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Howlett

Game Idea (RPG)

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Howdy, I am currently studying Games Design at University and currently have an assignment in which online communitys are being used, So I would appreciate any criticism and comments you guys have, harsh or kind. This is my Game Idea, for an RPG I have called Evolve. I'm not entirely sure of the precise structure of a Games Design Document, but that is what I tried to aim for. ----------- EVOLVE Introduction: Evolve is an RPG which gives console gamers an in-depth immersive experience in a rich fantasy world, evolving their character into an unstoppable force of magic and might. Description: In Evolve you play as a small child, whose home is mysteriously destroyed, as if tearing itself apart, leaving everyone in the village dead. Allowing you no room for mourning you are then bound in cuffs and taken away by a strange old wizard, with no real idea what is happening and you are dragged off to sea. The ship you are on is devastated in journey, leaving you and only few survivors on a deserted island, with no sign of the wizard, and the magical cuffs gone, you set about trying to create shelter, etc. on this island to survive. This is where the main game play begins, as before this is mainly FMV with small segments of game play between, to move story along and give you a feel for the controls and simpler actions. The choices you make upon the island (hunting for food, building shelter, searching wreckage, etc.) affect your base skills (Intellect, Strength, Dexterity, Charisma, Constitution) and also affect your secondary skills (Arcana, Combat, Stealth, Guile, Defence). These secondary skills are determined mainly by your base skills, but are also levelled up by themselves. After your character has been crafted, not by a point allocation, but by your own choices, you are then free to explore and quest in the rest of the world, as the survivors with you have finished a raft which will lead you to Karm, the first city of the game, and also one of the largest in the world. From here you are presented with a wide array of choices, as within the city there is: o Mercenary guild, run by Monk (an important NPC, see Character section) o Traders Haven, doing tasks for them will increase how much you can sell items for and how little you can buy them. Within here there will also be crafters of the many trades such as blacksmithing, tanning, clothing, etc. By gathering materials for these they can craft you fine gear. The higher the reputation you have among the haven, the better gear you will be able to get (obviously with more dangerous and far flung materials). o Port, tasks for the port master will ensure you get to visit new and exciting towns/cities all the quicker, either by becoming crew or by buying passage. o Army, at first you can’t do any tasks for them, but at a random event later on – a rescue of one of their men – you are allowed to begin tasks with them and work your way up earning ranks (Doing so will earn you prestige into new areas, money. But also negative relationships with anyone who is anti army, making you a target and the higher up you get you may have to fend off assassination attempts). o An Arena, Gladiatorial combat. Not yet available to you. o Arcane District. This cordoned off area seems unguarded by humans, yet there are glowing orbs which almost seem to watch every one who gets close. Such as the Army this district will not be allowed access to until later in game. o Many other NPCs with non-faction related tasks. There is no single path to this game; you are able to set out upon your own gaining prestige and fame by killing creatures on the outskirts of city, start out in the army and work your way to the top; start out in the mercenary guild and work your way to the top there instead; become a famous explorer and have your own vessel to discover new lands and fierce creatures. Each creature, quest, notable deed, will present you with both experience points (These are to be used in a fashion similar to Fable with no direct level-up system, but your different areas of combat, travel, personality being affected by assigning points in the relevant places.) and also prestige points. The prestige points are not available to be assigned; these are placed in direct relation to who the task you just did benefits and gains you increased favour with them. Through various quests, and meetings of NPCs you find out that some act caused surges of power to erupt across the globe causing both disaster and granting individuals with incredible power, in the character section there will be notable NPCs who were affected by these splashes of power, the main being Monk (a blind man in charge of the Mercenary Guild) who pops up frequently offering you help and guidance. Choices become limited towards the end of the game, as a sinister force threatens your from whichever path you take. You find out that this force is draining the very life force of the planet, to feed himself, and grant himself more power. It is from this draining that the splashes of power were caused, and your home destroyed. After defeating him, you will be granted with the choice the either relinquish all power back into the world, or – despite guidance from notable NPCs – keep this power yourself. Depending on your action towards these notable NPCs throughout the game, you will have to defend your choice either way through conversation or force. Key Features: Freedom to roam: Evolve, unlike other large RPGs, allows you to roam freely upon the entire created world. Not limiting you to set paths. Freedom to evolve your character to your play: Whether you want to play as a caster type character, or a hulking warrior, or any assortment of play styles you will be free to develop your character in this way. Interaction with NPCs: Not just there to spruce up the background, not just there to join your party to heal, not just there to offer a sedge way to a plot goal, there will be many NPCs to which each action you do, every quest you complete, every conversation you take part in will affect your relationship with them. How likely they are to help you out, whether they offer quests or goods, all these types of things are directly related to your relationship with them. Item Crafting: Not just limited to what the blacksmith has in store that day, you can go out and find items yourself for traders to create you a high quality of weapon/armour/potion/clothing you can’t buy from any tradesman. Each area will provide a different feel and style of items, and by certain items you can teach different styles to different regions to combine their styles to make something original and unique to each player. Flowing Combat: Unlike the slow and tedious text based combat of games like Final Fantasy, Evolve will offer a fast paced combat system allowing a speedy interchange between melee, magic and ranged attacks. Innovative Experience System: Featuring a new system of skill levelling in which each kill will earn you soul orbs, which have a variety of uses, not only for new skills and abilities, but they can give you an extra life in dire situations, upgrade weaponry and armour as well as be used as weapons themselves. Genre: Evolve is a fantasy-based RPG, in a world filled with magic, mystery and ferocious beasts of all shapes and sizes. Platform(s): Evolve would be best suited to console gaming, such as the Xbox 360 or PS3. Multiplayer support would be available, to show off your items, compete in duels, or trade items you have crafted with others. Characters: “Player” Power: Unknown As a child a splash of the power hit him destroying his home and family, granting him powers as it did so. Kade Power: Unknown Siphoning power from the planet itself, however, he did not know that this would cause chain reactions of power. And is searching out and destroying these mistakes. Monk Power: Extra Sight: Can see people’s power and potential, rumoured he can see their pasts and futures too. A minor crook working for the Mercenary guild he was given this power, however, his sight was taken from him harnassing this power of extra sight he rose through the ranks and today leads the Mercenary Guild. Shira Power: Shadow Skin: Can blend into the shadows even in the plainest of sight. Shira is a thief who very little is known about before she was granted this power, when she was; she lost all feeling of touch, smell and taste. And has set about stealing various objects of magical power to cure herself of this. Star Power: Elementality: Can harness the powers of fire, water(and ice), wind, and earth. Like the player character, Star lost her family, her home and everyone she knew or cared about, this set her upon a twisted path of making others suffer too. Furor Power: Bestial Wrath: Enhanced senses, hardened skin, claws. After a series of brutal and bloody killings, Furor was discovered, he has lost of almost all sense of his humanity, but the little bit that remains is trying desperately to cling on. ------- Thank you for your time, and (hopefully) helpful comments. Also, not sure if this should be in Writing for Games or Games Design forum, if any moderator could move it to the relevant place if I am in the wrong here. [Edited by - Howlett on December 15, 2006 6:56:18 AM]

