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> The Next Evolution of Tetris
killahbee
post Aug 10 2011, 06:34 PM
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This is Anonymous.
Killahbee is posting this for me because my account is goofing.

Sup guys, lately we've been having a lot of arguments about Tetris and ways to fix it. If you haven't seen all the stuff, see Paul's "I have solved all the problems of multiplayer tetris" and Corrosive's "What Happened" thread (except skip to about page 10, because that's when the real thread happens).

Anyways, people have come up with some solutions. However, they all fail to see the big picture. The current game is very one sided. In TOJ, Blink will always beat me; there is a very low chance for an upset. This is boring. Changing combos won't fix the one sided nature either. Sure, you could change the game so that some things are more powerful and some things are less powerful, but in the end, the game will still be one sided. The only difference is that different skills will be needed to be the top player. You're changing the game, but the end result will still be the same.

I believe that the way the game is right now is very good. It already has a lot of balance to the game. However, the game lacks strategy. It has a few elements that are strategic, like timing, but I think there should be more factors. I took into account a lot of what people said (like Corrosive said the Nullpomino lobby was always empty, Rosti said games were too one sided, other stuff) and used these to help create a solution that I think will greatly revolutionize the game. And so, I present:

Tetris RPG

Blink says: "yes! I've waited a long time now for a tetris rpg... the idea is awesome!"
Clincher says: "I'm biased cause I don't like items, but the idea sounds cool!"
Sir Jeivus says: "This is [THE CRAZIEST/AWESOMEST IDEA I'VE EVER SEEN]"
KillahBee says: "Whoa! 4000 words?! So Much!"
she also says "it's actually a cool concept... it's a major upgrade [from our current game]"
Tagi Tagi says: "Wow I want to read all part"

(If you want me to take down your review, just tell me and I will)

Anyways, Tetris RPG is just a way to give the game a more "Rock, Paper, Scissors" type of gameplay. Also, I took some inspiration from Diablo 2, so some of the things might seem familiar. Here's a few excerpts from it (though I hope you'll end up reading all of it!).

QUOTE

For me, the three things that I have found to be the most fun on Tetris are:

making friends/talking to people

improving

beating new people/people who used to beat you


Lately however, I, and probably a lot of people on Hard Drop, have hit a brick wall. Everyone still talks. However, the second and third point are major problems. People have pretty much improved to the point that they have reached their peak playing skill. When you first start, and you get 2 minutes in forty lines, you have lots of room for improvement. You get faster every week until youíre down to a minute. Then, when youíre trying to get down to 40 seconds, you only get new records once every few weeks. Then to improve to 30 seconds, you can get a new record every few months. And then, after that, you hit a block. You can go months without hitting a new record. Possibly years. The only way now to improve skill is experience through playing years and years of Tetris. Which is rather dull because it can only be acquired through a long period of time. Sure, there are some people who can improve meteorically (like Fraaankie), but they are very rare. Thus, the second point is gone. And, since the community is small, we donít have a good circulation of players to play. Itís mainly the same players over and over; thereís very few new people. To make matters worse, since improvement as a whole has slowed down, everyone is pretty much stuck at the level they are now. Point three is gone too.

Thus, the main facilitation for fun is just talking to people (which we can see, a lot of people just sit around in the shoutbox talking). Playing Tetris still derives a little bit of fun, but not as much as it used to.

Personally, I think this is why the Tetris scene has become very boring. Itís too predictable to be fun. Whatís the point of playing someone if I know Iím going to lose to them anyways? I feel like Iíve reached my peak; Iím not getting any better. Or if you're Blink, I already beat everyone, and have discovered all there is to Tetris.

However, I think I have come up with a pretty freaken sweet idea. Basically, my idea is to have Tetris (TOJ) with RPG elements, for instance, leveling, increasing stats/attributes, using spells/skills, customization of your character, etc.

Currently, the game has a very one sided play mechanic. In general, if you're a better downstacker, better adder, etc you will always win; e.g. Hebo_MAI will pretty much always beat me at TOJ. There is an extremely low probability of upset. The gameís one sided nature makes it very boring.

I'm proposing giving Tetris a more rock, paper, scissors like gameplay. The playerís skill will still be the most important thing, but if you have rock, paper, scissors gameplay, then the weaker player can at least have a chance to beat the better player in an upset.


