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  #21  
Old 05-04-2011, 05:58 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Originally Posted by Delilah Rehm View Post
I'm thinking about doing a lot of game writing since I was happiest writing for Depths of Peril.
Looking forward. I really enjoyed the stories in DoP. Too bad you didn't write any more for DC -- I would have loved to read about the plight of the humans.

I still can't figure out which kingdom DC took place in. If they worshiped Din they should have been Krieg, but then why weren't they awesome fighters?
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  #22  
Old 05-04-2011, 05:58 PM
abomination5 abomination5 is offline
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One of my favorite games of all time is Space Rangers 2, which sounds quite similar to what you are going for.

It would be nice if our characters could persist between galaxies as they do now between towns in DC.
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  #23  
Old 05-04-2011, 07:04 PM
getter77 getter77 is offline
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Yeah well, just recreating the good parts of Space Rangers II is a monumental effort. Space Rangers II was not created by a ~1 man team. It's considered one of the best, most dynamic games ever. That's what Soldak is up against.
Well, the way I figure it they can perhaps not deal with the RTS and text adventure parts---so that's something right there. Besides, it isn't so much recreation as it would be understanding the spirit of what the SR II team was getting at, then applying that notion forward.

Though, I hope they add in some nice "shmup" segments to throw people for a loop that might only be expecting the usual Racing/Arena Tournament fare as a change of pace.

ALSO: Space Monsters Please~
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  #24  
Old 05-04-2011, 07:21 PM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
Looking forward. I really enjoyed the stories in DoP. Too bad you didn't write any more for DC -- I would have loved to read about the plight of the humans.

I still can't figure out which kingdom DC took place in. If they worshiped Din they should have been Krieg, but then why weren't they awesome fighters?
I think I used town names for all of the human kingdoms. And then made up hundreds more. Lists of names make my brain mushy.
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2011, 07:24 PM
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Brian Rubin Brian Rubin is offline
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I hope it's not too much to ask, but the holy grail of most space games is combining space and planetary operations. Games that did this well, IMHO, are games like Starflight, Sentinel Worlds: Future Magic Volume 1, Starfleet 2 and others.

If some even simplistic dual-nature system, in which you can land on a planet and in a rover on or foot, harvest resources, fight monsters, find ruins, trade and so on, be accomplished even in a simplistic manner (planets surfaces are like large, one-level procedurally-generated dungeon levels, for example) that would make this game even that much more amazing.

I also think if the random quest/mission system is as at least as varied as that in Din's Curse, it would be that much better. I do love to do some trade, but I mostly love missions in games like this, from ferrying passengers and mining ore to spy and assassination missions, and everything in-between.

I'm a space game nut, have played most of 'em for the PC since the mid 80's, so I'll likely have more ideas, if you don't mind.
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  #26  
Old 05-05-2011, 05:26 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Originally Posted by Brian Rubin View Post
I hope it's not too much to ask, but the holy grail of most space games is combining space and planetary operations. Games that did this well, IMHO, are games like Starflight, Sentinel Worlds: Future Magic Volume 1, Starfleet 2 and others.

If some even simplistic dual-nature system, in which you can land on a planet and in a rover on or foot, harvest resources, fight monsters, find ruins, trade and so on, be accomplished even in a simplistic manner (planets surfaces are like large, one-level procedurally-generated dungeon levels, for example) that would make this game even that much more amazing.

I also think if the random quest/mission system is as at least as varied as that in Din's Curse, it would be that much better. I do love to do some trade, but I mostly love missions in games like this, from ferrying passengers and mining ore to spy and assassination missions, and everything in-between.

