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ShiftyCake

Game concept

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A dungeon crawl that uses no stats, but rather implements unique items in order to gain strategical advantages inside the dungeon. Randomly generated of course.

 

Go.

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If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me.

Ehhmm.. this seems to be the right moment to tell you the obviously wink.png

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If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me.

Ehhmm.. this seems to be the right moment to tell you the obviously wink.png

 

I'm thinking of taking a core aspect of dungeon crawl's, which are the stats and progression in relation to stats, and turn it to a whole different approach. That is, the concept of progression will be there in relation to items, but it is how you strategically use the items that determine your progress.

And when I say no stats, I mean no stats. While monsters will have speed relation and such, I won't consider it a stat, and any hit from a monster to you OR you to a monster results in death, so insta-death in other words for both player and monsters.

 

So say I just got the "mirror" item. This item allows me to send anything through mirror surfaces I've created. I also have a "time-glass" in my inventory which slows time down for a brief period of time So I have this monster chasing me, super fast one by the way, I quickly use my time-glass in order to give me time to think. Then, seeing a spike trap to my right, I put a mirror surface directly in front of me and then one on the spike trap to my right. By this time the time-glass effect wears off, and the monster comes at me full speed leading to its doom.

 

As you can see, this game will be all about the strategic way you use items within the limited time frame you have. Every item will also be unidentified until you figure out its use.

 

Am I starting to make sense now? Is this workable, debate.

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Your post so far as said "I want to make a game with things which do things." Is this workable? Sure. Almost every game has things which do things. Is there much else to say besides that? Not until you give more detail.

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WoW is infact a gear-based game, a game where progression in late game is solely archived by items/equipment/gear. Though they have stats, but these are just values to rate your progression better.

 

The idea to have items with unique behavior is good, it is often used in more adventure like games, e.g. you need an special ice-item to freeze a small lake to progress to the next level. But the disadvantage is, that you will run out of ideas really quickly and therefor limiting progression (and progression is an important part in a dungeon crawler).

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WoW is infact a gear-based game, a game where progression in late game is solely archived by items/equipment/gear. Though they have stats, but these are just values to rate your progression better.

 

The idea to have items with unique behavior is good, it is often used in more adventure like games, e.g. you need an special ice-item to freeze a small lake to progress to the next level. But the disadvantage is, that you will run out of ideas really quickly and therefor limiting progression (and progression is an important part in a dungeon crawler).

 

there are two main types of advancement in dungeon crawls. I call it the continuous progress, and variated progress.

 

The first one is where as you delve further into dungeons, you naturally achieve better gear etc. An example of this is Dungeons of Dredmor

 

The second is where what you receive in dungeons are totally random, and depending on what you get could either put you in a worse position or a better. An example of this would be The Binding Of Isaac.

 

What I'm implementing is variated progress taken one step further.

That is, the items you receive are random etc. but there's no stats originating around them.

 

yes, though, you are right. There could become a problem in running out of unique ideas, in turn creating rather stagnant gameplay with ideas used over.

BUT

Allowing each item to be implemented in various ways enables multiple uses for one item. This means I can have a 20 items that could be worth up to 80. This means that I have a low amount of items, which in turn makes them rarer in dungeon progress, but each one can strategically help, or hinder, you in various ways. Of course, to do this I will have to focus on two important aspects:

 

1. I will have to make these items truly unique. That is, every one will have to be easily recognizable as a separate entity from all other items, no similarities.

2. Each item will have to be able to be sued in multiple ways, therefore a huge chunk of development time will have to go in how to do this. I can't have a hundred different things thrown around the dungeon in order to use for the items, which means I'll have to focus on implementing things in the dungeon that can be used by various items.

---

Let me try to make things clearer, what I'm trying to do here is originate a strategic dungeon crawl around the following core aspect:

 

Unique item implementation that can be inputted in various ways without hindering on dungeon progress, enabling a fast-paced and unqieu dungeon crawl that requires more of using items to your advantage, rather then having more stats then that monster.

 

Seriously, I love dungeon crawls. But I always get bored of them, it just becomes stagnant. It's the same reason as when I lose interest in mmorpg's, at a certain point it changes less from new experiences and advancement to grinding. Even if it doesn't, your progress is just a repetition of what you just did the previous level.

