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About Luckless

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    Finder of Random Bugs

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  1. How to add tactical depth to rock paper scissor?

    Situational advantage's and combined arms effects can go a long way to adding depth and strategy to a game. IE: -Cavalry can rule open fields against everything, but require flanking advantage to win against pikes. Heavy lancers rule against light cavalry, but are more costly and not as effective at running down broken infantry or at scouting. -Pikes can hold a position effectively, but are less effective at advancing. -Heavy infantry are resistant to ranged weapons, but can't close on enemies as effectively as lighter troops. -etc. Things like these, rather than straight up Rock-Papers-Scissors win/loss mechanics, add up to more emergent game play. Pulling an enemy's heavy cavalry away with a unit of light cavalry, and drawing them into a wooded trap of pikes and archers, but they may be vulnerable to a push by enemy light infantry driving into the woods. (Where both pike and ranged units have negative debuffs to their effectiveness.)
  2. Always keep User Experience in mind when you're designing levels for a game. (Always keep it in mind when designing ANYTHING, even industrial control interfaces, but it is vitally important in games.) What is the purpose of where the player is at any given time? How often are they coming back there? How important is getting around to different parts of the location? One of the things that can really take me out of a game are needlessly sprawling and under populated 'towns' in RPGs. Morrowind and Oblivion seemed rather bad for this in my mind, as I honestly don't really have any memories of exploring the capital city or Vivec, but of slogging through this overly large half ghost towns with next to nothing in it. Plus, load screens... so many load screens trying to get anywhere. From a game design stand point, I like to approach towns as having distinct sections based on functionality. The first thing you should come to after getting into a town is the main market. A tightly clustered and busy place where as a user I can quickly look around, see the things I obviously am going to want, and quickly access them to buy the things I need to continue with my adventure and exploration. If you have lots of different kinds of shops, then ideally group them based on the probability of a user's desire to interact with them. - Don't place the "Heavy armourer" shop on the far side of the market from the "Heavy Shield" vendor if your generic warrior class is going to be the only kind of player who shops there. - Don't place your 'thieves guild' entrance somewhere that takes a fifteen minute hike through a maze of alley ways to get to, tuck a little trap door to it around a corner a few seconds from the rest of the shops. [Sure, the quest entrance for it can be hidden behind some long puzzle thing that takes the player's time to gain access to, but once there have an NPC point out how they can enter or leave through the quick access hatch close to the main market.] After you have your service section laid out, then you can move on to quest and flavour sections. Put main quests, like "The King's Throne Room" as a short and easy walk from the market if you are going to be back and forth between there a lot, while more 'one time' quest locations can be scattered deeper into the city from the main access/market place. You can still have additional shops and such in your flavour zones, but make them effective functional duplicates of those found in the main service market. If they are special in some way, then try to keep it to a limited mini-quest thing that the player will only occasionally desire to go to. - Bob The Generic Swordsmith might mention that Harold The Mystic Swordsmith was rumoured to have 'made something special', prompting the player to go check out the snazzy new sword for sale. But establish a design that makes it clear the player doesn't have to keep running around to all of the 'special' shops all the time, and should only need to go there for very specific instances. If you want a "Big Grand Cinematic Entrance" to the city, then lay your game out such that the player takes that route the first time they're going somewhere, but otherwise give handy time saving short cuts if all I'm doing is popping back to refill my mana potions. Remember, a large part of modern player bases are adults in their late 20s and 30s, with jobs and families and often limited play time. If half my play session is consistently running around to just restock my character with stuff, well... I can get all the fun and excitement of shopping by getting up and going to a real store to buy things I need in real life... so please don't force such design decisions down our throats in a game. I would rather find titles from another developer from that point forward.
  3. I just noticed that my forum name was showing as Talroth, which I hadn't been using here since one of the major site overhauls (Which ever update allowed us to change user names.) Honestly no idea how long that had been showing as such, but going in and manually setting it to Luckless in Account Settings appears to have taken hold. I've only been skimming the forums rather infrequently, so really can't say one way or the other if others may have been affected. Everything seems to be working fine currently, so hopefully no need for any action on it. Only posting this as a bit of a heads up in case it was a symptom of some larger glitch.
  4. Ship boarding in a pirate game?

