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RandelMember Since 11 Apr 2007
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Posted by Randel on 15 April 2013 - 03:12 PM
Posted by Randel on 13 April 2013 - 02:05 AM
Minor suggestion: I would suggest trying to mix up the standard zombie survival shooter thing. Try something like... werewolves or vampires or perhaps some kind of army of frankenstein golem/zombies. The zombie apocolypse thing has been done and I would venture to say that you could do better by trying to add your own spin to it.
Lets say you use werewolves. For your first demo you could just have the enemies be really hairy humanlike guys who creep around with sharp teeth and claws. They are like "zombies" but you get the feeling they have a reason they don't need weapons. Then later you establish that these guys heal or get stronger in the moonlight, so your characters would do better to fight them indoors in dark spooky corridors. If they fight the werewolves indoors, its claustrophobic and scary but if they fight outside the wolves get extra tough and heal their injuries quickly.
Then players figure out that silver kills these guys like nobodies business so they have to loot jewelry stores and melt down the silver to make bullets. Then when they kill a wolf, dig through their insides in an attempt to salvage the silver. If there is an economy among the survivors, you can bet that silver fetches a high price,etc.
Oh, and make wolf howling be terrifying. Alert a woff to your presence and he'll call up his buddies to make things miserble for you. Have random howls in the background to let the player know they are still out there.
That's just what you can put in the demo. If you add stuff, you could include increasingly powerful werewolf forms, new weremonsters, and maybe some kind of thematic point about how the human survivors of the disaster can be just as monsterous as the half-animal things they are fighting.
Or the Frankenstein monsters could be like zombies but more militant and powered by electricity... you see them kill people and drag the bodies back to some lab to mix them with chemicals and renimate them with electricity. Missions could be made to destroy generators that power the monsters (or try to capture them for human use.
Oh, and the protagonists are pirates. They download MP3s, carry guns and swords, and are prone to looting (like pretty much all post-apocolyptic survivor protagonists do).
Just saying that you can think of some simple ways to set your work apart from others to increase your chance of success. Don't have to completly change things, just add a different perspective or an interesting feature.
Posted by Randel on 12 April 2013 - 03:52 PM
Posted by Randel on 08 March 2013 - 10:33 PM
Posted by Randel on 26 February 2013 - 02:24 PM
What about adding some kind of "bait" spell or item effects?
Like say a mage could plop down a rune that slowly heals anyone on that spot, be they enemy or ally (while damaging undead if healing magic does that). Naturally, enemy units low on health will want to stand on that rune to heal up, but you could place it withing range of all your own guys or have traps in place to get them when they take the bait.
Or have a spell that can create food or drink items in and out of battle (ideally, they stock up on food out of battle and use it for cheap healing or energy in battle). The same items could be dropped (and poisoned) to distract wild animals.
This could potentially be used for "commoner" characters, or just those who aren't supposed to be actual combatants but have at most some buff/debuff abilities to help out with. I wonder if adding some support abilities to noncombatants could make them more interesting to players during things like escort quests or guarding them during defense missions. Like say a merchant being escorted can give you a temporary speed boost, a king boosts your attack during a battle, or some lovable urchin taunts the enemys to lower their accuracy.
Posted by Randel on 20 November 2012 - 12:20 PM
I mention this because if you are going for more of a sandbox type game with a maximum of player choice then it might be worth it to have the beginning of the game let you start in various locations with a choice of starter equipment and then let the player build themselves up from there. I'm kind of guilty of starting new games just to test things out with new characters and having to redo the games introduction all those times gets old.
So, maybe the player can quickly start a new game by deciding appearance (as much as the game allows), then starting equipment, then choose one of several starting locations or rough backstories. Something like "homeless thief in Liarsburg" or "Merchants son in Honestown" or something like that. Then as they explore the world they can make choices that give them various perks or background information.
As for making a character distinctly good or evil (or maybe using some other system like "maintains the balance of nature", "kills all non-humans", or "advances SCIENCE!") maybe have something like the moods from Sims 3? Basically, the character has some sort of morale stat which when full gives bonuses to things like XP generation, strength, health or whatever. But if the morale bar is low then it gives negative effects.
