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LittleVikings

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  1. I'm sorry it took me so long to reply, and more so because of what I have to say ..   I'm not a fan of management sims, so if you ask me what the point is, I'll say there is none. They're a simulation (more akin to toys than games) of bean-counting (as much fun as a stick in the eye). A fan would probably tell you that the point is to make the little people do your bidding (maybe not in those words). Essentially, the aim of the game is to "build a thriving nation", which, to me, means that there is no clearly defined goal, or it is too subjective to be definable, and that's the first thing I'd want to set straight, although, come to think of it, I vaguely recall elections which you had to win to keep playing, or something like that. Honestly, my experiences with these "games" have been that unmemorable.   On a more constructive note, looking objectively at your own experience of this type of game in the wider context of game design, have you found the play experience, and in particular its conclusion, satisfying? And if so, what did it satisfy? I think that that will give you your answer.
  2. I think one island is OK if you start with one province on it and expand to fill more. Maybe allow the player to manage land by selecting the hexes to form the new province, and calculate cost of expansion based on number of hexes, constitution, etc.   The second option sounds fine too, and it might even be nice if the AI expands (as above), and you have the opportunity to establish provinces on the other islands if you're quick enough, and willing to soak up the initial cost. The advantage of these provinces would be reduced costs when trading with other nations on the island (no need for ships).   My feeling is that, at the moment, there's no sense of "tangible" progress, and no motivation - all you do is make the little numbers change. That might be fine in multi-player games, because competition with other players provides the motivation, but in single-player, you need something (like expansion) to drive gameplay.
  3. Your design tells you what objects you need - I don't see how we can help. Is this a programming question, or are you looking for help with designing a game around your engine?
  4. Mostly re-iterating on what ferrous said, I would do something like :   - Give each player a number of tokens/coins/bottlecaps/buttons/cookies/whatever-you-have-on-hand to represent missiles in their arsenal. Paperclips would work well, because you can keep them in your pocket, and then clip them on the edge of your opponent's sheet when they're in flight. You could also use marks on a separate sheet of paper, but tokens of some kind can be nice, and if each missile can do devastating damage, you don't need many of them. - Create a common "in flight" area (could be on the table, in your left hand, whatever), where missiles are placed when they're launched. - While there are missiles in flight, players have the option to allocate any number of fighters to shooting at them. - If missiles remain at the end of the round, each one has a chance to do pretty serious, but not instantly crippling damage, so that you have the option to let the missile through instead of allocating fighters to it. You could expand on this with critical hits on various systems, etc. - After resolving, missiles in play are removed from the game, so there is a limited supply.   I don't know if you have much experience with making physical games, but I would also suggest that even if the game board can be easily rendered in pencil, making up a nice set can give a game a lot of appeal, and can also be a very satisfying part of the process.
  5. I like that maze idea. It could make good use of tilting and screen buttons, with a rapid blinking LED indicating your position on the active screen, and slower blinking for the other screens (and when they're shown on the active screen too).   It's a real pity you can't have multiple players competing. Would it be possible if they took turns?   Also, what are the dimensions of the device? And can it be placed to face up or forward? Or does it have a specific orientation?
  6. Perhaps what you're seeing is co-op moving house to places like Global agenda and Firefall, where it becomes the (or at least a) central theme. It works better that way, because it always seems to feel a bit tacked-on if gameplay isn't designed around it. The trouble is that if you take what is essentially a single-player game and allow players to co-op, the whole dynamic of the game changes; Players' focus moves away from the game's story to the other player/s as they work to maximize their effectiveness as a team. This can be surprisingly challenging (at least in part because most players are woefully undisciplined, no matter how fervently they believe they're a highly-trained warrior), and having played through the game solo already won't exactly help keep their attention focussed elsewhere.   Designing multi-player games is very different from designing single-player storylines (See what I did there?), so if you're looking for multi-player, single-player games are probably the wrong place to look. That doesn't mean that more couldn't be done in the hybrid multi-player storyline area, but co-op mode really has to be tailored to a multi-player experience, which often results in something that looks more like an MMO, and after all, since AI is a factor, wouldn't you and your buddy rather team up against the great unwashed than face the same old bunch of brainless NPC mobs?
  7. The game of life is a good idea. In fact, I'm always disappointed when I see one of these things not running it. They just seem made for it. You could expand on it, and have four simulations which affect their neighbours, like a kind of Alife-within-a-Alife.   I like the take on asteroids too, and a twist on snake might be cool, where each square has a different special rule.
