Thursday, July 15, 2010

Increasing entropy.

There is only so much randomness that I can stand. If I enjoyed luck take precedence over skill I would play the slots at casinos instead of blackjack (which I don't actually do either, because I have no money). The same is true for games. I appreciate the randomness of games like Puzzle Quest; the way the gems drop is unpredictable and part of the game that you must be ready for. It is possible to be prepared for a bad drop and it will not destroy the match. Split/Second, on its final evening of play before being dropped bank in the mail in disgrace, took this chaos about three steps too far. Driving skill was no longer the determining factor of winning. Everything was subject to the whims of what heavy object dropped on who, and if it happened to bounce your way or not. Side note: it really seems that explosive barrels always push you towards the next thing that will kill you , regardless of how they were hit. If so, fuck them. It is possible to balance skill and random drops successfully. Mario kart games, Double Dash being the best, managed it. This is in spite of the damn blue shell always hitting the person in first place at the worst possible time. Imagine a game that is nothing but blue shells, only the computer gets them, and they only use them on you, and you have Split/Second. As soon as I lost sight of the opposing cars they stopped fighting one another, waiting for me to inch in front before dropping a damn dump truck on my hood.

Looks aren't everything, there has to be some brains there too, and Split/Second just doesn't cut it.

I got an interesting call yesterday from an old friend who is trying to put together a team to develop I phone games. He knows that I am not a programmer, not an artist, nor a very good planner or manger, but that I do play a shit load of games and have at least some idea about what is good and what is not. He wants to create an MMO for the I phone use, a hipster WoW, or something like that. Such a game may already exist, and I am quite sure that he does not understand the scope of what he is planning, but if I can pair him down to something a little closer to Guild Wars is scope and execution I think he may be on to something. The game must be playable in small groups for short amounts of time, but it should also reward marathon play. it is going to require a very minimal hud (the only thing that Split/Second got right), and it must be playable on a touch screen. Add all this together, pull the camera back to a isometric third person perspective, and you have multiplayer Torchlight, something that I would play no matter what I had to look at to do so. Throw in a dash of micro-transactions to allow those with money and no time to keep up, and it could work.

Now all we need are a producer, a few more artists, several modelers, a dozen computers, and someone with a great deal of money they don't need to fund us.

No problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment