Innovative Game Mechanics

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noeinan
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Innovative Game Mechanics

#1 Post by noeinan » Mon Jun 24, 2013 2:52 am

Hi, all,

I wanted to ask about any particularly striking game mechanics that you all have run into/thought of. Mostly, I'm thinking about relationship oriented games but also anything is good.

I had some ideas myself and would like to know if they sound good to anyone:

- Otome/sci-fi based on Heavy Gear. I had an idea for a mechanic where gaining relationship points with characters of high rank also gives you "reputation" which you can spend to make alterations to your Gear. Befriending lower ranked people will also give you reputation, but not nearly as much. This would play into a kind of political military atmosphere, and battles are on a hex map.

- Putting out episodes for an ongoing storyline. The main story is free, but perhaps purchasable "alternate storylines" where you play the story from the perspective of another character. You get to see different things, and possibly unlock different snippets of history and setting fluff depending on the character. (Explanation of technologies, culture of a place, etc.) Possibly also a different art style for sprites to show how different characters see the world differently. (This would get pretty expensive, but I'm my own artist so it's more of a time sink than a money sink.)

- Totally different game now, but having multiple types of relationship points for a small cast. Based off of the triangle theory of love, where types of love are measured in combinations of intimacy, passion, and commitment. Depending on the balance or lack thereof for each character, you can unlock different endings for different relationship dynamics you have with them. (Triangle below)

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Does anyone have any game mechanics that they were particularly fond of or that were just fun? Any that tried, but didn't work out well?
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Fairy Godfeather
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Re: Innovative Game Mechanics

#2 Post by Fairy Godfeather » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:19 am

There was a browser game I played that was rather short and fun and I can't currently remember what it was called. You were captain of a ship, your crew members were a psychic, two fighters, a doctor, and an engineer. You had to send them off on different missions, a primary and secondary one, which would increase their stats, or let them take shore leave. Sending them off on those missions would increase the success of your initial missions. But you'd to also go on dates with them and the end goal was to sleep with all of them and survive the last mission. It was a fun game, nothing explicit, very basic, just text and I can't remember what it was called. I thought the gameplay mechanic was fun though. I'll see if I can dig out a link.

I've just spend the time since I made this post trying to search for the game and I can't find it. I can't remember what it was called. AGHH!
Last edited by Fairy Godfeather on Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Innovative Game Mechanics

#3 Post by gekiganwing » Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:37 am

Heartache 101 had a dice-rolling mini game as a way to create random encounters and small stat changes. I enjoyed it.

I liked the social links in Persona 4, but I also think they could be improved with some randomness. As it stands, the same events happen every time the main character's friendship with another person improves one level. There's a few exceptions with broken social links, but I'd appreciate more variety.
daikiraikimi wrote: - Otome/sci-fi based on Heavy Gear. I had an idea for a mechanic where gaining relationship points with characters of high rank also gives you "reputation" which you can spend to make alterations to your Gear. Befriending lower ranked people will also give you reputation, but not nearly as much. This would play into a kind of political military atmosphere, and battles are on a hex map.
I had some good things to say about Sakura Wars 5, which has tactical RPG gameplay and mechs. Didn't care much for the quick time events. But if you want to create a science fiction world with mech customization, think about what angle you want to take. (Is the main character a pilot? A mechanic? A field commander?)

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Re: Innovative Game Mechanics

#4 Post by noeinan » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:18 am

Another mechanic I like is the ability to change the personality of the player character.

Like, in Fable "good" actions and "bad" actions changed your score on the good-evil meter, and if you had more of one type of points your look changed.

Also, games like Mass Effect have the "wheel of choices" during character interaction. Lots of games have them, letting you decide if you're a jokester, an asshole, a "friend to all living things" etc. I really like the idea of your actions changing what kind of character interaction options you have in the future, and possibly also how other characters interact with the player.

Ex. you have a "humor score" and maybe an "empathy score" (or think of courage, understanding, etc. in Persona 4) and if your score is a certain level you may trigger special events. Or that score influences how quickly certain characters build relationship points with you.
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Re: Innovative Game Mechanics

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:26 pm

The Bard's Tale 2004 routinely let the player choose snarky or sincere answers. While the title character is mostly interested in women and treasure, this lets the player have a bit of say into how he acted. (I wanted to like this game, since it has a lot of comedy. But I found the gameplay unintuitive at best...)

Virtually Date Ariane is kind of a logic puzzle game. It's the story of a couple's night together. However, the player has to figure out the best possible outcome on almost every screen, and there's often three or more possible choices. Asking the player to constantly make decisions is one way to approach a VN or story-based game. If you ask me, it helps if the choices and outcomes make sense. (I kinda liked this game, except for the polygon graphics.)

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Re: Innovative Game Mechanics

#6 Post by TrickWithAKnife » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:09 pm

daikiraikimi wrote:Does anyone have any game mechanics that they were particularly fond of or that were just fun? Any that tried, but didn't work out well?
I've got a list as long as my arm, although some of the features won't be noticible by players. Don't want to go into too much detail as I'm planning to use many of them in my project, but some include:
  • Side image backgrounds change to reflect game progress.
  • Have some dialogue be clickable so the protagonist will later ask questions about that topic without breaking the flow of conversation.
  • Have a hidden timer to track player interaction, so if they seem to be having trouble figuring out what to do next, perhaps one of the characters can give a bit of guidance in a natural way.
  • Have a number of timers to track the average amount of time the player spends reading dialogue and making choices in menus. Keep track of this throughout the game. If the player is click-spamming, perhaps a shorter version of conversations can be used.
  • Allow the user to adjust the GUI to some degree, such as slightly adjustable text size, moving the textbox location, etc.
"We must teach them through the tools with which they are comfortable."
The #renpy IRC channel is a great place to chat with other devs. Due to the nature of IRC and timezone differences, people probably won't reply right away.

If you'd like to view or use any code from my VN PM me. All code is freely available without restriction, but also without warranty or (much) support.

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Re: Innovative Game Mechanics

#7 Post by noeinan » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:27 am

Just came across another interesting game-- King of Booze. It's a really interesting concept. You and up to eleven friends play a video game (I have it on the Ouya but it's also available on phones) and move pieces on a board with virtual dice rolls. But spaces say things like drink 1 or draw a mustache on someone. Basically, you're meant to drink and play, some spaces let you choose between different things, such as drink 2 or go back 3 spaces. The game also has a basic blood alcohol percentage calculator (generalized, so not completely accurate) so you know if you're getting alcohol poisoning or something.

I don't drink myself, but the mechanic seems really cool and I know some of my friends will enjoy it!
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