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Stormynature

Outside the box - different professions that would work within an MMO

60 posts in this topic

[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1334505505' post='4931453']
this would be a creative profession with lots of player feedback, not for the meek but for the truly skilled and social (not something often asked of players ;).
[/quote]

It's either professions like the ones suggested in this thread or mining/herbing etc. Which would you prefer? I think the dynamic of MMO's in general has stopped pushing the boundaries and have instead settled with safe ideas probably becuase of the sheer amount of monies placed into them and the resulting corporate overwatch. Not to mention straightforward algorithms etc. Definitely would be an occupation that looks for talent in people -- but I think that enabling platforms for people to be "exceptional" in is a valid form of customer service.


Edit: On the other hand if anyone can think up a way to make gathering professions not so muc a grind but rather than an activity people want to do. I invite you to post.
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The addition of rare collectibles would use the same mechanic Diablo used to encourage its gathering mechanic. Upgrading collecting tools would encourage play the same way Harvest Moon did. Contracting laborers to collect from locations for you and defending those units could be exciting. Upgradeable tools to find the harvestables. A little more current trend is exploring a sustainable perspective a game could explore sustainable gathering, pollution caused by crafting and wasted goods from sub par designs from cheap craftables. Bringing the moral choice of what to gather, craft and sell.
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[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1334543316' post='4931614']
A little more current trend is exploring a sustainable perspective a game could explore sustainable gathering, pollution caused by crafting and wasted goods from sub par designs from cheap craftables. Bringing the moral choice of what to gather, craft and sell.
[/quote]

It is interesting but I am put in mind of an example from my days of studying law. Specifically the use of village greens (common pastures) with common grazing rights and the subsequent overgrazing abuse by many farmers placing their herds on those lands as opposed to their own. How would you effectively deal with such a situation in an MMO where each person would want to gather materials and the cumulative effect be undesirous. Introducing limited rights or quotas could be seen as unduly favouring some over others. With regard the sustainable aspect - how would you stop people from necessarily harvesting materials such as fish or trees that were undersized/grown. I must admit in some ways I am almost biased against the idea of raw material gathering for two reasons: Firstly it tends to enable botting for said product and secondly while it is a great timesink it also is a relatively unentertaining one. On the otherhand it is such a staple of MMO's that doing away with them might bring arguments to the fore such as "but there is no profession that I can do well and gathering is the only way I can generate enough income". Which to be honest (to my thinking at least) is not really that great an argument.

[quote name='Mratthew' timestamp='1334543316' post='4931614']
Contracting laborers to collect from locations for you and defending those units could be exciting.
[/quote]

This could be interesting but I think would need more expansion on the idea -- not necessarily just defending, but building a 2-3 hour timesink expedition including outfitting of the expedition, the rewards from such a thing would probably need to be commensurate though I must admit I do like the idea of the mining exploration analogy that you may not necessarily find a deposit on most trips but when you find one - you have a resource that trickles into your account for the life of the mine. Could build some economic factors into it such as guards wages etc at the setup of a deposit and then leave it to do other things.



Anyone have suggestions/ideas in how the above might be done?
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Time for a brief recap of professions/systems suggested and/or explored.

Jbadams
A defining of points relating to professions within the context of a game world

Stormynature:
A breeder profession involving the breeding and creation of new/old species developing ingame mounts and companion pets.

Jeffereytitan
A spell system combining a unique affinity for each spellcaster in combination with environmental factors and spell components in which to cast.

Kyan
A robotics/mechanoid engineer that creates multi-functional mechanoids that can be broken down and rebuilt to service multiple different functions dependant on design used.

Zethariel
A teaching profession which could be used to impart skills from other professions over to other players. Contributions: AltarofScience
Locksmith/puzzle masters that solve puzzles in-game to unlock lockboxes/doors etc as well as a design aspect to create locking systems
Piloting/taxi profession in an environment of inherent risk associated.

Altarofscience
A number of different suggestions not truly explored but included:
Alchemy
Operating a sailing/trade ship (or similar type vehicle)

ImmoralAtheist and Hughinn
A crafting system for weaponry and armour utilising a “rather unique” perspective adapted from the "World of Goo".

