Profile for Synergy


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Deathmatch Tournament -- Round Two, Part One in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #109
We demand satisfaction.

(The lynch mob with torches is on its way.)

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Fantastical Thoughts On RPG Game Mechanics in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #14
I know there are reasons why things get the done the way they get done over and over again. I find that ultimately very unoriginal and tedious, whether it's a movie, a game, a book, religion, social norms, fads, or romantic mythology.

I find it telling that it is hard for many of us to picture a game like I am describing being possible or fun. What we do as humanity is get stuck in paradigms, and it takes someone quite off the beaten path to risk derision to propose or create something to supplant an older, perhaps inferior model. If we keep creating games centered around massive slaughter and movies around punishiing, protracted fights, then we keep feeding the paradigm that lots of combat is the fun and satisfying way to resolve all conflicts. I'm thoroughly bored with it. It's become unimaginative. That it could be argued to be a disturbing pathological signature of our current level of cultural evolution is another matter.

One must really think outside the box to imagine how a game roughly the same in format and look as a SW game might involve a very different engine and rules and be, perhaps, as much or more fun, varied, and exciting. It would take tweaking and experimentation to get the balances right. It takes a compelling story to pull you along, an engaging environment, character development (actually having a sense of your characters and their humanity), a sense of foreboding and tension and building to something more than just another big fight against some predictable boss monster.

I could do all this, and prove my point. If I had a WYSIWYG game-building utility by which I could just focus on the mechanics and game-build itself, I'd have great fun demonstrating the viability and desirability of the kind of thing I am only roughly and approximally describing. Another lifetime, perhaps.

Are we really such singular, savage, bloodthirsty brutes that the only kind of fun we can imagine involves endless, regurgitations of numbing slaughter, where there are no real consequences for our choices? Then South Park is right. Our imaginations have been held hostage.

-S-

P.S. Wow, Xplo...three posts in six years? See you again in two years! ;)

[ Friday, October 26, 2007 12:33: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #261
Bad Slarty! I'm not saying you're wrong — just bad.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
A5 world in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #1
Nobody expects the New World™!

The first rule of Avernum 5 Club is never talk about Avernum 5 Club.

There is at least one true irony in your post, which we will be apparent when you play the game, and the first rule of Avernum 5 Club is dissolved. Bring your Bandaids™.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #258
Synergy states that in combination/collaboration, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, a principle which is powerfully relevant in life. How come I don't seem to have any friends at all in these stories? :(

Relationship is everything.

Meanwhile, perhaps with some irony, it's Randomizer who's been busting his chops running tormented singletons in beta-testing A5, while I've been sticking with happy parties of four for that synergistical experience I appreciate.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #252
Unfortunately, "Synergisticalifragilisticexpealliocious" would not fit as my displayed name.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #248
How come no one recognizes me for my posts which also demonstrate my exercise of concision? :P

...

Yes, by all means augment me, baby. Make me a god. (But how do you add +1 to infinity?)

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
How did you guys begin? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #29
That's just because you're Chicken.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
What did you do today? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #40
I had no idea Marlenny was a bloodthirsty She-wolf out to corrupt the next generation.

...

Today was the first sunny day in Seattle in over a week. I finally installed the much-delayed cool outside yard lights at a customer's house, and watched him jump up and down with glee at the results. OK, not literally. I love being my own boss.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
a question in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #24
quote:
Originally written by The Ratt:

Member #4 is banned (and from what he/she has done they will most likely stay banned)
It's not so much what Member #4 did (it wasn't his first offense by a longshot.) It's who saw it, and said, "I never want to see this person on my boards again" — namely, Member #1.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Fantastical Thoughts On RPG Game Mechanics in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #6
I am well aware that it would be very difficult to implement fully the sort of stuff I'm describing. I would actually feel more heroic playing characters who are able to survive in a slightly more perilous and unpredictable world...something that feels more organic than just plain mathematical. I would love to take a crack at it, like I said, if I could easily actually build a game engine based on whatever ideas I had in mind.

