oooh this is gonna be fun

fightsticker is the working title for a game I’m working on. Its gonna have fighting, and old school graphics, and run on your mac! it should be fun. there’s a LOT of work to do, though. I have a dev wiki that I’ll open up to the public when I at least have a beta for testing. in the meantime, here’s an excerpt from some informing principles I wrote up in a big hurry:philosphy.games are stupid. for how much we’ve advanced technologically, a vast majority of games still employ cheesy metaphors that were born out of necessity due to primitive gaming hardware.a short list:inventorymockup002a lot of games have a concept of inventory. some use a limited set of slots and different sized items aka Diablo, where you have a backpack or satchel. axes take up 6 squares, potions 1. this resulted in lots of time spent carefully arranging items to fit. a tetris esque minigame! lame!other games employ a “weight” metaphor, where you can carry x number of items (often depending on your avatar’s strength). If you had too many items, you’d have to carefully consider what to carry and what was discardable.alternatively, there is the “unlimited” inventory game where characters can carry just about anything. this includes the DOOM series, where you move as quickly carrying just a pistol as you do with a chainsaw, pistol, shotgun, double barreled shotgun, chain gun, rocket launcher, plasma cannon, and BFG, and of course hundreds of pounds of attendant ammunition.Obviously making games too realistic will result in a pain in the ass feeling. people play games to empower themselves, to enjoy special abilities they don’t possess in real life, and to employ a vast armory of items for different situations. but some interesting middle ground can be explored.To remove the concept of unlimited or abstract inventory is to burden the character. If he can only carry a realistic number of items, he will become frustrated by having to constantly choose. This is because gamers are trained to deal with crappy items and lots of them. Solution? Only be able to carry as many items or weapons as realistically possible. but make those items DAMN GOOD. make it a joy to wield a big ass sword.even such an ad-hoc item as a big stick pulled from a tree should be a competent weapon, and a pleasure to wield.items should be plentiful and empowering, and gamers should not be plagued by fear that if they lose an item they’ll never be able to recover it. Entire battles should be able to be fought using nothing other than what’s around them, and the battle’s outcome should never be determined by who has a “+12 sword” vs a “+1 sword”.chestshelpful items scattered across the land. Who put them there? Why? Why are there tons of useful powerups and weapons in an evil villain’s lair? If there are, why aren’t the monsters capable of using them?progression of plotnothing makes me angrier than being forced to execute a series of arbitrary actions to progress. finding a key and using it in a door is one thing, but talking to character a, then character c, then character a again? No game designer should be so hubristic as to assume that all players want to read their often crappy dialogue. People don’t play games for plot. they read books and watch movies for plot. If the plot is good enough, players will WANT to engage in it but this should never be taken for granted.by the way we need some plots.what’s even worse is when a game forces you to talk to EVERYONE. final fantasy is a well done example, where taking the time to explore the environment rewards you with items and such, but is not required.leveling up, statsmockup003this might not be possible to entirely circumvent. same as hit points and health. getting too realistic might make it fantastically boring. but a good example of status usage is shadow of the colossus, where there are no levels, just attributes. the idea of +5 exp points, +10 exp points, +2 exp points, and then HEY all of a sudden the character has 3 new powers is silly and completely unorganic. skills should develop, not be granted from an invisible fairy wand. the more one practices stealth, the quieter the footsteps. etc.scorescore was invented to rank skill in a finite and often short game. everyone can beat the game, so what’s your final score when you do? score is also useful for nonending games like pinball. but score in a game like world of warcraft is just silly.livesalso a tough one to do away with. How else does the player learn when he’s bitten off more than he can chew? I’m not sure how best to deal with this yet, but I do know that the death metaphor turns off female players. tetris has been the #1 girl game forever. I’m horribly mangling a long ago read quote from a game book but it goes something like this:mario start! male player goes along doo de doo, jump over badguy, get mushroom, fall in pit. You are dead. in the guy’s brain: “oh fuck you! I’m doing it again, and your lame ass pit won’t kill me this time!”mario start! female player goes along doo de doo, jump over badguy, get mushroom, fall in pit. You are dead. in the girl’s brain: “I’m dead now? this game is stupid. I’m gonna go outside.”have to dig up that passage, my summation made me gag when I reread it.canned animationmockup001the wii comes out. It knows when you swing your arm! Therefore, swordfighting in a game like Zelda would be the most amazing thing ever! It’ll be just like real swordfighting.wrong. When you swing your arm left to right, it knows you swung your arm but the action little zelda character takes is a canned, right to left animation. preprogrammed, boring. example [here] the only example of a free swordfighting game I know is [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_by_the_Sword Die by the Sword]. It wasn’t very popular, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. It was hard and the graphics sucked. still have to think about this issue, but canned animation is boring even in the best looking 3d games. and its in all of them.that’s all for now.

  1. ndrw 3.5.08 / 10am

    hey sorry about this, for some reason my hosters nerfed the formatting on this post. everything is wonky. I’ll fix it when I have time, haha

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