My Songs

Posted: August 30, 2011 in culture
Tags: ,

Well I haven’t posted anything in a long time, and it will take forever to get my 3 viewers back, but just in case anyone stumbles in, I’ll link these songs I recorded. Maybe I’ll have some video game related posts soon, but I just don’t feel like writing lately. These songs are me playing guitar.

 

Sequels are very hard to do right. Looking at games like Fallout 3 or DragonAge 2, its obvious that changing too much will seriously piss off the fans of the original. The most notable exception being Final Fantasy, which is the only series that has an overhaul of the main mechanics, as well as brand new setting and character, in every single game, and people still accuse it of doing the same thing over and over again. Aside from that notable excpetion, the general rule is if you mess around with core gameplay too much people will be pissed.

DeadSpace 2 is pretty much the best that can be hoped for in an environment hostile to change. The gameplay is pretty much the same, everything that was in the old game is still here. It also adds a few new guns, a few new enemies, and of course new levels to explore. Of all the new enemies that they added the most shocking is probably exploding babies. It’s just so edgy. The worst part is that they don’t even drop ammo like all the other enemies do.

The gameplay, like the first DeadSpace, is quite similar to Resident Evil 4 or 5. The main difference being that you can still walk while aiming a gun. Another thing that really sets it apart is that you have to cut of the limbs to kill the enemies. For this reason, the line gun is one of my most used weapons. its available fairly early in the game, and it can hurt two limbs at a time.

I didn’t have the luxury of buying all the weapons in the game, maybe cause I was spending my money on stupid things like ammo and health, so the only new weapon that I tried out on the first playthrough is the javelin gun. Its primary fire is incredibly powerful, and was invaluable for killing the final boss quickly. It secondary fire causes an electric shock of surrounding the place where you just fired a primary shot. I often use this to take out crowds of weak enemies, but it is also useful for taking down stronger enemies. No doubt the expensive weapons I didn’t buy were incredibly awesome and would have made the game much easier.

A pretty big difference between DeadSpace 2 and the first one are the zero gravity areas. In the first DeadSpace, in the zero g rooms you could look at the walls and ceiling, and press a button to jump between them. But no matter what you were always restricted to moving along the floor, walls and ceiling. In this game you can actually float around the whole space of the room, so its much more interesting to have real zero g battles

People who are used to regenerating health may find this game frustrating because it doesn’t have regenerating health and you have to consume items to get your health back. I played on normal difficulty and even I was starting to get frustrated by the last couple chapters. They really pile on the bullshit, with an invincible regenerating enemy that you have to run from, while still killing the regular enemies in the path ahead.

Aside from a few frustrations late in the game it was overall a good game I think. The same solid gameplay mechanics of the first with a few new things added to keep it interesting. If you were a fan of the first game, or a fan of similar games, you should definitely check it out.

This is about the game Bulletstorm obviously, and its really hard to do justice to this game in writing. Its really something you have to experience for yourself.

So first of all the game begins with a bunch of quicktime events. I know many people complain about these, and they are common throughout the game, but just bear with it, because when you get to the real gameplay its incredibly amazing. At first it might seem a lot like other cover based shooters, in style of Gears of War. You shoot guys and when you get hurt your screen flashes red and you hide behind cover. My experience playing on normal difficulty compared to Gears of War on normal, is that you don’t spend as much time behind cover. If you step out of cover in Gears of war you die pretty quickly, and it basically suicidal to d anything but to shoot from behind cover. In Bulletstorm, I might have to run for cover when injured to regenerate health, but I spend most of my time moving around outside of cover.

Now the ting that really sets it apart from other shooters, melee, the leash, and tons of environmental hazards. The leash is an important tool, that lets you pull (most)enemies toward you. This can serve an number of useful purposes, the most obvious being that instead of running up to an enemy, and putting your life at great danger, to perform melee, you can just use the leash to pull them toward. Running out of ammo is  a pretty rare occurrence but if it happens it not really a big deal cause a leash and melee combination is usually sufficient to deal with most enemies. However another useful way to use the leash is if there are hazards between you and the enemy, some sharp bits of metal, or hanging electrified wires, and pull them into it. All these hazards can be put to use by your melee attack as well, cause when you kick them they go flying, into an explosive ball, or maybe a cactus. There are numerous ways to kill people without even firing a shot. I really can’t overstate how important the leash and melee are to give Bulletstorm unique gameplay.

