#1 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

The Basic Goal and Concept

I wanted to write up a design doc as an exercise in design. I don't have the time to try and pull together a team or learn to program and make a game all on my own, because I'll be spending about 4 years... elsewhere... pretty soon. And I just don't have the skills to make a game at the moment. This is just a fun thing I'm doing to keep the brain sharp and update the ideas I've had in the past, as more gaming experiences guide the concepts in my head.

I have no intentions of pushing this past a document. If I did, I probably wouldn't be sharing this until I at least had something built. But this is just a fun little piece of virtual paper that I want to share with everyone. That also means it can be as ambitious as I want. I'll try to reign it in though. This is not intended to be a current generation game though, and will absolutely be a PC title.

Here's a basic idea of what I want out of it, before I actually start working on and posting more detailed stuff. Because this wasn't made clear to a couple people, what follows immediately after this is NOT the design doc. This is the first page, the basic pillars of what I want.

  • Systems over mechanics. Systems being how things interact (a weapon that causes damage controlled by input by the player interacting with an entity), mechanics being "player tools," (a crafting system, parrying, etc).
  • Using Systems to create a complex experience. I'm avoiding the term "depth" because people tend to misuse or misinterpret it in the context of video games. An example of this would be armor types having resistance to damage types. The player input would be the same, but the interaction would not. Obviously there will need to be some mechanics that serve to open this up, but I want to avoid cluttering up what the player is doing.
  • Interaction at every possible level. Static should be a bad word in games, but it's become more and more common. Simple or a just completely absent physics, light maps, even character's not casting shadows. Games are supposed to be interactive! Dynamic! Immersive! I want to design something that is, and takes every advantage of it. Shadows you can hide in, or that can give away threats. Physics you can use to adapt to a situation. Traverse a gap, distract an individual, create a warning system.
  • An open, hardened world. Enemies are tough, but so are you. Things have lasted centuries, and you've survived for decades. It'll take more than a few smacks with a club to take anything down.
  • Combat that reflects the durability of the world. Think of prolonged brawls in the Bourne franchise, or Nathan Fillion getting his ass kicked around in that late scene in Serenity. The player will exert obvious and considerable force on their enemies, with hits feeling heavy and brutal without making enemies feel like tissue paper.
  • Exploration will also focus on this idea of a hearty world. Things last a long time in this world. Some might be a little worn on the edges, but it's mostly still standing, and there's always something interesting to find. Even an empty broken down fortress can have potential. Lure a target, plan a meeting, or set up camp.
  • Configurable experience for different player types. Want to make the combat faster and more intense? Change the damage ratios. Want to be forced to survive? Turn on various "hardcore" options for things like survival mechanics, lasting impact from combat, more difficult enemy behaviors. Perhaps a "punishing" tier of options to make the experience that much less forgiving. NPCs that are less inclined to help, and more inclined to pick your pockets. Bar brawls that end with you possession-less and beat to hell in jail. If you're lucky, what counts as the law in whatever god forsaken place you've found yourself in managed to drag your necessities back to the jailhouse for when they let you out. More likely, you'll have to find other means of arming and equipping yourself again.
  • TLDR: You probably shouldn't be here. But think Skyrim meets Dark Souls meets Day Z meets the-kind-of-crazy-that-funds-an-RPG-on-Kickstarter. With a lot of DnD influences.

Those're the big pillars, I'll start laying out mechanics and engine features layer by laywer, starting with the major and going down that path, and then giving examples of how mechanics and systems can interact.

Edited the top of the post because apparently people were confused. Guess that's what I get for writing at 3 in the morning, or whatever it was. Hope that clears it up!

Step One: Defining a World

I want to start with the world, because this will help communicate the feel of the rest of the game, and shape the tone of the experience.

Caldránta is not an easy place to live. The landscape is hard and unforgiving. Soil is never devoid of sharp and unkind stone. Nothing but the heartiest of vegetation can find a place to sink it's roots, and only the toughest creatures survive Caldránta's crags and deserts. Even it's shores are rugged and unfriendly.

