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Bob_the_dev

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  1. Quote:Original post by elmepo I was watching some films recently, and I began to wonder if there could possibly be reasonable ways to remove music from games, similar to the way in whilch some films (Saving Private Ryan for one) have no music, and if they do, it's usually part of the scene, e.g. a band playing in the background of a local pub. Limbo, a new XBLA game on 360, uses little to no music apparently. I haven't tried it yet, only read reviews. It looks to be an artistic game, and I think that's really the only way one could get away with no music. It has to be an artistic choice that makes sense to the game/game world.
  2. Quote:Original post by Wavinator In general, what factors do you think make a sandbox game more replayable? Or which factors generally cause you to have little or no interest in replaying? More specifically, which do you think would inspire more replay: fixed content, such as items with known locations, maps with known layouts or enemies with known vulnerabilities or randomized / varied content where these elements could change from play session to play session. The simplest answer is: whatever gives the player more to do after "completion". This can be different strategies to do the same thing, different content, different goals, etc. Maximize player choice and/or content and you maximize replayability. I think one of the newer concepts that really helps replayability is the achievement/trophy system: these are goals that can require replay yet offer rewards that persist beyond the game and therefore can be more desirable. That's just the strict objective answer. I think in reality it's highly subjective. I played Earthbound many times even though the experience was largely the very same each time. I just really enjoyed the game. I think it comes down to that for many, and it's not something a developer could harness with any real certainty: was the game so enjoyable that it's worth playing through again?
  3. Quote:Original post by Sandman I'm going to be controversial and vote for one of the class based options. I don't actually think skill based systems really give you that much real variety. They merely give you the illusion of variety, and the means for players to shoot themselves in the foot. You're right...to a point. For combat skills it's generally true that game balance indicates you can't be a jack-of-all-trades without some trade-offs required. But, skill based usually leaves room for specialization in other areas. A blacksmith/archer, for instance. Or a warrior who only knows a little magic, or healing, or whatever. Ultima Online is immediately what I thought about when reading this thread. There you're given the option to choose a starting package which sort of fills the role of "choosing a class", but after that you can do whatever you want. You have a certain amount of skill points and those are spent every time you "level up" a skill. When you hit the cap you can't level up any more skills. I found there was tremendous amounts of variety beyond those starting templates you could choose at the start. Many combinations are possible, and they're not at all gimped beyond a few set classes. Tamer/Bard, Bard/Mage, Tamer/Mage, Tamer/Archer, Paladin/Archer...Well, you get the idea. There's tons of non-gimped combinations. Besides all that, in UO's system you don't have to start a new character. Skills can be dropped at any time in favor of others. A single character can have quite the varied history. In short: I prefer #4 with the option to start as a predefined template. However, if the game's heavily PVP then I'd say it's probably easier to balance sets of very defined classes. It'd also focus the game more on using a class well rather then the player having to study each skill in depth and gaining a deep understanding of every skills interaction.
  4. Quote:Original post by Wai Here, details are what the player can see. They give the player the implication that the entities in the world are interacting much more than what the player is currently seeing. At any point, the player can see more than what it can affect (you can see a city in the distance, but you can't just change it from miles away). It seems that what you call interaction I call detail. My "detailed environment" is your "implied interactions". I don't think we necessarily disagree on anything so I accept what you're saying
  5. Quote:Original post by Wai My thought is that when a viewer is shown a picture with a reference to the real world, the interactions can be infered, which allows the viewer to identify the image as a picture of a world. If there is nothing familiar in the picture, the viewer cannot draw the inference of interaction. At this point, the viewer must observe the interactions itself, which cannot be displayed by a single scene. So the missing factor is interaction, not between the viewer and the objects of the world, but among the objects of the world itself. The idea of a world is scope. It's size. Any details that convey a large scope would convey the sense that the player (or viewer) is in a world. In backstory this would be hints of other kingdoms/cities, or countries, etc. A villager might say they come from a land far away. But then again, a player could be in a completely barren wasteland but still get the sense they're in a world if they have freedom of movement, many many places to go, and the ability to see far into the distance. But notice that interaction alone won't impart this sense of scale. A player in a single house with 20 interacting NPCs won't get the sense they're in a world. And a player in a game setting where there's 100 miles of space to cover will get a sense they're in a world even if there's no interacting AI present.
