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Default Create your own unique Universe/gameworld/setting

May 6th, 2010, 08:43
Got you, there is definitely not a game for every book.

But I found a book I will probably read
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May 6th, 2010, 15:13
The 1984 setting is seen in a few Adventures.
Beneath A Steel ky, I think, for example. Haven't played it yet, though.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 6th, 2010, 15:17
I played Beneath a Steel sky, great game. Not sure if it has 1984 setting though. it has robots and cyberpunk kind of setting….

Anyway it is freeware and runs on modern windows so I reccomend that you play it Alrik…
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May 6th, 2010, 19:47
Yes, I plan to do so.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 8th, 2010, 06:24
Originally Posted by WorstUsernameEver View Post
No, you see, that's exactly the problem. The mentality that equals niche = no profit.
There are plenty of old-school gamers that would be more than glad to buy some old-school-like games (just see the success of the Etrian Odysseys on the DS), and we're just talking about RPGs. Set the budget accordingly, do some research, and voilà, you can have a moderate success that brings some nice profit to you without having spent millions and millions.
Though I'm not a market analyst so I may very well be wrong.
You're preaching to the choir here; I know that niche doesn't equal no profit, or even no chance at a profit. Sadly, all that doesn't matter.

Invariably, the recommendation is to go with the lowest risk possible. This means annual FPS/3PS and Sports games galore. It means bad movie tie-ins that are partially underwritten by someone else. It means finding a IP that sells, and beating it until it's unrecognizable; milking it for all it's worth with sequels and spin offs.

Most of these also share a lot of their technical costs. Call of Duty 1, UO, 2, Finest hour, BRO, and 3 all used the Quake 3 engine. CoD 4, WaW, and MW2 (and likely the upcoming Black Ops as well) used the same engine, though I'm not sure if it was still the old Quake 3 mill or the newer ID Tech 4. GTA 3, VC, SA, VCS, and LCS all used the same engine and many of the same graphics were reused. Big savings right there.

Obviously niche games can sell. Spiderweb does just fine, and so has Basilisk Games. So does Atlus, which basically exists to port and publish niche titles like EO or Dark Spire. I can go on. However, that is not the problem. The problem is the mentality of publishers and investors, and how to change their views on the subject.

The only way would be to vigorously support any niche products you can, buying them and all DLC that comes with it. Give them reason to say, "Hey, this is doing better than we thought, lets make another one!"

You're absolutely right; a niche product can sell, and can be profitable. Especially if a lot of the code is reused over and over again. Getting the mainstream publishers to put out a niche product is a whole different story.

Alrik, I seem to recall a few lawsuits here over a similar issue. I won't swear to it though, not without trying to look it up. The artists have the least amount of power it seems, over their own creation. Some have been fighting back here and there, but they usually end up blacklisted in retaliation. So either you give up your rights to your own work, or you don't get paid for it. And usually it'll get stolen, despite copyright laws, and legal fees and such are so high that the cartels can always win by attrition even when they're in the wrong.

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May 8th, 2010, 13:22
Yes. here's definitively something wrong, when the creators are exploited in these ways.

And the pirates, they just don't care.


As a sidenote : A secondary earning source can nowadays sometimes be found by creating engines and sell them.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 8th, 2010, 13:35
I wonder how come an open-source "art collective" approach hasn't been attempted with indie game production? It'd work like this:

* The game platform is open-source. It has several tiers that click together with explicit interfaces. At the bottom tier are stuff like rendering engines, physics engines, sound effects engines, animation engines, and so on. These already exist as OSS projects, for the most part. The middle tier ties this into a generic game engine, à la Gamebryo or Torque. The top tier is an implementation for a specific type of game — shooter, adventure, RPG — with domain-specific rules there. All of these tiers are maintained as OSS projects.

* Art assets are released under Creative Commons Attribution license. This includes character models, environment models, sound effects, music, furniture, object models, skins, etc. etc. — even complete settings, such as cities or such.

* A delay of, say, 6 months between publication and release under the CC license is permissible. This would encourage participants to create new assets for use in their games, since it would give them a time window to make use of them.

