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Naota_391

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Everything posted by Naota_391

  1. I had planned on starting on a Game Production degree at my school this semester, but due to some bad luck concerning my finances, I likely won't be able to start until next semester. It's frustrating to think that I'll have to wait several more months when I was already so excited to actually get started on my future. I've decided, however, that just because I won't be able to go to school this semester, that doesn't mean I can't do anything to get started now. Of course, the problem with this is obvious: I have no idea where to begin. So, as someone aspiring to make a decent game designer, where should I start and how? Should I focus more on game design theory? If so, what sources would you suggest? And, of course, the most important part of a game designer is actually having the ability to bring ideas to life. So, what of programming? Understanding level design? Are there certain skills that should take priority over another? The only things I'd ask to keep in mind is to remember that my pockets aren't very full (otherwise I'd be in school right now) and that I have absolutely no experience with any programs or programming languages at all. I'm also not a math wizard or a genius with computers, so advice better than, "Find a program and fiddle with it," would be greatly appreciated. Any and all help is immensely appreciated.
  2. Ah! I actually just had a stroke of inspiration on the board game front. Trying to work on getting a decent sleep schedule again, so I won't be able to get tinkering with it until tomorrow, but still. Thanks a lot! Any other advice would still be incredible, but I'm glad I've at least got something to start working on.
  3. That's up to you -- Solitaire (and it's many variants) are card games played by a single person, and there are some board games that can be fun for a single player. Think also about designing puzzles -- these are also an interactive experience, although in most cases they don't have the formalised rule-sets of games. [/quote] Hm. I've never seen a single player board game, before. Would you happen to know of any examples of this sort of thing that particularly stand out?
  4. Funny you mention it, I've seen quite a few people using the Unity engine. I used to have a friend a few months back who had just finished her degrees in both game programming and production, and she seemed to really know her way around that engine. I think the company that picked her up as an Intern used it, too. I think the school I go to uses it in the classes, and I noticed that the project my room mate is working on also uses Unity. Out of curiosity, is there any specific reason why Unity seems to be so popular? I tried using Game Maker before, but I had a pretty frustrating time trying to get it to work properly. It's been a couple of months, though, so I'll give it another shot for sure. Thanks.
  5. RAD? Draft quality? What exactly do you mean?
  6. I've heard of this sort of idea before. I was actually already thinking about giving it a shot, too. Maybe starting off with a pen and paper game that's already been established, if only to better understand the structure of these sorts of things, and then trying to come up with something on my own. Still, now that I've gone someone to speak back to, I've gotta ask a few questions. This seems to be more focused on the implementation on theories of game design, and less so on the actual guts of games, though. Which is fine, I just want to make sure I'm focusing on the right things first. The more I look into what makes a good game designer, the more I find that while these things are important, so is actually technical experience. Like understanding how to write code or how to use different programs. Not necessarily on the level of someone in a dedicated programming position, but at last enough to be of some actual help during development and to better understand the limitations and scope of projects. The only things I've been able to think of that would allow me to get better at both would be to work on mods for already established games, but I don't even know where to begin on something like that... Side Question: As I was going over trying out pen and paper/board games, I realized that there would be one thing that would be insanely different from what I was aiming from. I'd have to be focusing on creating multiplayer experiences, wouldn't I? Don't get me wrong, it certainly doesn't hurt to be well-rounded in different game types, but I guess I have to admit that I've never had much interest in creating games that required more than one person in order for them to function well.
  7. Naota_391

    Air Gear RPG : Feedback Appreciated

    Wait... Are you even allowed to make this game? Don't you have to get licensing for this sort of thing? Why not save yourself the trouble and just take the basic concept rather than the actual universe?
  8. I think you can actually do this in Fallout 3. There's a part in the game where you can do a quest to rescue a bunch of children from a slaver camp. When you get there, you actually have the option of joining them rather than raiding the camp and saving everyone. If you join them, they give you these collars you can put on people that will explode if they disobey you or go somewhere they aren't supposed to. Although it's possible I'm wrong on that, but I don't think so.
  9. Naota_391

    Touch Screens and Genre Barriers

    Yeah, I started thinking about this while I was thinking over the controls for combat... It'd definitely depend on what kind of action game we were talking about. Is it two dimensional or three dimensional in relation to movement? Are we talking about moving back and forth or running around in a 3-D level?
  10. Naota_391

