good questions kent...i think the size will really be dictated by the amount of work/effort it takes to get the character creation and first "world" done. If it is easy to create and populate the world, we'll make it bigger, if it is hard - we will go for quality over quantity and focus on doing the best we can w/ what we have. What you envision is in line w/ my thoughts though, re: NPC's being unique and having a purpose rather than just being fodder.
Physical land, i would say we will have to play w/ it. I think this is another answer that will be best reconciled via in game trial ... its hard to say without knowing how the game "feels" - it could be that smaller areas with dense content may feel like more than enough, or maybe we'll feel like we need large rolling landscapes to invoke the proper atmosphere.
I would imagine 1 or 2 small towns per world, and then new towns and combinations, changes, etc when the worlds are smooshed together. My less is more comment was more in reference to quality over quantity and also - when we design things, we should try not to duplicate thing too much, ie one magic wishing well is unique and adds flavor, make a ton of them though and they lose their value.
I know these are sort of vague answers - re: how big the world is, but its hard to say really without knowing how the game will feel. hopefully this first map will give us the information we need and we can design and proceed accordingly.
as far as mythology goes... my only BIG thing is i really really really really (x1000) want to avoid modern fantasy cliche's like orcs, elves, etc. i feel like tolkien has been tapped one too many times - but there are plenty of other sources for inspiration that we can draw from that can provide a lot of cool stuff for us. I like greek mythology, arabic mythology, norse mythology, etc. alice in wonderland, steampunk stuff, conan, fafhrd and the grey mouser, peterpan, old folklore like grimms fairytales, native american legends, tall tales (John Henry FTW) etc
one thing is i would say we can have A minotaur, but not a minotaur race - we want to make a clean distinction between us and WoW :P plus, back on the theme... a minotaur is unique, a race of them loses the mystique. In fact, i would say that about everything fantastical - an elf is fine, a race of elves is fairyland at the northpole w/ legolas - ha ha. seriously, i fucking hate elfs. anyways, i would say it like this ... if we create our own race of creatures, or the race in inspired by either an obscure source OR an ancient myth, we can have MANY of them - im cool w/ goatmen, centaurs, mermaids, mushroom men, as RACES. but if we are going to use something derivative (like something tolkien, WoW, harry potter or other major modern fantasy things) we should limit it to 1. Maybe my brain is broken but even though I HATE ELFS - i think one elf sounds kinda cool, like mysterious, where did it come from? why is it here? what is it doing? Wow and to contradict myself, i think dwarves are ok too or a dwarf is neat too...mythological races will be a case by case thing, maybe, and as we get deeper in the mythology of the game will be further developed and things like this might be answered along the way. I hope this is making some sort of sense...
On Apr 8, 2009 12:31pm, Kent Petersen <kentkmp@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I would say design it with porting in mind. Everything that uses the mouse interface should be able to have an analog stick representation. We would also need to keep controls to a maximum of the number of buttons on an XBox controller.
How long will the game take to finish if one was not exploring every detail?
How large of a game will this be? How many NPCs will wander the world? Will there be 100s? 1000s? 10000s? From the description you have given I envision a "smaller" game with 100s of NPCs (or less) each NPC unique with something important to provide to the player. How about physical land space? Will it include many towns or fewer? Just one in each land? I guess what I'm really asking is when you say less is more, how much detail do you want and how large of a game will it be?
If we are creating our own lore, we should have some basic monsters in mind. What kind of Mythological creatues would you like to have? Like Centaurs and Minotaurs or something new we make? Maybe a half otter half man sea creature. Something different entirely?
On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 5:40 AM, eric drewes figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
yeah man, definitely like the telekenisis idea and it is in line w/ what i had in mind. I pictured a glowing hand that's range was defined by your willpower/skill and could activate switches, grab items, etc. but i really like the potential for physics and stuff. It could be balanced also because i was planning on having items in the game like a whip (or hookshot, etc). well i will address this in the items/eq post but yeah :)
On Wed, Apr 8, 2009 at 8:29 AM, Chris Riccobono crysalim@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
This is an awesome foundation document. Good job writing this up, Eric. :)
There's so many things to build off of in here. I really like the
telekinesis archetype.. it's a good way to include magic in the game
in a unique way. It'll also be great for storytelling purposes! As
for the control thing, we should definitely think about analog sticks
for later on (which can easily be done with the mouse on the pc)
Legend of Mana on the ps2 had a great system that let you change the
psychics of things after you grabbed them with a whip by using the
analog stick. We could create a skill implementation of that with
telekinesis, where you can grab objects and manipulate them in the
world using the mouse.
Messing with the speed of the movement gave a great sense of gravity
too, so you felt like you were actually throwing something around.
Using randomness here helps too.
On Tue, Apr 7, 2009 at 9:26 PM, figarus@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.
> 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 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 (Ie 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.
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