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Naxos

Player-Made Magic

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Been sifting this idea through my head for a few days, thought I'd throw it out to guys and see what you thought. As far as I know, games that use magic use predefined spells -- spells made by the designer of the game. What if you have a game that revolves around players playing together and coming up with there Own spells? Would this be fun? It sounds fun to me ( To be honest, I'm a bit influenced by the potter books ). So I came up with this hairbrained idea. Instead of spells being something you spoke, it's something you draw out, perhaps with a wand. I've made a rudimentary picture to help with my description. Say there are a dozen or so basic markings or symbols ( e.g. the left side of the picture ), and these symbols have a meaning when set together in grids. There would be rules defining how they can be combine, and what they mean ( though, for the life of me, I haven't found a good way to sort them out in any useful manner ) So that when you draw the 'spell' on the right, 'something magic' ( if the spell conforms to the rules ) happens from this. Also, perhaps there could be a PvP portion, where you have to analyze your opponents spell quickly to draw out your own counter-spell to defend against it. ----------------------------------- This idea is still very basic and undeveloped, do you guys see any sort of gameplay that could feasibly come from this kind of design? And if you could, would you be entertained by it? [Edited by - Naxos on August 9, 2005 12:30:16 AM]

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Nice idea. Although it'd be hard to make the player understand how to actually build the spells without some meaningful content, I like the general outline. It would be good to add some of that content in groups, like in already existing magical systems. See some forums discussing new types/ways of creating magic (there was one in GDNet Lounge I believe). It might help you to come up with the game that is fun to play and at the same time is logical and sometimes hard.

Good luck.

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Quote:
Original post by HellRiZZer
See some forums discussing new types/ways of creating magic (there was one in GDNet Lounge I believe). It might help you to come up with the game that is fun to play and at the same time is logical and sometimes hard.

Good luck.


Any idea about how long ago that topic was around? I'd use the search button but... well...

Thanks :)

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I think the tricky bit with any player defined magic system is how you can program it so all the spell components can work together. Someone has to figure out how to code the system so that if you combine the 'Big' rune, the 'Ice' rune, the 'Fire' rune, and the 'Ball Magic' rune, that the system casts a huge fireball of frost flame. This problem is separate from whatever method you use to combine the spell components.

By the way, I think the drawing system is a good idea, if you can figure out how all the components combine together. Although I don't see how it relates to Harry Potter; as far as I could tell, Potter magic consists of waving your wand and saying something in Latin (frankly, in my first year of Hogwarts I'd invest in a Latin dictionary and be making up my own spells from day one. What's Latin for the "Memorise Latin Dictionary" spell?)

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Quote:
Original post by Naxos
... do you guys see any sort of gameplay that could feasibly come from this kind of design? And if you could, would you be entertained by it?

From a first-person/console perspective, a 'spell grid' HUD appearing with a Wand button press would be a cool addition (you can still move, but your other joystick would control the Wand).

This would introduce a nice amount of necessary skill needed to properly execute the spells in the heat of battle. The more difficult spells could include more complex patterns, or need more time to ... 'prepare' (perhaps the entire spell pushes 3-5 seconds long).

:stylin:

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This is a great idea, and in my MMO, I am working to create a system where you can make your own spell, through a crafty crafting system (shoot me now).
I have two sorts of spellcasters, traditional ones, that cast premade spells, either made by players, NPC's or us developers. We also have more magicy spellcasters who use the raw power of magic to use magical energy to vanquish their foes. Think Gandhalf with a v'large sword owning golbins with fire and steel - except not Gandhalf.

Again, very nice idea.

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I've actually been poking around with the very same idea. It's very very difficult to construct, IMO. I spent a good while simplifying the design and came up with an idea which could work. Since I still plan to implement this, I don't really feel like telling too much, but 'spelling' a spell together with keys on the keyboard would be much better than the mouse or joystick.

The mouse-recognition system was a big part of the game "Black & White" in which the patterns you drew triggered pre-fabricated spells. The problem is that this system weren't flawless. Often it would recognice something entirely different from what you were actually drawing. You aren't likely to do this better than Lionhead Entertainment could do.

Much better is to draw a spell using some keys on the keyboard. This would respond much faster, allow players to get GOOD at it, and be very nicely extendable.
Now, I did figure out a way to make it useable and extendable ad-infinitum, but that's the delicious part of my idea and I would not like to spill it! :D sorry!

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I to have wanted to see something like this implemented in a MMORPG. I was thinking along the lines of the game Arx Fatalis. Where you use your spell casters hands (mouse) to draw the symbols in the air. Using something like your grid pattern in the same way would give players the ability to create custom spells, maybe along the lines of combining symbols, via the magic system in the classic Dungeon Master series, to accomplish this. It is a great idea, and will be interesting to see how you and others might adapt it to work.

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I always thought about this using sword-strokes. That in a 3rd person perspective you could have different types of "slashes" or possibly even "thrusts" by holding down the mouse button and swiping your mouse across your desk in different patterns. Nice idea to apply it to magic too. From my experience of learning japanese, people can get suprisingly good at swishing out a particular symbol very quickly, so it's not too far-fetched at all.

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Quote:
Original post by NQ
The mouse-recognition system was a big part of the game "Black & White" in which the patterns you drew triggered pre-fabricated spells. The problem is that this system weren't flawless. Often it would recognice something entirely different from what you were actually drawing. You aren't likely to do this better than Lionhead Entertainment could do.


Quote:
Original post by _goat
From my experience of learning japanese, people can get suprisingly good at swishing out a particular symbol very quickly, so it's not too far-fetched at all.


Funny that you guys mention these because this is very close to how I actually pictured it. I was thinking of way B&W used mouse input for miracles , and thinking that the spell would look Kanji-esque :)

And NQ, if and/or when you complete your game, please drop us all a line.

---------------------------

So I've been thinking a little bit more on this. So I started thinking that, perhaps the symbols being draw together for some sort of simple script. If you think about how scripting and programming work, it seems to make the task sound more feasible, but with a notable exception: how do you specify anything unique objects and quantities.

For example, lets say you created a levitation spell. How do you specify 1) the object to levitate, 2) how long to levitate, and 3) How high to levitate. This is the tough part. Any ideas?

PS - I know the potter books aren't like this. What I meant was that in the books it was possible to create and discover new spells -- they didn't have teh all powerful list of spells that never changes.

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