[project1dev] first things first

  • From: figarus@xxxxxxxxx
  • To: project1dev@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 04:26:10 +0000

Game objective: to provide an amazing experience to gamers by fusing action 
adventure elements and traditional rpg gameplay - with the extra twist that 
only WE can provide.

Theme: the overall theme of the game is a new mythology.  I picture more like 
greek myths, old folklore, etc rather than modern fantasy like lord of the 
rings.  It is really important we establish our own creatures, stories, myths, 
monsters etc.  Obviously we can be inspired by things we think are great 
(zelda, oldschool ff's, modern rpg's) but we want it to be in the universe we 
define and design.  In my head, the characters, npc's, etc. are mostly real 
down to earth ppl with real problems, but they live in subtly surreal world 
with all sorts of wonders and dangers that don't exist irl.  I think a major 
key here is to remember-less is more.  If you have one magician, he's unique 
and interesting, if you have 100 (like harry potter) magic becomes common place 
and loses its *ahem* magic. If we want stuff to have an impact, it is smart to 
keep it's mystery and rareness. Supply and demand, etc. You all took economics.

Setting: this game is set in a yet unnamed world. In the beginning, there are 
the pocket "worlds" - each representing its own self contained little world of 
various size, including town/towns, landscape settings, etc.  A world might be 
an island or a dessert world.  These worlds are connected by doors  that 
progress forward towards an unknown 'final world' in a linear fashion.  there 
are two doors hidden in each world - one forward to the next world and one back 
towards the beginning.  When NPC's go through the doors they turn into crazed 
demonic creatures called karzi.  For an unknown reason, the main character can 
freely transverse through the doors - the first half of the game will mostly 
involve the quest forward to the final world.  The second half of the game is 
after the main character reaches the final world, something happens that causes 
the borders between the worlds to crumble creating one large interconnected 
worlds made up of the lands that the character went through and some he didn't. 
 While to the character it was only mere moments between the event in the final 
world and his arrival in the new one, it is 10 years later in the now combined 
world.  New empires have formed, aliances made, and new adventures to be had. 

Character skill/stats:
The stat system is going to be deep and interconnected with other systems and 
stats in the game.  Things like speed will affect both overworld movement and 
combat speed.  Besides the standard stats like strength, quickness, speed, 
constition, etc. there will also be auxillary stats involving the character's 
will power. These stats are aggression and discipline - these stats affect 
things like going berserk, getting scared, etc. which will have influences on 
combat.

Stats:
Strength: influences damage, lifting ability, critical hits.
Quickness: influences dodging, rt, speed running 
Constitution: affects HP, stamina, lifting ability
Will: influences discipline/agression system, magic abilty
Charisma: influences ppl's reaction towards you, ability to recruit, some 
magic, also influences faction stuff. (Maybe there's order charisma and chaos 
charisma and some ppl are attracted to either or neutrality)
Perception: influences dodging, also makes things like traps, secret doors, 
hidden treasure, etc glow.

Skill intro:
There are basic skills, master skills, and perks. Basic skills are the skills 
everyone has.. Things like parrying, swinging a weapon, dodging, swimming, 
jumping, etc (all affected by stats) and then there are master skills which 
basically is how classes are defined.  Master skills are skills that "level up" 
and give bonus perks and abilities in combat.  An example of this would be like 
final fantasy skills like swordtech for cyan or blitz for saban.  Another 
example of a master skill is magic. Perks are things that can affect overworld 
or combat, like a quickdraw perk that gives you first strike more often, 
lockpicking, an ability to sense if certain creatures/characters have magic 
ability... There can be a ton.

Ahhh magic:
Yes there will be magic.  It will not be like magic in normal games. Magic. in 
this game is all about imposing your will on the world around you.  Instead of 
using the elements, etc. Magic will be used to do telekenisis, mind control, 
mentally destroying the enemies, and bend physical reality etc. Now that's not 
to say we can't have crazy bad ass spells, as mages can warp reality and the 
world around them using the power of their will... Causing rock spikes to burst 
from a boulder, etc. Also telekenisis can be used in the overworld, its range 
and strength varying on will power and magic skill. Perhaps further power in 
magic would allow time manipulation, etc.  Very very few ppl in the world can 
use magic, and it is secretive and looked at as evil.

Movement in the world:
The main character can run, jump, climb, etc.  Exploring is going to be an 
adventure, with things like ropes to swing across, places to jump, things to 
dodge, etc.  I am picturing indiana jones type of things with giant boulders, 
darts shooting from the wlals, spike rooms, places to swim, etc. Just a lot of 
cool actiony things to challenge the gamer.  