Mratthew
A bard profession that is probably truer to the principle of a bard than any implementation I have seen in a game.

and finally a current discussion with regard the gathering professions themselves with specifity to mining atm. Nicely done so far to the contributors. And always looking for new ideas and contributions to add to the pile so far stacked.
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Carpenter - skill at building large strctures like homes and the ability to alter the landscape.
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[quote name='supageek' timestamp='1334769173' post='4932523']
Carpenter - skill at building large strctures like homes and the ability to alter the landscape.
[/quote]

Okay it's a start. Keeping in mind the thread's purpose - How would you develop this into a meaningful time sink that players would enjoy playing with. Expand it for me.
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[quote name='Stormynature' timestamp='1334858784' post='4932884']
[quote name='supageek' timestamp='1334769173' post='4932523']
Carpenter - skill at building large strctures like homes and the ability to alter the landscape.
[/quote]

Okay it's a start. Keeping in mind the thread's purpose - How would you develop this into a meaningful time sink that players would enjoy playing with. Expand it for me.
[/quote]
U
Ok. You base the profession on a slight amonut of skilll and balancing. Design knowledge, resource management, and active gameplay ability. This will make the profession an economic entity and provide a path for income. Provide an element of resource gathering and there will be a split between value on materials and laborers. Players that dont have the skills or the professeion will look to the carpenters to provide housing or guild halls or whatever they desire. There are also many options to deepen this skill.
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[quote name='Stormynature' timestamp='1334011625' post='4929692']
Breed existing pairs of same creatures to continue the same breed.[/quote]

This is a bit of a tangent back to the OP, but I thought I'd chuck it in to provoke some thought.

I used to toy with the idea of having monsters/ animals in an MMO that would operate their own little ecosystem. If two were in close proximity for long enough, they would reproduce. Creatures who did this would naturally form large clumps, so animals with a slow reproduction (i.e. longer time needed in close proximity needed for a reproduction) would tend to form herds, but faster reproducing animals would form swarms, probably being considered vermin in the process. You could have a lot of fun building clever algorithms to monitor their numbers, and to control lone nomad Vs. pack behaviour for different species.

The point is that some, if not all of the animals, depending on your design intentions, could have the possibility for cross breeding. It would probably foster emergent gameplay to an extent, because the animals behaviour and numbers, and in turn breeding habits would be unpredictably determined by how players treated, hunted and farmed them,

Also, a dangerous insect crossed with a beast of burden would make a giant stinging thing. A giant stinging thing crossed with a fast breeding animal, a rabbit maybe, would result in a plague of giant stinging things. Sounds like a damn fun game to me.
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@Supageek
@TexasJack

My apologies in not having been able to comment on your posts just as yet -- Wrecked my back leaving me unable to sit for very long. Hopefully should answer you within the next 48 hours or so
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The wonders of prescription based pain relief medication cannot be denied.

[quote name='supageek' timestamp='1334860947' post='4932893']
Ok. You base the profession on a slight amonut of skilll and balancing. Design knowledge, resource management, and active gameplay ability. This will make the profession an economic entity and provide a path for income. Provide an element of resource gathering and there will be a split between value on materials and laborers. Players that dont have the skills or the professeion will look to the carpenters to provide housing or guild halls or whatever they desire. There are also many options to deepen this skill.
[/quote]

I must admit I was hoping for more as I do think you have a reasonable basis for an idea. For example do you perceive the carpenter as being very much hands on and building a "house" plank by plank or more in stepped-back role as a supervisor of labourers who do the actual work or even alternatively utilising a seed (or similar device) to literally grow/magic the house into place. The design work and materials having been fed earlier into the creation of the "seed".

When it comes to design are you thinking in terms of something like a Sim's builder or another alternative such as a locked set of designs. How would you communicate ideas, pictures with prospective clients (other players), possibly the use of holographic displays or something else? I guess what I am saying is don't limit yourself into just thinking about the generics of such a profession. How would you want to play this profession if it was you? What would make it exciting for you?

[quote name='TexasJack' timestamp='1334922579' post='4933151']
[quote name='Stormynature' timestamp='1334011625' post='4929692']
Breed existing pairs of same creatures to continue the same breed.[/quote]

This is a bit of a tangent back to the OP, but I thought I'd chuck it in to provoke some thought.

