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Forum » SpaceEngine » Gameplay Discussions » The Perils of Bottom-up Game Design
The Perils of Bottom-up Game Design
JafitDate: Wednesday, 26.12.2012, 21:29 | Message # 1
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I read this article lately

http://www.designersnotebook.com/Columns....ign.htm

Space Engine immediately came to mind as something that could easily fall into this trap.

You've got a cool mechanism, an interesting technical problem that you've solved. Now you've got an entire simulated universe... and you're here trying to come up with ideas for slapping a game on top of that. That's quintessentially bottom-up design and I thought it'd be worth making sure you're aware of how much of a waste of time that could end up being.
 
DisasterpieceDate: Thursday, 27.12.2012, 05:49 | Message # 2
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It is a good point you bring up, but a virtual universe with billions (literally) of galaxies each with billions of stars is a lot more interesting than traffic lights. My point is that Space Engine can go in a lot of ways from here so although your described situation could occur it probably won't and Spaceengineer wouldn't let that happen.




I play teh spase engien
 
VoekoevakaDate: Thursday, 27.12.2012, 15:28 | Message # 3
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In my opinion, Space Engine is not really a "game", and I don't think it could become one within time, even if some game-like stuff would be added, like flight physics, planetary colonisation and city managing.
SE will keep on being an unclassifiable software, between a simulator and a game, and will not follow the way of the "elevator simulator", but its own path.
And, I love when games shows some aspects of a simulator, because the number of possibilities you can have with a simulator is almost infinite, more numerous than with a classic game. And the simulation aspects creates some chaotic dynamics I couldn't find in most games.





Want some music of mine ? Please go here !

 
curiousepicDate: Thursday, 27.12.2012, 18:24 | Message # 4
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Without having read the article yet, I think bottom-up is legitimate in certain circumstances, as long as you prepare for it and design the system for it. See Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program.




My ideal preferences for visual design of the mothership and technology in SE
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
 
JafitDate: Monday, 31.12.2012, 16:20 | Message # 5
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(curiousepic)
Without having read the article yet, I think bottom-up is legitimate in certain circumstances, as long as you prepare for it and design the system for it. See Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program.


I don't know if Minecraft is a solid example of bottom up game design when Notch worked on Wurm Online for a while and then left to make his own voxel game which turned out to be a lot like Wurm except it's popular, fun and profitable. I played Minecraft in the very early stages when it was basically just a lego building game, survival mode I would say is an extension of the building concept. So I would disagree that the gameplay is something that emerged as a result of the mechanics. One bottom-up feature of Minecraft though is multiplayer, and it has caused problems. Ideally when you build a game you should be designing it to run single player mode by connecting to a locally hosted server, then you can easily extend it and add multiplayer functionality. Notch didn't design Minecraft in this way, multiplayer has been hacked in later on and it shows. I think they're only now working to correct this early oversight, but it involves rewriting large portions of the game.

As for Kerbal Space Program, that's not an example of bottom-up game design. I've only played some earlier versions of KSP, but it seems to me that they add mechanics to facilitate gameplay, not add gameplay to give you something to do with the mechanics. When I played you could only launch craft into Kerbin orbit, now they've added a whole solar system. They certainly didn't start with a whole solar system and say to themselves "well now I guess we should add some funny little green men and their comical space program to give players something to do with this solar system"

Anyway, when I see some of the sugestions for Space Engine gameplay, I become worried, and I think I have good reason to worry.
 
NeonDate: Thursday, 11.07.2013, 06:24 | Message # 6
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Bottom up design is definitely something relevant to SE if game play is considered. I think this is why the author has
so firmly stuck to his game play ideas of pure exploration within a physically realistic environment.

I wish it wasn't so, but after reading the article, the traffic light issue is surely relevant. For me, the big
problem with SE's ideas of game play is it just isn't fun for very long. However it's still very difficult to
add on the sort of game play I would love to see without first reducing drastically the size of the playable
Universe, say down to just a thousand stars.

Then, it could be doable however it would require complete redesign of the game based around the idea
of making it fun. I doubt very much the author would do that.

This is why I basically abandoned any ideas of being active here, because I saw no future for SE other
than breaking it out now n then to check out a new version. Sad to say, that hasn't changed. sad
 
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