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thomasmahler

Dwarfish Building Game

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thomasmahler    106
Hey there,

I came here to get some feedback from the outside. I've been dabbling away in my freetime on a game after playing Minecraft / Terraria and seeing Survivors of Ragnarok. There's something about those games that get me addicted to them really quickly. The problem with all those games is that the people I want to play those games with are not the people that would play Minecraft or Terraria online. I I thought that it'd be awesomely cool if you could just get that kinda experience in a streamlined version through splitscreen on a big screen TV.

To me, the analogy is kinda like... if you play with LEGO, you want to build a city with your friends. But I want them to be in the same room. I don't want to be separated, I want to build a tower, a town or whatever while we're actively talking to one another, looking at the exact same thing. Anyway, long story short, here's a prototype I made:

[img]http://www.warsoup.com/files/dwarfs03small.png[/img]


Note that since this is still more of an experiment, I didn't really create a ton of sprites yet. Most of the stuff is quickly ripped from things like Minecraft, Survivors of Ragnarok, etc. In terms of style, I'll probably go with this kind of look, but draw all the stuff in Flash.

You can try it out here: http://www.warsoup.com/builds/sein/cavedwarfs.html

Or try the latest version here: http://www.warsoup.com/builds/sein/inventory.html

Here's a 2Player Splitscreen Test (older build): http://www.warsoup.com/builds/sein/cavedwarfs2p.html (You can't actually control the second player yet, was just a test to get a feel for how it could work, if the interface would still be readable enough, etc.)

You should use an Xbox Controller to play. Controls are outlined at the bottom of the webPlayer. The controller will also work directly in the browser.

Would love to know what you guys are thinking. There are a couple of crisis that I have with the game:

1) Crazy Minecraft fans will kill me for 'ripping off' Minecraft and / or Terraria.
2) I love Local Multiplayer, but I probably really shoot myself in the foot by taking this route. Right now the game is completely laid out for people using Game Controllers and I have to make a lot of tough decisions now regarding the menu system based on whether or not it'll be mouse / keyboard or controller-based.

If you try the game, you see how it works. It feels a bit more 'precise' than Terraria, since you see the little selection in front of you. At the same time, this just doesn't feel right if you play with mouse / keyboard, so i'd have the redesign the whole thing based on that. Releasing a game on the PC that's based around the idea that people play locally using splitscreen and controllers is probably insane.

Would really appreciate some input. I'm not at a point yet where I just make decisions based on broad appeal, but go with that initial spark I had when I first thought of the idea.

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braincell    115
Seems interesting, though I'm not sure how many people do have dual controllers and are ready to play this kind of game together. It's a good idea, and it'll probably be fun. Wait and see.

It seems that there's a bug right now that some blocks have wrong lighting on them based on player position. Maybe the block retains it's lighting coordinates after being excavated and then positioned elsewhere?

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thomasmahler    106
[quote name='braincell' timestamp='1310491347' post='4834394']
Seems interesting, though I'm not sure how many people do have dual controllers and are ready to play this kind of game together. It's a good idea, and it'll probably be fun. Wait and see.[/quote]

That's the thing. If it's mouse / keyboard, you get the nice effect that anybody can play, immediately, just by clicking the link. But then you can kiss split-screen goodbye. And it's hard to find a good way to make things work for both mouse/keyboard as well as the controller. Imagine playing Terraria with a controller, it'd be pretty terrible. The entire interface, how you navigate menus, etc. - everything right now is adjusted for controller inputs. And that's the big problem. On one hand, I'd love to play a game like this with a few friends in front of a big screen TV, go down the mines, loot stuff, while someone else is up in the town, building a brewery to brew special beer for buffs and I see what he's doing, on the other side, this cuts the potential userbase by a huge factor.

[quote]It seems that there's a bug right now that some blocks have wrong lighting on them based on player position. Maybe the block retains it's lighting coordinates after being excavated and then positioned elsewhere?
[/quote]

Yeah, the entire lighting system at this moment is far from working correctly, sorry bout that.

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Bigdeadbug    173
Have not managed to try the game yet but in reply too the two points you made:

1) People do that for almost any game. Theres the old line that goes something like "nothing is original". That is for the most part true, i think the important thing to do is improve upon those games you have taken your ideas from. So long as you don't outright copy paste from another game, and thus head into the whole copyright area, you should be fine. In the end any sandbox building game at the moment will be seen by some as ripping Minecraft or Terraria, its just something you have to live with and ignore the best you can.

2) Not necessarily. Although the local multi-player scene is a lot smaller than the Internet based one theres still a surprising number of people who go to LANs and with the whole split screen approach you will only need one PC if I'm understanding it correctly. All your doing is limiting the number of potential buyers of your game (not an issue if you weren't expecting to make a lot of profit from it). The use of the controller may be the biggest problem you have when it comes to appealing to PC gamers, personally i have a controller that i use for my PC but i don't know many others that do. Making a copy for PC with the hope of porting to console is the best idea for making any kind of major revenue from it currently. But again this is all moot if your not looking to make a lot of money from it.

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Acharis    5979
[quote name='thomasmahler' timestamp='1310489807' post='4834384']
1) Crazy Minecraft fans will kill me for 'ripping off' Minecraft and / or Terraria.
[/quote]Yes, they will. Does it bother you? :)

[quote]Releasing a game on the PC that's based around the idea that people play locally using splitscreen and controllers is probably insane.[/quote]Yes, that's insane :) You could at least allow normal keyboard input as an option.

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thomasmahler    106
Oh, of course you can just play it with the keyboard and it feels good with it, it's just that it's way more comfortable with a controller and since local multiplayer / splitscreen would be a big part of it, it's just very, very focused on controller input, which is still a rarity in PC games.

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Acharis    5979
People who like/have controllers play on consoles (bucause there are no games using controllers for PC). And because of this PC developers don't make games that focus on controllers :) Typical Catch22 case. It is not "still", most likely it will be a permanent situation.

Anyway, "very focused on controller input" makes no sense from marketing point of view (at least don't say it aloud, because it turns off majority of players like me who have no controllers). Of course that's only if this is a commercial game.

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