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leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.

Chernabog posted:

Are Facebook/Web games still a thing?
Or has that moved mostly to apps?

Still a thing but the big money is mostly in apps.

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Chernabog
Apr 16, 2007



That's what I thought. I worked on a couple of Facebook games back when they were all the rage 5-6 years ago but I haven't heard much ever since.

Sunning
Sep 14, 2011
Nintendo Guru

Chernabog posted:

Are Facebook/Web games still a thing?
Or has that moved mostly to apps?

Much of it has shifted towards smartphones and other mobile devices. Several of the big Facebook games lost to competitors who got a mobile version of their genre out faster, such as Farmville losing out to Hay Day. Many Facebook gaming giants tried to adapt by developing for mobile platforms or acquiring mobile gaming developers, such as Zynga acquiring NaturalMotion.

In Japan, browser gaming is still strong. It's not unusual to see games that are concurrently developed and supported for PC, web browser, and mobile.

eshock
Sep 2, 2004


djkillingspree posted:

On the other hand, something that doesn't get a lot of fanfare, but is a huge deal, are the massive advances made in the capability of AIs to navigate environments. In order for a game like Assassin's Creed to work, for example, a fairly large number of AIs need to be able to understand how to navigate a fairly complex environment that can't be defined with a simple navmesh. Those kinds of advances don't get super-buzzwordy-reveals, but it's important to remember that in many games 5-10 years ago, enemies couldn't even figure out how to climb ladders, jump over gaps, or take cover behind objects without a human annotating the environment. I'm sure there's still some hand annotation going on in newer games, but it's clear that AIs have gotten drastically better at navigation in open world games over time. This is an extremely hard problem and has a ton of good work being done on it all the time.

This is basically it, and there's still a ton more changes that have gone on behind the scenes:

10-15 years ago (I'll cherrypick HL2 as an example bc a lot of people are familiar with how it works), you might have needed to find paths for 20-30 agents at once, from one thread, on one static data structure. HL2 started with a waypoint graph and later on switched to navmesh for some stuff. The entire map is going to be resident in memory the whole time you need to access it. If you wanted to avoid any dynamic objects, that'd be done as another step after the pathfinding.

It's not uncommon these days to have to manage paths for up to 150 agents at once, who might be updating from any thread, on up to 16 cores. Because the maps are so much bigger (32km x 32km is the upper limit of the way most engines do things right now, but people are working on solutions for going bigger), your paths could change lod or even be streamed out entirely completely without warning. There are multiple data structures to use, depending on the situation--many open world games use a navmesh for pedestrians and small agents, and a waypoint graph for vehicles and big stuff. Depending on your gameplay needs and level design you might also use a grid for some stuff. And those data structures are more likely to be dynamic, so moving objects get taken into account at the time of pathfinding instead (or in addition to) a second step. And of course those objects could be registering themselves with the graph from any thread.

But the experience to the player is still exactly the same, it's dudes walking from point A to point B.

eshock fucked around with this message at Jan 12, 2018 around 15:49

Downs Duck
Nov 19, 2005
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free do to anything"

More "games" than "games industry" question here, but maybe it can set off some good talk points about game development and the industry anyway.

Been following this thread with great interest and wanted to cross-post two questions I posited in the "Recommend me a game" thread (got some great feedback already and thought maybe people posting here had some more insight/recommendations):

quote:

Any recommendations for RPGs/games that does inventory and gameplay items well? Without generic junk items or design around tedious pack-rat management?

Like incorporating non-generic items, weapons, or gear in a way that doesn't break up the action too much with town-selling-runs or dropping items in favor of incrementally better ones. Games with fewer, but gameplay-value items instead of Generic Studded Leather Armor Dropped by Every Level 10 Enemy, because I'd prefer if the drop was just gold or XP in that case.

I know about mods for increasing weight capacity and such in Skyrim, Dragon's Dogma, etc., but I'm looking for games that aren't marred by that kind of design to begin with.

Examples:
- Torchlight: The pet running errands for you (haven't played it yet, but thought the feature was interesting).
- Metal Gear: Revengeance: Action brawler, but fits the bill of few main weapons and the occasional grenade or missile launcher without taking away the focus on gameplay.
- I don't have a PS4, so haven't tried it, but Bloodborne's fewer weapons with dual/multi-purpose(?) vs. Dark Souls 100+ generic weapons with a lot of identical movesets.
- Resident Evil 4: Inventory tetris that could be tedious, but most items had an immediate gameplay value right there OR could be traded in later.
- Nioh: Few weapons that have great skill trees for each one, and a deep system for easily and effortlessly crafting, mass-selling, and even locking items in place to make sure you don't sell them by default, etc. And you can adjust the color code for what gear you pick up in settings.
- Diablo 2 and Path of Exile have a similar setting I believe, for color coded items. Main problem is still; why have the generic items at all when they are so uninteresting you give players a chance to turn them off?
- More strategy than RPG, but X-Com: Enemy Unknown: You equip your character before the mission, and your units only have a few grenades and main weapons, not 100+ generic ones to sort through. Research and selling of alien items happens inbetween mission instead of during, which would detract from combat gameplay.
- Mass Effect: I read somewhere that you also just equip your character in this game before missions and that's it.

EDIT: I have to add that The Legend of Zelda games pulls this off amazingly (although my last Nintendo console was a NES): Special items you need to clear dungeons have multiple uses; you need the Hookshot to traverse obstacles, but can also use it to draw enemies towards you. The Boomerang activates buttons, but also stuns enemies, etc. "Loot" is limited to hearts, heart containers, bombs, and arrows, with immediately useable gameplay value.

