Sign in to follow this  
zuloon

Cowboys, discuss

Recommended Posts

zuloon    122
Okay... this is a set of ideas I made today, in class (I'm in middle school). They don't have to be followed, you can reject them, flame, whatever, it only took me a day of boredom in class to think of this. The game is set in the period where cowboys reigned because it's so much more original than the medieval period. Most everyone in the game is a cowboy, if they not they are probably one of the following: *train engineer *civilian *owner of a business (saloon, gun shop, etc.) There are different styles that different cowboys prefer, some even have their own unique styles. What things in this game are equivalent to according to cliche RPGs: styles - Classes Unique styles - Unique classes GP (Gunpowder) - MP (Magic Points) GP is constantly taken in by traveling cowboys, just like MP is in most RPGs. style Finder Monk Class - Agressive; These cowboys are quick, and use either fists or a gun. The gun is used as either a melee weapon or a point blank weapon. Guns specialized for this style are more accurate and powerful up close, and not far away. Mage Class - Cautious? (I can't think of what to call it); These cowboys stray far from the fray and use GP excessively in order to create different effects (like elements... I guess). Knight Class - Chivalrous? (I can't think of a name for this one either); The followers of the chivalrous style are the only ones that ride horses. Though their shots are slow and require medium gunpowder (in between Monk and Mage) they are powerful. ... I know it's not finished. Just throwing some ideas out. -- George Tye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ezbez    1164
So, uhhh... what's the game like?

Seriously, you got the start of the environment of the game, but I still have no idea what the actual game is like.

Other than that, you say that you want to keep away from cliched medieval settings, but then you basically just use the same, generic classes are are in most medieval/fantasy games. Admittedly, they've been changed to fit the environment, but it's largely just a cosmetic change, the game play parts of the classes seem to stay pretty much the same; you even go so far as to give fantasy equivalents of some things. And I'm also a bit confused about the mage class. How does this fit into a western setting?

That said, I think that it's nice seeing people interested in a westerner setting - they're pretty rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
well you said flame so...

this sucks
cowboys are gay, they just sit around eating pudding

BrokeBack Mountain aside...



equating different kinds of cowboy and gunpowder to different classes is just plain contrived and silly
there's also no historical precedent for even having this kind of gameplay dynamic for cowboys
look it up, they were mostly just poor farm hands
the whole lone ranger gun thing is just a myth

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zuloon    122
Quote:
Original post by Ezbez
So, uhhh... what's the game like?

Seriously, you got the start of the environment of the game, but I still have no idea what the actual game is like.

Other than that, you say that you want to keep away from cliched medieval settings, but then you basically just use the same, generic classes are are in most medieval/fantasy games. Admittedly, they've been changed to fit the environment, but it's largely just a cosmetic change, the game play parts of the classes seem to stay pretty much the same; you even go so far as to give fantasy equivalents of some things. And I'm also a bit confused about the mage class. How does this fit into a western setting?

That said, I think that it's nice seeing people interested in a westerner setting - they're pretty rare.


Yeah, I know. I'm an artist, so... I guess I only look on the outside, and not so in-depth.

What do you need to know about the actual game? I need to know what to say about it. Thanks for the feedback.

And, at Anonymous Poster: How would you know that cowboys are gay?

and...

You know what's "gay"? Homophobic slurs.

Dis'd. Lol, let the flame war begin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Adriac    100
First of all you need to come up with gameplay elements, what will you do? shoot at people for 28 consecutive shooting one guy levels? No, i hope its not you need storylines, ideas for the kind of things you could do, what would you kill, how would you make money? Many questions you must answer as a game designer



Note: Yes a flame war will begin shortly after those remarks

Also I do thing the cowboy concept is sorta lame but I'll help make it 3% less lame

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zuloon    122
Lol thanks for the comment...

I do agree, cowboys are sort of lame, but medieval settings are so cliche that, in my opinion, they're even lamer.

I'll think about what you said tomorrow during another boring day of school. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
don    431
You need a good story, no matter where/when the game takes place, or whether it has cowboys and indians (you didn't even consider them, did you?), or knights and knaves.

There have been far more western movies, tv series, and novels than there are those with a medievel theme. That's because there is apparently a genuine interest in the genre. Whether or not you can take this and turn it into a successful game is another thing altogether.

It doesn't bode well when you talk in terms of "knights/mages/monks" and "magic" when describing a cowboy game though. I realize that you're starved for terms, but you've got to get over that mindset if you're going to make this work. Yeehaw.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBourrie    1204
Quote:
Original post by zuloon
They don't have to be followed, you can reject them, flame...

