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Me the III

Member Since 11 Apr 2009
Offline Last Active Mar 30 2015 08:38 PM

Topics I've Started

Development Plateau

10 January 2012 - 03:00 AM

Lately, (as I've been playing Skyrim), I've come across a puzzling dilemma: will game quality ever "level out?" Obviously, you can take a snapshot of games ten years ago and games now and think "Surely not! There seems to be an exponential increase in the capacity for graphics and new content and quality!"

But, let's face it, games today can take years and years to finish, and their development cycle is only increasing in length.

Let's use Skyrim as an example: as I walk across the land of Skyrim, I take a close look at the landscape and realize that from afar, that game looks brilliant, but up close, it isn't exactly breath-taking, to be fair (but it is a VAST improvement over Oblivion). There are literally hundreds of quests and items. There is a massive amount of hand-drawn content in the game.

And then I realize: this game took five years to finish. It's amazing, to be sure, but it took years to finish. It makes me wonder, at what point will games be so "advanced," so "in-depth," as to literally be in development for too long to feasibly produce?

Granted, computer programming is a process in which knowledge is built upon knowledge, and elements are recycled to facilitate faster development. Why reinvent the wheel, right? But even despite this, the development cycle for this game was, again five years long. At some point, whether it be simply building the textures and models for ultra-high resolution games (which I imagine as part of the longest process of game-creation these days), or simply trying to come up with some "new twist" (because it's either that or simply give the gamer as much freedom as they please), or coding the particle effects or AI: all of these combine to, over time, increase game development cycle length.

Will games like Skyrim, massive blockbusters crammed to bursting with content and high-quality graphics, eventually just reach a limit in production?

(This is not a question of gameplay; obviously it is the gameplay that makes any game what it is. Rather, it's a question of how far the modern "polish" to games can go before it reaches, as stated, a "plateau" at which point it is too costly to overstep)

My Noobish Question Allotment for the Year!

18 January 2011 - 01:09 AM

Okay, I've been looking for the next couple of answers to no avail:

1) How long before a topic gets officially bumped away forever, to the nether-land of recent-post-lacking topics? I mean, I'm sure not many people notice, but most of our forums like Game Ideas and Design and Games in General only hover around 4 pages of "active" topics, whilst the rest rot in limbo forever.

2) Where is this mystical land of lost topics? I SEEM TO remember googling, and finding ONE once, but I can no longer seem to recall what I typed to do that...

I ask this because I'm interested, and because I'd like to find an old topic I remember reading once in Game Ideas and Design.

Forced Decisions and Sacrifice

23 December 2010 - 01:45 AM

I'm designing a game with gameplay parallels to the Fire Emblem Series. For those of you who know what it is, good.

For those of you who don't, I'm focusing on one particular aspect of play.

You play as a strategist (usually unseen or no part of the story) who leads a small army of soldiers into battle.
Unlike your typical army, these soldiers are not faceless drones you can spawn. They are unique, individual characters, who once gone, are gone for good.

If you play your cards right, you can keep everybody alive...it may take a few level restarts but it's certainly possible.

Two other examples from the recently released Fable 3, and Mass Effect 2:

In Fable 3,

In Mass Effect 2, (I don't think this is a spoiler), you are sent on a basic suicide mission. However, there is a chance that you and everybody in your crew actually lives. The player can always have a happy ending if they want and try hard enough. If not, everybody does die (you can practically rig your crew-mates deaths).

Now to my question: these decisions all allow a way out. You can always have a happy fairytale ending.
Is this always the best decision? To me, it can feel like a cop-out rather than a real feature. Other times, getting the best ending can seem like chance.

The way I'm thinking of designing my game, it will be almost impossible to get everybody out alive. No assurances, just your skill (and even then, maybe not plausible).
You will be forced to make the decisions a commander MUST make in combat. No matter how prepared, you will not avoid some casualties (history itself has few notable exceptions).

