Tag Archives: idea

Nothing: The Hidden Input

_movementState = MovementStates.Idle;

I’ve been working on a side project in Unity, and I wrote that line.  You probably don’t need to know anything about programming to know what it does.  There’s a character, and it’s not moving.  It’s idle. Continue reading

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Triforce Remix

So, Ganondorf is the bad guy.  That’s pretty set in stone.  He’s like Bowser, everyone knows he’s the evil one, just like Link is always the hero and Zelda always has a knack for being easy to kidnap.  Something about this bothered me.  See, the Triforce has three parts (duh): Power, Wisdom, and Courage.  Ganondorf represents power.  Ganondorf is evil.  Is power evil?  Can’t wisdom be evil?  What about courage?  I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with the way things are, and I understand why Nintendo isn’t messing with the formula.  The formula works.  It’s just that I can’t help but imagine a different Zelda universe.

I can see an evil Zelda.  She’s royalty, and that can lead to corruption.  What if she abused her power to gain control of….well, Power.  She could drain Ganondorf of his power and use it to extend her tyrannic reach.  Ganondorf wouldn’t be evil, he’d be a leader of a less powerful nation.  This event would cast him from his throne, and he would seek the only other individual with the power of the Triforce: Link.

Don't you just wanna hug him?

Continue reading

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MMORPGs: Class is in Session

Point. Click. Wait. Does this seem familiar? This formula seems to pop up everywhere in the world of MMORPGs. I know this because I have played many MMORPGs. Now, don’t confuse this article as some sort of boredom-fueled rant about how the genre needs a revolution. I’m not going to yell at you in caps lock about how there are too many generic MMORPGs, too many three-kingdoms based MMORPGs, or too many games in the genre in general. I simply want to talk about one thing: potential.

When you play one of these games, you generally must choose from a variety of jobs or classes for your character. What are you really choosing? In many cases, your choice represents a series of armor sets. There are usually a dedicated set of skills for each class. Sometimes certain quests are only given to certain classes. After these distinctions, the differences become quite superficial. This system is easy to develop for. The classes all play in the same general fashion (click, spam hotkey sequence, repeat). This makes it easy for developers to create new content. The problem is that no matter how interesting the content may be, the gameplay is still the same between classes. Why create such an arbitrary choice? I don’t think the issue is that there aren’t unique classes, the tools are all here already. Developers can take the common MMORPG classes and make them truly interesting and different from each other.

Does it even matter?

Now, zoom out for a bit. Broaden the scope of your mind to include all genres. When I say warrior, what genre do you think of? I tend to think of the action genre, and I think about games like God of War. Kratos is a warrior, I would never doubt that. Warriors in games tend to care about certain things and handle problems in ways specific to them. Kratos would be a horrible Black Mage. Mages have different cares and concerns, and they certainly have different methods of dispatching foes.

These two could never switch games.

If we can agree on this, then why do the classes play so similarly in MMORPGs? Pointing and clicking works well for using magic, but if I’m a warrior, I want to attack multiple targets fluidly. It makes more sense for a warrior in an MMORPG to play like a warrior play in an enjoyable action game. What about summoners? It seems like they would be better off with the controls of an RTS. It simply makes more logical sense that way.

MMORPGs are virtual worlds. Character classes can easily become virtual lifestyles. So, what about professions? Do warriors care about herbalism? Maybe not, but I’m sure they have knowledge of weapon crafting and maintenance. Perhaps a rogue can tell you if that mushroom you’re about to eat will kill you or not.

I'd eat that.

Obviously this is a hard system to implement. It’s almost like creating multiple games. Developers would have to test new content individually for each class. Even so, this explanation is very extreme. Nothing stops a developer from taking a few extra steps to make the classes actually play differently. It would certainly open up the genre to a new audience. Players would choose a class based on how they want their character to live and move, not a set of numbers and animations.

Maybe playing a priest will finally become interesting….

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The Genre-Swap Game (or something like that)

I’m noticing a trend in games which involves taking a franchise and “rebooting” it in a different genre.  Usually this means taking a beloved game or series and making an FPS out of it, but I’ll save my angst for another post.  What interests me are the possibilities for this kind of genre-swapping.

Like many of my ideas, this one was born as I was playing around on my computer, specifically in Visual C#.  I was thinking about games like XCOM and Syndicate, and decided to write a simple program to facilitate my thoughts.  I loaded some genres in and basically created the equivalent of a hat filled with genres to pick out of (fancy, right?).  Then, I thought of a game…

My first thought was obvious.  I guess I wanted to strike back at the thought of strategy games becoming FPS, so I chose Call of Duty.  The genre I got was Puzzle.  Call of Duty: Modern Tetris?  Puzzle Fighter: Modern Warfare?  There were a lot of other funny results as well, including a popular action franchise becoming a Japanese dating-sim.

I wonder if Ninja Gaiden: The Dating Game would still be crazy-difficult...

I remember putting “Cooking Sim” in there just for laughs.  It never came up.

Call of Cooking: Modern Mama.  I’d totally buy that.

Try it yourself, you don’t need anything fancy.  Mix up the genres in your favorite games.

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