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MMOFPS Concept

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Phoenix: Space MMO Concept: Introduction

I have been trying to develop a concept for a space based MMO for awhile and thought I would share the basic design concept. The working title is Phoenix.

The game would be a MMOFPS that involves players fighting for control of planets in an effort to control their part of the galaxy. The game will have 3 player factions and both PVP and PVE combat. In addition to the FPS combat mechanic there will also be a city building component and a space combat mechanic. The game will center around taking cities/land/planets which in turn produces things of economic value which will in turn be used to help players conquer more cities/land/planets.

The player will develop an avatar and other units that they can use in the FPS battles. The player’s use of their avatar will be limited by death penalties and space/time. So they will have to rely on their other units if they want to engage in FPS battles. Their other units will also be limited based on death penalties, space/time, and other factors.

For example, the player starts off with their avatar that has a respawn timer of 1 hour in standard player v player battles. The player can play as their avatar but if they die they then have to rely on their other units. At the start they will receive an unlimited number of generic soldiers with some limited choices of weapons. They will have an unlimited number of these.

As they progress they can develop both their avatar and their standard unit. In addition they can earn other special units that have unique abilities and limitations.

In addition to units there will also be vehicles which the player can learn to produce or buy. The use of both units and vehicles in battle will depend on the supply capacity their side has for units and vehicles in a battle. So some battles will allow the use of many units and vehicles while others none.

In addition to the avatar and units they will also have a city to develop which will allow them to develop better units. Players would not need to partake in FPS battles or the city building component if they do not want to. They could just trade what they win in a FPS battle for a finished good or just sell finished goods to buy the winnings of a FPS battle.

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[font="Times New Roman"]From a strategic aspect the game would be set out like a Risk board with many different territories to claim. Each side will be able to build up initiative points which can be used to force attacks or counter attacks. [/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The FPS battles will be instanced for the most part and will be objective based. So if one side is invading or counter attacking they will be required to secure some objectives in order to lay claim to that piece of territory. Some maps will be biggeer than others and winning certain maps will come with bigger rewards. For example capturing a space port would allow the attackers to increase how much they can supply to their armies.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]Supply will be an important aspect of the game which will determine the amount of units/vehicles that can take part in any battle. [/font]

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One aspect about MMO games that have non-static ownership of areas need to address is what to do when a player isn't online?

So, if I'm a new player, and I have my little base in the back end of no where, no strong allies, no one who knows me or gives a damn about what happens to my holdings, then what stops someone from running in and stealing all my stuff when I'm at work, school, sleeping, or any number of things I like to do besides being glued to a computer screen?

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One aspect about MMO games that have non-static ownership of areas need to address is what to do when a player isn't online?

So, if I'm a new player, and I have my little base in the back end of no where, no strong allies, no one who knows me or gives a damn about what happens to my holdings, then what stops someone from running in and stealing all my stuff when I'm at work, school, sleeping, or any number of things I like to do besides being glued to a computer screen?


Good question.

I invision the game as a faction based game similar to DAOC so you will always have allies.

The land that the players would be developing would mostly be in safe territory. The land they conquer or that is under contention would mostly be there to supply the war effort until the players conquer an entire territory and then there would be a benefit from holding the territory. Similar to Risk.

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What happens when one faction gets a major upper hand, and controls 90+% of the land?

(Answering questions like this is why I've basically given up on dreams of developing MMOs for the most part. I'll just stick with dreams of smaller scale private games.)

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If one faction owns a lot of territory then those could be scaled down so they are less defense or easier to capture. Also I'd suggest always having a faction capital that can never be taken.

(don't give up)

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What happens when one faction gets a major upper hand, and controls 90+% of the land?

(Answering questions like this is why I've basically given up on dreams of developing MMOs for the most part. I'll just stick with dreams of smaller scale private games.)



Another good question.

Since it is space there is plenty of land to establish as under contention. A single planet could offer hundreds of points to capture and there can be dozens of planets in each sector and as many sectors as is needed. As the previous poster mentioned there can also be a “homeworld” or even really homeworlds that are not assaulted directly. So the takeaway is that a succesful faction will never run out of territory to attack or have to resort to attacking the homeworld.

The game would have to be released with all of these planets and worlds open either. Since it is space you can simply open up new sectors for conquest as the power of the players grow.

One of the most important thing for an MMO imo is to set up the world so that it can handle growth and if there is competition unequal rates of growth.

As I mentioned supply would be an important mechanic and space/time will be too. So if one side conquers 50% more territories than their competition then they will have to supply each of those territories so that they can be defended. Essentially their defenses would only be as strong as their weakest link.

