+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 21 to 32 of 32

Thread: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

  1. #21
    Stranger in a Strange Land lr-hr-rh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Limbo

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Quote Originally Posted by Noqanky View Post
    If there's a wide variety of top/high tier threats with occasional low-tier characters emerging as counterpicks, I feel at that point there's reasonable balance. It's hard to wonder what the community consensus is on what's balanced and what isn't because
    1) the community is not unanymous, and there will be as many people online praising Melee for being balanced as there will be calling it unbalanced
    2) Like you say, games are designed not to be perfectly balanced. The goal is that strong characters are obvious and easy for new players to use, but allow for more technical characters to exist that counter what makes those characters powerful. The actual meta of the game then winds up feeling alive as everyone flocks to strong characters, followed by a season where someone shows everyone else how to counter those and leads to new strategies for victory, and from there the competition diversifies over time. When Smash 4 came out everyone thought Little Mac was stupidly good, until everyone learned how to deal with him.
    As for the Yoshi player, I believe you're thinking of Japanese player Amsa, who did indeed show the world that Yoshi had actual competitive value when used properly.
    Yeah I like that as a reasonable definition of balance. As you say, the broad spectrum of human opinion can appear quiet finicky when looked at in its totality. I think it’s a good idea to therefore look at what people do to infer how well things are balanced. That’s part of why I was asking how Nintendo goes about evaluating the wants of their audience. I figured there might’ve been word getting around that Nintendo tracks character use data along with other circumstantial stuff from online battles or something similar.

    Not sure what you're talking about here. Presumably, if Smash Bros does come out on Switch, chances are it will only be possible to play against other people on that same version, particularly since the Nintendo Switch is expected to have its own paid online services. It would not make sense to allow people to play against each other between Switch and Wii U/3DS with the latter not paying a cent for online. This is assuming you mean different consoles as in different platforms.
    Sorry that came off pretty confusing reading it back. I was trying to compare Smash to other cross-console games like FighterZ where you can buy it on PS4, XBOne and PC, where I expected an owner of the latter game to have relatively fewer problems finding friends to play the game with…before I considered it might well be the case you can’t play someone on their PS4 version of FighterZ if you have the PC version. In hindsight I probably should’ve just deleted that section.

    As for availability of other players, I feel like it's important to remember that conditions for gamers world-wide are not as universal as we like to assume. Despite it being 2018, not everyone has access to stable online services or avenues with which to find other people that play games. It's this weird thing where sometimes it feels like the gaming industry imagines a specific coccoon of people as their main demographic ignoring the millions out there that could potentially get into games but won't find themselves with 3 other friends to magically play with, and won't know of things like discord channels focused on specific game communities. I could go on about the benefits of single player, but I probably will just do so in a blog post soon anyway ^^;
    But yeah, I’m definitely aware that online service quality varies pretty widely even within first world countries (I found it to be pretty uniformly shitty where I live for example). I was trying to think more from the perspective of a dev team/production company/etc. that has the more idealistic perception of their demographics that you describe. Looking forward to the single player post btw; I pretty much only play games solo, so from my perspective single player modes need all the positive support they can get!

    Maxterdexter hits the main point on how to make it sustainable.
    The idea would be to develop a Smash Team much like Blizzard has a specific group of people working on Overwatch all the time, instead of moving people from project to project. Since the idea is that you have less content initially while more is developed over time, you get the benefit of releasing early and having income from game sales pour in to support development of continuing content. Instead of the current state where a company eats the cost until game sales offset it and lead to profit.
    And then there's loot boxes. I briefly mentioned it in a note because loot boxes are THE thing to hate right now, given how predatory things have gotten. But in terms of business, in terms of money-making, a Smash game could make a lot of money if instead of selling mii skins and nonsense at DLC price they just did like Overwatch and locked character skins behind a loot box system.
    People, myself included, would HATE IT. But if you look at how Fire Emblem Heroes is the most successful of Nintendo's mobile franchises because of having character-focused content locked behind gacha mechanics, it's hard not to imagine them getting the idea.

    As for Splatoon, I believe it went a bit over a year with weekly content additions for most of it, and then the last bits of content being two main weapon packs released in batches over a couple months. Arms tried the same method but lasted considerably less... it still gets balance patches but the last of the content updates was 6 months after release. Splatoon 2 is still ongoing.
    The business models you and maxter describe are pretty interesting, and I agree it could turn it to be a way Nintendo could release a Smash Bros game they built on over time. To be honest, I couldn’t see myself bothering to buy such a game until quite some time after release, given I usually pick up Smash to enjoy playing my preferred characters (as opposed to playing Smash more because I enjoy the gameplay of Smash or, god forbid, have friends to play it with). It’s obviously hard for me to quantify how many other people out there think like me though, but as you say, that game model has in-built ways to generate reliable, self-sustaining and then some, revenue over time so it wouldn’t be likely to be a concern. It seems a fun exercise to try and imagine why Nintendo might not want to go that route even though it seemingly ticks a lot of their likely major boxes (should make loads of money, allows for the injection, and hype for the inclusion, of new characters from upcoming games). But I suppose it’s too early to tell either way.

    Loot boxes…yeah they’re a tricky one. As you say they’re the big money maker of the minute. Maybe their progressive march into every game that can possibly squeeze them in will eventually deaden us to their impact by the time new Smash rolls around. :/

    It’s good to hear that Splatoon was maintained with patches and new content and so on for so long (and that Spla2on is still getting that treatment). Seems to set a good precedent.

    Oh, and thanks maxter for the info on the pricing system for Overwatch. I'm not much of a PC gamer so on the whole its a game thats mostly passed me by except when it's mentioned in games news or what have you.
    Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  2. #22
    Stranger in a Strange Land lr-hr-rh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Limbo

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Took a bit of a relatively productive procrastination detour and did a bit more digging for some free, academic gaming resources for anyone interested. I also posted a free article on researchers that built a neural network to play Melee over in the Smash Bros thread if anyone's interested in that. Anyway, to the resources!

    This is a 20 page article on designing multi-jump mechanics... :/

    This claims to try and use some neuro/psych stuff to look at how players relate to their avatars in fighting games

    The following three links are just university library guides specifically for games and game design that reference other books, journals etc. that might be of interest:
    1.
    2.
    3.

    Lastly this is some dude's thesis on the relationship between gamers and devs (fair warning here that this one's pretty long and seems kinda high on the wank-speak).

    Note that I can't really vouch for the quality of any of these as I only leafed through the abstracts.

    EDIT:

    Adding new shizz here so as not to spam the thread with links to stuff. Found this book called Evaluating User Experience in Games that is up online for free in its entirety (the link is to a specific paper in the book that I found it by).

    Also found another interesting sounding book called "Game Usability. Advice from the Experts for Advancing the Player Experience" which doesn't seem to be...I guess legally available online for free. But can be found easily enough if that isn't an overwhelming concern of yours. Or you can just buy it, or leaf through a pirated copy online to see if its worth buying. Whichever way, it looked interesting so figured I'd mention it.
    Last edited by lr-hr-rh; March 18th, 2018 at 02:12 AM. Reason: Adding new shit w/o clogging the thread
    Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  3. #23

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Back in college we used to have the theory of matching your character in smash made you stronger, I wore a cap a lot because I refuced to get a haircut more than once every 4 months and my hair isn't confortable being long, so I was Mario and Ness, this dude was disturbingly hairy so he was a better DK, this guy was a lanky bodybuilder so he was Captn Falcon (also had an unconfortable number of knifes or blunt weapons in his car, so he was Link, he lived in a very dangerous part of town, and he was in fact once saved by his cross-shaped-tool to change a tire-thing to the knee of an asilant with a knife), and this dude loved to make anoying sounds and had a hate-hate relationship with the sun and his skin, so he was Pikachu and Kirby, I'm ignoring the Yoshi main because I can't make a link to him.
    3DS FC: 0516-7666-3837
    SW-4128-8032-0729

  4. #24

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Going through these articles.

    The multi-jump one feels rather dense to me given just general lack of knowledge in the field of "mathifying". From what I gather though, its use is most predominant when it comes to designing successful AI that can optimize multi-jumps to properly reach a target. I do find their claim that their findings are useful for game design a bit much though, seeing how level design and movement and all these things are formalized through iteration and player testing more so than mathematically. Even things like Yoshi's flutter jump or Kirby's floating I can easily see someone like Sakurai nailing down as "what feels right" as opposed to relying on a mathematical equation. Maybe in level design that is automated or procedurally generated?

    The paper on command systems and player-avatar interaction provides an interesting consideration, but the execution feels botched. I do like the use of existing research to provide insight into the elegance of command systems that provide similar frames of reference for both the player and the avatar, since it's one of those human factor rules that makes sense and is worth harping on. It's also academically interesting to consider how neuroscience findings relate to that connection between player and avatar and how that affects and experience.
    But I feel nevertheless cheated by an article that spends most of its time explaining what each of these games are, how they fit or not within the category fighting games, what a PS3 controller is, and then only spends a very limited amount of space detailing how it's probably a good thing to have anatomically matching behaviors between what the avatar does and what the player does.... but we'll need more research for that.

