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xarnaudx

Game concept needs opinions

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xarnaudx    415
Hi,

I'm toying around with the idea of developing a small game... (i'm a seasoned developer but it has been long ago I didn't do anything with games)

The concept
==========
You all know Pokemon? ...well, the game would revolve around pokemon-like creatures. You are a creature tamer, (or geneticist, telepathic, whatever... ) and have a few creature minions. You carefully assemble a squad of such creatures, and then you'll fight against other squads, either against other players or in the wild, possibly with some quest. The creatures, as well as you, will gain experience when fighting.
This creature XP will two effects:
- increase the base stats of the creature automatically/randomly (if a creature tends to be hurt a lot, it's health gonna improve. If it gets lots of speed boosting, it's speed will go up, etc...)
- you can spend the acquired XP in new "abilities". This can be new attacks, regeneration, poisoning...
...and of course, the picture of your little creature will also evolve so that you can say "cool" each time your little pet grows up ;)
On the other hand, your own XP, your level, will determine how many/strong creatures you can control. Let's say you are level 5, then all the creatures you have and their level should not exceed 5. So for example you can have two creatures of lvl 2 and one of lvl 1, or a single lvl 5, or five lvl 1...(in your squad). If you get more/stronger creatures, it can be that during combat they will not follow your orders. The higher the level difference, the more it is likely that they will rebel against you. Add to it a bit of pet management (hapiness, food, toys, energy...) and you get the picture.

The combats
==========
The combats themselves will be turn based, on a grid.
There are small creatures (1x1), big ones (2x2) or even mega-bosses (3x3). It is up to you to place them on the map, usually putting those with good protection in front, weaker ranged ones in the back. Each creatures get a number of action points on its turn, needed for moving, attacking and special abilities. Some attack a single ennemy, other have area damaging zones, some have auras, good or bad, some are ally friendly, others are not... Basically, the aim would be to have very diversified creatures, with a wide range of different abilities, needing to put in place very different strategies.

Each creatures also have their strong points and weak points as well. They might have high physical resistance but be vulnerable to electricity. They might be super mega robust but their attack sucks. They might have high damage but low range and unable to move after... Well, you get the picture.

The lab
======
And now comes the interesting part! You can combine the ADN of the various creatures you encounter! Let's say, you fight a crustacean and have a wolf in your team ...well, you could try to mix them, and obtain some strange imaginary creature which shares some traits with the crustacean and others with the wolf. This result might either turn out to be a good synergy or suck completely. There is also some randomness in the process so it is up to the player to try things out. Other than ADN mixing, you have the possibility to try ADN boosting, with a third creature ...with always some risk of damaging the ADN in the process. :)
The funny part should be to create new creatures, mixing and matching the desired abilities, and watch them evolve.
Btw, in combat, I don't know yet if I should allow creatures to die. I guess I'll first render them unconscious, and if they bleed too long, they'll die. But since you have ADN, you could still "revive" it as a lvl 1.

So, does this sound appealing?

PS: I know it's not thorough, it's just a concept, I want to avoid boring you with 20 pages detailed technical details. ;)

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ranakor    439
I'd play this, however you need to rework the level vs creature level concept to something else.

Unless levels barely matter , no one in their right mind would choose multiple lower level creatures instead of a big one in a pokemon style game, afterall you only play one at a time and it may be against a much highter level one.

What would sound better to me would be something like this for example

1) The player level = the max level of your creatures
2) The player level / 5 = the max amount of creatures you can hold
3) The highter level the player the highter a passive stat boost

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xarnaudx    415
Well, i guess i was unclear. I meant that the squad plays at once, a handful of creatures against a handful of creatures. Therefore, it would matter a lot if you have a single big one or multiple small one. For instance, the first one, the big lvl 5, would probably be overrun by lots of small ones. On the other hand, 5 lvl 1 would be very vulnerable to large area attacks. And even if your lvl 5 is specialized on area attacks, then it would have difficulties to cope with another lvl 5 in front of him ...basically, everything should be about balance and synergy.

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I like the idea, it could hold a fair amount of potential. If I am understanding you correctly the game play itself would be something similar to Disgea almost am I correct? If so then I feel this is something that could potentially be a fantastic game upon further development. I am curious how you would deal with the concept of them not following orders, what factors would go into that. Theoretically each creature type would have a separate action or object that would gain you their loyalty, I mean I can't see a giant fire-breathing lizard respecting the same type of person as a psychic cat. see what I mean?

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xarnaudx    415
Woo! A response, cool! Thank you for your input :)
...i'm currently checking out Disgea.

