Monkey Archive Forums/Digital Discussion/Proposition!

SLotman(Posted 2014) [#1]
Since I didn't want to disrupt Adam's topic on 2014 predictions for games, I made this new topic, because I just read this:

"This is something which Steam employees have been speaking publicly about over the past year, but we haven’t really seen that come into full phase. More games will offer rewards over typical achievements, rewards that are only redeemable in other titles. This presents a big opportunity for large publishers with multiple franchises releasing at the same time, but it’s also an opportunity for indies to band together and make things more interesting. Imagine a DLC pack that isn’t unlocked by just buying it, no, you need to earn it in a completely different (but slightly related) game!"

Now... what about we try something like it? We assemble a list of games we're going to release, and add to them some sort of achievement that would unlock things on other games? Could be something very simple, like when the user does something on game X, he gets a code, that typed on game Y will give something... maybe it could be a great way to cross promote our games?

I know this won't fly with published games, and probably there is a ton of other problems I can't think right now... but what do you guys think about this?

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2014) [#2]
I am all for that ..

Not much else to say you kinda summed it up well, if I find myself in a situation where I have something worthy of steam then you can count me in.

ElectricBoogaloo(Posted 2014) [#3]
I constantly find myself wondering about this sort of thing for AGameAWeek. Get X score on game A, unlock extra on game B.. Play game C, unlock C's costume in game D.
It's a nice idea, but with a couple of minor issues.
1. I ain't that organised!! Game B isn't even a pipedream the day before I start coding it, let alone when I'm halfway through the previous game!!
2. To work at all, it needs some sort of external framework to hold it together.
It's alright for Steam.. That's got Steam!
Steam can say to Game A that Game B's got a highscore, so unlock the cape bonus!!

But how do we even begin to do that?
When users can download and plop our game anywhere on their Windows system? When files can be strewn anywhere over their harddrive.
And on Android and iOS, where everything's closed off into little sandboxes.
I see this as the first major stumbling block for this idea.

It's nice, but it's hard to pull it off..

mteo77(Posted 2014) [#4]
Can it not be hardcoded into the game itself?
Like adding a voice in the options menu "claim your reward"...obviously this will open the game to exploit of any sort..maybe doing that once it's claimed it's gone?
With a framework would be better because everything will be automated, but i think it will be a lot of work to implement something like that in Monkey.
No easy solution here..

therevills(Posted 2014) [#5]
Valve has already done something like this for years with Team Fortress 2 and other 3rd party games (such as Spiral Knights, you had to do a few achievements and they gave you a TF2 Hat).

SLotman(Posted 2014) [#6]
First, what about a name? "Indie Unlock" comes to mind =)

And this by no means needs "Steam" or any other service! We only need communication between developers! For example, I'm doing a minesweeper right now, so I say something like:
"I have a powerup, a ROCKET LAUNCHER that will clear the board!" - and then give it a code to unlock it, like "CDAFGAB".

Someone, making a game with rockets, could add it to their game, when player do something, it shows
"Indie Unlock - Minersweeper
Type code CDAFGAB to get a Rocket Launcher on Icon Game's Minesweeeper!"

No need for a framework, or anything really - we could just post codes for stuff on our games, and whoever wants, just add those codes to their games.
Later we could have even a site, listing all games who supports the "Indie Unlock" system =)

For this to work, we only need an standard icon, that all games should display somewhere. When touching/clicking that icon, the player should be able to enter a code and redeem something.

SLotman(Posted 2014) [#7]
For example: I'll start right now. I am indeed doing a Minesweeper, called "Rescue Mission". Don't know when it's going to be ready - but I'm making available a code:

UDUDLRLRBA = player gets 500 coins in the game!

So what do you guys say?
(Here's a screenshot of the game I'm working... still lots and lots to do)

ElectricBoogaloo(Posted 2014) [#8]
Ok, imagine my player has played thing B, which has unlocked feature A in your game.

All I need to do is send the letter A to your game.
That's all.
One single ASCII character.

How'd i do it?

Answer in monkey-code (let's call it AsciiSend() and AsciiRecieve() ) which works on as many targets as possible, and doesn't rely on requiring the user to install the game into a predetermined location.

Gerry Quinn(Posted 2014) [#9]
Seems to me it would be okay if they had to be on the same device. You'd lose the benefit to a few players, but for most of them it would be the same. Then you would just need some kind of device ID embedded in the code.

