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Meaglyar

First/Third person shooter in European medieval fantasy setting

19 posts in this topic

I'm a sucker for gunplay, and while I appreciate a good melee system (there are not many), guns have a unique attitude that I find cannot be matched by any other traditional weaponry. 

 

The idea came to me of mixing in gunplay in a non-traditional setting such as medieval europe, or any other similar fantasy setting, when I was playing Skyrim the other day (a game plagued by horrible combat) with a mod that adds dwemer firearms. Suddenly I felt like I was legitimately enjoying the combat, and it clicked for me what a unique combination of visual design and gameplay it was that elicited such a reaction.

 

I love the forested, rustic, generic fantasy setting. I think it's one of the best settings for inspiring that sense of exploration and comfort. In a video game that is heavily focused on combat, being able to defend yourself is going to be a large driving force for that exploration. No personal weapon is better at defense than the modern firearm. The game would still have to be challenging, of course, but just the psychological effect of carrying a firearm I think provides an interesting gameplay experience. This, coupled with a non-traditional fantasy setting, will likely give way to some pretty interesting emergent gameplay.

 

The weapons would be written into the game logically, so that they feel old and primitive, but still effective in their use. They'd have a sort of 11th-13th century aesthetic vibe. Large, clunky, wood and metal contraptions.

 

I think guns are unique in that they give the player a sense of security, that the player doesn't have to rely on physical prowess in order to defeat an enemy. This will produce a psychological effect in the player which carries over into the gameplay style. Not to mention, guns are far easier to structurize a combat system around from a developers perspective.

 

My intention with this idea, also, was not to just have something like in Fable 2 & 3, where guns are just a small part of the game world, but to instead have firearms be a huge focus. Firearms have revolutionized warfare in the modern era. Just imagine the effect they'd have a thousand years ago! In this idea, the whole world would be essentially centered around firearms, but as if from a medieval perspective.

 

Does this sound like a plausible idea for a shooter, and do you think it would work?

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I think running around with a single-shot musket could get very boring very quickly and end up with me charging with my bayonet. Don't you think?

 

Also, I tend to prefer melee in systems such as Mount&Blade or War of the Roses. These work great.

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I think running around with a single-shot musket could get very boring very quickly

 

I would agree, but there are more options than just having a single shot.

 

Personally, I would enjoy hearing a bit more of your idea before weighting in.

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I think running around with a single-shot musket could get very boring very quickly and end up with me charging with my bayonet. Don't you think?

 

Also, I tend to prefer melee in systems such as Mount&Blade or War of the Roses. These work great.

Actually, I was thinking it'd be a bit more stylized than just single-shot muskets. Like a crude fully-automatic firearm device but with a medieval aesthetic. 

Since the firearms would be such a large focus of the game, I'm also thinking that upgrading/customization would be a fairly large portion of gameplay as well. I envision an entire medieval society obsessed with this firearm culture, as I'd imagine them being a thousand years ago or so.

 

As for the melee portion, as I envision it the game would probably have something more simplistic but functional, but again with the main focus being on gunplay. It would likely not be as intricate as something in M&B. Something more in tune with a dedicated melee button, perhaps a secondary melee weapon as backup.

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I think running around with a single-shot musket could get very boring very quickly and end up with me charging with my bayonet. Don't you think?


I second that.

The closest would be maybe dishonored. Even though we are a few centuries later, Corvo stil have a one shot weapon.And it felt really good. More like a shotgun than a pistol, but it was the kind of gun I'd use very rarely. And it was ok because they were a whole lot of option beside using our gun. But if I had to do the whole game with the gun only, I think it would quickly become tiring. The reload time would become frustrating because it would break the flow of the game.

But I just re-read your post, and you propose to have modern firearm (or at least decent) in term of efficacity, and a medieval looks?

