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fr0st2k

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  1.   I dont think infinite space would really be a problem, as it would only show / calculate based on areas that people explored.   fog of war was touched upon in the mention of 'beacons.'  Players would only see stats on areas they occupy, and thus, only spots that have been occupied would need to be created.  It's the same logic thats found in minecraft..they only build whats necessary for the players.   The whole idea is that it's not supposed to 'simplistic' but represent a large economy within a world thats mysterious.  Owning property/shares of buildings, charging other players money, collecting money, owning population of specific areas, etc.  It's a niche, of course, but something anyone could get interested in given enough of a push into understanding it.   There is no winning, so no one will win.  If some player takes control of a specific area, new players only need to travel to a brand new area and start fresh.     But, theres certain benefits of living in a constructed colony...They would have space ports, they'd have population, they'd have mining operations, etc.  You could theoretically work for them if you wanted to in order to get off the ground.     Part of the appeal, i think, would be the fact that you don't know whats going on in the other side of the universe.  You and your group might think youre hot stuff, only to find out that a bigger group outclassed you 1000 lightyears away.  
  2.     Cool idea.  This is actually a really good foundation for how to implement a GOOD system that has tons of attributes...   A system can be designed where you gain abilities for leveling up a specific set of attributes to a certain number.    I.E.:   Ability: Egg Throw requires : Aim : lvl 10 || Cooking: lvl 2   Ability:Catch Fish In Water Agility: 2 Strength: 15 Farming: 10   Actually ... now that I think about it, this is pretty much what final fantasy tactics did, only in a superfluous way: using jobs instead of attributes.
  3. I have been toying with a pretty complex card game design for a while now.  Moving it to the digital world has certainly been a challenge.   The one thing I didn't want to do was keep things incredibly simple.  I wanted card abilities that were interesting and could be expanded on. I created this a while back which can most definitely be improved upon, but acts as a good example:   in the event that we make the actual program at some time ... here are some of the subroutine ideas we could use variables -> deal damage destroy increase atk   action description action example decrease atk tribute remove from game     attack creature - 400 damage - 1 target deal damage / face up / 1 card - select face up face down all grave yard to what type     1 card - select > 1 card select all cards   to how many kill all face up monsters destroy/faceup/allcards time over X turns certain phase (command/summon) (draw etc)     x factor     damage calc       end calculation     record atk record type record etc       In the first example the ability on the card would say:   Deals 400 damage to target creature.     breaking that down into code, you see, 'deal damage'  'faceup creature' '1 card' and 'select'  This tells the program everything it needs to know to initiate player options and action.  The player is allowed to choose any faceup creature card to deal damage.  Each card would be made up from 1 selection of each color in the above table.  So if you wanted to make up a card, you just choose one:  'Destroy' 'face down' '3 card select'  <- powerful card!   'record type' would be used for things like, "doppleganger' or type changes, attacks.   Building a stack is the most important thing you can do.  Set up a priority system for actions.  If youre going to allow interrupts by the opponent, thats even more important.   I posted the card game idea somewhere on here i think a few years ago if youre interested in pulling up my history.  
