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MikeRasicci_176717

Looking for feedback on RPG

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I'm currently working on a project named Runewright. Runewright has the goal of taking traditional tabletop RPG's and making it more accessible to those unfamiliar with the genre by building a video game around it. Runewright is a system of role-playing I came up with in 2011, and after much balancing and success with friends I've decided to take it and turn it into a video game.
 
The game features an extensive editor for a Runemaster to use to create his or her world. The editor includes not only map editing but editing of different game objects and how the player can interact with them, editing NPC's, creating quests and missions, fight sequences etc. The NPC's in the world have varying levels of customization by the Runemaster. A Runemaster can go as far as to script complex AI into NPC's or conversations he wants players to be able to have, or simply select a variety of traits for the NPC and let the AI take over the rest.
 
Scripting in the game can be done through the Rune API, a set of LUA functions provided with the client, or through a graphical scripting language for those who are uncomfortable or have little experience in scripting. Through the Rune API, you can modify NPC behavior (combat and non-hostile NPC's), game object interaction, even the games interface!
 
Because tabletop RPG's are a social experience, maintaining that aspect in Runewright is of high priority. Runewright will include VOIP communication with the players in your game, and webcam support which replaces character portraits in the interface when in use.
 
Without going into more detail of the game's mechanics (as those are more traditional game design issues that I can judge on my own), does this sound like a premise you would enjoy? Removing the developer from position of story teller and giving the title to the players? Assuming it's done in a way that does not make creating a campaign more challenging then being a DM in a tabletop RPG, I feel that it has potential to sell well and as we are approaching a relatively complete beta I'd like to crowdsource it in order to A. get an artist to create textures and sprites that can ship with the game (hopefully the game will build a community of people to do more but having stock art is necessary) B. get sounds to ship with the game. Then we'll build some small/medium sample campaigns to go with it and use the left over money for marketing and our next project (which will hopefully be our first project as full-time indie developers if Runewright does well). What are your opinions?

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powerneg    2010

Depends.

1) How accessible is your game ?

Can a dungeon master build an interesting dungeon with only using the mouse(no commands typing)

 

2)How many players(friends) are required to play/enjoy the game?
And, how is the player supposed to find them ?
I suspect tabletop-players will want to play it with their table-top playing friends.

I don't know about the casual player/programmer;

I suppose the best marketing would be to have people buy the engine, make their dungeon, and have their friends play it in a free client,

making them familiar enough with it to sell to them if they 'd be interested in something like this, casual players/programmers could be reached this way,

but you 'd need a pretty good sell-rate(ratio of buyers/people who know your game) to keep this spreading.

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Sounds neat. If it's enjoyable with only two people playing in the same room, it would be something I'd considering buying - depending on the quality of the content and gameplay among other things.

 

Also sounds like you could have an online Campaign store (with free and commercial campaigns), and take a small cut, as well as have your own professionally-made high-quality campaigns available, for continuing sources of revenue.

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Norman Barrows    7179

A multi-player rpg engine with visual DM'ing tools. 

 

do you plan to include a world, or just the DM'ing tools, and the engine to run the content created thereby?

 

also, what about the DM? once they build they world, just others are supposed to play it? or are they [the DM] supposed to join the party of adventurers as a PC? 

 

i suppose with sufficient randomness the DM could play in their own world without knowing what would happen next. i always try to design my games that way.

 

FYI: i first got into tabletop RPG's about 36 years ago, before the PC was even invented. they've been a strong influence on the way i design games. My current project is a randomly generated persistent open world paleolithic FPS/RPG/person sim (a caveman simulator), that works almost entirely using random encounters. NPC's at shelters are the only "hard coded" encounters. Well, animals in caverns are sort of hard coded, like a dungeon that repopulates...

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ShadowFlar3    1258

Can you underline what would be the key differences compared to making custom campaigns for popular RPGs such as Neverwinter Nights 2? The ease of use?

