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aphant



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26th July, 2010 at 03:17:44 -

Yes, simplicity is great. A game can have a lot of depth, replayability, and fun even if it has really simple mechanics. Super Mario Bros and Tetris immediately come to mind.

 

Jon Lambert

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26th July, 2010 at 03:44:16 -

I've updated the game design document with the samurai story idea and examples of how the different gameplay progression styles would work with it. You can find the updated document at the same link: http://gumman.desertstorms.net/index.html

You people are going crazy with your ideas! People are going on about upgradeable skills and magics, a number of different, complicated, or otherwise time-consuming elements that may not be good for this project. It seems like you are just saying things you'd like to see in a game more than in this game, or things you'd like without considering what this project is. I don't know. Anyways, it is 21:35 (9 pm) over here, so leader will be announced tomorrow. I think we all have a story we like, so let's think about themes and the like so we can think about graphics, music, sound effects, etc. Is this going to be a dark sort of game? Will it be a quick-paced game? Things like that. Remember that we also need a Coding Leader.

The way the organizational structure will work for the project, I think, is that we'll have six leaders: Design, Graphics, Music, Sound, Coding, and Project Leaders. Once we decide on the other leaders, they will form a group, and that group from then on will make the majority of the decisions regarding the project. This is not to say that other site members will no longer be able to give input, this is just to say that things aren't likely to be as open or democratic as they are now. By the time that happens it will be far enough into the project that democracy likely wouldn't contribute much, and if the leaders do think a democratic poll would be fairer for a particular decision, then it will be done that way. At that point, other site members will be contributing mostly by providing graphics, sounds, music, or code.

If someone thinks they want to lead the coding part of the game project (that is, if you want to be Coding Leader), please DC Mail me a summary of your coding experience, an MFA or exe (preferably mfa) of examples of your coding (not games per se, although those are acceptable, but primarily examples of a platform engine with features shown in the game design document or other features, menus, HUDs, other game code), as well as a paragraph or less telling me why you think you would be good for the position.

 
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JoyCheck & KeyCheck Widgets
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Disthron



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26th July, 2010 at 06:23:47 -

What about a Super Mario Brothers 3 style progression?

Image

I think it's a fearly simple system. Each level is self contained, but it still allows for exploration and side quests. Fore instance in the tip right side of the map there is a set of 3 levels that you don't need to do. They could represent a side quest that you could do just for extra points or health items. It could be that completing those levels some how makes latter levels easer by deactivating a particular type of trap or giving you a power up.

And each over world map would be like a different demon besieged kingdom.

I think it would be good to have some power ups but nothing too elaborate. I'm thinking of stuff like spread shot throwing stars, longer swords. Kind of like SMUP power ups I guess.

Also, maybe we should start a project page so it will have it's own forum. That way we can have different threads discussing different topics rather than just one giant thread that is a huge pile of stuff.

 
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Fish20



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26th July, 2010 at 06:27:11 -

I'm pretty sure most people are against upgrading skills in an overcomplicated way, but a very simple way such as aquiring powers instead could be extremely simple. Simple as "global value 'doubleJump' = 1, activate group 'doubleJump'" or "global value 'Fireball' = 2, activate group 'bigfireball'". Im bad at coding though so someone else could probably explain it better.

 
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Disthron



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26th July, 2010 at 06:38:37 -


Originally Posted by Fish20
I'm pretty sure most people are against upgrading skills in an overcomplicated way, but a very simple way such as aquiring powers instead could be extremely simple. Simple as "global value 'doubleJump' = 1, activate group 'doubleJump'" or "global value 'Fireball' = 2, activate group 'bigfireball'". Im bad at coding though so someone else could probably explain it better.



That's pretty much what I'm thinking of. To take from Jon Lambert design doc, stuff like double jump, wall jump and slide would be permanent, as in you have them all the time once you get them. While others like say, fire ball, ice strike or shield would be one offs that would activate when you picked them up and ether run out of get deactivated when hit.

Would that be beyond the scope of the project? We could also go with just collecting permanent powers.

