History Main / CombinatorialExplosion

27th Oct '17 3:36:52 PM BreadBull
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** This game seems to exist solely to use this trope- the player can make pretty much any object they want appear in the game world by writing it, and anything that can conceivably be used in conjunction with anything else can be. At least, according to the developers (As an example, to cut down a tree the player can create a saw or an axe..... or a beaver. Or they can make a torch and set the axe handle on fire and put it next to the tree).
** 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 surface.]]

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** This game seems to exist solely to use this trope- the player can make pretty much any object they want appear in the game world by writing it, and anything that can conceivably be used in conjunction with anything else can be. At least, according to the developers (As an example, to cut down a tree the player can create a saw or an axe..... or a beaver. Or they can make a torch and set the axe handle on fire and put it next to the tree).
**
tree). 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 surface.]]]] Basically, this is a puzzle game where the puzzle isn't "How do I solve this?" but rather "What's the most ridiculous object I can conjure up to solve this?"
21st Sep '17 7:15:54 AM jormis29
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* This is why ''[[Webcomic/MSPaintAdventures Bard Quest]]'' was abandoned. It was originally intended as a branching ChooseYourOwnAdventure-style tale, but the Combinatorial Explosion quickly became too big to handle.

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* This is why ''[[Webcomic/MSPaintAdventures Bard Quest]]'' ''Webcomic/BardQuest'' was abandoned. It was originally intended as a branching ChooseYourOwnAdventure-style tale, but the Combinatorial Explosion quickly became too big to handle.
21st Aug '17 9:27:42 PM WaxingName
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Game designers have come up with many ways to treat the Combinatorial Explosion problem, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Constraining the user interface can also help, but in many genres this is considered undesirable. Realistic physics modeling can also be helpful: If puzzles are solved by the application of physics rather than by explicitly defined object interactions, then the game engine can sort out whether or not what the player has done qualifies as a solution without the author needing to separately consider each combination. However, this sort of modeling is only applicable to a certain class of puzzle, and can result in a highly mechanistic style of play. Physics modeling works well in games which are already heavily mechanical, such as action-adventure, but feels less natural in more traditional adventures.

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Game designers have come up with many ways to treat the Combinatorial Explosion problem, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Constraining the user interface can also help, but in many genres this is considered undesirable. Realistic [[WreakingHavok physics modeling modeling]] can also be helpful: If puzzles are solved by the application of physics rather than by explicitly defined object interactions, then the game engine can sort out whether or not what the player has done qualifies as a solution without the author needing to separately consider each combination. However, this sort of modeling is only applicable to a certain class of puzzle, and can result in a highly mechanistic style of play. Physics modeling works well in games which are already heavily mechanical, such as action-adventure, but feels less natural in more traditional adventures.
4th Aug '17 3:46:04 AM SeptimusHeap
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* ''ZackAndWiki'' handles this rather well by having items be held only one at a time. Though, of course, this makes the extremely long stages where you need several items over the level take unnaturally long as you go back and forth for the correct items.

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* ''ZackAndWiki'' ''VideoGame/ZackAndWiki'' handles this rather well by having items be held only one at a time. Though, of course, this makes the extremely long stages where you need several items over the level take unnaturally long as you go back and forth for the correct items.
1st Jul '17 11:53:27 AM billybobfred
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* You actually CAN eat the pie instead of the meat in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestV'' when you're hungry. It's just that doing so will make your game {{Unwinnable}} without warning.
** The worst part of this is, it's an adventure game. Choosing the pie is a natural result of having had players throw meat at hungry ravenous beasts to get by them since the dawn of the genre. Naturally, nobody EVER chooses to eat the meat the first time, [[GuideDangIt unless they read wikis.]] Never mind the fact that eating the meat will only eat ''half'' of it, with no indication. The natural deduction is that eating it will eat ''all'' of it.
*** Ironically, the reason you need the pie in the first place, is to throw at, well, a hungry ravenous beast that falls off a cliff and dies when blinded by the awesome might of your cream pie.
*** When summarized like this, it almost seems like they were purposefully making a meta-joke.

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* You actually CAN eat the pie instead of the meat in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestV'' when you're hungry. It's just that doing so will make your game {{Unwinnable}} without warning.
**
warning. The worst part of this is, it's an adventure game. Choosing the pie is a natural result of having had players throw meat at hungry ravenous beasts to get by them since the dawn of the genre. Naturally, nobody EVER chooses to eat the meat the first time, [[GuideDangIt unless they read wikis.]] Never mind the fact that eating the meat will only eat ''half'' of it, with no indication. The natural deduction is that eating it will eat ''all'' of it.
***
it. Ironically, the reason you need the pie in the first place, is is... to throw at, well, it at a hungry ravenous beast that falls off a cliff and dies when blinded by the awesome might of your cream pie.
*** When summarized
pie. Summarized like this, it almost seems like they were purposefully making a meta-joke.it's more obvious that the whole thing was an intentional subversion of the relevant tropes.
20th Jun '17 11:11:14 PM VampireBuddha
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Videogame/{{Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn}}'' allows for any two characters to form a bond as long as they've fought nearby often enough; however, the game was criticised for only giving them generic statements instead of the individual conversations to be found in previous games. The potential for combinatorial explosion suggests a reason why - there are [[{{loads and loads of characters}} 72 playable characters]], which means there are 5,112 potential pairings. Since each pairing has three conversations, the total number balloons to 15,336.
11th Jun '17 5:39:23 AM Morgenthaler
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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 ''VideoGame/SpaceQuestVIRogerWilcoInTheSpinalFrontier''.

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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'', ''VideoGame/FreddyPharkasFrontierPharmacist'', and certain parts of ''VideoGame/SpaceQuestVIRogerWilcoInTheSpinalFrontier''.
8th Jun '17 8:19:31 PM DrFraud
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* In ''Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock'' main character Powell will helpfully (and sometimes sarcastically) explain ''why'' two objects can't be used together, such as "X is too short" or "Y is missing Z."

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* In ''Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock'' main character Powell will helpfully (and sometimes sarcastically) explain ''why'' two objects can't be used together, such as "X is too short" or "Y is missing Z."
3rd Jun '17 11:44:15 AM Mineboot45
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* Most {{HiddenObjectGame}}s feature headscratching instances where there is a decided lack of combinations. Some of the most confusing are when the player finds an item in a hidden object scene, only to have it not be the one or two objects from the scene she gets to keep. And often, objects can only be used once, even though it would be useful in any number of other situations in the game.

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* Most {{HiddenObjectGame}}s [[HiddenObjectGame Hidden Object Games]] feature headscratching instances where there is a decided lack of combinations. Some of the most confusing are when the player finds an item in a hidden object scene, only to have it not be the one or two objects from the scene she gets to keep. And often, objects can only be used once, even though it would be useful in any number of other situations in the game.
25th May '17 3:56:35 PM KamenRiderOokalf
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* UchuSentaiKyuranger: Of the core cast's mecha, any four out of 8 may combine with the Red Ranger's Head and Torso mech in the form of an arm or a leg to form the initial mech. This leaves the mech with a total of 1,680 combinations. This is before the team is expanded to 10 and then later 11 members... each bringing a new mech with them.

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* UchuSentaiKyuranger: ''Series/UchuSentaiKyuranger'': Of the core cast's mecha, any four out of 8 may combine with the Red Ranger's Head and Torso mech in the form of an arm or a leg to form the initial mech. This leaves the mech with a total of 1,680 combinations. This is before the team is expanded to 10 and then later 11 members... each bringing a new mech with them.
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