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Integrating the internet into a game

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Okies first off, this is indeed a cross post, but I have a (hopefully) valid reason for doing so. To implement my idea I need to know how to do so in DirectX, so I posted asking for help on the implementation in the DX forum. This post however is to discuss the game design elements (rather than the code implementation) of such an idea so hopefully you wont mind it being cross posted. Here is the part of my post I felt would be relevant for discussion here... please comment on the idea, throw some further thoughts around. "Hey cool thanks for all the advice =), I might as well let the cat out the bag though, as I think you did make a couple of assumptions because I hadnt given enough away. Firstly, yes I think I would like the controls in there, as I want the user to truly be able to browse the web. My idea is this: As with all my ideas at the moment, the end final product would hopefully be a MMORPG in a sci-fi environment. I want players to be able to design their own web page specifically for use with the game (though not a necessity). The idea is that items in the game are password encrypted. To be able to use something in a game (such as a clan HQ laser turret or a security door) you must locate a computer terminal in the game, browse to the appropriate web page for that object, crack a puzzle in the web page, and upon the correct solution being found, control of the item will revert to the person having solved the unlock puzzle. I thought this idea up because I thought that the way hacking items is dealt with in most games (read: system shock 2 =p) is extremely simplistic. Imagine being able to control a netrunner type character such as ones from CyberPunk that could browse the web and find ways to crack enemies codes and gain control of their key facilities. This would be an awesome role that wouldnt necessarily involve a player ever having to fight, they could back up a team of players assaulting a base by taking over appropriate facilities remotely, and using them to aid the players, opening doors to allow access to restricted areas, using laser turrets to kill enemy guards, disabling laser fields etc etc. It wouldnt be so simplistic that anyone with a good enough game skill could open anyones doors or whatever, but it wouldnt be so difficult as to be impossible. It's only the beginining of an idea, web integration may not ever be needed, I may find an alternate idea to simulate a similar effect, but I figure allowing net access in game, could also mean players being coordinated a LOT better by being able to consult noticeboards etc, in game. Take EQ for example, a lot of notice boards fail, cos players spend hours in game, and when they come out of the game, they are tired, the last thing they want is to go check a web page, but if they could check a clan web page in game? I think it'd be a different story =) Failure at completing these puzzles set by the enemies could result in the netrunner character being physically damaged so as to discourage brute force style hacks. Oh and please note I'm not suggesting encouraging literal hacking of the web pages themselves, just finding good ways to solve these puzzles. Anyways like I say please nobody flame away at it's plausibility, I know there are a LOT of things left unconsidered, which is why I'm asking for further thought on it. Appologies also that it's kinda design related, but in order to create this effect, I need to implement it via DirectX which is why the topic is here." As this quote is taken a little out of context I should point out that the idea is for the user to be able to navigate the internet whilst in game(a C++ programmed DirectX app), via a subwindow. Just in case anybody assumed that the game itself was a web based game... it is not!! There will be people who say 'it can't be done, it's impossible' and I will say "WATCH ME!" [edited by - mephs on June 8, 2002 10:57:10 PM]

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Original post by Mephs
There will be people who say ''it can''t be done, it''s impossible'' and I will say "WATCH ME!"

Hmm you''re asking how to do it from the people who say it can''t be done? =D

No, but seriously, I like the attitude, and it does sound like a cool idea. Although it seems more like a part of a whole game than a whole game idea. For example, why would you want to control turrets when everyone else is only hacking? Flesh it out and you might have something there. =D


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Hehe that was supposed to be my new attempt at a sig, not a part of my post =p, it will look better once I make a gif or something out of it I guess =)

As I said there will be deterrents from playing solely a netrunner type character. Failure to solve too many of the "puzzles" may result in physical damage, or perhaps there will be some method of being able to use a virus to attack or hunt down a netrunner.

Being a netrunner as in CyberPunk would just be an option, you could equally as well go in to an installation on foot to control the action directly. Perhaps shooting down a door that a netrunner is unable to access because it is too well protected.

I agree the concept is probably big enough to make it's own game from, but I'm so intrigued at the possibilities of allowing a netrunner to back up a team going it on foot that I'd like to include it all in one game. Perhaps as my aim is to first make some shareware titles before doing my big RPG, I could base a game on being solely a netrunner type (for practise at the bigger thing). It could be quite easy (relatively). In such a game, the player would never interact with enemies, they could have the assignment of protecting a team assaulting a base or performing other missions. The team of NPC's going in to the location may interact with other NPC's but it need only be scripted as the player himself wouldnt be the one dealing with the NPCs. The player would just work on making the teams progress as easy as possible, trying to ensure their safety throughout the mission. The team could fend for itself up to a point, but if the player screws up and fails to turn off at least one or two of the 3 turrets creating a wall of fire down one corridor that the team couldnt hope to survive, the team would then most likely get shot to pieces.

Problem with that is I wouldnt like the netrunner player to be solely reliant upon having a good team of NPCs going in for the mission, if the player did everything right and the team still screw up because they are dumb NPC's, the player would probably get a bit peed off. Perhaps the NPC's could be given simplistic orders to carry out so it wouldnt be quite so random.

Hmm anyways I'll think on it some more, and as for the simulated internet interface, I have other plans for it also, not just for use as a puzze type protection feature =)

Steve AKA Mephs )hopin the sig looks proper this time =p

There will be people who say 'it can't be done, it's impossible'
and I will say "WATCH ME!"

*EDIT Nope it didnt EDIT*

[edited by - mephs on June 9, 2002 10:41:32 PM]

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