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mekk_pilot

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Everything posted by mekk_pilot

  1. I've brought up this idea in a couple of posts and would like to see what you all think about it, specifically. Basically I think levels and experience systems set up unduly artificial milestones for the player to reach and always end up as a grindfest. Imagine: characters with static skills, and the challenge is how best to use the skills they have to overcome what obstacles the game throws at them. I'll open it up for discussion and comment occasionally. Mike
  2. So I'm just a lowly wanna-be designer/writer, and I'm looking for advice on viable ways to actually get a game made. My first instinct is to write some kind of 200+ page design doc covering the main elements of the design and the story(s), then use parts of that (or just email the whole thing to whoever is interested) to attract programmers and artists. I know this probably comes up here a lot, but what IS the best way for a person with little technical skill to get into a design position on a game? I'm not saying this is going to be triple A, but I would like it to turn a profit.
  3. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    My friend did some hired gun programming on a triple A title, so he knows what he's talking about. He is adamantly refusing to "do it for me." He wants me to learn. I don't know how long it took him, but the same day I asked him about bridge, he put up a Jscript skeleton of the game, that has maybe 25% functionality (though it uses text, not graphics). There's no AI, it's multiplayer. Probably he meant you could do multiplayer bridge in Jscript in an hour, but I don't know, I'm not him. I think I'm going to get my feet wet at ffhacktics hacking FFT. I've gotten the message loud and clear.
  4. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    BTW, I asked my friend about bridge; this was his response: lol, 300-500 hrs to program bridge. Maybe if you were making a entire engine (graphics, sound, I/O) from scratch for release onto the XBox 360 or something. A good programmer could do it in an hour. This goes to show that those that cannot do, post on forums. (also, teach) People that do build games spend time building games and going to conferences. [/quote]
  5. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    Three months. Edit: sorry, I misread the question. I was talking about an experienced professional programmer (working full time), not a "typical hobbyist." Hobbyist would take longer (more man-hours). [/quote] Full-time? You're saying it would take a professional programmer nearly 500 hours to program a game of bridge?
  6. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    The 75/25 split was in reference to an already completed and adequately tested card game I've designed. By this point, I am, by my own admission, a little OT. But this is why I'm asking how many hours it takes to program a bridge game. If I've got a game, less complicated than bridge, and I've put over a 100 hours into the creation and testing of it, then is a 3:1 pay ratio really unfair? If he puts 100 hours into it, do programmers usually make 3 times what designers make?
  7. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    If I thought it was going to be cake, I'd have asked for a bigger cut. But seriously, what do you have to keep track of*? 36 cards in a random order? Integer values of drawn cards? Position on gamefield? Down, both of possession and quarter (there is a hard limit of 50 downs/half)? Offensive, Defensive modifiers (add/subtract 1 to int, how difficult) Victory/Loss conditions? The score? Options for action on a given down (up to 7)? I haven't so much as print effed hello world, but If I can write all the rules on two pages, and we're dealing with 36 cards, yes, I think it's probably just A SMALL MATTER OF PROGRAMMING. Elegant, and Arrogant. It's just how I roll. *I know you can't answer that. EDIT 2: So educate me then: How many man-hours would it take your typical hobbyist programmer to create a working bridge application, given stock playing card graphics?
  8. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    How long could it possibly take to code a card game that's less complicated than bridge? As far as making money, American football is pretty popular. And I should mention that all the testing I did on this game, probably over a hundred hours through all the iterations, I didn't have to twist anyone's arm to play it with me. They came to *me* after they got a taste of this dope. It's mad addictive, if you like and understand American football, that is.
  9. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    Yes, it does sound unreasonable. Your use of the word "just" when talking about what you want him to do is unreasonable. You'll lose a friend with this attitude. [/quote] You know nothing of our relationship. We're constantly making reasonable demands of each other.
  10. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    With my card game and my programmer friend, I'm just like "Look, there might not even be a market for phone apps in the 2 years it's going to take me to learn to program and sprite this fucking thing. Just take this completed, tested design and make it and give me 25%" Does that sound so unreasonable? Admittedly, my "big one" isn't a completed tested design, but what I guess I'm really asking is, how can a designer get programmers and artists on board? I'm beyond what I can do with a standard deck of cards and PnP and dice.
  11. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    I've always liked the long odds. =)
  12. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    I will grant you that, and in fairness to the poster I semi- went off on, that's probably what he meant. All I meant to say was that I've done the table-top thing, I've done the card game design, and balancing that shit was WORK. I'm not saying I didn't have a little fun doing it, but having fun and doing something productive aren't mutually exclusive.
  13. If you're going to have in-game progression, which I'm not convinced is necessary (I think the progression should be in the player's head, having him better figure out how to manipulate your game world as the game goes on), I think skill-based is the way to do it. Item-based and Stat-based might as well be the same thing, if you're just increasing numbers and not opening up new skills. Giving players new skills as they advance through the game will change the gameplay every time a new skill is added (as long as they are well designed and actually make a difference in the game world). This is much more fun than "Yay, I gained a level! I have 8 more HP now!" Edit: Saw you say that items will add skills. In Link to the Past, this was handled really, really well. That would also be an option. I guess my point is the power players are acheiving should allow them to influence the game world in new ways, not just "I can beat these enemies who once were slightly numerically superior to me."
  14. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    Design is actually the easy part of game development. And I think deep down you know that. If the programming and art were easier than design, you would already be doing it. [/quote] I think it's more because I'm not really talented at art (although I have a good eye and have won prizes for photographs), and I didn't take comp sci in college, therefore programming would be something totally elective. I submit this to you: if design was easy, why do most games suck? Maybe programmers are a little arrogant thinking they can do it all? I know everyone wants to design. But actually doing it takes skill and iteration. Yeah, I know I'M a little arrogant, but I've probably spent a couple of hundred hours designing and testing what I've finished. 90% of the ideas I see on this site are crap, totally derivative or just foolish. There's a reason Game Designers are the rock stars of the actual industry, because they're the ones probably most responsible for a game being fun or not. Great Design can redeem a game even if the gameplay is buggy or the graphics look 5 years old. Poor design will damn a game that looks good and is bug-free. Design IS the game.
  15. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    Okay then, if I'm going to have to do it myself, where should this total noob at art and programming start, if he wants to design a TRPG with randomly generated 3d terrain and sprites on top of that as characters? BTW, like I said, I designed a card game(a way to simulate american footbal using a standard deck, A-9, and Kings to represent defensive plays), and if you check my first posts here, I've designed a table-top RPG. And I ran some rudimentary stats on those games for the sake of balancing. So I'm not just a guy who is coming in here with some half-baked idea and wants everyone to do all the hard work. I mean, design is work, I know because I've done it. Edit: After walking around a bit, I think one possible answer to my question presents itself: I should take the card game I've designed and make it into a phone app. My friend was supposedly going to work on it, but we haven't talked about it in a long time, and I think he'd rather take a mentor role than get his hands dirty. OK, so, given that I want to turn an already designed and tested card game into a phone app, where should I start?
  16. mekk_pilot

