Tuesday, November 13, 2012

D6?

I'm considering backing out from the D6 system. Before I get into why I'm considering that, I want to explain why I initially switched to the D6 system.

Earlier this year, I was struggling with combat design and balance. The D6 system was an appealing way to get out. Its pretty easy to explain and basically takes care of itself mechanically. It allowed me to focus on other aspects of the game and let the numbers take care of themselves without too much direct interference.

On August 6th, most of the game was converted over to a D6 system. While the time difference is relatively small, I think the game and me are in a much different (better?) state. I believe I'm capable of making a fun and engaging combat system without relying on D6 now.

Finally, I feel I ought to talk about why I consider the D6 system to be a limitation now. One thing I really want to do is make a diverse weapon system. Currently there are 6 different weapon types, but they're all basically minor variations of each other. I don't really feel like there's a good way for me to simulate certain types of weapon behavior and, subsequently,  I find it difficult to make each weapon feel unique. Admittedly, part of this is probably just designer incompetence. I'm sure a cleverer developer could make a castle where I'm making a mud house. Still, I do feel like taking off the "chains", as it were, will benefit the game in the long run.

As with most of these game design posts, nothing is absolutely set-in-stone. The D6 system still offers a few nice advantages and is easier to "balance". If I do go forward with this change, it won't be part of a subversion. It would most likely occur in either 0.6a or 0.7a.

If you have a personal preference on random-number-systems, pros or cons for keeping or removing the D6 system, or just want to remark on how the game feels right now, comments are most welcome! As always, you can also hit me up on twitter or e-mail me. I'm also curious to know if people enjoy these game design articles. I'm probably not going to stop writing them anytime soon, but I'm still interested in feedback.

Peace!

2 comments:

  1. I see no reason to wed yourself to the d6 system if it isn't performing up to your current standards and forthcoming expectations---no harm in changing it up or using one or more other systems in addition to it so as to round things out better. Whatever you can maintain effectively without this turning into something terrifying, even if awesome in the implications, like how the Incursion dev needed to create a programming language, and pretty well has, to break the limits he saw in d20 doings in PC-land and now the game is still some years away from a new version, heh.

    Can't really steer you to any great insights when it comes to dice rolling with bigger numbers and whatnot, but I would say to give some thought to having at least some stuff wrangled less so by Maths versus Logic(al progressions of events and natural processes). Hell, is there anything in the lore on the whole that could be bludgeoned into something along the use of a "d"? Only the movies reside in my head and all that comes to my fragmented recollections is the 3D chess board-like apparatus...

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  2. Yeah, the tale of Incursion is an interesting one. There is a chance cube in The Phantom Menace, but that's about it. It was basically a 4-sided dice, but only two colors were represented. So it was really more like a coin, or a 1d2.

    Beyond that, you're right in that there is no real reason to wed myself to the D6 system. If the game was in a stabler state or was a source of livelihood, I might think twice about moving forward with such an overarching change. But, seeing as @Star Wars is purely a hobbyist pursuit and exists in an Alpha-state, I can't think of a better time to experiment on core mechanics.

    The actual issue I have is the principle of "locking" a portion of the dice down, not so much using dice. I like the freedom in being able to utilize "xdy" as opposed to the "xd6" restriction. Still, I think the D6 system has a lot of neat advantages, but I think it might just be time for @Star Wars to forgo this and create some of its own rules (and, in all likelihood, borrow some rules from other games).

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