Author Topic: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be  (Read 14658 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Borogove

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 779
  • mimsy: adj. - flimsy and miserable :(
    • View Profile
    • Meyermike.com
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2006, 07:26:37 pm »
Quote from:
When companies like Electronic Arts come out and say "we have 150 working on our game, " it's like, their tools must not be very good if they need to have that many people working on their stuff.
Wow.  That quote struck home.

Is it just me or does Tim Sweeney look like a clone of John Carmack?
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline Jaleho

  • Stargate Superstar
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • The Infamous El Guapo
    • View Profile
    • Inflatable Studios
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2006, 07:36:18 pm »
Is it just me or does Tim Sweeney look like a clone of John Carmack?

And sounds like Homestar Runner... :)

Unreal Kismet - Visual Scripting -- THAT is the tools I'm going gaga over... modular programming, no hand-coding, all pre-made boxes of info linked together to make things happen... and all the info in it is DOWN right now... the unreal technology site is broken... arrrg

Offline Borogove

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 779
  • mimsy: adj. - flimsy and miserable :(
    • View Profile
    • Meyermike.com
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2006, 07:45:03 pm »
Continuing this:
..What I mean is that when the user wants to make or alter the game, they need to be able to do so and see immediate effects without waiting for compiling or loading times. It means interfaces that go beyond usability, and beyond efficiency. It needs to be play.

And that's where I'm hitting the stumbling block... I think I have found decent solutions to letting the player define the physical space in which the  games takes place, and in designing the verymost low-level interactions, but so far my solutions to the higher-level goals are less than satisfying.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I spent a good chunk of my weekend doing research trying to get past this, and I found ways (mostly borrowed from pen+paper rpgs) that postpone the problem up a couple levels, but fail to really solve it.

I may be limited by my approach, I am thinking mainly of it in terms of how the user defines the player's abilities...what he can do at the different feedback loop levels.
To abstract it up I broke it down into interactions at these levels(using an FPS as an example):

time scale
immediate(<1 sec) - direct control of avatar, move aim, shoot, etc.
low (seconds)        - shoot monster, flee, get item, leave room, dodge attack
mid (~1 minute)    - clear group of enemies, search for critical path or items
high (~5 mins)       - exit level
highest (>5 mins)   - complete all levels

Note that I don't mean to specifically consider these exact levels and timespans, but that I'm merely looking for a clever way to let the player control the gameplay at higher levels.  I feel like I'm hitting the limits of my imagination here...it's not that I haven't come up with any solutions, it's just that they fail to meet my goal of accessibility.  If my mom couldn't make a game with this thing, then I will have considered it a failure.  So far my attempts have come up with things that are either rather tedious(filling out interaction tables) or just plain annoying(interruptions asking the player how a situation should be handled), or just too complex for other reasons.  I've been thinking that I may be able to approach it from the other end.  Lock a win condition that is the same throughout all games made with this tool (like get 10 points) and then just have the player tie that into the levels between (i.e. completeing a level earns a point), but that really doesn't seem to offer a way to control the mid levels.  There's also the idea of making them somewhat pre-made and just dropped in somehow.  I initially dismiss this idea as against the spirit of the project, but I may return to it.  Edittable flowcharts and diagrams have the same not-play feel that I am seeking to avoid. 

Actually, in the process of writing that much I think it dawned on me that I was being very silly... the player/creator does not need to control mid-level feedback loops directly.  In fact, that is probably the best way to make it like play.  By changing what they an at other levels, they would hopefully be able to explore the space of what could emerge in terms of gameplay.

Well, that was  lot of talking to myself for one forum post.  Sorry if it didn't make sense because I didn't give enough context or anything.
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline Jaleho

  • Stargate Superstar
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • The Infamous El Guapo
    • View Profile
    • Inflatable Studios
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2006, 07:53:28 pm »
Sorry if it didn't make sense because I didn't give enough context or anything.

