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Adventurers and Builders - Multi-player game design

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My friend and I are currently working on the 'creative' side of a game that I have been wanting to make for a while. Unfortunately for me, wanting to make a game and all, I have no programming ability. I've tried to learn, and just can't understand it at all. Guess my brother got all of those genes. Anyway, the following is an explanation for the world and what we want players to be able to do. The following is what is currently in text, which can also be viewed at this link. The link is automatically updated whenever changes are made. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgmvd56s_3vdgp42d5 <<<<<We would be appreciative of anyone who would be willing to help program or otherwise is willing to work on this project.>>>>> Players have two choices: Builder or Adventurer. As a Builder, you can construct a city or town in which Adventurers can explore, shop, sell, and even purchase homes. A Builders purpose is to make the most popular city, one that is a central hub of trade, and a start point for raids or other such Adventurer related events. When you start building a city, you have gatherers and other such NPCs in your control. You start with limited NPC guards, and can build defense towers to line with primitive archers. As you set up your village, you have access to limited resources, such as stone, clay, iron, wheat, and other such required resources to keep NPCs alive. Obviously, due to player complications, Adventurers will not need food, but you will need an adequate supply to support your defensive and offensive NPCs. Adventurers looking to make money or just help contribute to your city will be allowed into your city to sell or buy goods. It is in this way that Builders can gain access to new buildings. Builders can research new buildings, however this is a long process requiring goods and money. If enough adventurers begin to help you, and your population (NPC pop. + PC pop.) grows, your village will become a city, and more lucrative merchants and business men will move to your city. The quality of goods sold in you city will rise, along with your profits from players. * Builders mine gold, silver, and copper which is then turned into coin. It is in this way that currency is added to the player economy. Some villages will have more access to these three goods than others, while having less access to other goods, such as iron ore or coal. * Adventurers then sell their goods to the Builders. Builders will not buy useless materials, so NPC merchants will buy 'filler' items for a small amount of money. Currency will be added to the economy in this way as well, but at a much slower rate than Builders mining and minting coin. * Adventurers can also become leading traders, buying goods abundant in one area and taking them to a city or village where they are rare, and making a small profit in this way. Builders may use NPC traders to transport goods between their resource outposts and their home city, not to trade with other cities. This is due to wanting to keep trading and transporting a viable means of gaining currency to Adventurers. * Builders, due to needing down time to sleep, work and eat (in real life), can designate trusted Adventurers to keep watch over their city. They cannot construct anything, but they may defend using guards, and buy and sell raw or finished materials. This would be to ensure that a city does not suddenly stop for several hours at a time when players might need it the most. Builders may instead use an NPC 'governor' who can be told to buy or sell certain amounts of goods every hour. This governor will also use the guards to defend your city, and keep a log of everything that happened while the Builder was offline. * Players cities may be conquered by other builders. After being conquered, the defeated city is required to pay tribute to the conquering builder. Thus the conquerer is encouraged to treat his new city with respect, or just protect it from other would-be conquerers. As an Adventurer, your purpose is to go out into the world to fight monsters, gain levels, harvest raw materials and procure new items (building plans, blueprints, armor, weapons, etc) for your city. You can ally yourself with one city, contributing the resources and items you collect to the cities welfare. Or, rather than allying with a city, you may work for many cities, or work for the highest bidder, if your skills are that well known. * As is apparent, and Adventurer is a player character that goes out into the world to battle monsters, complete quests, and gain experience. From battling monsters and completing quests, Adventurers gain access to better armor and weapons, along with blueprints and other such crafting materials. * Adventurers, in order to have a creative outlet in the game, there will be a Crafting knowledge that players can enter into. This will break down into armor smith, weapon smith, etc. Thus, players are not limited to one very specialized profession. Crafting takes place in cities with the right facilities (forge, mills, tanning stands, etc) thus increasing the need for Builders, and for cooperation with them. If a Builder is so inclined, he or she may place a fee on using a production facility, due to a limited number of players being able to use it at any one time. As the quality of goods being used increases, so does the required sophistication of the facilities being used. This creates competition between Builders to have better facilities for crafters, thus gaining their business. * There will be no classes, but rather areas of expertise that Adventurers can gain knowledge in. These areas include Ranged Weapons and Swords (with others), which break down into Bows and Crossbows, and One-handed and Two-handed Swords, respectively. These weapon categories further break down into more an more specific parts, allowing for specialization in one type of weapon, or for a player to become a weapons master. * Another area of expertise will be magic. Categories include Defensive Magic, Offensive Magic, and Operational Magic. Offensive Magic can break down into different elements of magic, while Defensive Magic can break down into defense from certain elements or physical damage, and also healing. Operational Magic is meant to be useful to all characters, such as identifying a piece of equipment, or unlocked a door. This is not a required field of magic, but it is expected that most characters who practice magic will use Operational Magic out of usefulness. * Players may also gather resources from mineral veins, plants, and other such sources of materials. As players gain knowledge in this field, they may specify into mining, herb gathering or hunting (leather and bone, etc from animals). Further specification will determine specific minerals to be mined, animals to be hunted, or herbs to be gathered. All resources collected will have a quality level, so specification will increase quality received. * There will be instances, or adventuring locations located all around the world for players to enter. Within these locations will be enemies, accompanied by 'bosses' who will drop rare items and crafting materials. These items will often include blueprints for new buildings in cities - obviously these plans will be very valuable and sought after. * Adventurers may only attain a house and a mount for themselves. This house may be a simply one story shack, a mansion, or even a palace. The size of the house depends upon the builder and how much they are willing to give up of their land to devote to an adventurer. Additionally, an adventurer need not have their home constructed in a city, though it is highly recommended. Building a home outside a city relieves the adventurer of any alliances, but leaves his/her home open to attack or theft. If the adventurer chooses this option, it is suggested that they discover a very secure and discrete location. This game starts in the center island continent of the world. This was the place that all humans fled to during the Flame Deluge (Nuclear war). It was here that radiation was swept away by winds and seas, allowing for life to continue. However, the humans who escaped were reduced to hunters and gatherers, with massive lose of technology and knowledge. After several millenia, the human race is finally starting to settle down into non-nomadic tribes and villages. As a chieftain or hero, you must help to rebuild civilization the way you see fit. - All players will begin in the center island continent of the world, which is a very large world unto itself. - This island has large access to lumber, agriculture and a limited supply to precious metals. - After a time, coastal villages and towns will be able to have adventurers set sail for new lands, which will only be discovered by rumor and search. Once a new land is discovered, builders may send villagers to build outposts along the coast to provide a starting point to explore this new land. This new land can then be chosen as a region for new builders to build villages, after a certain amount has been explored, and monsters or bosses cleared out. - Even though a new land has been discovered, and all the adventurers are headed out to explore, the main continent will not be abandoned. From this continent, much of the resources needed in the new world will be sent. Additionally, many manufactured goods will be exported to the new world. This 'old world' will not die in terms of playing, but perhaps grow due to being the center of supply and trade. There will be a large list of NPCs that will appear in certain villages or cities across the globe, depending upon certain factors. As a city grows in fame or population, these NPCs will 'migrate' to that city, providing better learning, as well as flavor. Thus it is expected that most of these NPCs will remain on the main continent in the capitol cities due to their age. Two Races- Humans - Regular humans. Any skin tone, but mostly all look the same now due to no geographic separation of evolution. The Changed - Pasty, pale blue skin. Yellow eyes. No hair. Physically weaker than humans, but greater constitution (more hardy against effects such as poison). Rather than walk, they shamble along. Begin in belt of the changed. Classes- Warrior - Anyone who uses weapons, melee or ranged. Wizened - Caster class. Brigand - Thief class. Crusader - Human special class. Warrior-like, with access to special Crusader missions, cannot be allied with the changed. Melee fighter. Frost-aligned magic attacks. Chosen - Changed special class. Wizened-like, with access to Holy Underground below belt of the changed. Continents: -Proteria: Human starting continent. Human starting buildings: Towncenter: This building is the center of any village in the world. It supplies a center for food and resource storage. Villagers will come here for their tools for hunting, farming, or anything else that needs doing. Cabin: In order to have happy villagers, a mayor or chieftain must provide adequate housing for his citizens. While it is possible to have a larger population than can be housed, a high population of homeless can create a dour mood in the town. Watch Tower: Primitive defensive structure. Allows for a decent range of sight to keep watch for enemy troops. Granary: Specifically holds only food stuffs. Storage Cavern: A man-made cavern constructed into the Earth provides a cool atmosphere to store goods such as wood, stone, clay, etc. Wood-cutters Camp: Simply an area where logs can be brought by workers to be turned into anything that wood can be used for. Changed starting buildings: Towncenter: This building is the center of any village in the world. It supplies a center for food and resource storage. Villagers will come here for their tools for hunting, farming, or anything else that needs doing. Hovels: In order to have happy villagers, a mayor or chieftain must provide adequate housing for his citizens. While it is possible to have a larger population than can be housed, a high population of homeless can create a dour mood in the town. Watch Post: Primitive defensive structure. Allows for a decent range of sight to keep watch for enemy troops. Granary: Specifically holds only food stuffs. Storage Cavern: A man-made cavern constructed into the Earth provides a cool atmosphere to store goods such as wood, stone, clay, etc. Stone-cutters Camp: An area where stone cutters can bring finished stones to transport elsewhere or craft into specific needed shapes.

