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A few questions.

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by mrmimosizer, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. mrmimosizer

    mrmimosizer

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    Hello all.

    I am fairly new to unity and game design and was just looking to get a few perspectives and/or ideas from people. Here I go:

    What do people think about post apocalyptic games such a fallout? What do you like and/or dislike about these games?

    How do you feel about permadeath in multiplayer? Eg a multiserver game having a system where if you die on that server you would be temp banned for let's say 2 hours?

    Discussion time
     
  2. ensiferum888

    ensiferum888

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    I personally love the post-apocalyptic setting. I prefered the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series to Fallout because it was more serious and had some survival elements.

    I'm not a fan of Permadeath because I don't like restarting, also if I set my evening aside to play a game and I can't because I'm temp banned chances are I won't play that game anymore. Some people might love the hardcore aspect that permadeath/temp-ban would bring but not me. I play games as a hobby to release steam.
     
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  3. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Hi and welcome to Unity and the Game Design forum! When Bethesda announced they were doing Fallout 3, I was skeptical they could do justice to the originals. But Fallout 3 is one of my favorite gaming experiences, and it's because of Betheda's weaknesses. Bethesda is kind of terrible at making NPCs. If you need proof, just look at the lack of attention they gave voice acting, lip sync, and facial animation for all but main NPC. But they have a great open-world RPG engine. A desolate, sparsely-populated world is the perfect setting to downplay NPCs and highlight the ability to wander the environment. They really took this to heart, and also wisely used McCarthy's The Road as a design bible, making a very atmospheric and engrossing experience.

    Permadeath might be fine, but time bans tell your player, "don't play this game. Go do something else for 2 hours, and totally forget this game exists." Not a good idea if you want to retain an audience. No guarantee they're going to go to the effort of switching to a different server just to keep playing. Apart from this, I can't think of a better setting than post-apocalypse for permadeath. I've always thought it would be interesting to play a zombie game where, if you die, you might run into your old character as a zombie. Maybe there's one already out there; I don't know.
     
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  4. Teila

    Teila

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    I am all for permadeath if it suits the game style. If you are making a survival type game, permadeath makes surviving more important and it adds a lot of tension to the game. Not for everyone, but certainly there is a significant gamer population that would enjoy this.

    I agree with Tony that a 2 hour wait is not a good idea. Let them return to the game as another character or be creative and bring them back as a zombie or ghost. Give them a choice to return to human by creating a new character after a short time. Or find some other solution that is original and only yours. :)
     
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  5. JoeStrout

    JoeStrout

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    One would think so, but as a counterexample, there are a large number of mobile games nowadays that do exactly this. You can only play for X number of minutes per day, and then you have to stop for Y number of minutes until you can play again. I believe the idea is to keep people from getting quickly burnt out and dropping the game after 2 days. There may be a forbidden-fruit effect, too — not being allowed to play it makes you want to play it more.

    But I suspect that the benefit of this strategy depends greatly on when you cut the player off. If you cut them off when everything's going well, they're going to think "Wow, that's fun, I can't wait to get back in and continue!" But if you cut them off when they've just been killed, they're already feeling annoyed and discouraged, and given a little time to cool down, some may well think, "Nuts to that, I've got better things to do." Of course other players will think about what went wrong and get excited about trying again. But it still seems like a riskier time to me.
     
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  6. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Good point about cutting people off when they're excited versus discouraged. For mobile games, you can usually pay money to be able to play longer. They cut you off to demand money. It may be profitable right now, but I don't like it as a game model.
     
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  7. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Permadeath is a double-edged sword that should be handled with great care. Games like Rogue Legacy did it by having short sessions and allowing the accumulation of gold to impact your next spawn. Realm of the Mad God also did it pretty well, by allowing new classes as you progress. Combining Permadeath + time-ban is EXTREMELY risky.

    Gigi
     
  8. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Permadeath with zombies of your previous characters would be fun and provide some continuity. If your high level character died, it could gain posthumous notoriety as a powerful zombie menacing other players or even yourself as a new character.
     
