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About tim_shea

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  1. tim_shea

    Quantifying insanity.

    I think we're sort of talking past each other at this point. In any case, I love survival games and psychology so I look forward to playing whatever you come up with. Best of luck!
  2. tim_shea

    Quantifying insanity.

      So, this is not strictly true. In fact, there are entire genres built around accounting for exactly that. To be sure, game design based on player immersion is much more artistic and subjective than game design based on systems, but it is definitely not out of reach.     Player immersion is not something that the player chooses to engage in. They have to set the conditions for it, but you as the developer have to actually create it, if that's the route you want to take. And keep in mind, it may not be the best option. Immersion and entertainment are orthogonal attributes of game design. Particularly in a sandbox or procedural game, it could be incredibly difficult to construct an immersive experience, and even if you did it might not be as entertaining as a more rule-driven experience.
  3. You should definitely give some thought to dependency inversion. Circular dependencies can very easily become problematic in the future. Unless there is some reason not to abstract out an interface, it would benefit you to do so.
  4. tim_shea

    Quantifying insanity.

    It's fairly clear to me that you've put a lot more thought and [research? personal experience?] into the fine points of this mechanic than the average forum reader, so I'm not sure if you're going to gain much defending your ideas against the superficial criticisms we can provide.   Nevertheless, here is my superficial criticism: it seems like you haven't made a clear distinction between the "real" mental health of the avatar and the perceived mental health of the player.   If I have a lot of concrete statistics to manage and specific rules and interactions to consider, along the lines of a pen and paper rpg, then I expect to be loosely bound to my avatar. I get plenty of information (more than he would reasonably have access to, e.g. his precise level of healthiness) but my means of acting on that information are mediated by the rules of the game and his current state. A crazy avatar, in this sort of game, might do things I don't expect.   On the other hand, if I am forced to perceive things exactly as the avatar does, then I would expect to be more tightly bound to my avatar (there should be relatively few cases where I don't have control) but at the cost of my unrealistic introspection with respect to statistics. In this sort of game, I would not expect my avatar to go crazy, so much as the game to try to convince me that I was crazy.   Both could be enjoyable games. In the past, I've played survival games that hewed towards either side (not with respect to mental health, just in general), and enjoyed them. But a sort of middle ground option might easily get confusing.
  5. tim_shea

    My world driven game idea

    In my game engine architecture course last year, about 3/4 of the teams were unable to get even two-player networked games to work, whereas almost everybody was able to implement the full scene graph structure, physics, spatial sound, animations, etc.   Networking makes every aspect of your game more complicated.   Minecraft was not multiplayer in the early alpha. It was only later (as the game became a sensation and raised many millions of dollars) that a lot of the features you see today were implemented. It's also just generally not a great model for game dev, because it was such an unusual case. Is it possible you will pull off what Notch did? Yes. Is it likely? Definitely not. Much better to set your sights on something firmly achievable and then branch out.   Edit: On a different note, I like the concept. I would say prototype it and see which elements are fun and which aren't.
  6. Regarding the issue of player attrition, I think it makes sense to have mechanics that encourage loyalty and discourage disloyalty, but only to an extent. Keep in mind, some of the most disastrous losses and most spectacular victories in human history have been due to political rather than tactical maneuvering. Also, desertion in battle and uncoordinated retreats are primary factors in reducing the total number of casualties. Very rarely has a real battle resulted in 100% casualties, because people will naturally leave when they realize they have no hope for victory. This also introduces very important strategic options. Managing your own troops morale and the enemy's morale can be as important as managing their rations or ammunition. Rather than introduce an artificial mechanic for this, you could let human player's real emotions dictate the morale of their army.
  7. tim_shea

    The Importance of Commenting Your Code

    [quote name='Ghosrath' timestamp='1338469974'] I can suggest a very interesting piece of reading material. Clean code by Robert C. Martin. Especially chapter 4 on comments is great reading material [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Basically it states that every comment placed in code means that the code that is commented is actually bad code. Good code never needs any comments at all! Try this and notice how much easier you can find certain pieces of code, just because you don't need to read through all the comments A little quote: Quote Nothing can be quite so helpfull as a well-placed comment. Nothing can clutter up a module more than frivolous dogmatic comments. Nothing can be quite so damaging as an old crufty comment that propagates lies and misinformation. [/quote] Clean Code is an excellent book. Probably not for beginners, but once you've been coding long enough to groan when you look at your own code, it will help you see how not to. In particular, the concept of self documenting code (and unit tests as documentation) have done wonders for my style. If you can read each line of code aloud without feeling foolish you will almost never need to write a comment.
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