Well, pick a game, any game - super mario brothers. Then give an example of what you would want to change, and when the player could change it. Then we can go from there.

Offline Borogove

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 779
  • mimsy: adj. - flimsy and miserable :(
    • View Profile
    • Meyermike.com
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2006, 05:34:18 pm »
Whew, sorry for not replying faster...work is taking up way too much of my time.  Bad timing for me to be getting so interested in my personal projects.  This is an idea that has been bouncing around in my head for an awfully long time, and I have recently decided to get serious about doing it.  So, in part, I brought it up because A. sometimes explaining my ideas to someone else is enough to help me figure out a problem and B. so I could steal your ideas :) 

At the moment, I am calling it "GameToy" -- a name I am somewhat stealing from the card game about the games industry, GameGame.  I'm not actually trying to teach anything with this game, unlike GameGame, and it's not some weird attempt to do Understanding Comics for games...I actually don't think there's a good way to do that within a game and something like Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun does a better job.  It's that I have had a lot of fun making games and my goal is to make a software toy which enables me to share that with everyone. 

It might help to do a concrete example like you said, though the idea is sort of that the whole thing could change radically as the user plays with it. 
For a Mario Brothers clone, you would have the dials set to side-view, and a "straight" world with no width, limited height, but very "long".  The dials for player control would be set to physics-based movement and jumping.  You could also change settings for enemies and other NPCs, number of obstacles, etc.  So rather than have the player have to lay out the game tiles or geometry, they are instead tweaking the rules of a generative system which builds the world in front of the player as he explores.  I think that this fits my goal of giving the user the power to create and try out his game ideas, without making it too daunting or tedious.  I just wish that keyboards came with dials built-in so that it wasn't just a GUI metaphor :)

What I was thinking earlier was that it lacks a way to control the higher-level interactions, which are built out of the direct, small ones.  Things like stomping on a goomba or getting to the castle are slightly more complex than simple moving and jumping, but are made up of those lower-level interactions.  How would the user control what the player does, on that level?  Well, the thing all of the higher levels have that the lowest doesn't is that they (can) involve more than one element of the game(the goomba in squishing goombas).  The easiest solution I came up with is an interaction table.  Each game entity would have an entry in the table for each other entity it could interact with, and the user would have to fill in what form that interaction takes.  A couple examples: Goombas hurt Mario, unless the goomba is underneath him, in which case Mario squishes the Goomba.  Stars do not interact with Goombas.  When Mario touches a star, he gets replaced by the Starman Mario entity, who has slightly different interactions than Mario, Super Mario, and Fire Mario, but does happen to have the same ones as Starman Luigi.

This solution sucks, basically.  The number of table cells the user would have to fill out is O(n^2) (with n being the number of game entity types)...the table could be full of defaults so that the user doesn't need to go change many of them but mostly the problem is that it still sounds pretty un-fun.  So, that method stinks and I look for a good way to improve.  If we were to make the interaction table for Super Mario Brothers, we'd see lots of repeat information and correlations -- why special-case each and every interaction?  Also, there's an interaction with time which would be very hard to do well with this table, animations and AI lack a good way to be represented.  For instance, all enemies harm Mario, Super Mario, and Fire Mario on contact from any side but the top, and all blocks float in place ignoring physics.  So alternate method 1 is to simply pick a role when placing an entity, and then specify a few special rules if you feel like it(i.e. Spinys can't be stomped, Beetles are immune to fireballs, bullet bills unaffected by gravity, mushrooms turn you into Super Mario instead of killing you).  But there are other ways to go about it, too.  Another approach I was thinking of is like what Jaleho mentioned above.  Each object, NPC, avatar, and anything else, could all contain all the stats any of them would ever need, and basic behaviors could be dragged onto them(i.e. drift aimlessly, walk until it hits an obstacle, chase player, spawn entity X every so often.), then, the game would also need a library of "effects" or "verbs" or whatever we should call them that can be tied to both player input and those behaviors.  Another one that I am thinking of is kind of strange.  Basically, I would break game verbs into various types(like damage, push, transform, movement) and you would set each entity to emit "particles" of the different types in different ways.  For instance, a goomba would emit damage-ons to the sides and down, with a radius only of its own size, and self-affecting propulsion particles.  A mushroom would emit "growth" particles.  I dunno, this method is weird, and it would make it difficult to mimic existing games very closely within the system, but it also suggests strange new things(mushrooms make anything grow!).

