Azenrain

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About Azenrain

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  1. Whats the best turn based strategy game ever?

    X-com ufo defense was a definite fave, while Archon was probably my FIRST fave video game turn based strategy :).
  2. Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes Quote:Original post by spliter Here are my two cents: It has struck me that no one has even mentioned the death in Prey. For those who don't know that game there's death, but instead of having to reload you go to an afterlife where you must battle spirits. By shooting those spirits you regain health, and so the more you hit the higher your health will be when you get back to game. This sounds like the mechanic in Soul Reaver. Yup, and one of my fave games too. And along the lines in the quote, I think we're all aware of the possibilities that can be had with a death mechanic so we were more exploring the fundamentals of the topic on a whole. In relation though, the 'death as a concept' brought up by Tyler most recently, and the branching paths of death, or heroic death (Aaron), seem to offer the most room for development. Like multiple stages of 'death' worked into the game, layered like an onion. How deep does the rabbit hole go? Will you fight your way back or fall further into the void?
  3. Quote:Original post by gxaxhx Quote:Original post by Azenrain # And finally, the basics of death have usually been the forcing to REDO content. (PoP had you REDO in small increments, Super Mario Bros. where if it was your last life it was the title screen and quitting for a week because you were on the last stage...again) Is it the fact that content is so static that is the root cause of not wanting to REDO/Die, making it not the death mechanic at fault, but instead the actual gameplay? I think that's *part* of it but there's also the aspect that when this happens the player is no longer progressing (instead, it's quite the opposite) which can have a negative impact on the player's motivation to continue playing. Think about if your save game became corrupt (Sort of a death by game bug instead of game mechanic). Even if the game is dynamic and starting a new game won't be the exact same experience, the loss of all of that progress may be such a blow that the player will just shelve the game and move on. You are quite right, the possibility that it could be the dynamics came from being able to replay simple physics based games forever. Then I realized it wasn't that it was dynamic, it was because it was simple and short. Time investment of the player is a (The?) MAJOR facet to the penalties of death.
  4. Here's my own thoughts on the subject as opposed to my earlier 'response' post. Every time I'm faced with a new concept, I like to start from the ground up. A lot of times this makes for what some people might consider needless rehashing, but I find value in the process of reasoning this way in that it avoids the 'band aid' syndrome so common to problem solving in complex systems. I believe it is beneficial to know and acknowledge where the root causes lie in order to correct the 'symptoms' at the correct level. With that said, I'll try to address this subject(Our usage of death in games) through what I see as being the intent of the Roundtable Discussion (To form a definitive understanding on the subject at hand in order to clarify its use as a tool in our games) The inclusion of death in a game has been broken down into different elements. It has been the embodiment of the worst thing that can happen to you in the game. At least it was in the old days, as things have changed a great deal. Now we range from starting over, to being sent to a spawn point, to just stealing a couple seconds of the players time as they watch their avatar resurrect on the spot, to... Whats the natural continuation of that pattern? We already have hardly inconvenienced the player at all for death...how about getting rid of death? OK! "In my platform game you can't die, you just run around solving stuff, getting to new heights, and getting loot!" "OK, so what happens when you fall off a cliff?" "Nothing! You just climb back up!" "OK so what happens if you stay under water too long?" "Nothing, you are immortal!" "OK so...whats the challenge?" "You need to collect all these tubes of hair gel in the world so that you can make the best hairdo! It's Awesome!" "OK, but...like what makes that task difficult or challenging to do, you know...to offer the player a sense of satisfaction, like they actually "Did good"? "Well the tubes are only on the highest peaks so they are tric-KAY to get!" "OK so...let me get this straight, you don't die when you fall, but the tubes are hard to get, right?" "Yupper!" "And if you fall you have to climb all the way back up?" "Yup! See! challenging but no DEATH!" "I'm sorry but you are retarded. In order to avoid death, you just made falling the new death." "What?" "Yah that's what I thought..." Do we need 'bad' things to happen to the player? Well sure, if nothing ever went wrong then we could just keep mashing buttons, clicking, whatever and never need active involvement within the game. So we invent aspects within our games to offer an obstacle to the player(The challenge). Which naturally leads to the question, what if this obstacle bests the player? and we arrive at Game over, death, go back 3 spaces, lose your mats, get a scar, and a million and one other specific ways invented for the purpose of punishing the player for meeting the fate of your own design element. Game design is really just another class in human psychology as was already mentioned by gxaxhx(i see your point Trent). So I would conclude with this on the specifics of death. Since the idea of death mostly comes into play when you are controlling an avatar of some sort(ie not playing a puzzle), it is only natural to have death be the price of ultimate failure. It is NOT needed however, and I believe that in actuality it has been removed from most games today. Getting to the last level in a game 20 years ago and then losing was dying. It was what we now call permadeath in RPG's. "Dying" today is an impotent term used to refer to the fact that you were 'inconvenienced' by a specific punishment. Either get on with the permadeath, or resign to the fact that the death in your game is purely cosmetic. Devon
  5. I think a lot of the beginning confusion starting here(at least when I started writing heh) is based on the idea that "death" is really just a specific form of defeat. In the reasoning of "death generic" that is surfacing, even climbing the wall with risk(falling)/reward(the top) can be said to be that the falling is equivalent to "death generic" in that you have to restart from the beginning. So with that said, if we are actually talking of 'death specific'(as is commonly thought of), I find that it is hard to address the flaws and merits of (D)eath in games without also delving to a deeper level of abstraction in order to understand the foundations of what is happening when we chose death as a gameplay 'punishment'(as we can pretty much all agree that dieing really feels like a punishment for failure to surmount a given obstacle). pun⋅ish⋅ment    /ˈpʌnɪʃmənt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [puhn-ish-muhnt] –noun 1. the act of punishing. 2. the fact of being punished, as for an offense or fault. 3. a penalty inflicted for an offense, fault, etc. 4. severe handling or treatment. 3 & 4 are brutal when you consider that is what a death system can represent to a player. What I mean to advance, is that in determining the other options to Death as we know it in game design, what are we really asking? # Is it a question regarding the 'ultimate punishment' for failure in the game that we embody with the grim shadow of Death? What is another form of 'ultimate punishment' that can take its place, perhaps only in a new guise? # What would keep immersion?(as per Spoonbender's valid point) # And finally, the basics of death have usually been the forcing to REDO content. (PoP had you REDO in small increments, Super Mario Bros. where if it was your last life it was the title screen and quitting for a week because you were on the last stage...again) Is it the fact that content is so static that is the root cause of not wanting to REDO/Die, making it not the death mechanic at fault, but instead the actual gameplay?
  6. Quote:Original post by ambershee Keeping these kinds of discussions around, could indeed prove a nice read for any other aspiring designers out there. Very true (First post and new to these forums). I immensely enjoyed your thorough treatment of the topic and especially your guidelines for contribution to the table. Very nice work, and I look forward to more.