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November 14, 2012 / gameofslaves

Short post about development research


Just a quick blurb about numbers and expectations.

OUCH.

I spent a couple of hours playing around with one of the Interactive Fiction engines.  I generated a single encounter and a set of interactions which utilized a Skill-Attribute set for the Player and the Antagonist, each.  I then generated a random number pair (modified by skill) against a target difficulty (opponent’s attribute) to get a “SucceedBy” value.  I then compared the SucceedBy value and whoever succeeded by more (if a positive value) succeeded.

Example:  Player is not very attractive (Beauty=8) but has Seduction skill at 3.  Trainer has SelfControl of 12, but he’s pretty horny which gives him a -2 to that stat.   Player’s combined roll is 9 (+ 3 for skill) = 12; she succeeds against his 10 (12 – 2) by 2, giving her a SucceedBy of 2.  Trainer’s combined roll is 14 (-2 for horniness) = 12; he succeeds against her Beauty of 8 by 4, giving him a SucceedBy of 4.  He wins at 4 to 2.  He shrugs off her crude attempt to get his brain to travel below his shoulders.

Fairly involved math, but should be quick.  It took the InterFic parser 1.6 seconds to process the math.  (Actually, I did ten iterations and it took about 16 seconds.)

UGH.

I’m not sure if:

  • my math process was faulty;
  • I’m expecting too much detail from a “simple” game;  or
  • the parser just can’t handle that much behind-the-scenes data manipulation.

The main reason this is a concern for me is if I try to get into repeated contested challenges (like above) for something like combat, then the parser will crawl to a near standstill and that doesn’t make for a very engaging experience.

I’m currently playing an InterFic that runs on RAGS.  It’s a transformation-themed game so when you shift by too far then your clothes stop fitting properly.  (Cool feature, btw!)  You can get this resolved by visiting the Tailor and having your clothes adjusted to fit your new form.  (Cooler feature!)  Makes sense!  However, were I’m at in the game it’s frustrating that I have to visit the tailor every game-day… because it takes 25+ seconds to adjust my entire wardrobe (30+ items).

One second per item is no big deal, until you engage in a series of actions that cause game experience to shift into slow-motion from an otherwise smooth flow.

So my research continues as I look for ways to make a good experience without sacrificing my desire for realistic(-ish) detail.  🙂

Thanks for reading!

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