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Member Since 07 Jul 2011
Offline Last Active Jan 25 2015 06:21 PM

Topics I've Started

Designing an Ore Mining Game

18 January 2015 - 05:27 PM

I love games like Terraria and Motherload, where players have to dig down and find more and more advance ores. The goal in both games is to dig all the way down, get the best items using the best ores, and beat an end boss.


I was wondering if you guys have any ideas or have seen a spin on this? Without making it into an open world sandbox like Minecraft.


In particular, as a small indie developer, how could I create more gameplay without having to add new content like what the developers of Terraria are doing?

Recommend a backstory for open PvP arena + exploration game.

26 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

I am programming a browser game that is based on Urban Dead (open PvP zombie apocalypse) and Nexus Wars (exploration, open PvP, biblical good vs evil).


Mine will be open PvP + exploration, set in a fantasy world with heavy magic (spells, magical items, potions etc). Like Urban Dead and Nexus Wars, the focus is on players exploring the game world for interesting bits of lore, and finding other players to kill. In fact, killing other players is the primary way to gain EXP and level up.


Initially, I had a "tournament" backstory like Quake/Unreal but that does not work well with exploration. In Urban Dead, you are exploring a post apocalyptic city. In Nexus Wars, you are exploring the afterlife. It isn't so interesting to be exploring a tournament arena.


So, can you guys recommend a backstory that works with my game?

Is the Eve Online style time based leveling up system good or bad?

17 April 2014 - 04:48 PM

The MMORPG Eve Online has this skill advancement system where you pick a skill and it accumulates "experience" on its own over time. Once it accumulates a certain level of experience, your character obtains or level up the skill.
It might take minutes or hours to train low level skills, and months to train high level ones. There is no way to speed up advancement, and you can only train one skill at a time. E.g. you want to pilot battleships, you choose to train battleship and one month later you acquire the skill.
I used to be quite against this type of level system. I have seen similar systems in free to play (FTP) games where you have to "wait X days" to upgrade or build a new weapon for example. I always thought this was a blatant way to force players to pay to speed up the process.
But recently, I started wondering if this might be a good way to spread the game out more. Instead of letting players grind through all the weapons in a few days, you can force them to play with each tier and wait 1-2 days before they unlock the next.
What do you guys think? Have this sort of system been implement well before?

Designing a central goal in exploration games without RPG elements.

12 April 2014 - 05:48 PM

I have a very basic game running right now: using the WASD or arrow keys, the player can move around on a huge empty 2-D grid map. E.g. if you are in the box (0,0), you press the "up" arrow, you end up in box (1,0). The grid lines are there but are invisible to the player. There are some capability for multiplayer interactions: sending each other items (trade perhaps) and messages but not full fledge multiplayer.
I am hoping to design a bare bones exploration game around this. Crucially, there will be NO RPG elements. No EXP, leveling up, combat etc. Currently, I have the player finding materials and combining them to unlock new areas. E.g. finding materials to make a rope to reach a cliff area or building a boat to sail to an island.
However, I am finding it hard to have a central long term goal that the player can strive for without combat. Games usually have RPG/combat elements so players are driven to loot, improve their equipment or level up. This combat driven goal can last forever as new levels or more powerful items can be added to extend the endgame.
Any ideas?

How to design spaceship missile combat?

03 March 2014 - 12:54 PM

I have been thinking about the design of a very simple, very minimalistic spaceship vs spaceship pen & paper game.
I am going with the bare minimum and trying to build the game up without too much complexity. Currently, the game is only 1v1 (two players), there is no board or movement or range. Each control a fleet of ships, and they take their turns simultaneously (write down their orders and reveal together).
There is no shields or dice roll...yet. Ships fire guns at each other and take damage until they explode. The fleet has one "big" ship (battlecruiser/capital etc) and a few fighters. My next step is to design missiles but I am a bit stuck.
A lot of spaceship games have missiles that is basically another type of lasers/guns. I am going for a feel that is more like the Battlestar Galatica series remake. In the series, nuclear missiles (nukes) are deadly and kills a big ship in 1-2 hits. Big ships tries to protect themselves with fighters or anti-missile guns.
But how could I design this scenario into my game? If nukes can be shot down by fighters, every time a player launches a nuke, the opponent would just use his fighters or big ship to shoot it down. I can introduce dice rolls and make it so shooting down a nuke has x% of success, but the same old strategy applies: target the nuke with as many fighters and anti-missile guns as possible to maximize chances.
Must I introduce a board and add movement + range into my game to make missile combat interesting? I was hoping to not have movement so the game is portable playable in locations like the backseat of a car etc. Does anyone have any interesting ideas or know of interesting implementations of missile combat?