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number of firearms in adventure/rpg (weak to strong scaling problem)


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#1 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 532

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

Hi

Im doing an adventure/rpg where you roam the lands, exploring, looting/collecting and taking out bad guys. The setting is post-apoc, like fallout or maybe stalker (the game) but gameplay is also not too far from diablo (finding loot, selling in town etc).

 

My problem is now how many and which guns (firearms) to include. I want a progression from weak to strong (game zones/areas go from "level 1 to level 20" which makes up the "campaign" of the game) where the weapons found (and used by enemies) late in the game is much stronger then in the beginning. Kinda like in diablo games where the sword found in first world is a weaker kind of sword then the ones in the last act.

 

My idea is early guns are homemade (zip guns) or older weapons like old rifles, cheap/bad guns etc

middle more "normal" guns like ak47, m1911 handgun

late game modern weapons like SCAR assault rifle and so on

(yes i use real/realistic guns only for now)

 

Is this wierd? I dont want to mess up lore/atmosphere to much but need a progression of weapon quality. Also the problem of scaling items like this is that due to ammunition etc, many modern weapon makes LESS damage per bullet (higher acc but using 5.56 mm instead of 7.76mm comparing ak47 with SCAR for ex) making it a bit hard to simply use more modern arms as better arms (higher level weapon must be stronger for gameplay reasons).

 

Or could i just go for the feel of "this guns looks cool so it deals double the damage of that gun"? Would that seem unserious to you?

In general i try to make high damage weapons (high level) use ammo more quickly (ammo is a game resource that needs to be looted)

 

Upgrading weapons instead of finding new ones (better, stronger) doesnt really work for my gameplay.

thanks for your feedback

Erik


Edited by suliman, 06 February 2013 - 11:39 AM.


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#2 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6872

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:54 PM

Different weapons simply have different properties -- if one weapon is objectively better in every statistic, then its "better" -- but everything else is just opinion and style of play. Look at a game like Borderlands -- there's certainly a level progression, but the interesting aspect of their near-infinite selection of weapons is all based on how you want to play:

 

Do you want the lighter-hitting sniper rifle with high-accuracy and a 4-power scope, or do you want the heavy-hitter with iron sights?

 

Do you want the shotgun that spreads immediately (damage to multiple enemies at short range, ineffective at intermediate range and beyond), or the one that holds a tighter pattern (damage to single enemy, effective at intermediate range and shorter).

 

 

I think those kind of differences make for better, more-personal, more-engaging choices, than having a linear progression of different weapons classes.



#3 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1426

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:01 PM

if it s post-apocalyptic most weapons wont be fresh out of the fire-arms-factory, they 'd be old, repaired and/or enhanced, maybe somebody even created one working gun by using two broken guns.
You also have no bullets out of the factory, they re either being recycled or somehow some people recreate them.(Aps's odyssy or something along that line allowed you to collect bugs as different ammo, realy funny ) so you have enough realistic options to make guns stronger/weaker i 'd say



#4 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 896

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

well, one thing, is that you can start with throwing rocks, making a sling, a bow, then move up to better mechanics like guns.  You could use old pipes, and rig things as the player.  Then, their weapons a heavier, harder to aim, you injure your self from powder burns and such when you use them, you keep having to 'patch' them.  Constantly looking for better parts to put your gun together with.  

 

maybe somebody even created one working gun by using two broken guns.

Like powerneg said, about assembling pieces from multiple guns.  Perhaps your character has enough knowledge to put together something safe enough.  For instance they can identify the general structural integrety of a hand made "gun"

 

If they have a work shop, perhaps their guns keep improving as they go out and find more scraps that could work for it.  

 

Eventually as you move on in the game, you find intact original guns, but now you have to produce ammo for them.  Since your skills have increased, you've got the ability to do that.


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#5 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 532

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

What you suggest is interesting but a completely different game, imagine something more like stalker or diablo and you see why that wouldnt suit the gameplay very good. 

