• Announcements

    • khawk

      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.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1178 Excellent

About MilchoPenchev

  • Rank

Personal Information

  1. That wasn't irony. Perhaps you were thinking of sarcasm?   Oh, frell, forgot the main point. That does look really cool, and would certainly be a hell of a lot easier for more complex objects than sitting down to model them in SketchUp. Not to mention looks far better than someone with no modelling experience can do..   Although, I kind of started wondering how this could apply to objects that aren't so simply described with elementary shapes - i.e. a modern car or a boat, where the curves are usually designed by various bezier surfaces.
  2.   This actually reminds me of what happened in Guild Wars. Guild Wars had gold (only, no silver/copper), and you were limited to carrying 100k gold on any one character (bank stored way more I think).   The thing is, some items that were being traded started becoming more valuable than the 100k gold limit on a character. Since no one wants to do a trade in multiple parts, because of how insecure that is, people started using a very rare crafting item that was dropped in a specific area as currency replacement - the item was Glob of Ectoplasm.   Globs had variable price, even at NPC traders (the prices varied there based on supply/demand), but even so, people took to using them as substitute for large transactions of currency, since the supply of ectoplasm was always strictly limited (it was hard to farm), and also since it was a consumable, valuable item - so that the market wouldn't be overrun with it as a supply.   I'm pretty sure that mmo economics is a field of its own, since it can become incredibly complex.. but having a rare, limited in supply item could just lead to people using it as currency naturally (kind of what happened with gold in real life I suppose)
  3. Didn't see it mentioned, but Path of Exile has a no gold trade system, and is an mmo (with instanced combat areas, but still an mmo). The way it works there (from the stuff I've seen), is that when you 'sell' items to a trader you get scroll and/or stone fragments. Enough of these (10 i think) automatically make a stone or scroll. The stones/scrolls are also used to 'buy' items. Trading between players is also possible and it just comes down to bargaining.   The key why that works though, I think, is that the stones/scrolls are one time use items that are quite commonly used in game (such as identifying items, or augmenting items) - and thus gives them value without flooding the market with them.
  4.   Well, among one of the many games that inspired me is a game called Motherload, a flash based 2d grid-digger game. It was fairly popular, and there's even a greenlight version being made. The game had you digging for different minerals, then coming back to the top to sell them. It had cargo size limits, as well as limited fuel - and essentially had you die when you ran out of fuel. Despite that, it was still interesting, and kind of addictive to push yourself to go digging deeper for better materials. It's one of the feelings I was hoping to re-create (only in space).    The idea of just getting a high score as an ultimate goal doesn't have much of an appeal to me, and neither does time-limited exploration. I have some vague ideas about other possible end-game goals - possibly involving unique missions and solving some mystery - but I'm holding off on that until I get the basic gameplay settled.
  5.   Hm, perhaps. Fuel can just be simplified to one type - Deuterium, and not worry about free-flight, giving a sci-fi explanation that it uses the Fusion reactors and some insignificant (read: not having a gameplay effect) amounts of Deuterium.   As for Rations and Cargo space - rations don't have to take up huge amounts of space, the numbers can be adjusted so that for a decent sized journey of say, an in-game week, the rations necessary, even with max crew, would take up 1% of your cargo. There's a lot of factors involved, but what I mean is that rations don't have to eat up a lot of space.   I'm all for simplifying things, in fact the fuel simplification doesn't sound bad at all - but I'm also ok with making the player lose the game because of resource mismanagement (to some degree). There's no combat, no real outside threats to your ship at all, so I was initially struggling of ways to introduce difficulty.
