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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » THE ROAD (by Cormac McCarthy) MMO - wanted !

10 posts found
  Draccan

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/07
Posts: 1078

sandbox is king

 
OP  6/24/08 12:46:07 PM#1

 

Hi

I have this idea for a new mmo that could be really cool but also very difficult to make, but not impossible (except for naysayers and people with no imagination)..

Anyways it is based on the book THE ROAD by CORMAC MCCARTHY (you don't need to buy the IP per se, though it would be nice).

 

Story and concept

The story is one of survival in a post apocalyptic world. The world is ravaged by nuclear holocaust and is dying. There is no crops, everything is burned and scarred. There is almost no food. People are grouping into scavening groups. Some prey on others and even eat them in desperation. Others in turn will just survive and not be blindsided by evil to live.

Will you be the decent loner and survivor, the one carrying light to others and aiming to recreate a society or will you scavenge and kill anyone you meet?

 

Skills and progression

This mmo is skill based. You can learn to drive a truck or shoot a gun. However bullets and gasoline is scarce. The main thing here is not skills or the usual progression in mmos. The main thing is survival.

You can lose skill points when dying. But not age.

Also you have a reputation / conscience gauge that shows you (and other players) how much bad stuff you have done. Stealing / looting / killing? Self defense kills or unmotivated killings.

 

Weather

The weather is very important. Very dynamic. You live and die by the weather. Finding shelter, avoiding others and not getting your things wet or finding a container for your rotten apples. Maybe even logging a shopping car around. Having tools to fix it. All this is important.

Radiation is a big factor here. Always watch your radiation levels. If they get too high you might start coughing blood, get tired more easily, able to carry less, finally it might become lethal and you die.

 

Avatars and aging and dying


In this mmo your avatar ages. You can play any age, but you will get older. So the older you start, the shorter you will live. But the younger you are the more hard it is to survive and make it. Older ones start more skilled. Younger ones starts with fewer skills and will be more in need of tutalage and playing around with things to learn how they work.

While there is no instancing there are large / no huge zones. Population is very low and npcs are scattered around but not met often.

Dying is finite after 10 (or so) lives. You have ten precious lives and then permadeath. Your avatar can be fat or thin, but you might lose endurance if very over weight. Also you loose weight when not eating. Since food is incredible hard to find (you can die from hunger and exhaustion) you most likely will loose a lot of weight and your avatar changes with it.

 

Groups

Guilds here are 10 men maximum. No more can find food or sustain themselves.

 

Surviving and goal

Surviving is key here and moving away from contaminated areas. Svavenge for food. Find shelter for storms.

Everywhere you go you are afraid you meet other people. Most likely they will steal your equipment (full loot) and food, they probably kill you too and if you are really unlucky they will eat you.

 

Spawn points and dying

When you start the game you will start in one of a multitude of places. This could pretty much be thousands of places. So no spawn camping.

You pretty much go back to square one when you die. Also death is closer to disaster / contamination zones, so you would want to move south towards Mexico or South of Spain (depending on continent played).

People will naturally go south to avoid that radiation. Once they get really south (takes months of playing) the endgame starts where people will try to find places to grow food or group up, create a civil society, laws or just scavenge and steal from others.

 

Health bars and other mechanics

The health bars doesn't bounce up and down like normal. Here you can get wounded. Wounds get affected. Can you get medicine? Will you hump around on a broken leg? Be carried by your mates (suicide and restart of this toon is possible).

There is full loot in this game. Should people not pick up your stuff you can find it again.

There is no magic bags holding tons of stuff. What you keep must be fitted on you, get regular bags fitting normal size stuff. Or a car and gasoline if really really lucky, but this will only get you so far, roads blocked and broken and if you leave the car it can be hotwired or stolen.

