Suggestions welcome

First person CRPG, based on the old classics like Dungeon Master or Eye of the Beholder
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KnockOut
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Post by KnockOut » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:11 pm

Full time on ToD means no part time on Ultimate Boxing Manager and a little bit on Ultimate Goalkeeper!

The thing about four elements is that it doesn't require a whole lot of thinking you just find the right weapon to use and then the battle is won.

Plot as stated doesn't help replay value and a lot of times I just skip over the text because I want to get back to the game! The Geneforge games by Spiderweb software for instance usually have two sides of the plot that you can play but most people only play once and try to min/max both sides.

My vote is no plot or dialog whatsoever aside from the tutorial.

As for puzzles, again it doesn't help replay value. Unless you use minigames. For example, in Oregon Trail there's that minigame where you have to navigate your boat down the rapids. However, minigames means less time spent on the main game and sometimes the minigames can overshadow the main game!

I think you have too many classes right now(Too many classes at least that are hybrids and not totally distinct and unique). Each class should have a totally different style than another class. I mean a psionic attacks the person's mind whereas a warrior attacks an opponents body! Those are totally different. A paladin is usually a hybrid class but you can make it totally different. Rather than being a warrior/cleric hybrid. The cleric can be a more pacifist class trying to avoid combat using religious prayer whereas a paladin can use his spirituality to attack the opponents evilness.

Exploration works best in Doom-Style games where you can use the terain and stuff to your advantage to duck and head. Whereas in RPGs it's just time wasting between you and the next monster.

You have to be able to use the terain and the dungeon in RPGs. You might have to lead a monster to fall into a pit or use hit and run tactics.

My vote is turn based by the way as real-time can lead to a button-mashing style of game.

Every single monster should have a purpose and none should just be randomly generated to feed the player xp and gear!

I said earlier that four elements would not make the player think about his strategy.

Here are the battle tactics that do not force a player to think:

Elements
Haste and buff spells(Most of the time a player goes into battle without the haste and buff spells and gets dominated but the next time he casts them and wins)

Battle tactics that force a player to think:

Offense versus Defense(Nuking versus Tanking, two-handed sword versus sword and a shield)
Limited resources(Do I buy more health or mana potions? Do I buy scrolls and wands that allow me to use more APs a turn(a la Geneforge/Avernum) or do I buy a better weapon? Allowing the player to borg ruins the limited resources part!)
Terrain(Do I want to fight the monster in an open area? Or do I want him in closed quarters?)

Every class should use mana even warriors as it opens up strategic options.

Every monster should have some sort of creative attack that changes strategy.

For example, a monster could launch a powerful ray in all directions every eight turns. A monster could summon meat shields for itself. A monster could summon exploding critters that damage the area when the critter dies. Monsters could want to attack from range or close distance. They could have a super powerful attack that can only occur at a diagonal square or they could have an attack that could only happen from behind.

Ideas for making equipment induce more strategy:

Equipment that causes status effects(slow, poison, etc.) Yes and haste! This is different than a spell that casts haste because you have to be wearing equipment to make you faster which actually has a cost unlike a spell.
Weapons that change the surrondings(A Club of Bashing that knocks the opponent back one square, A whip of luring that has a fifty foot range that draws the opponent in close in case he tries to use ranged tactics, arrow of true aim that never misses and navigates around walls, the spear of exploding which causes damage to everything including yourself, the walls, and the floor and the celeing! You could fall down to a lower level or a monster could fall down from a higher level causing you great trouble)
Weapons, spells, and items that require you to calculate probabilities of outcomes or the actions of your opponent(A counterspell, one that requires probability calculation may be temporary buffs to your weapon, if it hits you win, if it doesn't you lose)

Please make this game good and not make me cry over less UBM updates!

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jack1974
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Post by jack1974 » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:43 pm

Heh lot of suggestions... too many perhaps! :lol:
Joking, even if some are really good but because of that, requires LOT of time: balancing a game with all those attack/counterattack, every monster with a purpose or fighting strategy, and so on, is a very big task.
However I think I still could take your best ideas and implement them somehow. For example the creative monsters attack would be good for the "end of level boss". Or the fighter mana, could be used for special attack or something else.
Maybe you're right about the number of classes, that now are too many. Perhaps is better to start with fewer classes but make them play really different. Anyway it's still only on design stage so there's time to experiment :)

Astral
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Post by Astral » Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:52 am

On a sidenote, do you have any ideas as to how you want the interface/ in-game screen layout to look?

Example:

Top left: Main playing screen
Top right: Character's/ Party's quick stats
Bottom left: Controls (i.e. Attack, Inv., Rest, etc.)
Bottom right: mini map (red dots = enemies, yellow dots = NPCs, green dots = something interesting like a treasure chest or trap)

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jack1974
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Post by jack1974 » Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:05 am

The screen layout is a very important thing, so will take some days to figure out the best combination but I think that will be like you said, except for the right part where I'll put the map on top and the party stats on bottom.
Of course I'll post pics on my blog as soon as I come up with something.
Just a reminder, I blocked comments on blog since was infested by spammer, so just use the forums to make any suggestion :roll:

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Post by Astral » Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:27 pm

Yesterday I made some experiment with the fake 3d view of the game. I never thought that making it would be so difficult! In practice I have to render as many layers as the depth of view is. For example if I want the party to be able to see up to 3 cells in any direction, I must render 3 layers of view, scaling the picture down to create the illusion of distance. Not an easy task at all, need to make more experiments with it.
Probably to save you more time, effort, and possibly money why not ditch the 3d view, and go with something more basic yet colorful and appealing.

