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My DG Mod 'Manifesto'

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:23 am
by Djemps
While I am not currently in a position to actively modify DG's code like Vonkie and others, I wanted to post this 'illustrated vision' of adjustments and changes that I think will help Desperate Gods move toward serving as a fantastic resource for all things Board-Gamey. Take a few minutes to read through these ideas and let me know what you think!

- Player Space and Camera Placement -

One simple way to move DG toward becoming the premier application for online card and dice games would be to offer up some generic playing fields that could be employed for multiple uses. Many gaming (and gambling) tables are really nothing more than fancy green felt. Changing Desperate God's atmospheric wooden board to a simple green gaming table would be a great way to gain the interest of even casual gamers. Make an empty board with six or seven dice for Craps, Farkle, Yahtzee etc... and another plain board with the standard 52 'French Deck' playing cards and you would have hundreds of online games running at any given time.

Related to this, it would be very useful if each player could be assigned their own edge of the playing board, as well as having their 'camera' view oriented to their side. As it stands now, all DG players share the same 'upright' view of the board. This works fine because of the original game's layout, but it would be frustrating for card games like Poker etc...

- Secret Field -

Continuing with the idea of 'assigned seating', laying out a personalized player space on the board could solve a few current challenges with the game. Anything a user puts inside of their own game space would become invisible to other players. This would solve the current concern about how to hide one's hand from other players. Just lay the open hand down inside of your player space and look at it without any worries. In fact, even lifting hidden items off of your player space doesn't have to necessarily make them immediately visible. If objects are given a 'center', they might only become visible once the object center has moved out of range of the player space. Check out my hastily made illustration below to get a better idea of what I mean...


Here we have three players, each with their own region of the game board. The 'camera' icons indicate how each person sees the board. Right now we are looking at the board from the viewpoint of Player One (Cyan). As you can see, P1 has a few cards inside of his playing field. They are semi-transparent to indicate that the other players can't see them. This doesn't mean that any objects would actually become transparent in-game, it's just a visual reference.

If you notice, P1 has also tossed some cards over to P2's side of the table. They've landed inside P2's gaming space, but since they were not placed there by P2 himself, they have not 'disappeared'. Yes this means that tossed objects might actually collide with other objects that you can't see.

Finally, Player Three has picked up his pack of cards, but they have not yet 'appeared' to the rest of the players because the center of the card pack has not passed beyond P3's gaming space.

– 'Fanning' Cards –

By the way, what if Player Three wanted to flip his hand of cards over and look at all of them at once? Wouldn't it be nice if there was a command available to Fan one's cards open to view their attributes? Real life fanning often opens the hand up in a rainbow shape. But I think that it would be better suited to open the cards up in a horizontal line as shown below...


Here the player has fanned his cards and then set them down on the ground. I imagine that if a player was still holding the cards in the air he could somehow toggle back and forth between Fanned and a stacked deck.

Also, have you noticed that this line of fanned cards looks a little unnatural?

– Thinner Cards / ‘Slippery’ Cards –

Currently DG's cards are pretty hefty. I have no clue how 'thick' they actually might be in the game engine, but they need to be a lot thinner if we want to them to behave like real playing cards.

Related to this is the idea of giving the cards more of a slippery surface. Nice new playing cards almost seem to float on top of each other (Which is probably one of the reasons that gaming tables are made of felt, to stop cards from sliding all over the place). Beyond just being more realistic, reducing the friction between cards will allow players to preform actual card-game actions like drawing a card from someone's hand...


Here we have zoomed out from the previous screen shot, where a player fanned his hand of cards. Currently players can hold down Tap (T) and then quickly pull a card to slide it along the game table. (P.S. It works much better when zoomed out). The game preforms an action very similar to drawing a card from the Fanned out cards, but any cards on TOP of the pulled card are too heavy / sticky and drift out of place. In this case, one card was pulled out and Thirsty Sword also drifted in the same direction. Reducing card friction or weight would make this action look like a real card draw. Who wants to play "Go Fish?"

– Cut Card Command –

Another common action in card games is to Cut a deck of cards (for various reasons). Perhaps a toggle command could change the player's cursor to a pair of scissors for Cut...


If you click a deck while toggled to Cut, a random amount of the deck will be picked up...


Yes, cutting a deck of only 3 cards would either pick up one or two of the 3 total cards.

– ‘Gather’ Command Toggle –

A similar toggle action would be some kind of Gather action that imitates the current Dice collection interface. I was thinking of a Magnet icon that lights up while gathering items of a similar kind. If you pick up a gold coin with the Magnet, then it will only gather up more gold coins and nothing else.

Gather Cursor...


Coins being picked up together...


– Snap / Stack command –

Once a handful of objects have been gathered together with the magnet, you could Snap or Stack the objects into a neat group.

Group of coins together and then 'Stacked'...


This would be very helpful for cleaning up a pile of cards: First gather them...


And then stack them together into a small deck...


– Tapping to Place One –

In addition to quickly making stacks of coins or decks of cards, gathered objects could be placed back down on the game board one-at-a-time by tapping T while still toggled on the Magnet. This is useful when you need to deal out cards to different regions or divvy out specific amounts of objects to different players. (Think about placing all of your stones in Mancala without a function like this. :? )

– Pick Up High –

Finally, (for now), board games can get crowded. Currently objects are only slightly lifted off the game board when picked up. In the same way that Tap (T) temporarily lowers the height of a held object, "Up (U)" or something similar could temporarily raise the height of a held object to maneuver it out of a crowded region of the game board. The image below is a little extreme, but you get the idea...


Re: My DG Mod 'Manifesto'

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:44 am
by Bluesnake4
This post has a lot of great ideas for sure although i'm not sure if it would be possible to make a fan hand function without messing around with the source alot. Definitely the magnet tool and stack function would work well and are probably easy to implement. I think vonkie's mod now allows you to edit the gameboard to get that felt green you are looking for. Again i think that changing the camera view for each player might be difficult but maybe not. Just a simple rotate camera view would work. The only thing i have a bad feeling about is the way you want the concealed hand system to work. In my mind i imagined it as you pick up a card place it on a deck in your player space and then it appears in a section of opaque cards hovering above the board which only you can see. These cards can then be flipped and placed back on the board from the opaque hand. This would mean the hand would take up less room, you wouldnt be having to place cards down neatly in your secret area and player's could reveal a face down version of their hand which other players could draw from? Just a thought. Good idea though!

Re: My DG Mod 'Manifesto'

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:53 am
by pookaguy
I think this is pretty good, although you seem to be going towards a virtual card game compilation (Which may not be a bad thing), so some people might be against that. I, personally, would support that.

Re: My DG Mod 'Manifesto'

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:55 pm
by Djemps
pookaguy wrote:I think this is pretty good, although you seem to be going towards a virtual card game compilation (Which may not be a bad thing), so some people might be against that. I, personally, would support that.
Yes! I am going toward using the DG 'engine' for anything!

- Chess, Checkers, Yahtzee, Mancala, Quirkat, Go, card games galore, Dungeons and Dragons...

Pretty much any table top game experience you can imagine. If you are a game enthusiast but don't have any friends or local game stores to visit, you can connect online through DG and play a game with a fellow enthusiast.

The possibilities are endless, we just need to get enough people teamed up to make it happen.