I still want to do a crapload more research, and I'm sure I will want to prototype a couple of those ideas(particularly the last one) before I decide on one.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2006, 05:35:55 pm by Borogove »
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline Jaleho

  • Stargate Superstar
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • The Infamous El Guapo
    • View Profile
    • Inflatable Studios
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2006, 06:18:08 pm »
So, are you saying the player would tweak the enemies as they are playing? Like "oh, spiney's again -- i'll just click on them and remove the "damage from below" option and add a "can be smashed from above" option so I can stomp on them.

That would sort of take all the challenge out of it... I mean, I haven't read all of that "Disasters" thread, but what makes any story or game fun is obstacles to overcome. Simply letting a player remove the obstacles defeats the purpose. Even a real-life sandbox has obstacles - limited space, limited ammount of sand, limited mosture, sand begins to crumble as moisture leaves... If you really could do anything with it, what would be the point?

Now, if you mean a player can set up a level however they want, and then play the level to test it out, then that's a level editor -- lots of games have that.

Maybe I'm not getting what you mean.

Offline Golgrig

  • Star Castle Cadet
  • ****
  • Posts: 542
  • I am Will Wright's complete lack of suprise.
    • View Profile
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2006, 07:46:14 pm »
I'm thinking he means a tweak by the program (scale of difficulty) or by a Modder (user), this would make a much more personal game.

i keep thinking about the Fantasy Game from Enders Game it was adaptive like the kind of thing Will likes to make, it would be able  to learn a user's desires, by watching what you do, so it learns about you, and then customize itself to your preferences. It would  build up a personality profile on you, based on the tens of hundreds of hours you spend playing it. You might not even be aware that it has customized itself to you.

a personalized gaming experience as much an expression of your personality as a portrait.  you would be free to explore your "inner" game.

my world would be Sim Everything, my little spinning galaxies of beings created in my own form.....  And the creator said let there be light and then his phone rang out opening the Way for the Great Shutdown and loss of power ravaged the world and darkness reined.
"6.4 Um's per minute" or "The Speed of Wright

An adventurer in the land of who gives a ****

The idea is to mix one ingredient that will burn very fast with a second ingredient that will supply enough oxygen for that burning. This burns so fast, it's an explosion.

Offline Borogove

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 779
  • mimsy: adj. - flimsy and miserable :(
    • View Profile
    • Meyermike.com
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2006, 08:30:43 pm »
Well, first off, it is not a "game" in the sense of having an overall, set goal to work towards.  Instead I am going for a toy that happens to be booted up and played with like you would a video game.  A Lego for dynamics(ooh! there's a maketing tagline!).  I meant to explain that when I mentioned the name GameToy, but then forgot to. 

The idea isn't that you're tweaking existing games...it is a program in which you build your own video game, so the challenge thing is sort of moot.

If you really could do anything with it, what would be the point?
It is certainly going to have limitations, and major ones.  But, uh, I am really kind of shocked that statement came from you, Jaleho.   

If you really can build anything out of clay, what's the point?
If you can draw anything, what good is a pencil?
If you can play anything you want, what good is a piano?
If you can read anything you want, what good is a bookstore?
If you can make any creature/civilization you want, what's the point of Spore?
What's the point of a rubber ball?

Revisiting the challenge thing, there really isn't much of a challenge in the Sims.  Killing a Sim happens pretty rarely unless you are trying.  Yet it has all kinds of "failure".  Maybe you didn't make friends with the person you wanted to, maybe you didn't get that raise today, maybe you just can't seem to do enough in one day.  Same for other toys.  What's the challenge in an action figure?  Legos?

