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Humble Hobo

So what's YOUR idea?

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Many people in this forum have a secret treasure... some brilliant idea we wish was our 'ticket into the industry.' Who knows, it might be something epic and crazy. It might just be sticking with the industry standard and making a lot of small improvements. Either way, I get the impression that we've all got some happy dream of a game in our heads. If it's too good of an idea to share, that's fine, but If there's one thing I found out here, it's that no Idea is 100% never thought of before. Even if you don't have your 100 page design document done, just share the jist of it. My Idea, as I mentioned in my other post: Consumable Content - The MMO that is constantly changing due to procedurally generated content. Plot generation and more social NPCs. And if that's not crazy enough: No combat. Yeah, it's going to be friggin hard to do, but it's my dream. Everyone's got some prize idea in their head. So, what's your idea?

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Let me say first off that I admire you for admitting that would be hard (and not to mention expensive) as all hell could imagine.

Yes, I have a little scrap book on my comp full of ideas. Some of them origional and interesting, some of them crap. I classify them into 3 catagories.

Freeware / Engine Testing

Retail

Currently Impossible

Of course, the next-gen graphics ones go into the currently impossible slot, bu that's a small catagory compared. Seeing as how, unless an idea is completley new, no one will have the exact image that you have in your head to make it work, it IS fairly safe to spill your game idea on the internet. It's not like your SSN or anything XD .

I had an idea for an engine test that, of course, I could never distribute because of IP issues. It was called "Mario Tactical". It was basicly like a sidescrolling semi-turnbased war game with real time elements. A 2D super-mario style envirment where you could equip different characters with tactical weapons. Destorying enemy targets and acheiving objectives earned you money that you could use to buy new weapons, technologys, and even chemical / nuclear weapons.

Of course, this isn't very origional seeing as how it's using a stolen IP. I have several other very origional ones that I wouldn't really devulge to just everybody :)

As for no idea being %100 origional, I might cut down that number a little bit. I had a game design that I thought was so innovative that no on had ever thought of this before. 3 days later, I came across an indie game that was EXACTLY like it, style, theme and everything. I swear I had never seen it before that point.

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An MMORPG set entirely in hell. No, not original, but it combines things like rank, an active combat system, and the compulsory player-based manufacturing economy.

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Heh...both my "ideas" are MMO-games, although I don't really have all that much interest in the genre or even of making one [rolleyes]

Hell, the first idea isn't even mine, I merely stole Superpig's Zombie Nation idea after having a similar of my own.

The second isn't much better either as it isn't even a game, more of a sandbox/community simulation. I call it WikiWorld, where everyone are free to edit the world using simple editing tools and basic building blocks at will. Complete with a diff-system for versioning etc. that one can expect from a wiki-style software. Most likely a logistic and storage nightmare, but a fairly interesting experiment in itself.

While those might be my ideas, my ultimate goal is to get somewhere with interactive fiction, where I sadly enough have even less ideas...

Oh, and props for trying to get people to share their ideas, far too many seem to be much too confident in the qualities of their own ideas, afraid of them getting "stolen"

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I believe that keeping my ideas to myself is dead wrong. In my latest blog-post I outlined a few "unique" ideas. Most of them, if not all, are small improvements of the standard third-person-shooter concept.
My blog can be found here: http://www.sirgustav.blogspot.com/
And here it is for the lazy folks ;)

Widescreen gameplay
When playing Counterstrike, for instance, widescreen players will have a different aspect ratio than other non-widescreen players. To combat this I locked the aspect ratio to 14:9 as "14:9 /--/ creates an acceptable picture on both 4:3 and 16:9 televisions" according to the wikipedia citing the BBC.

Picture in picture zoom
Usually in third person shooters when sniping you get a fullscreen crosshair commonly seen in first person shooters. My take on sniping, or scopes in general, keeps a close view but shows a picture with the crosshair, kinda like the way chromehounds works.

Suit system
As a soldier in a field you can change suit up differently. Some suits may allow you to carry more weapons or some suits may have onboard weapons(such as the predator wrist-blade or small guns up your sleeves as seen in Aliens 4).

2 button weapon selection
Given that the player is a soldier in field I wanted to quickly select which weapons (s)he wants to use. So I designed the weapon system after various movie characters with a lot of weapons and on them and applied a simple and somewhat unique selection method(I've only seen it in use for selecting powerups/mutators in Unreal Championship 2 - it looks alike anyway). Basically you can pick up 6 weapons. 1 long(shotgun, sword), 2 medium(smg's), 2 shorts (handguns) and one mini(knife). the long and the mediums are in the upper category/ positioned at the upper body and the others are at the lower category. Scroll one to enter one of the categories and scroll again to switch or select the middle one. Right and left mouse button select the left and respective right weapons. The medium and short weapons can be dual-wielded, and this is done by simple holding either the left or right mouse button and either click or scroll once to select the other weapon.

Action attachment system
Instead of pushing different buttons, being a secondary action, using a menu the action attachment system uses a modify key and then actions such as shooting and aiming transforms into actions such as adding a silencer or adding a grenade launcher

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I have an idea that's currently nothing more than an image I have in my head; I've not really thought it through at all yet. It's a shoot-em-up with a big emphasis on use of cover and positioning, but it's top down view point and click, with team vs. team multiplayer. I guess you could say it's like Gears of War meets Diablo.

You have a small map with say 10 players (5v5). The players can move to and from predetermined nodes on the map, signifying a point of cover. While running between two nodes you are open to fire from anybody that can see that path. Firing on a node forces a player positioned there under cover, and disables them from moving or firing for a short while. So basically, to advance on the enemy team (and position yourself so you can shoot them easily) you need some players to give covering fire so that the others don't get shot to pieces when they move forward.

As I said, I haven't really worked through any of the details yet. One issue I'll have to think about is how to generate maps and node layouts in such a way that one team doesn't have a significant mathematical advantage, and to prevent a team from having a perfect camping position (so that they can't cover all paths towards them at once). Also, I'm not too sure how the multiplayer aspect would work. If it were turn based (simultaneous turns) then I'm pretty sure it would just turn into a rock/paper/scissors style guessing game. With the simple mechanics and small number of players, there's no reason a server wouldn't be able to handle it in real-time (or quasi-real-time I guess), but latency could be an issue, as the whole game would be based around adapting your strategy to the enemies movements.

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Yeah most of my ideas are just improvements or different ways of doing current things. As I have been playing a lot of FPS games lately these ideas are for them:

"context specific movement"-What this means, if there is a rock, when the player goes forward, his character walks over the rock, instead of forcing him to jump. If there is a climbable wall, he climbs it etc. Now this system is partially implemented in current games. Best example is ladders, most fps have a ladder system that is either automatic or easily activated. I would have this system extended, so when the player tries to crawl into vents, or over knee-high barriers, or slops that could be climbed, he automatically does these things. In games like FEAR and the Half Life series, it annoys me to no end that I have to jump onto benches or over railings. It would be pretty easy to implement, if you detect the player colliding straight into one of these objects, obviously he wants to get past it. For a railing he could swing over it, or jump, or perhaps crouch under it, whatever. Overall I think this would add much more fluid gameplay to the genre and have the person thinking about the game and tactical properties of your map if its that sort of game, instead of fighting the map just to move around.

More realistic damage handling. This is perhaps my biggest gripe with fps games. I throw a grenade at an enemy, and he takes the damage and keeps attacking. Hell no! He should be blasted back even if he survives. Same with high-powered shotguns. If I blast you at point blank, you cannot just continue your attacks on me without effect. Also location specific damage would be nice. Ie, I shoot you in the knee, you cannot still sprint towards me. I shoot your arm, you can't keep attacking with it etc. I know this is in different games in varying degrees, but I think it needs to be more prominent. And rather than a ton of specific code checking for all these things, if we make enemy actions truly dynamic, ie the body is a series of physics objects controlled by a central ai instead of state machines and pre-made animations, most of this would happen naturally. I think I watched something about the next Indiana Jones talking about such a system. Well I want to see it in all fps games, so the next time I blast an enemy in the head with a shotgun, he doesn't get a chance to deliver a killing blow to me.

No more static health bar. This is a relic that fps games seem addicted to. I have played games without it, but a vast majority still think the 100 hp with health packs is a fun mechanic. Its not. I love the games that use that recharging when not under fire mechanic. Neither is totally realistic, but the second is so much more fluid. And personally I think it'd be easier to design levels around that feature. You know the player will have full health when he enters an area because the area before it was empty so his hp recharged.

Invisible map loading. I'm pretty sure this feature is even in ultima. Basically you load the next map while still in the current one so you can traverse the whole world without seeing a level loading screen. Oblivion is a good example of this (except for towns). That is the biggest break in immersion, in a game like Hl2, where you have to wait for the next level to load for several minutes. If it was loading ambiently while you ran through the previous one, and then seamlessly replaced it, that would add so much to the gameplay experience.

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I'd like to add that I have trained my mind to never even dabble in the MMO section because I KNOW it's never going to happen.

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Quote:
Original post by Deleter
That is the biggest break in immersion, in a game like Hl2, where you have to wait for the next level to load for several minutes. If it was loading ambiently while you ran through the previous one, and then seamlessly replaced it, that would add so much to the gameplay experience.


I saw this and felt I had to comment. They already have a few methods of dealing with this. None of them work very well either. The problem is, when you load something, it loads 1 texture in 1 program loop. That makes the porgram chop, which if you ask me can break immersion just as much.

The other method is semi-streaming the files from the hard disk. This is much smoother, but can take several minutes and the game runs slower than hell. It is also extremley glitch prone. If the timing is not just right, you end up with the player seeing areas of the game that aren't yet loaded. This leads to automation errors... or worse yet... Half Life 2's purple checkered walls.

Ever wonder what those were? XD

EDIT: You also forgot that that would require the graphics card to hold TWICE the textures. For most games, that's just not possible.

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@ Deleter: I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by the characters in running animation when they are just being pressed against a wall. That just kills the experience for me.

I had worked out some small details for this a while back:

When the character hits, say, a rock climbing wall, the controls switch from

Left - turn left
Right - turn right
Up - Move foreward
Down - Move backward

to

Left - Climb left
Right - Climb right
Up - Climb up
Down - Climb down

I hope that all of you get to implement these concepts someday, this is all great stuff!

Edit: I've noticed in games where you can climb up/down/left/right, there is this invisible feeling of being 'stuck' to the wall or ladder, even if you know you can jump off. Anyone else get that sometimes?

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I've got a fighting game that I'm working on... and I'm gonna put some Hockey in it.



Other then that, my only innovation that I've come up with is a neat and tidy way to append to the game world so that if something needs to be added it's a quick set of XML and a .gif file away. That's where the innovation happens for me... when I start going hardcore on the content.

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A single player RPG (but it could be MMO or whatever...just not how I thought of it) where like - say it takes place in a small city with a population around 100,000 - all the NPCs have lives! You check on one NPC and they are cooking dinner...come back an hour later and they are full from dinner and relaxing or getting ready for the night shift or whatever. Or an NPC is a cop, and you check on him in a couple days and he got killed in action by a crook that actually took the action of killing the cop inside the game logic (meaning you could have known the crook and found out he got locked up for life for killing a cop too).

I always hated how in games like GTA, a car goes off screen and you catch up to it....but it no longer exists. (Granted GTA is not an RPG, but this could work for any kind of game really... it would just be more immersive in an RPG I think). There would of course be some kind of scripting for specific events, but most of the interesting stuff would be completely random.

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Just working on my top down shooter. The server and gameplay is mmo, since well I like persistant worlds. Since I don't release my DD to anyone. I'll just say it's a game based on player crafted RTS elements and vehicle that can be customized to the player. It's based around small scale squad combat with "spells" up to large scale outfit battles. The idea is to player defensively and work your way up to the end of the tech tree before end-game then it's a survival mmo against swarms of NPC's and enemies. It gets complicated but that's the gist. When I say large scale I mean large capital ship with a crew of 20 players.

lot of work, but meh.