 

Weapons and equipment and fighting

Weapons here is not your tradition mmo. If you get a gun with one bullet you are dangerous. You can use threatening stances with your weapons. Your enemies will know if they don't stealth (not invisibility but hiding) and disarm you, you might kill them. Survival is key here. On the other hand you are not likely to shoot your bullet if there are three with sticks or clubs. It is a delicate balance. Will you yield your food. Negotiate.

Here it is possible by the way to have instant online chat (if you enable it for your toon) with people around you so you dont have to write. So you can keep the gun pointed and engage in discussions. There is no certainty that handing over some food means they wont demand more.

 

Missions and quests

There are no npcs with question marks over their heads. If you meet a child crying you can either avoid it, go there and talk or go there and kill the child and eat it. If you talk you might be asked to help the child find a parent. Do so can be on your own peril. You might get to group with npcs that will let you lead them or they might give you a can of tomatoes (food for the day) or even some medicine.

Every day is a quest to avoid cold, find food, find ways of coping with your radiation levels, electrical storms and smokey days, days of scorching heat.

 

Endgame

When you get to the endgame you will either fight to create a scavenging society, be a hired merc for mishap bands of killers or loners trying to carve our a life for them and their friends and familiy or just themselves, or a group of decent human being trying to recreate order in their lives and society. Player cities (more like camps with adv. ones having a good stockade and irrigation and some basic sanitation) and be built and destroyed. The land is vast and you can hide for a while but not for ever. There are constantly changing and moving ressources to gather and split between you or take and keep for yourself.

A game of survival where you are constantly on your toes to survive and move on with your destiny. You might even group up and play a husband, wife and four kids. All servers are pvp, all servers are full loot. There is no carebear, no elves, no magic, just the nitty gritty fights to find food and live in a world gone mad, in a world where a rotten apple might be the sustanance that keeps you alive to live and fight the next day.

NPCs might track you and hunt you down. Hiding and stealth, removing tracks after you when it snows, freeing people about to be eaten by thugs, crawling in tall grass to snatch that truck with food away for a player who left it for a second to go scavenge an old scarred house.

This mmo is a change to all you know about mmos. While combat is a part of the game there are no classes, no magic, no soldiers with unlimited (or even lots) of ammo. Every thing is dirt realistic. You find 20 gallons of gasoline? How are you going to carry it. Either put it in a shopping cart if you are lucky to have one or dig it down to pick it up later. Digging leaves a mark that other players can track maybe.

Besides player versus player there is also a lot of fighting from npcs. Random events, npcs travelling or hiding in a forest, a house where npcs keep prisoners. In the endgame there could be npc groups. And they might disagree with your brutal warrior society or your democratic group of freemen and thus try to slay you and burn your city and steal your crops.

 

Get the picture? Comments are welcome. Please don't flame!

 

Draccan

 

 

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CASUAL CONFESSIONS - Draccan's blog
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  Cartography

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 334

6/24/08 1:07:12 PM#2

The Road is an amazing novel, and I love McCarthy's work. Would be really cool to see something like this, great idea haha.

  Draccan

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/07
Posts: 1078

sandbox is king

 
OP  6/24/08 4:32:11 PM#3

 

Further info

If you kill a npc boy or even help him find a parent he might not spawn that place again.. next time six hours later someplace else with a new random name.

The game will need adv. mathematics for AI and for ressources. Depending on logged in people there needs to be just about enough ressources for most people to get some food, but not enough so that you lose the interest in how hard it is to find food.
Famine is a part of the game! Esp. for endgame where you actually start growing stuff further away from the hardest hit disaster zones.
Concerning the AI there is npcs migrating from disaster zones towards south too. Literally travelling for days and days making stops, camps etc. Some random patterns here to make it unpredictable. Also you never know if they are good or bad people, killers or decent survivors. Meeting them is a taking a big chance.
Scouting on others, spying is important. Randomness factors. But controlled in a way where the GMs can up the ressources or lower the amount of NPC where necessary.

