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Thiago Monteiro

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About Thiago Monteiro

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  1. Thiago Monteiro

    Night sky star rendering

    Just out of curiosity: could you build a set of plane pairs to achieve this? One plane would hold the color information, the other some alpha mapping (for size and intensity), and then you could apply some post process to one or both planes. Maybe it is possible even with just one sphere-pair, perhaps. (also, maybe this more interesting information http://www.eastshade.com/creating-a-dynamic-sky-in-unity/)
  2. Thiago Monteiro

    Goal in dungeon crawler, survival rpg?

    If I get you correctly, you have a set of nice gameplay mechanics which you want to set against a background just to get things going. That is, it is not story really your focus (and likely, neither of your players). Since the content is going to keep changing between runs, it makes no sense for players (on average) to be attached to it, or even pay much attention to what is going on. In this sense, an alternative approach could be to think about the landscape and a few final bosses and derive everything from there. For instance, if the final boss is a Mr. Lord Skeleton, the immortal, your motivation to visit the terrains would be to find a way to kill an immortal being. On the other hand, if you have the Mutant Giant Mole, the party might need to delve in a bunch of caves in search of the creature. The way you describe it, it might be more important to spend time creating an appealing visual identity, rather than a deep/tight/innovative story.
  3. Thiago Monteiro

    Goal in dungeon crawler, survival rpg?

    I suppose the party goals really depend on how story heavy you want things to be. Let's take one hypothetical scenario as example: "Years ago, a group of people took part in magic ritual which had gone awry. Due to their political standing, those people could not be executed nor imprisoned, so they were banished. The ritual, however, was far more insidious than anyone thought at the moment, and kept expanding throughout the land. The people who originally performed the ritual know a way to try to stop the blight from expanding. Thus, they band together, and defy their own banishment to try to redeem themselves from past mistakes." Both the quest and side-quests can explore the personal role each character had in the current state of affairs. Although they are trying to save the region/world, nobody has any reason to like them (or perhaps some people do). The quests might also explore why people refuse to leave, even though things are clearly going south (or perhaps not so clearly). If you want things to be less story heavy, you could just have a secret organization trying to bring the cast of characters into power again, and people sympathetic to the cause sell them stuff. Scoring also depends on what do you want players to do. If it is about killing monsters, then that could be the score, but limit the amount of monsters which give points (in a diminishing curve) per region, so you have to plan how to tackle the area. I'd personally avoid leaving too open ended when the player leaves a region. If, for example, you do have a dragon, you could make it roam around destroying things. Your final score would depend on how much of the land you could save (and how fast you gathered enough power to actually face the dragon). Hope this is helpful
  4. Thiago Monteiro

    How to avoid open-world grind?

    In my mind, I have always associated grinding with MMO's, rather than open-world. The idea was to create a simple reward loop to keep players engaging in a cost-effective manner for the developer (less content, less new gameplay). In your example of the mine, some suggestions that pop-up on my mind: 1) Make the upgrades meaningful in a sense of gameplay variation. Doing the same thing, but with higher numbers is bound to feel grindy. Maybe the new mines could require some sort of active skill that the other ones don't. Maybe you could mine with different equipment (like hydraulic mining, or dynamites). 2) Create a diversion for the time you are not mining. I think Stardew Valley does this superbly. You could have meaningful interactions going on, or you could set up a sort of company, or your own ore processing factory. 3) If mining isn't actually the goal (but say, exploration), maybe you could get away without the gathering part of the equation. You "solve" a particular mine, and get ores based on your performance (how much you explored and so on). All in all, I don't believe open-world needs to be grindy, but you also need to be conscious about how much time you expect people to do things. It is very difficult to make a gathering activity engaging, fun and non-grindy for 40-60h, but you could potentially do so if you trim the time-to-max of your (mining) activity. I hope something out is this is helpful
  5. I like the idea of leaderboard competition, but I am not so sure about how nice it is to make things random like that. A couple of ideas below: You could have timed leaderboards (say, weekly) and present a specific challenge, such as limited party members, spells only, double damage, or whatever. Make enemies and the scenarios of the week fixed, so players can optimize their strategies for the given challenge. Then, score can be based on how fast players finish the challenge. I also wouldn't fully disregard team-vs-team battle. One thing I thought about was either having time turns to force players to think quickly, or even alternating actions. Such scheme could be combined with the challenges I mentioned above. Of course, in theory all of this has the potential to be fun, but I would expect a lot of prototyping and tweaking to make any such competition work.
  6. Thiago Monteiro

