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What's wrong with this game design?

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It could be a difficult question, but well, I''m open for (clever) critics. In the past, I developed a game called EDIA, which you can download from here. Right now I''m working in a similar game, and I''m seriously thinking on making it a sequel of that old game (though much better, using all I learnt these two years). Partly, what makes me want to make a sequel of that game, is the revenge sense. I''ve always felt that game wasn''t all it could have been, specially in the game design. Here follows a list of the things I think should be improved in the next version of it: * Add tons more of enemies, as to add it variety. Also I''m going to separate the game in zones of a map, which you can choose and play agains different enemies (and in different places) for every zone. * The original version is too much difficult. And too short. Usual plays don''t last more than 5 minutes (depending on how fast you shoot), and for the beginner it could even last just a few seconds. And yes, it''s real hard to win. I myself wasn''t able to win it without cheating until late 2001, and that was just after a lot of training. * As I said before, it lacks variety. Most of the players I asked have told me at the start it seemed it was one of those infinite games, with no levels, ending, or different enemies (while it''s not, just that you don''t see the changes until you don''t play for a while). Right now I can''t think of any more. Maybe some of you can try playing it and telling me what should be improved to make the same idea a lot more interesting to play. I''ll be looking at this threads, all your comments, questions and messages are welcome (I''ll reply those here, too). Again, you can download the game from here. And for those who are interested in being notified as soon as there are news about that (or other) game(s) from me, just sign my newsletter (I''ll be probably releasing that as shareware in some months). Thanks a lot in advance, --DK --H. Hernán Moraldo http://www.hhm.com.ar/ Sign up to the HHM''s developers'' newsletter.

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Before thinking of upgrading your previous game... try to think of the gameplay and fun first !!!! That is the key of a good game ! After will come all arts, sounds, AI ....

If your game is too hard, try to make it easier ! You want to add a tons of enemies !! But if actually players can't beat the ones existing, how will they do with all these new enemies !?

If your game "looks" endless (and is not), and if it's a problem for the players, let them know where they are in the game : tell them they will have to finish X levels, or beat Y enemies ... or display a map where they could see the entire game and so on...

Here are some thoughts I wish they could help...




[edited by - brunow on March 19, 2002 10:19:28 AM]

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quote:
Original post by brunow
Before thinking of upgrading your previous game... try to think of the gameplay and fun first !!!! That is the key of a good game ! After will come all arts, sounds, AI ....

If your game is too hard, try to make it easier ! You want to add a tons of enemies !! But if actually players can''t beat the ones existing, how will they do with all these new enemies !?



Fun is the highest factor in my list of priorities, that''s why I posted this message. I''ve already thought in ways to solve the problems I listed in my last message, as you say, by making it easier (though coming more difficult through the different levels), displaying some indicator during the game to show how far has the player came until now, etc.

You are right in which it wouldn''t be intelligent to add new enemies, when the current players can''t go through the existing ones. However, I''m not thinking in updating the old game, but in making an entire one based on the same original idea, but with improved gameplay. New enemies would be added at the same time the learning curve in the game would be made less suffering. This way it would make sense, I suppose.

quote:

Here are some thoughts I wish they could help...



Thanks a lot for your opinion.


Could some of you please try that game (downloadable from here) and tell me what other defects (apart from the ones I''ve already listed) you are able to see in the gameplay? Again, I''ll be glad to know your opinion about it. Critics and commentaries are welcome

--DK
--H. Hernán Moraldo
http://www.hhm.com.ar/
Sign up to the HHM''s developers'' newsletter.

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I played your game a few times. Like a lot of parallax scrolling shooters it is repetitive and its gameplay is ordinary - there is next to no strategy involved besides hitting the space bar and avoiding things. After the first 3 minutes into the game I was thinking ''is this ever going to end?''. I dont know if anything major changes after 30,000 points, so correct me if I''m mistaken. This paragraph might sound a bit harsh, but I''d expect the same from the game I''m making at the moment too

There are a lot of ways you could introduce some variety. Your idea of zones and new enemies in each zone is a good one. It will give the gamer a break between levels and if done in the right way could introduce some strategic thinking - "I could take the long path or the quick path, but the quick path is more risky" or "I dont need to do those extra two levels, but I get a nifty reward for it". Mario Bros 3 used a similar zone structure and worked pretty well.

I dont know if you have ''boss'' monsters in your current game. ''Boss'' monsters gives the player a challenge at the end of the level and reduces the feel of everything you kill being the same but just look different.

Another simple idea is bullet upgrades to your ship. The upgrades will come as a reward for killing enemies and/or compeleting levels. There are lots of ways this could be implemented:
- permanent upgrades or one-off''s for the next level only or temporary upgrades during the level, which the player must achieve something to get.
- levels of upgrades for a particular ''line'' eg bullet speed upgrade 1-5, where upgrade 1 is the slowest and the 5th upgrade is the fastest
- perhaps the player has to buy upgrades with points, or money that is dropped by enemies they kill - this gives them an incentive to kill more enemies and move around on the screen more.