Does this seem like a forced moral play? I know many games get it wrong, and it feels that way. I don't exactly feel comfortable allowing a cheap cop-out though, that "as long as you play by the rules" you get everybody out A-OK. Does it feel like a forced way to extend the game, to see different characters' evolution throughout the game? I don't feel this way, but some might, and I'm willing to listen.

I sometimes feel that letting all your favorite characters live would cheapen the emotional attachment (I have never felt bad slaying a FE character, because over time you seem to grow an extra army of "baggage" as well, that never even gets a chance to fight as you can only take 11-ish characters to battle). <<<there is one exception, in the first FE DS.

Say you are engaged near a river. Your army is pinned against it, facing overwhelming numbers. You can either all choose and fight together, lose most everybody (or in the alternate situation, completely dominate like the Spartans at Thermopylae...just seems like I'm over-doing your awesomeness). So, you, as commander, decide to split your forces. You have half (because this is a large force that will easily overcome your 20 soldiers) fight a delaying action so the rest can wade to the other side slowly. The other side is almost certainly sacrificed (it's like the King's guard dying for their beloved monarch's safety), and left behind to die with honor.

I see as arguments FOR:
You can eliminate useless characters, and their deaths MEAN something.
You wonder just how you could have done it differently, and if that would have changed anything
We keep this grounded in realism...
The player HAS to make choices that will ultimately determine their final squad. Is John REALLY worth sacrificing five other promising soldiers so that he, your best swordsman, can live?
You try harder to get the most out of your characters.

And arguments AGAINST:
Can get annoying if overdone.
Simply frustrating to face such odds on a semi-regular basis (though I think you'd grow use to it, always losing a guy or two)
Can seem cheap if you haven't done things right, and the guy you're sacrificing is an ugly, unlikeable old hag (now, a kindly old motherly figure with loving grandchildren is harder to kill off, isn't she?)
Might seem forced (he's really making me choose between THESE guys, now? I've already lost two paladins this campaign...it's like I can't win...)
Might be like Charlotte's Web pig-slaughter syndrome (don't google, I just made it up), with somebody saying "now don't get too attached to this here fighter...he's gonna die someday soon, when we butcher him" in which case it's counter-productive in producing character "attachment."

Assuming it is done right (so as to eliminate all answers of "just make sure there's an emotional connection that makes the choice meaningful...duh people....), is forced decision, in your opinion, a feature or a flaw? Can you think of anything else to add to my pros/cons?

16 by 16 Sprites

10 August 2010 - 03:48 PM

*I will update this very soon. Undergoing story revisions one final time, Jake having dissuaded me from attempting to start off in a shaky new direction.

Hello there! I'm Me the III (bet you couldn't have guessed that). I've had a few years experience with Game Maker now, and I've gotten to the point where I am really wanting to finish a serious project (for fun :P )

I'm creating a TBSRPG game right now, based off of the Fire Emblem Series, but adding my own personal spin on things (such as a prominent overworld map). This project is actually coming along quite smoothly (albeit the end of summer is fast approaching for me) and I'm at a stage where graphic support would really help out.


Includes movement engine, unit display, and saving and loading (and crappy menus :D )

Controls: Mouse works but not wholly, and I'm going to eliminate it. Use W,S,A,D, and space.

I can't pay anybody anything, but I would really appreciate it if somebody would help me out with my request.

What I would like:

*Latest Requests*

Please see units sections

Plain tileset beautifully done by Benjamus. I can't think of anything else I might need. However, if you want to attempt to add tiles, feel free.

Trench tiles (a set of three tiles, I think, meant to look like defenses around the castle?) "Trenches" soldiers might hide in.
Transition tiles: tiles that go from castle floor to grass tile smoothly.

I would actually like tiles to look somewhat in the style of Fire Emblem tiles (not exactly like them, just...resembling them) like the map sprites here:

3/4 view

Image format .png or .bmp preferably.


Another request I have (easier or harder depending on if you know what you're doing)

The game I am working on is largely based off of Fire Emblem, but with a lot of differences.
However, I still like the graphical style of Fire Emblem. What BENJAMUS sprited for me is a good reference for anybody else if they wish to try.