A barbarians awaits sight of his clan's fleet in the early morning.
One of the hermits of the Blahdm ar Cloch in a traditional hide tent rests in the shade of his dwelling, waiting for night.

More to come soon!

#2 Posted by Marz (5649 posts) -

how bout... bethesda steals Dark Souls combat and puts it in an Elder Scrolls game and that's all the RPG we'll ever need.

#3 Posted by phampire (284 posts) -

Greater complexity doesn't naturally ensure that a game will play better or be more fun. Simple rules or systems that are intuitive can be easier to play, understand and design. Your design doc is pretty ambitious to say the least, you have mentioned 3 of my favorite games in recent years, taking inspiration from them is a great idea but I am not sure if this will result in a game with a direction or focus. DayZ, Skyrim and Dark Souls are pretty focused by design but they still have their issues despite their awesome developers. Out of curiosity have you made or designed a game before? What I have said of course is simply my opinion and I have no real knowledge or experience concerning game design.

#4 Posted by envane (1162 posts) -

ive always wanted the option to take a 10 foot pole with me in games , to poke for traps etc , this was a staple of early d+d adventures

#5 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@phampire said:

Greater complexity doesn't naturally ensure that a game will play better or be more fun. Simple rules or systems that are intuitive can be easier to play, understand and design. Your design doc is pretty ambitious to say the least, you have mentioned 3 of my favorite games in recent years, taking inspiration from them is a great idea but I am not sure if this will result in a game with a direction or focus. DayZ, Skyrim and Dark Souls are pretty focused by design but they still have their issues despite their awesome developers. Out of curiosity have you made or designed a game before? What I have said of course is simply my opinion and I have no real knowledge or experience concerning game design.

You seem to be totally confused on the point of this. First of all, plenty of people love games that go crazy with complexity. Have you played DnD?

@envane said:

ive always wanted the option to take a 10 foot pole with me in games , to poke for traps etc , this was a staple of early d+d adventures

This is the kind of thinking the complexity of DnD inspires. And it's DnD that is the basis of this design doc. I was listening to the Penny Arcade folks play DnD (search for the Wizards of the Coast podcast on your choice media thingy, listen to em ifyou like Penny Arcade humor and/or DnD, it's fuckin amazing) and had the desire to bring that DnD experience into a game that actually emulates that experience, instead of just some of the systems, like past isometric games have.

Also, the point of this isn't to actually create the game. Just an exercise in design. It doesn't need to be realistic or possible or any of that nonsense. It just needs to be a crazy idea that I want to spec out in great detail. I don't exactly have the time to go off making crazy complex ambitious role playing games. This is just a fun little exercise that I decided to share with the community.

Now, that doesn't mean that I don't want input from the community, I would love that. But I just want it to be clear what the reason and rhyme is here. It doesn't need to be fun to play, easy to make, etc.

#6 Posted by Metalisticpain (71 posts) -

resonance of fate was rather complex

#7 Edited by Karkarov (3081 posts) -

Bad idea. Plenty of people love overly complex games yes. Plenty of people doesn't = millions of people. If you want to make a AAA blockbuster game you can't go in with a bunch of needlessly complex mechanics someone needs a DMG to interpret and understand. If you want to make a small scale, probably pretty par graphics, niche title, go ahead. But budget accordingly.

Also I am pretty sure Gothic 2 already pretty much tried what you are talking about. It had mixed results.

#8 Posted by cid798 (240 posts) -

I think it's great and well thought out. I really hope this comes to fruition.

#9 Posted by Bollard (5453 posts) -

Congrats, you're now about 0.001% of the way to making a game.

Online
#10 Posted by envane (1162 posts) -

its weird but i was listening to this recently - http://www.roguelikeradio.com/2012/10/episode-49-interview-with-tarn-adams.html, though a bit disjointed theres some pretty good points made in this podcast about "simulation as design" which id parrot but im too lazy :P

and yeah i totally dig what youre trying to do , ive had a very loose framework for an even bigger scope "game" going for a long time and it feels good from time to time to actually pin some of the details down. also good to see someone who says "i wanna make an rpg" and doesnt automaticly mean traditional jrpg

#11 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@Chavtheworld: I think you missed about 4 0's

#12 Posted by Drebin_893 (2912 posts) -

This is your design doc? Wow, apparently without even knowing it I've created thousands of design docs throughout my whole life.

