Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Norman Barrows

rpg. high level gameplay. stone age setting.

This topic is 1002 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

so i've hit a real wall in the design for high level game play in Caveman 3.0.

 

gametype: single player RPG/person sim. 

setting: paleolithic with an emphasis on realism. stone age tech only. no magic.
graphics: 1pv/3pv 3D graphics.
 

in summary:

 
looks like high level quests is the only available solution for "what to do when you're high level". the classic D&D solution of "build a castle - raise an army - conquer the world" doesn't really work well with stone age tech and low pop densities in the game. all your band and followers disbursed one every 50 miles would only "conquer" 0.02% of the game world. and it gets you nothing extra.
 
but high level treasure from high level quests can lead to "nothing to spend you gold on".
 
"build a castle - raise an army - conquer the world" is a good money sink. but "build a castle - raise an army - conquer the world" doesn't really work for the reasons cited above.
 
another problem is exchange of goods. specifically high level treasure. you get a 200% quality flint axe from a high level quest. how can you convert that to flint arrows or trinkets to trade for arrows? only a rich band could afford to trade for such an item. the 20K gold sword and merch's only have 1K gold problem from Skyrim.
 
perhaps fame instead of treasure for high level quests? fame for skills might get you more training requests. fame for other things (including gifting competitions) seem to have little real game play effect. except perhaps fame for wealth, which might increase hostile raids.
 
so it would seem that believable money sinks are required to counter-balance high level treasure.  
 
perhaps god sacrifices to get relations above zero should be exorbitantly expensive? that way they could avoid disfavor as usual, but would need to sacrifice great wealth to get favorable relations and the associated bonuses. that's all i've come up with so far.
 
i've even considered neolithic tech as high level gameplay. but that just adds mudbrick and stone building materials, and farming, animal husbandry, mining, and smelting actions. no major money sinks there.
 
 
questions:
 
1. is there a way to make "build a castle - raise an army - conquer the world" work?  this could be the coolest solution, but is probably too unrealistic.
 
2. is there a believable solution to the "exchange of goods issue"? a trader encounter wouldn't have that much money, or he'd need a bunch of guards. OTOH, IRL supposedly whacking a trader got your band blacklisted and you'd get no more trader encounters. not a good thing.
 
3. is there a way to make fame work and have real believable effects in the game?
 
4. is there a way to make gifting competitions work and have real believable effects in the game?
 
5. what believable money sinks can i add to counter-balance high level quest treasure?
 
if i can just figure out a solution to "nothing to spend your gold on" at high level, i will have solved the last major design problem in the game, and can get on with grunt work implementation, testing, and balancing - and maybe finish this sucker some day.
 
to quote Leeloo: "Pleeaz help!"
Edited by Norman Barrows

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

How about, "Become a god?"  That seems like it would be the step above hero or shaman in stone age metaphysics.  Maybe each region of the game has an existing god or goddess, and you have to fight your way into the pantheon, then to the top of it.  It could be like "collect em all" boss battles.  And you would have to spend money to buy various god powers to beat some of the other gods.

Edited by sunandshadow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always liked the build an army/conquer the world approach to money sinks. The only examples I can really think of are Mount&Blade and a mod for X3 called Litcube's universe, with a mini-mod called "Mayhem" installed.

 

Mayhem/litcube's universe had an interesting approach where you basically ignore factional warfare until you get production up and running full scale (I guess bands of foragers in your case?) Once you reached that point, you'd buy ships (Soldiers) and send them to fight enemies (Where you can assist as well). Everything that's consumed needs to be replaced, so if you fire off 10 missiles (Arrows in  your case), you'd need to pay to re-arm them. Casualties etc need to be replaced as well, of course.

 

It gave a good incentive for a very late game goal to reach, where you'd think "Well, I WOULD take that sector, but I don't have the cash to do it safely yet", and that provided a hugely motivational goal to work towards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rather than literally becoming a God, the top goal could be to be remembered as a God. At the end of the game, you're told what becomes of you and your tribe. If you did a good job managing you tribe, they intermingle with other peoples and become part of a larger nation that survives into the future. If you did a great job managing the tribe, the tribe itself becomes the nation in the future. Maybe an exceptional performance sees your great-ancestors conquering the world instead of you.