I'm a space game nut, have played most of 'em for the PC since the mid 80's, so I'll likely have more ideas, if you don't mind.
I think the planetary missions should be the focus here. The space portion has been done over and over -- it'll be very hard to innovate there. ARPG planetary missions and making space battles depend on direct invasions of ships on foot -- that would be different! Most space games spend all their development resources on space battles, trading, missions etc. By the time they get to planetary actions, they have almost no ideas for gameplay left, so they make mini-games. Star Control 2 had you move a lander on a tiny map collecting resources. Pirates made up a bunch of silly mini-games. Even Space Rangers 2 had repetitive RTS segments. This is where Soldak could really shine because it HAS the gameplay for those segments.

Imagine the possibilities: the game could keep track of planetary temperature and oxygen levels. Without oxygen, you'd need to upgrade/buy life support and explosive weapons wouldn't explode! Planets would consist of overland maps, perhaps even infinitely expanding maps in some cases. They could have buildings with more maps or dungeons with levels. Some planets could have remains of ancient civilizations. You'd go in the dungeons to get resources to power your ship or artifacts or help your chosen allies, fighting aliens in the process. Some maps could be inside huge aliens a la The Empire Strikes Back. Some you could only survive for so long on because of the harsh conditions, and need to go back to your ship every once in a while. Once in a while you could have a base taken over by aliens, where the only solution is to plant a bomb in the midst of it and destroy it. Some planets would be desolate, and the goal would be purely to survive long enough to collect fuel material for your ship to just get out of there. You never know though when an alien might just jump out at you. The possibilities are mind-boggling. It's like DC's towns, except with many more variables, and every mission takes place in a different one (though you could also have several missions for one planet). The down side is that you have to save every planet you've been to, so the save files will get large. But many games do this.

More random thoughts:

- One issue with making a sci-fi ARPG is that ARPGs depend a lot on melee, whereas the present or future sci-fi setting is dominated by guns having more firepower. All RPGs that aren't medieval have to deal with this issue somehow. ARPGs in particular tend to be too hectic to manage the long-range attacks of guns all the time. One solution is to switch to pausable real-time. Another is even cooler: lightsabers! Lightsaber axes! Lightsaber maces! Guns could have long cooldowns and limited ammo.

- The reason that space battles can't be pure ARPG is that in ARPG fighting, you can move as you please. You can turn to the monster that you want to attack and just bash it. Space battles (or any ship battles) are dominated by turn rates, accelerations and velocities. If you had a ship just walk over to another ship and blast it, that would feel strange and incorrect. But once you limit your movements by turn rates and such, it becomes like all other space combat games that have been done before. This is just inevitable. That's why it's not worth investing too much effort in the space battles. You'd just be retreading what others have already done.

- Mixing 2 types of gameplay, ie. space fighting and on-foot fighting creates another issue -- the mini-game issue. Some players will be better at one type of gameplay and not so good at the other. Also the 2 gameplay types might not be balanced. For example, in the modern version of Pirates! (at least the PSP version), you can both fight ship to ship and invade enemy ships, dueling with the captain (as you could in earlier versions). However, the duel with the captain is easy to win even on the hardest level -- the AI isn't good enough and you can just spam a block, block, attack sequence over and over. That renders the ship fights useless, since you can just head for the enemy ship and duel them. This is why I think space battles should be minimal -- Star Trek style. In general, most ship encounters should lead to ARPG segments. Lasers beams will attack and meet shields, back and forth. There might be an edge to one side, and that will give you the countdown of how long you have to finish your on-foot invasion (or retreat) before you're destroyed. In case your ship is stronger, you could just trade lasers until you blow them up, but then you'd be missing out on any resources/optional quests/people to save/upgrades that you might find if you board their ship. The exception would be when a really weak ship meets a huge hulking destroyer. In this case the weak ship better get outta there ASAP or face being obliterated.

- I think it's worth reconsidering being a mercenary. Most games where you're a mercenary just say "you're a mercenary, now go do what you want." Even in the case of Pirates!, where you were given you an initial allegiance (French/British/Dutch/Spanish), you could then go and do whatever you felt like. The problem is, this doesn't work so well with the event systems from DoP and DC. In DoP, you care about Jorvik. You care about your apothecary getting petrified because she's your source of quests. In DC, your whole goal is to save the town so you care when the bad guys invade. If you didn't care, the game would lose much of its pull.

