Rozovian’s Music Log

www.ocremix.org/artist/4795/

Archive for November, 2011

Talking about Fighting

Posted by Ad on November 21, 2011

How do you make talking as interesting as fighting? Extra Credits had an episode that touched on this. It got me think, and that got me writing, and now I have a few ideas. If only I could program; I could whip up a concept demo thing to see how it works.

I wrote a little dialogue (or monologue) script, essentially a one-sided dialogue tree, and that got me thinking further, on how to actually taking combat mechanics from jrpgs and make a fighting game about talking. Say you have three ways of influencing someone – appeal to their heart, their brain, and their guts. Just three, to keep it simple. Different characters would have different values, so they’d be influenced differently. The attacks would be akin to those in Pokémon, attacks of different types.

Dude attacks Opponent with Vulgar Reference. -20 IP.
Opponent attacks Dude with Your Mom. -7 IP. It’s not very effective.
Dude attacks Opponent with Appeal to Honor. -63 IP. It’s SUPER EFFECTIVE!
Opponent uses Pep Talk on himself. +12 IP.
Dude attacks Opponent with Your Mom. -3 IP. It’s not very effective.
Opponent attacks Dude with Neologisms. -33 IP.
Opponent is confused.

You get the idea.

Another way of doing it, or a way of adding to the above, would be to string attacks together in combos, where Vulgar Reference would do some damage, but Your Mom would do _more_ when following up a Vulgar Reference (against someone weak against those kinds of attacks), not to mention that it might let the user recover some of his IP. Not sure what IP stands for here, I forgot what I wanted it to stand for while I was writing the examples. Oops. Intellectual points? Maybe it should be Conviction Points, or Persuasion Points? Or Willpower?

There’s probably some game out there that uses stuff like this. Would be interesting to work on a game like that. Wonder how they make the graphics as appealing as combat graphics… on the other hand, FFX and similar game has a lot of redundant animations between combat options, and old FF just have the sprite move forward, wave an overlaid weapon, and the enemy flash and shake slightly.

Character design would need work, tho. A suit might sway the brain, a sweater the heart, a military uniform the guts? idunno. What kind of equipment do you need to talk? Megaphone? Talkbox? Breath mints?

On a mostly unrelated note, the dialogue-wise uncomplicated (well, occasionally an option more advanced than before, and some humorous responses) new Zelda game is out. And I have it. Yay.

edit: silly me, I forgot to write a post title. The Twitter post was smart enough to just use the text instead, with the last word getting hilariously truncated.

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Stupid Creativity

Posted by Ad on November 18, 2011

I make music. I make video game music remixes; new arrangements for (usually) old games. Some people like my work. I easily get stuck with my songs, having written half of it, and getting tired of it. Whether it’s remixes or my original work, I just hit a point where I can’t get anything done.

Instead of sitting and doing nothing, my brain switches to some other creative mode, getting me interested in something else for a while. I go back to stories, writing, fiction, worldbuilding, and from there to just about anything. I might come up with an idea that would make a great movie or TV show, or a great computer/console game, or a great board game (less risk of appearing on torrent sites), or a great book, or a great… idunno, comic book?

Now, I could pursue a career in writing for these media, but I fear that’d take me away from doing what I love doing… and I don’t even know what I love doing. Maybe I love telling stories. Maybe I love to build things. Maybe I love entertaining. Maybe I love educating. Maybe I love expressing myself. Maybe I love putting hidden messages in everything I do to manipulate ppl into doing… something.

I realized the other day that despite my liking of video games, it’s not what I wanna spend the rest of my life making. Yes, I wanna make video games. Yes, I have more than a handful of ideas. Yes, I have stories I wanna tell through video games. Yes, I have game mechanics I wanna make use of. Yes, I think my games would be pretty good.

But I also want to write a couple of books, and I wouldn’t mind making a TV series (tho the thought of letting go of my intellectual property is a little troubling, good thing it’s not something I have to think about). I wanna make some board games. I wanna make lots and lots of music.

