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  1. valrus: awesome list, I actually had no idea Banner Saga was isometric and turn based. Checked out a gameplay vid and I'm definitely interested. Will give the others a look too.   Shining force looks interesting, but the superimposed virtual pad for a game that could benefit from touch is unfortunate. Record of Agarest War looks a lot more promising, but the price tag is a big gamble in terms of how the controls feel. I'd be concerned it's like FFT (also a high price at the time) which I loved on a real gamepad but struggled with on touch.   But that's a bunch of great suggestions, many thanks!   BlueSalamander: looks interesting, very much along the right lines. Will take a look.   Orymus3: yeah the XCOM series is one I've managed to miss over the years (not on purpose), might finally be time to give it a proper look.   GoCatGo: say what you want about gaming on mobile - as long as I have a device in my pocket at all times in my busy life, I'll be in the market for a game I can jump into easily when the opportunity arises. Of course I'd rather be playing games on PC (or console, for that matter), but it doesn't always work out that way in reality. For me at least..
  2.   DQOK was SSI (Strategic Simulations Inc) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Simulations They published and/or developed this and a few other in the series that were more of less the same game telling different stories and with minor feature differences.   Yeah the turn based combat is what I'm interested in - not necessarily isometric as a rule (DQOK was). Very much the party vs world, different roles of party members, and the large scale battles where you really need to manage your turns to an expert level to make it through. BGII for me was about halfway to NWN in combat (not that I'd played NWN yet at the time) - not quite really turn-based, and with arbitrary movement rather than holding and controlling squares strategically. I loved every minute of BGII and I enjoyed the combat very much as well, it's just different.   an example combat scenario from DQOK: Begin the battle, assess the location and abilities of enemy units. There are a few extreme threats on the opposing side in this battle, so your mage/s are going to need to assure your survival by taking them down ASAP. You take one forward on the attack, but you'll need to end your turn with a fighter in front of them controlling that space or your mage will be gone immediately. You might take a different fighter around a flanking path to mop up, but you have to be careful not to overextend because any individual party member could be killed in a single turn if you're careless. A few turns in, you've established a front line in the clash as best you can. You're taking heavy damage, your mages have unleashed a bunch of heavy spells to mitigate the worst threats, and suddenly you're thinking very carefully about every individual remaining resource you have left. How many times can you heal some one getting hacked apart from 3-5 sides (inc diagonals), which combination of actions can most reliably remove remaining threats from the board and reduce the damage taken, etc. You might take a long time to ponder a single turn as you figure out the best approach.   That's the kind of strategy I got so engrossed in. I used to rush through easy battles so I could purposefully look for extremely difficult ones, basically to challenge my tactical wits and strategic thinking (it often ended badly, but that's ok).   The classes and character customisation are a big part of it too though. Designing a well balanced party is a strategic challenge in itself and I loved that. Right down to individual choices of memorised spells, with a potentially profound impact on any given encounter.   I never played Pen & Paper D&D, or any board games versions, mainly because I was never really too crazy about the role-play aspect, it really was almost entirely the tactical/strategy/character loadout aspect that roped me into this and similar games. I did enjoy the story as well, but for me story (or rather narrative, I guess) and RP are not co dependant.
  3. True only with heavily advertised products.   For most hobby products day one gets zero, day two gets zero, day three gets zero... eventually if you keep pushing hard enough you'll have a day with two or three or four downloads.     It is the curse of obscurity. You need a large marketing budget or a win at the lottery to overcome it.     There's an exception to this worth noting - if you pique the interest of the various App-Feature teams, your day one (actually it's week one) launch can become something of a big deal. Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all have dedicated editorial teams that are actively interested in presenting good new content to customers. They don't charge anything for it either, so it's worth approaching them if you think you have something special.   Failing that, you're in the obscurity struggle yes.   It's also worth mentioning that the "lottery" shouldn't be thought of as an esoteric or mysterious event, you can always trace it back to something - i.e. a popular Youtuber or celebrity picked it up, a big publication organically included it in a spotlight type piece, etc. While in most cases you might need lottery type luck for one of those things to happen, the more noise you make about your own game (in the right ways) can make it all the more likely.   But, as to the issue of first impressions and help or harm... It's a valid concern. I've seen Steam developers note that they've had early-access customers come and go early on, and then found it difficult to hit any critical mass at "1.0" launch because everyone had seen and played it already. I can vaguely remember an article along these lines as well.   For a small scale project I don't know how much of a concern that would be though - and especially if it's free, the player feedback would be easy to come by and hopefully useful.