 

If you achieved some fame, you're a minor hero from an ill-remembered myth. As you achieve more, you're remembered as a great mythical hero, then as the semi-divine child of a God and a mortal, all the way to being remembered as the founding God of some mythic pantheon.

 

The idea is that you stockpile treasure and fame so you get a better ending.

 

Along the same lines, fame could become the unit you use to hold together a loose knit neolithic empire. There's no bureaucracy and no fast travel, so you can conquer a tribe, but as soon as you leave they'll go back to life as normal. Instead you need to travel around, reasserting your dominance by either re-defeating peoples or providing gifts and solving problems for them, so they continue to acknowledge you as king. Your fame and renown dictate how quickly your authority deteriorates. If you complete a great quest or task, like shooting down 100 birds in a row without missing, that gets told by travelers throughout your realm, reasserting how awesome you are and that they should continue submitting to you. At a certain level of fame, your conquests will themselves conquer people further away, so that your empire expands beyond the borders you can yourself patrol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Caveman" times were first about survival.   Getting needed tools and having success in the present and preparing for the future.

 

Such also included learning new skills and tools and seeking out  the available resources.

 

Secondary, when the groups of people got larger (than a typical nomad family) then social issues of prestige (an politicing) and competition.  With larger groups came some limited specialization.

 

You say no magic, but things like Shamanism existed where people thought of things as magic and some individual got good at interacting with things as if they were magic.

Edited by wodinoneeye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Build a golden palace ?

The nice thing about gold is is that it is so shiny, so people value it highly just by looking at it.

Same thing for silver/diamonds etc.

These all being rare helped alot as well, but that probably became important in a late age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


How about, "Become a god?"

 

hmm.. gods are much more esoteric in this game - and much more powerful - as in "instantly flood the world and sweep everything away - game over."  powerful! <g>.

 

you can't talk to a god, or see a god, or touch them, or travel to their plane, or hit them with a weapon - none of that stuff.

 

however, you could become a "god among men" (and women) so to speak. what one might call a "hero" in a more typical RPG game (as in gods, demi-gods, and heros).

 

sort of a fame thing. but what kind of game play would it cause? challenges to your power? requests for aid? gifts from people? a loyal fan to follow you around like in oblivion?

requests for free  handouts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always liked the build an army/conquer the world approach to money sinks.

 

me too. i wish elder scrolls had them. 

 

but i just can't think of a way they could work in Caveman.

 

i was thinking of adding wood barricade objects you could build. i've built circles of huts and lean-to's to keep the wild animals and hostile cavemen out.  but conquering the world consists of whacking the dudes at the nearby shelter. you kill or run them all off. they abandon the hut/cave/rock shelter. you take it over, abandon it, or demolish it. move on to the next band. but as you go, other bands come in behind you and settle back in. bands constantly spawn and un-spawn everywhere in the world, sticking around for about 3 months on average. so you can only keep so much area cleared of other bands. and its not like you can collect taxes. just make allies, or kill / run off other bands.

 

but equipment could be a great money sink. 30 flint arrows each for 10 band members is 300 arrows you have to craft one at a time, with each arrow requiring three successful gather actions and three successful crafting actions, once you have the skills and tools. and you can easily lose one half to two thirds of your arrows in a combat, due to breakage. right now in the high level playtest game, i find myself depleting resources left and right just gathering the wood and reeds (for cordage) to make flint arrows, along with the fruit and nuts to feed the band while they do it.

 

paleolithic "castles" wouldn't be a big money sink though - wood palisades and ditches type stuff at best. easily crafted with wood, cordage, digging sticks, and labor.

Edited by Norman Barrows

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


the top goal could be to be remembered as a God. At the end of the game, you're told what becomes of you and your tribe.

 

its an open ended game, no specific top goal. no end of the game, not even death of your original character. like the sims, band (household) members may come and go, but as long as one is still alive, the game continues. and you can recruit new band members (up to 50 total now) at any time. if/when i add mating and offspring, this will allow you to run a band over multiple generations.

 


Along the same lines, fame could become the unit you use to hold together a loose knit neolithic empire. There's no bureaucracy and no fast travel, so you can conquer a tribe, but as soon as you leave they'll go back to life as normal. Instead you need to travel around, reasserting your dominance by either re-defeating peoples or providing gifts and solving problems for them, so they continue to acknowledge you as king. Your fame and renown dictate how quickly your authority deteriorates. If you complete a great quest or task, like shooting down 100 birds in a row without missing, that gets told by travelers throughout your realm, reasserting how awesome you are and that they should continue submitting to you. At a certain level of fame, your conquests will themselves conquer people further away, so that your empire expands beyond the borders you can yourself patrol.

 

i like the sound of this, but a lot of it is in there already.  you can gift other bands to get allies. and relations go down over time, requiring "re-gifting".  answering an ally's call for aid is a form of "solving problems for them".  doing quests for them might be another form of "solving problems for them" that could be added to the game (just added it to the todo list!). new hostile bands entering an area is similar to "re-defeating people", but you're re-conquering / re-cleaning out an area instead of a specific band. same basic idea.  relations between non-player bands are modeled to the extent that you can have one ally ask for aid in  raid on another band who is also your ally, forcing you to choose sides, but calls for aid aren't chained, such that "you call your ally, and they call their allies, and so on" (at least at the moment). as i recall there was a valid design reason for this, but i can't recall what it was. i'd have to check my design notes. as of yet, there's no "fame" in the game at all. so fame has no effect on these aspects of game play yet. but relations with other bands is a good candidate for the effects of fame. if i can think of enough good fame effects, i can add fame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Secondary, when the groups of people got larger (than a typical nomad family) then social issues of prestige (an politicing) and competition.

 

in-band rivalries (politics). yeah, another tough one. the human player controls all the band members, so i haven't really figured out how to address in-band rivalries. maybe with free will, like in the sims? but then you take control of the character away from the player to some extent. also, IRL, its seems that once a band got big enough for that, it simply split into two bands, IE the democrats and republicans would each go their own way. i find this to be a recurring them about paleolithic times: there's free land EVERYWHERE! so you don't have to deal with rivalries, or politics, or hostiles, or even kings. you can just move on, its safer and easier. basically, if anyone f's with you, you just say later days, beat feet, and get the f outta dodge - problem solved.

 

 

 


With larger groups came some limited specialization.

 

yes, ive been starting to experiment with that form of gameplay in the high level playtest game. i find it requires you to keep all your specialists together in one spot, so one can do the actions the others don't know how to. i also find it has its drawbacks, such as what if your specialist is sick, injured, asleep, or otherwise unavailable, and your need is urgent?

cordage is the only fastener technology in the game so far - i have yet to add pitch. so there's a big demand for cordage for everything. the two newest members of the high level band specialized in flint arrow skills and then ropemaking. i sent them out to where the reeds were to make cordage. they ran out of food and had no plantlore skills, and didn't know the difference between an acorn and nightshade! <g>. needless to say that left them in a bit of a lurch.  the same group killed a couple giant emu's for the hides so they cold make lean-to's to get out of the rain when it rained, then discovered none of them knew how to start a fire to cook the meat they got! and once they got the hides, they discovered none of them had the construction skills to make a lean-to! they could all make cordage, and most could make flint arrows, but when it came to gathering nuts, starting a fire, or pitching a tent, they were helpless! <g>.  previously, i put new band members through "band member bootcamp" and got them the plantlore, woodlore, stonelore, and woodworking skills required to gather any resource before putting them to work.

 

 


You say no magic, but things like Shamanism existed where people thought of things as magic and some individual got good at interacting with things as if they were magic.

 

so perhaps high experience in some combo of skills would allow shaman activities? i've been planning to do something with shamans, but not necessarily only at high level - perhaps as a skill. shamanism is something that seems like it ought to be in the game in some sort of form. but i almost picture it as a class, or a skill or set of skills (since there are no classes, just skills).

Edited by Norman Barrows

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!