, which could be very bad during a fight.

You can theoretically take action against Ned to correct his behavior (drag & drop stimulants on him, drag & drop him into the brig, etc.).

Geordi the Overcurious Engineer (Example 2)

Every once in awhile, when you dock your ship, Geordi decides that its time to do some tinkering. This randomly improves or dis-improves your ship''s engines and systems when you next take off (or whatever).

The emphasis is on all of this being abstract. The goal is to have a sense of life, with the cheapest dev cost possible.

(Granted, not as satisfying, but hopefully satisfying enough and more likely to be completed.)

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But couldn''t you procedurally generate some history for these characters based on their stats and then have the player make decisions based on that history (perhaps a spotty and suspicious history).

___________________________________

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
But couldn''t you procedurally generate some history for these characters based on their stats and then have the player make decisions based on that history (perhaps a spotty and suspicious history).



Yes, definitely, you''re right. There are a couple of things I could use as indicators, like whether or not they''re "Certified" or have a legendary rep with some ship. Hmmm... and maybe why they left.

Good stuff to think about, and could add lots of atmosphere...


--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe you could also have an intuition stat for the player that will give him a hint as to the person he is about to hire. In real life when you get someones resume, you can read it over and prepare questions for the interview. The interview will allow you to get a sense of the persons real abilities by the way they react to the questions. In the game you could have the player's intuition give him a nudge saying something like "Your gut tells you that this guy is blatantly lying" "You get the sense that most of what he is saying is the truth, but he is still hiding something." Another way would be to use a percentage trust that your intuition tells you about the character. You would just have an intuition bar that fills the amount that you feel you can trust a person. And sometimes it would be wrong and you could hire someone you don't trust for his skills and he turns out to be really good.

To summarize, your intuition gives you a feeling, but you don't know if they are lying about their skills or about not being a criminal, etc...

EDIT: ps. I like the idea of not knowing exactly what you are getting, but I think it should be balanced by the player's experience within the game and he will get better at hiring the right people, eventually.

---
Make it work.
Make it fast.

"Commmmpuuuuterrrr.." --Scotty Star Trek IV:The Voyage Home

Edited by - CaptainJester on February 8, 2002 9:03:06 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Definitely go for the gamble approach.

I''ve always been a fan of the ''play with the hand you''re dealt'' approach.

Give the player some subtle hints that might give away part of an applicant''s character, but let part of the game be the discovery of the personalities of the crewmembers.

Like Bishop_pass mentioned, applicants could have licensed degrees, or maybe a recommendation from a renowned officer. Of course, licenses can be forged, recommendations could be false. You might be able to enlist the help of a specialize crewmember who has learned all about forgeries (useless trait while traveling through the galaxy, but priceless when trying to get new members on your team). You might have a crewmember who knows all the latest gossip, and who might just know that that new crewmember is lying when he says he flew with captain X.

And like CaptainJester said, perhaps you can use intuition to reveal part of an applicant''s background. Perhaps your setting allows for some alien being that can actually read minds to a certain degree. Again, this being would be valuable when scanning applicants, not so valuable when trying to fight off pirates in space.

In short: go for the gamble system and make that one of your game features (well, IMHO)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm... Question: how many crewmembers are we talking about? A nice ship with one main pilot, 2 fighter pilots, a navigator, some gunners, and an engineer or 2 max? Or are we talking battleships with a crew of 60 to 200?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps linking the histories into what the player has discovered. For example, if you come across a ship that has crashed due to (after inspection) engine failure, and later come across the person who claims to have served aboard that ship as chief engineer...

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates
- sleeps in a ham-mock at www.thebinaryrefinery.cjb.net

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I think Ronin_54''s question is key.

I''ll add to that: How much time and effort is the player going to spend on managing personnel as opposed to other activities?

How many choices will the player typically have when looking to hire someone?

How easy is it to remove or change crews? Are there any performance penalties for making a change (think shifting around members of a sports team - temporarily increased inefficiency)?

Does developing detailed info about each crew member fit with the overall vision of the game? Are the crew simple and disposable tokens or does the game include them in detailed interaction (speech, away missions, whatever)?

JSwing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!