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Nice idea, the character development sounds innovative. I do however believe that your idea belongs in the games design forum ;)

-Fill my little world right up-

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What kind of graphics you aiming for? In the beginning you talked about an FMV with degments of gameplay in between. I've noticed this recently with many high-end graphic games. I could REALLY see this thing being made with some nice results in 2D. :D

Anyhow.. g/l. :)

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Good idea. I like it. Reminds me of Morrowind, or as you mentioned, Fable. I'm afraid I didn't catch if it was turn-based or not, but seeing as it's best suited for consoles I'd assume so. I'd also assume the part about the wizard and why he took you away would develop farther along in the plot too.

My only complaint about games like these is perhaps the freedom. I understand that these are gameplay-based games, but seeing as I enjoy a deep and engaging plot I always found it hard to get into such free games, as much as I love the Elder Scrolls.

Making it in 2D would be simple, and perhaps make the game do-able, but of course, why limit yourself. Graphics add a lot of depth and one of the traits of games like these are to get the player immersed in these massive worlds.

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Quote:
Original post by shannow
Nice idea, the character development sounds innovative. I do however believe that your idea belongs in the games design forum ;)

-Fill my little world right up-


Thanks :D Yeah, I got it moved now. All Sorted.



Quote:
Original post by F01km3ta1
What kind of graphics you aiming for? In the beginning you talked about an FMV with degments of gameplay in between. I've noticed this recently with many high-end graphic games. I could REALLY see this thing being made with some nice results in 2D. :D

Anyhow.. g/l. :)


tbh, graphics were almost the last priority of mine as gameplay and plot were my mine agenda.
When I mention FMV at the beginning, obviously high definition Gears of Wear graphics isn't necessary, I merely wanted to get across that there are story elements I want the player to know without having to try and fit it into to gameplay somehow.