  9. JoeStrout

    JoeStrout

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    I'd love that, especially if they weren't one-off NPCs, but your more typical respawning NPCs added to the game more or less permanently. You know me, I love having an impact on the world (even if my character has to die to do it).

    Of course, as usual, this raises some thorny questions about maintaining balance... but I think designers who remove all means of changing the world from their game just so they can make balance easier to maintain are simply wusses. ;)
     
  10. mrmimosizer

    mrmimosizer

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    Thank you for all your replies . I feel as though some of you may be misunderstanding my permadeath I described (sorry for horribly writing it ). I plan to have a singleplayer mode which roughly follows the State of Decay way of. Looking at it (which is that when you die, that character is gone but you can still play the game as a character from your group back at base/in the field). The perma death idea is more aimed at multiplayer, where I want to make it as realistic as possible so when a player dies the population is affected. I plan on making a post apocalyptic game that has not been made before. I have an idea that is rarely used (not zombies) that has a lot of potential for greatness (in my mind at least). That is why bellow I have answered purely the first questions response. Don't be fooled I have rea everything and taken all comments into consideration.
    @ensiferum888
    I have not played STALKER before but will have to give it a go when I get home from holidays
    @tonyli
    I agree that the fallout series lacks some voice/ NPC mouth movement which is one of my goals to complete in my project. Unfortunately for my idea I can't use McCarthys The Road as a design bible as I plan on doing something new to the post apocalypse game scene that has not been done/done much before.

    Thank you all for your comments and hope to have more discussion. This is a great thing for me.
     
  11. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Don't be afraid to post your whole idea here for feedback. Ideas are cheap. No one will steal an idea unless it's already in a high-selling game. If they're motivated to write an original game without ripping off a proven money-maker, they already have their own idea driving them. And feedback can help improve your idea before you invest a lot of time, money, and effort into it.
     
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  12. mrmimosizer

    mrmimosizer

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    Alrighty thanks for the feedback Tonyli.

    The main idea for my game is based of the tv show Revolution. Now before I get comments that it wasn't the best show just hear me out. I'm using the idea of a worldwide blackout as a means of apocalypse. In society all anything needs is a little push for everything to break apart. If someone gets shot then everyone goes into panic, panic leads to destruction an in the destruction chaos reigns. I plan on starting this story, not from X amount of days after the event, but at the start of the event. I believe that this new way of doing it will cause the player to build their own bonds and choose their own AI companions. You have to scavenge for resources and try and survive long enough to thrive. Where is this going to be based you ask? Why in my home country Australia, Australia has the beauty and landscape that people can mold to their advantage from the bustling cities to the desolate desert (IMO America is too big a feat to create).

    How did the blackout happen? Well here's a little backstory.

    In the year 2045 the worlds power supply was diminishing at such a rate that people were looking for a new power source, it is here that in a mine in Africa it is found, the "insert name of power source". The power source emitted a power source that was unmatchable by any source available at the time. The power source was too heavy to move however despite its minuscule size. We then go to the year 2049 where a war broke out for control of the power source. After millions of deaths and 6 years. A truce was made uniting the world and causing a 3 year project to set up wireless transmitters at the top of the mine to send the electricity everywhere. Digging in the mine continued until one day, the day before the blackout, contact was lost with the mine.

    What do you think so far? If anything is unclear or you want to know anything please let me know.
     
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  13. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Sounds good so far! You have a date and location, not just "some generic wasteland somewhere, at some unspecified time in the future." You've set up motivation for conflict. And you have a mystery. So put together a team and make it! :)
     
  14. mrmimosizer

    mrmimosizer

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    At current I have no meeker able skills other than writing stories, I'm an idea man, I am however doing a 3D animation course next year so that I have a marketable skill (and some money by then) to start a team and get it done. I also have this in my notes as a second project and have a smaller project in the same universe as this one to build a team etc. or would you recommend to start with this big project and then do a simpler one or just scrap the simpler one all together. The simpler idea is that you are the commander of the team sent to reestablish communication with the world from the mine, only there is an unknown entity in the mine that caused the blackout, something ancient.

