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About Fournicolas

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  1. Can a programmer become suddenly a designer? Well, he may. Will he succeed if he designs gameplay solely on the code he has previously done? Maybe he will, maybe he won't. Luck plays a huge part there. Let's draw a parallel. Can you get a house by only asking a bricklayer? Of course, you may, but there is no guarantee that it will be functional, good looking, or that it will stand up at all. On the other hand, can you get a house at all after asking ONLY the Architect? No. You can't. Ideas don't shelter you from rain, and drawings don't block the wind. But if you want a house that is good looking, functional, and that WILL stand, you have to ask someone who understands about physics and plumbery and electricity and buildings and delays and whatever it takes to design a house and have it built. AFTER THAT, you can go and ask a bricklayer and a bunch of other people to follow scrupulously the plans so that you get something that will suit your taste and still be standing in a few years time. A game is no different from a house. You may get something from a programmer or from an artist, but it may also lack the quality of something designed first. On the other hand, a Designer alone is nothing. He will NEED programmers to make his ideas come to reality. Period.
  2. sounds A LOT like Gauntlet II, on my old Amstrad CPC 6128. Save for the 3D rendering. Ok, Let's make a Gauntlet III with 3D rendering...
  3. As far as I am concerned, the micromanagement part could happen in a sort of paused "Might-and-magic"ish way, the rotation of modules could happen LIVE, while playing, but of course, at a loss, since while your modules are moving around you, they are easy targets for the ennemy, which means they can be destroyed, or used as gravitating armor. And the building could happen like a triomino kind of way, maybe. Or a reverse Puzzle bobble, with pieces having sizes and color codes, including more than one bubble AND more than one color at a time. And when you finally turn off then "commanding" mode (which might just as well be a five seconds max pause, so as to give your commands) you are back with your not-so-basic shmup... just a thought, though. I think it might be both playable and enjoyable. So I'm all up for this!!
  4. I have already done this answer times and again before, but I'll just put it here once again, just to see what it triggers with newcomers... What if we simply replaced NPC's AI by... Real Intelligence from PCs? Let me explain further. What if, instead of a very large game in which we had a lot of AI going on, which would take quite a lot of bandwidth and processing power/time/whatever, we merely had a cluster of "simple" games, like some browser-based games around and successful these days, which would define the surrounding world for the MMORPGers to run in? I know of a good many e-farmers games. Let's assume that the people playing those games actually like playing farmers, for the sake of the argument. Let us also assume that, although they DO like to play the games they play the way they play them, they might still play them with an added twist, which would be that random things might happen to their farms, like a group of animals or of goblinoïds would come and wreck havock in their fields. Let's say that they have a way of making it known. Let's say that there are people who like to play crafters, but feel that they are a little underdoing it. I know of some people who complained (rather loudly too...) about crafting mechanisms in common MMORPGs. If we assume, once again for the sake of the argument, that those people spend rather a lot of time actually doing nothing in an MMORPG while they are claiming high that they would prefer to actually be CRAFTING the objects they are about to sell, why not provide them with a Flash game in which they would actually PLAY something and CRAFT something in according results? Let's assume (I know we have been assuming quite a lot already, but let's keep to it...) that the people playing browser-based monster-breeding games, or online equivalents of zoo-tycoon, would just as well play the same games if they had to compete in them against hunters. And that the hunters would just as much enjoy their favourite hunting games if they had to actually go LOOKING FOR preys who would prefer to remain unkilled, rather than standing there ready to get their heads chopped off. Now that we have assumed that much, doesn't that all remind you oddly of many of the numerous threads we have seen in here advocating so-called dynamic worlds? What you would have to get is a single database for all the games, and dynamically (yes, that's where the ominous word falls in...) modify it? Or maybe only a small part of it. Now, let's say that every game is linked to all the others through both the database and the "dialoguing server", a sort of disembodied chat server, which you can connect to from any of the aforementionned games. Wouldn't the quest-creation become dynamic? A farmer discovers, when he logs in, that a group of trolls is camping in his turnips-field (either a random event, or something triggered by the fact that a monster-breeder moved his lot through his turnips-field some hours earlier). He connects to the "dialoguing server" and starts looking for someone ready to rid him of those. For the sake of the argument, we'll say that the MMORPGers can only enter their equivalent of this "dialoguing server" on the towns' central squares. And that there will be a little animation showing a very agitated little man coming a-yelling for a turnip saviour. Any of the adventurers in the MMORPG realm can acome and start discuss the reason of such an agitation, and even discuss the TERMS of the quest. They can haggle over how much money they can get from the farmer to rid him of his undesired squatters. Meanwhile, the location of spawn points would be more or less dynamically modified, since they would depend on the last moved registered by the related account of the monster-breeder. And since the adventurers would still have to get their equipments, they would have to go to the shop-keepers (other players playing Flash games elsewhere, and potentialy not in synch with the MMORPG world) and get their stuff from them, be it weapons, armor, potions or anything. But the crafters, being locked in their small houses, wouldn't be able to collect the needed materials to perform their daily activities. They would have to either place an add on their stores, explaining how much they are prepared to buy from any particular loot, and for how much, and could only HAGGLE while online. On the other hand, they could still sell for a fixed price when offline. So what do you say? Could this be a solution to improve the online gaming worlds? Can you find any flaw (apart from the obvious "such a common database cannot be made in our times, maybe in ten to twenty years time, when everybody is connected though Fiberoptics...")?
