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Author Topic: Help Semaj Design a video Game...  (Read 7938 times)
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Semaj
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« on: April 06, 2008, 10:47:23 AM »

Ok the Subject is a lie, but I was bored.

I have been discussing making cheap ass games for years.  Everything from Sid Meirs pirates in Space (Campy, lots of ship to ship combat, very one on oneish, none of the crazy stuff).  To a decent Football Simulation (Damn you Goaline Blitz).  I have however decided rather that talk about doing it, i probably should do it while I still have the drive and ability.  So I've been tossing around some ideas for games and was wondering if you guys could be brutally honest (Yay Pre production testing)  remember, These are ideas, so be honest, brutal isn't ideal but I am a tough cookie I can take the pain.

-----------

A Wrestling MMO.  You design a wrestler (or a couple, I guess I could charge for extra slots or something) and grow him from a young lad into a strong fast wrestler who is good on the stick.  If you are lucky enough maybe you will make it to the bigs and the huge contracts and stardom.  If not, you might end up wrestling in unknown feds for most of your life.  If you save up enough money, you can start or buy your own federation, and run it.  From where you book to how you advertise.  The matches determine how popular your shows are, and over time you can develop your federation into something that competes with real federations.

I was thinking for this to work I might have to make a semi-decent Create-a-Wrestler much like that create-a-hero website, or like CoX's ability to make any costume.  And a very active message boards for people to talk trash and cut promo's and commercials and well have fun.

------------

A Mixed Martial Arts MMO - rumor has it MMA is the new hotness.  As such you design a fighter, you train him you battle him and work your way to the top.  It's a pretty simple premise....

------------

A Cyberpunk/Shadowrun-style RPG where your main characters are actually DMC Dante level snarky with the villains and the storyline is fairly engrossing and fun. (In theory anyways).

------------

Pirate-Ninja War....  A combat game of epic proportions  (I cant decide between a puzzle game where combat involves winning a puzzle of some kind or a all out Conflict where Pirates and ninjas brawl for supremacy (More of a strategy game along the lines of Final Fantasy Tactics))

So does any of this sound cool to you? smile

*edited for horrible spelling and some grammar errors.
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2008, 11:30:19 AM »

How much programming and game programming experience do you have?

If your skill is nothing to moderate, you'll want to drop any ideas involving the letters MM in them because multiplayer is one big problem in itself, and massively multiplayer is whole other can of worms.
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2008, 05:14:09 PM »

CS degree, In college I built an amazon clone doing most of the Db end, I've been needing to brush up on my Asp/SQL-type skills.  I have good C++ knowledge, can do most java coding, been looking at C# a while now so that I know how to do most non vicious coding in it (I have 2 books on it, and am going through them as we speak)... I wont bother mentioning languages I wont need or would be a ree-ree for coding in.

I have a fairly decent idea how to do most of the codework for anything I would be doing.  If i didn't, I'd probably join a community or two or just ask any one of my 20 friends who work in the field about it.  Most have been telling me I should do it/can do it for the same amount of time I've been debating it.
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2008, 05:22:44 PM »

Pirates Vs ninjas!  either way you do it could make it the next Puzzle Quest or Battle for Wesnoth!
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2008, 07:29:04 PM »

A procedurally generated zombie or other apocalypse survival RPG.  Top down or isometric perspective, similar to fallout, where the main goal is to survive.  Later you can build bigger systems on top of the basic move around, loot buildings, dodge/fight zombies/evil things to become something where you can start your own survivor's settlement not unlike dwarf fortress.  Real-time or turn based, but the key is having a manageable pace.

Each game would be a new experience as the map, buildings, NPCs, items, etc... are all procedurally generated.  Then throw in a nice crafting system and maybe multiplayer for some co-op survival.
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2008, 08:41:23 PM »

How about a turned based Zombie Survival game that played a bit like Tactics... or maybe X-Com... You all have guns and you wander around and zombies appear when they finally hit you POV... hrm...  That may have been what you said...   yeah it is...

co-op survival is huge, imagine how fun it would be to allow one group to play the zombies (or one player) and the rest have to survive.  Like everyone could spend points on weapons and armor and the zombie guy gets to buy a bunch of zombies so its even and then its on.... 

I never played Dwarf Fortress... Wasn't that some ascii-graphics game?

*hits google next*

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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2008, 10:51:50 PM »

maybe Pirate Zombies vs Ninja Ghouls?
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2008, 01:10:53 AM »

co-op is basically everyone vs the computer, thus every human player can win.  The key would be to focus it on survival and working together.  But before that, you need to actually create the engine, prototype the basic gameplay, etc...

