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Topics - Koh

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Discussion / Contact Damage
« on: September 09, 2015, 06:21:47 pm »
This aspect of game design many rely on has become more and more irritating to me these days.  I've some reasons against this design decision, that I'll quote from my post on Soul Saver Online's forum below.

I've been playing this game for a little while now, and am Level 53.  The gameplay itself is decent, but as I've been playing, the levels of frustration have been increasing more and more because of this design aspect.  Contact damage for enemies in no way compliments the gameplay, nor the map design of this game.  Here's a couple of reasons to support my claim.

1.  In general, contact damage is a dated and lazy way out of making defined attack animations for each and every enemy.  Back in the early days of gaming and the 8-bit era, memory was very expensive and limited, meaning there was only so much memory available to use to have all the graphics required to make a complete game, such as tile graphics, character graphics, Heads Up Display (HUD) graphics, and so on.  So contact damage was a way to save resources such that memory could be used for other aspects of the game.  Since the 16-bit era, however, games have arisen that no longer ran into the issue of memory in regards to contact damage, such as Secret of Mana, a game released nearly 20 years ago.  This game, along with many others, did not have to rely on contact damage to save memory; every enemy had a defined attack animation and range, such that the player can clearly see when and where an enemy is attacking.  If a nearly 20 year old game can accomplish this with far less resources available than we have today, there's absolutely no excuse for games in this day and age to rely on contact damage.  This game already sports defined attack animations for enemies, so that's already in place.  There's no need to have contact damage stacked with this, unless it makes sense for the enemy's design.  For example, Keburi monsters that are basically living fires.  Touching fire hurts, so it makes sense there, or a monster covered in spikes.

2.  In most cases, it does not compliment the game design.  Especially in regards to MMOs like this one, Soul Saver Online, where enemies are randomly respawning on the current map.  Since they hurt by touch and do that, unsuspecting players take unnecessary damage, which could even kill them, just because they didn't have any reaction time, nor could they see, the enemy spawning on top of them.  That in and of itself is a bad game design aspect.  Also, the map design in this game features of lot of areas with tight corridors, or even just a bunch of enemies on platforms, where it's near impossible to traverse the map without taking damage.  Assassins have the great solution of Hiding to this, but that's not available to every class, nor can you use it in the Avatar form.
Contact damage was a necessity on early consoles and 8-bit machines for memory reasons.  The 16 bit era proved it is no longer necessary, so there's no reason one would need to rely on it in this day and age.

Entertainment / Feel the "Character" of Games Have Gone Down?
« on: May 07, 2015, 06:59:55 pm »
Something I've been thinking on for a while now.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, game developers had to work with and around the limitations of the console hardware.  Not just graphics, but also music and sounds too.  Due to this, it was very much possible to be able to tell what console a game was on, just by listening to it.  Sega Genesis (and by extension, the NEC PC-9801, since they used similar chips) had a very distinctive sound, and you'd know a Genesis game when you heard it.  The same characterization, of course, extended to the other 8-bit and 16-bit consoles, like the SNES having a very distinctive sound.  In terms of graphics, the color limitations forced the developers to get the most out of what was available to them.  This led to some either bland-looking games, or games that still hold up with an amazing art style to this day, such as Seiken Densetsu 3.

But the moment the 32 and 64-bit eras come, that characterization seemed to go down.  3D was still early on the consoles, so the graphics still had much growing to do.  Rarely would anyone ever say early 3D graphics hold up to this day though.  No longer were developers hindered by console limitations in terms of sprites and music either, as one could literally insert a fully orchestrated soundtrack into the game with ease, and use as many colors as they deemed necessary on sprites. 

So without the limitations in place, I'm saying games overall (not every single one, but just in general) have started to bleed together in terms of graphics and sound.  All the games that try to look realistic look more or less the same, and since there are no limitations on sound, all the soundtracks sort of bleed together with the same high quality instruments and such.  This isn't to say the graphics aren't GOOD and the sound/music isn't GOOD, but rather that the character is lost, since they aren't forced to get the most out of limitations.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree, disagree?

EDIT:  This is excluding the indie game scene!  I'm well aware they're the primary group bringing freshness in this day and age, lol.  This is mainly concerning the mainstream games with the mainstream companies.

Discussion / Game Design Survey: Choosing Perspective
« on: April 15, 2015, 04:31:19 pm »
This is mostly a public opinion survey about a game design aspect my game development partner and I have thought would be a great implementation for most of our games.

So, the idea we want to work with is that at the start of the game, the player gets to choose whose perspective they wish to follow of the main characters.   In other words, they choose who they want to play as, and only directly control that character through the whole game, as well as experiencing the story from that character's perspective.  So this means, for example, when the party members split up for whatever reasons over the course of the game, the player gets to experience what the other characters were up to at that point in time, if they play the game as a different character.