  4. It seems like it would be necessary to, at some point, limit the amount of skill they can have.     With such an expansive amount of attributes, you'd need an equally expansive amount of player actions.  For instance, If i have cooking, building, and agility leveled up, how does that make me unique and help me in the game?     If you are thinking there are 'premade' best choices, then why even give the player the choice of collecting many different choices.     Most games fail because having a non-maxed out stat becomes worthless.  The player can make level 2 potions that heal for 100 hp, but they have 10,000 hp and take 1000 a hit.  This means that having the ability to make level 2 potions is pointless, so you are forced to put those points instead, into your hp
  5. I've been toying with this idea for a while. I put it on hold for a few years as I started teaching myself web design.   However, now that i'm seeing what HTML5 can do, I'm interested in revisiting this idea as a possible browser game ...in fact, it would be THE BROWSER game to end all browser games.   I'm just looking for some interest/comments/crits suggestions on the idea as a whole.  Ideally, suggestions as to what platform might be best to begin development.    If you find yourself interested in starting/contributing, also feel free to post.   ---    Summary:     The human race has evolved.  Science and technology has advanced to the point where space exploration is possible, and specific groups on Earth are taking off into the unknown to discover new worlds, mine precious resources, and build and control empires.    In short, this is a bigger, always on, civilization game, with a load more options, and less micromanagement.   Object:   Players begin on Earth.  Here, they are introduced to the early mechanics of the game.  They are given the choice to become 'influential' through politics, religion, or war.  However, on Earth (the tutorial) War is prohibited.  This means, players will rise in power through either politics or religion to begin the game.     The player is given some limited options to influence a group of people and make money.  Hence, three main factors, population, money, and influence.     At a specific point, a very rich contributor will send the player a message saying something like, "I am so impressed with your <politics or religion> that I want to buy you a starship.  It will fit 5,000 population, do you want to set off into space to begin your expansion?"   Of course, the player says Yes, because its the tutorial and you have no choice.  But here in starts the real game.   The Game:   The game is quite simple on the outside.  It is a large grid of 1x1 unit blocks.  Each 1x1 unit block represents a distance (1 light year?).  When leaving earth, a stargate type option is available(teleports to outskirts of a developed area) to help starting players branch out past players who already established worlds nearby earth.   But either way, all players leave and traverse space in their ships.  The catch is, you travel in REAL TIME (based on game time).  AKA: if your ship has the capability of traveling the speed of light, and every hour represents 1 year in the game, it will take the player 1 hour to travel across a single 1x1 unit grid.     Each 1x1 unit grid will populate with specific criteria upon exploration (i.e. if a player explores this space for the first time, it will forever be populated with a specific amount of variables).  Variables for grids include:  Type of Space: System/Asteroids/Empty;  The amount of resources that can be mined; Random Enemy Units/Aliens, etc.  Minecrafts 'biome' system is a relevant comparison.     The game will consist of a few actions the player can do, though much of the game will play out automatically while the player is not controlling it.  These actions include:  Space Travel, Economy, and Colonization (which includes religion, war and politics).   Each 1x1 grid allows all 3 of these things concurrently.     Space Travel   As alluded to above, traveling and exploration is vital.  Because each area of the grid has different properties, it is important to find good areas for colonization or mining.   As the players influence, gold and population increases, they will be able to build more/bigger ships.  Specific ships / upgrades will provide different statistics of the area they are in or the areas around them.     Their first ship, a colonization ship, once founded, gives them access to manufacturing/refining and opens up population control (colonization).   Manufacturing opens up construction of ships, which requires ore. For instance, maybe the first thing a player wants is a ship equipped with a 'ship scanner' which will scan the grid and output information of all other player ships in that area.     Other ship ideas include:   Beacon - Fire it out into space to explore. It explodes when it reaches its destination and provides vision of grid for some time. Cruiser - Large battle ship Mining ship small->large - Mine Eve Ships <- kind of the same ideas.   Ship parts:  Scrambler : Show up on ship scans, but without any details of ship type. etc.   Economy   This is just like Eve. Find a resource heavy grid, and move some mining tools into it. Start collecting it and send it to home base.   However, its a good time to bring up the idea of Space Ports.  Not very close to a planet? Got Enough miners in an area? Or youre particularly rich?  Start construction of a space port.  