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I am creating a top-view, multiplayer, arcade-ish racing game, and I want to know if you guys think that I am on the right track, or not. It will work basically like this:

-There are 3 races, and one demo derby in a round.

-Each race will be a 15 lap circuit (they are very small tracks, the tracks will be visible within the entire screen, tracks will be chosen at random.)

-The winners will be displayed after each race, in leaderboard style. 1st place- 100pts. 2nd place- 75pts. 3rd place 50 pts. 4th and below- 10pts.

-After all 3 races, averaged scores will be displayed; the final top 3 scores will then battle to the death in a demo derby "bonus round" type thing. (This will also serve as a tiebreaker, if that is necessary.)

-The winner of the demo derby will receive 250pts., all others including non-participants get nothing.

-The person with the highest averaged pts. at the end of each round wins, and a new round begins.

-I also plan to include a garage type thing, where you can buy, upgrade, and customize cars.

And that’s about it. Does my basic idea sound correct? Do I have any flaws? Please give me ways I could improve/edit this, thanks!

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The scoring system here is almost inconsequential compared to the moment-to-moment gameplay design. How the cars look and feel, track design, additional mechanics (powerups, weapons, etc). –  Tetrad Nov 19 '10 at 20:58
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4 Answers

  • The core gameplay is the most important part of the game, making it "fun" should be done as soon as possible. Developing scoring rules should be way down the list of considerations.
  • It is almost impossible to tell if the rules "feel right" without actually having experienced them. For instance, 15 laps may be too long or short, and the points for different places may be too unbalanced. Make the game with any set of rules you think might work, test it, get others to try it, and use their feedback to tweak and refine the game rules until they're perfect.
  • Also, ideally you should let the player configure the game rules, including setting the number of laps per track and the number of races in a round.
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All true, however how would I get say, 5 players to agree on how many laps there should be in the next race, and stuff? –  NinjaSquirrel117 Nov 19 '10 at 11:35
    
You can add a hidden internal voting system on laps and other things as well. This way, players can choose the race options without being called names =) –  Bryan Harrington Nov 19 '10 at 19:30
    
Not a bad idea. –  NinjaSquirrel117 Nov 19 '10 at 21:12
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-After all 3 races, averaged scores will be displayed; the final top 3 scores will then battle to the death in a demo derby "bonus round" type thing. (This will also serve as a tiebreaker, if that is necessary.)

This throws up an immediate red flag. You don't want rounds that don't include all players. If you have 8 total players and 5 of them just have to sit there and watch the last round they will quit.

The winner of the demo derby will receive 250pts, all others including non-participants get nothing.

Second red flag. A player who places first in the first 3 races only has 300pts a player who places in 3rd for 3 races has 150pts. What this means is that the first three races are only important for getting into the final. But they are effectively thrown out as the winner of the derby effectively wins the whole round.

This is doubly troubling since derby and racing are different skill-sets. So your winners will always be the best derby drivers who have just enough racing skill to get into the final round.

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True, I may need to change that. –  NinjaSquirrel117 Nov 19 '10 at 21:12
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Red flag: your design is missing a "hook" -- what is it about this game that would make someone want to play it? There are only about a zillion racing games, ranging from hyper-realistic NASCAR to powerup-based kart-racing, 2d to 3d, single to multiplayer. There are racing games for arcade, console, and PC, and probably a bunch for Web and smartphone, too. I'm not seeing anything in your design that hasn't been done before many times; where does this game stand out? What does this game give you that you can't get from dozens of other similar games in the genre? Start there, before figuring out details like point scores and number of laps.

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This sounds like a great startup project if you don't have much experience with game programming.

I wouldn't necessarily think you need a "Hook" unless you plan to really allow the game to take off. However some considerations I would keep in mind.

You Garage system needs a great deal of emphasis in design and how much customization you allow (the more the better). To me as a gamer, this is what makes games insanely fun.

wkerslake is absolutely correct, you do not want rounds that do not include everyone. Consider changing this in someway, perhaps you can somehow include those players but controlling hazardous obstacles and power-ups during the race. This might introduce a degree of politics in your game! =)

Remember, its YOUR game and YOUR design. If its good or bad you still made a great game!

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