We feel this would add an extra great layer of replayability, as well as giving all the characters a chance to shine in their own right.  But I can also see the skepticism some people would have about playing through the whole game again, and experiencing like 70% of the same content again just for the sake of the above.  What are your thoughts?   This survey will help us think about this design choice more.


Link to the article.  Fan projects that are well received can potentially be endorsed by Nintendo.  This spells great news for fangame creators.  I could easily jump in on this and make that high quality Zelda 1 remake I've always envisioned, and actually have it officially recognized.

Entertainment / Midora
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:16:23 am »
Midora has a very Zelda: Minish Cap/Four Swords/Adventures graphical style going on.  Has recently been greenlit.  Perhaps you'll like it.

Entertainment / Heart Forth, Alicia
« on: July 23, 2014, 04:40:40 pm »

In case no one here has ever heard of it, this is an in development indie game that's looking fantastic.  It's got incredible pixel work, as well as aiming to be a Metroidvania/RPG experience, which totally screams Castlevania:  Symphony of the Night like gameplay.  Something to keep your eyes on.

Feedback / What Can We Do To Get More Life Here?
« on: April 20, 2014, 04:54:27 pm »
Posts are pretty stagnant here.  One to 4 posts per day total, and it's a tad disappointing to not have a lively community as we used to have.  The site has gotten some upgrades before to make it more project-friendly and such, but we need more members to put it to use.  What sort of things could we do to attract more people here?

Entertainment / LaMulana 2
« on: September 21, 2013, 06:38:19 pm »
There is a sequel in development, set for release in 2014.


I'm curious to see some gameplay of it XD.  I've finished both the original and the remake, and both are fantastic and challenging games.

Coding / What's the Most Efficient Way to Program This?
« on: August 09, 2013, 01:07:42 am »
So I've been thinking about a little something I want to program into the World of Chaos games, and that's randomized equipment drops.  Like for example, when a monster is about to drop a Knife, instead of just getting a Knife, you have a chance to get a Polished Knife (which would be better than the regular Knife), or a Damaged Knife (worse than the regular Knife), and other tiers of such.  I was mostly thinking about how the heck I should approach this efficiently.

My primary thought is to have an array that represents an inventory (naturally) of 32 or however many slots for each class of item I want:  Consumables, Weapons, Armor and Key Items.  Inside this array is stored an ID number to represent an item.  My main focus is the Weapons (since the same could be done for the armor) array.  The values stored here would be ID numbers that represent an item...for example, 0 could be a Knife, 1 could be a Machete, 2 could be a Bronze Sword, etc.  However, I'd need another array that's adjusted alongside this that stores the adjusted "class" of the item.  0 would mean it's a plain old Knife, for example, 1 would mean it's a Polished Knife, 2 would mean it's a Damaged Knife, etc.  And finally, I'd need to create two lookup arrays; quite possibly 2D-arrays.   One with all of the weapons having their base values for each stat stored.  For example, 0, 0 would represent Knife's base Power stat, 0, 1 would be the Knife's base Fort stat, and etc.  The second 2D-array would be for the special classes, and how  much they modify the other values by percentage.  So 0, 0 would represent how much Polished affects the Base Power, 0, 1 would represent how much Polished affects the Base Fort stat, and etc.  The only problem I'm seeing with this method (besides being a bit weird to keep track of once the tables get pretty big) is...what if I want weapons to get random bonus stat increasers as well.  For example, you may pick up a plain old knife again, but this one has a +2 Power bonus.  Do I need to make the array that stores the special classes of each specific weapon in the weapons array a 2D array to store bonus changes too, also creating a bonus lookup table as well? And is this the most efficient route, or way more work than necessary?

I hope I'm being clear enough...this is boggling my mind.

Entertainment / Region Locks Are So Silly.
« on: July 12, 2013, 08:44:20 pm »
Seriously, they do nothing but cause trouble.  The GB(C)/GBA/DS were all region free, but the 3DS is regionlocked, and there are many games that won't be localized to other countries of varying origin.  Say I want to get a JRPG.  Too bad, I can't give them my money to do so because of the accursed lockout chip in there that says "Sorry Koh, but I can't let you do that.  You are going to find playing this Japanese game on your American system rather difficult."  What is the purpose of this?  Is it of any such significance that it can't be done in another fashion, rather than limiting consumers?  Is it just a stupid power show, just to show what companies are capable of?  Has anyone else had a problem with region locks on a game they've wanted to purchase before?  How the hell is someone supposed to know it's region locked anyway if they've either never heard of it, or did the proper research to know?  So they wind up spending money in a futile manner for a game they will be unable to play....