    This line in particular annoys me:
    Furthermore, it highlights design problems forcommand systems in that even some of the most successfulfighting game franchises show features that actively interferewith player decoding, learning and playing the game. Since most of the gaming still happens on devices that force theplayer to use motor schemes that don’t directly match thoseperformed by the avatar, further research seems useful inorder to promote the design of better command systems
    You can't just cry out, from academic focus on exactly ONE of each franchise on their non-default platform and controller setting, that a successful fighting game franchise like Street Fighter has design issues in their command system.
    You can't just say that it's a franchise that interferes with "decoding, learning and playing the game", when historically Street Fighter is one of the very reasons the genre is as alive as it is, and when something like Street Fighter II held the attention and devotion of millions of people.
    It's such an outlandishly ballsy claim coming from such a limited evaluation that it's hard, as a gamer, not to scoff at that line. And the whole "design of better command systems" ignores the fact that it is industry practice, industry WISDOM even, that if a controller set up becomes standard your game has to be fucking brilliant to defy the standard and not have people go "why the fuck is the jump button mapped to triangle?"

    That aside, I'm still reading that thesis on smash brothers. So far it's pretty amusing, feels like taking sociology and applying it to the Smash Community. It feels more like a read useful to other fields of study more-so than game design or production, but it has snippets that provide valuable insight into what defines and keeps a game alive.

    These are interesting to look at overall and make me wonder about writing a more academically-focused post at some point. The issue comes from deciding whether there is value in making the time investment that would go into research and more elaborate planning than usual.
    Like that I don't shut up about games? Here's my game design blog
    Twitch Channel: twitch.tv/Nephy4


  5. #25

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Ffs I kept reading "neural" as "neutral" and thought it was specifically talking about Smash metagame.

  6. #26
    Stranger in a Strange Land lr-hr-rh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Limbo

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Quote Originally Posted by maxterdexter View Post
    Back in college we used to have the theory of matching your character in smash made you stronger, I wore a cap a lot because I refuced to get a haircut more than once every 4 months and my hair isn't confortable being long, so I was Mario and Ness, this dude was disturbingly hairy so he was a better DK, this guy was a lanky bodybuilder so he was Captn Falcon (also had an unconfortable number of knifes or blunt weapons in his car, so he was Link, he lived in a very dangerous part of town, and he was in fact once saved by his cross-shaped-tool to change a tire-thing to the knee of an asilant with a knife), and this dude loved to make anoying sounds and had a hate-hate relationship with the sun and his skin, so he was Pikachu and Kirby, I'm ignoring the Yoshi main because I can't make a link to him.
    Hahaha I like that idea! Especially the disturbingly hairy friend being DK. Maybe the Yoshi main had a secret habit of occasionally laying eggs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noqanky View Post
    The multi-jump one feels rather dense to me given just general lack of knowledge in the field of "mathifying". From what I gather though, its use is most predominant when it comes to designing successful AI that can optimize multi-jumps to properly reach a target. I do find their claim that their findings are useful for game design a bit much though, seeing how level design and movement and all these things are formalized through iteration and player testing more so than mathematically. Even things like Yoshi's flutter jump or Kirby's floating I can easily see someone like Sakurai nailing down as "what feels right" as opposed to relying on a mathematical equation. Maybe in level design that is automated or procedurally generated?
    That's a good point, obviously all the math in the world won't save your control scheme that doesn't fit well with player expectations. I'd have figured you could probably work with a combination of the two though, with the maths maybe constraining the problem space of possible options which can then be assessed by iteration and testing. But that would presuppose your problem space for jump timing is large enough that adding that extra step would be necessary.

    The paper on command systems and player-avatar interaction provides an interesting consideration, but the execution feels botched...
    Yeah reading the abstract for that one it was definitely the one I was most leery of. But since it was freely available and short I figured it might be worth sharing regardless.
    But yeah, academic snobbery for things that haven't been "properly tested" in the way the authors would prefer is far from surprising, although of course the obvious methodological problems in their own approach sailed clear over their heads...

