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Unionline: game concept for a space-fantasy mmo


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#1 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:01 AM

UPDATE
Here are the new presentations:



Interfaces
http://prezi.com/3z6aazrl7dec/interfaces/?auth_key=f392d24f0cdc9a9ad723d985fb91e03149b9600b&kw=view-3z6aazrl7dec&rc=ref-4108586

Galaxy map
http://prezi.com/yzw...e2838da6b309b18

Sun-system map
http://prezi.com/i4j...sun-system-map/

Economic Module
http://prezi.com/5v10tw8g9l5t/unionline-economic-system/?auth_key=b1ea60ff79afca257dbece19ca0f35faf774a908



Hello everyone!

I made a basic concept for a new space-fantasy mmo game. I know that this is far-far away from a complete game and it is just the first step, but every way start with a first step, now im working on second and ready to take more. Now I want just share with you the first concept and thanks for all opinions, advices, and welcome everyone who want help improve the concept to go ahead in the way of realization.

You can see a small presentation of Unionline Universe in this link:
http://prezi.com/qei...f0b0b9214f7e8ab

Here is few features which can make this game genuine among the other mmos:

The world: combination of space and fantasy enviroment with 20 classical fantasy races (human, elf, dwarf, goblin, orc, troll, kobold, ogre, dragon, imp, etc.) in a sci-fi world

The genre: basically a 2D real time action platform which contains rpg, adventure, exploring, trading, economic, governing, and social elements to attract different types of players who can find diverse challanges in the game

Main screen: a real huge highly zoomable 2D real time surface, a realistic virtual sun-system with natural scale terrestrial planets and gas giants, and there are roughly 100 similar sun-systems to conquer and rule by players

Economic module: based on 5 types of building materials (light gases, metallic matter, organic matter, fissile matter, and noble gases) mined by planets or moons, 3 types of manufactured units (spaceships, spaceship upgrades, and space stations), and 3 types of virtual cash (cosmic coin, dark matter, dark energy)

Spaceships and stations: every race has its own unique ships in 4 type (explorer, fighter, cargo, and science) and 3 tier level with 4 types of upgrades (weapons, shields, engines, and special), and there are 4 type of space stations (miner, manufacturer, defensive, and colonial)

Social module: There are 5 faction for 20 races with different political system and players can vote monthly their leaders who control the planets, govern the sun-systems, and rule the space empires and manage its economy and army, also there are chat and forum modules to organize the community

Other details are in the presentation.

Thank you for watching this!

Edited by Urfang, 02 January 2013 - 01:03 PM.


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#2 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 12:23 PM

I made a new presentation to help visualize the game concept:
http://prezi.com/i4jadbqv_c4-/uni2/

And try to summarize the game features and details in a handbook.

#3 Drakonka   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:12 PM

Time management: like in all mmos the faster progression needs a lot of free time and\or money, but this game makes possible an enjoyable progression with only 3 minute free play per day to gather and keep a numerous community


I'll leave detailed feedback to more experienced members of this board, but there was just one thing that stood out which I wanted to clarify. Just to make sure I understand - do you mean that players can play the game for free for 3 minutes per day, after which they pay money to continue playing? Your presentation says that it takes 20-30 minutes to move between nearby planets (and even hours for those that are farther away) with a basic ship, implying that at least some in-game activities are likely to be very time consuming. What would the player be able to accomplish in these 3 minutes exactly to become invested enough to pay?

Edited by Drakonka, 11 October 2012 - 05:12 PM.


#4 menyo   Members   -  Reputation: 407

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 07:57 PM

The presentation was nice. To make this work you have to work out a complicated economy model that is going to work for your game. It seems all about resources, but can these resources be made into something worth more? Allow players to sell and buy from NPC's or is it fully sustained by players? etc, etc.

Current Project: TechnoFlux read all about it on my

DEV BLOG


#5 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:54 AM

@drakonka

"players can play the game for free for 3 minutes per day, after which they pay money to continue playing?"

Absolutely not, unlimited free play available. I mean that there are many alternative income source in the game, but the main income source is the daily work, because it needs only a click per day, so a 3 minute player can achieve a good progression and can keep the step with the hardcore gamers and the cashers, so there are sense of the 3min playing and this can be enjoyable as well beside the hardcore and casher playing. I think this is the key to a huge community where the main body is the crowd of 3min players and even more 3min players leads to more hardcore and casher players.

