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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:51 pm 
Bytewise
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So, since there has been nothing about game design posted here for a long time, I was thinking: Let's just talk about hypothetical game mechanics and/or systems and how they could in theory be implemented? I'm thinking a longer thread with topic thrown in from time to time from any of you (maybe at least a week apart to avoid confusion). This thread is mainly for those like me, that don't really get around to developing games (more like small demos and proof of concepts) but like an intelligent discussion on different topics around games :)


So if you don't mind me starting

Introduction:
Last few days I was reading some of the Sherlock Holmes stories and it got me thinking... what good detective games are there? But I found nothing that came close enough to doing actual detective work. Sure there are games like L.A. Noire, Heavy rain and more... Even some interesting 2D games like Space Station 13, but meh... most of them are always holding your hand by telling you "this is a clue" or "this is not a clue". Maybe this is fine for "casual" gamers but it get's annoying mainly because you can "brute force" your way through the game by simply interacting with everything. Games like this don't let you do wrong decision and they railroad you around the story the whole time!!

My Idea:
i gave this a thought and what I realized is that until crime scenes in games like this are made by level/story designers the game can't really do anything else then keep you on track. But an MMO style game where there are criminals and detectives would probably be impossible to develop because of the number of options this would need for truly compelling game (probably?). So what I think might work is a browser controlled game, where you don't choose to be a criminal or a detective, you simply create an account and you get a statistics screen and the possibility to "commit crime" or "solve pending crime". This two options would launch two different clients (something like detective.exe and criminal.exe) which would be installed on the players computer (similar to how Battlefield 3 and battlelog work). Both of these would be a standalone "games" but one would give you all the functions to commit a crime and the other would be a game to solve these crimes by giving you different functionality. This way the developer could keep everything nice and separated with different systems.

I have more game detail written in a text document but this is the general idea. Do you have any other idea on how a true detective game could work? Or do you think this idea wouldn't work? :) please join the discussion and feel free to start your own topics and questions anytime :) I'm just trying to get this thread going ^_^

Edit: Also, when writing an idea please include atleast as much information as i did and try to describe your idea :) it will be easier for all the other users to comment on your idea and point out the biggest problems and loopholes :)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:28 pm 
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I like the idea to make this a multiplayer game. It could go into the direction of a "20 questions" game, actually.
BTW, I once played a game called Murder!, where you actually play a detective who has to solve a case (a murder) within 2 hours. You could walk between rooms, collect evidence and talk to people and ask them about pretty much everything. They mostly answer with times ("I was in the room from 10:10 to 10:20" or so), and I never found out how to actually solve a case. All I did was solving the suicides. :-P

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:20 pm 
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Murder! looks amazing (that probably sounds bad xD) I'll surely give it a try soon :). Also the 20 questions idea sounds interesting Oo it might actually be an interesting mechanic for determining whether the detective solved the crime correctly

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:37 am 
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srsly? nothing? :) Nobody want's to discuss anything? This thread is letarally open for ANY topic you might think of which has something with game design. I don't want to start a new topic because it would look like I just need help with bunch of shiz.. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:51 am 
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I think its a very innovative idea which I have never ever seen in any game.If you are a developer you should try to design this or either you should share your ideas with a developer so that we can get something very unique and interesting to play.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:54 pm 
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I am a developer and I might look into this sometime in the future but i have no desire to do this now during school. Anyway i wanted this thread to be a repository of all kinds of ideas and I was planning on perhaps creating a website with links on certain pages of this thread with certain ideas and categories discussed. :) I wanted people to be able to jump in and get inspiration by stuff that actual, skilled programmers thought as possible. :) I'm still waiting for someone else to pop in some ideas

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:29 am 
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hi hi,

Sorry for the late reply, but real-life is keeping me busy. Also, I find it very difficult to switch to a different mindset of a totally different game, but here goes. Note that I played cluedo one time, when I was a kid. It had a board with rooms you could walk around, and cards with candle sticks and ropes, but that's all I remember from it. From what I gather in this thread, players are supposed to ask each other for information.

I wonder what you do with "solvability". In my view, the point of playing a detective game is to solve the who, how, and when. If it is not possible to derive that information, the game is no fun. I see it like a sudoku, where you are given enough clues to find out all numbers in the 9x9 grid.
Obviously, as bad guy, I have no interest in providing clues that can catch me. [/me hacks criminal.exe] How do you enforce that the detective has stuff to work with?