    Quote Originally Posted by MetaMario View Post
    Ffs I kept reading "neural" as "neutral" and thought it was specifically talking about Smash metagame.
    Hahaha from which article was this? Although I understand how you feel. When we were having our perfectly friendly discussion about the Nohr siblings I was constantly confusing myself writing Garon over and over again. :P
    Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Quote Originally Posted by lr-hr-rh View Post
    Hahaha from which article was this? Although I understand how you feel. When we were having our perfectly friendly discussion about the Nohr siblings I was constantly confusing myself writing Garon over and over again. :P
    Ah not the article, but when you and Foolio were referencing one.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Update: new post. Well, there's one I just put up on Paper Mario, and one from last week on Crash Team Racing that I didn't really mention here.

    But yea... so THAT happened...
    ...
    still feel weird doing self-promotion XD
    Like that I don't shut up about games? Here's my game design blog
    Twitch Channel: twitch.tv/Nephy4


  9. #29

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Lemme tackle the Crash one for now:

    But yeah, as a kid, I got a hoot driving around the hub worlds. You couldn't do much, but it helped you get a better handle on boosts and turns, plus the humorous sound of your favorite character banging into a wall with a sound. It felt....meatier? more of an experience? than just the race-to-race format of Mario Kart.

    I suppose for quick follow ups, did you ever play Nitro Kart and/or if you did, did you feel like it built on the foundation of the original in terms of single player? Or did it feel something different?
    And there's one aesthetic thing I want to mention...I really adored how the hub themes flowed into each other, like the instruments and sounds would alter based on the environment, but the melody remained the same.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Quote Originally Posted by MetaMario View Post
    Lemme tackle the Crash one for now:

    But yeah, as a kid, I got a hoot driving around the hub worlds. You couldn't do much, but it helped you get a better handle on boosts and turns, plus the humorous sound of your favorite character banging into a wall with a sound. It felt....meatier? more of an experience? than just the race-to-race format of Mario Kart.

    I suppose for quick follow ups, did you ever play Nitro Kart and/or if you did, did you feel like it built on the foundation of the original in terms of single player? Or did it feel something different?
    And there's one aesthetic thing I want to mention...I really adored how the hub themes flowed into each other, like the instruments and sounds would alter based on the environment, but the melody remained the same.
    Never played Nitro Kart or any of the later racing games. Once Naughty Dog was done with Crash, I played through Crash Bash and realized that it just didn't feel as quality without them at the helm.

    I did notice the whole theming of the worlds with the CTR motif changing to different instruments. It's something many games have nailed by now, particularly Mario games, and it was nice to see Crash adopt it to great effect.
    Like that I don't shut up about games? Here's my game design blog
    Twitch Channel: twitch.tv/Nephy4


  11. #31
    Stranger in a Strange Land lr-hr-rh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Limbo

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Ooo, I loved Paper Mario when I was a wee tyke. Never actually finished it though (damn video store rentals *shakes fist*). Will have to give those a read when I get some time.

    Now obviously having plans to read something isn't really noteworthy enough to leave comment but:

    Quote Originally Posted by Noqanky View Post
    ...But yea... so THAT happened...
    Something good happen?

    Oh and I updated my most recent post that had the research papers and stuff in it with some info on a pair of books for those interested.
    Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  12. #32

    Default Re: Noqanky and the Blog of Game Design

    Quote Originally Posted by Noqanky View Post
    Never played Nitro Kart or any of the later racing games. Once Naughty Dog was done with Crash, I played through Crash Bash and realized that it just didn't feel as quality without them at the helm.
    I hate to play that ol' "muh nostalgia" card, but....you're not exactly off the mark.

    Nitro Kart was fun, and added a nice antigravity mechanic, but there was something....missing from it all? The characters were divided into teams, and you only got to play Bandicoots (Crash, Coco, and Crunch) or the bad guys (Cortex, N. Gin, Tiny) in story mode, which kept the hub worlds and at least had a more involved antagonist in Velo, opposed to Oxide.
    But classic characters like Polar, Pura, and Dingodile were in this brainwashed green team, and you didn't even have all of them at the start, much less do story mode with them. In a way, it was kinda restrictive. Plus a yellow team with Oxide and his two cronies nobody cared about.

    Tag Team Racing went to the next level with the hub world - Crash on foot, running around collecting coins to unlock stuff for multiplayer. That was a blast and there's tons of things to do, but now we lose enough more characters (only having the bandicoots, Cortex, N.Gin, Nina from Twinsanity, and two new characters, EIGHT), the game's pairup mechanic made it really easy, and the humor is a lot more crass. Which at times made me laugh like I was 7, but it definitely would put some people off.

+ Reply to Thread

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts