Hi everyone, I'm a 26-year old struggling Chinese indie game developer who is working on a game project inspired by minecraft. Unlike most other minecraft-like games, my initial idea was not to clone the boxy style of minecraft but create a more polygonal style, and start from there adding more interesting and realistic physics and multiplayer interaction.
However, the gameplay design is harder than I expected. Since I used to work as a graphics developer and had little experience in game design, it was not until recently that I realize and admit there're simply too much work to do them myself. So now I have to remove some crazy ideas out of my head and really start to think about how to deliver a playable game or promising demo in several months based on whatever I had in hand:
A system that can generate a smooth polygon representation from a voxel grid, but with limited dimension.
Some cellular automaton mechanics similar to minecraft.
A preliminary fighting system.
Multi-player support, but not massive.
I'm no worrying about the visual art, sound and music for now, because they'll be "mod-able". My primary concern is the gameplay design.
Here's a video I made last month to show some basic developing mechanics (no fancy graphics effect yet) and hoping that someone will join me to make them a game. I posted it in China and got limited useful feedbacks (considering minecraft is not so popular in China than it is in the west). So I decided to look for help here. I wouldn't expect to really find some kind of "bussiness partner" here but I hope that I can at least get my head clear on what direction I should take.
(I uploaded a new video without music, so this time it should be fixed at last. It was actually the first time I use youtube, sorry for the inconvenience.)
You can also download a demo here if you're interested.
Here're some game ideas I have:
1. Emphasis on world exploration, building, battle, and survival. Basically it'll look like minecraft survival mode but with more fancy terrain and graphics stuff. The world is big but not infinite, and each server hosts a world and can be different than other servers. Need some quest system to guide the player when they feel nothing to do. I havn't figure out what the endgame will be.
2. Focus on PVE/PVP multi-player interaction. It's gonna be a first/third person view tower defense game. Well, picture minecraft + Orcs must die, and a little bit of DOTA if in PVP mode. The world is small, and each match last about 15~40 minutes. There're gonna be dozens of levels (maps), and need a lot of time to design them. The pace of the game will be much faster than the above.
3. I should probably go find a job in a game company and make this project as a hobby and continue to work on my old crazy ideas, such as really huge, realistic and fully modifiable world with natural simulation, etc.
So what do you think is my best bet? And what do you think is missing from the demo if I'm going to convince you to invest your labour or money in it?
Any feedback is appreciated.
Edit #1: After reviewing some suggestions, I decided to go with world exploration for now. Thanks for all your suggestions.