"Game plan"

Feb. 3rd, 2010 12:37 pm
symbioidlj: (Default)

Oh boy...

So I just came up with a trio of game concepts based around a similar "dual-role" mechanic...


A trio of games w/similar group mechanics
* Anti-Terror Game - A game about terror and stopping it (This ain't no game) (terrorist/DHS)
* Drug-Dealing Game - A game about dealing drugs and stopping it. (Cartel/DEA)
* Dictator Game - A game about being a dictator and being the baddest around. (Dictator/Population)

So, here's how I see my long term "game plan" shaping up around the games.

Abstract Games -
1) Once I get Hexomination, playtest the shit out of it with anyone who will play.
2) Get Fimo and make rings for We 3 Rings. Playtest the shit out of it.
3) Prism: Work on making the board and pieces for that.

Card Games -
1) Happy Hour - I have the basic idea, and card makeup. Need to see if Emmalee can make the art. I'll just do mockups (bought index cards last night for this purpose). Need to design "event cards" to play and foil opponents.
2) 6 Degrees - Just need to make a batch of "object" cards, brainstorm different kinds of things, and let the game play out. I think this has potential for quick easy party-game.

Board Games -
1) Ascendaemon - The first board game idea I had. Have the idea for the board itself. Just need to mock it up. Can use simple wood pieces as pawns/souls. Then just mock up cards with text, and playtest.
2) The three games above. Not sure which order. I think those have the most potential for fun if made right. Those are long term projects. I can see those getting complicated. But I think they could really be like Pandemic (not that I've played it but it seems like it would be fun)...
1) different asteroids/debris that comes floating in is colored various ways: Green for low threat/value, yellow for mid, and red for DANGER! Each of these has a basic score. 1, 2 or 3. These scores determine how much radius is added to the hole.

2) the energy/resources that may remain after destroying an asteroid is also colored/valued, and provides a certain number of bars of energy. If any asteroid has resources, after destroying the asteroid, resource is released, and it continues on the same trajectory as the asteroid (sorry no complex gravity sim, here) this value is separate from the destroyed asteroid value and is probably going to be randomly generated... Maybe. It's your job to intercept these resources and deploy the tractor beam to pull it in... When it's pulled in, you level up...

As you level up there is a meter on the right hand side of the screen that indicates what power level you're at... Red means you're stuck there. Yellow means you get a power boost, and can use that as a speed enhance for emergency situations in the circle to move around faster, but it'd be depleted. Once it hits green, you're good to go, and can escape.

3) each level will have different sizes of orbits, and rates of growth. Lower levels have a larger orbit (thus more time for the black hole to grow and more time for you to be able to gain material) Later levels have smaller orbits..... Earlier levels also have more

Here's the quick mockup.

Along the top, you have a range of options to choose from for casting. Each colored section is a "speed".
The triangle on the top indicates where you are currently at.
The bottom bar indicates your allowed "time"/mana. (time is mana! *groan*)

As you hold the mouse button down, it moves the triangle from left to right. When you hit the range you want to be in, you make sure to let go, and the triangle will start to move to the left. If it starts to fall below the range, you hold the mouse button down again, to get it up higher.

Each speed indicates the amount of damage per unit of time (I'll call it "tick" here, but it's not necessarily using the same mechanics as wow's "tick"/timing system)...

Green/slow gives, say, 1/tick; yellow=2/tick; red=3/tick. (for example, of course)

The casting cost of each of these, is thus increased as well. (let's just use the dmg as our cost, so 1,2,3 respectively)

The mana/timer bar indicates how much mana you have to spend on the spell. Let's say a tick is 1 second, and the mana cost of a spell is 10.

The blue bar, then, indicates 10 mana. This is taken from your main mana pool.

Now in the example image, we've already used some. Let's pretend it's down to 7 mana points left (we've used 1 green and 1 yellow so far.) We could keep in the yellow range, and do 2 damage/tick for 3 times, and have 1 mana point left over. Or, we could go to the red range and increase our dps (OK, i'll break and call it dps, especially since in this example, I'm using a tick/sec). This would lets us do 3 dps, and allow use to do it twice, and have one mana point left over. In each case, we have 1 mana left.

We could either throttle down to the green and spend that last point, stop channeling the spell (and return that 1 point back to our main pool), or the "mana burn" option, which is to go beyond what we're given in mana, and then this would draw on our HP.

The balance issues coming into play would be "why don't I just stop casting and recast"... Why would I keep casting a spell if it damaged me?

A couple answers off the top of my head could be: The timer on the channeled spell's cooldown isn't finished yet, and you'd have to wait a while to finish it, but if you're still casting this spell, you can keep casting it, at the cost of health (willpower???))

The other option is to perhaps give an "endurance" buff... You've been able to channel it so long, and now you're enduring stress/pain, but at the same time, your resolve is increased, making the spell stronger... So, you have an incentive to cast this damaging spell, because even though you're hurting yourself, you're also doing more damage to your opponent than the normal casting would do (say 4 or 5 dps versus the topend of 3 dps in regular channeling).

I don't know, of course, as this is the very first day I thought of this concept.

The other interesting thing about this method is that it allows you to control your dps, which in turn can help you control your aggro. This means that when soloing, you can hit full blast red meter and do as much dps as possible, but in a group setting, since you magice users are so damn squishy, you can tone it down, doing less dps, while still having the same spell and mechanics. It can allow you to throttle your spellcasting as needed, hitting the max amount you can afford, and pull back if necessary.

Of course, this is only on a channeling spell. Instant-cast DOTs and other direct damage spells would need their own mechanic...
So i posted about a meta-game the other day... like how would you convert a metafiction into a game... one of my favorite ideas is the author as god, this plays into the occult quite well.

But how would you add these layers?

Well as a game is "written" by a developer, I was thinking about Tron and how that was sorta Meta. As I do that, I'm doing data entry, and what name pops up right as I'm thinking the phrase "Tron 3.0" (as there was already a game called Tron 2.0 "Michael FLYNN" And we know Flynn was the coder in the movie. And I checked... That name didn't show up earlier than the moment I just saw it, so it wasn't fresh in my mind and spawned the thought of Tron.

Interesting synchronicity, no? Anyways, have a component of the game be development. Somehow, use the AI aspect (MCP: Master Control Program) as the villain in the game, but have it evolve, somehow... But also, perhaps an MMORPG type feel. (.hack?) And somehow tie this together with the coder "playing" his life, and so you can push that on the higher level for you as the gamer in your real life.

Why does this seem harder to do as a game than as a written fiction? For some reason to me, it seems qualitatively different, the interactive nature of it...

What sort of Nemesis would the AI be? A Dickian gnostic deity? How is this entity orthogonal to the player? IS the player a self-constructed AI?

I really think it would be interesting to have an evolving AI as a foe, (de)constructing the world in antithesis to you. Perhaps going through the process of development to beta testing and refinement... Making the beta-testers go mad in the process?


Jan. 10th, 2007 12:42 pm
symbioidlj: (Default)
So, as I was reading the game design book the other night (which so far, is really great... I'm still on the first essay (I only read it sporadically)) Anyways, as I was reading it, I began to wonder what a metagame would be like. Not in the sense of Calvin Ball or 1000 Blank White Cards (which I so fucking wanna do sometime with a good group of people... come one people, let's do it!), but more along the lines of sci-fi novels.

Metafiction in game form. A kind of game that really takes you in and twists reality. Certain novels, comics, and films do this quite well, but there has, to my knowledge, been no game that does such a thing. Sure there are great intricate worlds such as <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myst>Myst</a> that maybe touch on some things like this. I must admit however that I've never played it, so I'm not sure how "meta" it gets. I then tried to imagine a game that would do this, and I'm not sure where one would even begin. You can't just translate a novel into game form and expect it to work. There has to be a real connection with the interactiveness of the player as participant and as designer. A game that can induce synchronicities, that is to say, a game that induces the player to perceive connections in the world around them. (may I just add that the built in Firefox spell check doesn't properly recognize synchronicity or it's variants). A game that empowers the player to not only play a game "in there" but "out there". Inspiring in the same way a Philip K. Dick novel would be, or something like the Invisibles. You would have to work on the theory of what a game is in essence, then expand outward. In the Invisibles, one of my favorite things was the metaphors and allusions (not so subtle, necessarily) of the author as god in a universe. He explored this in a magickal way. Could you use the idea of magic(k), especially our modern "chaos" variants, and theories behind it to work on this game design? How would you go about it? I'd really like to see something like this done, but it seems like such an impossible task. When I tried to picture how it would work, I realized then why Ebert says games are not yet an artform. They are, IMO, to a degree. But at this point, there is still nothing that has really touched and drawn in the user to such a degree that novels, films and comics can and have done, and will continue to do. Where is our PKD for the game world? Our Borges? Our Kubrick? Hell, where's our Morrison? Our Alan Moore?

Manifesto games, which I posted about earlier, is having a contest: Design their logo and win an X-Box 360. They also would like some HTML coding, but no prizes (alas) for that. Weird, though, because I think HTML design is a LOT harder than doing a logo.

Anyways, my general concept is behind the cut, along with a basic explanation:
PNG image ahead.

Read more... )
[livejournal.com profile] vesicular, LMK what you think of this so far. Anyone else is free to look and comment. Please give me some feedback if you take the time to look at it.


(no subject)

May. 10th, 2005 12:42 pm
symbioidlj: (Default)
interesting point from design synthesis...

