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Member Since 16 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Jun 26 2016 11:54 AM

#5145894 Games in Google Earth discussion/challenge.

Posted by on 10 April 2014 - 04:53 AM

Hi all,

I've been musing over this for a few days,

Google Earth is, to me, a remarkably underrated technological achievement. It is simply the worlds most accessible piece of complex global cartography, and an incredible logistical undertaking to assemble, program and compile. I have always thought this.

Recently I saw an XKCD cartoon that summed up some of its potential:



This is dorky, I know, but it is also genuinely fun.

Google Earth, by now, has just about covered the entire globe (miles of baron, empty land included) with reasonably high definition birdseye imagery - not to mention the ever expanding street view function.

Here's the challenge I want to set, here in this thread:

Expand on the ideas mentioned in this cartoon, primarily, wilderness wandering/discovery:

There are plenty of programs and plugins that allow flight sims and driving games etc... in Google Earth, but for the sake of this discussion - lets just ramble about what little games we can come up with, within the remit of your internet browser. No need to bother with scripting or additional programming.

Beyond that, any ideas are welcome, even if it's as simple as "Pick a random coordinate and see how long it takes to get to civilisation or some kind of building".

Things to consider:

- What kind of rules/restrictions/time limits can you set yourself?
- How could these games be implemented with social media, facebook feeds for instance, to give them a semblance of being multiplayer?
- What are the objectives of your game?

Approach this like a kid in a playground would, no props, coding or flashy graphics tell you how to play tag - it's just an ad-hoc game where the rules can be changed to fit the circumstance. Playground games are entirely the product of your imagination and your environment (in this case, substitute the playground for Google Earth).

Any ideas?


#5059795 You spawn in a forest, in your backpack you have a...

Posted by on 06 May 2013 - 12:49 PM

I'm putting together an idea for a survival game.


Essentially, the game revolves around you being dumped in a world that consists of a variety of different environments (jungle, dessert, arctic). The world will be inhabited by:

A) Non-player animals, a varied ecosystem ranging from tiny ants to big dangerous things.
B) Other players who have also been dumped in a wilderness, motivated by survival, probably friendly, probably after your gear. Who knows.


Your entire goal is to survive, decide whether to set up a camp/shelter or just to go nomad. If you bite the dust, I think the game will give you a simple permadeath end message along the lines of "You survived for 4 Months - 2 Days - 10:12:32".


The question is, what should the players start with?

I want the game to be extremely harsh, so survival carries a sense of satisfaction, but also risk. I am thinking that the players should just have the set of overalls on their back and their wits.


What do you think, would it be fairer to go down the DayZ route and give them a pistol and a tin of beans? Maybe a knife or even a survival kit?


I don't want to doom the players (I secretly do), nor do I want an over abundance of pistols with empty magazines kicking around on the jungle floor.


Your thoughts.

#5042267 Text Based Game Layout

Posted by on 12 March 2013 - 05:22 AM

Hi all,


I'm interested in the idea of text based MMOs, and their constituent cousins (MUDs etc...).


I've never really played any (with the exception of things like Kingdom of Loathing), but am intrigued by the prospect of imagination being used as a device to evoke huge game worlds without worrying about too much in the way of technical logistics or flashy graphics.

I'm just brainstorming really - what are peoples experiences.


One thing I'm keen on developing is an interface that allows for a full on sensory experience communicated through text (maybe one field to describe each of the senses? etc... - The art of playing the game could be to keep track of each).

How are these games physically laid out?

Which are the best in your opinions?

How does the player convincingly navigate large areas like a desert which would, in reality take days to cross, without it sounding like "1:30pm - You enter the Sahara from the south... ...1:32pm - You exit the Sahara from the north"?


Like I said - just a brainstorm, I want to blow text based MMOs open for discussion.


Your thoughts?


#5029499 What talent should a small indie dev team have realistically?

Posted by on 06 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

Hi all,

I am looking to scout for a few like-minds that I can bat around ideas for games with (generally simple 2D side scrollers ect - not Call of Duty or anything like that).

I myself am an artist, comfortable with handling the spriting, graphic design etc...

What other talent is needed to create a game like, for example; a Super Mario clone?


I know that there are several instances of individuals building highly popular games on their own out there - but I lack the technical knowledge, and so would be looking to form a small team (3-4 people? Admitedly, an arbitrary estimation).


The focus would be to build (probably free) games casually - not expensive super hi-def 3D MMOs with the intention of making a world dominating profit.

What kind of skills do I need on top of my own art input to make this happen?

#5029114 Character/Mob/Item Attributes.

Posted by on 05 February 2013 - 12:17 PM

Hi all,

I'm developing an idea for a game where you are basically given a top down display of your character's location, represented by a very basic symbol. The graphical elements in the game are going to be minimal.

Other characters will be represented by identical symbols, all mobs will be represented by a "mob" symbols, all items by a universal "item" symbol and so on...

The only real reason for the top down display is to provide the player with an idea of where everything is - as if the game were being played from inside a submarine, your only idea of space and relative distance comes from an abstract radar reading.

When a player hovers the cursor over other players or mobs etc... the game will bring up the attributes of whatever they are examining. Here's the beauty of it; the attributes list will be thorough enough to provide the player with an idea of what they are examining without actually needing to see it. Examples might be: Height, Weight, Colour, Build...

Alongside the attributes that the player is able to inspect, there will be a range of behind the scenes attributes that govern how the mob or item acts, or what a player is capable of doing.

The point in this is that if someone wanted to come along and customise a server, they could do so easily by filling out a description of the mobs and items they wanted. If you wanted a "Dawn of the Dead" game you could fill the map with mobs that had the attributes of "slow moving, non aggressive to other mobs, only aggressive at short range" etc... for the zombies and all the items could be "ranged weapon, accurate at short range, heavy to carry" for the shotguns.

