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Massive Online Battle Royal

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After watching this video series, I began to wonder about the battle royal idea in video games.

For anyone who hasn't seen it, essentially "Battle Royal" is a movie about a bunch of people who are kidnapped, put on an island and forced to fight to the death. Each is given a randomly selected item, and must rely on what they find, steal and know to survive. Last man standing wins.

The movie is pretty grim, but the premise might make for an iteresting spin on the traditional deathmatch modes found in most multiplayer action games.

I like the idea of being turfed out of a holding pen with nothing and running for it, and cobbling together a strategy when you're safe(er).

Could this translate into a mutiplayer game, and how would it work on a massively multiplayer level? Perhaps in order to implement MMO scale intricate resourceful gameplay - a text based game might be the most technologically viable way of doing it, I'm not really sure.

Has this been done before, if so, where? How would the game be managed? Would it reset periodically, if so, when and why? To prevent the game becoming predictable to veteran players, how could the geography and placement of items be randomised during each reset?

This is not a fully fledged idea, just food for discussion. I am writing down ideas for a text based MMO, and this originally started as an idea for a sub game - where high scoring players are randomly plucked, put into teams and dumped into this scenario, but it's starting to take on a life of its own as an idea.

Your thoughts?

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This has been done before on another sandbox game (Darkfall Online) heres a little video of it.

I bet it was quite fun, so probably would make a good and fun game mode.

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How does this idea differ from a regular FPS free for all death match? Can we simply turn respawning off and give players a random weapon at the start in a custom Quake 3 game and simulate the same thing?

Not criticizing, just brainstorming. Feels fun, but not sure if it is really unique.

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I also found the concept interesting after watching some of those videos. It's not just a deathmatch with randomized weapons. For one there is no respawning (well in the linked video there is, probably because lewis and simon died really early ;) ). More importantly staying alive in itself is a challenge in that you can starve and have to combine stuff you find in the environment to make weapons, armor and food. So guess you could say there is more of a survival and environment component in it as opposed just using the environment as a stage for people shooting each other. Edited by japro

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Also, how do we stop people ganging up together and "farming" win after win? Even if there is only one final winner, a clan would work together to make 1 character win all the time.

I suppose we could randomly place players in games instead of allowing them to choose. Not sure if there is any drawbacks to this method. Anyone?

After just watching the movie again (for the 2nd time), I am actually fairly interested in coding this into my game.

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There should be pools of people where the competitors are randomly chosen, and any position you gain by being the best is only valid inside that pool. So if you make a small pool of people and always win, its only meaningful to those people. So your clan could have games, you could have friends you play with, or you could play with the whole world.

Would there be something that drives you to kill each other?

I think it would be a game of stopping camping at the right moment.

Camp too long and be weak because you have killed less people due to nobody falling in your traps in a while.

Camp too little and fall into the traps of other people.

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I just remembered that Westwood did this with a Command and Conquer online game before: http://www.gamerevol...r-sole-survivor.


As others have pointed out, the idea behind a Battle Royale game is not that it is simply a permadeath free-for-all with randomised weapons.

Firstly, "C&C: Sole Survivor" is basically a C&C mod which allows you to experience a Quake 3 style multiplayer game (poorly, by the looks of it).

The differences, I'll grant you are vague, but they are there.

The hallmarks of a Battle Royale:

Player Resourcefulness: Players are sparsely equipped, but the staples of a regular deathmatch aren't neccesarily there. Weapons aren't provided or abundant, relying on players to utilise what else they find. To add an element of chaos, and to make reference to the "Battle Royale" franchise, players could even be given a random item initially.

Items: The available items should be more like what you would expect in an RPG (a broad and diverse spectrum of choice) instead of what something like Quake would offer (about eight weapons with armour and health regen powerups).

Elimination: There is no respawning, meaning that players are eliminating competition, instead of contributing to their own score or fraglimit.

Timescale: The game is not a round as such, but could go on (especially in an MMO context) for hours, days etc...

Environment: The environment should be larger than that of a typical free for all, allowing for hiding, guerilla tactics, stealth - but also potentially traditional all out combat.

The idea I am cultivating is that players might be going about their normal acts in game, when they are rendered unconscious somehow. Perhaps they choose to sleep to regain health, or are redirected after being incapacitated by a regular in game mob. Whatever way they are knocked out, they all wake up in individual pens, as my particular game will be text based, the dialogue may present something like:


You awake in a chainlink pen, through the pen walls you can see hundreds of other pens, each with a person inside. High above you, there are speakers and floodlights bolted to telegraph poles. The speakers crackle, everyone begins to murmur in fear and confusion.

[color="#ff0000"]*Crackle... feedback...*

"Welcome to the 32nd Survivor Day!

Only one person will be permitted to leave, whoever survives. Your cages will open shortly, and you will be expected to do what you must to leave safely. The last person remaining will be heavily rewarded. This city surrounded by a moat, so escape is quite impossible.

Without much further ado, let the games... BEGIN!"

[color="#ff0000"]*BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTTT....*

The speaker lets out a shrill buzz and the pen door swings open. Commotion ensues and noise arises from the newly freed crowd. You feel alone...[/quote]

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The idea I am cultivating is that players might be going about their normal acts in game, when they are rendered unconscious somehow. Perhaps they choose to sleep to regain health, or are redirected after being incapacitated by a regular in game mob. Whatever way they are knocked out, they all wake up in individual pens, as my particular game will be text based, the dialogue may present something like:



Could be annoying if this happens when you're suppose to meet up with friends, or in the middle of a guild raid.

By the way, are you making a MUD? (multi-user dungeon)

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I think it would be better if players could work in teams building small bases and using more complicated tactics. Maybe to win one must gather X of some rare resource (=kill others to get what they found) to build a structure which has capacity to save Y people. Building it would take time and the rare resource needs to be put in as its being built.
So an enemy could wait for someone to nearly finish one, then capture it, finish it an win.

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Something to consider: DayZ mod for Arma2. I can't get it to work, because all the servers have a bunch of other mods installed and I can't join them properly, but I love the looks of it, and it promises to let you freeze to death, bleed to death, lay crippled at the bottom of a ridge until something kills you, or get shot in the neck by some jerk who wants your beans. You orienteer with a map and compass, you scavenge food from derelict gas stations, you refill your water bottles in forest streams, and in rare cases, you collect tools and parts to repair a car and go bombing around in it with your mates.

It's all online, it's persistent insofar as your character's appearance, condition and inventory are stored for the duration of the character's life, and it's got permadeath when you get offed, so walking around with a sniper rifle and a high-capacity backpack makes you feel tough, but it also makes you look delicious to the other players. Clans play it cooperatively, and some dudes managed to fix up a helicopter, which is awesome, and watching the vid of them taking it out makes it clear that the value of the thing is vastly greater due to the investment of time and resources that it required.

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How long will a game last in real time?

Also, how will you control the flow of resources?

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Something to consider: DayZ mod for Arma2. I can't get it to work, because all the servers have a bunch of other mods installed and I can't join them properly, but I love the looks of it, and it promises to let you freeze to death, bleed to death, lay crippled at the bottom of a ridge until something kills you, or get shot in the neck by some jerk who wants your beans. You orienteer with a map and compass, you scavenge food from derelict gas stations, you refill your water bottles in forest streams, and in rare cases, you collect tools and parts to repair a car and go bombing around in it with your mates.

It's all online, it's persistent insofar as your character's appearance, condition and inventory are stored for the duration of the character's life, and it's got permadeath when you get offed, so walking around with a sniper rifle and a high-capacity backpack makes you feel tough, but it also makes you look delicious to the other players. Clans play it cooperatively, and some dudes managed to fix up a helicopter, which is awesome, and watching the vid of them taking it out makes it clear that the value of the thing is vastly greater due to the investment of time and resources that it required.


I've had a look, and that mod looks fascinating. For some reason, looking at some of the videos on youtube, players seem to be more immersed than in other games of a similar nature. There are one or two videos where teams of friendly players stick together and practically roleplay as military units whilst traveling across the map on their server - stalking through the landscape. The permadeath and persistence look good too, because they sort of portray would-be griefers and PKers as just another peril that needs to be survived. Here's a good example, it's geeky, but it looks like great fun.

Basically, it embodies lots of the atmosphere I would want in a Battle Royale addition to my game.

As a side note, I'd really love to see (and perhaps work on) a multiplayer game just like DayZ, but with a top down 2D scrolling Cottage of Doom style interface.


How long will a game last in real time?

Also, how will you control the flow of resources?


When there's one person left, the game would end. The resources would probably need to randomised somehow, to prevent people playing it for a second time knowing where to find certain items. Edited by TexasJack

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It would be cool if the map was randomly generated too.


To which idea were you referring?

Either way, I agree. I love the chaos factor involved with random map generation. One of the main draws to sandbox games (like the modern GTA games for example) with large maps is the discovery of the environment and the feeling of being partially lost - It's what I attribute a significant portion of Minecraft's whirlwind success to.

It would also serve to keep players from memorising item placement, optimal camping spots etc each time the game refreshed.

As an offshoot of this idea, what would you think to a simplified Cottage of Doom style game with an ARMA/ DayZ sized map. Players are released from their pens in a central location into a randomly generated map. Key elements for me would be item management/ squabbliing (as observed in DayZ). Could have spawned a whole other train of thought with that one...

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As an offshoot of this idea, what would you think to a simplified Cottage of Doom style game with an ARMA/ DayZ sized map. Players are released from their pens in a central location into a randomly generated map. Key elements for me would be item management/ squabbliing (as observed in DayZ). Could have spawned a whole other train of thought with that one...


Sounds VERY fun!

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Possible implementation problems:

1. Will players be able to "hot join" an ongoing game? If not, what if they want to play with friends?

I think allowing "hot join" would spoil the fun. If games are short and lasts 10-30 minutes like RTS matches (which doesn't allow hot joining either), it should be fine.

2. What happens if a player logs out?

I think large games that takes place over multiple days are fun. But what if in a 3 days game, a player logs out for 2+ days and only come back during the very last hour so he can have a higher chance of surviving? Are we restricted to only making the rounds 10-30 minutes long so players can finish it in one shot (logging out = automatic loss).

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Being logged off the whole start isnt that bad. The other people have a chance of dying, but they will also get resources. If you come out the last day you will have a sharpened stick while your enemies go around with their fort-mobiles

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