  4. Not to take away from the excellent replies already here, I just want to say that trying to define MVP in a scientific way is not really what I'd recommend personally. So much of the process can be, but for that question I'd really say intuition should be guiding you. Ultimately you're making a decision about what to give a customer who's paying you money on faith - hoping the experience will be good.   That said, launching small and growing from there is really nothing new, in fact I'd pin-point it specifically as an emerging trend in the industry. Steam early access is a good example.
  5. As a kid I used to play The Dark Queen of Krynn for hours, weeks, months on end, and from my lifetime of gaming it's right up there with my all time favourites. I don't know if it was the story (although I enjoyed that) as much as the style of turn based combat that really grabbed me.   It's kind of been something I often thought about over the years, wondering what other games might scratch that particular itch, and finally now in my 30s I thought I might finally make a post about it.   For thread context; I'm inspired by this kind of gameplay for my own potential game design, but I really have no idea which developers over the years carried and refined this kind of combat in the best ways and I'd love to get anyone's thoughts on that subject. I SHOULD know.. I just didn't keep up. I got into different games, and especially around the time I got into gamedev, I was doing totally different things.   I'd like to think that good game design is always informed by mistakes and successes from the past, and with such an explosion of indie dev in recent years I feel like there must be dozens of amazing titles I don't know about that have this kind of approach to combat. I feel like before I'd even consider working on my little title in the vein of Gold Box TBS I should ideally be really familiar with what's already happening right now in this space, and what kind of audience exists for it.   I'm really talking purely about the combat - not necessarily the audience that exists for Dragonlance type AD&D narrative, nor the audience for retro pixel art, nor the specifics of the D&D ruleset they used (although I did like it a lot, I prefer NWN / 3.0, and even then I'd just do my own thing anyway).   What I loved, in terms of gameplay, was the role separation between party members and need to balance a good squad for all occasions. In a tough battle, every turn of every party member was important - it mattered where everyone was, who you had protected, who's at the front line, who's supporting, who's guarded, etc. I think I really loved the party size of six as well, as you really need to keep everybody alive and protected as a crucial aspect of combat.   I could probably name a few similar games I played over the years but none that quite scratched the itch the same way: - FF Tactic and Disgaea 3 - extreme addiction occurred in both of these titles, I think they're both actually a good example of something nore recent I enjoyed in more or less the same way. - Boulder's Gate 2 - absolutely loved every minute of this game, and loved the combat also but in a different way / for different reasons. - Arcanum - also absolutely loved this game as well, but I never got as engrossed in the combat. - Battle for Wesnoth (played on iOS) - I really enjoy this game, but I wish it had deeper character customisation and the fact that it's army vs army gives it a totally different appeal to me (not in a bad way, just scratching a different itch) - Reign of Swords (played on iOS) - actually loved the hell out of this game but for unknown reasons, they killed it on the app store and it never returned.   So I guess what I'm interested in is some of the best modern examples of people doing great things in this space - both because I want to play those games, but also as creative reference. I don't want to make something exactly like anything pre-existing, and I also don't want to reinvent any wheels.   There's actually just about 0 games I can find on iOS/mobile that scratches this itch and I'd love it if there was. FF Tactics is there but compared to PSP the control scheme is not really to my liking. I do also own BG on iPad but I think I'd rather play that on PC, but I've also already played both of those titles and would rather get into something new.   Any insight on this would be really great.   Cheers!
  6. mm, my bad. After rereading your OP, you should definitely take the learnings of the games you love and build on top of them. Those games themselves took from and built on top of predecessors.
  7. I'm not really talking about commercial failures, or something that one might deem an aggregate failure via metacritic. You don't have to ship failures.   The best kind of failure is just a prototype, a thing where minimal art assets were committed, minimum peripheral effort, before identifying a bad idea. "Bad" is obviously subjective but for me it's anything in the category of "this isn't that fun after all...".   On the flip side the best moments in game design for me are the "holy shit" moments of being suddenly invigorated and excited by some combination of elements that are just super fun to play with.   Even then, depending on how you define failure, there's no way to create guarantees of "success" (also depending how you define that). This is especially true in the realm of commercial-failure, where you can create a highly polished, excellent game with an excellent critical reception, and sales could still be abysmal.   Even cloning a successful Final Fantasy game, if your art doesn't match up to what the original game studio produced using thousands of hours of top-sourced professional industry talent, you're at a disadvantage in the inevitable comparison.   Like probably most typical game designers I'm afraid of failure too, but I create for the fun/love of it. I think personally my obsession with tinkering and building things would always outweigh those negatives.   I think you could probably modify your thread title (if that can be done?) or at least your OP to be more like "ways to avoid failure during game design/development" as a more concise way to get that advice.   It's a huge subject. A much bigger subject than whether to be original or to heavily appropriate.
