New idea for a game,with maybe some new ways of doing things on the computer
Hello all, my Design studio is conceptualizing and planning out a CRPG with Adventure elements concept that I have been working on on and off for over a decade. It is basically a micro environment CRPG, within which the player can have almost the same options and freedom they can at the table playing a Pen and Paper game.
Of course many games have been designed to emulate many aspects of the tabletop, but I don't think any of them tried to do so as close to 100 percent as this design.
We not only want to emulate what other games have done in this regard such as Conclave, NWN etc., but go beyond that, far beyond that eventually.
For now, we would be happy to emulate a game module being played at a table within the boundaries of the module fully represented digitally, as a computer game, not a virtual tabletop. Again their are already several virtual tabletop out there, but they are tools to help you play with friends actual tabletop RPGs using the computer for connections, mapping, and combat placement depiction, not what we want to do here which is a full game.
So here it is the design concept, please discuss your ideas, hopefully yo will all understand where we are coming from and specifically what we want to create:
The main concept is to emulate as many ideas, actions, interactions and concepts form a tabletop RPG session into modular installments of a CRPG. This will ikely include Adventure and Text elements.
Basic design philosophy:
To do this realistically we are thinking of sarting with a small outpost/vilage/guard station/archeological dig site etc and nearby dungeon/ruin/temple complex areas. The area for the first installment will be confined like a tabeltop Adventure Module to start, so we can make the installment completely filled with content, well rounded realistic NPCs with full conversations (as much as possible), and very complete environmental interactivity coupled with the availibility of just about any action a player can think of can be enacted in the game in the controlled environment.
So here are the main points from that philosophy:
1.Unlike open world huge travel games like Skyrim, this goes the opposite direction, and then slowly builds up with new versions. More like building up from Quest for Glory.
2.This game and engine tries to simulate the Tabletop PNP RPG experience as close as possible on a PC.
3.Practically every action and conversation option a player at a tabletop game could think of can be done in the microenvironment Modules of the TCASH games
4. It's core is built around a Solo CRPG/Adventure hybrid interface, using only a small dungeon and a trading outpost area(or other genre equivalent) to start. CoOmpanions and party to be added in future installments.
5. Eventually later installments will incorporate full party co-op as well as DM game modification ability as in Neverwinter Nights.
1.Inspired by Quest for Glory Adventure/RPG, but add better turn based combat like in tabletop
2. Inspired by Conclave as well, which is a CyoA quest mixed with turn based combat. This will have exploreable environments s well as clickable interactive objects, and CLI words/sentences to type in as well, unlike Conclave.
-Later versions can ad elements of PnP fro NWN like DM, Player created content via toolkit, and persidtent worlds etc.
quote:”The 3 Ds for an ideal RPG to me are density, depth and dynamism “
Basic design outline:
two small areas (temple ruin/castle/dungeon 40 or so rooms, and an outpost/guard keep)
But the player can try to do almost any action within reason with these game elements
Combine RPG with Adventure and Choose your own adventure elements
-1st version should be easy and simple graphics, maybe HTML5 or Flash web based game.
Or, other options would be from: GemRB engine, Visual RPG Studio (need to research more)Blender Game Engine, Unity, Panda3D, Irrlicht, OGRE, Nebula device, Crystal space.
Graphics and animations for walking, running, crouching, crawling, jumping, climbing, combat, swinging, swimming, hammering, shoveling.
Non graphics for all other actions
Any possible action can be taken using a Command Line Interface or Hover Over/Point and Click graphic pointer menu interface
If an action is not available in the point and click interface, then the Player can type in there actions in the Command Line Interface (CLI) . Some action results can be animated if not to time consuming, most will be described in text with affects applied.
This will be similar to how Adventure games interfaces work
The Player searches a wall and finds a secret door. They go into their inventory and use thief tools to search for traps and then unlock it.
Options the player tries:
Point and click inventory:
hammer around the door to find any clues
crowbar to force it open (animation?)
use gaseous form potion to pass through key opening
say secret password
1. Ruin/Temple/Dungeon/Castle/Keep/Crypt/Mine first version has only 20-40 rooms/areas (try to only have about 5-7 NPCs that can be interacted/talked with)
2. Mining/Guard/ Outpost , Cleric temple, Monk monastery (try to only have about 5 NPCs that can be interacted/talked with)
On an uncharted island, or planet?
Steamship/airship gets washed ashore on island.
Raft made of bamboo. Needs steerable rudder. Needs sail made from thatched palms and coconut fiber strands to be able to steer it. Needs paddles.
Fish trap in tidal pool, when tide goes out fish get trapped etc.,etc.