As for (not) guiding people, in my view it would be useful if the criminal can add red herrings as well, to confuse the detectives.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:12 am 
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Alberth wrote:
Obviously, as bad guy, I have no interest in providing clues that can catch me. [/me hacks criminal.exe] How do you enforce that the detective has stuff to work with?


Ha! Yes... as a criminal you are supposed to leave as less clues as possible, but the game is mostly about "leaving clues behind for you" you will leave fingerprints and footprints automatically, people on the street can see you if you are acting suspicious and they record what they "see" in terms of what were you wearing, which direction did you walk when they saw you doing something suspicious, how fast were you walking (assume two states, running and walking) and stuff like that. In the end, the server side database of players has all this information on you and everybody in the database is as well in the in-game police database, so leave a fingerprint and you're done (the detective just has to find it). in the inGame world (which has nothing to do with reality) are just few shops with clothing and shoes so if you have a footprint or a witness you can ask around shops and find a match and ask how many players in the database have these exact shoes/jackets/shirts. clothing is assigned randomly when creating a character (Maybe...just maybe you could buy new clothes with the points you earn but if too many players bought the same clothes the system would be ineffective :/ so i would have to work around that). The last thing i thought of is that every criminal is given a realistic "motive" behind his crime. so if he is a hired hitman, there is also a contractor in the ingame world somewhere and the victim knew him (you can gather personal information on the victim with his relatives or neighbors), if the criminal is killing him because his wife/husband has an affair, then there are more close people to investigate (sometimes witnesses and persons in relation to the victim which are of low importance will be missing from the worlds (vacation or someshit) so you are not identified as the only missing person from the list). most of these information changes around based on who is the victim, where is his house, random stats of witnesses, different clothing of the criminal, different actions taken by the criminal while doing the crime and stuff like that. and some stuff are strictly set in prepared as the base of the story behind each crime (motives, your personal background and/or the background of the person who hired you).

Alberth wrote:
As for (not) guiding people, in my view it would be useful if the criminal can add red herrings as well, to confuse the detectives.

Sure, you could leave false clues, like you could technically break into someone else house, clean the gun, put it in the drawer. of course you are much more likely to be caught because you have to perform more criminal actions by doing this. I'm also thinking whether it should be allowed to kill other people (witnesses). Tho it would make the game more realistic, it would be too easy for the criminal to disappear... maybe if there was a way to discourage such behavior but keep it as a possibility in case of need? idk yet

Geez so much writing X_x... xD... Anyway feel free to point out anything i left out so we can make it better together. or if you don't feel like it maybe start talking about your own "theoretical" game and the mechanics behind it :)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:29 pm 
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One of the tricky parts in the longer term is perhaps create ways to construct new kinds of clues, or new behavior of detectives, witnesses, or criminals.

If you played the game say 10 times and nothing changes in the game system, you know what you can query from the game. Then it's just a matter of following a fixed recipe to catch the criminal.
For example, at some point you know that asking cloth shops is going to reduce the number of suspects to at most 5.

A simple way to solve this is to make the above non-feasible in some way. One way would be to have so many clues that a detective is looking forever through them. Most of them should be fruitless to do I think, selecting the right kind of clues to pursue further then also becomes a part of the game. A more innovative solution would be to be able to create new ways of doing things. Walking on the street is a too high risk, so I climb a building, go through the sewer, or take the bus. No idea if that's feasible.

I remember seeing an adventure game programming system, where the adventure author could wander around in the world, yet by means of a command switch to the meta level, and change or adapt the world.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:38 pm 
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Alberth wrote:
One of the tricky parts in the longer term is perhaps create ways to construct new kinds of clues, or new behavior of detectives, witnesses, or criminals.

If you played the game say 10 times and nothing changes in the game system, you know what you can query from the game. Then it's just a matter of following a fixed recipe to catch the criminal.
For example, at some point you know that asking cloth shops is going to reduce the number of suspects to at most 5.


I agree and I'm pretty worried about that too

Alberth wrote:
A simple way to solve this is to make the above non-feasible in some way. One way would be to have so many clues that a detective is looking forever through them. Most of them should be fruitless to do I think, selecting the right kind of clues to pursue further then also becomes a part of the game.


