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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:28 am 


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In general...

Good randomness:
Random AI behavior
Modifying spawn positions/timing
Assembling levels from handmade chunks (Cave Noire, Spelunky)

Bad randomness:
Random missing/random failure
Fully randomized generated levels

Usually less is more.

Sumez wrote:
For most pourposes such as action games and various kinds of boss fights I'd agree.
But in a game based entirely around preparing for the unpredictable? The bag randomizer in modern guideline Tetris variant is absolute garbage. Completely ruins the game.

The TGM randomizer has already been proven to be reliable enough to never result in unfair games, but still retains the importance of stacking for every possible outcome. Meanwhile organizing 7 different pieces in a bag and repeating that over and over, immediately creates easy-to-remember patterns that makes stacking forever a matter of basic strategy rather than constant on-the-fly tactical decisions.


How do each of these work? Sounds like in the bag randomizer you're guaranteed to see each piece type once in every 7 pieces? I'm guessing TGM is less predictable without being 100% random?


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:17 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
How do each of these work? Sounds like in the bag randomizer you're guaranteed to see each piece type once in every 7 pieces? I'm guessing TGM is less predictable without being 100% random?


TGM keeps a history of what pieces have, and tries to pick pieces that haven't shown up in it.
It still rolls entirely randomly though when selecting, and if after a few tries it doesn't roll a piece that's been in the history, it'll just put the one it last rolled.
It keeps you from getting a bunch of the same garbage in a row and tries to ensure that new pieces show up fairly frequently, but it's still quite unpredictable, and there's still a chance of getting a piece that was in the last draw history.


The "Random Generator" [which is the actual name] used in other modern Tetris versions generates a bag with all 7 pieces, pulling one after another until it's empty, and then refilling. You get certain nice mathematical properties like guaranteed short runs of S/Z blocks [S/Z at end of bag, S/Z at start of next bag] and the guaranteed longest distance between pieces is 12 [eg, I piece at the start of the bag, 6 pieces in the rest of the bag, 6 pieces in the next bag, and then an I piece at the end of that bag], but it's definitely very predictable if you count pieces, and it's especially something else with modern piece preview lengths.

Sumez is almost certainly right and it's probably too little randomness for something like Tetris.
TGM uses a 4 piece history [and allows for pieces that are in the history to be rolled anyway since it re-rolls a few times instead of removing history items entirely from selection], so there's a much wider range of possibilities of what can come next.
also, I will admit that I used Tetris strictly as an example on bag systems -- I barely play it, but it was the first example that came to mind :lol:

edit: whoops, noticed half of a sentence was entirely missing
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Last edited by null1024 on Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:23 am 


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I'm guessing Arika was forced to use TTC's rules with Tetris 99?


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:14 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
How do each of these work? Sounds like in the bag randomizer you're guaranteed to see each piece type once in every 7 pieces? I'm guessing TGM is less predictable without being 100% random?


Yeah, and the fact that you're guaranteed the 7 pieces with such frequency makes the game extremely predictable (like counting cards in Blackjack, but with a much smaller deck). On one hand you could argue that adds a bit of puzzle strategy to the game, but it also minimizes the element of quick on-the-fly decisions, and at the end of the day it makes the game highly pattern-able, especially in combination with the hold feature.
To me, another awful thing about the 7-bag, though, is that it actually makes getting 12 drops in a row without a specific piece, and then getting two in a row, a very likely and frequent scenario.

Like null1024 said, TGM keeps a recent history (of the four most recent pieces) and tries to "reroll" if the new piece matches one of them. The first game rerolls 4 times, while the second and third reroll 6 times.
This effectively minimizes piece floods, which is the biggest "unfair" threat to survival in a Tetris game, and by extension it makes droughts less likely, but they are still a mild possibility. The third game adds a weird dynamic 35-piece bag system that's constantly refilled. It's hard to explain, but the gist of it is that it makes droughts impossible without making the game any more predictable.
Though it sounds unlikely, you'll still get the same piece twice in a row several times through most games (keep in mind, there are hundreds of draws in each full game), but getting the same three times in a row happens like once every second day or so.

One aspect I like about the TGM randomizer is that knowing how it works (which is surprisingly intuitive to the human mind - if you just had one piece, getting it again is less likely, right? People will some times imagine this from dice throws) allows the player to constantly make a qualified guess whenever a placement would benefit from getting a certain piece, rather than just taking blind chances.

BrianC wrote:
I'm guessing Arika was forced to use TTC's rules with Tetris 99?


Absolutely.
That said, I wouldn't think of T99 as an Arika game, as much as a Nintendo game that was outsourced to Arika. This isn't Arika's vision of Tetris. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:47 am 


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BrianC wrote:
I'm guessing Arika was forced to use TTC's rules with Tetris 99?

Copyright law is such bullshit. No one should control Tetris like this.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:53 am 


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You can't copyright Tetris, they are enforcing it as a trademark. And unfortunately they've won some court cases that IMO are highly questionable.