 

The game is also a topdown shooter, so different kinds of sights will not be easy to actually make a difference for the player. This is why damage, range, spread is basically what i have to elaborate with.

 

I do want different "strong" weapons though for different parts of the game (which could be described as levels, even if i dont have to tell the player "now this is level 4"). If you played fallout tactics this models is somewhat used, but i need to stretch the difference between good and bad weapons more. 

 

In diablo 2 a early sword is like 30 or 100 times weaker then a sword that comes later but looks basically the same (so logically the range difference in damage makes little sense). I dont want this much, but do want to "cheat" and make guns more different then they actually are (to get a weak/strong spectrum), this is what i want but how to do it without messing up the world / lore / realism? Its a bit hard maybe...


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#6 dot_dot_dot   Members   -  Reputation: 279

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

Honestly I think what you've described sounds fine.  It's all about the suspension of disbelief, and the way games have evolved has given us some wiggle room in this area.  For example, back in the day (and today in some cases), most players wouldn't think twice about seeing an enemy disappear after being killed.  It takes a small leap of faith on the players part and a small learning curve.  Watching dead things vanish is somewhat intuitive because in a sense, they are gone.  Letting them vanish was a small sacrifice to free up the resources for other things in the game. 

 

In your case the gameplay benefits far outweigh the learning curve and suspension of disbelief required for a player to accept this facet of your design.  Anybody who has played diablo would certainly be familiar with it.  In diablo they tie progressively better stats to progressively cooler graphics with progressively more impressive sounding names.  There's no reason you couldn't do this with guns.  You could just make up names that are similar to the real-world equivilant like BG-42 instead of AK-47.  It might be important to do this for copyright reasons as well?  This would also ensure you would never have to sacrifice gameplay in the interest of making damage and other attributes realistic since it's only based on that gun.



