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Heffner Rex?
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Would you like to see direct sovereign-hero interaction, given what Cyberlore has demonstrated possible?
Ah, why not. My heroes are always getting into dumb situations where they could use my guidance.
30%
 30%  [ 9 ]
Never, my heroes are as free as the birds of the sky and I want 'em that way. Control freak.
70%
 70%  [ 21 ]
Total Votes : 30

SilverKhan



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 PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

nah the sims is only boring Smile
 
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KryptaFollower



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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I said no on the poll. I wouldn't want to control them all. Too much to do. I think it's easier if they just do their own thing.
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Alfryd



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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I should probably add that I was greatly overoptimistic about the subtlety of Heffner's interaction with celebs. Hence, the whole question may be premature.

And I really, really, really wish people would read the suggestions/explanations first. I have nothing against heroes doing their own thing, as long as I can also give them individual suggestions when/where/if neccesary.
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Noisy Rock



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 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I'm not fond of either. I'd like to be able to make a suggestion, with the hero deciding wheteher or not to follow my suggestion. No commanding, but not completely influence-less, either.
 
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Lurn



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 PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
I'm not fond of either. I'd like to be able to make a suggestion, with the hero deciding wheteher or not to follow my suggestion. No commanding, but not completely influence-less, either.


You do realize that your suggestion is exactly what Alfryd's been suggesting for the whole thread, and what the poll was about (whether to allow commands that a hero may or may not follow, as opposed to the current scheme)?
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Jay Adan



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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Let me give you our own thoughts on the matter.

Indirect control of heroes is one of the things that makes Majesty unique. I can't imagine adding any sort of direct control to heroes.

Now, what we did with PTM was gave you control of Hef and you could use him to interact with the hero.. er.. celebrities. He essentially became an interactive cursor. Was that, in the end, more immersive than the gods-eye view/control of Majesty? I don't know. So, if we did decide to go in that direction you'd still have indirect control of the heroes but then you would be adding this avatar for you into the mix.

With PTM having Hef as the central controller/avatar made sense to the fiction of the game. You WERE Hef. With Majesty you are "The Sovereign". We specifically left out the name and/or background of this individual so that you became that person. The Sovereign isn't male or female, black or white, elf or dwarf, old or young. It's you however you want to imagine yourself in that role. There's something elegant about that.

Oh sure, these days it would be possible to make a tool to create an avatar that had a variety of choices for how you might look... but in the end is that method of interacting with the game world better? Is it worth the effort or expense?

Wow. That went on longer than I expected.
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Alfryd



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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
Wow. That went on longer than I expected.

Because it's important.
Quote:
Now, what we did with PTM was gave you control of Hef and you could use him to interact with the hero.. er.. celebrities...

Yes, the thing was the celebrities almost never said no.
Quote:
Indirect control of heroes is one of the things that makes Majesty unique. I can't imagine adding any sort of direct control to heroes.

If this is easier to swallow, think of it as a one-person flag/bounty. You offer cash to a single hero, or possibly guild, or adventuring group, to fulfill a particular task. I don't mind the fact that my control over heroes is far from absolute, it adds interest and depth. What I do mind is that the fact my rewards are either open to all heroes or none makes developing any kind of subtle strategic planning almost impossible. There is only so much you can do tactically by directing a mob.

Besides, one-on-one interaction could help reinforce that 'emotional bond' you might want to create.

I agree that creating a sovereign avatar would be problematic, but it wouldn't be strictly neccesary. You could simply use a system of heralds/messengers/royal advisors to dispatch commissions and contracts. That would also add a time-delay factor which would limit the power and hence potential for abuse of individual hero micro. They receive the offer at their own convenience, not yours.

Anyway. Do please mull it over. I think this could be a godsend.
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Will the Spellcaster



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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I do belive that the herald/messenger would work. I accedentally voted "no", I ment to vote yes. Embarassed Maybe the messenger could come from the *insert list of buildings*? (For instance, the nearest Marketplace, Outpost, Palace, Guild that the hero belongs to or is the same type as that, Embassy, Hall of Champs, Guardhouse, ect.) nearest to the Hero.
And I think it'd be more realistic to directly control henchmen, but it'd mess up the game. I think that you should be able to suggest that the henchmen do something. Henchmen would be more likely to do what you ask than heroes, and there's be no messenger needed.

Also, I think there could be a seperate heareld henchman unit. You could send a herald to a certain place, and it would stay there for a certain period of time, proclaiming to all heroes (yes, ALL heroes, not just yours) that "There is a reward flag for the exploration of *insert area* for the amount of *insert GP amount*" or "There is a bounty on *insert enemy unit/building* for the amount of *insert GP amount*". They could make all heroes in range re-check they're "bounty hunting" or "going to an explore flag" trees, and increase the chance of them going to the proclaimed flag by *insert %*. Or, instead, they could have the effect of requesting all heroes in range to do the proclaimed action. Of corse, the total effect would be lower on enemy heroes than on friendly ones. And yes, that means heroes in the middle of a battle would re-check their reward flag trees, but that's the risk of using a herald.
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Apple



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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This brings up the fundamental question that must always be answered when doing anything with the gameplay:
Is it fun?
 
