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Justice - Ragequit [failed, but in a good way]

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Justice - Ragequit [failed, but in a good way]

Postby Michael Brough » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:52 pm

Approaching the theme of Justice through its negation: I will make an UNJUST game. The rules will be unfair. One player starts out with an advantage. Bad pathfinding. Rich get richer. Dominant strategies. Unwinnable situations. The rules change underneath you, in favour of your opponent. Visual glitches or controls cutting out mess you up.

It will be challenging to make it a fun game despite all of this, but I will try!
Last edited by Michael Brough on Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Noun » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:25 pm

I think that in the end the disadvantaged player should, as a surprise, somehow win, to prevent resentment and to bring some justice.

...For great justice.
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Location: Finland

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Michael Brough » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:55 pm

It won't be deterministic who wins.. certainly it should be possible that the disadvantaged player can still win, if they try hard. Probably random "unfair" things will happen to both players, so everyone can complain about unfairness, but someone will have worse stuff happen to them.

Made a start on this on the train today. Just two guys moving around with a walking animation and constantly firing bullets ahead of them (a la forgetmenot or lesbian spider queens from mars). Starting by forking the Exuberant Struggle code.
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Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Toadsanime » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:44 am

Sounds like a neat idea actually, and although may be somewhat difficult to pull-off successfully I'm certain that it's definitely achievable. Could totally be a fun game, if not a lil' frustrating.
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Location: Essex, England.

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Eddie Cameron » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:24 am

I love the idea of unbalanced games, but it's hard to get past novelty value if players aren't informed well enough. As long as you keep dangling the possibility of winning in front of the "loser" player it can keep people hooked, plus it makes it all the more frustrating if victory is unfairly snatched at the last minute.
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Location: New York

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Michael Brough » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:55 pm

First screen!
Image
If you've played Exuberant Struggle, you'll recognise how much reuse is going on. I'm thinking of this as something of a sequel to that.

So far I'm just getting some basic mechanics down, haven't introduced anything heavily unfair yet. Each player controls a man who walks around constantly shooting forwards. The boxes with text are obstacles, and when you touch them they turn your colour and give you a bonus - e.g. the Orange player has hp regeneration and fires exploding bombs, while the Blue player fires rapidly in multiple directions. Haven't had a chance to try it with someone else yet, but it feels like stacking up bonuses and shooting things will be interesting.
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Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby moonmagic » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:53 pm

I'm excited to see this develop. I really enjoyed Exuberant Struggle; your graphic design takes the best parts of early 8-bit computer graphics and makes me happy. I think that stacking powerups will allow for some interesting emergent options, and that feeling that maybe, just MAYBE, you can grief the computer into losing with the right combo.

I assume you will be randomly assembling the layout of boxes?
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Location: Seattle

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Michael Brough » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:51 pm

Oh, thanks! I have some ideas for perverting the aesthetic a bit to make things more chaotic while unfair glitchy crap happens to mess up the game. The "pixels" are actually rendered as quads, so there's plenty of potential for weird perturbances.

Yep, the layout and powers are random. Might have to constrain the random selection of powers a bit to guarantee interesting combinations that help drive the game to a conclusion (lots of big explosions: good, lots of shields and regeneration: bad).
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Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Ed K » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:33 pm

Chipping in to say that having seen it in person, the quad-pixel framework is extremely cool!
The stacking powerups by touching boxes sounds like a fun system.
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Location: near Bath, UK

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Michael Brough » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:20 pm

Just played ~100 games of this with a friend, tweaking things as we went. Games are very short and random, it's a lot of fun, with something of an addictive quality.. (hence the large number of games).

Image
Showing a new mechanic.. on a whim I made bullets wrap around when they cross the edges, and it introduced this lovely strategic element of building walls of bullets to block your opponent off from a section of the map. Without regeneration, you just don't dare to cross, so you lose access to the powerups over there. Will work on the graphic for it a bit, with glowy trails I think it'll be fantastic.

Had to tweak the rule for taking powerups that your opponents control a bit.. If you can't take them, it's not very interesting - you just get the stuff that's closest to you at the start. If you can just take them by touching them, it's again not very interesting. Now once you take a building it's yours for several seconds, then it starts flashing until someone touches it again - so the opponent can take it, or you can touch it to ensure they don't.

Next: unfair glitchy stuff!
Last edited by Michael Brough on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby shouldice » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:52 pm

I really like your area control mechanic. Instead of an arbitrary king-of-the-hill sort of scoring system, each zone affording an ability sounds like it makes for some interesting gameplay.
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Digitalistic » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:53 pm

This looks amazingly chaotic and cool.
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Location: Twin Cities Area

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Michael Brough » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:36 pm

Image
Added trails to pretty it up a bit.
Also, inexplicably: zombies!
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Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby Ian Snyder » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:47 pm

Is there anything that cannot benefit from inexplicable zombies? I don't think so!
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Location: Kansas City, MO, US

Re: Justice - Ragequit

Postby moonmagic » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:25 pm

This looks delicious! Keep up, huzzah!
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Location: Seattle

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