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MMORPG Game Concepts  » I'd like to co-design a game...

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135 posts found
  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/14/13 3:55:53 PM#41
Originally posted by ZombieKen

Sure thing.  Can we touch on layers of design?

 

My perspective on design is that there are multiple layers, roughly in order from top down:

Framework - general MMORPG structure that could be used for any game.

Game specific concept - game specific design from an overview perspective (zombie shooter vs. low fantasy RPG)

General structure - implementation of concept in both art and mechanics.

Specific mechanics - specific mechanical details (how is death handled, how is combat math calculated, etc)

 

I have two questions, both regarding one aspect of MMORPG framework design:

 

Given that a themepark MMORPG is based on vertical progression, and given that players start at the beginning and work their way to the end of level-gated content, the pattern emerges where the game becomes top heavy with the majority of players playing characters at top-level.  It is not atypical for games to have 75% or more player characters at the top level.  This leaves low and mid-level areas mostly empty.

 

Typical complaints / comments about top-heavy syndrome:

The leveling areas are dead, and leveling gameplay feels like a single player game.

The leveling process is just a tutorial, since the real game starts at level-cap.

I want to play with my friends, and I cannot since they are all high level and I'm just starting.

 

1. How could the MMORPG framework be redesigned so that either A) the top-heavy syndrome is avoided, or B) the top-heavy syndrome becomes less of a problem (avoid symptoms)?

 

2. Is it financially appropriate to spend a large portion of a game's budget creating low and mid-level content, only to have these areas become nearly empty in the matter of a few months after release?

 

Now there's a meaty question.  For the layers, I'd probably reverse concept and framework because a different concept can require or inspire changes to the genre's established framework, but basically I agree that designs have layers, from abstract at the top to specific details and numbers at the bottom.

Now leveling progression vs. endgame.  I don't think I can answer this question in an unbiased way because I personally don't play the endgame of MMOs.  I've never participated in a raid, I've once or twice been drafted into faction PvP, and I have no desire to do either of these again.  Since I'm not interested in playing MMO endgames I don't have any reason to be interested in designing them, or any experiential basis to design them from.  Its the first 20-30 levels of any MMO that I really love because that's where the rich story and the survivalism-themed crafting activities are.  I usually feel "driven out" of MMOs by 2/3 of the way to the level cap because the questing just evaporates, forcing you into more and more group play that I don't want.  My personal preference is for games which have an actual ending, or at least a final dungeon with a final boss which rewards the player with the ability to roll a new character with a bonus (mew game+), or a crafting tech tree where the player can discover 100% of possible crafting abilities, or regularly timed server restarts.  A Tale In The Desert and Wizard 101 are two examples of different progression vs. endgame models that get my stamp of approval; or an MMO version of Skyrim could keep me playing for even more than the 300 hours that single-player Skyrim did.  I also am not a big fan of guilds/clans, which are directly tied to endgame content like raiding.  But financially I can see why MMOs really want players to hang around forever, not play for 3 months then leave.  If you're talking about flawed concepts though, I think "play the same MMO for more than 6 months" is the inherently flawed concept.

I guess my proposed compromise is, use sandbox content and the de-linking of pvp from pve to fold what used to be endgame content into the progression part of the game, which has the convenient side effect of spacing out progression so its less important and feels less grindy because you don't make yourself sick doing it all at once.  What I'm talking about is one of these games where there are different kinds of levels, and gaining pve levels doesn't give you an advantage at pvp, so you aren't required to pve first if you only want to pvp.  Similarly, having a high pve or pvp level doesn't give you an advantage at crafting. 

My goals in designing questing into an MMO would be 1. To make the initial set of tutorials fun by wrapping story around them.  2. To make the setting feel vivid to players and get them immersed into it, which enables their self-storytelling while playing non-verbal parts of the game.  3. The interactive portion of the story allows the player to develop their character and do some true roleplaying, which also helps the player feel immersed in and invested in the world.  4. Questing orients the player to what they should do next if there's nothing else they currently want to be doing, and leads the player to all the game's locations at an enjoyable pace, giving the player opportunities to discover courtable NPCs, unique gatherables and recipes, dungeons with unique rewards, etc. associated with each area.  So overall questing is about establishing immersion, providing character development opportunities (aka interactive adventures), and regulating pacing.  I would never want people to try to rush through questing to get to some different kind of play because they would be throwing away all the fun story value of the quests, for what?  Better to allow them just to avoid the questing if they aren't having fun doing it, the same way I as a player want to be allowed to avoid PvP and group play because I don't have fun doing it.

