Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Acharis

Medieval MMO, thouble with lack of things to do

This topic is 2040 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Medieval browser MMO with historical kingdoms, the player become a citizen of one of these, along with other players. All roles are played by real players (from a peasant to the king). Sandbox style game. It is NOT WARGAME, while players can fight as groups in kingdom wars there is no raiding other players OF ANY KIND (no farming nobs possible at all). Also players do not have armies, they always are individual warriors that fight in battles of their kingdom (or not).

http://www.europe1300.eu (playable)

Related topic: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/610162-medieval-mmo-stuck-in-design/


What works well

Economy
There is stamina that replenish over time, it works as action points. You use it to gather resources (wood, clay, stone, etc) to work on fields (various crops and livestock) and to craft things (one need to decide what kind of workshop he/she runs). Then these goods can be sold on the market (the market works much better than I would imagine, proper supply/demand and while the player can speculate a bit it is not gamebreaking for sure) for gold. These goods are either bought by other players or by NPCs (consumption).

That part is quite good, but it's not enough. There is not enough to do. Also, it feels artificial because the player does not need any resources for himself (just a few building materials to increase their estate, halfproducts for their workshops and gold).


What works less

Social standing and politics
It's hard to tell how good that part is beacause ther is just a few testers, but I think it's decent. You have influence (from estates/level/etc), it determine your voting power. Then there is election of a king (and please, don't tell me it was not like that in medieval times, because there were countries with elected kings back then and in almost all other the nobles were the real power that had a lot to say who is to become a king). It's not democratic, the more powerful players have unproportional number of votes (so the real choice is made by top nobles in a kingdom while peasants input is minimal). Then the king can distribute offices (most likely to those who supported him) and wage wars with other kingdoms.

Wars
A king can delare a war on another kingdom, then start a battle. All players (citizens of a kingdom) can go to the battlefield and fight. The is no such thing as a kingdom army, the king need to relay only on individual players. If the lowest rank players do not like their king they might not want to fight and the king can do nothing about it.
The sucessful battle determines the prestige of a kingdom (based on difference between the kingdoms, attacking much weaker ones yelds nothing). Also a bit of gold form the kingdom treasury (not player's personal purse!) can go to the victor. A kingdom can never be conquered not lose any territory. That part is not working too well...


Planned stuff (no clue if it will work)

City communal buildings
Each player is a citizen of a certain kingdoms (some kingdoms have just one city, but usually around 3). Each city has a mayor (office granted by the king) who can start constructing buildings (town hall, church, port, arsenal, city walls). Once a construction is started it woudl display a list of needs and indiviudal players would donate these. Those who donated these would get reputation points which gives influence bonus.

Religion
Players can take certain clergy roles (both commoners: nun, monk, priest and nobles: abbot, bishop, archbishop). All clergy from all kingdoms can vote on Cardinals (only a noble clergy can become a cardinal). There would be like 5 cardinals total (everywhere, not per kingdom), then cardinals elect the Pope (that player has to reside on Papal States kingdom, as its ruler). Papal States is a special kingdom, it can not wage wars and no one can attack it. The Pope have certain power over kingdoms (can excomunicate a ruler, give a blessing) and can build monastyrs anywhere (the only building that is not erected by city mayors).


My problems and questions
Well, the premise is nice, thematicaly it's very good, also the economy part is working. Surprisingly the social hierarchy is balanced (the king of France abdicated and became a peasant moving to Kingdom of Norway saying "it is too much of a hassle to be a ruler"! I was shocked biggrin.png), the low rank role players do not feel as underdogs (and to my surprise not everyone wants to be a king, there are merchants, craftsmen, etc, even though the king slots are sometimes not fully occupied smile.png). But overall the game is lacking. There is not much to do for individual players (non kings). Everytime I try to expand I struggle because there is simply not enough varibles to work with (you have stamina which you exchange to goods, the goods sold for gold, then gold can be exchanged to influence and influence means political power). Something is seriously missing there...

Edited by Acharis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Have you played puzzle pirates?  They have minigames which are pirate chores and also craftsmen working in shops, including blacksmith, shipright, rum brewer, weaver, alchemy, etc.  You could have minigames for baker, wood cutter, horse trainer, jousting, archery...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

""It is NOT WARGAME, while players can fight as groups in kingdom wars there is no raiding other players OF ANY KIND (no farming nobs possible at all)."

 

So the game isn't done then?

 

-Exo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm, from what I remember of your previous posts for this game it sounds pretty true to your original design. I also recall that you were pretty opposed to changing your design at all. Is that still the case? I'm asking because adding in new features might have an outsized impact existing ones.

With that in mind, how much are you willing to let commoners do? They may need more ability to impact city policies, or to interact with other players beyond trading. The game might change a lot of the peasantry matters for more than toil.

As you're describing it, the game for commoners sounds a lot like a casual RPG, the kind with action points that regenerate every hour or day. There's generally not a lot of depth to those games, but they can still be fun and many are popular. Would you be OK with commoners have a very different interaction with the game than noble players?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you played puzzle pirates? They have minigames which are pirate chores and also craftsmen working in shops, including blacksmith, shipright, rum brewer, weaver, alchemy, etc. You could have minigames for baker, wood cutter, horse trainer, jousting, archery...
Yes. But I can't make minigames for economy activities for numerous reason. For one puzzle pirates is for kids and teenagers while my game is mostly for adults, they don't have that much free time. Also, I don't think it feels within the mood to have as the king the person who is the best at puzzles... Also, making puzzles (or arcade) is not my strong point as a designer and only these genres could be made into minigames. And the list can go on and go on :)

But the minigames idea made me realize I could make a separate game inside the game. A paralell game activity loselly connected with the main game. Like adventures (you go to forest and meet bandits, or go to palace and have court intrigues adventures). Yeah, I know, it's not ideal and have flaws, but I'm making a game where player's rank range from peasant to king, such game simply can't be made without flaws... Hmmm.
Hmm, from what I remember of your previous posts for this game it sounds pretty true to your original design. I also recall that you were pretty opposed to changing your design at all. Is that still the case? I'm asking because adding in new features might have an outsized impact existing ones.

I'm more desparate then before :D I already throwed out some of the already implemented stuff.

Would you be OK with commoners have a very different interaction with the game than noble players?
Yeah... But still, the bottleneck are commoners, noblemen are easier. The key question is how to make it fun for commoners, that's the starting point.

As for lack of depth in these games, I don't know, what I know is that thare is a substancial number of players (at least 50%) who want to be normal people (merchants, craftsmen, even peasants) and I can not ignore it... Edited by Acharis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What I meant for commoners having a different play experience is that they might have a game like Vampires Live (or any similar games), like you see for iPhone/Android. These have a play style that sounds like what commoners in your game are already doing, and they attract plenty of players. If you were to follow that pattern you wouldn't need a ton of new mechanics, and you would have a much more focused goal for creating any new content or play elements you want.

Otherwise, expanding activitites available for commoners will involve making nontrivial changes to your design. It's not a problem of not having enough variables to work with-- the variables your game uses are the ones designed to satisfy the activities you wanted to include. New activities suggest at least the possibility of needing new variables, and the list of variables that could be included in your game but currently are not is functionally infinite.

What constraints do you want in determining what these new activities are? If I suggest a magic system, that would be a new activity, but that isn't helpful if you don't want magic. What mechanics are you willing to add? Are your testers giving any suggestions on what they'd like to do? Do you have any strong feelings about what you'd like the play experience to be for commoners? Are kings generally satisfied with their play experiences, and could any similar elements be added for commoner players?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What constraints do you want in determining what these new activities are? If I suggest a magic system, that would be a new activity, but that isn't helpful if you don't want magic. What mechanics are you willing to add? Are your testers giving any suggestions on what they'd like to do? Do you have any strong feelings about what you'd like the play experience to be for commoners? Are kings generally satisfied with their play experiences, and could any similar elements be added for commoner players?

Realism and medieval mood. Historical accuracy, within reason. That are the key points (so magic is out of the question for example). Also I'm avoiding all arcade elements (it's strictly "turn based" (althrough there are no turns technically)), no minigames like in flashgames, nothing like Farmville (with pointless clicking things to gather bonuses), no trivial exchange of time to progress (everything or almost everything has to be limited by some sort of action points). In short it's a mix of strategy, RPG and simulation for adult players.