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Jay Adan



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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You know, creating a sequel is an interesting challenge. On the one hand you want to do new and innovative things to keep your game moving forward. On the other hand you need to keep the game recognizable so that you don't alienate people who loved the original.

I just read a great article on game genre addiction that very clearly states the challenges I'm talking about. If you're interested you can check it out here: http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articles/article2227.asp

BTW - I think that Daniel Cook is a pretty smart guy and I've been actively reading everything that he's written that I can find. His recent review of Nintendogs was how I was introduced to his writings. Now his blog is on my regular surfing schedule.
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Alfryd



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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
This brings up the fundamental question that must always be answered when doing anything with the gameplay:
Is it fun?

If it helps alleviates frustration in RTS play, then I presume so. I mean, one of the other benefits of less-than-total hero control is that the heroes themselves take care of most of the micro. You don't have to order wounded units back, send out routine recon patrols to scout the enemy or hunt the pixel for spellcasting commands. So if you could combine this benefit with a potential for feint, diversion, ambush- y'know, the kind of stategy that generals are supposed to concentrate on- players would be able to concentrate on using large-scale tactics with some effectiveness.
Example- I offer private commissions to a party of rogues to torch an outlying inn on my opponent's kingdom. Being geedy and unscrupulous, they naturally accept. Shortly after they set off, I then flag a vast public bounty on the enemy kingdoms' defensive outpost. However, my rogues' attack on the outlying inn has drawn the attentions of most of the enemy kingdom's heroes, in hot pursuit after the fleeing rogues. Hence the outpost is left almost defenceless, and gets levelled by my remaining heroes. Cue maniacal laughter.

Quote:
A game is a pre-packaged set of stimuli and directed player responses that piggy back on existing human risk / reward systems and create a measurable psychological addiction.

By that definition, so is sport.
If games are a form of drug that encourages habit-forming addiction, no genre would ever go extinct, given that the user base has been growing steadily. LSD, cannabis, hash, ecstasy, cocaine, they were all more fashionable at one point but haven't gone away, even when they kill the users. The very fact that most gamers do get tired of a particular mode of play contradicts everything the article was built on. If extinct genres simply acted as gateway drugs to 'higher hits', old fans would not be complaining. These are the hardcore, and remain the exception to the rule.
And if big, ground-breaking hits like the Sims, Myst, etc. simply provide new modes of addiction, why is it that the gamers introduced rarely confine themselves to that genre? Or, if they do, abandon the title for a while until something new comes out? If bigger and bigger doses are required to avoid cold-turkey, what sense does it make to spread yourself out? Lemmings and Myst were my entrance to gaming, but I alternate with RTS, turn-based strategy, simulation and RPG, and dabble in platform titles. This is not characteristic of addiction, merely of preference. I don't play FPS or racing games because I don't have the reflexes and find them deeply intellectually bland. This is not clinging to a particular reward pattern, it is just an assessment of aptitude.
I agree that certain games do establish a compulsive behaviour pattern, but this is largely short term, albeit potent, much like the documented effects on aggression. When I go on holidays without a laptop, I don't find myself suddenly craving a few turns of Civ. I have other diversions.
So with all due respect, Mr. Cook can take his analysis and shove it where the sun don't shine.
One of the big problems of the industry is that there is no method of *protecting* innovation. IP covers plot, artwork, voicelines, etc. all the decorative fluff that contributes nothing substantial to the core mechanics. We need IP that covers gameplay. A 3-year patent would work wonders to foster innovation, as even if the first game to use the feature isn't a big hit, polished successors paying royalties on the idea would more than reimburse the loss. The ability to protect technological advances such as graphic and physics engines has allowed these to grow in leaps and bounds. But if you steal gameplay, no-one bats an eyelid. Not looking at anyone in particular, Blizzard North.
The other big problem, I would agree, is the spacetime retail bottleneck. Developers need a way to grow and sell a game slowly. One of the best models I have seen for doing this is www.runescape.com , a java-based MMORPG with 5 million users, 10% paying for the member version. Alas, their artwork, plot and sound, etc., leave much to be desired, but that only makes the argument for their ultimate financial viability stronger.
The reason that their model has worked is that you can try the product out without a lengthy download, they have steadily grown a large community that can spread the news by word of mouth and gives constant feedback during development, and the transition to a paying account is both fairly painless and stiffly incentivised. It might just be the way of the future.
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Will the Spellcaster



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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Alfryd wrote:
... One of the best models I have seen for doing this is www.runescape.com , a java-based MMORPG with 5 million users, 10% paying for the member version. Alas, their artwork, plot and sound, etc., leave much to be desired, but that only makes the argument for their ultimate financial viability stronger.
The reason that their model has worked is that you can try the product out without a lengthy download, they have steadily grown a large community that can spread the news by word of mouth and gives constant feedback during development, and the transition to a paying account is both fairly painless and stiffly incentivised. It might just be the way of the future.


