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Kastafar

Brainstorming for FPS Mod

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I''m in a brainstorming phase and eventually plan to create a total conversion for an FPS. At this point I''m just brainstorming gameplay, nothing on paper, just formulating ideas in my head so I can get a more clear picture of what I''m after. I''m aiming at multiplayer team oriented, because that''s what is near and dear. As a general theme I was thinking something fantasy oriented in the sense of melee/magic, but not another Tolkien based world. Most likely something completly new (or as new as you can get anyway). There are more than enough counter-strike type TC''s for any FPS you''re interested in, so I''m not going for the modern weapons/realistic approach (or even future/cyberpunk because there are a few of those), although that type of gamplay is attractive. Stealth, teamwork, limited life, round based, goal oriented, etc. However I don''t want to copy the exact gameplay and just throw in new eye-candy and weapons. Of course there are advantages to the Quake/UT syle gameplay as well. Unrealistic, fast paced action, gets out agression quicker when you need to, no worrying about ''money'' for weapons, etc. I would like to aim for some sort of hybrid between the two styles, although I''m not quite sure what that means yet. As far as how the weapons/magic implementation might go, I''m debating that in my head as well. I thought Saber/Force battles were fun enough in Jedi Knight that it could be extended to a melee/magic type mod, I''m just debating how to implement it. I plan on having some sort of class based system, so I could follow most other styles and go for a melee/warrior class, magic class, and others for different playstyles. So a melee class would have access to mainly just melee weapons, while the magic would just have magic instead of weapons. Or I could aim for some sort of Jedi Knight type system where everyone has a set of weapons, and then a set of ''magic'' (jk force powers) related to their class. Right now I''m leaning more in this direction, personally I think that could wind up being a more fun game, plus be easier to balance between the various classes. I know that''s a bunch of stuff thrown out, but that''s the stage I''m in right now So given the general ideas I''ve thrown, what is something that you might find interesting for a Mod and actually be interested to play? Round based gameplay or no? Or both? Something along the lines of Jedi Knight with different melee weapons/''magic''? Something like a Counter-Strike variant where you select your weapons at the start of the round for a specific purpose, or classes where everyone already has a distinct purpose based on class (a la team fortress)? - Kas

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How about a 'rescue the princess' mod

Classes:

Knight
Special Ability: Carry princess. Essential to victory.
Advantages: Heavily armoured, strongest in melee.
Disadvantages: Slower than other classes.

Scout
Special Ability: Archery skill - double rate of fire with bows.
Advantages: Faster than other classes, best at ranged combat
Disadvantages: Light armour.

Mage
Special Ability: Magic. Duh.
Advantages: Only class that can use magic.
Disadvantages: No armour, limited weapons (eg quarterstaff, knife, sling etc.)

The knight is necessary for victory, but it is the job of the other units to give him support... Mages can do lots of damage with spells at medium range, easily enough to stop knights in their tracks, but are vulnerable at very short or long ranges (to knights or scouts) They can also cast spells which may make it easier to defend the princess or help you knight rescue yours. Of course, once your knight has the princess, you need someone to to defend him, since he gets slower and unable to defend himself. You also need to make sure that the knight isnt dominant - ie that an all knight force cannot beat a more balanced force, or limit the number of knights in a team.

Some spell ideas...

Lightning Bolt
High damage, doubled against knights (cos of their metal armour) This spell does not require aiming, it just automatically zaps the most appropriate target (nearest enemy, possibly preferring knights)

Fireball
Medium damage, area effect. Needs to be aimed fairly accurately. Functions similarly to a rocket launcher.

Whirlwind
Creates a kind of tornado which swirls around randomly. Any missile weapons fired near it are thrown off course, any one caught inside it is picked up and thrown in a random direction, taking some falling damage. If the caster is picked up in it, then he floats at the top and can control its direction.

Summon Elemental
Summons a AI elemental which can be given orders like a bot. A mage can only control one elemental at a time - if he summons more they all go mad and attack anything they see. Different elementals have different forms of attack
Fire: shoots mini fireballs
Water: shoots mini lightning bolts
Air: whirlwind spells
Earth: bashes the crap out of everything with its fists.



Edited by - Sandman on July 31, 2001 12:35:38 PM

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I like the slower moving knight idea, that while carrying the princess (or whatever), he''s even slower, and perhaps can''t attack at all, so he requires cover/support from the rest of the team. If everything is balanced correctly that could make for some really fun games.

With a lot of AE or Ranged it might be difficult to make a capture though, depending on the gamestyle. If it''s die/respawn it''s hard because even if a well organized team enters a ''base'', odds are at least one or two will be killed, and then far from the action. The rest, and/or slow moving knight, could get picked off by respawning rangers/mages and he waddles away.