 

As for testers I tormented them so much with my questions I don't dare to ask more :)

As for kings, the main difference (when we talk about already implemented features only and not planned) is the ability to start wars with other kingdoms. Nothing really to steal from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="Acharis" data-cid="5014194" data-time="1356459730"><p>
<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="Khaiy" data-cid="5014183" data-time="1356456012"><p>What constraints do you want in determining what these new activities are? If I suggest a magic system, that would be a new activity, but that isn't helpful if you don't want magic. What mechanics are you willing to add? Are your testers giving any suggestions on what they'd like to do? Do you have any strong feelings about what you'd like the play experience to be for commoners? Are kings generally satisfied with their play experiences, and could any similar elements be added for commoner players?</p></blockquote>
Realism and medieval mood. Historical accuracy, within reason. That are the key points (so magic is out of the question for example). Also I'm avoiding all arcade elements (it's strictly "turn based" (althrough there are no turns technically)), no minigames like in flashgames, nothing like Farmville (with pointless clicking things to gather bonuses), no trivial exchange of time to progress (everything or almost everything has to be limited by some sort of action points). In short it's a mix of strategy, RPG and simulation for adult players.<br />
<br />
As for testers I tormented them so much with my questions I don't dare to ask more :)<br />
As for kings, the main difference (when we talk about already implemented features only and not planned) is the ability to start wars with other kingdoms. Nothing really to steal from.</p></blockquote>

If realism and medieval mood are the driving concerns, then the game for commoners may be complete. Toil at repetitive tasks for little reward until stamina gives out sounds like peasant life to me. Adding more for them to do will break from realism, at which point it's a question of how much un-realism you're willing to accept. As I said before, the play features for commoners sound a lot like many self-contained games that already exist. So the issue might be that that game style isn't one that your testers happen to like, or that the platform isn't ideal, or that the interface suggests a different play style than the design delivers.

I can imagine an expansion of your current game in which commoners do things like kings do, but on a much smaller scale; things like stealing from or attacking other players, inter-guild and inter-village feuds, etc. I can also imagine ongoing competition for social positions, like you already have for nobles and clergy, available to all players but with reduced or very different bonuses for commoners. This could be done with the same stamina investment per action that you already have.

But again, you may have reached the point for this concept at which you need to start giving a bit on the realism front to provide depth and choices for players. I think that this would be worth asking your testers about, regardless of anything else you've asked them. If they find their play experience lacking, asking them what they'd like seems to me to be the most important first step in giving it to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can imagine an expansion of your current game in which commoners do things like kings do, but on a much smaller scale;

There is not much to do for kings either. Again, there is nothing to steal from.

 

I think that this would be worth asking your testers about, regardless of anything else you've asked them. If they find their play experience lacking, asking them what they'd like seems to me to be the most important first step in giving it to them.

No, they can't answer this. This is a high level problem that can be solved by designers only. Which they say plainly to me already :) Testers can give feedback how to tweak things, but there is not enough to tweak. The game lacks a huge part of gameplay :)

 

Normally, I would scrap such project but there are too many things that works excellent there. I keep hearing over and over again what great potencial this game has. But potential means nothing if I can't finish it :) And to finish it I need more activities. And I'm not able to derive any more activities form the current mechanics of the game :)

 

I need a completely new mechanic for that game, unless one of you is a genius that can derive/enchance one of the existing ones to provide sufficient time consumption :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In short it's a mix of strategy, RPG and simulation for adult players.

I don't think it's true that adults don't have much time; people who play games play them to spend time being entertained.  Also, other genres can work as minigames, though they are less common.  But you want more things to do in the game, so let's start from this quote.  If the game is strategy, rpg, and sim, there should be strategy things to do, rpg things to do, and/or sim things to do in the game.  Let's make a list - what are typical things to do in each of these genres?  Strategy is mainly resource gathering, building units and buildings, worker placement, exploring/capturing territory, upgrading/unlocking more of the tech tree, and combat.  RPG is mainly spending stat points, upgrading weapons/armor, combat, and quests, plus the occasional puzzle or dialogue puzzle or minigame.  Sim is mainly producing items (by growing plants, breeding animals, or crafting), selling these items, spending the money on upkeep and upgrades, and expanding one's property/production capacity.  So, you should add something from this list to your game, because these are the only activities appropriate to your three genres (unless I forgot some ;) ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!