The player can then choose to take certain traits which boost the characters morale depending on how they act. Pacifist characters might have a trait that boosts their morale when they heal or disarm conflicts peacefully (like say using healing spells, calming magic, or diplomacy), while a violent character gets boosts whenever they kill someone. That could be split into things like:
Boisterous Bruiser: Bonus to morale when defeating an enemy in fair combat, decrease when forced to flee or win using magic.
Sadist: Bonus to morale when killing an enemy who is begging for mercy, decrease when you suffer critical damage.
Miser: Bonus when you make money, decrease when you spend or lose money.
Things like that. I'm thinking the Morale bar would have a range between -100 and 100 and it gradually moves toward zero as time passes (basically, even if you get a negative morale at some point then you'll gradually get better even if you don't do anything while the same applies to when you fill it up). It could be customized in various ways, like some characters might get increased health regeneration, magic regeneration, or maybe stealth skills depending on how good they feel with a corresponding decrease in effectviness if their morale plummets. Other things like Depression or Egomania could alter the morale meters default value (people suffering from depression have their morale bar naturally move toward -10 instead of zero while egomaniacs have it move to +10).
Actually, this idea reminds me of how things work in the World of Darkness setting. Basically each character has a few defining traits from the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues. The player gets bonuses from excercising either their virtues or their vices (that is, everyone has both virtues and vices), virtues are harder to pull off but restore a persons willpower to the full while excercising a vice gives a smaller bonus.
Basically, every player is going to have their own backstory for their character (or none at all) so trying to reflect every detail in a characters appearance or place in the game world could be difficult. If there is a way to customize how the character reacts to themself and their own actions it could do something to give that person character. If the player gives their character a heroic trait and finds their new character gets morally devastated every time he is forced to go around killing innocents it could do something.
I suppose it could be likened to those survival game where realism is added by having the character need to eat, drink and sleep, except in this case they need to perform actions that reflect their morality and/or worldview.
Posted by Randel on 04 November 2012 - 06:33 PM
Now, you can start of with things like a simple mortar and pestle, boiling apperatus, etc which the player experiments with to get the right result. Then, as they make money selling potions they can buy automated devices like grinders, distilers and the like. Then they hook all the automated things together into paths and adjust them properly so that the setup can automatically make the desired potions. So at the end, you wind up with a big arrangement of beakers, tubes, bunsen burners, and the like with the end result dripping the potions into prepared bottles.
So... lets say it goes like this:
1. Adventurer goes out into dungeons or areas, picking up all the plants or dead animal parts they can find and taking them to a shopkeeper. (maybe have a humerous cutscene where stereotypical adventurers dump a huge pile of vendor trash onto the counter of some poor shopkeeper who is obligated to buy everything).
2. Shopkeeper then sorts all the various ingredients and has to find out what they are good for. This involves either researching them in books or experimenting with them.
3. Experimenting also involves processing the ingredients like grinding, heating, distilling, or whatever to see how that changes the effect.
4. Once you get that information, see about making potions with it, experiment with different processes (cooking time, ratio of ingredients, etc) until you get a decent recipe.
5. Then buy the equipment to mass produce the potion and start making potions. You can of course make potions manually but that could be time consuming if the player doesn't like it.
I suppose if you want to keep the mystery of it, you could do something like a Roguelike (like Nethack) where items have randomized appearances. Like say... if Firevine roots can be used in Potions of Endure Cold, then you can randomize the appearance of them and only let players identify them once they determine enough of the roots main properties. So in any given game, a Firevine root could be red, yellow, purple or some other color with other ingrediants sharing the same range of appearances. So each game, players have to sort the ingrediants they are given, identify them through experimentation and create the results anew. Thus keeping each game fresh.
Posted by Randel on 25 October 2012 - 01:18 PM
What I would recommend would be to make the RPG aspect as normal, make that a good game in and of itself, then have the fitness part give you bonus items.
