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About Dumptruck

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  1. I'm in the process of planning a web game and wanted to get some input on the best way to approach my idea. The idea is a fairly simple online web rpg with an emphasis on simplicity and accessibility. The combat is turn based with simple actions and no movement (tactical and visual), imagine something similar to Final Fantasy but you can only act when the opposing turn ends. I created 2 mockups using published game art, this is just an example, I am not using anyone's art except my own (which will be in a similar style.) This first shot shows the combat screen, the player is on the bottom left and he is joined by two other players above him. The numbers represent the total hitpoints and current hitpoints. Below this combat screen would be a short list of 5-7 abilities you could perform and a chat window so you could talk to the two other players with you. To attack a monster, you would click the monster graphic, then ability buttons until you ran out of action points. Your turn would end and the monster would attack/flee,etc. I would like to do this without Flash for maximum portability. I broke this image up into a table or frames. Each character sits in his cell as a transparent gif and the background is two elements, the road and city front. The hitpoint text would use a system font and align to the bottom of the character image. I'm not a programmer so this process chart is very simple: *Client selects target in web page by clicking on a monster graphic *Client clicks on an action button that contains an action cost and effect *Target, action cost and effect are sent to the server *Server determines the result of the action *Server sends action result, updates the state of the monster (if needed) and updates the action cost pool *Client displays action result in the form of text (You hit monster for 2 dmg!), updates monster state if needed (hitpoints) and displays a newly calculated action pool (if the pool was 20 before the action was performed, the remainder would be displayed now) *When client's turn ends, the server runs the actions for the enemies and updates the client after each action. I would probably limit the action pool in a way where you would not be sending more than 4 server requests per round. The big questions - How practical is this with CSS, javascript, PHP or anything the server can run? Is it worth sacrificing accessibility to use Flash because it would be superior? I know a lot of web games use action points that regenerate at a very slow rate to limit play time. Is this because servers would get hammered? To me the amount of data transfer is significantly lower than a game sending back constant updates about location in 3D space, etc. Thanks for any comments or advice on this matter.
  2. First off, coming from an indie developer the game looks very interesting and I would absolutely check it out. For two people what you made is absolutely amazing. Presentation - I believe the game needs a stronger hook. Some of this can be attributed to the game being at an early stage. The consumer doesn't know how small your team is, they are going to be comparing your game to commercial titles backed by millions of dollars. You can overcome this with a strong hook, focus and style. Before moving on to style, I just want to ad that you should start using the vocabulary that people you want playing your game will understand. Literally and figuratively. "A slight strategy feel" is soft and unassertive. I understand "real time strategy" and I believe that is what you are implying. But you can't tell people about your game using that language. Here is the product description for Gears of War on GameRankings.com: Gears of War blends tactical action with survival horror and thrusts gamers into a deep and harrowing story of humankind's epic battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet. Lead war hero Marcus Fenix and his fire team as they face the onslaught of merciless warrior fiends. A revolutionary tactical combat system and breathtaking, high-definition visuals from the Unreal Engine 3 immerse you in a horrifying story of war and survival. The language is strong and I know what the game is about. I know what tactical action is and survival horror. So find the language you want to use to describe the game and compare it to other games you want to share success in. Your game must be like another game out there, see how they describe it. In this day and age with thousands of games floating around the net, every stage of your game development needs to be compelling. style - The style of your screenshots and video falls somewhere in the middle of generic. You obviously can’t compete with larger teams or companies that have developed million dollar technology to showcase their games. You don’t need that though, your game needs to look distinctive. Either make the game match the technology or make the technology match the game. Because we just decided above you can’t compete with the companies who have access to high end engines you are going to match the game to your engine. You have this cool terrain engine with vehicles, but trying to make it look like a jungle is not working. This is not a jungle: MAD Shot This is a jungle: Crysis You know what would look more convincing with the tech you have? A desert or grassy plains. Desert 1 Desert 2 Desert 3 You could probably come pretty close to creating the desert in the second link, a lot closer than creating a jungle or tropical setting. It could still ooze with style depending on how dramatic you go. If not already planned, I think you should consider adding humans to your game. Humans are very important in any game because they connect you to reality and help people relate. The most successful games feature humans for a reason, Mario, GTA, Halo, Diablo, StreetFighter, etc. Humans will give your vehicles and scenes contrast. Are those vehicles giant? What about the landscape? They help people visualize and connect with the game better. I’m not so hot on the style of the vehicles; I think this turret has potential though: Turret Shot You should consider making the vehicles more stylized and dramatic. Either beat them up or keep them clean. Right now they are in the middle and we’ve already learned that we don’t want to be there! Some general style tips: • Keep things colorful – color helps people escape. • Consistency, create families of sub-styles that compliment each other. One jeep has 6 wheels and another has 4 – why? • Use style to overcome technology problems – the alpha grate that is mipping out? Get rid of it, create an additive energy gate instead or solid geometry. • Focus your energies on things that matter. Is this game about vehicles? Make those a priority. Lastly, focus. You have to ask yourself, what is easier to accomplish – a complete single player experience with effective AI, interesting missions that may or may not include scripted sequences or a multiplayer only game with easy to use lobby, server browser and steady connections? After you make that choice, you should then work on making your choice the best you can and focus your energy on the elements that make it compelling. Those elements are easy to find in any successful game, I’m not going to list them. If this change does not sound like a good idea to you ask yourself this. If you decided to make the game multiplayer only, would that game be better than the multiplayer section from the original plan of supporting both modes? The answer should be yes, but maybe you have a different confidence or other reasons. If you are only planning on selling the game online and you are not a casual game (puzzle, etc.) your best audience really is going to be the multiplayer crowd. Just from the video I can tell this game could have a lot of potential. In some ways it reminded me of the old Carrier Command game which was an old favorite of mine. I’ll definitely track the progress of this one.
  3. Dumptruck