Another interesting thing is the varied levels. The game starts on a high tech ship, with a brief flashback to a futuristic city, but the first real level is a brown wasteland, not to different from something you might see in Gears of War or Borderlands. Now a lot of people complain about the dominance of the color brown in modern shooters, but it would be hasty to judge Bulletstorm on the beggining of the game. After leaving the brown area which, despite the bland color was actually pretty cool looking, you go through a number of different areas with different color palettes. Some areas have lots of water, some have lots of vegetation, some have lots of ruined buildings, but by the end of the game, you’ve traveled through several environments that are all visually distinct.

Some things that people have criticized the game for, are the story and the crude dialogue. First of all the story isn’t exactly a masterpiece, but its not really all that bad either. Without giving away too many spoilers, a team of guys finds out the guy the work for is having them kill innocents, so they decide to kill him. And they spend the game trying to get redemption, for the innocents they unwittingly killed. As far as video game stories go its pretty solid, and I haven’t seen any major plot holes. Crude dialogue is a different matter, and its really a matter of taste. If you like crude humor this game is for you. If you can’t stand it this game is not for you. If you don’t particularly like crude humor, but think you can get past it for some awesome gameplay, than you should consider playing this game.

There’s also some skill shots which I didn’t really mention but basically killing people in different ways will earn you more points which you can use to buy upgrades and ammo. I didn’t really care too much and just kill people how I want and manage to get enough points for all the ammo I need. Overall an excellent game.

Well its been awhile but I finally added in the final boss for the prototype. After you beat him you can talk to everyone in the game, to read the new stuff they have to say, and then you can leave the city finally. Those of you new to the prototypes can use WASD or arrow keys to move the character to the sign marked help, for detailed instructions on how to play.

here it is

And now what to do next. Based on feedback I can try to balance the difficulty better, as well as fix bugs, and maybe add sound someday, but aside from minor changes, this is pretty much the final form of the game. I’ve been thinking about making a turn based strategy game, since I like the slower pace of turn based games. I’m thinking of some rules for the game, and I’ll have to see if I can implement them in game maker. Should have an update on that in a few days.

Actually this isn’t really an experiment, but if I could I would use the stuff I’m about to talk about to make an actual game, and see what results. I’m not sure it would actually be all that fun, but it would be interesting for me to see the results. I suppose if I was really desperate I’d just call it a thought experiment, but those aren’t nearly as cool as real experiments.

In many MMOs, several players will join together to go on raids to defeat strong enemies that they couldn’t defeat individually. The idea I have is to play a little game after the boss is defeated to determine how the loot is split up. Before I get to that, you may want to take a look at the Wikipedia page on Prisoner’s Dilemma.

If you can’t be bothered to click the link I’ll briefly explain. Its a situation where there are two prisoners, and they can either defect, to betray the other to the police, or cooperate. If they both cooperate they get 3 months in prison on a lesser offense. If one defects and the other cooperates the defector gets no prison time, and the cooperator gets a year in prison. Id both defect they get 6 months in prison. Can I get a table to show that?

Prisoner B cooperates                                 Prisoner B defects

______________________________________________________________________________________

Prisoner A cooperates |  Prisoner A 3 , Prisoner B 3             |       Prisoner A 12, Prisoner B 0

Prisoner A defects         | Prisoner A 0, Prisoner B 12             |       Prisoner A 6, Prisoner B 6

_______________________________________________________________________________________

What the hell was that? I asked for a table. Well hopefully its pretty clear. If they both cooperate they get a light sentence. Both defect he get a longer sentence, and if one defects he gets of free while the other gets a much longer sentence. Now lets change this so it can be useful in an MMO. I’m going to use gold as the payoff. Even though Bosses might have valuable items, they can be substituted for gold based on the value, the important thing is to have some sort of standard formula for payoffs. Players can either share the loot or steal, as shown in the following “table”.