#13 Posted by Bollard (5453 posts) -

@Canteu said:

@Chavtheworld: I think you missed about 4000 0's

fix'd

Online
#14 Posted by Brodehouse (9896 posts) -

Simple fundamentals outstrip complex overlays everytime.

I'll also say this reads like a Silicon Knights pitch. Promising the moon when you only just got steam power.

Online
#15 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@Brodehouse: To be fair, if you're making a game, having it work on steam is pretty good.

...sorry...

#16 Posted by I_smell (3924 posts) -

Reads more like a pitch than anything design related.

#17 Posted by Brodehouse (9896 posts) -
@Salarn GWORRRRRRRGHHH
Online
#18 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@envane said:

ive always wanted the option to take a 10 foot pole with me in games , to poke for traps etc , this was a staple of early d+d adventures

That's the Pole-Smoker class. He begins the game with only a ten-foot pole and a pack of cigarettes. The versatility this class lacks is more than made up for by his unmatched ability to detect traps and lasers sensors.

#19 Posted by Beforet (2918 posts) -

This all sounds like hell to program. And it still wouldn't match the experience a really good GM can give.

Also, if anything DnD's strength lies in its simplicity, not its complexity. You can perform complex actions, but the systems controlling that are pretty simple. Player declares action -> GM asks for a dice roll -> result of a d20 roll plus whatever modifiers you're allowed determines success. That's the entire game in a nutshell. There are tabletop games with much more complicated systems than DnD, and they aren't ass popular for a reason. That reason being marketing, but it's easier to market a simple system that offers a wide range of experiences than an overly complex one.

And I understand that you need really complex systems to emulate all that in a video game. In answer to that, I feel video games are different experiences from table top, and that they don't have to (nor should they) try to emulate tabletops perfectly. It's a neat idea, I just think it's too much for the medium. Maybe one day, when phones can have virtualizations of entire worlds in them

#20 Posted by Grimhild (723 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos:

Sheesh, so many wet blankets.

You should read the first blog I made. Though it's more about the unfortunate linearity and illusion of "choice" of most modern CRPG's, I'm totally with you.

#21 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Beforet said:

This all sounds like hell to program. And it still wouldn't match the experience a really good GM can give.

Also, if anything DnD's strength lies in its simplicity, not its complexity. You can perform complex actions, but the systems controlling that are pretty simple. Player declares action -> GM asks for a dice roll -> result of a d20 roll plus whatever modifiers you're allowed determines success. That's the entire game in a nutshell. There are tabletop games with much more complicated systems than DnD, and they aren't ass popular for a reason. That reason being marketing, but it's easier to market a simple system that offers a wide range of experiences than an overly complex one.

And I understand that you need really complex systems to emulate all that in a video game. In answer to that, I feel video games are different experiences from table top, and that they don't have to (nor should they) try to emulate tabletops perfectly. It's a neat idea, I just think it's too much for the medium. Maybe one day, when phones can have virtualizations of entire worlds in them

That is exactly my point. Simple mechanics with a hell of a lot of complex possible uses. You only have so many different rolls you can make, but a good DM will know to adapt literally any possible action you can think to make as your character into a roll. The complexity comes in what the player is able to do with a single item. Anything, really. If I say "I want to use this ten foot pole to pole jump over an enemy to take out the guy about to trigger some sort of trap" because there's no other way to get to him, a DM could say "ok, roll Athletics." There is more to DnD than "Roll a d20" because each type of roll is a different mechanic. That would be like saying all there is to a game like The Witcher 2 is hitting a button and letting things happen. There are a lot of buttons to hit.