QUOTE

In Tetris RPG, I wanted to expand the number of skills needed to master. However, I did not want to change the game mechanics too much so that it alienated all of the old players. The game has lots of elements that popular games (like TOJ and TF) had, but I wanted to add a few features to add a little more ďkickĒ to the game. Also, if you were wondering, this is NOT a turn based game; it is real time. Someone thought my idea was like King Of Stackers, but I assure you, itís nothing like KoS at all (all though that doesnít mean KoS is bad!). Anyways, here are the key features I was thinking of:

To begin, I was thinking you could have a Health bar (and a Mana bar, but I'll explain this later) to represent your health instead of the whole ďhow high your field isĒ method. When you attack/send lines to your opponent, it sends lines to damage both your opponent's field and his health. Half of the lines you send goes to your opponent's field, half goes to damaging your opponent's health. (I'll call attacks on health "health damage (HD)" and garbage "garbage damage (GD)")
Your typical game

In the original game, the objective was to top out your opponent. However, in this game, the main objective of the game is to bring your opponent's health down to 0. Though, topping out still plays a significant role in the game. In this game, topping out will ďstunĒ the player so that they canít do anything for a time period, say 15 seconds. During this time, the opponent can send as much lines as he can to try to damage his opponentís health and kill him (and since the player is ďstunnedĒ full lines go to HD instead of half HD, half GD). Thus, topping out your opponent is still an effective strategy, though not necessary. After the set period of time, the player will respawn with a blank field and can continue playing. So, although the goal of the game has changed a bit, Tetris RPG still has a lot of the core concepts of games like TOJ.

Also, while most of the current game mechanics will be relatively the same (like t-spins send a certain amount of lines, tetrises send a certain amount), a few things will change, for instance, garbage canceling. There will still be garbage canceling, but it will work slightly differently. You still have the brief few seconds before the adds kick in, but instead of normal blocking, now you can only block HD, damage that is going towards your health. Thus, you will always receive the garbage your opponent sends to you ( you cannot block GD).

Of course, in regular Tetris, if you couldnít block any garbage, you would die very quickly. I donít think we will have much of a problem with that in this game. You still have the brief few seconds to downstack before each add. And, the GD is only half of what it would be on TOJ. So, I really donít think topping out will be a major problem.

Right now, Iím thinking that half of the line sends should go towards damaging health, and half should go towards sending garbage lines (this is really just changing the garbage sending tables, but I think it's easier to think of as "half attacks health, half attacks field". XXX Also, combo tables might need to be slightly readjusted because if you send a mega ton of lines (i.e. 4 wide), and there's no way to cancel garbage lines, it might just kill your opponent. My current thought is that every other combo would send a line, so like combo 2 sends a total of 1 garbage line, combo 4 sends a total of 2 garbage lines, combo 6 sends a total of 3 garbage lines, and so on. XXX).


QUOTE

The next feature Iíd like to mention is skills. I think the addition of skills is the real meat of this idea. Basically, you can use skills that can increase how many lines you can use to attack, reduce the attack of your opponent, alter what your opponent's field looks like, change what your field looks like, etc.

You might think of this idea as an upgraded Tetris Friendís ďitemsĒ game. However, I think our idea is much MUCH bigger than that. To begin, Tetris Friendís items are completely random, so thereís not really much skill used with them. And, some of Tetris Friendís items are incredibly retarded. Thereís an item that clouds your screen for a few seconds which pretty much renders you unable to play the game. And then thereís the item that makes you unable to rotate any pieces, which also prevents you from playing. There are probably other dumb items I canít think of right now.

Our ďitemsĒ, which we call skills, are much different. They donít really hinder gameplay at all. In fact, they enhance gameplay by letting you play the game how YOU want to play. You can play defensively, you can play offensively; thereís a whole flurry of ways to play, not just ďwhoever can t-spin, downstack, and combo the bestĒ. I think the addition of skills adds a lot of strategy and variability to the game. Weaker Tetris players can create strategies to overcome stronger players. Games wonít be so one sided anymore.