Knowing this, I decided to delve into the thought process behind dungeon crawl's. What I believe, the idea of dungeon crawls is that you are delving deeper into the unknown in order to make progress by either improving your character or having a sense of accomplishment, this is achieved through "level progressions" or rather reaching the next floor of the dungeon. So what makes up this progression? Two things:

 

1. Stats, this is rather the stagnant part of the progression. It's boring and annoying to be based upon levels, but rather necessary in how dungeon crawl mechanics play.

2. Items, this can be spells, swords, arrows etc. This is where it gets interesting, and how stats are applied to this makes it an enjoyable experience.

 

So basically, dungeon crawl's have always required items, and in turn the stats to maintain a sense of progress.

 

So I decided to take away the stagnant part, the stats. Of course, this isn't as simple as it sounds. In order to do this, there has to be a way to implement items without any sort of stats to them.

What I came up with is that the items are used strategically. So if we take away stats, each item will have to be unique and used in a way that doesn't really on stats. Which would be strategic, I believe it fits best.

But then i thought, progress.

This idea is cool and everything, but how do I progress?

I decided on two things to possible include:

 

1. The constant progress, as in achieving things that go across all games. The Binding of Isaac for example has around 100 unlockables which each give you a new item to acquire.

2. Item progression. What I'm thinking is two things of this: one, with the right tools/equipment? Items can be combined and two, items can be destroyed etc. to gain things? or getting an item means you can get another?

 

I don't know, this is just a concept.

---

I'm thinking that because of this concept, a huge factor of the game will have to go into the design of the actual dungeon. I think I said this earlier. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, and with the random generation it doesn't matter if you understand an item if you can't think quick enough to implement it etc.

 

Also, I'm thinking about having a hub floor, where everything is contained in stuff. And things. idk.

---

Ugh, sorry. I've just got so many thoughts bundled in my head.

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Your post so far as said "I want to make a game with things which do things." Is this workable? Sure. Almost every game has things which do things. Is there much else to say besides that? Not until you give more detail.

 

Sorry, I didn't see your post.

This is not a game design.

I'm not presenting you a shaped idea that I wish to have feedback on, but rather I'm wanting to have the concept I provided explored a bit.

I'm sure its been done before, but not in the way I am imagining. Am I just not explaining clearly? Do you want me to vividly describe to you what I'm imagining in my head?

Edited by ShiftyCake
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The idea to have items with unique behavior is good, it is often used in more adventure like games, e.g. you need an special ice-item to freeze a small lake to progress to the next level.

That sounds like a good idea, unless it's a one time scripted event that can only occur where the authors thought it should, and not anywhere else (I'm looking at you, Batman Arkham City).

 

Of course having unique items would be interested. One way to achieve something like that is to break down the game into small mechanics, say like, bleeding. While weapons can cause bleeding, I was wondering why in a lot of games spiked armor is no different than regular armor. Couldn't there be some inherent effect of say "10% chance to cause bleeding on melee attackers" or something? You know, have spiked armor be desirable for something other than its "cool" looks (I put cool in quotes cause i actually hate spiked armor)

 

WoW is infact a gear-based game

A lot of mmorpgs end up being a gear treadmill at the end. Even GW2, which had 'no grinding' as part of its manifesto, has a fair amount of grinding if you want to obtain higher stat end game gear.

The problem I have with the way they do it isn't that it takes a long time to get the gear. It's that it takes a lot of repetitive work to get it (i.e. running the same dungeon again and again and again, relying solely on luck to obtain the item you want)

 

So, if you're going to make a gear progression system, I'd avoid that approach.

Getting gear should be challenging in more than just 'defeat monster x'. It should be challenging by placing some restrictions and additional challenges - i.e. defeat monster X without setting it on fire, since you want its comfy hide to make that awesome leather armor. Or go further outside the box - you race with an enemy, while trying to kill each other, avoiding various traps as to who can get to the mystical super-special sword first. You know, challenge without grind - meaning, don't just make the most difficult item be a 0.001% drop - instead make it some insane combat/puzzle, combining various things that the player has to achieve in order to get the item.

 

Also very important in my opinion is that you have something other than the gear for the player to look forward to.

 

Have some sort of story, or failing that just a long term end goal. There's a good old video, somewhat related to this subject here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/choice-and-conflict. The example they use there is Mario - there's a long term end goal - save the princess - and a short term goal - stay alive. It's often interesting to put those in opposition of each other - for example making the Invincible Shield be an item great for helping you survive, but insanely hard to get such that it jeopardizes your long term goal in the dungeon (I'm sort of assuming a rogue-like, where you have perma-death).