Zombies vs. Humans adversarial games have been done in quite a few mods for engines from HL1 to UT3.
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2008, 01:14:28 AM »

The real work is the engine.

As such I'll probably look around and see if there is a decent one to start with so i dont have to spend the countless hours designing my own and can spend more time of the other things smile
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« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2008, 08:28:57 AM »

Well, if you need an artist, let me know.  I need a lot of stuff pronto for a video game portfolio.  So as soon as you decide on an idea, I can try my hand at concepts, but I'm better at modeling and animation.
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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2008, 09:21:16 AM »

thats immensely helpful on about 200 different levels.

Since I have determined my artistic ability is only noticeable when it comes to drawing stick figures.. smile

I'll let you know when I get a little time and work on exactly how it'll go and what I want it to do...
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2008, 07:45:02 PM »

Duuude, why stop at Pirates vs Ninjas?
Go all out and throw in every damn billion times overused character type!

I don't want a ninja pirate..

I want a ninja pirate robot zombie warewolf Nazi from hell!

Heh I keeed I keeed.
Didn't somebody create a ninja vs pirate dodgeball game recently?

I say make it a side scroller, where your kills gain xp towards leveling which allows you to add ridiculous attacks to your existing combinations.
Random cannonball pirate attack, or billion shuriken ninja attack.. the possibilities are endless!

I can doodle concept art, but that's about all.
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« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2008, 09:32:03 PM »

I came up with a not-so-brief design doc recently for a game idea I had. It's an adventure Monkey Island-style game, and in my head I saw it as using a similar artwork style as Curse of Monkey Island. It involves high comedy as your character, a wannabe thief, enters a town where someone known as "The Muffin Man" is terrorizing the populace by stealing from the poor and giving to the wealthy. Haven't quite figured out the minutia on that but it struck me as funny. There are other forces though, and you have to break into and steal certain things from places like a butcher shop, a bakery, and a candlestick shop.

Yes, The Butcher, the Baker, and the Candlestick Maker are all part of the game. Their individual lairs are whole different adventures and such.

Like I said, I have plenty of notes that I've meant to type up for the last month but never have. Let me know via PM or email or IM if an oddball comic adventure game is something you're interested in and we can talk further. smile
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2008, 12:52:27 AM »

Well...   I;ve spent the lats day or so just looking up game engine notes, since apparently making them sucks (lol)...

I think the plan is the Strategy/survival game via zombies atm... I have always loves X-com and I love the idea of making a strategy game out of a survival game.  Although, when I am done, if I am ever done *twitch*, I'll work on a decent RPG engine...

When I do, I'll let you know Skim..

So.. What do you think:
3-d, Top Down or Isometric?

Top Down would play a lot like Advance Squad leader, isometric would play a lot like x-com...  I cant imagine how 3-d would play unless it was a RTS style where you would swivel the camera angle around some but it mainly stayed isometric.
No idea what 3-d Would play like,
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« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2008, 02:20:16 AM »

I think the style would be dependent upon which is easiest. From the sound of things, it would be beneficial to bang this out quickly, so I'd say go with the style that means the least amount of time developing the engine. This will leave plenty more time for the fun stuff of plotting out the game, characters, story, gameplay and such. I will, of course, offer my services as a writer in this regard so if you do have dialogue in the game it is as solid as everything else. smile
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« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2008, 04:11:10 AM »

If you go 3D, do things better by locking the camera.  The main reason why more casual games are successful is that they don't burden the player with too much camera control.  Moving the camera around is one thing, having to adjust the angle every few seconds is just annoying.

Instead, do things that they did in classic 2d isometric games like drop away walls, silhouettes, etc...

I vote for isometric 3/4ths 3D.

The idea of a X-com-like survival strategy game where instead of managing an X-Com base, you manage a survivor stronghold and must send out parties to scour the zombie infested land for supplies, other survivors, etc... sounds great.  Just remember that it's always more complex than it sounds.  Especially in terms of polishing up a feature so that it feels right along with working correctly.
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2008, 03:32:57 AM »

Are we doing this again?  slywink

Brings back memories buddy.

P.S. Go play Dwarf Fortress hehe.
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2008, 04:31:51 AM »

I did have a thought on this in terms of what to base it on, or to use as an inspiration springboard. Once you decide on the engine, then do a simple survival zombie game but based more on the style of "I Am Legend" (the book). The character's base is his/her house in a quiet neighborhood and he/she has to venture forth for supplies/equipment/weapons/ammo/etc. Zombies can be plentiful or sparse, depending on how you want to go. Make it a small town so your geography is properly limited to minimize your headaches in development and also to maximize in-game tension. Start the character well off, or at least decent, considering he/she has been cooped up for a month or two at least. But as the game starts the character is running out of food/water/ammo and needs to venture out. Thoughts?
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2008, 04:43:29 AM »

Quote from: Semaj on April 07, 2008, 01:14:28 AM

The real work is the engine.

