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After I read "game mechanics, advanced game design", I got some ideas

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by hongwaixuexi, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    First it's a great book, and give some great suggetions and a great tool: machinations.

    The book covers a lot of topics. I want to share some ideas I got.
    The ideas are about emergence game design, not progression game design.

    1. Design simple mechanic, not complex mechanic. Then combine several simple mechanics into one game.
    2. The game complexity is increasing very fast after combining several mechanics. You can't balance the game before you combining the mechanics. In short, you have no way to balance the game when you design it.
    3. The attached tool machinations is a good tool for game balancing by monte calo simulation.

    4. Add negative feedback is a way to balance the game.
    5. If you want to make the gaming progress fluctuate largely, frequently use bigger delay time for each action. For instance, the health postion restore 5HP not instantly, but after one turn or two turns.

    6. Frequent probability with small effects won't let down the player.

    There is one game. "slay the spire" is a good example. Now I want to add cards mechanic into no matter what games.
     
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  2. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    Nice to see that you're getting inspired, and coming up with some cool ideas, from reading a book you're enjoying.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  3. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Thanks.
    I learned a lot recently by reading and playing.
     
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  4. AkiraWong89

    AkiraWong89

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    Totally agree. I also start with small and simple idea and have my friends test it.
    If they like it, then I only continue the development or adding extra features etc...
    I realized most game developers have a occupational hazard called "Think too much".
    Simplicity is actually awesome. Players feedback later will tell you what to do next.

    Fun fact: Simple games have more download than common games as well.
    Because players can learn how to play quickly but not easy to master.
    For example: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.DSS.ULTRAFLOW
     
  5. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Be sure to make simplegame, it's easy to get caught into cool idea once you start to understand how everything work together, but you still need the practice to develop a flair to know when they apply. Emergence is a cool concept, but most of the time YAGNI, you need experience to know when the theory apply.

    If you can make a simple platformer with 5 enemies, 2 block type (air, solid) and the character can only jump and maintain interest for like 127 levels, well the sky is the limit to apply abstract idea of any complexity. (you def should do that now)

    I mean a lot of established developer did just that (n, vvvvv, tetris, canabalt, super hexagon, tries, flappy bird, mario bros, sonic, puzzle bubble, etc...). You will notice that in practice most games are super simple in regard of the theory and are just fine. You just need to know what you are doing no matter what is the scope.
     
  6. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I am planning a survival game because I prepared many assets before which can be used in survival game. I am no longer troubled by the story, since I know let the players create their stories themselves. I just provide mechanics and the player will face a lot of events triggered by the mechanics.

    I want to add a lot of random events and other possibilities in this game. I hope the player will spend a lot of time on tough choices he will face.
     
  7. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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  8. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    I am not familiar with platformer, and I don't play these games. It require me much time on familiar with them.
    About simple game, I think it's very very hard to make a simple game great.
    About relatively complex game, you can make somethings bad and somethings good at the same time.
     
  9. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Design is universal, if you get the the theory, no game type is off. Which the point I was trying to make, platformer are simple to make/program, it remove execution complexity (you don't need animation nor graphics), thats' why I gave that advice.

    Often you will have idea/mechanics that don't map with any existing genre or have a variant that don't map into a target genre. You still need to be able to process them. In fact most GDC talk are high level because they are about that process.

    So if you can't do a simple platformer, which is a technical load of around 1 day, how do you expect t make a big emergent game? How would you deal with emergence that don't go into your own expectation? How will you make emergence that will structure play more like skyrim wandering than no man's sky emptiness?

    Emergence isn't free.
     
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  10. frosted

    frosted

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    I know that most people will disagree with this, but I actually think this is true.
     
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  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Don't know a knot, make a lot.


    I think I notice with art a lot, especially 3d art, you add ten belts and all sorts of crap that doesn't make any sense to a character, people think its really detailed and awesome. Just confuses the eye into believing there's complexity when really its just nonsense.

    I know I've fell for it in regards to game design a few times. You fire up a new game, theres all this STUFF. Big menus, tons of numbers, stats, blah blah blah. You think there's so much to discover. After an hour of playing, you are dead bored because you've figured out that none of the fluff means anything. The core gameplay is really simple and dumb.

    Even in some otherwise impressive AAA games I've had this problem. Nioh, for instance, had tons of STUFF. But after a few hours of playing I realized that you could safely ignore all of it and it made no difference. So I got bored and never finished.
     
  12. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Maybe I will design it the other way, not act game genre. Now I noticed one pattern, and still learn it. That is, the player spend 95% time on crafting, collecting, allocating time and resources, unexpected disease or bad weather and talking and developing relationship with NPC. Only 5% time is spent on battle (like dodge, jump or so).

    Most time will be spent on warming up the atmosphere, then battle.
     
  13. BrandyStarbrite

    BrandyStarbrite

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    5%?:eek:
    Make that a bit higher, like 40%.:)
     
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  14. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Do you have an explanation? Why 40%
     
  15. Volcanicus

    Volcanicus

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    Intuitively he is right.
    Imagine you are playing a game, RPG, where you have turn-based encounters.
    5% combat to 95% non-combat means that in 1 hour of game play, 3 mins will be combat and 57 mins will be whatever else. That makes for either you having a solid story or non-combat entertainment. But then the 3 mins of combat is super out of place.
    40% would mean about 24 mins of combat, hopefully spread out. I could see maybe 4 mins x 6 in 1 hour as a balanced way.

    Examples of games with such mechanics:
    Golden Sun
    Paper Mario
    Quest 64

    During travel time, you fight. Once you get to a village, you RPG and interact.
    This would be balanced for instance.

    Again, 5%... way too low. And that is why percentages are not useful.
    Now imagine you worked hard on your combat system, you will only use it 5% of the time? Sounds like a waste to me.
     
  16. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    5% is okay for a stardew valley rythm...

    ANYWAY, that's a good point to introduce researching similar game/mechanics, no even more easier than before with youtube.

    find continuous let's play or walkthrough, then time everytime there is a major event of shift of gameplay, you learn a lot about pacing with that. How long the player wander, how long did he get distracted, how long he stay idle, how long does he engage, how long it tkaes to fail after engaging, how long it takes to travel between POI, how many events happen in between POI, etc ...

    For example I did that for mario kart 8, I was very surprise there was at least one events every 2 seconds! and whenever there wasn't an event, it was mostly invitation to slide.

    BUt I'm encouraging you to hone your design eyes and hand. Sure you can make a big frictionless "busywork" games, where traversal and menial work stakeless can just sunk hours (no man's sky), that's the easy way out. But then ewhat was the point of learning about design in the first place. And you gain into getting better as it can potentially translate in return.
     
  17. JacboyX

    JacboyX

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    True. But simple and professional is better than complex and amateur. But all in all, the experience of making a simple game for beginners and pros alike is all worthwhile. Regardless of complexity in making the game itself. You know how much went into making it, and you’d soon toss that idea aside and start from scratch on your next game.