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Vextor




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Random thoughs on a new game Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I really haven't started making a new game system yet. I'm still thinking of a lot of random stuff.

I keep thinking of the old "house system" that existed back in early 2004, where there was basically a system of debate. Managing it was fairly difficult because EZboard was the platform used, meaning everything had to be done via HTML.

The same thing will be a lot easier here, and I also like it when people have to think and write stuff as opposed to pushing a few buttons like how "social games" are these days.

However, I'd also like to incorporate some sort of skill based system that allows people to be merely semi-active. The problem though is that such a system will require some sort of engine, whether it be battle-based or trade-based or the like. Right now I have no real idea of which direction I should go. I'd like to focus more on individuals though, as opposed to stuff being country vs country with limited actual interaction by individual players.
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iscalio




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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Even though it did not matter much in the old nation game, I personally really enjoyed the region investments. Each region became almost something of a character by itself, and you could flesh it out with flavor through regional descriptions and the stats. Maybe every player in the new game could have his own home region, playing some sort of minor bureaucrat or bandit chief or yeoman or whatever, and he could over time develop his region's stats. Based on terrain different approaches would be possible (farming, mining etc.), but there would still be a lot of choices. Stats could include commerce, culture, science, spirituality, military strength, industrial production etc., and based on investments and policies (which would be able to be changeable maybe once a week) happiness and population numbers and income etc. would change. Trade with other regions could be implemented maybe. Maybe individual regions had access to certain rare resources.

The individual players could still ally their personal region with "nations" (if they so choose), thus recreating the sub-community identities that were a success in the old game, but each player would nonetheless have complete control over his own little government project. "Nation leaders" would be nothing more than moderators for their nation's private forum, without any gameplay relevance.


As someone who participated in the debate system you mentioned (House Blight!), I would like that too, but I don't think it would suffice as the sole content of the game. Not everyone is made for debate.
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Gil-galad

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

^What he said. Although if the game grew large enough we'd have a lot of individual regions, then.

Geographical development--a sort of simulation sounds pretty intriguing. Although it could be difficult to implement? Seems like a type of Suikoden version of Civilization, perhaps.

I think maybe a trade/development oriented game, with a simple type of battle system included would be really fun. Like allowing players to run raids on other regions. Eventually, if the game gets fleshed out enough, maybe alliances could be formed for larger conflicts, but I'm not sure if that should be the focus of this game.
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Ikano

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You could combine a 'house system' with 'regional development' bits as part of it....

Each house could have a specialty & own plot of land and/or "areas that need development (ie: develop Luxury = adds a pool in the backyard or something...hahaha)

and to develop it you either earn points for doing stuff that "helps" your house (ie: individuals from said houses participate in debates or contests or what have you)


Whatever ideas are used though....start small. A lot of "customizable" things could probably be added later when it comes down to it......
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Kikito

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
I think maybe a trade/development oriented game, with a simple type of battle system included would be really fun. Like allowing players to run raids on other regions. Eventually, if the game gets fleshed out enough, maybe alliances could be formed for larger conflicts, but I'm not sure if that should be the focus of this game.


Back when you were talking about setting up a new game with fuji, the whole taking a profession aspect is what seemed to call out to me the most. Especially the interdependence of having some people gather materials, others craft items, while others sell/trade. That really interested me back then and it can tie into the region development.
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Vextor




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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Oh yes, some very very good ideas.

The region development suggestion triggered a bunch of ideas in my brain, so that was good. Of course, anything clandestine from the get-go would kill momentum, so creating things in baby-steps is important.

The old system of using a graphical map that needs to be manually re-painted is fairly difficult, too. I'm thinking of creating some sort of grid matrix by using simple HTML tables as x,y axes in a two-dimensional map, so that terrain and what's on the terrain can be output dynamically from a database.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think, and this is not coming from personal experience or animosity, but majority-NPC nations/houses/whatever should be avoided, I believe, if you want players to be semi-active during the new game. Otherwise people can just rely too much on their NPC powerhouses instead of their own active members. And maybe I think it's a bit... unfair? Maybe that won't be possible with a small amount of players in the beginning? I dunno.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

One suggestion I would make is to make sure the "core" aspects of the system aren't continually overhauled with each update. What should take priority is that everybody understands how to play the game as well as the next person, otherwise you might get a situation where only a few people with extensive knowledge actually play and succeed at the game, in which case it's really no fun for anybody else.
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Vextor




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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So far the only thing I'm thinking about is letting everyone create their own "land" or something, and create some sort of interface so people can make their land compete against each other-- and some way if letting "time pass" automatically so that the system can run itself without an admin hand-cranking some gizmo to keep the game running.
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Admiral Ackbar

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Random brainstorming: have nations/houses or whatnot be independent from characters, in that no one is permanently bound to one. But the longer a character stays with a nation the more "advanced" they get in rank. Think of Reputation from any MMORPG, but call it Loyalty or something. Characters with high Loyalty get more options within their nation, and are able to command more resources and make region-spanning decisions. Characters with no Loyalty aren't considered bound to any region...which would neither be good nor bad, just different (though they would probably have a hard time of things being alone). They could be mercenaries, traders, entertainers, whatever.

