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About Sulphix

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  1. Forcing Players To Follow The Leader

    I"m gonna take a cue from Diablo on this one. Give certain players different auras which enhance some character trait. Be it health regeneration, toughness, hair looks more like Elvis, whatever. The auras provide a definite bonus to sticking together and stacking their different effects, but still, there the ability to wander off. Perhaps as incentive to go off alone, the player is given a personal bonus (increase in cash, larger health bar, who cares) if the accomplish a goal or task by themselves. I think these two reward options could provide incentive to both strategies. It's just important that there is a definite risk/reward balance. However, it's always this balance that is easier said than done.
  2. Top 5 games

    Top games: 1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time For me as near flawless a game can get. Great gameplay and sense of flow. Excellent storytelling. Set the bar for every game that followed. Really can't ever get tired of looking at this game and appreciating it. 2. Super Metroid The ultimate exercise in atmosphere. The level design and art style are so perfect in this game, every single attempt to replicate them just leaves me saying "well, it's certainly not Super Metroid". The immense sense of freedom and non-linearity make each playthrough different and unique. Truly a gem. 3. Super Mario Galaxy I know, I know, the best Mario games are supposedly Mario 64 or Mario Bros 3. But I disagree. The perfect controls married with the great level design kinda put any other platformer to shame. And we finally got a 3D Mario that still understands it is an action platformer, not just an exploration platformer. 4. Half-Life 2 Oh boy, where do I start. Um, great storytelling, wonderful gameplay (a great example of how to keep shooters full of variety), and near-perfect flow. And I guess I could mention the physics, animations, and character development... 5. Viewtiful Joe Just pure fun. Such a simple game, but impossible to get tired of. The humor is great, especially amidst the games of today which take themselves so seriously. The most inspiring games for me would be definitely those in the Half-Life series. They all are so great and have a great sense of narrative but don't sacrifice the gameplay for it. Others would be those in the Metroid series. Their relative non-linearity allows for a much more personalized experience and yeah, art direction in each game is great. Eternal Darkess: Sanity's Requiem also gets the wheels turning. While it certainly has its fair share of flaws, the narrative structure of the game serves as a great showcase as to the potential of the medium. And, lastly, Viewtiful Joe. So simple, so fun, so innocent, so unique in its style. The game really shows how simple gameplay can be sustained throughout without oversaturating the player with options. And finally, games which make me go "why?". Well, the Mortal Kombat series after the third entry. Oversaturated with characters, fatalities not nearly as fun as they used to be, the characters aren't as "special" as they used to be. The new entry doesn't seem to acknowledge this. Fable. Granted, it's a good game. But if you're gonna talk about choice, please deliver. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles. Good theory of a multiplayer game, but requiring everyone to have the hardware, bad choice. Effectively removed half of the game for the majority of the consumers. Manhunt 2. In these days, gore alone can't sell a game or make it special. Lastly, Jet Force Gemini. The game had an incredible beginning half, but the second half was literally a massive scavenger hunt and pseudo escort mission. Really a huge letdown and large slump in flow.
  3. 2 Resources Enough?

    You could definitely get some interesting dynamics with this. Like the case study, your population resource could be very valuable early on since the cities are just starting out. Then, as they increases in size, the population becomes larger making it worth, essentially, less. But, towards the end, the population experiences overcrowding or just caps off, leading to a sense of "wow, this population is finite", making it important once more. As for money, this could be a very interesting mechanic. Imagine if a city had a surplus or a recession. How could this affect the strategy in the game. Both of these resources are very different, so it'll be interesting to see how they could interact with one another. Imagine a city nearing its end. The population has stopped growing, but everyone in it is rich. How could that affect the player's ability to expand and build up their forces? Very peculiar concept indeed. I wish you the best of luck.
  4. Ever Notice: The Double Jump

    Looking at it as purely a gameplay mechanic and nothing more, the double jump is typically preferred over a massive jump because it allows for more precision. A player can jump a great distance, and then on the second jump, refine their position to be sure they land. And, in cases of games similar to Metroid, the double jump itself can become an item to be collected, adding a sense of growth and empowerment. As for whether or not it's physically possible, I think that's kind of a moot point. In the games it is used in, reality is hardly the basis for what is happening. And the need for character growth and the gameplay benefits associated with the double jump far outweigh the "but this is impossible" reaction.
  5. I think this concept would really shine if the different genres were given their own game. Put simply, you purchase one disc, but on this disc, there are five different games. Each game is similar to one another in tone (hell, could be similar in story and character as well, but let's not open that can of worms). We kinda saw something like this in The Orange Box. But I think it can be really elaborated on in the future. Who knows, it could be like a Grindhouse situation. One purchase, different developers, very similar styles. But, as for incorporating two vastly different play styles into one game, my immediate thought was mini-game or bonus games. We've already seen a fair amount of this (hell, about a third of the games made), but I don't think this is what you were talking about. If Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles was a lesson, it's that requiring a lot of hardware which isn't bundled with the game is a bad decision. Sure, there were GBAs everywhere, but to play multiplayer (at least have of the game, depending on who you talk to), there as just so much more that was necessary. While I think it can be done, recent attempts at this combining haven't done too well. Several James Bond games combined driving and shooter elements. These jumps were pretty abrupt and I personally found the transition pretty jarring and awkward. So I'm not saying it can't be done, but this kind of thing doesn't have the greatest track record, and any attempt is gonna take a lot of work and tons of playtesting to iron out.
  6. Jobs for noncombatants?

