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egg82
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-19 09:48:56 Reply

At 9/19/12 12:08 AM, MSGhero wrote: I remember the one I did...back when I kinda knew what was I was doing. Flash decided that a variable would always go to infinity despite it working fine the previous compile (with no changes). Plus some other crap with the art. Hopefully I don't have anything going on cuz I wanna try again. Aka, I'll do hw and studying early since I will guaranteed have something going on.

last one I did was with AS2 and the Flash IDE, despite having just leaned AS3 and how to use FD.
I didn't expect it to be anything amazing, and the fact that we scrapped everything and changed tactics in the middle of it didn't help.

So basically I want to correct my mistakes and clear that whole mess from being the last flash i've submitted, but at the same time i'm not sure I want to do this again so soon.

And wow, dude. Caffeine makes me perform worse at everything, so I've cut it out of my diet. Plus I'm crazy when I'm tired, especially when playing video games, so maybe something interesting and creative would happen :3

usually it does. I cheated a little and took a six-hour nap and a four-hour nap, though.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-19 09:52:26 Reply

At 9/18/12 10:15 PM, egg82 wrote: i'll see what my weekend's like and if i'm up for another or not. I still remember the last one. 15 Monster energy drinks in 72 hours.
They were on sale.

Those things will give you kidney stones and liver damage, y'know.
Might want to cut back. :)

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-19 10:15:54 Reply

At 9/19/12 09:52 AM, Diki wrote: Those things will give you kidney stones and liver damage, y'know.
Might want to cut back. :)

so I heard. First time in a long time i've even touched an energy drink, and I haven't looked at once since, so I think i'm okay :P


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-19 19:24:11 Reply

At 9/19/12 02:22 AM, PSvils wrote: REALLY cool to hear you're working on a zombie game too! :D But now there's someone else making something similar but better than me :(

P.

Rule of thumb: There is ALWAYS someone making your game but better.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-19 20:50:43 Reply

At 9/19/12 07:24 PM, I-smel wrote: Rule of thumb: There is ALWAYS someone making your game but better.

I like that way of thinking.
It's kinda like sneaking in a large memory buffer to your game and then removing it after it's polished. (neat little tip I picked up not too long ago)

The overall effect is the same: A game that's a hell of a lot better than you would have done otherwise.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-19 21:40:24 Reply

At 9/19/12 07:24 PM, I-smel wrote: Rule of thumb: There is ALWAYS someone making your game but better.

Do you have time to explain that?

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-19 23:38:40 Reply

At 9/19/12 09:40 PM, NeNe wrote: Do you have time to explain that?

If you constantly think that there's someone making something better, then you're constantly pushing yourself to make something better. There's no point in making something if there's already something better out there, so either you quit or you wind up making the best game you possibly can.

It somewhat the same with putting in a memory buffer or a CPU-eater before you start making something. If you design everything to not take too much memory or CPU while that buffer is in, once you take it out it'll use almost nothing at all and be lightning-fast.

Half the battle is the mindset you put yourself in.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 03:03:56 Reply

At 9/19/12 09:40 PM, NeNe wrote:
At 9/19/12 07:24 PM, I-smel wrote: Rule of thumb: There is ALWAYS someone making your game but better.
Do you have time to explain that?

Not only do I have time to explain it; I have Crunchdown, Duck Sim, Robot Dinosaurs, April & Booster and Legend of JOHNNY to explain it.

If you're spending 6 months on a game, rest assured that a team of 20 people somewhere is in like their 2nd year on it.
Actually that'll be a good thread for when Newgrounds has it's game development forum: What Game Is The Better Version of Games You've Made.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 09:29:54 Reply

At 9/20/12 03:03 AM, I-smel wrote: If you're spending 6 months on a game, rest assured that a team of 20 people somewhere is in like their 2nd year on it.

