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Modifying The Character


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#1 bollµ   Members   -  Reputation: 354

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:16 AM

Hi all!

I was just daydreaming around a week back, and was wondering if there are any games that allow you to modify the main character itself.

You can "slot" in various abilities / parts / whatever you call it. Different parts can provide you different abilities (jumping, flying, pulling enemies etc). But the point is - every part can be SWAPPED with every other part. There are no limitations at all.

Another cool thing that you can do is perhaps write AI that's able to modify enemies too as you change your hero himself. So it'll lead to a situation where you should constantly adapt, and so does the enemy.

You can create a hero who's tanky, who deals tons of damage, who's able to turn enemies into each other , and many other combinations.

In every game I've seen this kind of system, EVER (League of legends, spore, WoW, BioShock), the system has always been pretty inflexible. But I propose a game where it's completely modifiable. I know I'd have fun playing a game like that :) The only game that comes kind of close to this idea as far as I know is (genesis rising - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_Rising:_The_Universal_Crusade)

I'd really like some feedback / similar games/ ideas :)
Thanks again xD

a WIP 2d game engine: https://code.google.com/p/modulusengine/

English is not my first language, so do feel free to correct me :)


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#2 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:14 PM

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "swapped with every other part", but games like Deus Ex, FF7, FF8, and Kingdom Hearts come to mind. Of course, these may not meet your goal of "totally modifiable", but that scope isn't really practical; games will always have to introduce some constraints.

#3 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4858

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:45 PM

Not an existing game, and not total interchangability, but one of my oldest game designs, Gimmie Those Wings!, called for a system where the player was a shapeshifter, and this type of shapeshifter operated by gaining DNA by eating slain monsters or drinking the blood of unconscious ones (or people). Each piece of DNA, after being unlocked by solving a puzzle, was equippable to one of the body part slots. The main character was always humanoid, but they could be a mish-mash of all sorts of anthro traits which gave combat and charisma pluses and minuses. A similar system was part of the Xenallure design, but no longer as a primary combat mechanic, instead it was a plot-related system of customization rewards for advancement in one of the game's three non-human factions. Those are both single-player jRPG designs, but I later did an MMO version called Becoming. In Becoming again the customization system was not really related to the combat, it was a system of avatar customization rewards for accomplishing story-related goals; the concept was that instead of creating a character before starting the game, character creation is one of the most fun parts of any MMO so why not use it as main gameplay rewards? If you want to look at any of the designs I'll dig them out of my archives for you, let me know.

Gimmie Those Wings! was mainly inspired by the SNES game EVO The Search For Eden where you start as a fish and evolve yourself to go onto land and then continue to evolve yourself until you are the dominant species on the planet, recognized as the destined partner (aka mate) of Gaia the spirit of the Earth. You can become a human but that path is quite difficult because human bodies suck for fighting monsters, and wings are really helpful for the puzzle levels. I personally beat the game as something that looked like a bipedal griffin.

A more modern similar game is Spore. Spore may have been inspired by an older game called Impossible Creatures which I think was a monster hybridizing RTS (I didn't play it, might have been a TBS or something instead, but the idea was you had armies of assorted mutant critters.) And the Fable series doesn't use biological modification but it has a system where appearance modification affects both combat ability and charisma.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#4 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 18207

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 06:25 PM

Have you ever played or seen any of the Mech Warrior games? I think the mech-modification in those games is pretty much what you're describing... it allows you to choose from a wide variety of different chassis which have different emplacement points and base characteristics -- from there you're pretty much free to put in whatever equipment you'd like, as long as you have enough space, it doesn't exceed your maximum weight, and you're careful not to create an unusable mech -- too many weapons of the wrong type with no heat-sinks and you'll overheat and explode when you fire for example. I found a video on YouTube where someone appears to be walking through the process; take a look here.


I've always been interested in the idea of creating a fairly simple multi-player only shooter where players use highly customisable characters to participate in relatively quick free-for-all or team-based games. I think the main trick to this sort of design would be balancing; if there is a clearly superior design it will quickly be found and used constantly by the vast majority of players, and options that do not provide any/enough benefit will be ignored. Good map design could help to ensure that different types of characters each have strong and weak points.

#5 bollµ   Members   -  Reputation: 354

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:35 AM

@sunandshadow: that would be really helpful, thanks!

And yes, I have played both spore and impossible creatures. I found impossible creatures really fun, but somewhat limiting at the same time. Spore, IMHO, comes closest to what I want to develop.

@jbadams: Mech warriors does look interesting! I'll follow up on it :) But again, as far as I can see, you can't place certain parts at certain joints right? I kind of wanted to remove that limitation :)

@khaiy: I do realize that you do need constraints, but in every such game I've played, there's always been a limit to the number of parts of each type I can equip. Also, certain combinations of parts just weren't feasible, or even allowed. I don't want such limiting factors, but I do realize that you do need to stop the modification at some point. Thanks for the input :D

a WIP 2d game engine: https://code.google.com/p/modulusengine/

English is not my first language, so do feel free to correct me :)


#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4858

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 04:36 PM

I sent you an email with some documents and links. Let me know if it doesn't show up or if you want to discuss any specific parts. :)

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#7 bollµ   Members   -  Reputation: 354

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 06:40 AM

Thanks sunandshadow!

I might not be able to go through it today (I have a lot of schoolwork, sigh!) but if I do have any questions, I'll PM you :)

Thanks!

a WIP 2d game engine: https://code.google.com/p/modulusengine/

English is not my first language, so do feel free to correct me :)





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