I’ve been thinking about using genetic ideas to create game elements a
After all just taking a stream of bits and translating that into
interesting game effects without having huge amounts of code is
something that would be really cool on mobile devices.
Over the weekend I had an idea which I wanted to get down on paper
before I forgot it.
The basic idea is to create a massive range of spells from a few basic
Have a look and see if it’s one of my mad ideas, or if it really does
If we think it’s worthwhile I’ll do some code for it, though if I do I
would like someone else to take my code and generate a devmaster format
tutorial from it.
I don’t have much spare time, well any spare time, and I’m not a graphic
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After reading your idea I started to think about 3D magical
Mage have a set of basic 3D magic structures: magic frame lines, magic
power lines, motor, delay line, mana limiter/concentrator,
fire/water/wind/earth effector, aura detector, logical elements etc.
Each magic structure have some set of parameters (size, magic line
thickness, type of mana…) and have well defined mathematical model
behind it. When mana concentration in structure get over some threshold
then that structure activates. Structure can break if concentration is
too high or disappear if it’s too low.
Mage creates full spell from structures with below threshold mana
concentration, then fill some startup structure and put magic physics
into action. Hi-level spells consist of many individual magic
structures, so mage must build it incrementally, keeping partially built
parts between disappearance and activation thresholds, and then charge
it with sufficient for full activation amount of mana.
So at least my ramblings have got your brain working :D
I, personally, don’t think more is always better. I would rather have
fewer spells that had a strategical difference in the game. I’m pretty
old time about rpg’s, though. I like turn based, grid type, so my
opinion is pretty much meaningless.
This sounds like something you would want to make the centerpiece of a
game, and base most of the challenges around finding just the right
combination of genes to meet a variety of challenges; almost like
Scribblenauts, but with your magic system replacing the dictionary
system. Making a series of fairly open-ended challenges which the player
can complete any way he can think of (within the limits his avatar level
and the system itself allow) would be the best way to showcase the
variety and multifunctionality of such a system without it just becoming
thirty-thousand different flavors of Fireball.
I think; but maybe I missed something?
EDIT: You know, I’ve been giving this about five or six stray thoughts
here and there, and it seems to me this mechanic would be perfect for a
‘Wizard School’ kind of game, where almost the whole thing is one big,
extended tutorial in a scholastic setting. You could make some pretty
neat approximations to what it might really be like to be learning
magic, from the most basic firebolt spell to some pretty complicated
transmutation or conjuration stuff. It’s a cool idea, if you could make
it work well enough. In that context, I don’t even think the system
would really have to be that balanced, even. Heck, Scribblenauts is
completely unbalanced, almost broken, and it’s still quite fun.
The idea of “genetic spells” is in line with my musings from a few years
I had an idea for an MMO where you’d have spells take the form of a sort
of computational currency like BitCoin. What I mean by that is, you’d
build some multi-staged, difficult puzzle as the spell creation system
(not necessarily an abstract puzzle - it should be things like the mana
wires, genes, etc systems). When you’re done building, you can compress
the spell into a ‘packet’ which then just has some resultant mechanics
in-game that are basically invisible. The trick is, you can teach
someone your spell, but they just get the packet, not the design or the
ability to teach others.
So this creates an in-game marketplace of the best spells to do X or Y
or Z, where players can create resources for the marketplace by coming
up with better/more efficient solutions to the spell mini-game. This
provides some disincentive to posting good spell diagrams on wikis and
the like, which means that figuring out the subsystem can remain as a
longer term part of the game-play experience.
Whether or not it would be fun depends a lot on the implementation of
the puzzle and of what the spells actually do in the world though. And
while there’s kind of an academic interest in the economics that would
result, I’m not sure they’d actually be enjoyable to experience as a