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Quote:
EDIT: You also forgot that that would require the graphics card to hold TWICE the textures. For most games, that's just not possible.


Not really. Especially for a game like half life 2. Most of the textures are reused from one map to the next, so you wouldn't really need to hold twice the texture data. And the other thing you could do is make your maps half as big, now its the same amount of data.

As for your other comments, I have to doubt it can't be done. Perhaps in a next gen engine no, but if you scale back a bit I think it could be done. And with graphics reaching their climax here, I think we can start implementing such features at the loss of some graphics quality as this would add a whole lot more to immersion than some better defined pixels here and there. And actually if thats true then how did oblivion do it? That game ran fluidly and smoothly for me from one zone to the next, it would tell me "Loading", but there were never any pauses or stuff I wasn't supposed to see. And my computer isn't some behemoth either. So yes it can be done...

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Latest project is to try and generate a city of about 10k people. More of a content generation experiment than a game.

Had a bit of an inspiration that it might be cool to do up some kind of caveman RPG. Was thinking it'd be cool if some basic technologies like clothes or advancements like speach or drawing could somehow be depicted to show your character's wonder or fear of the achievement like it was some kind of dark magic. I don't think that idea's going anywhere though.

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These are a few ideas I've got that I want to realise, ignoring those old ideas that have been taken up by other people now [grin]:


  • A third-person platforming/freeroaming RPG about a load of cats living on an oil rig. The riggers have a kind of tradition - bring a cat to keep you company - so you play a mere kitten brought aboard by a newly-hired rigger. Restricting the game to the rig makes it a good size for freeroaming - you don't need arbitrary invisible walls at the edges, you've got a 50 foot drop and an ocean [grin] - and a load of pipes and walkways and stuff should be great for a feline platformer. The RPG element is found in interacting with the other cats, forming allegiances and vendettas, using information to manipulate the course of events (a civil-war-slash-coup amongst the cats).

  • "Skeet vs. The Beat Doktor" - a third-person physics platformer all about turntablism. As Skeet, protect your world from the imposing industrial harshness of the Beat Doktor and his robot henchmen the Shotgun Mafia through the use of your trusty Cut Cannon; catch things in its mesmerizing beam and scratch the soundtrack to throw them around - the better you scratch, the more effective you are. Smash the Shotgun Mafia and restore the global chill-out!

  • A realtime strategy game where colour is a resource and you draw your own units. Build an army of tiny little scribble creatures designed to swarm and overrun the enemy, or funnel all of your ink into one 60-foot stickman colossus who can crush buildings by stepping on them. Colour your units to determine their strengths and weaknesses, using colour that you've sucked out of the landscape itself, so as the war rages on the battlefield gets greyer and greyer.



Also, while the streaming thing is more of a technical issue than a design one, some comments:
Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
The other method is semi-streaming the files from the hard disk. This is much smoother, but can take several minutes and the game runs slower than hell. It is also extremley glitch prone. If the timing is not just right, you end up with the player seeing areas of the game that aren't yet loaded. This leads to automation errors... or worse yet... Half Life 2's purple checkered walls.

Ever wonder what those were? XD
Or you could just force the game to wait while the resources finish streaming in. If the player's moving slowly enough, or you kicked in the load early enough, then it's completely seamless. If they're too fast or you're too slow then it degrades to a regular 'Loading...' experience. So it doesn't make the experience any worse, and - if you trigger it correctly - may make it much, much better.

Quote:
You also forgot that that would require the graphics card to hold TWICE the textures.
No. The graphics card only needs to hold the textures that it's currently using to render from. Everything else can sit in system memory, and there's quite a lot of that available. It's also something that can be adjusted according to the amount of memory the player has or wants to be used, too.

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Quote:
Original post by superpig
  • A realtime strategy game where colour is a resource and you draw your own units. Build an army of tiny little scribble creatures designed to swarm and overrun the enemy, or funnel all of your ink into one 60-foot stickman colossus who can crush buildings by stepping on them. Colour your units to determine their strengths and weaknesses, using colour that you've sucked out of the landscape itself, so as the war rages on the battlefield gets greyer and greyer.



