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jfclavette

Peoples of Varandor

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Here's a game idea I've bee fidling with for some time now. It would be to long to explain the gameplay so I'll try to compare it to other games. It would be a kind of mix between Civilization and Heroes of might and magic. a big map more like HOMM one, with the difference that you are allowed to build cities. You choose a race and basically control itsdestiny... trade with other races (for now: humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, undeads, ogres, halflings, eaglemen, merfolks) make alliances, pacts, you name it... declare war too. Battles will be fought in a kind of Myth-like point of view. (BTW, everything is turn-based). Here's a premise Varandor was a land of peace, with only minor dissensions and small rivalries between races. Each race had his own (form of) government, and everything was overseen by the council of the Ancient Oak. The council was formed by leaders of each race. The council met monthly in various locations, and had to gather around the Ancient Oak once a year, at Spring Equinox. The Ancient Oak was located on the top of the highest peak of the land, and the leaders of every race had to climb up the mountain to attend to the yearly. Leaders could only be changed at this moment and a leader had to succeed in the ascension of the mountain to be considered worthy of his title. One day however, the Ancient Oak, who was, after centuries, considered to be a normal, natural oak that had die but was just frozen there came to life and told the leaders that their reign was over. (weak point... hacvent come up with something better, you'll see why I don't do pre-apocalyptic bullshit.) The Ancient Oak vanished, and leaders were all killed during his destruction. Only three leaders made it back (differents each game to add dynamics to the starting game) These three leaders tell the world what happened, but there is some suspicion between races. That's it, that's where the game start. Yeah, no war, no burning bodies or crying children (well except for those of the leaders). The world is not stable anymore, but no war has erupted yet. For a reference, take the current state of internationals relations and scale US/IRAQ/Palestine etc down a bit. There's a risk of war, but none as of Yet, and the war in this game WILL be totally avoidable. Not as, you can win without millitary tactics in Age Of Kings but as no war at all. This game is a Strategy/Role-Playing game that emphasizes on the world’s history and diplomacy, rather than sheer military tactics. Invading an enemy of equal strength will be a dangerous, risky, and often disastrous adventure. Alliances, pacts, and trade deals will be necessary for the player to succeed. The world has a history, and the player will continue to write it as he play the game. Players’ actions will affect the outcome, just as AI players actions will. There will be no campaign, play modes or anything like this. Every game starts the same… but none will ever end the same. Morality is going to play a huge role in the game. The players’ actions will dictate how the world will evolve, how his cities and how his people will evolve and how other factions will behave when they see him. It will not be black and white; the player won’t have to “choose a path”. Morality will be an interestng twist. Everyone will start of with medium technology, neutral moral. (yes event the orcs and the undaid, they aren't evil). Player's action will be dictated by the player's (and the AI players) actions. And then everything, like units, buildings, and even the land will be affected by it. while a good human player might get palladins and clerics, an evil one will produce things much more close to the Death Knight and evil wizard. This however wont go bad-neutral-good. there will be an indicator for chaos-order, and one for evil-good, wich can be from 0 - 100. Another twist. Every race will have his own government system, which can be modelled over thiings like democraty, monarchy, dictatorship, communism, republic, independant city-states etc. (I dont see a way to implement anarchy for human players yet). Each with his advantages and inconvenient. what do you think, this is newborn, any ideas or comments will be welcome. BTW.. i used the future, but I'm not saying I will be coding that yet. No anti-newbie flames now. BTW, I know my english is ugly. Bear with it please. [edited by - xMcBainx on April 2, 2003 3:24:15 PM]

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It sounds cool. I think you should provide the player with a bit more structure in terms of goals however. It looks like you don''t want to force the player down a single path, so maybe you could let the player choose some goals for himself from a predefined set (either explicitly near the start of the game or by providing multiple win conditions).

An idea on morality - you could give each race a different code of ethics. For example, if you were a human, you''d lose points for razing cities. If you were an orc, you''d lose points from not declaring war over an insult. I think it''s fine to give each race different values - thats a big part of what differentiates cultures

Two other games your idea reminds me of that you might want to check out are master of magic and europa universalis. MoM has the same sort of setting, but is very focused on war. EU is much more realistic. Wars are expensive and usually pretty indecisive. The game is very open ended but you start the game with certain predefined tensions between countries that eventually drive activity.

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thanks for your reply

your code of ethics idea is really interesting. As for the goals, I am still trying to define them... First there would be the "conquer everyone" path, another thing I tought of is a kind of economic victory yet to decide. There would be a kind of badass superduper victory like "be allied with everyone, so they elect you leader of the land".

Toughts about the economic model:

each race should not produce everything. For instance, humans could produce houblon needed by the dwarves for their ale, while dwarves might produce the gems and the metal needed by the elves to build their enchanted weapons. Humans would need the elf mages to write most of the powerfuls spells into book, as elf are the best ispell inscriptors... etc etc you get the point.

I think that could add a lot of dynamics into the game.

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Sounds really interesting :D
However, at the moment it''s very much just a concept. You need to DESCRIBE more stuff to get us other people interested.

What kind of different government types are there?
What kind of diplomatic actions can you take?
How are battles fought?
Etc. etc.

Generally, whenever i think up a game idea, questions like these are what i ask myself.

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*BIG BUMP HARD*

The project is still on his way... the game is in a fantasy settings and I actually needother''s advice on my choice of races?

I''d have


  • Humans

  • Elves

  • Fairies

  • Dwarves

  • Halflings

  • Gnomes

  • Humans

  • Undeads

  • Orcs

  • Goblins

  • LizardMen

  • Trolls

  • Giants



I''m toying with the idea of implementing aerial and/or underwater races.... But I fail to see how i could balance them with the rest.. I mean, humans cannot attack mermaid cities right? any advices?.

The economic models are

  • Capitalism

  • Communsim

  • "Anarchim" (anarchoist economy where there is no property at all, public or private.


  • The governments types are

  • Democracy

  • Theocracy

  • Monarchy

  • Dictatorship

  • Anarchy

  • Technocracy

  • "Perfect democracy" (Would require some sort of telepathy-enabled race, toying with the concept


  • Any input or suggestions would be welcome. Original units idea for each race are welcome too. There''ll be a lot more civilian units than military ones. Units (Military or Civilian) belongs to one of these categories: Baby, Kid, Man, Women. (Tough they can accept more than one type of candidate).

    Yes, I will make women and men different. At the risk of sounding like a ugly sexist pig, I do believe that, on average, men are stronger than women and women are more agile than men. Don''t worry they''ll both have their usefulness.

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    I just read the first short explanation of the game, but if you haven''t already, try Age of Wonders. It''s a cool game and it sounds a lot like what you explained.

    There is a AoW II, but I haven''t really played it much so I don''t know if it''s as much fun.

    You should also try to find the old game Master of Magic. It''s basically Civilization I in a fantasy setting, great game


    Also you might be able to get some ideas from Tropico.

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    Maybe you should have a more integrated trading system. If each race is only good at one thing, then only one other race will have what needed for the other race''s stuff. It will go around in circles! I suggest starting out with only a few races to begin with before tackling all those other ones into the game.
    Why not have popularity ratings amoungst trade goods that appear at random? Also, one thing in one country may not be as important in another country so it becomes cheaper to buy and then sell to a country that sees it as great importance.

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    Hummm yeah... I just have problem typing too much in the forums. Well, I haven''t got to the economical model design phase, but as I see it. No race will have a monopoly over a ressource, but dwarvs and gnomes will definately have access to much more iron are than the elves. And the elves Will have much more wood available. Dwarves will still be able to place lumber camps outsdie their mountains, but it won''t be an easy task. Also, the player, depending on the economy type, probably won''t be able to prevent merchants from selling wood to the dwarves. Unless he gets his population totally mad at the dwarves, but thats another story...

    Such an economic model would bring much more interaction between races, and might create tension, Iraqi oil anyone? (DISCLAIMER: I AM KIDDING, don''t hurt me)

    Its just floating in my head as I design other stuff... any toughts ? A non-technical design document should be up by july

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    quote:
    Original post by xMcBaiNx
    thanks for your reply

    As for the goals, I am still trying to define them... First there would be the "conquer everyone" path, another thing I tought of is a kind of economic victory yet to decide. There would be a kind of badass superduper victory like "be allied with everyone, so they elect you leader of the land".


    I like your idea of having a game that makes violence optional. I therefore think that goals that support this flexibility would be very cool.

    Example goals would be to control as much as possible of certain resources, such as land, forests, trade routes, mineral deposits, magic schools, hospitals, or specialized knowledge. The beauty of goals like these is that there are multiple ways to achieve them: grabbing them before anyone else does, trading them, stealing them, developing them, or outright fighting for them.

    Each way of acquiring a resource would have its pros and cons, of course, in terms of relationships with other nations, costs, and other repercussions.

    Atlas
    Spiral Graphics

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    quote:
    Original post by xMcBaiNx
    I''m toying with the idea of implementing aerial and/or underwater races.... But I fail to see how i could balance them with the rest.. I mean, humans cannot attack mermaid cities right? any advices?.

    I love the ideas of underwater people. Here''s how I''d do it:

    Mermen are amphibious, so they can operate on land as well as underwater. They start with underwater cities. However, if they wish to develop a strong economy, they are forced to leave the water to build and trade on land.

    The advantage of Mermen is that their underwater cities are safe-havens that are free from all dangers, except maybe water-breathing magicians. The disadvantage of Mermen is that they are the slowest and weakest of the races on dry land.

    I agree with what smiley4 said, though, about starting with fewer races. I''d pick no more than 4 or 5 races that are truly original from all the others. More races will make your development job much more difficult without adding enough value for your players.

    Atlas
    Spiral Graphics

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