Fastcrawl employs a generic tile-based dungeon layout with a few variations. This makes exploration easy because they layout is easy to follow, and all right on your screen if you explored the whole level.

An upcoming game called Dungeon Delvers (they changed the layout for some reason, which I don't like) employed in their original vision this style of layout: Image

I like DD's original layout because each icon would be easy to move to, and would be something different: like a trap, treasure chest, monster encounter, npc giving quest, etc. Also, this seems more appealing and colorful then what they moved to which is some 3-d, enlarged, blurry version of what it used to be.

Just some ideas to consider.

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jack1974
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Post by jack1974 » Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:49 pm

Hmm yes even a topdown view like that wouldn't be too bad I guess. Another aspect is the strategy:
- with first person 3d, I don't think that I could also take in consideration the relative position of character. For example moving a mage away from the battle to avoid being hit. It would be more like magic stones with the characters in fixed spots
- with topdown I could implement much more stuff, like character really moving independently on the map of the dungeon, but at same time I suspect it would mean a lot of work more

in general I think the 1st view would require more graphic work while the 2nd more programming work.

Have to think about it... in any case if I decide to make a first person I could still make another game with topdown ;)

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Post by KnockOut » Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:07 pm

I read your latest blog and here are my thoughts:

All attributes should be useful for all classes. Knowledge for a cleric could be knowledge of the history of the deity whereas knowledge for a fighter could be knowledge of various fighting styles and weapons.

Intelligence can play a big role in a fighter's ability to fight. If you're not intelligent you might swing your sword with your eyes closed or he might just swing wildly without keeping his eyes on the opponent. An intelligent fighter may be able to anticipant what his opponent is doing and keep a cool head in the battle.

Wisdom I think of as a creativity sort of stat. A wise person can come up with quotes that resonate through the ages. A wise cleric may be able to come up with new creative interprepetations of the religious scriptures. A wise warrior might be able to come up with new fighting styles.

Now on to the classes:

I think every class should be able to be offensive, defense, or ranged. But rather each class should be a fundamental paradigm shift from each other.

Enchanter is a perfect example of this in your class list. Charming abilities is totally different than swinging your sword.

Paradigm shift classes would be:

Thieves using traps and stealth instead of weapons
Clerics using prayer and writing scriptures rather than weapons. It may be their gods will for them to die in battle. Essentially, there is always a third party in every battle they fight, their gods.
Druids manipulating nature perhaps to grow plants to slow down their enemies or turn into a tree or something
Necromancer manipulating life and death itself

In conclusion, just think about how different the lifestyle is between a warrior, a thief, and a cleric. It's a lot more than offensive versus defensive. Try to make the user feel like he's playing a cleric rather than just a healer who usually wields maces and is good at destroying undead.

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jack1974
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Post by jack1974 » Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:31 pm

I agree with your definition of classes, but about the implementation I have some doubts. Because, for the nature of the game, they must all fight :)
The cleric for example, sure it can cast prayer, but that would mean that he can't use any weapon ? if is that what you mean, I think would not be realistic, because a big monster could go near him and start to tear him apart while he is praying... :lol:
Don't get me wrong I understood what you mean. You're referring to the true roleplaying part of the RPG. I used to play a great RPG called "Darklands" which is one of my all-time favourites. It was cool because beside combat situation, it had several other generic situation where the real roleplay element could get out.
For example you had to enter a tower: you could either have your thief climb up and get the other inside with a rope, or the alchemist storm the main door open with a potion, and so on.
I want to make such a game too in future, but it requires much more effort, so for this game, while I'll try to move a bit away from the standard AD&D classes archetypes, I still need to mantain a certain "standard" :oops:

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mastro
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Post by mastro » Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:40 pm

Well I liked already your initial class selection... seriously there is so scarcity of good old singleplayer CRPG around that even your initiail choices were just fine with me! 8)

KnockOut
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Post by KnockOut » Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:12 pm

jack1974 wrote:I agree with your definition of classes, but about the implementation I have some doubts. Because, for the nature of the game, they must all fight :)
The cleric for example, sure it can cast prayer, but that would mean that he can't use any weapon ? if is that what you mean, I think would not be realistic, because a big monster could go near him and start to tear him apart while he is praying...
I agree that all classes must fight. But that all classes fight in a different way.

A cleric being attacked might sing a hymn to his god or pray like the blows don't hurt him. A monster might have committed a lot of sins against his religion so the cleric might fight back with the hell for that monsters crime against his church.

A cleric may fight a gluttonous monster by making the monster incredible large and slow making him have to struggle with every blow.

For a cleric, strength may mean fortitude. His resistance from a monster's blows to distract him from praying. Quickness for a cleric could be his ability to change between different types of prayers and rituals for his god. Constitution may be his ability to stay devoted to his god despite rejection.

Sorry for trying to give CPR to a dead horse but hey in an RPG the difference between dead and alive is the save/load button. 8)

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