The Art of Magic

Discuss the development of other free/open-source games, as well as other games in general.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

Yvanhoe
Posts: 2
Joined: May 24th, 2006, 10:03 am
Location: Paris, France

Post by Yvanhoe »

I find the idea of using this sand-like interface for spells just great! Imagine replacing the "elements" by different kinds of "fairy dust", one that would move in a direction, pushing the boom-dust and here you have your fireball, you could have some kind of combinations, transforming an element into another if a certain dust is present, etc...

If you want to complexify this idea, you may want to have a look at Wireworld, which does logic in the pixel realm:

http://www.mathpuzzle.com/WireWorldAnimation.gif
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireworld
http://www.maa.org/editorial/mathgames/ ... 24_04.html

I don't know where all of this could lead, but I have the feeling that there is room for a great system.
Na'enthos
Posts: 401
Joined: June 13th, 2004, 8:02 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: The Art of Magic

Post by Na'enthos »

Kestenvarn wrote:A few months back I was introduced to something called the Falling Sand java game, and its sequel.
I like this.. quite interesting.
In this game, you draw different 'elements' on the screen that work together in odd ways - Plant element grows in Water and is consumed by Fire, Water and Salt affect the size of the slug, Wax slowly burns under Fire while Oil burns more quickly, etc. While experimenting with this, it got me thinking: how many book/game settings have you read that describe magic in the setting as an 'Art'? And yet it never seems to actually be this way; often enough it amounts to the same sort of button combo-like gameplay that melee combat offers.


Ever read the internet comic called konsekai swordwaltzer ( http://www.xerjester.com/ )? That's what you made me think of although that's not quite what you're talking about, I think.
  • ~ Character advancement is skill based, not class based.



It depends on how it's done.. but in case of Diablo 1 and Oblivion I fervently dislike the way these games have skill based advancement. Why? Because everyone can do everything. Personally I feel that focus a certain type of skills should make one more powerful in that area, so much so that the shortcomings one has by not going for other skills is negated.

It just seems weird to me that everyone can cast spells, wield every weapon and wear every piece of armour. But if you look for an emphasis on freeform.. go for it. I just wanted to show my doubts regarding skill-based computer games.

  • ~ Regarding ideas for possible elements, we could look at ones the D&D as examples: Conjuration, Evocation, Illusion, Transmutation, Necromancy, Enchantment, Abjuration, Divination... suppose the elements conjuration and illusion mixed together - this could be used to create colored lights. Conj/Evoc might dissolve when coming in contact, creating an explosion that might be controlled by the clever caster.
So.. what would a character be able to do? Is mind-affecting magic possible? Shapechanging? Teleportation? Invisibility? I ask this because with an elemental core to the magic system, elemental spells should obviously be easier and more plentiful than spells which have nothing elemental to them. Or so I think, anyway.
He who would travel happily must travel light.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User avatar
Kestenvarn
Inactive Developer
Posts: 1307
Joined: August 19th, 2005, 7:30 pm
Contact:

Re: The Art of Magic

Post by Kestenvarn »

Na'enthos wrote:Ever read the internet comic called konsekai swordwaltzer ( http://www.xerjester.com/ )? That's what you made me think of although that's not quite what you're talking about, I think.
Ah yes, I've seen that one before, but never had the time to actually read it.

Edit: Just quickly scrolling through the first part of it, I'd say the plotline resembles the start of Xenogears. Says he's going to redo the entire thing on the front page, should be interesting to see.
Na'enthos wrote:It depends on how it's done.. but in case of Diablo 1 and Oblivion I fervently dislike the way these games have skill based advancement. Why? Because everyone can do everything. Personally I feel that focus a certain type of skills should make one more powerful in that area, so much so that the shortcomings one has by not going for other skills is negated.
One of the solutions others have found for skill-based games to prevent omnipotent players is to set an overall 'cap' on the profiency in the skills you can learn - basically you can mix and match anything you want, but you only have so many points to work from.
Na'enthos wrote:So.. what would a character be able to do? Is mind-affecting magic possible? Shapechanging? Teleportation? Invisibility? I ask this because with an elemental core to the magic system, elemental spells should obviously be easier and more plentiful than spells which have nothing elemental to them. Or so I think, anyway.
I'd prefer to move away from traditional elemental magic*, since it is so commonplace in games and usually ends up focusing on damage alone. Shapechanging would be an interesting effect, if the results coming from it changed depending on how the 'elements' clashed after hitting them with the drawing modifiers.

*(Earth/Air/Fire/Water/Add-Your-Own-Nature-Magic-Here) - note that my use of the word 'elements' isn't the typical use in games.
Last edited by Kestenvarn on June 19th, 2006, 12:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Kestenvarn
Inactive Developer
Posts: 1307
Joined: August 19th, 2005, 7:30 pm
Contact:

Post by Kestenvarn »

Yogin2 wrote:right, that kind of idea helps control how much "input" or mana you can put into a spell. Still, how do you judge a spell's efficacy? eg. take your falling sands example. If I tried to create an illusion, what kind of sand formation produces what kind of illusion, and how strong is it? Or an attack spell, eg. lightning bolt? What kind of damage does your spell do? How do you judge the falling sand to decide whether the lightning bolt fizzles, or is critically-strong?
Also, sorry for not replying to this earlier - I started making an animated gif to give an easier explanation, then kinda got bogged down by unrelated RL stuff.
Na'enthos
Posts: 401
Joined: June 13th, 2004, 8:02 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: The Art of Magic

Post by Na'enthos »

Kestenvarn wrote:
Na'enthos wrote:Ever read the internet comic called konsekai swordwaltzer ( http://www.xerjester.com/ )? That's what you made me think of although that's not quite what you're talking about, I think.
Ah yes, I've seen that one before, but never had the time to actually read it.