* The games themselves are (can be) sold under commercial licenses. This would include stuff like dialog, voiceovers, scripts, plots, puzzles, and what have you.

Over time, as the platform improves and the art asset library grows, an indie developer would be able to find most reusable assets already there, and would be able to concentrate on building content.

(Necessary disclaimer: obviously this isn't the end-all, be-all solution for making indie games; it would have very significant and obvious trade-offs as well. But it would make it possible to do stuff that currently requires much bigger budgets.)
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May 8th, 2010, 15:01
I have head a similr idea with my concept of "separate the graphical representation from the rules engine".

Your approach goes even further.

One incarnation of the Nebula engine of which a more enhanced version is used for Drakensang is - as far as I know - indeed open source.

It is not 2D, though - as far as I know.

http://www.radonlabs.de/technologynebula2.html

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May 8th, 2010, 16:11
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
You're preaching to the choir here; I know that niche doesn't equal no profit, or even no chance at a profit. Sadly, all that doesn't matter.
It may be that I'm preaching to the choir, you're absolutely right on that, but it's still an opinion that can be read.
As for supporting niche games, it's something I'm already trying to do, going so far as 'advertising' Age of Decadence to my friends, and things like that.
Obviously I can't change people's mind though.
One thing has always bothered me, not directly connected to the issue but still relevant : are really ALL that FPS that come out every year profitable?
My impression has always been that the great franchises (like Halo and Call of Duty) sell a lot, but a lot of other smaller titles actually are simply a money-sink for the publishers.
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May 8th, 2010, 23:10
I can't answer that question, which is why I mostly pointed towards the beat-to-death annual sequels rather than the several others that may not do quite as well. The best way to gauge that answer probably is whether or not they get a sequel. I highly doubt all of them are profitable though. Just that enough are to make them the "low risk" project to take, along with 3rd person games like GTA.

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May 20th, 2010, 17:31
Darn it, this is what I get for starting a thread and not checking on it - Well I've read through(and responded to) the first page and you guys have had some interesting thoughts and suggestions, thanks for sharing!

Originally Posted by DArtagnan
Interesting, as the setting is generally the least of my complaints.

I'd rather have a good traditional setting, than something new just for the sake of being new.

However, if there's one setting that has not been done right AT ALL - it would be the Cyberpunk setting.

I so long for a good free-roaming Shadowrun environment - sort of like a serious CRPG version of GTA, with Deus Ex/System Shock as main inspirations for the mission approaches.
I agree… The setting complaint is relatively low on my list as well(below – intelligent/thought provoking/engaging, reactive/choices + consequences, immersive, complex, character development, story/plot/dialogue and level design)but across multiple genres and tastes the setting complaint tends to share at least some comonality. Oh and I agree, that setting/gameplay would make for an interesting game.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta
Some IMO underused, or almost-completely-unused settings:
* Almost anything from pre-Columbian Meso- or South America. The Aztecs and Incas have way-cool mythoi!
*Atlantis.
Just had an age of empires flash back… I would play with my dad via LAN, good times.

(IMO)That's a very doable setting, it's legendary/mythical so it's entirely open to a variety interpretations…

Originally Posted by Maylander
Also, Alpha Protocol is set in a modern setting - never even played an RPG in such a setting before, so that should be interesting.
Same here. I just hope it's really a spy RP experience and you can't go all army-of-one.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer
I'd like to see some kind of Fallout setting, but with magic rather with technology as the cause of the "Fallout", and with typical fantasy creatures in it (Elves, Dwarves etc. …)

Apart from that I'm currently thinking about somthing that has heavily to do with ghosts/spirits. Friendly, helpful ones. Which live in harmony with "normal" beings. Side to side with them, so to say.
Mutant or ghoulish elves and dwarves?!?

Would the friendly ghosts/spirits living along normal beings setting be an rpg? I could see that setting work well as an action adventure/msytery game.

Originally Posted by azraelck
Main difference in both is that instead of being long after some "golden age" where magic was vastly more powerful and made cool things like snapple and nerf balls, they both are technically set in their world's "golden age". No one race is in decline, etc… On the first, more traditional setting it's even set before the foundation of any major empires.
In the iconic or reminscent sense of a golden age there is typically little to no conflict… What would be the game's motivating force or direction?

