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The Dragon King, an innovative open world RPG

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#21 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 10 July 2012 - 03:43 AM

I appreciate the review and I agree that a video will go a long way to building some confidence in the project. The plot is pretty standard fare, the innovation comes from the game play mechanics and I hope to use the "wow" factor to hook the otherwise uninterested. The developers blog is one of the legs of our viral marketing and sales campaign. The idea is that supporters get inside access to the blog, whereas the public at large only have outsider access to the main site.

#22 WavyVirus   Members   


Posted 10 July 2012 - 04:16 PM

If I can't begin to picture what the experience of playing the game might actually be like, then I can't really get excited about it. The KickStarter post is heavy on story, but there is a lot of vague language concerning gameplay.How, specifically, does the player interact with the world? How does the player explore? What kind of tasks do they complete, and with what abilities?

A few examples:
  • "The dreaming mechanics of The Dragon King provides a second realm to explore" - What are the dreaming mechanics?
  • "The core game play will consist of exploring and interacting with the physical realm" - It's hard to construct a description more vague then "interacting with the physical realm". This conveys little or no information to the reader about what the game will actually involve
  • "...solve puzzles and complete tasks using the elements and talents gained from each scripture" - can you give any specific examples of the talents and abilities the player will use?
  • "Combat mechanics will consist of 6 fighting styles" - you list a broad archetype (e.g. stealth/agility/offence) and weapon type for each element, but these are fairly standard fare. Just skimming over these gives the reader no reason to think that your game brings anything new to the table - are there any interesting combat abilities you could talk about?
  • "The sea exploration mechanic provides the primary method of travel and commerce" - you name a mechanic without describing what it involves. This happens in a few places
  • "The dream realm can only be manipulated through the use of elements"

I know that your post is just a summary, but I think that by being broad in an attempt to convey your vision without going into any depth you don't offer much to attract a potential investor (unless some thematic aspect happens to resonate with them). Why don't you tell the story of typical challenges the player might encounter, and ways they can use their abilities to overcome them - this allows a reader to imagine playing the game at some point in the future and maybe even become excited enough about it to invest.

#23 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:13 PM

Aloha WavyVirus. I appreciate the review and I understand the abbreviated GDD leaves a lot to the imagination. I have been getting mixed reviews about the text heavy nature of the pitch to begin with and I don't think adding more text will solve that. The obvious answer is to get a video up showing a few of the fundamental mechanics of the game, but that would require more funding. I suppose I could remove some the the less relevant information and provide some basic info about the game mechanics. Take a look at the following explanation of the combat mechanics and let me know what you think.

The Dragon King is being developed for use with the Sixense® motion controller. This in combination with a simple voice command protocol creates our control scheme. Players will use the dual thumb sticks for movement and the motion controls for interacting with objects in the physical world (i.e. picking things up, opening doors, etc) and combat (blocking and attacking). The combat mechanics are what really set the game apart from the average RPG. A traditional RPG might use a hit points health system, whereas we use a vital points life system. The vital points life system uses a real world approach to combat, meaning successful attacks affect the player the way they would in real life. Each vital point has direct consequences on the players abilities, varying from disabling body parts to instant death. Players must learn to fight properly or they will be killed. In a traditional RPG, death usually means game over. Our death mechanic changes that by sending you to purgatory where you will have to fight your way out and continue with your mission. The fighting styles all have unique advantages based on the talent they represent and the more you use that particular style, the stronger your talents become. As an example, your experience and training with the sword fighting style opens up more aggressive fighting techniques and increases your offensive prowess. The same goes for each of the other fighting styles and their accompanying talent.

Edited by Captain Andrew Brewer, 11 July 2012 - 06:15 PM.

#24 JTippetts   Moderators   

Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:57 PM

It absolutely is a Catch-22. That's the thing. Given an unproven team with no past titles to their name, the financial risk to investors (and yes, donors are investors, though they expect other rewards than the purely financial in return for their investment) is just too high for most to be willing to take the bet. Your choices are limited. It's a tough fact to come to terms with for some, who see it as some unsurmountable bar to the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams. We see it here on the forums seemingly on a weekly basis: starry-eyed idea types who could make a ton of dough with their innovative idea, if only they could find some way of drumming up some starting capital. They put up some posts (there have been plenty of GDDs posted here; the Game Design forum is a veritable boneyard of them. Go see for yourself.) and ask for feedback, but they never get past the rub: without something concrete, something written in code and functional and playable, the GDD is worth less than the paper it is written upon. (Figuratively speaking).