  6. Thanks for the input guys. I now have a fairly good idea of how buying new ships can affect gameplay:   List of ship features, dependent on ship size and specialization. Larger ships improve on all aspects, but different varieties specialize in one (or two) areas. Crew Capacity: maximum number of crew members you can hire for this ship Optimal Crew: A range given for each ship's optimal number of crew members. If outside the range, crew receive a morale penalty (i.e understaffed or crowded) Cargo Space: measured in cubic meters - how much cargo you can carry on the ship, and all non-mounted equipment, including Rations, takes up cargo space. Sensor Slots: how many sensors you can equip on this ship (excluding the default build in Directional Radiowave which comes standard with all) Advanced Equipment Slot: Used for the Scientific Scanner and for the Ram Scoop. Fuel Capacity: Something I overlooked. Chemical fuel is used as you free-fly around (only if you accelerate/decelerate), while Deuterium fuel would limit to how big of hops you can make between star systems   The mountable equipment on each ship: Heat Sensors: require one free sensor slot Planetary Sensors: require one free sensor slot Scientific Sensors: require one free sensor slot - this only provides the location of spatial anomalies, not the ability to scan them (locations become an item and can be sold) Scientific Scanner: requires one free Advanced Equipment Slot - provides the ability to scan spatial anomalies, requires Scientist to operate Ram Scoop: requires one free Advanced Equipment Slot - if you fly though a Gas giant with this equipped, it replenishes your Deuterium fuel supply.   To give an idea of the scale I'm thinking of: starter ships would start with crew cap of 4, limited storage space (need to work out exact size), 1 sensor slots, little fuel capacity (also need to work out units) and no Advanced Equipment slots. There'll be a few starter ships to pick from, each giving a little bonus to a specific area - more crew, more fuel, more cargo or one more sensor slot. Same type of specialization would apply for later ships. The largest ship will have a crew cap of no more than 20.  I'm also thinking of a couple of new crew roles to give a reason and a way to expand crew size: Cook: If present on board, and you give more than 1 ration a day to your crew, gives a morale boost. Only one allowed on-board. Xenobiologist: If present, you can send a simple exploration mission anywhere on a habitable world that has a small chance to refill your rations.
  7.   Not a bad idea. I'm assuming this would only apply to people who have something to do on board, such as the PIlot, Engineer, Scientist, Doctor, Companion, and maybe the Commander (even though he doesn't have specific on-ship tasks, it can be seen as applicable). Well, I guess that's everyone except a Mercenary, since he doesn't have any real on-ship tasks.   I have one issue though - after all that ship size discussion, I'm leaning towards starter ships being of max crew maybe 4 - 5. In such a case, maybe each ship could have an 'optimal' number of each crew member required to operate it. If crew of certain type is lacking, they get that morale penalty that you mentioned. This would sort of tie in with different ships, i.e. potentially some more expensive ones would be more automated, requiring less crew, but performing same tasks as other less expensive ships of the same size. What do you think? Or am I making it too complicated for a player to manage?
  8. Yes, I agree. Having only get more money as a goal wouldn't be ultimately satisfying if there's nothing you can spend your money on. I've worked out three ship properties that can be upgraded and which can also be weighed against each other: Cargo Space, Max Crew and Sensor Slots.   This can give somewhat of a variety in choosing a starting ship, and then a variety of ships when upgrading. For example, when choosing a starting ship, you can pick one of three: One that has above-average cargo space, one that has above average crew count, and one that allows an extra sensor slot. I'm thinking that the Directional Radio sensor would be build-in function in all ships, rather than a slot. So, new ships you can buy would improve on all aspects (cargo, crew, sensor slots), but each would have a focus of some sort, providing a bonus to one of the three categories. I think that would a be a good start to having something to look forward to in a game like this.   Hmm, I haven't really thought about sleep, but I'm not sure I want to increase the complexity by starting to track each crew member's sleep hours. One easier option is to add a "Tired" status for a few hours to a crew member after an action (fixing, healing etc) on board the ship, or after that crew member returns from a mission. If you then have the crew member do something else while she/he has the "Tired" status, they take a penalty to Morale, and the Tired status is refreshed. The penalty would disappear if you let the Tired status expire (as if they've rested). That's something I might be able to work in without too much difficulty, though I'll have to see if it would be a mechanic worth having.   Yeah, I can see how it looks. Originally I was planning a more complicated morale system with things like what you said -  mutiny, being marooned and such. But that didn't fit in with what I wanted, which was just a space exploration/survival game.  The possibility of just having random crew members (they're all going to have names, so not technically anonymous) occurred to me, but then the question is this: What happens if all your crew's morale drops too low and everyone leaves? Game Over? .. I suppose that could work, actually...