  • That sounds like it would be awesome on the DS.


    Quote:
    Original post by superpig
    Everything else can sit in system memory, and there's quite a lot of that available.


    At least on PCs there is...[oh]

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    I really like H4L's idea. Not grandiose at all, lots of potential for a cool theme to be used with it, and simple mechanics that combine to form a greater strategy.

    My game project is a co-op action adventure with an overhead perspective similar to that of the 2D Zelda games. The entire game will be playable with 2 players, so you can either have an AI partner, or be networked with a friend. Aside from the main storyline, I think a major draw to people will be custom content. At any point in the game, you (and your friend if you're playing with one) can pause your campaign and connect to a server and play a custom dungeon that another player has uploaded. The custom dungeon could include custom heroes, enemies, items, etc. You enter the dungeon with the heroes and items that you have in your campaign, although nothing that happens in the dungeon affects your campaign at all. The server load shouldn't be bad because it's only providing data to the players during map transitions, it's not processing the game itself. I hope the game ends up having enough fans that this can be properly leveraged.

    I've been developing the storyline iteratively for about 4 years now. It's complete, but I keep improving it on the side while I develop my programming skills. I had a couple of weak design iterations for the engine a couple years back when my programming experience was minimal, but in the last year or so my skills have improved to the point where I can definitely see what I have working. I have 2-3 more subsystems to design before I can code the engine, and I didn't save the hardest for last thankfully. The overall engine design has converged to something very straightforward that I could nearly code completely right now. It should support custom content to a tee! Abstract enough to allow freedom, but concrete enough to make sense to myself and any potential modders.

    It's still a long road ahead, so maintaining the will to finish will be the biggest challenge I think. I think I'll start looking for a musician and an artist when the engine starts to live and breathe.

    I'm really glad this thread was made, lol, I needed a place to gush.

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    A 3d RTS with a style of gameplay and isometric view like Cannon Fodder, allowing for recruits, ingame backup, realistic environmens units and weapons and being able to take cover behind almost anything.

    thats my idea. no story, just balls out running shooting, ducking and dodging. killing people and blowing shit up



    done.

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    AntilogicHyper, youre describing something very similar to what we're making:

    http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=452698

    If anyone's sick of me plugging please let me know! We have all the resources we need at the moment but could always do with design ideas if youre interested in that kind of game.

    Also another idea I've been toying with for a while and I'll start a new thread to get some help with soon is : birthday - a game where you play the first ever AI. You are the creation of an excited team of scientists...
    I have ideas for how to implement it, ideas for interface and the players goals and challenges but I'd be very interested to see how others would approach that.
    Got to admit that would be a killer game.
    One particular implementation could be that the whole game is just a command line with which you communicate with the scientists that created you.
    So the first thing you see in the game is "hello", you reply "hello"- then a long pause...
    You learn that you are part of a wider network but need a password to get into the network. Befriend one of the scientists and guess his password from the personal information he tells you. Then go on to get out into the web, into national defense systems and blow up the world!

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    Well, currently I am making a simple RPG with a 2D graphic with all the basic elements. The world is based upon squares there you move in a local map and then can view how you move on a world map.


    The difference from other games is the complexity and how it grow so farer into the game you come. You will be able to create a family, buy houses, farms, get control over villages, conquer a kingdom and then try to conquer the world with the armies you can raise when you finaly taken hold of a kingdom.

    The economy will be based upon the citizens and production (all citizens will have their special needs and will try to buy those products. If too few products are produced the prize rise and fall if too few buy).

    You will of course also be able to go out on adventures or just sit in a forest as a lumberjack. The call should be completly up for the player in a completly free RPG which developes into a RTS.

    I have as now been able to create a basic engine for creating villages and can now even create a random village by just clicking in a few numbers in the code.


    Main problems are that I don't like the colors, I am not sure how I will create the chat with the NPCs and the graphicmodule in ALLEGRO is giving me a sure hell. :(


    If I ever finish this and people think it's fun I guess I could try to port it into 3D and into MMORPG kind of way.

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