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About Drethon

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  1. Drethon

    Don't like ending games

    No doubt there, not many ideas are new these days.  More interested in what works well.  I'll have to take a look at Phantasy Star III some time.   Nothing wrong with more content but I do wonder if there is something that can be done with mechanics instead as I tend to be a better coder than storyteller :)   Multiple perspectives is an interesting idea.  You do loose the idea of the character being "my" character "I" created but it would provide excellent immersion.   I will say that is one thing I liked about Fallout 3 is the RPG element enhanced the character's skills but player skill still accounted for quite a lot.
  2. Drethon

    Combat and Parley in RPG

    You could add something like a parlay state into combat so a hostile NPC will not attack the player is in parlay but will not become friendly.  Then as soon as parley ends the hostile can begin attacking.  Basically a continuous loop of the attacker going "can I kill you yet" until you are done talking.   Also a possibility is letting NPCs command each other so when you enter parlay with an NPC, it commands all others to stop being hostile.  When parlay ends that NPC can command the others to become hostile again.
  3. I suspect I'm not along in that my favoriate type of game is RPGs but I don't really like completing them.  I like enjoy creating a building a character.  I just kind of hit a brick wall when the character improvement ends.  This is kind of the same both for single player and multiplayer.   To create a game that focuses more on my favorite part I've been thinking about a "generations" game.  With this game when your character dies, instead of the game ending it continues with the character's offspring or close reletives.  In this way there isn't just one creation and building of a character but many.  On the other hand it seems all it is really doing is taking the normal begin, build and end phases of an RPG and repeating them.   So I'm wondering what others think about this.  Is there a way to focus an RPG more on creation and building as well as extending that part of the game?  Or is this something where existing games have already made the most of what is possible?
  4. The Thief series was an excellent example of alternate gameplay IMHO.
  5. Drethon

    What programmers want from a designer

    I don't have a lot of time to read this over in detail so I apologize if I'm saying something that is already stated. To me the biggest thing for a designer beyond the basic of a game that can be reasonably developed is sufficient detail. Programmers can determine how to implement the game rules but while we can design the details of game logic, that is a design detail, not an implementation detail.
  6. Yeah, I followed this for designing a simple game myself. Now I have a pretty good working game mechanic but have to figure out how to make the next step to turn this simple "toy" into a full fledged game. Piece at a time I guess, real game development quickly becomes a job
  7. My major issue with most social parts of MMOs is the time factor. I often want to drop in for ten or fifteen minutes to play for a bit or need to drop off for a little while in the middle of playing. Most single player quests you can leave and come back with minimal consequence but it is a major impact in a group quest. I played Eve Online for quite a while doing manufacturing because it didn't really matter how long or short you were online. I'd put up purchase orders for materials, produce more equipment and/or put produced items on the market and leave. Those items stayed on the market or in production and continued working while I wasn't there. I don't mind working with other people but I just wish the in game time requirement was not as strict as it is in most MMOs.
  8. Read up a little on agile development, its a more formal way of doing what you are describing and a pretty good approach for exploratory development.
  9. I feel that exploration is needed in an open world RPG, the kind of game where your decisions tell the story rather than the RPG being about discovering the one story. The quickly thought out examples for me are Fallout III and FF7. In Fallout III the exploration really brought out the bigger world beyond the basic storyline of the game. I also liked the approach to exploration in Fallout III where you were pointed to the key spots around the game if you were close, rather than flailing around blindly. Also in town it was pretty easy to determine important NPCs as they would start and actual conversation. You could still query the rest just to see what amusing response they would give. FF7 on the other hand didn't have a lot of value to exploration (IMO) beyond gaining levels and equipment prior to the next battle in the storyline. In that game I think after the first playthrough and the neatness of the map, I wouldn't have really noticed if exploration was suddenly removed. Just my bent $0.02
  10. Drethon

    Sci-fi Planetary Exploration

    Can't say how to use it but the game Space Colony was an interesting one along the lines of what you are talking about. Single player so it would have to be adjusted for multiple players but I liked a lot of the way the colony was built in that game.
  11. One thing you can do is instead of making a character stronger during leveling, make them specialized. When the player uses specific skills improve those skills and lower opposing style skills. Now the character is no stronger than any other character in the game but is still better while using the skills that player likes.
  12. I still think MxO had one of the best approaches. It had a number class skill trees where you focused on a specific loadout to maximize your abilities but you could change your loadout at check points anytime you wanted.
  13. Would you need to represent all the planets at all levels? The trade needs of a star (supply and demand) would be the sum of the needs of all the planets in the system. As long as you are travelling between stars you don't care about individual planet needs as much (yes you might miss out on some deals). Once you enter the system it could then be broken apart into the different planets and then on down to the different cities. You could even show supply/demand for each items as an average of the system then show the planet/city with the highest/lowest supply/demand along side.
  14. Just my $0.02 on college, I found out after I graduated that the engineering businesses in my area really like graduates from the college I went to (GVSU). They like graduates from this college because they tend to have good real world understanding, primarily because they are required to have three semesters (waved depending on economy though) of technical internships. This was terrific as the internship all but paid for my college (reasonably priced state supported college) and I got my first job with the people I interned with. I would suggest contacting the local businesses (preferably technical managers if you can, not HR) and finding out what colleges they happen to like. The less expensive the better (without sacrificing quality of course).
  15. Drethon

    101 Uses For A Swimming Pool

    Doesn't seem too hard, just time consuming to develop the whole thing. It seems what you are describing is nothing more than a finite state machine. You described a pool FSM, its initial state is empty, add water and you go into a portion of the FSM where heating goes to steam (with possible return to water though time would probably just return it to empty) and cooling would go to the ice state. The water state could be transferred to mud with the addition of dirt. Each state would then have an image associated with it and each transition would likely have an animation associated with it. The implementation appears trivial to me with most of the time spent building the componenets of the FSM...
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