Like, the playfield size and piece shapes represent a part of the trademark, which is ridiculous since we're talking about very basic geometric shapes. It's not like they picked seven specific pieces that happened to work together - these are the 7 only tetrominoes that exist, and they mathematically just happen to work perfectly for a game of this type. It's hard to change any of those basics without making it a notably worse game.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:43 am 


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That's even worse!


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:11 am 


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Realtime action games with 1HKOs (nervy!) that let you bust out temporary, breakable shields, then attack full-blast through them. Aptly demonstrated by Search and Rescue's charge barrier. That's right, muhfucka, my offense IS my defense, hyper armour AND shells in your grill Image Y'ALL READY? Image

Image

Xenodude fall off the edge oh nawww Image

Obviously ripe for tension-deflating abuse, but when the time/damage constraints are tight enough, as above, the contrast of risk and unstoppable force is infernally addictive. Psyvariar's signature burst invincibility closely related:

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Big difference being Psy's shield is utterly invincible, affected only by time, whereas SAR's type breaks after absorbing hits - best of all is when enemies will suffer contact damage, allowing you to tear straight through hard targets as shown below (shield not captured due to 20hz GIF)

Image

Time it wrong, or try to tackle too hard a target, and you're dead meat! That risk/reward tension, baby!
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:51 pm 


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I love emphasis on mobility.
If a game has dashing, air dashing, a grapple, wallrunning, double jumping, sliding, I'm on that shit. Specifically referring to mapped inputs. Things like BHopping, air strafing, and wave dashing are great but that's not quite what I mean.
I also love those game specific, unique movement options like drop dashing in Sonic Mania, the Recoil Rod in Mega Man Zero 3 or the R-moves in Sonic Advance 2.

But I'm picky. I can't stand where things just have no tactile feeling and are floaty as hell with no weight to it. Or are just incredibly broke. Double when the level design is just inorganic...blocks in the air like CloudBuilt or other "speedrunner" platformers. If it plays like the better Sonic games, Mega Man X/Z/ZX, TitanFall, or Metroid ZM, it's sex.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:52 pm 


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Gunpoint lock in run and gun will always be one of the best game mechanics ever created to me, and one of reason why Contra Shattered Soldier is my favorite game in the series, and also testoterone-filled too.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:55 pm 


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Best reason to investigate Hard Spirits (GBA), which imported Shattered Soldier's lock mechanic. :cool:

Image

Has its issues, mostly the lack of slide crippling its Hard Corps bosses, but in a few spots the aim lock really shines. Fighting Spirits' highway boss with your aim locked to the right is AMAZIN Image
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Last edited by BIL on Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:57 pm 


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That looks good tbh.

Why does modern run and guns not much adapt this mechanic is out of question to me. :roll:
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:29 pm 


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Yeah I see the "stand in place while aiming freely" mechanic reused more frequently, which has much, much less utility.

Of course, Shattered Soldier has both, like aboss.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:22 pm 


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I'm a big fan of Wolf Fang / Rohga's approach, where you simply hold the shot button to strafe. Shock Troopers is the same in topdown, Hyper Duel (Saturn) potentially if you map [shot] and [lock] to the same button.

Being able to aim while locked in place can be handy in specific spots, of course, something Nakazato and co clearly designed Spirits/Hardcorps/Shin/Neo for. Generally speaking though, I prefer to stay mobile while placing shots in my 1HKO R2RMKFs.

Image

XoPachi wrote:
I love emphasis on mobility.
If a game has dashing, air dashing, a grapple, wallrunning, double jumping, sliding, I'm on that shit. Specifically referring to mapped inputs. Things like BHopping, air strafing, and wave dashing are great but that's not quite what I mean.
I also love those game specific, unique movement options like drop dashing in Sonic Mania, the Recoil Rod in Mega Man Zero 3 or the R-moves in Sonic Advance 2.

But I'm picky. I can't stand where things just have no tactile feeling and are floaty as hell with no weight to it. Or are just incredibly broke. Double when the level design is just inorganic...blocks in the air like CloudBuilt or other "speedrunner" platformers. If it plays like the better Sonic games, Mega Man X/Z/ZX, TitanFall, or Metroid ZM, it's sex.


Have you played Strider 2 (Capcom, 2000, Arcade ZN1/PS1 - NOT the shitty outsourced Mega Drive sequel) ? You'd probably dig it, based on that post. :smile: Lots of barraging high-speed action, but also (as you suggest) a strong sense of gravity and consequence. Need to recall a walking jump? No prob. A running jump? Harder but doable. A full-blast sprinting double somersault? You're gonna want to slam on the air brakes via the [down/up+attack] command barrage. Besides the explosive sprint and hurtling doublejump, it also packs smaller but vitally handy tools for close-quarters movement, like a slide-cancelling back-hop and a quick wall-to-wall glide.

I especially like its switch to Saigo no Nindou/Metal Slug-style free contact with enemies - you can really dive into the fray like a human buzzsaw, staying pixels away from bullets and blades while tearing enemies apart.

