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Old 08-18-2011, 12:58 PM
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Default Space Setting: Monsters

This is the third part of my blog on the cool, dynamic setting in our upcoming space action RPG. In this blog I'm going to talk a little about the "monsters" in the game. Specifically I'm going to talk about how they impact the dynamic nature of the game.

First of all I don't really mean monsters like orcs in a fantasy game. What I mean when I say "monsters" are ships that are pretty much hostile to all of the known races in the game. So while they aren't directly monsters they pretty much behave in the same way.

In most RPGs monsters for the most part sit around and do nothing until the player comes along and kills them. For those that have played our two other dynamic games, Depths of Peril and Din's Curse, you know I like our monsters to actually impact the world. The don't stand around waiting for the player and babble completely empty threats. They stir up more trouble, call for reinforcements, attack towns, etc.

Well in our upcoming space game the monsters will behave in similar manners as the did in DoP and DC. They will still cause uprisings, start wars, launch raids, build dangerous devices, and generally cause havoc for everyone else. When they plant a Super Nova Device next to the star in the home system of your favorite race, I would suggest you do something about it.

There is an interesting difference from our previous games though. When a monster launches an asteroid at one of your enemy's home world, what do you do? Do you save their planet and possible start changing them into an ally or do you let the asteroid hit, cause massive amounts of destruction, and weaken their overall empire? I suspect a lot of people are going to let the monsters cause a lot of damage as long as it is directed towards races they don't like.

Thoughts?
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:05 PM
Roswitha Roswitha is offline
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Couple of questions.

Are the monsters all on the same team? (i.e. will they sometimes attack each other?)
Will they create groups if left alone?
Is it possible to ally with a monster, possibly for a mutual goal?
Will they move from zone to zone?

Last edited by Roswitha : 08-19-2011 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:15 AM
gornova gornova is offline
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First rule in this situation, from a player point of view, is let me know something about races before have to do any choices. Let asteroid hit Vulcanian (random race) homeworld without any mission do for or against Vulcanian doesn't seems a right choice. Before any choices, we need as player much information as possible.
In previous post you mentioned member crew: one of my ship's crew it's a good candidate to warn me against this meneace of his homeworld, so the choice is mutiple:

1) save Vulcanian homeworld because I like them or hate them (without any other consideration),
2) destroy asteroid because I want them as ally against other race (but I need to know how they can help me against other races),
2) destroy asteroid because I want all of my crew happy and don't want my Vulcanian one of the last of them


Another tip: sometimes in Din's Curse message told me of a meneace that is out of my scope: for example in "dungeon XX at level 6 Sauron is building a ring-machine".. but I'm in town, level 1.. how do you prevent players from frustating experience like this one?
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:08 AM
Roswitha Roswitha is offline
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Gornova brings up an interesting situation.

What if your crew members are of different races? Their first loyalty is to the ship, but what if their attitude (in general and toward other crew members) depends on their race and how it is doing at the moment. You could apply the Happiness meter from DC to the crew. If two of the crew members didn't get along, you might need to replace one, or give a pay raise or something. Maybe you would need to earn the loyalty to the ship by successfully completing quests. There could be a scale for each crew member, with Loyalty to the ship on one end and Loyalty to the homeworld on the other, so you could see where they stand on things.

Make this adjustable in the setup screen or possibly make it an Advanced Option.

Defeating monsters would be a very good way to improve the crew's morale, since nobody likes monsters.
(Taking a stab at getting the thread back on topic )
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roswitha View Post
Couple of questions.

Are the monsters all on the same team? (i.e. will they sometimes attack each other?)
Will they create groups if left alone?
Is it possible to ally with a monster, possibly for a mutual goal?
Will they move from zone to zone?
Currently there are a lot of separate monster groups. They will probably fight each other less than in DC but they will still occasionally fight each other.

The can form fleets in different ways (similar to DC).

I have a few ideas of where you can "ally" with a monsters, but whether or not it makes it into the game I don't know.

The monsters can move into different systems kind of like they do in DC. An uprising in one system can lead to an attack on neighboring systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gornova View Post
First rule in this situation, from a player point of view, is let me know something about races before have to do any choices. Let asteroid hit Vulcanian (random race) homeworld without any mission do for or against Vulcanian doesn't seems a right choice.

Another tip: sometimes in Din's Curse message told me of a meneace that is out of my scope: for example in "dungeon XX at level 6 Sauron is building a ring-machine".. but I'm in town, level 1.. how do you prevent players from frustating experience like this one?
For most events you get a quest before it happens or it is something that is on going and you have a chance to fix it before you get bad side effects.

For example, you will be told about the incoming asteroid and you will have a chance to destroy it before it hits. Another example, there is a fire storm on some planet. If you help put it out soon it would cause any other problems.

There will be quests that are outside of your scope. Unlike DC though it won't necessarily hurt you if you don't go solve it.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:04 AM
jureidinim jureidinim is offline
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Sounds cool. :-)

"Out of scope" missions are fine as long as they all (some may..) don't hurt the players game too badly. The galaxy is huge so it is very possible that something is happening on the other side of it which you just cant reach.

A possible way around it would be that the player is only told of events happening in a certain range from his location. That way there can be many events happening, but the player isnt flooded with messages of events happening very very far away. There could be a ship communications upgrade (or your comm officer skill) which can increase your range of receiving event messages.
So you take off on a bounty hunter mission, chasing a baddie across a few systems. You go so far out that you dont catch the event messages of things in your starting system (example a disease outbreak mission to get medicinal supplies). When you come back you see results of that event which happened while you were away. This could trigger new missions for that system (like cargo hauling food and medical supplies to help a planet recover from the disease outbreak).

Back on topic - I like the direction you are going with "monsters" and hope there will be a good variety of them and motives for them to follow.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:14 PM
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I haven't checked these forums for a while, but the Drox project sounds exciting. It probably helps that I've been watching Star TrekS9 (again) on Netflix, so if your code can simulate some of the the things happening on that show, this would be incredible.

Part of the fun of that show is the constantly shifting relationships. The Cardassian Obsidian Order (covert ops) and the Romulan Tal Shiar teamed up to fight the Dominion (despite their mutual hatred), and got wiped out. But Cardassia decided to ally with the Dominion, after the Klingons tried to acquire star systems.

Anything you can code that would make the monster *seem* to have feelings or goals, will help give them personality, and will help shape their actions.

(I guess the line between "monster" and NPC can be a thin one.)
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:04 AM
gornova gornova is offline
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Any big-boss monsters? Like planet sizes creatures or something even more big?
Monsters can be gods for some races?
Nothing better a race hates player because killed their god
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gornova View Post
Any big-boss monsters? Like planet sizes creatures or something even more big?
Monsters can be gods for some races?
Nothing better a race hates player because killed their god
We do have bosses and some of them will be pretty big, I don't know about planet size though.

We don't have any monsters that serve as gods for any of the races but that could be interesting.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:22 PM
gornova gornova is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
We do have bosses and some of them will be pretty big, I don't know about planet size though.

We don't have any monsters that serve as gods for any of the races but that could be interesting.
You can add "easily" with one quest from a race: kill monster X and then you can discover that X is god for another race and can even hire player too Quest from a big monster-god-like thing? cool!
(some other operatives or races could try to kill it and player must defend it!)
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