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Roguelike Long-Term Project Idea -- Feedback Appreciated


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#1 Selenaut   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:31 PM

Hello all,

I'm a new user here, but I'm not new to the forum. After thinking through my roguelike project idea for some time, I've finally decided to post it here. Any questions or comments would be appreciated.

OVERVIEW
My idea is to create a game in the style of a roguelike in which the player has a completely mutable and open world, where their actions leave effects long after they've (inevitably) died. It will include being able to start your own farm, build your own house, hunt wild animals and fight monsters, create relationships with individuals and civilizations, crafting and forging, and hopefully numerous other ideas that I haven't yet thought of.

However, I am striving to make the game realistic. What I mean by this is that the player will need to eat, drink, sleep, etc., and the actions performed by the player would be limited to realistic circumstances; so chopping that tree, instead of five seconds, may take upwards of 15 minutes (in-game). In addition, buildings and structures will be built brick-by-brick. This means that the player can build their own house from the bottom up, and that the materials required would be realistic (and that it could take Joe Smith a few in-game days to gather materials to build a small wooden hut).

WORLD GENERATION
The world will be procedurally generated based on numerous parameters. First, a height map is introduced. From this, a land-or-water map is created (basically just to help with later procedures). These two maps are then used to create many more maps for other parameters. The order of the generation of these maps is:
  • Height
  • Land-or-water
  • Coastal (used for temperature)
  • Temperature
  • Rivers & Lakes
  • Biomes
  • Precipitation
  • Plant factor
  • Animal factor
  • Danger factor
  • Civilization factor
  • Towns
  • Lairs
  • Roads
COMBAT AND MOVEMENT
I am thinking about using continuous time elapse as the basic action mechanic. What I mean is that it isn't turn based, so that even without giving any input, time will elapse in-game. However, during some actions such as talking or sleeping, time may slow down or speed up, respectively. So instead of being able to take your time, wondering which way would be the best to run away from the giant horde of alligators chasing you in the sewers, you have to run for it, and so thinking (and planning) ahead becomes a very important skill.

SKILLS & STATS
I am thinking about, instead of having overall levels and being able to increase stats as you choose, having the player's "strength" grow based on the skills that are being used. So for example, you would actually have to cut wood to increase your woodcutting ability (as well as your Strength and Constitution stats, perhaps?).

OTHER STUFF, NOTES, ETC.
Eventually I want to implement the other features that I mentioned in the overview, but I haven't thought about them enough to give them enough explanation here. So for now, that's about it.
Also, feedback would be greatly appreciated; at the moment, I'm looking to bounce ideas off of people and to see how well people react to it.
Finally, if you think this is too much of an undertaking, I stress that this is a LONG TERM project, as well as a hobby of mine.


Thanks for your time,
Selenaut

Sponsor:

#2 BLiTZWiNG   Members   -  Reputation: 349

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:10 PM

Just... explain to me... why I would want to spend 15 mins of "game" time chopping a tree. Is this game meant to be fun?

#3 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 934

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

Just... explain to me... why I would want to spend 15 mins of "game" time chopping a tree. Is this game meant to be fun?


That is exactly what I was thinking.

#4 Selenaut   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:46 PM

Just... explain to me... why I would want to spend 15 mins of "game" time chopping a tree. Is this game meant to be fun?


I meant 15 minutes in-game (by which I don't mean 15 minutes real-time). Also, time elapse speed is going to be alterable, so time will elapse faster during longer actions, like sleeping (see combat and movement). I guess a good example of what I mean is the earlier Harvest Moon games, where chopping a stump usually took about two seconds in real life, but five minutes in-game.

#5 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3747

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:06 AM

I don't know, it does not sound fun to me. Is it a game or a simulation? 100% generated world is boring, at best you will end up with something like Minecraft, there won't be epic quests, wizard's towers, old legends...

The biggest problem I have is the "long term" part, it is a standard sign of a vapourware. If you intend to reach the alpha stage in ten years you might as well give up now, humans don't live long enough to finish such projects :) I definitely recommend a deadline, even/especially if it is a hobby project.

Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#6 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2087

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:17 PM

Just throwing this out there, do you really need player stats? If a significant part of the game is building stuff in the environment then just assume that any character can do it if the player knows how to equip the character and work the controls. Advancement can come from the player learning better ways to organize the stuff involved in the job and maybe in equipment upgrades. Which sounds like a more interesting; skill advancements Woodcutting 1, Woodcutting 2, and Woodcutting 3 or equipment advancements Hand axe, Chainsaw, and Bulldozer?

I'm thinking that if it's going to be a whole lot of work for the player to gather materials and more work to put them together "brick by brick" then don't make them suffer through additional work of advancing a character's skill to develop an effective building. Assembling something piece by piece could be quite fun. Managing resources could be quite fun. Putting another layer in between so that you can do those two things more effectively doesn't sound fun to me. Consider that in Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress, the quality of structures that a player builds comes more from the player's experimentation with what makes it more defensible, not from some variable sitting in the background.

#7 daydalus   Members   -  Reputation: 245

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:27 PM

This actually sounds a lot like Dwarf Fortress. Incredibly complex, represented with ASCII characters, only for the hardcore. Good luck with it ;)
-Building DIY games since 2010. Daydalus.net

#8 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 7490

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:00 PM

I don't know, it does not sound fun to me. Is it a game or a simulation? 100% generated world is boring, at best you will end up with something like Minecraft, there won't be epic quests, wizard's towers, old legends...


Actually, it's my understanding that Dwarf Fortress does exactly that. However, the guys behind DF have been at it for around 10 years, so they've had quite some time to develop their technique.

#9 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 460

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:57 PM

I was working on a 2d browser-based roguelike, along the lines of dungeon of dredmore style graphics, but open world with many different dungeons, skills, stats, spells, potions, traps, bandages, etc but I found single player games to be far different from multiplayer or mmo's when it comes to motivation to harvest stuff or even accumulate wealth, and especially crafting... so drawing inspiration for mechanics from games like Ultima Online, darkfall, etc was a bit misguided on my part.

For my game, players don't have classes, but armors do, so if you use magic you want mage armor, if you use a bow mainly you want ranger armor, and heavy armor for melee chars. Damage was tied to stats + relevant skills + weapon/staff/wand equipped, so if you used a bow you'd raise different stats than casting spells, and your arrow damage was tied to a formula based off your stats, weighted towards dex, agility, and str. Magic weighted towards your int, wisdom, but also measuring dex/agility, as well as what staff you are holding and magic related skills.

I honestly don't know if it's worth it other than the fact I personally was set on an expansive skilling system from the start, with several dozen modifiers.

And setting traps sounded awesome, you can set a trap and lure a monster into it which half life's them, useful on strong mobs.

I added defensive skills that raise passively, and had skills that had prerequisite skills before you could learn them, but for single player it seems like overkill/pointless.

What was fun, however, was randomized loot or rewards generated off a categorized loot table.

Killing a monster spawned a treasure chest and granted a stat gain, opening the chest randomly generated loot based off the level of the monster. Some of the loot was random amounts of supplies related to the monster's class, a magic piece of armor or weapon. Magic mobs could drop a staff or wand, ranger mobs drop arrows, bows, and ranger armor.

Instead of a mining skill, I made dwarf npcs drop pickaxes. I made pickaxes a single use item, and only a 2 second wait time to cash it in(was thinking 2-7 seconds), if you stand in a mine. I randomly spawn the mine on the map on certain levels, so it changes locations, and it's usually protected by a hard monster. You can kill dwarves and stockpile many pickaxes and then cash them in while fighting off the monster guarding it, but if you die you lose all your pickaxes that haven't been cashed in. When you cash in a pickaxe, you randomly get [stone: 5, iron: 5, silver: 3, copper: 3, gold: 2, platinum: 1] though you could make it random amounts of random ores, I just made it a constant amount of a random ore based off type because I didn't want people getting tons of platinum/gold. Also at first I made it weighted so you platinum was the least likely, but then you'd have 30-40 stone before you'd get a platinum, so I just do the 5, 3, 2, 1 ratios.

I would approach gathering lumber and other stuff similarly. Get a hatchet off a mob drop, or from a quest, or treasure chest, run to the forest and cash it in for randomly generated lumber (can do multiple grades of lumber, or sap and other items used for spells/potions/crafting)

Also if the player is in a town/trade zone they can open a trade window and view offers for goods to buy/sell. I just built out a list of everything they offer, never got around to randomizing which offers were shown, but thought it was pretty cool.

