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Codename: Eulogy

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mittens

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What follows is a very rough, very basic flow of thoughts about my new game, currently "codenamed" Eulogy as they occurred to me about a week after I had first thought of the idea. The game will be based on the technology in the Torque Shader Engine, and is currently being worked on by me (and me alone).

Basic Game Description
Eulogy (not the game's name; simply the song I was listening to when I thought of the idea) is designed with three things in mind: action, mood, and customization. My basic goal for the project is to have the game play like a classic first-person shooter, where aim is king, not some background roll of a die in the background determining when a player hits and when a player misses his opponent. There will not be any of the manipulation of physics like in Quake or Unreal; no double-jumps, no strafe jumping, etc., this game's mood is dark, and very deliberate, I want the physics of the main player to have its roots in realism--though an arcade-realism for movement. The player will move fairly fast, but have a stamina bar to control the amount a player can "run," which will greatly speed up movement.

While I want the controls to be fluid, the aiming to be fairly tight (though not "this is your cursor, you hit exactly where it's pointing"), and the movement to be fairly speedy, this does not mean I want the game itself to be a mindless bullet-fest. I want combat to be hectic, but still cerebral and thoughtfully-paced, so the player won't be able to aim 100% accurately while running and jumping through a crowd of enemies (which there will be a number of; there will also be a number of ways for the player to thin and demolish this crowd); the aiming will have some kind of inaccuracy system, a bit of statistical inaccuracy thrown in depending on the level of the character as well as the player's proficiency with whatever weapon type he/she is using at the time, but this inaccuracy amount will be minimal, I don't want to the game to be number-based in this respect (the level/proficiency will almost entirely impact damage, as well as what weapons and "techniques" the player can use; more on this later), but I will have level make a very slight impact. The accuracy will also be based on player movement/stability, but mostly on the player's ability to control whatever recoil the gun he is using has.

The game is primarily being billed as an Action/RPG. The pacing of the game, as I have described, will be quick and hectic as well as cerebral and thoughtful. I want the player to feel on edge at all times, but be able to find a "safe spot" at some points in which he can tool around with his current equipment layout (more on this later), as well as tweaking his weapons, and organizing his inventory. The character itself will be level-based, with a few basic stats influencing weapon experience, player speed, strength, "toughness," technical prowess, medicinal knowledge, and whatever else (I will try to keep the number of basic stats limited to about five or six categories, maybe less). Each of these will have a number of skills/feats/talents associated with them--weapon experience, for instance, would have subcategories based on types of weapons, whereas medicinal knowledge would have subcategories related to types of "healing" available (painkillers, natural antidotes, etc.).

The weapons themselves will be of a number of designs (the total number of which depends, really, on the number of talents artists I can get my hands on) each with their own unique usage. As the player advances through the game and increases his level, the weapons will start to have more "extra stats, do more damage, as well as the designs themselves starting to "look cooler" through various "mods" being attached to the basic design. I'm going to attempt to make sure that every model in the game has room for in-game component modification. For instance one of the basic rifles in the beginning of the game may still appear in the game later in time, though it will have so many modifications (some strictly for aesthetic appeal, other having actual practical purposes) that it will be an almost completely different weapon. In terms of design, all the weapons in the game will be based on a kind of Diablo/Diablo 2-ish naming scheme; the basic form for item naming will be: of - <# of open mod slots> Mod Slots.

There will be no magic, but perhaps there will be some kind of "energy" system which controls special attacks (just to increase the amount of depth in the combat system).

The mood of the game is dark (not necessarily in lighting, but in atmosphere), hyper-violent, and lonely. The player, for the most part, will be companionless throughout the entire game. The areas, which for the prototype will solely consist of the Settlement, will require a relatively flexible and advanced lighting system which I plan to implement in the game's engine before I do much work on the features of the game itself, which I hope will give me time to find people to work on some content for the game, which will give me a decent library of art to work with when the technical aspects of the engine are complete (overall development schedule for the prototype game will follow these gameplay details).

Settlement (and Basic Story) Details
The Settlement that the player starts off in is basically the "hub" for the early beginning of the game. It is a "city," the name of which taken from the large Settlements formed in the early 22nd century before the Heavenly Reckoning occurred in the 25th century, killing off more than 90% of the world's population in the three weeks following the aftermath of the Reckoning. The humans that did survive the event moved underground, and slowly developed the very necessities of their new civilization with all of the technology and knowledge that the assorted humans had managed to bring down with them. In the player's settlement (the game takes place roughly one-hundred years after the underground settlement, referred to as "The Settlement," had had its first "Unification Feast" after the necessary buildings had been constructed for the new population to begin life anew in), there are roughly 1,500 people living, every citizen being from a range of backgrounds which had originally founded The Settlement over a century ago.

The Settlement itself is anything but a content sub-civilization, but the people all understand the situation they are in (but are certainly willing to do anything to stay alive, no matter what the costs). The buildings are all, essentially, thrown together with whatever the people could find, and have a very rough, very primitive look to most of them. There are a number of buildings, however, which are far more structurally advanced, which had been constructed after the initial necessary dwellings from the supplies that people had brought down with them initially (and from "salvaging runs" into the city they fled from originally).

The player's character's story is dynamic, depending on the choices that the player chooses during player creation. Whether the player starts out as "somebody" (a marine, doctor, etc.) or whether the player has some basic stats and builds up his rank from the actions he performs in the early game is something I have anything but decided at this point.

That's it for now. If you're an artist (either concept, texture, 3D modeler, or level designer), I really, really need your help. Please leave a comment, private message me (there is a PM button in the upper-right corner), or e-mail me (be sure to change the AT/DOT to @ and ., I h8 spam).
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