A skill system would be awesome. But would there be classes? And levels?

Edit - We posted at the same time hehe. Looks like there won't be a focus on running nations then, just a character's own land?
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Gil-galad

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Still, though, even if the focus is on developing regions--I think the House/Nation idea you bring up is interesting. The loyalty points make it beneficial to stick with a core group, but not completely detrimental or impossible to move or go it alone for a change of scenery. That was on of the problems with the old system, with certain members feeling like were sort of stuck in their nations.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Glad to hear you like the "everyone's a little lord" idea. Since you seem to have decided to work towards this direction, here are a few more ideas that might inspire better versions of them in you, building upon my previous post.


Political Issues

Every once in a while an interregional "issue" arises and shows up in each player's command room. The issue is a political (in the widest sense) problem that needs a response from the player, where said response is chosen from among a multiple choice listing of perhaps four or five options. The issues serve several purposes:
- they can carry heavy Suikoden flavor, combating the often genre-disregarding regional and character descriptions the players can freely write themselves. This way the game retains a Suikoden identity and does not turn completely generic and focus-less.
- they allow certain descriptive elements to appear on the region profile that are outside the direct control of the player, introducing the feeling that decisions matter in the long term (they can add certain qualifiers into the profiles, such as "runic dictatorship" or phrases such as "elven artists are not welcome within the borders of X") as well as the political reality that decisions have sometimes unforeseen results (for example, let us assume that the issue at hand was the plea for clemency for a popular and charming bandit; if the player grants said clemency, expecting more popularity for himself among his populace, this instead results in soaring crime rates). Issues should never have clear "right" and "wrong" options. All of them should be double-edged swords, which further helps to shape a region's identity.
- they can be used to create realistic diplomatic ties and animosities, grouping regions into "blocks" if something like this should ever be desirable for the game administrator. Regions that have previously reacted favorably to Harmonian proclamations (which were presented as issues in weeks past) will perhaps draw upon themselves the ire of Dunan trade princes.
- the issues grant a maybe one-week long window for action (not reacting and thus dismissing the issue should be possible as well) during which they can inspire gameplay discussions in national forums and Budehuc. These discussions and speculations about gameplay enhanced the fun and feeling of community in the old game, and since the new one will be lacking tightly-knit nations, it obviously runs a greater risk of players feeling isolated. More interaction with other people will form a stronger attachment to the game, which is in your best interest.

Potential Downside: The issues obviously need to be created, which goes against your ideal of a game that runs more or less on its own once it has been created.
Counter to the downside: At least each issue will present itself to each player, which means a relatively small effort will result in content accessible to everyone. This is very much unlike the explorations of the old game for example, which were very private, thus requiring you to come up with many at once to keep everyone involved. One issue per real-world month wouldn't be that much work, I think.


Newspaper

There could be a newspaper feature with a new issue appearing maybe once a month. Each could contain a few very short articles about the current goings-on of the Suikoden world (written by you, you did something like this in Tabula Rasa), which could also foreshadow some of the political issues to come. Each player could also submit one article for the newspaper (with a maximum length, sorry RedCydranth!), writing about his region.

This would be an outlet for the players' creativity and also support the feeling of a persistent and interconnected game world.


Parliament
(or Crown Convention or Pirate Gathering or Tribal Palaver or whatever)

This could be a way to incorporate the debate feature you wanted with the roleplaying aspect of the regional game so that they do not seem completely divorced from each other. People could maybe even come up with a rhetor/ambassador character from their region who receives his own little profile on the site, listing the number of debates he participated in etc., complete with a picture and a short character bio.



Aggression

Raids of other regions should be limited by location and should never result in too much damage done, least of all annexation. Griefing should not be a major gameplay feature.





This whole post is not well-thought-out, and only meant to serve as a quarry for better ideas.







Gil-shutup wrote:
That was one of the problems with the old system, with "certain members" feeling like they were sort of stuck in their nations.

Oh now I see how it was!
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Ikano

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It suddenly seems like there's a split in opinions between running it like the old system but improved and majorly tweaked

vs

character-centric "This is my personal house" system...?

(Yeah I totally imagined the houses in Pokemon Global Link/Dream World) hahaha...

Personally...I'm more in favor of the latter and/or going with something totally new than trying to pick up scraps from the rubble of the previous system.... but which would be easier to run? That I don't know....
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Gil-galad

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

iscalio wrote:


Gil-shutup wrote:
That was one of the problems with the old system, with "certain members" feeling like they were sort of stuck in their nations.

Oh now I see how it was!


