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My FPS MORPG


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#1 mi-imi   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:33 PM

Hi everyone :) I joined this forum recently.

This is to announce what will be a first person multiplayer online RPG. I've taken as many of the general ideas in this thread as I could and will make them into a PC game. Ideas are welcome from anbody; I'll implement as many as I can. This will be a freeware game.

If anybody feels I'm using their idea and would rather I did not, please post here or message me, and I will remove it from the plan.

Special thanks to Wiggin, who gave this specific idea and gave me permission to use it (I'm copying it here so it will be listed in this main thread):

I would make an MMO where players control steampunk-ish ships in a world much like the Skyland universe, floating islands and such... there would be no grind. The gameplay would be about fleet tactics. Ships and missiles would move slowly, it would not be twitchy who-aims-best-with-a-mouse stuff. Lag issues in large battles would be managed by increasing the fog-of-war when many ships are fighting. There would be large permanent stargate-like portals to fly through and ruins of ancient civilizations.


I came up with a basic story line, which is included in the end of the post.

I feel I should also copy the following from the previous thread:

I am not currently asking for help. I also don't know yet what my policy will be concerning unsolicited media contributions (such as art and music). Although this will be a free game it will also be a professional quality one, so I need to be careful with copyrights. If anybody wants to contribute please message me first.

However I do appreciate ideas and criticism for game design, the story, or anything else related to the project. If anybody has ideas please post here :) Next step for me is to get started on the code and iron down a few character types and settings.

Mi-imi

Story:

The game takes place on an unnamed planet completely covered by a deep ocean. Seperating the ocean is a chasm several miles wide and about a mile deep, creating a waterfall effect on both sides; the water there runs into the interior of the planet. Floating about two miles above the ocean are large masses of porous rock filled with naturally occuring helium (and sometimes hydrogen); on top of these rocks grow grasses and plant life. These islands float around randomly, pushed around by the wind.

The first people on this planet lived on a few of these islands and were carried around by them. Some drifted across the chasm which divides the ocean. As civilization developed it became necessary to keep the islands in one place, so giant anchors were constructed which tied each island to one place on the ocean. Although these early civilizations had boats, crossing the chasm in the middle of the ocean was next to impossible, so the two societies on either side of the chasm were isolated from each other and developed seperately.

Centuries went by. Having an abundance of water and hydrogen for fuel, steam powered inventions became most improtant and developed in both societies. But one society, later known as the "dark society," was warlike and developed machines for conquest, while the other one, the "light society," devoted itself to scientific endeavours.

Things changed, though, when both societies simultaneously developed powered flying machines. The chasm in the middle of the ocean could now easily be crossed. An army from the dark society invaded an island populated with people of the light society, and a war began.

Sponsor:

#2 driftingSpaceMan   Members   -  Reputation: 143

Posted 10 November 2011 - 11:57 AM

The game takes place on an unnamed planet completely covered by a deep ocean. Seperating the ocean is a chasm several miles wide and about a mile deep, creating a waterfall effect on both sides; the water there runs into the interior of the planet.


Why doesn't the interior fill up, or drain the ocean in a matter of days?

Floating about two miles above the ocean are large masses of porous rock filled with naturally occuring helium (and sometimes hydrogen); on top of these rocks grow grasses and plant life.


It's not possible for porous rocks containing helium or hydrogen to be suspended and bear loads like this for several reasons:

1. With normal atmospheric gases, helium and hydrogen are not powerful enough lifting gases to bear anything even approaching their own volumes in other materials. Balloons have enormous volume and very little additional mass.

2. Hydrogen and Helium leak. Very, very quickly. Not even the crust of the Earth itself can trap either gas for long; without being part of a stable molecular structure containing heavier atoms, their diatomic and atomic masses respectively are low enough that they will not only flow through the gaps between molecules in a steel container, but they'll happily float off into space, carried away by cosmic "wind" or their own thermal velocities. Even if you had a rock that was light enough to float with those gases filling its pockets (a feat not even modern man-made materials like aerogel would be liable to accomplish), it would only do so for a few weeks before crashing back into the sea.

