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Theoretical Multiplayer Game


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#1 Smakpopy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:27 PM

This is just an idea for a game, by a gamer, not anyone who could ever create it. So dont bother reading this if you expect to tell me afterwards how and why this could never be made. This is just for fun and if any part of this idea is used to make a part of any game, well that is my only goal.

Most people are familar with warcraft orcs and humans, or if not that then the mmo it eventually spawned. But not many people have heard of a game called savage, or savage 2. Savage took elements of command and conquer/warcraft and combined them with the gameplay of fps shooters such as counterstrike. One player on each team would play a top down rts game, directing their team on where to fight, or where and what to build things. Players could natually do as they wished, sometimes to the frusteration of their commander. The game was won when the enemy base or stronghold was destroyed.

Savage was played out fresh each time, like a team match of counterstrike. Only the stats of the players and occasional persistent items would carry over to the next match. If you want to read more about savage you can google it, now ill talk about my idea for a game, soon.

MMo games have been popular since everquest, and more so since warcraft. Most mmo games are designed as pve grinds to gain alot of levels, skills, spells, and items, as well as tradeskills. Few are designed with pvp from the ground up. For example the most popular mmo, warcraft, very rarely sees open world pvp happen. Instead there are pvp instanced battlegrounds that have little to no impact on the factions out in the normal game world.

Well, here is my idea for a game:

Start out with a continent, a new world so to speak, that has no humanoid habitation. Just natural turrain features, grasslands, forests, swamps, jungles, hills, mountains, lakes ect

When you make a new character you select a basic skillset that you can change later, such as logger/carpenter, miner/smelter, mason/builder, fisherman/cook various basic skills that will be needed.

You start the game on a ship with other new players, and as you approach the coastline you select a place to land by vote. You can also form what will become your own guilds, or what are considered guilds in this game. After you land you can start off building a settlement with the players from the ship, or you can break off into your own guilds from the crew, or you can adventure alone looking for another settlement to join, maybe with some rl friends you know.

The goal of this game would be for your guild to develop villages, towns, cities, forts, and eventually castles. And make war, trade, or otherwise interact diplomatically with other "civilizations".

I suggest a starting technology of somewhere between the roman empire and the 1600-1700s. You could design the game in a way that eventually the players could have the same technology we have today, like guns and bombs, planes, tanks, nukes.

Instead of having masses of land for the players to deal with, the whole continent should be designed like interlocking battlegrounds. So there would be 2 to 4 sites for settlements in each "zone", and enough of each resource for them nearby. But not endless lands between towns. This way players would be more likely to encounter another player traveling, or gathering resources.

Maybe there could be a computer controlled faction that takes control of unsettled lands, and occasionally attacks player towns. And there could be periods or eras in time based on player progress, like near the begining gm gods would direct divine forces of destruction or benefit to the players, and later on there could be monsters out of fantasy appear and attack, and a plague of death that spreads from town to town, different gm type events.

I just think a persistant game that played out like savage, in the way mmos play out, in a style like stronghold, would be great. Players may even form bandit guilds and form defensible cavern hideouts or whatnot.

I guess the problem i see with most mmos is that after a very long time playing, maybe years, your character may have alot of levels, hp, mana, and good gear, but aside from that and your guilds accomplishments in raids, you have nothing to show for it. With the game i suggest, after a long time you could eventually "win" the game with your guild, taking control of a large majority of the playable turrain, and imposing your guilds will on the rest of the populace as most real life empires have done.

You could point at the largest castle your guild has built and say, no one has ever taken this from us by force. Or you could recall the destruction of a similar fortification one of your enemy guilds once had.

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#2 Suspense   Members   -  Reputation: 449

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 01:17 PM

Variations on these themes pop up on here every so often. Plenty of discussions have been had on why this type of game is or is not feasible, and as you asked that these discussions not occur in this thread, I won't go into it. From purely a design perspective, here is one of the main problems:

... and imposing your guilds will on the rest of the populace as most real life empires have done....


Games are supposed to be fun. But I don't have fun in games where some other player's will is imposed upon me. If this is one of your design goals, then you're designing a game where only a few of your players end up having fun (or at least your player base has very disparate levels of fun).

#3 Smakpopy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:12 PM

What is fun is different for each player, you may not enjoy any competitive games but many do. And in this supposed game if most players have been destroyed by a large guild or a few large guilds they could vote for a world reset and start over again. Even if you are losing you can still fight back, attack supply lines and outlieing towns. And if you are playing a feudalistic game you should expect someone more powerful than you telling you what to do, or what you cant do. A king, or your guild master, or an enemy guilds taxes on their town that you reside or trade in.