  9.   Yes, your ship would have limited crew capacity, it would be silly otherwise.   I still haven't settled on having different ships yet - thinking about possible gameplay implications. It's possible that I could have your the sensors mentioned above be slotted, and getting a new, bigger, ship would allow more than one sensor type equipped at the same time. Additionally, the scientific sensor could be something only available to bigger ships only - so that spacial anomalies could only become a source of income (and bigger income at that) at later stages. Ship size could also have a direct correlation to inventory space, allowing for longer missions and more salvaging. The idea is that everything: rations, spare parts for repairing, salvage, recovered items, etc. would occupy some volume in the ship's inventory.   For the crew - the only advantage of having more than one of a certain specialist on board would be redundancy: If a crew member gets injured, he/she is unable to perform their duties on board the ship (i.e. engineers can't repair) and they're not available to be sent on missions - which is where redundant crew comes in. That's about the biggest thing I can think of.   My scope is currently on running a small ship, ala Firefly or Farscape. Not a huge one with hundreds of crew as in Star Trek.
  10. I've been experimenting with this idea for a 2d top down space exploration and survival game, sort of rogue like. Feedback would be great - I'll try to point out things that I really need feedback on, but any is welcomed.   Some notes on small things, don't need any specific feedback, but just to give a better idea: 2D topdown view, with realistic space flight physics, barring gravity (I think it makes flight significantly more complex, but not more fun). All stellar objects (planets, moons, asteroids, stars) will be real sized. I've experimented to see if I can get it working, see this video (turn hd to see the stars in background) The 2D topdown view, and a simple solar system/galaxy map (for 'jumps' inside the system and between systems) are the only two views. No controlling crew, no other perspectives or models besides your ship and various other space objects. Crew and your character don't have any graphical design, but simply are a name and specialization + stats (base morale, hire price, salary/week that sort of thing). All interaction is done through text-based descriptions and player choices. Some of the key gameplay ideas. I'm most interested in feedback on these: Interaction: Stopping over certain objects allows interaction and choices via a text menu (nothing fancy), and results/feedback is also given via text description. For example, stopping over ship debris allows options to scan or try to scavenge resources. Stopping over a city on a planet allows for trading (components, materials, rations), and for hiring new crew members. Further examples of interactive objects: space stations, derelict ships, asteroids, spacial anomalies, and terrestrial planets/moons Crew: You have a list of crew on your ship. Each crew member has a specialization that serves a purpose, either on ship, or on Missions (described below). Crew members also have morale (starting at random value) that takes penalties if you fail to pay their weekly salary, or if you have insufficient Rations. If a crew member's Morale gets low enough he/she leaves the ship. Pilot: needed to fly a ship. If his morale drops too low and he leaves, you are 'moved' to the last city/space station you vsited.  Commander: Increases survival odds of everyone if present in mission. Allows for 'Negotiate' option, if available on missions Engineer: allows repair of ship components whilst in space (if components are present). Guarantees safe recovery of   components if present on Missions. Scientist: Can turn Raw Data (obtained from scanning spatial anomalies) into Research Notes. Can research Unknown Objects (recovered from certain missions) and turn them into specific and valuable objects (to sell or to use). Guarantees safe recovery of Unknown Objects if present on Mission. Mercenary: Allows for 'Attack' option if present on Missions. Doctor: Can heal Badly Injured crew whilst in space. Reduces odds of any crew member dying if he's present on a Mission. Companion: Adds to crew morale, does not require a salary, only one per ship. Adds additional trade options in certain space stations/cities. Your character must have a minimum reputation before being able to ask a companion to join the crew, and have a minimum number of crew members to keep her on board. Your character: Your character is like all other crew - he has a specialization that you can pick at start. The only difference is that your character is not affected by Morale, and thus will never leave. However your character is affected by rations, and if he hasn't eaten anything in some time, he dies, resulting in Game Over. Survival: You must provide rations for your crew each day. You can select number of rations to per day (0,1,2,3 or 4) - and each provides a different Morale boost/loss to each crew. You must pay weekly salary of your crew (on individual crew basis, in full or none) - paying/not paying has a Morale boost/loss effect on each crew. Two types of fuel must be resupplied: Chemical fuel for free space flight, and Deuterium for FTL jumps. In addition to that, your Ship has various Equipment, some optional, other required to survive. Each equipment piece has a durability value that has a chance of decreasing at the end of each day. Failing to repair vital equipment results in death. (permanent). Repairing equipment can be done at a City or Space station for currency, or may be done anywhere for free, if you have an Engineer and if the needed components are available in ship inventory. Exploration: Procedurally generated systems, each containing random features. Various ship Equipment is used to explore and discover different objects and missions. Optional equipment must be purchased at Cities or Space Stations. Radio sensors: Always present, can detect directional radio transmissions (i.e. from Derelict Ships, or Crash Sites) inside a single Star System. Heat Sensors: Optional, can detect Ship Debris inside a single Star System.  