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Wavinator

Flipping between God and Mortal

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Procedurally building a game world, wondering how / if to tie together world generation directly with in-game gameplay (apologies in advance for treading over some previously mentioned themes)... A couple of weeks ago I posted about procedurally generating history for a space game, looking for ways to make history more relevant to the player. Then I was mainly looking to create random settings for the game, which has you involved as an individual character. But I've been working on the sim and seeing possibilities. Although early and abstract, there's some of the tension and drama of watching a race: Civs arise in different environments, have stats which control responses to events and fight wars, rise up a tech tree, and either ultimately become spacefaring tech gods or stagnate and go extent. It can be fun to watch (maybe depending on your level of uber-geekiness :P). Like any story you don't know who will survive or how things will turn out, but the stats give you some idea of what's in store (e.g., you see an ultra aggressive species with a strong desire to explore and expand amid a bunch of low tech neighbors, or two highly xenophobic species arise near one another and evolve to the point of wielding space-time altering weapons). Instead of being something you watch, I've been edging toward an old idea I once floated here of playing both an agent within the simulation and one outside it. Gods and mortals might work as a theme, although (stealing from the pnp RPG Sufficiently Advanced) you could even be agents from some powerful, god-tech possessing secret agency. Do you see any way of blending these two vastly different views? How would you balance them? One thought I had would be that the god view would be just that-- omniscience. If you wanted to change something, you'd have to play a character, say maybe running around destroying threats or saving folks. Or I thought maybe you'd store up something each "incarnation," somehow achieving things as a mortal that let you unleash powers as a god-- transporting solar systems out of the path of supernova blasts and such. If I haven't gone off the deep end with this one[grin], what do you think?

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I believe one of the Baulder's Gate games (or something that plays exactly the same) had a character that could basically switch into god mode which was a super powerful demon form. The mechanic was: build up enough <some resource> -> activate demon mode -> mode last proportionate to the amount of <some resource> you've built up (which has a cap of how much you can hold at once).

In a God of War model enemies would drop/expel orbs of resource when you kill them: different amounts for different enemy types. This would fill a bar that is activatible after a certain threshold and capped at a higher level. So: you can activate once the bar is more than 50% full but the effect lasts in proportion to how much is left in the bar

So in your game model you have some similar build-up god points mechanic. After a certain threshold you can spend those points essentially on god-powers.

You can also take the SimCity approach where god-mode is free before you start building your city. After you start building your city you still have the god-powers available (terriform tools) but they now cost in-game resources (dollars for SimCity) and they are very expensive.

-me

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Hello Wavinator,

Just read your post. Location comes to mind. Are you planning planet structural missions from each planet for your mortal to become a God like race or having the God like character become a mortal when he so choose for different missions between planets or on a single planet in the solar system. If the solar system you are currently working is our own?

Your idea is plausible of working out. Like you said fliiping the characters to work as one or as a team makes it a slight challenge. Have you come up with a sypnosis for your idea?

I would like to see large areas to run around in with transportation devices or at least with God like powers be able to transport on a whim.

Will you be using Norse, Greek, Roman, characters for your game or new ones?

For an example you have Hercules a son of him or even have someone send Hercules transported to the future and fight new type of creatures on some or all of our planets in our solar system. You might use a CAUSE AND EFFECT type system. Just a thought to help you get some ideas rolling.

Weapons, Items, Armour, Accessories, Allies, Transportation if any, Levels or Area/locations. From ancient history ideas or futuristic ideas or how how both.
Maybe you can fuse ancient weapons to new futuristic weapons for certain missions. Or none of the above.

You could try putting Jason and The Argonauts, Sinbad and the 7 Seas, Clash of the Titans, Hercules, Troy, Gladiator type stories rolled up into one.

The characters, the creatures, the travel, the allies being made, the allies being broke,

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The Forgotten Realms saga of Elminster has gods infuse certain mortals with some of their power, creating avatars on the surface of the world.

As a god, you could have one or more of these chosen followers infused with your power. They would have above-average talents, but would still be mortal. Losing one could momentarily diminish your powers. And perhaps their accomplishments could gain you power (for example, by conversions).