Anyway, I'm still interested to know what people think about an over world progression type?

 
"Oh, my god! A lightning monster just ripped out this poor woman's eyes, and your mocking her shrubbery!" - The Spoony One

aphant



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26th July, 2010 at 06:55:20 -

We could also just have the player be able to do everything at the start of the game, and not have to worry about coding power-ups.

 

Smirnoff



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26th July, 2010 at 07:03:49 -

Disthron, I like that style of progression, but I want to retain the dynamic length of the game that comes with Jon's wario land 2 idea.
It won't be any more difficult to do and it's something that hasn't been explored much in games.
I want to have a world map and I want there to be a choice in where the player is going, but I want there to be certain ways to achieve those things.
I also think it would be best to limit the player in progression to a certain degree until they finish the game once. Then the whole map would open up to replay and the player could see all the potention paths they didn't take yet and play through those.

 
Image

aphant



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26th July, 2010 at 08:29:53 -

I had a thought in regards to the narrative: Do we really need one? I don't think so.

Imagine the following opening cutscene, as a simple text marquee (like Star Wars):

2,000 years ago, the Demon Lord Omen was banished from this realm by seven sages. The sages cast the Demon Lord out with a seal, to be broken after one hundred solar eclipses pass. They did this hoping that future generations would have the power to strike the Demon Lord down forever.

In just a few hours, the hundredth eclipse is fast approaching. Travel to where the seal was buried and put an end to Omen!


Does that add anything to the game? Does it matter that we know that 100 eclipses have to pass, or that there were seven sages? No, no, and no. It's a stupid narrative (it was written to be that way), and it serves no point.

So, I think we should reduce any narrative down to essentially nothing. At the start of the game, a villager can run by the player and say, "Samurai, demons are attacking my village!" and is then promptly slain by one. It establishes that the player is controlling a samurai, it establishes that there are demons, and that's really all we need. The player can make the choice (without any narrative) to go save the village or not. Let's not even give the character a name, and make them be as much of a blank slate as we can. Let the players come up with a narrative as they play.

After all, Super Mario Bros has no narrative, and it's a pretty damn fine game regardless. (The story would be that he's a plumber rescuing a princess. Narrative would be the telling of who, what, where, when, and why like modern games do.)

Besides, not having a narrative means that multiple storylines don't have to be written to conform to branching paths.

 

Smirnoff



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26th July, 2010 at 08:39:54 -

I agree with that completely. Let's not even have any text at all. Let's just have a nifty title screen that sets everything up and then jump straight into the action.
Anything story related should happen during the gameplay and not hold up the player in any way.
That keeps things simple and interesting.

And yeah, you'd still get a sense of what's going on by the actions you take and what happens on screen. We can call it "play, don't show". Or "play don't tell and show too much". Or whatever, you get the idea.

 
Image

HitmanN

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26th July, 2010 at 11:43:20 -


Originally Posted by aphant

I also object to having combat magic because if there is any ranged spell, then that would sort of defeat the purpose of being a samurai. Melee characters should use melee attacks, not be throwing fireballs or what have you.



Good point.

The magic could instead be helpful, like... a gust of wind brings a cloud of leaves or sand to blind the enemies for a few seconds, making them unable to attack during that time. Basically, it could be mostly simple buffs and debuffs (in RPG terms), to make melee combat easier.

Instead of healing spells, there could be some sort of curse that you can cast on enemies, which makes them more likely to drop a health item.

In the end, you'd still need to kill the enemies with melee attacks in both cases.

Maybe magic could only be cast every 10 seconds or something. A simple counter bar at the top fills up, and once it's full you're ready to cast whichever spell you like. This way you won't be spamming spells constantly, but rather seeking good opportunities.

This way there could also, I think, be a weak ranged attack spell. If you want to spend the spell of the moment on doing a tiny bit of damage to an enemy, instead of making it easier to melee fight them, that's your choice. Killing enemies with the attacks spells would take way too long to be a sensible tactic in any case. The ranged attack could even be a magically enhanced sword attack, like a wave of some sort, to maintain the feel of intense sword battle.