#7 dakota.potts   Members   -  Reputation: 455

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:04 PM

I'd rather have a Mosin Nagant than an M16A1, and it's over 70 years old. I'd also gladly take a Garand, K31, Lee Enfield, or Browning M1919.<br /><br />But there are more modern weapons, like the Cheytac Intervention, that I'd take over something like a Mauser 98K.<br /><br />My point is that age isn't really relevant.<br /><br />Also, smaller rounds don't necessarily do less damage. In a lot of cases, a .556 will do more damage than something like a .308. The smaller round will move slow, hit the person's body, tumble, and fragment, creating an enormous exit wound, instead of completely penetrating with a smaller hole. So that's not an effective damage indicator. If you're ever going to worry about that, you should either do a relatively detailed physics representation, or keep it at an arbitrary number per gun (IMO).<br /><br />Probably where you're going to want to go with this is give decent weapons at the beginning (9mm handgun, 12g pump action shotgun) that are powerful, but limited. You don't want to necessarily handicap the power of the guns, but as you increase, you might come across something like an M4 platform which has easily accessible ammo (5.56), is versatile for close to medium/long range, and has a wide variety of sights. So,<br /><br />At level 1 you may have access to a pistol like a Walther PPK or Makarov that holds 7 or 8 rounds and doesn't necessarily do a lot of damage, as well a break action 12g shotgun that must be reloaded after every shot.<br /><br />Between levels 2 and 4 you have an opportunity to find better pistols that allow you to diversify. A .357 magnum with 6 shots or a Sig Sauer 9mm with 11 (or perhaps a silenced Ruger .22 that does very low damage but is accurate and quiet). You would also have the opportunity to find a long break action shotgun for hunting that you can use solid slugs out to a good distance with, or a sawn off double barrel that will do massive damage in close.<br /><br />At Between levels 5 and 9, start getting into hunting weapons, bolt action rifles, and maybe civilian semi automatic rifles. Military surplus, AR 15, things of this nature. Say a K31 which is deadly accurate but ammo is very hard to find... this would not be as attractive as a Remington R700 which is a modern sniper platform and has more accessible .308 ammo.<br /><br />Between levels 10 and 15, you may find semi automatic shotguns, pump action shotguns holding 8 rounds, standard assault rifles (AK 47, M16) and SWAT/police submachine guns (MP5). Things will start to get highly specialized. Do you want a revolver firing .44 magnum that can take down a bear or a suppressed beretta 9mm that will allow you to place rapid follow up shots quietly to multiple targets?<br /><br />Between level 16 and 20 you might find support weapons (M60), automatic shotguns, fully automatic handguns, specialty assault rifles (FAMAS, AUGA3) as well as fully specialized sub machine guns (Vector Kriss, P90). Long range .50 BMG sniper rifles, anti material weapons, shotguns with flechette rounds, grenade launchers, under barrel shotguns, things of this nature. Highly specialized things that require a lot of forethought to use since they are heavy, specialized, have rare ammo needs, etc. If I have a heavy character I could choose to use a support weapon with a lot of ammo, but that would restrict my ability to carry a shotgun or sniper rifle. Close in characters could choose a P90 with holographic sights, fully automatic shotgun, GLock 18 automatic with 80 round clip, MP7, things of that nature. A sniper could take a Barret .50 cal for long range or anti-vehicle missions, or a lighter weight suppressed rifle such as an SR 25.<br /><br />Also consider that as you level up, you may find more diversity in your options for weapons. In the early levels, you have whatever ammo comes with the guns. Around level 5, maybe I run into solid slugs and bird shot for the shotgun, where I can choose to load either of those up to suit my tactics.<br /><br />So, say I'm at level 12. I've got a Mosin Nagant rifle with surplus rounds and a scope ring attached with a 12 times magnified rifle scope. They're heavy grain (I think around 170 would be heavy) for maximum power at long distance, and full metal jacketed for penetration. I've also got a side arm of a semi-automatic pistol with a stock and scope attached because my main arm is focused on long range and I need something that can reliably cover short and medium distances.<br /><br />Now I go over to my friend's house. He's also level 12. He's also a sniper. The key difference here is that he's got a suppressed SR-25 with a 6X hunting scope. His side arm is a silenced Glock chambered in .40 caliber. Because the scope zooms less and the smaller round is suppressed, it's going to have a harder time reaching out. However, ammo will be easier to find. In game play, I might not be able to get super clean kills at as long a range. That means that my sniper kills are going to have to be closer up. Instead of dealing with a pistol platform with stock and short range scope as in my character, I have a silenced pistol that can be pulled out for close range enemies easier. However, if for whatever reason I have to change to my side arm, a suppressed 9mm isn't going to have the long range punch of my character at home. I'll have to choose a play style where I can move up closer to the enemies in order to dispatch them the same way.<br /><br /><br />Here we've seen two sniper classes where just the guns and customization alone makes a difference. This is without considering character customization, perks, equipment (grenades, binoculars, whatever you will), and personal preference. By the end of the game I could end up with an M4 with flaslight, masterkey shotgun, laser, and short range reflex sight because I spend a lot of time busting in and out of buildings. My buddy could end up with an M4 with a long barrel, bipod, and ACOG sight or hunting scope because he prefers marksman rifles. His buddy could end up with a "Patriot Pistol" M4 with the stock removed, short barrel, and 20 round clips so that he could essentially carry a rifle in a pistol package. All 3 would be the same weapon, but if I were to pick any one up, it would be handled differently than the other. One of these guys might graduated to a P90, one to an Uzi, and one to an M14 because their playstyle is different. If I'm at level 5 with grandpa's bolt action hunting rifle and a .357, I might really like it and decide I want to graduate to a military M40 and a Sig Sauer double action handgun chambered in .357. Or I might decide I need a little more punch and go to a .44 magnum. I might like the long range rifle but need something that can fire repeat shots at close range, so I might go to an M1 Garand and then finally to a PSG 1 military semi automatic sniper rifle when it becomes available at level 18.<br /><br /><br />Of course, that's just what I would do if I were in charge of your game. It's a question of implementation. Can you use these features without making it feel like a gimmick, and are they well balanced? Anyways, even if you don't use any ideas, I hope this got you thinking in a positive direction to find the answers you're looking for.

