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Mario D.

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About Mario D.

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  1. Mario D.

    Rush 2 - Looking for Feedback

      You're right. When those specific buttons get shot they stay down but the solution wasn't right. The room works and the door will open when the buttons are hit accordingly, its just a bug with the buttons that makes them look visually pressed but not actually, I'm sorry about that.   The demo continues for a while after that.
  2. Mario D.

    Rush 2 - Looking for Feedback

    Yea I'm in the process of improving the beginning rooms so there is a better progression of ideas. There are just too many concepts going on at once in that first room with the two buttons.   When the Turret bullets hit each other they become "Powered" turning yellow. Yellow bullets pierce yellow shields. Because of the precision you need to hit the bullets together and then hitting the buttons within a very short time of each other (implying they need to be hit at the same time) you may be able to hit one of the buttons or both but just not in sync with each other. You might see buttons get depressed but not stay down because the other button did not get hit in time.   It's weird.    Anyway, thank you all for playing.   If anyone got to the very last 3 part room, how did you fare? I had some trouble balancing the difficulty in that room while still making it tense. Was the experience as the very end of that room (when you lost all Turrets) a good experience? How did you feel about it?  If anything. Did you manage to beat it?
  3. For around 14 weeks I've been working on a new project and I wanted to share it with this community. I want to see peoples' reactions to this project and hopefully receive some feedback and suggestions.   Rush 2 is a top down shooter where the player can only shoot projectiles from other objects in the world that are within close proximity to them. There is no limit to how many "Turrets" can be activated at a time as long as they are within range. It functions the same as a top down shooter and has a slight air of tower defense mechanics.   The player will explore the depth of this shooting mechanic and experience tense, dramatic situations that come from a game that teeters the player between power and helplessness.   click here for the Demo >> Rush 2 Game Demo **You're going to need a mouse, and some headphones/speakers for the audio.   Basically I'm wondering what you guys think of the experience, any feedback is appreciated. Thank you very much.
  4. Mario D.

    Improving vocabulary in game design

    A website called whatgamesare.com is a good place if you just want a list relevant terminology. At the end of the day it only matters when you can apply it.   I like the post by Ludus above. While I would say people have been studying games for as long as games have been around (thousands of years), academia has really only taken notice of it recently with the rise of video games so nothing is in stone and probably won't be for a long time. Even a lot of the definitions given at whatgamesare.com I don't agree with completely.   The process of game design is more important than the terminology. Learn the process and the terminology will come along with it, molded to the way you see things.   I hope what I said makes sense. I've never really thought about understanding game design solely through accepted terminology. You have to play games, make games, and connect the dots.
  5. Mario D.

    My article on Game Design, for Gamedev

    I'm confused on the thesis here. I'm looking for some insight on game design and I'm not getting it.   You talk about: What game design is. Making sure you know your different kinds of logical fallacies Some stuff about how art, sound design and programming is. Game design documents And, getting hot in game development. Oh and something about writing a book. There are way too many subjects to put in one post to create any meaningful insight.   At first I thought, "This is obviously something very introductory, I'm not getting insight because I know these things already..." But there are are things you assume your readers should know (if this is supposed to be some introductory text). For example, assuming they know what a game design document is or what feature creep is.     But I like to think this is for other people who have some experience in game design. And if that's the case, well... Game design can't be "the process of what works well in a game." That is such a broad statement that says nothing about what game design is. Creating game art can be the process of what works well in the game (in terms of theme, palette, mood, etc) as well as programming can be the process of what works well in a game (in terms of code library choice, engine compatibility, and much more) Game design somehow has something to do with your ability to identify logical fallacies?! I mean sure they are nice to know but it doesn't make you a better game designer to beat somebody in an argument...it makes you a better debater. There is a bunch more things I wish to identify but I guess its best summarized like this: The title of this post was "My article on Game Design" and the only real part that addresses game design was the first paragraph and numbered list. And that paragraph doesn't say anything, its too broad.       I know it was just your opinion but usually opinions are posted to present an argument and start a discussion but no argument is presented. Usually opinions like this are trying to tell people of the experience they've had and why that's true but there is never a "this is why..." kind of statement or any kind of specific experience imparted here.   Entire books are dedicated to "what game design is" it's too hard to summarize it in a forum post.   Usually opinions like this are posted to present an idea to see what other people think and not necessarily trying to create a discussion, just a critique. That's what this is. I hope my critique was useful in someway, if not, lets discuss that.
  6. Mario D.

