Trylks's forum posts

#1 Posted by Trylks (974 posts) -

@trylks: quoting from the wiki page, "Other RTS's like Command and Conquer however will not charge the player until the unit is actually being produced." I think that covers that first concept.

Certainly. But it does not differenciate between them. That has important implications in the gameplay. How can I know the type of queue that is present in some game?

Perhaps that is not the purpose of the concepts, but then I wonder what is the purpose of them and why do we have a "Gorilla" concept. Sure, we can make some sort of game show questions like: "For 25 points, names of games with gorillas in them", but details about the gameplay may be informative for purchase decisions additionally to that. Perhaps it would be nice to have that kind of information as structured information (i.e. concepts), and not depending so much on reviews that mention (or do not mention) that kind of characteristics.

And I'm saying that I think it is different than action queues in games like the Sims or Knights of the Old Republic because even though the mechanics are fairly similar, they apply to different things.

Indeed. I mention those examples because in fact we are speaking about a characteristic of a concept, or a sub-concept, (resources are used before carrying out the action or after) which is orthogonal to other characteristics of the queues, which are not an atomic concept.

About this notion of atomic concepts. In fact, inside Starcraft there are two types of queues. One is in the buildings, for the production of the units. The other one is in the workers (SCVs, drones and probes), as actions can be queued for them to perform, and this includes the construction of buildings (except drones). Paradoxically, the construction of buildings can be queued without the required resources, at least in Starcraft 1.

Therefore, the second page that you mention could be interesting, but I think that we should consider the whole aspect of queues (I didn't realize before that it was so complex) so that it is possible to have a clear model of the types of queues and their characteristics.

#2 Posted by Trylks (974 posts) -

Right, I am speaking about a characteristic or variant of queues (build queues, action queues, etc.) that is different from the usual queues in that it does not check the requirements of the action (with building being a type of action) before allowing the user to queue that action.

An easy way to see the difference is that in some cases cancelling an action returns the resources blocked to perform that action, and in some other cases it doesn't return anything because no resources were blocked. Unconstrained queues tend to be of the second type, while building queues in particular tend to be of the first type. The reason is in the type of resources that are involved.

For example, in The Sims it is possible to assign several different characters to wash a dish nearly at the same time, but most probably only one will be able to do that and the action will be automatically aborted by the others. Blocking the resources would lead to unrealistic situations in this context. In the case of other resources, like gold, it is easy to assign some amount to some action as a requirement to start the action and a guarantee that the action will be finished. Gold and other "types of currency" have this property, after all, humanity uses money (for several reasons, including liquidity) and will probably use it for a bit longer, because it is convenient.

It is a bit abstract as a concept, so please let me know if something is unclear.

#3 Posted by Trylks (974 posts) -

Open world can be done right or wrong, as pretty much everything else. IMHO, you and other people are not tired of the open world mechanics, but of the open world done wrong. For example, consider Kingdoms of Amalur, that game is famous for having an open world full of side quests that are very boring and take very long. On the other hand, consider Mass Effect. Discard searching for minerals and other pointless stuff around with the Mako, everything else was quite enjoyable. Think about Borderlands, awesome side quests. Searching for flags in Assassin's Creed? Who could enjoy that?

Therefore, asking Rockstar to ditch the open world formula for the next GTA is a huge mistake. What they should do is improve that formula, because it is great, it has always been great, we all like it, when done right. That's why many developers have started to use it sloppily, with negative consequences.

#4 Edited by Trylks (974 posts) -

I think this should be a concept in the wiki and something more common in games. It's not particularly rare, I guess we can think of several games with this mechanic, but this should be the norm, IMHO. Let me explain:

Some actions may require some resources to be carried out during the game. In a usual construction queue it is not possible to add such actions until the resources are available. When queuing is planning the action can be added to the queue as "planned" and it will start when the resources are available.

The gameplay mechanics of a planning queue are completely different to a construction queue. Take for example Starcraft 2. Players keep pressing some button in an OCD way until the resources for it are available. In games like Homeworld this is unnecessary. The unit can be added to the queue at any time and when the resources are available it will be constructed. This is a fundamental difference that is often overlooked.