Sadly it lacks the original's aesthetic chops (wish it'd been on Naomi instead), but for high-speed, high-precision ninja action it's a landmark. Some nice codified replay value via its ranking system too.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:06 pm 


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One thing with the US PS1 version of Strider 2, I'm sure this has been said before, but if you plan to buy it, MAKE SURE IT INCLUDES BOTH DISCS. There's a common misprint where the Strider 1 disc is actually the Strider 2 disc and vice versa. I bought both discs in decent condition and this definitely was the case for me. Not to mention that the port of Strider 1 is still the best port of the game available.


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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:39 pm 


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BrianC wrote:
One thing with the US PS1 version of Strider 2, I'm sure this has been said before, but if you plan to buy it, MAKE SURE IT INCLUDES BOTH DISCS. There's a common misprint where the Strider 1 disc is actually the Strider 2 disc and vice versa. I bought both discs in decent condition and this definitely was the case for me. Not to mention that the port of Strider 1 is still the best port of the game available.


When I bought my copy the Strider 2 disc was all scuffed (Strider) and the Strider disc (2) was pristine. I'm guessing they never tried the "original".
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:01 pm 


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A specific order: Arcade (meaning single-sitting) action games with Rank (scaling difficulty) whose max is:

A) Intense, but
B) Survivable, and
C) Inevitable, if player survival persists.

Particularly good if they parlay this into a second and final loop, where the rank remains permanently maxed out regardless of player performance. If you staggered over the first loop's finish line, you're gonna quickly realise you need to improve for any chance at the second. If you caned the first loop authoritatively, you are now acclimatised to max rank and in shape for the final test. Image

Konami's Hideyuki Tsujimoto seemed to like this approach. It's how at least three games he headed - Super Contra, Sunset Riders and Trigon - all work. Having a blast with all three's loops.

Second, definitively final loops are on my always like list, too. Not a fan of infinite loopers, I'd rather get something concise with a definite endpoint. I swear there's some sick fuck out there who's shat his pants setting an infinite looper WR. That is a very different test of commitment!
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2020 5:30 pm 


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Recently game mechanics I love: Combat flight games with Return to Base feature, allows you to refuel ammo during missions. Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies nailed this perfectly. Sadly Ace Combat 5 completely omit this one, some missions have many targets to kill and if you ran out of ammo you might as well reset.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:09 pm 


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I always hate limited saves, I think.

Sorry if that was mentioned before.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:45 pm 


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LIKEY LIKEY: Stomps, helm-splitters, and other air/ground attacks that double as Fast Falls. TY for the doublejump, but if I don't resume ground contact, my cornhole will be blasted rim from rim :O

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Autocollect. Items, particularly fuel or other consumables, that hoover up automatically while you move on.

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Devil May Cry's red crystals and Shinobi (2002)'s demonsword-quenching Chi are killer 3D examples. Good feels massacring a roomful of enemies, then plunging down a steep drop with a cloud of precious gore in hot pursuit.

Absolute Defenses, for player and enemies alike. It's good to have some things be Absolute, creates a sense of grounding and mechanical consistency. I want the planet-shattering laser of renegade satellite LUCIFER_ZERO to rebound off a Buzzy Beetle, inflicting fatal damage to its guidance systems and sending it careening into the sun.

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See also Absolute Counters.

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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 3:44 am 


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Slay the Spire and Star Renegades have ruined me for RNG-dependent RPGs.

Both these games recreate all the good parts of blobber RPG combat with deterministic results.

Iratus is a great game in theory, but I can't go back to executing my brilliant plan only for the RNG to say, "Ha ha, fuck you!"

I guess you could say similar things about Steamworld Heist and XCOM, if they ever made a 3D version of Heist.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 4:49 am 


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Further to Blaster Master Zero 2, CHAIN BODY RAM

MFW Wuhan
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There's no room for relationships, there's just room to hit it!


Or really, any aggressive, i-framed movement option that chains into itself. I like it when there's some limit, eg meter, but you're otherwise good as long as inputs register. Air-dashes work particularly well, with their innately visceral gravity-defiance.
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 Post subject: Re: Game Mechanics you always love, and always hate
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:24 pm 


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BIL wrote:
Or really, any aggressive, i-framed movement option that chains into itself. I like it when there's some limit, eg meter, but you're otherwise good as long as inputs register. Air-dashes work particularly well, with their innately visceral gravity-defiance.


One of my favorite examples of this is in the doujin Ikaruga clone eXceed 2nd: the game substitutes Ika's homing charge attack for an invincible laser burst, and adds agressive pointblanking damage and a scoring mechanic based on speedkilling bosses to the mix. The result? Surf on enemies to charge up your invincible beam, blast them all and scoop up even more bullets to recharge while soaking in the resulting invincibility frames, and repeat! Leads to glorious yet tense carnage during the boss fights once the system and patterns are fully mastered.
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