That's the more depressing side of that coin :P


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 10:53:35 Reply

At 9/20/12 09:29 AM, egg82 wrote:
At 9/20/12 03:03 AM, I-smel wrote: If you're spending 6 months on a game, rest assured that a team of 20 people somewhere is in like their 2nd year on it.
That's the more depressing side of that coin :P

But my idea is original! Nobody else has ever thought of it, and I can definitely make this game rock the hell out of any other game ever made!

Sonic tribute...
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 11:02:45 Reply

^ you can say all that but many games that are considered 'original' are just a mix of old game mechanics. This isn't even a bad thing at all really, but the game you make has to deliver an experience that is pure. Thats why many games that leave a strong impression build around this one idea.
Looking at Closure, this game has a unique element of dark / light mixed with collision detection, and many used mechanics like a 2d platformer and puzzle mechanics and linear level design. It does the dark / light thing so well the entire game can be build around it and be successful!

My point is that its easy to say that everything has been done before, but it takes some deeper thinking to come up with an element or combination of elements that is unique.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 11:34:48 Reply

I very much disagree with all of this. Given the astounding amount of game releases nowadays, there are surprisingly few good games out there. What I find most lacking in games that I play or hear about is combat mechanics and cinematics / atmospheric tension.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 11:54:01 Reply

At 9/20/12 11:34 AM, Toast wrote: I very much disagree with all of this. Given the astounding amount of game releases nowadays, there are surprisingly few good games out there. What I find most lacking in games that I play or hear about is combat mechanics and cinematics / atmospheric tension.

True say!

A lot of attention and game theory in the last few years has been around games being fun, which may not be the best thing for all games.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 12:29:34 Reply

At 9/20/12 11:54 AM, PSvils wrote: A lot of attention and game theory in the last few years has been around games being fun, which may not be the best thing for all games.

I'm not quite sure I understand. Care to elaborate?


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 12:37:04 Reply

At 9/20/12 12:29 PM, egg82 wrote:
At 9/20/12 11:54 AM, PSvils wrote: A lot of attention and game theory in the last few years has been around games being fun, which may not be the best thing for all games.
I'm not quite sure I understand. Care to elaborate?

To explain in short, I'll steal something what one of the creators of Amnesia and Penumbra said in one of his blogposts:

"Schindler's List" might not be a movie that people refer to as "fun", but it's still an exceptional movie in so many ways.

In that same way, games don't have to be fun to be good games. And what I mean by that even further, is that a lot of the time people recycle old ideas, but add on features features features, and try to make them more fun, usually missing the whole point of the original game, and hence making a shitty one.
Of course there are lots of games that are meant to be fun, and work well like that, but...there's so much more than fun to explore! :D

That's why I'm going to try and focus my game not on having a lot of action, but really try and making every second count/being meaty in a storyline/atmosphere kind of sense.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 13:01:19 Reply

At 9/20/12 12:37 PM, PSvils wrote: To explain in short, I'll steal something what one of the creators of Amnesia and Penumbra said in one of his blogposts:

"Schindler's List" might not be a movie that people refer to as "fun", but it's still an exceptional movie in so many ways.

It may not be fun, the the point of a movie (much like a game) is to be entertaining in some way, and it does that.

In that same way, games don't have to be fun to be good games. And what I mean by that even further, is that a lot of the time people recycle old ideas, but add on features features features, and try to make them more fun, usually missing the whole point of the original game, and hence making a shitty one.

if you can show me a good game that was never intended to be fun, i'll be impressed.
My point is games are meant to be fun in one way or another. "Fun" is a word that varies in definition from person to person. If you make a game that's not fun for anybody, how can you expect people to play it?

Of course there are lots of games that are meant to be fun, and work well like that, but...there's so much more than fun to explore! :D

Such as... ?

That's why I'm going to try and focus my game not on having a lot of action, but really try and making every second count/being meaty in a storyline/atmosphere kind of sense.

