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fruki

Need help with Multiplayer FPS

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Hi everyone, I'm developing a 3D engine from scratch, and I plan to do a Multiplayer FPS like Counter-strike and many others. I'm limited to closed environments as version 1.0 will not support open spaces like terrains and stuff. But I'm stuck with the gameplay. I mean, I try to be innovative but I just... can't think of something new to add to the genre. My idea up until now is as follows. Two teams, futuristic science-fiction on spaceship levels with the skybox being the space and planets. Does not matter which team you choose, you get to play as human and you see the opposing team as devil-aliens. Dark levels make this perfect for a horror-fps. The catch? I don't know how to make the rhythm of the game. Ala Unreal? Nah, too fast paced will kill the atmosphere. Tactical? Could be, but what about the dead? Will be bored for sure... Also I don't know what to do about weapons. Scattered through the level? Buyed at start? Character clases? Thank you for you opinions.

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You're into the realm of creative genius here. You seem to have all the paints and brushes available to you, and it's art from here to the finish line. All I can offer is my own opinion, and I'm a very small sample of the market indeed.

First, some feedback: I adore your idea of having both teams see themselves as normal people and the adversary as monsters. I can't think of a time I've seen it, but I've imagined it often, and always found it awesome. You mention that you want it to be a horror FPS, which is a courageous decision that will impact everything else you decide.

My advice is to find ways to highlight the otherness of the enemy units without making the actual control seem weird. For instance, say the maps are zero-gravity and give the players magnetic boots that allow them to walk and fight on any surface, then show the enemies doing that exact same thing, but have them using freakish tentacles and claws to adhere to surfaces. Your shotgun is their acid-spitting, your pistol-whip is their bite.

If you're going to go horror, a slower, more paranoid pace is called for. Have you considered the use of sound? Lately, games have been associating "barks", or short utterances, with some actions. You throw a grenade, and your guy shouts, "Frag out!" automatically. You could use that to enhance the mood, with your team issuing useful, spec-ops statements while the enemy's barks are translated into mind-shredding shrieks and gibberish. Ideally, it should be impossible to reverse engineer what the other guys say into useful intel, so random moans and gurgles would be appropriate.

Could the environment itself be changed based on perspective? For instance, Red Team sees its base as gleaming metal and fully functioning light fixtures, but when they go toward Blue Team's flag room they see blood smears, shattered equipment and flickering, unreliable lights. The opposite is true for the other side, giving a sort of "home field advantage" just from the setting.

Respawning is always a tricky issue, I like a respawn timer, either a simple delay to respawn or a global "reinforcement" timer where everyone who's dead comes back at the same time, encouraging teamwork over lone wolf play.

For weapons, I come down firmly on the side of chosen classes. Especially in an atmosphere-intensive game like you seem to be favoring, having guns and armor spawn in the level creates a series of metagaming camp points and tactical considerations that are a lot of fun for arcade-style play, like Doom or Unreal, but suck a lot of the feel out of a more tactical, team-based system. By all means, install mountable turrets or buildable barricades (stacked furniture and welded doors when you do it, chitinous resin and freakish bio-webbing when the bad guys do it) around the map to add some depth, but don't have a "rocket launcher room" that serves as a secondary objective.

I also prefer classes to the a la carte system seen in counterstrike or call of duty games, because it's easier to balance. Invariably, someone discovers the combination of ingredients that breaks the game, like the turbo-sprinting knife-ganker of Modern Warfare 2, and then you're looking at a game that's totally transformed by something that would have taken thousands of hours of play testing to discover before release.

As for classes, I like to see different play styles catered to, rather than an approximation of real-world military roles. Don't get hung up on the roles that the Marine Corps works into its platoons, but rather focus on players and what they're looking for. Make a frontal assault class, with a shotgun and a bit of an HP buffer that can charge through enemy fire and get one kill before being brought down. Make a camper class can sit and wait and get a sure kill, but can't compete against multiple adversaries. Make a couple classes that excel at things like backstabbing, area denial, non-combat tasks (hacking, lockpicking, repairing barricades, anything that has a progress bar instead of a gun), or healing if you want that sort of thing in the game, and then push the variables around until the game is fun.

Like I said at the beginning, a lot of this stuff just depends on how brilliant you are. Good luck with it, this sounds like a really cool premise and I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

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Wow, you have blown me away with your ideas.

Now my mind can't stop thinking about new things to implement. I'm going to borrow some of you ideas, take others and turn them around, and I had other ideas while reading your comments. You'll have a mention in the credits.

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