Tetris RPG has different types of skills (by which i mean skill trees). Iíve come up with 5 different types of skill types and Iím aiming to have about 5 skills per tree, which I think is a good number to have. Too many, and the game gets confusing; not enough, and the game lacks depth. Skills can be leveled up to 4 times and become more powerful at higher levels (you can get them higher than level 4 if you have certain equipment or bonuses which will be explained later). Although there is no limit to how many different skills may be leveled, only 3 may be used during each particular match. If 3 skills of the same type/skill tree are chosen, then an extra bonus will be given to enhance that trait. For instance, if 3 offensive skills are picked, the character will get extra damage sent on attacks. You can use Thousands of skill combinations which will allow for more varied gameplay.


QUOTE

General Thoughts:
To me, this game sounds like an awesome idea. It basically keeps most of the gameplay from TOJ with a few minor changes, but it adds a lot more variability to the game. Being able to use three skills (out of twenty) will allow for more dynamic play. There will be a lot more chance for upsets. Psychology comes into the game. Thereís a whole slew of new strategy to the game.

If you know youíre playing someone who is notoriously bad at downstacking, send him messy garbage. If your opponent is good at downstacking and has amazing foresight, limit his sight with Dim Vision. There are tons of options.

Another example, if youíre playing an opponent who you know normally uses a lot of Mana based attacks to deal a ton of damage to you, you can use the Mana drain skill (which reduces your Mana by 50% and his Mana by 50%) and passive skills (means the skills are always active and donít require Mana). And then during the game, you can keep draining his Mana (and your Mana) to keep his spellcasting ability to a minimum. Meanwhile, since your other skills are passive skills (which means they are always active and donít require Mana) youíll have an advantage over your opponent.

However, your opponent might foresee this, and use the Regeneration skill so that even though you drain his Mana, he regenerates mana faster and can use his skills to kill you. But if you foresee him doing this.... Thereís many different ways to counter each combination of skills (or at least thatís what we were going for).


If you enjoyed reading these, read the rest of the idea, and read for the cool pictures too:
Tetris RPG

Also, there's one big issue. You like the game, but how is the game going to get made? We don't really have a plan for making the game. Hopefully someone (i.e. Tetris Friends, or Nullpomino developers) will see this idea and like it. Or, if enough people like the game, maybe someone will create the game, so if you like the idea, show your support by replying you like it or something!

TL;DR.
Tetris game with spells.


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cubixcreature
post Aug 10 2011, 06:43 PM
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Totally Awesome! This would solve all of our problems and harmonize the tetris world once and for all!
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B1ink
post Aug 10 2011, 06:53 PM
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Everytime someone releases a "new" tetris game it's just a rehash of the same old ones but with a new interface so they still get boring quickly. This is slightly different and adds an actual new twist on multiplayer tetris!
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Johnny147
post Aug 10 2011, 07:01 PM
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Very cool idea, I like it!
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Alexsweden
post Aug 10 2011, 07:05 PM
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Didn't read the whole doc but i love the idea in general. I dont like spells personally and would rather see passives only but iduno.

Leveling in particullar is great, Tetris Battle on facebook which is not a great game in any way I find quite fun due to the leveling. Feels like im doing smth at least Smile.png

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DrPete
post Aug 10 2011, 07:31 PM
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after reading the design doc I have to say this is a hella interesting idea and I'd love to try it out in some form

I remember an idea that was being floated a while ago of co-op "boss mode" tetris that would work kinda like how you have Tetris RPG described, with a team of players fighting to reduce an AI boss who has a huge pool of HP and some special attacks. that's something I'd like to see in this if it happens, I feel like co-op modes are good for getting people to play who might otherwise be intimidated


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poopmo
post Aug 10 2011, 07:34 PM
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I think this is a bad idea, the main appeal of Tetris is its simplicity: you sent lines to your opponent, he tops out, he dies. As soon as you change that the game becomes very unrewarding to me, it just reminds me of multris where you try to get the most points and start over again when you top out. Just thinking of losing a game cuz I run out of "health" and not topping out gives me an anxiety attack.. thanks Anon
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myndzi
post Aug 10 2011, 08:47 PM
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Sounds pretty similar to a pet idea I had at one point in many ways; main reason I never did it is I'm just not that motivated at coding big projects Smile.png I'd be interested to participate in the development of something like this.

I've only skimmed over things so far, I don't have time to read it in depth until later, but I have some notes I would like to mention:

In most Tetris games with items, there come up certain items that affect a player's ability to play. I absolutely dislike and disagree with this kind of effect. I strongly believe that no items (or spells or what have you) should be able to affect WHAT a person is able to do, only make their task more difficult (such that they can be overcome with skillful play).