    Be kinda cool to have a repairman element. You fix and repair the vehicles the other, more qualified, citizens use out in the field. Hell, you could even test drive it with them to show the combatants how it works. Of course, this also offers boundless opportunities for fetch quests (fetch me a gun, get me medical supplies, I want chocolate milk!). In all seriousness, there could be some interesting fetch quests implemented. I'd recommend that in a game like the the player works their way up. You know, the whole arc of being seen as kinda worthless in combat, then the player is needed to perform some rescue mission or who knows what and ends up as a soldier. For a more graphic representation, see Ripley from Aliens (yes, the second one, contains more arc). But what other specifics could we have... Maybe in a defensive battle, instead of having the player grab a gun and fight, they have to keep everyone supplied with ammo up on the walls. Could be a really interesting mechanic. While there's not much direct fighting, an event like this would allow for a significant weight on the player's actions, and it would allow for some tense moments. I like this idea. It's nice to see people willing to experiment on the role a player has. A concept like this makes the player more like the narrator in The Great Gatsby instead of the main character. In other words, making the player more observational as opposed to central.
  7. Factions

    This is a very interesting concept indeed. It would make for much more "organic" classes in MMOs instead of the rigid "warrior, assassin, priest" classes we have now. As a former WoW player myself, I know what you mean when you talk about how ultimately shallow the factions were in that game. There really weren't very well designed consequences when it came to aligning with one faction or another. For a genre which thrives off of replicating social interactions in a different world, it seems like adding more depth to faction systems is a natural evolution in the genre. For example, I'd love to see a game in which a character can literally be recognized as a celebrity by the NPCs in a certain faction if that player has done incredible deeds for them. Not only would that type of reward break up the "phat loot" motivation, it would also add a sense that player characters have a real impact on the world around them. But going back to the beginning a bit, the gameplay attraction of combing classes with factions is also very attractive. In a sense, it could lend itself to infinite classes. A player could train with the archer faction extensively, and then train on the side with the magician faction. "Limitless character classes" is an attractive phrase to have on the back of the box. As far as specific factions are concerned, I'd love to see a bounty hunter type faction. The player gets an enemy they have to kill (or capture, or whatever) and are rewarded with "teh epic lewts" or other more immaterial goods. It would be kinda cool to see a "conspiracy theory" type group. By this I mean the player character can become involved with like a shadow organization pulling the strings behind the political affairs. Not only could this let some more advanced players in on the "real" story behind some in-game events, but a reward could perhaps be having the player receive money skimmed off the top or something similar. A very interesting aspect of world-building in MMOs that I'm sadly surprised I haven't heard of before. I would love to see this concept put into a game or at least tested on.
  8. Silent protagonists

    The silent protagonist is a great boon for the videogame industry. The fact that no other industry can utilize such a protagonist (and thus there is very little information or guidelines) means that there is tons of room for experimentation. While we've seen the silent protagonist several times in games (Link, Gordon Freeman, etc.), that shouldn't suggest that the mold surrounding one is nailed down. Granted, there are obvious reasons for going with either a vocal or silent protagonist, but still, there is much regarding this new type of hero that has yet to be explored. In closing, it's a very exciting attribute unique to the industry and as such, should be taken advantage of (when necessary, of course).
  9. Whats with the MMO Craze?

    I think a big appeal behind MMOs is that (if done well), they have the ability to replicate so much of our world an its social interactions without being artificial in the same way an offline game will inevitably be. When many people play MMOs, the one thing that happens more often than keyboards getting mashed is voice chat. The games fulfill a gap in the market which is one that thrives off community interaction and creating a world that exists independent of any one individual player. While I'm personally not a fan of the genre (mainly because of the massive time investment involved), I can definitely understand their appeal. Of course, the large time commitment may be one of the "kinks" which come to be ironed out as the genre evolves. The market for MMOs is both new and lucrative, providing incentives on both the creative and business side of things.
  10. Symbolism of the Labyrinth

    Kinda glad I stumbled upon this. One of my personal projects I'm working on right now deals a lot with the idea of a labyrinth. Hopefully my fascination with both mythology and Lovecraft horror will pay off. Just out of curiosity, what are some books you'd recommend for further research and understanding of the "labyrinth" myth? I'll be sure to check out the Authoritative Work on Labyrinths, but if anyone comes upon something which strikes you, please let me know.
  11. Story for a sim game?