    How to Unsettle a Player

    Just posting real fast so I don't know if anyone else has posted this: You want to "unsettle" your player? I would think about it in terms of topics. What kinds of topics are you going to present the player? Present revolting topics. Topics we wouldn't want to face in reality. Suicide Genocide Rape Excessive (I'm talking showing organs) gore Juxtapose them. Murderous evil; Innocent child Strong man; deep, debilitating pain More and more and more. Thinking about how to unsettle a player based on topic (and how it was executed) worked for me. I made a small game recently about a man with schizophrenia (the player was the cause), by the end the man wanted to kill himself to get rid of you, asking the player to "take them home". Through various events (and hopefully some inner turmoil) the player jumps of a cliff to the sharp rocks below. The sound cuts as you fall, everything feel like its in slow motion even though the fall is only 2 seconds long, and the screen cuts to black. So I guess my final point is not only should you think about discussing specific disturbing topics, but think about hitting all the senses to emphasize the event.
  7. Name - Conversion Effect - Activates a secondary effect on all other equipped skills for X seconds, completely replacing the original effect. Type - None Changes Per Level - None Other - The player should be asking themselves, "Do I need to use this now?" constantly as they evaluate what effects will be derived from using Conversion. "If I use Conversion now, I will be able to counter this enemy but be vulnerable to some degree because other skills will be converted as well, making them possibly useless in the current situation or preventing me from using the original effect which may or may not be more useful if I had not used Conversion." This skill could be extremely dynamic possibly ranging from completely useless to infinitely overpowered depending on what other skills the player has. This could be a core mechanic all its own. This would make the decision to convert skills an interesting one, instead of just making the original skill better which would (in the player's mind) make using the skill a must to play well, not really a choice to weigh against others.
  8. Introducing controls using a console controller is fairly easy without explicit direction (at least if the mechanic is not interacting with the environment directly). Players will end up pressing every button to see what happens and they can learn that way. This can definitely add a layer of exploration as they tinker with how the controls affect actions on screen. It also advisable to make the controls as familiar as possible, following the standards games have etched into our minds (right trigger should always shoot, left stick should always move, right stick should always look around, the 'A' button should either be a way to select things or jump, etc.). Keyboard controls seem much more difficult however considering the daunting amount of buttons that have the possibility of executing an action. Your just going to ask yourself a question of how the player is going to view your game from the outset. A player will look to move and look around instantly in a first person game. Naturally players will go to either "WASD" or the arrow keys. I have to look around so my mouse should come in handy, which means that the left and right click should do something too. "Space is a huge key, it has to do something!" Your User Interface can also be a great indicator of what does what. Your hotkeys in MMOs shows numbers next to them, you instantly know how to use them. Also I would put the player in situations where they have to learn or not continue. They can't pass this gap until they explore their inputs and jump. They can't get kills until the explore their inputs and shoot. You get the idea. You shouldn't punish them for not finding out how to play but you don't have to let them pass until they do. Executing this poorly can definitely work against the game and cause frustration and will have to be designed carefully. I have had one too many "What am I supposed to do!?" moments in games when I was supposed to learn something, didn't, and felt overly punished and stuck in a rut. Usually stopping a player from continuing due to not knowing the controls seems o.k. when the actions corresponding to those controls are simple, on or off kind of thing (jump, shoot, run, etc.). Once you get passed controls and you begin showing the player game concepts it gets a little easier to show them organically.
  9. Grinding happens when you've mastered the skills the game requires of you at that time. So you end up using and reusing skills you've already mastered until the game decides to allow you more skills or has no more skills to offer you. You'll use X and Y ability in an RPG until you level up allowing you to use ability Z. In that example grinding occurs when you completely understand (or think you completely understand) ability X and Y and the game ceases to test those skills giving you the same challenge until you have satisfied the requirement of leveling up. This seems to be generally put in games to increase their play times. We still seem to sell games based on how much time your going to spend playing it, "Over 100 hours of gameplay!"
  10. Mario D.

    What would you like to see in a Twin Stick Shooter?