You wake up in this mmo lying somewhere, with nothing. Your starting character might get a choice of say 1 item; frail cart that will last you a few days but that might be upgradeable / repaired, a pocket/utility knife, a club, a matchbox for fire etc.

____________________________
CASUAL CONFESSIONS - Draccan's blog
____________________________

  Draccan

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/07
Posts: 1078

sandbox is king

 
OP  6/25/08 9:53:10 AM#4

I like the idea of being able to (in the endgame zone) brining up children and take them over as you get old; apprentice system (like they were a "pet") where you teach them your skills etc.

Could be interesting and new.

 

____________________________
CASUAL CONFESSIONS - Draccan's blog
____________________________

  nashysmashy

Novice Member

Joined: 1/08/07
Posts: 10

6/25/08 10:33:44 AM#5

(WARNING! THIS REPLY MAY CONTAIN GRADE SCHOOL SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION OR WORSE)

            All your ideas are great but i can not warp around the ageing witch is something i see as a problem or you could explain more indepth. I mean how would you implement the ageing.  Is the idea to put a day to night system in game? If so is it gonna run off of real time like 60s a min and 60min an hour to 24hrs a day? Or is it more like 1 min in game is equal to 30min in life.  And the ageing you quote "Dying is finite after 10 (or so) lives. You have ten precious lives and then permadeath." What is the average lifespan in the game? and when your char ages to the specific age of death do you start over when you started?

           But your ideas are great so far that ive read and id enjoy to see how the combat would play out cause like you said. "If you get a gun with one bullet you are dangerous" BUT! lets say the person thats attacking you found a bullet proof vest, Or if you wanna be crazy in post apocolypse A cooking pan armor helmet and a frying pan chest guard. Would that make the other player more dareing?

             The voice chat idea i think is great to be able to hold a gun at a person, "So you can keep the gun pointed and engage in discussions", and negotiate terms. But the only problem i can forsee with this would haveing some immature person run up to you with a baseball bat screaming "LEEEEEROOOOY JENKINS!" as he caves in your skull.

               But to make what im saying short is go over the ideas again, BUT keep the original in a special place, and try to simplify more. Cause some of the ideas would be awsome to implement but some would be to complex and would take away from other aspecs of the game.

  ladyattis

Novice Member

Joined: 10/22/04
Posts: 1261

Wicked Witch of Single Player Games!

6/25/08 10:59:18 AM#6


Originally posted by nashysmashy

             The voice chat idea i think is great to be able to hold a gun at a person, "So you can keep the gun pointed and engage in discussions", and negotiate terms. But the only problem i can forsee with this would haveing some immature person run up to you with a baseball bat screaming "LEEEEEROOOOY JENKINS!" as he caves in your skull.

I don't think it's the problem that you might foresee as the limited lives forces players to stop being idiots and think instead. If they don't they become the countless that die, thus adding to the feeling of a perilous, dying world.

               But to make what im saying short is go over the ideas again, BUT keep the original in a special place, and try to simplify more. Cause some of the ideas would be awsome to implement but some would be to complex and would take away from other aspecs of the game.

Why should he simplify the world? It should stay this complex, because the narrative structure by design is quite simple, and through it much of the mechanics is easily explained. It may come as a shocker to you, but simpler UI or mechanics does not equal easier to get into or easier to start playing/interacting. If that were the case, every major industrial piece of equipment in a factory would look like it was made by Fischer-Price.




-- Brede

  Draccan

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/07
Posts: 1078

sandbox is king

 
OP  6/25/08 11:34:03 AM#7
Originally posted by Vendayn

Loved all your ideas...but not the voice chat idea. See, I have speech problems with certain sounds...so its really embarrassing to communicate with people (tried it, and most of the time they just call me retarded, which I'm not...I have high functioning autism), and its even worse using a microphone or anything like that. So I just don't use voice chat, which is one reason I don't go on raids either. My social skills are really lacking as well, so I prefer to use text (much easier for me) than using a voice program. I don't even like talking to family or friends on the phone...

