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About Mouser9169

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  1. Mouser9169

    For those looking for a "major" DRM free example

      I can see something like this happening.   An interesting 'case study' I wrote a  bit about on one game engine site (RPG Maker) re: Kickstarter compared Pantheon with Star Citizen. Brad McQuaid couldn't get blood from a stone while Roberts still has money falling like manna from heaven. I'll bet we see those two compared side by side in university economics books a decade (or less) from now.   In the case of Roberts, he's up to (atm) $47+ million of funding that _he doesn't have to pay back_.  That makes "profitable" a whole heap easier to achieve. Star Citizen is online so I don't know if DRM will be an issue or not (I forget whether private servers were part of the "stretch goals" or not, there's like a zillion of them now).
  2. Mouser9169

    For those looking for a "major" DRM free example

      I'm pretty confident that this game will be finished and released. It's being made by a proven team and company.   As for the rest, I'm certain that there are honest people who will pay full price. I'm one of them. One = some. I highly doubt I'm the only one - a lot of people like The Witcher franchise and have been looking forward to this game. Many of those will buy it too. Pirates gonna pirate: you can't count someone who was never going to buy your game to begin with as a lost sale - but his talking about it may cause someone else to buy it.   As for the GoG thing; Yes, I know they own it. I've bought quite a few games from that site. They're proving what iTunes did for music: put out a decent product, price it reasonably, and people will buy it.  Radical concept, I know - but it seems to be working for them. As far as I know though, this is the first high dollar product they're putting out. As many have rightly pointed out, there's a difference between a $10 game and a $60 game.   It should be interesting to watch, if nothing else.
  3. In the DRM threads I've posted in, the argument seems to have been, DRM-free might work for smaller games nobody cares about, but once your game is larger/more popular you need DRM or else you'll never see any profits. As my answer:   I give you The Witcher 3, available for pre-order HERE.   I would say a game with a list price of $60 qualifies as a 'major' title, and from the gameplay trailers I'm betting this cost a lot more than any Indie project to develop. Yet they are releasing it on Day 1 completely DRM free, confident that there are enough honest people out there who will buy the game to play it on their PC.
  4. Mouser9169

    5 Core Elements of Interactive Storytelling

    A good read. I wonder what he (and others) would think of a point-and-click RPG like Syberia?   Definitely gated, but the story and character development is everything. Without the 'gates' you would just be reading an interactive novel (with not much in the interactive department...).   Still IMO a great game, though.   My own project, which I consider very "story-driven" uses 'gates' of various kinds at times, but they're meant to be a bit frustrating: You're trying to find somebody to save the world and everyone wants you to jump through these damn hoops. Doesn't anybody care?  I'm finding it a tough balancing act with character frustration vs. player frustration.
  5. This is the project I've been working on for the past year or so (took a break when my daughter was getting ready for college).   The official thread for the project is HERE. The demo can be downloaded HERE.   A detailed description of the game, characters, and features is on the official thread, as well as a consolidation of feedback I've gotten so far. The download is a self extracting .exe that contains everything needed to play the game (game.exe).   Given the choice between putting the demo out early, having you guys tell me it sucks and why, or waiting until I think it's good enough, then putting it out and having you guys tell me it sucks and why, I'm going with the first option. That will let me get the game on the path to non-suckage faster. It is stable, there should be no game breaking bugs or issues of that nature. There are a few oddities in the text (potions land 'painful blows' when they do a critical double heal), but nothing that hinders gameplay that I've found.   Disclaimer: The game's story is intended to ask serious questions about the human condition: life, religion (no real world religions represented), sexuality (mostly handled through innuendo, entendre, and fade to black), and pretty much any other topic that can come up in a grown up conversation. It includes mild 'language'. I've tried to not put in anything I wouldn't want my 12 year old daughter seeing (well, she's older now, but she was 12 once). Then again, at nine her favorite show was Law and Order:SVU, so take that for what you will.   The game itself is a 2D jRPG style game made with RPG Maker VX Ace. It handles both keyboard or mouse control. The engine is designed for keyboard (or gamepad) input - hold your right hand over the arrow keys to move, use <Enter> for choices/actions and <Ins> on the numpad to bring up the menu or cancel. This leaves your left hand free to hold your beer   I'd be seriously grateful to anyone who takes the time to try it out and give me honest feedback (I've got thick skin, so don't hold back). The demo runs about four to five hours, and serves as the 'prologue' to the main story. There is a Big Bad at the end to give a sense of 'completion'. The choices you make are permanent (advice: save when you enter Lumina Sound) - most will bring some advantage with a possible disadvantage as well.   In the very early going, Sofia (the 'main' character) has a choice to have Jaxl (another PC) be either her lover or her friend. This choice is permanent. I wanted the freedom to have romantic moments or scenes without the player worrying about making the 'right' choices or keeping up some 'relationship score'.   Thanks again in advance to anyone willing to give it a look-see. And again, there's more info on the official thread, linked at the top.
  6. Mouser9169

