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October 23, 2014, 11:01:12 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsthe Game (by Graham)
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Graham-
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« on: February 28, 2013, 07:02:10 PM »

I've been working a long time on my designs. So much design work... spilling out of my text editor and hard drive. Pff... if you have ever read even 3 posts by me you'll know several things, hopefully:
  1. I write a lot.
  2. I talk a lot of theory.
  3. I like AI and procedurally generated content.

No surprise my game involves all of these things. I had hoped originally to work on my own for a much longer time, but that is no longer possible. I must share where I am at now so that I can include other people in my life, in particular my family and friends - not tigs/public - but since you guys are here I may as well reap the benefits of sharing with everyone. Those benefits will be significant.

The process I will be following is simple:
  1. Update the design.
  2. Update the prototype.
  3. Get feedback.
  4. Repeat.

The cycle will be as small as possible. Everything I do will be shared publicly. Well, the major decisions will be. No code, not my library of personal notes, but all the reasoning that goes into a decision, at least enough for anyone to understand it, will be shared.

Covering all of the things I hope the game will one day do is ridiculous. There would be too much to cover. So instead I'll introduce the project, then begin updating. The updates are what will give the project context. I hope you guys will be active in the process. I would like that very much. Duh....

Here is the project's home and introductory post, the only one: http://tortoisearts.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/the-great-experiment/. I expect to update at a minimum of every week, hopefully twice a week. Each update will be significant. If I don't have a design by next week, a playable (and worthwhile) prototype by the following week, and a seriously community-influenced (improved) prototype by the week after, I'll be seriously out of sync with my soul.

The game is an action-adventure-RPG, inside a sandbox MMO. In a future post I'll talk about some of the things I have planned, like you know, everything there is to know.

Peace.

---

If you're wondering why I would post without the proverbial "content," please see the link mentioned above, for my reasons why this way is the best way to begin. In summary: I want the infancy of the game to be public, so the whole evolution of it is tracked, publicly. The most important part of this game is its collaborative nature.


« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 04:05:59 AM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 08:34:03 PM »

For the record, since that's what this is, I am loving the numbers going up on my blog. 1 view, a handful more. Ooh, I've never had this happen to me before. I've worked with people. I've done things. But I've never put myself out there, not on the internet, because I never had anything to share. Now I have a lot of work to share.

I am very motivated to get some good content out soon. Jeeze, can I do days? I think so.

---

edits: To avoid the bump.

I'll likely post a lot of shit regarding particular areas of the design. I do not know if I'll be able to create an overview right away. Instead I'll focus on a couple of key areas, and see how people react to them.

.

Likely start with some action elements, a focus on challenge, platforming/parcour influences, and personality filled enemies. Think of Mario monsters, with geometry wars complexity - think of how the enemies have distinct behaviours - abstract graphics, and a little sound. Limited music.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 05:53:58 PM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 10:32:38 PM »

This is some stuff I wrote down before. It provides a nice introduction to the game. Its coverage is not balanced or complete, but it is not misleading either. I have put the same content in a blog post: http://tortoisearts.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/broken-introduction-to-the-design/

What is it?

An action-adventure-RPG, inside a sandbox MMO.

What are some of its inspirations?

Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, Mario, Prince of Persia, Minecraft, Final Fantasy, Smash Bros, Sacrifice, Counter Strike

What are its defining features?

Non-linear, rich story, develops in response to player's actions.
Life-like NPCs
Insanely deep, approachable, combat.
Co-op that creates complex relationships between players.
A procedurally generated world that adapts to the player's needs.



In-depth stuff

The main character:

So an important quality of this game is that you define your own character, and you don't do it through menus. You do it through play. You make decisions in game, in interesting ways, naturally, and your character evolves to match them. At the beginning of the game you don't even have a character. You are just an ethereal being, with no markings or presence, that watches the world pass on before you. By pressing buttons and moving your mouse/joystick you affect the world and your character develops.

The idea is that there is this world out there, that is my spirit. Everything I like and believe in is there, at least that I am aware of. You can explore it, learn about it, master it. And as you do you make your presence known. You express yourself and you become a part of my world. You create a new place that is a combination of what we both believe. When you are done the campaign your personal setting should reflect the things you felt playing, like a diary, or a second home, a digital one, that gives you back everything you put into it every time you play.

When the campaign is over you are dumped into a free space, and begin to surpass me, creating things more interesting than I did, and learn to express yourself as I have, extending the game, all through it. You join up with other players and do things together, passing on the torch to the next generation. This game is an endless one, in which the players become the creators, and the creators become the players, in a theoretically endless cycle of growth and understanding.

Themes:

Space, war, family, society. Picking up girls, or men. Dealing with marriage and children, your parents. Tragedy, fear, oppression, hatred. Meditation, fasting, hunger. Learning to be at peace, to get in the zone, to let your impulses fly out of you.

Karate, kung fu, ninja, battles, medieval war. Samurai, seppuku, honor, sparring, friendship, love. The ancient world. Law, police, gangsters. Solving puzzles, Sherlock Holmes, mysteries, exploration. Working on a team, machines, computers, AIs.