The idea sucks.

Cowboys are awesome. Cowboys VS Ninjas, even better. [grin]

There are very few good western games, which leaves the setting open for alot of creativity. But your idea is, for the most part, crap. If the "cliche RPGs" are overdone, then why are you just putting a different skin on the same old crap? If you want to do a Cowboy GADOCRPG*, why not base your combat off of the old-west shootouts, where reflexes and positioning (such as hiding behind barrels or on balconies) is more important than casting "Cowboy Firaga". Bar fights just don't seem interesting if you can't throw somebody through a table, etc... and with some creativity it can be done turn-based (One possibility is to have nodes around the level that you can "Move" to and context-sensitive selections) And for the love of God, please don't have the player buy "Mythril Chaps" to increase their defense. Cowboys don't have "defense" because they don't have armor (unless you have a bulletproof vest). Cowboys have agility to avoid bullets and skill with a gun. Use this.

Most of this was pulled out of my ass in a matter of minutes. With some brainstorming, I'm sure you could come up with ideas 100x better. All you have to remember is that DQCs* work because they play to the strengths of fantasy worlds. Play to the strengths of your target.

*Generally accepted definition of Console Role-Playing Game
*Dragon Quest Clones

[Edited by - JBourrie on November 6, 2006 9:55:52 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wodinoneeye    1689



Ditch the D&D titles/roles -- you wont get far living in that small box.


Cattle Barons & Range Wars
Miners & Mines
Farmers, Plows & Fences
Prospectors
Indians & Bandits
Sheriffs and Marshals
Stagecoaches & Railroads
Stables & Banks & Saloons
Trails
Lawyers & Gamblers
Cavalry
Water Rights
Tumbleweeds & Dust & Mud
Boomtowns
Rifles, Pistols, Knives and Fists


And Magic has little to do with Cowboys.





Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yapposai    410
how about having the player/s escort a herd of cows across the land , battling robbers, indians, floods, rains, etc. You are paid based on your speed getting the cows to where they are going and how many survive. you can "upgrade" your party by hiring better men or buying more wagons , etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zuloon    122
Quote:
Original post by wodinoneeye



Ditch the D&D titles/roles -- you wont get far living in that small box.


Cattle Barons & Range Wars
Miners & Mines
Farmers, Plows & Fences
Prospectors
Indians & Bandits
Sheriffs and Marshals
Stagecoaches & Railroads
Stables & Banks & Saloons
Trails
Lawyers & Gamblers
Cavalry
Water Rights
Tumbleweeds & Dust & Mud
Boomtowns
Rifles, Pistols, Knives and Fists


And Magic has little to do with Cowboys.


Nice ideas, but it's not an MMORPG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yvanhoe    157
Quote:
Original post by zuloon

Nice ideas, but it's not an MMORPG.


Well, now we are getting somewhere! This is the first indication about the game style. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the "cowboys" setting. I infer from your D&D parallels that this is still a RPG...

Let's try to refine your idea. What are you thinking about ? A realtime game ? like Oblivion or Diablo ?
A turn based game, a la Fallout or Final Fantasy ?

I concur with wodinoneeye, it would be a pity to use a different setting than classical D&D RPGs but stick with the same classes. Obviously, the far west bears some differences with a Tolkien setting. Range weapons have far more importance than melee weapons, law enforcement is different, the map HAS to be very large, etc...

Even for a classical RPG, wodinoneeye classes (or styles) are usable I think.

I find the parallel between gunpowder and magic points interesting but I think it fails as a game concept : gunpowder doesn't recharge, the maximum capacity doesn't depend on the player caracteristic and anyone can buy some.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DJ14IVI3    100
I think that it's a very interesting setting, provided you drop the historical accuracy and base your game on spaghetti westerns.

I'd go the Fallout route and make it possible to resolve most situation in multiple ways, thus avoiding having all the characters be the same cliche.

Don't get me wrong, cliches can be a good thing in this sort of game, as long as they're diverse enough. Well integrated cheese can go a long way and add "soul" to the game. Using radically new ideas everywhere just for the sake of originality often leads to end-user disappointment. I know I'd be pretty pissed if I had to fight undead Mongol hordes in a cowboy-themed game.

Anyway, I think that classless system would work the best in this setting, but if you insist on having classes, try to base them on standard western movie stereotypes. Some suggestions:
- Demolitioner (explosives expert)
- Trapper (tracking and general wilderness survival)
- Gunslinger (basic all-around class)
- Sniper (self-explanatory - expert at killing at long range)
- Maverick (jack of all trades - think D&D bard)

This list is just off the top of my head and is incomplete and may be redundant and inaccurate (I'm no Wild West expert). Still, I repeat, I advise you to go the Fallout route and make the game skill-based because IMHO that works best with this setting.

Making the game turn-based would also go a long way. It would certainly make for interesting duels where both quick hands (initiative) and precision would be important. JBourrie's ideas about bar fights seem awesome to me and I'd go with them. I also advise watching some Sergio Leone movies to get more cool ideas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zuloon    122
Alright, this is an RPG. I want to make it as good as a Final Fantasy game, maybe better.

I've heard of Fallout, but I've never played it. Doesn't it use the D20 system? Anyways, I'll try to think of how the skills will work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DJ14IVI3    100
Fallout uses it's own system that revolves around percentages instead of d20. You can get a PnP version here, but I haven't actually played that (I just googled for it right now) so it may be different than the system in the game.

You should play Fallout (you can probably get it for 10$ these days) because any RPG designer can learn a lot from it. Plus, it's an awesome game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by zuloon
And, at Anonymous Poster: How would you know that cowboys are gay?

and...

You know what's "gay"? Homophobic slurs.


Watch 'Brokeback Mountain' then you will know.

last time I checked 'gay' was not a slur; if I wanted to be politically incorrect I could have said 'fag'.
Or is it more accepted to say 'queer' instead of 'gay' now? I'm not sure, I've seen both used depending...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by zuloon
And, at Anonymous Poster: How would you know that cowboys are gay?

and...

You know what's "gay"? Homophobic slurs.


Watch 'Brokeback Mountain' then you will know.

last time I checked 'gay' was not a slur; if I wanted to be politically incorrect I could have said 'fag'.
Or is it more accepted to say 'queer' instead of 'gay' now? I'm not sure, I've seen both used depending...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
double posting aside...

When I hear 'Cowboy' I think cattle herders and rodeos, not 'gunpowder mages'

The whole gunfights and indians thing is pretty much mythical, so you're already getting pretty far from reality as is (mages aside)

and well, I think the main appeal for the entire western thing has been historical(or at least traditional)... so adding mages and ninja cowboys is kinda breaking that... and comes off as just plain wierd
I don't think the concept would appeal to either western fans or fanasty/rpg fans because its just a wierd crossover

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JBourrie    1204
Quote:
Original post by zuloon
Alright, this is an RPG. I want to make it as good as a Final Fantasy game, maybe better.

Well then, your first step is to get a team of 300+ people and a couple tens of millions of dollars. Your second step is to rejoin reality and innovate instead of trying to compete with an impossibly difficult market.

Come up with an all new system that is fun to play and the game will be popular, if it's good enough it wouldn't matter if you used scanned images drawn with crayon!

Come up with a Final Fantasy clone and without the budget and resources and it will be, at best, a forgettable and cheap knock-off. You might want to check out the game Bang! Howdy for an interesting take on westerns in games.

Unless you mean "As good as the original Final Fantasy" in which case I think you could do much better [grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Way Walker    745
Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
Come up with an all new system that is fun to play and the game will be popular, if it's good enough it wouldn't matter if you used scanned images drawn with crayon!


Paper Mario!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ezacharyk    131
Personally, I like the Western Theme. You could do a lot with it that Wild arms didn't.

First, get rid of the class system. Use a gun based system. That means base your fighters off the gun they use.

Six-shooter - Quick multi-shot long and close range
Rifle - Long range sniper
Shotgun - Long range damage
Sawed off Shotgun - short range damage

There are more that you can do with guns. Just make sure that you use historically accurate guns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Edtharan    607
I would go with the Spaghetti western rather than the historical western setting. It is more iconic and offers more "fun" than the historical setting.

I don't think you can equate the Fantasy classes to a western setting, it just does not match, and besides, you are attempting to be original, why then hold onto an unnecessary aspect from fantasy *RPEGs?

If you were going to use classes then I would use these:

Gun Slingers: This class would be about the quick draw. These are the ones that use the cliché 6 shooters. They specialise with close ranged combat.

Sniper: These are the long ranged combat specialists. They tend to be better at using the rifle than a pistol.

Demolitions: This class would be good at setting explosives and using weapons like Molotov cocktails/grenades/etc.

Doc: These characters are usually found patching up the cowboys after a showdown. They are also vets (tending animals - useful if the herd you are bringing in gets injured, etc).