I'm going for a different sort of fun than a typical game goes for.  The sort of fun I have when I create something. 
This guy was quite fun to put together:

It's not skillful, it wasn't hard to do, it's not clever, in fact it's kinda stupid.  That's not the point.  I enjoyed doing it.

There certainly are going to be challenges that the user faces when he sets his own goal.  Like how crazy of a shoot-em-up can I make?  But the challenges are going to be A. the limitations of the program and B. their own imagination.

Now, if you mean a player can set up a level however they want, and then play the level to test it out, then that's a level editor -- lots of games have that.
Actually, my intention is to NOT give the player direct control over what levels look like.  Rather I would be letting them tweak the settings of a system that creates the levels for them.  But yes, lots of games have level editors, but they are not generally very user friendly.  But anyway level design isn't what I envison people focusing on, but rather the gameplay.  And it's not so much that you set things up, and then play them.  It's that in playing with GameToy you are changing the game inside it.

But all this is just how I envison implementing things, and may come up with another solution.  The core of it is this:  I have had a lot of fun making games and my goal is to make a software toy which enables me to share that with everyone.  A toy in which you make games, or just play with dynamics and see what happens.

So to this:
So, are you saying the player would tweak the enemies as they are playing? Like "oh, spiney's again -- i'll just click on them and remove the "damage from below" option and add a "can be smashed from above" option so I can stomp on them.
I say Yes, tweaking like that is how you play with GameToy.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2006, 09:16:14 pm by Borogove »
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline Jaleho

  • Stargate Superstar
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • The Infamous El Guapo
    • View Profile
    • Inflatable Studios
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2006, 08:45:14 am »
The idea isn't that you're tweaking existing games...it is a program in which you build your own video game, so the challenge thing is sort of moot.

So... it's a game engine, but modular without coding...?

Quote
If you really could do anything with it, what would be the point?
It is certainly going to have limitations, and major ones.  But, uh, I am really kind of shocked that statement came from you, Jaleho.

Boundaries are one of the most beneficial elements an artist can have. Any idiot can take an all-powerful tool and create anything with it - talent comes from working within limitations and STILL being able to create something amazing:

Quote
If you really can build anything out of clay, what's the point?

You can't -- make a section too thin and it won't support the weight above it. Make it too solid and it will explode when put in a kiln. Also, you can't make fluffy or furry clay, or metallic reflective clay, or elastic clay... you either have to find other media to work in, or SIMULATE what you want in the media you have -- ever seen those marble sculptures that look like flowing fabric? If all anyone had to do was press a "carve fabric" button, it wouldn't be impressive any more.

Quote
If you can draw anything, what good is a pencil?

You can't - first off, it's 2-dimentional and it's black and white, and it's slick or grainy graphite? How do you represent a 3-dimentinal furry colored beast with a pencil? Shading and lighting to simulate volume and texture and contrast. If all you had to do was hold a pencil up to your forehead, think of something, and wave it in front of you, there'd be no skill involved.

Quote
If you can play anything you want, what good is a piano?

For starters, you can only play ten notes at a time - twenty if you're barefoot, twenty-one if the keys have been sterilized and your tongue is in good shape, and 22 if you're male and peverted. Let's just say your're using your fingers... because of the layout of the keys, you can't have six really low notes and four really high notes all playing at once, because your thumb doesn't stretch that far. Also, a piano doesn't play wind or brass or percussion sounds... you can't play two identical notes at the same time, because once C# in the fifth octave has been pressed down, you can't press it again until you let go of it. You can't smoothly move between one note and the next like you can a trombone. And despite all these limitations

Quote
If you can read anything you want, what good is a bookstore?

There are TONS of topics nobody has written books on. And just because you happen to find a book, doesn't mean it's well written, or unbiased, or easy to understand, or accurate, or interesting...