RUNESCAPE ROCKS!!!
*ahem*
Actually, their artwork is good, considering that it's online and they don't want people to wait 30 minutes for it to load. And the plot(s) aren't really that bad, they're just really short. There's no overall plot, but there are "quests", things that certain people or groups of people (or monsters, or ghosts, ect.) want you to do. They can be as simple as getting the ingrediants to bake a cake, or as hard as slaying a Green Dragon. Then there's the usual infiltrating the enemy's castle, banishing ghosts, killling vampires, collecting wool, and rescuing a hostage desert prince that you can do as well. And those are all F2P (free to play) quests, as opposed to the 100+ member quests. Alas, the sound (or lack thereof) leaves much to be desired. And I wish the bank had unlimited storage spaces! But overall, it's quite a good game!
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Jay Adan



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 PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Damn, Alfryd. Some good comments there. Too much to respond to in detail but I see the beginnings of a good debate. I will say that I think that Danc's likening games to drugs is a case of using hyperbole to make a point.

My point is that even if we concede that this kind of "addiction" is limited to the hard-core those are the people that people like me have to be concerned about when creating a sequel to a game. These are the people that will be the most opinionated and vocal about how good a sequel we've created. These are the people who will be writing articles and posting messages in forums. These are the "influencers" that marketing people like to talk about so much these days. They may be a small group - but they're an important group.
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housefish



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 PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2005 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Alfryd the problem with doing the reward system on a more personal basis is that it just ends up being a slower version of being able to control the units. Say you want those rouges to attack the inn and you offer a reward and they reject it. The very next thing you are going to do is not give up on the idea of the attack but instead go back and offer them a little bit more money. The result will be players continuing to add a little more and a little more until the rogues do it. If you don't have enough gold then you will just wait around until you do. If you make it so the rouges can only be asked so many times or won't change their minds it simply becomes a waiting game until they are willing to commence the attack. The results might take a bit longer the selecting the players and telling them where to go, but in essence you are directing what the rouges are doing.
All you are left with then is a bunch of really smart units that can take care of themselves but when it comes time to battle you tell them how, where and when to attack. Personally I like the mob attack because of the challenge of convincing the right number and the right type of players to attack at the same time. All you could tell the units, unless you had a boat load of money, was where to attack and even if you had that money you could only add that that the units will all attack right away. Its not that I don't enjoy games that controled how the units will attack, its just that Majesty is special for the indirect control and when I want direct control I just play Age of Empires (hooray for AOE3).
Ultimatly I think the problems that you might be thinking of with the mob effect during attacks can be taken care of with good AI. Maybe add inter-guild relations that allow the different heroes to work together or bicker between themselves. Then when they are fighting they can use different strategies either on their own or in unison with the other type of hero they are fighting with.
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Will the Spellcaster



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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Housefish, I think your rouge problem could be solved by lowering the chance that a hero/hero group/guild will do something the more times you ask them. So if you said (to the rouges guild)"Attack this inn for 100GP", and they refused, then the next time you ask them to do the same thing, (even if it's more gold or a different target), then they'll get annoyed at you and will be, say, up to 20% less likely to do it. If you ask them to do the exact same thing with the exact same reward as before, then the % would be a full 20. If you asked them to do the same thing, only with more money, or switched targets with the same amount of money, then it could be anywhere from 5-15% less (depending on the heroe(s) involved; a Paladin would be more interested if you switched the target from a Trading Post to a Temple to Ferves, but a rouge wouldn't care as long as it had more money involved). Over time, a hero/group/guild's "refusal rate" will build back up, so if you leave them alone for a while, then the next time you ask them to do something, they'll be more likely to do it.
Note: The "refusal rate" has to go down before they decide whether or not to accept the mission for the second time. So the first time, the rate stays the same. But the second time (if it hasn't been "so" long since your first request), you ask, then their rate drops, then the accept/refuse.
Another note: If you ask a group of heroes to do something more than once, then each of the heroes' rates will drop. The guild's rate is an avarage of the guild's heroes rates, so the guilds that those heroes are in will have their rates dropped, as well. This is to show those heroes arguing with their fellow guild members as to what to do.

Also, if you ask a group of heroes to do something, it's the entire group that says yes or no. If all but one person says yes, then the whole group goes (in most cases). But if at least 75% of the group doesn't say yes, then the group will split. The "yes" heroes will not go without you asking them specifically, and the "no" heroes will not go to anything you ask for a short period. Also, the 2 groups will develop a sort of eminity for a time, and will not travel with the other group (or members of that group), and if a member of one sees a member of the other in trouble, they may not help. Or if one sees the other going to a certain flag/place, then they are less likely to go there as well.
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