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So its basicly a combination of MMORTS and MMORPG?

Thats cool and all. But with such a lack of programming experience and talent you should start much smaller. By makeing your first project such a massivly ambitious game your trying to compete in the Boston Marathon when you havn't even learned to crawl yet.

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Like the concept and gameplay of the game.

A few questions -

- Are builders only allowed to construct one village?

- Can different builders be able to band together to form a nation or alliance?

- Can two or more builders be able to administer a single village together?

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Quote:
Original post by Si Hao
Like the concept and gameplay of the game.

A few questions -

- Are builders only allowed to construct one village?

- Can different builders be able to band together to form a nation or alliance?

- Can two or more builders be able to administer a single village together?


Yes, builders would only be allowed to construct one town. However, builders may construct outposts, where they can gather resources, or set up defenses in an area. These outposts can be destroyed, but their main city cannot. We have an idea as to how a builder can react when being overtaken by an opposing force, and it will be posted later.


Yes. We very much want builders to determine what nations and allegiances exist within this game world. While new land might be discovered elsewhere, there will probably still be battles for power and land on the main continent where humans start. Again, the way nations are formed will either be through conquest, with a builder's city being taken as a protectorate state, or through alliances.


We hadn't though about that. It could be possible, and maybe required if a city gets too large, such as a capitol city of a nation. We have also said that a builder may name an Adventurer a sort of governor while the builder is away. We have a system worked out to allowed for a good rotation of 'new' and 'old' Adventurers as well, allowing there to always be a decent power vacuum.

All of the things that I have said 'we have stuff worked out for' will be posted later today. I want to go back to sleep for now.


And as for the first poster - No project can be too ambitious. If people in history, or today, never took on what seemed to be an overly ambitious project... Well, I'd say it would be a very different world. Besides, I like a challenge :). Additionally, I don't think it's necessary for a game designer to have programming experience. While it's helpful yes, a game designer is simply someone with creative thoughts as to Lore, Gameplay, and Game Setting. If you look at games being developed today, more than likely the main developers (the idea-men if you will) will not program anything, but simply sit down and figure out how to fix a bug or problem with gameplay, then let the programmers code it.

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As far as battles between builders goes, it will be possible to destroy another builder's outposts, but not necessarily their city. The conquered builder has a few choices.

1) They may simply surrender and become a protectorate state that pays tribute (a small % of income, or of every trade made in the city) determined by the conquerer (can be zero, can't be outrageous).

2) Keep fighting within the city walls and possibly repel the invaders. This gives your allies, if you have any, time to come to you rescue. When this happens, the Builders main character, the Mayor (name to be determined), goes into first person mode, and is used just like an adventurer's character.

3) You may flee altogether with many of your citizens to start a new city elsewhere. This may be a good option because there may be new land discovered that you want to claim.



The 'rotation' of new and old characters is as follows:
- As your character progressing through the levels, they will come to the 'peak' of power and health. Characters 'age' as they grow in levels, and reach their peak, and slowly lose health, but retain ability and power as they get 'older.' Thus, your character becomes that old man who has experience but is a bit more frail. Don't worry, a character won't ever look over 50 or 60.
- Once the max level is reached (suppose 99), then the Adventurer is given an option:
1) Continue playing with this character. You're still powerful, just have less health than a 'younger' character.
2) "Retire" - This means that your character no longer wants to enter dark caverns in search for riches, most likely because he/she has them already. Instead, this character can become a Builder's General in his army, helping to conquer or defend outposts and towns. Or the Adventurer can retire and become a master blacksmith (or whatever profession they had) within a builder's town. This person then controls all blacksmithing in the town, and can allow that builder to construct a rare building, perhaps something like a Great Forge that is required for master blacksmithing.
3) Either way, players can have multiple characters. However, having reached the max level with one character allows Humans or Changed access to their special class - The Crusader, or the Chosen, respectively. More explained on them later.

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For a first time project it is rather ambitious, however, this is not to say that you shouldn't work towards it. Developing such a game will take a large team a long time to make. Also there are also games out there like this (wg: Savage) but they aren't your game.

I would start much, much smaller. Start with something like frogger, or pac man. These are difficult enough as it is. It is like anything you do in life, start small and with the basics. I bet when you learned to drive you didn't go out and try an qualify for the Formula One Grand Prix after your first lesson, you probably couldn't even approach the skill level you need to do that yet (very few can, I can't). Even those F1 Grand Prix drivers had to start with their first driving lessons (and then they didn't just go out and attempt to qualify after their first driving lesson either).

So start small, you are still "learning to drive", don't try to "qualify for the Grand Prix" yet. But with persistence, dedication and effort you might just make it there.

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When I was reading the beginning of your post I was kinda thinking of people for some reason made out of blocks like legos.

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When I was reading the beginning of your post I was kinda thinking of people for some reason made out of blocks like legos.

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You want to have a player to do either or both to the extent that they want. That will offer more things to do (and maximize the effort you will go to to create the game assets for 2 different games). Flexibility so that players can adapt to the game world (affected by actions of other players). I wouls be very angry to find out that after alot of game time I was worked into a marginalized box where my choice is to go on playing a non-fun futile game or to start over in a more interesting role or to simply quit and find a game worth playing.

Players like doing different things when they feel like it so you will have to heavily rely on automatic systems which 'fill-in' when the player cannot be present (ie- hired vendors which are there 24/7 which the played need only supervise and avoid the tedium required for that operation).


Complex systems reuire ALOT of stabalization (too many players will have fun destabalizing and utterly destroying thing numerous other have spent great effort in building up. Proper countermeasures to such behavior is required to maintain a realistic balance (yet without being limited and arbitrary). Advantage must be on the side of the players who build up rather than the ones who will atte,pt to tear everything down. Unfortunately that all is an extremely difficult task in a game system which is supposed to allow the players freedom and numerous different actions and effects.

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