I find storyline and atmosphere to be fun.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 13:07:14 Reply

Wow I really wasn't expecting you to argue about this with PSvils. This really didn't seem like a debate-type conversation. This quickly derailed into an argument about semantics, an argument on the definition of "fun".


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 13:08:41 Reply

At 9/20/12 01:07 PM, Toast wrote: Wow I really wasn't expecting you to argue about this with PSvils. This really didn't seem like a debate-type conversation. This quickly derailed into an argument about semantics, an argument on the definition of "fun".

Sorry, wasn't my intent to argue :P

I'm just really confused as to what you're trying to say, and i'm trying to wrap my point into the questions to keep the post short.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 13:10:17 Reply

At 9/20/12 01:01 PM, egg82 wrote: if you can show me a good game that was never intended to be fun, i'll be impressed.

Newgrounds has a frikking collection:

http://www.newgrounds.com/collection/artgames

Some games are made and exhibited as art. The intent isn't necessarily to provide the player with a challenge or addictive mechanic, but rather to convey a message, elicit an emotion or create a memorable experience.

Games, like movies, or poetry, aren't just a way to amuse people and move on. It's an art medium.

Heck, the upcoming mini-ludum dare's theme is to make games that are NOT supposed to be fun:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2012/09/15/mini-ludum-dare-37 -announcement/

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 13:27:43 Reply

At 9/20/12 01:10 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: Heck, the upcoming mini-ludum dare's theme is to make games that are NOT supposed to be fun:

http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/2012/09/15/mini-ludum-dare-37 -announcement/

Wowzers thanks for showing me that. This is the moment where I say I'll probably join in and then completely forget about it... :(

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 13:31:51 Reply

At 9/20/12 01:10 PM, 4urentertainment wrote: Newgrounds has a frikking collection:

O.o
huh...


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 14:10:45 Reply

To elaborate on what I said - in my case, I am very bored by games that don't challenge me to develop technique (ie usage of the various game mechanics or dexterity with controls(keyboard/mouse)) or strategy in order to survive.

Single player Torchlight

The last game I played for more than a couple of hours is Torchlight. There is some fun of it because of the RPG elements which personally appeal to me. Apart from that, there is a little room for mechanical skill development, and also planning of strategical nature - in choosing your attribute points, gear, talent points etc. However, the downside is that it also doesn't go much beyond this "little" room for skill. So you start as a warrior on Very Hard, probably the most challenging option of the game. You notice that enemies hit you pretty hard, and if you keep fighting them face to face you won't last long. So you figure out that these silly kobold-like creatures heavily decelerate when they get close to you, and also that if you click them, you'll have time to attack them with your sword and run away before they attack you.

So, this is one neatly designed thing to start you off with the game. You were faced with a challenge, you observed the world around you, and you found a solution. Now, if you are proficient, you can run around the dungeon without taking a single hit of damage, until you face your first spider. Spiders attack faster so you cannot use the same technique to spoon them to death. You do however have a pet to assist you, and with proper pet control and timing to move in, you can kill spiders with your pet taking small amounts of damage, and you taking no damage.

So you're about 5 minutes into the game and you found a nice system to survive. It doesn't go much further than this though. Later in the game, you'll discover more situations, and you'll need to come up with solutions. Unfortunately though, most of these "challenges" would be easy even for a small kid to solve. You'll get situations where you have to engage big groups of enemies at once. So you'll use your swing attack, which hits all of them. Then you'll have situations with casters in the groups, who need to be killed fast because they do so much damage. So you use your charge ability to get to them, you use whatever silence spells/items you have, you'll use your spells that are created to stun or slow enemies around you so you can kill the caster without 20 goblins hitting you. But that's as far as it goes. You are faced with a problem, and you have an immediate solution provided by a spell / ability / mechanic that was created specifically for this problem. It doesn't go much beyond 1 or 2 steps of thinking. It doesn't go beyond 1 dimensional thinking.