Originally Posted by fenris
Thats the Dark Sun Setting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Sun
Hmmm, if I ever have enough spare time and catch up on the back log of games I've been meaning to play that one should find a place on the list too, thanks for the link.

Originally Posted by Zloth
In all the Final Fantasy games, I've never seen an elf. I don't think Tolkien ever said anything about chocobos, either.

X games from Egosoft - a completely unique space setting.

City of Heroes. A unique superhero setting. Plus they throw in an ancient Rome style setting in one zone. And there's Croatoa where fir bolg, red caps, and tuatha de Dannan fight it out - which is all old Irish I think. Plus the Shadow Shard with its floating islands, red waterfalls, and unique Rularuu enemies.

And these are all games I've played in the last week!! MasterKromm, I think you need to get out less.
Well I did specify western fantasy… I'm not a big fan of jrpgs(too linear IMO).

Good call on the X games. Love me some good Sci Fi(way under used IMO).

City of heroes, I vaguely recall that one. Wasn't it an MMO?

Yes, I have been meaning to address that issue, between work and play I have very little time for PC games.

Originally Posted by Dasale
A mix of Lovecraft, Sherlock Holmes, Victorian Era, Steampunk with a more technological approach than used in usual CRPG.
A mix of H.P. Lovecraft and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?!? Wow, if someone could pull off an engaging crime/msytery game within a lovecraft inspired cthulhu mythos setting I'd be sold…

Originally Posted by Tragos
I am all for space , alien races , X-universe like or even galactic civs .

Also a meta-life universe ( there is one game that deals with living after death but i forgot it's name) where everything we know has a totally different meaning and use.
Again, I love SciFi. I'm not sure about a meta-life universe, it has potential but creating the mechanics for such a universe might be difficult… Would it be separate and unique from say a "prime material plane" of existence?

Originally Posted by Benedict
I'd also like to see some of the other White Wolf settings explored, the werewolf one would certainly translate pretty well to a computer game. The Mage one might be a bit trickier, their powers were just too open ended.
As much as I like White Wolf settings I think they tend to be a bit too controlling of their IP.



Originally Posted by DeepO
A mushroom RPG would be nice.
Exploring world by mycelium, influencing it via spores.
Playing such an RPG while consuming shrooms would be quite the trip!

Originally Posted by Prime Junta
I have a sketch for a game set in ancient Babylon. That's another almost unused setting with incredibly cool mythos, which has the additional advantage of being just familiar enough to have something to latch onto. I might eventually end up using it in one of my PnP campaigns.
Yeah lots of potential there and as you mentioned practically unused.

Originally Posted by WorstUsernameEver
To be honest, a big problem is that the mechanics and setting need to complement each other. Sci-fi/fantasy settings have been used a lot, so they're very familiar with the players and you can easily create mechanics that complement both the feel of the setting and that are familiar enough with the player while still givin' you space for originality and a personal touch.
If you, for example, wrote a game with a 1984-like setting, how would you tailor the mechanics to that setting? You can't certainly simply put classes, you can't certainly just focus the game on combat etc… so it's really complicated.
Though, original settings have already been done in the past and I had a couple ideas in mind for a while, I'll post on that later.
I agree completely… Classes would almost certainly be out of the question. But you could still have skills, from base skills acquired by/in your origin/past(from parents/upbringing or even childhood activities) and of course there could be acquired skills through "banned" literature and maybe even "trainers". As for combat, I think it's overdone in a majority of rpgs so I would focus more on other elements(as an example - everything that goes into the building of an underground network/movement).
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June 9th, 2010, 17:26
A full on RPG with stats and all could be done in a 1984ish setting if you used the Pen and Paper RPG "Paranoia" as inspiration. There is an Amiga CRPG "Paranoia" already made and available from the 80s you just have to find it.

To sum it up, I feel our space program ended up like this. "It's one small step for man. One giant leap for man kind. Oops I fell on my butt after that leap and can't get up anymore."
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