History Main / CombinatorialExplosion

29th May '16 3:16:10 PM WillKeaton
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** And [[http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=16184727#post16184727 that's not even]] [[http://ds.ign.com/dor/objects/14304256/scribblenauts/videos/scribble_demo_e3_061009.html scratching the suface]].

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** And [[http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?p=16184727#post16184727 that's not even]] [[http://ds.ign.com/dor/objects/14304256/scribblenauts/videos/scribble_demo_e3_061009.html scratching the suface]].surface.]]
10th Apr '16 7:31:30 PM Stealth
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Added DiffLines:

** Another variation is the Combiner Wars series of toys. Each Combiner Leader has the ability to merge with any four smaller characters to form a single larger Transformer, with each of the four other robots being able to form an arm or leg. The combinations of limbs for a single team alone is considerable, but when you get to the point of mixing teams or start adding duplicates to the mix, you're going to get an exponential explosion of potential combiner results.
29th Mar '16 6:05:41 AM Exxolon
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For the equivalent in skills, spells or crafting, see ExponentialPotential.

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For the equivalent in skills, spells or crafting, see ExponentialPotential.
ExponentialPotential. Note this trope isn't for items that when combined together (might) explode - see MadeOfExplodium for that.
16th Feb '16 11:57:50 AM REV6Pilot
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* Touched on in the first ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' novel. The characters want to use a rocket launcher on the red-key door. They decide to get the red key anyway in case they need to save the rocket ammo for something horrible.[[/folder]]

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* Touched on in the first ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' novel. The characters want to use a rocket launcher on the red-key door. door, but it's structured such that it'll take all their ammo to do it. They decide to get the red key anyway in case they need to save the rocket ammo for something horrible.horrible, even if that something horrible (a Hell Prince) might pop up and take all their rockets to kill while they're looking for the red key.
[[/folder]]
7th Jan '16 6:08:43 PM nombretomado
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* In the ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' videogame, most objects in the environment had unique descriptions for all of the hotspots. Also, interacting with them with any possible inventory item would produce a unique spot. The game's designer, Josh Mandel, has said that [[InformingTheFourthWall stock responses]] in these games always bugged him, and tried to write his games to avoid this as much as possible. Also see ''FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'', and certain parts of ''SpaceQuest 6''.

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* In the ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' videogame, most objects in the environment had unique descriptions for all of the hotspots. Also, interacting with them with any possible inventory item would produce a unique spot. The game's designer, Josh Mandel, has said that [[InformingTheFourthWall stock responses]] in these games always bugged him, and tried to write his games to avoid this as much as possible. Also see ''FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'', and certain parts of ''SpaceQuest 6''.''VideoGame/SpaceQuestVIRogerWilcoInTheSpinalFrontier''.
28th Nov '15 4:52:51 PM Josef5678
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* ''VideoGame/NetHack'' is noted as a game where the combinatoric explosion is particularly well handled; it is said that TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything. Of course, they've been working on the game for ''decades'' and it helps that ''Nethack'' is fairly abstract. It's fairly simple to define how one thing can affect other things when the list of things is enumerable and the interface is well-defined.

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* ''VideoGame/NetHack'' is noted as a game where the combinatoric explosion is particularly well handled; it is said that TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything.handled. Of course, they've been working on the game for ''decades'' and it helps that ''Nethack'' is fairly abstract. It's fairly simple to define how one thing can affect other things when the list of things is enumerable and the interface is well-defined.
28th Nov '15 4:52:13 PM Josef5678
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The interconnectedness of all things in the model world opens great potential for providing players with alternate solutions, but this [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything requires that the author think of]] ''[[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything every single combination]]'' that could validly apply, which is not a reasonable thing to expect from a human writer: A game with 100 objects provides almost ''five thousand'' (4,950) potential one-on-one object interactions. If the player wants to try using ''four'' of those objects together, the number of combinations jumps to nearly ''four million'' (3,921,225). And let's not get started on using objects to interact with furniture or scenery, such as "tie the rope to the tree."

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The interconnectedness of all things in the model world opens great potential for providing players with alternate solutions, but this [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything requires that the author think of]] ''[[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything every of ''every single combination]]'' combination'' that could validly apply, which is not a reasonable thing to expect from a human writer: A game with 100 objects provides almost ''five thousand'' (4,950) potential one-on-one object interactions. If the player wants to try using ''four'' of those objects together, the number of combinations jumps to nearly ''four million'' (3,921,225). And let's not get started on using objects to interact with furniture or scenery, such as "tie the rope to the tree."
19th Nov '15 6:21:43 PM DeisTheAlcano
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-->-- ''[[Creator/Infocom Sorcerer]]''

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-->-- ''[[Creator/Infocom ''[[Creator/{{Infocom}} Sorcerer]]''
19th Nov '15 6:21:20 PM DeisTheAlcano
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->''[[WearingAFlagOnYourHead >WEAR FLAG]]''

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->''[[WearingAFlagOnYourHead >WEAR FLAG]]''->''>WEAR FLAG''



-->-- ''[[{{Infocom}} Sorcerer]]''

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-->-- ''[[{{Infocom}} ''[[Creator/Infocom Sorcerer]]''



But here's the problem: you've just put a lighter in the game. A device that '''makes fire'''. You are pretty much guaranteed that the player, instead of just offering the lighter to the classy dame as they are intended, is [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential instead]] going to run around the game world trying to [[{{Pyromaniac}} set the world on fire]]. This would be bad enough if you could class all other uses of the lighter as "silly" and disallow them - but what if there are places where starting a fire is, if not optimal, a not-entirely-unreasonable solution? If you can't think of a good reason why the player ''can't'' dispose of the incriminating documents by immolating them, the player is going to feel cheated [[ICantUseTheseThingsTogether when he receives a default failure message on trying]]. And, worse still, odds are that your enterprising player will think of one or two ''other'' reasonable uses for the lighter that never even occurred to you when you wrote the game.

