So last year I signed up for gdnet+ after working on a small game, then promptly stopped hobby programming for a while. This was a because of a combination of medical problems, social life, and being busy at work. I also had to work on a driver which seemed to suck all my interest in programming for a while. But recently, I have found a new interest to work on a game. Maybe it is just because it is springtime, but could be because my friends and I came up with some interesting ideas.
A couple weeks ago, I talked to a friend of mine about a spell and level up system for an RPG that I had been kicking around for a while. In short, characters have a certain spell, let's say the usual fireball, and this spell is defined by certain parameters: damage, mana cost, range, cooldown. When a character levels up a spell, the player can choose which parameter to improve. Depending on how you want to set up your character, you may want a big single fireball (+dmg, penalties on mana cost and cooldown), or many little fireballs (no +dmg, but lower mana cost and cooldown).
My friend had an idea about group dynamics. My friend, who used to play fantasy baseball, proposed an idea where you have to manage a team. The game randomly generates characters that you could recruit, but there are also enemy computer-controlled players doing the same thing. Naturally, your teams fight in tournaments. Given the skill system I talked about, the randomly created characters would be given a random starting skill, and this skill would also randomly have different level-up values (within certain ranges). So the crux of the overall strategy would be building a team by finding characters that level well, both singley and as a team. If your team is not very good, there may be some items or new spells to get, or you could try to trade or steal players from other teams.
As far as I can tell, the biggest challenge for this would be AI. The computer would have to figure out how to make a good team, in additon to actually using them well in battle. Auto-attack is probably not the best option. There would be many art assets to create too. I am not as concerned about balance, since given the random nature of character generation, there are going to be some great and some not-so-great characters. It would be part of the game to find the overpowered characters.
Even though there are three of us working on this, it will probably be a month before we lay down any code. Anyway, time to get back to my real job...