Player B shares                               Player B steals

______________________________________________________________________________________

Player A shares |  Player A 50 gold , Player B 50 gold             |       Player A 20 gold, Player B 80 gold

Player A steals   | Player A 80 gold, Player B 20 gold               |       Player A 25 gold, Player B 25 gold

_______________________________________________________________________________________

For stronger bosses just multiply all the values. Now there’s usually more than to players in a raid, so how can we do this if there are only two players in prisoner’s dilemma? The easiest way to do it, is for every player involved to be paired up with every other player in a a separate prisoner’s dilemma, with the gold amounts divided evenly between all instances of prisoner’s dilemma.

Now what has research taught about “winning” prisoner’s dilemma. In a single case of prisoner’s dilemma, the optimal strategy is to defect, while in iterated prisoner’s dilemma, the optimal strategy is to cooperate. Its a bit more complicated than that, but if you read the Wikipedia article on prisoner’s dilemma it explains it in more detail.

Are MMO raids a single case of prisoner’s dilemma, or iterative. It depends on whether you play raid with the same people multiple times or not. In most MMOs players form guilds, and if aren’t cooperating with your guild, stealing all the gold, they can kick you out. Some player’s might not care, they can joing a guild, go on a raid, steal all the gold, and then join another guild. Eventually they might gain a bad reputation, and nobody will let them join, but all the other guilds already lost out on a bit of gold. They need some way to prevent that.

It occurs to me that in MMOs, there is no best equipment, you could have several sets of gear, for different circumstances. Before a raid, all guild members going on the raid, can surrender item that isn’t needed for that raid, as collateral. If they don’t cooperate, they get kicked out of the guild, and the item is sold, and money split between the offended guild members. But this brings up another problem, who do they surrender the item to? Another guild member? Someone could spend months or even years building up a reputation, eventually they get entrusted with several valuable items, then they ditch the guild with their ill gotten goods.

This game would play similar to WoW or any other MMO really, that combat is just filler, the real game is trying to figure out how to not get screwed by the people you raid with. I’d be very interested to see the solutions people come up with. I doubt the game would be very popular though.

Prototype 11

Posted: June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

This is only a bit more than the last one. Still have to add in some visuals so its obvious the boss will be taking damage, which should be in the next version, you’ll just have to trust me that when your bullets hit the boss it does damage. I’ll have that added soon enough.

new things in this, is a new boss that may be too difficult, but seems easy enough to me, and a couple new rooms. Not really a whole lot different. Next time should be the final boss, and the end of the game, after which all will be left is some bug fixes, and balancing the difficulty. I’m hoping to wrap this game up soon. It’s not much but everyone has to start somewhere.

When you click the link you’ll see two files Prototype 11 and Prototype 11(2). The one with the two is the one you want, the other one was an accident and I can’t seem to figure out how to take files down, after uploading them. They are almost the same except the one without the 2 starts you with 100 gold instead of zero, and a few variables are set to true, letting you skip a few parts of the game.

Here it is.

Let me know of any concerns, especially when it comes to bugs and balancing difficulty.

 

Game Prototype 10

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Games

Took a few days to get this one done, and only a few new rooms. Spent most of the time trying to fix the problems that were mentioned, and managed to fix some of those but not all.

When the boss outside the castle is triggered, if you are standing in the doorway, it will physically move you, so you don’t get stuck in the temporary barrier that goes up. I also got complaints that that boss was too difficult so I tried slowing him down a bit, to see if it’s easier for him to be hit/avoided, but if that’s still a problem I’ll try changing it some more.

The most notable change this time is a new boss, which I think is far too easy, but I know exactly what to do. I tried doing it the wrong way, and the situation becomes unmanageable pretty quickly. You’ll have to let me know how tough this new boss is, as well as any other difficulty problems. There’s only a few new rooms that weren’t in the last version, so its not a big change.

Almost for got to put in the link. Would’ve been real hard to test it without a link to it.