You've heard the old adage "Ideas are a dime a dozen"? It gets repeated around here a lot. A lot. It's true, though. You could have the most potential-laden idea ever, for the greatest best-selling hit since Doom hit the shareware circuits, but without practical execution on that idea, almost nobody will value it as you do. Certainly, nobody who will actually pony up real, green dollars to see it happen. There needs to be something more, something concrete and visible to make the potential investor say "hey, that is neat. I want to see that get finished."

A block of text doesn't leave a lot to the imagination. It leaves almost nothing, because very few people will give it more than a casual perusal. Certainly, few will bother expending the emotional energy, however minor, of imagining to fill in the holes to the depth that you do yourself. The realization of your vision is ultimately in your hands. It's your responsibility, and reacting with anger or frustration when people point out the Catch-22 will solve nothing. It won't further your game being made. Neither will putting up another Kickstarter project to languish for months in the land of $15 dollars pledged (maybe more, depending on how generous your immediate family and friends are) for months and months until the deadline comes and goes. Blocks of text don't accumulate pledges. (And certainly not $500,000 worth of pledges; I highly recommend that, as a first-timer, you set your sights lower. Lower. Lower still. $500,000 for an untested team is just... that's pie in the sky, friend.)

So you can get mad, or argumentative, or frustrated. Or you can take some steps on your own. You can do some heavy duty legwork and networking to try to bring to the table potential investors (real investors this time; VC types, or somewhat wealthy family and friends who are willing to take a risk because they know you personally and trust you, etc...) along with a team with the correct technical skills to get the job done. It'll probably be a balancing act like you wouldn't believe; just as investors won't pony up cash on wordy and insubstantial GDDs, neither will technical types pony up code or assets without promise of payment. You'll need to vet your technical team to ensure that you have the skills available to finish, as well as the experience to complete the job. I honestly don't know all of what would be involved in this sort of process, because it is so far outside anything I've ever attempted, or ever would attempt.

Alternatively, you could take the initiative and start filling some of those technical holes yourself. Find people in your social network that have the skills you need and would be willing to volunteer their time and energy (and volunteer it would be, until the sales start rolling). Reach out to folks on this forum or others (we have a Classifieds section here) to recruit. Without cash, what you'll get will be volunteers who are not emotionally invested in the project, who likely don't have the experience you need (as they are doing it to learn) and will 99% of the time bail on the project after a few weeks if not days, their emails and IMs becoming more and more infrequent, their excuses coming more and more handily. You'll have to spend a lot of time weeding out, cajoling, wheedling and persevering, and your likelihood of success would still be statistically nil.

It's a hard world.

Final suggestion, this is a forum rife with coders of all stripes and experience. Read the back posts, read the resources, pick up a language and learn it. Get something together, something that can show the world rather than tell the world what your game is really about. It will take time, I'm afraid. But you have to decide for yourself if it's worth it.

Any way, best of luck with this.

Edited by JTippetts, 11 July 2012 - 09:58 PM.

#25 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:19 PM

Wow!, another moderator! This is cool Posted Image. Thank you for the sage advice and the good will, I really appreciate it. I do have to disagree with some of what you are saying however, as it sounds like you are speaking in contradictions. Your definitive response leaves no room for possibility and as a quantum physicist I know that just isn't the case. You also say that the probability of being successfully funded as it is would be statistically nil and I agree. But to say that it certainly is nil and there is no chance for it at all is incorrect. You do make several good points about properly managing my network and assets. I certainly agree that having a plan and a team capable of executing that plan is fundamental to the projects success in any arena. The status quo of the industry is indeed cold and hard, which is a major part of why NeoGenesis was formed. We believe the industry is longing for change and that in order for the industry to evolve and reach its maximum potential the status quo must be redefined. It will be a long and arduous road, much longer than any of us probably realizes. In the end my resolve will be the only deciding factor for seeing us through to the end and I hope to see you all there.

#26 Aerin   Members   


Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:56 PM

On a side note Captain Andrew,

Are you actually a quantum physicist? Where did you study? I'm studying astronomy, and engineering.

On topic:

I think there's only one project I've seen reach it's goal and go beyond it's goal on Kickstarter. That project was Wasteland 2 whom the original creators who have an impressive history in the gaming industry are backing. People trust their words based on their notable history, and success in the past. Most Kickstarter projects don't have anything in the way of evidence to prove their project's existence, and that it won't fail. It's like a completely new website for all the indie internet teams to go and reside and secure funding when they don't have anything to show.

