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70's setting for a text based MMORPG.


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#1 TexasJack   Members   -  Reputation: 183

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:26 AM

Hi,

I'm jotting down ideas for a text based MMORPG, and I've come to choose a setting for it.

It's fairly hard to find something that hasn't been done to death before, let alone, something that hasn't been done before - but I want something really unique and original.

I want the game to be fairly sandbox, in that the player is left to discover several linked stories instead of clumsily being ushered around a linear narrative. To aid this, I'm going to include fairly open sci-fi and fantasy lore as part of the game. The reason I mention all of this, is that I really like how fiction that is set modern day tends to handle typically medieval fantasy lore (gothic, gritty aesthetics blended with fantasy), it also gives you the opportunity to throw in science and technologically feasible fantasy too.

I want to keep these advantages, without going with the everything-from-Buffy-to-The-Matrix style post 90's cliché. I would also like a setting with lots of identity which can potentially be communicated in the game's artwork, ala "Fallout" but am in no way interested in ripping off that series' 40's/50's aesthetic.

I've come up with an idea I'm proud of though, I want to look to 70's America for my game's setting. I think that the graphic design could be great fun, the game would be text based - so the NPC lingo could reflect 70's dialects and the pool of story line imagery to draw on is really deep. I would be tempted to come up with a collection of fictional states to give me a bit of wiggle room - but I'm really excited about this. To my knowlege, not that many games have done this era; "The Warriors" game did tenuously, but that's just because it was based on a movie made in the 1970s (and right at the end of the 1970s for that matter).

I'm certainly not familiar with any sci-fi/fantasy games set then. The feel I'm going for is normal life in the 70's, but with a hidden, seedy underbelly populated by cults, monsters, the paranormal, criminals, extra terrestrials etc...

It would be too easy to make this game cheesy and goofy, but really rewarding and immersive to reveal the dark side of the 70's.

There's the potential for lots of cool research in this one.

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The graphical style will also inform and influence the interface of the game in some ways, so aswell as your opinions on my idea for a setting - I'd also be interested to hear what your preferences are when it comes to the layout and features in a text based MMORPG.

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#2 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2246

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 06:20 PM

Hmm, interesting concept. I like picking a field that hasn't been overdone, and I like not taking the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach to the supernatural. Although "

cults, monsters, the paranormal, criminals, extra terrestrials etc" does sound a bit kitchen sink. Do you have an overall unifying aesthetic or plotline for the supernatural side of things?



#3 TexasJack   Members   -  Reputation: 183

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 02:06 AM

Hmm, interesting concept. I like picking a field that hasn't been overdone, and I like not taking the "everything but the kitchen sink" approach to the supernatural. Although "

cults, monsters, the paranormal, criminals, extra terrestrials etc" does sound a bit kitchen sink. Do you have an overall unifying aesthetic or plotline for the supernatural side of things?


Kind of.

I was thinking that in game, society in general would be oblivious to any supernatural ongoings. New players wouldn't really be introduced to it right away either, the first few tutorial-level quests would be fairly unassuming, but eventually, you would peel back the layers to reveal the dark side of things. The wierd stuff would be like some kind of underground, so to speak.

One idea that I had, was that the players could take on private detective missions (lots of private detective iconography from the 1970's) which were generated randomly by the computer and based on recent in-game PKings. The user would take on the quest, investigate the death and eventually be lead to the killer. Through the course of them acting as a private eye (a few variations of this type of quest could feature early on to familiarise players with the game), the player could become embroiled in cases that lead them to discover the odd supernatural occurance (a werewolf sighting here, a vampire consistent mugging there etc...).

I want the game to be fairly sandbox, so by the time these quests are complete - players are ready to be allowed to unlock the rest of the game map, where the supernatural side to things feature more heavily, this could be done gradually in increments. This way, players slowly gain the ability to roam freely, but only after they've reached a stage where they won't ruin any mystery or suprise by stumbling upon the paranormal straight after spawning at Lvl 1.

I don't want a one dimensional plot though, I'd still like several sub-quests that hark back to vaguely normal life. The seventies has a wealth of cultural references that I could nod to, so it would be nice if some of the game could feature that too.

#4 jefferytitan   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2246

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:31 PM

If you base cases on player generated data, I suggest a strong reason for them to hide their tracks, e.g. a penalty for going full supernatural in broad daylight.




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