    Making dungeon rewards logical (fantasy RPG)

    Some random ideas that might help. A) Kill all monsters could be a sort of ritual. Collect something from each enemy, take to a particular room to unlock the reward. True, it's similar to find key to treasure, but forces the player to kill every, or nearly every monster. The one caveat here is to perhaps avoid excessive back tracking. B) Lift a spell. The players must visit every room and perform a sort of dispelling spell. Once the spell is lifted, it would be possible to create a sort of portal or materialization for the reward C) Traverse. Escort somebody through a dungeon. If you get to the other side, you get paid/rewarded. D) Multilayer archeology. Players go digging at some excavation site. The idea is to have a small number of mini-bosses with locked pieces of dungeon behind them. It potentially increases the risk while still being logical. E) "Timed dungeons". Players essentially don't get a final reward, but rather travel the dungeon 'horizontally' or 'vertically', increasing the challenge (and rewards), or staying at the same more or less. They must, however, leave before some event (say, 40 total rounds before the dungeon starts collapsing and they are 'evacuated').
  7. Thiago Monteiro

    Attribute balancing

    I suppose it all depends on what type of balance you want to achieve. Without knowing much about your systems, I could think about some possibilities: A) Each attribute is highly independent and function constantly over time. In this case, you have to analyze your tracks. As long as they are well built (in terms of requirement distribution), each attribute will be somewhat balanced. The downside of this is that it increases the relevance of the roll, which doesn't seem to be what you want. B) Attributes have synergies, or are situational. In this case, some attributes would not strongly influence your performance, but would give you a big boost at some points (e.g. determination might give a big boost towards the end of the race or something to that effect, or sprinting boosts your strength during certain points). This way, you would have core and support attributes, and their combinations would determine the player's optimal strategy. Unfortunately, I'm more of a tinkerer to provide you with elegant Math to calculate optimally those things. However, I'd include the dice roll in your model and minimize its influence iteratively until you reach a level you find fun, or that it doesn't feel too luck based. You can also avoid people investing in a single attribute if you provide diminishing returns (something in the e^(1/x) function family). You might also try running multicriteria optimization and adjust your variables until the problem is not dominated by only a few attributes. Hope this helps a bit
  8. By the way, coincidentally, a while back I was thinking about a rather similar game (in the sense of a caravan traveling towards a goal, turn-based combat). since I'm unlikely to work on this idea any time soon, I'll write what I had coarsely in my mind in the hope that it might be useful to you. The main idea would be to have a caravan journeying towards a goal (the reason could be anything, really). Actions would run in accelerated real time. Action would include traveling, foraging for resources, healing, fixing equipment, scouting the region and so on. Time taken to complete each of those and degree of success would be based on skills of the characters doing those things. In principle, there would be no limit to members of the caravan, but find food and camping supplies to many people would make large caravans impossible. The journey would be dangerous, and staying long in one place wouldn't be wise, as the perils of the land would close in the caravan. Part of the challenge would be to manage the different aspects of the caravan, making it efficient in terms of combat and survivability. On top of this, elements of RPG would be added, mainly in the villages and ruins found along the way. Another point is that the 'active group' would be limited, as the other would be taking care of the caravan (say, while other go explore some ruins). All in all, it would play a bit like Expeditions and Thea: Awakening, but with more emphasis on what happen in the caravan and its members.
  9. I'd personally also nudge the player forward to avoid the sense of 'must explore everything before going' and being more like 'I'll try this differently next time'. Perhaps healing supplies dwindle, or there's more enemies around. Another possibility is to add a type of bonus if you reach a region before a given time.
  10. I believe grinding is the "easy" way to add length and smooth out the curve in progression-based games. In aRPGs like Diablo, without the grind, you'd reach the maximum too fast, eliminating the replayability it is known for. On the other hand, if you are always progressing (due to lack of grinding), your improvements are likely meaningless, at least in the immediate sense. I'd say Slay the Spire reached a good balance and studying that game might give you a nice starting point to build your game (and this analysis of the progression is quite interesting to read also https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/07/05/what-works-and-why-juicy-maths-in-slay-the-spire/). Going a bit back in time, you could have something similar to Jagged Alliance, that is, a map where you can travel at your pace, then you'd add more and more perils the longer you linger (like being chased, or something, making you always on the move, gently pushing you towards the end area).
  11. Thiago Monteiro