  5. I saw someone suggest for an MMO that the world should evolve in Real Time. Great. Everybody has been dying for that for the last ten years, since EverGrind first appeared. But then I noticed that the general consensus idea was that "a simple 80s AI" was to take control of things in the background, while the player played his own life, and that could modify the world enough to make things interesting. Well, given the new trend of multiplying the cores on the processors, instead of trying to rise the clock to insane speeds, would you say that there is a possibility that in the next installment of things like Elder Scrolls series, the multi-core processor will be a pre-requisite, and that one of the cores will be entirely devoted to modifying the world in real time around yourself? Let's take a quad-core exemple. Still top technology today, but probably line entry tomorrow. Let's assume that one core is occupied with the "simple 80s AI" thingy, trying to create a believable war around the player character, and maybe a second core for creating believable social interactions between NPCs, like having them have real needs (a dampened version of radiant AI, maybe, or something...) Would you say such a design is likely to occur? If you can take advantage of the multi-core architecture to leisurely rip a DVD while toying with your photo editor, then surely, you can have this kind of architecture take care of more than one aspect of a game at a time, right? Are we going to see multi-core specs games in the following years? What would be the next trend? The destructible worlds everybody has been dying to see, but applied to a new scale? Red Faction destruction engine in Morrowind's world? Seamlessly? The same thing but in an MMO? Why? Why not?
  6. Given that actual technical improvements have given birth to multi-cores processors, do you think it would be possible to assign one core to work on the world's behaviour, like someone suggested in the way of an "early 80s AI", another one on the global NPC behaviour, and then the remaining ones on the world around the Player's Character? That is, of course, assuming a quad-core processor, at least, on the player's computer... Do you think THAT particular repartition of tasks would work, and do you think it likely to happen in the future, given that the new trend is to add more cores, and not raise the clock?
  7. Or maybe, instead, you use satellite connections, and even out EVERYBODY to a 100ms ping, more or less, give or take 25ms.
  8. Let us consider the thing from another angle: the angle of the user interface. A user of your game/program is bound to act as someone who can REALLY produce magic. And magic is just a way to produce an effect that normal human forces cannot produce in that frame of time. It makes use of OTHER natural forces, and binds them to the magician will to produce the desired effect. I had already exposed, in another thread, a system which I believed would work well for freeform magic. I reconsidered this, and evolved from there. Let's say that magic is just a flow of energy, and that that energy actually coems from EVERYTHING, litteraly, under different forms. Take a little bit of The Matrix for the flowing lines defining the world, a pinch of Star Wars for the innate Energy that animates the Universe, pepper that with Magic: The Gathering for the different colors of magic one can see, and you've got yourself a concept. Five colors of energy one can see, coming from everything in your surroundings, in more or less powerful lines. You "tap" into these lines with more or less the same effects as with MtG. It means that you either break the line and use the power it contains, or redirect it and use its power to fuel your spell. As a beginner sorcerer, you may only use up to three lines (or mana) for your spells, and therefore, only use three SLOTS of spell components. Your basic spell components are, say, "PUSH", "PULL", or on their more advanced forms, maybe "PRESS" and "DRAW". By using thrice the "PUSH component with three AIR mana lines, you can repell your opponent, or anything directed at you, including spells, that have an inherent strength inferior to three. You can do the same thing with PULL, and redirect a potential buff on yourself instead of the other sorcerer. If you want to AIM something at the other, you have to use at least one line to channel the spell to your target, and any sorcerer can see that line going from one to the other, and deduce something is bound to leap from one to the other. This deduction can trigger different reactions, like an attempt to cast a wall, or to deflect the spell, or to sever the line, or anything. PRESS and DRAW would have the same effects as three PUSHs or PULLs, but cast in a third of the time, since it would take three slots. And as you grow in power, you learn to master more lines at a time, allowing for more powerful spells, and more different forms of spell components, such as DRAIN, or WALL, or what you can think of. The interest of this system is that the sorcerer can actually SEE how much mana he can draw from the lines, and prepare his battle plan in accordance with that, choosing between fast cast spells that draw little to no mana, and have little to no effect, or longer spells with more raw power, more complexity, and less chances of a recast. An example of this would be taping into three AIR lines, and then a FIRE line. By putting three PUSH slots and an EXPLODE slot, you get a rush of air and an explosion of heat, which is a fireball. If you click on one AIR line, one HEAT line,a nd two more AIR lines, and then press PULL, EXPLODE, PUSH, PUSH, what you get is a rush of air towards yourself, drawing your ennemy to you, an explosion of heat around yourself, which propels your close enemy further away. Putting two air lines before the HEAT one, and two PULL before the EXPLODE means you can draw more than one ennemy, i.e. Damage with area of effect.
