Lostcast episode 90


  • Patron

    • I think what defines a game are the mechanics, i.e, limited ways to interact with something.

    • It would be cool if Geoff’s prototype gave a procedurally generated name for each battle.

    • I don’t think Minecraft uses voxels, at least for rendering. Maybe it uses voxels for representing the blocks in it’s internal structure, but they’re rendered using polygons.

    • It sounds kinda weird to me that the same Notch who said he wanted Mojang to be the next Valve doesn’t want to have a huge company anymore.

    • Halo Minecraft? Sounds like Ace of Spades.

    • Buying terrain in a Minecraft server does sound VERY interesting. Architects could build houses and sell them. But they would have to buy resources from the explorers… So many possibilities.

    • I’m really excited to see Minecraft ported outside of Java.

    • The events in Old Republic take place more than 3,500 years before the films.

    • Yeah, I know that feeling Matt (about Metroid games). I feel the same about most post-SNES Nintendo games.

    • One of Alec’s guests was talking about on Infinite Ammo podcast how since when he started playing Minecraft with his kids, his creativity got sucked up from game dev. I found that to be pretty interesting.

    • Those scenarios where you have to heal an enemy/hurt a party member do sound very interesting. I remeber the first time I healed an enemy in Lava Blade. I LOL’D SO HARD. I think those could have a similar effect.

    • Could you guys (and by that I mean Geoff) talk about the AI on Geoff’s prototype? I’m really interested on how he’s using his behaviour trees on it. @ken will probably be all over it.

    • Do you have any plans to add modding support to your future games? Or to AWL?

    • You mentioned some dozens of episodes ago that you had some legal problems when founding LDG, but didn’t give more details. Could you guys talk more about that?


  • LDG

    Yay feedback!

    @Josue said:

    • I think what defines a game are the mechanics, i.e, limited ways to interact with something.

    To me, mechanics only would mean: here’s a soccer (or football, if you prefer) field and a ball, but no goals. Just kick the ball around all you want. Human beings tend to kind of make their own goals as they go along, like “I tried to kick it 5 times without it landing on the ground” or something. A goal is what closes the gap between simulation or playtime activity and actual game. However Minecraft was a “game” to people before it had any goals and it sits proudly on gaming shelves and people claim more quickly that it’s an important game before suggesting it might not have been a proper game at all. A stricter definition of “game” could be useful but what it means to people is most important so that’s the definition that will stick.

    I was about to start chatting about all this stuff but Geoff has probably heard it a million times so smartly moved the conversation forward ;)

    • I don’t think Minecraft uses voxels, at least for rendering. Maybe it uses voxels for representing the blocks in it’s internal structure, but they’re rendered using polygons.

    Language again! To me “voxel” based just means an app that primarily (or entirely) uses 3d cubes in its environments, regardless of implementation.

    • Yeah, I know that feeling Matt (about Metroid games). I feel the same about most post-SNES Nintendo games.

    SNES ahhhhh the golden era…

    • One of Alec’s guests was talking about on Infinite Ammo podcast how since when he started playing Minecraft with his kids, his creativity got sucked up from game dev. I found that to be pretty interesting.

    That is interesting. It can feel just as much like a creative endeavor as just a fun time passer.

    • Do you have any plans to add modding support to your future games? Or to AWL?

    No immediate plans. I have a couple thoughts though: I guess it feels like a “super user” feature to me, which is a type of player that I think we cater to very well already, with the depth of content, replayability, lots of collecting and challenge goals etc. It also seems like a feature that would be difficult for us to implement at this stage (best done from the ground-up), and there are already ways to mod the game, via either just hacking the files or using Ragatron etc. I’ve seen how powerful modding can be but I think it might be a wiser decision to concentrate on the majority of players who only ever play for 1-10 hours. Tough call!

    • You mentioned some dozens of episodes ago that you had some legal problems when founding LDG, but didn’t give more details. Could you guys talk more about that?

    I don’t recall any legal problems with founding LDG, but rather what we did with the company as an entity later. We still can’t talk about it, sorry! Someday.


  • Patron

    @richtaur said:

    To me, mechanics only would mean: here’s a soccer (or football, if you prefer) field and a ball, but no goals.