  8. I'm not really sure what (or if) you're asking here... So I'll just throw in my off the cuff reaction to your thoughts and you can make of that what you will.   So, firstly; why do you make games?   I ask, because your approach to game design and game development should ultimately stem from what you personally want to bring to the table. If your primary motivation for getting into this line of work is a simple passion for game design, then I'd say get your sloppy and unprofessional games done in all their non-glory and use them as probably the best possible way to learn and grow as a game designer.   If on the other hand you're more of an entrepreneurial person with a primary interest in business growth - straight up cloning is one way to accomplish that faster. I do have a moral problem with cloning, in that a game seeking only to replicate (as opposed to build upon or improve) is likely to be, by design, a redundant object. (* this is also a generalisation with hundreds of exceptions).   I think (hope?) you probably meant "appropriation" moreso than "cloning", which is quite different. Say you wanted to bring back the core experience of FFVI in all the ways you feel you can identify as being mechanically excellent in design, an then use that foundation to tell a different story and maybe also throw some new things into the mix, then I think that'd be fine, and even quite normal.   Or a similar example: lets say you wanted to do an FPS. Nobody expects you to come up with entirely new inventions there. You're entering an established genre that ideally leverages years of collective design knowledge.   To directly answer your final line: If you're at a novice level now, then it's virtually impossible to "waste" a project, as long as you learn from it. I don't really think you can go from novice to expert by copying alone.   I'm quite sure you'll find that most game design experts are at the level they're at because they have en enormous history of incredibly useful failures behind them.
  9. RPGs have been doing for a long time definitely, but it's not something I can remember seeing in an RTS title before, and as for the Tower Defense genre, some dual-damage type systems are common, but I'd say greater than that is pretty uncommon.   @Sandman - I agree that if all it brought was inventory management it wouldn't constitute any real depth, but it should be easy to do better than that.   as a (simple) example: enemy A can only be killed with energy damage, and is flanked/guarded by henchling units that can only be killed with fire damage. It creates a threat that occupies two of your three hero units working together (that might simultaneously be otherwise needed elsewhere), or that demands a certain tower arrangement, or a combination of the two.   Another example, borrowing from the TD trope of one unit becoming another one (kill an orcish wolf-rider, the kill the orc on foot that fell off), a unit that transforms four times, with drastic resistance changes at each transformation. You need your entire team, plus lean on a tower configuration that makes up whatever difference you've left yourself open to.   I like your examples, but they wouldn't necessarily require specific damage types as much as just being special effects that certain weapons have. That kind of thing could be done additionally once the core is sorted out.   Bear in mind, I am in no way hinging the entire game off this four damage types thing, it's just one feature of a fairly involved game (more-so than most TD) with a considerable amount to do and manage.   I'm confident multiple damage types could be used in lots of ways to create interesting and fun gameplay, my concern is just that people don't get overwhelmed with info in the heat of battle, and also how to depict this mechanic in sensible, intuitive ways.
  10. I'm prototyping an action/strategy game with four damage types, and before going further I thought I'd look for some input on how people would react to such a design. By contrast, many similar games have simply a singular measure of "damage", or some cases dual damage types (e.g. physical/magical).   Four types, in my mind, represents some nice opportunities to create interesting strategic situations, which I can hopefully explain here.   The gameplay: Mixes Tower Defense & RTS - you have a squad of three moveable "hero" units on the battlefield (before a mission they can be equipped with custom guns and armour), that form the most vital aspect of passing each level.   Rather than just having plain damage, and some amount of armour leading to "plain damage resistance", I've opted to have: physical DMG (bullets / ballistic) energy DMG (sci-fi type weapons - pulse cannon, phaser rifle etc) fire DMG (grenades, missiles, rockets, napalm) chemical DMG (special weapons, acid, toxic, etc) The above listed types are not augmenters or additional effects - these are THE damage applied - one of the above depending on the weapon (also considering weapons with more than one type).   Additionally, each hero and enemy has one or more resistances to the above DMG types ranging from 0 (not resistant) to 100 (immunity), depending on equipped armour and innate class traits. Heroes and enemies can have any combination of multiple resistances.   Some reasons for this design: With a lot diversity in what various enemy units can be resistant to (and what they inflict), the constantly changing strategic importance of different weapons and hero classes can maintain a kind of depth that keeps the player adapting, and (hopefully) engaged.   One reason for four types specifically, is that with a squad of three, levels can (theoretically) be designed that no amount of over-levelling or extreme supergear can simply breeze through. In an extreme example, a level could be created with at least one enemy per dmg type that's invulnerable to all but one type of weapon, meaning the player might annihilate 75% of the level easily but still need to resourceful and use good tactics against the remaining element.   My concerns: FIrst and foremost, four damage types is a difficult thing to depict in the game's UI/menus in a way that won't confuse some people. I feel at risk of creating a system that others won't understand, and depth is only depth if it's actually understood.   Second, and this is something I'd love to hear feedback on; is this design too far outside genre norms? I'm not looking to break any genre rules just for the hell of it. I'm designing a system that I think I'd love to play myself, but there's no sense alienating others. One example of a game with this type of dmg system is Ni No Kuni (iirc, familiars have varying dmg types and inflict that type only). On the flip-side, I think of Borderlands - which has "damage", in a basic sense, and then ADDITIONAL dmg, e.g. fire, as an augmenter.   ..   I think that about sums up where I'm at. I'd love to hear thoughts from others on this. And if there are any other reference examples (particularly in games that were successful and well known), they would make a really useful case study for me.   Hope all of that made sense.