Thats a very good solution actually. Maybe the detective could have more witnesses and some of them would just make up stuff because they "think" they saw something but didn't really. I was also thinking that a witness should have some kind of "character" or "temperament" to him, so each witness would react differently to different questions (e.g. you are trying to interrogate a witness, but because you are being aggressive with him he locks up and doesn't want to talk to you anymore, avoids answering directly and wants to leave the interrogation, OR you are trying to be very kind and progressive with a witness who has a high temper and he just doesn't see you as an authority so he just jokes around, OR you choose the middle way and just do stuff as normal but the witness is quite of a stoic character and just doesn't really care about you until you put some pressure on him). This would add a little bit depth to the game too because you now need to "guess" the temper of your witness in few moments because if you don't you are not going to get anywhere with that witness and he'll either just make fun of you, leave or simply sit there and refuse to talk for the rest of the session!

Surly more stuff could come to mind but i think this would break the monotony a bit and would force the detective to actually see different problems more freshly each time

Also certain stuff comes to mind like, maybe the shops don't sell those shoes anymore, or they just don't keep logs of their costumers. this might change a sure lead into nothing. But the game system should also make sure that there is at least 1 solution to the whole crime scene (this could be checked by matching every possible solution and counting how many times were we able to catch the criminal, if 0 then stuff would be shuffled around and the check runs again)

Alberth wrote:
A more innovative solution would be to be able to create new ways of doing things. Walking on the street is a too high risk, so I climb a building, go through the sewer, or take the bus. No idea if that's feasible.

This is something I already taken into consideration and the result of this was an idea that the player has several days to commit the crime, can climb walls (similar to Assassins creed system, but less fancy :D), call services, change clothes ingame (this putting a permanent marker on him in a shop that keeps logs so he would have to find out if they do by asking around making him more noticeable...) or he could knock out a public service NPC and steal his clothes (similar to hitman?)

most of these action should mix things up a bit everytime but none of them should lead to perfect crime because of other systems in play

Alberth wrote:
I remember seeing an adventure game programming system, where the adventure author could wander around in the world, yet by means of a command switch to the meta level, and change or adapt the world.


Are you suggesting that the criminal should have some limited ability to change stuff around in the world around him ?

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:45 pm 
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Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
A simple way to solve this is to make the above non-feasible in some way. One way would be to have so many clues that a detective is looking forever through them. Most of them should be fruitless to do I think, selecting the right kind of clues to pursue further then also becomes a part of the game.


Thats a very good solution actually. Maybe the detective could have more witnesses and some of them would just make up stuff because they "think" they saw something but didn't really. I was also thinking that a witness should have some kind of "character" or "temperament" to him, so each witness would react differently to different questions ...
Nice :)

Having several different "modes" where your investigation can get into by some randomness sounds like a good idea.

Hazarth wrote:
Also certain stuff comes to mind like, maybe the shops don't sell those shoes anymore, or they just don't keep logs of their costumers. this might change a sure lead into nothing. But the game system should also make sure that there is at least 1 solution to the whole crime scene (this could be checked by matching every possible solution and counting how many times were we able to catch the criminal, if 0 then stuff would be shuffled around and the check runs again)
You don't give the criminal a chance, do you? :)

Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
I remember seeing an adventure game programming system, where the adventure author could wander around in the world, yet by means of a command switch to the meta level, and change or adapt the world.


Are you suggesting that the criminal should have some limited ability to change stuff around in the world around him ?
Oh, the possibilities, make it legal to kill someone before you kill him. Or the other way around, do your dirty deed, then change reality to cover up ;p
You'll run straight into matrix ideas or time shifting movies :)

If you keep a log of how reality changed people can theoretically still figure it out :p

Practically, players probably shouldn't be able to change reality while playing to keep things manageable, I think.On the other hand, it would enable people to design or extend the world, which would be useful for multi-player, or if you have at least the option of uploading and downloading such worlds, eg through a forum or download site.


I wonder how you concretely play this game. You have a map of the city and click at places? You have a list of people that were at some corner of a street at 2.30 am? How do you find out who to talk to, or what to do?
(Just asking random questions that come to mind, no problem if you don't want to discuss it.)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:31 am 
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Alberth wrote:
You don't give the criminal a chance, do you? :)

Not on my watch! :) but srsly, it would be a huge bug if there was a way to commit a perfect crime... near perfect should be totally possible tho...

Alberth wrote:
Oh, the possibilities, make it legal to kill someone before you kill him. Or the other way around, do your dirty deed, then change reality to cover up ;p
You'll run straight into matrix ideas or time shifting movies :)

If you keep a log of how reality changed people can theoretically still figure it out :p
...
On the other hand, it would enable people to design or extend the world, which would be useful for multi-player, or if you have at least the option of uploading and downloading such worlds, eg through a forum or download site.