    I think something with virtual reality would be interesting territory to go into. If the story takes place in a cyberspace realm, you can get the freedom of an AI run world, but still have the human element by having a human representation (i.e. Tron, The Matrix, Neuromancer). That stuff also fascinates me, so I do have a natural inclination towards it. For a more casual approach, maybe it's just me, but I think a restaurant sim would be hilarious. You're suddenly put in charge of a lowly joint, and throughout the course of the game you have to develop it into a world class restaurant. Various episodes would allow for some nice comedic opportunities (killing the rats, satisfying a critic, annoying teen-agers, etc). I think a pirate sim would be a nice twist on the "marooned on a desert island" setup as well. The player is (obviously) marooned on an island, and begins by building a raft to get off, then eventually gets bigger and better ships until they have a nice good ol' pirate ship. Could add some Simcity aspect to it by giving them the ability to take the island they started on and turn it into a "pirate haven" or something like that.
  12. Player character personality

    I think in role-playing games, you can really go either way. In playing the role of someone else, it isn't completely out of the book to be forced into a certain style. This is where games like Zelda come into effect. You're essentially forced to "save the world" instead of do what you want. But there's also games in which you define your role. Games like these are typically MMOs simply because social situations allow more room for the player to define themselves instead of the game/story defining the player. I personally prefer the character has some sort of personality, simply because I'm kind of a story-nut. And character typically goes along with story, so there ya go.
  13. are characters or story more important?

    Just about any professional screenwriter will tell you character is king. Some other writers (such as novelists or short story writers) may disagree, but I'd argue that writing for a game is closest to writing for a film. But if you look at it, more often than not, you'll remember a film more for it's characters, rather than it's plot. The same goes for games. So yeah, don't ignore story, but I'd try to remember that character is king.
  14. What would you like to see in an rpg?

    Quote:Original post by derickdong Are you saying RPGs should be made real-time and rely on player's reflexes? How is this role-playing? Once the results of the majority of actions are determined by the player's abilities, and not the character's, its really no longer a role-playing game; you're just playing yourself. What are the differences between a real-time, player skill based 'RPG' and an FPS? I'm saying that by having a world which flows through real time (such as exploring a level) in an RPG and then getting whisked away to a battle field where your characters are all now treated more as robots and pawns instead of the previously human characteristics they had shatters the illusion and kills any suspension of disbelief. I'm not saying that RPGs should rely only on player reflexes (that's more of a pure-action game element) but there is a point where immersion takes priority. If it breaks the flow of the game, odds are there's a better direction to go in. Oh yeah, and what kind of RPG were you thinking of? Turn-based, action, tactical, MMO? Saying "computer RPG" doesn't help as much with genre as it does with platform. Although, with computer RPG, my immediate assumption is MMO.
  15. So what do you think makes a good FPS

    For a good first-person shooter, there actually needs to be very little character development regarding the player-character. If the game is told in first person, then it's strongly suggested that the player is supposed to feel as if they were that character, and if that character is a strongly developed individual, it tends to shatter that illusion of being the character. Bioshock did a wonderful job of this. Not only do you never see the character's face (brilliant in terms if projection) but the character is also a hollow shell for the player to inhabit. Creating the sense of becoming this character at the bottom of the Atlantic. Ironically enough, one of the biggest offenders of this is the Duke Nukem character. His personality is so strong, it becomes nearly impossible for the player to immerse themselves into his role (which is what any first-person game should strive to achieve) because he is so clearly defined. Albeit, this can be forgiven a little since the games were early shooters and can be deemed pioneers of the genre, but still, a flaw nonetheless. For shooters in general, a good flowing pace never hurts. It is actually detrimental to have the game be a nonstop onslaught of the most intense situations. By doing this, it essentially oversaturates the game and removes any impact these moments may have had. Instead, there should be a few moments of increased action and tension with areas of reduced conflict between. If Halo's pace was entirely like it's last level, the game would've been boring. It isn't necessarily high tension and quick pace which makes a game exciting, it's changing the pace. And this is just a personal thing from me, but I really don't like it when there's boatloads of guns in a shooter. By having too many weapons, each weapons importance diminishes. Some games (such as Perfect Dark) include so many weapons that it gets to the point where many of them are just useless. If an item is useless, why should memory be spent on it? I've said this before in another post, but avoid cliches like the plague. If there's anything to avoid in any game, it's a cliche (Gears of War, I'm looking at you). Of course, some shooters make fun of cliches and do it successfully (Contra, Duke Nukem) but many cliches are used poorly and end up making most of the game unintentionally comedic. Just be aware of the characters you're putting in, that is the greatest defense against falling into cliches.