May 12, 2011

The Hungry Hordes

Currently in the conceptualization phase for an Action Survival Horror set in a post-zombocalpytic city. I’ve been reading too much of Max Brook’s Z-Wars, playing too much of Sarah Northway’s Rebuild and watching too much of The Walking Dead…

Like many have said before, zombies are ethically the best enemy to pit your players against. The moral constrictions of killing an already dead human being is absent and typically they allow for an escalating level of difficulty. Typical zombies are slow as depicted in movies (cept for 28 days later) making them ideal cannon fodder.

Will keep updated on the progress…

May 11, 2011

Looking at Oxeye

Here is a studio I stumbled across while reading Notch’s blog. Its another indie studio all the way on that side of the world. I love the way they work. Their art quality is excellent, their audio, gameplay is top notch. I’m really impressed by the way people can come together and just work on something. That’s something that is pretty hard to achieve here where everyone is constantly striving just to make ends meet on a daily basis. Making things for fun just seems incredibly hard and you get funny looks when you suggest such a thing. Its all about commercialization here which is quite against the whole spirit of creating games that you yourself would like to play.

I still believe it can be done, just with quite a lot more blood and sweat.

Oh and also, I forgot to add they’re located on top of a cafe! Aaah.. the dream.

May 11, 2011

Dicey Odds

In Dungeon Fodder, there are numerous actions which are guided by chance. Success rates for combat, success rates for opening a trapped treasure chest, success rates for everything! Being a fan of pen & paper tabletop gaming, I’m biased towards the dice as a means of simulating random events.

Even after coming to the conclusion that using dice would be the most accessible method of determining random events in the game, the number of die was another issue that had to be looked into. A colleague brought into my attention that the odds are radically different when using different numbers of dice.

For example, a single die roll is pretty simple to think about and calculate your probabilities. On a regular 6 sided die, you have a 1/6 chance of getting a certain number.  Thats about a 17% chance which ain’t bad.

Using two dice however ups the odds somewhat.

This is a simple table of all probably outcomes of rolling two dice simultaneously. There are 36 different combinations possible but that does not mean your odds of getting a certain combination is 1/36 (about 3%).

Here is the same table but now, it is based on total outcome of both dice.

Now, to count the odds.

  • You have 1/36 (2.8%) chance of getting a 2 or a 12
  • 1/18 (5.6%) chance of getting a 3 or an 11
  • 1/12 (8.3%) chance of getting a 4 or a 10
  • 1/9 (11%) chance of a 5 or a 9
  • 5/36 (13.8%) chance of a 6 or an 8
  • 1/6 (17%) chance of a 7

Not that this is really important but its interesting to know. If rolling items from a specific table, common items should definately be placed on the Higher Odds portion of the table, (probably a 7) while overpowering items are placed on the lowest odds portion (maybe on a roll of a 2 or 12).

Majority of the results in Dungeon Fodder relies on a the results of a single die. I find this to be more straightforward and improves upon the pacing of the game. Some feedback has stated that there might be too many die rolls therefore that has to be looked into as well.

May 11, 2011

Enter the Dungeon

What is Dungeon Fodder?

by definition, a dungeon is a poorly maintained kennel for all sorts of monsters. Amazingly, treasure seems an abundant fixture in such places and adventurers throng dungeons in hope of making off with an enchanted sword or some silly bauble.

Fodder on the other hand, is food used to feed livestock. This could comprise of hay, straw, oats and grains which no self-respecting carnivore would touch. The term fodder also refers to something which is worth close to nothing. Something so worthless that to sacrifice it, would bring no sense of loss whatsoever.

Here is a quote ripped off wikipedia, “Cannon fodder is an informal term for military personnel who are regarded or treated as expendable in the face of enemy fire.”

Putting the two words together, you get a really expendable person whose life is worth less than a handful of barley having to journey deep into a dungeon to survive by making sure no one else does…

fun? I’m not sure…

Anyways, Dungeon Fodder is a board-game I’m putting together during my free time.

It is to be played between 2 – 6 players, DF puts you in the shoes of one such adventurer trapped in a dungeon forced to battle his way to be the last man standing (or woman!). The trick to defeating your foes is to use not only your natural abilities but also the environment (dungeon) as a weapon.

As of now, there are only 3 classes in development and 2 play modes which are still being adjusted to maintain a semblance of balance in the game.

More on the game later!…

May 10, 2011

Setting up

After months of mucking about, the website is finally up! Instead of trying to bend a website to fulfill my finicky needs, I’ve decided to just drop designing the thing from scratch and opt to use WordPress instead and build it up from there.

A content development company without a website is indeed a poor sight therefore here it is! The new Synergy Lab web presence where all news pertaining to the development of our projects would be carefully archived here for the benefit of future generations.

Stay tuned as I try to figure out how to make a living peddling games.