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What should I do with these mechanics?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by DroidifyDevs, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    Hello!

    Lately I've been working on a project, a infinitely spawned world on mobile. Here's basically what it looks like:

    Pretty much nothing is 100% perfect or finished, but I have the main mechanics (moving, shooting, generating the world, cutting trees, inventory UI) down. From what I've seen, game development is a 5 stage process: Getting the initial game idea, making the core mechanics, adding content, perfecting mechanics and graphics, and publishing.

    However, I'm not sure what to do with what I've made (what content to add). I have a few concepts:
    1: Make the world so the farther the player moves from the center, the harder it is to survive (meet more dangerous enemies). To progress farther into the forest, the player needs to gather resources, build buildings in bases and build better weapons.

    2: Have a map-based system where the player needs to defeat challenges to progress. I could perhaps make a small story. Then, unlock the infinite world and let the player continue playing until they get bored and uninstall.

    3: Make an infinite world, but discover characters. In order to make those characters your allies, you need to complete a quest for them. Then, they can be your companion and you can assign other characters to manage bases and collect resources while you're away looking for things in the forest.

    How should I approach this, and do you have any ideas to add to that list?
     
  2. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    First thing I thought of when I saw your other thread dealing with the masked character was a competitive vs game where each player has to gather resources (randomly scattered in the world), to combine those resources to make other resources - like those mobile element combining games (alchemy?). Along with the enemies slowing both players down, if one resource is gathered the other player may have to travel farther to find the only other resource type in the game to get. If players are killed they loose resources - and you'd have to make some type of keep up / catch up mechanic to allow the person behind to have opportunity to contend even if they are not as good or they fall behind. Maybe the player in the lead gets attacked by certain higher (harder) level enemies while they bypass the player who is not leading.
    The resources might be used for obstacle to be used against your opponent - or something else entirely meaningful.

    Personally I didn't find interest in the base building element interesting - sounds too much grounded in the standard survival shtick.
     
  3. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Just reading your OP, I'm reminded both of Don't Starve and No Man's Sky.

    Make of that what you will...:confused:
     
  4. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    For some reason when I see this I think of the old Warcraft 2 game, where you would get peons to chop down trees, which clears room for new structures, build walls, etc. I know that is a classic RTS, but you could consider allowing the player to construct walled fortresses. So the player builds a main one near the middle, when they are built up enough to survive the further reaches of the forest, they can build satellite bases there (so they don't have to always walk back to their main base to process resources they gather, recruit new NPC's, etc), and use that to slowly wall off an conquer more of the forest.
     
  5. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    That's a very interesting concept! Wouldn't that be multiplayer though? There a few reasons I wouldn't do multiplayer: 1, I've never done it before, 2: I'll have few players at launch, 3: Hacking.

    That's something interesting and doable! I'd just have to figure out an incentive instead of just "Continue building in an infinite forest until you're bored".
     
    EternalAmbiguity likes this.
  6. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    My first thought was that the incentive would be to keep pushing into the further reaches of the forest, where more dangerous creatures live and where better resources and drops can be had. Push out, set up a new mini base, exploit the area, build yourself up even stronger, then push further into the forest and repeat the process.
     
    DroidifyDevs likes this.
  7. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Maybe I've missed it, but skimming the thread I didn't see a very specific description of what your initial game idea is. Preferably a description that includes the emotions you want a player to have and a description of the kind of player that would enjoy that kind of game. Currently all seems a bit aimless to me.

    If gigi was still here, he might suggest "clear goals, limited choice, good feedback".

    You could start the player at the source of something bad that is expanding accross the world, like a black slime or something like that, that forces you away from the center in order to find and craft the things you need to subsequently go back through the contaminated area towards the source, and eliminate the source. If the original incident was caused by the protagonist him/herself in the narrative, then even better. Now you've got an arc of failure and redemption.
     
  8. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    Actually, that's a good point. For the player's emotions, I was thinking constant curiosity to explore and find materials to craft things and buildings, as well as some fear because there's a combat element in it.
    What, he left the forum?

    Are you saying I should have a story instead of infinite exploration?
     
  9. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I thought about making a post when you made your previous comment but decided against it. But anyway, in both of the games I mentioned, which involve procedurally generated worlds that a player has to travel through, there's a story. It's never "in your face," but it's there.
     
  10. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    At least I can't remember when I saw the last post from him, he used to be much more active.

    I'm saying players should have a reason to be engaged and clear goals to persue. I think some kind of reachable winstate isn't the worst idea either, because it's unlikely you'll craft something on a mobile plattform that people will genuinely want to spend 30+ hours in. As a solo dev you don't have the means to create the amount of content that offers new discoverable novelty to keep a player engaged just from exploration (not even no man's sky does - unlimited variation doesn't equal unlimited novelty). Clear goals and challenges are much easier to create imho.
    This is a good article:
    https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/Rya..._Indie_Hit_How_to_Choose_the_Right_Design.php

    Personally I don't think game ideas without such clear "hooks" are worth persuing, because neither devs nor players are likely to ever be deeply engaged with the project from either side of the development. Find things you can get excited about and filter those against things that your target audience would get excited about.
     
  11. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    I think that's a great idea. Creating a set of missions to complete a story would keep the player engaged for a while and not run around for 30 minutes and have no point to continue. If you need 5-10 hours of gameplay to finish the story, you can continue playing just for fun and advance on some leaderboards and achievements; but a story would motivate the player to invest some time.

    I'm going to continue working on the gameplay for now, then add the story mid-way. After that, I'll add all the content and put on the finishing touches.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  12. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    I'm adverse to multiplayer as well because I've never done it before and server/client, security, communications are pretty mysterious to me with my lack of knowledge and interest in mmos and online shooters.
    However local multiplayer is essentially two cameras tracking two different players. Just a thought. ;)

    I believe he is still around though a lot less active. He still puts up the Feedback Fridays every 2 weeks.
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  13. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    I just saw that there's a game called "The Wild Eight" that's very, very similar to my project. Now I'm wondering how (and if) I can set mine apart...

    Also, they took a simple approach to my previous post on trees blocking the camera: They just made all the trees much shorter than the camera's height.
     
  14. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    ???

    In the second video on Steam, about 23 seconds in, they run "behind" a tree. They're invisible for like a quarter of a second.
     
  15. DroidifyDevs

    DroidifyDevs

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    I meant that yes, you can run behind trees, but each tree takes little screenspace, compared to my initial design where 1 tree could block most of the camera's view. I'm going to lower those a bit.
     
  16. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Gotcha.

    But take another look. The trees are not smaller. Rather, the camera is further away. Additionally, it's angled more sharply than yours.
     
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  17. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    One could try moving the camera further away while also zooming in. The narrower FOV will lessen the perspective distortion of the trees, and the treetops will cover less area while still having the same size in the gameworld.
     
    EternalAmbiguity likes this.