 

Sure if you manage to successfully connect it to social media and make it simple enough for the large masses you can make a world of difference but that is going to require some serious work and marketing.

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Depends.

1) How accessible is your game ?

Can a dungeon master build an interesting dungeon with only using the mouse(no commands typing)

 

2)How many players(friends) are required to play/enjoy the game?
And, how is the player supposed to find them ?
I suspect tabletop-players will want to play it with their table-top playing friends.

I don't know about the casual player/programmer;

I suppose the best marketing would be to have people buy the engine, make their dungeon, and have their friends play it in a free client,

making them familiar enough with it to sell to them if they 'd be interested in something like this, casual players/programmers could be reached this way,

but you 'd need a pretty good sell-rate(ratio of buyers/people who know your game) to keep this spreading.

 

1. Yes, very easily. Everything that can be done through the API can also be done through a GUI

 

2. I considered having the DM tools paid for and the client free, or like $5 for a DM kit and $5 for the client (so players pay $5 and DM's pay $10) or something along those lines, or even having a set which includes a DM kit and 4 player licenses. 5 players are in a game at a time, one DM and 4 others. You can play a game so long as you have at least 2 people, but in my experience I find it most entertaining when you have at least two players. Ideally with a game like this you'll have a community build around it so people can find others through forums etc. though an integrated system to find other players is definitely something to think about. Thank you.

 

 

A multi-player rpg engine with visual DM'ing tools. 

 

do you plan to include a world, or just the DM'ing tools, and the engine to run the content created thereby?

 

also, what about the DM? once they build they world, just others are supposed to play it? or are they [the DM] supposed to join the party of adventurers as a PC? 

 

i suppose with sufficient randomness the DM could play in their own world without knowing what would happen next. i always try to design my games that way.

 

FYI: i first got into tabletop RPG's about 36 years ago, before the PC was even invented. they've been a strong influence on the way i design games. My current project is a randomly generated persistent open world paleolithic FPS/RPG/person sim (a caveman simulator), that works almost entirely using random encounters. NPC's at shelters are the only "hard coded" encounters. Well, animals in caverns are sort of hard coded, like a dungeon that repopulates...

 

I will include a sample campaign which takes about 30-45 minutes to play through with a few different endings as well as a wide variety of textures and sounds and pre-made characters and objects for people to use in their campaigns. The DM actually has control over their campaign as it's happening. There is a "toolbox" which the DM uses to switch things up at points in time in game. These can be things like setting traps, spawning NPC's, locking or unlocking doors (or otherwise changing a game objects state). A DM could make a campaign that is completely functioning on it's own with no intervention but he can always make each play through unique.

 

 

Sounds neat. If it's enjoyable with only two people playing in the same room, it would be something I'd considering buying - depending on the quality of the content and gameplay among other things.

 

Also sounds like you could have an online Campaign store (with free and commercial campaigns), and take a small cut, as well as have your own professionally-made high-quality campaigns available, for continuing sources of revenue.

 

I would say at least 3 people are necessary (one DM and two players) because of the dynamic two players working together (or against eachother) create in an RPG. However, two players could play in a campaign one of them made or that they downloaded from someone else, a DM isn't necessary but it is a fairly big part for this genre of game. A campaign store is a great idea! I imagined people sharing their creations on forums and such but the idea to have a store didn't come to me. It could also be used for graphics and sounds as well.

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Norman Barrows    7179


The DM actually has control over their campaign as it's happening. There is a "toolbox" which the DM uses to switch things up at points in time in game. These can be things like setting traps, spawning NPC's, locking or unlocking doors (or otherwise changing a game objects state). A DM could make a campaign that is completely functioning on it's own with no intervention but he can always make each play through unique.

 

so its an rpg engine, with visual dm tools, and a referee (ref) or gamemaster (GM) version/mode that lets the DM take on the role of ref/GM as well?   that's a new one. i LIKE it! a live ref makes all the difference.

