06/02/2012

Sorry

I lied, didn't I? I'm sure you're very upset, imaginary readership. I apologise.


The ideas never stop. The capacity's still there, perhaps. But the opportunity cost is more than it's ever been. Degrees are a tricky business.

And maybe I'll never have time... but that's okay. Perhaps there are too many game developers out there already anyway.

Well, thanks for reading, imaginary reader.

(Not that I'm promising that this is the end or anything.)

20/11/2010

Oxford

is a big city, full of smart people. For now, my disguise has held!


New game dev. stuff totally coming, honest. My non-existent readership will be left disappointed for no longer!

08/07/2009

20/06/2009

Twitch Weaponry

video




Guns are cool. Guns that aren't locked to your eyeballs moreso. As well as hopefully making me a little more well-known/remembered, this has served as a warmup, and a start perhaps for another gamemode inspired (but not a completion of) Industrial Warzone. We'll see.

16/06/2009

Silly dice mechanic

Devised an amusing dice mechanic. You roll a pool of dice (d6s currently) based on your competency (3, 4, 5 or 6), and the objective is to get a pair of dice with the same face-up value, and that value to be above the target number.


For example, Bob tries to pick the lock, which has a target number of 3. He's fairly competent, so gets 5 dice. His odds of succeeding? About 67%. He rolls 1, 2, 5, 5 with his dice, giving him a pair of 5s, a success (one beyond the target number).

I had to write a calculator in Python for the unusual success calculation method in order to get an idea of the probabilities of things happening. I've set it up to have changeable values for dice pool size and dice faces, and to be able to give you probabilities for one or all target numbers given those values. It gives percentages, giant fraction and a bar of hyphens to show probabilities, handy for getting an idea of any curve properties across different possible TNs.

Sample output:

For rolling 5 6-sided dice:
Target Chance
1+ 90% |---------------------------------------------.....| 7056 / 7776
2+ 80% |----------------------------------------..........| 6230 / 7776
3+ 67% |---------------------------------.................| 5264 / 7776
4+ 53% |--------------------------........................| 4158 / 7776
5+ 37% |------------------................................| 2912 / 7776
6+ 19% |---------.........................................| 1526 / 7776

I really like this. I feel I've done something productive and a bit creative, even though it's simple and common stuff.

One of the cool things I envisage doing with this system is giving certain opposed rolls an element of betting by players based on their rolls. For example, players representing two combatants fighting with swords each roll their dice pool, hiding it from the other combatant's player. They then decide what action they want to declare with the result they have. Certain actions might favour results that far exceed those of opponents, like powerful strikes; others might be more suitable for a result you have little confidence in, like blocking; some characters may even be able to exploit a terrible roll and make it a success by feinting, if the opponent rolls much much better and tries to strike.

Additionally, players can increase how often and well they can succeed with mechanical traits (or decrease how often with mechanical flaws). For example, a composed character might apply a trait to their lockpicking skills, so that if they roll and get no pairs, they can treat their result as a pair with value of the lowest die they rolled. A perfectionist might apply a flaw to their katana skill, so that they cannot declare any sort of attack with a result of less than a pair of 5s.

Characters supercharged with chance might be able to get traits allowing them to reroll some dice after they have been revealed to an opponent in an opposed check, to always have a chance of shock success. Some traits would allow you to do special things post-reveal whenever you roll a 6. Some flaws would force you to do certain things post-reveal whenever you roll a 1. The possibilities are extensive and exciting.

tl;dr: cool potential with this new dice mechanic, especially for combat/similar things, and I programmed something which makes me happy.

12/06/2009

Really really short posts?

I haven't the willpower to make long posts. So instead, I'll make very short posts. Sometimes questions, sometimes concepts, sometimes solutions.

Today will be a question.

In a tabletop RPG, how viable is it to have specific rules for melee resolution, and is it possible to form a system that intelligently handles one combatant fighting many combatants at once?

Oh, and another question too.

Would that be fun?

03/10/2008

Think random development thoughts!

I was talking to someone yesterday via IM about an addon for Garry's Mod (though it's a generic thing I'm going to address). He proposed something, and we talked about whether it's possible, the complications involved, the complications in making it accessible to players and not a risk for people using it, and finally whether the end product would be worth the effort involved.

Doing this allowed me to make a few observations about discussing development with someone who isn't a developer:

  • They'll make a lot of valid points, especially some good ones relating to the accessibility/method of use of something, but they can easily misjudge how big a concern their points are, especially in early development. For example, the person I was speaking to thought that keeping players from ruining other's fun, or crashing the game for themselves or others, was a serious consideration for a tool right from the start of development. In reality, restrictions and limits are easy to implement compared to the main bulk of the features.
  • For obvious reasons, they can't know whether something is possible. Therefore, you spend an inordinate amount of time exploring the realms of impossibility unless you want to prevent them contributing at all, which is of course wrong. I had the peron I was talking to attempt to persuade me I was wrong in saying somehing was impossible at one point, which was REALLY awkward.
  • They severely undervalue random spontaneous combustion of any entity.
I may sound a bit of a prat, but I'm really just typing some of my thoughtstream. I've got some of my best ideas from talking with people who couldn't make their ideas into reality themselves, but these ideas always need so much refinement they become all but incomparable to the original proposal. If anyone actually reads this blog and everthinks a developer, big or small, should do this or that, just think: if I were discussing my issue with them, would my concet be bulletproof against physical or practical objections?