No Hold falls into this category, but I'm glad to see that for the most part that's it.


I think you are also confusing your goals a bit. You don't need a whole huge departure from standard play to make inroads into building community. Having a central chat room shouldn't be an argument for or against such a system; the game should stand on its own merits.


One last thought: Last time I was talking about this sort of thing on IRC, I thought of a pretty useful mechanism that would help keep this kind of item system from getting overwhelming and at the same time simplify the process. If you've ever played Gradius, you'll be familiar with how you upgrade your ship: as you get powerups, a selector moves up through a list of items, and you select which item to use, which resets it to the bottom. In some versions of the game, you can arrange the order of these items as you please.

If you apply this to your idea, you can do away with mana, provide some customization, prevent huge "spell spikes" from built-up mana, and provide a meta-layer of strategy to the order and choice of skills since some will naturally be more accessible than others.

Also, consider playing with field size a bit Smile.png

Also also, 15 seconds is an absolute eternity in Tetris as we know it. You'd be better off basing KO time on something like 2-5 seconds or X pieces dropped by opponent (average for > 2 players), whichever comes first. The time is a balance issue, but basing it on pieces dropped is a methodology change and it could be fairer.


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Alexsweden
post Aug 10 2011, 10:29 PM
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QUOTE(myndzi @ Aug 10 2011, 08:47 PM) *

Also, consider playing with field size a bit Smile.png


No!! - dont change standard core gameplay! (well maybe co-op could be done with different field size but not normal vs. games. At least thats my oppinion) Smile.png

Agree with the rest you said though
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CaptainPaul
post Aug 10 2011, 10:31 PM
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I really love the concept. If someone were able to make it I would definitely give it a shot
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mippo
post Aug 10 2011, 10:52 PM
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it sounds a bit like what puzzle quest is to bejeweled?
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myndzi
post Aug 11 2011, 02:02 AM
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QUOTE(mippo @ Aug 10 2011, 10:52 PM) *

it sounds a bit like what puzzle quest is to bejeweled?


That's what got me on this track when I first thought about it Smile.png

Re: "No! don't change field size!" - what I meant was something like "classes" - where you could *choose* to play with a different field (12 wide, 8 wide - maybe scale the height accordingly) and it would affect how the game went. Obviously with a narrower field, stacking would be a little less stable, but you'd clear lines faster - earning you whatevers towards your skill/spell meter. Having a wider field might mean you take less in attacks and send more.

I've also always had a little bit of a hankering for field heights of epic proportions - that is, heights that would require scrolling to display / accommodate. Field height *as* HP anyone?


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Magnanimous
post Aug 11 2011, 05:14 AM
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My first reaction was "wtf are you doing", but this actually looks kind of promising... If nothing else it'll put more emphasis on strategizing against your opponent before the match, not just when they start stacking a combo.


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Anonymous
post Aug 11 2011, 05:33 AM
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Well, glad you like the game c:

QUOTE(myndzi @ Aug 10 2011, 04:47 PM) *

I think you are also confusing your goals a bit. You don't need a whole huge departure from standard play to make inroads into building community. Having a central chat room shouldn't be an argument for or against such a system; the game should stand on its own merits.


Well, one major reason why I kept a lot of the old TOJ system was because I actually like it. I'm not very good at it, but I think it's actually pretty well balanced.

Also for the channel. It wasn't really an argument for why this game is good. I just thought it would be cool to include stuff outside of the game. It was just convenient to put in the document. Also, for the channel, I like the idea that people are in the channel because idling encourages people to play. Back in the days when Blockbox was new, a lot of people just idled in the lobby so that they could play whenever they wanted.

QUOTE

Also, consider playing with field size a bit Smile.png


It sounds kind of interesting that changing the field size can have bonuses and effects and have different gameplay, but I don't think it's a good idea.
The main thing I don't like about changing the field size is that if you change the width of the game, it really changes how you have to move the pieces. Right now, you can place any piece at any place within two side movements (i think). If you change the width, it'll make players more prone to misdrops, which I would consider as something that "affects a player's ability to play" c;. If there was a change in field size, I would only consider changing it vertically. However, I like the 10 x 20 dimension of Tetris games right now.