Oh... my... gawd... I don't think you realize the full potential of what you even have here... thats gold O_O it could be a slightly fantasy or Technocracy like world in which certain aspects of the game allows you to shift rules and reality in some way (the same goes for criminal and detective!) ... Thats genius!! O_o this is exactly why i created this thread dude... great ideas!! :)

Alberth wrote:
I wonder how you concretely play this game. You have a map of the city and click at places? You have a list of people that were at some corner of a street at 2.30 am? How do you find out who to talk to, or what to do?


The Idea is (because I can't really afford to make such an extensive game in my current situation) that you have a small, open world map. similar to GTA style but much smaller, not even a whole city, just few randomly generated places, maybe like 12 streets or something like that. There would be information gathering agents or entities around the world with their own generated life cycle (this means, they have a place where they work at some time, they have a shop where they like to buy stuff, they have parks where they like to walk or sit on a bench). This would allow random people with steady, mostly predictable behavior roam the world (and some being static, like security cameras). The concept is that this brings a lot of planning into the game. the criminal can't just run around at random times killing people, to commit a near perfect time he needs to leave as few witnesses and clues as possible, which means he is maybe better killing someone at night... but then that depends on the fact that the designated victim might not be home at night, he might like going to parties, he also has a job, he might have night shifts, he might have friends over. the criminal will always have to plan ahead (thus the multiple days to commit/solve murder system). for the detective this will provide a very fresh and generated gameplay. some witnesses contacts will be given to the detective immediately at the start of the game (neighbors, family, close friends) but some will keep repeating their life cycle even while the detective tries to solve the case. So it would be a good idea to ask people, there are around or close by at the time of the murder if they saw or hear something (some vague data is kept by every agent in the game mostly about sounds and visuals. with security cameras you would be able to see the whole tape if you think it might posses valuable data).

The game should be very dynamic and the world around should change in time in some highly predictable fashion maybe with some random events happening to make some element of fortune/unfortune? in the game.

I'm trying to keep stuff doable here, so if you think some part would be really difficult to implement maybe we could start talking about that :) it's all Theoretical right now so the possibility of implementation of this game should be discussed for future reference.

^^ and I'm still encourage people to start talking here about their own ideas about their own games any time :)

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Quote:
I'm trying to keep stuff doable here, so if you think some part would be really difficult to implement maybe we could start talking about that
I'd guess my idea of shifting reality falls in that category :p


Quote:
^^ and I'm still encourage people to start talking here about their own ideas about their own games any time
At the same time? :)

I am considering to make a game where you are the ‎mayor of a city. The obvious prior art is of course the simcity games. I played the very first one, and sc 2k iirc, and while the idea is quite nice, they feel too abstract, too distant from the actual people in the city. It's understandable if you have 1e6 people in your town, but I don't want that, the city should stay small, I was thinking 16th century, or 18th century or so, instead.

I like how Knights and Merchants http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf_nS3Pd11g sets up the city building, a bit like settlers. Many RTSes also have the "gather resources" part of the game set up in this way. The entire "mayor of the city" idea is gone there however, it's all about gathering resources for making war.

I am wondering how to marry both aspects and make a city managing game.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:26 pm 
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Alberth wrote:
I'd guess my idea of shifting reality falls in that category :p
^^; difficult idea, but still doable at some level :)

Albert wrote:
At the same time? :)

Actually yes, my idea is that people will just chip in with whatever they want, the only rule is for it to be at least week after the last idea to keep it kinda clearer. If people got interested I had a plan for a website which would be all about discussing ideas (content from here would be moved there) ^^... but not many people are interested yet :D

Alberth wrote:
I am considering to make a game where you are the ‎mayor of a city. The obvious prior art is of course the simcity games. I played the very first one, and sc 2k iirc, and while the idea is quite nice, they feel too abstract, too distant from the actual people in the city. It's understandable if you have 1e6 people in your town, but I don't want that, the city should stay small, I was thinking 16th century, or 18th century or so, instead.


I see what you mean. simcity never felt like actually managing a living, breathing city :/ Thats why I always lost interest after few days of playing it. 16th / 18th century idea is great for a smaller city. I'm curious what restriction will be in place to keep the player from building a large city? will the world be smaller and out of town interactions are going to be managed via spawn points / teleports ? or is it just going to be discouraged by the gameplay? :)

Alberth wrote:
Many RTSes also have the "gather resources" part of the game set up in this way. The entire "mayor of the city" idea is gone there however, it's all about gathering resources for making war.

