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About Symphonic

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  1. Symphonic

    So let's talk weapons...

    Panicbox; not to say that this thread is not awesome -particularly fishtanksword- but it occurs to me that what disgaea, and most 'rpgs' I would say, does in its abstraction of combat is attempt to give you a limited number of categories of weapons that reasonably cover the gamut of combat styles. of course, the word 'attempt' is very important there. What I'm getting at is that when you design a game that will have a practically infinite number of configurations of character, instead of designing individuals you end up designing -dare I say it- classes of individuals. These break down not only along the lines of literal classes as defined by the game, but also along the lines of types of objects equipped and so on. So what I'm saying is, fishtanksword is still a sword, even if it has fancy graphics, because that's all it could be in the designer's limited model of reality.
  2. Symphonic

    Radial Attack and Movement System

    I daresay that's exactly the reason it's a good idea. A quick note, as a martial artist with some weapons experience, the 'idea' that swinging a sword through a 90 degree arc means you will effectively damage anyone in that arc is somewhat flawed. In practical styles of weapon use, there is an area in space roughly twelve inches across where your weapon has both maximum momentum and your body is mechanically aligned to back the weapon with your maximum generatable force. If the weapon strikes something before that, you must choose between delivering a glancing blow or being knocked off balance. If it strikes something after the effective region it will certainly be a glancing blow, because you are in the process of changing its momentum to deal with whatever situation is going to develop. Having a larger effective region is actually typical of an unskilled fighter, because it is wasteful in terms of speed and power, and exposes the combatant to counterattacks. This all comes about because combat between skilled fighters is more often a game of speed and positioning than a game of force, and you want to deliver a blow with maximum force exactly 'there' and then quickly prepare for the next situation. Interestingly enough, stabbing (a straight forward thrust) is one of the most stable attack motions; it's effective region starts just after the hip and lasts all the way through the extension of the arm. I suppose that from a game development perspective this stuff may seem a little pedantic, but it's something to consider.
  3. Symphonic

    Need usability suggestions for galexy map

    Hey good work there! I watched that video you linked, good stuff. I would personally prefer the stars shrinking to points when I'm viewing the galaxy, instead of seeing huge balls of fire that seem to be lightyears across. Also, putting labels in boxes might help the ui look better, and I would consider even putting some kind of outline around planets and stars that are visible/inspectable/what-have-you. Also cool song
  4. Symphonic

    Feedback: Cyber Steam Wars (GDD)

    Try to include spaces between words; e.g. "for the" and "will get" You seem to really like the words cyber and steam... maybe look up some synonyms The idea seems fine, you should go make it, and come back with design issues that crop up in the development process. Visit the 'For Beginners' forum for advice on how to get started. When you say 2.5D side-scrolling brawler, do you mean like double dragon?
  5. Symphonic

    Balancing Magic in Games

    Definitely go play Magicka, a wonderful example of a new, creative, clever, player skill oriented, engaging, and various other adjectives, magic system. Beyond that, if you don't know how to approach magic in your game then as Khaiy said; ...from the story/setting side. In your game, what is magic? How does it work? Why can people use it? What effects has the existence of magic had on society? Starting to answer those questions, and keeping the answers as consistent with each other as possible, will help you see how you want characters in your game world to relate to magic, its use and limitations, and so on. That will be a more creative approach than assuming the normal fantasy-video game tropes and simultaneously trying to escape from them.[/quote]
  6. Symphonic

    Practical Treasures

    I played sky island, it uses the projective 2D/3D idea much like Fez (which I'm not sure was actually released). I understood you to mean a multi-layered 2d side-scroller like little big planet. No matter. This is a cool mechanic all to itself, and combining it with zip wires and other platformer tropes I think you could come up with some very cool puzzles. Not sure what you mean by lives as a safety net, is it like LBP in that you have a certain number of tries IN the level but once you fail you can just try again from the start? If my game was about raiding cavernous labyrinths, maybe it suffices to have checkpoints where I bust a whole in the ceiling and someone throws down a rope. Then when I die, a 'new me' climbs down the rope and continues from there. Also, if I'm truly stuck, I could just open the options menu and quit back to the world-map/whathaveyou Limited retries is a trope born of the old arcade game age when having your player fail meant an excuse to extract more money from him/her. Programmatically this is a very fun thing problem to solve, but claim to be not much of a programmer, so maybe we can leave that all aside. Suffice to say, it's entirely doable, because it's already being done! --- off topic --- I am sorry if I broke any code of conduct, but since comming to the conclusion that I cannot be a creator of games (lack of programming ability, drive, and unsuccessful attempts at education) I might as well share my ideas in the -at worst misplaced- hope that I might see some features in future indy titles inspired atleast in part by my ideas that I would love to play and love others to enjoy.[/quote] I can't speak for others, but I'm not offended by your OP, you're just a little green, and maybe I'm just rude enough to tell you to your face bearing in mind that I might get mod-smacked for being a little too mean. For what it's worth, you're in the right place; you have ideas that excite you and you don't know what to do with them beyond posting on a game design forum and getting feedback. Cool! Even if we're old codgers and we tell you not to post your whole damn design but whittle it down to the nuggets that are worth discussing, it will do us both good to have that interaction. Also, knowing how to ask good questions is helpful for everyone involved. Really though, you need to go make games, it's very hard! and it's also very easy! Drive is literally the only thing you need, and I'm sorry you don't feel very driven, in my experience that's more a matter of what's in your head than the reality of what you are capable of doing. My advice is start small by setting goals you are SURE you can fulfill until you build up the confidence to meet harder challenges. Go to the 'for beginners' forum and have a read around to see how people got started doing this stuff. You don't need to be an amazing programmer or artist to make a game, you just have to want it.
  7. Symphonic