One thing you may have not thought about is a compelling storyline. I dont know whether you would want to go THIS far, but a good storyline sure makes people finish a game to find out the ending even if they find the game becoming very repetitive.

Anyway, these are some simple ideas which have been proven to work (to some degree) in many different game genres. I''m not sure how much you want to change the game around from its original design, but the zones idea alone will do a lot for it.

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Hi,

Thanks a lot for replying to my thread, dire11... your post has been very useful for me.

quote:

I dont know if anything major changes after 30,000 points, so correct me if I''m mistaken. This paragraph might sound a bit harsh, but I''d expect the same from the game I''m making at the moment too


Well, 30000 points is very in the beginning of the game... but that''s exactly what I meant when I said that it''s very common for the players not to see any advances at all in the game, and to abandon it just for that reason. I think that was probably the biggest mistake I did in EDIA, and you are 100% right in pointing it.

My plan until now, for the next version of the game, is very similar to what you say in the mail. Together with the zones, and tons more of different enemies, I have in mind adding a big amount of good looking weapons for the player (though I still don''t know what mechanism to use to give those to the player), and making big fat ugly bosses for the end of every "zone" (trying to make those make sense with the rest of the zone, as it works in the Megaman series of games). I''ve also thought in letting the player choose between different ships and characters to go by the game.

About the storyline, I know there will be at least a small one, but I''m not real sure yet, about how big it will be. I''d like to make a very strong one, as you say because it makes the game a lot more fun to play, but I don''t know how much time I will have for this... Also, a very strong storyline could make it more difficult to implement a zones system where the player can choose where to start.

Again, thanks a lot for trying my game and writing such an useful post. If you have anything else in mind, please reply once again.

quote:
I''m not sure how much you want to change the game around from its original design, but the zones idea alone will do a lot for it.



I''m going to change the original game design almost in every way possible, so I''m ready to implement any useful changes I read in this thread. I''ve been working in the current game for half a month until now, so I already have some a lot of clear ideas about it and a quite defined game design... however, I would not like to fall again in any mistake I could have already made in the first version of the game. So, any advice you think you could tell to me to improve the original game design, please tell me!

Best regards,


--DK
--H. Hernán Moraldo
http://www.hhm.com.ar/
Sign up to the HHM''s developers'' newsletter.

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some times a game should only be made once,left for what it was
like GODS"by BitMap Brothers.

on the uther hand were is Doom3 ????

some times it better to start all over "still holding to the lines of the design doc as a reference..

ps..go hard

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quote:
some times it better to start all over "still holding to the lines of the design doc as a reference..


That''s the idea. I''m making the game from ground up, the only things I maintain from EDIA 1 are the story, and the main game design, just that very improved in every aspect.

I wanted to make a sequel of that game because it was kinda a revenge... this time I want to make it right.


--DK
--H. Hernán Moraldo
http://www.hhm.com.ar/
Sign up to the HHM''s developers'' newsletter.

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go hard grasshopper and beleve in your self and all will come true ...gameplay is very inportant to a game ,in a way its the games pulse.

doing it in 3d is knot as easy as you think ,iv seen many 3d games that are f.cken crap ,but are cool as they are in 3d .
im undre the inpresion the "$" has taken away the shere "art" of game design.

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Well, I didn''t play your game(I''m a little busy, sorry), but a
word of advice...If you''re going to make it a sequel to the
original(meaning storyline), either a. Redo the first game and
make it fun to play or b. Make sure that the storyline is self-
contained or at least provide a good summary of the previous
game.

Personally, I like to play games in the order they were written.
And I don''t want to sit through hours of repetitive gameplay for
a background to the game I really want to play.

Just my ni yen...

-Hyatus
"da da da"

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Here is a thought: (btw I can''t play your game, ''cos I''m at work. sorry!)

You say you''re not sure if you have time to make a detailed story. . . well why not contact a few people from the writing forum? This is true for the music and sounds in your game too- plenty of people over in the music & sound forum. For the most part, these people would *love* to get a chance to show what they can do on an actual game, and alot of them are very talented (and will work for free ). . . just thought I''d point that out. . . I''m always surprised that more people don''t think of this.

If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him. -apocryphal

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Hey!

Thanks for your replies!

About the 3d stuff, I know it''s complex as I''ve worked on it before... but this time, it''s going to be a 2d game with sprites pre-rendered in 3d. So it''s basically the same old 2d stuff, with better graphics (I mean, not 3d at all).

I knew about the "virtual hiring" stuff, but it doesn''t work that easily often... and anyway, as this game is supposed to be commercial (will be released as shareware), I guess it wouldn''t be ok to make a guy do anything by free. And I''m short of money, so paying isn''t an option either

New posters, please try my game and place your opinion here


--DK
--H. Hernán Moraldo
http://www.hhm.com.ar/
Sign up to the HHM''s developers'' newsletter.

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