I've never been one to simply toss a persons eagerness out the window. I do however know that in many cases like yours, you need something presentable. The image you have of a dragon is the first step. All your content must be original in some way. I hate using other people's stuff to make my own projects. You should definitely have a multitude of presentable content to demonstrate that this isn't simply something you came up with last weekend. Even if it is, having content to show others prior to starting a Kickstarter project might be essential for you.

Almost every time I've seen a successful indie project they've always included images, and video of their development. Models, textures, gameplay videos (alpha 0.001 builds), music. They also have a presentable self image. Things are organized and neat. Prior to Kickstarter this was all I ever saw, and those who didn't follow this guideline often either failed or would start a new project all together.

This is in no way a reference to Gamedev.net's old help wanted forum's guideline rules. However that included basic requirements detailing the projects and people who provided evidence of their development, people who had little to no money, often were the ones who had the most positive feedback. You don't need to make money to make a playable or presentable model of your game, or even data such as models, textures, or animations. However All these things can help substantiate your claims, and ideas even further. You don't even need a playable model of your game.

It get's people interested in what you're working on. You don't even need a Kickstarter at the moment. That is solely my opinion though.

Dat eye candy, yo.

I'm a long time lurker.

Edited by Aerin, 12 July 2012 - 02:59 PM.

#27 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 12 July 2012 - 03:44 PM

Aloha Aerin. If you are asking if I have a degree in quantum physics, the answer is no. I am self taught. I appreciate the review and I do agree with the need for something presentable in lieu of industry experience. I am currently working on a tech demo and I should have it posted by tomorrow night. I managed to find Kickstarter in my search for the current license holder for the Shadowrun series and was surprised to see how well they did with their project. Of course they are well known developers and Shadowrun Returns has been a long time coming. I am glad you understand the original point of my post and I completely agree, I don't need Kickstarter but the format is a great way to share the project.

Edited by Captain Andrew Brewer, 12 July 2012 - 11:08 PM.

#28 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 14 July 2012 - 05:47 AM

I have updated the Kickstarter page to include a simple tech demo of our rendering method. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Its a video only clip but I will update it in the morning to include a brief explanation and some additional features.

#29 WavyVirus   Members   


Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:18 AM

I have updated the Kickstarter page to include a simple tech demo of our rendering method. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Its a video only clip but I will update it in the morning to include a brief explanation and some additional features.

I think that some explanation is required - what exactly am I looking at here? It looks like spheres moving in a pattern, rendered in the normal way. Maybe the movement of these spheres is somehow related to quantum mechanics, but I do not see how this relates to a new rendering method.

#30 Aerin   Members   


Posted 14 July 2012 - 07:18 PM

Hey Captain Andrew,

Was this done in a game engine? I'm not sure what rendering method it's meant to demonstrate. The particle behavior seem to mimic that of nParticles, or any other particle simulation made using feild modifiers to control particle behavior. It looks like a particle emitter that's emitting a random seed controlled by a field, and/or soft body collisions. Is there any technical information you can provide? Was this done inside of a 3D application outside of a game engine or done inside a game engine.

I'd love to talk about some of the technology you use.

It seems like the object itself is an emitter. If it is, do you plan on editing the lifespan on the particles that are emitted from the object, or, even if they are being emitted from a locator what will their lifespan be? I'm also very interested in what use you have for what you have demoed.

Edited by Aerin, 14 July 2012 - 07:21 PM.

#31 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:16 PM

Aloha Aerin. I have updated the Kickstarter video to include 3 simple demonstrations of the granule modeling and rendering system. The demo was created using the SPARK physics engine and Blender. SPARK is written in C++ using only the STL and Blender uses Python. This method provides the foundation for our game engine so technically its done in a 3D application. The algorithms used to control the granule emitter and the granules themselves are the major difference between a particle physics system and our granule physics system. The demo itself has very limited uses, but due to the extreme scalability of the method we are able to create entire planets rather easily. There are still quite a few finishing touches to be made, but we are steadily progressing. The end result will be environments that practically build themselves and can be destroyed down to a granular level. Let me know what you think.

Edited by Captain Andrew Brewer, 14 July 2012 - 09:54 PM.

#32 Aerin   Members   


Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:51 PM

That's actually very impressive Andrew. It reminds me of another technology company that I can't remember the name of. They have one very popular video online that demonstrates how their engine works, but basically environments, and objects are made up of tiny virtual atoms processed by a point cloud server if I remember correctly. Objects wouldn't need textures because each individual point that makes up an object (something in the hundreds of billions) has a specific color value.

