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  1. (Edit: sorry, like I said, I'm pretty fried. I'll read the FAQs first) (Edit 2: okay, no longer sorry, the FAQ doesn't answer my question and the only link in it that might be related is a 404) Hi, sorry if this comes off as incoherent, I was up all night working and could really use some shuteye. IANAL, or a game dev, so I don't know how the legal stuff works. Let's say I come up with a great storyline, general design, and what I think is a killer title, the kind someone might be inclined to "borrow" if I'm not protected. Now, I really don't care if someone steals ideas from me. Imitation, flattery, and all that. Plus, I like my ideas, generally speaking, so I wouldn't mind seeing them realized, even if it's not me doing the realizing. I digress; I'm just trying to say that I'm not uptight about this kind of stuff, much less think anyone actually wants to swipe my ideas. But I don't want to find out that I can't use my own ideas because someone used them first, either. So, how would I "register" my work so I have it on record that it's original and not "derivative," to use the legalese. Or, what if I come up with a title independently, only to find out its been used, but in an otherwise unrelated work (including video games)? The more I think about it, the more I suspect this could be the case - it's not a terribly original name, just an apt/catchy one.
  2. Not game AI per se but this was kinda interesting: [URL="http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/01/ai-artificial-intelligence-robots-sautoy"]AI robot: how machine intelligence is evolving[/URL]
  3. Sure. I was thinking in terms of what we can do with bots in shooters and the like.
  4. I was wondering if anyone was willing to chat with a non-coder a bit about the state of the art in AI. What kinds of things can AI do nowadays? What are some of the most interesting games these days in terms of AI, and how so? Articles or site links welcome.
  5. "I can't draw a straight line" is one of those non-artists sayings that this artist finds funny. I mean, that's what rulers are for. Here's the thing about artistic fields that seems to amount to an open secret: hard work is just as important as talent. In fact, it's actually more important; a guy who meets his deadlines with mediocre work is better than a guy with all the talent in the world who doesn't meet deadlines. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. That said, in the real world, you're going to be competing with people who have both work ethic and talent. They're going to get jobs before you. If you can handle that, hey, go for it. The key is enjoying the work, because this will motivate you to overcome any lack of talent with practice, perseverence, etc.
  6. Also, leaving aside the concept of GMs as authors of quests, I was thinking of the GM in terms of a manager; not [i]necessarily[/i] there to cook up a quest, so much as to [i]manage[/i] one. Basically, he's playing the quest from the other side. The PCs go in to beat it, the GM goes in to run it. Thinking of it this way, the GM advances similarly to the way the PCs do. He runs quest 1 successfully, then moves on to quest 2 successfully, etc. So he has to hit his marks if he wants to get to the next quest, just like the PCs do (it's what "hitting his marks" means for a GM that gets a bit fuzzy here, of course ). Thinking of it that way, being a GM becomes a way for a player to go through the whole game again from a totally different angle.
  7. I dropped ASOIAF because it was so "dark." And cheaply manipulative. If I want depressing, I read the papers.
  8. [quote]Prohibitely expensive. You would need to hire a lot of dedicated people to do the job of GM.[/quote] I was thinking more along the lines of [i]charging[/i] people to do it. Just like any other players. [quote]You can't use for this random players because it will turn into power abuse[/quote] But you can prevent power abuse by not giving them enough power to abuse. But you have a point, in that the roleplaying aspects are problematic with a hostile GM (it's one thing to limit a hostile GM by not giving him enough power to abuse when it comes to combat, but a hostile GM is not going to play by the rules when it comes to following the plot and the like). But players can choose their teammates in instanced MMOs like D&DO; I don't see why they couldn't choose their GMs, too.
  9. [URL="http://www.nvidia.com/object/tessellation.html"]DirectX 11 Tessellation[/URL] [quote]Scalable Artwork For developers, tessellation greatly improves the efficiency of their content creation pipeline. In describing their motivation for using tessellation, Jason Mitchell of Valve says: “We are interested in the ability to author assets which allow us to scale both up and down. [b]That is, we want to build a model once and be able to scale it up to film quality[/b]…Conversely, we want to be able to naturally scale the quality of an asset down to meet the needs of real-time rendering on a given system.” This ability to create a model once and use it across various platforms means shorter development times, and for the PC gamer, the highest possible image quality on their GPU.[/quote] Is that hype? Scaling down is a concept I'm familiar with, but scaling up? Does that actually work as advertised? Can I find more detail on this somewhere? Seems counterintuitive to me.