Space ports act as mini planets, just with a smaller population cap.     One of the ideas is that everything in the game will be owned and managed.  For instance, whoever controls/owns the spaceport, will be able to charge others to dock there.  They control the price.  a 'share' system would be nice to allow multiple owners.     There is no currency,but there is a limited amount of each resource.  So currency will build based on supply and demand automatically.  If a player shoots out a beacon to explore, and it is destroyed, its resources are added back into that grids resource count.     Colonization This is the fun part.  Take over the universe!  You would do this through the colonization system.  Because you are an influential person, and population is crucial to expanding, you can enter specific populated sections of the universe and vie for peoples attention.  You do this through political movements, religious movements or War.   Political means you throw money at the people and earn followers.  They become yours.  Each world has a maximum amount of population based on whoever is currently living there.     Imagine for a second that someone arrives at a grid with a planet.  They do a scan and notice that its inhabited by 1 other player, who has colonized 10000pop/100000000.  You decide to colonize.  The other player logs on and notices this and is pompted with a message, 'player b has colonized near you: action?'  "Extend Peace, send Missionary, WAR!?"     He doesn't see a threat, so he extends peace.  The other player succeeds, but his  influence is very high.  In which case, 10,000 of player A's population hears his game and randomly may choose to leave.  Eventually player B steals all the population and Player A is forced to gather up his pop and fly away, or fight back with money of political propaganda.     ---    So, this sounds hard to implement.  Not really.  The grid system allows you to organize UI into manageable sections.  At any given moment, the player has only a single grid selected.  Options within each grid are as outlined above: Space Travel, Economy, Colonization.  Within Space Travel, you will see all your available ships and have the choice to move them.  Each ship will have specific abilities.  In economy, you will be able to manage resources and build.  In colonization you can interact with other players and participate in war, politics or religion.   I personally would find this game very intriguing.  The bottom line is, some people would be rich, and others wouldn't make much of a dent in the game, they would only exist.  Randomization in population and influence algorithms would allow certain turnarounds.  Say you win a battle and get an influence buff that follows you around for a while.  The random algorithm happens to kick off a rebellion and tons of people switch to your side. Having population behind you increases awareness of other players in that sector, and they support you by donating money to build bigger projects.   The goal of course, is to make a very realistic player driven world, but do so in a way that is easily maintainable and expandable via code.  A certain level of AI needs to be created for the population, which make decisions on specific influences that are around them.  Everything else (other than storing all the data for the huge world), is pretty straight forward.     Thanks for reading this long write up.  I wish I had more time to focus on writing a very detailed write up and grammar spell check, but this was a spur of the moment write up, so please bear with me.   Again, looking for comments/suggetions/criticism/interest.  
  6. I've been on this site a while.  I consider myself a game designer; a really good one, but I don't fall into the definition here.   Perhaps I am missing a specific role, and perhaps that role defines my view as to what a game designer is...if so, please tell me.    For me, a game design is someone who sees the big picture of project.  They define the features and define the scope and limitations while forging and guiding the team down the path towards completion.    The above is something that the majority of failed projects do not have...a designated leader.  Someone who understands the capabilities of the team, and can create a fun experience using the allotted skill and budget.    You can NOT start game design with a storyline.  You can not turn a non-defined engine into a good game. Its the other way around. You need to write an engine with the feature scope in mind. To have a successful game, you need to start with the backbone of what you want to do with gives you a strong foundation to build an expandable and most of all, entertaining, game.     I have read many GDD's on this site, and most of them come off as irrelevant and pointless.  Explaining that your character can, "find guns and shoot people" is pointless.  A game designer needs to come up with more complex feature sets, i.e. (assuming 3d world FPS):   Guns differentiated by variables: reload time, shot speed, and damage.  All guns will have different models, with different particle effects for each shot.  Quick swap allowed via key press.   I would expect the above to be much more detailed and thought out, but as an example, I hope you get the idea.  The Game Designer helps set up the framework for programming.  Each feature needs to be well thought out in the game design doc so when the programmer begins, they have a strong understanding of how to set up their code.  