For crafting I just stuck to useful stuff, like upgrading/enchanting armor/weapons using a base armor/weapon and you could combine it with a couple other ingredients to make a more powerful version of that item. Basically you click the icon, it checks if you have the ingredients, subtracts 1 of each including the armor/weapon, and gives you a new armor/weapon piece with the upgrade, which is just a completely different entry out of the loot table.

It was a lot of fun either way, hard to get graphics though, so even with elaborate mechanics it looked like rpg maker meets might & magic + whatever I scraped up myself.

#10 EpiC Nostalgia   Members   -  Reputation: 85

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:38 PM

If you're doing this as a hobby, I'm guessing you don't have anyone helping you. It seems that you're getting waaayyyy too ahead of yourself.

Your game design document is really sketchy, and skimpy. I'll tell you right now, that if you tried to embark on this adventure you would FAIL, badly. I don't even know why you bothered posting this with what you have right now. You should be focusing on the design factor of your game before you start posting things about it.

My idea is to create a game in the style of a roguelike in which the player has a completely mutable and open world, where their actions leave effects long after they've (inevitably) died. It will include being able to start your own farm, build your own house, hunt wild animals and fight monsters, create relationships with individuals and civilizations, crafting and forging, and hopefully numerous other ideas that I haven't yet thought of.


I want you to know that you have not even explained how you're going to do all this, especially by yourself, in the information below.

WORLD GENERATION


The world will be procedurally generated based on numerous parameters. First, a height map is introduced. From this, a land-or-water map is created (basically just to help with later procedures). These two maps are then used to create many more maps for other parameters. The order of the generation of these maps is:

  • Height
  • Land-or-water
  • Coastal (used for temperature)
  • Temperature
  • Rivers & Lakes
  • Biomes
  • Precipitation
  • Plant factor
  • Animal factor
  • Danger factor
  • Civilization factor
  • Towns
  • Lairs
  • Roads



I am, seriously, so curious on how you're going to do this. You're going to have to have animals be in certain locations, monster be in certain locations, towns in certain locations that will be able to have enough room to support the girth of the town, and I don't really care what the "danger factor" is.

COMBAT AND MOVEMENT

I am thinking about using continuous time elapse as the basic action mechanic. What I mean is that it isn't turn based, so that even without giving any input, time will elapse in-game. However, during some actions such as talking or sleeping, time may slow down or speed up, respectively. So instead of being able to take your time, wondering which way would be the best to run away from the giant horde of alligators chasing you in the sewers, you have to run for it, and so thinking (and planning) ahead becomes a very important skill


So, this is how you describe combat and movement?
  • Sleeping and talking are not considered combat or movement. Take this out please!
  • I had a really hard time understanding what the hell you were talking about in this section. Reorganize it.
  • You really didn't discuss how combat works at all, or movement. All you really stated was that the game isn't turned-based... Kudos. Lol.

SKILLS & STATS


I am thinking about, instead of having overall levels and being able to increase stats as you choose, having the player's "strength" grow based on the skills that are being used. So for example, you would actually have to cut wood to increase your woodcutting ability (as well as your Strength and Constitution stats, perhaps?).


This section is understandable, but I feel like it is VERY skimpy for the scale of game that you are creating.
  • I want to know what skills and stats are available.
  • I want to know how to upgrade each stat.
  • I want to know the max you can get a stat.
  • I also want to know what happens as I raise a stat.
  • And is it possible to lose stats?
Of course, this is a post on a forum, so I'm not looking for EVERYTHING, but I am looking for the "meat" of the game here. That, you're not giving me.

Personally, I think every good game starts with the game design document. So before you start programming, drawing, and writing material for the game you really, really need to work on this.

Thanks for reading! ;D

#11 Selenaut   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 03:35 PM

@EpiC Nostalgia:
I do have a design document, but I think I go into too much detail for people that just want to see the general idea. However, I do see your point. Yes, I'm still designing, and no, I'm not going to just go in fingers blazing. I've taken quite a bit of time taking big parts, and chopping them into smaller problems (like the land generation for example). I've thought about how I want to go about programming each thing, but that would have taken too long (to write AND to read) here.

I can still post it somewhere though, if you want.

Thanks to everyone else for all the feedback!




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