    Generic or unique recruits ?

    Am I missing something? It requires you to either bend the game mechanics around the save/load feature to make it painful to reload, or make acquiring things so easy that the whole notion of losing something becomes meaningless; you just get it back right away anyway... The first is a terrible kludge, and the second really is bad design. I agree, that's bad level design; retrying is just a convenience to make that issue slightly less painful for the player. But what is the alternative? You could have a 'skip this scene' button I guess. You could patch the game when you realize that players die a lot there. What if there's some trick to beating that scene? like 'you have to burn the rope' or something? Until the player figures it out, they just have to keep trying. That's kinda the point of creating a challenge for the player, you're placing the bar this high, and you say, "you must jump over the bar to continue" Has this anything to do with game design ? Load/save is a technical feature which could spoil the game, either because you can't reload an older save to overcome an else impossible situation (=>bad gamedesign) or you need to "grind" load/save a certain situation until you beat it (=>bad gamedesign). I never talked about getting rid of load/save I just want to approach the goal, that the player does not see any necessity in reloading the game.[/quote] Fair enough. It's not an intrinsic design solution. It's offering different rankings for players based on whether or not they made use of the save/load feature. BUT save/load is, as you have noticed, a feature extrinsic to the design of the game itself. In essence, you get to relive portions of your avatar's life (or avatars' lives). If that's what you're so uncomfortable with, then getting rid of load/save may actually be the right thing to do to get the aesthetic you want. I understand your goal to be that your level design is so good that the player is consistently challenged but never actually loses so much that she feels the need to reload. That's a great goal to have suppose you actually succeeded in doing so; why would you need a save/load feature then? So you asked the question: unique or generic recruits? Are you worried that the player might lose a unit she could carry on without, but because she liked his name and anthropomorphized him just a little, she's going to reload just to get him back? The other side of that is equally important; loss is not loss if you don't care about what was lost. Maybe what you really want is to make a game where the player never loses things that are valuable. Having units with unique names is cool! even more so if every one of them is mechanically unique, when one of them dies, you have both the practical 'value was lost' (like losing an expansion in starcraft) loss, and the emotional loss, which is actually entirely made up by the player if you think about it; she uses her little imagination to instill that individual unit with emotional value. This is a ridiculously long post, and I think I edited out any redundancy, sorry for rambling.
  8. Symphonic

    Practical Treasures

    So, there's no question here, were you looking for a reaction? I'm not a mod, but I think It's not considered appropriate forum use to just post your 'design doc' and ask for comments. if you have a great idea like this, go make it and then come ask concise questions about design issues that crop up. Anyway, here's my reaction: I love the idea that you collect treasures and then expend them in order to move through the labyrinth. Why on earth would you use an outdated trope like limited numbers of lives. Why not have successfully petting the cat give the player something more interesting? Remember Stones of Jordan in Diablo II? they were a quasi currency among players, because gold didn't really have much value. Consider having 'golden cat dander' or something like that drop from the petted cat. It took me three sittings to read your post, so don't be surprised if you don't get any more replies. Generally long posts are a sign of bad questions.
  9. It sounds good, sorry you had your idea torpedoed! Happens to the best of us My only afterthought is that as a programmer, it would appeal to me if this was the combat mechanism for the entire game (including PvE), that helps reduce the potentially massive difference in player experience between the single player and multi player aspects. OR you should make it an option for players to use their automated combat program when PvEing so they can see how it performs and tweak it.
  10. Symphonic

    Generic or unique recruits ?