Using Unity or Blender
Deus Ex/Deus/Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine and Quest for Glory Hybrid, 3rd person/1st person
Inspired by Indy Jones and fate of Atlantis/Hollow earth book, and Forbidden kingdoms d20
Planetary comics, Doc Savage,
Theme direction: Pulp 1930s adventure about evolving superhumans, Nazi Antarctic bases and entrance to Hollow Earth ,
First installment can be similar to Tomb raider/Indy Jones , an archeological site somewhere:
with a ruin/dungeon complex
Or modern day or second version is modern day. Modern day researchers/archeologists/fortune hunters/paranormal investigators, psi powers
NPC Conversation system:
Each character could have 500 lines of conversation minimum
There shoul be a general conversation tree template that is the basis for all the NPCs.
Then, the base template can be modified to fit NPC archetypes, or individually for some NPCs.
1. NPC background database, all the history and recent events for that NPC
2. NPC Social network database, all the people and humanoids the NPC interacts with
3. NPC knowledge database, all the skills, information, and rumors the NPC has knowledge of
Incrporating player/customer input for building:
Submit suggestions for a list of any possible actions they can think of that a character would take in a dungeon, and a trading/guard outpost, temple or monastery, as well as any questions or conversation topics a character may ask of a certain NPC in a dungeon/castle/temple ruin
Example of gameplay philosophy:
A. The player has to get into a castle/stronghold occupied by bandits and goblins or unded.
They can attempt to get in in these ways:
a. Sneak over the wall at night
b. hide in a crate or barrel on a goods supply wagon entering the castle
a. Search for a secret cave/tunnel entrance that goes under the castle to a secret room
3. Conversation, Diplomacy, Bluff/Intimidate:
a. Convince a bandit or hobgoblin to let you in (might be tons of conversation options have to weigh them carefully so not to be to much work)
b. Bribe a guard to open a gate at night
a. Disguise as a bandit or hobgoblin and go in with a returning band of raiders
a. scroll or potion of invisibility
b. scroll or potion of flying
c. scroll or potion of gaseous form (might be cheapest way to get in)
c. scroll or potion of alter self or polymorph (can bring up tons of roleplaying options: bird, dog, cat etc.
SO thoughts and ideas?
Sounds great but it's probably way too much to do for a first game. Been making turn based RPG a long time now and that's hard enough. Doing all the qfg stuff will make you a god if you complete it but there's a reason no one makes games like that any more - it's a ton of work and also you'll probably come to realize you are wasting your time doing anything but C++ to attempt it, adding in way more effort than yet another shooter with stats.
Regarding your game ideas, i think it might be best to start with a general outline of system mechanics (WANTs and DON'T WANTs) then flesh it out. Accepting as many ideas as possible may make conceptualizing the game more difficult.
Yes, thats why we want to do a very small area for the first installment.
Basically a small outpost (fantasy) or archeological dig site camp (pulp/noir), and then a small section of either a dungeon or temple/crypt ruin. And by small section just a couple dozen rooms or so. There will not be many locations to have to design and code that way.
Most coding can focus on environmental interaction and dialogue.
And by only having like 10-20 NPCs there won't be books worth of dialogue.
Also, we will keep the graphics basic for now, most likely 2.5 D or Neverwinter Nights quality at best.
In all, I would rather create a very small area with a few characters and many additional options and interactive capabilities rather then a full large world with standard Computer game interactions.
This way we can create an Alpha build, and have people play it and provide feedback, or even a demo.
I think we can do it if we keep focused on a small world to start and complete just that. I am glad that the concept sounds good in theory for now.
Any thoughts on if a pulp/archeologist adventure rpg theme would appeal to most RPG gamers? I would like to explore that setting as something different, yet familiar with much potential to discover in RPGs.
Well, it sounds interesting to me :)
The setting does remind me somewhat of Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis. But that's a good thing!
Oh and another D in my philosophy is DETAIL. Since you have a smaller and therefore more manageable scope, it would be great if you could add little details to everything (art style, models, particle effects, story, landscape, etc). These tend to help greatly with immersion.
If they are specifically scripted for this castle, the player will use only *one* of them. So 90% of your work will go unnoticed. Unless the player will play your game more than once, and even then he might choose the exact same option he chose the last time.
That's a lot of wasted work for a low budget RPG. The player is experiencing only 10% of the work you've done.
An open world game like Skyrim actually does offer a similar amount of options - often more - when facing a similar challenge, like entering the castle. But the options are coded into the overall gameplay mechanic. You can use them every time, when you must enter a place which is otherwise forbidden from you.
But if you do this in your game as well, then you are going to use enormous amount of time and money into the game core mechanics. And once you have done that, you might just as well build 5 castles instead of just one. Because once the tools are in place, the castle-building is the easy part.
To me it sounds like you want to do a heavily scripted game. It's really more like a point-and-click adventure game with stats, than what we think of as RPG's nowadays.
If so, the real problem is the "experience-ratio". It's not going to serve you well if the gamer can only experience 10% of the options you have laid out. People are going to play the game, and wonder why it's so short and simple, when compared to your budget and development time.
This is the reason why CRPG's tend to create interactive world environments, instead of heavily scripting each event. You get more bang for your buck.
