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Thread: Magic in games

  1. #21
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Are you thinking of Forge?
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  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Nope, something with more niche appeal. Tried searching but didn't find. Btw how much one might want to pay for those DS games? Amazon UK sells Knights in the Nightmare for almost 50e and The World Ends With You with a more reasonable 15e. The cost of new DS games is probably the reason why my DS just collects dust from one year to another.
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  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    Yeah, I 've played all of those b0rsuk. And I also agree with Hypernetic. Wasn't there a kickstarter or an indie game or something about dueling wizards some way back that seemed interesting? Am I making this up or can someone recall what it was? Think I read about it on RPS. It's understandable that the game play for a wizard class can't be all that complicated if there are other classes present too. Think the world is due for a WIZARD SIMULATOR or something. May need to pitch the idea to Wolfire games as they seem to know what I like :D
    Problem is that player balance means "all-powerful" doesn't mean much more than "spellslinger" in the same way you'd use the term "gunslinger." Even some wizard-centric games basically make the Wizard a tactical nuke who needs carrying by a cadre of burly men with swords.

    But the thing is, when people think "wizard" they think "eccentric nut who spent fourteen years collecting ridiculously ugly and disgusting arcana and three days cackling to himself before splitting the world in two." You know: An all-powerful Dylan Klebold. It'd be hard to balance that with a guy with a sword if the wizard can just forge an alternate reality where there are no guys with swords.
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  4. #24
    Network Hub DevinSmoth's Avatar
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    I only played GW1, primarily as a mesmer/monk. I didn't have a single direct attack spell, but I was deadly, I would hex enemies, spread the hexes and then detonate the hexes and all the while siphoning energy off enemies and converting it into buffs and heals.

    Fireballs who?


    Unfortunately... GW2 is a very different game to GW1 and it lost alot of the interesting things like what you're talking about. It's a crying shame, without a doubt, but it is what it is, I suppose.

    Don't get me wrong, I still play GW2, but... yeah, I wish that they'd stuck with the original gameplay a bit more than they did, without a doubt.

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Academagia is a quite good text-heavy wizarding game hampered by lots of obscure leveling mechanics (some people would say that the text-heaviness also hampers it, but I like those). It has numerous and ridiculously specific magical skills that have nothing to do with combat (my favorite approach is to make a character whose only magical ability is a genius-level knack for canceling other people's spells...and who spends the rest of his time running grueling marathons. All of his after-school adventures involve undoing the hard work of others, or running away from it).

    Magi is the other game I frequently link to; it's a straight-up wizard-duelin' game with no pretensions of being anything else, and as such all of the spells are geared towards combat in one way or another -- but it's perfectly possible to (for instance) wrap yourself in layers of protection and then curse rival wizards to take damage each time they cast a spell (then watch them slowly kill themselves).

    What else? Dungeons of Dredmor (especially with some of the expansions) has a lot of wacky utility magics, but again they're all in service of combat. I think that's why I like Academagia, because it's a game where wizards can use magic in their day-to-day lives, instead of just when someone wants to kill them.

    (There are also lots of point-and-click adventure games about wizard apprentices and such, but usually these involve reading a spellbook of immense power and finding out that you only have the ingredients to cast the all-important "Make moldy cheese fresh" spell).
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  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Problem is that player balance means "all-powerful" doesn't mean much more than "spellslinger" in the same way you'd use the term "gunslinger." Even some wizard-centric games basically make the Wizard a tactical nuke who needs carrying by a cadre of burly men with swords.

    But the thing is, when people think "wizard" they think "eccentric nut who spent fourteen years collecting ridiculously ugly and disgusting arcana and three days cackling to himself before splitting the world in two." You know: An all-powerful Dylan Klebold. It'd be hard to balance that with a guy with a sword if the wizard can just forge an alternate reality where there are no guys with swords.
    He could also make an army of guys made out of swords.