    Check My Damage Types & Condition Balance

    I find it quite impossible to tell whether damage types and their effects on their own are balanced or not. It really depends on your combat (and possibly progression) system. Without any point of reference, it's hard to place a value on the seconds and %'s. How did you reach the conclusion that this is balanced? Put differently, how did you test it out during design?
  12. Thiago Monteiro

    WHO recognising 'gaming disorder'

    I think this aspect is key. It's not really about the time people are playing, but the context of usage. If someone is playing games for 5 hours a day, but is a teenager with nothing else to do, and gaming has no effect on daily life (studies, socialization and what not), then it is not really an issue. If this same teenager is setting his/her life aside to make time gaming, and this is reducing school performance, creating conflict in the family and the response is more gaming, this already requires some attention, as it does suggest some difficulty in refraining from a behavior. If we consider that this person is an adult, and is risking job or neglecting family family for that, then again it's already a case demanding attention. To add a bit to the mix, there are people that spend a lot of money in gaming. If you have the disposable income, that's fine, but if you don't, and you can't stop despite the negative effects this lack of cash brings you, that's again a compulsive behavior. All in all, I believe those compulsive behavior, to which they have added gaming now, are considered a disorder because at one point it ceases to be a pleasant activity. It's all too possible that those people would stop acting like gaming is fun activity, and get increasingly frustrated or antisocial. This is bad for those people and for the community at large. I think the official consideration by the WHO brings more possibility (funding) for those question to be scientifically investigated. You're likely not wrong there, and there is a lot of people studying this very issue. Truth is, technology changed human behavior in a drastic manner and we are still trying to catch up with our understanding. We are little by little uncovering the mechanisms of why those new technologies are so addictive and I find it important to add game in the mix. Sure, the majority of us has a healthy relationship with internet, gadgets and gaming, but we really need a better grasp of how our mental relationship with them (if for nothing else, i want to believe that it is a good way to avoid witch hunts like those of the past).
  13. Thiago Monteiro

    ARPG Weapon Types Feedback

    Well, I don't have, at the moment, much consideration for too much realism (in terms of real world use) and dual-wielding seems to be a very typical way to go in ARPG. The idea of having it in place of single pistol is quite good, though, and simplifies things a bit. Yes, DPS-wise things are very similar, although play style might be different (high damage/low speed and the other way around, in this case). I had not considered armor penetration, though, which is also a nice idea. That's the idea I'm trying to come up with the minimal set of equipment that would still give plenty of options on how to create builds. Skill-wise, I will likely group those weapons where possible. Thanks for the answer, it did give some nice ideas on how to trim down things a bit
  14. Thiago Monteiro

    Best Modelling Software for Character Rendering & Items

    I suppose Blender is a good and free option
  15. Thiago Monteiro

    ARPG Weapon Types Feedback

    Hi all, I'm currently designing the combat system for an ARPG in the vein of Diablo, but not medieval. At this moment, I'm thinking which weapon/weapon types to include. Briefly, I'm thinking about the different roles/builds players might want to make and which weapon types would go with such builds. Ideally, the weapons should allow for plenty of play style variability, without being overly complex (and consequently useless). In terms of weapons and roles, what would you say to the list below? [NB: scaling would work more or less like in Souls series] Pistols (All-arounder) --> I suppose if there are pistols, then I also must let players dual-wield them, but not sure how to handle this yet Damage: Low to Average Scaling: Average to High Speed: Fast Range: Average Crit %: Average Crit Dmg: Average to High Shotguns (Area) Damage: Low (per pellet, total Average to High) Scaling: Low to Average Speed: Slow to Average Range: Short Crit %: Low Crit Dmg: Average Rifle (Crit/High Damage) Damage: High to Very High Scaling: Average Speed: Slow Range: Long Crit %: High Crit Dmg: Very High Automatic Rifle (Crit Proc) Damage: Average Scaling: Average Speed: Fast to Very Fast Crit %: High to Very High Crit Dmg: Low to Average Two-Handed Weapon (Stagger, makes foes few moments inactive) Damage: High to Very High Scaling: Average to High Speed: Slow to Average Crit %: Low Crit Dmg: High Bladed Weapons (1H, Bleed) Damage: Low + Low to Average DoT Scaling: Average to High Speed: Fast Crit %: Average to High Crit Dmg: Low Dual-Wield (Defensive, Increase Defense and add Riposte Effect) Damage: Low to Average Scaling: Average to High Speed: Average Crit %: Low to Average Crit Dmg: High
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