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Death and Mining in a 2D Top Down RPG


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#1 BKrenz   Members   -  Reputation: 311

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:53 PM

EDIT: Accidentally posted in Technical GD instead of Creative GD section. Please move.

 

Hello all!

 

 

I'm trying to find a rather realistic approach to death in my game. The idea was to have no magic, which eliminated resurrection in the classical sense. It's more medieval, so no respawning in a laboratory.

 

The only idea I can come up with in that regard is having the player respawn in a holy place (church, graveyard, etc) by the gods' will. I want the punishment of death to be the loss of all items on the player.

 

On to the mining aspect.

 

I've been attempting to devise a method of mining for the game I'm working on. Mining is a rather integral part of the skill system (and hence the economy system), though I'm unable to figure out a proper way to handle it.

 

My original thoughts were possibly something akin to Runescape, with specific mining nodes and areas. However, I don't want the ore to be easy to get in large quantities. My second idea was akin to WoW's method, where nodes are generated in the world, and respawn every once in a while. However, that too gives the player the ability to grind out large quantities of ore.

 

Then the idea of having pockets of ore available to mine that were sparse popped up. However, this would require the player to move further and further out into the world as time progressed, which could be an issue.

 

The idea I'm currently working with is instancing (?) of caves, where the cave entrance is generated naturally (low chance, obviously) and the player has to enter these areas. These caves would hold the pockets of ore above, and be (nearly) endless. However, the further in the player went, the better chance of better ores, but also the more dangerous the caves can become (due to enemies, cave-ins, etc).


Edited by BKrenz, 16 July 2013 - 09:55 PM.


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#2 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 16667

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:12 PM

Another option for death is that you never really "die". Instead, when close to death, you fall unconscious. When you come-to, you find bandits have stripped all your gear. Maybe you awake in a villager's house, who found you and tended you back to health.
 
For ore, one possibility is letting players mine almost anywhere where rock is exposed, whether it's marked as a good mining location or not. As the player mines, his character gets worn out, so the longer he mines the less he finds until he goes and rests.
Further, different spots are better, and have different resources and higher chances of finding ore. But as players gather to those locations to mine, the mine slowly gets depleted, forcing the player to move to new locations.
However, the mining spots gradually regenerate over long periods of time so the player can eventually revisit it for more resources.

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#3 BKrenz   Members   -  Reputation: 311

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:20 PM

Another option for death is that you never really "die". Instead, when close to death, you fall unconscious. When you come-to, you find bandits have stripped all your gear. Maybe you awake in a villager's house, who found you and tended you back to health.
 
For ore, one possibility is letting players mine almost anywhere where rock is exposed, whether it's marked as a good mining location or not. As the player mines, his character gets worn out, so the longer he mines the less he finds until he goes and rests.
Further, different spots are better, and have different resources and higher chances of finding ore. But as players gather to those locations to mine, the mine slowly gets depleted, forcing the player to move to new locations.
However, the mining spots gradually regenerate over long periods of time so the player can eventually revisit it for more resources.

 

 

I've thought about that with death, but I feel that doesn't fit so well when you're exceedingly deep in a cave, for one example.

 

The problem with the mining idea you have is that it's a top-down 2D game, and I was planning on only simulating varying heights on the map (think Pokemon?), and allowing only a small amount of terrain adjustment in the overworld. Creating caves that had to be entered like a dungeon was an easy way in my opinion to overcome that, though I'm not sure how the rest of the gaming world feels about that.

 

Please note that when I said Instancing earlier, I really meant creating a cave entrance that would lead to a certain generated cave. This would allow the player to enter a separate dimension almost that the cave resides in entirely. Again, think Pokemon.



#4 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 16667

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:36 PM

I've thought about that with death, but I feel that doesn't fit so well when you're exceedingly deep in a cave, for one example.