  7. Wow, i immediately went in the complete opposite direction than most.   For some reason, I assumed a tumbleweed was the object of control.  I think a mobile game with motion controls would do nicely.  Create an endless 3d scrolling map, where you try and travel as far away as you can from the center point.     Implement things like, "wind-tunnels" and require the player to seek additional 'twigs' to keep your tumbleweed strong.  Alternatively, maybe the player uses their finger to 'blow' the tumbleweed in different directions to avoid obstacles or chase down powerups.  Wind can be a resource that slowly regens once used.  Otherwise, you have mild control via tilt.
  8.   It seems as if the original idea evolved into something else through the course of discussion.   Originally, we had a game based completely on game design, with very little graphics to get in the way.    I always called these games, "Browser-based MMORPG's" though im not sure what genre they would be considered now-a-days.   The conversation steered into the discussion of a more general "text-based" rpg from the true days of old, where you lay out a story with choices and reactions....ala goosbumps, "pick your choice, go to that page" (not to discount the numerous other books that used that idea) kinda book.     And thats interesting really...because now in the digital age you can't "retract" your answer like every kid in the world did.  It would be quite challenging to design a game/book that does this without forcing the reader to 're-read' continuously, or jump back to his last decision in an "oh, woops, didn't mean to choose that one."  Essentially, make it so engaging the the reader gets a whole new story each time he reads through without feeling like he's re-reading.   But back to the original idea, the Browser-based MMO...in regards to game design, its quite challenging, and really expandable and fun.   You design resource management between # of units and structures.  Each structure can generate resources based on level (or number of structure).  Units can detract from regen, which means you already have a nice little balancing act going on.   You can only grow you economy by acquiring land, which can be done through 'exploring (diminishing returns)' and 'battle.'  I think land is an important feature of the game because it becomes the limiting factor in your overall power.  By allowing it to be destroyed or stolen, players can't expect to always move forward.  You create a game, not a time waster.     The inherent problem with games like, "Mafia Wars" is that there is no competition, and thus no strategy.  Its just a flat out time waster.  Your decisions don't have any impact.   For those who are familiar with Archmage and games of its genre, it might be interesting to discuss what would need to be improved to gain a larger audience.   It was very niche.  The strategy involved was so in depth that many people just didn't understand what they were doing.   The number one thing is to simplify it.  But how do you simplify a complicated game that relies solely on game design and strategy without making a mind-numbing experience ala Mafia Wars.  That seems to be the biggest challenge im facing.     In my first write up, the main things i did was try and 'trim the fat' from Archmage, in a somewhat purely UX role.  What things were annoying, what items work together, what doesn't need to be there.   For instance,  in Archmage, you had a total of 200 turns, which you accumulated every 5 minutes (based on server).  This evolved over time into the Zynga token idea.  So why not simplify it and use tokens.  This means you can do more with a single token compared to a 'turn.'  Rather than use 20 turns to build 200 Barracks,  you use 1 token to upgrade a barracks from level 1 -> level 2.  (keep in mind, due to core gameplay mechanics, these things are destroyed and rebuilt over the course of the game)   Another example: In Archmage, the structure, "Towns" gave you additional population.  The structure, "Farms" multiplied population to grant you a gold income per turn.  How much added depth was that giving the player?  IMO, not enough to warrant such a complex and confusing game mechanic and management.  So, get rid of it, and add in a single structure that grants gold per turn.     And again, while its possible to simplify, you walk a thin line between making the game have so little strategy it's pointless to play...kind of like Rage of Bahamut ...which I would consider a completely horrible game in terms of game design.  
  9. Thanks for all the feedback so far.  I think by your responses really show that this kind of genre can, not so much revive, since it hadn't died, but more so, be lifted back into the lime-light.    independent Its encouraging, because as an independent developer with no team to help pull off the heavy stuff - this genre is very doable for me, and it's true appeal is game design, not anything else.     This was an interesting thought which I didn't quite put together.  It is definitely similar in nature, and just realizing that is going to help when I continue working on my GDD.   I have a prototype up and running, and the great thing is, I just can't wait to start playing it.     As was mentioned, fancy graphics often outweigh good game design. Rits had a lot of good points involving what 'basic instincts' of game design really make a game addicting.  In response to your question, yes, I think some degree of images is required to set the stage and feel of the game.  Imagination is great, but the reason it works in books is due to the level of detail in the description.  Can't really get that across on 1 or 2 lines of a mobile phone.  However, it might be a good idea to allow a 'disable image' button for those at work. Back to the addicting items:   - Lotto system : Something randomized that, when 'won' gives the player a euphoric feeling - Upgrades : For when randomization gets too unlucky. Players like to reach for and hit milestones.  Points of no return where they can call it a day and feel good about their accomplishments - Smug satisfaction : Feeling more powerful than others.   The prototype I have is still trying to fuse all these together...but its fun, and the challenges don't seem impossible.   Thanks for input so far.
  10. Materia was great.     Things I loved about it:   It leveled up You could save it as an item You could thus distribute it to different characters back and forth It worked with armor/weapons   Based on those main factors here are things I would have changed (or added to)   Make materia more specific to armor/weapon sockets Think world of warcraft gemming.  Different armor/weapon sockets should match colors, and boost stats.  I won't go into too much detail because i'm sure it will get complicated, but I think that would be neat.   Different Level up paths (tiering system) based on different factors So I just leveled my Fire materia to lvl 2.  However because it was mainly socketed in my weapon for the majority of its exp gain, it becomes more destructive.  Because it was socketed in my armor, it because more defensive.  i.e: Weapon: Fira (direct damage nuke) Armor: Fire Shield (Damage when enemy attacks you)   Combo Pairing So they had connected sockets on equipment.  Why not allow the formation of unique spells when you equip 2 together.  This would combine easily with the tiering system mentioned above.  2 fire materia on weapon -> Fira You mentioned scrolling to find an ability.  I would simply sort it by category.  All fire spells/water spells/gravity, etc.  You could make the default choice for spell the HIGHEST tier (Firaga), then give them a hotkey to open up a menu to cast a weaker version.  Alternatively, you could also simply require them to equip a weaker piece of materia to cast a weaker version of the spell (incase they need it for a fight, or have mana constraints)
  11. Respectfully, that is not my assumption. What I'm saying (and, as I've read it, what others here are also saying) is that you could have the most amazing justification for it ever and you should still not put it in your game. It's not appropriate, it's a trauma trigger that could potentially really hurt people you don't know, and - if for no other reason - it will most certainly make it very hard for you to secure a deal with a publisher or even to go indie.   Pick another vector for the cure that does not dehumanize your protagonist by exploiting the sheer fact she has female reproductive parts. She's not a plot device or an incubator. She's a main character and she definitely deserves better.   Ok, I agree that a rape scene in a video game is one of those things that SCREAM "Im goin for the shock value here!" and agree that it shouldn't be part of the story..but your reasoning doesn't really make sense to me...at all.   IMO, youre getting way to close to a character in a video game, seemingly relating it to problems you have been close to in real life.  "She's" not a real person, nor a plot device, and having her go through a traumatic experience doesn't exploit anyone.  It might, if done improperly, demean actual victims.   The main problem with including a scene like this as mentioned above..is that it is purely shock value.  Unless of course you focus the entire story around it.  Which the author isn't doing.  In that sense, "the rape scene" (not the "female lead") is merely a plot device and is one that doesn't need to be there.  Go the alien route, or have her get injected with cells to get the same effect.