Think about a story like Lord of the Rings. Many encounters occur, and there are many close calls, quite a few fights, and a very few deaths amongst the heros overall. You had a fellowship of the ring that was well suited to handle many different situations and stay alive. I'd like to construct that sort of RPG, where each encounter relies more on specific and varied strategies at each encounter, but overall, if you are choosing wisely, you are not likely to get maimed or die.

If you are choosing poorly, you could be instantly pushed back/routed, or get an end-game script in some cases, forcing a return to a saved game. If you fight too long, get fatigued, or start getting wounded, and you push an encounter too far without prevailing, you would risk serious injury, then death. But your heros wouldn't usually be in danger of either, though you might have to choose to retreat, as I said, to avoid it. There would be numerous possible options in situations rather than the obligatory fight to the death. You could bribe an enemy when losing a battle you might not be able to escape from, etc.

I don't mean there is a random likelihood of sudden maiming or death as far as your own PCs are concerned. I do mean that you have a greater likelihood of quickly killing your opponents, just like the heros do in a novel like Lord of the Rings, in which they dispatch many without taking serious wounds. Think how satisfying it is in a game to kill something with one strike, rather than five back and forth hacks. In which case do you feel more godlike and heroic?

That is what being heros is like. In most RPGs, you start out as wimps who have to work their way up to basic capability and who die a lot in the process. Dying at all ruins my illusion of being a real hero in a real unfolding story. I'd create another way, in which dying really isn't the usual problem or obstacle to your progress. I guess I'm talking about a game in which many other plot elements and actions come into play in situations rather than just many many fights. Stealth, diplomacy, disguise, bribery, luring enemies into traps, circumnavigation, using the terrain strategically for maximum attack and defense advantage. And so on.

Hey, I said my thoughts were fantastical. I didn't say they'd be easy to implement.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Fantastical Thoughts On RPG Game Mechanics in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #2
Yeah, a game in which death really feels like the absoluteness of death would be welcome, but it comes close to being a non-sequitor in the gaming world, at least with the instant-gratification mindset. If you had better control over fighting and retreating and preparing and scoping many of your battles, along with text warnings about the specific condition of each PC during your battles, you could play in a way to keep most, but not all of your party alive over the long course of a game. Let's face it, some of you would die after many adventures, travels, and fights. Some of you would also live.

My emphasis would not be on save and reload, which also sucks, but on slowing down and having the complexity and data with which to strategize more. If you weren't always relying on experience points from kills to maximize your game, it would be much more satisfying to sneak around more instead of always using brute force, for instance. Some places you'd never be able to take on with a fight, but you could infiltrate and sneak around, and perhaps kill key characters in semi-privacy. This would make for more versatile play and missions.

Any being you'd click on would give you text information about how tough, dangerous, skilled, armored it looks. You could gauge your risks in actually taking it on. If it sees you first, you might not get that option, or the option to run away easily, anyway. You'd have to fend it off, slow it, wound it to get away, if not outright kill it.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Fantastical Thoughts On RPG Game Mechanics in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
This is about the possible future of Spiderweb games or RPGs in general, rather than A4, per se. I am realizing something that has been bothering me about the construction of most games of all kinds where you fight things. Namely, how you have to keep hacking hacking hacking at everything to kill it. It's like those dumb fights in movies where the hero and villain alike take massive physical punishment and keep fighting and functioning, whereas in the real world, any one or two of those blows would have put any non-immortal person out of commission.

My thought is how I'd rework fantasy role-play game mechanics to get over the staleness of just amassing hit points and cumulative damage in games and enduring repetitive drawn-out fighting.

For starters, archers should be wickedly deadly, once decently trained. Any good archer in the real world can take down or kill a foe in one well-placed strike. Archers should miss more often, or have arrows deflected by shields and armor, but when they hit, take a massive amount of hit points off a foe, or kill it outright. This would be oh, so satisfying. As archery exists in Avernum now, it’s boring and wholly predictable. You never kill anything suddenly with an arrow. Archery should be a more specialized skill to train in. You'd really have to invest in archery, but the payoff would be worthwhile, rather than a mere wimpy supplement for ranged assault. I don't have any fun as an archer, because an archer doesn't really KILL things the way an archer would. Meh.

