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Kavik Kang

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  1. Kavik Kang

    Passage of time in multiplayer games

    As long as you are envisioning a "fully real time world" then there isn't any way to "cheat time" in the way you are wanting to do. As long as game time is matching real time at all times wherever you go, and there there is more than one human player in the same game location, there isn't any way to "cheat time" that isn't going to be very noticeable. Almost all games have a strategic layer too them, in an RPG it is the towns, travel on the "world map, camping, etc. Just about everything that doesn't involve questing in real time. You are wanting to incorporate the strategic aspects into the tactical layer, which is what "open world" games do. That's "reality". That is, ultimately, "The Matrix". So the question you want to ask yourself is if you want to make a really bad and empty version of the "glorious vision" of The Matrix or the best and most engrossing game that you can make. You should play Darkest Dungeon. It is about the exact opposite of what you are wanting too make, and it is probably the best computer game made in the last decade. A real-time world you can "live" within is a dream of a lot of people, but it is by far the most challenging "game" that you could possibly attempt to make. On every level. Technologically, production time, and making a good game out of it. On every level it is the hardest thing you could possibly try to do. And anything less than a decade long project is just going to result in a boring, empty place. You have to "contain the design" somewhere, it can't just be "like real life on an entire planet". Where you pick and choose to do that is one definition of game design, but the way you are wanting to have players be out of sinc in a real-time multiplayer game, one obvious way for you to do that is to have a turn-based strategic layer and real-time tactical layer. With time being only night or day, players in the same location on the world map play either night or day missions (which would be very different types of missions) and will play with other players in the same location who choose the same time of day mission. If every town on your map was a Wizardy/Darkest Dungeon-like place (a town with a dungeon beneath it)... I know I'd love that game! And its something you could realistically do, as opposed to "real-time on an entire planet" which, if you manage to do, would inevitably be empty and boring like everyone else's attempts to do the same thing. You have to "contain the design" somewhere... unless you are working for the military, haha!
  2. Kavik Kang

    What's is the best story game you've played?

    Speaking on behalf of the over 40 crowd... Star Control II.
  3. Kavik Kang

    Passage of time in multiplayer games

    Since you are hitting on a subject that I have spent a lot of time thinking about over the last 30 years or so I thought I'd add a little more to try and help you with what you are trying to do. A real-time “open world” is the “glorious vision” of many, many game and simulation designers and has been for decades. It is, ultimately, something very much like “The Matrix”. That is ultimately the “glorious vision” that everyone has about what people today call “open world games”. This is why games like No Mans Sky are so disappointing to everyone when they are released, and why I always know the instant they are announced that they are going to disappoint everyone when they are released. Everyone is envisioning “The Matrix”. I actually know how to do it, and it is a decades-long thing to actually achieve even a primitive and mostly empty version of it. That “glorious vision” can be achieved, but not as a commercial game. All games and simulations are abstract, it is only a matter of the level of abstraction. Both Checkers and Chess are highly abstract representations of war in the “Age of Kings”. Like all games, especially commercially viable ones that won't take 80 years to make, your game will ultimately be very abstract in many, many ways. It will not be the glorious vision of “The Matrix”, it will be a game with almost no content compared to the real world. One definition of game design is choosing which aspects of reality to represent and which to leave out, or which to emphasize and which to de-emphasize... because you can't actually “represent everything”. So, one thing that would make what you are trying to achieve much more attainable would be to not ever use or mention time. No years, months, weeks, days, and certainly not hours or minutes. You can still have night and day. Players in a game have very little “situational awareness”, as Hollywood directors say “the camera only sees what the camera sees”. With no time represented other than night and day, it becomes easy for the passage of time to be “severed” from time here in the real world. The players would never be in sink with each other, other than whether it is night or day for them. You might have been playing the game all day camping and traveling withing the severed “strategic layer” of the game, and I just started playing 5 minutes ago... but we can still wind up in the same real-time quest area at the same time, and it will be either night or day for both of us. Of course, in reality you might have years of play time while I am a new player. To do what you are wanting to do you need to “sever” the strategic (camping, travel, etc) layer of the game from the tactical (real-time questing) layer of the game. The “magician's illusion” of being non-specific with time other than if it is night or day would allow you to make this happen in a real-time multiplayer game... but it wouldn't be that “glorious vision” of an “open world”. It would be “Places” that were like an open world within a structured strategy layer that both allows you to “cheat time” and contain the game to something that can actually be produced within a reasonable amount of time.
  4. Kavik Kang

