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Item creation --- Concept creation? (RPG)


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#1 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 03 August 2004 - 03:57 PM

We're used to combining objects. Is it too cerebral to combine concepts in order to gain special abilities? In the sci-fi RPG hybrid I'm working on you can run your own starship or get a position on a larger one run by NPCs, either in single player or multi. As a non-combat activity, one very intriguing idea that alot of great posters here have been raising is the ability to work on some sort of project. The type of vessel you serve on determines how much spare time you get and what stimulus you get for your project. This limited spare time can be used walking around decks, using equipment to skill up, allying with NPCs, misbehaving [grin] or working on a project. Projects would theoretically be no different than item creation. Normally, if you want to create an item you need components + resources + skill tests to put them together. Projects would instead be created by info + time + skill tests. Here's how it might work: General Knowledge As Points Whenver you talk to an NPC, read a book, use equipment or scan the datanets you may get knowledge which later helps your projects. The knowledge falls into very broad categories:
  • Starship Engines
  • Hard Science
  • Military History
  • Local Culture
  • Siegers (monsters)
  • Politics
  • Sports
  • Music
  • etc., etc.
Books and fixed data sources supply a limited number of points which you "drain" with use (visible at a glance when you roll over the item). NPCs, depending on their personality, may be an unlimited source of general info, and star-system and interstellar datanets are always unlimited. To get General Knowledge from an NPC, you have to get the NPC to favor you. This is done over a series of interactions which range from opinion puzzles ("What do you think about our leader?") to actions you take to build their morale (give them favorite food, help them while on duty). The more the NPC likes you the more knowledge points they'll make available to you once you opt to spend time talking to them (provided they have that time). Datanets, OTOH, offer unlimited knowledge but at a per second access charge that varies with the system. This covers the cost of FTL transmissions through the wilds of subspace and fees the empire sets which in turn reflects the society. Your character's Intellect serves to cap General Knowledge. Adding points requires a test versus your intellect based on the points you already have. So the more you know, the harder it is to acquire more General Knowledge in any one area. Knowledge is explained very simply, btw, by text strings: "After talking to the old pirate for an hour, you gain newfound knowledge of Starship Engines (+3)" Project Objects General knowledge unlocks your ability to perform special actions, take on certain mysteries, or win fame and fortune by advancing your faction and empire. Each project would have a General Knowledge requirement, much like tech points required for a tech tree. Projects would cover these areas:
  • Tactics and Manuevers
    • Combat tactics (infiltration, bombardment, fleet combat, etc.)
    • Diplomatic tactics (negotiation, threat, extortion, etc)
    • Engineering tactics, medical tactics, etc., for all career options
  • Mysteries - Predefined or semi-randomly occuring mysteries in the game
    • Unsolved Crime - Would require X pieces of evidence to be successfully skill tested in order to identify the victim, the motive, the means and / or those involved
    • Explanation - Reveals why dangerous or strange things happen in certain regions of space, whose effects are normally hidden, like "Silent Poison + Insanity In 3 days" which would explain why people suddenly die 3 days after visiting a planet
  • Tech
    • Refinement - Change the stats of a tech template, which is used to create new items
    • Theory - Gather X pieces in a scavenger hunt and subject them to tests in order to advance your home empire's tech level
Leveling Up Your Project Once unlocked, each project requires an action, an analysis test, a simulation, or a skill test to complete. Improving combat infiltration, for example, might require 10 successful timed combat simulations of X difficulty and 2 security analysis tests. The result might be +10% stealth when using a group smaller than, say, eight to infiltrate hostile territory. Breaking the max interstellar jump distance, OTOH, might require 30 scans of space and 25 jumps in different regions of space, 10 analysis tests, and 5 simulations. You may not know how many tests or actions a project requires. Solving the mystery to why people never come out of a 3000 light year region of space might be listed as: "? Scans, ? Jumps, ..." Projects Are Scavenger Hunts When you're acquiring General Knowledge, you either get the knowledge or get a reference of who to talk to. Bars, universities, spaceports, slums all have NPCs. Planets offer animals, plants and ruins to scan. Space offers debris, comets, stars, regions and planets. Misc. Status, fame and fortune go with unlocking projects. Higher projects require other lower projects to be completed first, but some can be skipped (tech tree again). Sleeping can boost knowledge, unlock project requirements or even unlock projects early. (Sleeping is mostly optional and also serves to allow you to level up your skills via your implant). Higher projects may require experimental equipment, facilities and computers. You can become a target of attack, kidnap or bribery as a result of your projects, as can your facilities which hold them. Thoughts?
--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

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#2 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 02:06 AM

Bwahahahaha :-D
You are brilliant Wavy, just brilliant!
I ll try to think of more, but honestly, that's quite right on the spot, from what I had in mind :)
-----------------------------Sancte Isidore ora pro nobis !

#3 Wush   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 04:13 AM

Fucking, damn ,shit that sounds really great (sorry for my choice of words).

Kinds of remind me of the final fantasy movie where the marines protect the female doctor in order for her to collect the spirits
and create the antiphantom weapon.

If I understand you right someone could specialize to become a scientist and he takes on a project to develop his group, clan, faction and if the factions thinks that the project is useful they send other players(belonging to the group or mercenaries)
out in order to gain samples our escort the scientist into an dangerous area he has to go in order for research,
while other clans/factions could try to sabotage the project steal the technology or kidnap the scientist?

Well improvement in a game can not become infinetly so there are
questions to answer about that.
Can the tech level of a faction decrease trough destroying certain computersystem or killing some scientists etc?
Does the construction realization of certain technology require the supervision of someone who is able to understand the technology?

Let me explain what I mean by supervision:
First someone discovers the technology than other people could
try to understand this technology by reading the research results. To understand the results you would need lets say 3/5 of the knowledge you needed to discover the technology.
Now when someone (a group faction) wanted to construct/use the new technolgy and they would have no supervisor who understands the knowledge for the project, in our example the would not be able to complete the spaceship engine or the engine would work only with 80% because the had no one that could do the fine tuning.

Well thats my first thoughts.

#4 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:02 AM

Quote:
Original post by ahw
Bwahahahaha :-D
You are brilliant Wavy, just brilliant!
I ll try to think of more, but honestly, that's quite right on the spot, from what I had in mind :)


Quote:
Original post by Wush
(sorry for my choice of words).



LOL! Well, this is a much better response than I expected! ;P

Quote:

Kinds of remind me of the final fantasy movie where the marines protect the female doctor in order for her to collect the spirits
and create the antiphantom weapon.


Yes, I think this sort of thing could be very essential to playing a support character. You wouldn't be on the frontlines firing, but that doesn't mean you wouldn't be in danger.

Quote:

If I understand you right someone could specialize to become a scientist and he takes on a project to develop his group, clan, faction and if the factions thinks that the project is useful they send other players(belonging to the group or mercenaries)
out in order to gain samples our escort the scientist into an dangerous area he has to go in order for research,
while other clans/factions could try to sabotage the project steal the technology or kidnap the scientist?


Right, and this would be a reason to either play a scientist or take a scientist along as part of your crew.

But it's not just scientists: You could be a security officer whose project is cracking a conspiracy; you could be a medic trying to cure a world-wide plague; etc., etc.

Quote:

Can the tech level of a faction decrease trough destroying certain computersystem or killing some scientists etc?


Actually, the tech level throughout the game, in order to support theft, trade and some other cool gameplay, is entirely based around tech templates, which are items, and special accelerated factories called Fabricators. You can reduce a faction or empire's tech by storming or sneaking into their manufacturing facilities and taking their templates, or destroying their means of production. (Storywise, the templates allow fabricators to use time acceleration and intangibility on nanites in order to "grow" structures in 1/10 the normal time it would take, and since it's post apocalyptic much of the galaxy has lost normal manufacturing tech)

Quote:

Does the construction realization of certain technology require the supervision of someone who is able to understand the technology?


Yes, both research and manufacturing must be supervised by a competent NPC (this feeds the idea of networks of NPCs, btw, posted here).


--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

#5 Wush   Members   -  Reputation: 103

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 11:32 AM

Why is an Npc the supervisor?
I thought of the idea of supervisors only so that a scientist would still have something to do after his group developed all technology.
So what use are Npc supervisors for?

(Well would it not be funny to have a ship completly ruled by an Mad scientsit and his Npc crew and robots?
So people say oh my god the notorious doctor x is aproaching with his rpobot army ;))

#6 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 05 August 2004 - 11:23 AM

Quote:
Original post by Wush
Why is an Npc the supervisor?
I thought of the idea of supervisors only so that a scientist would still have something to do after his group developed all technology.
So what use are Npc supervisors for?


These guys are supposed to run operations where there is no real gameplay that you can get into. Once you finish some projects, you turn them over to an NPC that is running an operation, and this modifies the operation's stats or actions. So if your project is "Particle Beam Mining Technique" and you get all the pieces, all the knowledge and talk to all the right people, you can then get an NPC to manage a base which uses this technique.

Now, there's no real gameplay under the hood of running every operation (or this game would take decades and an army). So what a mining base would do is take a resource and turn it into income.

--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

#7 Jotaf   Members   -  Reputation: 280

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Posted 08 August 2004 - 09:29 AM

This is a good idea but there's something really worrying me - I can't see how you can make it feel like an important discovery in the end without going through too much work for each possible investigation. If it's just something like, you start a project, watch a bar go up with time, and do some tasks like collecting resources from time to time, it would feel a bit shallow when in the end it says "congratulations, you just discovered X"... know what I mean? It just doesn't compare to the actual experience of doing that investigation. Well, maybe that's not a problem, I can compare this to my brother spending points to get a specific summon in Final Fantasy IX and it still feels great when one of them is finally completed. Other than that, I can see it being really cool if it's done right :)

#8 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 09:32 PM

Quote:
Original post by Jotaf
This is a good idea but there's something really worrying me - I can't see how you can make it feel like an important discovery in the end without going through too much work for each possible investigation. If it's just something like, you start a project, watch a bar go up with time, and do some tasks like collecting resources from time to time, it would feel a bit shallow when in the end it says "congratulations, you just discovered X"... know what I mean? It just doesn't compare to the actual experience of doing that investigation.


