Nytehauq

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About Nytehauq

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  1. My blog on game design

    Quote:Original post by Programmer16 I can't agree with Konidias on his comment because I simply stopped reading after the 3rd paragraph of your Sims 3 "Game Review." If you don't like a game, think it's an utter waste, or just plain hate it: insult the game, not the people that play it. My suggestion would be to learn how to write an actual game review using a gamer's perspective, not just your own personal opinions. Yes, the Sims is a horrible set of games in my opinion and I'm bored to tears while playing it. However, in terms of content and pandering to the masses that love the game, they did rather well (at least in the others, I haven't played Sims 3 yet. However, I'm actually getting ready to go pick it up for my girlfriend.) What exactly does a "gamer's perspective" look like? Does it have anything to do with content and pandering to the masses that love the game? I think the OP needs to work on his eloquence and rhetoric, but I can't help but read something somewhat untoward into the juxtaposition of proper review practice and recognizing that there are games that bring in a lot of money and acquire a large fan-base. It's as much a faulty generalization to assume things about the players of a game because of its content as it is to assume things about a game's content (and its players) because of its success.
  2. Quote:Original post by Codeka Quote:Original post by Dex Jackson Quite a lot of them just research into what is popular and will also sell well ... I'm not saying for the ones that like to use Fail, Epic Fail or Ancient Fail as expressions, that they are indeed Fails, they are just the same or similar experiences as other games have come out with originally. What definition of "fail" are you using that includes things that "sell well"? Selling well is the opposite of failure. What definition of success are you using that includes things even if they only sell well? Selling well isn't proof of anything, by that logic cigarettes are a great success. Maybe there should be a "ten argument tags you should never use!" thread, but it's evident some terms need to be defined. Success can (and does) mean a lot more than "Sold x million copies." How satisfied are your customers? It's a two way deal. If they've given you money for a cliche and overused plot, story, and set of game play mechanics, I'd wager they don't find the transaction very successful after they've played through the first hour of your title. They're giving you money for something, if your game is less enjoyable to them than the next thing they could've spent that money on all you've succeeded in doing is effectively swindling someone out of a chunk of their paycheck. Maybe the economic crunch will make this more apparent to some (Not all that likely, what with the Entertainment industry being recession resistant), but catering to the status quo in a market is akin to slash and burn farming. There's a difference between "tried and true" and "let's run this shit into the ground!" Besides this, look at how successful all the games copying, say, World of Warcraft have been - in any sense of the word. It's funny how despite how much even the financially successful titles have had to innovate people still seem to think success, in all senses and terms, is based on copying them to the extent permissible by law. It might not kill you to try and branch out. Besides, the problems with most of the things the OP listed is that the represent plot and character cliches borrowed (or stolen) from other fiction without significant creative thought applied. Their implementation tends to be hollow and bad storytelling. That's the problem with cliches. It's not as if there's some magical stigma attached to them, people just tend to use them to avoid doing real work.
  3. What's the better route to go for an indie developer? Is internet ad-revenue still a profitable option for a start up or is word of mouth and charging per copy of a game a better go?
  4. Curb Your Enthusiasm (with Perspective?)

    I remember imagining how wonderful it would be to have games that were scope agnostic, where everything relevant would be modeled down to the most believable possible degree, so I'm a bit biased in that I haven't naturally come to expect games to do things in stereotyped ways. I've had to grow accustomed to it. I'm not twelve anymore, but I still do think that designers stick to expected genre conventions in terms of the level of detail in game simulations instead of trying to consider what would make a game fun. The aim, for example, may be to develop a fun FPS, instead of trying to develop a fun game and then deciding what features to add based on that. The logic seems to go genre->concept->fun, instead of concept->fun and then, at some point far down the road, a reviewer somewhere will arbitrarily decide what box to pigeonhole your creation into. It seems increasingly popular for developers to pigeonhole themselves preemptively. It's probably some combination of marketing putting pressure on to deliver a game that will sell, a lack of designer creativity, and a fear of leaving the comfort zone provided by adhering to genre based standards. Much of it seems to be attempts at imitation of popular titles and trying to make the proverbial lightning strike twice. Beyond this, designers often have niche areas of interest: they have done FPS games forever. They don't know anything else. I find it confusing, no genre holds my interest that well without being an amalgam of various pieces of other genres. That said, it would be nice to see games that did away with most genre stereotypes without themselves getting lost in trying not to conform. I wouldn't mind a game that was a good FPS that had a layer of strategy that would be considered quality in a turn based war game. I wouldn't mind an RTS that judged combat based on combat simulations less simplistic than distance and a few random variables, and I can't see any reasons that such a game wouldn't be fun - I'd wager to bet the limitations aren't in the viability of the concept, they're probably more tied to implementation difficulties.
  5. A Realistic Planet Is Pointless