  11. I would go for distance rather than rect. you might be intersecting two or more possible drop targets.   Just take the distance from current drag location at the time of release to the potential drop targets, and snap to the closest target if it beats the threshold check. if it doesn't, it snaps back to where it came from.
  12. Your question is analogous to saying: I have all this lego, what do I need to do in order to build a "thing"?   It's unanswerable abstractly.   When starting to a build game, you can't do anything before you decide on some starting points: what's the experience of the game? how is the world viewed? does it have a character, and if so how would that character be controlled? All of those things would drastically change your fundamental building blocks, and only then would you go about thinking about the architecture of your game code (if you were so inclined). Personally, I think it's more productive while prototyping a game idea to just throw functionally down in any crude way to see if it's actually fun. Often it isn't.   Once you're onto something, good code architecture is important for maintainability and extendability depending on the scope and purpose of the project. For example I try to maintain very good structure for any large project (longer than say - one month of dev), but I generally don't bother at all on a Global Game Jam entry.   If on the other hand (interpreting your first post slightly differently), you're just talking about the best way to have an update loop, global engine constants, etc.. Then I guess it is just a matter of reading a few good articles.
  13. @2x image variants and viewport scaling are completely different things.   In terms of scaling, It's quite trivial to retrieve device information for pixel density, screen size, etc. I'd imagine somewhere in the cocos2d-x framework there are checks for all of those specifics that drive the initial set up at run time.   (50,100) should always be (50,100) in your game logic. Anything else is a terrible way to work IMO. The "auto" scaling you're seeing should be nothing more than varying values in the GL viewport being created by cocos2d-x according to varying hardware.   I rolled my own game/rendering engine and had to set all of this rendering logic up, most middleware should just be ready to roll. I have unified coordinate logic between SD/HD devices and also coordinate conformity between iPhone and iPad - so multiple factors across three scales (iPhone SD, iPhone HD/iPad SD, iPad HD) bringing every (50,100) into the same relative screen location.   Would be very surprised if cocos was any different by design. Or if it couldn't at least be made to behave that way easily via some setup flags.
  14. I don't really recommend the idea, because evil is something far too complicated to accommodate in multiple choice dialogue options. games today are only really capable of letting choose to be normal, or inexplicably psychotic. if you try your hand at this though, what I would do is write a good story with good protagonist. don't worry initially about goodness, just write a really good story. then, with that done (at least a simple draft), rework the story in the way it would unfold if your protagonist was abhorantly selfish/greedy/power hungry. don't worry too much about the why . as has been said, people can fill in their own blanks. what you need to establish first and foremost is an actual good present-tense (in other words - the current in-game events) story.
  15. Yeah the Mario reference is strange agree - particular if you see the game I'm working on. It's the first that thing came to mind when I thought about having a stash of stuff that gets spent whether you win or lose. So, as for crystals - they're everywhere. Nearly every enemy killed spawns a random number of them, and they're also placed around levels. You begin the game with a fairly weak weapon (infinite ammo), and the crystals will just be used to increase that weapon's power, and unlock new ones, including some that are not upgradable but have finite ammo instead. It's a space-shooter. I have a WIP gameplay vid if interested (this recording is pretty old now): [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOpRFDFzX2k[/media] I think I'd rather go for the reset model, although I can't tell whether that'll make it too easy to stockpile. If I went for a persistent ammo spend I guess I'd put ammo everywhere, make it cheap to buy, and easy to loot.