  6. A world requires an expansive place with a detailed environment. I don't think interaction is a necessity of this: an immersive world is a different beast altogether. That is, immersion is a different concept than "world". A game set in a single town where each townsperson interacts with the other townsfolk would not be a world. Nor would a dungeon filled with enemies with brilliant AI. Now when I say "detailed environment" I mean that this environment can either be realized through in-game assets such as terrain and models and the like, or through backstory, or both. A game set in a single town can still feel like part of a world if there's sufficient backstory about the setting. Or, if the town/city is Earth-like or set on Earth than it being a part of a world is implied. So really I think expansive environments with freedom of movement are key to feeling like you're in a world. Oblivion, GTA, Red Dead, etc.
  7. Quote:Original post by Ravyne On the actual SNES, I suspect that they would have used either tile-priority or sprites to implement the bright objects. The SNES had different layers, broken up between sprites layers and background layers. I imagine keeping objects lit was as easy as only applying the blackness to the background layer and doing nothing to the sprites.
  8. What I want in an MMO is for the game to be fun to play, and for every other aspect to be kept relatively simple. The game should be fun enough that it shouldn't feel like a grind. That means that aspects like battling monsters or other players should be an enjoyable experience. If other areas exist, like crafting and whatnot, these too should be relatively enjoyable experiences. Another point to compliment the above is that there should always be plenty to do. There should always feel like there's new monsters to find and fight, or new things to craft, etc. Being an MMO, however, new elements should be few and far between, always giving the impression that the world is alot more expansive then it may in fact be. For instance, certain item types might be relagated to specific towns, specific monsters, or be rare inside dungeons. Finally, things should be kept simple. I don't want 1000 skills, just a few select ones that do specific jobs and are fun to use. I certainly don't want a billion different item attributes, leading to so many different items that I stop caring about what I pick up. There should be relatively few things that are spaced far apart, making players use the things they have and making them look forward to whatever new thing is out there waiting. Those are my opinions on what I enjoy in an MMO based on the couple I've played. To directly answer your other question: I don't play MMOs anymore, but when I used to play I spent the majority of my time battling monsters and exploring the land. It usually involved doing so with guild members.
  9. Quote:Original post by LynxJSAIF the game playing consumerbase was interested in diversity of titles or a wide selection of games, then that would be of value. They are not. You need to accept that fact before you go any further. It will greatly help in your understanding of all of this. Now, do not confuse that with not wanting more new titles. Every gamer would tell you that they would like a wider selection of new titles. NEW titles. Older titles they don't care about. I'd say there is a significant percentage of the gaming public that's interested in old games, hence game stores like Gamestop, EB Games, etc, and even places with the space to handle many games like Fry's, all carry older generation games. And as a final thought: Virtual Console.
  10. Quote:Original post by AgentShiva Thank you bob_the_dev, the website http://mu.ranter.net/theory/general.html was a lot of help. Everything I was looking for was sort of summed up in The No Numbers Concept part of that article. I really needed to know if a system like this could work, I was sort of dead set in a classic format RPG with a turn based combat system, but now I am liking this idea more and more. The only thing I think will be a major problem is that the art side of the project is not very strong so it will be interesting how we convey all the aspects needed. You're welcome :) I think it's a great site. I found it from one of Jerky's posts here: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=455304&whichpage=1� He posted a bunch of links on the topic of MMORPGs if you're interested in that at all
  11. Quote:Original post by Kest That's exactly how we interact with the world, in terms of measuring our effectiveness. Every type of skill that can be tought or trained is measured with a numbering system and graded by trainers or teachers. Without that measurement to see our progress, it is much less meaningful to seek improvement. That's what will happen if stats are hidden from players - they will care less about their character's abilities and less about improving them. If that's the goal here, then it will work. But if that really is the goal, would it not be more productive to just remove character abilities completely? That will get the job done a lot more effectively. Measuring and grading our effectiveness is an arbitrary thing we apply to the world, not something inherently built into our reality. That's what I meant. And I'm not convinced numbers are needed to show improvement in skills and ability, but I concede that it's probably the best place for their use in an RPG Quote: Sorry, but that's just crap. Most games are focused on violence and combat because most players enjoy violence and combat. Not because we're stuck in a rut and can't figure out how to jump out of it. Only the most unique among us actually want out of it. RPGs are different, they're about role play. Particularly MMOs where some players are content to be nothing but smiths, tailors, etc, and never get their hands bloody. A single player RPG where combat is optional could be interesting and give the player even more freedom to enter another world on their own terms and be the character they want to be.
