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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.


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About Platinum_Dragon

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  1. A fun game is one where repetition does not feel boring. Everything in life is about sufficient repetition; therefore, the most important aspect is to make the repetition of the game interesting and immersible.
  2. I consider any attempt to stop griefing is a form of flamebait. After all, we cannot mind control our players in any way. There will always be players who will grief others when either they are frustrated and lack skills to move on, or they are too bored with the game content that exist.   A top skill player could easily defeat 20 players of the same level; thus, level does not influence griefing at all. It's like saying a gun cause violence. No, guns only increase the opportunity to scale violence to lethal levels. Weapons in real life don't cause violence. Weapons in real life only increase the damage cause in a violent altercation. The same is said with levels.   Conclusion: Levels have nothing to do with griefing.
  3. In [url="http://topiaonline.wikispaces.com/Races"]http://topiaonline.w...paces.com/Races[/url], you have Beholder and Mind Flayer which are trademarked by Wizards of the Coast. Are you trying to get your team sued, or will you pay for rights to use them. Anyways, a permadeath style gameplay should minimize levels and focus character progression based upon gear. Gear should be the focus over character levels because it's easier to grind gear by luckily kill another player than to spend time leveling up. Thus, players will be "forced" for form safety groups. Factions will develop.
  4. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memory. It lacks the "fighting" part, but has isometric platform + cards. That might be a good starting point for you. I'm saying you're not the first person to try to bind different genres together, specifically the genres that your listing. Sometimes blending different mechanics is better than to keep them separate. Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memory blends the mechanics together, but your method is to not blend them together well. That's why" [quote name='Bluefirehawk' timestamp='1344239227' post='4966589'] It seems like you put two game mechanics and glued them together. What if in the end the cards turned out to be stronger than the fighting aspect, you will have a weird cardgame. Turn it the other way around, you have a fighting game with a useless component. [/quote] Of course, when mechanics are blended together, they sometimes don't keep certain aspects of the individual mechanics. Remember that compromise is a Virtue.
  5. Apple II is the first Personal Computer (PC). So, Apples are PCs [as a joke fruits], but PCs [as a joke fruits] are not Apples. Why do people use PC as a synonym for Wintel?
  6. If you want to balance the resource towards fame, a geometric mean of each value + 1 to prevent a zero problem. Geometric mean with a zero as a variable is always zero since zero times anything is zero. Try some form of weighted geometric mean for your fame calculation. Well, you have 7 variables, and under the 7+-2 rule, players won't have much problem remember this limited amount. If you have more resource variable in the same tier, then the game just gets harder. Remember to keep this 7+-2 rule, and that's the reason for creating tiers of resources. Major problems with a hybrid is that it's hard on players once the resources micromanagement just keeps getting longer and longer. That's why there should be some macromanagement on resources for the turn based portion of the game if there is LAN or other multiplayer support. If you have multiplayer, you could have rejection of combat at the expense of fame based upon the attacker's fame relative to the defender's game. In some way, those with high fame will lose more fame if they reject combat, thus the game would be dynamic. Have the resources regenerate at a cycle of 20 years of game time or longer, or don't have regenerating resources at all. If resources regenerate at a rate too high, then it removes some element of timing. One element of strategy is timing. When does the player predict such and such army will be at. When does the player predict such and such resources will respawn. At high level, the players feel for position, and they will know the possible position of their opponents without scouting. Scouting is use to verify that they opponent does do the predicted action. If not, the build orders may need to adapt to the opponent's action. Slow regenerating resources gives some degree of dynamic actions. Like real life, there will always be a downtime during which gather, build, and research needs to happen. Remember, "War is Deception" -- Sun Tsu There must be ways to deceive other sides, whether players or AI.
  7. I like a college like system better. Course that a person take are like skills, and those that meet the major requirements are like class skills. Those that don't meet the major requirements are cross-class skills. In essence, class is also flexible, and that a player should even have the capacity to change class at will. Of course, like college, people could attain multiple degrees; to reference that, players should also be able to multi-class. This link shows other people's view and discussion about classes and skills: www.eldergame.com/2011/01/classes-vs-open-skill-systems/ In the end, most system are somewhat of a hybrid between the two extreme. Locked class, partially locked skill are the typical.