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The idea to have items with unique behavior is good, it is often used in more adventure like games, e.g. you need an special ice-item to freeze a small lake to progress to the next level.

That sounds like a good idea, unless it's a one time scripted event that can only occur where the authors thought it should, and not anywhere else (I'm looking at you, Batman Arkham City).

 

Of course having unique items would be interested. One way to achieve something like that is to break down the game into small mechanics, say like, bleeding. While weapons can cause bleeding, I was wondering why in a lot of games spiked armor is no different than regular armor. Couldn't there be some inherent effect of say "10% chance to cause bleeding on melee attackers" or something? You know, have spiked armor be desirable for something other than its "cool" looks (I put cool in quotes cause i actually hate spiked armor)

 

 

>WoW is infact a gear-based game

A lot of mmorpgs end up being a gear treadmill at the end. Even GW2, which had 'no grinding' as part of its manifesto, has a fair amount of grinding if you want to obtain higher stat end game gear.

The problem I have with the way they do it isn't that it takes a long time to get the gear. It's that it takes a lot of repetitive work to get it (i.e. running the same dungeon again and again and again, relying solely on luck to obtain the item you want)

 

So, if you're going to make a gear progression system, I'd avoid that approach.

Getting gear should be challenging in more than just 'defeat monster x'. It should be challenging by placing some restrictions and additional challenges - i.e. defeat monster X without setting it on fire, since you want its comfy hide to make that awesome leather armor. Or go further outside the box - you race with an enemy, while trying to kill each other, avoiding various traps as to who can get to the mystical super-special sword first. You know, challenge without grind - meaning, don't just make the most difficult item be a 0.001% drop - instead make it some insane combat/puzzle, combining various things that the player has to achieve in order to get the item.

 

Also very important in my opinion is that you have something other than the gear for the player to look forward to.

 

Have some sort of story, or failing that just a long term end goal. There's a good old video, somewhat related to this subject here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/choice-and-conflict. The example they use there is Mario - there's a long term end goal - save the princess - and a short term goal - stay alive. It's often interesting to put those in opposition of each other - for example making the Invincible Shield be an item great for helping you survive, but insanely hard to get such that it jeopardizes your long term goal in the dungeon (I'm sort of assuming a rogue-like, where you have perma-death).

 

 

yes, I am going to have a story. I am of the mindset that a game should never be limited to something specific, so I'm implementing a good story and also this Hub Island of sorts. This'll be where I live and can do various things within a game, it resets every game so you have something to look forward to etc. I'm not sure exactly what I want to achieve from it yet though.

 

And yes, I think I see your point about how to get the items. I'm thinking of actually implementing that, say you can create materials or things by using certain aspects of the dungeon. Like, say, you need a hide cooked while it's alive in order for it to harden into a strong defense item. To do this, You lead it into a trap you discovered that shoots flames, there by barbecuing it, and then proceed to stab it through its stomach. But you can't, since you just made the item super strong and hard, and the monster retaliates and kills you. Next item you realize that once you harden its shell, you'll have to kill it from the inside. You take a toxic potion in preparation...

 

something like that I think, might make it rather more unique approach in obtaining things.

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Have you played a link to the past, or another Zelda game? They pretty much work like this, but without the randomness. Each dungeon is designed around giving you a specific new item/tool, and all your progress is defined by your items. Sometimes you get a bit of choice in the order that you do the dungeons, which makes them harder/easier as you might not have the optimal tools. Other times the games are much more linear...

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Have you played a link to the past, or another Zelda game? They pretty much work like this, but without the randomness. Each dungeon is designed around giving you a specific new item/tool, and all your progress is defined by your items. Sometimes you get a bit of choice in the order that you do the dungeons, which makes them harder/easier as you might not have the optimal tools. Other times the games are much more linear...

 

 

 

Yes, you are right. What I'm thinking of is probably a similar implementation as the Zelda game, except for one huge difference.

The Zelda series was based upon following linear dungeons for story progress and while you can sometimes choose optional dungeons, on the whole the game forces you to specific area's and dungeons.

Mine will be about randomized dungeons specifically, with no colleration to any sort of real "world" neither being specifically about a story either. So while The Zelda series does have similarities to what I'm envisioning, its being brought to a different concept.

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