 

Anyway, everything else sounds amazing, I would definitely play something like that.

 

I hear you!

The voice chat built in should just be a possibility. Not a prerequisite to play. So you can hear them, but if you prefer typing they just see a bubble over the head.

:)

____________________________
CASUAL CONFESSIONS - Draccan's blog
____________________________

  Draccan

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/07
Posts: 1078

sandbox is king

 
OP  6/25/08 11:40:25 AM#8
Originally posted by nashysmashy

(WARNING! THIS REPLY MAY CONTAIN GRADE SCHOOL SPELLING AND PUNCTUATION OR WORSE)

            All your ideas are great but i can not warp around the ageing witch is something i see as a problem or you could explain more indepth. I mean how would you implement the ageing.  Is the idea to put a day to night system in game? If so is it gonna run off of real time like 60s a min and 60min an hour to 24hrs a day? Or is it more like 1 min in game is equal to 30min in life.  And the ageing you quote "Dying is finite after 10 (or so) lives. You have ten precious lives and then permadeath." What is the average lifespan in the game? and when your char ages to the specific age of death do you start over when you started?

           But your ideas are great so far that ive read and id enjoy to see how the combat would play out cause like you said. "If you get a gun with one bullet you are dangerous" BUT! lets say the person thats attacking you found a bullet proof vest, Or if you wanna be crazy in post apocolypse A cooking pan armor helmet and a frying pan chest guard. Would that make the other player more dareing?

             The voice chat idea i think is great to be able to hold a gun at a person, "So you can keep the gun pointed and engage in discussions", and negotiate terms. But the only problem i can forsee with this would haveing some immature person run up to you with a baseball bat screaming "LEEEEEROOOOY JENKINS!" as he caves in your skull.

               But to make what im saying short is go over the ideas again, BUT keep the original in a special place, and try to simplify more. Cause some of the ideas would be awsome to implement but some would be to complex and would take away from other aspecs of the game.

 

Ladyattis answered most of these pretty well! :)

But ageing is a new and imho awesome concept for an mmo. If you introduce offspring, the ability to make kids and teach them your skills, so you pass on the knowledge and take them over (they keep last name) then your blood line is intact, so in some way the loss of old age is less hard (unless you lose the offspring).

As for time I believe there has to be an acc. system with several day nights pr. real life day. Also on top of that each in game day counts as X numbers of days. Else it wouldn't work. The finer print of this have to be calculated upon to give just the right balance.

 

____________________________
CASUAL CONFESSIONS - Draccan's blog
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  remyburke

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3283

I liked MMOs better when gamers didn't play them, and just geeks did.

6/25/08 11:46:43 AM#9

I enjoyed the book, and while I would also enjoy a post-apoc setting MMO, i'm not sure The Road would be the one I would choose. To me, playing the road would be a never-ending scavenger hunt. Eating rotten apple cores and questionable canned foods. Furthermore, the dialog in the book leaves a lot to be desired. I just imagine people walking around saying only, "ya" and "ok" (lol).

I like your ideas however, and would play that game.

Here's hoping Fallen Earth doesn't suck (if it ever releases).

Cheers.

 

Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  Draccan

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/07
Posts: 1078

sandbox is king

 
OP  6/26/08 11:37:33 AM#10
Originally posted by remyburke

I enjoyed the book, and while I would also enjoy a post-apoc setting MMO, i'm not sure The Road would be the one I would choose. To me, playing the road would be a never-ending scavenger hunt. Eating rotten apple cores and questionable canned foods. Furthermore, the dialog in the book leaves a lot to be desired. I just imagine people walking around saying only, "ya" and "ok" (lol).

I like your ideas however, and would play that game.

Here's hoping Fallen Earth doesn't suck (if it ever releases).

Cheers.

 

 

Fallen Earth is mmfps?

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