And you seem to have entirely missed the point of what I want to design (and not actually make: In a few months I'm joining the Marine Corps, I don't have time to make a game unless it's a 2D platformer made in some easy simple game making software). The whole thing I want to accomplish is as few "buttons" as possible being applicable to a whole lot of different choices. A few core ways to manipulate items, entities, etc that can be applied in all of these different ways.

Just read my response towards the top of the page.

@Karkarov said:

Bad idea. Plenty of people love overly complex games yes. Plenty of people doesn't = millions of people. If you want to make a AAA blockbuster game you can't go in with a bunch of needlessly complex mechanics someone needs a DMG to interpret and understand. If you want to make a small scale, probably pretty par graphics, niche title, go ahead. But budget accordingly.

Also I am pretty sure Gothic 2 already pretty much tried what you are talking about. It had mixed results.

I don't give a flying fuck about numbers. That doesn't matter, this is about me and performing an exercise in design, nothing more.

Also, pretty sure Gothic 2 was a bad game all on it's own.

@Drebin_893 said:

This is your design doc? Wow, apparently without even knowing it I've created thousands of design docs throughout my whole life.

Did ya even read the fuckin post duder? That is the outline of what I want to communicate in the design doc, it's the basic pillars. I'll get into much more detail with the actual design doc, I just wanted a starting point so people can know what kinda game I'm thinking in my head on a somewhat more condensed level.

#22 Posted by psylah (2170 posts) -

You're going to be soooo heartbroken when the realities of a game engine's limitations are brought to your attention.

#23 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@psylah said:

You're going to be soooo heartbroken when the realities of a game engine's limitations are brought to your attention.

Not really. This design isn't nearly as ambitious as people seem to think. What exactly is impossible in a game engine that I described? Because as far as I can tell, not really any of it is a totally new idea.

And yet again. Doesn't matter, not a real game, yadda yadda, please read before you respond.

#24 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

YOINK!

#25 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

YOINK!

NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY LIFE'S WORRRRRRRRK, I AM FEEEEEENEEEEEEEEEEEESHED.

#26 Posted by david3cm (635 posts) -

Correct me if I'm wrong, as I have never actually played DnD but aren't they streamlining that game? I have listened to the PADnD podcasts and I get the impression that fourth edition is completely stripped down compared to classic DnD, and 5th edition is even more simplified. I don't imagine this is a move to broaden the audience but a move to make the game a more enjoyable experience. I am by no way saying that having intricate systems makes for a bad game, I just don't think that you should disregard simplicity as being a synonym for shallow. Also I realize this is more of a thought exercise as you state you have no intention of actually building this game.

#27 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: Computers are very bad if not terrible and solving problems that are not math related.

If you want the true 'D&D' experience, there is not enough code in the world to handle players making completely random decisions. Speaking as a D&D 'GM' players are impossible to predict if you truly allow them to do whatever they want.

The closest thing out there is Scribblenauts you can pretty much have any item you want. However, items are easy easier than behaviors, which are easier than context which is easier than responses. Ever play a RPG game? The dialog trees run out at some point, you are really limited. A D&D 'GM' could answer the question "Where did you buy that armor?" a great 'GM' might be able to answer "Tell me the story of your town?" but a fixed simulation would have a very difficult time generating answers to anything off script.

#28 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@david3cm said:

Correct me if I'm wrong, as I have never actually played DnD but aren't they streamlining that game? I have listened to the PADnD podcasts and I get the impression that fourth edition is completely stripped down compared to classic DnD, and 5th edition is even more simplified. I don't imagine this is a move to broaden the audience but a move to make the game a more enjoyable experience. I am by no way saying that having intricate systems makes for a bad game, I just don't think that you should disregard simplicity as being a synonym for shallow. Also I realize this is more of a thought exercise as you state you have no intention of actually building this game.

I never said anything about simple being bad. I just want to design something that is complex and dynamic because that's what interests me from the design perspective. I still adore Skyrim, which will pretty much always be less complex than DnD. And again, the idea is to keep the game mecahnically simple, but with complex systems. Sorta like the whole "easy to learn, hard to perfect" thing, but less like stupid indie PR.