So, yeah... I'd like to design a game where questing is what you do when your friends aren't online or because you like soloing.  If you want to play with your friends who have been playing longer, that should be what PvP is for (and probably there would be two different types of PvP, one realtime combat with the player's avatar and one turn-based tactical combat with pets or cards).  There could be multiplayer minigames also, like a 2-player board game and a 4-player card game (traditional numbered cards, not a CCG).  If you have more questions, please ask, it's a big topic and I don't feel like I covered it all. :)

  gobla

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1411

C'est la vie.

12/14/13 4:32:44 PM#42

I'll drop a post here since this seems like a fun topic.

Programmer here and currently in the process of thinking of starting back up again doing some hobby game programming.

Used to mess around with an open source MMO engine while in High School, 'bout a decade ago now. Bit of a piece of crap to be honest, written in VB6 with the most horrid netcode I've ever seen. But was fun working on it, rewriting the netcode and upgrading it to use DirectX7.

Since then went to uni to study IT and working as a software engineer now but haven't really kept on developing games so looking to get back into that now.

Been thinking of starting a project in c++ using SDL, likely 2D for now. Using emscripten I could compile that to javascript or just keep it native, depending on the size of the code and complexity of the game. Being able to have your game web-based at first, without any plugins needed ( freaking hate flash... ), seems like it would help a lot with accessibility and making sure your game is actually played with the option to easily move native if it ever grows since your source will still be in c++ using SDL.

Will probably take a little bit to get used to c++ again, used it a lot while in uni but haven't used it for my job ( mostly Ruby, Java and Javascript ), but hey, I like programming so no sweat there.

We are the bunny.
Resistance is futile.
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  User Deleted
12/14/13 4:41:16 PM#43
Originally posted by gobla
 

Been thinking of starting a project in c++ using SDL, likely 2D for now.

 

I'm way out of date on tools.  What is SDL?

 

  gobla

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/30/07
Posts: 1411

C'est la vie.

12/14/13 4:53:59 PM#44
Originally posted by ZombieKen
Originally posted by gobla
 

Been thinking of starting a project in c++ using SDL, likely 2D for now.

I'm way out of date on tools.  What is SDL?

Simple DirectMedia Layer:

http://www.libsdl.org/

Basically just a wrapper for both DirectX and OpenGL for a lot of cross-platform compatibility. Also supported by emscripten for compilation to WebGL.

If it's good enough for Valve then it's good enough for me I figure.

We are the bunny.
Resistance is futile.
''/\/\'''''/\/\''''''/\/\
( o.o) ( o.o) ( o.o)
(")("),,(")("),(")(")

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/14/13 5:04:02 PM#45
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Call me crazy, but it seems like Zombie, neo and sun might be a great team to breathe life into that WnC project. Between the three of you, you've got a framework, ideas, some experience and talent.

WnC project... is this something that was mentioned in the thread and I missed it?  What is it?

  User Deleted
12/14/13 5:13:21 PM#46
Originally posted by gobla
Originally posted by ZombieKen
Originally posted by gobla
 

Been thinking of starting a project in c++ using SDL, likely 2D for now.

I'm way out of date on tools.  What is SDL?

Simple DirectMedia Layer:

http://www.libsdl.org/

Basically just a wrapper for both DirectX and OpenGL for a lot of cross-platform compatibility. Also supported by emscripten for compilation to WebGL.

If it's good enough for Valve then it's good enough for me I figure.

 

Oh that looks sweet!   Great license terms too.  Thanks for the info.  More reading to do *sigh*  :-)

  User Deleted
12/14/13 5:21:41 PM#47
Originally posted by sunandshadow
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Call me crazy, but it seems like Zombie, neo and sun might be a great team to breathe life into that WnC project. Between the three of you, you've got a framework, ideas, some experience and talent.

WnC project... is this something that was mentioned in the thread and I missed it?  What is it?

 

My game, actually my second.  VIDEO from alpha Feb 2013.  Currently mothballed due to burnout, poor health (physical and psych), and having to stop what I was doing to refurbish a property, so I could move.

 

Not to mention I have a really bad habit of if I don't like how things are turning out, I tear everything apart and start over (done this more than once).  It's a great way to piss off testers.  I swear I don't mean to, I'm just not going to finish a game that's not worth finishing.