My local Borders only carries the NEW books... most things I hear abound and are interested in are out of print. And my local library sucks (they don't even carry "Walden", for gods sake).

Then again, reading isn't a creative act - it's the participation in someone else's creative act, so it doesn't fit your list so well.

Quote
If you can make any creature/civilization you want, what's the point of Spore?

You can't. Tweety bird is a perfect example. Will said "the engine will let you build anything you can think of - but I suspect he will have low fitness in the world". In other words, you can design anything you want, but in the struggle for survival, a lot of the more absurd creatures won't make it to the tribal stage. This is going to force people to use a minimum of logic - "ok, this isn't working, I guess I really do need to give my predator more than one foot if i expect him to catch any prey". And since there will obviously be a limit to how much you can evolve each time, you can't just jump from one-celled critter to bipedal primate with thumbs. That way, when you finally get to space and have your genetic editor to build whatever you want, you have an idea what works and doesn't work. You're still free to build whatever, but now you are aware of the limitations placed on forms, so don't be surprised when you come back to your zoo planet and find all your creations starved to death.

Quote
What's the point of a rubber ball?

A hackey sack and bowling ball don't bounce. A football is not a sphere, so when it hits a surface, it is more difficult to predict the angle of the bounce. A helium baloon is lighter than air. Even something as simple as a rubber ball has set properties, forcing the user to adapt their play strategies to its particular size, shape, weight, mass, elasticity, visibility, ect. ect. To change the properties of the ball mid-game is to change the entire set of rules for the game using the ball. To change them in your favor defeats any sort of gameplay. "Look! I made a three point shot!" "Well, yeah -- you have a remote-control ball and you moved the hoop to three inches off the ground - big deal."

Quote
Revisiting the challenge thing, there really isn't much of a challenge in the Sims.  Killing a Sim happens pretty rarely unless you are trying.  Yet it has all kinds of "failure".  Maybe you didn't make friends with the person you wanted to, maybe you didn't get that raise today, maybe you just can't seem to do enough in one day.

What do you think challenge is - it's overcoming failure! "Whoops - that din't work, let me try again... Nope, let me try a new technique... Aha! Success!" Just changing the rules so you succeed is cheating and pointless - why even play then?


Quote
What's the challenge in an action figure?

Limited articulation points, having to animate it manually, poor balance, simulating day-to-day life with non-removable clothes, insufficient grip to interact with objects, heat sensitivity, plastic brittleness, scratches and gouges that don't self-heal, inability to change expressions, no true growth cycle, unrealistic scale... overcoming all those and still pretending that this character is involved in a story you create.
Quote
Legos?

Twenty years ago, I was building Transformers with legos, with a limited number of movable parts at my disposal and only so many ways they could move. And I succeeded.

A couple weeks ago, I saw a set of legos that were in essence, complete molded dinosaur toys that had the little nubs on their backs. You didn't even build them.

"Look! I made a dinosaur!" "No, you opened a package with a dinosaur inside it."

Quote
I'm going for a different sort of fun than a typical game goes for.  The sort of fun I have when I create something. 
This guy was quite fun to put together:

It's not skillful, it wasn't hard to do, it's not clever, in fact it's kinda stupid.  That's not the point.  I enjoyed doing it.

But that's not a game - its an art project. A game has goals to overcome, goals that take some ammount of skill to achieve. A sandbox is not a game. It can be used as a TOOL inside a game, but it is not a game in itself.

Quote
There certainly are going to be challenges that the user faces when he sets his own goal.  Like how crazy of a shoot-em-up can I make?  But the challenges are going to be A. the limitations of the program and B. their own imagination.

If they're making their own game, great. If they're "editing" my game, no way. Letting them just jump over all the ahrd stuff to get to the fun nugget at the end... that's the core of what's wrong with America nowadays anyway -- "I deserve all the good stuff, and I don't want to have to work to get it."