Melee attacks would also be more short-lived. Successful strikes would quickly damage your opponent's offensive and defensive abilities, like real wounding would. Randomly, you could weaken their attack strength, their dexterity, etc. as you continue to hit them. There would be an increasing winningness to your battle as you hit a foe more, eventually clearly guaranteeing your success. But if your foe gets more successful hits early on, you might have to retreat, because you'd be in bad shape. The whole “hit point” model of health and life and death sucks, if you ask me. You wouldn’t have hit points as an absolute indicator of your ability to stay alive. Fatigue and wounding would accumulate, perhaps as a red bar of their own or, better yet, one for each. Your Strength and Endurance (think about the word) would affect how long you can fight before you need to rest to recover. When you see yourself getting perilously weakened/wounded, you would need to retreat or send someone to the rescue to preserve your fighter. Retreating would be much more commonplace.

Healing would work very differently too. Virtually all games have this silly ability to heal magically either ranged by another PC or by simply applying a medkit/healing potion instantely, even in the middle of battle. This is of course ridiculous. I'd love the challenge to make healing something like the older Avernum games where you had to rest or reenter a town/go to a healer when you are more gravely injured. You would also, through strategy, be able to avoid terrible wounding much more ably, with proper party construction and collaboration, which would be required. Wounding/low hit points is a ridiculous concept in a game...you keep nearly dying from grievous gashes and searing and acid and blows, yet a potion or priest can make you instantly like new as long as you don’t run out of potions or priests. Meh. Surely someone could have the guts to violate this tired old gimmick and make something with some teeth regarding your preservation?

In the real world, you either tend to carefully take on your fights and win them, or you get maimed or killed, usually either in short order. Fatigue and minor wounding should be normal in fights. Major wounding should take something more major to recover from...and some time. You would be very motivated to avoid it, because it can cripple you ultimately. As games are constructed, there is no breathing space. You just run back and forth ceaseless fighting, hacking, looting, healing. This is tedious and repetitious and, let’s face it, insulting, as far as feeling like part of a remotely real story goes.

So, with more vulnerable/realistic mechanics in fights, how would this work?

There might be larger numbers of foes to take out, which are more easily dispatched in a hit or two or few most of the time, when you choose your fights carefully. Scrying would be used to scope out enemies before battles frequently. Retreat might be necessary. Fights against you are also more quickly deadly, so you'd better win your fight quickly or perish. Games would rely more on reload and restrategizing than scrambling to magically heal and keep your party alive for some long hacking session on and on. To keep alive a long time, you have to be strategic and skilled at combat, and find ways to rest along the way. I miss resting in dungeons. Healing major wounding would require time and a healer in some combination. I like the idea of being able to split up parties and leave someone in a town or in a dungeon for a time until ready to move again. Other PCs could be more easily enticed or induced to join your party, rather than be stuck statically with the same four members. As you gain reputation and ability, you gain the ability to recruit more powerful members. Some members of your party would be your own long-run constructions. Others would be rotating and temporal, and strategically necessarily so, depending on your missions.

Archers would be great to stay back and quickly thin out the ranks of groups rushing you, and essential to take out enemy archers. If you don't have a shield, it would be more likely for enemy archers to hit you and do a lot of damage or kill you outright, meaning you'd better take them out quickly. The closer an archer is to you, the more likely it would be to hit you and hit you for lethal damage. Magicians would be able to take out (kill or cripple) a bunch of foes in one nasty burst of attack in a fight, but expending such magic would be very depleting, and could only be used once or minimally in any one battle. Magicians should have other fighting ability as well in order to be viable, but a party of six or eight would enable far more specialization. Magic overall seems overpowered, too generic, too familiar, too predictable, too equalized, and too, well, magical. I'd create a more believable and variable kind of magic in a fantasy world. For instance, if you get acided once in real life, you are never the same again, yet you can be magically healed of acid endlessly in your typical RPG. Really now.

