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Karnot

Thieves in "Dungeon Keeper"-type game

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I am thinking over a game concept, which, while not being a complete clone of Dungeon Keeper, can be easily related and compared to it. One of the problem i'm stuck on is dealing with player's reaction to NPC thieves. In my concept, the treasure is, for the most part, DE-centralised, so it will be like one big treasure room, if you will, with bits of gold here, and with a bunch of diamonds there. There is no way to gather all the treasure in one place for the purpose of simple protection. Then comes the occasional thief. Since player cannot move treasure directly - i have a pretty good idea what he might do. Buy something really expensive, like a trap, or an expensive room's tile, and then, when the thief is gone, sell those back. And this kind of behaviour is exactly what i want to exclude. If anything, i want to _promote_ stockpiling, exactly for the reason of trying to find ways to protect the randomly placed treasure from being stolen. I asked around, and got the most basic recommendation : make selling price half the buying price. Which would probably work, but it does seem somewhat of a forced solution to me. My own ideas are : 1) Limit the amount of player interference, so that he cannot spend large sums of money in any given moment. 2) Link the gold count with some other game element, just like it was done in Dungeon Keeper, you bought magic spells for gold, and magic is usually needed quickly and in large quantities. What would be your idea ?

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Original post by Karnot
And this kind of behaviour is exactly what i want to exclude. If anything, i want to _promote_ stockpiling, exactly for the reason of trying to find ways to protect the randomly placed treasure from being stolen.

Let the player earn interest on the money, at a fixed percentage? Then the cumulative effect of large hordes of cash would be much more profitable.

The earned 'interest' might not be in gold either - maybe it'd encorage higher level creatures to join your dungeon, or increase the efficiency of your workers.

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Let the player earn interest on the money, at a fixed percentage?

I would want my game to have a "round" in about 10 minutes, thats not exactly enough time to get any interest from anything. :)
Although it would probably work for the "Endless" mode !

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The earned 'interest' might not be in gold either - maybe it'd encorage higher level creatures to join your dungeon

That was something i totally didnt think about - greedy creatures ! Forgot all about those ! Nice one.
Although this, again, conflicts with the concept, because you're supposed to buy your creatures beforehand, and not with gold...but the idea is good. Maybe i'll just find a way to tie it in.

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What's the design reason to not semi-centralize the gold at the cost of worker productivity again (just like dungeon keeper)?

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The reason is - there are no workers. :) Gold "re-distributes" itself.

I know, it differs quite substantially from DK already, but as i said, it is DK that my concept can be compared to most easily.
Basically, if DK is a large scale strategy - my concept is the same, only on a small scale, a tactical puzzle, i believe it would be called. So you get pretty much same possibilities as in DK, but you prepare most of them beforehand, and then just let the enemies come.

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You can add something to the "not-100%-back-idea" to protect the people that just made a mistake and built the wrong thing.

1. The last building you have built can be sold for 100%
or
2. The older the building, the less you get back:
30 seconds =100%
60 seconds = 80%
etc.

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The older the building, the less you get back:
30 seconds =100%
60 seconds = 80%
etc.

Thats great !
I think it can be improved even more.

For example, there is some kind of sleazy merchant, like a goblin or smth. and you cant just buy anything, you "summon" him, and he appears after 10-30 seconds.
After you buy anything - he hangs around a minute or so, then disappears. And there is a counter on everything you buy. Next time you summon him - he will give you a lower price for the stuff you bought the time before. Next time even lower. And so on.

Anyone think this will work ? Or its a bad idea ?

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or add more restrictions to succeeding traps. lets say the player put a spiked pit in a tile. He can sell the spiked pit, but he can only place pit-type (snakes, flame pit,etc) traps in that tile unless he spends more money to fill-up/refresh the tile to be usable to any kind of trap again.

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I dont think so. It would be an interesting feature for a full DK clone, but wont really work on a compact project. I want to tie the player up with principal desicions, like, should i use magic ? Or buy a trap ? Or place this creature here ? Things like that.

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it's not clear to me how time progresses in your game, it sounds alot more like Oasis than DK.

So were this a game like I'm imagining it, I set a trap this turn, let's say, a turn passes (construction) and then it's ready the following turn. If I want to clear the space urgently I can 'demolish' the trap, and in return get maybe 10% of its value back. If I need the cash and the trap has done its job, I may choose to 'deconstruct' the trap, and regain let's say 90% of the value.

A note about selling stuff at full value; Almost anything you build will require you to incur a waste cost, were I to build a table, there may be a fair amount of wood I cut away in little bits and never use, I cannot recover that cost even after deconstructing the table. Or little bits of string used to tie things together, nails, that saw which finally broke, coffee for the gnome that built it.

What I'm saying is that it is less realistic to claim a trap can be sold at full price.

Though, this gives another interesting idea; Suppose buying a trap is really buying some 'raw' bits, then you pay an amount of money to a craftsman to turn those into 'trap' bits. Then you pay the craftsman an amount of money to install the trap bits. Then 'uninstalling' a trap will give you back the trap bits, but doesn't recover the installation cost, but unless you sell the trap bits (instead of reinstalling somewhere else) you have at least retained the cost of the original transformation.

Another thought; Suppose I set a fancy (expensive) trap to 'store' all my money, what if an enemy actually sets it off? Then the trap probably can't be sold at full price (if it can be sold at all once it's been triggered). Maybe more expensive traps should be mysteriously 'lucky' (ie they attract enemies) to reduce the chance that the player is using them as money storage.

At the end of the day, you implement your counter-incentive for this ploy, but allow your players to do it anyway, I think that's very important.

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How about not getting any money back for selling tiles? Who's gonna buy them, anyway - the friendly Dungeon Keeper three counties over? IMHO, demolishing tiles should cost more than you can ever get back from the sale itself, so the cost shouldn't be negative like it is in DK.

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One thing you could do is, once you treasure room is full then gold is automatically converterd into prestige items. These still count as gold but in gameplay terms they expensive looking objects placed around the dungeon. It could be a suit of armor place in hallway, a gold candle stick on a wall instead of a torch, etc.. Prestige items can be stolen by theives easily but they also are important for attacting minions. You could have it so that certain levels of prestige are required before you can access higher level minions, and options.

After all what kind of evil overlord doesn't have a few statues of themselves, or antique suits of armor in their fortress of doom?

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One thing you could do is, once you treasure room is full then gold is automatically converterd into prestige items.

Oh, yeah, how did i miss THAT option...
Someone reading my design doc and offering me my own ideas is kinda funny, really. :)
Seriously, that just cracked me up. :)

I'm sorry if i am wrong about that. No offence, okay ?

Anyway, thanks for all who gave advice, i basically chose the "time-depended cost" variant. Now, if i could get enough people for rendering this plan into reality...

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