  8. There's this group of three players in a look for group (5 player group in WoW) that always vote kick healers after a run. Majority vote seems very good to eliminate grief especially when you join this party as a healer. (sarcasm).
  9. I consider free riding a form of griefing. Thus, in my definition, multiplayer cannot get rid of griefing, unless all players are [b]exactly[/b] at the same skill level.
  10. In OD&D that comes from CHAINMAIL, each level for a character represents the strength of 20 men. That means a whole lot more than being ordinary characters. Of course, the characters are 20 times stronger than an average soldier (man strength). Extraordinary strength is expected in RPGs, and RPGs that try to bring the players to normal human strength has failed to realize that bringing the character to human strength requires to increase the strength of monsters by a large factor. It will become impossible to defeat monsters straight up in one-on-one combat. The problem with puzzles is that casual players will end up looking the walkthrough, and that's why there's not a lot of puzzle games. Random puzzles don't have consistant difficulty level, and that will be unfair in an RPG.
  11. You should make two separate inventory: (1) as an NPC (2) as the player. Have it so that players could move things between the two inventory, but the game server cannot access the player inventory when the character goes into NPC mode (log off). There should also be two separate currency counters, of course with similar restriction. The player has access to both sides, while the server has access to only the NPC side of things.
  12. Not Pro-Grind! Remember that I've already said, [b]grind is content[/b], and it makes the [b]genre [/b]of the game. Grind is a relative term to say that the player's skill level is beyond the game's capacity to challenge the player. Grind is a necessity just like life has the three elements: eat, sleep, excrete! Reduction of grinding turns me off. The moment I started using game shark codes, I've stop playing games for half a decade. It's when I found out that grinding is a necessity like the [i]three issus of life, [/i]that when I realise that grind is require to enjoy the games.
  13. @Fulgrate: Players don't have as much endurance or reflex capabilities of BOTS unless they are born with above normal level of abilities. That's why nearly 80% of gamers cannot win against a strongly defined AI because they lack the skills to do so. Only the few will have the ability to fight equally to an AI that does not cheat. Stupid Cheating AI -> Smart Non-Cheating AI... The scale is there, but there's a reason to use the stupid cheating AI. The stupid cheating AI is beatable, while a smart non-cheating AI is an extreme challenge for gamers. Since only the top quality of gamers could ever defeat the AI, that's the whole point why AIs are not further develop to be smarter. They don't have to be smarter because the gamers don't require the AI to be smarter. AIs only need to be strong enough to be a challenge to the players, and since a stupid non-cheating AI is good enough for the casual players, and a stupid cheating AI is good enough for the amatures. Hard core players are the ones that need to have a smart AI, but there will be none. That's the reason why hard core becomes players vs players game because there's no AI strong enough to eliminate the need for PVP. @sunandshadow: chores are not mandatory like the three elements of life. Society tries to create other mandatory elements like chores, bathing, etc. However, grind is what makes people happy. [quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1341353603' post='4955465'] I agree that putting 'treasure rooms' dissociates the reward from the actual combat. The drawback to this is that it makes combat less rewarding, more of an obstacle, and players may be tempted to run away more, leading to under-leveled characters. That means before long, players will be having a hard time fighting monsters, and their easiest solution will be to grind up a few levels. Would there be a way to avoid this loophole? [/quote] Treasure makes up 80% of experience in Original Dungeons and Dragons. Only in later edition where the experience for combat are inflated in order to remove the experience from obtaining treasures. For all of loot, each gold piece in value is worth 1 experience point. Taking the treasure does not make the players underleveled since treasure equipments increase the character stats indirectly. Playing any game is grinding for happiness because the default emotion is mild depression. Everyone will move towards the center and neutral point in emotion. This default emotional position is considered negative! Grind defines the genre of the game. Without a grind is without a genre. Love the grind because grind is content! Progress Quest has too much grind! [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
  14. Eat, Sleep, Excrete! These are the three "Grand Issue" of life. These three grind are the things that humans must always do, yet why are there few people complaining about these three elements of life? If anyone complain about the game being grindy, just tell them to forget one of these three elements for 100 days, and see if they are still living. You see, grind = life. Without grind, there is no life. That's what makes a game a game. Grinding is the life of a game, and without life, the game is just a dead game. Dead games have no meaning of enjoyment. When GOD could make humans without the three needs, then I would say that a game without grind would be a GAME. I consider REAL LIFE as an RPG played by our SOULs.
