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About cjmarsh

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  1. cjmarsh

    MMO Design Theory

    Yes, MMORPG. Though I meant to say MMO as in the massively multiplayer online game might not be in a traditional RPG format but I would still be interested in seeing design ideas for it.
  2. cjmarsh

    MMO Design Theory

    When designing a game I've found that whatever the genre it can be boiled down to one thing: designing meaningful progress for the player. It sometimes seems that the MMO genre is too complex to break down in such a way but in general terms, the design seems to be about progression in key areas like Character, Exploration, Crafting, Combat, Travel, and Community. What do you think is a necessary part of an MMO's design? How would you design features for one if you were focused on increasing the player base and retaining them? What factors are especially important to consider in the design process?
  3. cjmarsh

    Learning Level Design

    In art there is a concept called unity that refers to the composition of a piece. It basically refers to the balance of the whole image. Not just color affects it but the sizes of forms and their frequency. Basically, the idea is that balance can be done with more than a single aspect of the design but if there is no overall balance then it feels wrong. The difficult and never-quite-reachable goal of level design is to have unity from wherever the camera might be at any time. Obviously it's a tall order but focusing on the focal points of the map can help as well as positioning things to form a balance in not just appearance but also gameplay mechanics.
  4. Game design is simple but difficult and it requires taking into account as many perspectives as possible, especially including those of the development team. Designing meaningful progress is a nebulous concept because everybody has an idea of what "meaningful" really is. Not to mention the ideas have to account for the way it will actually be made, requiring knowledge of every aspect of the development process. Why would a good designer not consult with the experts in their fields and how it relates to the design? As for a unified vision throughout, I disagree strongly. The only thing that needs to be regulated throughout is the scope but the design can and should be changed based on any superior ideas that come along in the course of development.
  5. Game design is all about engineering meaningful progress. You could try making the map flow into a series of checkpoints where it saves your game and the enemies get harder after each one. Or you could implement a collection system where the player gathers something like "intel" and is rewarded with something like a temporary stackable buff and/or some flavor text with achievements. Another option is being more deliberate about where weapon upgrades can be found and making reaching them an event all in itself. You could also add marked enemies who run away from the player and reward bounties when killed. Basically, adding anything that gives the player a sense of progression will help make the game more fun.
  6. cjmarsh

    Let's gamify education!

    As a math tutor for over a decade and a Unity developer for almost as long this is something I've spent a long time thinking about. There is a significant trend in the education system to get technology in the hands of students but unfortunately a lot of it is directed with people who are unfamiliar with technology. Though math games, and education games in general, are directed at the kids the real audience is the teachers who would buy and install the games for their kids. When the teachers don't understand what makes a good game or even, dare I say it, how to teach the subject of math, then it becomes a tough sell to make or even to freely distribute a game about math. Now, if I had the funding and the pull to get it distributed I'd do it in a heartbeat. Games are the real secret to learning and it's why we play as kids in the first place. There are many topics in math that would be difficult to make any more interesting than your average worksheet but equally many that would benefit enormously from having a 3D interactive environment dedicated to the task. Geometry and spacial reasoning are some of the hardest concepts to teach on a whiteboard according to the teachers I know and in a computer game they could be taught in a much more straightforward way. I hope that the education system in the United States changes to be more accepting of technology and train the teachers in it to understand it more rather than the overly obscure high level math they train with now. Until then, I suppose it's back to making another RPG or FPS...
  7. cjmarsh

    what is the appeal of fps games?

    You feel superhuman because you have control over timing. In FPS games that comes from assisting your teammates instead of just reacting to whoever is shooting at you.
  8. cjmarsh

    what is the appeal of fps games?

    It has never mattered how long you play the game, only how well
  9. cjmarsh

    what is the appeal of fps games?

    The point is to make conflict meaningful in ways that are more efficient. I don't mean you are learning to use a gun with a mouse, you're making the game to teach how to use the mouse in the best way.
  10. cjmarsh

    Looking for a game engine.

    You don't need to download plugins for Unity to make basic games, and frankly I'm not at all sure how you got that impression as it hasn't worked that way any time in the recent past. Unreal is certainly a viable alternative but it has a steeper learning curve and the learning resources for it aren't as good as they are for Unity. Not to mention that really understanding Unreal development requires at least a basic understanding of C++ and that is far from the best object-oriented language to learn first. "C++ makes the easy things difficult and the really difficult things possible."
  11. cjmarsh


    You may want to ask questions like these on the Unity Answers site or their forums. Also, I'd recommend quoting the text directly in your posts as it is generally considered unwise to open program files you don't know the contents of on your computer and people will be less likely to read them and assist with your issue.
  12. In addition to markypooch's good advice, I would recommend looking at what is fun about your game rather than how it is similar to others. To do that just look at what makes a game fun in the first place: meaningful progress. In Sonic this was accomplished by collecting rings and learning mechanics that improved your ability to move forward and the speed at which you did so. How will your game convey meaningful progress?
  13. What's the incentive for the player not to spam unlimited sacrificial soldiers with no weapons, shields, or armor? Maybe consider adding another basic resource like food as a requirement for each soldier.
  14. cjmarsh

    Critique of RTS gui design

    I like it. You might also consider unifying or getting rid of the colors entirely in the icons. In addition, consider changing the size of each icon to be better balanced against each other. For example, the pause button and the tic marks on the clock look off, while the red button on the upper bar looks out of place. Optionally, you could also add an orb effect, or its inverse, to the individual buttons and/or a drop shadow around the frames.
  15. cjmarsh

    Presentation Techniques

    Are you intending to sell the concept of a game to an existing development studio? Or are you trying to start your own development studio and pitching to a publisher or investor? Are you attempting to sell an idea, technical demo, gameplay demo, or a functioning prototype? Do you have a game design document or business plan of some kind?
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