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Golumns/Robots/Engineered Creatures

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In a game where the player can build any kind Golumns/Robots/Creaure they want to peform a task or set of tasks. What would you want to do in this game? What sort of tasks would you like to be able to have your robot perform? What about research what sort of directions would you want to explore? If Golumns, Robots, and Creatures where all available to explore would you want them to all have there own advantages and disadvantages or should they all be effectivily be the same?

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Most summoned creatures in games only do one thing, kill. Its generally all their good for, but it would be nice if i could summon a creature to pull levers, or get help and other such things. I think there would also be some fundamental differences between creature types, Skeletons being fast and britle, and Golems being slow, durable, and powerful. It would also be nice if you could customize, or at least dote on your "Pet" like you can in other games, maintaining them, giving them weapons and armor, etc. To generally improve them. Not to mention make them last so you can take them wherever you can go if the player so chooses.

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Id think of these pets like the police do...
let them do what you cant. For example if there's lava to cross...to open a door lever...let them do it. If you have to go waaaaay underwater...let them do it.

You might also have them track food or an enemy and do tricks. I love it when game devs put in silly stuff that is just for messin around with.

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this brings to mind a semi plauseable sci-fi idea I had that takes place on Venus.

The enviroment on Venus is a literal gem factory (high temps in a high pressure carbon dioxide dense atmosphere, sulfuric acid rain, etc..), however such harsh conditions make it extreamly difficult for exploration by anything but specialty built robots.

Players would be tasked with not just building these robots, but programing thier AI routines...all in an effort to harvest the raw gems the enviroment on Venus is able to produce. However other companies are in competition with the player to harvest the wealth on Venus, and so players must contend with possable hostile robots bent on stealing gems/mineing territory/etc...this is more difficult in that the harsh enviroment plays havok with most conventional weaponry...so AI routines need to be tweeked to make the robots block each others movements/ flip each other over/ change thier sensors so they get lost/ etc.

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Just something I quickly threw together so it's written very quickly as I'm on my lunch break! I actually think it would make for a very interesting and unique style of gameplay... throw in a multilpayer mode and it could be veyr interesting.....

from my working notes :

"Golem game, create automatons to carry out your duties. You control the spirit of a necromancer/sorceror and only have basic interaction with the world as you cannot take physical form. You must perform a set of tasks to return to mortality and can summon/create/possess creatures to do your bidding. Puzzle/fighting/exploration game. Give orders by creating a series of behavioural elements and watching them play out as a sort of AI testing ground with interesting implications of patterned behaviour. This could actually work out to be quite comical as well, just like the halflife physics mod supposedly is (haven't tried it myself). We could also incorporate physics into the mix somewhere? Only able to possess creatures for a certain amount of time as uses energy and can also use some spells to aid you/the automatons. Interface would simply involve creating creatures, assigning behaviour and casting support spells which should be involving, yet reduce micro-management."

PS I think the interesting part of it is also the fact that one moment yuo could have a task to defend your lair from attack, then the next you could be commanding your creatures to tidy the place up to raise productivity, then the next you could be solving a puzzle to discover a new spell. It has potential to really give a diverse game experience without being your run-of-the-mill RPG

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Okay, so far we have:
Fighting
Manipulating objects
Operating in hostile envrioments

To clearifiy things, this would be a Golumn/Robot/Creature sandbox type game. So you would have full customization, design, and research abilities.

So if you want ot build a thirty foot humoid robot with laser beam eyes and jets in its feet then you can. Then you can send the little guy out to help people. Of course thats where its data tracks would come into play. For instance if you didn't spend much time developing AI then when your robot encounters burning house for the first time then it might assume that burning is the proper state for a house and so in order to fufill the imperative to help people that you gave it the robot goes off and helps people by setting their homes on fire with its heat beam eyes. Comedy ensues.

It would combination of customization and training game. So if you build your first golem and tell it to chop wood, and forget about you could very well come back and find that its cut down an entire forest.

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A scripting system would be a must.

Look at my order idea in the ai forum


"Order 66. Confine area to within 10km of this location. Find every tree, chop it down, and bring it back here. Look for the next tree. When your power cell runs low, go to the recharging station to recharge."

"All woodcutter droids, execute order 66!"

*10,000 droids march off, and start ripping apart the forest they are in. Several days later, the entire area is completely bare*

"All woodcutter droids, cancel order 66. Return to formation about me"

*sees 10,000 droids come and line up into formation*

"All woodcutter droids, execute order 88" Order 88 is the general protection order.

From,
Nice coder

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Holy smokes, this is a neat idea.

How about if you make thes heuristic orders, and design the machines, and so on, but you can't actually see what they're doing until they report back? If you send out an exploration drone, and he gets blasted 90% of the way through his recon run, you get no data back. Then you might send a small combat recon team out on the same path, to find out what happened to him, complete his mission, and report back. If they don't make it, you get nervous.