Tracker: These characters are the best at surviving in the wilderness areas. They can be useful for tracking down strays, from the heard you are bringing in, or following the trail that leads to the cattle rustlers lair. They also are able to tame various wild animals as companions. They don't specialize with any particular weapon.

Gambler/Maverick: These are the true "Jack of All Trades". They can do anything the other classes can do, but will never be the best at them.

Some skills that the characters might have:

Accuracy: This is how accurate you are with a particular weapon type. A character that specialises in a weapon type will either have a bonus to the skill level or earn them quicker/cheaper.

Fast Draw: This is how quick a character can pull a weapon before the can attack with it. This is important for "Showdowns" as the one who shoot first (and hits) is the one that wins.

Brawling: This is hand to hand combat, usually unarmed. This kind of combat would have punches, throws and grappling. If the combat is armed combat then they would most likely be using knives or improvised clubs (chairs and table legs). Except for the knives, they would usually be non lethal injuries.

Crafting: These skills would be Gun smithing (making/modifying guns or bullets, etc), Tailoring, Leather working (making saddles, boots, etc), adn other useful trades found in that era.

And many more...

Combat:
Brawling, should be very destructive on the environment object (tables, windows, etc). You should be able to throw opponents into and onto these thing (usually causing the object to break). Weather this is an automatic thing (ie it's just part of the combat) or a gameplay choice (maybe there is a reputation bonus that you can get - but it might make the "LAW" more likely to go after you).

Brawling should usually be non lethal (you just get knocked unconscious - and probably picked up by the local sheriff and put into the cells for a day or two), but with the option of lethal combat (using knives, etc). The player should also be able to pick up objects in the environment and use as part of the combat like table legs as clubs or even picking up a chair and hitting an opponent with it. These improvised weapons should break often so are not usually worth carting around with the character all the time (and be heavy/bulky too).

For combat with guns, the characters should be able to use objects around them to help protect them from bullets. These could range from soft cover like plaster walls (reduces the damage) to hard cover like rocks (stops the bullets).

The player should be able to take cover and to attempt to shoot from behind these objects (reduced accuracy) or rely on their dodging abilities (go hire a spaghetti western movie to see this kind of gunfight).


Employment:
Whatever you do, do not refer to these as "Quests"!

The Jobs your characters can take on might be anything from herding cattle, to taking on a cattle rustling ring. From winning a game of poker against a Gambler, to paying off a loan shark or even tracking down a gambler who needs to pay their debts. You might be protecting some farmer's lands from bandits, to rescuing their daughter from them. The character's could have run in with the law, or even become the sheriffs themselves.

They could get a reputation as a fast draw, but would have to defend that title from upstart gun slingers. They might try to be the "Guy on the White Horse" (see the spaghetti westerns - the good guys are nearly always on a white horse) or take to the life of a pack of bandits and rustlers.

There is a vast array of potential "employment" opportunities that would be fun to play.




* RPEG = Role playing element game. That is games with elements/aspects taken from PnP role playing like classes, etc. they usually end up being Action Adventure games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ruistola    719
Quote:
Sniper: These are the long ranged combat specialists. They tend to be better at using the rifle than a pistol.


I wouldn't call marksmen of that era snipers. Those days snipers were mostly snipe hunters in British India.

Wikipedia quote: "During the American Civil War, the common term used in the United States for much the same function was "skirmisher." A Civil War army often protected itself when on the move by using such concealed marksmen, who were deployed individually on the extremes of the moving army. Generally, such skirmishers were selected on the basis of prior proven hunting and marksmanship skills, and they were often older men in their 40s or 50s. The term sniper hence did not reach widespread use in the United States until somewhat later than the American Civil War."

J. , Finnish army reservist sniper and active sniper competitor :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wodinoneeye    1689
Quote:
Original post by ruistola
Quote:
Sniper: These are the long ranged combat specialists. They tend to be better at using the rifle than a pistol.


I wouldn't call marksmen of that era snipers. Those days snipers were mostly snipe hunters in British India.

Wikipedia quote: "During the American Civil War, the common term used in the United States for much the same function was "skirmisher." A Civil War army often protected itself when on the move by using such concealed marksmen, who were deployed individually on the extremes of the moving army. Generally, such skirmishers were selected on the basis of prior proven hunting and marksmanship skills, and they were often older men in their 40s or 50s. The term sniper hence did not reach widespread use in the United States until somewhat later than the American Civil War."

J. , Finnish army reservist sniper and active sniper competitor :)



Sharpshooters (many using Sharp's Rifles)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharps_Rifle


Alot of soldiers were killed on both sides of the American Civil War by sharpshooters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this