About alternative income sources.
Tradewear delivery is a basic moneymaker tool for everyone, it needs only time, for example you you deliver tradewear (free stuff) from Earth to Mars and if you perform the way you get money, naturally deliver tradewear from Earth to Saturn earn more money. Another income source for the economy oriented players is the trading with ingame goods (resources, ships, equipments, stations) in the market. Pro players can try the company management, use the other players workpower, pay salaries, and produce the ingame goods. Action oriented players can gather money by looting (as outlaw pirate) or by military service (as official soldier). Finally the ultimate income source is naturally the politics, factions get sales tax from every transactions under their control so there are huge wealth in the hands of faction leaders. And everyone can be faction officer or leader, because they elected by the community in every month.

About long ways.
Every player get in every day a limited ammount of special resources: dark matter and dark energy. The first make the travel ways faster, the second make suddenly instant travel (space jump), so it is available for every players in a certainly extent, but players who buy special resources can travel anywhere to anytime. For the casual players who used their special resource reserves there are available many ingame activities during their interplanetary ways. For example check the market for valuable margins, or company management for company owners, or faction fleet management for military commanders, or faction management and election campaign for faction leaders, or community building in the forum for everyone, write economic or war plans, or just for fun. Another way if the player own more ship, this means surely more activity.

Feel free to ask about the details, most of them are now just in paper and until a complete digital handbook is not done I can show just the details.

@menyo

Your question is right, but I think it need more than a comment. I make a new presentation about the detailed economic module and I will post here. In my notion there are no need to NPC in the economic module (anyway for example in the action module at faction fleets under the military commanders there are NPC ships as well) because the players produce the resources, transform them to ships, equipments, and stations, take them on the markets, sell their old used ships, etc., so I think the market can be instinct without NPCs. And I think an unlimited supply by the NPCs would counterwork to the formation of a realistic market commerce.

Edited by Urfang, 12 October 2012 - 01:55 AM.


#6 starbasecitadel   Members   -  Reputation: 699

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 06:46 AM

Great presentation. To be honest it's rare that I'll read even a high level game design doc all the way through. Yours is formatted very well and gives just the right amount of detail for an initial concept doc.

I like the overall genre concept of primarily space but mixing in fantasy elements too. I think that is an idea many people have but very few are able to actually make a design that combines it well. Or maybe few people actually have the guts to do it or something Posted Image

Your concept of military commanders is similar to a concept in the game I am currently designing/developing. You may be interested to check out this thread to see if any of the feedback I've been given would also apply to your game:
http://www.gamedev.n...g-and-turtling/

My game is a non-persistant world (a MOBA), so it may not apply but then again maybe you will find something juicy.

My only other initial feedback is an MMO is a big undertaking. This does look like a really good start. But I think it will require a large team to pull off, as this seems to mix elements from WoW, Eve Online, as well as many of your own pretty unique mechanics. I know there are small instances of people successfully making a MMO with just a couple people, but more commonly it seems to take 20 or more (for example see http://www.planeshift.it/team.html). If I was leading your game, I would target say more along the lines of 50 people or so. That requires not just talented leads, but also people who work well in larger organizations. There are many people who are good "lone-wolves" but something of this size will require those rare contributors who are both talented and easy to work with in larger teams and willing to help out with recruiting etc too to build the team size to what will be required.

Good luck! I'll definitely be curious to follow up progress on this.

#7 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:15 PM

@starbasecitadel

Thanks for your feedback. I am really interested about your game, especially about the NPC fleets. These ships are conventionally controlled (click somewhere to move there and attack) or they have an advanced AI? Just because Im thinking now about AI controlled NPC ships.

In the Unionline there are 2 types of fleets. The first is a free cooperation of independent players whos control directly their ships and try to make actions together. It will be likely pretty chaotic but I think it can be a very good gaming experience to be a part of a big fleet battle such this together with hundreds of your faction members. The second type is a faction fleet with NPC ships found by faction income. The military commanders get access to guide AI controlled fleets and if their rank is rise up they can guide bigger and bigger fleets. Otherwise a faction fleet contain not just NPC ships but also the player's ships who serve in military service and assign their ships control to the commander and the AI steer them in the formation. Firstly they get money for the military service and secondly the service time is the key to rise the military rank.

It is necessary an advanced AI system to perform various fleet actions: attack or defend in formation, patrol around the trading routes which are endangered by pirates, exploration, scouting, and other things.

I absolutely agree with your feedback. Im just making my presentations, write the handbook, but it comes a point where I am not enough and have to be a developer team to continue the progress. Do you know that where are the developer teams which are looking for MMO concepts? :)

I think the status of the Unionline now is not enough to seem as a profitable investment but in your opinion some other similar presentation about the game sub-systems and a really detailed handbook can be enough to try my luck at a game developer studio?