Of course you could just make people spawn a bit farther from the base, or location of the princess so it''s not as much of a problem. Or it''s less of a problem if it''s some sort of limited life round based play, but then it might just degrade into a team deathmatch.

A pretty interesting idea, and with some thought it could be a cool variation of CTF to add.

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I got an idea:
how bout a class system that isn't set. basicly everyone starts out as the same charicter and experence accumlates as you play. but the twist is that ther are diffrent catagories of exp, and it accumlates into the catagory you use the most, for example if you're a sniper and you consistantly score sniping kills then you're sniping abilities will improve. As for the weapons, well....., I don't have any ideas about that.

Edited by - Captan_Carnage on July 31, 2001 7:20:36 PM

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The problem I see with that last suggestion is the time commitment. I don''t know who the target audience for this mod is exactly, but I''m sure most fps players would much rather start with a predefined sniper/whatever class than invest time in honing their skills.

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ok here''s a really really crazy idea inspired by a commercial i saw once :

the whole game revolves around one single day where a planet was destroyed. the catch: you start off as a single soldier... if you succeed in your task (lets say to blow up an important building), you then can repeat the day with someone higher up, like an explosives specialist. if you don''t, you have to be someone else on the same level as you. also, what you did before changes the world, so if you failed with the soilder, when you play with, for example, a doctor, the building is still there (thus adding consiquenses to failure) this could allow for some very very very creative play.
~~KaMiKaZ~~

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quote:
Original post by Sandman

Summon Elemental
Summons a AI elemental which can be given orders like a bot. A mage can only control one elemental at a time - if he summons more they all go mad and attack anything they see.


Who, the elementals or the players?

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Id stick with all range units. Melee in FPS just gets silly

Drew "remnant" Chambers
Game Designer
Relic Entertainment

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Heh yeah Drew, but silly is fun too. I''m not aiming for a completly silly gameplay, but sometimes it''ll turn out like that. Ever do saber/force battles in JK? Not something you do all the time, but fun enough that you would on some semi-regular basis. And also, what I''m going to work on will be a mod, not a complete game that will either live or die. I hope to treat development/production value as if it were real, but I don''t have any illusions of making the next Counter Strike Being a mod it can have quirky gameplay as long as it''s fun. It might not be something you''ll load up every time, but if it''s got a fun aspect it will be something popular.

As far as the ''experince'' suggestion I had an idea similar. If I did different classes with different sets of weapons (and maybe some ranged ), then give each class a set of maybe 4 ''magics'' which start at level 1 (maybe 0) of like 4-5. Then at the beginning of the round everyone starts with a few points to dump in, maxing out one, or getting a lot at less power, etc. As rounds progress get more points, maybe some sort of individual bonus for performance. Something of that nature.

If I didn''t go with round based gameplay I suppose you could still do it but it would interrupt gameplay trying to decide where to put stuff, better off just choosing at the start (either by class or some other method) and having it done.

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I agree with drew - no class should ever be restricted to melee weapons. The knight in my idea would still be able to use bows and stuff, he just wouldnt be as good with them as the scout, and he could probably kill someone in one if he can get close enough to use his sword. I am not too sure about the use of experience points in an fps game either - the really good players kick the crap ones arses hard enough as it is, without having more powerful characters. Simple is best IMHO.

TookH: The elementals go mad.

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Yeah nobody is going to be explicitly melee, there will some other options, but I was thinking it should have that kind of feel and fun. There are a ton of mods, let alone released games all going ranged, (although I suppose that''s why it''s first person shooter ), I just want to see if other options are fun/viable. I''m still in the idea phase so after I get something down on paper, then come back to it I might realize that it won''t fly, but I think it could be pretty fun right now.

And yeah, as far as the experience goes it has to be done carefully. Games like CS/Tactical Ops are cool, but if you have a few bad rounds and get broke, then you''re completly out gunned. They still work, but I like to keep the playing fields a bit more even. I don''t see a need to have the winning players have that kind of advantage over the losing side. It adds to the challenge and fun in some sense, I''m just not after that gameplay.

I was more thinking a constant bonus on either side regardless of win/loss/death in the last round. It would basically just let people diverge, and ''power'' steadily increase each round, but classes are already defined. Some might raise a few things to max, others might branch out more, etc. If there were any kind of individual bonuses it would be something to aim for, but wouldn''t be anything that would really out balance things.

I might ditch the round based gameplay though. Although I enjoy some of that now, one of the things that turned me off of counter-strike originally is that I didn''t feel like sitting around for 4 minutes of a 5 minute round if I get killed early. If start up an fps I want to play . I''d probably just do normal gameplay at first anyway since it''s already there, then add the option for round based later if it''s worth adding.

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