Graphics / Koh's Sprite Joint
« on: July 07, 2013, 09:11:07 pm »
No, you can't smoke this thread, don't even try :P.

I guess I should have my own general place where I can get some feedback on my work.  As you all know, I'm an aspiring game developer, and have a few projects underway.  However, I've mostly halted the other projects in favor of working on my own.  There are two primary original projects I have going on at the moment, being World of Chaos 1:  The Jewels of Life and World of Chaos 2:  Kenta's Journey.

Here is a basic screenshot of what I have done so far with the new version World of Chaos 1.  Some of you may remember the last time I worked on it a few months ago before I lost the data.  Due to that, I've started from scratch, but it has also allowed me to make various changes and updates to my ideas for the game.  So that said, here's an early preview screenshot; how does the graphical style look to you?

Just a note:
-I'm aware that the sky and panoramic backdrops are missing.  I've yet to draw them, and have very little to no experience in doing so...so I'm basically putting it off for a bit while I build the base engine.  Doing the code to get them to move around based on the screen is easy; actually drawing them is far more difficult o.o.

Entertainment / Video Game Physics, Controls and Rules
« on: June 17, 2013, 04:11:18 pm »
Let's discuss some major aspects of games that greatly affect how one would play them.

I feel like the controls shouldn't be too stiff, and the movement engine should be setup in such a way that it works with the game system.  For example...I feel the first Legend of Zelda's controls are way too stiff.  Link walks like he's on a grid (because he is), and that kind of movement just isn't suited for that type of combat system.  The same sort of problem occurs with Final Fantasy Adventure on Gameboy, and don't even get me started on the first StarTropics with that grid movement system.  Also, the controls should be responsive and not delayed to perform actions.  It's totally inexcusable to make a game where the action performs a second or two after you've already pressed the button.  There are many games I could use as an example that have bad control, such as Dark Castle on the Sega Genesis and any of the Action 52 games on NES.

As for the Physics...well they shouldn't be too floaty.  I can't stand it when you jump in games, and it's like...you're on the moon.  Cave Story is a good example of this, even though I love the game.  The objects should also have the same rules...it's really awkward to see the character push a crate or rock off of a cliff, only for it to fall like it's made of styrofoam or paper.  Also the character sliding around a lot like they're on ice, even when they aren't, is also something that's awkward.

The biggest offenses to gaming with this category are long games that don't have any sort of saving system, hard games that don't have any sort of extra lives or continue system or games that simply put way too much difficulty on the game.  An example of the first scenario would be Kid Chameleon on the Sega Genesis.  That game is long, and although you have extra lives and limited continues, it's still rough to actually finish it in one sitting, and once you turn off your Genesis, there's no way to get that progress back.  For the second scenario, Double Dragon 3 on NES is an example of that.  You get a health bar that drains fast, and no continues.  What some would call "extra lives" comes in the form of alternate characters who suck, except the Ninja.  The guy in a business suit is totally useless and slow against faster enemies.  As for the third and final scenario, Silver Surfer on NES is the ultimate example.  Anything you touch instant kills you (enemies, projectiles, walls, ceilings and floors), it's impossible to tell what's background and what's foreground, what you are and aren't allowed to touch, and the game is just maddeningly difficult.


What sort of expectations and limitations would you place on each category?  What would you consider the perfect balance and/or harmony between all three?

Entertainment / Nintendo's Stance On Used Games
« on: June 14, 2013, 04:21:34 am »

It's worth the read.  I say it's the perfect solution and makes perfect sense.

Entertainment / How Do You Approach Games You've Finished Again?
« on: June 05, 2013, 02:21:03 pm »
Not to be seen in a general light.  Basically, once you've been through a game once or more, and have seen everything there is to see in the "normal" way, how do you approach your replays?

I personally try to find ways to either break the game, or make the game faster.

Breaking the Game
-Not to be taken literally.  What falls under this category are bugs that developers didn't catch, by doing absurd things, such as bugs that mess up the maps and stuff.  This can be enteraining all on its own to see what kind of crazy things can happen.  A perfect example of this is using Link's Awakening's (Original) screen skipping glitch to get onto the top of the Southern Face Shrine.  If you enter the door from the top side, the game starts to read RAM as ROM and all sorts of crazy things happen.  The map bases are those of the official maps, such as Tail Cave, but the graphics are all messed up, and the treasure chests all contain shovels (but you can only open one once.)