Quote
Actually, my intention is to NOT give the player direct control over what levels look like.  Rather I would be letting them tweak the settings of a system that creates the levels for them.

That's just splitting hairs over a generative system. Pulling a slider to "no enemies and lots of gold" still gives them a pointless level, regardless of whether they are  actually placing the coins one by one.

Quote
But yes, lots of games have level editors, but they are not generally very user friendly.  But anyway level design isn't what I envison people focusing on, but rather the gameplay.  And it's not so much that you set things up, and then play them.  It's that in playing with GameToy you are changing the game inside it.

Then again, it's not a game, it's a toy. It can be used to make a game, but it isn't a game in itself if you have complete control.

Quote
But all this is just how I envison implementing things, and may come up with another solution.  The core of it is this:  I have had a lot of fun making games and my goal is to make a software toy which enables me to share that with everyone.

Quote
A toy in which you make games

A game engine...

Quote
or just play with dynamics and see what happens

Or a simulator...

Sorry, I'm just not seeing the revolutionary part of this... it just sounds like you want an amateur game builder toy - and there are lots of those around. Besides, if someone isn't willing to put a minimum amount of effort into learning how to design a game, how good of a game are they actually going to be able to make? There are drag-and-drop fps editors, if that's what you want. But if you really want people to mess with the dynamics, they need to UNDERSTAND them, which takes effort.

Quote
So to this:
So, are you saying the player would tweak the enemies as they are playing? Like "oh, spiney's again -- i'll just click on them and remove the "damage from below" option and add a "can be smashed from above" option so I can stomp on them.
I say Yes, tweaking like that is how you play with GameToy.

So, I could just, flip a switch, and suddenly, my Spore creature is instantly invincible and rules the galaxy. Well, that was fun.

-----

"I'll give them heroics -- I'll give them the most amazing heroics they've ever seen! And when I'm old, and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so than everyone can be super heroes, EVERYONE can be super! And when everyone's super -- No One Will Be..." - Syndrome, "The Incredibles"
« Last Edit: January 25, 2006, 08:48:38 am by Jaleho »

Offline Jaleho

  • Stargate Superstar
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • The Infamous El Guapo
    • View Profile
    • Inflatable Studios
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #39 on: January 25, 2006, 08:53:45 am »
Sorry, I'm just not seeing the revolutionary part of this... it just sounds like you want an amateur game builder toy - and there are lots of those around.

http://www.ambrosine.com/resource.html

TONS of game-making toys that require no programming.

Offline Borogove

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 779
  • mimsy: adj. - flimsy and miserable :(
    • View Profile
    • Meyermike.com
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #40 on: January 25, 2006, 10:35:44 am »
Wow, if I'd known you would be responding to each of those examples, I wouldn't have given so darn many.

Quote
Boundaries are one of the most beneficial elements an artist can have. Any idiot can take an all-powerful tool and create anything with it - talent comes from working within limitations and STILL being able to create something amazing.
First off, I'll say again that of course it will have limitations.  Huge ones.  You wouldn't have hardly any control over the graphics, for instance, and you would lack find control over a lot of things.  But that's unimportant anyway, I don't have any funny pretense that I am creating a new artistic medium.

Quote
What do you think challenge is - it's overcoming failure! "Whoops - that din't work, let me try again... Nope, let me try a new technique... Aha! Success!" Just changing the rules so you succeed is cheating and pointless - why even play then?
Because changing the rules is fun.  You'll have some idea for what you would like to happen and try to make it work.  Somethings won't work out quite the way you intend, or it won't turn out as interesting as you thought, and you can go back and try another technique.

Quote
Then again, it's not a game, it's a toy. It can be used to make a game, but it isn't a game in itself if you have complete control.

You're getting it!