I know with pokemon I used to have the yellow Pikachu pokewalker thing that gathered points from walking or playing a simple card game on the device. I'd rack up points (usually through the card game) then spend the points on Pokemon Gold to get special berries and items.
So I'd suggest that the fitness part of the game just be used to gather up some resource (maybe 'mana' or 'fighting spirit' or just 'fitness points') and then when you've gathered up enough of that you can spend them to give you hero temporary bonuses or consumable items. Like some sort of sacred fruit... magical fruits that are normally rare in-game but you can reliably get by using the fitness program. Said fruit should just provide temporary bonuses like increased strength, increased critical hits, health, revive allies, or maybe an increase in experience gain for a while.
Or maybe something like divine intervention? Just recently looked at how Nethack had its prayer system that let you call on your god to do things like restore your health or grant temporary invincibility or give you artifacts. Maybe the fitness program can help you boost your reputation with said deity even when not playing the game.
Basically, you play the game normally and through actions can gather some sort of reputation or morality resource that you can expend (either with gods intervening or civilians recognizing your deeds and helping you our or something) but you can gather it while not playing the game through the fitness program. So you can either gather it by say slaying a bunch of undead or saving people... or by using the pedometer feature while you're jogging (or driving a car or setting it on the washing machine).
Basically, I'd suggest making the RPG aspect great on its own, then have the fitness feature on the side and just allow you give bonuses to the player while they play the main game. Then see how it gets received and take the new info into account if you ever want to make a sequel to it.
Posted by Randel on 20 October 2012 - 03:34 PM
Or, you could send airplanes to the other side (with a time delay) and they try to shoot down the enemy missiles before they leave the enemies airspace. A player focused on this could create a fleet of airships optimised to taking out missiles before they enter his airspace... but doing that requires alot of setup and leaves with little defense should the enemy fire first.
Posted by Randel on 10 October 2012 - 08:27 PM
Or, he grapples his hand onto a spot while keeping his arm stretched out, then either backs up or jumps down a shaft (if there is room) to stretch his arm out. Then, his arm snaps back to launch him in the direction he wants to go.
For example, he needs to get across a deep pit. To do so, he can grapple his arm onto the ground, then back up to stretch it, then launch himself like a slingshot across the pit (actually, physics might require him to grapple something above his head to ensure he is launched into the air instead of the ground).
He could use his grapple arms to swing across areas.
If his body is conductive, maybe he can stand on one electrified object and then grapple a device so that it forms a circuit and activates the device. Might make more sense if he is made of metal springs rather than rubber.
Legs stretch out so that they act as stilts when walking normally, or as springs when he jumps downward.
Posted by Randel on 27 September 2012 - 04:27 PM
If I could 'enslave' some of my enemies and use them for pack mules to carry the loot back to sell (and then sell off the enslaved enemies) then I would probably do it. The only real limiters is how unsavory the people I'd have to make these deals with and the difficulty of moving the slaves around.
I'm actually reminded of the game Space Pirates and Zombies where you can destroy enemy space ships, then scoop up the escape pods and recruit the survivors into your pirate crew and dump the ones who complain out the airlock (actually, its kind of expected since 'goons' are a resource right along the material used to build ships), there is a technology tree you can research to increase the percentage of those you recruit vs the ones airlocked but I tend to put more points into weapons and such.
So, if there was an RPG that allowed capturing your enemies as slaves (or maybe vampire cattle or whatever) then it would be interesting. I'm sure there would be plenty of of players using it to grab civilians and innocents and whatever (obvioulsy) but if it could be used alongside or instead of the 'kill everyone and loot their stuff' often seen in RPGs then it would be a nice change. Perhaps some of the 'good guys' ask you to go to a bandit camp and capture as many as possible to bring them back so they can serve their sentance.
The only real difference between grabbing crimminals to bring to prison and have them work on chain gangs, and selling innocent civilians into slavery is who is the 'buyer' and who your target is.
You could have similar 'enslaving' missions one run by the good guys to grab bandits and one run by slavers to grab whoever. They don't have to be 'good' or 'evil' just that one mission gives you reputation with the police and gets you hated by bandits while the other gets reputation with slavers and hated by civilians.