 

45 minutes of example gameplay level isn't much though, even if you do provide lots of content for making custom games/levels/adventures/dungeon modules.if the product was marketed primarily as a game building "tool" for gamedevs, yes. as an rpg building "toy" for players, its not a lot of pre-packaged gameplay included.

 

note that by tool and toy i mean used for profit/work vs entertainment. 

 

one thing i notice though, the whole concept will need DMs to drive it all. no DM's = no dungeons = no players = no sales!

 

like MS trying to get gamedev's to develop for windows. you'll want to make its as easy as possible for DMs to get and use your product. 

 

perhaps make the DM tools and GM version free, and charge for the player's version.

 

hmm...   what to sell and what to give away may be difficult to figure out.  monetize? is that the term? how to make money from it?

 

if it was a rpg engine, visual DM tools, a GM version, and a decent sized example rpg game (20+ hours of playing times to completion), you could just sell it all, or "unbundle".

 

without significant gameplay included, it becomes less of a game, and more of a game making tool. monetize-ation becomes less clear cut.

 

 


A campaign store is a great idea! I imagined people sharing their creations on forums and such but the idea to have a store didn't come to me. It could also be used for graphics and sounds as well.

 

this may be a way to monetize. give it all away, but get a piece of the action from every bit of content (yours or user's) sold through the store. and make it so content can only be exchanged though the store. but "store only" may be too harsh a restriction.

 

the other possibility is that a limited 45 minute playable demo level may be sufficient to sell it as one big package. perhaps give away the player's version, and sell the rest as a package. anyone could play in a paying user's game. but you have to buy the game "devkit"  to make your own worlds. but that still doesn't strike me as a no-brainer sure thing way to monetize. smacks of chicken and egg. someone has to step up and plunk down $ to get the tools to build a game. unless they're like me and enjoy DM'ing and GM'ing almost as much / more than playing, there won't be much to appeal to them. the tools will be attractive to DMs for sure. but not until there are REAL dungeons make by users available for DL, will it have that much appeal to players who don't know a DM with the devkit.

 

perhaps sell the devkit and give away the player's version. and encourage free sharing of content between users as well as sell content online. the result would be a rpg + devkit system with a free players version and free content (a free game) that you sold the proprietary dev tools for.

 

lots of things to decide about who can/should sell what to whom.

 

actually, the monetization sounds like the hardest part of the whole thing. i've done grand scale rpg's before (dungeon, wilderness, and town adventure, castle construction, siege, and army combat where the player's party is just one hero unit in the combat). while BIG, they're not really that complex.

 

you may want to consider shipping a bigger game with the system so its more appealing to players as well as DMs (get EVERYBODY'S dollars <g>)..

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The DM actually has control over their campaign as it's happening. There is a "toolbox" which the DM uses to switch things up at points in time in game. These can be things like setting traps, spawning NPC's, locking or unlocking doors (or otherwise changing a game objects state). A DM could make a campaign that is completely functioning on it's own with no intervention but he can always make each play through unique.

 

so its an rpg engine, with visual dm tools, and a referee (ref) or gamemaster (GM) version/mode that lets the DM take on the role of ref/GM as well?   that's a new one. i LIKE it! a live ref makes all the difference.

 

45 minutes of example gameplay level isn't much though, even if you do provide lots of content for making custom games/levels/adventures/dungeon modules.if the product was marketed primarily as a game building "tool" for gamedevs, yes. as an rpg building "toy" for players, its not a lot of pre-packaged gameplay included.

 

note that by tool and toy i mean used for profit/work vs entertainment. 

 

one thing i notice though, the whole concept will need DMs to drive it all. no DM's = no dungeons = no players = no sales!

 

like MS trying to get gamedev's to develop for windows. you'll want to make its as easy as possible for DMs to get and use your product. 

 

perhaps make the DM tools and GM version free, and charge for the player's version.

 

hmm...   what to sell and what to give away may be difficult to figure out.  monetize? is that the term? how to make money from it?

 

if it was a rpg engine, visual DM tools, a GM version, and a decent sized example rpg game (20+ hours of playing times to completion), you could just sell it all, or "unbundle".

