Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Propose new game/software design concepts or new game/software ideas. They can be as whimsical as you like, just be careful you don't ask someone to make it for you...
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Ast A. Moore
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by Ast A. Moore » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:23 pm

Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:42 am
It's actully quite hard to guess if game will be hard or easy for gamer.
Not really. It’s harder to predict what the gamer’s initial experience will be, true, I’ve experienced it myself. Once the player overcomes the initiation barrier, his experience will be not dissimilar from that of the developer. We’re all human.
Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:42 am
You don't know what he will be using - keyboard, joystick, some pad... Will he be playing it in emulator, real Spectrum with rubber keys or on on small mobile phone with tiny keys.
I can only speak for myself, and I develope games for the ZX Spectrum. Not ZX Spectrum clones (including the NEXT), nor ZX Spectrum emulators running on traditional computers, nor ZX Spectrum emulators running on touchscreen devices. I will try to accommodate all of them to a degree—and if necessary—but not if it requires breaking compatibility with the original hardware. It is unrealistic to expect a ZX Spectrum game to operate as though it has been written with a modern smartphone in mind.
Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:42 am
Should we assume that if it's a game for Spectrum then he should be playing it on real Spectrum? I'm not so sure about it.
Should be? No. Might be? Absolutely.
Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:42 am
I also saw many times so guy losing all lifes on first screen of the game where your reaction was "wtf? how can be so lame?" ;) Players can foten surprise you.
True, but it can easily go the other way. That’s what balancing gameplay is all about.
Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:42 am
when you write a Spectrum game you are a single man doing coding, design and testing. You don't have testers.
True for many other platforms, including modern ones. It’s neither here nor there. It’s up to you to invite more people to help you design, develop, and test your game. You’re free to release as many pre-release versions, or updates to the final release. Some developers prefer not to do it. Others are quite open about it. Neither approach is inherently good or bad. Ultimately, it’s the result that matters.
Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:42 am
The problem is that while making a game you play and test it hundreds of times so you learn it ,you memorize it. It becomes easy for you and you are no longer able to take point of view of a guy who sees it for the first time.
I partially addressed it in my first point. Unless it’s some cryptic puzzle-solving adventure game, where it is, indeed, not easy to predict if anybody other that yourself will get the clues (e.g. pour machine oil on a magic bean during a waning gibbous moon, jump up three times while standing 17 pixels to the left of the Dorky Idol statue, and feed the been to the blue pterodactyl), we’re all pretty much on the same level. It will obviously take a novice a little bit of time to get the hang of the game’s mechanics—controls, inertia, collision detection, enemy patterns, pace, etc.—but it’s not something unattainable in principle. In this regard, the developer is just a gamer with more gameplay time under his belt.

TL;DR: Design a well balanced game. Then you won’t have resort to enabling, or relying upon, cheats such as infinite lives, emulator snapshots, etc.
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Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

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Sorreh!

Post by Hikaru » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:06 pm

MatGubbins wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:21 pm
Maybe we are older and don't want
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by Morkin » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:20 pm

R-Tape wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:34 pm
I'm guilty of this with Biscuits in Hell (well 128 lives anyway), but the game is very, very hard. I don't see a problem
One thing about collect-em-ups is that I don't find infinite lives helpful when the game resets the objects on a screen after you lose a life. I accepted it with Manic Miner but nowadays I like to feel that I'm progressing, even if a game is hard.

The biggest problem with Biscuits from Hell was the disgraceful lack of custard creams in one of the first two levels to give gamers motivation to persevere with it. :evil:
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by R-Tape » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:28 pm

I think most games will work equally well on hardware and emulator. I can only think of the typing game 'Utter Tripe' that should have a separate rubber keys version, and people that play Speccy games on smartphones are lunatics that should never be catered to :mrgreen:

It all depends on the type of game of course, but say in a large flip screen game what is the point of sending the player back to the start? I suppose there is more of a thrill if you jussst complete the game with one life to spare.

And why does the correct number of lives always seem to end up somewhere between 3 and 8?

Serious questions by the way, these are things I've always done "just because we do".
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by R-Tape » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:32 pm

Morkin wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:20 pm
One thing about collect-em-ups is that I don't find infinite lives helpful when the game resets the objects on a screen after you lose a life. I accepted it with Manic Miner but nowadays I like to feel that I'm progressing, even if a game is hard.
When I did Stamp Quest I reset the objects on screen because I didn't know how to do otherwise*, with Biscuits I chose not to do it. I preferred the idea of 8 separate challenges, each one having to be fully completed.


*I hope no-one ever does a disassembly on that game.
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by Spud » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:39 pm

What about Treasure Island Dizzy? That only had 1 life. They got that spot on in my opinion.

I don't like it when games don't give you the final life, ie life 0. Starting the game with three lives should mean you get 4 lives. That is criminally poor form.
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by Ralf » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:48 pm

I'll generally hold my opinion that people of our age are nowadays crappier in playing games that you would ever expect ;)

The problem with retro communities is that many people here aren't actually active gamers. They used to be gamers 20 years ago. Now they are mostly driven by nostalgia, they turn on some new game, play it for 3 minutes and turn it off.

If you don't play games regularly then you are lame at it. And when you are lame you quickly lose so you give up and don't play. It's a vicious circle.

So for whom should I do my games? For 10 people that are active, motivated gamers and will play it from start to end? Or for 500 lamers who played seriously for last time 10 years ago?
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Ast A. Moore
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by Ast A. Moore » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:48 pm
The problem with retro communities is that many people here aren't actually active gamers.
Agreed, but I don’t think it’s a problem.
Ralf wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:48 pm
So for whom should I do my games?
I make games I myself would like to play. Developing retro games (I mean actual retro games, not modern games with a “retro” vibe) is hardly a commercial or highly profitable undertaking. We don’t have binding contracts with publishers, no deadlines to meet, no bad reviews in magazines that might dissuade our employers from renewing our contracts. While it does take away a certain degree of healthy competition, we can focus on things that are more rewarding to us, if only to distract us from counting the number of gray hairs (at least those of us who have any left to count to begin with).
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Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by Ralf » Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:42 pm

I make games I myself would like to play
All right, so do I :) I don't do any serious research if other people find it entertaining I just do what my intuition tells me is right. And actually I will never know if most other people find it entertaining. When I release a game I get comments from let's say 10 people. And I have reasons to believe that number of people who downloaded it is actually much bigger, let's say 100 or even 1000 in longer time. But as they don't say anything I don't know their opinions.

Okay, I guess we went too far from the original question ;)
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Re: Should every new game be released with an infy lives option?

Post by Morkin » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:59 pm

R-Tape wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:32 pm
When I did Stamp Quest I reset the objects on screen because I didn't know how to do otherwise*, with Biscuits I chose not to do it. I preferred the idea of 8 separate challenges, each one having to be fully completed.


*I hope no-one ever does a disassembly on that game.
Yes, I guess it changes the dynamic slightly, making them like 'screen challenge' games, each level of which you have to master. Probably why I'm always rubbish at Donkey Kong (back to the bottom of the screen...). Mind you, I'm rubbish at Pac Man and that game doesn't put the eaten dots back when you lose a life... Hmmm..
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