@Salarn: I never said that this would be DnD in video game form, so you're completely misunderstanding my post. This is in no way supposed to emulate the gameplay of DnD. It's just supposed to leave things as open as possible. Make everything dynamic, so if you want you can use a mechanic to do unexpected things. Sorta like stacking objects in Oblivion/Skyrim could lead to things like climbing onto roofs and getting passed obstacles (There's a quest in Riften that requires you to do some stuff to get into a house, but I managed to climb up and get to a normally impossible to reach door to get into the house and kill the folks in there before I even got the quest) or putting buckets on an NPC's head to block their line of sight, allowing you to steal with discretion. Or casually pretending to examine an object in a shop until the owner glances away or you find a corner that is quiet and out of site long enough for you to quietly pocket the item and leave.

#29 Posted by Fobwashed (1987 posts) -

You've just completed the easiest part of designing a game. Once you start digging deeper into writing this thing out, it's going to get more and more complex and difficult as you begin to actually hash out how everything is going to work and systems interact with each other. I'm interested in seeing how far you can take this before your mind explodes =P

Then again, maybe you're just going for a surface set up where you don't go into any real detail. That'd be a lot less interesting to follow but much easier to finish. Good luck either way.

#30 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos:

I guess I'm a little confused, I'd classify your two skyrim examples as bugs.

1) It's pretty silly to have NPCs not care when someone puts baskets on their heads.

2) It's a flaw in scripting to be given a quest to kill someone who's already been killed. The NPC shouldn't even offer you the quest, they got what they wanted without doing anything.

#31 Posted by believer258 (11816 posts) -
  • An open, hardened world. Enemies are tough, but so are you. Things have lasted centuries, and you've survived for decades. It'll take more than a few smacks with a club to take anything down.
  • Combat that reflects the durability of the world. Think of prolonged brawls in the Bourne franchise, or Nathan Fillion getting his ass kicked around in that late scene in Serenity. The player will exert obvious and considerable force on their enemies, with hits feeling heavy and brutal without making enemies feel like tissue paper.

Sounds cool, but I'm wondering about this part - how would you make something feel brutal, but still keep it from killing the enemy for more than a hit or two? I guess you could have a system where if you cut off an enemy's arm and cut open his stomach, he still comes at you despite bleeding out or something like that. But enemies that are durable are often just bullet sponges that don't react much when a regular machine gun volley bounces off of their skulls.

"Brutal", as far as I can tell, most often comes from makeshift weapons doing uncommon kinds of damage to things, like breaking something's jaw so that it's just slack and it swings around, or the thing in Dead Island where you can break a big zombie's arm and it just hangs there. Or Sleeping Dogs and the swordfish/table saw/furnace/ice chipper.

#32 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Salarn said:

@MordeaniisChaos:

I guess I'm a little confused, I'd classify your two skyrim examples as bugs.

1) It's pretty silly to have NPCs not care when someone puts baskets on their heads.

2) It's a flaw in scripting to be given a quest to kill someone who's already been killed. The NPC shouldn't even offer you the quest, they got what they wanted without doing anything.

You are still missing the point. It's not about that stuff makign sense or working, I agree with and understand both points, but it's still cool you can do it. And the main point is it's a single, very simple mechanic (Moving physically simulated objects around int he game world) used to interact with a lot of completely un-related systems like AI routines.

@believer258: Again, think of those fist fights in high action thriller type movies, like the Bourne movies. Those fights could go on for a bit, but you didn't feel like they were shrugging off the hits. The human body will keep going a hell of a lot longer than you think. You can beat the hell out of someone and have them get back up and keep fighting. They will be bruised and battered, knocked to the ground, but they will get back up and fight till their body just stops. There are absolutely ways to make the hits feel like they have weight and a lot of impact without killing the guy immediately. Have you ever been in a proper tussle before? And I mean a real fuckin brawl with every reason to keep fighting instead, not a quarrel. They tend to be intense, physical, and rarely end in as little time as the typical combat encounter in Skyrim, even when Skyrim throws five bandits at you.

