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Topics - Borogove

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Spore: General / Video Spore fans ought to like
« on: May 01, 2007, 11:38:36 pm »
Not a lot of news recently, so maybe it's time for another weird creature inspiration thread?
(yes I know there have been some, but I think we can start a new one and take it in a different direction)

Electrical creatures:

PC Games / GameToy Prototype
« on: February 26, 2006, 03:36:41 pm »
So I've got this programming project I've been working on for a while now.  One of the things I'd like to accomplish in it is to find a control scheme for a 3d action game that the casual gamer can pick up easily.  And by "casual" I mean even people who play very few games ever, like all the moms out there who only play Tetris(which seems to be everyone's mom).  So this weekend I whipped up a prototype of some ideas I had for how it might be done.

So, first off, this is just an interaction prototype, not a game or anything.  I am just hoping that some of you will be willing to try it out and give me some idea how easy it really is to make the box go where you want it.
Basically you just control the little box with the mouse.  Pressing the Home key will switch through three different ways of controlling it.
The three modes are:
1. moves to the point you click
2. moves toward the mouse while button held
3. chases mouse all the time

Spore: General / I take this as a very good sign
« on: February 24, 2006, 08:47:04 pm »

I am literally jumping up and down with glee.

Everything Else / Your favorite toys
« on: February 03, 2006, 06:46:29 pm »
I was just thinking back on some of the things I greatly enjoyed as a little kid, and thought it would make a good topic.

What were some of your favorite toys when you were little?

I know that once I had Voltron no other toys got any attention for a loooong time

The whole transforming and combining thiing was just way too cool.  For some reason I never had any transformers...

PC Games / GameToy
« on: January 28, 2006, 09:42:03 pm »
Playing games is fun, but wouldn't you like to try designing your own?

One of my hobbies since back in high school has been making my own little computer games.  For a long time now, I've been toying with the idea of making a fun tool so that people without programming skills can enjoy it, too.

So, today, I whipped up a quick prototype in flash:

Arrow keys to control the "O".
Work the sliders with the mouse, of course.
Bonus points if you recognize the image in the background.

Oh! And I took the sound out because it made the file huge and I was too lazy to do a loading screen.

First off, it isn't an actual game in itself, and I don't expect it'll hold your interest for more than a few seconds...basically it's just to illustrate how a very few of the options(specifically, avatar-movement controls) might work.

Obviously, it only demonstrates a small part of what I am attempting and I probably can find a better style of interface.  I just wanted to show it to people and get some reactions to see if the create-the-game-while-playing-it idea is stupid or not.  Unfortunately, having just avatar controls is probably not enough to be able to tell yet, but I'm interested in getting some reactions.

For lack of a better idea, I am calling the project "GameToy" for now.

(Sorry if this should have gone in General instead of PC Games)
(also, there has already been covered somewhat in the Spore Forum:

Well, this is an idea I've had bouncing around in my head for a long time, but this article spurred me to post about it:

It is basically a quick summary of GDC 2004's Game Design Challenge, where Raph Koster, Warren Spector, and Will Wright presented ideas for a 'love story' game.  Wright presented his idea as a game that happened within another game (he suggested something like Battlefield 1942). 

This got me thinking.

One thing WW seems to be a big proponent of is doing a lot of prototyping for games, and we've also seen that he likes to stretch the limits of a game to allow new sorts of user experiences ("Tony Hawk's Grand Theft Auto 1942" in the GDC2003 speech).
Is he making them the same thing with Spore? 
We already know that Spore consists of tools for editing most things about the world around you - as far as shapes, placement, and space anyway, but suppose it added tools for constructing new behaviors, for setting rules that would allow new behaviors to occur.  If Spore would have revolutionized gaming, just think what it would do then.  For Collateral Romance, for instance, create a new planet, then plop down city A, and city B, drag some sliders for their attitudes, set them to be at war, and hit play on your simulation.  Now  add the civilian players, set objectives for them, and take control of one to play along.

I am wondering if Spore might function as a platform for rapid prototyping games and doing other experimenting with dynamics.

Way back in the younger days of the forum, Jaleho began a long discussion which went along similar lines...but I think I failed to grasp what he was suggesting at the time.  Spore as a platform for developing games...not by game developers, but by the gamers themselves(or were you?  Feel free to correct me, Jaleho.  In fact, please do.  I greatly enjoyed the last discussion).

I doubt that Spore is going to turn out to be quite the game-experimentation toy I'm talking about...but someday there will be one.  And I can't wait. (No, seriously.  I can't.  I'm actually working on my own feeble attempt at making one).

I tried to both keep it short and convey the message. 
Anyway, I would very much like to hear other people's thoughts on the matter.

Spore: General / Gamasutra Article - Spore mods already ????
« on: January 16, 2006, 12:33:21 pm »

A Gamasutra article about sex in games...talks about a mod for Spore that's already in development?!?!?!

Spore: General / Vehicle ideas
« on: January 08, 2006, 03:02:15 pm »
Here's one I haven't seen much discussion about:  What sorts of ideas do you have for the vehicles your creatures will use?

One of my ideas for a creature race were my "Tyrants" who are somewhat obsessed with tallness, and I was thinking monster-truck like vehicles for them with a crazy amount of ground clearance, but a very small main body of the vehicle, and later when their technology improves some tall legged ones like the AT-STs in Star Wars.

Books / Anansi Boys
« on: December 21, 2005, 09:24:53 pm »
Couldn't put it down.  Literally stayed up till 6am reading this one.