Mechanics:

Tactics, action, combat, creation. Platforming, time shifting, parcour. Leveling, monster tracking, capturing, training. Team building.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2013, 11:08:17 PM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 10:49:44 PM »

short post: http://tortoisearts.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/feeling-connected/

Intro:

The coolest thing about this stuff is weirdly motivated I feel now. "Connected," that's how I feel. Everything feels richer, I care more about indie news and shit. Why? Because it immediately feeds into my idea for the game, which seems so much more real now.

One of the major concepts behind my game is that the iteration cycle is motivating. A player does something, then learns from it. I think the first thing I wanted to change about games, ever, was the following: I don't want games to be too easy, or shallow. I want depth and challenge. Depth and challenge, all the time! Rare a game provides you with this, and continuously provides you with it.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 03:07:05 AM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2013, 03:08:04 AM »

4 new posts, covering:
  . design theorists
  . minor design overview
  . magic systems
  . the "collaboration" goals of the project

http://tortoisearts.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/kung-fu-panda-and-creating-the-new-bible/

---

few more days 'till the first design proposal. prototype in a weekish?
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2013, 05:19:46 AM »

thank you. few people have accused me of not being ambitious. we'll see how it goes.
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 04:04:34 AM »

New post, talking about the core 3 ideals for this game - the core play loop: create, play, share. Cliche? Yeah, but that's because everyone else is a copycat.

excerpt:

"I spent several years studying social networks. I worked on one for a while back in my employment days. I came up with some technology for facilitating group work, and more particularly, getting the content produced by one person in the hands of someone else who might need it. Not through the social graph Ė not using that Ė but through the patterns in how people consumed things: thatís how I did it. Iíve been working on this tech for a long time."

link: http://tortoisearts.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/play-create-share/

If anyone wants to give feedback on this or any other post I've written feel free to do it here, or there. Either way is fine. I'd value any kind of comment.

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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 05:01:14 AM »

Interesting. Do you actually know how you will make all these things, or are they just what you hope your game will become?
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 05:08:43 AM »

No I know. Obviously there are some details left to be worked out... but basically I know. I had to spend a lot of time researching so I could pull this off. ... like a lot.
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 03:53:54 AM »

2 posts.

Next I'll post discussions of "create," and "share." Those two will be more conversational, personal. I have way more experience exploring "play," so that's why. I'll bump with those when they go up.
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 07:10:42 AM »

Too much talk, no work... Start making the thing already or you'll never finish it. Having a GDD is nice but having a prototype is much better.
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 08:36:43 AM »

Work is work.
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 10:07:23 AM »

What is it?

An action-adventure-RPG, inside a sandbox MMO.

What are some of its inspirations?

Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, Mario, Prince of Persia, Minecraft, Final Fantasy, Smash Bros, Sacrifice, Counter Strike

What are its defining features?

Non-linear, rich story, develops in response to player's actions.
Life-like NPCs
Insanely deep, approachable, combat.
Co-op that creates complex relationships between players.
A procedurally generated world that adapts to the player's needs.


I can't tell if this is a joke or not...
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 10:16:11 AM »

hahahah...

It's real. This is why the design....
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 10:27:21 AM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2013, 11:12:00 AM »

I want to reply to the previous two replies.

I don't know how to explain easily why I have to do it this way. I just do. I think as the project moves forward it will become clear why design is so important to this game. Every game has its strengths. Mine most certainly has its in the design. That's where most of the weight is.

You'll see a prototype soon too - maximum 2 weeks. I just wanted to walk through many of the details in reaching that point in a public sphere. Much of this project will be "open." I expect people to contribute. In a sense this game is designed around the goal of having people contribute, making that process easier. So I wanted to start sharing right away... so that I would know how it felt to do that, see how people would react.

Every game should start with its strengths. If you're a rocking character designer, start with characters. If your game is about the environment, start with that. My game is about communicating the design, the vision that "you" have for making the game better. That is the most important piece. So that's the piece I have shared first.
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2013, 11:31:31 AM »

I'm a little confused by your project, you've designed an ai, that crafts a game based on player feedback?
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2013, 11:34:34 AM »

Sort of, yeah.

The AI bit is kind of middle level tech, so it won't go in until later. At the beginning it will be more like... generated levels, that players play, then provide feedback on either directly or indirectly - such as through metrics. Then this feedback is analyzed, either by basic systems or by me, and the game changes.

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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2013, 05:29:14 PM »

Guys, let's just wait until he gets a prototype running, to see what it's all about. Sorry Graham, but right now, it's a little too abstract to truly understand what you're talking about.
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« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2013, 05:31:58 PM »

I think I get what you're saying, so the level gen will try and produce similar levels to those with positive feedback, right?
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« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2013, 08:25:15 PM »

Sort of, yeah.

The AI bit is kind of middle level tech, so it won't go in until later. At the beginning it will be more like... generated levels, that players play, then provide feedback on either directly or indirectly - such as through metrics. Then this feedback is analyzed, either by basic systems or by me, and the game changes.



word definitely interested, I can't imagine how this will turn out (I guess that's kind of the point), it seems to really rely on feedback from your players to be successful.  keep us posted
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