This is not a bad idea, because if you go with the old arquebuse, I guess you would miss something like 90% if your shot if you are not at very close range, and that would'nt be very fun to play (my numbers are not accurate, but you get the idea smile.png )

In the other hand, if you introduce modern firearm, the whole world would have to adapt, and many medieval things would become obsolete (armor? close combat weapon longer than a knife? bow?)

But, the idea itself is interesting, it would be nice to have guns but not a steam-punk universe, for a change. It could be more like warhammer 40k. They have spaceship, gatling power sword, and other futuristic things but the feeling is more medieval than futuristic. So, for the good of the game and the rule of cool, I think you can dismiss some physics laws biggrin.png 

 

Glad you like the idea! 

 

Indeed, you'd have to take things into account like armor and all that. Personally, I love the 11th-12th century setting, which was generally before plate armor came into existence. Perhaps there could be some medieval equivalent to modern ballistic vests? I think all of this would look really interesting from a visual design perspective, and even more so it would look unique.

 

You could tell a story on its own just through the visual design. A society that was reliant on the old ways of combat (swords, axes, shields) suddenly and drastically changing to adapt to the invention of the firearm. Discarding of old and useless material like armor and shields and reshaping the way fortresses are built to account for this new method of warfare. Perhaps there would be cults of traditionalist fundamentalists that condemned the firearm as being the work of the devil or something? I think there's a lot of interesting things you could do with this setting.

Edited by Meaglyar
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This is a really interesting topic.  After thinking on it a bit I found this beauty:

 

[attachment=22874:percussion.png]

 

A Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver.  HowStuffWorks says:



The percussion cap was made possible by the discovery of a chemical compound called mercuric fulminate or fulminate of mercury. Its chemical formula is Hg(ONC)2 – it is made from mercury, nitric acid and alcohol.

Mercuric fulminate is extremely explosive, and it is shock sensitive. A sharp blow, or even too much finger pressure, can cause it to detonate. By putting a small amount of mercuric fulminate in a pre-made cap (a tiny cup about the size of a pencil eraser) and affixing the cap to a nipple and tube leading into the barrel, the cap can ignite the gunpowder in the barrel.

 

I think technology of this sort could be shoehorned into a fantasy setting (add in some Alchemy and some improvements for repeated fire) fairly easily.  Plus it already looks a little like Dwemer tech!

 

As far as ballistic armor goes, I'd use brick walls, but I'm not the bravest soul.

 

 

 

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Woah, semi-auto?

I think, if you'd like to be on-theme, you'd need to be scared about blowing yourself up. A single shot was already dangerous, imagine a semi-auto rifle or chaingun...

 

That being said, would your enemies also be granted that kind of firepower? Otherwise, it would feel like a zombie apocalypse (ranged vs melee) but in a medieval setting, which somehow isn't so strange afterall (awkwardly).

Well, there'd probably be some liberties taken with the design. Maybe some master engineer designed a firearm that was capable of semi-auto fire in an efficient manner, similar to modern weapons? It would have some setbacks though, like maybe it overheats, can only fire very high caliber rounds, or are very hard to control? 

 

As I envision it, the majority of people would have access to this technology. However, there would still be remnants of the past, so you might see the occasional enemy try to rush at you with a melee weapon or something. I suppose this could open up an interesting gameplay opportunity where the player character is vulnerable to melee damage since you're potentially not wearing armor, and the primitiveness of the weapons could make it hard to get to a rushing enemy in time.

 

I was also thinking something on par with the draugr dungeons in Skyrim, where you'd have otherworldly foes that maybe didn't use traditional weapons at all. Maybe some more organic enemies that spit acid or spikes on you or something. Kind of like a sci-fi/fantasy mix. Doesn't that sound cool?

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Kind of like a sci-fi/fantasy mix. Doesn't that sound cool?

 

Yes it does.  Yes, indeed.  That's the kind of mix I love.  I'm even going to throw out the "D" word... Dune

 

I think anything is possible as long as it stays consistent with the setting and feel.  It makes no sense to me to complain about the possibility of having a repeating firearm when you're using it to shoot dragons.