Yeah, simcity solves this nicely by just needing electricity, dumps, water and stuff like that. it's not exactly gathering of resources, but it's still management of resources! Also do you want the "war" aspect in your game? I mean, will it be mostly economy or somewhat of a war management like in civilisation games or full on battles (AoE, Stronghold?)

Alberth wrote:
I am wondering how to marry both aspects and make a city managing game.

could you elaborate on this? what do you want in the game, what should be the possibilities. Do you have anything concrete in mind? The main thing that would probably connect a city simulation and resource gathering would be resource management, so maybe it would be problematic to built a city with too much resources because of storage and stuff.. You know, the whole infrastructure would have to be somehow balanced for the city to even work correctly oO.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:03 pm 
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Hazarth wrote:
Albert wrote:
At the same time? :)

Actually yes, my idea is that people will just chip in with whatever they want, the only rule is for it to be at least week after the last idea to keep it kinda clearer. If people got interested I had a plan for a website which would be all about discussing ideas (content from here would be moved there) ^^... but not many people are interested yet :D
Well, discussing seriously costs a lot of time, and discussing theoretical games of someone else even more so. More technical questions are easier in that respect, you either know it or you don't, you cannot really think about it :)

Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
I am considering to make a game where you are the ‎mayor of a city. The obvious prior art is of course the simcity games. I played the very first one, and sc 2k iirc, and while the idea is quite nice, they feel too abstract, too distant from the actual people in the city. It's understandable if you have 1e6 people in your town, but I don't want that, the city should stay small, I was thinking 16th century, or 18th century or so, instead.

I see what you mean. simcity never felt like actually managing a living, breathing city :/ Thats why I always lost interest after few days of playing it. 16th / 18th century idea is great for a smaller city. I'm curious what restriction will be in place to keep the player from building a large city? will the world be smaller and out of town interactions are going to be managed via spawn points / teleports ? or is it just going to be discouraged by the gameplay? :)
Good question, no idea at the moment (but perhaps below?)

Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
Many RTSes also have the "gather resources" part of the game set up in this way. The entire "mayor of the city" idea is gone there however, it's all about gathering resources for making war.

Yeah, simcity solves this nicely by just needing electricity, dumps, water and stuff like that. it's not exactly gathering of resources, but it's still management of resources! Also do you want the "war" aspect in your game? I mean, will it be mostly economy or somewhat of a war management like in civilisation games or full on battles (AoE, Stronghold?)
I don't know what kind of city resources there were in the 16th century, electricity seems unlikely :p
I should really read about cities in those times :)

I'd like to avoid war, but why would you need a city with people living and working in it otherwise? Perhaps for trade, or taxes for the king? Without a goal it becomes more of a sandbox game. That is not bad in itself, but having a goal would be interesting.
As for war, afaik, those times were not so peaceful, so I guess you'd need to build defenses, and setup food storage in case of siege.

This may be where you put limits on city size. You need to grow more food a year when you have to feed more people. More food means more land. More land means longer transport and less protection for the outer land, bigger cities mean a bigger chance of having an enemy getting an unhealthy interest in your city :)

Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
I am wondering how to marry both aspects and make a city managing game.

could you elaborate on this? what do you want in the game, what should be the possibilities. Do you have anything concrete in mind? The main thing that would probably connect a city simulation and resource gathering would be resource management, so maybe it would be problematic to built a city with too much resources because of storage and stuff.. You know, the whole infrastructure would have to be somehow balanced for the city to even work correctly oO.
I was still at the "wondering" stage, no concrete plans or ideas yet, but here are some thoughts :)

In knights and merchants you spend time on putting down infra structure (paths only), and planning the houses of people working in the city. A bakery, but it needs to be close to the market as well as the grain mill. A grain mill needs to be close to the grain fields, which need to be close to fertile land. Similar chains exist for other resources, such as stone (eventually to build houses etc). I really like this part of that game.
Knights & merchants has a warehouse system, you put down one or more ware houses and you have people working for the warehouse that walk around providing transport services. You don't have much control over it. You cannot move wares from one warehouse to another. You cannot dump a large number of orders to be done, or they will start doing things you want have done later. (ie there is no way to give priority to eg "build a bakery".)

