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Donut shops, as a rule, don't sabotage each other...

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unless it''s in a video game... Imagine being able to retire and open shop once you reach a certain level in a cRPG. What businesses would be fun to own? What would the gameplay be like? What options would the player have, and how would these blend in with your standard cRPG so that people wouldn''t be confused by the two different modes of gameplay? Here''s the way I''d do it: The player actually wouldn''t have to wait to start a shop. They''d have either enough money to start out as a humble adventurer or meager, "hole in the wall" business owner. There''d be a bunch of different types of businesses for the player to choose from, the sucess of which would be modified by the player''s skill level in a certain area. Being a weaponsmith, for instance, would require a high knowledge in weapons lore. (So players would have to be able to buy skills before they start playing). I''d break the starting town into areas of different classes of clientele: mafia, elite, student, scientific, etc. The shop would attract clientele based on what it was and where it was (a gunshop in mafia territory might be more lucrative, for example). In order to blend cRPG questing, I''d add these things: The need to walk around and talk with other NPCs in order to secure supplies and advertise; the need to go to different locales to hire better and better employees; and the need to scope out the competition. To satisfy that devious need we always have in games, I''d add in extortion, bribery, sabotage, kidnapping and even assassination. While it might not exactly make sense, say, for one donut shop owner to be assassinating the delivery boys or customers of another... it still might be fun! (This could be balanced, btw, with a scheme of risk and rewards, where heavy handed actions are effective, but potentially very costly and thus should be saved for the big leagues). What businesses could the player get into? I see casinos, restaurants, item / weapon invention shops, bodyguard businesses, scouting, and theives / assassins guilds, just to name a few. You might be able to achieve this kind of variety by attaching attributes to objects the player could place within their shop. The attributes would attract clientele, who would move be drawn from object to object, as would employees, based on what it was. Depending on how long a particular "person unit" stayed an an object, a certain effect (like cash revenue or food supply consumption) would occur. To mix things up, I''d make the law, the mafia, and employees with unique talents special factors. The law might periodically raid your business; the mafia might demand "protection" money; and employees might be able to pull off "special moves" that temporarily increased / altered the attractiveness of your business (a chef who spontaneously sings arias, for example). Gameplay would revolve around improving the shop as much as your own character; securing and protecting supply lines/sources and personnel; and legally or illegally snuffing out the competition. What do you think? Have any other ideas, or a different direction you''d like to see this kind of gameplay go? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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I''d like to see bigger worlds, maybe even universes.

I want to be able to build up a strong ground character, then maybe set up a buisiness, make a lot of money, then buy a space ship and fly to another planet. Setting up my buisiness all over the solar system and perhaps beyond.

Shops in space, on moons, other planets, etc...

-AfroFire

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quote:
Original post by AfroFire
I want to be able to build up a strong ground character, then maybe set up a buisiness, make a lot of money, then buy a space ship and fly to another planet. Setting up my buisiness all over the solar system and perhaps beyond.

Shops in space, on moons, other planets, etc...



What do you like the most about this idea?

Do you want to be involved with the details (stocking, supplies, managing personnel), or do you more like the "empire" feel of having lots of establishments?

How many shops would be enough? Too many? Would you need the shops to be different from one another? In what ways?

Thx for replying, btw.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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I see this as it could be an RPG, but it would have a lot of strategy elements.

In fact, the game that comes to mind is Harvest Moon, and games like these always have one big downfall. They are the funnest games to play at first, but they don''t change. Since I have mentioned it, I''ll continue using the example of Harvest Moon. At first, you have to pick things in the forest to get money, then you can start planting crops. Eventually you can get chicken and cows, and that''s about the peak of the game, when you get cows. But the game is sooooooooooo repetitive after that. You wake up, brush em, talk to em, milk em (em being the cows) and go to sleep. And the next day all over again.

It is highly possible that in such a game, people could figure out what they need to do to get by, or make a little profit and grow, and create a daily or weekly pattern, ruining the game.

To this problem, I see two solutions. One is have a very involved story. As a game maker, you have to plan events, and make sure that they are both important to the player, as well as variated enough to keep the game fun. The problem with this is it may be hard to work in challenges with the level the character is at (or the level of his business, however you do progression). And again, this presents the problem with is it possible for the character to be way too powerful for the challenge, thus ruining it? Or will you make the quest/scenario always so hard that it is always a challenge for the player. In that case, it defeats the purpose of the player advancing, if the challenges will always equal his power.

The second option is to make the game work on different levels. At first, the player may have to wake up every day and work the shop himself. Later, he can get employees, and his challenge is to manage the shop. Later after that, the player may be able to open different stores, and later global expansion, and so on and so on. The drawback to this is that the game changes overtime, and it may become something totally different than what the player wanted.

The solution that I would give, however, is an altered version of the first. I say that the challenges should be presented early in the game, and when the player thinks he is powerful enough (again, however you measure this in the game) he can attempt these challenges. If he fails, then he knows he must rethink his strategy, or get more level ups.

Just a few thoughts,

--Vic--

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I would have to agree with the previous poster. A game where all you do is tend a shop would be get repetitive and eventually get boring. You would have to factor in some sort of story elements in there to keep the player interested.

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A lot of the ideas you threw out reminded me of Tom Clancy''s Ruthless.com (a game, not a website!). Power mongers, industrial espionage, kidnapping, sabotage, et cetera. While I found the game to ultimately be boring, you may want to check it out.

Micro-management is usually fun for a while. As the game progresses, why not hire NPC "managers" to run the individual shops as the Evil Empire of Dunkin'' Donuts expands (or did you suggest that and I just didn''t notice)? Say, for instance, I was a small time baker specializing in fried pastries (donuts). My first shop would be small, probably purchased with hard-earned blood money. The shop has a few features: "out front" with a counter and cash register, donuts-on-display, and maybe a table with a couple chairs. There''s a room in back where the pastries are produced. Refrigerated storage. Lavatory (I run a clean shop, no dirty hands!). Boom, the donut shop really takes off. Supply just barely meets demand. Revenue is skyrocketing. To increase revenue even further and ease the stress on the existing donut shop, I decide to open a second. Minimum wage labor is hired to help out. Great results. A third shop. A fourth. I buy a warehouse to devote entirely to production of the pastries. A vehicle is purchased to deliver the goods from the warehouse to the individual shops. Individual shop managers would be needed for a good top-down organization. I wouldn''t want to take time from my busy schedule to guide each of my employees. I dictate to an assitant, who relays the orders to the store managers, who tell their employees to increase production or there''ll be no Christmas bonus. Life is good as an Evil Donut Emperor.
After that long and pointless example I have two things to say. First, an in-depth merchant system would be fantastic. Second, lets hope you wouldn''t be the poor guy that would have to implement such an intricate system.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein

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