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This is a really interesting topic.  After thinking on it a bit I found this beauty:

 

attachicon.gifpercussion.png

 

A Colt Third Model Dragoon Percussion Revolver.  HowStuffWorks says:



The percussion cap was made possible by the discovery of a chemical compound called mercuric fulminate or fulminate of mercury. Its chemical formula is Hg(ONC)2 – it is made from mercury, nitric acid and alcohol.

Mercuric fulminate is extremely explosive, and it is shock sensitive. A sharp blow, or even too much finger pressure, can cause it to detonate. By putting a small amount of mercuric fulminate in a pre-made cap (a tiny cup about the size of a pencil eraser) and affixing the cap to a nipple and tube leading into the barrel, the cap can ignite the gunpowder in the barrel.

 

I think technology of this sort could be shoehorned into a fantasy setting (add in some Alchemy and some improvements for repeated fire) fairly easily.  Plus it already looks a little like Dwemer tech!

 

As far as ballistic armor goes, I'd use brick walls, but I'm not the bravest soul.

Precisely! After all, all types of technological advancements are just waiting to be created. In the game narrative you'd just have to make this particular discovery happen a couple hundred years earlier, or so, and envision how that would affect the world at the time.

 

I think alchemy would be a very cool addition, perhaps giving the ability to create specialized ammunition as well? 

Perhaps there's a magical theme too, which can be combined with alchemy to create magical ammunition? I don't know, there's a lot of cool liberties to take with fantasy settings, and we haven't really seen the fantasy-firearm angle done interestingly yet. I guess Fable 2 and 3 sort of tried, but it fell a bit flat to me.

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I really like this idea--I think that it could be a lot of fun! On top of that, the introduction of powerful, automatic firearms to that sort of society could make for some very interesting setting elements, I imagine (presuming that you're planning on having much story, of course).

 

Would magic be present in the system? I could see it as either an alternative wielded by certain enemies, or a supplement, providing additional firepower, greater reliability, or improvements outside of the reach of the engineering of the time.

 

Running with the idea, and given that societal fascination with firearms that you describe, you could come up with some very interesting ideas: man-portable gattling guns that run on intricate clockwork; great big steam-powered cannons; a firearm-powered grappling hook; etc.

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I really like this idea--I think that it could be a lot of fun! On top of that, the introduction of powerful, automatic firearms to that sort of society could make for some very interesting setting elements, I imagine (presuming that you're planning on having much story, of course).

 

Would magic be present in the system? I could see it as either an alternative wielded by certain enemies, or a supplement, providing additional firepower, greater reliability, or improvements outside of the reach of the engineering of the time.

 

Running with the idea, and given that societal fascination with firearms that you describe, you could come up with some very interesting ideas: man-portable gattling guns that run on intricate clockwork; great big steam-powered cannons; a firearm-powered grappling hook; etc.

I do envision a large storytelling aspect to this game, the majority of which manifesting through the visual design. I want a world that really feels like it's got an identity that's being challenged by this great new invention. Lots of cool lore attributed mostly to the introduction of firearms technology to the populace.

 

I'm toying a bit with the idea of having magic as well. Seeing as how it's a fantasy setting it could probably be done fairly easily. Since there's already firearms, I think the magic approach would have to be fairly limited so as to not "overshadow" the guns. To make it something more arcane than say, Elder Scrolls, where just about anyone can be a magic wielder. Something limited to, perhaps, a few underground cults and high-ranking officials. Something highly sophisticated and limited in it's usage, though extremely powerful. 

 

I don't want to incorporate too many elements, as by doing that you have a tendency to make the design feel cluttered and unfocused, but there's probably some really neat stuff you could do with a magic infusion as well.

 

I like those ideas! I love those really primitive designs, and you never see them being explored much in settings this far back! It's usually 1800's-esque steampunk types of designs, never really 11th century chainmail society.

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Perhaps there's a magical theme too, which can be combined with alchemy to create magical ammunition?