    The acceptance of gold loot in RPGs

    I figure that the guy who met the snake before I did had a bag of gold and the meeting didn't turn out all that well for him.   This has been a question going all the way back to early tabletops and the answer has always been to come down on the side of convenience. So long as a game mechanic is CONSISTENT, it won't break 'immersion' (a nebulous concept if ever there was one). Set up the rules of the game world and follow them. Teach them to the players early so they know what to expect, and they'll be fine.
  7.   Threads of Fate would be a notable exception to this rule (and games that follow the same basic structure - Star Ocean 2, for example).   You left out the "This is you. Start playing." option from your poll. That's the type of game I'm working on now. I have a story to tell. That story depends upon the protagonists being who they are. The player has some choices to make along the way and things to make the game appear a little less linear, but ultimately it comes down to telling that story.   Choosing your own protagonist works in a sandbox style game like any of The Elder Scrolls series, where you can do what you want up to and including ignoring the main 'plot' of the game entirely. That was actually one of the valid criticisms of Morrowind: there was so much Stuff to Do(tm) that it was very easy to lose track of the "main" quest in the mix of everything else people were throwing at you.   Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines lets you choose a clan, which gives you different abilities (spells, basically), and change a bit of dialog here and there (completely changes it for one clan), but they all follow the same story, they just solve their problems a little differently (mage vs. melee vs Gun Bunny).
  8. Mouser9169

    Programming Skills but no diploma (yet)

    What a degree really tells an employer is that you have the capacity to stick with something for four years until completion. Oddly enough, that's the same thing a high school diploma tells employers for lower skilled jobs.   If all you have are 'short term' projects and experience hopping from one thing to the next, you're not really selling yourself as a potential long term employee.
  9. I like the 'gradually revealed' antagonist myself. Sometimes even the 'antagonist who isn't an antagonist' trope.   Remember: Every hero needs a tragic flaw, and every villain needs a redeeming quality.   Yes, it's a rule that's broken all the time, but I think it's a good guiding principle in most situations.
  10. Mouser9169

    Should I try out 3D game programming?

    If you ever want to make 3D games, you have to start sometime.   You won't 'forget' all the 2D stuff you've learned, as you'll end up using a lot of the techniques and things anyway, and a quick review will get you back in the saddle if you decide to go back.   If you're perfectly happy making 2D games and feel that's where you want to be, then by all means keep getting better at it.
  11. Mouser9169

    Why do Indies use Pixely Graphics(16 bit style)?

    Whether an art style "works" is really dependent on the individual member of the audience, not the game genre.  It's just a matter of taste.  I'm not the only person I know who can't stomach playing actual SNES games any more mainly due to the graphic style.  This is true of all of the major art styles - there are people who can't stand any kind of anime style, people who can't stand a western superhero style, people who can't stand an oldschool D&D style, people who can't stand 2D art at all, and people who strongly prefer 2D art to 3D art.   In regards to preference, of course you're right. I was referring more to pure functionality. All the mechanics in my game 'work' with the 16 bit style pixel art. If I want to get fancy I can parallax. In contrast, a high-speed precision FPS game simply wouldn't function under those conditions. You wouldn't have the detail required to 'see' your target, not to mention movement and other issues that would arise.   I'm sure some people won't give my game a second glance because of the art direction I'm taking. I'm counting on the niche of players that will.
  12. Bottom line: this is the kind of question only a lawyer in your state can give you a firm answer to.   The good news? Many companies have legal departments that you can ask this sort of thing, and they're ethically bound to give you honest answers. Since they know their companies policies better than anyone and can generally get a copy of your employment contract, they should be able to give you a definite answer.
  13. Mouser9169

    Completely new to this, where to start?