And detail, yes that's the other facet that we want to fully develop in the game(s) with a smaller scope overall, and put time into the little details that make a game emulate appropriate aspects from the real world where they fit.
Oh, yeah and that's your quote, I saw it the other day, thought it was a great quote, and posted it, was in a hurry and did not mention you, should have my bad.
Like tuuka says, consideration should be taken with the wealth of options you are providing to the player. As long as it doesn't negatively impact the gameplay, more options are great. But spending too much time in constructing specifics might be wasteful if the player almost never chooses that path. Yet I am conflicted - I think having many possible options is a good thing in any event. :)
In my opinion while the term "heavily scripted" has negative connotations associated with it, technically speaking it is just semantics. Scripting is ultimately part of the game engine. As long as it seamlessly manipulates the game world, I have no issue with it.
I think you should try to push beyond RPG tropes and make some aspect of your game innovative. While inspiration from other games is fine and admirable, be sure not to lose your game's identity. You do not want it to be "one of a million RPGs" but rather "one IN a million RPGs" :)
For your game specifically, I would suggest heavy elements of investigative gameplay. For e.g. What is this artifact - can someone tell me more about it? Maybe some researcher's notes will shed light on it? What can I surmise based on my own current abilities? I've encountered a trap/puzzle in the dungeon - what are the clues to solving it?
A feature I would request is elaborate and instructive feedback on failed skill checks. So instead of "Lockpicking failed" or "Your lock-picking skill is not high enough", you could say "The mechanism proves too difficult for your fumbling fingers and snaps your lockpick. You may need a better lockpick or more importantly, greater skill at using one"
Adding to what tuuka wrote, you also have to test all of these scenarios. And then, when you find that 3b is busted, you have to fix it, and re-test them all.
Testing on a game with so many options for one scenario would be a nightmare, and take a long time.
Do you have a team assembled ? Do you have any Graphics artists ?
Coding is Always the easy part.
This engine has built in gameplay mechanics that allow for:
I read that Hammer and Sickle was developed as a mod for Silent Storm with its editor, then made into a stand alone game.
The game engine environment is built in isometric 2.5 D, and gameplay mechanics are built to automaticaly give players several options of how to approach tasks in its environments from:
1. shooting through windows,doors and thin walls,
2. climbing over fences, furniture,through windows, on top of cars, on top of single floor buildings and ladders,
3. great cover mechanics for percentage cover and destructible cover as it gets shot or grenaded,
4. prone/crouch/walk/run positioning,
5. facing and turn based combat.
Most of the environmental interaction I was talking about is there already, the combat and movement mechnic engine is first rate, might be the best ever! We would mostly just have to add Context sensitive object selectable options for "Examine", "Search", the engine already has inventory tool sensitive options for lockpicking, and disarming traps and mines.
The map and level design is cool as well, you play on local area maps like NWN, then go to a world map where you select which particular area map to travel to.
It seems more interactive then tactics games like Commandos, yet it has the RPG stats, options, and dialogue nearly on par with games like Fallout.
I think many RPGs could have and even should use this engine, it is supreme in tactical ability and environment interaction even for adventure style gaming.
We might have to contact Nival Interactive/CDV publishing/Strategy Core about the Silent Storm engine running H&S.
A few questions concerning the game:
Does anyone know how to remove companions, temporarily or not?
Also, how do you advance time, any way besides travelling to new locations?
Wow, 10 years is a long time to be working on a project…
I have only been working on the game mechanics concept, world setting history/geography/characters/stories, not the actual engine or much artwork (only some maps and architecture concept art). Also, on and off, it wasn't a priority to get completed until I had enough team members to start discussions bout it, which was only recently.
Good luck with it sounds better and better.
Silent Storm is a very good game IMOP. So you are going to replicate that engine in HD with 2 programmers from scratch, in C++? Good luck. But why not give yourself a headstart - check this out: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list…HBdOu-JGSZ39vS
I'm actually making a similar game to Silent Storm as my own little project.
Unfortunately pigs will fly before you get Unity to do Silent Storm without the C++ source code and a LOT of work, it's not gonna happen. That applies for most every engine out there, too.
Finally I realized only if you go with C++ are you going to get anywhere, and unless you are a millionaire the only options worth looking at for the engine are open source ones. There's a few payed engines with C++ source code that don't cost a mint but they all have some big issue of some kind. Too bad I didn't realize that at the start, wasted years on dead ends.
If there is a way to license the Silent Storm engine, that's the way we will research, and then modify a few things here and there. Anyone have any contacts at Nival or Strategy Core?
If not, a somewhat similarly capable engine would be the goal. And there are more engines then Unity available to work with, some built on C++.
The Blender game engine is written in C++
Panda3D engine could be accessed using C++
Irrlicht http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrlicht_Engine engie is written in C++
Nebula Device engine http://sourceforge.net/projects/nebuladevice/ is written in C++
Crystal Space Engine http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Space is written in C++
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