  15. Just start with high difficulty and restriction, and then loosen this restriction through pre-alpha testing. You have to start from a structured approach, and use that approach. That's the major thing about all of programming and designing. Once the core of a game is finish, then the core loses some flexibility. Of course, the difficulty and restriction just needs to tone down to a ceratin extent that casual players may still play. If the game is too easy, even the casual players find it boring. Difficulty and restrictions are one of the method to control the economy. There may be other ways, but not one that is on top of my mind. But as all of the others have said on this forum, it is not possible to balance any mmo economy. Only for limited multiplayer and single player could have a balance economy. Even real market like EVE Online needs changes overtime. Let's compare to the real world for just a moment. Mainstream Economists in the real world likes to have as low of an inflation as possible, but it must be an inflation that is enough so that market changes does not bring the it down to deflation. However, we understand that the best economy is a "deflationary growth." However, deflationary growth is much harder to control than an inflationary growth, and that's why the Mainstream Economists wants to have inflationary growth. They take the easy route. Now, you have a game economy. Inflationary growth or deflationary growth which do you prefer. In an inflationary growth, the monetary system will always expand, in deflationary growth, the monetary system is fixed. A closed economy runs on deflationary growth. An open economy runs on inflationary growth. EVE Online fails the deflationary growth (equivalent to gold standard), and chose to take the inflationary growth (equivalent to fiat currency). All MMO ends up moving towards the fiat (open) system economy that runs upon inflation. The inflation needs to be tame only with the creation of endless higher levels and stronger items through grinding. Since you're going casual, having strict restrictions is not the goal. Instead, loosen the restriction just enough for a balance. The amount of players leaving the game because they reach skill cap and gets bored vs the amount of casual players that play your game needs to balance out. If the game is too easy, then high skill players will leave the game, yet if the game is too hard, low skill players will leave the game. Set the game at such a bar where it is near the mode, or slightly lower than the median or mean. That way, players will not feel the game is too easy. Also game music influence the difficulty entirely. There was an indie game developer blog article that I've read, and he says that changing the music will change the perception of difficulty after several attempts to adjust the difficulty. Why the tier currency system just seems to work? It works better if the teir currency system is not fixed. In fact, having the currency system float is much better. In the old times, 10 copper = 1 silver, 1 pound silver = 1 ounce gold. Today, the 1 ounce of gold is over 50 ounce of silver. Of course, the ratio of conversion widening overtime is what happens in the real world. However, making it widen in the game world will just make the lower value currency obselete to high level characters. [i]The only way for strict 100% balance is to have a single global exchange system that players could access at anytime they want and it is also the only method of trading items.[/i] You must always expect gold farmers in your game. Either they will be illegally gold selling, or they may be players that love to power level. Of course, when Diablo III develop their RMAH, they made every player [above average] become some sort of item farmer. Items always move from the high skill players to the low skill players, making the game easier to make more game income as the game progress. That's because players have access to items above their own level. Item level requirement could offset and help out the economy. Binding items is another way to help the economy. However, those two methods and their variations are what's expected by any developer as many discontent players keep accusing that other MMOs are UO clone, EQ clone, or WoW clone. Features of any earlier MMOs are not worth mentioning. Minimize the income difference between players of different levels, or limit the overall amount of levels will both help to keep the economy in balance. No lootable equipment; boss drops materials to craft higher quality items for that level bracket. Crafting with increase in low level materials. [Tiered Items] Always require low level materials for crafting [Material Sink] Make all crafting done by NPC if you need [Money Sink]