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TheStumps

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  1. I'm far from being involved in game development anymore, but recently I bought Fable 2 and just "finished" playing it (I didn't have an xbox360 until last month) and it sparked an idea so I thought I'd toss it out there on the off-chance that someone is trying to figure out what to work on for their next project.   So this is a freebie with no strings attached; I just wanted to share the idea.   Fable 2 was a pretty fun game, and I really enjoyed the experience. At the end of the main quest, however, things just kind of lost their momentum and motive.   I spent the main quest duration building up this near King of a character, and after I was done saving the lands from the epic threat, I found myself just not nearly as compelled to engage with the world as it mostly just sat still without world progress.   It got me thinking, what if there was a game that played like Fable (take your pick on your personal favorite version; it doesn't matter which) until you were done with the main quest line, and then the end game took your well developed character and entered into a sort of Total War series style world political and war strategy game?   I pick Total War because in Total War you can choose to be an active participant directly managing the battle, or you can choose to let the battle run automated.   If you chose to personally engage, then there could be some interesting play in that you already have your character well built from the Fable-like game experience. In this, your character would then be in the battle directly and you could develop a gui format for managing the battle commands, while at the same time directly engaging in the battle in a sort of Dynasty Warriors form (as Fable's combat system is somewhat a cousin of Dynasty Warrior's combat system...sort of; at least, it's not a development stretch to marry the two concepts).   This, I think, would be pretty fascinating.   The personal questing would be a character development game, while the "end game" (not really an "end game" at all, really) would be a world development game; borrowing the same concepts as whatever was used in the previous system.   For example of that last line, in Fable, there's allot to do with good and bad, and like and not like. These same concepts could be carried over into the world development rather easily as a part of the political attributes.   The part of the world that you control (be it a vagabond troop or a full kingdom) could gain a portion of its attributed statistics from your character (the leader) for a starting point in the world development stage. From there, your character and your ruling region(s) could develop in relation to each other. Indeed, similar to Total War (or similar styles of games), it is not uncommon to have secondary leaders that the player selects to rule over a given region based on that leader's statistical advantages.     I think this would be a pretty interesting genre mixing concept. Just an idea; thanks for reading.
  2. Norman. You might want to look into 2nd or 3rd edition pnp RPG Shadowrun for ideas of how to handle a game that pretty much doesn't focus on advancement and instead puts most of it's weight in gameplay.   Equally, think of it like this - grab a basketball or something like that. Make rules that you start out on your stomach and after each 5th time that you get the ball, you get to go "up a level", first level gives you knees, next level gives you elbows, next level gives you one foot, next is two feet, next is one hand, and final level is both hands.   Now, the whole time this is going on, you are actually playing a game of basketball. Pay attention to what's fun about basketball once you get all of your limbs back that were taken from you by the rules.
  3.   I've already started changing this, which has let to the questions:     when should a neutral become hostile?   when should a hostile become neutral?   now instead of friendlies and hostiles,  90% are neutrals (friendlies were already basically neutrals), and 10% are hostiles (bushwhackers). there are also plans to add thieves and  slavers. bushwhackers try to kill you for your stuff. thieves just shake you down. slavers attack to subdue and attempt to capture you.   Perhaps model it on venn diagrams rather than raw individual percentages. Let's say the static value is broken into 0-25 = enemy (category 5/1), 26-45=unfavorable/distrust (category 4/2), 46-65=neutral (category 3/3), 66-85=favorable/trusting (category 2/4), 86-100=friend/ally (category 1/5)   But then let's say that you are 75 with group A, but group A is 86 with group B, and you are 25 with group B. So the balance of your relationship with group A would be the crossing point between B and A to you...perhaps that formula would be something like group A rating less (group B rating to group A), so perhaps some interplay can occur here where say, if you use group A to talk to group B, group A's rating on your behalf is 36 (difference between you to group A and you to group B, less Group A's rating to Group B), and perhaps this inversely could impact your relation to group A at times...   