Wash your game's windows


Ever played one of those games where you have no clue what any of the mechanics actually do and you just kind of muddle through? Playing this kind of game is like peering through a dirty, smudged window. What a game like this needs is some Windex.*

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.fortressofdoors.com/wash-your-games-windows/


Always excited to see something new to read. You allude to an exception that proves the rule though near the end, referencing the min maxing that sometimes goes on. I’d say that, while anyone going into a frame by frame analysis also likes it when better “official” information is presented - they presumably understand that they are pushing the system to it’s limit.

One example just came to light fairly recently in Diablo 3, where someone has figured out a mechanism to bypass a reset due to a state transform to maintain a bonus for a short time in the new state. (LoN Star pact archon ray of frost variant.) The upshot of which is a timing window on the order of 10 frames in a 60 fps game, with no UI feedback about it (since it is almost certainly not meant to be happening in the first place). Expecting the game to provide this level of detail would nearly require putting out the source code itself - this is the wrong population to test if you are providing the correct level of info.

I’ve had a far smaller case of it myself in QD1, where I tried to get a handle on where in the lunge animation the “hit frame” was for Markos. Because I was trying to boost him to 5 only after getting one lunge in at 4 to bypass the cooldown on the skill. But this was part of the push to 201 star hero mode (TWOE specifically), which wasn’t even meant to be possible and still has no meaningful margin of error. This sort of a puzzle of how you push the system to the absolute limit is great fun for me… but documenting the % of the animation the damage is done isn’t a sensible use of your time. Being able to read it in a data file instead of having to time it frame by frame was already better than most games would provide - even if you mostly meant that for modding, it helped with this point too.


Does the poison actually stack and do its damage with each hit? That’s not what I’d assume about a damage-over-time effect, and it makes a huge difference …


Here’s the exact algorithm: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LarsDoucet/20111101/8786/A_Status_Effect_Stacking_Algorithm.php

TL;DR Poison damage doesn’t stack; additional hits of poison just add to the duration.