EDIT 2: Alien: Isolation also did great with its crafting mechanics. Hunting for items to craft and use was extremely fun, and the lack of materials - depending on difficulty, I believe - made finding that one part you needed that much more amazing.

quote:

I have another question, about greatly balanced games:
Some comments about Divinity 2's poorly balanced spells/items/whatnot made me think about what games have great balance, aka their game mechanics can NOT be easily broken. I'm thinking of how you can speedrun Baldur's Gate by rushing to the final boss and chug potions, the mentioned spells in Divinity 2 that are much better than other options, characters that are CLEARLY above and beyond other characters to choose from, etc. After some digging, there always seems to be this ONE OP strategy or character that everyone chooses if they want to clear the game. From the top of my head, I think maybe StarCraft 1 and 2 did balance pretty good between the three factions? Some fairly good balance between classes in Dark Souls, although I know a lot of people always go for Pyromancer or Mage as they are somewhat better/OP than others.

Do you have one standout game or more that has great balance for your character's skill tree, or great balance between different characters to pick from, or similar? Might get a lot of fighting game suggestions, like Tekken or Streetfighter maybe? But I'd like to keep an open mind to get the most suggestions. So any genre goes. Thanks again, hope any answers will help/amuse/be interesting for more people in this thread.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.

Downs Duck posted:

More "games" than "games industry" question here, but maybe it can set off some good talk points about game development and the industry anyway.

Been following this thread with great interest and wanted to cross-post two questions I posited in the "Recommend me a game" thread (got some great feedback already and thought maybe people posting here had some more insight/recommendations):

The inventory progression and puzzle balance in Shenzhen I/O is very good and very interesting.

Whistling Asshole
Nov 18, 2005



Downs Duck posted:

More "games" than "games industry" question here, but maybe it can set off some good talk points about game development and the industry anyway.

Been following this thread with great interest and wanted to cross-post two questions I posited in the "Recommend me a game" thread (got some great feedback already and thought maybe people posting here had some more insight/recommendations):

You should play Torchlight (or probably Torchlight 2 since it's a more polished version with more features) The entire game is based around getting cool drops and off the top of my head I'd say it has a more forgiving inventory than many other RPGs in terms of the amount of slots you're given.

Also Borderlands / Borderlands 2.

Whistling Asshole
Nov 18, 2005



GC_ChrisReeves posted:

Question I have for you. I just came out of my first time trying Oculus Medium and I have to wonder.

Do any of y'all see VR tools entering some kind of professional Non-VR game artist workflow? Like how Wacom Cintiqs are in no way essential to game art creation in the least but are drat nice to use?

https://www.facebook.com/oculusmedi...10156012499469/

Seems like it might be catching on, but I don't know how much of this is PR exaggeration vs. the dev actually using it day in and day out.

Downs Duck
Nov 19, 2005
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free do to anything"

leper khan posted:

The inventory progression and puzzle balance in Shenzhen I/O is very good and very interesting.

I couldn't program my way out of a paper bag so that's one title I haven't considered before, thank you.

Whistling rear end in a top hat posted:

You should play Torchlight (or probably Torchlight 2 since it's a more polished version with more features) The entire game is based around getting cool drops and off the top of my head I'd say it has a more forgiving inventory than many other RPGs in terms of the amount of slots you're given.

Also Borderlands / Borderlands 2.

Yeah, I'm installing both Torchlights to check out, thank you, it's great if the drops actually have purpose and isn't just generic items. I was under the impression that the Borderlands games had an incessant amount of generic and at many times unbalanced loot, but maybe I am wrong about that?

hey girl you up
May 21, 2001

Forum Nice Guy


Downs Duck posted:

I couldn't program my way out of a paper bag so that's one title I haven't considered before, thank you.


Yeah, I'm installing both Torchlights to check out, thank you, it's great if the drops actually have purpose and isn't just generic items. I was under the impression that the Borderlands games had an incessant amount of generic and at many times unbalanced loot, but maybe I am wrong about that?

I haven't played the first Borderlands, but otherwise I wouldn't call the loot "unbalanced". It's a FPS diablolike, so the random guns/grenades/armor/etc. there spawn just like any gear grinder, and just like any other gear grinder, you'll not care about a lot of them. The loot is definitely balanced, and that balance is on a continuum.

It's worth noting that Legendary and Unique weapons are way weirder than Diablo/Path of Exile/the hour of torchlight I've played and some are definitely better than others.

Especially given the oddities of the rarest weapons, if you're min-maxing, then yeah, it's probably "unbalanced" at a given rarity level, but I think the game has the balance the developers intended.

Also, the Lascaux might be my favorite joke/gimmick/whatever in a video game, so if any of you did that: props.

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Downs Duck
Nov 19, 2005
"It's only after we've lost everything that we're free do to anything"

hey girl you up posted:

I haven't played the first Borderlands, but otherwise I wouldn't call the loot "unbalanced". It's a FPS diablolike, so the random guns/grenades/armor/etc. there spawn just like any gear grinder, and just like any other gear grinder, you'll not care about a lot of them. The loot is definitely balanced, and that balance is on a continuum.

It's worth noting that Legendary and Unique weapons are way weirder than Diablo/Path of Exile/the hour of torchlight I've played and some are definitely better than others.

Especially given the oddities of the rarest weapons, if you're min-maxing, then yeah, it's probably "unbalanced" at a given rarity level, but I think the game has the balance the developers intended.

Also, the Lascaux might be my favorite joke/gimmick/whatever in a video game, so if any of you did that: props.

Yeah, that's me getting my wires crossed between my "generic inventory" question 1 and "balance question" 2. Thanks for the input.

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