Focus on the first number of each category for a moment e.g. category 1/5, only think of this as "category 1", for the moment. say the standard rate is 1 point per friend point when they are category 1 range and 5 points per friend point if they are category 5 (0-25) range to you. But in this environment, it could get more complicated...the rate of friend point gain on that 75 that you have with A is dependent somewhat on your relation to group B...meaning, it costs more; so, perhaps half of the your relationship aggregate of friends of group A (in this example, that's just one other entity, group B) is added to the cost to group A gain in friendship for you. So, A, in this example, would normally cost you 2 points per point of friendship, but due to group B in category 5, the cost rate is 4.5 per friendship point gain for group A for you.   Now, flip to focusing on the second number in category 1/5, so that we are looking at "category 5". Equally, it works in your favor in friendship point earning to group B, so if there is a favorable friend to you that is a friend to an enemy of you, then cost is lessened by the difference in sort of reverse at half the category rating of the difference of group A's friend rating to B less your rating to group B. So Group A's friend rating to group B is 86, and your friend rating to B is 25, so the final rating is 61, and 61 is category 3/3 (neutral). Half of 3 is 1.5, so now we take the cost for group B and less it by 1.5 in your favor due to your friendship of their friend. So the cost per friendship point to group B would normally be 5 points, but with the aid, that becomes 3.5.   So a friend weighs a bit in your favor to making a friend of an enemy, but an enemy of yours that is a friend of one of your friends weighs even more. So...this encourages to "play nice", or rather...be political as hell and get those hands greased up, or you can just pay the extra for those whom you do like and continue to tell their friends to piss off.       This is only a conceptual model to express the idea; and is entirely capable of being scaled to whatever fits best, and can be compounded by many factors beyond these simple starting variables.
  4.   thats the whole point of this thread.   speaking about rpgs in general, my concern is that once you get to "high level" it  gets dull. everything is "been there, done that". just when you seem to be starting to really get somewhere, you run out of game.   I don't want that to happen with Caveman.   You know what they say, "life starts at 50".   I'm thinking that in RPGs, life should start at _LEVEL_ 50. <g>.   Try this exercise: Start several characters at "end level" and play them. Find out what you don't like about that experience.   Also, while you're at it, think about this as well. Until "end level", you don't have the "character that you want". You have a character that you are building. So until you reach "end level", you are - in a way - playing character creation.   So then the "end level" character becomes what you actually wanted, sort of like finally finishing a doctorate. We don't really look at finishing a doctorate as being out of things to do, say, with physics. Instead, we see that as just beginning to actually do physics. Try an exercise of treating your "end level" character as a graduate who is now finally ready to do what they "trained" to do.   Perhaps this is the stage where a character becomes part of the world more fully - perhaps this is when they can openly build and reshape the different societal sectors of social dynamics in society (politics, science, war, engineering, etc...) Perhaps this is when the character begins to work on "leaving their mark".
  5. Norman,   It sounds to me like your answer to the question is solved by the work you have for creating content. Meaning, you seem to be solving your issue already in that you are supplying more content to continue interacting with. I would think this solves the issue since levels aren't really an engine of a game, but a means of interacting with the actual engine of a game - content.
  6. To somewhat resound the sentiments of the previous posts, this seems rather simple in concept to solve. Everything that you are at a basic level outlining currently has been exhaustively explored in many simulator games in the past.   For my two-cents, I would actually suggest looking at the Total War or Romance of the Three Kingdoms series', as the political war and social war involved was well done and is conceptually sounding close to the atmosphere of tension that you are looking for to create - instead of simply that of civilization which is not intense on every moment of political and warfare progression due to its interest in working a very long "evolutionary" track, rather than a localized period of simulation.   Because of that, I suggest these two period simulators which focus primarily on war and political alliances.   I also agree with moneal regarding the oddity of not being able to become friends with enemies; that is a rather crucial human behavior of societies.
  7. There's lots of good discussions taking place in here, and many from my primary school of lacking levels to begin with, so I won't really tread there too much. Two reasons for me to not address lacking levels is that you've already started a heavy amount of development with levels, and that you've already established an infinity system for your level system, if needed, at an increasing difficulty of acquisition.   Instead, I would more start by returning your question with a question: You ask for a means to continue after a character reaches X level (be that either the "last level" or just very high level under which leveling is too long and tedious to keep the attention of the player exclusively).   My question in return would be, what do you want the player to offer the game system and world at this point? Another way of stating that is, why does the game need the player at this point; what purpose do they serve to the world?