Quote:
Original post by Gixugif
Good idea. I like it. Reminds me of Morrowind, or as you mentioned, Fable. I'm afraid I didn't catch if it was turn-based or not, but seeing as it's best suited for consoles I'd assume so. I'd also assume the part about the wizard and why he took you away would develop farther along in the plot too.

My only complaint about games like these is perhaps the freedom. I understand that these are gameplay-based games, but seeing as I enjoy a deep and engaging plot I always found it hard to get into such free games, as much as I love the Elder Scrolls.

Making it in 2D would be simple, and perhaps make the game do-able, but of course, why limit yourself. Graphics add a lot of depth and one of the traits of games like these are to get the player immersed in these massive worlds.


Unfortunately combat isn't fully filled out in my mind as this is still a work in progress, and the only ideas are almost completely ripped out of games like Fable, Jade Empire as I enjoyed those combat systems. Maybe even a Vagrant Story type chain system, but how this would work with magic/ranged I'm not sure, and I would rather not limit the play by making melee awesome and the other elements lacking.

I have a rough layout of story and events written down and the Wizard taking you away is explained, but only vaguely, and right at the end. So I think I need to work something in to get that explained earlier, without giving too much away of course :D

And I completely agree with you about the deep and engaging plot, I too love games where as you play you get immersed into it, like losing yourself in a book. And by giving the player too much choice, this could inhibit the story I suppose...I'll have to work on creating a suitable compromise of the two.

And as mentioned above graphics are lower down the agenda than the gameplay/story, and I suppose that would all depend on skill/size of team and resources available if I ever get to making this.

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It really does sound alot like what Fable was originally slated to be. The whole actions affecting player, etc. However, in the end, many of the "features" got cut due to many development issues, and we have what we know as Fable today.

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Yeah, it sounds like that because in a way it is that :D
I loved fable, but was disapointed with what i thought it could have been (damn that hype). I also loved Knights of the Old Republic because of the way you could go to any planet in any order to accomplish the plot, your relationship to characters would trigger different plot points, open different abilities, and generally add to a different game play. More so in the first KOTOR than in KOTOR2, the end was also dependant on how you played, I must have completed it about 5 times just doing different things, getting different endings, levelling up in different ways.
If that could be combined with a more free roaming atmosphere of games like GTA, and Just Cause (not played it, but heard it praised for open environment) then that would be a game I would love to work on.

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First, Its a decent idea I would recomind before you get into story that you go back and work out your machanics. How you fight what the characters path choices are going to be. How far along the character is going to be before he gets another choice and how that will change his stats. Then work in a story. The story you currently have is kind of well over used in a sense. Not to say i could come up with better sitting right here. But try to reinvent it in some way. May be instead of a wizard he is captured but a wondering hobo. Who mistreats and beats him to do work for him to fill his desire for alcoholism. And the character gets an option to kill him or run away or do the tasks asked of him. Just throwing up something off the top of my head.


Alright on the to rest. It seems you have alot of ideas here and are still trying to solidify them. I would recommend that before you get any farther into how your classes work or anything where skills and balance are needed, that you work out your combat system. Get it down on paper. I say this because this could drastically effect how each class actually functions. Also sit and think what are the key points your tryin to achieve with your game. What is core and important. Free roaming, deeply entranced immersion, freedom. If these are what is important. Then lets contemplate what other games that bring these sensations have done.

You need to take into account that the more free roaming you are the more you must develop your world. The more the world reacts to the actions of a player the more the player will feel immersed. Ex: If you just run and kill a man on the street and no one knows why. People would scream run and "police" would be on there way. Or if your getting ready to murder someone and have almost got there life all the way down they beg for there life. Little things like that bring to life your world.

It would probably be good for you to work on your interface. How your npcs will interact with the player and such. How the player will interact with items and potions is extremely important as well. All these things will govern play.



Alright thats all for now O also it would be great if when you are posting an idea to try to keep it a little more orderly. Your "description" got a little off track somewhere in the middle. I understand you want to get your point across but if your organized the thought on paper a little more it would be a lot easier to understand your vision. You need to separate mechanics from story plot.

Also when your making a statement about your system. Leave out stuff like "Not just there to spruce up the background, not just there to join your party to heal, not just there to offer a sedge way to a plot goal," stuff like that is unprofessional. You are essentially calling every other designer who has made a game that used that technique a bad designer. You are trying to let us see your vision of the game. You could have instead used those two lines to describe the importants of your interface.

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