#8 dakota.potts   Members   -  Reputation: 455

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:06 PM

I don't know why it won't show my paragraph breaks.

Also, I happened to miss that last line where you said upgrading the guns won't work for your game. Oops. Well, maybe there's something in there for you anyways.

#9 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 532

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:55 AM

hehe thanks dakota for that detailed answer:) 

 

I think i will try to go in dotdotdots direction, which is close to my original idea. I just wanted to hear some second op. How does copyright for famous gun names work in hobby-project? I also dont really understand why changing the name ak47 to as37 (as ive seen) really makes a difference for the company owning the original gun name... Its also more fun to use real names.

 

In movies do they pay everytime they say glock for example? or they just need to have a agreement in advance to be able to say the word glock, mp5 or sig sauer?



#10 Sporniket   Members   -  Reputation: 299

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:37 AM

To my mind, the power level progression of the firearm will match the protection level progression of the bad guys : a basic gun will be able to shoot down someone with casual clothes but not someone wearing a bulletproof vest and so on, same thing for vehicles (motorbike/regular car --> bulletproof car --> armored tank/helicopter etc...)


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#11 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

Forgive my gross reductionism here, but I'm going to try to put your problem into my own words and see how I'd approach it. I hope this is helpful.

 

Currently the question is "how many guns (and what names) do I need for fun progression." Put another way, you are trying to generate a list of weapons and map them to "stages" (for lack of a better word) in your game.

 

First thing that occurs to me is to flip the perspective on its head to see if that helps.

 

Reform the question thus: try to generate a list of "stages" (areas, regions, maps, dungeons, whatever the case may be :)) and then map them to weapons. Maybe the starting machine gun is a lot of fun for the first one or two areas, but then either you want a change and/or need a change because you want to add a new monster mechanic (e.g. zombies with riot shields). So, underslung grenade launcher OR armor piercing rounds OR whatever.


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#12 Rits   Members   -  Reputation: 259

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:03 PM

I have also ran into the same problem when i did my design.

 

And I can tell you I have atleast spent a week daily researching about real life guns trying to make sense of the scaling structure,

and my conclusion is, once you step your foot into using real guns like SCAR-L and NATO ammo, you wont get far before you realize realism has no space for scaling, i gave up.

 

of course it would look stupid to use real life guns name but shoots laser beam or what not. but you can keep the look (twist a bit maybe) and name something sci-fi, or cool name like Excalibur, ragnarok, etc. OR, how about scaling the ammo?

 

Realistically speaking there are only 4~5 varieties of ammo dominating 99% of the gun technology, and they're NATO only different in size. with some exception like FN series. And things are so for a reason: the design utilized the best physics can offer for that size and weight.

 

its hard to be creative in realisitic setting with guns or ammo. it is not a technology that can give and take by tweeking here and there, thus variation in stats is almost impossible. besides, who crafts the guns? obviously it has to be a mass production industrial product, distributed through a certain system. While sword and other traditional weapon, they are made by artisans, or legendary ones kept by the dragon. somehow dragon or zombie dropping a legendary gun doesn't make much sense.

 

Spiral knights is an MORPG that has a lot of guns involved, with a scaling in power, and crafting system. give it a look perhaps it might inspire you. Other RPG also involves gun like Aion, C9 online, Firefall, PlanetSide 2, Guild wars 2. but ofcourse, they are all non-realism approach.



#13 Sporniket   Members   -  Reputation: 299

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:35 PM

you might also, for a class of firearms, have several ammunition with special traits : regular, hardened, explosive, armor-piercing etc... special ammunition can cost lot more money than regular, and thus requiring high level area, where there is lot of money to loot.


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#14 suliman   Members   -  Reputation: 532

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:19 AM

ok good input ya´ll




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