Fantastic story by Neil Gaiman.  "Fat" Charlie's dad, who it turns out might have been Anansi, the spider/man/god from African myths, dies, leads to him meeting the brother he didn't know he had, and, well, things get interesting when the son of a god becomes an unwelcome houseguest.

Everything Else / Short (very short) games.
« on: December 17, 2005, 09:39:49 pm »
This has been on my mind a lot lately and I'm curious what others think about it.

A lot of the games I have been enjoying recently have ben "one shot" games.  Games I play for a few minutes and then probably never pick up again.  Many are little flash games, and many are downloadable freeware games and demos.  I have been enjoying this immensely, despite the fact that these games are so lacking in terms of features and depth.  It seems that among adult gamers there is a general feeling that games are too long and demand too much time in order to be enjoyed.

Didn't video games start like those liettel flash games?  Easy to pick up, easy to put down.  There is some reason that I still enjoy Pacman just as much as Half-Life 2, its just that the amount of time I spend on them in a sitting is vastly different.  The part that is boggling my mind is that simple games are still fun, still fast to make, and still cheap.  So....why are the big epic games all that we hear and talk about?

i'm not calling for a revolution, of course, Grim Fandango, for instance, would not have worked as a short game.  It had a story to tell and to tell it well took time.  But why should the only business model be these huge productions? 

Remember when video gaming was about going to arcades?  You go in with a friend, find something new or some old favorite, pop in a quarter, have some fun, and leave.  Now, in rural michigan I didn't have quite the access to the latest cool stuff that others did, so mabe my arcade experiences as a young 'un are strange, but for me it was a rare and great opporunity everytime we would go someplace that had an arcade, and I would experience new and exciting different games every time. Donkey Kong, Frogger, Galaga, big feature lists, simple controls, fairly shallow gameplay.  And yet I was always begging for another quarter. 
Sorry for the nostalgia tangent there, but I'm building up to a point, I swear :)
Now, the video-gaming experience is nothing like I remember it, and not just because I am older.  The games industry is hollywood-ifying.  Home consoles led to a major change.  If someone owned the game, they expected a lot more of it.  The consumers voted with their dolalrs for mroe complex, larger budget games, which is all well and good, but as this continues, making a game is becoming very a expensive, difficult, and long undertaking, and consequenly also a huge risk for game companies.  The sequel-itis and stifling of creativity in the industry is already much-lamented and well covered elsewhere, so I'm not going to go into that. 

But that arcade experience I had as a kid?  I think that it is, in theory, only easier to do today!
So here's my alternate vision for the future of video games:
These guys: and these guys: have demonstrated, proved even, that a small group of people can make a game in under a week that is innovative, fun, cheap, and fast.  Let's say we give them another week to polish them, and we have 20 developers doing this.  So that'd be 10 pairs of folks, each making a new game every 2 weeks.  20(!) games a month.  I would gladly pay a monthly fee of, say, $10/month to be able to go into a "virtual arcade" where I can jump into any of these games, with new ones coming out frequently (biweekly or so).  Even if only 10% are actually good enough to hold my interest, I would still consider it a good price. 

Unless I'm missing something big, that there lets you make games fast, cheap, and low risk, AND would make it easier to expand the market. 
Maybe I am crazy and things like Popcap and the XBox arcade thing are already somewhat like this...though Popcap and Microsoft aren't actualy doing the developing I don't think. 

Is there anybody out there who does games with a frequency of like, one a month or better?  Why not?

Spore: General / Interesting game - insular
« on: December 09, 2005, 09:22:51 pm »
Includes a PC demo of a DS game...weird.

Hard to believe they weren't a little inspired by Spore.

Spore: General / Spore-inspired screensaver
« on: December 08, 2005, 04:48:33 pm »
In case you needed more proof that I have no life:


A screensaver brought to you by Irfanview, Google Image Search, and my waste of precious free time.

It is a screensaver that cycles through rather a lot of pics of old sci-fi pulp ficition and comic book covers. 

Oh well, I rather like it, and I thought it might interest you all, since I seem to remember WW mentioning somewhere that one of his many inspirations was old scifi pulp fiction.

Cut it down to 9 megs...didn't cut enough I guess.

How about a sample image?  Here's one of my faves:

Spore: General / Photoshop'd!
« on: November 27, 2005, 03:07:22 pm »
Everytime I make one of these I get a horrible urge to show someone.

So I'm gonna inflict it upon you guys.

"I don't think this black thing is making me any smarter..."
"See!  It's working already!"
(I totally stole that one from somewhere...)

"Look, Dave, it was fun at first having your Wilosaur friend along, but I think it's time for him to leave."

I've heard of beating a dead horse, but this is ridiculous.

...had to toss in some captions too.   Feel free to add your own!

Spore: General / Software of Interest to Spore Fans
« on: November 25, 2005, 09:32:45 pm »
Today I stumbled across the website of an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo who has made some really cool programs that I thought you guys would be interested in:

Mainly they are tools for creating, manipulating, and animating 2d and 3d shapes very intuitively. 

Everything Else / Game Ideas? Brainstorming.
« on: June 10, 2005, 07:20:07 am »
I mentioned sort of jokingly in another thread that the forumers could get noticed by the Spore team (or other potential game-industry employers) by getting together to make a game and some of you seemed to get very interested in the idea. 

Game-programming is a hobby I would like to get back into anyway, so I'm thinking we could give it a shot, and even if nothing comes of it, it should be kinda fun.

So I'm starting this topic for brainstorming game ideas, where we can just get a bunch of ideas on the table and worry about which ones are good or bad later.  After this thread has gone awhile, perhaps we can appoint someone to select a few of the best-sounding ones and then set up a poll.

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with ;)  (I'll probably chime in later with a few of mine)

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