      So that article (which is great) says this: I know, of course, that you are going to completely disregard this advice and start with C++, but in 3 or 4 years when you’ve got the scars and trauma from ignoring my advice, I’m going to smugly *tisk tisk* and give you my best “I told you so!”.  I will offer another piece of advice while I am at it… anyone that recommends you start with C++, in the future ignore their advice!   I learned how to program in the 90s using C++.  While now that I know it, everything is easy, I would love to go back in time and smack myself in the head and then try python, or even BASIC.     I started with a bit of Basic and Pascal in school, then was handed a copy of the 1st Edition K&R at a job working for CECOM (I've still got the book :) ) and told to learn C over the weekend so I could start programming. There's something to be said for being thrown into the deep end of the pool.   As for the other stuff - If you want to learn to code, learn to code. If you want to make games, make games. Making a game engine is completely out of your reach right now, both from a technical (you don't know how to code well enough) and a design (you don't know what to code) standpoint. It's the coding equivalent of "I'm going to make my first game an MMO". Don't neglect other skills: learn to write effectively.   Unity's a good engine to start with. There are others - do your homework, look around the internet and see what you can find. Don't worry about whether other people think it's 'too simple' or not cool enough, or whatever. If you think you can use it to make the game you want to make, use it. The worst that happens is you get in over your head, or don't succeed for whatever reason, and you've hopefully learned a lot in the process.   Devmaster.net lists 365 game engines when I just checked. Most won't do what you want or will require more skill than you have. Find the 'complete' and 'simple' ones and start from there.
  14. Mouser9169

    Unity 4 Survey

    1) It's free and offers the promise of being able to create almost any kind of game. This fits in well with the grandiose dreams many beginning would-be game designers have.   2) Whenever you're old enough to understand what you're doing, more or less. Define 'effectively'. You can create something simple without knowing a whole lot about the program or its features if you limit yourself to what you can achieve with what you actually know.   3) In comparison to what? It's free, which is a big plus for a lot of people, but so are some others, at least non-commercially. Take something simple like a hammer. You have claw hammers, rip hammers, framing hammers, ball peen hammers, roofing hammers, sheetrock hammers, ... Each is great for the task it is designed for. You pick the tool based on your need - if Unity will do the job you need done, then it's a good candidate for you.   4) If you're going to create your own art and audio it's not a recommendation, it's a necessity. Nothing does everything.   5) I'm sure there are dozens. Some of them are probably even good ;)  I don't use Unity so I can't answer this one specifically.   6) Yep - using it, and putting your creations up for harsh but constructive, honest critique by other game designers.   7) You could make any kind of game you want with it. Different games have different requirements and skillsets needed other than knowing how to use Unity. RPG's probably have the most diverse requirements, while match-3 games require a lot less. This goes back to Unity being a tool. Knowing how to use a hammer doesn't make you a carpenter. Knowing how to use Unity doesn't make you a game designer.   8) Most games never finish their development cycle, lying on the heap of abandoned projects and dreams that were just plain too large. If you're talking about completed games, it can be anywhere from months (maybe even weeks) to years. Again, it depends on the game - and that has nothing to do with Unity, per se.   9) Not until you've got a large fanbase of people playing your games, asking for more, and possibly buying them direct from you (proving that people are willing to exchange hard earned dollars for some of your entertainment).   10) How did pet rocks make their 'inventor' a millionaire? There's no accounting for taste and fads.   11) Think of the game you want to build. Now write it down in a folder and put it away somewhere, you're not going to build that for a long while. Take what you think is a small, achievable game. Now cut that back even more. Build something simple you know you can finish. Your first 'games' can be a single level platformer where you 'win' if you reach the end, or if you have to do an RPG, one with a very small town, a forest, and a very small dungeon. If you can put the dungeon entrance inside the town, that's even better. Tic-tac-toe, pong, Space Invaders are all great early projects.   Finishing something is an important skill to learn early.
  15. Mouser9169

    Developing an RPG

      It also requires a lot of different skillsets. Writing effectively would be the first obvious one. Writing is a craft that takes years of study and critique and practice and failure to develop. You also have the design elements, where you actually 'create' the world, its history, the characters (both PC and NPC, living and dead), the geography, political systems, ...  You can be a world-class programmer and be completely incompetent in those areas.   Toss in art and audio development into the mix as well, stir it all up with dash of screenwriting and casting if you're using any voice overs, and you're on your way to an RPG stew. Serve chilled with Tsingtao (the only German beer brewed in China) and boston creme doughnuts.
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