  8. So it can only be controlled by one device at a time?
  9. I would go one step further, and give each hex a resource value which contributes to the province it belongs to.   I am a little worried though, that there may be no way to "win", and all you can do is "not lose". Why do you want combat without expansion? A huge part of the industrial revolution was about travel and colonization, often by means of massive ships.
  10. How you feel about the map? I feel OK about it, but I like hexagons. If I didn't, I'd be annoyed that they exist without a purpose. I also want it to be procedurally generated so I can play more than once. The giant leaping spider bots button needs to be more obvious.   - Assuming the internal province stuff is relatively rich/complex, do you find the current 12 provinces enough? Maybe add more? This seems like a game balance question, and there is no game yet. It's impossible to say without knowing what they're for.   - How you feel about the island surrounded by endless sea? Is it OK? Or maybe I should add some other islands around it, even if with very limited interaction (like owned by AI nations but no option to conquer)? If yes, how important adding these you feel is? Personally, I feel a bit bad about it. It feels isolated, and accentuates the feeling of having no aim or impact. More islands are only useful if you can interact with them in some meaningful way. Also, possibly irrelevant, but if you give me an island, I want a boat.   - Overall, what was you experience regarding interacting with the map? It was fairly smooth and intuitive, although scrolling at the edges of the window was unnecessary since the whole map fits in the window, and especially annoying because it continues when the mouse is outside of the window.   - Does the map require zooming? And minimap? No. Zooming might be nice, because it's interface customization, which helps with comfort and convenience (You could zoom out so the island is small enough to fit in the right-hand side of the screen, beside that huge build interface, which could probably be smaller), but I can see no reason to have a minimap.
  11. If you're OK with text-based battles, I played a browser game some years back which did it pretty effectively. I don't recall the name, but it was a gang war setup, where battles were fought between gangs of a hundred or so a side every night. You had no control over your actions during the battle, but there were UIs at various levels (clan, chapter, and individual) where you'd program strategies involving equipment, fighting style, etc., and the whole thing took ten minutes or so to crunch on a cheap web server. Maybe not ideal, but you got a nice detailed account of the battle, and you never missed a fight.   You could provide a little more player involvement using turn-based simultaneous actions without stretching server hardware requirements, especially if you don't mind making players wait a minute between turns. Place a restriction on turn length, of course.   1) May be down to clan leadership upholding their responsibility to their members, and making them feel valued. After all, if all the nobodies left, you'd have no-one to fight. Progression is important too though - the opportunity to look forward to having a greater impact. I think most players understand that when they're new they won't be as effective as when they've had some time to advance and specialize. Also, don't under-estimate the "I was there" factor. Most players will enjoy the spectacle even if they die in the first volley, provided you let them stay till the end as spectators.   2) 1000+ yes, but if you're happy with 100, that's a lot more manageable. And if you can get 100 players in your "very small indie project" world at one time, I think you're doing pretty well.   3) I don't think deserters are your problem. It's up to individual clans to produce loyal members and winning strategies. That's politics.   4) Limiting participation in some way may be the answer. If you have 50 men, join a 50-man battle scenario. That's pretty hectic already. 1000-man battles don't occur on a daily basis in EVE, and I can tell you that scheduling is a huge part of successful (not just victorious, but stable) engagements in EVE, and was even more so in the days before you could order up some extra beef for your cluster. Availability of players (on both sides) and system resources are both important considerations. It may seem like undesirable meta-gaming, but at that level of participation there's no point trying to fight it anyway, so have clan leaders schedule battles ahead for both their sake and yours.
  12. I'm sorry, but that's completely illegible. Try copying it into notepad, editing out the stray code, links, and formatting, and updating your post.   If that seems like hard work, think of it this way : A large organization might spend months or even years, and millions in currency on R&D and market research. Compare that to the effort it takes to create a reasonable and respectful post which accomplishes the same for you.   And please try to remember that a good idea will not be improved by adding coloured italics. You will attract a more profitable class of reader if you aim your material at grown-ups.