 

In fairness, this isn't likely to be of interest for you.  The MMO framework that I have licensed is an EQ1 clone and has huge issues when it comes to sandboxy features.  It doesn't fit with WoW style gameplay since there is no support for private instancing (all dungeons are public).  It's best suited as a mob-grinder / public dungeon runner, or maybe an open-world PVP game (not battleground or arena style).

 

I toyed with trying to give it a Morrowind gameplay slant, but that isn't cutting it.  I don't have a solid concept, so mechanics are just a mish-mash of themeparkish, sandboxish, and EQish game design.

 

Of any area of MMORPG creation, design is where I have the most problems.  This is complicated because I don't know what I DO want, and most of the time the engine can't or won't support what I do want.

 

Long story made really short.  I stumbled into MMOWorkshop.com in 2008.  Buy the artwork, license the engine, assemble a game, that looks EASY.  I should be done in 6 months.  Geesh, did I get that wrong!

 

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/14/13 6:50:53 PM#48
Originally posted by ZombieKen
Originally posted by sunandshadow
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Call me crazy, but it seems like Zombie, neo and sun might be a great team to breathe life into that WnC project. Between the three of you, you've got a framework, ideas, some experience and talent.

WnC project... is this something that was mentioned in the thread and I missed it?  What is it?

 

My game, actually my second.  VIDEO from alpha Feb 2013.  Currently mothballed due to burnout, poor health (physical and psych), and having to stop what I was doing to refurbish a property, so I could move.

 

Not to mention I have a really bad habit of if I don't like how things are turning out, I tear everything apart and start over (done this more than once).  It's a great way to piss off testers.  I swear I don't mean to, I'm just not going to finish a game that's not worth finishing.

 

In fairness, this isn't likely to be of interest for you.  The MMO framework that I have licensed is an EQ1 clone and has huge issues when it comes to sandboxy features.  It doesn't fit with WoW style gameplay since there is no support for private instancing (all dungeons are public).  It's best suited as a mob-grinder / public dungeon runner, or maybe an open-world PVP game (not battleground or arena style).

 

I toyed with trying to give it a Morrowind gameplay slant, but that isn't cutting it.  I don't have a solid concept, so mechanics are just a mish-mash of themeparkish, sandboxish, and EQish game design.

 

Of any area of MMORPG creation, design is where I have the most problems.  This is complicated because I don't know what I DO want, and most of the time the engine can't or won't support what I do want.

 

Long story made really short.  I stumbled into MMOWorkshop.com in 2008.  Buy the artwork, license the engine, assemble a game, that looks EASY.  I should be done in 6 months.  Geesh, did I get that wrong!

 

Ah, I wondered if maybe that was the previous project you were talking about, I just didn't see that acronym anywhere.  No instancing, huh... I was thinking that Dofus works well without instancing, but then I realized, every single combat in Dofus is an instance, that's why there's no real need for them to instance dungeons.  I'm not sure what would actually be complicated to implement about instancing... could you just have, say, 3 or 5 copies of every dungeon, and teleport players to the correct one when they went through the dungeon entrance?  But yeah sandboxy features would be a big issue for anything I wanted to design, I absolutely want to have player-constructable housing and crops that can be grown and harvested.  There's probably some crossover between the under-the-hood mechanics of those and minigames too.  Also, I'd normally want an MMO engine that supported jumping and swimming and flying - that was one of my major issues with the Ryzom engine, which I looked at (with limited understanding) a few years ago when it was opensourced.  (I never actually played EQ so I'm guessing it didn't have swimming and flying.)

If you tend to tear things apart and start over, you could build modularly.  That way you could start over _first_, and not tear out the old version until/unless the new one is ready to plug in as a replacement module.  But I agree it's generally good to save time and effort by planning out something likely to work before implementing anything.

*goes to watch the video*  By the way, last time I was burned out it took me a full year to feel like tackling something again, and even then I wasn't at full energy.  I didn't really have health problems to deal with on top of that either.  Which stage of burnout recovery are you at?

  MMO-Veteran

Novice Member

Joined: 10/04/13
Posts: 47

12/14/13 7:20:31 PM#49

I interned with Reverie World Studios on Dawn of Fantasy and have inspired to develop an MMO since basically 1999. Over the years I have went through notebook after notebook of "ideas" and functional systems but I feel like I kept making complex systems which would turn the game niche.

