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MMORPG Game Concepts  » Platforming/Exploration MMO Concept

3 posts found
  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

 
OP  4/30/12 9:38:37 PM#1

I was watching Let's Play vids of the game I Am Alive, and it got me to thinking about a concept of mine that was on a backburner for quite some time. The climbing/exploration aesthetics of it really helped put mine into perspective, and I'd like to discuss it with ya'll. Namely, "what's missing?", etc.

Background

Inspired by Peter Pan, Lord of the Flies and Tekkonkinkreet. Based on a group of "Lost Boys" (not limited to males) that lives, orphaned, in a music-box city rising out of vast ocean. The children of this world face their own survival, without parental supervision, and are forced to band together and scour the map for salvageables. The entire adult presence has become habitual slaves to the maintenance of the city, and wander aimlessly, completely oblivious to everything around them. The theme is that of street urchin children trying to irk out a living while their parents are too busy to care about them (It's deep).


Features

  • Fully explorable outdoor environment, with tall structures that have multiple paths across it's surface, and occasional hazardous set pieces.
  • Climbing and strenuous platforming/ability usage will tire out a character, slowing their movement until a rest emote can be made on a surface (standing idle, or sitting on a ledge). The stamina bar is dual-acting, determining when a Player starts to feel winded while moving, and causes a 'black-out' when empty. Skills like gliding/hovering and grappling with a lasso are dependent on a wide array of consumables that are found, then hoarded/traded.
  •  Mission strucure based on locating an adult NPC with a job that needs doing, and their appearance depends on the time of day, and the tasks they would be caught doing at that time. Most objectives are simply to reach an out-of-the-way area and retrieve an item, and many will have cutscenes and lore development.
  • A 'Looter Viewpoint' that is used to center the camera on a far-away object that can be picked up, generally giving a sense of a path to it. Used in random 'salvage races' that appear, where a rare/uncommon piece of loot appears and gets the notice of all players within 1000m.
  • All loot has no immediate use, unless a consumable. It's main purpose is in a 'jury rigging' type of crafting that is used to make clothing, tools and shelters. Crafting requires no tools, just an interface similar to Minecraft (placement in a grid), and the materials used can change the outcome.
  • Player housing in the form of craftable tents and shanties upon the rooftops of various buildings. Each enclave acts as an individual tribe, and leads to Player-politics to determine who gets placement rights, and who has to share lodgings once it gets full. Fully decoratable with craftable furniture, and a no-theft hard ruleset. Currently questioning whether raiding rival settlements is a good idea or not.
  •  Player-Characters age depending on the completion of a main quest. The tutorial will see toddlers emerge into children, then the first branch of quests that use the extent of platforming abilities will lead to teenage status, then PvP is unlocked. Rocks can be thrown, and slingshots fired at any age, but are only useful in causing a target to slip during a climb or attempting to otherwise platform. PvP allows for knockouts via direct combat, and then being dropped off the edge of a building to wake up below and climb back up.
  • There is no death, per se, rather a 'blackout' that lasts based on the severity of the damage incurred. Usually between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, just long enough for you to be put at a disadvantage. You cannot use blackout as a teleport out of the area, you will always revive at the spot you dropped at. The intention is to use a blackout as an opportunity to otherwise dispose of a threat by dropping them off the edge - but since it can be used as a repeatable method of grief - all Players have an option to "tail between legs", meaning they cannot be attacked until it's let up, but it causes them to move 50% slower (kicking them out of competition). It must be up for a manditory 3 minutes before opting to drop it.
  •  Combat is similar to a smash-em-up, as Players run around with melee weapons and bash each other. All ranged weapons cause a stun of some kind, visibly seen through animation, and usually dependant on the area hit - thusly causing a hit leg to cause it to slip from a sturdy footing, etc. All melee weapons are of a ratio of damage to attack speed, but ranged weapons tend to lean towards air soft guns that use the in-game currency - ball bearings (something the clockwork city has plenty of).
 
 
 

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  anemo

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/10
Posts: 699

5/01/12 5:24:55 PM#2

I like the thought of death actually being get tossed away from objectives.  

So since the death penalty is getting tossed closer to the "ground" what happens when they get to ground level.   Do you just wrap around(IE map is better drawn on a cylinder),  or are the rewards just so bad for the characters "age" they have nowhere to go but up?   Lets see for a PvE game a binary win/lose due to PvP is counter productive, something like smaller rewards for the victium(based solely on time took, or secondary rewards) and a bonus for the predator sounds more in line for a game with more PvE.

Lets see not having actually health bars sounds pretty awesome.   From my understanding players damage counts up, then when you fall you are punished based on how bad you were hurt.   So from a PvP perspective the fight stays interesting no matter what since even the person winning utterly can still lose if the person behind pulls something clever.   The person getting an initial jump still has an advantage, but they can't just laugh not caring about keeping it no matter what happens the rest of the fight.

