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Ethnar

A new (?) take on online role playing games

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Hi all!

For the last few weeks I've been working on a game concept that I haven't really seen anywhere before - a real-time role playing game. The idea is to have a persistent game world where players control a character in almost a tamagotchi-like fashion. For that reason the game is made specially convenient for mobiles, but it works in any browser.

The aim of the design is for the players to interact with the game every few hours during the day, issue the orders to gather materials, craft items or travel the world. The commands are issued instantaneously, but it takes the character from a couple of minutes to a few hours to complete the task. The player needs to ensure that the character needs are being met - the need for sleep, food, taking care of wounds, having shelter and cope with the climate. There's a whole stat-based system put in place, where character gains skills and statistics that determine what they are able to do and how quickly.

To help with the longevity of the game there is perma-death with rather extreme angle - the characters grow old and will eventually die of all age. Starting a new character you get some options to customise it more using experience accumulated across all characters, but the skills and the statistics are basically re-set to base values.

I've set up a project page and a website that go into some detail on the game in its current shape right now (as well as providing the option to play it): https://soulforged.net/ & https://www.gamedev.net/projects/1259-soulforged/

 

There's a lot more that's in the game already and so much more that I'd like to add, but the number one question I ask myself - is this idea terrible or maybe it's just insane? I'd love to hear what other game devs and players think.

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Ethnar

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I originally posted in Game Design and Theory section of the forum, but for some reason one of the moderators seem to have moved it to Visual Arts feedback. As for visuals - I know they are far from stunning, they there atm only to strengthen the fantasy a bit.

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Hey Ethnar.  I had a chance to play your game.  I recorded it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N41AxZSXhlk&feature=youtu.be

Here are my thoughts:

- I love the art style

- The tutorial was very good.  It told me what I needed without being too intrusive

- There is a lot of un-used space on the screen (maybe just because I haven't explored the map)

- I'm not a big fan of the 20 minute wait timer.  There's a game similar to yours that I greatly enjoyed called Fallen London.  In their game they gave the player 10 "actions" per day.  After the player has used all their actions there is a 24 hour cooldown.  I think a system like this would work well for you game.  The 24 hour cool down worked for my schedule and made playing Fallen London a joy.


I think you've got a great game on your hands.  I look forward to how this evolves.

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Hmm... this concept as you described it reminds me of Merchant, a mobile game where you are managing heroes and sending them on adventures. Might check it out for ideas/inspiration.

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@jbarrios

Thank you very much for checking out the game and the feedback!

As for the empty space - map is zoomable, but also - yes, the map is much, much bigger than the initial starting area. I might adjust the default zoom level depending on resolution, I think you're raising a good point there for an improvement on first impressions, thanks!

I'll totally check out Fallen London and how they've done things, thanks a lot for bringing it to my attention! I keep looking for ways to make interacting with the game more seamless, where I don't ask to frequently check on the game and players can make noticeable progress.

@gumbosoup

Thanks a lot for telling me about Merchant, I'll definitely check it out!

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Thanks again for the feedback and information.

I have closely reviewed the video you posted, @jbarrios, really appreciate that! This helps me spot some areas of the UI that really don't communicate well their purpose. For that reason I have expanded on the game and added a tutorial that walks over the basics of the UI.

I have also checked out Fallen London - almost immediately I realised it's set in the same world as Sunless Sea - a game that I quite liked, but never really got myself into that much and partly because of the inventory and trading system in this game - for me the currencies available in the game (Secrets, Tales, Pearls, etc.) are too abstract and I can't quite see the connection why I need certain currency for certain actions. One of the ways I hope Soulforged to do differently. I also hope to entrench the player in the world better, where location, houses, farms and other structures (all currently available in the game) is what really makes the world. 

@gumbosoupI also checked out the game Merchant and I can see very clearly why you mentioned it, thank you! Yes, the gathering, the crafting and fighting systems are all somewhat similar to what Merchant does. It's still a very different experience thou, without a persistent world or the intrinsic interaction with other players. Soulforged has currently 4 very active players (I'm not counting myself) and it's the interaction between the players (the trades, the saves, the information sharing) that I feel really creates the most memorable moments. I might be taking closer look on the game Merchant while looking for inspiration, thanks for sharing that! :)

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