I wanted to come up with a list of attributes for Mobs, Characters and Items. Each could be edited, and ultimately govern the characteristics of each thing. Ideally, the attributes would be numeric or number based (Eg; "Weight (lbs): 100").

Any suggestions for attributes?

#4946835 Massive Online Battle Royal

Posted by on 06 June 2012 - 12:37 PM

After watching this video series, I began to wonder about the battle royal idea in video games.

For anyone who hasn't seen it, essentially "Battle Royal" is a movie about a bunch of people who are kidnapped, put on an island and forced to fight to the death. Each is given a randomly selected item, and must rely on what they find, steal and know to survive. Last man standing wins.

The movie is pretty grim, but the premise might make for an iteresting spin on the traditional deathmatch modes found in most multiplayer action games.

I like the idea of being turfed out of a holding pen with nothing and running for it, and cobbling together a strategy when you're safe(er).

Could this translate into a mutiplayer game, and how would it work on a massively multiplayer level? Perhaps in order to implement MMO scale intricate resourceful gameplay - a text based game might be the most technologically viable way of doing it, I'm not really sure.

Has this been done before, if so, where? How would the game be managed? Would it reset periodically, if so, when and why? To prevent the game becoming predictable to veteran players, how could the geography and placement of items be randomised during each reset?

This is not a fully fledged idea, just food for discussion. I am writing down ideas for a text based MMO, and this originally started as an idea for a sub game - where high scoring players are randomly plucked, put into teams and dumped into this scenario, but it's starting to take on a life of its own as an idea.

Your thoughts?

#4933151 Outside the box - different professions that would work within an MMO

Posted by on 20 April 2012 - 05:49 AM

Breed existing pairs of same creatures to continue the same breed.

This is a bit of a tangent back to the OP, but I thought I'd chuck it in to provoke some thought.

I used to toy with the idea of having monsters/ animals in an MMO that would operate their own little ecosystem. If two were in close proximity for long enough, they would reproduce. Creatures who did this would naturally form large clumps, so animals with a slow reproduction (i.e. longer time needed in close proximity needed for a reproduction) would tend to form herds, but faster reproducing animals would form swarms, probably being considered vermin in the process. You could have a lot of fun building clever algorithms to monitor their numbers, and to control lone nomad Vs. pack behaviour for different species.

The point is that some, if not all of the animals, depending on your design intentions, could have the possibility for cross breeding. It would probably foster emergent gameplay to an extent, because the animals behaviour and numbers, and in turn breeding habits would be unpredictably determined by how players treated, hunted and farmed them,

Also, a dangerous insect crossed with a beast of burden would make a giant stinging thing. A giant stinging thing crossed with a fast breeding animal, a rabbit maybe, would result in a plague of giant stinging things. Sounds like a damn fun game to me.

#4932187 Idea for a hybrid version of Permadeath

Posted by on 17 April 2012 - 10:55 AM

I like the idea of exile for players who behave antisocially, but my idea (although similar) differs in intention.

The goal for me was to simply add a controlled element of risk to leading a roguish lifestyle in-game. As it happens, I think that the presence of antisocial players enriches a multiplayer game in some ways. (Note that my penitencedeath mechanic doesn't directly punish sin/felony/whatever... instead it heightens the consequences of failing).

In real life, dying is a serious thing, and as a result of this, dangerous circumstances and scenarios are viewed differently to in video games. Daring deeds like fighting monsters would be respected as brave in reality, but in a game, the ability to instantly respawn negates this.

I don't want a game where everyone behaves themselves obsessively, that would be boring. I do, however, want players to understand that picking a bar fight might with a bigger player might end with their character getting wiped out for a while (not permanently) - so that they can get properly invested in their characters' well being, and in turn excited at the outcome of things like a battle.

Permadeath = You die, it's game over. Completely. Your character gets deleted.
Regular death = You die, and something happens to slap you on the wrist lightly.
Your death = You die, and something happens to slap you on the wrist lightly.

If you abstract it to the points of "something happens to slap you on the wrist lightly", then yes, this is true - but that's looking at it from a sort of lowest common denominator perspective. The difference between your regular death slapping you on the wrist and my death slapping you on the wrist is, in practice, fairly significant.

I would also contend that having your gameplay hindered for a duration which correlates with your misbehaviour is not all that light a punishment.

#4931839 Idea for a hybrid version of Permadeath

Posted by on 16 April 2012 - 01:58 PM

Hi all,

I'm researching ideas for an multiplayer rpg design, and I'm looking at penalties for when the player characters die.

I want a system which won't turn off players who have put in lots of effort to their character building, but I also want the stakes to be quite high, so I have come up with this system.

Players are given a "Sin" stat (or something similar).

PKing and other restless acts will add to your stat, but good deads lower the stat. When the player dies, their sin level is taken into account and the player enters a countdown. The higher the stat, the longer they spend waiting to respawn.

The players could even enter a hell, or a limbo stage of the game - where they are stranded until x amount of game time has elapsed.

Perhaps the sin stat could sink back down to zero after a long enough time passes without dying or sinning again - this way, innocent players who keep their noses clean, but defend themselves occasionally are spared unjust accumulations of sin?

I call it "Penitencedeath", a means of having a permadeath-esque element of risk, but without being quite as permanent.

The presence of a functional hell/limbo in a multiplayer rpg could also link in quite well to things like players cursing and hexing eachother. Player A placing a curse on Player B could result in a temporarily boosted sin stat... ...Demonic players who sell their souls for powers/perks/items must live with an elevated sin stat etc...

I think it could work pretty well, has anyone seen it tried before?

Let me know what you think.