And it's mostly stuff like injuries being very visible and obvious when you inflict them. Things like broken or disabled limbs, slashes across flesh, a smashed up face. If you hit a guy with a cheap helm on in the head with a really heavy flanged mace, it'll smash his helmet into his head, and deal some pretty obvious damage. This stuff wouldn't be super dynamic, because the quality/fidelity of stuff like this is hard to nail when it's procedural, and that kind of tech would be pretty tricky to implement, but a few clever bits that know "ok, you hit with this kinda weapon in this area, apply damage decal #10."

It might be worth figuring out a system to show damage on armor. Deformation on metal armor in particular.

@Fobwashed said:

You've just completed the easiest part of designing a game. Once you start digging deeper into writing this thing out, it's going to get more and more complex and difficult as you begin to actually hash out how everything is going to work and systems interact with each other. I'm interested in seeing how far you can take this before your mind explodes =P

Then again, maybe you're just going for a surface set up where you don't go into any real detail. That'd be a lot less interesting to follow but much easier to finish. Good luck either way.

Details are what I love about this process. The last time I did this it was pages of my tiny, compact ass scrawling, both sides of the page. I love the complexities of it all. It's really rewarding to dig into all of that stuff.

#33 Posted by believer258 (11816 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Salarn said:

@MordeaniisChaos:

I guess I'm a little confused, I'd classify your two skyrim examples as bugs.

1) It's pretty silly to have NPCs not care when someone puts baskets on their heads.

2) It's a flaw in scripting to be given a quest to kill someone who's already been killed. The NPC shouldn't even offer you the quest, they got what they wanted without doing anything.

You are still missing the point. It's not about that stuff makign sense or working, I agree with and understand both points, but it's still cool you can do it. And the main point is it's a single, very simple mechanic (Moving physically simulated objects around int he game world) used to interact with a lot of completely un-related systems like AI routines.

@believer258: Again, think of those fist fights in high action thriller type movies, like the Bourne movies. Those fights could go on for a bit, but you didn't feel like they were shrugging off the hits. The human body will keep going a hell of a lot longer than you think. You can beat the hell out of someone and have them get back up and keep fighting. They will be bruised and battered, knocked to the ground, but they will get back up and fight till their body just stops. There are absolutely ways to make the hits feel like they have weight and a lot of impact without killing the guy immediately. Have you ever been in a proper tussle before? And I mean a real fuckin brawl with every reason to keep fighting instead, not a quarrel. They tend to be intense, physical, and rarely end in as little time as the typical combat encounter in Skyrim, even when Skyrim throws five bandits at you.

And it's mostly stuff like injuries being very visible and obvious when you inflict them. Things like broken or disabled limbs, slashes across flesh, a smashed up face. If you hit a guy with a cheap helm on in the head with a really heavy flanged mace, it'll smash his helmet into his head, and deal some pretty obvious damage. This stuff wouldn't be super dynamic, because the quality/fidelity of stuff like this is hard to nail when it's procedural, and that kind of tech would be pretty tricky to implement, but a few clever bits that know "ok, you hit with this kinda weapon in this area, apply damage decal #10."

It might be worth figuring out a system to show damage on armor. Deformation on metal armor in particular.

@Fobwashed said:

You've just completed the easiest part of designing a game. Once you start digging deeper into writing this thing out, it's going to get more and more complex and difficult as you begin to actually hash out how everything is going to work and systems interact with each other. I'm interested in seeing how far you can take this before your mind explodes =P

Then again, maybe you're just going for a surface set up where you don't go into any real detail. That'd be a lot less interesting to follow but much easier to finish. Good luck either way.

Details are what I love about this process. The last time I did this it was pages of my tiny, compact ass scrawling, both sides of the page. I love the complexities of it all. It's really rewarding to dig into all of that stuff.

All right. So you want proper next-gen face-bruising technology. Sounds like a good idea to me, it always did look weird in Skyrim when I'd kill a dude and, apart from being dead, he'd look no worse for wear.

#34 Posted by Salarn (465 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: Oh, gotcha, then that game already exists.