Waking up at the mouth of the cave vs waking up in a graveyard? =)
 

The problem with the mining idea you have is that it's a top-down 2D game, and I was planning on only simulating varying heights on the map (think Pokemon?), and allowing only a small amount of terrain adjustment in the overworld. Creating caves that had to be entered like a dungeon was an easy way in my opinion to overcome that, though I'm not sure how the rest of the gaming world feels about that.

I'm sure entering caves in that manner is fine - I certainly wouldn't mind it.

My suggestion was with 2D in mind - it's equally applicable to 2D or 3D - in fact, aside from differentiating between minable and unmineable terrain, I wouldn't bother visually distinguishing any of it. You don't have to show the resources decreasing in the area, because no resources were originally visible.

Like the 2D zelda games, where you dig with a shovel. [video] Either you find something or you don't. Zelda keeps the dug holes visible until you exit the screen and come back, but you don't even need to do that. You can make the liklihood of finding something dependant on how many times you've dug in the past 10 minutes (with more digging = you're more worn out = you chance of finding stuff decreases). Then you (the map maker) can mark the probabilities of different resources in different areas (on a large scale, not per-tile, unless you want to), and say, make one area high in sapphires but poor in iron ore, or vise-versa, as well as mark an area (with a single integer) as "overmined" by incrementing the integer for every dig, and only decrementing it once every 20 seconds, and using that integer to multiply against your other probabilities.

 

Slightly sleepy, but the general idea:

PlayerWornOut = (numberOfTimesDugInPastTenMinutes / MaxDiggingAllowedInTenMinutes);
AreaOverminingMultiplyer = (numberOfTimesAreaWasMined / MaxAreaMiningAllowedInFiveHours);

ChanceOfFindingSomething = (PlayerWornOut * AreaOverminingMultiplyer * AreaIsGoodMiningArea * PlayerEquipmentBonus);

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#5 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1171

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:55 AM

There was a similar discussion about death recently, you can read some of the replies for death in that thread.

 

My personal favorites is what Servant said, or alternatively, having an inheritance system (most recently implemented in Rogue Legacy) - where your character really 'dies', but you continue to play with a descendant of your character. 

 

The descendant system also gives opportunity to make death be an actual threat without having a total wipe. For example, one way to implement it is to have everything your character carries drop to the ground, while stuff in a bank or house storage or anything similar, stays the same. This way once you get some good minerals/ores from mining deep in a cave, you have to escape alive in order to bring them back, or you'll need to go retrieve them with your next character.

 

Other than those two methods, any sort of resurrection requires some amounts of hand-waving and deity/magic intervention.

 

As for mining, I've never been a fan of straight up nodes, nor am I a fan of regenerating ores. In your cave, you could have 'rocky' tiles that can be mined for a chance to obtain ores. Doesn't mean that each tile will yield an ore, while some may strike rich, and give you a few at the same time. And as you said, the deeper you go into a cave,  the chance of getting better ores increases. If you can create fairly large caves, you'll never have to regenerate the ore randomly. To decrease travel time, you can add 'checkpoints' to the caves, so that once you reach a certain point, you can then go to and from the cave entrance straight to that point in the cave (sort of like "I've gotten here before, I'm know my character can make it there without trouble" thing). In a way simulating a mining tunnel system, since most serious mining in a realistic environment happens in deeper caves/holes.



#6 BKrenz   Members   -  Reputation: 311

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:59 AM


There was a similar discussion about death recently, you can read some of the replies for death in that thread.

 

Thanks for the link.

 


My personal favorites is what Servant said, or alternatively, having an inheritance system (most recently implemented in Rogue Legacy) - where your character really 'dies', but you continue to play with a descendant of your character. 
 
The descendant system also gives opportunity to make death be an actual threat without having a total wipe. For example, one way to implement it is to have everything your character carries drop to the ground, while stuff in a bank or house storage or anything similar, stays the same. This way once you get some good minerals/ores from mining deep in a cave, you have to escape alive in order to bring them back, or you'll need to go retrieve them with your next character.