    Allowing boarding from either side of a single ship seems reasonable, but the real question then becomes how do you want to deal with multiple-multi-ship boarding events? IE: Player A brings two of their ships to either side of player B's first ship, then B reinforces with a second ship of their own... Should A be allowed to bring in a third ship? Should A be able to bring in a third ship and park it against their own to have its crew reinforce an existing attack? As for dealing with capturing ships, I think that comes down to a crew management and risk management system: - You can Sail a tall ship with as little as a half dozen people. You're not going to do it well, or respond to changes in wind all that quickly, and struggle to travel as fast as you normally could, but you could still get a ship back to port. - Then there is the question of crew: Do you press members of the previous crew under your own command while capturing the ship? Do you put a half dozen of your men in charge as officers and sail the new ship with the old crew and maintain efficiency? Do you take some of the new crew onto your previous ship for lower level work to free up more of your existing crew to be moved to the new ship? How much risk of mutiny is there in either case? - How loyal is the crew and captian you've placed on the newly captured ship? (If they're pirates, then why not let them bugger off with your ship when you're not looking?) If you choose to avoid the risks of an uprising from the old crew, what do you do with them? Will all your crewmen go along with the idea of just tossing them overboard, or could that cause unrest and raise a mutiny risk from your own crew? Whether tossing them overboard, leaving them in boats, enslaving them, or dumping them in the nearest port, how do you manage the two ships with your current crew? Do you put a handful on the new ship and have it barely effective for anything more than getting from A to B (And struggling to do even that), or do you more evenly spit your crew, leaving more work to be done on both ships? Fewer hands on deck to man the rigging, fewer to handle the and reload guns, fewer to carry out the general duties to keep a ship in shape and well ordered, fewer men on hand to repel boarders... etc. Or maybe you keep one as a near skeleton crew to maintain the effectiveness of your main ship, but saddle yourself with a lagging pig you then have to protect if you want all of the cargo and such... Or maybe you just strip the newest boat of anything of value that isn't nailed down and can be stuffed into your main, steal/dump all their shot and powder, and sail off with a friendly wave and 'thank you for the stuff'?
  5. The future of VR Gaming and if Nerve Gear was real

    If someone invents a low invasive method for it, then I would say it would have lots of great benefits. I'm not going to rush out for major surgery, but if it is a pop into the doctor for something that's on par with getting a bad finger/toenail pulled, or even just pulling the device out of the box and putting it on like a VR headset, then I'm totally down with such thing after it hits mainstream. Fully immersive gaming is one thing, but how would you like to "Pop over" to 'climb up mount Everest' for an afternoon? Or hang out with friends/family from around the globe while still making it to your work meeting later that afternoon? What about usage in injury treatment? If we can intercept neural in/out at the brain stem, then that opens the option for dragoons,... I mean for allowing para/quadriplegics to have full control and sensation of a robotic exoskeleton
  6. Space 4X - military bases

    In a way you're kind of mirroring the province system from the later Total War games. - In short you're abstracting control over a larger area with multiple points of interest/production into a more unified interface. I don't think that having effective overlap is a terribly bad mechanic, it just has to be balanced economically. If bases are expensive, then you aren't going to build them on EVERY planet by the simple virtue of you can't actually afford it anyway. Maybe have different levels to bases - Outposts, Bases, and Strongholds or something? Sectors are created based on strongholds and are where the user does the majority of their interactions, and all planets/points of interest are controlled by one Sector/Stronghold. Strongholds are where your largest projects are done, your major capital ships, or maybe your ship engines/important components are made. Under those would be Bases/Outposts. Bases would be an upgraded outpost with a larger effect, possibly with added function like raising/training garrison units or armies, and probably with features like rearming/repairing fleets. Outposts would be points that offer a minor bonus and maybe do things like support sensors. All Outposts/Bases/Strongholds could be based on the same Core Entity, and their state would be based on what upgrades/features are stationed there. If you base them on modular parts, then you could move those parts around, at a cost, as the needs of your empire changes. Move parts from a 'base' to an outpost as your empire pushes outward, or eventually decide to upgrade a base to a new stronghold. Downgrade bases in central/secured areas to mere outposts to free up resources to deploy elsewhere. - Slightly 'fleet-like' in a way if you can move them around at a cost, but could make for a very flexible gameplay design.
  7. I'm looking to buy.........

    Really wish that the idea of RAID having anything to do with the discussion of backup would die already. RAID is unrelated to backup. Storing a file on a RAID drive Is not a backup. If it is only stored on the RAID drive then the data has not been backed up. Sure, it is protected against a hardware fault of a drive going south, but it isn't well protected against error or mistakes. If you format your drive, then the computer happily wipes the data off both drives for you. If your RAID controller itself goes south on you, then your data in the RAID can be destroyed. A RAID drive is still a single logical drive even if it is on multiple disks. If it is on one drive then you're not backed up. Can it be useful that one or more of your copies of the data is stored on a RAID? Sure - They're great for ensuring uptime and performance, but that still isn't a backup.
  8. Have you read Dune? (I think Dune and the "House" books in the series are possibly some of the best empire/political intrigue novels in Sci-Fi still.) Crusader Kings might also be a good reference game to look into to get some ideas. In my opinion some of the best games of this style have their game play and lore heavily intertwined. - What are foundations that society is built on? What technologies do they have, and what impacts does that have on society? If everyone and their dog has FTL as common as cars, then you're going to have a game and society that is different from one where only a handful of individuals control FTL along the lines of the Spacing Guild and Highliners. Start thinking about the problem from a storyline viewpoint: Who is doing what and why? - Does any of that translate into something that you find appealing as a player?
  9. If you are going to work on a fighting game, especially one with an aim towards a turn based system, then I feel that you would be very well served to spend some time watching basic martial arts content on YouTube. Some of the Western sword fighting styles may be very helpful in providing some inspiration, especially training content with Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) focus. Look for stuff about Tempo and movement, and trainers who break moves down into individual steps and talk about your options and decisions as you're in any given position or point within the move.   I have often thought about a PVP fighting game where you start with a few Action Point moves queued up, and then the fight slowly plays out with the user making a decision 2-3 'actions' in the future.  So the player would open with "High guard", followed by "Half step", and then combat would actually begin. Opponent would have entered their A and B move, and the players decide their C move based on what they see when the other player's A move is actually shown.  I figured the combat could play out in a near bullet time like fashion, which could readily cover issue of lag in an online battle system.
  10. Apple iMac Pro: Thoughts?

