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About NapoleonicMonkey

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  1. There was a good multiplayer tower defense in warcraft 3 - I think it was 'line tower defense gold'. This compelled the player to buy the waves of attackers to send at opponents. This fed your opponents money, but also increased your own income. You'd get given money depending on how many monsters you'd summoned up to that point. By the end of the game, a more aggressive player would have so much money he could keep hurling max level bosses at his foes until they break. This income system is a good example of how you can balance the defense and offense, rather than making players turtle all game until impregnable.
  2. Interesting analysis. i think you're on to something - compact levels and those starting positions are compelling people to think vertical. The only thing I disagree with is that the bottom players need to jump. But mainly because I played Donkey Kong, so my first move was always the overhead hand clap
  3. Heh, looks like we posted something similar at the same time. I think the very best ones are just when people get it without explaining anything. I've heard people talk about the first level of Mario as the best example. "Hey look, I must be this guy. If I press right he goes right. If I go left I get stuck at the edge of the screen. Guess I'll keep going right. Look there's a question mark box, I'll jump into it. Chase the mushroom. Wonder what happens if I jump on this guy". The game is so simple and intuitive, and the first 30secs so well designed to introduce these concepts, that the player doesn't need any explanation at all. For more complicated games I think user feedback is key. If they do something clever (showing they understand the game), make a big deal about it. Give them points, or a flashy animation across the screen. If you make it clear they're on the right track, they'll keep exploring that way.
  4. Hi Everybody! The last game I developed was a bit different from a normal genre, with quite a few gameplay mechanics. It was similar to Oasis - clicking on a blank map to reveal tiles. These give hints to other nearby tiles. Each tile gives benefits to the player. The problem is, being different to most games I don't think players understand how it works. This was a constant fear of mine through the development process so I kept adding tutorials, hints (text box when they revealed a tile for the first time), feedback (images linking one effect to another). Now that it is released, I'm still getting feedback that players don't understand what's going on. I'm thinking that even beyond understanding each individual effect, players just don't get the overall game. I accept this is completely my fault, but it is difficult for me to solve, since of course I understand what is going on. It's hard to know what players need to hear to make it all click for them. I also remember understanding Oasis fairly quickly (though that was a long time ago). Some thoughts on how to help people without throwing more tutorials in their face: Explain the entire game to them: I've seen some games where the opening screen is a text block that tells you the rules of the game, what they need to do, how they are expected to play. This is one approach I avoided - it seems like most people would skip it, or wouldn't get it. I think a good tutorial would be better - explaining each mechanic with a couple of lines of text, then getting the player to use it for a while. Introduce new mechanics slowly: So give them a very simple level showing off "This is what the game is about", but stripped back to the bare basics. Hopefully this will show off the basic game and get them hooked. Then the second level would introduce a single extra mechanic, then the third would do the same etc. This sounds like a good idea, but there's still a risk that the player wouldn't understand the first level, then be lost from there. Worse, I worry working up too slowly will turn some people off, and feel like they are being taught things they aleady know. There are also some players that would get bored of the game if you told them everything, and left them nothing to discover themselves. slowly introducing mechanics is definitely a good idea, but there'd need to be a lot of fine tuning to work out how slowly to introduce it. More visual feedback: This is cheap to introduce, and helps the player tie things together without explicitly telling them what they should be thinking. An example is a real time strategy game: if a medic is healing a soldier, the medic should show a healing animation and the soldier could have a red cross icon hovering above him as his health bar increases. I think this is good for complex mechanics, but not so much for 'base level' gameplay since it would overwhelm the player. Simplified gameplay - stripping out mechanics that are difficult for the player to understand. Perhaps this is what I need to do in my case, though it should be a last resort. Again, it may not be the best solution for 'base level' things - mechanics that you cannot strip out without crippling the game. Has anyone else run into this problem? How can we fix it?
  5. Do you need a few tiles to be 'uphill' (for game bonuses), or do you just need a hilly region? If you just need hilly area, you can do more of a rolling hills effect - showing a number of round-topped, individual hills on the tile. eg: I sometimes use "Battle for Wesnoth" as a good guide to tile graphics. [url="http://www.wesnoth.org/images/sshots/wesnoth-1.9.0-4.jpg"]http://www.wesnoth.org/images/sshots/wesnoth-1.9.0-4.jpg[/url] At the top of this image there's a few steep mountains, but around them are some lower hills. Perhaps if you copied this effect (and made them green) it would be easier.