Teehee~ So the truth comes out. ;) I am clearly not content with good ol' Tinto life. The life of a miner... 'twas a hard life.

In all seriousness, though. The nation system was pretty great at forming long lasting communities and bonds--so it'd be great to preserve that sort of thing in a way that still opens up the game to more individual player freedom.

I think the idea of political issues is pretty awesome. I think while it would be necessary to have a certain number of outcomes to choose from in order to properly plan and execute in a game, they should be worded in a way that allows the players to role play their own implementation of those choices. I remember back in the old game there was some chatter about wanting to beef up a text-based role playing aspect to the game, so giving the players the freedom to elaborate on their political decisions might be interesting in that regard.

Maybe there could also be randomly occurring events, such as natural disasters, prosperous harvests, NPC bandit attacks, that occur depending on what is or isn't invested in a certain region.

Also sending exploration or scouting teams to chart unexplored land, which could result in increased land area for each personal region.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ok just going on a spree here, sorry if it isn't easy to read.

I've summed up a few things from the old system which I remember as good and bad. And I've also added a few comments as to a new system.



the old system
A. The old nation versus nation syste
good:
    -It was very strong, it made it so that people felt connected to eachother and had to pitch in for the good of the collective.
    -The phase battles required some tactical insight and skill as to where you would spend resources and troops. Where to attack and where to defend.
    -The town mayor system enabled an extra fun asset as certain users gained certain bonus effects if they fought for their own town.

bad:
    -A beaten nation wasn't really beaten, they'd simply live on (supressed) and suddenly have a new base somewhere. If I recall correctly Zexen was destroyed, but suddenly they had new towns near the Archonate's turf. Users from a beaten nation ought to be given the chance to join one of the nations that overcame them, or reroll the nation dice as to 'flee' somewhere.



B. The class, race and regiment system

good:
    -It was perfect, there was a bit of a vagueness (eventhough TNL thrived on the vague) around which stats would be best for which regiment type. But it was easily solved as you could switch regiment types as much as you liked as long as you payed up for 'retraining' your troops. That way you could also send a general out with crossbowmen one phase, and knights the next. It is a dreadful thing to block off people from changing things like that in my opinion.

bad:
    -Following the latter, that is why I did NOT like the race selection update really. You had to select a race without actually being fully aware of the exact effects on your stats. All of a sudden your fighting style and personal growth could go down the drain.


C. The leveling and status boosts

good:
    -The stats grew depending on your posting style and frequency. It could either make you a dueling god, or a total mess. (my stats as an example are totally messed up ^^)

bad:
    -I would not call it "bad" really, but the way your stats grew was effected by a secret coding and your "race" I believe. So it was often hard to try and beat some people as certain stats would make you overpowered if that was your prime factor. A user with a lot of speed for example was impossible to hit in a duel.

D. The map!
good:
    -It is VERY nice to have an actual visual image of what's going on in a wargame. It makes it more fun for all the players.
    -It gives a better tactical overview of where you can be attacked and how you need to plan your moves.

bad:
    -It was very difficult to update I believe..



the new system
A. Things I would avoid:
    - A solo-based system. A game where you can only fight player versus player is quite boring as that often results in people spamming accounts to make one account overpowered. It's a real killjoy if you're out on your own really.
    - Too many options to start with. The game should start simply like the previous one, without too many extra buttons and options and whatnot. And each new phase, a new add-on can be introduced. That way the barrier between joining the game and staying away is a lot smaller.
    - NPC users for nations. It was mentioned earlier that nations might indeed rely on them too much to do the dirty work. Sure there could be a few NPCs to get things started, but if they are too strong, it's kind of a lost battle as soon as you see them coming.
    - Secret users. With this I mean users who are stronger than others without even seeing them post really. All of the users ought to be equal really, no hidden topic area's for a select few to rant and spam to grow strong. (just saying...)


A. Things I might add:
    - A way to not only provide your troops with power, but also your own user (besides stats). Not every user may have the same stats, but basic item equipment would be very cool to introduce as a LITTLE upgrade of your strength. A weapon / armor is all you need really, and you can buy them from your own land, an ally or might find them if you go exploring? Some nation might be good at making swords, another at armors, another at bows... It would result in the following example:
    Alucard
    Level 17
    Equiped: Dark Katana | Bone Armor
    Regiment type: Man-at-arms
    Troops: 1500


    - If you take the latter into account, you can also add an add-on later in which you can later on upgrade items. Let's say that exploring or mining gives you a ruby gemstone which you can use on an item between level 20-50. You need a gemcrafter shop in your nation to try and make the item +1 which increases it's statistics. (if you're interested in this, I can write out a full system for you and PM it)
    - A way to raise taxes from your towns. A tax system would be realistic, but would need a good mathematical coding as it needs to take into account that not every city is as wealthy! Also if you ask too many taxes, the people might revolt!




Think I'll keep it at this for now.

Kind regards
-Alucard
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