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Mephs

LodeStone Premise

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Hey all, I've decided once again to alter my plans as regards creating a game demo. I've decided that my networked RPG will be sacrificed in an attempt to come out with a complete game in a quicker timespan, however I'd like to leave the option of developing the game into a full blown RPG style game in future so I'm sticking with a similarly themed game. I'm targetting this at the PC platform and believe that utilising what I have for an engine/game editor at present will make this a feasible time limit, so I'd also be interested in hearing if others believe this is a realistic timespan for such a project.. and if not, which features you would add or cut to make it feasible? In an attempt to be realistic, I've decided to set myself a 7 month deadline to complete a game. Below I'll show my rough premise for the game (unfinished) and I'd be interested in getting some feedback on changes you'd suggest, things to watch out for (gameplay wise, such as respawn camping, boring gameplay, etc), what feature you might add to make the game more fun, etc. Gameplay Premise ---------------- The game will be loosely classed as a fantasy strategy game. It will be based on a larger idea for a role playing game, however it is intended that the game will retain a more simplistic style of play than a full on RPG for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the project is an amateur effort, and in order to ensure that the project is completed, some complexity must be sacrificed. Secondly, this shall ensure that the game does not lose sight of the fact that it is intended to be, above all else, a fun experience. Originally, this game was planned to be something rather much bigger in scope than what has finally made it to paper, this has been an exercise in understanding what the limits of a lone developer are and coming to grips with what should be attempted for a portfolio project. The original ideas with a larger scope have not been completely abandoned however, as there is plenty of room for improvement upon the basic engine used in LodeStone. I foresee that the engine could quite easily progress into a fully blown RPG engine in the future. The game will feature 2 characters for the time being for the sake of completing the game in a reasonable timescale. One will be good, the other evil. To represent the characters we will use a model of a necromancer style character, and one model of a ranger style character. The objective of the game is to protect your LodeStone. A LodeStone is a monolith that represents the players power. If it is destroyed, then you the player are destroyed along with it. All is not lost however, as you are able to protect it by fighting your opponent and attempting to destroy their LodeStone before yours is destroyed. The game would be no fun if it ended the first time your character died, as this would mean that the game would end for one or other player the first time you meet, and it would be more fun to encourage the players to have to defeat each other several times. To this end, as long as your LodeStone is still functioning, it will resurrect your character when they die. Once again though, the game would not be much fun if all you had to do was march over and beat on the enemies Lodestone for 15 minutes. To stop this occurring, we make players start out weak in abilities. They must earn their right to destroy the enemy. Players can increase in ability by collecting crystal shards. Crystal shards are the games sole resource, and can be used for several purposes. Firstly they can be used to make your LodeStone tougher. Secondly, they can be used to upgrade your character. Thirdly they can be consumed to cast spells. Finally, they can be used to build Mini LodeStones which will act as defence turrets to protect important areas including your LodeStone and key positions that may house crystal shards. When players consume crystals to cast spells, they lose the long term benefits that the crystals may provide, but they unleash fantastic power in the form of allowing a player to cast an appropriate strength of spell determined by the number of crystals consumed. Spells are useful for beating opponents, summoning critters and providing the player with other added utility. Spells should rarely be used against LodeStones or mini LodeStones though as although they may be able to damage them, the magical feedback will also cause damage to the caster. The only way to use a spell against a LodeStone is via indirect damage, for example, summoning creatures who may do physical based damage against the LodeStone. Killing a player causes their lodestone to lose power. This could perhaps destroy minor lodestones at first and then start eating at the lodestone, or could perhaps start eating away at lodestone straight away. Minor Lodestones help defend key areas but aren't very resiliant though they can deal significant damage.

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You've said a lot about the reasons behind your decisions, and the flavour of the game, and what the goal is, but I don't see much about the actual gameplay here.

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Well to be honest, I consider what I have described to pretty much be self explanatory regarding the gameplay though perhaps I have been looking at it from a purely technical viewpoint here because I already have the ideas in my head as to how the game will feel. If you're after a description, I guess that the gameplay would be a tactical affair where players must decide how best to spend their crystal shards (spells / lodestone defence / player stat upgrades). The player must also make decisions about how to attack the lodestone. Do they do it through building a solid defence and playing a war of attrition or do they rush in with hit and run attacks? Do they attack the player in an attempt to drain the lodestone defences, or do they avoid the opponent and go straight for the stones? I think I'd like to throw in some random events to spice things up a bit as well. Anyhoo, I guess that briefly sums up what it would be like to actually play, but please go easy... this is supposed to be a quick project, not a quake 3 beater!! I'd like to include more options, but keep the core gameplay simple in a kind of chess like way, a complex game built on simple rules. I think I may even consider allowing for different types of lodestone, each having different effects, like area effect spells, teleportation points, etc etc.

Does that help?

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Quote:
Original post by Mephs
Well to be honest, I consider what I have described to pretty much be self explanatory regarding the gameplay though perhaps I have been looking at it from a purely technical viewpoint here because I already have the ideas in my head as to how the game will feel.


Ok, nobody else has posted so I will elaborate on what I meant when I said that the actual gameplay wasn't described. By that, I mean presentation, the interface, the pacing, etc. The description you gave could apply to a tabletop RPG, or a card game, as it is vague about how it would apply to a computer game. Since the premise itself is going to stand or fall based on how it's implemented, the devil is in the details, which you left out.

I can't picture a screenshot based on what you've described, nor can I guess at what the control system would be. I have no idea how big the world is or how much freedom I have to move within it. I don't know why there's a requirement to collect crystal shards apart from to create an arbitrary delay, and I don't know what is to prevent me from collecting all the crystal shards within 1 millisecond (although I assume there is some sort of barrier). I don't know what sort of scale this is on and whether 'summoning critters' means creating a companion or two or forming up a large army.

I know designers like to think outside the box, but in terms of communication it really helps to express your idea in terms of other games. Does it look like Baldur's Gate, Total Annihilation, or Quake 3? Is it real-time or turn-based? Large scale strategic battles or small tactical ones? What are the key game decisions and compromises that the player has to make - these can be almost totally divorced from the setting and placed in terms of resource management. Does it feel more like an RPG or an RTS? etc.

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