    I am more than happy to accept an all in one system for a laptop, given that I have one and frequently use it more often than the full desktop due to the mobility, but I really can't say I support the all-in-one concept for something that sits on a desk anyway when a standard tower setup achieves much of the same, and more thanks to the flexibility. 
  11. Apple iMac Pro: Thoughts?

    Well, there are reasons why my main workstation is a [i]workstation[/i] tower, and not my MacBook... 
  12. Apple iMac Pro: Thoughts?

    The bonus of paying top dollar for premium parts is that they just don't die very often. And Apple always replaces them when they do - if you are dropping $5k, shell out the extra for the 3 year warranty.     That kind of misses the point of the disadvantage of an all-in-one lack of modularity. I've only ever had two monitors die on me so far after decades of computer use. The old 14" CRT I had with my first computer popped and wouldn't turn on anymore after a decade or so of use, and then a Dell LCD screen (Which took a tumble when someone tripped and knocked into it.) In both cases it was easy enough to swap things out with other hardware on hand or otherwise ignore the loss and continue using the rest of the computer without any real negative impact. Having Apple be happy to fix a dead backlight or cracked screen (Something I've seen in several iMacs over the years) is all well and good, but it still means [i]the entire computer goes out the door and can't be used[/i].  I would still prefer if Apple was offering a hardware lineup that meant that I could pull an old monitor out of the closet, or just continue on with one less screen for a few days, while they fixed the problem. Why shell out top dollar for a system that is inflexible and hard to work around individual issues when you could shell out top dollar for parts in a modular system that have the same low odds of failure? 
  13. Apple iMac Pro: Thoughts?

    If you are going "All out" and spending several grand on a PC, then upgrading tends to be less cost effective on them than if you aim for a more middle of the road system as your baseline. You don't pay as high of an early adopter premium on the highest end parts, and the highest end drop into mid range pricing quickly enough.    Biggest thing that I don't like about Apple's desk top trends is that they're too inflexible on swapping bits out to get by. The iMac line is of course the worst of them. - Backlight in the monitor goes? Well, the whole thing goes out for service rather than plugging in an older monitor to get by for a few days. Graphics card dies or becomes out of date? Well, off goes the whole rig for service. Need more storage space for your project? Time to scatter stuff over your desk or run it off some manner of NAS.   Call me crazy, but I like being able to stuff a half dozen or more cheap spinning drives in a computer for the local primary storage.   Then PC also has the option to shave cost on features you don't need. Apple computers are great to use, when you aren't getting a spinning beachball at least, but their fanboy's justification on the price is kind of laughable at times. "Oh, but if you add ALL the parts of the apple, then the price is totally not that much different..." would be a valid argument, except I don't [i]want[/i] bluetooth and wifi and other random bits shoehorned into my workstation. The mouse and keyboard are getting wired in with USB, and the network is over an ethernet cable. With building a PC for myself I get to [i]choose[/i] not to bother paying for such things, because I have no intention of using them whether on the PC or Mac.
  14. Windows 10 update worries

    As far as "Social Responsibility" goes - Failure to ensure your system is patched and up to date on security fixes is about the same level as actively launching bot-nets and the like targeting those un-patched systems in my view. Sure, you're not [i]deliberately[/i] engaging in it, but you're deliberately [i]not[/i] taking efforts to restrict the pool of target systems used by said bot-nets...    Being the host to an unknown exploit is one thing, but allowing your system to remain connected to the internet without patching against known ones? Well, you're kind of actively making yourself part of the overall problem in that case.   Kind of related to the "Free Will!" argument of anti-vaxers, and their willful disregard of how herd-immunity functions. Want to take you and your family, and like minded families, and isolated yourself from the rest of society while not vaccinating? Go for it. Just keep away from the rest of us and our loved ones who, for whatever reasons, aren't fully protected.
  15. Worldwide ransomware cyber attack

      So, it is better for a government to go with an open source option, where foreign operatives have easy access to not only review the systems in use, but even have access to attempting to slip malicious code right into source?  The line of "But we can read and review stuff, so you can't just slip malicious code into an open source project!" is kind of blown out of the water by the existence of something like Shellshock, which only took how long for anyone to notice such a bug existed? - From a code review standpoint there isn't much of a difference between something that was overlooked in design, and something that was designed and coded in such a way as to allow future exploitation.    Getting an agent into a position in somewhere like Microsoft isn't impossible, but is still more difficult than getting a bunch of people 'being supportive and writing good code' for an opensource project.