#4 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2082

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 04:39 PM

A few years ago I played Travain and some other browser based game set in space. In both cases I came in the middle of an established world and found that it was quite difficult to do much of anything without being raided and having whatever I worked on destroyed. Of course, it was sortta the whole point of the game so it's not like there was anything to cry over. To survive better, I figured on trying to establish an alliance with a few other players to help protect each other and build up some strength. Didn't work out so well as we all had no clue what we were doing, had a hard time coordinating, and were spread out too far to help each other properly. The game world would've eventually reset and everybody would start from scratch again giving us a better shot but I get the distinct impression that veterans of the game have already figured out how the system worked and how to game it to their advantage making it impossible to stand against them.

I get the impression that you're figuring on something where characters can interact with their environment more like in an RTS or RPG but I suspect that you'd eventually experience the same phenomena. Players coming in late to the game will not have the ability to establish themselves the same as the ones that started early.

This isn't entirely a show stopper, you just have to plan for it and figure out how to make it fun for people regardless of when they come into the game. IRL civilizations started pretty early on and very few people can become ruler of their own country anymore. Establishing a guild or a business of your own can be quite tough too. Doesn't mean interesting things aren't possible. I suppose what it is that you have to find a way to give established players a reason to sufficiently ignore the ones just coming in long enough that they can try to find a place in the world. Of course, if a new player comes into an established game and figures he and a band of others will rob people on a road, the established rulers should be able to send out a party and crush them into the ground making the road safe again. But it should be fun getting crushed into the ground.

#5 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 755

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:55 PM

I think the few people that have power in their hands must keep the population happy to avoid rebellions, for example keeping monsters outside the land, maintaining a healthy economy, etc. As a player earns more and more territory, he will also be required to do more micro-management tasks. At some point the player will be forced to ally with other players to take care of these tasks so he can continue with conquest campaigns. But if the player doesn't care about his land and his people, individual players could find chances to sabotage his power. For example under a good government the "burn this farm" action will be grayed out, and farms will randomly enable this action as rating goes down. With supplies reduced the player's army will lose its combat performance and soldiers will defect. This will become a snowball effect that could quickly remove all of the player's control of his territory, allowing other players to take advantage and become new rulers.
 

 


#6 Smakpopy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:16 PM

Well, the idea is that instead of advancing personal goals, you are trying to help your civilization advance. It could be your guild, or maybe towns and cities could be seperate from guilds. Say you could ally yourself with a particular village at the begining that has a mix of players who are solo or also from multiple guilds. Then the inhabitants could vote for a leader who would handle the rts aspects of the town. Even if a guild controls a city or a castle they still need inhabitants, who may not be guilded.

But i think guilds themselves should have the ability to declare war on another guild, or another town, or simply flag an individual as "kos". And a guild, OR the leader of a city, should be able to go to war with another town and attack it. destroy or take it over. The conquered could either join forces with you or flee to another town.

And about banditry, i see several resource nodes on the maps, where it would take several players efforts to collect a wagonload. And when the wagon is full it could be rolled towards a town, since there would be wagonloads from 6 or more locations on each map going to different towns, the leaders of the towns or guilds would have to arrange for gaurds, players, who would escort the wagons. But a small number of players with bows in a good ambush position should be able to take out some of the gaurds before getting attacked. And if the workers have no military escort... they will have to defend themselves with tools, shovels ect.

The bandit groups would have to be very secretive about the location of their hold, a cave or maybe just a cabin in the woods. And it would add some inrtigue to the game for the townsfolk to hire spys to locate the bandits, and hire mercenaries or bounty hunters to take them out.

But i think the main goal of the game should be about war between the cities, regions, guilds. And there should be a way made for players to align themselves with a guild or town, maybe as a follower and not a full member. So you only have to adventure alone if you want to, in fact that could be a big part of the game. You alone working as a craftsman in a town could earn money to reinvest in your business. As well as provide a service that the guilds or towns require.

One of the big crazes is something called moba or something like that, its like warcraft rts but you only control one character, and i think its all top down not like a fps game. Although i am in a beta for smite, and it is a fps game similar to moba's. But each of those games have no leader on each side, and when towers are destroyed you cannot rebuild them. Also mobas have npcs that fight for you.