So why is this bad? Not necessarily because you don't need to be a genius to solve it. Not every challenge needs to be a strenuous puzzle for the mind. But what DOES it need to be, if not a mental challenge? A mechanical challenge. In torchlight, it is none of these.

Even though I am using very clear-cut black-or-white terms like "mental" skill and "mechanical" skill, the two can complement each other very smoothly. Some games attempt to create mental challenges by sheer complexity of options. They overburden you with options, with different elements. In RPG's, this could be too much customization of characters at a too early stage of the game. You don't need to spend 20 points on 10 different attributes and choose 7 spells for your character before you even got a chance to get a good feel of the game. The best outcome is if a designer can make some elements (more specifically: spells/abilities) of the game mechanically challenging enough in such a way that, unless they are used optimally, their strategic value in battle is not easily noticeable; for example using them in combination with other techniques. In this scenario, only proficient players are opportuned to see the potential of an ability, and from that they can develop the "strategical" part in the use of this ability. This way, you don't already figure out the entire game just upon opening your spellbook or reading the wiki of spells/abilities online. "What's this? I have a spell that ignites an enemy and all I have to do is click 1? And I have this fireball spell that deals double damage and slows down ignited enemies whenever I press 2? Well, I guess I have my rotation figured out for the entirety of this game"

WoW

I am describing most of these thoughts with WoW in my mind, which in my view was an exceptionally well designed exercise in learning curves. One common complaint about retail WoW is that gear plays too much of a factor in battles. Your opponent spent his nights farming naxxaramas instead of doing his homework, unlike you? Well, I guess he's gonna win this fight even though you may outskill him a bit, right? As much as this is true, and as much as fair terms are required for games of pure competition (like starcraft), gear added a wonderful tint to the game which probably helped keep it from being figured out too fast. Unfair elements such as this, and like random elements such as crits/resists/dodges need to be extremely carefully balanced.

In contrast, Starcraft is a game where two opponents start with equal resources. There are no luck elements. The replay system doesn't even need to record everything that happens in the game, only all the actions that the player make. Because that's all that dictates the game. A player does something, and it results in a predictable consequence. No crits. A player can play his game, then go over the replay. Analyse it. Note down numbers. Theorize. If WoW had these elements of no luck, and ease of analysis, it would be very quickly figured out to perfection by the competitive players. What does starcraft has for it then? Sheer complexity. You're not controlling one character anymore. You're controlling a base, and dozens upon dozens of units. Change is not made only by your choice to cast a fireball or a fire blast, change is made less than every few seconds, in games that can go over 20 minutes. Every unit you select and order to move. Where you tell it to move. When you tell it to move. What you choose to build, who you choose to train. How you decide to position your army. What order you decide to build the stuff that you want.

In these ways, WoW and Starcraft are two good examples of games that keep players challenged and hinder them from reaching perfection. This is easy in multiplayer games. Even shooters like counter strike will always keep you with room to improve, simply because no matter how much you improve, there may be another person improving just as much as you are. So these games provide complexity, or precision. There is not such a thing as reaching perfect precision or speed of aim in Counter Strike. What about torchlight then? Maybe technically you could always push to improve at tiny mechanical skills that would make you more efficient at the game. But they would be so tiny and so uninteresting that it is completely without merit. Many single players technically have the "you can always improve" aspect that there is in wow/sc/cs. usually it is in doing speedruns. But very few singleplayer games, none really that I can think of, have it in a way that is interesting.

I would love to play an RPG game that challenges my speed and mechanical proficiency in the same way that Starcraft did, challenges my precision as much as Counter Strike did, or something that provokes people's inventiveness and originality like early FPS games such as quake and unreal tournament.

That's all I have to say for now about challenge in gaming. As I said at the beginning of this post, this is just my personal case, many feel otherwise. However, I am also disappointed by games in different ways. Another example I might elaborate on is Freelancer, and how so few games have engaging storylines and worlds, how big the potential for storytelling and tension is in video games.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 15:23:53 Reply

At 9/20/12 02:10 PM, Toast wrote: lots of shtuff!