It seems like it could be a realistic future for gaming, and virtual technology. Science, medicine, manufacturers, etc. If the kind of direction your taking this in is similar to that of being able to build worlds at a granular, or atomic level then you have my full attention. I'm eagerly awaiting more information.

You should start a developers blog that discusses daily, weekly, or biweekly any new developments you've made in the technology you're using. That would be an interesting read.

I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure how to properly word my response.

#33 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:32 PM

I appreciate the vote of confidence and I agree that I should get a developers blog going. As stated before it is quite a juggling act to keep the development of this project going and getting our website up and running is next on the priority list. The company you are referring to is called Euclideon and their infinite detail technology is really quite amazing. It is not quite the same as our granular modeling but it is really close, the key difference being our string theory algorithm. NeoGenesis supports the Open Source and Free Software Initiatives and we intend to make our innovations available to everyone free of charge. The applications of this type of system are really quite extensive and we intend to produce designs for many of them. Our next update shouldn't be too far away and I hope to see you all there.

#34 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 17 July 2012 - 10:25 PM

deleted comment

Edited by Captain Andrew Brewer, 10 September 2015 - 01:30 PM.

#35 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 18 July 2012 - 04:42 AM

I have updated the tech demo to include a short fight scene utilizing our granule modeling and rendering method. Please let me know what you think.

#36 Stormynature   GDNet+   

Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:03 AM

Three questions.

1) What happened to this game you were developing 3 years ago? http://andrewbrewer.webs.com/
2) Why do you use military ranks?
3) What did you write that made you an established writer?

It is in my nature to examine a person's character if they are asking me to invest money in them. I tend to use the net to do so, as I would expect of most Kickstarter contributors in the absence of a well presented campaign.

#37 FLeBlanc   Members   

Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:56 AM

Just out of curiosity, why are there only a couple seconds of "fight" at the end of a long and rather boring sphere demo? You're trying to make an RPG, right? I'd think that it would be far more relevant to scrap the sphere demo and do a full demo showing a more fleshed out fight instead.

#38 Aerin   Members   


Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:42 PM

I'd also like to see more. I'm interested in a more in depth visual demonstration involving characters, structures and other objects. Is there any current limitation on how much damage something can take? Look's like you could make a really cool surgical simulation with this. This would also be really cool to see in a SAW like game. Every cut you make stays and can be effected by the previous cut.

I'm also curious if you're able to convert objects into granules. Say I modeled a statue. Is there any limitation to where an object can be damaged i.e: a sword strike leaves an impression or cut where it hit. And, is there any polygon budget that you have to adhere to?

#39 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:06 PM

Aloha Stormynature. The game you are referring to was a failed attempt at developing a The Legend of Zelda fan game. There were several factors that contributed to its failure but the main reason was a lack of dedication. I created a team of DIY developers from around the net and we agreed to work together at no cost to make our game. It only lasted for a few months before the team disbanded. You may notice the characters from the fight scene look similar to certain Nintendo copyrighted characters, it is because they are assets that were created for the failed fan game. My company structure pulls its inspiration from the command hierarchy of a maritime vessel. The chain of command model found on board a maritime vessel allows us to create an ordered structure to easily manage our workload and development process. The only writing I have published is through local media, i.e. newspapers, community magazines, etc. I have quite a few short stories and several in depth articles about the state of my nation. I do appreciate the thorough review of both myself and my company. Let me know if you have any other questions.

@ FLeBlanc - I appreciate the review and I suppose the old adage "You get what you pay for" is quite relevant here. I totally agree that I would do well to have an elaborate and fully functioning demo, but until I can get more funding to continue development I will have to settle for what my own meager skills can accomplish. Honestly I don't think its that bad for being well outside my skill set.

@ Aerin - It will be slow going, but I will eventually update the demo with a more in depth demonstration and I will be sure to let you know when I do. The system itself has no inherent limitations in regards to the amount of damage a single object can take, but everything is based off of real world physics and consequences so there is a breaking point for most things. The scenario you describe is one of the selling points of this system. All models can be made granular regardless of polygon count and will become completely interactive upon conversion. This allows us to have truly destructible environments and characters that suffer real consequences based on our vital points life system.

Edited by Captain Andrew Brewer, 18 July 2012 - 09:22 PM.

#40 Captain Andrew Brewer   Members   


Posted 18 July 2012 - 09:30 PM

In other news, I have just learned that a friend of mine will be joining the development team as a casual writer until we can secure more funding. He runs an online pen and paper Star Wars campaign that has been active for quite some time now. This is really exciting for me so I thought I would share it.

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