  6. Thanks guys. Will look deeper into trying Cocos2d-x - what's not to like? It's free and uses common C++ (no need to learn objective-C) Have found a few good tutorials that I'll try. [url="http://www.raywenderlich.com/11283/cocos2d-x-for-ios-and-android-getting-started"]http://www.raywenderlich.com/11283/cocos2d-x-for-ios-and-android-getting-started[/url] [url="http://www.raywenderlich.com/11338/cocos2d-x-for-ios-and-android-space-game"]http://www.raywenderlich.com/11338/cocos2d-x-for-ios-and-android-space-game[/url] If it doesn't feel right I'll look into another option. But for now it sounds ok (if not a bit fiddly to get Eclipse and XCode working together).
  7. Hello all, Relatively new here, but I've developed a few games in my time. My most recent effort was an Android turn based civilizations building game [url="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.napoleonicmonkey.island"]https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.napoleonicmonkey.island[/url] Now I was happy with the development process overall - enjoyed coding in Java and Eclipse once I got used to it. However I would love to be able to sell it to iPhone too. Heard plenty of people say that Apple users are more willing to download, and even pay. I'm not counting on it, but it would be nice if people actually played my games My question is: has anyone used any multi-platform engines? What would be the easiest way to code my game once and port it for a few engines? My first thought was to build an interface class for screen refreshes, input, sound, file management etc. From this I could connect a system-dependent class, that does all the work communicating between my core game and the underlying OS. However, once I thought about it I'm not convinced it would work - I'd still need to translate my code into the OS preferred language (eg translate from Java for Android to C for iOS). And I'm not very familiar with iOS, but imagine the general program architecture could be different to Android. This left me looking for alternative libraries. I've had a quick look at Marmalade, which sounds very expensive to get into. Also looked at PhoneGap. But it's hard to get a feel for them until you've tried them. So has anyone used one of the multi platform libraries? It sounds like they are mostly based in Javascript - which I also don't have much experience with :S I'm not sure they're designed for games either - look like they're mostly targetted at web developers looking to launch website tie-in apps.
  8. I think the gold, items, and experience are the most vital mechanics. To me, these are really what separates a MOBA from a shooter. The real focus of 80% of the game is laning, getting creep kills, even getting hero kills to earn yourself more gold and experience. This gold and experience is then used to give you an advantage late game. If these don't exist, you need some other reason to force the player to do anything. ie: it sounds like the focus is to kill the enemy heroes - why should they do that if they're not going to get any gold for it?
  9. Personally, I'd concentrate on getting just a few easy skills working and then playtesting them. Once you get an idea how these simple mechanics work, and balance them it will be much easier to come up with the more complicated ones. eg: Stun, Direct Damage, Heal, buffs, slow, frost arrows, flash / blink, poison / damage over time, a dodge/block. Just throwing out some random ones. Once you've worked that out you can start comboing ideas together. Once you know a stun works as expected, you can do a skill shot stun. Once you get a feel for how a slow works you can add a speed buff for the caster ("Steal speed" style thing in a few MOBAs). If Blink works, try a 'blink strike' (teleport to enemy then do a high damage attack). I think you'll find this process easier than trying to balance hundreds of skills at the same time, all of which would be based off the same few mechanics.
  10. I agree - if you're specifically targetting the 3DS - what special features from it are you using and how? (3D, Dual screen, touch) eg if you're not using 3D or Dual Screens, would it be easier to make it a mobile or PC game? These are much easier to distribute and make. Reading through your post, I'm having trouble imagining how the game will play out. I'm imagining a tile based puzzle game (like the old Zeldas or God of Thunder for example) with RPG / combat elements - but you're playing as 2 different characters at the same time? Is that right? Perhaps it would be easier to imagine if you drew a screenshot, or walked us through an example level (showing us when the 2 characters switch perspective).
  11. For my games so far, I've been happy with a single all-encompassing object with a variable "Type" or some such. This is mainly for stategy games, where each trooper would boil down to only a few stats and behavioural differences. In the initialisation methods, I check the type and fill the statistics for that unit. In the AI I check type and switch to determine behaviour. Some variables will exist to define behaviour (eg ability to fly or go on water). I find it easier to conceptualise this way, and if most of the behaviour between units is similar, with only differences in stats / minor ability differences (move through water / fly), it is simpler than defining a new unit class every time. You get a slightly bloated class, but most of it is pretty simple to understand - just a few switch statements. However it might not work for a more complicated object - like a soldier in a FPS. His behaviour would be variable - defined by his equipment (jetpacks, grenade launchers would be different to a normal rifle-trooper), status (elites, grunts, bosses), and would be extremely different to a tank or helicopter (for example). For that I imagine rnlf's approach would be better - with separate components strung together.