I think it would be cool if you could "store" designs. With robots or GM creatures, it would be natural, but it could work with golems, too. The "engineering" could be composing the summoning glyph or whatever, and you could draw it on whatever you wanted to make the golem out of. You have a "scout golem" and a "combat golem" and a "construction golem", and each has a little symbol that summons them. You can carve it on a tree, or a rock, or in the sand, or in the mud, or on the skin of a corpse, or on the blade of a knife, or anywhere else, and the golem with be formed of the local material (eww... corpse golem). Size will depend on strength of spell and mass of object (knife golem smaller than Buick golem). The behavior and balance of attributes would be consistent to golem class.

You could produce a relatively cheap army or dirt golems or ice golems, while gold golems or lava golems would be a little tougher to come by.

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A DnD game I heard about, the group was being attacked by an invisible creature. The magic user summoned up a ring of earth elementals and ordered them to point at the invisible creature so everone knew where the creature was.

Now if you could get that type of scripting into your game, that would be very cool.

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It'll be a rambling reply, but hopefully it'll give ideas. It's centered on the concept of an eccentric necromancer/scientist dude who doesn't consider it immoral to dig up dead bodies from graves and ask the spirits to give them life so that faithful servants could be created.

Note: only after writing the reply I noticed the later comment that it'll be a sandbox type game (I'll assume this means no player character as such). Still, I hope this reply to be of some use to at least somebody, even though it really assumes the existence of a player character.

Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
In a game where the player can build any kind Golumns/Robots/Creaure they want to peform a task or set of tasks. What would you want to do in this game?


This is what I'd like to do.
- First I'd find the local cemetery, dig up a few graves, get some bones and corpses depending on the level of decomposition.
- Then I'd plunder the local blacksmith's, stocking up on raw material such as wooden planks, metal pipes, what have you.
- After that it'd be time to ransack the local high-tech research facility and stock up on cyborg implants.
- Since making my army alive and kicking probably requires magickal components for all those fun rituals, this'd be the time I'd have to go for hunting virgins for their blood etc.
- Lastly it'd be time for crafting. I'd put together the corpses, enforce them with wood and metal, enhance them with the implants and then I'd offer the virgin blood to the spirits in a series of wicked rituals. Lo and behold, I have an army of obedient enforced cyborg skeletons, ready to do whatever my sick mind desires.

Other than that, I'd be happy with roguelike gameplay, but this time I'd have my undead buddies with me to help me out.

Quote:
What sort of tasks would you like to be able to have your robot perform?


Depends on the game. If I'm a necromancer, I might have the power to control my undead buddies directly, transporting my soul into them temporarily (the fun starts if someone manages to kill your real body in its catatonic state while you are happily roaming the coutryside as a skeleton — you'd be stuck in the skeleton, unless you find yourself a new body, say, by the means of murder).

If I'm a scientist, I might build some sort of a processor to run the creature and the level of understanding of the creature would depend on the level of sophistication of the components. Building the control circuits out of low-tech stuff, say, relays, wire, and air-duct tape [lol], the creature could understand simple commands like "Move. Kill." and if I used some state-of-the-art high-tech stuff, I could give commands like "Find out who stole my lab notes and give him a good trashing" and the creature would actually go do some detective work. Note that if you take the necromancer approach, the quality of the corpse could determine the complexity of understanding.

Scripting has been mentioned here. It's not a bad idea as such. If you're making a game about programming robots to do things (e.g. a puzzle game of sorts), that's fine. If you're making a game where the main point is not to figure out how to program the robots, keep in mind that not everyone wants to be a programmer.

Also, this is nice as long as you have perfectly obedient robots, but what about if you have creatures that have their own thoughts and won't do things they feel they shouldn't do?

Another idea (rpg): give the player character direct control (as in Nox), but allow quasi-indirect control over the minions (as in rts games, i.e. allow the player to give targets), but restrict the view to the player character's view.

Quote:
What about research what sort of directions would you want to explore?


What about the possibility to create what ever kind of nasty combinations your imagination has to offer? Not just your basic humanoid skeletons, but the possibility to combine sets of components and then see if the result is plausible in any way? Take away the legs of the corpse and stitch two extra arms in their place? Necromancy has never been so much fun...

If you don't get the point, go watch The Bride of Re-animator and think about it again... [grin]

Or even building a mechanical arachnid where you connect a cybernetically enhanced brain?

If you want the creatures to have their own minds, then you might have to discipline them every now and then, or maybe train them new things?

Quote:
If Golumns, Robots, and Creatures where all available to explore would you want them to all have there own advantages and disadvantages or should they all be effectivily be the same?


A heavily armored golem built out of metal is probably going to be slow but able to take a lot of punishment before collapsing into a heap of junk. A golem made out of styrofoam would probably be fast but rather disposable (as in "designed to be disposed of after use").

I'd say that if you want to emphasize the crafting aspect of the game, do it all the way and have everything affect the end result. If you use wood in constructing the golem, it can catch fire. If you use glass, it can shatter during combat, causing heavy wounding to anyone around.

People talked about summoning, but personally I wouldn't consider crafting golems summoning as such. At least, not the phase in which you prepare the body. How you endow that body with life is another matter, though. I'd personally like to have a workshop or a lab, as in Re-animator or Frankenstein. You could still use magick as the means of bringing life to the creatures.

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