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But here's the problem: you've just put a lighter in the game. A device that '''makes fire'''. You are pretty much guaranteed that the player, instead of just offering the lighter to the classy dame as they are intended, is [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential instead]] going to run around the game world trying to [[{{Pyromaniac}} set the world on fire]]. This would be bad enough if you could class all other uses of the lighter as "silly" and disallow them - but what if there are places where starting a fire is, if not optimal, a not-entirely-unreasonable solution? If you can't think of a good reason why the player ''can't'' dispose of the incriminating documents by immolating them, the player is going to feel cheated [[ICantUseTheseThingsTogether [[InformingTheFourthWall when he receives a default failure message on trying]]. And, worse still, odds are that your enterprising player will think of one or two ''other'' reasonable uses for the lighter that never even occurred to you when you wrote the game.



* ''BlazingDragons'' only had about four phrases for why you shouldn't be do what you're trying to do. The most annoying one was "No, that's not safe" which is really annoying when you end up doing unsafe things all the time like giving hedge trimmers to a psychotic Rapunzel to cut her hair.
* In the ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' videogame, most objects in the environment had unique descriptions for all of the hotspots. Also, interacting with them with any possible inventory item would produce a unique spot. The game's designer, Josh Mandel, has said that [[ICantUseTheseThingsTogether stock responses]] in these games always bugged him, and tried to write his games to avoid this as much as possible. Also see ''FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'', and certain parts of ''SpaceQuest 6''.
* In ''ColossalCaveAdventure'', you have to try using random items to defeat some of the obstacles that stand in your way.

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* ''BlazingDragons'' ''WesternAnimation/BlazingDragon'' only had about four phrases for why you shouldn't be do what you're trying to do. The most annoying one was "No, that's not safe" which is really annoying when you end up doing unsafe things all the time like giving hedge trimmers to a psychotic Rapunzel to cut her hair.
* In the ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' videogame, most objects in the environment had unique descriptions for all of the hotspots. Also, interacting with them with any possible inventory item would produce a unique spot. The game's designer, Josh Mandel, has said that [[ICantUseTheseThingsTogether [[InformingTheFourthWall stock responses]] in these games always bugged him, and tried to write his games to avoid this as much as possible. Also see ''FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'', and certain parts of ''SpaceQuest 6''.
* In ''ColossalCaveAdventure'', ''/VideoGame/ColossalCave'', you have to try using random items to defeat some of the obstacles that stand in your way.



* ''GuildWars2''. Cooking. One hundred and three basic components. Each recipe up to four items. Some end results requiring as many as five or six sub-recipes. Addictive doesn't begin to cover it.
* One of the most annoying flaws of ''LimboOfTheLost'' is that the game's designer had ignored this issue and given very little leeway for the game's inventory-based puzzles. As an example, early on the player is expected to use a container to store water for a later puzzle. Heaven help you if you wanted to use the '''pot''' instead of a '''flask''' though (and had no idea where you could get one), since while a pot would work perfectly well for the purpose, it can only be used to store ''snot'', and the character only gives you a blunt ICantUseTheseThingsTogether should you try the pot.

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* ''GuildWars2''.''VideoGame/GuildWars2''. Cooking. One hundred and three basic components. Each recipe up to four items. Some end results requiring as many as five or six sub-recipes. Addictive doesn't begin to cover it.
* One of the most annoying flaws of ''LimboOfTheLost'' ''VideoGame/LimboOfTheLost'' is that the game's designer had ignored this issue and given very little leeway for the game's inventory-based puzzles. As an example, early on the player is expected to use a container to store water for a later puzzle. Heaven help you if you wanted to use the '''pot''' instead of a '''flask''' though (and had no idea where you could get one), since while a pot would work perfectly well for the purpose, it can only be used to store ''snot'', and the character only gives you a blunt ICantUseTheseThingsTogether [[InformingTheFourthWall message saying he can't use it]] should you try the pot.
24th Oct '15 11:53:13 AM Pilomotor
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** ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' suffers, however, on its implementation of item crafting and cooking. A new player may think they can cook any two food items together, but in fact each item can only be cooked with two or three other items at best, and [[GuideDangIt it's anyone's guess as to which combinations work.]] It's not even guaranteed that a given item's companion ingredients are other types of food--one recipe even calls for ''pixels.''

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** ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' suffers, however, on its implementation of item crafting and cooking. A new player may think they can cook any two food items together, but in fact each item can only be cooked with two or three other items at best, and [[GuideDangIt it's anyone's guess as to which combinations work.]] It's not even guaranteed that a given item's companion ingredients are other types of food--one recipe even calls for ''pixels.'''' [[http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Spooky_glove Another cooking recipe]] combines a small leather glove and spooky fairy gravy. The result isn't edible, neither of the component are edible, and neither of the components can be combined with anything else that would be edible.
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