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MSW

yet another RPG idea....

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This is my oldest game idea...goes back to the late 80''s essentualy a single player Final Fantasy style RPG where players control a young girl named Ariel Ariel is one of the very few remaining ''elvish'' characters left in the world..she is about 18 and has never really seen any other of her kind...she is also a slave (as all the ''elvish'' kind are) the game story revolves around two kingdoms...the story takes place in the southern one..the Katsinue Empire...in the story something is makeing the northern kingdom nervius and they have started building thier army along the boarder in expectation of war... So far...pretty medacore, right?...well the game features a very unique ''magic'' system...you see there are these ugly little creatures in the game (I''ll call them lemmings...because they are pretty stupid)...when a character kills a lemming he/she gets magic points and can cast spells, etc...however there is a price for this...once you cast a spell you cannot recover the spent magic points unless you kill another lemming...additionaly the more lemmings you kill the more magic points you recieve/ higher level of magic you can use...BUT for each lemming killed you constantly lose a percentage of HP EVERY DAY and when the character dies they transform into a lemming...goes something like this: lemmings killed---MP recieved---magic casting level---HP lost per day -------1-------------100--------------1-----------------1% -------2-------------200--------------2-----------------2% -------3-------------300--------------3-----------------3% and on till... ------99------------9900-------------99----------------99% compounding the issue is that there are only a limited number of lemmings in the world...and once you kill one...your fate has been chosen (you will eventualy become one) as the game starts Ariel (the player) knows nothing of this, and very little of the history of her race...which goes something like this: 1,000 years ago the ''elvish'' discovered the magic ability of the lemmings and started hunting them down...in doing so they started to take over the world...expanding to the areas where lemmings could be found and in doing so they killed many millions of other kingdoms who tried to stop them...eventualy the ''hp loss'' aspect of lemming magic caught up with the ''elvish'' and they turned into lemmings themselves...the remaining ''elvish'' who hadn''t killed any lemmings were enslaved. basicly most of the rest of the world mocks and fears the few remaining ''elvish'' (Ariel included) they fear the power they could have once a elvish kills a lemming because of the stories of old passed down through the years... Additionaly the emporer of the Katsinue empire is going around and paying lots of gold for captured lemmings...maybe the emporer is killing them to gain the magic power (thus makeing the northern kingdom nervious)...or is there something else going on? The idea for the game is basied on moral conflict rather then strait on physical conflict...should the player (as Ariel) kill a lemming...he/she basicly becomes the savage that the rest of the world thinks the ''elvish'' are...validation of fears, make them hate the ''elvish'' even more...but if the player doesn''t kill any lemmings and generaly plays the character acting opposite of what the world thinks of her kind...she may be able to change thier minds...maybe even enough that ''elvish'' slavery is abolished...once the player kills a lemming, they have made a choice that they can''t retract or otherwise change...thier ultimate fate has been sealed I''ve got a 200 page notebook full of story/gameplay stuff on this game...to much to post here...I just wanted to get the basic idea across to see what you all thought.

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quote:
Original post by MSW
I''ve got a 200 page notebook full of story/gameplay stuff on this game...to much to post here...I just wanted to get the basic idea across to see what you all thought.

In the future, I would recommend less story and more gameplay. Especially in the opening paragraphs. That way, people like me wont get bored and skip the rest of what you''ve written.

Specifically, I (and everybody else) didn''t need to know about Ariel and her traipsings. In pure "design" terms, all that interests us is how thematic elements interact with gameplay to provide an enjoyable experience. In other words, skip the trivia. Your second-to-last paragraph should have been the first, and most of what preceded should have been omitted entirely.

Just a thought.

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Thanks to Kylotan for the idea!

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Cool idea. Kylotan''s mention of the Wheel of Time triggered a thought - what if, instead of simply losing a percentage of HP from killing lemmings, the character deteriorated in more subtle ways, such as going insane or developing a chronic twitch? Perhaps with enough lemmings dead, characters would start casting spells uncontrollably or being unable to do anything for short periods of time.

Or the character could gradually, embarrassingly, morph into a lemming, losing at various stages her ability to use equipment, language, and eventually control of her body.

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Oluseyi - sorry for boreing you like that...didn''t meen to...just thought I would share my game idea with everyone...an idea that has grown to fill 200 pages...kinda hard to summerize it quickly...sorry

I never read the Wheel of Time books...I actualy drew the idea from how spice is used in Dune (from how important it is...not what it does)...and just added the Vampireish and drug like trappings...I didn''t mention the "endangered species" like aspects of trying to defend the lemmings either

The game would play in realtime...sorta Zelda-ish...no leveling though...players earn ''karma'' points for defeating enemies and doing story specific actions...they can then spend these points as they wish to increase a number of stats/skills...they can only do this when the character goes to bed/stays at a inn/etc..which is also the time the game can be saved (I know ...RPG cliche...but I needed day/night transistions...but didn''t want to do them in real time as it could cause magic users to detererate much to rapidly)...magic, from the players perspective...is sorta like ''bullit time''...players would press and hold a ''cast spell'' key/button which would cause the world to slow down to 1/4 speed...players then would use the directional pad/keys to enter a series of ''runes'' basied on what level of magic they can cast (level 2 = max of 2 runes for example)...they then would release the ''cast spell'' and the spell would take effect basied on the combination and number of runes chosen

All the cites/villages would be given a ''influence'' rateing..as would all the NPC that live there...this way players good/bad status can ''grow'' on the citizens as "getting in good" or "pissing off" a very influencial NPC would have ''trickle down'' effects...