    So, you created a thread to get feedback on a design issue that pales in comparison to the real issue your project has: I think this is a ridiculous goal. If your player doesn't want to reload after losing something, then one of the following is true: 1) It didn't have any real value to them in the first place. 2) It takes less effort to acquire a new one than it does to reload the game. This creates a very ugly dichotomy, either all the 'units' are intrinsically worthless, or you make reloading painful. Can't we just say no to both? How about this; have a 'casual' mode where players can save/load as much as they like and their score is worth peanuts. Then have a 'normal' mode where the player can only save between missions or whatever. Then create a 'hardcore' mode that has no reloading, only continuing from where you were when you last left the game or your computer crashed. The titular question; Generic or Unique recruits? depends more on the aesthetic you are going for than your actual design goals. For example: In most RTS every unit of a particular kind is the same, and none of them have names. In Cannon Fodder, every unit is the same (they get XP but we can discount that), and every one of them has a different name. In Jagged Alliance, every unit has a name and unique characteristics. Now I think about it, I can't think of a game that has unique characters without unique names... Whether each unit is mechanically unique is a design issue, and whether each one has a unique name is an artistic issue (ie, the feeling you're going for). So, I put it to you: what are you going for?
  11. Symphonic

    Tools in Level Design

    Facepalm! This is brilliant, and I totally get what you mean now. I was thinking more along the lines of the HL2 playtesting wherein the datasets were not so huge that they couldn't just sit down and watch all the replays. So, if you have a way to run a replay through a simulator, and collect any data you want from that, then aggregate that data somewhere and construct scattermaps for player movement, and heatmaps for player death, that is a very clever first step! In strategy games, generating some kind of tech progression report would be interesting. Also, have a look at the 1K project, it's an inspired piece of game art that ties in with what you're saying. I'll have a think about this now that I know what you meant, bbl
  12. Symphonic

    Tools in Level Design

    The single most important tool is the replay. If you can play back exactly what was going on throughout the simulation as the player played, then you have 90%. The other 10% is video footage of the player, ideally frontal, and his/her hands, synced to the replay. If I have those things, I can fully guage the player's reaction to what he/she saw and heard, which is most of the way there. I suspect you mean something slightly different though; were you thinking of instrumentation for the developers to do in-house playtesting? I'll give that some thought, though generally there's nothing like real playtesting... An interesting project might be to choose a game that has fixed-interval simulation, and implement replay recording for it. I'm sure if you did that for Source (assuming they haven't already done it) you could get a job from Valve for it
  13. Symphonic

    Expanding a game idea

    Your English is pretty good! I have only one correction, the plural of "medium" is "media" This is a very clever idea! I bet you already thought of this, but you should try to implement the effects of the media at the level of the physics engine; eg the feather medium will reduce your mass while preserving velocity allowing the jumping impulse to throw your ball much higher. The cannon medium will apply a strong force in the same direction as your velocity as long as you occupy it. Other media: Sticky/Slippery - these change the material properties of the balls (and of course have an appropriate material of their own). I assume that 'movement' is accomplished by applying a torque to the balls so that the friction between the ball and the surface causes it to move. So a sticky surface will allow much more precise movement, and a slippery one will basically make it impossible for the ball to change direction while it's on there; however! note that while a ball is on a slippery surface it can build up angular momentum, so if it slides off onto a sticky surface, it will bolt off in a new direction! bouncy/damped - you can probably guess on a bouncy surface there is a greater conservation of energy (right?!) on impact whereas on a damping surface there is no conservation of energy. heavy (to go with feather) I think it would also be interesting to let players 'nullify' a medium if it's occupied at the end of their turn. So if I end my turn in a heavy medium, I can press a key to make it so my opponent cannot get heavy in the same medium on his turn. don't forget to have some walls, and moveable crates!
  14. Play the board game called RoboRally, it may give you some ideas about asynchronous competitive play. You should probably always have the option for players to play a live multiplayer match against each other if both are online. Just because that's more fun. So you can 'challenge' any player, if they're offline then you simply get the automated battle, and if they're online you get the real thing. If this was my project and I had to make the decision about how to proceed, I would say, build solution 2 first, playtest and see what bits need to be abstracted for the player to find it accessible, so you find the right middle ground between 2 and 3. Also, consider the replays from RTSs like starcraft. If an automated battle takes place, I want to be able to scrutinize it to see exactly what my character did so that I can adjust my program Finally, the best thing to do is have the game learn from how the player plays his character. Then try to emulate that in the decision matrix (solution 2), so the player at least has a starting point.
  15. Symphonic

    Tactical MMO where you control a team

    Quote:Original post by sunandshadow Controlling a team in real time just results in depersonalizing the creatures to wield them as a troop or automating them. On this specific point; I disagree! There's no reason a turn based combat system should offer a more personal experience of the player's creatures vs. any other type. Tactics Arena Online is the closest example (I know of) to what you described in the OP. Quote:So, anyone have any thoughts or opinions about a game like this? It sounds like a fine idea. I might push you towards an Active-time turn-based style rather than the classic XCOM style turn-based. Grandia 2 is a good example of this, though I was disappointed that the spatial component of that combat system was not under the players control. There was a discussion of turn based MOG parallelism a while back. EDIT: Terrible terrible grammar [Edited by - Symphonic on February 10, 2010 5:51:26 AM]
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