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RedBaron5

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  1. If there is no failure penalty, there is little sense of fulfillment on success.  Knowing that you AVOIDED the penalty is a great reward.  Using the example you cited, I thought the idea of injuries in Dragon Age was great.  If all players just resurrected after fights with no consequences the player would have no motivation to keep them alive.  With that system, you move low health players away from the fight or try to heal them.  It makes surviving fights without any KOs much more rewarding.   Of course, like everything in life, the key is finding the sweet spot for player punishment.  Sometimes just having to reload a game is punishment enough and sometimes you need to go full Dark Souls and make the player want to throw her console out the window.
  2. I think you are seeing a lot of technical questions because they are "harder" and game design is "easier."  Now I put those in quotes for a reason because excellent game design is difficult but the overall act of game design is not.  EVERYONE has ideas for a great game.  It's easy.  What is HARD is making those ideas a reality.  Ask anyone to come up with an idea for a video game and they can.  Ask anyone to program an AI and most people CANNOT.  People ask technical questions because they are the hardest to figure out on your own.  Game design questions are usually answered by individual thought and reflection.
  3. I have a super cheap midi keyboard that I use.  It's not the best but when your budget is $0 you can't really afford anything nicer.  I always have more luck playing the notes on a keyboard as opposed to adding them to a software program with a mouse.   http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/KeystationMini32.html
  4. http://vimeo.com/24715531   I try to watch this every day.  It's amazing how this 2 minutes motivates me to keep working on my games.   http://makegames.tumblr.com/post/1136623767/finishing-a-game   Finishing is a skill.  ANYONE can make 4-5 incomplete games.  Very few people can actually finish one.
  5. I think a lot of the skills that allow someone to be a good programmer are the same ones used to create a good game.  To me, most programming tasks are like puzzles.  I feel like there is this idea of programmers needing to be borderline autistic, socially awkward to be "good."  I think programmers are actually MORE creative than so called "creative" people.  Just think about some of the insane hacks required to get stuff to work.  Some great gameplay ideas that I have had have resulted from coming up with programming solutions to problems.
  6. http://vimeo.com/24715531   I watch that every time I start procrastinating.  Very inspiring.
  7. Unfortunately, the Internet age has made this type of experimentation a lot less common.  Remember when game help hotlines were popular?  It's crazy to think that people used to pay to call a help line to get past a difficult part in a game.  (I admit that I did it a few times.  Damn you Quest for Glory!)   I have a feeling that rather than trying things, a majority of players will just google it and instantly know which fruit is dangerous/beneficial.  To combat this, you could do what some roguelikes do and change the properties of potions each game (ie - the blue potion might heal, poison, cloak, etc on different play-throughs)   This might require a little more planning and development time on your part though.
  8. Wow.  Some really great stuff guys.  I like the idea of a slight variance possibly being the difference between a unit living or dying, whereas set damage would cause the unit to live or die every time.  I also feel that the variance should be relatively small to enable this situation occasionally, but not large enough to win battles based on luck.  Due to this I have come up with a new damage formula.  I added some unit advantages for more variance and strategic reasons.   Base unit damage * (95%-105%) * field location bonus/penalty * strategic points controlled bonus * slight total number of allies bonus   The field location bonus is based on terrain and where the fight is occurring on the battlefield.  Strategic points are areas on the battlefield that a team can capture to generate bonuses for their units, and the number of allies bonus is a partial solution to my number of units on screen at a time problem.  (I can only support so many units so I have a reserve system.  The current units on the field get a slight morale bonus based on the number of reserves available.)   With all of the variance do you think I even need the 95%-105% randomness?
  9. Post it notes everywhere, on everything.  Oh and get some play-doh or modelling clay.  It helps inspire me to try to make the models I'm creating on the screen in real life.
  10. Are you coding by yourself or in a team?  I used to have the same worries you do, then I realized that I'm the only person who works on my code so who cares?  The end result is all that matters for me.  Of course, I don't know what type of code you are writing.  I use a game engine and how I write my code makes little difference to the performance.
  11.   I have actually played this game and loved it.  I can't believe I forgot about it.  I'll load it back up and play it again.  Thanks for the reminder!   Turns out everyone started in the fixed damage boat and then some people came in on the random side.  Now I'm back to undecided. :)  My game is closer to a Civilization type game so I might need to add a little randomness to add some excitement.  I'll try adding just a small damage variance and see if it feels better or worse.
  12. Thanks for the replies!  I tend to agree with what everyone has said and will most likely leave the damage fixed.  My game isn't quite the classic RTS though (like Starcraft or C&C) but closer to a board game.  All units are AI controlled and you just have influence over them, not direct control.  It's actually probably closer to a pet simulator than a RTS. :)  The game setting is the stone age and the units are supposed to be "stupid," like cavemen.   Would random events be just as bad as random attacks?  I've been re-reading Steven Erikson's Malazan books and I love how chaotic his battles are.  How would you feel as a player if when units were moving they had a chance to trip?  Or in the chaos of battle they accidentally hit their own teammate?  What if these events became a game mechanic and you could watch for them to either capitalize on the enemy falling or protect your unit that has fallen?   Now, I'm not striving for a highly competitive game like Starcraft and am focusing mainly on single player for now.  I guess I'm just trying to come up with ways to make the combat phase of my game more exciting.
  13. Which would you rather have in a strategy game? - Fixed unit damage (ie 8 HP per hit) - Unit damage range (ie 6-10 HP per hit)   My thoughts: Randomness always concerns me in gaming.  I don't want a player to feel like they lost due to luck.  Because of this, I currently have fixed damage.  HOWEVER, I have been thinking about games like Axis and Allies or Risk and how terrible they would be if there were no dice rolls.  If the team with the most units won every time, you would lose the drama of underdog victories or crushing defeats.  The outcome of battles would be predetermined by the team with the most powerful (or most) units.   What are everyone's thoughts on this?  Should there be some randomness to attack damage or should it be fixed?  Should the team that goes in with the advantage win every time or should there be a chance for an upset?
  14. I'm currently working on a fighting game and this is how I have my AI set up.   For enemy defense: Enemy has a "chance to block number" that gets checked every time the player attacks.  If the check passes the enemy blocks.  I modify this number for certain situations.  For example, immediately after the player parries an attack, the chance to block for the enemy becomes zero, this allows a "free" counter attack.  Another example is setting the chance to block to 100 after the player performs 2 identical attacks to prevent attack spamming.  The next attack that is performed will be blocked.  For more complexity, you could have a chance to block number for each type of player attack and vary those for different situations.   For enemy offense: This is still a work in progress for me.  I wanted the enemies to be reactive to player commands but I also wanted them to not sit and wait for the player to do something.  I gave each enemy an aggressiveness number that I vary based on certain situations (health remaining, consecutive hits by player).  I use this number to determine the length of time before an enemy attacks.  Other than that, I have the enemy react to player attacks.  If they block an attack they have a chance to immediately counter attack, if an attack connects they have a chance to perform the same attack again.   For enemy "special" attacks, I have a few situations where they are performed.  The first is simply a random timer (with a minimum time) that resets after they use a special.  The next is player/enemy health thresholds.  And the third is consecutive hits by the player.   My system isn't at all perfect and I literally did no research on it at all, its just what I came up with.  Hopefully, it gives you some ideas.