    To me, mechanics are ways to restrict how you can interactive with things, or ways to give certain interactions some good or bad consequences. So, something like: here’s a soccer ball. You can kick it around with your feet. You may also touch it with any parts of your body, except for your hands. If your hand does touch it, the ball is the opponent team’s. If you kick it and it crosses this line, your team scores a goal. If a member of the opponent team kicks the ball across this other line, they score a goal.

    With that, you have no explicit goals or punishments. Of course, for our human intuition, scoring a point is generally a good thing, but that’s not always the goal.

    But this gets us to another problem: what is a goal?

    Most of the times, whether you’re achieving your goal or not is defined by if the game is rewarding you or not.

    But what if the game has no explicit goals? What if it doesn’t reward you at all?

    Does that means it has no goals?

    I don’t think so.

    Even then, what is a reward is purely subjective, altough we can agree in most cases.

    Movies and music can have goals, but only games can have interactivity.

    Therefore, I think anything that is interactive can be considered as a game.

    A stricter definition of “game” could be useful but what it means to people is most important so that’s the definition that will stick.

    My first thought was exactly the opposite…

    Having a broader definition and analysing things we generally don’t consider as games as if they were can be very benefitial.

    How can a stricter definition be better?

    Language again! To me “voxel” based just means an app that primarily (or entirely) uses 3d cubes in its environments, regardless of implementation.

    Yeah, but that doesn’t seem to be the most accepted definition of voxel.

    On my search I found that my previous definition of voxel game was also wrong, as being a voxel games doesn’t define how it renders the voxels.

    So, Minecraft is actually a voxel game.

    SNES ahhhhh the golden era…

    I personally like the NES era better, but still…

    That is interesting. It can feel just as much like a creative endeavor as just a fun time passer.

    I see Minecraft as a game that requires creativity to be fun.

    I really enjoy this kind of game.

    It also seems like a feature that would be difficult for us to implement at this stage (best done from the ground-up),

    But that’s why I’m asking: so you can start to implement it on your prototypes now.

    I don’t recall any legal problems with founding LDG, but rather what we did with the company as an entity later.

    Yeah, that’s what I meant.

    We still can’t talk about it, sorry! Someday.

    Oh… ok.


  • LDG

    @Josue said:

    How can a stricter definition be better?

    With such a loose definition, if I say “game” to someone, it’s basically meaningless. Activity, simulation, game… they all will probably conjure the same idea in people’s minds, which isn’t useful communication. This is probably already the case, which is why modifiers are required, e.g. 2d side-scrolling platformer video game is the long-winded solution.

    But that’s why I’m asking: so you can start to implement it on your prototypes now.

    So, these prototypes have very specific purposes: to prove concepts. The code is treated as potentially throw-away because it very easily could be. If a game is to be moddable, it benefits from having that architecture as early on as possible, but it wouldn’t make sense to implement it along with prototyping, as that would severely slow down the prototyping itself.


  • Patron

    @richtaur said:

    This is probably already the case, which is why modifiers are required

    Yeah, I think the word “game” stopped having a strong meaning like 20 years ago.

    But that’s also the case with “music” and “film”, and there seems to be no problem about that.

    If a game is to be moddable, it benefits from having that architecture as early on as possible, but it wouldn’t make sense to implement it along with prototyping, as that would severely slow down the prototyping itself.

    So… finish making Djinn 3 and then start prototyping?

    =P


  • Penguin

    @Josue said:

    Yeah, I think the word “game” stopped having a strong meaning like 20 years ago.

    Aren’t you 14?


  • Tiger Hat

    @Macaronee said:

    @Josue said:

    Yeah, I think the word “game” stopped having a strong meaning like 20 years ago.

    Aren’t you 14?

    Genetic memory - Josue has gaming in his genes!


  • Patron

    LOL

    I mean that, by looking at the kind of games that started to be made around that time, we can see the definition of “game” broadening.

    With that said, considering that my mom had an Atari 2600 when she was a teen and that my uncles used to go to friend’s house to play SNES games it’s definitely a possibility…


  • Penguin

    @cheersphilip you’re back! (Ok, I don’t know why but my tablet kept changing “back” to “Barack”, so I guess welcome back, Mr. President?)


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