A code tied to a player name is a possibility too. Easy to cheat, and people who would balk at using someone else's name and code to access paid-for software probably wouldn't turn a hair at using it for a cheat code - but the cheat comes at no cost to the developer, so it actually would be free advertising.

SLotman(Posted 2014) [#10]
No, guys - no need for a game to communicate with another!

What I'm proposing is something simple: Let me see if I can illustrate it...

Using my m4d L33t skills as a logo designer, I did this (lol)

On game "A", player kills 1000 enemies, then the game A shows (on its own "achievement style"):

And that's it - no need to send nothing anywhere.

On game B (my "Rescue Mission" - and every game that supports the "Indie Unlock" system) I should show the "indie unlock logo" on the title screen, or somewhere where the player can easily find it. Once the user click on it, the game asks the player to enter a code, like the one I posted above. Once the player types that code on game B, it gets the 500 coins.

For this system to work, we only need to list which code is supported by each game, so we don't have duplicates. And any game in the Indie Unlock system should have at least 1 code of it's own, and have at least 1 achievement from another game.

It's a dead simple system, no need to over complicate it...

SLotman(Posted 2014) [#11]
Btw: It wouldn't matter if some players starts to collect every code for every game out there - the goal of this is to get people playing game A to learn about game B, C, D... you name it :)

ElectricBoogaloo(Posted 2014) [#12]
Passcodes are over complicating it! People, these days, can barely be bothered to pay 69p to play a game, what makes you think they want to jot down passcodes?!

Plus, you're relying on some pretty specific "buttons" there.. UDUDLRLRAB might be all well and good if the player's playing on a PC with an X360 controller, but if they just have a keyboard? Or the game's on a mobile/tablet?
And what about people playing with a Playstation controller, without A and B buttons?
Or, god forbid, an OUYA, which has no B button, but does have a U button!!

No, you can't rely on button-pushes.
Doing cross platform development means you have to rethink a lot of things, and if you also want people to be able to quickly jot these things down you should also try to stick to something easily representable. If anything, go for numbers, since you can easily pop a dialer onto the screen, and work it with any/all control schemes.

...but it won't be easy to get players to bother to do it. Automagical is the key.

SLotman(Posted 2014) [#13]
ElectricBoogaloo: Those are not buttons, but letters - the code could be as well XXXYYYZZZ - the player would have to type in the code to get the reward. On mobile, you'd use a virtual keyboard for that, just like the one in Monkey :)

EdzUp(Posted 2014) [#14]
The main issues with codes is simply I could search the net for codes for it and enter em in getting all the features for the games wouldn't this negate the feature some what?

Why not just put easter eggs in there that would give it longevity :)

SLotman(Posted 2014) [#15]
It's not about longevity - it's about app discovery! If someone takes the time to gather all the codes and publish it online, even better - people will see a list of games, they might try out some!

That's the whole point: one game talking about another - so people play game A, get a passcode to earn something on game B, game C... so if 1 game is a huge success, it can also help others a little bit =)

Sammy(Posted 2014) [#16]
Sounds like a good idea to me.

mteo77(Posted 2014) [#17]
Might be good advertising.
As long as when you put in your code it actually tells you about the game you got it from in the first place.
Something like after putting in the code you will get a screenshot of the game and then your reward; something like that.

Paul - Taiphoz(Posted 2014) [#18]
I think a key factor would be keeping the code as small as possible so people are not stuck there for what might seem like ages typing in a 255 characters..

Here is an issue , say Game A has a breadcrumb (unlock thing) to joe blogs game, that's then set in stone, bar a recompile of the game Game A will always link through to Joe's game, I wonder if there might be a way to randomize this some what with some back end database support.

For example, if we have a database some where, that allows us to register and add a Developer name, Game name, achievement name, ahc code , ok then say I add 5 acheiv's I give 4 codes indicating their pre-set, I leave one acheivment blank indicating I want it to get a reward from of the other developers, ok so now when some one plays my game, and they unlock Acheiv 5, and 5's code is blank, my game then shouts at the webserver, hay I need a code for Dev,Game,Acheiv5 the web server then pumps back a randomly selected Acheiv code from a randomly selected other developer and game, once you get this information you then display it to the user "Hay you unlocked a gun in Bill's gun game, go try it out now with this code XXYYZZ".

just a thought, it would make things a lot more automated, and a lot easier, any single game could then get an unlock for any other randomly selected game.