In short:

  • Pressing repeatedly buttons until the construction of a new unit can be started: insane option.
  • Queuing the construction of the unit until the resources to finish it are available: sane option.

I don't mean to bash Starcraft, I am definitively going to get the full Starcraft 2 trilogy as soon as I buy a new PC. I like the fact that it is so fast-paced (I would say it is an action-RTS) and definitively it is a great game. But I think this kind of mechanics are a limitation that should have been overcome already, as being able to select only 12 units in the original Starcraft.

There are more games where actions can be queued, for example the Sims, and some Final Fantasy if I am not mistaken. This mechanic is not necessarily tied to RTS games, but there is where it shines most, IMHO.

Please let me know your opinion.

#5 Edited by Trylks (974 posts) -

@wraithtek: point 1 and 2 would be part of the trend I mention. Point 3 has a good example, debatable, but interesting, and it may be part of this trend, or it may not, time will tell with the next round of games in the genre. Point 4 is very interesting because the regression may be just temporary, i.e. mobile platforms may support more demanding games, and they will probably do. I doubt there is much interest about going into a deep gameplay for hours on a mobile phone screen, but there may be peripherals, again time will tell.

@believer258: same reply as to giantlizardking.

@giantlizardking said:

I think you are seeing more creativity than ever in game development, just not from the people who we from previous generations have been accustomed to giving it to us.

Well, yes, kind of, indie games prove a lot of creativity, but we see less in the games that have a big budget and that could push the state of the art. That creativity is nice, but I miss the kind of creativity that goes along with a big budget.

Let's stay in the technological sector. On one side we have the innovation that Google can do, they can afford something difficult, long term goals, like self-driving cars. On the other side we have the innovation of startups, which are small and risky and try new things, sometimes with a sizable investment due to angel investors, very often with smaller budgets (like crowdfunding). IMHO, Google can do more and faster than startups due to sheer size, if a small startup tried to compete with Google in the self-driving cars race (sorry for the pun) they would be out of it in a very early stage. I don't see this happening with games.

Imagine a new console, which at the same time is a PC with Linux, and everything is "open" including the new and revolutionary controller, with Half-Life 3 as a launch exclusive. That would be something big, the kind of innovation that only a big company can do with a lot of money, that may be a revolution, a game changer, or "something big" (perhaps a big flop, but big nonetheless). But Valve seems to keep people waiting and I don't know if this will ever be a reality, I mean, I'm not holding my breath, but that would be something.

So yes, we see a lot of creativity, but in small projects. That is cool and good. I would like to see that creativity into something big, because then it would have the potential to be more than cool and good, it would be "revolutionary".

It is again the same, lack of progress on a sector (plateau maybe) while the creation of a new huge one that is back in time (mobile phones with 90s like games) sums up regression to me.

@fredchuckdave said:

Eventually yes, but not for a while and not with years like this one. I'm sure in 1-2 more console generations we'll eventually have to slog through a bunch of shitty games and that will cause repercussions and so forth; that probably won't kill consoles but it might drastically reduce their market share/prominence.

I would say that it is a trend that has started already. If there are "repercussions" and the trend changes it may be the start of a new epoch for games, perhaps a better one, or perhaps the golden age is in the past already.

Everyone else, I think I agree with you and I have nothing to clarify wrt what I said and you said.

#6 Posted by Trylks (974 posts) -

@ratamero said:

I would argue the opposite: now, more than ever, people are putting thousands of hours into one single game. It's just that it's not the same game for everyone. And that's great!

If the game is mind-numbing and they are putting that much time into something that does not help to "expand" their minds but to "atrophy" them I would say that is horrible, not great by any means.

We would have to consider which games are positive for the cognitive and cultural development and which ones are too simple or repetitive to be any positive and are actually negative, which is a very complex (and different) topic.

So I would conclude with:

  • such a thing is not necessarily great and it may possibly be horrible.
  • checking whether it is one or the opposite is hard.
  • it is also offtopic, yet the conclusion (if possible) would be interesting for the current topic. I mean, if games are improving (cognitive) health for people then that's great, if they are making something bad to people then they are evolving in an evil way (and this topic would be irrelevant when compared with that, although I would say they would be connected).