For aging it reminds me a little bit of mabinogi.   Start as something like 11, then every week age 1 year ending at 17 or so.  They actually take it some places by having different ages gaining different stats at level up, and the ability to "rebirth"/remort your character to a younger age(losing gained stats, levels, but keeping learned skills) to make some types of advancement a lot easier(Remort is the classic MMO/P&P term).

I'm going to say that for a 2D game aiming for the head/feet/body is something I don't like.   Essentially to get to the point where avatars are large enough to actually do this, you're going to need an area that players can use range attacks from larger than the screen.   While perfectly possible to have scrolling similar to an RTS, from my experiencs from a now defunct tank game it's more annoying than fun(this can also happen in teeworlds online which is still alive).

Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

"There are still vast swaths of our planet's surface in which it's surprisingly easy to lose things. Even a ship the size of a large building." Richard Fisher

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

 
OP  5/01/12 10:29:45 PM#3
Originally posted by anemo

I like the thought of death actually being get tossed away from objectives.  

So since the death penalty is getting tossed closer to the "ground" what happens when they get to ground level.   Do you just wrap around(IE map is better drawn on a cylinder),  or are the rewards just so bad for the characters "age" they have nowhere to go but up?  Lets see for a PvE game a binary win/lose due to PvP is counter productive, something like smaller rewards for the victium(based solely on time took, or secondary rewards) and a bonus for the predator sounds more in line for a game with more PvE.

See, now that is something I didn't really expect; height = linear progression.

It would make sense in the long run, but essentially just makes getting to the good stuff a complete chore. To be a true exploration sandbox (don't shoot me over the usage) it would have to have the player go to an area based on personal need, and that means the logical step is 'biomes' that will seed an expected resource. If you need to stock food go to the overgrown areas, if cloth, it could be expected on flagpoles along certain highrises. The one thing that still needs to be there, though, is a metric of item rarity in-tune with how 'deep' a Player can go (relative to "the ground", basically".

As for PvE, I never really considered a combat aligned side to any of it, because I was aiming for the kind of "solitary" theme of the world to make player interaction much more interesting. A little inspiration from the game Journey, and something I failed to mention was an aim at grouping making ascension easier. Examples would be lifting one player higher to an otherwise hard to reach climbing point, or having someone save you when your grip is loosened for whatever reason... but for 'actual' PvE... I have a hard time having any kind be identifyable to the theme, besides drones ala MGS2. They would buzz around and try to knock you down, requiring preemptive ranged attacks to blow them out of the air.

~but this raises the question of "was having to fight off things while in the middle of a really brain-teasing platforming sequence ever a good thing?"

I can actually say "no". It throws a wrench into an otherwise orderly, serene and appealing game... like an escort mission in a survival horror... but it still makes sense, like in Ico, but it can be understood why there were no smaller mobs in SotC.

 

Lets see not having actually health bars sounds pretty awesome.   From my understanding players damage counts up, then when you fall you are punished based on how bad you were hurt.   So from a PvP perspective the fight stays interesting no matter what since even the person winning utterly can still lose if the person behind pulls something clever.   The person getting an initial jump still has an advantage, but they can't just laugh not caring about keeping it no matter what happens the rest of the fight.

The initial idea was that getting bashed tired you out physically to where you stagger to the point of non-input. Then a threshold is struck, and you blackout... so in a sense, the stamina bar that mans the grip is the health bar. I do like your take on it better though, but there is an issue where all that added damage requires a sheer mistake via fall damage to actually incur. If there is PvP, there has to be a clear knockout at some point. Perhaps there is a way to blend the two.

For aging it reminds me a little bit of mabinogi.   Start as something like 11, then every week age 1 year ending at 17 or so.  They actually take it some places by having different ages gaining different stats at level up, and the ability to "rebirth"/remort your character to a younger age(losing gained stats, levels, but keeping learned skills) to make some types of advancement a lot easier(Remort is the classic MMO/P&P term).

Well, the aging aspect was solely for a bit of character-immersion, and to add a bit of connection to the NPCs across all ages that hand out missions (story or otherwise). It's like, the older kids look out for the younger ones and have a code not to touch them, so it makes sense that early players should not be whooped on in a lore-defined way. It's also to present late-game themes of eventually becoming and adult, and a "cog in the machine", so to speak. So the endgame is about staving it off (though, perhaps not literally). Ideally, though, it would be wise to allow Players to never move onto teenage gameplay to avoid PvP, but it means an unfair advantage to others - so height, again, would have to determine who is allowed where - forcing non-teen types to the lower levels. Kind of a rite of passage and all that.

Perhaps, though, I am taking the idea of aging too simply. There could be a scale based on time-played (or active account) that ages a character naturally, and the older you get, the harder it is to platform.  Then people would have to craft or find something to reverse/stunt/etc the aging process to find their perferred balance (usually based on vanity).

I have not even considered a form of character progression, and was relying on a collectable nature of gameplay advancement (having the most stuff gives you more options). It would make sense to have *something*, though, but it can also create clear disadvantages in the race-like nature of getting to loot.

 

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture