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I was playing a game this morning (I
should have been working but my brain
co-operating). Several games in a row I
died by flying the wrong side of an
obstacle. It could have turned out alright,
but a pesky pixelated alien fired his laser
cannon at just the wrong time (or right,
on which side you support). It
turns out that I would have been safe the
other side of the
obstacle but that was not the path I
The serendipity setting of a computer
game would be a user configurable 'luck'
value which, when high would make
fortuitous events happen: aliens would
drift into that speculative volley of shots
you have delivered up the side of the
screen, powerups would be delivered at
useful times (and would be just what you
needed) and just when you're hemmed in
narrow corridor of enemy fire, the alien
would forget to drift across the top and
fire that lethal bolt down the middle.
Conversely, when you fancy a bit of a
challenge, you can dial down the luck
things that are supposedly random would
go against you.
For a game to successfully do this, it
would have to appear to be much simpler
that it really was. Enemies would appear
be moving randomly not because they
were but rather because they were
programmed to appear so; the computer
would have to have an understanding of
the game so that it could give you the
advantage and make it look like luck.
Turn the 'luck' all the way up to
and feel like you're using the force.
||//Turn the 'luck' all the way up to maximum and feel like you're using the force//
||or enter X,B,B,A,X,X,X,B to get God mode.[+]
||Nethack has luck, but you need to behave in certain ways to raise or lower it - it's not just a dial.
||A lot of games have difficulty settings that you choose at the beginning; in an easy game, you find lots of tools and weaponry, and use it to dispose of relatively few monsters.
||I saw this as being a little more subtle than
a difficulty setting. The computer could
possibly play out scenarios a couple of
seconds in advance pretending to be you,
then form an attack that would have killed
you had you taken a slightly different path.
I want the player to feel that they're
a skilled opponent only, at high luck
settings, feeling that everything is going
||Ah, I see. You actually want to find the little pivot points where one might have to be lucky - a bullet aimed with a jitter of X actually missing, say - and affect them, rather than doing something in broad strokes and waiting for the user to just feel lucky about it. I think you're working at the wrong end of the cause/perception lever, but this _is_ the halfbakery.
||This might give rise to a whole different karmic game stat - a character using luck to guard against unfortunate events. A glance at your luck bar tells you whether you should venture into high-risk situations.
||I vaguely recall some Mac space game where you could earn luck by guiding your craft to run over--capture--a certain good luck object.
||I remember thinking that it was very nicely rendered and addictive for certain guys I knew.
||Can you add this setting for real life as well, please?