Planetary Sensors: Can detect possible locations of Settlements and Ruins when near a Planet. Scientific Sensors: Can detect the presence of spatial anomalies inside a single Star System. Missions: Most interactive objects (except Cities and Space Stations) provide some sort of scripted mission. Missions are displayed as text description only, i.e.: You click Explore when stopped over a Settlement, and you're provided with a short text intro to the settlement and the people. At this point various options may open up, depending on the scripting and crew present on the mission. If you have a Commander present, you may be given an option to Nagotiate. This will result in different events happening (all through text) than if you didn't have a Commander on the Mission. Other crew member types open up various other  options if present on the mission, with branching possible at every decision point, and different rewards (or problems, such as getting one of your crew injured or killed) arise depending on the branch taken. This all happens through text commands. Missions will have to be manually written based on type, and picked at random when a Star System is generated. So, that's the concept, more or less. The main goals in the game are to survive, explore, and get rich. I've thought about possibly including big goals like buying a new ship, but I've yet to figure out what gameplay effect this may have, though it might be good to have big goals like that.   I'm interested in whether you think this idea sounds interesting - it's really a 2D space flying + text adventure mix. Any comments on the gameplay mechanics - i.e. are they clear, do they sound tedious, would they be interesting would be appreciated, but any other comments, suggestions, ideas or criticism are also welcome.
  11. To try and steer this interesting discussion towards the topic, here's a different perspective:   I don't play games for the pve or for the dungeons/raids whatever. I play mostly to explore and see new and interesting stuff. I played the shit out of GW2 until I had been in every area, done almost every dungeon (they all have more than one path, and I didn't do all the paths), and explored the WvWvW till I was reasonably satisfied. Most of the time I ran around trying to get to places that weren't special, except that they seemed hard to get to. I also played WoW for a bit, and I kind of enjoyed the immersive things you could do. The relatively new archaeology profession was one of my favorites.   Both worlds were huge, but sadly, both offer little mystery in terms of exploration. Sure the decor was cool to see, as were new mobs (occasionally killing them). But both worlds were made to feel small - in GW2 thanks to the instant-teleport, and in WoW thanks to the flying mounts. I mean, there was little challenge to explore when you could just teleport around or fly over all the areas. Not to mention neither game had that much besides killing stuff.   That's one thing I'm hoping they do in EQN - exploration. Fully destructible terrain could add new ideas - like say treasure maps that point to places you must dig. The deep cave system they showed in their video would also be something interesting to explore, especially since they say it will  procedurally regenerate on occasion. So, the caves could hold something new for me to run around in, and see what cool new things spawned (treasures, or unique mobs or something). Maybe I'm hoping for too much, but there's a ton of things they can do with it.   There's gotta be a nice comfy middle ground between the total roller-coaster standard mmo experience, and the completely free, yet having little uniqueness game (like minecraft). Something that gives you freedom, but can have a sense of mystery and uniqueness to it. I'm hoping that EQN hits that spot, because I've been running out of things to explore lately :) Of course it's going to be a while, and they may not do anything like that - well, I've still got some hope (and other games still to see, like Wildstar)
  12. The stuff that had me interested, if they pull if off right, is more meaningful exploration (the idea of going out to explore to unlock classes/abilities), exploration of underground areas that will occasionally be rebuild, procedurally, from what I understood, and the long term quests (or whatever they called them) that can be participated by everyone, and take months to complete.    If their AI is actually able to study the world on a large scale (i.e. pick different locations to camp to ambush people), and isn't just following a pre-scripted 'go to point A. If its 'bad' then go to point B' stuff, then it could lead to totally different worlds on different servers, which would be cool. I mean, in a recent example, GW2 was supposed to have a similar system, but the AI was just running one pre-scripted (Even if branching on occasion) path, and most events cycled fairly quickly, from 10min to a couple of hours. It was an improvement, but still felt static after a while. Hopefully the EQN AI isn't just an elaborate version of that, but is actually capable of analyzing the world, not just pre-scripted conditions.   It's just a matter if they execute all their promises correctly, if at all. I hope they will, but we'll see.