 

Ultimately though I believe the best combat is a quick paced, aim based system that promotes group play and allows a game mechanic to be hordes of mobs that a group could tear through. A very indepth class system that in many ways may be more advanced then most games based on the popularity of league of legends(120 different characters). You take 10 classes and let those classes build into 4-5 different styles for instance; Blood Mage, Pyromancer; Frost Mage; Necromancer and then let each of those builds break off into different styles of the same class (DPS, Support, Control). Break the trees up into SKILL|Passive and allow the player to chose limited passives or skill from another tree to further diversify how they perform. Leveling should be fast because we accept FINALLY that end game is the game and the leveling process is just a tutorial on how to play your character.

 

For end game or as I refer to it THE GAME, you give players the ability to control the world; not technically but their effect will be felt. You have 5-6 major cities in different regions, a place people call home and they build faction with the city by completing objectives. These regions start primitive compared to what they would be because the players can gather mats and craft bigger walls.. better buildings that gives them all small bonuses. As the capital city grows players can start creating farm lands and connecting towns outside of the city. The PvP aspect would offer a diplomatic resolve and single players or guilds could be given objectives by their home land to sack a village or raid the opposing capital city.

 

I also believe in offering a free market where players can create player made cities off the mainland and compete against other player made cities directly. Of course a million penis's would shrivel up at reading that PvP was a prevalent feature so I'll go into PvE. PvE armies and cities will exist on their own; life bars will be smaller for both PvE and players so the chance of death is always there as one of the mob mechanics is hordes. Dungeons and Raid Bosses would work on interesting and new mechanics; things that people have never seen before.

 

I'll detail one raid boss I particular find incredibly difficult but would love it to exist in a game. Lord of the Underworld, In a diabloisk setting you'd fight your way down from a cathedral through 4 levels to hell. If anyone dies they're removed from the instance entirely. There will be stints that require the 24-40 man group to break up and complete separate objectives within a time period to acess the next floor or mini boss. As you meet the end boss for an epic encounter the undead rise and start swarming. If any player falls in the fight with the Lord of the Underworld he brings them back to life under his control. Those players retain their stats and skills as they are forced to kill their friends.

 

Feel free to message me if you'd like to discuss some things more in depth, I'd love to be involved in the writing side of a project I could make detailed lists and mechanics for the various features of a product.

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/14/13 7:31:09 PM#50
@MMO-Veteran  That's... a completely different type of MMO than we've been talking about in this thread so far.  Not saying it's a bad type of MMO, but if you want to work with this group you'd have to be willing to go in a different direction, because that's not the kind of game we'd be making.  We're looking toward a classless game with pve being mainly a solo activity, while PvP is the primary group activity and takes place in a completely separate location from pve and crafting activities.  Players would not be able to control or create cities, aside from the fact that every player gets their own piece of (portable) territory to build and craft on.
  User Deleted
12/14/13 7:50:09 PM#51
Originally posted by sunandshadow
 

If you tend to tear things apart and start over, you could build modularly.  That way you could start over _first_, and not tear out the old version until/unless the new one is ready to plug in as a replacement module.  But I agree it's generally good to save time and effort by planning out something likely to work before implementing anything.

*goes to watch the video*  By the way, last time I was burned out it took me a full year to feel like tackling something again, and even then I wasn't at full energy.  I didn't really have health problems to deal with on top of that either.  Which stage of burnout recovery are you at?

 

I'm really good at backups, so I tend to do a side by side code comparison when I have things that need to move from one to another.  Not quite modularity, but it works.

 

Swimming and flying it has, also the ability to do character morphs with associated stat changes (like WoW Druid).  Mounts are in the engine itself, but they don't work in the MMO framework.

 

Burnout recovery is going pretty well.  It was a nice although exhausting summer.  I'm going through withdrawals from sleeping pills, but I'm feeling pretty well on my other meds.  Being off the sleeping pills resolved what turned out to be a drug side effect that was sending me into random fits of rage.  Once I'm done detoxing I'm hoping to be at 60% productivity.  Yes, I can relate with the low energy.

 

Hope you survive the video.  Sorry it's long winded, but I had a lot to cover for a presentation.  I should have edited it down, but there wasn't really time or need.  I'm glad I did the vid as it helps me connect to where my head was at the time.

 

NOTE:  I'm not married to the design.  Sometimes the ideas I come up with sound great until played, then just end up feeling awkward.  I tend for things to be not very intuitive and more complex than needed.  As mentioned earlier, this design stuff really bogs me down.