I can also see other solutions to the transport problem, someone of the bakery could walk to the grain mill to get grain, and to the market to sell bread. Maybe the bakery can hire people instead... would be a nice evolution :)

This is all very detailed, you build house by house, you see what everybody is doing. Not much planning like in the simcity games where you can say "we need industries in this area". After allocating some space, you watch it, and see that the industry is not getting built. At that point you start looking around why that is, and what you need to change.
In knights and merchants you don't really have performance data, but that could be added.

The detailed view would give you a feel of being in the city and it gives you endless opportunity for tweaking paths and buildings :)
There should probably also be a more planning-like level, especially if things grow in size, or for long-term goals (or short-term, such as getting enough food for the winter).

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Alberth wrote:
Well, discussing seriously costs a lot of time, and discussing theoretical games of someone else even more so. More technical questions are easier in that respect, you either know it or you don't, you cannot really think about it :)

I know but I really think people are loosing contact and creativity if they don't enjoy making games with other people too :/ I really want to see more general discussions like this but directly game oriented

Alberth wrote:
I don't know what kind of city resources there were in the 16th century, electricity seems unlikely :p
I should really read about cities in those times :)


well electricity obviously not, but stuff like Food, Weapons, Armor, Ammo maybe? dead bodies need to be carried away?, water per some radius? (Wells for district or something), what about horses?, Ale! XD, i don't really now too many of those more in-depth resources too tho

Alberth wrote:
I'd like to avoid war, but why would you need a city with people living and working in it otherwise? Perhaps for trade, or taxes for the king? Without a goal it becomes more of a sandbox game. That is not bad in itself, but having a goal would be interesting.
As for war, afaik, those times were not so peaceful, so I guess you'd need to build defenses, and setup food storage in case of siege.

This may be where you put limits on city size. You need to grow more food a year when you have to feed more people. More food means more land. More land means longer transport and less protection for the outer land, bigger cities mean a bigger chance of having an enemy getting an unhealthy interest in your city :)


Hmm, what could the goal be? maybe you would need prestige to became some kind of capital in the kingdom? this is a difficult question xD some of the system we figure out down the road might give us an idea for a goal surely

and yes, the limits make sense! love it :)

Alberth wrote:
I can also see other solutions to the transport problem, someone of the bakery could walk to the grain mill to get grain, and to the market to sell bread. Maybe the bakery can hire people instead... would be a nice evolution :)
I actually like this solution, and it should be pretty easy to implement as well oO

Alberth wrote:
This is all very detailed, you build house by house, you see what everybody is doing. Not much planning like in the simcity games where you can say "we need industries in this area". After allocating some space, you watch it, and see that the industry is not getting built. At that point you start looking around why that is, and what you need to change.
In knights and merchants you don't really have performance data, but that could be added.


Yes but simcity was really more oriented on the city as a whole, so it was efficient to just be able to build an area of anything and see if it works right? Also performance data is, imo, very important in this kind of games oO so i would vote for adding it. Not that it would be a problem to play without it, it just makes it a bit clearer (tho there might be some other system to give you all the data somehow implemented into the GUI or something, not just text on a piece of scroll or so :3)

Alberh wrote:
The detailed view would give you a feel of being in the city and it gives you endless opportunity for tweaking paths and buildings :)
There should probably also be a more planning-like level, especially if things grow in size, or for long-term goals (or short-term, such as getting enough food for the winter).


You lost me here a bit. what do you mean by "feel of being in the city" and how would this make it better for planing? :)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:57 pm 
Grand Optimizer

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Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
Well, discussing seriously costs a lot of time, and discussing theoretical games of someone else even more so. More technical questions are easier in that respect, you either know it or you don't, you cannot really think about it :)

I know but I really think people are loosing contact and creativity if they don't enjoy making games with other people too :/ I really want to see more general discussions like this but directly game oriented
I agree it feels more quiet here nowadays, not sure why though.

Directly game-oriented?

Hazarth wrote:
well electricity obviously not, but stuff like Food, Weapons, Armor, Ammo maybe? dead bodies need to be carried away?, water per some radius? (Wells for district or something), what about horses?, Ale! XD, i don't really now too many of those more in-depth resources too tho
I picked a few random sites for reading a bit http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gbetcher ... dTowns.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_commune http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gbetcher/373/guilds.htm http://the-orb.net/encyclop/culture/towns/towns.html it feels like there is no real central management during medieval times, just guilds that form small communities. Probably medieval times is too early, unless "mayor" is the head of one of those guilds.
There were guilds of merchants, and later guilds of crafts.

Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
I'd like to avoid war, but why would you need a city with people living and working in it otherwise? Perhaps for trade, or taxes for the king? Without a goal it becomes more of a sandbox game. That is not bad in itself, but having a goal would be interesting.
As for war, afaik, those times were not so peaceful, so I guess you'd need to build defenses, and setup food storage in case of siege.
Hmm, what could the goal be? maybe you would need prestige to became some kind of capital in the kingdom? this is a difficult question xD some of the system we figure out down the road might give us an idea for a goal surely
Prestige sounds good, or taxes for the lord/king, or perhaps making a thriving guild? I am also thinking about games where knights fight for the honour and the lady :p
(but the latter sounds a bit unrealistic imho).

Perhaps a later time, where you did have proper town counsils, with police, fire brigade, etc? On the other hand, it doesn't have to be realistic, we can also just throw in all kinds of random stuff that seems old enough, and fits in the game :)

Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
This is all very detailed, you build house by house, you see what everybody is doing. Not much planning like in the simcity games where you can say "we need industries in this area". After allocating some space, you watch it, and see that the industry is not getting built. At that point you start looking around why that is, and what you need to change.
In knights and merchants you don't really have performance data, but that could be added.

Yes but simcity was really more oriented on the city as a whole, so it was efficient to just be able to build an area of anything and see if it works right? Also performance data is, imo, very important in this kind of games oO so i would vote for adding it. Not that it would be a problem to play without it, it just makes it a bit clearer (tho there might be some other system to give you all the data somehow implemented into the GUI or something, not just text on a piece of scroll or so :3)
Amount of money or income of someone could be an indication, or people could complain about lack of X (or surplus of X??). In Rollercoaster Tycoon I often used the "thoughts of all guests" window to see what was wrong in the park.

Hazarth wrote:
Alberh wrote:
The detailed view would give you a feel of being in the city and it gives you endless opportunity for tweaking paths and buildings :)
There should probably also be a more planning-like level, especially if things grow in size, or for long-term goals (or short-term, such as getting enough food for the winter).


You lost me here a bit. what do you mean by "feel of being in the city" and how would this make it better for planing? :)
Feel of being in the city in the sense that you see people walk around in the street, goods getting transferred, the street being a big mess (medieval cities was just mud streets, and everybody threw *everything* out the window onto the street), and people entering and leaving the city.

I pondered about your other sentence longer. My initial reaction was "they're two different things", but later I realized that's not the case.
Currently, I think the planning level shows you how you are doing in time (ie growth of your wealth, or city-size, or whatever) compared with your ideas. It's performance data, but it does not show the reason why it works or doesn't work. To understand that, you need to see at concrete level what is happening, I think. In OpenTTD, I often watch a junction or network for some time to see how the trains flow through it. After doing that for some time, you start to see patterns in train behavior that you do not want. This gives you a point where you can improve the situation.
I imagine it could be the same here. You see bad performance, start watching at street level what happens. You notice he baker is walking a lot. Maybe the hired help is not available, or too expensive. Maybe you can add a shortcut in the road somewhere by breaking down a house. Maybe the guild should have more bakeries.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:33 pm 
Bytewise
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Alberth wrote:
I agree it feels more quiet here nowadays, not sure why though.

Directly game-oriented?

what I mean by "Directly game-oriented" is that there are few discussions here and there, but mostly is either off-topic or is simply technology-oriented in general. I wanted something about game design/mechanics/gameplay!

Alberth wrote:
it feels like there is no real central management during medieval times, just guilds that form small communities. Probably medieval times is too early, unless "mayor" is the head of one of those guilds.


Well the would either have to move to a different time period as you mentioned, or you could be a part of a guild (let's make it the merchants guild cause it seems to be the most important) and you would maybe start alone and get members while playing? And then it would be more difficult to make changes in the city because there would be more people to "vote" ? I'm still not sure how the guilds work inside exactly but I'm sure we can bend the rules around xD

Alebrth wrote:
perhaps making a thriving guild? I am also thinking about games where knights fight for the honour and the lady :p


I like the guild idea (pretty much what inspired my answer in the previous quote xD). And lol the knight game, would it be an online multiplayer? like war of the roses game but in small groups or 1v1 ? :D

Alberth wrote:
Perhaps a later time, where you did have proper town counsils, with police, fire brigade, etc? On the other hand, it doesn't have to be realistic, we can also just throw in all kinds of random stuff that seems old enough, and fits in the game :)

Thats true, I like to use the term "sky is the limit" very often when it comes to game design! Thats what I love about it! but yeah, thats like mid 18th or 19th century right? (I'm not exactly good with history so it's just a guess)

Alberth wrote:
Amount of money or income of someone could be an indication, or people could complain about lack of X (or surplus of X??). In Rollercoaster Tycoon I often used the "thoughts of all guests" window to see what was wrong in the park.