"I'm all for open-ended game design.
I love sandboxes, both real and virtual
I used to play obsessively with Legos, building impossible vehicles and enormous fortresses, then smashing them and starting over.
Which is why videogames that offer lots and lots of choices appeal to me.
Of course, a sandbox has constraints, too. If the whole yard were sand, I wonder if it would have the same appeal."
Of course, this isn't the only thing in a game, but I think what draws me into a game, or what I imagine an ideal game to be is a game that has many playmodes.  Of course, this idea is evident in games such as puzzle games...  Many of these games have variant modes of playing the game.  You can then expand the scope of perspective and see it in what is termed "emergent gameplay" which is a term that describes this sort of gameplay that involves discovery and play in the world around you.  To see what sorts of cool things you can do, and how to alter the game.  Hack it, as it were...  Mini-games in certain games, whether it be Shenmue, Mario, or Beyond Good and Evil, for example...  The latest example with Lumines illustrates a wonderful point in puzzle game design.  The idea of levels having "skins" for the screen, in the same way you can skin your Winamp, or Firefox, and many other programs...  The idea of having levels change "skin" as you advance...

The next idea.  Shit I'm just getting into my game design.  Well, may as well.

I think it would be great to have unlockable media.  Everything from photographs to sound samples, from movies to full on songs.

It's quite complicated to think about hexagons and their arrangements and potential arrangements with colors and how many variations of a puzzle game you could make.  The hardest part is determining which should be the "main" game...

I'm even imagining some sort of hexagon based "rubiks cube"  One hexagon, surrounded by 6 hexagons, form a 7 hex unit that I'll call Hexaplex.  One can now take the newly minted hexaplex and have it surrounded by 6 other hexaplexes.

Now, translate this into the idea of a rubiks cube where each outer hexaplex is like the face of a cube (Remember, the cube is a six dimensional object, right <lj user="vesicular">?  Inside joke.  Our junior high shop teacher said that a cube is 6 dimensional.  It has top, bottom, front, back left, and right sides.  Yeah. Ok.)

Anyways, now, the central hexaplex acts as the central core of the whole cube.  Now I just thought of this, and it means I need to figure out how to abstract the coordinate system of the cube into the MegaPlex.  (as I shall call the combined unity of the 7 hexaplii... yes, i'm calling them hexaplii.  fuck off.)

I also plan on incorporating a chakra system, and levels will have color schemes within them. ROYGBIV.  Green being the central hexaplex. ROY on top, BIV on the bottom.

Rotating hexes to match the colors of the sides will merge them, and the larger amount you merge, the more you can blow off with one bomb, to reveal part of an image underneath, which is the "prize".    Some of this is probably not clear to you all.  That's okay.  This is mostly for myself (now that I've written it), however any feedback, questions, insights, comments, please, i hate to beg,

but i ain't too proud.


what would you think could be done to improve, change, how could this appeal to you, what other things could work.

I would like to incorporate things, but I also realize that visions of an end product can diverge dramatically between two individuals.

Time plays a central element in all games, however, I've still not figured out exactly how it plays a role in my game.  I've a couple ideas in my head. But that's for a later time...

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2005 02:47 pm
symbioidlj: (Default)
I have no set way of tackling any design problem other than hard work and a refusal to back down from difficult problems. Any truly interesting problem must be new enough to lie beyond the applicability of standardized methods. If you want to stamp the products out in rapid order, get a machine, or a human who has been ground down to the status of a machine.

via: this interview with Chris Crawford (game designer)
I would like to see Nintendo-LOGO.  As in the programming language.  Perhaps a visual programming interface, drag and drop code and enter in values.

Of course, the turtle shell would be a Koopa shell.  I initially imagined a 3 dimensional  version of LOGO (this was shortly after N64 came out so those were the images in my head at the time), using the x,y,z co-ordinates.

Oohh.. could you create an XML version of LOGO?  It seems like a plausible idea, I think.  Like using XML as the data set to feed an interpreter that renders the data as LOGO?


OK, now the other thing I've thought about with modern GUI's...  This is especially important for powerful CommandLine systems (such as the *nixes).  Windows has to shitty of a command line for any real, functional usage.

They have some interesting ideas for the future, but for now it's shit.  And I think that they're keeping their own versions with the DOS names.  DIR instead of ls, for example.  IMO, DIR is just fucking weak.  Anyways, they want to have the capabilities to pass full objects as paramaters into the commands given.  I don't remember much about it.  The idea is nice, but knowing how M$ works, it's just gonna be a shit implementation.

I'm sorry, but man...

OK, wait, what was i saying about negativity???

OK, so...

I think there should be a system wide "URL bar" at the top of the screen.  A simple keystroke can get you there, and you can type any address and it'll open full screen, with the URl bar at the top, and at the bottom, where there's the task switcher on most GUI's these days, I would have a single command line, perhaps expandable if you mouse over it if you want more than one line, and have the option to have more than 1 line if you prefer that way...

The actual output would just be another "window" in the system(like your popopen terminals, except it would run "full screen" between the two bars I just mentioned.

Instead of windows, you'd just have tabs beneath the URL bar, and switch with numbers on the tabs CTRL-Number...

anyways, yeah... that's it for that.

I wanna...

Jan. 6th, 2005 09:08 pm
symbioidlj: (Default)
I wanna see a Charlie Kaufman plotted/scripted(?) video game.

I would love to see how he could put me in a really fucked up situation and sorting it out, and then, at the end, I find out how it all fits together, like his movies.


symbioidlj: (Default)

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