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus jnx's Avatar
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    Haa the game I was thinking about earlier is actually a planned sequel to that Magi game. I've seen Academagia in Gamestop store I think but didn't think it was a "real game". Guess I was wrong?
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  8. #28
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    Academagia is definitely a game, I'm not convinced its a particularly good one. At times it feels like there's more skills than there are applications for them, it's entirely possible to play through a game and only get to use a particular skill in one random event. It also doesn't fit together well, with events being largely independent of each other and your character's actions. You can have a friendless character staying into study every night and you'll still have random events that occur "while in town with your friends" etc.

    Princess Maker 2 (honestly) is a similar concept done much better.

    Edit: None of the above has anything to do with magic.

  9. #29
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    GW2 really did discard quite a lot of what made Guild Wars so special: well-designed story missions, and skill selection that felt like deck building in a CCG. Most videogame spells are incredibly boring and cliche, but card game designers have been doing interesting things ever since M:TG. Steal more ideas from good designers, plz.

    Personally, I'd like to see more low-magic worlds with an emphasis on ritual magic. Stuff that's rooted in real historical folk beliefs, and some of the better fantasy novels. Search for tomes of knowledge, gather ingredients, and cast a spell for a specific purpose. Let's pretend the European witch cult is real - I want to play a witch doing evil demonic things. It's a game that'd market itself, thanks to the outrage from Christians.

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    GW2 really did discard quite a lot of what made Guild Wars so special: well-designed story missions, and skill selection that felt like deck building in a CCG. Most videogame spells are incredibly boring and cliche, but card game designers have been doing interesting things ever since M:TG. Steal more ideas from good designers, plz.

    Personally, I'd like to see more low-magic worlds with an emphasis on ritual magic. Stuff that's rooted in real historical folk beliefs, and some of the better fantasy novels. Search for tomes of knowledge, gather ingredients, and cast a spell for a specific purpose. Let's pretend the European witch cult is real - I want to play a witch doing evil demonic things. It's a game that'd market itself, thanks to the outrage from Christians.
    That doesn't seem like it would translate to a game very well, it would be more like a semi-interactive movie. Like a visual novel.

  11. #31
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    Haa the game I was thinking about earlier is actually a planned sequel to that Magi game. I've seen Academagia in Gamestop store I think but didn't think it was a "real game". Guess I was wrong?
    I thought you might be thinking of ArcMagi =) I haven't heard anything about that game in ages, but the original is still decent (it has a nice long demo, too).


    Academagia is real :) and can be very engaging, but the technical stuff surrounding it is a bit weird. For example there's a demo through some service or another, but it's a timed one-hour demo, which is just about enough time to thoroughly read the tooltips on all of the skills during character creation and say Hi to your tutorial mentor.

    Currently Academagia only takes you through the end of your first school year -- which is still time for lots of mysteeeerious adventures and plots to arise, and for you to fret over finals. It would be nice if year 2 was released (supposely there's a hypothetical release date of "end of year 2013") so you could learn mightier magics, but I haven't actually even made it to the end of year 1 yet because I kept re-rolling. =P

    I don't mean to ramble on about a weird choose-your-own-adventure wizard-spreadsheet game for so long, but I will mention the Most Important Thing for anyone who might play it: they've released fifteen free DLCs (more content + patching stuff) which greatly expand the base game. Each one is cumulative so you only need to install the latest, but the game won't do it for you! So you have to go to the update forum (link) and get the download link and install the new version before you play. It's...weird that they do it that way. But the expansions are nice :)

    @Kelron: I basically agree with everything you said about it. =) I find it fun in spite of those things, but it really does work best if you can get yourself into a "naive freshman" sort of mindset where you expect to be bewildered and overwhelmed by the strange and spectacular events going on around you. It has a lot of annoying moments where your character has five different options and none of them involve skills you're good at, but it also has wonderful moments where you just so happen to be the perfect baby-wizard for the job.
    Last edited by Berzee; 25-03-2013 at 03:30 PM.
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  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    He could also make an army of guys made out of swords.
    "Oh, you spent all your life honing your skill at swords? Poof. I have a sword that can do more than you could ever do, and I've winked it into existence already stuck into your esophagus. Also, I've gone back in time and disintegrated your grandparents before they could bump uglies. Now please stop bothering me while I conjure a universe populated entirely by me and hot women who love people like me."
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  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    Warlock: Master of the Arcane does the crazy-powerful, megalomaniac wizard thing pretty well. Sure, you're casting fireballs again, but in this case your fireballs are as big as a house and vanquish entire enemy platoons. You can also bless cities with increased food production, or cast biblical plagues on the enemy's, raise land from the sea, create volcanoes, summon hordes of monstrous creatures, and enchant them so they can cross the ocean on foot. While the creativity of the Great Mages could stand to improve, there's no arguing with their sense of scale.