  9. If you dare to go and have a look for Diner Dash on Pogo.com, I think the concept would suit it more. Let's say you have a large audience, and that each member of the audience longs for a particular trick to be performed. You choose the order in which you perform your tricks, actually perform them through your "modified fighter" control scheme, and then move onto your next moev to please them a little more. In the end, you just count how many persons you have pleased, and this would give you the amount of money you collected. Of course, this would work better in a street performance background.
  10. Interesting idea, that! Having a mini-game as a sort of prequel to the Fighting mini-game... Like those old "Track & Field" games, where you had to smash buttons either as fast as possible, or in a rythmed sequence, in order to accomplish something. Let's say that the higher your score in this "rousing" round, during the match, the more hooligans from opposing teams turn up for later confrontation. It means more XP for your own hools, but also more spends. On the other hand, the more you cheer and boohs the other team, the more your own team gets boosted, and the better chance of remaining in the League. If you don't cheer enough, then you get relegated. If you cheer too much, then you get beaten to a pulp. Make your pick. Maybe the result of both your previous Match and Confrontation could influence the number of your own Hooligans turning for next match, balancing the difficulty. By raising in the tables, you get a larger audience, and through that more money and more hooligans (proportinality). And by having more hooligans, you get more police presence on away matches. But you also have easier confrontations, since the battle might be in your favor, through sheer number. On the other hand, the result of the previous confrontation might play a part as to how many hooligans you get for the following confrontation. Might be an interesting game mechanic. Hard to balance, but nice nonetheless. You should try posting this in the Design section, instead of Writing section...
  11. Okay, let's try a blending approach, right? Kest suggested earlier to include things in the game that only non-quicksave/quickreloaders would see. Now what if it really worked the other way around? What if the quicksave/quickreloaders in fact were CUT OFF a portion of the game, because of their own choice? Let's put things in context. Let's say that you, as a character, are something that CAN be quicksaved and reloaded. Maybe a construct, maybe something like a program, I don't know. Imagine anything that fits your fantasy. Having a system that authorises quicksave/load doesn't modify the player's comportment. You can shut the computer down whenever you want, or at least should be able to. Meaning that there should be a COUNTER on the loader. You can load your quicksave as many times you want, but anything beyond one is detrimental to you. Or maybe, let's say that you are playing through a real time adventure, right? The timer is started the moment you start the game and load the first save. After that, until you exit the game, the timer is running. You can continue to quicksave and reload yourself to some save points, but time is running all along, and your (un)voluntary errors (or errs) cost you time. Sometimes, some things can be done later, some are cut off you definitively. Imagine you have to save someone from a bunker in less than twenty minutes, because the auto-destruct has been initialized. It means you have to run, and even if you fail to pass some point, you have to do it again with the timer never stopping for your death like in the good old days. You have to count for your time running in, and your time running out. If you fail to reach the door two minutes before the explosion, moment at which they will be sealed, then you're stuck in, and you have to run for the control panel to deactivate it if you can. or you can run to the safe room, and hide yourself in it, along with some buddies of the guards you so severely minced on your way in. Or you can try to stop the timer first, and then save the person. It is even better if THAT portion of the game is just a small portion of a VERY larger timer. Make it so that things happen anyway after a while, player implicated or not. I can remember playing FF8 and asking myself what would have happened if I had just kicked Fujin and Raijin in the nuts when still at Balamb School. Would they have still been able to betray after that? Would they have joined ME instead of Seifer? Would I have skipped the battle in that port city with them when I could have chased the others instead? The most important thing here is that there must be some prescripted events, and some leeway in the way it ends. Anyway, back on the track. You can still make it so that players have the possibility to quicksave anytime they want, but if they save more often than they load, then something is screwed. It means that they are abusing quicksave system. On the other hand, if they are loading more than they save, it means that they are abusing the quickload system, and are cheating. Give penalties for each. Maybe, in a FPS, abusing the quicksave would make some random placed object disappear each time? I know this kind of brings new issues, but I can't stop myself thinking it would be nice in a RPG, having to live with your errors, cutting you off what might have been...
  12. I think the intention of the OP was to make looting corpses a little less meaningless. You are still allowed to grab everything you see, but you won't be able to use it all times. It may not be a simple problem of showing things. it might be made to have a meaning. This way, a gnome nd a troll won't trade their armors for a raid, say...
  13. Couldn't the entire power-up model be like the "Bomberman power-up" model? Meaning that you can stack the powerups, but not take them from level to level, save in the campaign mode?
  14. ball robots? bumpers? arena? two words: PINBALL ARENA!! you are fighting in a pinball-like arena, against other balls (think multiball mode). bumpers and flippers are common use in the layout, small ledgers and holes too. accelerators are used to send your ball elsewhere. You're doomed to go down, and can only go left and right, to aim for bumpers and flippers. And there is only one sort of powerup in there, and it's a powerdown. Something that jags your controls for a full second. no stirring. what a multiplayer mode!!!
  15. whatever happened to spellchecking?