  10. That's so weird, that I have to drive to the store and read them on the box, basically buy the game in a box store to get the credits. Game industry, thy name is shame. (Ever noticed how few antonyms there are for pride? Synonyms abound, but antonyms are all phrases, basically synonyms for pride with modifiers attached)
  11. So far Vindictus and TERA look pretty good.
  12. If I want to know how many people worked on a film, and what role they played in making it, I can go to IMDB and look up cast & crew. Is there something like this for games? How can I see the credits for a game, short of buying it, playing it all the way through, beating it, and taking a screenshot of the credits page?
  13. Yeah NWN was the only game I could think of that used a GM, but that was a more traditional DM role, as opposed to an attempt to fuse the role of GM and that of an active competitor in the game, if you take my meaning. But I think just returning to and advancing the NWN model would be a great leap forward for CRPGs. In fact I think the model I advanced above might be a step backward for the type of game where small groups play online cooperatively, like NWN 1 & 2; the competitive/GM trying to win thing might work best for MMOs. [quote]the two ways I can see rewarding the gm is a players rating of set campaign or a set time to death ratio the longer the players services the more xp the gm would get though bout could be abused[/quote] I was thinking some kind of challenge rating algorithm might work to reward good GMs too; the harder the DM works the PCs [i]without[/i] killing or otherwise annoying them, the higher the rating. Something that rewards the GM for challenging the PCs, but not for breaking them. But I don't know how that would work. It could be just as simple as keeping balance sufficiently in favor of the PCs, and then turning loose a GM bent on destroying them. Then just find the sweet spot for balance. Maybe GMs could play with a handicap - the better they are, the less resources they get to deploy against a given party, but they could also get bigger rewards for their services. Maybe good GMing could have rewards for players as PCs; it could serve as a way to get points toward PC rewards like magic items without forking over cash. [quote]side noite from what i have been reading for the neverwinter night online i belive there are adding something along that line as well[/quote] I didn't even know [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neverwinter_%28video_game%29"]Neverwinter[/url] was in development, thanks. [quote]When asked for gameplay details during an interview with MaximumPC.com, Cryptic Studios chief operating officer Jack Emmert explained, "It's not an MMO in the sense that there aren't zones with hundreds-and-hundreds of people. You are not fighting for spawns. There's a very strong storyline throughout the game. So it's more of a story-based game closer to things like Dragon Age or Oblivion, which we really try to follow."[13][/quote] Which raises the question of why it went from an online multiplayer cooperative CRPG to an MMORPG in the first place, if it's just going to be an online multiplayer cooperative CRPG. Oh, wait, I know - revenue. Heh. "Neverwinter" isn't a very smart name choice, in terms of marketing. You're supposed to add another word so search engines can filter out the other Neverwinter stuff. Maybe they'll recover from this error by allowing me to backstab and kill Drizzt.
  14. Krikey, Google gives me a phone book of sites written in Engrish, or that omit titles I know exist and are still current, etc. Can someone recommend me some games, or a good list, or maybe a site with a good MMO search engine? I'm looking for good, current fantasy MMORPGs. Preferably short on wonky Anime stuff (Lodoss not counting as wonky here ), though eastern influences and settings are okay, and I'm more looking for western styles. Pretty graphics preferred. If I could choose PnP RPG settings to turn into MMOs, they'd be stuff like WFRP, D&D (Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Kara-Tur, Mystara, Dark Sun), Vampire The Dark Ages, Conan, WFRP, Cthulhu Dark Ages, Freeport, etc. I already know about DDO, Conan, and WoW, but beyond that they're probably new to me.