    Omni-directional shooters on a touch screen will be tough. A design I am working on right now (which would be a great counter-balance to the touch screen problem) is dialing back the action to become more adventure-oriented. Shops/Upgrades could be tied to discovering the world. I'm sure this has been done before...it almost seems obvious to me. Haven't played a twin-stick (omni-directional) shooter that wasn't completely focused on challenge as its hook.
  11. The game doesn't necessarily have to be bright and colorful. I remember many many times playing Gears of War and getting shattered to a million pieces afterwards proceeding to laugh my ass off. I think it has to do with the tone of the gameplay itself. Gears of War is really grim but its deaths entertaining because of its ridiculousness. I believe death isn't fun in games like Call of Duty, for example, because the game doesn't make an effort to entertain you during it, nothing visual, nothing interactive, nothing auditory (specific to dying of course).
  12. Dynamics are defined (on their own) as, "A pattern/process of growth, change, or activity." The interaction between game systems (player mechanics, environment, NPCs, etc.) causes change and activity in the game state. Interaction is the game's dynamic. So you could call specific interactions between specific systems as a game dynamic. The interaction is what makes games. So it seems to me that Game dynamics equal the game experience. So the goal it seems is to create the most interesting interactions between the game's systems.
  13. Mario D.

    Predicting a fun game design

    When I have an idea for a game I don't think about it in terms of "will this be fun?" Instead I think about the mechanics and the core dynamic of the game and ask myself a series of questions: Will this be engaging (requiring skill and awareness)? What kind of potential situations could I put the player in? Are those situations immediately interesting to me? As well as a series of "if mechanic X does this, what would be all the possible consequences of that action?" As well as other questions pertaining to the specific idea. If those questions lead to interesting answers showing that individual parts of the idea have potential than I think the game could be fun. Much of it is kind of up to what you think would be fun and not having built anything to test the ideas it helps (at least for me) to break down the idea into more focused assessments to see if maybe there is potential.
  14. Mario D.

    Character advancement

    If you put the player in different situations that allows the use of these skills in different/challenging ways, you won't have a problem with the gameplay feeling like a grind. The grind (at least for me) comes from when I already understand and have mastered the gameplay to the full extent that the game allows me to at the given moment but it still wants me to continue using those skills in the same manner as before. This is because we have to make sure the game is a certain amount of hours (Of course this isn't good design practice in my opinion but its true, some people assume quality when a game asserts having tons of hours of gameplay). If I'm having fun using the skill in the given situations that challenge my understanding of that skill, then leveling up that skill is a huge plus that could (and probably should if possible) open up new situations and applications of that skill. I like the idea of allowing the use of everything from the start but you should make sure to present the information in a way that won't overwhelm the player. I don't enjoy games that give a huge list of stats, abilities, and situations and then tell me "Go." You can present pacing that essentially accomplishes what a leveling system would and I think that has a lot of potential. You won't have a problem cutting off achiever types if what they can build and use is a significant...well...achievement. The system should allow the items and skills to matter and be a sign of status like the way leveling up would be.
  15. Mario D.

    Character advancement

    I am against Time-based skill advancement like the one you have described. This is because I don't believe the player would be engaged at all with the skill (depends how it’s designed, of course). The skill would automatically have less value to the player than the player who uses the skill to improve it. The player has to do other things while it is leveling meaning the skill you are leveling can’t be too crucial to the situations the player participates in, skills, in a way, become supplementary instead of necessary. Even if a lot of the skills are optional in advancing, they should feel necessary (I need this to get this, to use this, to play this). Hopefully the core of your game doesn’t depend on waiting. There are only two advantages (that I could think of) to the time-based skill advancement: Christmas Presents, and Multitasking. Because training a skill becomes passive, you'll either forget about it and be surprised by the faithful day you skill increases or look forward to the exact day/hour/minute that skill increases. The former would be fun, no doubt in my mind, the latter, however, depends on how long the waits are as their skill increases. Too long and it could become frustrating and boring if you need to level a crucial skill. Too short, and while it would be more exciting, the player might progress too quickly for the situations they will take part in. Also finding items that give you time-based Exp just seem pointless. If I'm a player... "I want it now...wtf?" I feel multitasking is fun. If I can train this skill, while doing something else, I would feel like I’m progressing as fast as I can, I’m efficient, I’ve understood that the skill I’m training might be needed for another task I’ve put aside for this one instead and I’ll go back after I’ve benefited from the current task and the training while I was completing it. The other methods are fine in my opinion. I think a good idea would be progression of not only the character but the advancement system itself. It could be just “use Skill X to increase Skill X” then evolve into “use Skill X to increase Skill X, as well as gain points to allocate into those skills for extra benefits they should be getting anyway and extra choices they didn’t know they had”. It could (maybe) even evolve into the time based system once they reach some kind of “end game”. It would be fun to come back after a while of finishing the game to kick even harder ass (in not only combat) then you did before. In the end, my suggestion would be an evolving system that does not rely on any time-based mechanics. To keep the player engaged, to keep advancing fresh, and keeping the player feeling like they are mastering the game and its systems.
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