#8 starbasecitadel   Members   -  Reputation: 699

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:10 PM

Thanks for your feedback. I am really interested about your game, especially about the NPC fleets. These ships are conventionally controlled (click somewhere to move there and attack) or they have an advanced AI? Just because Im thinking now about AI controlled NPC ships.


Actually, the ships are player-controlled. So there will be 2 (or possibly even 3) different interfaces which players can play, most will be starship pilots controlling a single ship. There will be 20-50 live players on each team, and the leader (the Admiral) will be a special kind of player.

The Admiral won't have your typical starship tactical combat interface, but instead will have a view that is the strategic map. I'm still working on the design for the Admiral interface, but the basic idea is the Admiral will mostly be pinging players (or maybe particular sectors) to move from one sector to another and to attack bases or retreat. The Admiral will also do some limited resource management (nowhere near as complex as say Starcraft 2), perhaps as simple as clicking the top 3 sectors to prioritize mineral mining, and occasionally granting a bonus upgrade item to particular starships.

The individual starship players will receive icon notifications on their mini-maps indicating their Admiral's orders. The starship pilots can of course ignore their Admiral's ping orders. That is totally fine and newbies will probably do this a lot. More experienced, higher ranked players would be more likely to follow their Admiral's orders. You can think of the Admiral's commands as more like suggestions that nonetheless can significantly influence a team's overall strategy and thus the game outcome.

Where NPC's come in is more as placeholders for starship pilots until each game instance is filled up with live players. Eg let's say each game instance will support 100 live players, and there are 550 simultaneous players. Then you would see 5 full game instances of 100 live players, and the 6th one would have 50 players and 50 AI starships.

Also, there will be NPC bots such as resource mining ships. There may even be NPC minions to fight. But really the focus is on real-time tactical warfare between players, combined with some strategic elements.


In the Unionline there are 2 types of fleets. The first is a free cooperation of independent players whos control directly their ships and try to make actions together. It will be likely pretty chaotic but I think it can be a very good gaming experience to be a part of a big fleet battle such this together with hundreds of your faction members. The second type is a faction fleet with NPC ships found by faction income. The military commanders get access to guide AI controlled fleets and if their rank is rise up they can guide bigger and bigger fleets. Otherwise a faction fleet contain not just NPC ships but also the player's ships who serve in military service and assign their ships control to the commander and the AI steer them in the formation. Firstly they get money for the military service and secondly the service time is the key to rise the military rank.


Sounds really cool.

It is necessary an advanced AI system to perform various fleet actions: attack or defend in formation, patrol around the trading routes which are endangered by pirates, exploration, scouting, and other things.


Yeah, unfortunately I don't have much experience with AI's. I've written a couple of very basic AI's before but nothing that advanced. For my game, I should be ok because the AI isn't really supposed to be that advanced as PvP combat is the focus.

I absolutely agree with your feedback. Im just making my presentations, write the handbook, but it comes a point where I am not enough and have to be a developer team to continue the progress. Do you know that where are the developer teams which are looking for MMO concepts? Posted Image


I don't know any offhand, but you might want to start with looking at existing successful MMO's such as Planeshift and ask them for help. It is probably bad form to try to just poach people indiscriminately Posted Image but I'm sure there are always people sort of ready to take a break and work on another project or who might have friends looking for something new.

Also, I recently went to a Meetup[.com] for game developers that was awesome. My local group is probably much bigger than most, there were 50 people or so present half of which were part-time or full time professional game developers. Most of them already were involved in their own projects, but what I found is a lot of them seemed to float between 2 or 3 projects at once. Some of it was a bit like trade: "maybe you help me with my game engine and our lead artist helps you with some of the art you are missing" etc. Local high schools and colleges can also be good resources for finding team members as they can in some cases get class credit.


I think the status of the Unionline now is not enough to seem as a profitable investment but in your opinion some other similar presentation about the game sub-systems and a really detailed handbook can be enough to try my luck at a game developer studio?


I'm not a professional game developer, so can't really speak to this, maybe others will chime in. From things I've read though, it is very rare for that kind of big break to happen. The kickstarter.com investors and game companies want to see a track record of successfully completed, progressively more challenging projects. They might look at your work and want to hire you for a junior, full-time position though, which in some studios, if you have star talent and a little luck, can lead to rapid promotions. A highly talented college classmate of mine went from junior(no previous professional experience) programmer to lead programmer for a top-selling commercial game in under 3 years.