Quote
But that's not a game - its an art project. A game has goals to overcome, goals that take some ammount of skill to achieve. A sandbox is not a game. It can be used as a TOOL inside a game, but it is not a game in itself.
Okay, okay, bad example.  How about Gravball then:  http://www.meyermike.com/viewgame.php?id=4.
Stupid game, but I had fun making it.  And, yeah, it is not supposed to be a game, its supposed to be a toy with which you can make game-like things.

Quote
Pulling a slider to "no enemies and lots of gold" still gives them a pointless level, regardless of whether they are  actually placing the coins one by one.
Yes.  It is uninteresting, and thus, one of the "failure" states of GameToy.

Quote
Sorry, I'm just not seeing the revolutionary part of this...it just sounds like you want an amateur game builder toy  - and there are lots of those around.
Uh, I'm really not under any delusion that it is revolutionary.  But I do hope that it will be fun and a unique approach to the game-builder-toy idea.
I have tried a good number of them, and none really fit the bill of what I am trying to do, but I will check out that list you linked to.

Quote
Besides, if someone isn't willing to put a minimum amount of effort into learning how to design a game, how good of a game are they actually going to be able to make?...if you really want people to mess with the dynamics, they need to UNDERSTAND them, which takes effort.
Well, if I'm lucky then playing with GameToy will be a good way to learn about game design.  I don't really care whther the end user makes an awesome game or not.  I'm just trying to make it something that anyone can use.  Whether they are any good doesn't really matter. 

I'd actually have to disagree with you about people needing to understand dynamics before they can have mess with it.  Messing with them sounds like the best way to learn it, anyway.


hmm...the little quotes interspersed throughout the post makes it annoying to read doesn't it?  I'll try not to do that next time.
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline Jaleho

  • Stargate Superstar
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • The Infamous El Guapo
    • View Profile
    • Inflatable Studios
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2006, 12:05:48 pm »
Quote from: Borogove link=topic=2135.msg55104#msg55104
First off, I'll say again that of course it will have limitations.  Huge ones.  You wouldn't have hardly any control over the graphics, for instance...



Quote
Changing the rules is fun.  You'll have some idea for what you would like to happen and try to make it work.  Somethings won't work out quite the way you intend, or it won't turn out as interesting as you thought, and you can go back and try another technique.


Quote
Quote
Pulling a slider to "no enemies and lots of gold" still gives them a pointless level, regardless of whether they are  actually placing the coins one by one.
Yes.  It is uninteresting, and thus, one of the "failure" states of GameToy.

So that's what I'm basically getting at - people who change the rules to benefit themselves quickly find out they've just deprived themself of the fun that comes from overcoming an obstacle placed in their path. But they keep doing it. This goes beyond games, of course...

A lot of my suggestions for Spore, for instance, would make the game more difficult, because it would be more REAL.

Quote
I have tried a good number of them, and none really fit the bill of what I am trying to do, but I will check out that list you linked to.

DarkBASIC has one... 3d game maker, where you get to mess around with properties of objects and drop them into the game.

Quote
I'd actually have to disagree with you about people needing to understand dynamics before they can have mess with it.  Messing with them sounds like the best way to learn it, anyway.

Anyone can pull a slider back and forth, but what are they actually learning from it? When someone says "I want to put a jump function on my guy so he can get on top of that block", they have no idea how complex that really is, and letting them click a button doesn't teach them anything. It's like giving a kid a lego airplane and then telling them they can learn about aerodynamics from it. They'd be better off with a paper airplane that actually flies and lets them reshape the paper to see the effects.

I'd rather see a series of mini-toys that teach small elements of game design individually, rather than a giant toy without any real skill being transferred. Or at least, the mini-toys beng able to be combined into the mega-toy, only after you've mastered the parts (sorta like spore - learn the tools first, then get the sandbox to play in with them)

Quote
hmm...the little quotes interspersed throughout the post makes it annoying to read doesn't it?  I'll try not to do that next time.

No, I like quotes. It helps you to know what is actually being referred to, and not trying to guess "when did I say that?"