As a god, you could watch. As a chosen mortal, you could act. It might be more interesting to not have direct control over the mortals. Maybe you need to study them first, see which ones are deserving of your blessing (and will further your cause).

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Original post by Silvermyst
As a god, you could watch. As a chosen mortal, you could act. It might be more interesting to not have direct control over the mortals. Maybe you need to study them first, see which ones are deserving of your blessing (and will further your cause).


This sounds cool and makes me think of Populus a bit. I'd worry a bit, though, that you'd identify much more with being a god than a mortal, particularly if you couldn't control them. You might easily fall into a "if you want something right, got to do it yourself" mentality if the mortals won't act as you will. As if you get any powers as a god you're not going to identify with the affairs of mortals, as their concerns will pale before yours.

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Original post by Palidine
So in your game model you have some similar build-up god points mechanic. After a certain threshold you can spend those points essentially on god-powers.

You can also take the SimCity approach where god-mode is free before you start building your city. After you start building your city you still have the god-powers available (terriform tools) but they now cost in-game resources (dollars for SimCity) and they are very expensive.



THanks for the examples. I suppose part of my difficulty is in figuring out who the heck you are. Your demon example is good because it frames expectations-- you probably expect to be able to burn stuff with fire or possess people or whatever.

Being a deity is far more unbounded.

I think I like the build up god point mechanic. What about a reincarnation motif mixed with some of the moral choices gameplay you get in Bioware-style RPGs? What if you were building up "energies" throughout a mortal life which get unleashed when you die, allowing you to change the world map with the strength of whatever you've experienced/absorbed?

A basic dichotomy might be powers of creation / destruction, though I don't know if it would be smart to be that simple about it. But it would be easy to understand: Do lots of what the game defines as evil, get the power to destroy world; do what the game defines as good, create and mold life.

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Original post by Ghostknight
Are you planning planet structural missions from each planet for your mortal to become a God like race or having the God like character become a mortal when he so choose for different missions between planets or on a single planet in the solar system. If the solar system you are currently working is our own?


At the moment I'd like to steer clear of highly structured missions partly because the game universe is entirely procedurally generated. There are no fixed locations-- the galaxy map, star systems, planet surfaces (what I have done so far, interiors to come) exist only when the game generates them, which makes some of the precise scripting of a mission problematic unless the level is entirely secondary to the mission.

Quote:

Have you come up with a sypnosis for your idea?


Not one that hasn't shifted every time I see a new possibility. :P Adventure / life-sim in the future mostly describes it so far, with the rationale that I wanted the scope of a 4X game (like Civ or Master or Orion) mixed with the personal experience of an RPG.

Quote:

I would like to see large areas to run around in with transportation devices or at least with God like powers be able to transport on a whim.


Alien artifacts are a great way I can see this working. Along this same vein another approach is not to allow the player to be a god but to have the "gods" in the form of some transcendent power on the player's side. Maybe an idea like the demon doors in Fable could work, in that the creators of the universe left behind servants that want something in exchange for some massive power, like moving a planet to another star system or editing the time line to erase a menacing civilization.

Quote:

Will you be using Norse, Greek, Roman, characters for your game or new ones?


New ones. I just finished a random name generator that works off of structured patterns and think the results could be strong enough to name places, items and even heroes and villains from bygone eras, all procedurally.

Thanks for the ideas!

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Original post by Wavinator
This sounds cool and makes me think of Populus a bit. I'd worry a bit, though, that you'd identify much more with being a god than a mortal, particularly if you couldn't control them. You might easily fall into a "if you want something right, got to do it yourself" mentality if the mortals won't act as you will. As if you get any powers as a god you're not going to identify with the affairs of mortals, as their concerns will pale before yours.

Keep the godly powers (at least in the very beginning) reserved to infusing a handful of mortals with (minor) powers. As the mortals do their thing your powers would grow, but at all times those powers would be more effectively used in infusing more mortals to move mountains than in moving them yourself.

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Holy Trinity, Batman! I'm against it. Knowing what you're going to find kind of spoils the alure of exploring strange new worlds and going where no tentacled monster...

However if you code a god mode galaxy watching module, record the galaxy evolution from multiple points of view and hide the recordings in ancient ruins and the like, with the point of view corresponding to the ancient empire the ruins belong to.

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