  13. Assuming that you can only be attacked and lose land, and cannot retaliate or expand by means of a military, I think defensive-only military conflicts in a game which includes military conflict as a territorial mechanic would be kind of a silly restriction. If you have other options, why not that one?   For an aim, it would be nice to have a variety of options to choose from, maybe even as a choice of win conditions before you start a game. The obvious way to do this is using the ducks-in-a-row method employed by many solitaire games : Reach 0% unemployment, 100% fulfilment, or what-have-you in all regions, or establish trade routes, diplomatic relations, etc. with all neighbours.   You could also use an actual "main goal" (again, why not choose from a selection, to reflect the play style you want for this session?) Reach the moon, build a world capital for trade, culture, etc. Building a set of scientific colleges (botany, zoology, chemistry, astrology, etc.) would fit nicely with a steampunk feel. The level of outside influence or competition you want will probably determine which of these are more likely to suit.   The goal could simply be to drag your nation, kicking and screaming, into the modern age. They'd bitch and moan about all the changes, but they'd be pleased with the outcomes, so you'd be trying to make the transition as smooth as possible by capitalizing on advancements to make up for loss of jobs and ways of life etc.   Collecting points may initially seem uninteresting, but there is no reason why it should be. Key to success with this goal is making the points represent something interesting or valuable, more like achievements or medals. For example, your nation could have mad inventors who write to the king asking for funding for projects. You, as the king, decide, which of these are likely to succeed or fail (based on the inventor's region of origin and its available resources, availability of supporting technologies, etc.), and fund the right projects, which, upon completion, will give you a victory point. As the project progresses, you receive further instructions, requiring you to meet various randomized mini-challenges to keep things interesting, but you can, of course, push resources in the right direction, research technologies, free up labour, and draw in investors, to indirectly influence the chance of success. Failure of the project would probably cost you a VP, but there may be ways to mitigate the loss. Maybe you even score on multiple tracks. Let's say a successful project to build the first airship would give you an industrial point, but if you publicize it and gain foreign investment, you could gain a cultural point as a bonus. Going for the bonus point comes with a risk, because if the project fails, you will lose both industrial and cultural points. Now points are not just a score, but a reminder of a challenge successfully met.   It would be nice to be able to build networks based around companies (or "societies" or whatever) which arise spontaneously as a result of the right combination of resources and abundance of enterprise. For instance, a region with a good supply of steel and coal, and a certain level of throughput within the kingdom would result in the rail company being set up. That would allow you to access the railway infrastructure interface, which would allow you to increase the flow, both domestic and international, of trade goods and resources. Similar systems would work for electricity, gas, airfields, etc., each of which would bring improvements in some area (resource flow, access to technologies, citizen wellbeing, etc., even tourism and renown). This might be a nice way to give some focus and distinction to individual regions if only one company or utility can be run from each.   Maybe the projects come up as challenges from other nations, as in "Your neighbour, France, challenges you to a race across the Atlantic" or "British build 100MPH car!" and you have to do it bigger, better, faster, etc.   Or you could commission the projects yourself. The challenge then would be to take enough out of the country to complete the project, without upsetting the population, disrupting trade, etc.   I may have got a bit carried away there. I'm not very good with the aim-of-the-game question, but I think if you look at the big achievers in the industrial revolution, and try to isolate what made them winners in whatever sense you deem most enjoyable, it should give some clues as to what a player should be expected to do in order to win in a game about industry.
  14. What I mean is that I would be concerned about spreading players evenly over sides and play styles. Does every player get to have a character for each class so they can switch to fill what sounds like a pretty rigid set of mission slots? Or can you start a mission with seven drivers if you want?
  15. Check out Kerbal Space Program. The main objective is to visit other planets and gather scientific data. The fun comes from building craft to reach the various planets, adapting to the challenges presented by the differing conditions on each one, and returning the data to your planet of origin in order to unlock new technologies which allow you to build better, more efficient craft. You wouldn't have to go into as much depth as KSP, of course.   A few planets of different sizes, ranging in atmosphere and gravity from almost none to very heavy, a mother ship with a warp drive (unless you're providing the player with an interplanetary single-stage craft, which tends to be a little hard to swallow), and a few landers to cover different entries, landings, and launches (and, presumably, some 0-G manoeuvres) would be enough for a demo. You don't need a mission structure to showcase the technology. If it's a physical simulation, then successful ascent, descent, and rendezvous are the aim of the game, and a lot of the fun would come from the realistic simulation of the cockpit environment. Given a reasonable level of realism, survival would be a reward in itself.