In the game i suggest i think there should be no npcs that do anything for you, only the barbarian civs that attack you and animals or monsters you hunt.

One of the problems with eve is that new players are years behind the current players, as skills are gained over long periods of real time. In my game new skills would come to you along with new technology, buildings made in your city, items you obtain by trade or tradeskilling, and of course you could pick a basic skillset to advance at any time. Basic job that you do such as gathering or manipulating a particular resource.

An important job would be gathering and preparing food, since going without food would reduce your effectiveness by a % off all stats and skills until you eat a few regular meals. And going without food or with bad food for a long time could terminate your character, perhaps as your stats reach zero from lack of food/drink.

#7 Smakpopy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:23 PM

I think the few people that have power in their hands must keep the population happy to avoid rebellions, for example keeping monsters outside the land, maintaining a healthy economy, etc. As a player earns more and more territory, he will also be required to do more micro-management tasks. At some point the player will be forced to ally with other players to take care of these tasks so he can continue with conquest campaigns. But if the player doesn't care about his land and his people, individual players could find chances to sabotage his power. For example under a good government the "burn this farm" action will be grayed out, and farms will randomly enable this action as rating goes down. With supplies reduced the player's army will lose its combat performance and soldiers will defect. This will become a snowball effect that could quickly remove all of the player's control of his territory, allowing other players to take advantage and become new rulers.


That is a good idea. Also if a town or guild does nothing but attack its surrounding civilizations the rest of the cities would take note and ally themselves against it. And yes i think there should be initially a democratically elected leader of each town and or region, and that a group could decide to take control by force and then set up their own government.

I just added the idea of food as a resource to the mix and if disgruntled players or enemy nations decided to they could focus their attacks on a towns or guilds food supplies and production ability. The king may feast, and the army may get rations, but if the workers and general populous of a town sant eat they will desert you or revolt.

#8 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 755

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:43 PM

I do like the idea of this game, and I even think it's feasible... with enough development power :)

When you mentioned the technology time-line, I recalled a quote from Albert Einstein:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.


So the game could indeed start in the stone age, and when it reaches the atomic era players will be so tempted to start a full scale nuclear war, that it will be unavoidable. At that point the game's technology age will automatically restart.
 

 


#9 Smakpopy   Members   -  Reputation: 127

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:56 PM

So the game could indeed start in the stone age, and when it reaches the atomic era players will be so tempted to start a full scale nuclear war, that it will be unavoidable. At that point the game's technology age will automatically restart.


That was an aspect to a previous iteration of this game idea, that would have modeled itself closely with the CIV series as well as elements of the major mmo games and games such as counterstrike and call of duty, where eventually the cavemen would develop technology to make guns and the game could be played out on a global scale.

But that idea was to model the earth as precisely as possible, even size, and there just would not be enough players to man all the aircraft carriers, planes, tanks, ect to play out a world war.

This idea here, there would be one continent broken up into zones and each zone would be about the size of a savage map, or maybe 2 or 3 times as large since there would be many factions not just 2.

By having what amounts to many small persistant battlegrounds closely grouped together, you avoid the tedium many players hate of traveling long distances to get to the action.

When i had mentioned the previous idea to some friends, one in particular said it would be impossible to make a game that could model the entire world so closely, let alone get enough players into it at once to avoid heavy use of npcs.

What you want to avoid is a game too intricate that kids cannot figure out how to do everything, and too dumbed down that adults and many kids would find boring or repetitive.

If i ever made a game like this i originally would have called it something like civilization simulation, or Sim Civ. But i guess taking two popular named games and combining not only the name but many aspects in their games would get shot down.

Maybe partner with stronghold makers and make it "Stronghold Online" or "Stronghold MMO", Since the game revolves around building up defendable cities and fortifications.

#10 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:20 AM

"Sandbox, build your way up from primitive state" and "open world PvP" are very common ideas that keep showing up on this forum. There is nothing wrong with them, except that they are not very innovative/novel.

Start out with a continent, a new world so to speak, that has no humanoid habitation. Just natural turrain features, grasslands, forests, swamps, jungles, hills, mountains, lakes ect


The problem is, an overwhelmingly large proportion of MMO players would like to see "content" on day 1. If the land is barren and empty, they are most likely to quit for an MMO that has beautiful sprawling cities and dungeons.

...and imposing your guilds will on the rest of the populace as most real life empires have done.


And players will leave your game en masse like most real life oppressed populace have done.




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