    Touch Screens and Genre Barriers

    Is it really that bad? I don't own a touch device right now (my last one was a sony ericsson with stylus) and only played a few short rounds of "angry birds" and a demo of an action rpg on a friends device. That game used a control stick on the left and a "button stick" on the right. I'm not sure how you could improve the touchscreen controls for action based rpgs that involve dodging, guarding, jumping and multiple forms of attack. I thought that using 4 semi transparent buttons on the bottom right edge of the screen would be ok if you combine them with swipe gestures, tap, hold, hold and drag etc 4 Buttons (A, B, C and X with X in the corner and A, B, C located around it like flower petals from left to right) A - Guard B - Attack C - Jump X - Special Using swipe gestures, this would open up a lot of useful combinations like "A + hold" for continued guard/block/defense "B up" / "B down" for upper and lower attacks "X ->A" for magic / special defense "X -> B" for a magic / special strike (combined with up and down for directional attacks) "X -> C" for a magic / special movement ability (charge, force jump, teleport, throw grappling hook) "A -> B" for a grapple move (like in soul calibur if I remember correctly) "A down" for a dodge "Swipe X -> A -> B -> C" for HaDouKen "Swipe X ->C -> B -> A" for a Roundhouse Kick If you add the control stick, you can use even more classical beat'em'up moves "X -> A + circular movement" for a shield spell that surrounds the player "X -> B + quarter circular movement" for a special cleaving attack Pro: I can think of so many possible combinations... the question would be, will the end user be able to memorize them as well as me? I remember receiving many a beating because my best friend knew more character signature moves in Mortal Combat and Soul Calibur and how to time them... Con: I can imagine that either those 4 buttons take up to much of the screen (even if they are semi transparent, because you constantly have your thumb on them) or are to small and in accessible (at least on smaller android devices). I "tested" some simple swipe gestures on my Nokia E71 as it's roughly the same size as the ZTE Blade (which has a 3,5" Display with 480*800px iirc). [/quote] Those a great ideas, but I think there's still one key issue there: It's a touch screen trying to mimic a controller rather than trying to do something unique on its own. I'm not saying that a touch screen device couldn't learn anything from a traditional game controller, but I don't think it's a good idea for the touch screen to try and be something it isn't for a number of reasons. (Just to provide an example, look at it this way: Pick up the closest controller you've got near you. Press the buttons. What's special about it? Feedback. When you push a button, it goes in. You can feel that. In the dark, you can still operate a device you're familiar with. How? Because the buttons stick out. You can feel your way around it, you can tell which button is which without even really HAVING to push it. These features of the button are absolutely crucial for a gaming controller. It's what allows us to play an FPS or Action game without looking down at our hands every five seconds. It's what allows us to get comfortable with a Game Boy, so that we can focus on the screen without having to check to make sure our thumbs are in the right place. A device that is operated purely be a touch screen is never going to be able to do that and the sooner we accept that, the better.) So, sticking with your idea, what if we kept using the swipe motions but ditched the idea of "buttons"? Try and picture this in your head: The screen, let's say an iTouch, is in a horizontal position and divided into 4 sections. The section to the far left and the section to the far right are the sections that will register your input commands, meaning that your thumbs will never get in the way of the action happening in the center of the screen. For the controls? Let's say a quick tap with my right thumb gets a punch. Two taps gets two punches. For kicks? A tap with my left thumb on the left side for one kick, two taps for two kicks. Keeping it basic like that means you don't have to worry about the player trying to remember exactly where a button they can't feel is. Instead, they just have to remember to keep their thumbs in THAT area. In order to make sure they have a clear idea of where that area is, you could even include a dotted line to show which side is interactive and which isn't. If we keep going, then we can come up with other combinations using your idea. Maybe a swipe with the right thumb in the designated area means a grab. If we want to get more complex, then a tap with your left thumb on the upper left part of the screen could be a high kick, while a tap on the lower left corner of the screen could mean a low kick. You get the idea, right?
  11. Naota_391

    Dropping the F-Bomb

    There's no need for greed, corruption, violence, stealing, or many other things in the world, but the reality is that they are a part of it and aren't going away any time soon. If we want video games (or any of our forms of media entertainment) to reflect a perfect and distant world, then sure, profanity should absolutely stay out of it. On the other hand, if we want games to be able to feel like something real, in worlds and societies that we can relate to, then I think we need to find a way to insert these elements (including profanity) into games effectively. Or we could, you know, allow games like Gears of War to set the example of how cussing should be handled in games, but I don't think anyone here wants that.
  12. Naota_391

    Dropping the F-Bomb

    I think swearing is totally acceptable in games and, in order to be as effective as possible, it's important to use these words wisely. Step number one to this: Don't desensitize your audience to the idea of cursing in your game in the first five minutes. We've all played the game set in a war-torn world with the soldiers that exhale the word "Fuck" as often as they exhale carbon dioxide. It just doesn't accomplish much. It becomes the standard, with nothing else to compare it to, so quickly that you're practically ensuring your audience will hardly feel an emotional response to the character's "passionate" word choice. Much like how a good plot needs pacing, I think it's fair to say that good dialogue also demands this. Step two: Think about when YOU would cuss or when you'd at least find it incredibly appropriate to do so. For me, I let out a steady nervous stream of, "Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit..." whenever I'm on a brand new roller coaster that goes higher than I've ever been before. It shows that anxiety and suspense building up in a person and their inability to handle it calmly. It serves an actual purpose and actually reveals something about the character. Or think about a time when you've been running away from someone (or something), be it in a paintball game, hide-and-go-seek, or in a situation with legitimate danger: When you found a place to hide so that you could catch your breath, how did you feel? Terrified? Uncertain? Worried? How did you process those emotions? At a point like that, it's not uncommon for me to say something like, "Fuck. Oh, fuck, that was so fucking close." Step Three: Understand WHY people swear and try your best to not forget it. It's something we do when we have a hard time expressing ourselves in any other way. Swearing for the hell of it is just irritating. We all know someone who does that, right? After a while of hearing these people, it just doesn't mean much. But see one of your friends step back in the room from a long phone call and say, "Damn," and you're going to have a reaction. You're going to have an emotional response. You understand something is wrong. Hear someone exclaim a single swear word, and you can get that they're in pain or surprise. It's all about context and execution. I know it's easier said than done, but if you're having a hard time getting exactly how to pull that off, I'd say just go hang around some folks and watch them. Wait for that one moment where they let some foul word fall out of their mouth and do your best to dissect what led them to that. Step Four: Going back to step one, I think that it's also important to mention the old fashioned rule, "Everything in moderation." I'd be willing to bet that a single F-bomb after several hours of clean language is going to register much better with an audience than constantly hearing it over and over again. When in doubt, save these passionate phrases for a particular moment. If nothing else, I think it's scarcity will certainly help to make an impact.
  13. Naota_391