    Passage of time in multiplayer games

    Your problem is that you want to cheat time in actual, real-time... which even my Rube can't do. If you create "artificial time" and run a simulation on that you are not bound by the laws of physics and can do things that might appear to be "time travel" to the audience or other simulation designers. But you want the game to run on actual real-time, with players sitting at their computers playing in real-time, and then too play with time in ways that amount to time travel. This can be done, but not when the simulation is running on actual real-time and the players are playing in real time. You could do something similar too what you are wanting to do by "severing" the game into two layers like I mentioned in the previous post. If the strategic layer is turn based you can "cheat time" within the strategic layer, then when players go questing they are in your real-time open world and are bound by the laws of physics "during the day". With the strategic layer "severed" from real-time doing what you want to do becomes easy. You can't cheat time in actual real-time with the players watching in real-time. Like a magician, there needs to be some type of "misdirection" going on if you want to cheat time. "Time is the fire in which we burn..."
  5. Kavik Kang

    Passage of time in multiplayer games

    Time doesn't have to obey the laws of physics in a simulation, but it is going to seem very strange too the players if travel times and camping times just don't actually exist, or only last 20 seconds or so. That's the real option if you want this "camping" and "traveling on the strategic map" to work in a real-time game, a 20 second or so delay (with a scene of a campfire or Indian Jones map travel scene or something) just to attempt to create the illusion of time passing as you do that activity when in reality you are still in real time. What you are wanting to do would work a lot better if you were willing to make the game more of a blending of turn-based and real-time game. At the strategic level (or "layer") it would be turn-based and you could have things like camping and map travel. At the tactical layer it would be the a real-time dungeon crawler. Something like the original Wizardry, or for a much newer reference Darkest Dungeon, where there is a town at the top of a dungeon and you make expeditions into the dungeon. Your strategic map could be many towns, each with their own dungeons beneath them. It's turn based at the strategic level and real-time in the dungeons. One of the reasons forums for "game design" are so rarely used is that it is impossible to see someone else's vision. I can't have any idea what you are really thinking, so maybe these examples will help.
  6. Kavik Kang

    Passage of time in multiplayer games

    The key to doing what you seem to want to be doing is that the players need to keep re-syncing with each other if they are going to need to be in the same place at the same time. If the players are never on the same screen at the same time in real time then what you want to do is easy, if the players are ever on the same screen at the same time in real time then what you are wanting to do is a lot harder. So would players be playing independently, or would they be on the same screen at the same time?
  7. Kavik Kang

    Passage of time in multiplayer games

    Time can be broken up into segments, like Avalon Hill's phased turns which allowed for "simultaneous time" for both players. "Artificial time" is the basis of all game and simulation design even if it is as abstract as the "I go then you go" turns that most people seem to think is how all table top games worked. I have an even more sophisticated way of doing this, but the original basic Avalon Hill concept would work for you. Each player could have a block of time to use. This might be a sophisticated phased turn system with a sequence of play, or as simple as having for example 60 "time points" to spend each "turn" taking actions. In this example a "turn" would obviously be 1 minute. In an RPG you might say a turn is one week, and each player gets 7 actions per turn. Players have to wait for all actions to be completed for all players before the next "turn" (ie set of actions) begins. This can be done in real time, in fact sophisticated enough "turns" are real-time running in slow motion. There are as many ways as using this concept as you are able too imagine, there is no one way of "doing it right", but a real-time version of Avalon Hill's simultaneous action phased turns would allow you to do what you are wanting to do in a good way. It can be as simple or sophisticated as you want it too be.
  8. Kavik Kang

    Graphics VS Story VS Gameplay

    Way back in the 1990's my brother began saying that the better graphics got, the worse the games got. He grew up playing very early games like the coin-arcade games of the 1980's, the earliest PC like NetHack, Wizardry, and Ultima, and early console games like Atari and Nintendo. He became more and more convinced that better graphics meant worse games and by the end of the 1990's he quit playing games and hasn't played games since then. This thread made me think of him. Certainly, just as with any other aspect of a game that would fall under "production values", the worse the graphics are the better the game has to be for people to still want to play it. Conversely, the lower the production values the less you can have in the game, the more difficult it is to make a game that people will want to play. Compared to table top games, computer games have essentially unlimited production constraints. It should be brain dead simple to make great games with unlimited game elements, pieces, etc. And yet computer game makers fail most of the time. Designing computer games is easy due to the effectively unlimited production constraints, but this is lost on "Voodoo Game Designers" who don't actually know what they are doing. So they really need to rely on the graphics crutch, because they've been doing that for so long now that they've forgotten how to actually design games... or, more accurately, waited too long care about that knowledge until the previous generation that had it was gone and it was already lost.
  9. Kavik Kang

    Artificial Intelligence Work in Progress

    So far your "re-inventing the wheel" has left you 50 years behind the previous generation making games that work like Candyland. Slayemin has stumbled onto something very powerful and yet very simple here, the book I suggested explains how it works. What he is describing above, for example, can be made much more versatile and powerful by separating his "motives" into a hierarchy of "Needs", "Wants", and "Desires". The classic exercises for this are creating a simulation of a self-sustenance village (Sim City) or simulating the process of evolution (the original inspiration behind Spore that Will kind of gave up on and took in a different direction, simulating evolution with NWD is very hard that is the point of that exercise).
  10. Kavik Kang

