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Member Since 17 Jun 2009
Offline Last Active Feb 14 2015 03:49 PM

Topics I've Started

Death is normal, permadeath is a real option

14 February 2015 - 03:58 AM

Heres a few quick features on the game to help yolu understand where I'm coming from:



Non-combat based


Large magic presense in game world

Gods and Deity system(granting gifts and bonuses in exchange for worship)

Not a traditional leveling system

Player focus more on "family unit" and "family legacy" as opposed to single character


Anywho, death. Lets say you're strolling along a long way from home when you happen upon a bear cave. Well lots of fire later, you conclude it was not in fact a bear cave, but a dragon nest. But seeing as you're dead, there's not much you can do about that dragon. Right? Well, I have a few ideas on how to treat death to simutaniously punish and reward them depending on their goals.


Upon death, you get transported to another world, it almost mirrors the main one, but with a few differences. The way you view the death world depends on the main deity that you follow, and those that follow other deities who are also dead would appear hazy and distant to you, like a shadow. The only beings you would meet here are all dead.


From the spot where you died, there is a very clear and safe path(though not straight, more windy) leading to the deity's closest alter where you can be resurrected. However this death world is robust. There are many spirits here that can offer you items and abilities not usually found in the normal world. Some items may even just be lying around *just* off the beaten path. Maybe there is a spirit nearby that can help you get revenge on that dragon... in exchange for a price that is. However dying here would mean permanant death.


Not to worry though! If you've had a kid at some point, your deity would come to them and transfer your knowledge to them in exchange for your service to them, but not your on-hand belongings which can now be lost either in the death world or on your body dpending on the deity. Children would need to level up abilities, but would have an easier time doing so. Leveling in this game is closer to say, raising your strength skill to be able to pick up and swing the sword the way you know it should be done. Leveling the body to it's "limit" would only take 20hs or so, so a casual player a month or so to do and a hardcore player a weekend. Just enough to hurt, not enough to discourage play. The kid would also get bonuses depending on the life and death of the character both in skills, and from NPC's(hey I knew your father, great man, have this free thing on me).




My hope is that a system like this would cause death to be annoying enough to make those far from home be careful about their explorations, but interesting enough to make the risk of "permadeath" worth it. As well as add an entirely new element to the game, which would fit well into the world if done well.


My worry is that people will form too close of an attachment to their characters and not risk the exploration, though i am trying to make the focus less on the individual character you main, but on the family as a whole. (all of your "alts" can be in the same family, stays at home as NPC's when not being played and semi-controlable(hey brother, take these supplies, can you make X for me?). I know people are going to have multiple characters, and I want to incorporate that somehow into the main game to help the idea of letting go of a character to permadeath.




Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Does this seem doable with some work?


Designing an MMO?

14 February 2015 - 03:08 AM

Then my best piece of advice to you is to go play games. Seriously, go check out the list of games on MMORPG and play games with high ratings, low ratings, no ratings at all. Don't read up on the game besides what you can learn from it on the mmorpg website, just jump straight in and play. I would suggest you sink anywhere from 5-10hrs in a game, plus time for each feature they have that is unique for the genre(housing, marriage, breeding, etc)



But along the way.... keep your eye on how you feel during the sign-up procces, character creation, the first few minutes of the game, after you leave the starting level. Anything you're really enjoying, anything really really starting to annoy you? Write it down.


And after you've played through a dozen games, any features that make you go, "Ugggh, whyy?" each time you see it?(for me it's usually the tutorial). Any times you find yourself going, "oh my god this is awwwwwesome!"(mother fucking hoverboards in Wildstar). Anything you kinda like is there but just wish had a bit more to it? Write it down.


Most MMO designers I see have played one or two, or maybe even a dozen mmo's in their life-time before they get to work. Which is not a bad thing, but I think it is really, really important to get a nice view of what is possible. Sure you've got a few great ideas that are all your own(don't tell anyone, it might get stolen!), but what about other parts of the game that you have no real ideas for... just yet? If you plan to use a system similar to another game(which is totally fine), make sure you understand that system and the ways it can be implemented to be sure it is a right fit for your game.


Say you want to have housing, it doesn't seem like it will be a big part of the game to you, so you don't spend much time on it. But lets look at it anyways. There are many, many types of ways you can have it. Lets take Runescape and Toontown as two examples.


Runescape's housing is very customizable, and can offer a player a lot of convience for skills as well as a fun place to hang out with unique ways to build those skills. You start out with a room or two, and can build items inside the house, or build new rooms/areas. Building takes resources found elsewhere to do, and is it skill in itself that limits what you can build at the start.


Toontown's housing is semi-customizable. You get a plot of land for you and your characters(max of 6). There are already 6 houses built. Each house can have a garden which can grow the consumable attacks for the game. Inside the house you can place furniture where ever you like. On property you can have a pet that can be trained to heal you in battle, There is also a fishing hole with fish unique to housing areas, and special health bonuses to heal.


Runescape's housing requires a lot more thought and effort on the behalf of the player, but also provides many bonuses causing a supply demand system with fewer players having what many want. This opens the gate for people spending time at other's housing(maybe being charged for it), but those people not nessisarily being friends, there only to skill-up.


However Toontown's focus is more on housing being a quick place to heal-up and rest from battle, but also becomes a place where people tend to hang out together even though there is very little anyone can do to advance the character there.