A thing I've been reading about a lot and thinking about is the whole thing about challenges in games. While they are a really good tool, I have started to believe that they aren't the definition of what makes a game a game!

Take a game like One Day:
It doesn't involve any mechanical challenges, and barely any mental ones, beyond the idea of making a choice. That being said, for many, myself included, the game still held a lot of meaning, and kept me interested the whole way through! I don't know if this is the best example, but the fact that the game still has a really big sense of involvement and immersion, while being very storyline driven is pretty cool in my opinion! You could make the argument that it's a movie with some control over characters, but I think an important aspect is still the fact that it's the player making the final decisions of a character, in the sense that I didn't feel like I was guiding someone else, I felt like I was making the decisions, and the ending came across on an extremely personal level.

You might be able to argue that that approach only works for sad/emotional/art games like One Day, but maybe this is where it's worth experimenting on, how you can get a player immersed into the world in other ways. Mechanical challenge and pattern learning like Toast said in my opinion is a pretty old and uninteresting approach, because it involves trial and error.
Why is trial and error bad? (By the way, not knocking on you Toast, just sayin' what I think ;) ) It isn't bad I guess, but it's more the fact that a player gets a bit frustrated that he needs to repeat things with the risk of getting it wrong once again. It can get boring and repetitive, and puts the player in the position of HIM vs. the game. Where I would personally love to have the player be is HIM being a character in the game's world vs. the game's world.

For example in The Impossible Game, I don't feel like I'm in the world, I feel like I am me, clicking on the screen so that damn box doesn't touch other stuff on the screen. Not really immersive (by my definition).

Games like The Impossible Game aren't bad games necessarily, but if we're talking about games as an art medium, and about how to exploit the power of games to its full potential, I think those games don't really get too far with that...One Day gets closer, but still could probably build on the user making choices and interacting with the world.

There might be some bullshit back there ^, but call me out on it. A lot of these thoughts can be read about on the Amnesia Devblog. I've read pretty much all the posts there, and I agree to pretty much everything there, and plus he takes more time to explain everything than I just did in the last few minutes.

I probably missed some really important point I had in mind at first, or forgot to mention other things, but I hope you get the gist, and I'd love to hear what you guys think about this view.

P.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 16:03:52 Reply

Apart from the last 3 lines of my post, I was only talking about my personal preferences as a player, and what I would like to see more in games. I wasn't making a case for how video games should be as a whole, just expressing something I would like to see more of. Keep in mind that I am talking about a very specific area, which is combats and battles. You are talking about very different types of games which I wasn't addressing, so what might seem like a contrast in the views we have on video games is not a disagreement, but simply the fact that we have different examples in mind. When you are talking about skill/challenge in video games being related to trial & error and referring to it as something old and uninteresting, I think we have very different examples in mind. I can see how a game like meatboy could be described as something where trial and error comes up, but not any of the games I mentioned in my post. I feel I should remind when I'm talking about what I'd like to see more often in games, I'm mostly talking about RPG's in the D&D sense of the concept. I don't think you played the games I mentioned much if your view of challenge in gaming is trial and error.

I also think it is worth mentioning that I feel we come from very different backgrounds when it comes to electronic games. I don't play web or mobile games. Usually I'd play a major PC title and continue playing it for up to several years, like I did with wow, l4d1 and sc2.

the bottom line is that I'm telling you I like vanilla ice cream and you're telling me other flavors that you find to be good and that vanilla ice cream doesnt belong in every single ice cream, but you're making it look like you're disagreeing with me about the points are made, which are in fact just descriptions of my personal preferences. of course i accept your view that games can be interesting without competitive challenge.

for instance: one of my favorite games of all time is Freelancer, which has rather bland controls and forces you down a scripted storyline without room for strategical decisions. The music is great, the story is engaging, and the general game atmosphere along with freelancer's RPG elements are very conducive to feeling immersed in the world.