  15. Just kicking around an idea here - I'm not going to get a minesweeper or a Tetris made any time soon, much less an MMO (TBH I've barely even played any MMOs). Basically, the idea is to incorporate a MMORPG version of the long-neglected engine of the tabletop RPG - the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dungeon_Master"]Gamemaster[/url] (GM) (link is to DM because the GM article is too diffuse and far afield for my purposes). Not like the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamemaster#Gamemasters_in_online_games"]MMO GM[/url] described at Wiki, but the GM as fellow CRPG player; he's not there to play lifeguard/customer service rep (not that that model and the one I'm describing are mutually exclusive, mind), he's there to breathe life into the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-player_character"]NPCs[/url] and challenge the [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_character"]PCs[/url]. That's the thorny design issue, though. Generally, the GM is [i]not[/i] there to beat the other players. In most PnPRPGs, the GM can kill the party off with ease; he gets his rocks off by providing the other players with an interesting story, characters, challenges, etc. Ideally, in the most common method of PnP play, he tends to "lose" to the other players, in the sense that his villains get knocked off eventually, their plans are thwarted, and the players win the day. Like the bad guy in a Hollywood action movie, he has a great time chewing the scenery and giving the good guys hell, but eventually he kicks the bucket, preferably in grand style. (on the other hand, he can't be a pushover - we're talking games, not movies, and if the players muck it up they should lose, retreat, live to fight another day...even die). But this is a CRPG, not pen and paper. We can be much more structured, to account for the aggro effects of online play between strangers - limit the GM's power so he has to work within the constraints of game balance. I.e., he can't call down the greater powers of the universe to smush the PCs like ants. He has to be very good at his task if he wants to beat good players, and they have the edge in the long run (just like a single-player game; it costs the PCs some lives, but they usually win out in the end). In essence, the goal is to change the GM player's concept of "winning" (i.e., of "being entertained") from "I defeated the other players," to "I kicked ass - a great time was had by all!" I can think of two main ways to accomplish this. First is by rewarding the kind of success you want - give GMs rewards for good GMing, rather than defeating players. Ranking as a good and/or challenging GM, "experience" points to use in-game, etc. Second is with alternative gameplay. The GM role really screams for some RTS/[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_time_tactics"]RTT[/url] and simulation elements. This is where we get to the good part. PCs are supposed to solve the mystery, save the princess, kill the villains, etc. They're the stars. But the GM gets to be [i]everything else[/i]. He gets to set up the story, design the dungeon, create the bit players, play the villains, command the evil horde, etc. And when the PCs finish breaking all his crockery and leave, he gets to repopulate, repair the damage, add on a new wing or level (e.g., set the evil dwarves to digging a new mine shaft), concoct some new inhabitants and challenges, etc. Say, with points recycled from the previous version, plus new points earned for GMing, plus any bonus from good GMing. Another fun aspect of GMing is that you can jump around as much as you want. You can keep jumping from one orc to the next until the patrol is all dead - then you get to be the next critter to try to bash the PCs over the head, and so on, upping the ante all the way until the big finale when you play the mustache-twirling arch-villain (who then escapes through a secret door at the last moment, once again thwarting the PCs' attempts to bring him to justice), or the dragon to be slain, whatever. And all of it is optional in a CRPG; don't like the RTS/RTT or simulation parts? Don't mess with them. Let the AI do it while you mustache-twirl. Or vice-versa. Basically, [i]make GMing into a fun game in its own right.[/i] So, what's the point? Intelligent challenges: villains as crafty as the PCs, with as much personality (this is a big one - a good GM beats a dialog tree to hell and back), and unique content (GM-created plots and challenges). In a nutshell, someone behind the wheel for the opposition. It probably won't be every player's cup of tea, but it doesn't have to be. A typical PnP GM can handle anywhere from 4-6 PCs ; some take on twice as many (though a GM is most effective, and the game runs most smoothly, when the PCs obey some general 'rules,' like not splitting the party, regardless of size). And an MMORPG GM could easily take off his GM cap and join the PCs whenever he likes. And the GM-PC dynamic I've outlined is only the traditional PnP model. The dynamic could be reversed, with PCs as the "black hats," predisposed to lose, and the GM (and assisstants) as the "white hats," predisposed to win. Or the players could all become GMs, and have fun slaying NPC bots playing the role traditionally filled by PCs. For all I know some or all of this has been done already. Either way, I think PnPRPGs have a hell of a lot to offer us with the concept of GM. Flame away if you like, I have a thick skin. I also love a good argument. And I haven't kicked the tires on this idea at all, so I'm looking forward to discovering and considering the flaws.