 

That's a rather good idea, which gave way to another idea I had. Depending on how a certain system comes to fruition in another part of the game, I could have an actual family system where at any one time, you can take a family member and be them (only the adults), and be able to specialize their skills somewhat. A party system, where you can actively control a single person, and if they die, it's permanent. Thoughts? Or do I need to be more clear?

 

 


As for mining, I've never been a fan of straight up nodes, nor am I a fan of regenerating ores. In your cave, you could have 'rocky' tiles that can be mined for a chance to obtain ores. Doesn't mean that each tile will yield an ore, while some may strike rich, and give you a few at the same time. And as you said, the deeper you go into a cave,  the chance of getting better ores increases. If you can create fairly large caves, you'll never have to regenerate the ore randomly. To decrease travel time, you can add 'checkpoints' to the caves, so that once you reach a certain point, you can then go to and from the cave entrance straight to that point in the cave (sort of like "I've gotten here before, I'm know my character can make it there without trouble" thing). In a way simulating a mining tunnel system, since most serious mining in a realistic environment happens in deeper caves/holes.

 

I like the idea of not having actual ore nodes. And my main focus was getting rid of regenerating ores. So, essentially I can have all the rocks in the cave be a mining node, with a chance of getting an ore. Possibly a result of higher mining is the ability to prospect. Interesting...

 

My idea was to split the caves into "levels" where once you complete a level, you don't HAVE to go back through it. Essentially, you enter the cave, and walk through the exit of the first level into the second level. This now allows you to exit from the second level straight to the surface, or walk back through any levels you've already completed. I was thinking having each level be deeper and larger/more difficult. 



#7 Milcho   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1171

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:33 PM


I could have an actual family system where at any one time, you can take a family member and be them (only the adults), and be able to specialize their skills somewhat. A party system, where you can actively control a single person, and if they die, it's permanent. Thoughts? Or do I need to be more clear?

 

I think that makes sense. There was a system kind of like that in The Guild 2. There's a few questions to ask yourself: do you only control once character at a time, until he dies? Are you free to switch between characters of the family at any time? What do the characters you're not controlling do when you're not controlling them? I mean, these are all open questions, depending on how you want a game to feel, but a system like that can definitely work.

 

As for the caves, yeah, I think your idea of levels would work nicely. And making all rocks mine-able is good imo. Prospecting.. hmm, perhaps could give you a hint at where ore might be? At least, give you some sort of percentage overlay on the rocks. But yeah, that sounds kind of interesting too, and I can see it working.



#8 AngleWyrm   Members   -  Reputation: 554

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:16 AM

I'm trying to find a rather realistic approach to death in my game. The idea was to have no magic, which eliminated resurrection in the classical sense. It's more medieval, so no respawning in a laboratory. The only idea I can come up with in that regard is having the player respawn in a holy place (church, graveyard, etc) by the gods' will. I want the punishment of death to be the loss of all items on the player.
To my mind, churches and gods count as magic. A more realistic approach to death would be to have the player character die. The message being that your avatar is mortal, and that life is precious and risks are risky. Continuation of the game could be achieved by playing as a descendent or relative. Maybe even allowing the player to form relationships in the game for the express purpose of raising children that will be their next of kin, should they die.
 
On the mining aspect, I sense that ore quantity needs a little more consideration. The ore in Starcraft is a finite building material, and players attempt to gather all there is as quickly as possible. Minecraft has both infinite resources (trees, wheat, water) and finite resources (cobblestone, iron, diamonds). I don't enjoy vanilla Minecraft, but I do play heavily modded minecraft, which allows for a lot of conversions between resource types, to clear up problems with scarcity.
 
Perhaps it would be valuable to consider what the player will use the ores for, and how much they will need over the course of a game. It requires acknowledging that a game has an end state, when the player has either finished the game, or is done messing around with the game. For example, League of Legends has a very clear end state-- destroy the enemy base. Minecraft on the other hand is not so clear about the end of game, which typically happens when local finite resources are exhausted.

Edited by AngleWyrm, 28 July 2013 - 05:48 PM.

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