 

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/14/13 10:13:40 PM#52

@ZombieKen Interesting - my best friend was prescribed sleeping pills to counteract depression/anxiety, and they have made him noticably more mellow, more effective than the actual anti-depression meds.  Probably a different kind though - his are temezepam.

I did survive the video. :)  Not too different from reading one of my long-winded posts about game design, probably. :D  I found it interesting to hear your reasoning about the leveling and exp choices.  It's nice that we have complementary skills - the design is my favorite part.  Though, probably mine would also tend to be more complex than necessary.  Games as a whole are sort of artificial complexity though, it's all about creating toy problems that players can have fun solving and feel smart or strong or virtuous afterward.

I do a lot of my design-related thinking while gaming.  For example these past few days I've been playing Xsyon, and while I was playing it I was comparing it to my memories of playing Wurm Online and A Tale In The Desert, and thinking "Ok if I could cut these games up and make a new one out of the best pieces of all three, what would it be like?  What would be a more fun way for xyz to work?  What is lousy among all three of them, can I think of some other game I could get a better 'replacement part' from?"  Then I often clarify my ideas to myself while writing a reply to someone else's post, or sometimes writing a tutorial.  Oh, maybe I should pimp my "newbie guide to developing a game idea by making a design doc" here:

http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/creative/game-design/developing-your-game-concept-by-making-a-design-document-r3004

I'd link my developer journal blog thingy, but it's got a lot of outdated stuff near the beginning, there's probably something there I don't even agree with any more, and other stuff that would sound laughably naive if I read it now.

 

@Everyone Anyway, back to the thread topic... In order to formally start a project, we would be a leader with managerial skills.  Do you think I should put up recruitment ads looking for such a person?  Or instead, should I put my effort into coming up with a variety of MMO story concepts to see which ones are popular with this group?  I'd like to start doing something useful to build on the enthusiasm I see in this thread, but what should it be?

  Tarblood

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/23/08
Posts: 56

Holy **** CUPCAKE! You leveled up!

12/14/13 10:20:44 PM#53
As per my private message - I have very great managerial skills. Sergeant in the Marine Corps, was holding an E8 billet (Gunnery Sergeant job) as an E4 (Corporal). I supervised over 20 Marines on the maintenance of Air Traffic Control equipment, which as you should assume, is quite vital to flight operations. If interested, mail me back.

Time to get my Marine Corps 6 pack back.

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/14/13 10:59:40 PM#54
Originally posted by Tarblood
As per my private message - I have very great managerial skills. Sergeant in the Marine Corps, was holding an E8 billet (Gunnery Sergeant job) as an E4 (Corporal). I supervised over 20 Marines on the maintenance of Air Traffic Control equipment, which as you should assume, is quite vital to flight operations. If interested, mail me back.

Oh good! :)  I just did PM you with a description of the first task I think a team manager would need to do for a half-formed group like this.

  neonaka

Novice Member

Joined: 3/04/05
Posts: 803

12/15/13 1:16:35 AM#55

Well, I am in also.

Right now we have several pieces of the puzzle. Problem is getting it all to fit. As I watched Ken's video and listened to him explain the world he had created, it became apparent that if he just had the right people working with him on art and design he could really release something great.

The more I watched the more I began to think about what I could do with his world and engine and my art design, then I started to factor in if we had a really great writer we could make something truly unique.

Though we do have some minor issues. With all the work Ken has already done, he has been very open about his physical and mental state at present. Which really means, to take on a full blown project load at the moment, probably isn't the best thing for him. I will not speak for him, but I also do not want to drag him into something he isn't physically ready for.

That being said, other coders have already expressed interest. Which means Ken could go into more of a managerial role over the coding and engine as opposed to doing all the work himself.

These are just things on my mind right now. I think we should really figure out a good time we could all meet up over a chat resource, ventrilo, teamspeak, mumble, google hangout ect. Start filling in gaps and setup team roles ect. and see how everything progresses.

Ideas?

 

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/15/13 2:01:24 AM#56
Originally posted by neonaka

These are just things on my mind right now. I think we should really figure out a good time we could all meet up over a chat resource, ventrilo, teamspeak, mumble, google hangout ect. Start filling in gaps and setup team roles ect. and see how everything progresses.