Right here it has very complex creature modeling, advanced AI, loads and loads of emergent game play. It has the tissue layers for flesh and damage to items like armor and weapons.

#35 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@believer258: You mean all games that aren't that one boxing game with the brutality and the story mode? Yeah, I've hated the lack of apparent damage on enemies. At least some games do bloody splotches, but that's not enough for me. Never has been. Some day, it'd be cool to see a game that can have Game of Thrones levels of violence:

A couple of smacks with a mace does some disgusting things to the human skull. A bullet to the jaw makes that jaw flap around in pieces.

@Salarn: *sighs*

#36 Posted by believer258 (11816 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@believer258: You mean all games that aren't that one boxing game with the brutality and the story mode? Yeah, I've hated the lack of apparent damage on enemies. At least some games do bloody splotches, but that's not enough for me. Never has been. Some day, it'd be cool to see a game that can have Game of Thrones levels of violence:

A couple of smacks with a mace does some disgusting things to the human skull. A bullet to the jaw makes that jaw flap around in pieces.

I do remember hearing about a boxing game that had more realistic bruising technology but I couldn't remember the name.

Anyway, you sound like the kind of fella that enjoyed Manhunt a whole lot.

#37 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@believer258: Fight Night? I dunno. There was a quick look, and I believe a TNT. I just remember playing with the demo so I could test out the tech they put into it, that being one of the really cool techniques they were able to pull off.

Actually, modern murder makes me queezy. I have no idea why. I've seen some fucked up shit, in reality and on the internet. I'm going into a very violent profession. I can handle a lot of gore and grossness, but I have a sort of phobia when it comes to that sort of violence.

#38 Posted by phampire (284 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: I do play DnD, I don't see how that is relevant to the fact that not everyone likes complexity and that simple systems can often function just as well. If this is an exercise of design with no realistic limitations then how is it an exercise? You said it doesn't even have to be "fun or easy to make". The reason a game on a scope like this doesn't exist is due to limitations in budget, time, tech and design. It would be cool if you could improve on current mechanics and systems with realistic limits by using better design approaches. It just seems like a cool list of things to include in a video game, without much thought in how it could be achieved.

#39 Posted by envane (1162 posts) -

if youre going to dismiss dwarf fortress as a source of inspiration and lessons on what to do and what not to do , then

A. you just have no clue wtf dwarf fortress is .. and thats fine ... but check it out seriously.

B. You know about DF but are unaware of the depth of its systems and its goal to create exactly the kind of emergent gameplay you describe , and that its principles can easily be applied to non roguelike games too.

C. You are filled with hubris and clearly have your head up your ass

#40 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@envane: No. I know what Dwarf Fortress is, and long before it was in the public's eye the way it is now, I've had these ideas. I've been writing up "design docs" for a while now, since I was like 13. I've always wanted to design a game like this.

On top of that, Dwarf Fortress doesn't have nearly as much in common with my ideas as you seem to think. For one, the way you interact with the world is completely different. I am a first person, immersive, personal experience kinda gamer, and while Dwarf Fortress is a cool one of those games, it's not how I'd want to experience a world like that.

And the level of complexity that that game has is well beyond what I want. I'm just thinking of blunt, slashing, piercing vs different armor types, maybe a few status effects based on location of damage, and the ability to break limbs. All of that is based on reality, so the assumption that everything that tries to take these things into account is ripping off of Dwarf Fortress is stupid. Hell, Dead Island did most of this stuff. Dwarf Fortress didn't invent these ideas. And it's not at all accessible, which I'd like to design my game to be at least to some extent.