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[font="Times New Roman"]Quick backstory….[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"](Forgive the lame names, still working on them)[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The earth is visited by aliens(Zek) who promise to trade tech for soldiers in their war. The aliens proceed to give humans the tech to fight, including genetic engineering while ships full of humans are sent into war. The Zek also perform secret experiments with human genes mixing them with an alien species similar to the zerg.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The Zek, using the armies of humans they have created, help humans colonize other planets and fight the zerg. Humans then start to come across other alien races including the Alliance and the Imperials. [/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]Both the Alliance and the Imperials are outraged that the Zek used the humans in this way. The Alliance offers to help the humans to become independent by hiring them to fight the zerg and offering peace and friendship in return. [/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The Zek turn out to be the remnants of an alien civilization that the Imperials fought and conquered a long time ago. The Imperial hatred of the Zek and the experiment of human and Zerg prompts an invasion of earth by the Imperials.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The Zek in an effort to stop the Imperial invasion unleash the Zerg on earth. Earth becomes a battle ground between the Imperials, the Zerg, and humans. The war is brutal and earth becomes inhabitable due to radiation, the zerg, the imperials, etc.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]Humans flee earth and go to the first major human colony, Aurora. Aurora and the surrounding sector acts as a neutral ground for all humans to go. At the point of the invasion humans begin to split into three major factions; Alliance, Confederates, and Collective.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The Confederates are started by the mercenaries who were hired by the Alliance. When earth was invaded they wree not even told by their Alliance handlers. This was a clear signal to them that the Alliance did not have humans best interests in heart. The Confederates are also made up of other alien groups who felt mistreated by the Alliance of the Imperials. In their establishment of independence they started a war with the Alliance.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The Alliance are those who remain loyal to The Alliance despite the betrayal.. The humans who join the Alliance realize that the best hope for humanity lies in a strong alliance with stronger civilizations. They benefit from higher tech levels of the Alliance and trade with the Alliance. They are forced to fight other humans to show their loyalty to the Alliance.[/font]

[font="Times New Roman"]The Collective is made up of those human experiments made by the Zek. They are shunned by most other humans but are allowed on Aurora because they helped save it. The humans who join the collective have access to genetic improvements that fundamentally change the nature of the human. They do not have the technology of the other factions but don’t really need it. They also gain some control over the zerg and can fight along side them at time. The Collective does not hate other humans or any other aliens but they are basically universally hated. They are also leading the charge to take back earth. [/font]

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Weapons, Armor, and Specialization

The first set of choices the players have is their weapon, armor, and specialization. Depending on how far they have advanced in the game they will have access to different types and upgrades of weapons, armor and specializations. Each category has a base set(Tier 1) of choices available to all players on day one.

Specialization: Tier 1: Commander, Engineer, Soldier, and Demolition.

Commander: The Commander’s main advantage is that they can call down supplies and can set up reinforcement points. They also provide buffs to those they command and can rescue some who have fallen in battle. They also have access to longer range sensors and other abilities that help them control the battlefield.

Engineer: The engineer helps provide reserves of power to their teammates. Each player has a shield that protects them from damage and the Engineer helps maintain those shields. They can also set up barriers that can help provide cover. They also have access to some unique weapons that can help counter certain specializations.

Soldier: The Soldier acts as the meat of the group having access to a wide assortment of weapons and armors at the same time. They can choose to specialize heavily into one role or be a jack of all trades. For example they can choose the heaviest armor and the heaviest weapon and be a slow moving but hard to kill death dealer. Or they can choose lighter armor and lighter weapons which allow them to move quickly and strike quickly.

Demolition: The Demolition specialization is all about big explosions. Grenades, missiles, mines, bombs, mortarts, etc all fall under the purvue of the demoman. Their specialization requires them to bring along a lot of ammo so they tend to be a bit slower than their counter parts so they won’t be leading the charge but they are critical in paving the way.

Advanced Specialization

In addition to the base specializations which are meant to fulfill the core functions there would be advanced specializations like recon, assault, and more.

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Armor

Armor has two ways of defending the wearer, the shield and the armor itself. In addition the armor will help determine the speed and mobility of the wearer as well as their ammo capacity. The armor will also have an energy source which will dictate the energy available for the shield and other special abilities the player may have. Armor does not quickly heal itself but a shield can regenerate relatively quickly outside of battle or with the help of an engineer.

Higher Tier armor will also allow for stealth capacity and super jump capacity and faster speed. The armor available to a player will depend on the specialization chosen.

Weapons

Weapons have to do damage to both the shield and the armor of an enemy. In addition they can focus on one target or many. So the various weapon types all have various strengths and weaknesses that involve these factors as well as typical factors like accuracy, damage, recoil, clip size, etc.

An example of how weapons can be designed to deal with specific defenses would be projectiles that either pierce armor or pierce shields or sucks energy from a shield.

Players will have 3 weapons to choose, a primary, a secondary, and a melee weapon. Depending on their specialization and armor choices they may be better or worse suited for melee combat.

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