I'm really itching for something much more realistic and strategic than I have seen employed in most games for a long time. The game Civilization does well in some regards, but it is not an RPG. I can't believe how formulaic games have been for so long. I'd attempt something significantly different from the D&D/Warcraft/Diablo/Doom/RPG model. Too bad it's not easy to build your own game. I'm full of ideas, and I am growing quite bored with endless reiterations of the same ol’ same ol’.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
How did you guys begin? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #16
delete me

[ Sunday, October 21, 2007 13:22: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
How did you guys begin? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #15
Did Salmon really begin as "Smoked Sturgeon"?

-S-

P.S. - See my previous post—now with fascinating, exciting, and handy links!

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
How did you guys begin? in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #6
I ventured in after finishing the Avernum Trilogy and wishing to make comment upon my experiences and preferences. I gave my critiques of the games, what I liked and what I didn't. I really don't like mazes to this day.

Next I inquired into party sizes and singletons, which I had not experimented with much yet, but soon came to enjoy.

Next, after having undertaken a number of BoA scenarios to maintain my Avernum fix, I was compelled to provide a passionately antipathetic review of TM's Canopy scenario. I felt personally insulted being forced to be the puppet of his personal madness in order to finish that scenario. Somehow, this, if anything, ingratiated me to TM, though he was presently banned on SW, as usual.

Shortly thereafter, my contributions (d)evolved into three primary categories:

1) Silly banter, wordplay, jabs, teasing, joke threads, an ongoing unstoppable seepage of particularly painful puns, and an irrepressible penchant for alliteration I have never been able to get under control entirely. Nothing is sacred. All things, including oneself, are fair game for good-natured derision and ironic observation.

2) Lusty debating and arguing on science, metaphysics, and spirituality/religion with anyone whom I permit to get me going. Which occasionally still happens, and is always a telling exercise for me, and which I enjoy, even when I don't.

>Intermission< ... Synergy made a point of his departure from the clutches of the Spiderweb, and actually managed to leave for a half a year to pursue "real" relationships and "real" life. He finally came back to beta test GF4 and never quite slipped off again.

3) Synergy Lists and Singleton Stories.

HONORARY BONUS CATEGORY: Locking the inane threads of others. Perhaps one of yours.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #237
It would explain why the muffins were originally flamming. I supppose itt wwould bee difficultt too keeep one''s mufffins frrom spontaneoussly combuusting in the ffiery netherr realmm.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Episode 4: Spiderweb Reloaded. Something like that anyway. in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #235
"Iffy Says Hell Is Overrated": How do you know hell is overrated? Who rates hell? What rating has hell received? Have you been there? What qualifies you to make this evaluation?

What the hell.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
who thinks i'm a helper in Nethergate
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #7
If you want to be helpful, don't create inane topics. Meanwhile, Karmic Law insists that that which begins also ends—sometimes more mercifully sooner than other times.

-S-

IMAGE(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/synergy67/rusticlock.jpg)

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Goodbye! Goodbye for... a while! in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #26
Why should Germany be an exception?

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Titan in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #19
How so done this thread now be.

IMAGE(http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/synergy67/rustypadlock.jpg)

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Titan in Geneforge 4: Rebellion
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #4
Settle down, Sl.Servile, and please refrain from double-posting. Use the edit button.

...

Why is that someone with six posts is determining how many people are interested in what a member who has been here much longer is saying? I was impressed with SoT's rather remarkable survival strategy. It's a good story.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
The Political Compass (Armed and Dangerous) in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #31
So, Salmon...what's it like to so often be taken seriously, when it should be clear by now how often you are to be taken unseriously?

You'd think the googly-eyed grin Message Icon would be a tip-off. I recommend the additional use of eight Graemlins to prevent further misinterpretation.

-S- :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Canned in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #24
When all else fails read the directions.

-S-

Murphy was an optimist.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Sanity pile near door in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #22
quote:
Originally written by Blacknight:

I was rather hoping to find some sanity here, but as I tried to glean some from the pile near the door...
Try not to step in the pile.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00

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