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Feedback/Interest on open-world rp-fps concept

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Hello everybody,
Some may recognize me from some rather unsuccessful attempts at throwing together a dev team a while back in the "Help Wanted" area before it became "Classifieds." Although I'm still looking for talent, and I would love it if someone stated their interest in aiding the effort, I come here for another reason, also.
I'm looking for general input on this project topic, titled "The Edge"... I personally see a bit of potential in the concept, and I would love to continue to polish it. Constructive criticism is greatly needed.
Here is some descriptive direct from the original post.
[attachment=8148:TheEdgePoster.jpg]
Brief description:
"The Edge" is to be an open-world, dynamic FPS with some RPG elements. It has been under conceptual development for some time, though with little advancement as a coherent product. As of now, I have been the individual solely responsible for this project. I feel that the concept has been worked enough to take it to the next step; the inclusion of a team. A largely non-character-driven narrative about the conflict taking place in one of man's last metropolises, sandwiched between a desert wasteland and an endless ocean, the dystopian government clashes with a massive movement of low-income slum dwellers. While a somewhat tired setting, the proposed project implements some very radical gameplay elements. Firstly, a non-character-dependent dynamic environment. According to this theory, for example, should a riot occur downtown, the exchange of fire could be heard all over the city, warning the player to either keep clear or join the fray. If he should decide to enlist as a pro-government fighter, a new hierarchy of opportunities would present itself. However, upon fighting for the rebel's cause, he might find his section of slums raided in the night in search for rebels. Additionally, non-reversible, dramatic repercussions for actions would be common.
Story:
A city on the edge of the American continent was commissioned by the United Nations when mankind took a turn for the worst. One of the four major colonies, Metropolis Gabriel, is the birthplace of the game's protagonist. Raised in the slums surrounding the city, the player's game experiences begin when he is sent by his family to the great city to attempt to make something of his life. Immediately relocated to a low-income district, the player is offered a rudimentary home and some funds. Then, the game's first phase begins, the decision phase. Although this phase can go on as long as required, it essentially consists of the player taking one of the following paths; Joining the people's movement, taking interests in becoming a political figure, or enlisting in the military. After a training phase, the player enters the actual game, which although would have an ending, would be played potentially indefinitely. By using a comprehensive and dynamic game world, it would be possible to provide very different game types depending on the player's choices with little extra work-- since each of the roles are being simultaneously ran regardless of the player's role.
The storyline would change from each playthrough, also, using an "Apocalypse Engine..."
Essentially, this system would choose major events from a list at random and inject them into the game, providing entirely new opportunities for the player such as;
Catastrophic flood;
As a People's Fighter: The player would have to survive on limited resources and traverse dangerous flooded areas on boat, at risk from marauding survivors.
As a Politician: The player would have to organize recovery operations across the city and personally observe the construction of water barriers.
As a Soldier: The player would perform riverboat patrols and recovery operations via helicopter.
Wartime;
As a People's Fighter: The player would be tasked with defending the city under government commission alongside the army, providing the challenges of a new enemy with superior firepower.
As a Politician: Distributing propaganda, designating resources such as weapons and support which could be pivotal to the war effort.
As a Soldier: Intense, frontline combat.

The two given are only examples, and I feel that they demonstrate how only a few modifications to the base content would be necessary for each.

Game Dynamics:
Essentially, 3 separate gaming styles would be given... One for the median player with a good mix of battle but also freedom to explore, one for the combat-loving soldier and one for the strategist who enjoys political simulation and decision-making power.
A somewhat large environment would be given, divided into a central metropolis cityscape, some concrete suburbs with lots of flood routes (much akin to the environments shown in the animated film "Akira,") a surrounding sea of sand and finally a literal sea. The last two would, obviously, not require much effort in creating.
Combat would be largely limited to ambushes and short patrol skirmishes. Thus, a multitude of opportunities would be given to the player outside the obvious "creep up and shoot." Booby trapping a telephone pole, entering via sewer, sabotaging or blocking a main road, cutting a house's power with some wire cutters or moving in via rooftop, I hope would all be options.
A realistic wounding system would also be used, making a single bullet the difference between life and death. A bullet in the leg would slow movement for a period, a tag in the chest would decrease stamina and a nearby explosion could concuss for a short time. Unless treated by a hospital or underground doctor or effects postponed by an adrenaline shot, the player could experience these problems for up to a week in game time.
Although eating and drinking would not be a gameplay feature, sleeping after each game day (about 1 hour) would be a necessity.
A dynamic world would leave the player in the dark at times, should a pivotal battle occur and influence faction relations without his knowledge, so any such conflicts would have to be made immediately apparent by visible news helicopters circling and realistically resonant explosions.
Similar to the mechanics used in "Mercenaries 2," roadblocks could be set up and moved depending on the global situation. Also, for example, a recently battled zone or a blown bridge would be blocked off for repairs or be replaced by a military-grade steel bridge.

Essential Points:
Even with all of the above, combat would be minimal. A realistic wound system would keep the player from entering random engagements, as would the rarity of weapons aside from thrown objects for all but the Army occupation.

I AM aware of how hopeful this all sounds, but I am convinced that it is all doable with a good foundation. I'm more or less hitting with a good portion of what I hope for in order to attract real creative interest. Thus, I hope any interested party recognizes this plethora of information as an honest creative effort and not necessarily as all being doable. But, the closer the better!

Website: http://theedgegame.webs.com/index.htm

And a sincere thanks to jbadams for pointing out my breach of forum regulations-- Here's to becoming a more educated part of the community.

-Marcus

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+1 For good forum behaviour :)_


for example, should a riot occur downtown, the exchange of fire could be heard all over the city, warning the player to either keep clear or join the fray.


From an audio point of view would you really want gunshots heard throughout the city if it is only happening in one area? Getting beyond the distance audible sounds normally carry I can envision an assault on the ears if you had a number of battles opening in different areas of the city at the same time not to mention the confusion in trying to determine direction of the battle with so many inputs at once.


A largely non-character-driven narrative about the conflict taking place in one of man's last metropolises, sandwiched between a desert wasteland and an endless ocean, the dystopian government clashes with a massive movement of low-income slum dwellers. While a somewhat tired setting


Not a criticism but this very much reminds me of the Judge Dredd comics.


Essentially, this system would choose major events from a list at random and inject them into the game, providing entirely new opportunities for the player such as;
Catastrophic flood;


Random elements are good but make sure you don't necessarily create a death trap scenario by having for example: A devastating flash flood occuring with no avenue of safety such as high ground for the player to be able to save themselves.


Although eating and drinking would not be a gameplay feature, sleeping after each game day (about 1 hour) would be a necessity.


An hour seems very fast for a game day it could squish RPG elements like go spy on the rebel leader at midnight a bit squishy for time but that is more a subjective opinion. I tend to prefer a day/night of around 2 hours with the option to eat time when needed through the interface i.e. a wait timer.


A dynamic world would leave the player in the dark at times, should a pivotal battle occur and influence faction relations without his knowledge


I do like elements ingames that do this. Yes it can be frustrating to have missed it but I think that is one catch for enabling replayability i.e. why should a player see all the content on the very first play through esp: where RPG is concerned.

Overall I think you have the ideas but I must admit reading the above feels in some ways like reading a wall of text that meanders somewhat. I can see the divisions you have made i.e. brief description, gamedynamics etc but I think you can polish it a lot more to make it an accessible document that illustrates more clearly your ideas. Good luck smile.png

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Thanks-- all really good advice. I will take all of it into account and make sure I have no Judge Dredd-lookalike characters in fear of copyright infringement ;) As for condensing the document, I definitely agree that the description should be polished without losing information. The current document is probably just too wordy.

An hour seems very fast for a game day it could squish RPG elements like go spy on the rebel leader at midnight a bit squishy for time but that is more a subjective opinion. I tend to prefer a day/night of around 2 hours with the option to eat time when needed through the interface i.e. a wait timer.

See your point. I would definitely lengthen this period.

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Those 3 game modes you speak of could in fact be 3 different playstyles, each with their own unique features.

Politician/Military Specialist (for some strategy action perhaps?):
- Game time is divided into turns -- player may choose to do some actions, then they are carried out during the day, outcome shown, and night changed to day
- A strategy element while in combat -- overhead view and designating tasks to squads, with the AI taking the decisions based on their training, skills etc.
- A politician doesn't seem to have a viable way to play indeffinetly -- just like the Tycoon series, it has to end at some point or the game will (hopefully) normalize and the player won't be challenged (you can't really ramp up the difficulty dynamically enough to keep the player entertained for an infinite amount of time). Setting a good goal would be desirable.

Soldier:
- Time is of no importance -- days can advance with story or in a really slow rate, allowing the player to control how much time he spends on downtime or shopping/exploring. Missions automatically forward days and set the right time of the day. Missions could have timers which would put some pressure on the player.
- Typical FPS gameplay, something akin to Brink maybe?
- Since each mission could be randomized, there are only so many variations on the go there, do something, get back. A story would still be desirable

People Fighter:
- Basically the same as soldier.


In general, creating an open world is difficult. It requires a lot of content to keep the player distracted and doing something. An open game that just entertains the everyday life of person X is something the Sims do, and it gets boring after a while. Open worlds with a main story, such as the Elder Scrolls series have their limitations as well, but are entertaining as long as there are feasible goals to achieve. Minecraft is a good game until you manage to create all that your heart ever desired.

Overall, the idea seems solid, at least the parts that you have shown us smile.png It would require some elaboration on what things do and how they do it to gather a team though -- your worst enemy as a designer is ambiguity. Someone thinks that you wanted it this way, while you wanted it the other way, and everything ends up in a fight and the project halting.

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Those 3 game modes you speak of could in fact be 3 different playstyles, each with their own unique features.


That just about sums it up! As far as gameplay as the politician goes, the player would have to make efforts towards reelection, also... So a little bit more challenge there.
Also, there is one central gameplay element I don't feel I've explained sufficiently.
The game would have a story, that is, a concise ending. However, major occurrences before that end would be randomized and thus give each player 'class' different challenges. The soldier would have very concise missions in the world, such as issuing aid or defending an objective, whereas the human player as a people's fighter could ambush wherever he/she wants, although some objectives would be available. The game would end after three or four of these major occurrences happen, as each would deliver very different gameplay. Depending on which mission the game ends on, a static objective would be given to finish the game.
Thanks for all the input!

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Hmm, it sounds like an interesting idea. I like the idea of large scale events which aren't player initiated. You wouldn't believe the amount of annoyance I had over the fact that the Fallout 3 town "Megaton" was in a wasteland full of raiders, creatures and mutants but nobody ever attacked it!

However I suggest that you ensure that these events don't play out in a sure-fire-death way. If the flood kills the player with no way to escape, and reloading from a saved game ensures the same outcome... not cool, designer! I think you'd need a touch of AI director to it, e.g. only start a flood IF the player is near high ground OR are in a fast vehicle OR broadcast a flood warning first.

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Hmm, it sounds like an interesting idea. I like the idea of large scale events which aren't player initiated. You wouldn't believe the amount of annoyance I had over the fact that the Fallout 3 town "Megaton" was in a wasteland full of raiders, creatures and mutants but nobody ever attacked it!

However I suggest that you ensure that these events don't play out in a sure-fire-death way. If the flood kills the player with no way to escape, and reloading from a saved game ensures the same outcome... not cool, designer! I think you'd need a touch of AI director to it, e.g. only start a flood IF the player is near high ground OR are in a fast vehicle OR broadcast a flood warning first.


I'm actually thinking about removing the "Catastrophic Flood" event entirely... Ideally, it wouldn't involve any tidal waves of destruction, but rather heightened water levels when the protagonist wakes up one morning. Also, I don't even want to think about trying to simulate a realistic flash flood all over the entire city...

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I'm actually thinking about removing the "Catastrophic Flood" event entirely... Ideally, it wouldn't involve any tidal waves of destruction, but rather heightened water levels when the protagonist wakes up one morning. Also, I don't even want to think about trying to simulate a realistic flash flood all over the entire city...


Probably for the best. Fluid dynamics is a bitch. But yeah, plenty of other large scale events you could do. I lke the idea of invasions, uprisings, damage, rebuilding etc.

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