Just some ideas to think about. I don't think we need many spells for a game like this though. Three should do, maybe a powered up version for each.

Edited by HitmanN

 
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Disthron



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26th July, 2010 at 12:10:26 -


Originally Posted by aphant
I had a thought in regards to the narrative: Do we really need one? I don't think so.

Imagine the following opening cutscene, as a simple text marquee (like Star Wars):

2,000 years ago, the Demon Lord Omen was banished from this realm by seven sages. The sages cast the Demon Lord out with a seal, to be broken after one hundred solar eclipses pass. They did this hoping that future generations would have the power to strike the Demon Lord down forever.

In just a few hours, the hundredth eclipse is fast approaching. Travel to where the seal was buried and put an end to Omen!


Does that add anything to the game? Does it matter that we know that 100 eclipses have to pass, or that there were seven sages? No, no, and no. It's a stupid narrative (it was written to be that way), and it serves no point.

So, I think we should reduce any narrative down to essentially nothing. At the start of the game, a villager can run by the player and say, "Samurai, demons are attacking my village!" and is then promptly slain by one. It establishes that the player is controlling a samurai, it establishes that there are demons, and that's really all we need. The player can make the choice (without any narrative) to go save the village or not. Let's not even give the character a name, and make them be as much of a blank slate as we can. Let the players come up with a narrative as they play.

After all, Super Mario Bros has no narrative, and it's a pretty damn fine game regardless. (The story would be that he's a plumber rescuing a princess. Narrative would be the telling of who, what, where, when, and why like modern games do.)

Besides, not having a narrative means that multiple storylines don't have to be written to conform to branching paths.



I have to disagree. If there is no story, then there is no reason to keep playing. You are right that Super Mario has no narrative and to me that is it's biggest flaw. It has some cool gameplay features but ultimately it didn't take me very long to hit a difficulty wall and with no story to make me wont to push through it I put it down.

It dosen't have to be some intricate labyrinthine plot it could even be but a silly camp story but there should be something.

 
"Oh, my god! A lightning monster just ripped out this poor woman's eyes, and your mocking her shrubbery!" - The Spoony One

NE



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26th July, 2010 at 12:39:08 -

I knocked up a (very, very quick) piece of concept art based on the samurai idea:
http://s952.photobucket.com/albums/ae2/NeilEm/?action=view¤t=samurai.jpg

And if anyone's interested, here's a piece of animatin I'm working on for a game character:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61poiCl-6uk

By the by, if I can throw another suggestion out there, I'd say that feudal Japan is already fairly well-worn. Maybe we should put the samurai in an unusual setting - samurai in space? Samurai in the old West?

Maybe samurai in steampunk Britain? After all, they did turn up in HG Wells' Modern Utopia.

 
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26th July, 2010 at 13:12:46 -

I sort of like the idea of limiting text, but I don't think text should be banned outright. Then you're just limiting the story. Like watching a movie with no dialogue. We just have to make sure not to go overboard with the narrative.

Also, let's not do something bizarre like Samurai in space.

 

  		
  		

Matthew Wiese

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26th July, 2010 at 14:51:17 -

The limited intro text telling of the story is a great idea. It allows the player to "decide" the story as he goes along.

Example: He chooses to not save the town and then thinks to himself that the samurai may have to battle his moralities and that's how he will play.

Also I think the gameplay should revolve around something like a run n' gun but more in the hack n' slash way. The gameplay could be similar to Contra, but instead of shooting you run around using different powerups and swords to hack and slash away the enemies (ninjas, other samurai, demons, etc.)

@ NE: I think that Samurai mock-up looks a bit, anorexic...

 
n/a

NE



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26th July, 2010 at 17:14:12 -


@ NE: I think that Samurai mock-up looks a bit, anorexic...



Hmm, my characters tend towards the skinny. This is about as buff as thet get:
http://s952.photobucket.com/albums/ae2/NeilEm/?action=view¤t=TheseusSheetsml.jpg

 
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