    What is the most immersive game you have played?

    One of the most immersive games I have ever played was, without a doubt in my mind, Condemned: Criminal Origins. In all honesty, I suppose it was a pretty straightforward game and the story did get more than a little weird at the end. Still, it really nailed the first person experience for me. I felt like a detective in a fucked up situation. I felt like a normal guy who was vulnerable and just barely making it by throughout the entire fiasco. I know the game's sequel got really into the combat and created this entire system for combo attacks and whatnot, but there was something about the rawness of the first game that really got me. I had a gun, as a member of law enforcement would, but the ammo was just sparse enough that the game didn't turn into just another shooter (i.e., FEAR) but also didn't render the idea of a gun to be useless or unworthy. There was this desperate feeling that the game portrayed incredibly well, particularly when you would hear and just barely see the outline of a crazed homeless man running at you. Ripping a 2x4 off the wall to defend myself, I didn't feel calm or collected. I felt scared. Sure, I couldn't perform incredibly accurate attacks with the piece of wood, but it felt right to just swing my impromptu weapon at the attacker. In real life, stumbling through a dark, abandoned building, I know that I wouldn't be some calculated killing machine. I'd be alone, desperate, and lashing out wildly at anything that came to close. I was in high school when I played this game, but it gave me nightmares a few times in the following weeks after beating it and I could hardly look at the shadows in my dark home the same way again. I can't help but feel all the more impressed by this game because it was a launch title, something that had to stumble onto the shelves with little to no experience with brand new hardware. Definitely one of my favorite experiences I've had in this medium.
  14. Naota_391

    Touch Screens and Genre Barriers

    It's been incredibly interesting seeing touch screens rise as a UI for many different kinds of games, particularly with the launches of devices such as the iPhone and DS. It's kind of crazy watching a completely new control scheme trying to navigate it's way through all kinds of types and genres of games that have already been explored by more traditional controllers. That being said, a number of things have become clear to me. One of the biggest issues that we first have to understand is that we're still trying to settle on HOW to use a touch screen. Some screens are better suited to a stylus while others are more finger-friendly.Most screens are moving towards multi-touch, though some screens still only register single-touch actions. Some devices insist on the touch screen being a separate control screen while the results of your inputs are displayed on another screen, while some devices push both responsibilities onto a single screen. There are smaller screens and bigger screens, both offering their own advantages and disadvantages. So, the first thing we need to figure out is: What combination of these features should we settle with? Figuring out this "formula" is essential to even attempting to figure out how a touch screen can properly control a game, no matter what genre it's from. So, with all that exposition out of the way, here's how I think touch screens should function (at least in relation to games): Screens should be multi-touch and built with fingers in mind as the primary instruments of control on the devices. Looking at the functionality of an IOS phone versus, say, a DS touch screen, I think it's obvious which one works better. On the DS, it's easy to lose the stylus and the screen isn't incredibly responsive to flesh, though it's not impossible. Still, moving in the direction of the iPhone means simple functions that many of us take for granted, like pinching objects to make them larger or smaller.For the most part, I think the screen with which you observe the results of your inputs should be different from the screen you actively interact with. Otherwise, your fingers are constantly obscuring your view and make it difficult to accurately respond to fast-pace situations. I haven't been able to try it out myself yet, but the new Playstation Vita is really on to something if you ask me. With the back-side of the device capable of touch-controls, I think we'll finally have solved the issue of our fingers blocking our view. No more frustrations with trying to see past your own thumbs sounds incredible to me. Some say it'll be too awkward not being able to see your thumb and where it's at, but I'm confident people will quickly learn how to feel out where they are at and that games will provide indicators of where our fingers are at when needed.Screen sizes have actually been pretty okay. I think that touch-gaming, so far at least, has felt more suitable for portable gaming, so the screen sizes we've had on our phones and portable consoles thus far should do just fine. Of course, that doesn't mean we can't still look forward towards tablets becoming more common, but for now that's a pretty expensive option without much incentive.
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