  13. I haven't played that many JPRGs, so I'm not qualified to really give you an estimate (which would be hard, even if you play lots of JRPGs), and it really depends alot on the size and type of game.   But your design of only 2.5k, 5k, or 10k of dialog strikes me as sort of artificially limiting. I think you can design an almost unlimited dialog options.   I'm assuming your concern is memory limitations of keeping all the lines in RAM. Assuming you want to stick to one giant list of text (not separated by scene or etc), you can simply make your engine load the targeted line + the surrounding N lines into a buffer, where N would be something you determine experimentally (i.e. not too small that you have to load frequently, but not too large to go over some memory requirement)   Then keep like 2-4 buffers like this, and when you need to load a new line, first check if its in one of the buffers, and if not, replace the oldest (by access time) buffer by overriding it with the new line + surrounding N lines.   This would work well if your dialog is roughly grouped together by usage - so the lines from one conversation are close together in your list, and not one line being at the top of the list, and the next line the character says being at the bottom.   A better yet design (imho) is to simply have your lines sorted by scene, instead of one large file. That way you can load all the lines in a scene (and put a reasonable limit on that, like 5k lines per scene). Or if you have certain areas (like cities, building interiors, etc), load the conversation options for cities/buildings/caves etc.   Anyway, this ended up being more of a technical answer, apologies if its not what you're looking for.
  14. I think you're talking about Omerta - City of Gangsters : http://store.steampowered.com/app/208520/   And yeah, it does kind of sound like that. I haven't played it but watched totalbiscuit's WTF is on it, and it looked to have two main layers - a strategy/city view where you could upgrade and attack other mafias, and an xcom style fighting system (oddly arguably better than xcom's, due to some features that it has which xcom doesn't).   Doesn't make the original idea in this thread any less important, but its good to checkout your competition.
  15.   The idea you described is hundreds of times closer to actual evolution than Spore ever was. Spore had no evolution - you got to collect 'points' and 'body parts' from skeletons, then you could build your species in any way you wanted to. If you got the right parts, you could be a herbivore biped one generation, and then be a carnivore quadraped with two mouths and three eyes the next.    There is no natural selection (especially since you controlled a single organism) and there are no environmental conditions to put pressure on you to design a certain way.  It did make a semi-decent game, mostly because of the final stage - space exploration (if you ask me).      But perhaps one thing you can take away, to involve the player more is to do what Spore did, and put the player in the shoes of a single character.   Basically, have some system with enough complexity to simulate evolutionary pressure and mutation, but force the player to try and survive from a single creature perspective. Each time the player creature dies, make the player pick one of the creatures from the next generation, creatures that were generated through the game's evolution mechanics. If you make the environmental conditions vary randomly, the player will be forced to try and survive with whatever creature he picked, whether that creatures mutations favor the conditions or not. The score can simply compare how the player's creature is doing vs the other creatures from that generation (which the player didn't pick)   That's just a vague idea though, there's probably more ways you can implement it, but putting the player in a position where he has to anticipate a single, randomly generated, creature's survivability in future conditions sounds kind of interesting to me.