(Funny how I found that precisely on Facebook...)

#7 Posted by Trylks (974 posts) -
@frybird said:

That said, "less than AAA" games seem to play a much larger part than they did a few years ago, especially since, as you said, AAA production is super-risky and have massively blown up in costs just because there are so much more and higher quality assets needed, with shaky ground when it comes to returns (as we often hear, AAA games nowadays have the budgets of low- to mid-level Hollywood Movie productions, who as a medium have a much larger audience and much more options when it comes to creating revenue).

Well, that's the point. Consider the case for music. Big orchestras and resources are mostly (nearly only) available for old symphonies, operas, etc. We do not see many operas being done lately, they are not that mainstream.

Now, music can do pretty well because of technology. Perhaps I don't have a full orchestra of people playing the soundtrack of the new games or my favourite music, but there is technology that does something new (perhaps simulating an orchestra) and that works for me (maybe because I am not an expert in music) and it may work for more people.

Finally, consider games. Games have been so far enabled by new technology. Now we may argue about how technology is good enough, graphics don't matter anymore, other aspects of the gameplay enabled by technology are good enough as well, and all the good games have already been done, just like classical music. We have pop music, which is mainstream, like Justing Bieber, Lady Gaga, and so many more, and we have pop (popular) games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds, and so many more. There are still games like The Witcher (@brandondryrock) but they are less and less mainstream, more niche and a rarity, less innovative (neo-classical), they get less attention, less proportional ROI, less of them are done, and nobody is pushing the boundaries of them anymore (e.g. technological boundaries). While we can agree that some boundaries are better when not pushed (e.g. castrati) I think it is sad that this is not the case for games, and in turn the "Moore's Law" will probably not hold anymore, etc.

So it may be plateau, stability and lack of evolution, if we only consider big games, which is already sad, because I would expect that when so much money is put into something we (as a society) get something revolutionary for it. Furthermore, if we consider how many 90s games are released additionally to that plateau, both things at the same time, I would say that is an evolution to the past (on average), i.e. regression.

#8 Posted by Trylks (974 posts) -

I don't have much time, hence I only play a few games and I am very selective. I do not discuss them with anyone, as I am always way behind current games (I am now playing Halo ODST). I am also uninterested in discussing games. For me, games are meant to be played, not discussed.

For some reason I don't feel very excited about new games. I have noticed that in the fact that it's been a while since the last time I added a game to my wishlist, where I keep track of games that are interesting until they are released and I can find some time to play them. This is good to catch up with it, and at the same time a bit worrying. Maybe I am getting too old for this.

Therefore, definitively, I am not feeling the same way, but I hope that this gives you some perspective about why other people why decide to behave in ways that may be annoying to you. Annoying stuff usually becomes a bit less annoying when it is understood, IMHO.

#9 Edited by Trylks (974 posts) -

Nice examples that I liked are Gears of War and Mass Effect. In the latter there are two modes for the camera, third person and over the shoulder, depending on whether you are (not) holding a weapon. Then also first person when using the sniper riffle.

I think those two games are quite different from the example of Arma 3 (which does not seem to have the usual cover based gameplay), however, the point that @haytmakes about multiplayer holds in the sense that I didn't consider that adding options could bother anyone but it may, for example someone who uses to play in FPS and doesn't like the third person view, but someone else uses that for their advantage. That has the a great potential to suck, so that's something to consider.

Another point to consider is that it is not completely true that "if I can see you, then you can see me", there are parts of the body (including the head) that can be exposed without a clear reciprocal line of sight. But fair enough, we can understand that not-first-person perspectives take this to "unrealistic" situations.

Finally: @hone_mcbone: you know, freedom to choose is freedom to pay and to not pay for what other people want, so I thought it made sense (or it made more sense to add it than to not add it), especially since I think that there are many people in this forum who have spent their whole lives in the country of freedom. Freedom is probably something we all should value more, but I'm going offtopic...

#10 Posted by Trylks (974 posts) -

If they improve conversation technology (a lot) you could speak yourselves with the game characters using kinect (or whatever is used in 2050).

Another point for MMO games.