    Selling ORPG/MMORPG (Source)

    You should post even one screenshot, I'm sure a lot of people would like that.
  4. Dumptruck

    Eternal Equinox (PC game)

    I don't think it is a bad idea. Have you looked into supporting cell phones/palm pilots/etc.? That market might be interested, I could see someone reading one on the bus.
  5. Dumptruck

    Xbox dev kits

    I was tired when I posted and left some details unclear. Yes I am looking for an Xbox 1 debug kit (green). I've developed for Xbox before. I have the latest Xbox XDK's. I just want a box so I can show my work directly.
  6. Dumptruck

    Xbox dev kits

    Hope this request is ok to post in this forum. Simply put, I'm looking for an original Xbox dev kit, the black originally $1000 kind. PM if you have one or know where I can get one. Thank you!
  7. Dumptruck

    vbGORE MMORPG Engine - v1.0.0

    I have everything up and running now. This has huge potential. Awesome documentation for getting started. What are you targeting now for improvements?
  8. Dumptruck

    vbGORE MMORPG Engine - v1.0.0

    This looks hot! Downloading right away. How easy is it to modify the interface? What resolutions does the game support? Update: Step 5 of SQLyog install guide tells you to right click on the right panel, when I think it is the left panel. Very thorough install instructions. I have installed vbgore, mysql, odbc and the sqlyog. I've started SQlyog but when I go to run vbgore I get an error message. I've run all the configuration, twice now and SQLyog loads the vbgore database successfully. I'm going to check your forums now. [Edited by - Dumptruck on May 13, 2007 9:10:46 PM]
  9. Dumptruck

    Dawn of Fantasy - MmoRTS, Video Trailer.

    The trailer surprised me, the game actually looked fun. Usually these fantasy RTS games look generic, but I really liked the huge battles and the castles. One suggestion on the texturing, I think the color palette could be tuned up, moving away from browns and reducing the noise in the textures.
  10. Dumptruck

    Horde3D [0.10.0] released

    Can this be used for games?
  11. Dumptruck

    Your thoughts on Solo Play in MMORPGs

    It was very hard to solo to the highest levels in EQ. WoW changed this and that was a big factor in contributing to it's success. If people who don't have the time to find a group and just want to hop on for an hour or two are removed from your game, this is another customer lost. Imagine if bars banned solo drinkers, those people would just drink at home. Business lost. While it would be interesting, creating a dungeon that could be played by solo players as well as groups is not practical from a development standpoint. You just doubled the amount of the work. How do all those bosses work now that there is only person? You also eroded some of the group dynamics that make the classes unique. The concept of an rpg with classes has some roots in dependency. A healer alone is not formidable but coupled with a warrior is a powerful. Magic users have forms of crowd control another aspect of group design.
  12. Dumptruck

    Nastyroids 3D v1.1

    This looks awesome (seriously, most Asteroid clones look bad), I want to try out because I've always been a huge asteroids fan. I just extracted it to a folder and it failed to run. No error messages, just get the hour glass for a split second and nothing happens. Running WinXP Pro. Any ideas?
  13. I can't really say it better than Saruman. But I'll try. In reference to WoW, one of the most important design decisions made was accessibility. This is where EQ failed. Sacrificing fun for simulation mechanics is a big mistake. All of your points relate to that argument. You notice the gun in Half-Life never jams? Or it reloads automatically? Or they don't present 10 different ways to navigate the environment? All of those were intentional design decisions that removed the simulation to preserve the fun. Does anyone miss your character becoming overburdened in EQ with equipment? Or having to eat food just to be able to walk a straight line? Or having to run to your corpse and equip every single piece of gear? Or losing experience for dying? The answer is a resounding NO.
  14. Dumptruck

    Buildings in Torque...

    I'm talking interior environments here. Manually creating visibility through cells and portals in MAX is not a problem at all. The flexibility in working with non-convex geometry far outways the few hours per level required to properly setup visibility for a level. Visibility for levels is something that should be planned for from the start, regardless of what platform you are developing with. The vis compiler for the Quake series of games does produce decent automatic portal results but you will still need some manual visibility work if you want optimal performance. The tools might have changed but the last time I used them, placing hint brushes was not as slick as something you could produce in MAX. You first have to know the arrangement of leaf nodes by loading up your level, remembering where you needed a portal, construct this portal out of hint brushes in the editor, re-export and hope the nodes were divided correctly. This trial and error process took time.
  15. Dumptruck

    Buildings in Torque...

    Quote:Original post by marshmonkey yes, but the robustness of a program like max is often useless when having to make something that will export as csg/bsp. The amount of pain you have to go through to make sure that what you make in a program like max is legal csg/bsp geometry is not something to take lightly. Using max to make csg/bsp geometry is like hiring rembrant to do a painting when your canvas only supports paint by numbers. Sorry I was unclear with my last post, my fault. I was NOT suggesting using MAX to create BSP geo. I was suggesting BSP geo be dropped all together. I was trying to bolster my argument of this by pointing out MAX or any other professional 3D package has so much more to offer. An obvious point I'll admit ;) I also know Torque would get a lot more use if MAX could be used to build levels.
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