As such I'll probably look around and see if there is a decent one to start with so i dont have to spend the countless hours designing my own and can spend more time of the other things smile

http://creators.xna.com/
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2008, 05:03:27 AM »

The ascii graphics throw me off, I look at it and feel like I am trying to learn Japanese... Konnichiwa bitches..

What the hell did happen to the OO design group?  I lost internet and have no clue what occurred.


As for the survival game... My first thought is: Make the engine, and then play it... no worries about a campaign  or a survival setting just yet.  Make sure its retardedly fun, like you wanna do it again 5 or 10 times fun. 

Then, work on having it so it's a randomly generated setting, so it's never the same thing twice.

I'd probably start with a campaign mode where your storyboard is some fairly simple setup and your first 12 or 20 missions are givens.

Then we would get into a survival mode where you are some shlep and you have to survive while going out looking for food and other necessities.  Over time you start finding other survivors and you get a group setting.  With the end all being getting out of the city alive, or something epic.  IT could be like Oregon trail (Buy all bullets, we be fighting indians)...

I guess they key is, the campaign shows you how to raid a city for items, like a gun store for armory and the supermarket for foodstuffs.

as of right now, I havent worked on a storyboard or anything major yet.  You think 15-20 missions is ideal?  I assume by the end it's you just trying to get to the end so you can play the skirmish mode smile

ok, twice I have tried ot post and someone has posted... lol.. *checks it out coop*
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2008, 05:17:30 AM »

It doesnt say much about licensing for the software anywhere.

So I asked my friend and apparently he works with xna for work.  As such I shall find out the truth shortly, muhahahahah
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2008, 05:19:40 AM »

Quote from: Semaj on April 10, 2008, 05:03:27 AM

ok, twice I have tried ot post and someone has posted... lol.. *checks it out coop*

The downside is it's limited in who can play your games, at least for now, the upside is it does a LOT of the underbelly stuff for you, interfacing with the video card, keyboard and sound card. Eventually I think you'd be able to market your creation as a XBLA game assumng the quality is up to snuff. slywink I'm not sure what they'll do for PC creations. Currently you can share it with anyone else with C# express edition and the XNA framework, both free.
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2008, 06:45:05 AM »

ok, talked ot my friend, and he says its totally free, yay, and you can make exe files... So anyone can play it.  It's free to all windows people to give out as you want or need, and if you want to use it for the xbox, then you have to go through them. 

Since it's all basically examples, all you really have to do is compile it in studio and in theory its your own, so you dont have to go through them even if it was very demanding... not like I would if I use someone else's stuff I probably would respect their wishes...

But... I am still not going to say I'll be using this without test driving it some...  And then deciding if its right.  Because while I know what i envision for the game, until I see an engine, I wont know if it plays like I imagine it.  I guess we should start working on a storyboard... Man I should get my own forum for this smile
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2008, 06:46:06 AM »

Get the engine working first, then worry about the storyboard.
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2008, 08:53:36 AM »

Well i figure, while I work on the engine, I'll need something to do that isn't 3 hours a day of goaline blitz and makes me feel slightly more productive.

As such, working on the other parts will help..   Heh..
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2008, 09:04:56 AM »

Ah, well in that case, go right ahead.  Tongue

I know the feeling.  I'm about to go cold turkey on gaming for a week so I can get a lot of stuff done.
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2008, 02:21:05 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on April 10, 2008, 06:46:06 AM

Get the engine working first, then worry about the storyboard.

I don't think there's any question about this aspect of it. smile
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« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2008, 07:00:03 PM »

Quote from: Semaj on April 06, 2008, 10:47:23 AM

A Cyberpunk/Shadowrun-style RPG where your main characters are actually DMC Dante level snarky with the villains and the storyline is fairly engrossing and fun. (In theory anyways).

I like this one the best.
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« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2008, 04:09:59 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on April 11, 2008, 07:00:03 PM

Quote from: Semaj on April 06, 2008, 10:47:23 AM

A Cyberpunk/Shadowrun-style RPG where your main characters are actually DMC Dante level snarky with the villains and the storyline is fairly engrossing and fun. (In theory anyways).

I like this one the best.

I liked it a lot too, was working on the storyboard when I decided I'd rather ask others input before spending weeks on something no one would dig.  It's my second in line on games I wanna make..  I kinda like the Steampunk/Cyberpunk/shadowrun idea a lot... smile
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2008, 04:41:49 AM »

I like that idea except for the snarky characters.  We got enough of snarky in the last gen of games, no need for more of them.  Or at least, have the whole team be fleshed out.