Edit: Just quickly scrolling through the first part of it, I'd say the plotline resembles the start of Xenogears. Says he's going to redo the entire thing on the front page, should be interesting to see.
Do check the background if you haven't yet.. he explains things about magic in his world.
One of the solutions others have found for skill-based games to prevent omnipotent players is to set an overall 'cap' on the profiency in the skills you can learn - basically you can mix and match anything you want, but you only have so many points to work from.
I just hope it'll be (and reading your posts I expect it will be) less 'class abilities in a skill system' but more.. fluid.
I'd prefer to move away from traditional elemental magic*, since it is so commonplace in games and usually ends up focusing on damage alone. Shapechanging would be an interesting effect, if the results coming from it changed depending on how the 'elements' clashed after hitting them with the drawing modifiers.
Nice. I like where I think you're going. :)
He who would travel happily must travel light.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User avatar
Jetrel
Posts: 7242
Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 3:36 am
Location: Midwest US

Post by Jetrel »

As in Ambrosia's game "Darwinia", one could have the player draw symbols on the screen, with the mouse. In our game, it could be runes on the screen to form spells. The accuracy in shaping of the rune would reflect the skill in performing, and thus effectiveness, of the spell.
User avatar
turin
Lord of the East
Posts: 11662
Joined: January 11th, 2004, 7:17 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Post by turin »

Jetryl wrote:As in Ambrosia's game "Darwinia", one could have the player draw symbols on the screen, with the mouse. In our game, it could be runes on the screen to form spells. The accuracy in shaping of the rune would reflect the skill in performing, and thus effectiveness, of the spell.
Such a game would be much more fun to play with a tablet-type thing than with a mouse, methinks.

I look forward to the first release. ;)
For I am Turin Turambar - Master of Doom, by doom mastered. On permanent Wesbreak. Will not respond to private messages. Sorry!
And I hate stupid people.
The World of Orbivm
User avatar
irrevenant
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 3692
Joined: August 15th, 2005, 7:57 am
Location: I'm all around you.

Re: The Art of Magic

Post by irrevenant »

Kestenvarn wrote:
Na'enthos wrote:It depends on how it's done.. but in case of Diablo 1 and Oblivion I fervently dislike the way these games have skill based advancement. Why? Because everyone can do everything. Personally I feel that focus a certain type of skills should make one more powerful in that area, so much so that the shortcomings one has by not going for other skills is negated.
One of the solutions others have found for skill-based games to prevent omnipotent players is to set an overall 'cap' on the profiency in the skills you can learn - basically you can mix and match anything you want, but you only have so many points to work from.
I think a cap is unnatural. A much more natural way is to just control the amount of XP that is handed out; by the end of the game characters should have accumulated enough XP to be supreme in one or two areas, or competent in most of them.

Exponentially rising costs are realistic and control XP spending, but they also encourage people to broaden their skills rather than focus, which may not be what you're after.

To address this you can take essentially the opposite approach: require 2 or 3 levels before a skill reaches basic competence. That way there's a 'hurdle' to learn each skill and the player has to seriously think about whether they should spend (eg.) 18 XP becoming barely competent with a new skill, or whether they should advance an existing skill first. This of course means that characters start off completely incompetent in skills they don't posess.
User avatar
turin
Lord of the East
Posts: 11662
Joined: January 11th, 2004, 7:17 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: The Art of Magic

Post by turin »

irrevenant wrote:This of course means that characters start off completely incompetent in skills they don't posess.
Seems rather realistic...


I like it. :)
For I am Turin Turambar - Master of Doom, by doom mastered. On permanent Wesbreak. Will not respond to private messages. Sorry!
And I hate stupid people.
The World of Orbivm
TheLost1
Posts: 154
Joined: April 9th, 2006, 1:12 am

Post by TheLost1 »

So, are you going to be programming this? I think it is an excellant idea. For mana type things, you could have a character be able to control (on a slider) the amount of power put into a spell. This would allow you to create differant magic-based skills. Sort of like the sorceror(more power), and the wizard(more control over elements of a spell).

i.e. A sorceror might be able to create a blast of fire to deal lots of to damage to an area, whereas a wizard could manipulate the same spell so that it dealt cold damage and froze enemies and doors in place.
The dragons are all colour-coded,
Some consider this system outmoded.
This was not preordained
Gary Gygax explained,
"My box of Crayolas exploded."
User avatar
Kestenvarn
Inactive Developer
Posts: 1307
Joined: August 19th, 2005, 7:30 pm
Contact:

Post by Kestenvarn »

Well, I'm not a programmer. I just wanted to note these ideas down so it wouldn't be lost in the corners of my mind... maybe they will serve someone some use. Got a few friends in the field, but haven't shown them the idea yet.
TheLost1
Posts: 154
Joined: April 9th, 2006, 1:12 am

Post by TheLost1 »

wait a minute. You need to find a programmer or 2 now!
The dragons are all colour-coded,
Some consider this system outmoded.
This was not preordained
Gary Gygax explained,
"My box of Crayolas exploded."
Al3xand3r
Posts: 5
Joined: February 12th, 2006, 3:52 am

Post by Al3xand3r »

one could have the player draw symbols on the screen, with the mouse. In our game, it could be runes on the screen to form spells.
Guess none of you played Arx Fatalis. Shame, great game in the spirit of old school action RPGs like Ultima Underworld.
User avatar
Kestenvarn
Inactive Developer
Posts: 1307
Joined: August 19th, 2005, 7:30 pm
Contact:

Post by Kestenvarn »

I've started fiddling around with a program called RPGMaker XP. It utilizes something known as RGSS... given the customizations people have made to the scripts with it in RMXP, this sort of game might be possible in the future.
Post Reply