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Advice needed from Game Players

 
Gregg Bolinger
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For a couple of years now and friend of mine and I have been tossing ideas around about making a game and using JAVA. I am sure most gamers are familier with the ever popular CCG or Customizable Card Games. They have come in many flavors. The first one I played was called Magic. But there are so many more I can't even begin to name them.
At one time, Magic had a computer game based on their card game. I think this was back in the Windows 95 era if not Windows 3.1. You can imagine how it was.
Our idea is to create an Online Customizable Card Game. One that would be fully customizable not only on the cards you play with but even being able to adjust most of the rules of the game. The engine itself would be more of a framework really with the ability to customize it to any Card Game. Well, when I say any, I mean any "similar" card game. You couldn't use it to make a game of tradictional Spades, Hearts, or Poker. I think you get the jist.
Anyway, what I want from you is something very simple. We need a bit of help deciding on the main interface.
The initial idea was stricktly 2D. The layout was pretty nice, but quickly became crampt for space and we ended up doing a lot of testing with zooming in and out and things like that.
The other idea we have been toying around with is doing it in 3D using some 3D OpenGL wrapper for Java. Something like GL4Java or JOGL. This would make the playing field larger while not cramping up the realestate on a limited computer screen because you could move around the playing area in all directions.
So what would most gamers prefer?
I would like to append this with the fact that while games today are so rich in their eye candy, we are initially more concerned about gameplay. I have played so many games that look really nice, but their gameplay is so limited and boring. We are really going to make an effort to make this game fun and expandable first and formost, secondly we will worry about how it looks.
Any input is appreciated.
 
Eric Pascarello
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The thing I get yelled at for my games is that it does not fit people's screens. I never get yelled at for colors or the cards or the feel. Make the interface user friendly and build from there.
Ever need help with layout, just yell my way.
I have been slowly working on Real Man's Solitaire, but I been coding to many hours at work to actually acomplish more then the basic feel. Oh, my solitaire has cheating abilities, So if you do not win, you are a too honest!
Eric
 
Eric Pascarello
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Also if you need ideas for layout, look at POGO and YAHOO card games. Might help you out.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Thanks Eric. The main problem with layout and other peoples resolution is that the card games that can be created will all have a different CARD layout. The user controls like Buttons, Score, bla bla, should all pretty much stay the same. But the way the cards are drawn and layed out will depend greatly on what game is being played. That is why I am leaning more towards OpenGL because in a 3D world, your playing field is somewhat infinite.
 
Jim Yingst
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I don't know much about OpenGL, so no comments there. But when you've tried 2D displays in the past - were you trying to show data for all the players at once? I can imagine that getting quickly out of hand, as you can have an aritrarily large number of players with many cards on display. But what if inone corner there's a small map or just list of all the players, and when the user clicks on a particular player there, the main display switches to show their (visible) cards and other state info. Or perhaps the player's own cards are always on display in one area of the screen, while another area represents the currently selected opponent. So you don't ever have to display more than one or two players' worth of data on screen, aside fro the list/map of all players. Would that help your 2D space problems, or did you already try stuff like that?
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
I don't know much about OpenGL, so no comments there. But when you've tried 2D displays in the past - were you trying to show data for all the players at once? I can imagine that getting quickly out of hand, as you can have an aritrarily large number of players with many cards on display. But what if inone corner there's a small map or just list of all the players, and when the user clicks on a particular player there, the main display switches to show their (visible) cards and other state info. Or perhaps the player's own cards are always on display in one area of the screen, while another area represents the currently selected opponent. So you don't ever have to display more than one or two players' worth of data on screen, aside fro the list/map of all players. Would that help your 2D space problems, or did you already try stuff like that?

Good ideas. The nice thing is I will only have to worry about 1 other player. Something that might come back to haunt me later, but that is how it will be done.
In one of our first prototypes, I have a JPanel that was much larger than the screen and I made it scroll. So the playing field basically had a "view". This worked out pretty good. I am just not 100% sure this is the best approach. Hence, my post.
The other players cards have to be visible all the time in some form or fasion. The way these games are played your phases of play depend greatly on what cards your opponent has placed in the arena.
 
SJ Adnams
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i like this:
http://www10.brinkster.com/A1ien51/Card/
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Simon Lee:
i like this:
http://www10.brinkster.com/A1ien51/Card/

ummm, ok. Good for you.
 
Don Kiddick
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Gregg, you could try asking your question here

If you're thinking of trying to sell your game, this might interest you
This guy princec really knows his onions.
D.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Don Kiddick:
Gregg, you could try asking your question here

If you're thinking of trying to sell your game, this might interest you
This guy princec really knows his onions.
D.

Thanks, those links are a big help. I appreciate it.
 
Christian Schnepf
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I do not know how much of the computer game Magic you remember. I played it not to long ago (hey i was bored).
The screen was cut in half, the top being the computer opponent and the bottom being you the player. The playing field was customizable as to placement of the cards by the player so that everything could be seen and moved around. I enjoyed this because it was very similar to playing it in real life. The cards that I knew of, I place so I could see their titles. The ones that I didn't I could move so that they were easily readable.
I believe the game should only require a mouse however you do it though. =)
 
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