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Margaret Blackburn

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A member registered Apr 28, 2013 · View creator page →

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We need more friendsims :D

Hey I'm Margaret (they/them) and I make games in Chicago, IL~ Mostly doing contract gameplay programming rn but have a mobile game I'm working on getting out this year. Have a background in back-end web services design / implementation / maintenance and taking advantage of that in making a mobile online multiplayer game, and also messing around with ideas for a .io game :)

Treating different HP as different tiles would be really fun to try out! So there's different interactions at different stages. Maybe some of what I experienced as dull could be solved through level gen though. Yeah I was thinking like one more vector of interaction max, because you're completely right it'd get very confusing.

I think tile interactions changing based on XP could add a lot of depth in a pretty simple way so I'd be interested in trying that out. Could see going from person to warrior to skeleton or something haha. Probably having a mix of ones that are a quantity of a single thing vs a quantity of stages of things could be cool. Applying real temporality to something player-stepped sounds pretty interesting though maybe slightly disorienting. That dynamic could be cool of having to beat the clock in real life vs making minimal sub-optimal decisions from rushing to maximize that temporary benefit.

Definitely weird to think about this idea of a subgame, straight up a ruleset without a clear labeling of what the player is doing as good or bad, winning or losing. Thinking about this in context of minigames like the FO4 password hacking, or skyrim lock picking. You can probably get better at this, but it doesn't have a clear win/lose condition. I think if you had it as you have to reach the door, or reach the 3rd door, or something, would make it a game. If you had limited resets it's a game of how many doors do you make it through. If it's 1 room it's how much gold can I get / space can I clear (SpaceChem graphs and all). But since there isn't an end and there's this notion of suboptimal decisions (higher # resets = bad) and optimal decisions (maximizing destructive interactions towards gold / exits) but no clear labeling of an overall performance that makes it disorienting. I wonder how you can take relative-limits based goals away from things that currently exist.

  • Mario lives as a ++ counter instead of a -- counter
  • Halo deathmatch -death +damage score

I've gotta get going but I'll be chewing on this for sure :)

He said he mostly doesn't describe things that way anymore. IIRC he said Mechanics, Gameplay, and Player Experience, but I think it's mostly because nobody uses those words Mechanics Dynamics and Aesthetics, not because it was an inadequate framework of thinking about game design. :P

Yeah mechanics sort of becomes like the word problematic unless explicitly scoped down. These seem like useful definitions! I actually work out of the same space as Robert Zubek & the SomaSim folks, I'll have to ask him if he still uses this framework :)

From what I played this feels pretty interesting. I made a table of interactions which I'm including and built bc it demonstrates what I feel is something kinda missing. All the actions with zero at the intersection feel a little.... empty? Balancing things that interact in a destructive or constructive way is really interesting, but since they do that on one dimension I can understand not wanting to make all of them interact in that way. Have you considered other dimensions for them to interact on? For instance you could have ones with zeros impact the gold click reward up and down, so you could for instance click water next to bones, and now bones cost down to -2 gold to click, or forest next to flower increasing the gold click of flower up to 4. Dunno maybe that's not an interesting vector. The other I was thinking about is spreading, so maybe ones that don't interact with neighbors replace them with a 1. So click bones next to fire and it replaces the fires with bones, but if there were flowers they grow. Sorry if any of this is unwelcome, just thinking outloud mostly :) Look forward to seeing where this goes!


Ahh this is so fun and cute!