How goes the game Semaj?  Need any art assets yet?
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« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2008, 06:58:00 AM »

I’m a soon to be Graphic Design graduate with modest game design experience if you need another artist.  Lately I do a lot of web work so if you need a website and have a place to host it I would be willing to help there as well.  Besides, it would look good in my portfolio.  icon_smile
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2008, 12:47:15 AM »

L9, the industry has a big need for interface designers right now.  Consider looking into that position and its requirements, it's easy to shift your graphic design experience (especially any motion graphics experience) into interface design.
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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2008, 04:47:16 AM »

I’m actually in the process of applying to places right now.  I pretty much have definite from a smallish web design firm but I don’t really want to work with them and the salary isn’t great, if you could give me a lead on where to look I would love to check it out.
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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2008, 07:58:11 AM »

I know for certain that Insomniac Games here in California is looking.  One of the Blizzard studios is also looking for interface design.  Just go and carpet bomb all studios you can find with your stuff.  Put your portfolio and resume online, make sure it's neat.  Then in your letter write basically a cover letter that points them to your online portfolio.
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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2008, 07:28:25 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on April 16, 2008, 04:41:49 AM

I like that idea except for the snarky characters.  We got enough of snarky in the last gen of games, no need for more of them.  Or at least, have the whole team be fleshed out.

How goes the game Semaj?  Need any art assets yet?

Agreed, the whole team would be fleshed out.  Since in theory they have been friends for a while they would play off each other as opposed to the main guy being the cool one and everyone else being along for the ride.

And I am done with my 15 minute review/write up and and working on the design chart.  Once done I'll be spending a few sleepless nights reading over code, o the joys I so missed from projects.  If you want to look at things, let me know, I'll figure out how to get internet for the next month or so and go from there smile


Quote from: Lordnine on April 17, 2008, 04:47:16 AM

I’m actually in the process of applying to places right now.  I pretty much have definite from a smallish web design firm but I don’t really want to work with them and the salary isn’t great, if you could give me a lead on where to look I would love to check it out.

Heh I have pretty much gotten wrecked on a few phone interviews this month.  Apparently, studying isnt going to help when they interview you for a different position smile

Nope, not bitter about it, o noes.  I figure I need to do this as much to get every bit of my memory and codeskills back.  I just hate not being top notch and I dont feel it at the moment whihc probbaly shows on my interviews. 
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« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2008, 09:21:06 PM »

Quote from: Semaj on April 17, 2008, 07:28:25 PM


Heh I have pretty much gotten wrecked on a few phone interviews this month.  Apparently, studying isnt going to help when they interview you for a different position smile

Nope, not bitter about it, o noes.  I figure I need to do this as much to get every bit of my memory and codeskills back.  I just hate not being top notch and I dont feel it at the moment whihc probbaly shows on my interviews. 

Kind of off topic but I’ve been expanding my search radius a bit and was amazed by one job posting I saw today.  Around my area you are LUCKY if you can find a job that pays $40grand a year and you will be doing everything; I saw one in NY making PowerPoint presentations and the pay scale was $75-$90grand a year.  I giggled uncontrollably for a good five minutes then forwarded my resume.

I don’t have the 5 years experience they want but for that kind of money I will take a chance and apply anyways.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2008, 10:53:43 PM »

Upstate or NYC?

In NYC you can make 40 a year showing people how to use their cell phones.

Upstate PP for 70 a year?  Shit, I'm there... I did a few PP presentations in college (Holographic memory, how to sleep in class, a few others)

That reminds me I need to hit craigslist and check out the job offers.
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« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2008, 10:13:03 PM »

Is the cost of living really that much worse in NY?  Looking on my own finances and living in Vermont I figured I could live comfortably on $35grand and still pay off the ridiculous number of loans I have that paid for my college.
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« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2008, 07:35:28 PM »

In NYC 35 grand is horrible.

From Albany to Upstate NY, 35 grand is comfortable living.
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« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2008, 02:27:25 AM »

Ok Doing the brainstorming stuff about what needs to be in the game... like people, zombies and combat.  As I do that, I made up a paper prototype and am in the process of convincing others othelp me test it out.  I kept everything simple and am looking for ways to improve it so it's less clunky and boring... And so I can work on progression of characters (RPG-like elements)....

Reading a few dozen books about game design to see what steps I forgot... wasnt many, but I liked the idea of a paper prototype with simplistic area generators.  After a few sessions I should hae a good idea what is and isnt fun and how to upgrade.


As far as brainstorming for anything that can and in theory should be in the game, if any of you have any requests, feel free to fire off.

Next time I have internets and a flash drive, I'll post my 15 minute write up.
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