  12. I used to be a huge fan of browser-based RPG's.  The one I played most was called, "Archmage," later reconstructed under the name, "The Reincarnation."   The interesting thing about this game, and its genre, was that there were no fancy graphics.  It was based entirely in 1998 browser windows, displaying stats and text with some cool images sprinkled here and there.   I would say that this early genre was the foundation for games like Farmville.  In both games, you manage, 'buildings' which grant you income/economy.  You use that income to grow your city.     The main difference between Archmage and Farmville, however, is the amount of cooperation and competition involved.  Farmville and subsequent games have no challenge.  You work with others, and you grow your 'land,' but through an investment of time, not strategy.   Archmage on the other hand allowed users to compete with each other.  Strategically, you had to manage your army, and economy correctly, or risk losing units or structures.  You focused on gaining "land" to expand your territory, like Farmville, but it could be stolen from you in battle and you too, could expand by attacking others.     The other difference, and the main meat of this topic discussion, is that Archmage doesn't use a 'field' or placement grid for buildings.  Your city was represented as a bunch of numbers, with gold regen(+ or -) mana, building count, etc.  As is your army.  When you attack, you don't do anything manually.  You are presented with a report, and wit how much land/gold you gained and how many units died.   Is there a place for games like this still?   Games that focus more on strategy and numbers than handholding and graphics?     I suppose the questions comes up, does implementing graphics/2d fields/grid take away from the strategy, or hamper the experience.      To start the discussion off, I would argue that, in a way, it does hamper the experience.  If the gameplay requires constant building/rebuilding of structures (which archmage would), it would get annoying to have to manage placement of buildings that might vanish or be destroyed.   You could choose to visually show expansion by managing a dynamic image which changes with player power, but I think thats about as necessary as it would get.     This means that the main question is, would players be able to handle a game with no graphics?  I think there is certainly a niche, but could that niche be expanded and grown?
  13. duh! yeah, i definitely will have a timestamp in there.     Currently, I am testing on a webhost, not running my own server.  Though I will look into mongodb, should be interesting whether I can implement it or not.   Im not too familiar with enum state of mind, i'll look into it.     Thanks so far.  I'll report back if I make solid progress.  Still looking for any other tips/tricks/experience
  14. Hi, I'll help get the discussion rollin'.     (I chose to keep this post separate from an edit because I feel like it is more of a proposed answer rather than a modified question.)   After giving the problem a little more thought, it makes more sense to create the full message and store it in the DB since I'll already have the values at my disposal.   So in the message tbl change it to something like:   tbl_message message_id message   i.e. 1 'You have recruited !x of !y'   Use a specific delimiter of sorts ('!') so that I can 'catch' the spots where I need to insert variables.  Since each message will be uniquely written in the code, I can just replace !x and !y with whatever value I have just calculated.   Then store it in a more robust message bridge table   tbl_message_bridge mb_id user_id message   Just another thought.  Would still like to hear ways you have or would do it.
  15. I am developing a neat little browser based RPG in jquery mobile.    The best way I can describe it is by referencing, "Archmage - The Reincarnation. (or essentially, the grandfather of Farmville)."  The game takes place entirely through text and images, similarly to Rage of the Bahamut.  Your actions are controlled via "Turns" which you accumulate over time, mixed with some management of gold/mana/population.  You raise up large army's and seek to steal resources from other players to raise your rank.   IMO, its a REALLY fun genre which deteriorated with the simplicity and anti-competitive nature of games like Farmville.    Anyway, I am to the point where I need to implement a Newsfeed.  Essentially, a little widget that I can throw on the page that lists all recent actions taken upon that character: such as,   being attacked attacking recruiting land management (destroy / build / etc) buffs running out warnings of negative economy regen etc   Now I have an idea as to what I will do, but I know this has been done before, and I want to make sure im doing it the right way.  Anyone have experience in this area in regards to designing the Database?   My current thoughts is:   Table1:  Messages message_id message   Table2: Messagebridge mb_id message_id user_id   variable1 variable2 variable3 variable4   Something like the above.  Where variable 1 - 5 would contain specific information pertaining to the message which would be sorted out in PHP functions.   i.e.   Message: 1. You have recruited <#units>, <#unit type> Variable 1: normal int Variable 2: pull unit info from unit_tbl via 'unit_id'<- which is what is stored   It seems cumbersome, and I am usually not too fond of serializing.  Though I can see a slight benefit in doing so.     Anyone have some suggestions or recommendations?