But in terms of working on your game now, you can try to build up your own team. It's definitely not easy finding dozens or more people to work on it at once, but it is possible at least. I'm not sure the best structure, perhaps it would be something like starting by finding 3 key positions: art director, lead server programmer, and lead client programmer. The kinds of people who would be really helpful probably won't join unless they are partners, perhaps not equal partners but people who have significant input. You want people who not only have the talent, but share the same game-vision and have the right personality to build and lead and be in it for the long haul.

#9 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:19 AM

Hi

I made a new presentation about the galaxy map. It is a little bit unfinished yet but contains all main information about the factions and the races. Now I work on the Economic Module Presentation. Thank you for watching.

http://prezi.com/yzwq7mvmqdx3/unionline-galaxy-map/?auth_key=186b2c2a02c78c92965f35322e2838da6b309b18

#10 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2457

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 10:32 AM

I think you should change dark energy or dark matter to something more "physical" because those might be hard/impossible to gather so it feels kind of weird. Maybe antimatter?

o3o


#11 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 11:16 AM

@Waterlimon

Hard\impossible to gather at the Earth in 2012 but not in the Unionline Universe in 7563 :)

#12 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:35 PM

Hi all

I am ready with the economic module presentation and now working on rpg module presentation which shows the skill progression, the characters attributes, and the possibilities of improvements.

http://prezi.com/5v10tw8g9l5t/unionline-economic-system/?auth_key=b1ea60ff79afca257dbece19ca0f35faf774a908

#13 Heaven   Members   -  Reputation: 478

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:59 AM

Fairy - "Their ships are small and weak, but they can escape from all situations with their super fast RAINBOW DRIVE." (emphasis mine)

Lol! Seriously awesome. I can just see it, swarms of orcs, gremlins, ogre ships surround them...then...POOF! They fly off into space, a brilliant rainbow left in their ship's wake.

Heh heh. Looks like a really cool game concept so far.

Take care.

EDIT:

In your economic presentation you have 5 types of spaceships. One is "fighter". It would sound so much better if it was called "battle". That way you would have: "battle corvettes", "battle frigates", and "battle cruisers".

Likewise instead of "explorer" the word "scout" would sound better. "Scout corvettes", etc.

Also what are the differences between reactor, engine, and boost? All sound kind of similar to a degree. Wouldn't gameplay be enhanced greatly by expanding the options for weapons. I mean if you've got reactor and engine which both arguably sound like two types of a similar element, why not energy, projectile and missile for weapons?

Just some thoughts!

Edited by Heaven, 04 November 2012 - 05:04 AM.

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#14 Burrowing Owl   Members   -  Reputation: 119

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:54 PM

"Uranus is too far away..." That made me laugh. Thank you.

I never thought that the common fantasy races could exist in a space game. However, it's an interesting concept.
I want to see more of this.

#15 Urfang   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:50 AM

@Heaven

I agree with you, maybe "battle" type sounds better than "fighter" but about the "explorer" vs "scout" issue I think the scout sounds as a military category like reconnoisant, but the explorer are closer to discoverer, like a fast and long-range ship to explore easily the far corners of the galaxy.

About reactor, engine, and boost. Boosts can be very diversified for improve the ship stats, or give a permanent passive ability or a temporary spell-like ability. So boosts are not necessary just "other" equipments. However engines are necessary and this defines the ship speed in the sun-system map and the range in the galaxy map. The reactor produce the energy for the ship and this effect not just the engines but the weapons, shields, and boosts too. And finally I thinking in small, medium, and long range weapons, and these can be projectile, energy, and missile weapons, just these details left from the presentation.

@Burrowing Owl

Now im working on unique sun-systems for every race and more racial traits and abilities to make them more special. My new idea is a special resource demand for every faction. The Warrior Faction need more metal to their massive ships, the Trader Faction need more organic material to they luxury way of life, the Explorer Faction need more light gases to drive their superfast engines, the Stealth Faction need more noble gases to operate their stealt technology, and the Balanced Faction need more fissile material to power up their even tempered industry. These special demands can be a motivator to build up intergalactic trade-ways because everywhere are different resource lacks.

And I planning a cool kickstarter project to gain some funds for a prototype. I heard that 6000-10000 EUR needed for a functional prototype. I can write a good smart campaign message and these presentations can be additional informations, now im thinking about how can I make a good video material.

Thanks for all feedbacks




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