I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just really trying to see what there is in your idea that hasn't already been done somewhere... Heck, if I understood it, I could probably help with it!

Maybe you need to make a prototype - that seems to work for maxis :)

Offline Borogove

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 779
  • mimsy: adj. - flimsy and miserable :(
    • View Profile
    • Meyermike.com
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2006, 02:08:48 pm »
I did try 3d Game Maker...and my impression of it was that there was only game you could make with it...I thought it was terrible, but it had similar goals to what I'm attempting.
For a little while I was even the poster child for DarkBasic with my game Zwischenzug(Why did I pick that name? WHY???) :)

Quote
Maybe you need to make a prototype - that seems to work for maxis
Absolutely.  I think I might actually do some prototyping in Flash first because right now my graphics engine doesn't seem to run on most computers besides mine.  I suspect I can fix that just by turning off the shaders, but I haven't looked into it yet.  As a side note, one goal of the project is that it would be my tool for prototyping in the future.

Unfortunately, I just odn't see where I am gonna get a couple hours to devote to some prototyping until probably the weekend AFTER this one...

This project isn't actually meant to do anything that other game creation tools haven't in terms of product features.  What I seek to do is:

  • Find ways to get the highest degree of flexibility I can, while still keeping it super easy to use.
  • Have the "tool" and the "game" happening at the same time.  Instead of making a change and then recompiling, I can make a change while it is still playing and observe the effects while I am still changing it.
  • Basically, make a tool that looks more like a game.
  • Probably the biggest difference is that the focus is on making using the tool fun, rather than on just being a tool for making a product.

I might make a separate executable or something that just disables the editting controls, for sharing the game you've made with others.

I could even make it a game about game-making by giving the user goals and limitations.  Like, make a game with no enemies that takes AI player A between 30 seconds and one minute to beat.  But of course I need to have a fun toy before adding goals would make it a fun game.
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com

Offline Jaleho

  • Stargate Superstar
  • ****
  • Posts: 668
  • The Infamous El Guapo
    • View Profile
    • Inflatable Studios
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2006, 03:46:07 pm »
I think I might actually do some prototyping in Flash first because right now... Unfortunately, I just odn't see where I am gonna get a couple hours to devote to some prototyping until probably the weekend AFTER this one...

Heck, just give me the basics and I'll whip up v. 0.0.1a so you can get started. Just write up something like "There should be a player character that can move left and right along the ground with the arrow keys, jump with the space bar, and picks up spheres. As each sphere is touched, it disappears and adds one to the score. The character can't move past the edges of the screen."

then say "ok, now the player should be able to click on the player, or one of the spheres, and change what keys move the character left and right, what key jumps, how fast they can move, how high they can jump, where the ground level is, how many spheres there are, where the spheres are located, whether or not they disappear when touched, whether they give a positive score (and what amount), a negative score (and what amount), or no score at all, and the color of the sphere."

Then you and/or I can just keep adding to the engine.

Offline Borogove

  • Venture Conqueror
  • ****
  • Posts: 779
  • mimsy: adj. - flimsy and miserable :(
    • View Profile
    • Meyermike.com
Re: 'Collateral Romance', prototyping, what Spore might really be
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2006, 11:58:07 pm »
I think I had 3d Gamemaker confused with FPS Creator.  I just downloaded a 3D GameMaker Demo, aber, es ist auf Deutsch!  Jetzt lerne ich, wie viel Deutsch ich mich noch errinern.

I'm sure I butchered that grammar...

Also, it's nigh 3am, but I got a good start on that prototype, but then I got distracted and turned it into a prototype for a weird RTS idea I had...
I was gonna link to it, 'cause I thought it was kind of cool, but it really doesn't look anything like what I'm talking about here so I'll wait til I'm further along.

Maybe I should take this to a game design forum someplace, though...
Use those talents you have. You will make it. You will give joy to the world. Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best.
-- Bernard Meltzer

Check out my games:  http://www.meyermike.com