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Edtharan

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About Edtharan

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  1. Card games can be much more complex than you might at first think and can requier a lot of programing. When learning a new system or component I use the 1 month project. In thus you sen 1 month developing a project, and at the end of the month you abandon the project. Thus accomplishes several things: First, it stops you from adding in too many complicating factors and so helps you to focus on what you are trying to learn. Second, because you are going to abandon the project (and I do mean abandon as the idea is not to try and make a completed project) you don't have to try and make it pollished and releasable, and it also helos to atip you seeing thus as a pet project and becoming too emotionally invoved in completing it, which again would distract you from what you are trying to learn. And finally, the short time frame helps you to keep the scope of what you are learning to small, easily acievable goals. If you haven't done much (or any) programing before I would recomentld starting with the basics (move things on screen, collision detection and reacting to player to input). It is good advice to not use the project you really want to do to learn. Learning is hard and you will make mistakes and stuff things up royally (when learning, these are good things, but not when you are trying to make something you want to release). Pong is a really good project that covers these concepts. It is simple and a good place to learn the basics of game programming.
  2. Don't try and balance the abilities, but instead balance the strategies. In this, "Strategies" means the combination of abilities and player choices that the player thinks will lead them to victory. Most developers try to balance the abilities (or attributes) of a system. However, even in a system where all these are perfectly balanced, there can exist unbalanced strategies. take for example a strategy game where every single unit is perfectly balanced. If the players pit units against units then the game is perfectly balanced and the player who use the right units against the right enemy units will win. However, a player instead decides not to engage the enemy units and instead does a "tank rush" and attacked the enemy base. This strategy beats the enemy each time if the enemy ties to engage unit on unit. This is not a balanced game even though the units are perfectly balanced. It is because the strategies are unbalanced that the game is unbalanced. The problem is that strategies are emergent. That is the developers don't pre determine the strategies used in the game, but that they are created in how the player chooses to use the elements of the game. This makes it almost impossible to balance the strategies of a game.
  3. Edtharan

    Skills

    Game economies are tricky. It is easy to trivialise the role of players as you try to avoid massive inflation or collapse. If you want a player driven economy, the best way is to avoid having item drops and instead have the raw materials from from enemies )or be able to be collected near by). Then allow the players the ability to craft any and all items in the game. What you also want to do is to have the quality of the items dependent on the character's skill and choices of the player. This could be though higher or lower quality materials for crafting and even allowing the player to change the stats of the items (within limits) by trading one stat for another. As an example: A player wants to make a sword. They can gather iron ore and smelt that into steel. But the quality (or perhaps amount) of iron ore is based on their gathering skill and the quality of the steel is based on their smelting skill. The quality of the steel and the characters forging(sword) skill then sets the base value of the stats of sword. Lastly, given these base values, the character has the option to tweak the sword stats a bit. So they might drop the damage value to increase the attack rate, or they might drop the durability to increase the damage. Or any such modifications. This could also be extended to the gathering of raw materials. The player can set their gathering for speed, amount or for quality, thus giving the players more control over the end results. You could then allow players to combine skills to make the more powerful items. And, if the skills needed for certain items could not be learned by a single character this will encourage players to co-operate to forge the more powerful items. Using these ideas, you can encourage social interactions (players working together), and you can develop a better player economy. Also, by having the player's skills and choices affect the stats of items, this give players who make good choices and put in the time to develop their skills more valuable to the community, but by having lower quality items easer to get (as more people will have lower skills), they cater for new characters.
  4. The big mistake that Rogue likes do is greatly increase the power of the character as they level up. For example: At level 1 the character might have 100 HP and have a +10 bonus to hit. Then at level 2 they have 200 HP and a +15 to hit (maybe with gear and such). If, instead you gave the character smaller increases in skill, then the gameplay would be about player skill rather than how big the stats were. Another idea is to not increase the character stats at all, but instead have the player able to trade one stat for another and the higher the level the more total stat points they could trade. As an example: If the player had 3 Stats: Strength, Reflex and Health. If they all start at 100 at first level, then for every level the player can transfer 2 points from one stat to another. S0 at level 2 the player might have: Str: 98 Ref: 101 Heal: 101 At level 10 they might have: Str 80 Ref: 115 Heal: 105 This way the characters start of as a generalist, but can become more specialised as they level up and, as the stats are traded, the character will always have some weakness that keeps even low level monsters a threat. Gear, of course, could still give a total increase to stats (in the example above there total was 300 points, but with gear that might increase to 400 or even more). This way gear is still important and does make the character stronger, but if you apply the first idea to the gear (ie: don't give massive increases), then you can keep the whole stat problem in checks and thus allow your gameplay to reflect the player skill/choices/strategy better.
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