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    Also interesting (and also in keeping with my strange obsession with venerable CYOA games) is that in the King of Dragon Pass world, the Most Powerful Magical Action in the world is to hold a dress-me-up reenactment of old folk legends -- i.e. if your crops need more rain, dress up in a Sky God costume and act out the old story where the Sky God frees the Rain God from the belly of a chaos dragon? Ideally, your whole clan will take a vacation day so they can be their to lend their worship-support to the process. Also the play sort of takes place in the spirit realm so your guy is being attacked by real(ish) monsters and if he dies in the play he dies for real! Yes.
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  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mickygor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnx View Post
    Nope, something with more niche appeal. Tried searching but didn't find. Btw how much one might want to pay for those DS games? Amazon UK sells Knights in the Nightmare for almost 50e and The World Ends With You with a more reasonable 15e. The cost of new DS games is probably the reason why my DS just collects dust from one year to another.
    15 is 60% of what I paid for TWEWY, and easily worth it. It's the best execution of the twin screen design you'll find.
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  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    "who love people like me."
    Where is the fun in that?

  17. #37
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypernetic View Post
    Where is the fun in that?
    "who have a fetish for being abused by people like me."
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  18. #38
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    I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier, Geneforge. In Geneforge you have three(ish) classes, warriors, agents (rogue/mages with normal rogue/mage gameplay), and shapers (wizards who can create life). While the magic in the game is fairly standard, the magic in the setting is fascinating. Shapers create life, but they also mess up all the time and create invasive species and viruses.

    When you play as a shaper most of your mana is devoted to maintaining a large stable of creatures and buffing them, it also puts you in weird situations where you kill your creatures for emergency mana or lose control of them as they go berserk.

    Another game with an interesting magic system is King's Bounty. They have the fireball and direct damage spells, but they also have a lot of neat terrain altering spells.

    I'm playing an illusionist right now in PnP D&D, and I think my DM just realized what a massive pain in the ass indirect magic will be.
    Last edited by Internet; 25-03-2013 at 05:01 PM.

  19. #39
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    Magical Diary is a little like Academagia. A lot easier to get into, more Visual Novel to Academagia's 'raising sim'.
    Not to everyone's tastes, with the androgynous looking males and the forcing of a female character/House (like the Hogwarts ones, but different animals).
    The magic effects are a tad limited, but there are several ways to solve each of the game's puzzle exams, depending on which colours of magic you invest in.

    Aside from Two Worlds 2, what else has mix&match magic?

  20. #40
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    In fiction, magic tends to be very powerful, but also requiring study and sacrifice, lengthy rituals, expensive components, that sort of thing. Something to justify the grand cosmic powers the character is flinging around. There also tends to be an underlying question as to whether the whole thing is worth it, as there are often unpredictable consequences, and the price is usually high enough to be not worth paying. Note that Gandalf, the archetypal wizard, only does anything supernatural when he feels forced to. Instances of actual magic are few and far between.

    In games, magic is as easy as clicking a button. Characters rain down unnatural powers upon their enemies over and over again, pausing only to chug yet another mana potion. Powers described as dark and terrible, requiring great sacrifice, usually only cost some hit points as well/instead (chug yet another health potion). Honestly, it's often not clear why everyone doesn't know a little magic- even a firebolt is as good as free, and a handy way to start a campfire.

    It's hard to implement a more true-to-fiction version of magic and still make it enjoyable. It's nice that there are some examples of compromises, though. There are some great games in the thread.

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