Make the Game Faster
-Can go hand in hand with speedrunning if it's that sort of thing, but namely, glitches or in-game exploits that can be used in your favor.  For example, any version of Final Fantasy 2 (The REAL FF2, not USA's ultimate naming screwup of all time).  If you constantly attack an enemy, doing 0 damage, you still gain weapon exp, and can max out the levels quick.  You can also make it even easier by putting the weapons on the characters' "bad" hand, so that the damage and number of hits are decreased.

Entertainment / Dragon's Lair
« on: June 02, 2013, 04:07:50 am »
I'm sure everyone's heard of this game in some form or another.  It's a game featuring the animated works of Don Bluth, a former Disney animator who made works such as the Secret of Nimh.  the original version, the Arcade version, was a game that plays more like a quick-time button-pressed movie, than an actual game, but holds a very high place in history.  Many other versions of it would follow, with the NES, GB and SNES versions considered one of the absolute worst games of all time.  Recently, it has been made available on Steam, updated with HD widescreen cinematics, I believe.

But.....it seems not many people know about the GBC version.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl8g5LpURNw" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl8g5LpURNw</a>

Does it not blow your mind to see the fact that the Gameboy Color was capable of all of that?

Entertainment / Seems Microsoft Can't Count
« on: May 21, 2013, 08:47:53 pm »
It seems Microsoft doesn't know how to !@#$% count XD.

XBox -> XBox360 -> XBox ONE


Entertainment / Koh -Vs- Ocarina of Time
« on: May 19, 2013, 02:52:37 pm »
It's time I finally put my thoughts on this game into words.

To begin with, I'll start by saying the game is by no means BAD, but it's definitely not the best, legendary game ever the fans make it out to be.  Now I'm prepared to back that statement up.

Problem #1: Hyrule Field - This is my major problem with the game.  There's absolutely NOTHING out there.  It's so barren and empty, and enemies only come out at night (save for Peahats, but even then, they're no threat).  You've got the random bombable places on the field, and the Lon Lon Ranch smack dab in the middle, but everywhere else is just a bunch of unappealing, boring walking.  This could have been their chance to make the world really stand out and add a bunch of scenery and sights to actually make exploring more worthwhile, but of course not.

Problem #2:  Menu Navigation - This mostly comes with the need to constantly switch between specific pieces of body equipment, like boots or tunics.  It happens so often, it's extremely annoying, especially in the Water Temple where you need to constantly switch your boots.  The GBC Zeldas only had two item slots, but even then you weren't doing nearly as much item switching as you were in this game.

Problem #3:  Bland Characters - The only characters really given much attention were the characters revolving around the plot (I'm tossing Malon into this group).  All the other side characters were just THERE.  Having NPCs to make places feel populated is one thing, but at least make it worthwhile to actually interact with them.  It's sort of like Castlevania 2:  Simon's Quest where the NPCs had nothing useful or interesting to say.

Problem #4:  Underused/Outclassed Items - I'm not expecting to be using all the items all the time, but some items were really only good for one specific part of the game, and either became useless or unusable later in the game.  The boomerang for example.  Adult Link can't use it, and it was really only spammed in Jabu Jabu's Belly.  So once you got to the 2nd half of the game, it became useless (and you couldn't use it anyway).  The bow was the replacement for it for Adult Link, but it didn't have the same effect.  How can you NOT use a boomerang when you're older?  It's not an age specific thing.

Problem #5:  Difficulty - Now, this game is by no means hard at all.  I don't want the game to be so hard that it makes you not want to play it, but the difficulty was always down low and easy.  I've done the usual fairy-in-a-bottle-backups, but never actually came close to even using them, even when I was just tanking my way through some areas.  The difficulty really needed ot be stepped up.  A damage increase isn't enough (Master Quest), everything needed to have buffed AIs as well, to actually make them threats.  The difficulty in a game shouldn't spike or stay low, it should be a steady increase, forcing the player to adapt to new challenges ahead.

I'll conclude this by saying again, these are my own personal problems with the game.  It's still a decent and enjoyable game, but I definitely don't feel it's worth the legendary pedestal people place it on. 

Entertainment / Sonic Fan Remix
« on: May 18, 2013, 06:41:55 pm »
Has anyone ever heard of this?  This is my first time seeing this.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4y9-_yxsa8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4y9-_yxsa8</a>

Let me tell you...although the world looks busy, it's still !@#$% GORGEOUS.  It's like a hit and miss; you can't just hold right and spin and expect to win like on the original, because you aren't exactly sure what's ahead.

Entertainment / Weirdest Game Overs?
« on: May 18, 2013, 02:53:28 am »
What are some of the strangest game over screens you've seen?
This one takes the cake for me.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCM5nN2tkuE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCM5nN2tkuE</a>

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