 

without significant gameplay included, it becomes less of a game, and more of a game making tool. monetize-ation becomes less clear cut.

 

 

 

 


A campaign store is a great idea! I imagined people sharing their creations on forums and such but the idea to have a store didn't come to me. It could also be used for graphics and sounds as well.
 

 

this may be a way to monetize. give it all away, but get a piece of the action from every bit of content (yours or user's) sold through the store. and make it so content can only be exchanged though the store. but "store only" may be too harsh a restriction.

 

the other possibility is that a limited 45 minute playable demo level may be sufficient to sell it as one big package. perhaps give away the player's version, and sell the rest as a package. anyone could play in a paying user's game. but you have to buy the game "devkit"  to make your own worlds. but that still doesn't strike me as a no-brainer sure thing way to monetize. smacks of chicken and egg. someone has to step up and plunk down $ to get the tools to build a game. unless they're like me and enjoy DM'ing and GM'ing almost as much / more than playing, there won't be much to appeal to them. the tools will be attractive to DMs for sure. but not until there are REAL dungeons make by users available for DL, will it have that much appeal to players who don't know a DM with the devkit.

 

perhaps sell the devkit and give away the player's version. and encourage free sharing of content between users as well as sell content online. the result would be a rpg + devkit system with a free players version and free content (a free game) that you sold the proprietary dev tools for.

 

lots of things to decide about who can/should sell what to whom.

 

actually, the monetization sounds like the hardest part of the whole thing. i've done grand scale rpg's before (dungeon, wilderness, and town adventure, castle construction, siege, and army combat where the player's party is just one hero unit in the combat). while BIG, they're not really that complex.

 

you may want to consider shipping a bigger game with the system so its more appealing to players as well as DMs (get EVERYBODY'S dollars <g>)..

 

Thanks for the ideas. A larger campaign to ship with would definitely be beneficial. I've actually had the idea to have a few game dev friends use the devkit to build a larger scale campaign and they're working on it now which is helping me improve the devkit as well as get some content out of it. I'll have to continue thinking about monetization to find a business model that works well.

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Norman Barrows    7179


I've actually had the idea to have a few game dev friends use the devkit to build a larger scale campaign and they're working on it now which is helping me improve the devkit as well as get some content out of it.

 

definitely use them to test / improve the tools and create content as well. kill two birds with one stone. perhaps have each one create their own unique campaign and include them all in the release.

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powerneg    2010

As i see it, the competition are a bunch of triple-A titles that have included a level-editor to add some more content to the game they 're already selling, which are going to be very hard to beat.
One option could be to do it like some programming tools do: give away both the cliënt/play-version and editor/create-version, but restict the editor, it can only create editable games and not restricted games unless they pay for the editor.

 

to be a bit more clear about what i meant when i wrote restricted : many many years ago there was a programming language called Basic in which you could freely create programmes, but you always needed the editor to make them work, there was also a programme that could convert the programme into an exe-version that that could work on itself and could not be edited.

I believe adobe acrobat reader has a comparable system.

You 'd have to fill in a few things yourself on what restricted could mean for your game.

It would be a thin line to make money on and people would have to host the games they made on their own servers/computers.

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Meatsack    1032

I can only think of the retail model for comparison.

 

I think that the GM and Client software should be freeware and come with a starter demo adventure. (Rope them in!)

More adventures could be sold separately as modules that are activated within the GM's software. (Bought on the GM's account. Not the players.)

The Dev kit could be sold independently of the GM ware for people to make their own complete modules. (Modules still altered on the fly by the GM during play.)

Adventures made by indies using the Dev kit could be sold or given away as the dev sees fit.

If there is a central storefront for the indie adventures, you could set up a license agreement a-la Unity to share profits.

Other sales could come from expansion resource packs for the Dev kits.

 

Personally, I've had this idea since 2000 but never acted on it.  I'm so glad to see someone with the same idea making this a reality!

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