Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things to avoid

Now that my basics progress so smoothly I need to think about how to design my gameplay.

My platform are Windows Metro apps on tablet computers. Tablets aren't like desktops. You don't sit in front of them for hours. You want quick entertainment. You want to use them on the train to kill time, where you suddenly have to stop playing. For these reasons I need to avoid:
  1. Long travel times. It got to be easy for the player to get to where they want to be.
  2. Long periods of grinding
  3. Making it hard to find a group
  4. Making it irresponsible to leave a group once you joined it
  5. Punish the player for logging out suddenly
  6. not catering to casual gamers
I think I will solve #1 with "teleport beacons" you can unlock and return to at any time. I will also use a mechanic similar to the town portals of the Diablo series to allow players to quickly visit town, sell or buy stuff, and return to where they were exploring. I will have people pay for it with a resource which is generated while not playing, so that the causal gamers (#6) save their precious time. The power gamers have the time to walk.

#2 can be solved by having lots of quests with regular rewards.

#3 and #4 will be hard. I need a good auto-grouping system and a raid system which allows you to hop on and off at any time without putting yourself or the group at a disadvantage or missing all the content.

#5 will be easy to do simply by not doing the opposite.

#6 means quick progress, no activities which require more than an hour, and no waiting for something (health to regenerate, raid to start, mob to spawn) for longer than a minute.

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