3. Assuming you solved the former problems, such structures would none-the-less fail in a matter of years as, free floating, they were driven by winds to crash into each-other. Lighter than air doesn't mean no-mass; such floating islands would have tremendous mass, and the collisions between them would be nothing short of titanic. Such a force would shatter the colliding faces of the rocks into dust, and if they had hydrogen in them creating an air-fuel mixture on collision? Not a chance.


Suggestion: If you must have floating islands, invent some kind of "unobtanium" that suspends the islands by "magnetism", or better yet something magical (since it's more difficult to write good scientific explanations, and very easy for them to go wrong), and keeps them from crashing into each other too violently.


As civilization developed it became necessary to keep the islands in one place, so giant anchors were constructed which tied each island to one place on the ocean. Although these early civilizations had boats, crossing the chasm in the middle of the ocean was next to impossible, so the two societies on either side of the chasm were isolated from each other and developed seperately.


1. Assuming they have floating rock, creating air-ships should have always been trivial- more so than developing sea-faring boat technology. All they had to do was un-anchor a small one.

2. Why do they need to anchor these islands to the ocean? Why do they need to keep them in once place? "For civilization" doesn't really explain that. They could just anchor them to each other.

3. You're talking about an altitude of several miles. They would not have the technology to build chains that could hold their own weight, much less any force from the islands themselves, with that kind of length unless you give them some additional kind of unobtanium like "adamantium" (and if you do that, they'll need nuclear weapons just to scratch the enemy's armor). All chains break under the force of their own weight after a certain point. What you're trying to have them do here is akin to building a space elevator with Victorian technology. They would need anti-gravity/airship technology just to keep the chains from breaking under their own weight and serving as the anchors you want (but which are unneeded).

4. A hemisphere of a planet is enormous. There's little comprehensible reason why the entire hemisphere would be one society unless you have some kind of magic or advanced technology holding it together (like telecommunications and a robot army). Empires only stretch as far as the ruling body can control through communication and war. You would have dozens, if not hundreds, of kingdoms in a situation like this.

Having an abundance of water and hydrogen for fuel, steam powered inventions became most improtant and developed in both societies. But one society, later known as the "dark society," was warlike and developed machines for conquest, while the other one, the "light society," devoted itself to scientific endeavours.


Water isn't fuel. That aside, why? Why would one side be "evil" and one side be "good"? Is there some geographical difference here that caused it? Are they genetically different, one having an "evil" gene, and another having "good"? Why would they ever develop machines of conquests if they've already conquered everything in reach?


Suggestion: Hire a writer, or work with one from this forum, to develop a coherent world lore to set the story in, and set up a conflict that is a little less ad hoc and a little more invested. If you have a budget, I'd be glad to offer you a consult.

Anyway, I hope that helps and gets you thinking about those things.

Cheers!

#3 mi-imi   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:01 PM

Thank you driftingSpaceMan for pointing out the holes in my story. :) I appreciate it.

I'm hesitant at the moment to ask anyone to invest more than a few minutes in my project since I have no portfolio and this is my first actual game (all of my previous work has been experimenting with parts of game engines). I will rework the story, though, being careful with feasibility. Once I have a signifigant, playable game I'll probably ask for an experienced writer to help clean up the storyline.

Also my budget for this project is zero, but thank you for the offer.

In other parts of the project:

Since I cannot afford high quality modeling software I am starting by coding my own modeler.

So far the program initializes Direct3D and DirectInput, generates 3D primitives, and allows me to change their properties using the keyboard. These primitives will be the starting point for most of the game's models. Next I will write a routine which will allow me to warp the primitives into the 3D forms needed in the game.

Here's a test render:

Posted Image

Also at this time I'll start working on a gameplay or battle type system; after I do that I will be able to start creating the game's components.

Mi-imi

#4 apatriarca   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1775

Posted 15 November 2011 - 02:09 PM

Implementing a complete or even incomplete modeler takes a lot of time. I suggest using Blender or other free tools instead.

#5 Olof Hedman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2950

Posted 16 November 2011 - 03:33 AM

You should definitely NOT write your own modeller if you plan on ever finishing your game.

Why on earth would you want to do that, when there are excellent free modellers out there, like previously mentioned Blender.

#6 driftingSpaceMan   Members   -  Reputation: 143

Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:58 PM

Once I have a signifigant, playable game I'll probably ask for an experienced writer to help clean up the storyline.


Elements of fantasy physics/magic are intimately linked with crucial game mechanics, both explaining them in terms the player can use and understand, and providing context for their overall purpose in the game. It's not always as easy to re-write after the fact.

Anyway:

I'm hesitant at the moment to ask anyone to invest more than a few minutes in my project since I have no portfolio and this is my first actual game (all of my previous work has been experimenting with parts of game engines).


Well, without any portfolio, it's unlikely that anybody would respond. However, if you have any prior programming experience, that's relevant as a resume/portfolio. Do you work in software development? What do you do for a living? What is your programming experience?

My critique was made in hopes of outlining the difficulty of even a simple aspect of game development (crafting a basic setting). A project of this magnitude takes many people many years to complete. If you're really serious about this, and you have the experience to pull it off, you do need a team of several contractors or partners.

If you need past game projects to get a team together (and you probably do), then the best course of action would be to make a few simple games simply for demonstration purposes. To say "Hey, I can make pong, and I can make it connect through a server to be played by two people anywhere in the world" -that would go a long way, and a lot of that same technology and experience would be very relevant to the project you have in mind.

Also my budget for this project is zero, but thank you for the offer.


If you're spending time on something, skilled working hours, then you have a budget.

If you would have spent 500 hours on something you aren't skilled in rather than programming (if this is your main area of expertise), then you would be better put to spend 50 hours programming on a contract job through oDesk or something, making a couple thousand dollars, and paying somebody else, whose area of expertise the problem in question is, that couple thousand dollars to spend 50 hours solving it.

Time is money, money is time. Wasting time by doing things you aren't experienced at is wasting money which you could be making instead and using to pay people who are experienced in those fields, saving yourself time and a headache in the process.

If you are in a position of being legally unable to work on the internet (such as being a minor, or in a country in which there is no available work and where there are trade embargoes or other NTBs preventing bank transfers to that country), then let me know, and I can help you work something out. Your English is clearly good enough to communicate with clients (which is a problem for most people in the world), so that shouldn't be an obstacle.


Since I cannot afford high quality modeling software I am starting by coding my own modeler.


As others have mentioned, re-inventing the wheel is not a good idea. If you're just making this software for fun, that's great! I applaud you. But if you're serious about making a game, I'm afraid this is a waste of time. There are free packages out there, and even if there weren't, with the time and effort you spend programming this, you could have made enough money to buy modeling software a few dozen times over.

That said, if you aren't a trained artist, you shouldn't be doing any modeling at all; use only free assets (and at the very most, cubes) as placeholders and hire a professional 3d artist to make proper models for you. There's an entire world of complexity you won't be able to account for which is relevant to texturing, animation, and the general efficiency of the models- even if something looks good to the untrained eye, it could be completely worthless as a game model.

If you can really make progress on this, I have access to a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of professional art assets that would work with this game (steam-punk airships and such) that I could probably license to you. They were for another game which fell through (but that's what happens in game development, you spend a million dollars and a couple years in development and then management and politics kicks in and things go to shit- c'est la vie).

The best thing that you could take away from this is to focus on what you're good at- don't waste your time on anything else. Full steam ahead with a large and fully funded team would need a couple years to finish this. You will need outside talent, and you'll need to bankroll most of that yourself (with contract work for other companies) unless you're gifted with nigh-supernatural charisma and convince professionals to work for free (which is nearly impossible).


Best of luck. Let me know if you need help with anything I mentioned.

#7 mi-imi   Members   -  Reputation: 291

Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:17 PM

Thank you, driftingSpaceMan, for the advice. I've been programming for 20 years but I'm entirely self-taught. My day job actually is a music editor for a small orchestra.

Your suggestions make sense; I'm going to put this big project on hold and make a small demo. There's something special I've been wanting to make for a while, anyway :wink:




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