#41 Posted by deathstriker666 (1337 posts) -

Here's my design document to make the BEST EVAR CAR IN DAAAAAA WURLD

  • Make car look sexy
  • Make car fast, very fast
  • Car should also have very good handling, give tricycle wheels
  • Air intakes every where; On top of the car, underneath the car, even on the rear view mirrors!
  • 3 seat two door coupe, back passengers get in from the trunk/hatches on the roof
  • Car comes in digital, tiger stripe camo in choices of urban pink and woodland orange

Give me a million dollars

#42 Posted by Aetheldod (3556 posts) -

About the damges done to enemies ... I think what the front mission games does can be very usefull to pinpoint how to make it ... robots have 4 hp bars ... one is the body , 2 for each arm and 1 for the legs ... you destroy the arms and they may not be able to attack but still be on the field , destroy the legs and the have only a 1 sauqare movement etc.... you get the idea. I too think often of how to make a game , the games systems and actually did made a 6 face dice based one ... well a part of it :P and manage to come with some soulutions .... simple yet effective when raising the ante , each upgrade meant 1 more dice which = more chances to get a possitive action etc. Very basic and needs fine tunning thought :/

#43 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@deathstriker666: Very clever. You seem to have completely ruined my desire to go on by showing me the folly of my ways!

No wait, you just didn't really pay attention and made an asinine comment. Woohoo!

#44 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Got a long night ahead of me to try and salvage my job thanks to management fucking me over and most of it will just be waiting. I'll start describing basic systems and give examples of scenarios and how mechanics can be used to interact with the systems in place.

#45 Posted by RPGee (759 posts) -

I think the idea of just laying down ideas is really cool. Even if it's not actually going anywhere, and would be improbable if it were actually taken up, putting your mind through a mental process like this is probably healthy in ways.

So you mentioned the DnD influences. Now granted, I've never played DnD, but what sort of customisability were you thinking? There was mention of the 10-foot pole. Would it be that esoteric, where all sorts of things could turn up and have some sort of application even if it's really obscure? Would you want it to be a point-based, loadout sort of system, where you can have a certain number of 'points' that add to what your character can equip and carry, and that the 10-foot pole is a certain number of points which you need to sacrifice carrying around the magic cowbell for? Or is it a weight system like Skyrim or Fallout, where it's about what you find in the world, how much you can carry and the trade-offs that arise?

All this is purely theoretical, of course, but it's a thought exercise, just like this whole thing is.

#46 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@RPGee: I'm going to try and think up a way to handle stuff like using an object to poke at traps by having wieldable items that have non-combat actions (poking and prodding, levering, etc) and also have objects that the player can manipulate in physical space, similar to Oblivion/Skyrim but perhaps with a little more control. But I don't want to get too out of hand with it. A pole could be used to test threats, flint and steel to light a fire, stuff like that. Just a few basic things that the player can be creative with. Going back to the idea of systems over mechanics, I could make a single action (poking with a pole) have several systems in play. It could activate triggers, gauge distance or depth, identify hidden objects, manipulate physical items, and maybe more. Others would be pretty simple. Use flint on a fire thingy, you get a fire.

One of the bigger inspirations I want to take from Dungeons and Dragons is the idea of Dungeoneering or a player's knowledge of all things dungeon-y. Who is likely to inhabit a type of environment, what the signs of these inhabitants (scents, substances, structures, etc) are, and using the knowledge. I like the idea of tracking or identifying threats and potentially utilizing caution if you see signs of something well beyond your ability.

For inventory, it'll be a weight and size system. I want to encourage a sparse set of gear, and a lot of smaller stuff will be outside of that system. For example, a knife can be tied to a belt or pack. But you can't roll around with forty swords in your bag and 15 million gold coins. Part of this is because that is a little silly, and part of that is because I want to push the player to have a place they can stash gear and rations and the like, to either settle down or adopt a nomadic life style, but at the end of the day they should have a place to store their stuff, to rest, and to seek safety.

#47 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@deathstriker666 said:

Here's my design document to make the BEST EVAR CAR IN DAAAAAA WURLD

  • Make car look sexy
  • Make car fast, very fast
  • Car should also have very good handling, give tricycle wheels
  • Air intakes every where; On top of the car, underneath the car, even on the rear view mirrors!
  • 3 seat two door coupe, back passengers get in from the trunk/hatches on the roof
  • Car comes in digital, tiger stripe camo in choices of urban pink and woodland orange

Give me a million dollars

If you make it a car that people loved in their childhood, you could totally get a million dollars in Kickstarter.