November Life Update – Cutting Back

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Hello, I know it’s December now but this update is about things that happened last month. Besides, I might end up doing one more update before the end of the year.

It feels like I’ve delayed this update too much so there’s a fair amount of things I want to cover & try to recall.

Quick summary for those with little time:

  • Been thinking about my dreams & if I can ethically justify them in the context of the world at large (something I’ll delve into on a separate post).
  • I’ve had two sets of random guests stay over at my flat briefly. I’ll be talking about the first pair (the second largely kept to themselves).
  • Cancelled my D&D campaign.
  • I’ve taken a different approach to my game projects, & now I’ve found myself actually sticking to a project for once (yay!).
  • I also finally got around to getting most of these questions up in front of my house.

Continue reading

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August Life Update – Not Quite Yet?

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Hello, I actually wrote this out in a single afternoon.

This month I’ve become more weary of working full-time & was looking forward to a change in situation, but this last week has been kinda weird for me in an oddly ironic way.

My contract was set to end this coming week & it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken any leave since April. I’d asked about the leave I’d accumulated & was advised to simply sit on it for now. The policy is I’d be paid out for any annual leave I haven’t taken, but this wasn’t the case for sick leave. I’d been advised to simply use it since I hadn’t actually taken any sick days. My plan was to use it to make this current weekend extra long & go visit my parents + dogs in Te Anau again.

Well, this past week my body decided now was the time of the year to be sick. Continue reading

Spawn Run

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Hello, I want to talk about a new way of playing (classic) Doom I recently discovered by playing co-op. I doubt this an original discovery but I’ve never heard anyone do this, even though all the ingredients are right there. It’s also interesting to see how it immediately changes how you play & it might make for an interesting sub-genre by itself.

Here’s what you do:

  • Play on Nightmare difficulty (hardest difficulty where monsters respawn about every 15 seconds & are faster then normal).
  • Play in co-op mode so you can also respawn (the level doesn’t reset when you die; you can do this singleplayer).

I would typically play Doom in a rather methodical way. As I play a level I would typically deal with situations one at a time, take note of what strategies I need to adopt, & methodically break them down.

With the above settings, the game turns into a mad race for the exit switch through a gauntlet in constant flux. There’s no point killing monsters since they’ll come back very soon (though it does help in clearing a path & getting further into a level) & there’s no fear of death because in a heartbeat you can spawn back at the beginning of the level. Continue reading

Thoughts on a Combat System

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Hello, I have another in-progress system I want to share. This is for the combat aspect of the storytelling RPG idea I mentioned last time.

It is a turn-based system that takes place on a grid battlefield, separate from the world map. I wanted to come up with something where movement & positioning were highly important; something that played like Chess. I also wanted to avoid hit dice rolls but still allow the opportunity to avoid an attack, so I’ve included a reaction aspect to it. Continue reading

Thoughts on a Conversation System

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Hello, I’ve been playing around with an old idea for a randomly generated storytelling RPG; I probably won’t be able to implement it for a good while but it’s still fun to think about it. One thing I don’t want it to be is a pure hack’n slash game (though I won’t stop the player from choosing to play this way). I want it to be viable to play as a silver tongue pacifist & for conversing with people & monsters to be as engaging as fighting them.

This is something very few games seem to try. The majority of the time you’re dealing with dialogue trees, persuasion checks, &/or picking the right line to get a better outcome. This can be good for dealing with explicit lines of dialogue, but it doesn’t make for a very engaging system & I sometimes find myself just button mashing the skip option on replays (an infamous example is visiting a Pokemon Centre).

The only games I can think of doing something different are The Sims & Undertale. Both of these games don’t feature explicit dialogue choices but rather more generic actions, like “tell a joke”, “compliment”, or “flex your muscles”. I feel this allows the player to better personalize the experience by letting them fill in the empty spaces whilst giving them more agency over their own character; rather than deciding which line best matches their persona.

It’s based on this approach that I’d like to do my conversation system. The system I have so far is incomplete but I feel it’s worth sharing. Continue reading

Succeeding at Prototypes

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Hello, thanks to a suggestion from Remelic on the last post I’ve tried prototyping with a smaller board this time (13×13 spaces) & it worked. It was pretty cool finally getting to do this. It was kind of like being a kid again, except I took notes of what I was doing.

The prototype had these aspects:

  • A player critter
  • About 20 resources of one type – you need these to lay an egg (I really need to think of some other uses for resources).
  • About five each of three kinds of critters: a charger, a shooter, & a ‘rail shooter’ that charges up per shot – the odd critter respawns in a area out of sight of the player.
  • About 20? impassable ‘solid rock’ spaces.
  • About 10 ‘hazard’ spaces that damage all adjacent spaces when hit (I imagine these to be clumps of sap or gelatinous acid).
  • ‘Earth’ spaces which filled up almost all the rest of the board. These can be dug out.

All of these were randomly scattered on the board except for the player, I don’t want them starting near a critter. Continue reading

Some RPG Maker notes

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I’ve recently been thinking about how I could approach the default RPG Maker VX Ace system differently, particularly¬†combat, to make things easier for me. What does the design suggest & what is the best way it could be utilized? I feel I’ve made some of these points before, so sorry if there’s a sense of deja vu here.

Battle Test Continue reading