Though the act of keeping all these captured prisoners in line could lead to moral questions. Things like beating them up, using magic to mind control them, fitting them with explosive collars, lying to them, or whatever you have to do. Also, being sure to have your own team fitted with the weapons to keep them in line and make them think twice about trying to break free.
Posted by Randel on 11 September 2012 - 02:26 PM
I think the skyrim disease would be decent, in it then vampires cannot regenerate health, magic, or stamina when out in the open during daylight. If that means their normal skills and attacks don't recharge normally it would give non vampires a huge advantage over them in the daylight (depending on access to skill-replenishing items).
I'm starting to think of this as a decent way to make monster fights more interesting. As in, normally its players against AI controlled monsters and players can easily outsmart them and it turns into a case of who brings the biggest sword, armor, and stats to the fight. If there are human controlled 'monsters' then it makes things more of a challange although it runs the risk of letting trolls and jerks mess with everyone.
My thoughts on the vampirism, werewolf, etc.
Vampires: Cannot regenerate magic, health, or special attacks while out in the open. Not sure if it would be full pvp or they can only use a few "vampire only" attacks on other players. They however can be targeted by all other players (including other vampires). Their bite attack replenishes health for them and spreads the disease to those bitten, the disease itself can be easily cured during the incubation period (I'd say an RL day or two or a few hours to guarantee that they can get access to a cure to avoid vampire apocalypses) and provides no bonuses during that time. Once it activates, the player gets a bite attack, the full pvp, and some other bonuses that increase as they get older to a maximum. If a vampire dies then they get their vampire bonuses reduced to that of a freshly-turned vampire and have to 'age up' to get stronger again. On the other hand, as vampires age they get some bonuses but also increased weaknesses, including getting harmed by healing magic and only being able to be healed via drinking blood (or they can slowly replenish health by waiting in the dark, but blood is the only way to heal in combat). Also, can get ignored by undead and maybe some undead controlling abilities.
Vampirism basically turns a single player into a slightly higher level 'monster' version of themselves where the weakness to sunlight and dependency on blood for in-combat healing encourages them to stick to certain dark 'dungeon' places where they can hunt and maybe influence the undead there. If they go about during sunlight then they glow with a light that lets people instantly tell them apart from other players (Hmm... so this game lets you kill sparkly vampires?). While it would be possible for higher level vampires to kill low level players easily, even in the daytime, other high level players could take it on themselves to hunt down the vampires.
I suppose the whole 'vampires populate dungeons' thing could require a new mechanic to make dungeons both fun to attack or defend while not letting the vampires just go into a dungeon, pretend to defend it, and grab all the loot for themselves.
Zombies: Zombies are AI controlled monsters. They would be made up of generic zombie monsters (maybe with various types like hunter zombies, mage zombies, or whatever) the zombie disease simply infects a person and guarantees that when they die they leave behind a zombie of their own level.
Werewolf: I'm thinking the werewolf curse would leave a person normal except for during the Full Moon at which point they turn into a werewolf monster. In werewolf form they are in full control but have increased attack and maybe some special attacks (like howling or eating corpses or whatever). I'm thinking that becoming a werewolf also conferse certain bonuses when they join a 'pack' (like packmates cannot harm eachother in combat and get bonuses when a packmate howls in their vicinity) so its kind of like all werewolves can join teams (or guilds) for bonuses.
The basic rundown is that during the Full Moon then a whole bunch of players suddenly turn into werewolves and can go running around on hunts and boosting eachothers power in battle. I don't know if the PvP thing should activate and let them mow down civilians or bystanders (I'm pretty sure lots of people would become werewolves and we don't want half of a city suddenly turning into beasts to devour the other half... and have everyone respawn to get mauled again). Instead the werewolves should be running around in packs ripping through other monsters, packs fighting other packs, and hunting down vampires or zombies.
Heh, imagine clans of vampires using undead controlling skills to bring about a zombie apocalypse until the full moon comes at which point lots of non-vampires turn into werewolves and start chewing their way through the hordes.
Though actually this is starting to feel like a system for turning players into various monster teams rather than a disease of sorts. It could just as likely involve various guild having access to 'vampirism daggers' or weird alters that let their members become vampires and then wage pvp wars against other groups. Basically bands of vampires, werewolves, necromancers, and then hunter groups dedicated to fighting the other members.
I suppose having 'real' diseases that spread and cause actual problems would be more like status effects that can show up anytime and could rampage through cities without lots of medical care. Unless the diseases were noticable or interesting in some way, it could just become annoying like "Wait, why aren't my spells working? Did I get Mages Burns from some asshole in the city again? I bet it was the guy spamming armor buffs in the market place. Now I've gotta get a Cure Disease Potion before we go any farther in this dungeon."
Posted by Randel on 23 July 2012 - 01:36 PM
So one big reason why Nintendo has such a lack of black characters is that they are a Japanese based company and it's just not a common skin tone around there. I think actully that most japanese people have black hair (despite all the anime where it comes in blue or red or whatever) and that blonde hair is really uncommon and was commonly accosiated with western visiters.
Posted by Randel on 23 July 2012 - 01:24 PM
I'd recommend thinking of a decent character concept like say... mad scientist or action hero or whatever and just add the race in as an afterthought. After all, writing for the character and designing their abilities should be like 90% of what they are and what they look like is just a matter of artwork.
Think of it like how Samus Aran was, first all we saw was a baddass space mercenary in powered armor. Then we saw that she was a woman and then it was all "Okay, she's a baddass space mercenary and a woman, deal with it." Just don't make that their defining characteristic... or if you do find yourself unwittingly starting to flanderizethem and bring one aspect of their character to the forfront above all else... have a spare trait on hand to run with instead. Maybe your character likes to collect guns or bullets or booze or something. Or they have a martyrlike need to put themselves between innocent bystanders and whatever horrible monster they are fighting... or they constantly wear a gas mask during a zombie apocolypse and cite that as the reason they haven't been reduced to a mindless walking corpse.
The hero and another character make their way into a hospital after escaping the zombies, the hero removes his gas mask to reveal he's black.
Hero: Man, that was starting to chaff.
Guy: Yeah... why do you wear that?
Hero: Why, because we're in a freaking zombie apocolypse! You think just because those things aren't biting you that it means you're safe? There's a million rotting corpses out there and they are either walking around biting people or bleeding into the streets... I'd set them on fire but that could set the whole city ablaze and we'd be sending zombie ash off to who knows where. Even if this isn't a virus there's still enough disease in a corpse to ruin your day.
*Hero puts his mask on*
Hero: Lets see about getting some more of these to give to survivors... and maybe some water purication. Don't drink the water around here and be very wary of anything that might feed on corpses.
So, my recommendation is if you want to have a non-white character is to give them a likable (or at least memorable) personality and then have race be secondary or a non-issue. I don't think race alone is going to be attracting any buyers so much as the game concept is, and it could push people away if they think its an obvious marketing ploy.
Plus... I think you can get away more with a badly done white character than a badly done black character. If Jar Jar binks had been named 'Steve' and talked in a sort of midwest accent then people might have disliked him but they wouldn't have accused him of being a racist stereotype (or maybe they would, who knows?).
Posted by Randel on 23 July 2012 - 12:33 PM
In this case, maybe have a way to flag various things as "junk" like older obsolete equipment or general animal parts or whatever. Then when you open your crafting window then those items are given priority to find a use for, or when selling stuff they are given priority to sell. Though if you are having multiple windows open at a time, it might make sense to just have another spot to put things lik give them to a pet or a minion and have buttons to send them off to either sell or melt the stuff down into crafting materials as needed.
Other than that, I'd recommend having a big spot where you can see the items stats and some sort buttons (or alternatly have the items stats appear in a text-box when you mouse over the top and only the sort buttons on the menu proper). Since you have multiple windows on screen at a time, try to make them as small as possible so there is empty space between the menus when they are all onscreen.