About creatures not following the orders, it was a mean to limit the power of the creature squad you control. If you have too many creatures in it, or if they are too powerful, they might refuse to accept your commands. The more difference of levels there are, the more likely it is to occur, and the harsher the consequences could be. As a few examples:
- low morale / lower stats
- ignore your command for a turn
- make a random action
- attack the nearest unit, friend or foe
- refuse to battle under your command
...so, taking a dragon in a pokemon-like-creature squad as a lvl 1 guy might be dangerous ...he might eat your other creatures! ;P (we could even add a 'servile' or 'vicious' traits for creatures)
It is just a way to advise a player to form squads of its level, and introduce risk if you want to use higher ones.
How could you have creatures higher than your level? Well, the game was envisioned as web game, so that you have a PvE campaign, or play PvP against other players. Add to it a market where you can buy and sell pets, DNA strands and so on and you got the picture. :)

Moreover, I like your idea of having certain affinity with certain creatures and less with others. However, I don't know exactly how this could be done. I thought of intra-squad affinities. For example, creatures of water and fire together would not be allowed or have very low morale. Having creatures all of the same element has higher morale, etc...

However, about affinity between character and creatures, i don't know. The thing is that I'm a bit reluctant of choices where you cannot go back. Let's say for instance you have good affinity with earth creatures and bad one with air creatures. ...well, if later on, you conclude that you prefer air creatures, you're kind of in the shit....
The other possibility would be to make like a talent tree, with talents respective to each element, and neutral ones. So that you can make your character evolve. And talents would only be available if you battled enough with creatures of the respective type. If you battled enough with earth creatures, you can take the "robust as a rock" earth talent, others not. It would then be up to you if you focus on a single element, on 2 or 3 ones or be a generalist.

...but all that becomes complicated. Such a talent tree would definitely be a last step.
As I'm not even sure to start all this, I prefer to focus on a simple core.

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xarnaudx    415
The game itself
============

A "web-game". Which means, you go online, play in the browser with fancy 2D graphics. It's more a casual gaming experience actually. Although TCGs have great "business models", I don't think I'll go down that path. Mainly because part of the fun should be the nearly limitless ways to combine and evolve your pets, which does not really fit with cards, which always constrain the player to a limited set. Do you remember "UFO"? Well, here it should be kind of the same concerning the stats. A starting pet has predefined stats +- some random value, so that even when they are of the same race, they are slightly different. Then, when breeding, say, a turtle with 37 HP and a lizard with 26 HP, the resulting creature, let's name it a "turtzard", would have a HP value randomly taken between 26 and 37. You can be lucky or not. The same apply to the other characteristics. When leveling, the same also applies, 'X' bonus points are distributed randomly, perhaps also dependent on how you play with the creature, cfr initial post. If it attacks often, attack will get better, if it often gets hurt, hp will go up, etc. Along with it, each level there is a chance that it will learn a new skill, drawn at random from its available skills for this level. In other words, there is no "perfect" creatures. There are some better than others, but I assume they'll average out in the long run.

$
===
I already thought about how a "business model" could be plugged onto it and I'm unsure yet what it would be. Of course it is important not give a power advantage to paying customers.
A few things I thought about, where people could pay to get:
- character customization (look at that fancy hat!)
- wisdom potions (acquire XP faster)
- pet revival (if pet death is decided to be applied)
- in-game coins (to buy whatever)
- fancy pets (but less or equal powerful as existing ones, or just different skins)
...I have no idea though if people would be ready to pay for this kind of stuff ...but well, if the game is fun and it's cheap, it's worth a shot.

And well, all this in its very early inception... I don't even know if I'll run into this endeavor ...making a game involves such a big amount of work and dedication that I'm cautious. And to see what people think of it is also an important aspect.
...perhaps I'll give some 'concept' screenshot soon to illustrate with a bit more detail how I imagine this. Stay tuned.

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Ghostknight    166
Just because there isn't a want for this kind of game in the gamedev community, doesn't mean you have to stop on your ideas and dreams to make your game a reality. Keep going. If you need help with ideas, suggestions or the like, feel free to ask. We are all willing to lend a hand with your work and many others here who are seeking help in the ventures in game design.

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xarnaudx    415
Wohoho... big words! ;) I mean, speaking of "dreams" and so on is a little exaggerated. That's good for kids. ;) It seems quite important to me to check whether an idea/concept appeals to the public. I'm working professionally as developer since several years, so I wouldn't jump in such a thing light-heartedly. I know how much work making a game involves, it takes you months and months and months. And if you want to be successful, you have to be able to sustain your motivation for the long term. So, just following the first idea is not always the best. It is worth to wait until you're really sure "this" is the thing. And I think general feedback, opinion from other people greatly helps. If you hear a lot of "that sounds cool", you are probably on the right track and pursuing this endeavour in a long term will probably be easier. If nobody looks interested, you'll perhaps have spend two years of your time making a game that in the end nobody is interested in ...which, despite being an accomplishment for sure, will leave a feeling of: "all that hard work for what? 2 downloads?".
However, it is true that these forums may not be the ideal tool to gather such information. ("Oh, duh ...it's a long post without fancy pictures ...looks boring ...where is the close button?")

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