  12. I think the ultimate goal of RPGs should be to abstract everything because in real life the effectiveness of things is abstracted. Numbers and math can be applied to the things we do, but that's not how we interact with the world. I read an interesting piece here: http://mu.ranter.net/theory/general.html (sorry, I don't know how to make it a link). Basically it says most, if not all modern RPGs stem from the earliest systems of pen-and-paper RPGs. This caused RPGs to focus on combat and arbitrary statics for items rather than what RPGs should be about in the purest sense of the term: role play. If you truly want a role play experience then numbers would be abstracted and combat wouldn't need to be the only means of growth. And I think it goes even further: good role play would require a gameplay style that's not focused on growth. So to truly abstract the numbers and make a pure RPG it would require a system built around the journey (and an amazing story/immersive world would definitely help) and the choices made to get to the ends, not about building up stats or getting the +n uber items.
  13. Quote:Original post by AgentShiva In many RPGs, the player's exact skills, their exact attributes and so on are directly given to them, and instead of really building up a character with what they want, and crafting it around what they have discovered and find worthy based on their own decisions, they are left with a list of statistics, which often boils down the building of the player's character into a business like affair where it becomes less about personal style and simply about obtaining and utilizing the best available items , weapons and ect. Understandably there are many things that will be tough to transform, and some aspects may not directly transfer and may require modification to better fit this style of game. In the early days of Ultima Online quite a bit was hidden from the player. There were no stats applied to weapons and armor, and magic items simply had names such as "broadsword of vanquishing". Items are an aspect that do well in hiding numbers and stats. To hide skills you'd probably have to change the gameplay to not be about level building like traditional RPGs are. If skills were hidden and the gameplay did center around level building then it'd be frustrating to not have a clear idea as to the progress of your character. If, on the other hand, the player could progress without needing to "level up" then the player could play on blissfully unaware that the character's steadidly improving. Some ways this might be accomplished might be more action oriented play, more item based mechanics (stronger items are more important than leveling up), or quests that grant you new titles and such (like if a player wants to become warrior there'd be no fighting skills but a warrior guild that gives quests and training (for a fee perhaps)). That's all assuming I'm reading the post correctly :)
  14. Hmm, ok, virtual isn't that bad then. Is this a good way to handle things then? An application class that I can inherit and overload for each project?
  15. So I read through (several times) a great introduction to DirectX 9, played around with the books examples, and decided to start building my own DirectX program. Almost immediately I was stumped on how to handle the main functions. The examples from the book wrap everything in a class and simply inherent and overload functions needed for the specific example. But the functions it overloads, including UpdateFrame and RenderFrame functions, are virtuals. Isn't this an inefficient way of handling things? Requiring two vtable lookups every frame? Also, I've been reading about good design lately, and encapsulation is one of the hallmarks of good design. Would this be a slower approach than if the functions were just created and called directly? It seems like it'd make the program faster if things could be directly accessed rather then going through classes and functions that hide everything, but I don't know. What approach is best for handling the main program flow? And just for clarity what I mean by "main" is basically: -Windows specific functions (Initialization/window creation, Message handler) -DirectX specific (Initialization/device creation, clean up, on reset, on lost) -Game flow (update frame, render) Should I wrap everything in classes? Leave everything as free standing functions? Try to encapsulate everything? Thank you