    I disagree entirely with the initial premise: one bleak stretch of Canadian frontier does not a critique of every possible landmass arrangement that the known universe can support. There exists "realistic" terrain on the moons of Jupiter - I think a distinction needs to be drawn between "nonsensical," "impossible," "mundane," and "realistic." Which is which? Food for thought: people have tracked through miles of bleak tundra for fun. I'd imagine they wouldn't find your average bleak tundra simulator very enjoyable, however. Much of the details of the merits of a game concept have less to do with the realities of its inspiration, say, the bleak and apparently boring environment that it is based on, and more to do with people's perception of what inspires them. I'm sure you missed a lot of what you looked over on your trip: for all you know, that repetition is an illusion. Maybe the Great White North is more interesting when you aren't flying over it. A game made based on the experience of flying over it might be boring. But that's not to speak on the merits of basing a game on some other experience relating to the Great White North: perhaps there is some merit there you have yet to discover. One penultimate digression (:D): if you think about things in absolute, the universe is a giant procedural generator. The fact that you have found anything interesting to do in your life means that a gigantic and expansive procedural world, based on some laws (E.g. the laws of physics) can be interesting. If you're thinking of applying that to games, the question isn't really "realistic or not," it's simply "interesting or not." It applies the same whether or not your game has a large world: is it fun? You can't answer that but on a case by case basis. I don't think there is anything that says that games based on a large world cannot be entertaining or that they must diminish your role - I think it's easier to get caught up in emulating specific parts of our experiences and feelings with say, massive worlds, and miss out on creating an experience for the player. The more territory you have means the more unique game play you need to fill it with for it to continue to feel coherent and realistic. But, you do raise a good question with your last point: Quote:Or (jaded question here) does this trend toward realism doom us to a future of nothing but MMOs because any other world would be huge and empty? This is interesting, I was under the impression that a future of nothing of MMOs would doom us to nothing but huge and empty. A bigger world is just more work. MMOs are the example of large worlds done wrong: they never provide the same immersion as the storyline of smaller, shorter, offline games. It requires a paradigm shift to design entire worlds full of content, the result is that it tends to be stretched thin. Given that type of world, it is just eye candy. But not every world must be so empty and meaningless. It's easy for things to feel vacuous when you fill them with nothing. The solution is to always keep your world full of content, regardless of size. If you can't fill the world with content, you should be making it smaller. Size does not automatically mean empty - it's just easy to mistake the correlation for causation.
  6. Quote:Original post by Kylotan Quote:Original post by PinWang Correct me if I am wrong, but you are implying that despite everything I stated in my post, factors in marketing and business are more important than good game design. Certainly, these factors constantly outweigh good game design in the industry, but will you argue here that they should? Who cares what you think should be the case? Nobody is stopping you from making the perfect game if you want. Just don't expect to make money from it. If you do want to make money, then you have to start accepting those marketing and business factors. Complaining about this is not going to change a thing. I think the implication is that the goal of just making money is shortsighted. It could be argued that the entire notion that chasing short term profits at all costs will eventually hurt not just the quality of the games produced but the industry as a whole, but that would miss the point. Shouldn't designers, or anyone selling a product, have a responsibility to more than the corporate revenue sheet? I was under the impression that a successful product was one that sold and provided a useful good or service. Moving copies doesn't mean it fulfills the second requirement. If we can learn from, perhaps, as was mentioned above, Will Wright and co., we might produce some games that are financially and qualitatively successful. When it comes down to it, while complaining may "solve nothing," people won't buy crap forever. At the very least, pandering to profits first produces crap, and at worst, it doesn't even secure profits in the long term. It causes industries to collapse. If making bad products that sell well doesn't faze you, making bad products that stop selling should.
  7. Ever Notice: The Double Jump

    Quote:Original post by Captain Griffen Quote:Original post by Kest Quote:Original post by Captain Griffen Double jump makes more sense than having significant control over directional momentum while in the air (as opposed to rotational momentum). I don't understand. A double jump is having significant control over directional momentum while in the air. Air control, not including double jumping. It simply doesn't exist in reality (well, unless you are skydiving, but then you are moving a hell of a lot faster relative to the air). You can't, for example, in RL jump off a ledge, and then use some super powers to bring you back to under the ledge, whereas in many games you can. In real life you can simply turn around and grab on to the ledge and then climb back up. What the double jump serves to provide in games isn't really analogous to changing your direction in mid jump: it allows players to: A) More intuitively compensate for judging distance. There is far more sensory input involved in calculating jumping and movement in real life than there is in a video game. Being able to jump again allows the player to re-judge their trajectory given a moving frame of reference, compensating for the loss of body position, sound, and 3D perception that occurs in real life. B) Substitute for grabbing, climbing, and changing body position without altering trajectory. In reality, double jumping serves as an abstraction to cover those sorts of actions that are effectively impossible with standard game controls, game play design, and control devices. The immersion breaking aspects tend to be more of a side effect than an intended effect. Of course, as usual, many developers have utilized those immersion breaking aspects as parts of game play (Super Smash Bros comes to mind). In essence, pretty much exactly what Edtharan said above with some addendum's.
  8. Resistance: Fall of Man type game

