• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

the game's setting limits what there is to do in the world

This topic is 961 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

problem: the game's setting limits what there is to do in the world.

 

gametype: rpg.

setting: paleolithic (stone age)

graphics: 3d.   1st person and 3rd person views.

realism: very high / flight simulator level.

quests: both hard coded and generated. all quests are optional.

 

so i'm working on the new version of caveman, which is a proven seller.

 

my problem is that the paleolithic setting tends to limit what you can do in the game.  its especially a concern at high level.

 

examples:

1. original tabletop dungeons and dragons: at high level, you could build a castle, clear the countryside, attract settlers, charge taxes, raise an army, attack other settlements, even conquer the whole game world. the player and their party could even join the army in a battle. this added a number of cool things to the game: construction gameplay building custom castles, management gameplay running your "kingdom", plus strategic gameplay with the army battles.

 

2. skyrim: (this is sort of an anti-example) since elder scrolls arena was originally conceived as an arena combat game with D&D characters, it never included the rules from the second half of book 3 of the original D&D rules: castle construction etc. as a result, in skyrim all you can do is buy up every house and horse in the game, but that's it (talking vanilla here - no mods). you can't build your own castle, found a town, become jarl, or king/queen. you can defeat the dragons, the dragon cult, the vampires, be a thane of 9 holds, be the archmage and the harbinger of the companions, yet you're still relegated to the life of nothing more than a very rich private citizen.

 

in caveman, i'm worried about things to do when your're high level.  the game models resource depletion - so there will be a continual need from time to time to explore and relocate to greener pastures.   skills get rusty over time, so there will be a need to buff those up from time to time as well. at high level, you can make alliances with nearby bands and call on them to aid in attacking hostile bands.   mini-games, althing type gatherings of many bands at once, and high level quests with high level monsters are also planned.

 

i've been looking for more things to do at high level, but am finding most of the usual tricks are really just contrived BS not suitable for a simulation game with an emphasis on realism. 

 

examples: 

1. loot at the top of mountains, under rocks, at the bottoms of lakes, etc as contrived unrealistic rewards for exploration.

2. BS fetch quests

 

so, in keeping with the "is it realistic for a paleolithic setting?" criteria, is there anything more i can add to do at high level?

 

paleo means no agriculture, and no domestication of animals - except dire wolf. and no magic, and no techno, and no gunpowder weapons. and no permanent settlements or structures. about the biggest thing they built back then was a teepee style hut. 

 

the game is a proven seller. but in the previous version it also allowed domestication of any animal and custom shelter construction (a la the sims build mode). both of those have been removed as unrealistic.

 

a quest/campaign editor is also planned to create the hard coded quests/campaigns. it will be included with the game, allowing the player to create their own hard coded quests and campaigns.   

 

any ideas / suggestions?      

Edited by Norman Barrows

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

So you want an ultra realistic simulation of living in paleolithic times, with RPG levels and new abilities that get unlocked over time. I wonder if the goal of ultra realism might conflict a bit with the goal of getting high level rpg abilities. You might want to either drop the idea of doing different things at higher levels and focus on it as a survival game, or drop a little realism to make the game funner. 

 

You could also look to primitive technology, improving your ability to make spears or a bow and arrow as you level up your crafting. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh, this looks grim indeed... Do you have an option to change it from RPG to a simulation? Or to a strategy/tribe management? Like "migrate your tribe to a new land escaping the upcoming ice age"?

 

Some thoughts:

- in the fantasy (medieval times) it was about knights, dragons, princesses, treasures, evil wizards

- in caveman times it was about food. Everything was about food and surviving the winter. There was also no accumulation of wealth (food rots) and therefore social structure was simple (you could have as many women as you could feed during winter, so not many, therefore even fighting for women didn't make much sense; also exclusion from the tribe meant in practice a death sentence). Food was the bootleneck, all the time, everything else was secondary.

 

I recall I have played a decent caveman RPG (it was a very short jRPG on SNES, don't remember the name). The trick they used was an adventure, your cavewoman was kidnapped so you were exploring and fighting to track her. Also it was humorous and not so realistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Painting caves, pottery, and/or tent walls sounds fun and also something like carving moai heads or totem poles?  Crafting clothing and jewelry were also popular hobbies in that kind of culture, along with hair styles.  Also, while not usually thought of as a domesticated animal, fish were semi-domesticated in some paleolithic cultures.  Basically they made a weir of woven branches across a stream or the mouth of a small pond to keep the fish in, and fed the fish all their food trash (similar to pigs later).  Then whenever they wanted a fish they could just take one out.

 

Rituals and parties are the other main thing that strike me as interesting upper-level and end-game play.  You'd have to create a religion or something for the rituals, while parties would mostly be food, alcohol if you can brew it, and musical instruments.

 

If you've never read Jean M. Auel's series about cave people, it would probably be inspiring.

Edited by sunandshadow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could make higher level action connected to leadership and tribes-men.