QUOTE

One last thought: Last time I was talking about this sort of thing on IRC, I thought of a pretty useful mechanism that would help keep this kind of item system from getting overwhelming and at the same time simplify the process. If you've ever played Gradius, you'll be familiar with how you upgrade your ship: as you get powerups, a selector moves up through a list of items, and you select which item to use, which resets it to the bottom. In some versions of the game, you can arrange the order of these items as you please.

If you apply this to your idea, you can do away with mana, provide some customization, prevent huge "spell spikes" from built-up mana, and provide a meta-layer of strategy to the order and choice of skills since some will naturally be more accessible than others.



I watched a video online of how the gradius items worked but it was still a little confusing to me. This was a little too long before my time, and I'm not a very smart man. But, if you explain it to me in simpleton language, maybe I'll understand it a little better.

I like Mana though. It's an easy concept to understand since they are basically in every RPG game. And, I like the idea that you can "spell spike" your opponent. It is one of the many strategies players can choose from. And there are skills that can counter heavy Mana users. And if the spells are over powered, they can alwasy be nerfed Wink.png

Anyways, I think you might be confused though. In my game you pick the skills and level them up before the match, not while in the middle of battle.

If I was in a first to three match with Blink, we would have a start screen. And in that start screen, I could see all of Blink's available skills (the ones he has points in), and he could see all of my available skills. However, we would not know what three skills each other had chosen until right before the start of the game. Then, we would play our match. After that match is over, the process repeats. We would each pick three different skills (or the same ones if you want) and then play our match, and so on.

QUOTE

Also also, 15 seconds is an absolute eternity in Tetris as we know it. You'd be better off basing KO time on something like 2-5 seconds or X pieces dropped by opponent (average for > 2 players), whichever comes first. The time is a balance issue, but basing it on pieces dropped is a methodology change and it could be fairer.


I can understand why KOs and stuff being timer based would be bad. If you play a good player, 15 seconds is a long time. For a bad player, 15 seconds is not a long time at all. It'd be hard to balance it for everyone. I liked the idea that better players would be able to do more with the same amount of time, but I guess the same applies for a piece based system (better players can use less pieces more effectively).

I am unsure of how having them piece based would hold up. It would make it easier to balance, like if you only get to drop 20 pieces or so after the person is KOed before they respawn. However, I was afraid that if the player KOs the other player and knows that it's piece based, he might just try to set up complicated setups that send a lot of lines or wait to regenerate his Mana or something.

Either way, I agree that it probably should be a combination of both. They can drop a certain number of pieces or after a certain amount of time the KOed player will respawn.

Also, I'm not sure if you read the whole Tetris RPG document, but there is an attribute, endurance, you can increase that decreases the amount of time it takes for you to respawn after you get stunned. I think this could balance the system pretty well. You could make the endurance decrease the respawn time in a y = 1/x shape. That way, if two low level players are playing (assuming that they are bad), and one person gets stunned, then the other player would have a lot of time to deal damage to their stunned opponent.

This would be about equal to if two high level players played (assuming they are at least decent). If one of the high level players gets KOed, and he put in points into endurance, his respawn timer would be less. So the not KOed player would deal about the same damage as the low level players. I think the system is pretty balanced.

Sorry, I realize the last two paragraphs are me rambling on, but the more I think about this game, the more awesome/deep I think it is.

And at the end of the document, I'll post any updates I make to the document.

blargh, I forgot to mention. All the skills I made are just ideas. If anyone has any cool ideas that would make for interesting gameplay, then post them!


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Tired of the same old Tetris games? Read my idea for a revamped Tetris game! The Next Evolution of Tetris
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Corrosive
post Aug 11 2011, 05:50 AM
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on tetrinet2 there was an immunity item that protected you from all attacks for like 30 seconds. I think this has been forgotten. there was also items that you could use on your teammates to help lower their fields.. clear line item, gravity item, switch field item.. I miss being able to target specific players in item-based ffa or team games in general.

i will be brainstorming ideas to put toward this RPG concept. another thing i have to say is that when I would play on tfast on server tetridome.com, I liked how you were awarded credits for your wins, and with these credits you could buy sh**, store them in the bank, or gamble at the casino, or give them to someone else. it appealed to me trying to rack up credits and made playing on there more addictive for me.


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