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A design concept and some questions

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Well, I was just fiddling around with my computer when I came across some of my old files for a RPing system... I was amazed to see the detail I went to in creating it, and suddenly, a little voice in the back of my head told me "You know, as a Computer Role Playing system in its own executable, that wouldn''t be half bad... DESIGN IT!" Of course, the stuff I stumbled upon was meant for Role Playing over a message board or in chat using the system, so a lot was left to be implied or just plain understood. Now, mind you, it seems it''s going to go along the lines of it really just being a system with a few included storylines or quests and an editor in which you make your own maps, events and the like... Probably even the ability to import new sprites or models... Basically, the editor would give you total control over the system... it''ll even probably have a sort of code to give the creator even more power over what their quest turns out to be... Oh yeah, and if it helps your decision to the below asked questions, though the editor would allow for a battle system to be coded in, the main one would be a sort of action battle system (meaning not driven by menus except for perhaps magic, skills or using items...) And by the way, feel free to contribute ideas... As for the system, its a bit like a D&D wannabe... different races, and such... Though I honestly think its destinct enough to not be confused with it, that''s just me... Each race has its own rules of play, and even varying occupations open to it. For example, a vampire, given certain conditions, would have to seek shelter during the day (I''d go into specifics, but like I said, I haven''t quite worked it all out yet.) Ok, that being said, I think I should go a bit into character creation. When you create a character, you name it and choose its race and set its stats... When you choose a race, you can then edit your stats: Strength, Speed, Endurance, Intellignce, Spirit Strength is self explanatory- it''s how hard and fast you hit (a buff guy can swing a 50 pound sword a lot easier than somebody with the strength of a 10 year old, for instance) and how much you can carry. Speed is how fact you can move and it does have a certain affect on your attack speed, but it''s mostly for how fast you can move and how high you can jump. Endurance affect stamina, health and all around pain threshhold. A high endurance means: You don''t get tired as quickly (running and attacking with heavy weapons drains stamina), you''ll have more health, and hence can take more damage, and your actions won''t be interrupted as easily. Yes, as annoying as it is, it''s only realistic that if an ogre bonks you on the head and doesn''t kill you while casting a spell, you''re probably going to lose concentration. Intelligence affects how easily you can cast spells, and has a great affect on what skills you can learn that involve intelligence. (A stupid character will not be able to be a master of speaking, for example) Spirit affects your SS (Spiritual Strength) which is, for all intensive purposes, mana or MP. It also has an affect on your resistance to magic and the strength of magic. As you can see, these 5 stats each have a purpose... Notice how There isn''t a dexterity stat... I decided against that because there are weapons skills, and the fact that the more you use a weapon the better you''ll be with it as weapons have a different feel... So, switching to a more powerful weapon isn''t always the best course of action, as you may be clumsy in fights while using it because you were so used to your previous weapon. (The details on this aren''t quite worked out either, but I''ll work it out...) Granted, there is a certain natural factor in people that allows them to aim with a bow better, but, I use enough trite stuff in here, might as well make my stats a little different, eh? Also, in regards to weapons, you affinity to one weapon really does affect your performance with other weapons. Ok, so once your stats are decided, you get to add a perk to your character (ok, so it''s from Fallout, but this is a compromise for omitting some stats, and adding a bit of flavor to your character) For example, one perk possibly could be something like Bow Proficiency, in which you would have raised hit percentages with bows. So, let''s say we have two archers with equal bow skills... one with this perk and the other without, and they begin firing at one another, statistically, the one with the perk would hit more than the one without. Though standing targets aren''t a good demonstration (because a hit is a hit, bow and crossbow skills are mainly for accuracy of your aim, I suppose, either way you look at it...) As a final note before I get to the end of this explanation and to the questions, I haven''t even trully scratched the surface with this explanation, as, like I''ve said before in this post probably 50 times by now, I haven''t worked out all the details... I just wanna be able to trully visualize this thing as I work on it... Even if the finished product turns out to be nothing like what I imagined it to be, should it ever become a finished product, that is, at least I can envision it how I want as I work on it. So, I started brainstorming what I thought a finished product would be like, but I''ve been playing a lot of Diablo 2 recently, so I have it on the brain, I think... I keep seeing this as either full 3-D or an isometric view like Diablo games... Ok, I know, this sort of thing''s been done before in various capacities and on multiple occasions... and that I''ve been ranting on and on about the design that I''ve probably been working on for a full 30 minutes... Which brings me to my main questions... Should the engine be isometric view or full 3d? (I''m leaning toward 3d, but I''m unsure, heh) Should I include a sort of editor like I described above or just make the dang game and forget the editor? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance... rather thanks for enduring that post and thanks in advance for any answers I recieve. Espionage is fun.