    Quote:Original post by Iron Chef Carnage Yes. This should have it's own thread... Oh wait, is that just Duke Nukem Forever?
  9. Quote:Original post by hplus0603 At work: MySQL (with innodb back-end), because it's fast, cheap and default on every linux distro out there. At home: PostgreSQL, because it implements a little more of SQL than MySQL (although the difference is less now than before), and it's something I know. Also, at times, SQLite, because it's so small and cute :-) Okey dokey. I was planning on using MySQL if I ever got that far, but it's good to know it's used ;P
  10. I think I'm going to start up with having a separate web portal and game login with the option to link the two later. Beyond that, what sort of database of system do you use to store data and why? Thanks for the replies so far.
  11. Lets say you're developing a game that has accounts for online play. How should account information be securely handled server side? Is it enough to say, write information to something as mundane as a text file and use raid on your server for data protection? Keep multiple copies of account information and purge off old ones after a certain time frame has expired? Lets also say you've got an MMO server and a web portal with online components. How should you share data between your game's server and the web component? How would you implement a system that allows you to securely transfer data between your game server, like account login info, and your web server so that players could create an account online and use it to play your game? Language doesn't matter, I'm just wondering how that sort of thing is normally done.
  12. Absurdly simple 3D modeling and animation tool?

    Why thanks. I've already resolved to suffer through...erm...use Blender's clunky interface after reading up on some tutorials for simple skeletal animation rigs. I'll have to look in to writing export plugins to save things to my simple model format though...eh. Sometimes I wish this was all still simple enough that you could write your own proprietary software on a whim to handle the tasks you needed :/
  13. I'm looking for a free, preferably Mac OS X compatible 3D modeling and animation tool that is as bare bones as can be. I'm pretty much looking for a tool that lets you create and edit meshes, rig them, define animations, and export them. I don't need texturing support or anything. I want a tool that lets me make meshes that are just vertex and color information, rig up the simple meshes with a joint based structure for animation, define some animations, and export the mesh and contingent files. I'm thinking of developing an absurdly simple 3D game, and the software I know isn't free for commercial use, while the free software is clunky and I don't know it. Any suggestions?
  14. Imagine a roguelike world where characters exist as...well, literal characters. You begin life as a humble "@" sign trekking through a text dungeon. You run into a hostile "p," and you have to fight it to the death. Assume the player is in a 2D world and that the graphics engine being used supports zooming and rotation of the text glyphs being used for graphics, along with coloration. How do you show melee attacks, projectiles, and death animations, using only text with the above parameters? How do you show character advancement visually? Assume players can equip various items in the tradition stat based character advancement game stereotype and that the game plays as a top down action/adventure dungeon crawler hack n' slash - rogue without the grid.
  15. Well, imagine a system where player skill works on an exponential scale. Players can have from 1-10 "skill rating." Your game play mechanisms scale so that the effectiveness of gear is mitigated by skill. Lets say gear has a value associated with it that represents how effective it makes a character in combat, from 1-1000. Your skill scales like this: %Of gear effectiveness = (skillrating ^ 2) / 100 Total effectiveness = %of gear effectiveness * gear value. A player with 1 skill and 1000 gear has a total effectiveness of 10. A player with 9 skill and 100 gear has a total effectiveness rating of 81. One tenth the gear, nine times the skill. Eight times as effective. Increase the scaling to give skill a more important contribution. Essentially, player skill needs to give increasing returns while gear gives constant or decreasing returns. Good players will see returns on their skill. If gear progression is tied to skill and ability, good players will gain good gear. Ideally, in my mind, gear should provide an illusion: you kill monsters better, you look cooler, but your skill is the end factor in combat. If gear affected game play in a way that threw off AIs but did not necessarily affect players, you'd have gear that seemed meaningful and empowering that couldn't make up for deficits in skill. Thus, two equally skilled players could fight evenly. No one would realize the gear illusion if skilled players also progressed well through the game - if skilled players would all eventually have gear, the illusion that gear represents progression would be kept. Furthermore, players that did progress to get gear would probably have to learn some skills in the meantime. Gear has to mean something. Whether it actually does something or not is subjective and up to you. Ideally, it should feel like it does something to symbolize character and player advancement through the game, not be the advancement in itself