The games takes place in a fantasy ''steampunk'' like world...this allows for two things...first the events in the story that happened 1000 years previous, would really seem to have happended a long time ago...and second it opens up the field a bit for more weapon/armor/gameplay options...the main weapon the player uses is a double edged sword (the same type of thing Darth Maul used in Star Wars: Episode 1...blade at each end, with the grip in the center) this weapon had a number of ''modes''...can be swung around like a sword...can be thrown like a boomerang...when thrown while the owner uses a special magnetic glove it can be controled from a distance sorta like flying a kite...and several other ''modes''

I''ll shut-up now as much of this may have bored some of you to tears

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The idea of the quarter-staff-slash-sword which doubles as a boomerang is very inventive. But I really think there''s something a bit too "cute" about people turning into little creatures.

For people''s interest, other media titles which have the concept of "balance" are:

Death Gate''s necromancers: The more they raised the dead to help them survive in the inhospitable land they found themselves, the more the living would mysteriously die of some kind of sickness.

That old Jim Henson movie "The Dark Crystal": As I recall, two of the races were linked - whenever one died from one race, the same happened in the other.

-------------------
"while you make pretty speeches i''m being cut to shreds" - radiohead

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The necromantic magic from the Death Gate cycle (books by Weis and Hickman, for those who don't know) is another good idea. I like magic to have drawbacks. Preferably insidious ones. In game design terms, it gives you extra Consequences, which means more Decisions, meaning more Game. Woo.

Edited by - Kylotan on January 13, 2002 12:14:32 AM

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Hey, you''ve got a lot of imagination ! Good work !
I have my 2c, thou. 1c for the story, and 1c for the gameplay.

First of all, I''d like to say to our beloved moderator Oluseyi that this topic isn''t boring at all. At least, it did not bored me. I think such detailed story can take a great part over the gameplay. The credibility of the fights is strongly related to the story, methink.



Well, my 1st c...
quote:
The idea for the game is basied on moral conflict rather then strait on physical conflict...should the player (as Ariel) kill a lemming (...), make the rest of the world hate the ''elvish'' even more...but if the player doesn''t kill any lemmings (...) she may be able to change thier minds

It''s an interesting situation, but the thing is that she''ll always have her ability to get magic from lemmings.
Unless she can seal her power somewhere, the rest of the world will always fear for a return of the "evil" elvish in the future.
You can bet that the credibility of the inhabitants will suffer if you skip this point.
"Urgh, elvish are monsters, they tried to kill us all in the past ! What ? Oh, look at her... she''s so cute ^^ Just let them live freely, they can be our friends !"
Well, of course it won''t be shown exactly like that in the story. But it will be like that in some way.



And the second...
quote:
magic (...) is sorta like ''bullit time''...players would press and hold a ''cast spell'' key/button which would cause the world to slow down to 1/4 speed...players then would use the directional pad/keys to enter a series of ''runes'' basied on what level of magic they can cast (level 2 = max of 2 runes for example)...

This is a very good idea, but it has almost never been used in games for many reasons.
Firstly, this is not very intuitive to cast spells using combinations. Players have to learn spells, which is a bit frustrating at the beginning. And it''s also frustrating to miss a spell just because you tried to do it too fast (wil happen often in a real-time game).
Secondly, you can not have a lot of different runes (especially if you plan on using a gamepad excusively), and then the combinations are very limited, unless... you find another solution
There are a few other artefacts (like cancelling the spells, or casting an unkown spell combination, ...) but I don''t think you have to bother much of the two above.



Well, believe me, I don''t want you to get rid of the points I posted !
They are very good ideas, but I just think they can be improved in some way, and I recommend you thinking more of it before you implement them in the game. And, maybe it''s just me and you don''t need to change at all (some replies could reveal it but at least the story thing really bothers me.

Hope that helps...

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Hmm maybe a useless little comment but...
There is some strange 2-player game for UNIX called Spellcast. In the game, you use gestures (with both of your hands) to cast spells. But the tricky part is, that both wizards have a dagger. So while you are making a complicated gesture with your hands, your opponent might simply stick a dagger between your ribs.
Quite a funny game actually. Maybe the gestures system is useful here?
Alas, I have no idea where you can download it (but you''ll probably find it on freshmeat.net)

---
Allow me to clear my head for once...
Stop polluting the air!

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