I used to toy with the idea of having monsters/ animals in an MMO that would operate their own little ecosystem. If two were in close proximity for long enough, they would reproduce. Creatures who did this would naturally form large clumps, so animals with a slow reproduction (i.e. longer time needed in close proximity needed for a reproduction) would tend to form herds, but faster reproducing animals would form swarms, probably being considered vermin in the process. You could have a lot of fun building clever algorithms to monitor their numbers, and to control lone nomad Vs. pack behaviour for different species.

The point is that some, if not all of the animals, depending on your design intentions, could have the possibility for cross breeding. It would probably foster emergent gameplay to an extent, because the animals behaviour and numbers, and in turn breeding habits would be unpredictably determined by how players treated, hunted and farmed them,

Also, a dangerous insect crossed with a beast of burden would make a giant stinging thing. A giant stinging thing crossed with a fast breeding animal, a rabbit maybe, would result in a plague of giant stinging things. Sounds like a damn fun game to me.
[/quote]

You put me in mind of an old PC game which for the life of me I cannot remember the name of - basically the premise was a scifi ecological saving of the alien animals which included new breeds being created out of crossbreeding. This led to at time overpopulation, unruly behaviours and a variety of other things associated required to manage the game successfully.

I can see a number of logical premises that can be used as support for such an idea of crossbreeding working. I can also see an evolving set of changing quests spawning dependant on population levels, new dangers created etc. The nature of new beasts with new abilities and different attack forms would serve to ensure that you are not killing the same group of boars (South Park homage) over and over everytime you re-roll. I like it - how it would work in a game would be interesting to see - thank you.
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[quote name='Stormynature' timestamp='1335111179' post='4933799']
View Postsupageek, on 19 April 2012 - 12:42 PM, said:
Ok. You base the profession on a slight amonut of skilll and balancing. Design knowledge, resource management, and active gameplay ability. This will make the profession an economic entity and provide a path for income. Provide an element of resource gathering and there will be a split between value on materials and laborers. Players that dont have the skills or the professeion will look to the carpenters to provide housing or guild halls or whatever they desire. There are also many options to deepen this skill.

I must admit I was hoping for more as I do think you have a reasonable basis for an idea. For example do you perceive the carpenter as being very much hands on and building a "house" plank by plank or more in stepped-back role as a supervisor of labourers who do the actual work or even alternatively utilising a seed (or similar device) to literally grow/magic the house into place. The design work and materials having been fed earlier into the creation of the "seed".

When it comes to design are you thinking in terms of something like a Sim's builder or another alternative such as a locked set of designs. How would you communicate ideas, pictures with prospective clients (other players), possibly the use of holographic displays or something else? I guess what I am saying is don't limit yourself into just thinking about the generics of such a profession. How would you want to play this profession if it was you? What would make it exciting for you?

[/quote]

Forgive my brevity, I wasn't sure how indepth you wanted me to go.

I see the Carpenter as a designer which would fulfill many player's desire for customization/personalization allowing them to create something that is truly their own. Desing could be handled with a set a basic geometric building blocks/shapes and, optionally, physics based gameplay. Complicated designs would naturally require some true knowledge and understanding of construction and would only require a minimal set of tools. Holographic displays or 3D models with navigable camera's would be the best way to communicate the designs with clients.

Separating the design and construction aspects of the profession could create two sets of professions within, those who are good at desing and the one that are good at construction, which I would leverage on a skill based minigame, maybe using time or precision as a dificulty factor. Using a realistic constructio mechanic allowing players to literally build a house nail by nail would not hurt. A force of labourers would not be a bad idea, allowing multiple players to assist in a job increasing speed and creating construction crews within the game itself.

To clarify, The appeal to me and I think many players would be the ability to take part in every aspect of this profession, from gathering materials, to designing to actually manufacturer the product piece by piece. Breaking these aspect down to the most basic level of it all would only add more value as long as it all made sense and wasn't overly complicated or tedious. For instance, I wouldn't want to have to separate a tree into planks one by one but I don't mind chopping it down and having it separate automatically.

As an aside, the ability to design for any profession would benefit the games immensely, allieviating the weight off the developer to constantly create new content for a game. Allowing professions like Carpentry, monster/wildlife breeding, blacksmithing, etc. and giving each of them the option to design leverages user-generated content to fuel the game and give players the power while preserving the fiction to a degree and creating am infinite amount of content. With the porper limitations and tools for players, the economy will build and regulate itself.
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