Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Perma death and the psychopath problem

What's an orbital laser platform? Why am I getting really warm all of a...
One thing about perma death in a multiplayer game is that, contrary to real life, someone else can all too easily not give a hoot whether they die. This makes you very likely to die. It's kind of like having 80% of the population be suicide bombers.

I wonder if you put some sort of forced deposit, upon attacking, that lasts say a week or so. Like a huge sum of gold. If you start a fight, then for a week X amount of gold will be lost if you die.

Of course there might be edge case get arounds, but basically the main thing of someone coming up and shooting you has more of a cost than "I logged in, hit create character and ran at the first person I saw". You'd need to earn all that cash, and your the one vulnerable in terms of cash.

But that'd require a cash sum that's available to your next character if your prior one dies. Though that's not exactly a crazy setting breaking thing - we have banks and wills in real life. We don't have spirit runs from the nearest graveyard (that I'm aware of, anyway)

Friday, November 26, 2010

No one has played world of warcraft

Yay, this has happened 79 times! It felt really different than the 78th!

No one has ever played world of warcraft.

There's an apparently incongruent idea.

Remember before you'd ever drunk any beer? Okay, imagine you started drinking your first beer, but you get through say a quarter of it, then throw it away.

Have you drunk a beer yet?

Perhaps you'd say no.

Now, what if you did it again? Drank a quarter, threw the rest away. Again and again. Have you ever really had a beer?

Okay, now, have you ever finished a game of world of warcraft (or any other mmorpg, for that matter)?

"But it's different! It's supposed to be endless"

So? It still means you haven't finished even one game of it.

"It doesn't matter, world of warcraft and other mmorpgs get an arbitrarily shifting definition of play so I end up right on this matter!"

Fair enough.

Note: I'm wondering about warhammer online, with it's city sieges. These perhaps qualify, in the way many a person measure it, as an an ending. So perhaps more people, many more people, have played warhammer than have played wow? Heh.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Meaning and fat characters

Like a man casting a shadow, the shadow of arbitrary, pointless oblivion is meaning. You can't just decide something is meaningful - it's only ever defined in the contrast to pointless oblivion.

I was watching a TV program and it's characters didn't grip me, because they were 'fat', they just were entirely insulated from any pointless death. So their characterisations seem 'fat', obese with ivory tower safety.

I think the same goes for computer games. Just alot of fat characters out there.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Party game for nerds - End game your favorite game!

Here's a party game - take a game where you can, like, just play it right now. Like quake live or counter strike or such. Now imagine you had to go through 80 levels first, before you could actually play like that. What would it add? What would it do to those game? Would it make the 'end game' seem somehow more interesting for all the effort you put into it? Perhaps it would? Would it have been increased in interest enough to warrant the time spent before you could actually play the game.

It's a party game - call out a game and then 'end game'-ify it!

PAC MAN! End gamed! How would that end up looking? Then at level 80, you can play...regular pac man! But now it's epic cause of all the levels! Surely if you spend hundreds of hours on something, it has to be epic!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coding burn out

Oh, how I love you computer - debugging is sheer bliss...
Was writing something about burning out while writing game code on another forum and aught to be included here.

Just describing personal experience in terms of burning out - I think to a certain extent you can develop as much as what you've already made is somewhat fun already. It's kind of like a budget - if what you've already coded is a bit of fun, that gives you the drive to code more. The tactic is to then take that and code something else which is a bit fun. Which in turn gives you more 'budget'. Because if you go and code some monsterously huge code which is all support infrastructure and boring, you'll likely burn yourself right out/run out of budget.

Anyway, trying to do a massive project which is completely boring and even painful to look at until it's 100% complete, I think, is a recipe for burn out. Try and always make little things that'd be fun right now, even before the projects fully complete.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Driftwurld - current stuff in development - escape forts and automaton attacks, oh my!

I've been working on a world map sort of thing. Using a string in each grid entry to hold a series of data, then the explode function to extract them for individual use.

Just on the test server (my computer! heh) at the moment I've got it that goblins send out magically animated wooden automatons, to steal from and even try to kill villagers - and you have a choice of fighting it directly, or trying to keep safe and just help villagers get past it without sticking your neck out (though the villagers will get hurt...). Which ever you choose, it records your game name along with the result.

Also I've made it that you can build escape fortifications - these are for escaping from raptors and drift monsters, who can bite or claw through a car engine block in one swipe, so you seriously don't have the armour to stand there (let alone hit points, you'd just be cut in half). You can choose to do a quickie job or really put in some effort make a safe set up. Again it records who built the escape fortification.

Latter I'm hoping to impliment a way your character can gather the ingrediants for thermite, then when a raptor or drift monster assaults the escape fortification trying to get at the player to eat them, they can attack back to some degree (the creatures skins are, through mystical enhancement, steel tough)

Still haven't implemented Jacks suggestion of climbing a tree! LOL. Will get to that, as it'll let you see if there are escape fortifications in neighbouring grid positions (ie, a safe route to take), and a chance to see any raptors or drift monsters.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Buying sparkle ponies and levels

Ahhh! What happened!? Will this give me cancer!?
I wrote a comment on Tesh's blog which warrants it's own post

Apparently warhammer are letting you buy levels now, if you want. I think, much like going on a long journey on foot is an accomplishment (yet just involves grinding footsteps), so to are levels an accomplishment and this is a way of buying an accomplishment. But to me - it doesn't seem that big a deal of an accomplishment so it doesn't seem that much of an issue to me.

For the people complaining, it'd be interesting to find out if there is any level of accomplishment they wouldn't care about losing? Like, a really minute accomplishment? Or like someone with a nut allergy, does any tiny bit of accomplishment taken away from them cause massive swelling?

And on the matter of sparkle ponies, it's a kind of interesting (in how it's twisted) situation of supply and demand.. Prior to selling the sparkly horses, there was no supply of that commodity. That increased demand (yes, for an, as yet, unmade product). People wanted mounts. They could not buy them. All demand, no supply. But as it's supplied now, so does demand taper off.

The perverse thing here is that throughout history supply has been controlled by environment - how much food you can grow depended on the weather. Now, how many sparkly ponies you can supply depends on how many you want to release. It instead becomes a corporate game of psychological manipulation of the feeling of demand.