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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 16:24:02 Reply

At 9/20/12 04:03 PM, Toast wrote: more shtuff

Sorry it seemed like a disagreement, because I didn't want to seem like I'm trying to up your view, or have a different view. When talking about game design I can get carried away and just start mumbling about the things that interest me :)

In this case, some of the things you mentioned made me think of the trial and error issues...of course that's not the only way to have a challenge in games, but I just thought I'd mention my general view on game design, and the course I'll be taking with my game for the sake of discussion.

I don't play much games at all anymore, which might make me unjustified in talking about their design so heavily, but do play them occassionally, like Amnesia or Penumbra, Minecraft sometimes, etc. etc. Actually, I love retro games. Got Total Annihilation a little while ago and I'm loving it! :D

P.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-20 17:00:56 Reply

At 9/20/12 02:10 PM, Toast wrote: To elaborate on what I said - in my case, I am very bored by games that don't challenge me to develop technique (ie usage of the various game mechanics or dexterity with controls(keyboard/mouse)) or strategy in order to survive.

You spent the time writing it, so I spent the time reading it.

honestly I can't do that to games. I can't look at a game and say "this is good, this is bad, this is overpowered, this needs to be buffed"
It's a mixture of things, really; for one, the last console I owned was a PlayStation. The computer I had before this one (only a few months old) was built in 2000 and had a 1.8GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.
Basically I couldn't play games if I wanted to back then.
The computer problem is fixed, so there isn't a problem there.

The last bit is the hardest to overcome: I can't play a game for more than a few minutes without wanting to make something of my own or at least try to take it apart. I get so caught up in analyzing how the game works and how it's made that I never stop to think about what I like and dislike about it, and when I do I can't come up with anything more than "I don't know"

This is why i'm asking so many questions. I need gamers to tell me what they like and don't like so I can improve. I can make educated guesses based on general psychology, but that doesn't go very far.

anyway, thanks for the information. I'll look into the issues you pointed out and see if I can't come up with a new solution or two ^.^


Programming stuffs (tutorials and extras)
PM me (instead of MintPaw) if you're confuzzled.
thank Skaren for the sig :P

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I-smel
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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-21 01:53:10 Reply

At 9/20/12 02:10 PM, Toast wrote: To elaborate on what I said - in my case, I am very bored by games that don't challenge me to develop technique (ie usage of the various game mechanics or dexterity with controls(keyboard/mouse)) or strategy in order to survive.

Oh man, I JUST WROTE a fat design analysis of DARK SOULS like an hour ago! You might be interested in that game, it really forces you to stay alert, and study the enemies. It does have a strong sense of tension and pressure, and the environment's really well made, but it's not 100% open for playing creatively, so maybe you wouldn't LOVE it...

If you're looking for deep and demanding combat systems though, you are TOTALLY barking up the wrong tree with these RPGs and MMOs. I hate games like that. Check out Street Fighter 4 or Devil May Cry or something. Each attack and combo is a tool fit for a unique situation, that moves your character into deliberately choreographed positions.
Heck, play Geometry Wars or Team Fortress 2. These are the games that have no excess fluff, and no skill cieling.

Check out this blog if you're interested in game combat design, he's had years more experience than me.

Y'know what, I am TOTALLY waiting for this game design forum.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-21 02:07:27 Reply

Y'know what, I just read the rest of the post, and Starcraft n Counter Strike are already PC games that do that, and you're already playin em. I don't play PC games, so I didn't notice.

Alright nevermind, you're fine. Carry on.

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-23 18:41:42 Reply

Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

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Response to The Flash 'Reg' Lounge 2012-09-23 19:01:04 Reply

At 9/23/12 06:41 PM, PrettyMuchBryce wrote: Hey guys. So what's everybody building at the moment ?

A massive headache with studying for a dynamics test. My RPG hasn't made progress in a while...and I got bored and I'm trying out Flash Pro as a level editor