 

A friend of mine created a tabletop RPG called Deadlands, a sort of mystical/magical Wild West with monsters.  He made up this stuff called ghost rock:

 

"...a mineral that burns hotter and longer than coal and is used as the basis for most Deadlands technology as well as alchemical potions and semi-magical materials."

 

 

You need to invent your own ghost rock or Spice (more Dune) or McGuffin of your choice and -- Viola! -- magical fantasy Uzis!

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Perhaps there's a magical theme too, which can be combined with alchemy to create magical ammunition?

 

A friend of mine created a tabletop RPG called Deadlands, a sort of mystical/magical Wild West with monsters.  He made up this stuff called ghost rock:

 

"...a mineral that burns hotter and longer than coal and is used as the basis for most Deadlands technology as well as alchemical potions and semi-magical materials."

 

 

You need to invent your own ghost rock or Spice (more Dune) or McGuffin of your choice and -- Viola! -- magical fantasy Uzis!

 

Haha, yes. I figure along the way there'd probably need to be some sort of McGuffin like that, though I'd like it better if all the designs were functional first and foremost as a result of high-end engineering. (high-end for the time) As if human progress was sped up to account for an earlier invention of the firearm.

 

I'm talking about gigantic fully-automatic shotguns with a luger-like cycling mechanism or something. Ca-chunk!

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Not exactly on-theme, but System Shock II did that brilliantly btw. Very Ranged vs Melee, and to be bluntly honest, your weapons started by sucking real bad. Should given an idea of how 'frail' the player would feel.

Of course, the medieval outdoor type of encounter makes that a lot more exciting too, though sometimes its fun to keep it indoors and play on 'fear'. The advantage of guns is range, whereas an enclosed area limits this advantage a lot...

 



The percussion cap was made possible by the discovery of a chemical compound called mercuric fulminate or fulminate of mercury. Its chemical formula is Hg(ONC)2 – it is made from mercury, nitric acid and alcohol.
Mercuric fulminate is extremely explosive, and it is shock sensitive. A sharp blow, or even too much finger pressure, can cause it to detonate. By putting a small amount of mercuric fulminate in a pre-made cap (a tiny cup about the size of a pencil eraser) and affixing the cap to a nipple and tube leading into the barrel, the cap can ignite the gunpowder in the barrel.

That is coherent with my vision of the era. If there was any such a thing as a semi-auto in these times, it would probably blow nearly as much shooters as targets, but would still be used to instill fear (alchemy was a potent source of fear).

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If there was any such a thing as a semi-auto in these times, it would probably blow nearly as much shooters as targets,

 

That would be one of the games unique selling points!  "Shoot away... just let me get behind these trees, soldier."

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I saw the words shooter and medieval and I immediately thought about Ash from Army of Darkness. Army of Darkness video game anyone? It would be just like Duke Nukem with all of the witty one-liners only instead of shooting at aliens it would be demons and stuff. I don't know about you, but I would play the crap out of that game.

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I guess to have this mixture of medieval fantasy and shooter you'd likely need it to go one of two ways:

  1. Guns are rapidly pushing out the old ways. Which is kind of sad in a way because your world wouldn't stay that pretty mixture for long. In the real world it was a slower process because the progress of gun technology was slower. Semi-auto and high velocity stops swords and armour being an option.
  2. There is still somewhat of a balance. For example, run-of-the-mill troops in leather or chain are screwed, the top warriors in plate armour still have a chance. Perhaps you need special large caliber manually-loaded weapons to deal with knights. Or ammo is in limited supply (maybe not so fun). Or magic offers some kind of defense, so you need to be smart, catch them unaware.

I must confess that I do like the what-if scenarios, how such disparate technologies, creatures and cultures would interact. I seem to recall some book I read had machines and magic, but they were at odds with each other. Magic made machinery more likely to fail, and steel weakened magic. You could potentially combine them, but it required a bit of ingenuity because of such area effects.

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