    EDITED!!!
     
  15. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Start small, aim big. The original Warcraft was a super-simple RTS (at least by today's standards). But it established a world that would eventually become World of Warcraft. Maybe start with some writing exercises and concept art, not an actual game at first. And be open to letting your idea evolve. And, most of all, have fun!
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
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  16. DanSuperGP

    DanSuperGP

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    I think you should start with an even smaller project than your smaller project. And possibly an even smaller project before that.

    You've yet to learn how much work goes into making even simple games, your big idea sounds cool because you have no idea what an impossible pipe dream it actually is.

    To give you an example, here's a list of all the developers who worked on Fallout 3

    http://fallout.wikia.com/wiki/Fallout_3_developers

    It's like 150 people.
     
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  17. beige

    beige

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    I like the idea. you've set up a good world and premise for conflict, and one that makes sense for leading to a breakdown of society

    on the wasteland idea, I do like them but there is one thing you need to keep in mind; barren wastelands are boring - what makes the wastelands in fallout/shadow of the colossus etc is the things littered around them. the occasional shots of towns, of remains of a car/sign etc, or the lovely scenery in the distance your moving towards. Atmosphere is everything when it comes to a wasteland, as you lack characters to fall back on :)

    from your premise explanation, I'm pretty sure that you get that, but I felt it needed stressing as I've seen too many crappy apocalypse games on steam that drop the player into a featureless brown field for hours and don't understand why no-one likes them

    so good luck finding a team. I would recommend maybe going with the smaller idea first and saving the full open world for when you have a bit more experience, but if you feel confident when you've gathered folks to jump in, go for it :) afterall, we can't suceed if we don't try
     
  18. This_Game_Lags

    This_Game_Lags

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    [My thoughts]

    First. You are designing a game.

    Perma-death is a feature and added option. You can do this how ever you choose. But if you want a broader audience then you need to have 2 services; one with the feature, one without it.


    I missed one of your posts. So I am editing:


    Diablo 2 had perma-death and it was done well. Many people enjoy the "hardcore" experience.

    Perma-Death is scary and off putting in games where you get attached to a character that you put hours into. This is easier handled in MOBA games because you usually only have that instanced character momentarily. But in an MMO setting where losing you character means losing all the connections you made that is self-destructive to the game. You can't ban people because they made a mistake. Especially if you want them to pay for the service; unless you're targeting masochists.

    I would handle Perma-Death how DayZ does it or even invent a new system so that players can still play the game but from a different view/perspective; something that isn't game breaking. Or maybe the other players can resurrect the old player.

    Now if your creating a social experiment. Then it should be labeled as such and then you shouldn't squander the research potential in how players feel when they have be banned from a game they pay to play.

    When you are talking about controlling the rights of a player you are stepping into dangerous territory.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  19. ostrich160

    ostrich160

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    Loved fallout, didnt enjoy most other Post Apoc games. Personally, I wouldnt go for it, its very generic at the moment, Go for Sci fi, or prehistoric, avoid post apoc and fantasy

    Whilst in concept it sounds nice, I wouldnt go for it. It just basically tells the player to go do something else.

    Look at EVE online for handling death effectively.
     
  20. kittik

    kittik

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    I like the idea of a post apocalyptic game but hate the idea of permadeath - especially being banned for a time. If I have invested time in a character, storyline or levelling system only to then lose everything I'd be pretty annoyed. Having to wait two hours also - I would not do that, I'd play something else and forget about that other game which banned me.
     
  21. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    I'd say permadeath + timeban = permadeath for your game.

    A way to make permadeath work, might be account rewards. If you make a character and they achieve some awesome goal before dying, it makes an account reward available to any subsequently-created characters. In this way, you replicate the roguelike means of progressing, despite the hellish difficulty.

    In fact, it'd be interesting to see the concrete implications of such a system. Prototype?
     
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  22. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Realm of the Mad God does this.
     
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