These sprites must fit in a 16 by 16 tile(the "larger" ones can be bigger, but nothing greater than 18 by 18), and be non-transparent. The sprites I need right now:

Feel free to be creative.

Please use the same colors as used here.The blue palette is what I'm after.


--Weapon sprites--
I need weapon icons.

Bows: any kind at all. The kind that shoots arrows. Feel free to be creative. All 16 x 16

So...IMPORTANT: These are "modern" weapons...nor are they medieval weapons. Read the very bottom for a description of the technology that I'm looking for.


--Cutscenes & Backgrounds & Faces Oh My...--

I would really appreciate somebody translating these into something akin to what jake557 posted on page 4, if possible.
I realize these might seem like vague descriptions? If you need more information, tell me. The name is there to help you picture the character, that's all.

Backgrounds: Size: 368 (Odd, I know, but divisible by 16) by 150.
When I need more I will post more.


--------------Credit System & List (Rough Guide)-------------------

1 Credit per tile/character submitted of decent quality/effort I can't use.
Tiles:3 credit per tile
Character Sprite: 5 credits per character (animated 6 per character)

Character Redo: 5
Conversations Backgrounds: 5


BENJAMUS: 578 credits
jake557: 540 credits
beeproductions: 12 credits
nathan m: 20 credits (thanks for being patient with me)
nesto5000: 25 credits
Canite: 22 credits
iwillhazcheezburger: 40 credits skallen640: 16
Eddygp: 26
NinjaCatStudios: 4

If I have made a mistake, let me know (politely, please). Also, if you don't think anything is fair, please, tell me. I'm still trying to work out the kinks in this system.

-----------------Credit Rewards ------------------------
1+: Mention in game credits for giving me your time (I don't care if the tiles are used, you put in time, and that's enough for me)
50+: Game Credits as Minor Contributing Artist
200+: Game Credits as Major Contributing Artist
300+: (Wow, I owe you more than this) NPC in the game named after you (or, if your name is crazy like Prince_Killerman, by you)
500+: Leading Artist in Game Credits
700+: Get to have a character designed for you, including name, class, stats, personality, etc.

If somebody miraculously gets much higher, we will work something out.
Once again, thank you for your time.

Jake has dissuaded me from

Animal Crossing Wii

22 September 2009 - 10:33 PM

My personal outlook on Animal Crossing Wii is that it is not as fun as it used to be. I liked it when everything was new. Now though, it all feels like "been there, done that."

The game itself is not bad. I just don't like it anymore. For one, the controls are insanely annoying at times (ever tried laying down while playing a Wiimote game?
The furniture needs revamping. It is the same thing EVERY TIME. The new tools are gimmicky and not that useful at most times, and for gosh's sakes, why not UPGRADE the house more than a few times for once...like give it a pool or SOMETHING fun. Or, maybe, give Tom Nook something new to hock stuf in.

I remember the joy in animal crossing that I got was always finding something new...until this game.

Anyway, what kind of improvements did you see in the latest game? And, what could be done to rejuvenate the game a little bit more, aside from totally revamping the graphics (a 1st person mode might be cool).

Maybe give the player some kind of goal, for once, other than making money to buy more stuff to make more money again, usually by the same method? I have always though more interactivity would be cool. For example, a laser tag game. Reward for winning? Laser gun. That'd be fun, huh? Maybe an okay sports sim here and there...not that difficult to make, really...especially now that they have CD's that have 600 GB on them. Maybe some DC (downloadable content)? I would like to see items that are not geared solely to kids. I mean, how much longer do they expect a person to get that same joy from receiving a Mickey Mouse Balloon? A fake gun you could "shoot" neighbors with, or the ability to push the in the river, or the ability to commission a new house here or there, or to change the layout of your town by diverting a river. Heck, becoming dictator and creating a town that is armed to the teeth with artillery and houses that look like bomb shelters, would be more fun. HOW HARD COULD IT BE? What else would they use this that extra space for, graphics?

Anyway, looking forward to your ideas.