    Embarking on the big one.

    I have designed a card game and have a friend who might make it for me. We haven't talked about it much lately. Depends on the game. If you wanna make a 3D RTS or RPG, if you have no technical skills its gonna make the opposite of a profit. [/quote] I was thinking a TRPG, with 3d terrain (tough to do height in 2d) and sprite-based characters.
  17. mekk_pilot

    Organizing for non-linear storyline

    My own experience in fiction writing (which is nothing to be in awe of) has taught me that the best way to write is to first write the most important/your favorite scenes. You'll find ways to weave them together. This is much easier than starting at the beginning, even of an outline, and slogging your way through.
  18. mekk_pilot

    An RPG without levels/experience

    I'll admit that a tactical challenge can in some lights be viewed as a puzzle, but would anyone consider X-Com a puzzle game? That's the kind of challenge I'm looking for. It's only unfair if it violates player expectations. Sometimes X-Com seemed rather unfair, but who can deny that was a great game? And as far as failure is concerned, I like how the PSP Tactics Ogre does it: You can quicksave during battle, and you can even take back moves (back up the whole battle) but the RNG sequence is unchanged; You can't reload until you crit on a specific action.
  19. Have you tried drugs? Kidding, kidding. When I want to be inspired, I take a walk. Or look at something relevant to what you'd like to do. If you want to design a Medieval RTS, look into fortress design, seige engines, and such. Don't try to do something just because it hasn't been done. Revolutionary ideas are something that spring from conviction, not reaction.
  20. mekk_pilot

    An RPG without levels/experience

    I think we've gotten a little OT. So the main challenge would be designing enough varied and possible challenges for players to utilize what abilities they have to succeed. When you look at it that way, linear numerical progression looks like an incredibly lazy way to design a time-sink. Agreed?
  21. mekk_pilot

    An RPG without levels/experience

    This is interesting, but I'm trying to avoid action/twitch elements. There is a sort of leveling up you do with twitch games as you get familiar with them. I guess I'm saying the game I'm thinking about, the leveling up would be learning how best to leverage your strengths in a situation. If you fail, you try another strategy. The leveling up is in the player's tactical sense of how to fight, given the abstract interface.
  22. mekk_pilot

    What are some other good boards?

    I don't spend enough time on the internet, so I was wondering if anyone could recommend some boards that are generally populated with intelligent people. Thanks Mike Edit: Criterion: They must be totally SFW, because I'm surfing thru a content filter.
  23. mekk_pilot

    An RPG without levels/experience

    I'm still talking abstract combat. This build's standard attack does 3d6+18 dmg; Another maybe does a little less, but with less randomness. So which one do you take? I'm saying the characters in a level-less game aren't going to improve on their already challenge-adequate skills
  24. mekk_pilot

    An RPG without levels/experience

    *Is Mage and Loving It* It's kinda like D&D, adventurers are already exceptional members of the population. Characters in a level-less game would be as well. They just wouldn't become gods as the game went on.
  25. mekk_pilot

    An RPG without levels/experience

    Two types of games where I could imagine this system: 1) A JRPG or TRPG: There are multiple storylines, and depending on your choices and investigations, you gain access to certain pre-generated characters. For instance, you start the game as an imperial soldier, and do a quest as him. If you took a detour and talked to the imperial intelligence officer, you gain access to his storyline. Otherwise, and in addition, once you finish the imperial soldier's quest you have access to a noob rebel. So you look at the story from multiple points of view, and your progression is measured by how many optional sub-plots you take. 2) An MMO. Now what I'd really like to see in an MMO, and this is probably worthy of another thread entirely, is something like a 5:1 NPC:PC ratio. The NPC's are able to be manipulated beyond what any game has allowed. So one progress bar in the MMO is how you manipulate NPC's to do your bidding. For instance, if you have a quest to assassinate an NPC baron, you could round up a posse of PC's and do it yourself, or you could somehow acquire the gold necessary to hire an NPC assassin.
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