Yes! I loved how Rollercoaster Tycoon handled that! you could actually ask individual guests or all of them and it was pretty interesting to read those!

Alberth wrote:
Feel of being in the city in the sense that you see people walk around in the street, goods getting transferred, the street being a big mess (medieval cities was just mud streets, and everybody threw *everything* out the window onto the street), and people entering and leaving the city.


I see, that sounds like a nice experience with a lots of valuable information neatly packed into it o_O I like that. Would you be able to walk around the city in this view or would it be like "per street"?

Alberth wrote:
I pondered about your other sentence longer. My initial reaction was "they're two different things", but later I realized that's not the case.
Currently, I think the planning level shows you how you are doing in time (ie growth of your wealth, or city-size, or whatever) compared with your ideas. It's performance data, but it does not show the reason why it works or doesn't work. To understand that, you need to see at concrete level what is happening, I think. In OpenTTD, I often watch a junction or network for some time to see how the trains flow through it. After doing that for some time, you start to see patterns in train behavior that you do not want. This gives you a point where you can improve the situation.
I imagine it could be the same here. You see bad performance, start watching at street level what happens. You notice he baker is walking a lot. Maybe the hired help is not available, or too expensive. Maybe you can add a shortcut in the road somewhere by breaking down a house. Maybe the guild should have more bakeries.


Ah! that would be pretty neat :D I like that it gives visual feedback instead of numbers and graphs :) certainly more emerging! ^_^

Also, theres a lot of quotes now XD

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:23 pm 
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Hazarth wrote:
Alberth wrote:
it feels like there is no real central management during medieval times, just guilds that form small communities. Probably medieval times is too early, unless "mayor" is the head of one of those guilds.


Well the would either have to move to a different time period as you mentioned, or you could be a part of a guild (let's make it the merchants guild cause it seems to be the most important) and you would maybe start alone and get members while playing? And then it would be more difficult to make changes in the city because there would be more people to "vote" ? I'm still not sure how the guilds work inside exactly but I'm sure we can bend the rules around xD
It seems merchant guilds were the first, and later replaced (or overshadowed) by technological guilds, since technology became important in progress.

While discussing the subject elsewhere, I got a link to a review of Banished https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxtNKoZEwco which looked quite like the idea I had in mind. You can order things to be done, and they will do it for you.
After looking for a while longer I concluded this is not a city, it's a colony, just like settlers, where you are the sole ruler on an island.
In a city, you'd have only a small influence, and things may happen that break your work badly.

I didn't check for very long, but happiness of people didn't seem to be a major factor in Banished either. (Although, it wasn't that important at the time either, until we invented democacy :) )

Banished also doesn't do planning or zoning things like simcity, like "make here houses", and they will build houses, streets, supermarkets (for example), etc. (perhaps completely as in simcity, or only when houses are needed, as in, a contractor gets an assignment to build a new house for some family because there are no existing ones any more).


Hazarth wrote:
Alebrth wrote:
perhaps making a thriving guild? I am also thinking about games where knights fight for the honour and the lady :p


I like the guild idea (pretty much what inspired my answer in the previous quote xD). And lol the knight game, would it be an online multiplayer? like war of the roses game but in small groups or 1v1 ? :D
In my view, it would be mainly an attraction to get more people in the city, or to get prestige or VIPs visiting. You could make it a complete mini-game though :)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:38 pm 
Bytewise
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Oh, Banished looks interesting but yeah, as the reviewer said, it lacks any kind of long term goal or any need to keep playing it. As I understand the game we are discussing would have such a goal so we still need to figure that out right? xD

Hazarth wrote:
In my view, it would be mainly an attraction to get more people in the city, or to get prestige or VIPs visiting. You could make it a complete mini-game though :)

Oh! I was under the impression that we were talking about a completely different game xD thats why I said such crazy stuff about online multiplayer :D but sure :) that sounds nice

actually the game could have a multi-goal system like civilization games... but i guess that would be only short-termed goal anyway... hmmmmm
hmmmmmmmmm....

i wonder, in this game, would you be a king/mayor of the city (would finances be a concern?), other important random person, or more from a "Gods" perspective where you don't really represent a character but you can mold the city as you wish (I mean classic simcity style, not B&W style)

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