    Artificial Intelligence Work in Progress

    You might want to read this book... https://books.google.com/books/about/Designing_games_and_simulations.html?id=n9TtAAAAMAAJ Part of what you are describing in your post is a very old method of scientific modeling known as "Needs, Wants & Desires". You probably recognize it better as "Will Wright's style". The book I linked too above has a very extensive section on Needs, Wants, & Desires. It was Will Wright's game design bible, that taught him how to make games the way he made them. Your list of what you are calling "motives" is actually a list of Needs, Wants, & Desires and this book will show you a more powerful way doing what you are doing here. This is actually 1970's era simulation design stuff...
  11. Kavik Kang

    People really have no ideas on game development.

    I haven't even read this thread, just got the notification that you used my name and read this one post. If he's been designing games for over 40 years, since before your industry even existed, maybe that might work. Somehow I doubt it though. But if he has... he is certainly far more competent than any of you amateurs. I am still 3 full generations ahead of you and your "Candyland" knowledge of simulation design. Still so far ahead of you that what I do is literally "indistinguishable from magic" too you. It's hilarious to see you still attacking me even though I haven't posted in months. You must still be psychologically hurting from not even being capable of understanding what your betters, who have been designing games since before your industry even existed, know that you have proven incapable of even understanding. HINT: It's those 40 years and 3 generations of simulation design that make these things true. That, and the fact that you are the most arrogant and incompetent group of people to ever walk the face of the earth. Arrogance combined with incompetence... Can you think of a more annoying combination than that? That's EXACTLY who you incompetent morons are... thank you for demonstrating that again for me.
  12. Kavik Kang

    Pirate Dawn Universe: Space Hockey

    Actually it refers to a group of assistant designers and advisers, and I was one of only four staff members who ever actually worked at Task Force Games. There is no equivalent to the SFB Staff in the world of modern gaming, it would be most accurate to call it a group of people who lies somewhere in between a "group of players" and "employees". We were the very first ever "collaborative game design effort" ever, Steve Cole literally invented the collaborative process that you design games by today. In that sense, we were the "founding fathers of modern game design". There is a more detailed discussion of the SFB Staff on my Gamasutra blog. Of course, all credit always goes to our "fearless leader" Steve Cole.
  13. I am looking for a programmer who is interested in making Space Hockey. You can download the design document for Space Hockey here... As you can see from the design document, this could later be expanded with several other “zones” such as Capture the Flag and Base Defense, and eventually into a full MMO game. And from there, 11 more games of an entire “universe” of related games. So there is enough pre-planned expansion already in place that if we succeed we would be making connected games within the same “universe” for the rest of our lives. I have spent 25 years working on the Pirate Dawn Universe. I have been designing games and simulations since before the computer game industry even existed. I am one of the most experienced and knowledgeable game and simulation designers in the world today. There isn't anyone in the computer game industry who has as much experience and knowledge in this field as I do, I literally know too much to be hired by a computer game company. I am also a former member of the SFB Staff, the “Dungeons & Dragons of space ship games”, arguably the most influential game of all time. Games like Master of Orion and Star Control were simply plagiarizing us, pretty much all space ship games trace their heritage back to Star Fleet Battles... only they are incompetent fan productions that do it laughably badly. We will do space ship games as computer games well for the first time ever. That has never been done before, not even close... “laughably badly”. I have nothing against younger people, I have an ethical problem with distracting people at that critical point in their lives with an unfunded project like this one. So I am looking for someone who is at least approaching 30. Kavik "Pappy” Kang
  14. "Gamers don't miss what they have never had." I don't want to discourage the original poster, I hope he or she succeeds in what they are trying to do. This discussion just really caught my attention because it is such a perfect illustration of how the modern gaming world is three generations behind where game and simulation design already was in the 1980's. "Lost knowledge" is a much more common thing than people think it is, and this is exactly what has happened in the game industry. You wouldn't believe what my suggestion would be here if I was willing to give it. Literally 3 generations of simulation design ahead of the discussion. The modern game industry really and truly is 3 generations behind where we already were before they even started re-inventing the wheel from scratch.
  15. The form of movement that you are talking about wanting to use is how it works in Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron, so you might look at those games for inspiration. A lot could be done with this using a more advanced turn structure, but "first generation Candyland turns" are all you have to work with in the primitive language of computer game designers. If I ever get to make my games you'll get to see what I am talking about. If not, this knowledge will just be lost to history due to the arrogance and incompetence of the people who work in the computer game industry.
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