Combat:
Combat is initiated by bumping into or being ambushed by an enemy.  It will 
change screens to a combat screen like a traditional rpg but it will not be 
standard turn based action once in.  What it will be is something I have termed 
the "slip strike" system.  Basically combat will be like a bizarre chimera of 
mike tyson's punchout, gemstone and final fantasy.  Basically you control your 
character by selecting a command and then deciding when to execute it - while 
waiting you will actively control a block/parry/dodge defense and when you see 
an opening you'd execute.  I can see this system being awesome, but perhaps 
overwelming. Maybe the beginning will be standard atb combat and only at the 
end is this... We'll have to play with it and find what is fun.  Status effects 
like being maimed, etc will affect dodging and can either be made via critical 
hits or damage inflicted by overworld obstacles/etc.

Important notes, re: combat -
To grind or not to grind, that is the question... Basically, there are going to 
be two kinds of areas in this game, explore areas and grind areas, now grind 
areas can have adventuring and explore areas can have combat and enemies, but 
we want to keep in mind the theme of the area.  Basically it is my belief that 
every battle should be dangerous and challenging and pose an actual threat to 
the player. Rather than make the game a war of attrition as the main character 
plows through an endless horde of weak enemies, all the fights in an adventure 
area should be meaningful.  Less enemies, more epic fights basically.  There 
will, of course, be grind areas too where you can do battle for the hell of it.

Party member:
Two quick things here... This is subject to change depending on how the combat 
system plays out but basically you'd either control your group actively like ff 
or dq or issue them general commands.  This will need tweaking once we get in.  
The other aspect of party members that is important is this... I want death to 
be meaningful - losing a party member is easy to ignore if you can just 
ressurect them in battle or right afterwards, there is no concequence.  My 
solution is this: if a party member dies, they go to a node and you have to go 
to the node to jail break them out and have them rejoin your party.  We could 
have these nodes in various places and it could add an element to gameplay.  
Obviously, this will need to be balanced out, etc.

Character creation, the first level:
Basically you pick your face and general looks and the screen fades and your 
character appears in a black void.  An NPC (character in hat/cloak) explains 
that its time to test you and you are put through (I like 3 randomly ordered 
with a secret 4th one that pops up occasionally and maybe imbues special powers 
or only 4th test ppl can learn magic). How the player plays out the tests gives 
them a general starting point for their stats, skills and perks.

THE TRIALS:

Test 1 - cave - you are shoved through a door, tumble down 1000 steps and 
arrive at the foot of a cave.  The cave has treasure and a warning not to touch 
it. There will be various ways through the cave (like going through a trapped 
tunnel, dodging the traps gives appropriate bonuses, also just being a crazy 
mofo and walking through does too. There is no way to lose - its a test of 
character). I also like barriers you could smash down or try to pick. Also I 
think there could be an avarice/generousity system which would balance by ppl 
liking you or finding more loot.  At the end of the cave there is a door 
leading to the next quest. There is a lot of neat stuff we could do here.

Test 2 - you come out the door and are on a ship.  The ship is a warship.  You 
make choices depending on information you find by talking to crew members, 
items you find, and talking to the prisoners.  The outcomes could be things 
like... You free the prisoners, there's a mutiny, you escape via lifeboat, you 
join the crew of the warship.  We can flesh this out but what I have in mind is 
that there's conflicting stories which makes the outcome seem morally ambiguous 
and maybe the best solution is only revealed if you're super perceptive and 
find the right clue. 

Test 3 - the tower - the tower is basically a spiral tower upwards with traps, 
monsters and treasure but no real storyline.  This will just help flesh out the 
character stats.

Remember, these tests are random so no specific order... 

Test 4 - you go through a door and end up in the cloaked man's room. He asks 
how you got there, you answer some questions and he decides whether to teach 
you magic and maybe what kind (physical magic that helps enhance physical 
skills ... Maybe an example would be double jump or jedi like stuff, mental 
magic which was discussed above, or a hybrid) magic probably comes at a 
prohibitive cost so that it balances w/ non magic players (I.e. The path of 
magic is harder but had awesome rewards ... It isn't for everyone). Maybe the 
cloaked man asks you what you sacrifice from a list we can develop. Afterwards, 
he pushes you out the door and end up in either one of the untaken tests or the 
exit .

The first world: we'll need a town and storyline for this, and include the cave 
we are making now... The rest of the storya nd environments need to be 
developed but I figure by the time we get to the first town, we'll be rolling 
along pretty good.  

This is basically just an overview... Obviously many things need to be fleshed 
out, decided, tested, perfected...but I figure this would give a nice starting 
platform to work off of.
Things like the mechanics of skills, stats and the perk system will need to be 
laid out in more detail but I think this is a nice start.

Thanks, 

Eric

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