I wonder what the best approach is. Naturally, I’d wanna get the remix project I’m heading out of the way before trying to build a career doing something creative, but I should figure out what to do next. Try to make that board game I’ve been sketching out? Try to do something for a real video game (indie, probably)? Isolate myself from everything and everyone to write my book or my music? Try to juggle work, life, creative pursuits and sleep?

In any case, I should get a proper job, tho. I wouldn’t mind one in the game industry, but there’s quite a surplus of ppl who can write stuff or make music. Dunno how to market myself anyway. Sure, I’ve got an almost unique artist name, and ocremix has spread my name all over the net, but how do I actually communicate to the right ppl that I want to make music or write stuff for their game? Who are the right ppl, where are they?

tl;dr: Rozo, stop whining, get a job, learn programming.

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Thoughts on Civ V

Posted by Ad on November 12, 2011

Civilization V is annoying. I mean, I like this game, it maintains the flavor of Civ while innovating a lot of the gameplay. But there’s a lot that annoys me. But first, improvements.

You don’t need fragile little transports to move units across the sea anymore, tho why you can’t upgrade your old ships to ocean-faring ones at the same time bothers me, and I’d still like to see an explorer ship that can find new land and build some kind of colony, or at the very least make landfall and explore further.

The hex grid. So much cooler, and it makes distances a little more sensible. I’m still waiting on a spherical map. Realism. Coolness. An icosahedron subdivided into triangles, maybe?

No “stack of doom”. The new system isn’t without its problems, it doesn’t always recognize that I wanna switch places between two units… and what if I wanna rotate places between three units?

I want ability to just draw how I want my land to look like (tile improvements) and have the workers just work accordingly. I don’t trust the auto function, and working with them manually is annoying. Besides, idle workers could reduce maintenance on tile improvements. Someone, make this happen. Currently, I don’t know what to do with them once they’re done with all tiles until I discover Oil, Uranium or Aluminium in my territory. Fortifying them somewhere and then trying to find them amongst other units and details on the map is annoying.

I want more diplomatic options. I can’t threaten blockade or go to war, and I can’t threaten to attack the other player’s friends or allies. It’d be nice to have more spice in the single-player mode. Civ is a difficult game to play multiplayer, in that not everyone have that much time to spare, and games today tend not to be cheap, either. Not seeing who is friends with whom (especially with city states) from a single diplomatic window is annoying, I have to close two diplomacy views to get to a scren that provides _some_ of that information.

I want a more advanced culture system. Yes, it’s simplified to make it a more valuable and versatile game mechanic, but I’d like to see culture divided into multiple cultures, a military culture that every military unit, military structure, and military diplomatic option adds to. Likewise, science, industry, and whatever else works. In Civ 4 you could basically take over the world with culture, much like the USA seems to have been doing irl. Why not have a few stacks of policies that require a certain amount of a specific culture type to use, so that a militaristic civ gets bonuses for their military, while a scientific civ gets bonuses for that?

I want Animal Husbandry to be researched faster if there are animal resources in the Civ’s territory, likewise Mining if there are hills, naval research if there’s sea, metal research if there’s metal, etc.. Combine this with a spherical map (assuming axial tilt) and Calendar would be research sooner further from the equator.

But most of all, I want a game that loads faster. I don’t need every graphical detail, the game can’t possible need to load the main menu for a minute (and the legal notice before the menu may be necessary the first time you start the game but it just annoys ppl after that). Really, the game looks nice, plays ok, and does a lot of unnecessary stuff in between.

I want options to turn off all sound. I want options to turn off leader backgrounds… or leader screens at all. Having to start/load a game every time I change any video options (or worse, restart the whole game) is stupid. A lot of the game is stupid. I don’t mean gameplay things, I mean the program itself. A lot of it is stupid. And slow.

So what I really want is less waiting, more playing. And a Mac version that’s not watered-down. It doesn’t even do mods without screwing with files that any update would revert and who knows what else.

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