I do understand how you feel, especially if you have to put a ton of effort into it.

I can see the rewards breaking down into three categories

1) Reputation - Your rep goes up, which allows you access to more important people. This unlocks things in the game, allows you access to more resources, and can earn you powerful friends.

2) Monetary - You discover something that you can sell, perhaps to the highest bidder.

3) Gameplay Bonus - Your discovery directly impacts actions you take in the game, most likely in the core areas of combat, stealth and trade.

I think it will also be a rush to see the game world changed by your discoveries and react to your work. Maybe your discovery of a better sensor turns the tide of war. Maybe you remove a leader from power by discovering that he was a murderer. You don't get to do that in many games, I think.

Quote:

Well, maybe that's not a problem, I can compare this to my brother spending points to get a specific summon in Final Fantasy IX and it still feels great when one of them is finally completed.


Yes, what's funny is from what I know people will spend a great deal of effort simply to unlock cutscenes, special costumes and other elements with very limited interaction. Simply doing something to make points go up can be a powerful draw.
--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

#9 DesignerGuy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 01:55 AM

Is this supposed to be an MMO?

because if it is, that changes a lot of things about it.

The basic concept is alright, but it feels much more like a one-player than a multi-player design.

First off, you can't just throw - "you talk, you get skill" at the player - in an MMO, they actually have to talk - they may get skill incidentally, but the player has to be in control of a lot of things.

The basic way I see item creation( same concept, different application ) working, is similar, but not the same.
First, the player decides - "I want to create a really cool staff with a blade on it, that will glow when in combat and have a fire affinity."
Next, the player must do some research - find a mage( if not one ) to help with the construction, and go rooting through libraries and/or NPCs for information on what materia would produce such effects.
Now, the player has a list of what they need, they have to go gathering materials.
Ok, so let's say that they have the ebony for the staff, ice-blue steel for the blade, the silk of a giant forest spider to guide the magics, a quantity of smoky quartz for the glow, the blood of a red dragon to provide the fire affinity. Now the player must try to make the item.
Along the way, he's probably picked up some useful skills, so let's say he has a bladesmithing of +30( random number ) and the DC( I'm a D&Der, so I'll use those terms, hope y'all get it ) of the blade/haft is a 67. He's probably not going to get it the first try, so he practices making similar staves to sell, using cheaper materials.
Now that he feels confident, the player, working closely with a mage researched in binding affinities into items attempts to craft the item. They fail. Do a little more research, and discover that they made the mistake of trying to craft in winter, which has a water dominance. They should have waited for the summer to try, when fire is dominant. Now they have a staff with a blade that is well-crafted, a master's work, even, but the magic failed.
Through a mess of magic, now the staff acts as a disrupting force on any fire or water which it strikes against.

-----------------

extended expample, but you see how there need to be rules that these projects follow, and you should never penalize a player for failing beyond what is reasonable. Just because the magic failed doesn't mean that they don't have a blade - in some cases it will, but for now, they've got something they never anticipated. It all depends on the depth of world you intend to give the players. Everquest had a very superficial item system - you get the materials, click a button. You fail or succeed. It was limited, but it was still a lot better than a game that wouldn't let you craft.

#10 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 02:24 PM

Quote:
Original post by DesignerGuy
Is this supposed to be an MMO?


Only if I want to be laughed off the boards and strangle myself with my keyboard cord in frustration. [grin]

Real answer: No. Multiplayer co-op is a possibility though, if I can work out some thorny issues.

Quote:

extended expample, but you see how there need to be rules that these projects follow, and you should never penalize a player for failing beyond what is reasonable. Just because the magic failed doesn't mean that they don't have a blade - in some cases it will, but for now, they've got something they never anticipated. It all depends on the depth of world you intend to give the players. Everquest had a very superficial item system - you get the materials, click a button. You fail or succeed. It was limited, but it was still a lot better than a game that wouldn't let you craft.


The project idea is still sketchy, but I do like your example about there needing to be strategic conditions that support item creation. But while I don't want to just toss in click & fail gameplay, I have to be careful not to try to overload this small section up with gameplay when it's not the major focus. Since the whole NPC interaction idea and missions are a major component, it seems best to keep the core interaction there.
--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

#11 Thermodynamics   Members   -  Reputation: 443

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 02:39 PM

Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Quote:
Original post by DesignerGuy
Is this supposed to be an MMO?


Only if I want to be laughed off the boards and strangle myself with my keyboard cord in frustration. [grin]

That's not quite true, we wouldn't laugh you off of the boards. We might suggest doing a little more research first, but I do not think we are mean spirited. Now, if you thought you could pull it off because you learned some VB in school today... that might be a different story.

#12 justdashplease   Members   -  Reputation: 98

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 10:06 PM

I can see this. like someone said above an MMORPG. There is too much going on to be the other more mainstream rpgs. But I can really see it coming together.

#13 Sandman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2136

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:02 AM

Another seven year old thread dragged kicking and screaming from the afterlife.

Closing - again if Wavinator feels it might be useful to continue this discussion he is welcome to re-open it.





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