If we're going to do that, I'd like to do it after doing slightly more recruitment, for example at gamedev.net  Might as well have a big pool of people to start with.  And probably nail down leadership positions before a general meetup.  Then we want to have some kind of agenda for what we want to accomplish at the meetup; it would be ideal to be able to hand out initial tasks then, because the first batch of people will wash out by failing to complete (sometimes even to start) their first task.  Anyone who has contributed something is more likely to last as a team member, and has established their right to have a vote on any issues we want to take a vote on.

  User Deleted
12/15/13 2:17:37 AM#57

As the group is putting together assets, allow me to add one.

 

Take a peek at this afterwards to see what output can look like.

 

  monochrome19

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/09/13
Posts: 322

12/15/13 2:39:25 AM#58

If your looking for a writer I'd be glad to help if your interested. I've never written for a game though. Most of my work is various/random short stories that I think up.

  User Deleted
12/15/13 2:57:56 AM#59

Pardon splitting my reply over 2 posts, I didn't want to edit with a video embedded.

 

My unit (a Gypsy 3) is one generation older than the one in the video.  Output is BioVision standard BVH on a proprietary skeleton.  Data has to be translated to match the skeleton used in character art before it's useful in game.  An animator with 'Character Studio' should be able to do this.  Specifics depend on the art and the engine.

 

The unit won't do crashing, falling, rolling stunts since the exoskeleton is quite fragile.  That's the big drawback of this type of capture compared to optical.  Also the exoskeleton is hardwired to computer, so it can't capture motions that cover distances more than a couple feet.  The plus is that the data comes off the unit quite clean, requiring very little cleanup.

 

No clue on the condition.  It has been in storage for several years.  I'm hoping it's still in working order.  I do have access to the actor who did the robot test, but I'm pretty sure he'd expect at least a small payment for his time.

 

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 589

 
OP  12/15/13 3:35:44 AM#60


Originally posted by monochrome19 If your looking for a writer I'd be glad to help if your interested. I've never written for a game though. Most of my work is various/random short stories that I think up.
Writing for a game is a bit different than writing a story.  Well, some games have little books inside which are basically short stories.  And item flavor texts are standard prose.  But other than that it is more like writing a play or screenplay - almost all dialogue, plus some stage directions.

More importantly, what genres do you write?  Chances are high (though not 100%) that this would be a fantasy or science fantasy game.

 

Here's an example of an assignment to write a piece of a game script that I made up recently for someone who wanted to add game-specific pieces to his writing portfolio.  I deliberately made it hard, but, the writer would have a month and the ability to ask all the questions they wanted in order to get it written.


Science Fiction Game Writing Assignment:

The game is an adventuring party RPG set in space.  The main character is the captain of a spaceship which he/she has earned control of from a mercenaries' guild in the beginning of the game.  The ship is crewed by NPCs that have been recruited by the player in the previous part of the game.  What you are to write is a plot event that takes place in the middle of the RPG.

The event: The player is informed of an upcoming conference between the three largest space forces (One the military of a monarchy with a parliament and the royal family as popular figureheads; one the military of their semi-friendly neighbor an empire with a dictatorial oligarchy, and the smallest of the three is the player's own faction, the mercenaries' guild.)  This conference is an annual event which usually means nothing aside from some polite politicking.  But this year people within the dictatorial oligarchy have been pressing to start a war with the monarchy.  They can't get majority support to just start a war out of nowhere, so instead this faction wants to cause an incident at this conference that will make the kingdom take a warlike action.  The NPC captain of the oligarchy's ship is actually a friend and/or romantic interest the player has met previously.  He/she is not part of the faction that wants war, but his/her superior officer is, and the oligarchy's captain will lose his/her job or face court-martial if he/she disobeys the orders from his/her superior officer, even if the captain realizes these orders will start a war.  What the oligarchy's captain doesn't know is the other half of the plan: to sacrifice him/her as a scapegoat to keep the war-mongers' reputation clean after the incident occurs.  The player is supposed to prevent war at all costs, but can personally choose to deliver this warning and help the oligarchy captain escape this trap if possible.

What to write: outline plus full script following that outline for the sequence from the player's ship arriving at the space station where the conference is being held, through some plot branches, to the point where the oligarchy's captain either has to return home to face punishment, has to abandon their ship and flee with the player, or other ending(s) of the writer's choice.  Of particular importance is inventing the details of the war-starting incident planned by the war-mongering faction.  Please note any dialogue exchanges which should affect the player's relationship score with an NPC or faction.


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