That is because Toontown seems to get players to focus on friendship, though you never feel forced to do it(people working together to kill a mob does not dimish XP earned, it simply speeds up the process). Where as Runscape is heavy on all it's many skills that need leveling up, and since housing is a good place to do that, it causes a setting where people are not leveling together, but seperately near each other where companionship may happen, but only on the deliberate effort of the players. However, housing is a great place for player formed guilds to start. Players working together to raise supplies to build a large house they can all share and use. Is one better or worse? Not really. It depends on your game's focus. But you wont know about either of these systems well just reading about it, you've got to get out and play it and see how it feels for the player.




My next big piece of advice to you is do not let yourself stay designing in one spot for long. Spend some time hashing out that super cool cooking system, or the political system. Spend some time sketching out game screens. Look around the google images search to find the art style that fits. Get a level editor and make small versions of towns or starting areas to make sure your scale is correct, that the area doesn't feel too empty or full. Think up some lore for the game, why is the world the way it is? Create small flash games to test out different systems that you have in place(say political, or crafting) and have people test them to see if it's fun.



Basically, don't let yourself get bored. Designing an MMO is a lot of work, especially before you are in the phase of "lets build this baby!" You don't want to get burned out before you've even begun. Not only that, but you don't want to create this amazing cooking system that simply does not fit into your game anymore.




My third and final piece of advice to you is, don't let other people get you down. Understand that everyone wants to make the next big MMORPGFPSTDSRTS(you get the idea). Now that's not a bad thing, but too many of those people come to sites like this asking for advice on their game, afraid to reveal too much for fear an idea might get stolen. Then get upset when they are told how impossible it is for them to create an mmo. Is it impossible? Nearly, but with effort you and a small team might do it. But if you've just begun hashing out your big ideas in the past month, it's not time to build that team yet.


And please, please share your ideas. No one is going to steal them. Lets say you had a cool crafting system. For someone to have to steal your idea in a way that would hurt your game, they would have to not just take the base idea, but plan out all the types of ingredients, assign them numbers, balance said numbers, figure out how it works in the rest of the game, program it, create art resources, etc, etc,etc. That takes time and effort, and I can assure you by the time they are to the end of that process, their finished product will look nothing like yours and play differently as well. Not only that, but the risk of the above happening is so low, and would do so little damage to you game. Whereas sharing your ideas can have them grow to levels you didn't think of, or can help you realize that maybe the idea doesn't work well in your game after all.


However If you are going to share ideas, be prepared for them to get shot to pieces. However, be aware that this is a very good thing. Hopefully you get into the habit of destroying your ideas yourself, The thing is, when it comes to gamers, they are very picky and very harsh about it. You want a system that encourages interaction, but you don't want a system that will allow players to grief each other. You also want a system that is a lot of fun, but not too complicated. Getting fresh eyes on your ideas can really help you see things at an angle you never thought of, and better it's seen now, then when it's been put into the final game and you realize a major flaw way too late to remove or change it much without redesigning much of the game.




That's really all I can tell you right now, as a person who's been working on designing an mmo for maybe eight years now with not much to show for it beyond gigs of mini-prototypes, yards and yards of word documents, and tons of pictures, these are the things that have helped me. Game Design is my favorite hobby, I can't play a game without seeing all the little ways it's been put together and how it effects the players of different levels and play styles. At the begining I wanted to make a game right now, everyone help me. Now? I don't particularly care if the game gets made, the fun is in the design for me. Plotting out my version of the perfect mmo with little regard to scale and how much it would realisticly cost me to create. However if I ever do win the lottery, you can expect my game to be the next WoW Killer ;)

Enticing people to work without pay

14 March 2011 - 09:40 PM

Meh, I'm not sure exactly where to put this, I suppose here?
I am working on a pretty big project, the design document for a larger than normal mmo. I've been working on it for some time, but am wanting some help now. My goal right now is not to create a playable game, just to create a game design document, and then start focusing on actually producing it. Most people though, seem to want to create an actual game, and get playable results as fast as possible. Or if they don't want that, they want money for their work, which is understandable.

Generally I see people offering a percentage of profits or what have you, but since I don't think this game will be made any time soon, I don't think that quite fair. What else can I do to gain the help of other game designers?

Player Breeding

05 May 2010 - 06:50 PM

At least, player breeding is what a guy on my team likes to call it. He just likes the idea of having sex in the game, but if its going to be there, I'd like it to be more in depth than that. What about pregnancy, babies? What do you guys think is the best way to deal with this subject in a multiplayer rpg, if at all? Do you include sexual diseases? What about inter-species? What do you do with the babies, or do you just make the females sterile? If you allow the players to have kids, are the kids PC's or NPC's? Maybe both? Do the kids get any bonus's to skill from the parents? What happens when the parents die? Do the kids turn into NPC's, disappear or does the PC take control? What are you guy's thoughts on this topic?

Player Housing

20 February 2010 - 07:56 AM

I have two topics to discuss when it comes to player housing. The first is, Instanced housing or no? Why or why not? The second is, Template, freeform building, or pre-made building? Why? So far I am thinking you buy a plot of land, wherever land might be sold, and then you have the option to build whatever on it. I figure this type of housing can work for both instanced or no instanced. What I mean by the second question is: Template: You have a grid that your house can be built on, you have a list of rooms that you can put on these grids, some rooms have opening on only north and west, north south, etc. Kind of like building with blocks. Freeform: More like sims, click/drag where you want walls to go, and place furniture that you have wherever it will fit. Also according to a grid. Pre-made: You pick from a list of house/floor plans that are already made into the game. Any other options that you know of for housing? Do you think they are better or worse than the ideas I've already got up?