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Lets just get right to the questions

Isometric or 3D?

Does it really matter at this point? Nope! This game design has miles to go before you need to worry about what type of engine is going to be required. For the most part the engine has nothing to do with the design.

To edit or not to edit.

Unless you go a lot of money stashed away some where you might as well forget about making a special editor. It would be ok to ship what ever tools you used to make the game when people purchase it but making an editor where players can customize everything to make their own game is overkill. The guys at BioWare did it in Neverwinter Nights but that game took 3+ years and a team of people working on it to do it. So like I said unless you have a lot of money sitting around its unlikely you will be able to find the resources to do such an editor.

My final thought is that the main feature of a RPG is the story not the character system (although its high on importance) you would be better off working on making a great story then work on the RPG system.

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First off, thanks for the input.

Like I said, I''m really just brainstorming at this point, and I like to have a feel where I''m going... I play a lot of games, so, when making a concept, I like to be able to visualize how things will work (in other words, gameplay would be significantly different in full 3d as it would be in isometric)

and I agree that the main point of an RPG is the story- that''s what makes it great and all, but I work backwards in this respect (I''m a visual person, so I gotta work out how something''s going to look before I can make a story... It''s just how I function for the time being.) I don''t really trully plan on getting this actually created- but it''s an aspiration to work towards...

But, the fact of the matter is that I like a certain openness to a plot, but still there being direction... That takes talent with plots... Something I don''t seem to have (though, I have been trying...)

Why try and make a masterpiece if you''re no good? as I said before it''s a nice aspiration, and sometimes keeps me going.

Mind you, I just think up this stuff in spare time, and have very little experience in anything in regards to programming, and my writing skills are OK when I get something started (by far, the hardest part for me) I do plan on gaining some expertise in at least programming of some sort (probably C++ I''ve already been introduced to it somewhat)

I admit that what I detailed earlier was a bit far-fetched, but just take a look at Warcraft III''s editor- it''s almost exactly the same thing used to create the single player campaigns- almost. It''s missing a few key commands (such as recalling units from a unit cache... I can''t seem to find this command anywhere)

For those unfamiliar with the editor, it uses a sort of script- it''s a lot like the Starcraft editor, but with more features (if that helps) It allows you to customize ALMOST anything within the system... There are a few things it cannot do (whether it be by blizzard''s choice or it just wasn''t programmed to do those things is irrelevant)... At any rate, it was the main inspiration for the whole editor idea...

Anyway, I''ll shutup now
------------



Espionage is fun.

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The story so far:

The story is the key to any RPG regardless of how open ended you want it to be. Start from a good story and work from there. The most opened RPG I know of, Dagger fall, still had a story. The way you get good at writing stories is the same way you get good at anything else. Practice, practice, practice. If it helps for you to visualize the story in the engine then I say visualize the game in what ever type of engine you like.

Again with the editor:

The WC3 took three years to develop and lots and lots of money. The manual has 3 pages of credits for the people that worked on the game. If your working on an entire game alone that three years that took 100 professionals to make would probably take you about 30+ years. I''m not against shooting for the stars but I''m more in favor of getting something small done instead of going for something big and never finishing it. From another perspective their editor is probably what was required to create WC3 and nothing more. This is what your editor should be. You should create a game and then make an editor which will allow you to create the levels for the game. Not make an editor then create a game with it.

As a side note on the WC3 editor:

I image its the exact same editor that Blizzard used to create the game. There would be little point in stripping out a couple of functions within the editor when you allow so much already.

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