 

From the little history i know of the early era of mankind(pre-neolithic), the earliest humans weren't anything close to civilized. No, or very little language, no culture to speak of. They tended to die when they were quite young usually maybe mid-to-late-teens. The only thing that exist from that era is small collections of bones, most likely collected by their children. Most probably knew their parents for a handful of years, so by the time most were maybe 5-7 years old, their parents were both dead. A fairly grim time to live.

 

In the earliest era, tribes hadn't been developed yet. It was generally small families - based on the bones they've found. So humanity was desperate near-starving children roaming around aimlessly alone, or in small family groups.

 

If you focused on this sort of era, it would reduce your need for assets and introduce maybe the "next step" in human social evolution - groups/tribes which was how we moved out of the very early era of our development. Once you had enough resources to keep yourself alive - which would could be a rather hard task given there is no social structure whatsoever - you could spare resources for friends/followers. With enough resources and skills (higher levels in the game) you could start to develop a small village and hunting parties to take down larger animals, which would become a necessity in order to keep a tribe alive.

 

Historically, this era is really difficult to research since the only thing left over from it is little piles of bones, so there's very little written about it - but i think it would be a really interesting setting for a game. Humans existed this way for 1000s of years before civilization took hold through co-opperation.

Edited by SirWeeble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


aleo means no agriculture, and no domestication of animals - except dire wolf. and no magic, and no techno, and no gunpowder weapons. and no permanent settlements or structures. about the biggest thing they built back then was a teepee style hut.

the game is a proven seller. but in the previous version it also allowed domestication of any animal and custom shelter construction (a la the sims build mode). both of those have been removed as unrealistic.

a quest/campaign editor is also planned to create the hard coded quests/campaigns. it will be included with the game, allowing the player to create their own hard coded quests and campaigns.

If you want to expand on the idea you should at least move away from the only-known realism. Compared to other ages there's not a lot we know about this time and it is unlikely that they only lived the way we know.

 

Here are some ideas:

1. Take a look at the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, does your game reflect all these needs in your setting,

2. Look a native people still living mostly isolated today. How do or did these people live, what kind of culture have the developed.

3. There was most likely some kind of social structure, does your game reflect this.

4. Is it unlikely, that they have some kind of cult, at least a death cult ?

5. Are all groups of cavemens enemies ? What if a group get too large and split up. Maybe some basic trading with befriended groups.

6. There are most likely items of value, some figurines (wood) or stones, bones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe start with what fascinates you in the era? Why would you want to live in that period? What was better then? What was lost today and was then in aboundance?

Then make a game around these things.

 

For example in medieval period one could say: "It was cool to be a knight, moving around, duelling, having an own castle and slaying those annoying peasants that didn't pay me respect".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should maximise on what was fun about the first game. Don't take any of those elements out and try to apply those mechanics to new situations or introduce some more mechanics that will create new dynamics around what people enjoyed about the first one.

 

I know that I didn't give any direct suggestions but I just say this to see if I can help you find some inspiration based on what made the first Caveman game so successful :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


with RPG levels and new abilities that get unlocked over time.

 

no "levels" per se.   the game tends to follow more of the traveller than the D&D model in that respect.   there are stats like strength, intelligence, etc, and then there are about 40 different skills. and no classes.   exp is tracked separately for each skill. exp in a skill affects the outcome of actions related to the skill. the amount of experience in a skill for a given amount of "bonus" increases exponentially.  the formula used is: bonus = sqrt ( exp / exp_required_for_a_bonus_of_1 )   so if 1000 one hand attack exp gets you a "plus one" bonus in one hand attack skill, you need 4000 one hand attack exp to get a bonus of 2.   not all actions use bonuses, some use exp, or require minimum exp. while the game displays a bonus stat along with the exp for each skill, its more of a general indicator of how good you are - similar to a level number.

 

there are no new abilities that get unlocked over time, only actions that require some minimum amount of exp in some skill(s) to have a decent chance of succeeding - but you can try anyway - and still have a very small chance of success.

 

exp is earned by doing actions related to some skill. you an also learn skills on your own to get exp, or learn from others to get exp, or teach others to increase their exp.

skills go down slowly over time - modeling you getting rusty and out of practice.

 


You might want to either drop the idea of doing different things at higher levels and focus on it as a survival game

 

all the survival stuff is already in there. gameplay wise, the whole thing is largely done. more quest gens, quest editor, the high level stuff i mentioned in OP. a couple new NPC interactions (ask directions, trade maps, etc) - thats about it.  

 


or drop a little realism to make the game funner.

 

simulaltion realism is a strong selling point of this version, so i'd like to not dilute the vision if at all possible.   IE gameplay realism is probably the core aesthetic of the game.

 


You could also look to primitive technology, improving your ability to make spears or a bow and arrow as you level up your crafting. 

 

all that's already in there. 65 kinds of weapons enough for you? <g>.  skyrim only has 10 or so (dagger, sword, mace, axe, greatsword, battleaxe, warhammer, box, xbow, and woodcutter's axe - did i forget any?)

Share this post


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

  • Advertisement