Making the player into a mercenary gives her no emotional involvement in the events around her. If one source of goods and quests gets killed/destroyed, you can just go to another one on the other side. How much better would it be if you started out with an allegiance to one of the factions? The first few missions, your buddies would be from that faction. They'd babysit you since you're too weak to handle things on your own. You'd form a connection with them. You then have the choice of becoming a freelance mercenary, but that should be a choice with emotional consequences, as it would be in real life. Your previous faction will resent you for abandoning them. Every time you encounter someone from your old faction, they'd ask you how you could have betrayed them. And if you should choose to work for your original side, you'll get the emotional satisfaction of seeing YOUR side winning, or the sadness of seeing them losing. You could do the odd job for another side, but that shouldn't affect your allegiance rating too much.

- Another idea: each faction could sometimes do bad things, like massacring a planet of the other faction who didn't do anything. They'd turn to the dark side. You could accept that your faction did that, or you could get pissed off and go renegade/mercenary/pirate, getting a 'righteousness' rating in the process.

- In general, I think it's really worth taking a look at Pirates!, both the old and the new version. It's very similar to what you're trying to make. The nationalities fight in the background dynamically. If you attack a fort, you can conquer it for your nationality. You can join the other side if they're more successful. It's worth seeing what Sid Meier did right, and what he did wrong, and learning from his mistakes. One thing he did wrong is that it's pretty easy to have all the nationalities like you. You do each a favor and they'll admire you, even if you occasionally destroy a couple of their ships. One thing that's actually pretty cool is that when you dock in a port, you go to the pub and hear about what the dynamic world has been up to while you were at sea. You learn about which country declared war on which other country, which port got sacked by pirates, which port is rich etc. I think this would be a cool thing to copy -- go to space bars to find out what's going on rather than just being informed by the game DC style. The problem with this game mechanic in Pirates! is that you didn't care much about the dynamic world or who was winning. Also the world wasn't dynamic enough -- it's not like you'd get special quests if you paid attention to the news and made use of that info.

Last edited by Bluddy : 05-05-2011 at 05:34 AM.
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  #27  
Old 05-05-2011, 05:39 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delilah Rehm View Post
I think I used town names for all of the human kingdoms. And then made up hundreds more. Lists of names make my brain mushy.
Yeah it's amazing how something like making up names can be so draining. Rote creative work almost feels like one is abusing one's creative faculties, whose only desire is to get carried away and do something they enjoy.
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  #28  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:37 AM
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Castruccio Castruccio is offline
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Another game to check out just to get the feel for topdown realtime space combat: Armada on Dreamcast. If you don't have a Dreamcast, just watch some Armada videos on youtube.
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  #29  
Old 05-05-2011, 11:40 AM
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DeathKnight1728 DeathKnight1728 is offline
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Ive got a question shadow. If this is going to be an action/rpg, that is set in space, how will roleplaying aspects factor in?

Will there be classes, different bonuses?
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  #30  
Old 05-05-2011, 12:42 PM
Aganazer Aganazer is offline
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Steven, have you gotten far enough into the design to answer a few specific questions? Before everyone lets their imaginations get too far off the deep end it would be good to know what might be within the realm of possibility.

Can I assume it will use a 3D engine? (this alone could set it apart from all the Weird World/GSB clones coming out)

Is the galaxy a 2D map or are you going to make it fully 3D?

Is the point of view top down with the player ship centered on the screen?

Will it have physics? (loved the ballistic weapon knockback in SotS)

Will we ever control more than one ship? If so would it be like an autonomous pet or something more directly controlled.

Will the combat pacing be similar to an ARPG or slower to emphasize the size and scope of enormous space ships?

How long would you like a game to last? Would they be one sitting scenarios like Din's Curse?

What kind of win/lose conditions might we expect?
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