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[Feedback Friday #64] - March 9th (March Madness???)

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Gigiwoo, Mar 9, 2018.

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  1. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

    Joined:
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    FF #64 is closed until Friday, April 6th.

    March Madness already? Others will notice that the weather is changing, that it's time to place bets on basketball teams, and that the grass will soon need mowing. And as a game developer, we've got little time for that. Instead, we are focused on our latest creations. Let the madness begin!


    ----

    Want design feedback for your new game? Then you've found the right thread! Post here to get precious player feedback. Discuss until we lock the thread to start the two week break.

    How To Ask For Feedback
    • Show - Pics, videos, or best of all, a playable game!
    • Be Concise - Who's got time for Wall 'O Text? Less is more
    How To Give Feedback
    • Be Positive - Finding redeeming qualities in the worst of games, is in itself a game
    • Focus On The Design - Not the designer
    • Be Specific - "Your game sucks!" is for nubs
    What To Show
    • Minimally Viable Product (MVP) - Core game play >>> everything else
    • How To Scope Small (Unity tutorial)
    Gigi

    [PS - Feedback Friday #63 is here]
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
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  2. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    So what you guys working on? I have 2 upcoming game pitches. The first is on Friday - for our companies week-long Game Jam - which is a totally awesome benefit! And the second is for our suite's internal game pitches, to decide what game we're making next. Another totally awesome benefit. I've done 2 prototypes and 3 game pitches. That's every ounce of my creativity.

    Gigi

    PS - Interested in joining an amazing company with game-jams, and you're a Unity dev who's willing to move to Irvine, California, then send me a PM. I'm adding 3 engineers to our suite.
     
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  3. AndrewGrayGames

    AndrewGrayGames

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    I don't yet have a prototype at the moment, though I would like to try out the controls on someone.

    I'm working on a spaceship game. The mechanics are based loosely on those found in Star Trek Online, but with a focus on space combat, instead of...whatever STO is about.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    Gigiwoo likes this.
  4. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Good luck on your pitches!

    Since you're talking pitches, I don't mind putting this pitch up for feedback:

    Lonely Hearts

    Platform: Mobile
    Genre: Single-Player Word Game
    Setting: Steampunk Victorian England
    Gameplay: As a professional matchmaker, write lonely hearts ads for clients.

    Details:
    • Randomly-generated clients range from chimney sweeps to nobility. Given the client’s background, desires, and budget, tap to choose a periodical, then compose ad by tapping to buy phrases of text. (Every tap has a cost.)
    • Receive three responses. Use the remaining budget to reply or collect three new responses.
    • Successful matches increase prestige and class of clientele; failed matches decrease them.
    • Possible meta-story of discovering and then tracking down a Jack the Ripper character.
    Lonely hearts ads in the Georgian and Victorian eras ran the gamut from weirdly funny: "Gentleman seeks lady of soft lips and full bosom, between 30 and 40 years old, for a wife, to look after the pigs while I am out at work." to poignant: "Lady, fiancé killed, will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the War." to blunt: "Man of £300 seeks wife. No bodily deformity." I imagine this game as sort of a fake Tinder app in a humorous Victorian style.

    Any thoughts on how it would play?
     
  5. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I've got a real-time dialogue system prototype (built with the extensive help of TonyLi) that I actually planned to put up for this feedback friday, but real life got in the way and the last stages of it aren't yet complete. I'll probably put it up next time.

    I like it, though I don't care for the idea of having to buy phrases (though I'm not a mobile gamer, so I may be outside of your target audience there). Paying money for the response itself does make sense though, and you might incorporate similar functionality by having to pay based on length of the response.

    Perhaps the type of ad you place (the language used) impacts the type of replies you get, so you have a balance of trying to keep things short and to the point to save money, but you attract higher class individuals with better-written ads or ads with more flowery language (or perhaps, individuals who more accurately fit the description).

    And along similar lines, perhaps the first person tells you in their own words what they're looking for, and you have to interpret that and aim for something they'll be happy with.

    You might allow the player to have multiple ads at once, so they may receive responses to multiple ads at once and they have to keep track of which goes where.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
    Gigiwoo likes this.
  6. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    That was my rationale for charging for phrases. A working class client with little budget might only afford "Seeking wife. No deformities." in a penny paper. But for a rich noblewoman to find a suitable mate, you might need to spend more of the client's budget on a top-end magazine and a long showstopper of an ad.

    The player would not spend real-world money. The client's "budget" is just an in-game number that each NPC client comes to the player with.

    Here's how it would play: A client comes to the player with a name, background (40-year-old widowed turnip farmer seeks wife to raise his 3 sons and help farm), and budget (£4). Click a button to choose a periodical. (The button shows the price. When you click it, the money is deducted from the client's budget.) Then a set of contextual phrases appear. When you click a phrase to add it to the text (also deducting money), you're presented with a new set of phrases that would flow from it, and so on until you click submit. I've paper-protoyped this locally using a spreadsheet and rule table. It was fun -- though not runaway addictive -- but players had different ideas about where it should go from there.

    Is the core loop about writing the ad? Or is it the ad-reply cycle, where left- or right-swiping respondents is an equally important stage? Or should ads come pre-written, and focus instead of swiping respondents, closer to Reigns? For the latter, it might be fun to see what kind of ads get procedurally generated.

    I'm also not sure what the ideal target audience would be. Players who enjoy language and historical romances? People who enjoy scanning through Tinder for funny profiles?
     
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  7. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I personally like the idea of focusing on writing the ad, though I like to write so that may be a factor. If you focused on that I could imagine there being a "tactical" focus to it, with you trying to aim it at a certain demographic.

    And this isn't your idea directly, but I like the idea of a game where the main gameplay is writing letters to people (rather than just ads), where you have to catch their interest and maintain it over time.
     
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  8. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Me too. Although I can see the appeal of swiping left/right on procedurally-generated ads instead, especially if they managed to hit the humor just right.

    That's the idea. Each client has a set of desires and a background with pluses and minuses. You'd need to choose the right phrases, within budget, to optimize the quality of responses.

    I think that would be substantially harder, unless more of it were hard-coded into a prewritten narrative. It's a lot more difficult for AI to carry on an extended conversation without seeming like an obvious chatbot.

    I'm curious if anyone else has any thoughts on these ideas?
     
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  9. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    A slow one this time. Hope everyone had a good GDC. Enjoy spring until again we meet.
    Gigi
     
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