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Game Theme


Jul 19 2009, 01:47 AM (Post #1)
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Let's decide on an overarching theme or unifying background for the game. This discussion goes along with the one about whether we're designing for medieval or futuristic. My belief is that we'll do our first version for "modern" for the following reasons:

1. Designing a future that hasn't come yet is an entirely separate (and large) job. I think we should focus on getting the actual game out before "re"-inventing the future.

2. If we decide to go futuristic or medieval after our first release, it'd be simple to change.

3. Medieval is too restricting—jets, copters, and tanks don't exist. We need to create...horses and war elephants and stuff, and that's too complicated.

4. Any combination of medieval and futuristic don't make sense to me.

Aside from the time setting, what other elements would you like to suggest for the theme?
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Jul 19 2009, 04:21 PM (Post #2)
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I agree. Modern is the way to go for now.
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Jul 19 2009, 04:45 PM (Post #3)
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If you're talking in terms of just getting some sort of engine done, I think medieval would be the best place to start. If the elephants are too much, we won't put them in yet, but the modern theme has a lot to it. I think it's best we just get something functional down that may be more minimal than we ultimately want, but gives us a basis to develop further. Then we will probably be alright with taking that, and bumping everything up to something modern.

In a long-term sense, I think that the medieval and modern themes have been overdone, so they're kind of cliche. Every idea I've seen thus far has been from some combination of Civilization, Age of Empires, or Advance Wars. The multiplayer element might be enough to propel this project, but I think if we want to stand out, we'll ultimately have to go with a fantasy or futuristic route, since it's much easier to be more original in those themes. Of course, coming up ideas for those would be long after we already have at least some simple version of this game up and running.

This might be a bit of a reach goal, but if we can have games from each theme up and going at the same time, then we could have some sort of starting option, where you can pick a theme (and I think there would be little more to making those than changing sprites and some values around). I say that simply because picking one specific theme will ultimately limit the fun players will have. If we can't do that, then I think we should at least make it so that you can upgrade units, etc., to the point where they are futuristic.

But for now, I think we should keep it simple and go with medieval.
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Jul 19 2009, 04:54 PM (Post #4)
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QUOTE (Derp @ Jul 19 2009, 08:45 AM)
If you're talking in terms of just getting some sort of engine done, I think medieval would be the best place to start. If the elephants are too much, we won't put them in yet, but the modern theme has a lot to it. I think it's best we just get something functional down that may be more minimal than we ultimately want, but gives us a basis to develop further. Then we will probably be alright with taking that, and bumping everything up to something modern.

In a long-term sense, I think that the medieval and modern themes have been overdone, so they're kind of cliche. Every idea I've seen thus far has been from some combination of Civilization, Age of Empires, or Advance Wars. The multiplayer element might be enough to propel this project, but I think if we want to stand out, we'll ultimately have to go with a fantasy or futuristic route, since it's much easier to be more original in those themes. Of course, coming up ideas for those would be long after we already have at least some simple version of this game up and running.

This might be a bit of a reach goal, but if we can have games from each theme up and going at the same time, then we could have some sort of starting option, where you can pick a theme (and I think there would be little more to making those than changing sprites and some values around). I say that simply because picking one specific theme will ultimately limit the fun players will have. If we can't do that, then I think we should at least make it so that you can upgrade units, etc., to the point where they are futuristic.

But for now, I think we should keep it simple and go with medieval.
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What sort of units can you have? People, and people on horsebacks. Maybe a ship. I kind of get that you think the simplicity is an advantage, which it might be. I'm just not sure how quickly we can switch from medieval to a different theme because it's so different. Modern, on the other hand, sits in the middle of the entire spectrum.

If you really think medieval is the way to go, we need to answer some questions like: Will there be magic in the game? (I'd rather not) How can units interact except with "lance and kill"? How are people on horseback different from people in general, except by speed? I see the "there is not much to do" part as a disadvantage, at least at this scale. With modern, we can choose what we want to implement now (We certainly don't have to do everything). With medieval, we're stuck with a limited array to choose from.
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Jul 19 2009, 05:03 PM (Post #5)
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I suppose my biggest concern is whether or not we'll actually get this done, which is why I think medieval is a better start. I think most of the problems you mentioned that come with medieval also come with modern (unless you're implying modern or earlier, where we'd choose any unit up until then). What else does it give us? A plane, tank, car? I don't see how it would be that much more difficult to put those in later. At the very most, we'll have to implement that a plane goes over all terrain. If we have an archer or catapult, that will be analogous to the other ways we'll have units interact when we go to modern.

I made a suggestion in the other thread about making a chinsy version of the game right now that we can finish quickly, just to have something down. I think that might solve, in part, the problem I predict we'll have (i.e., loss of interest).

EDIT: Again, I'm not particularly opposed to modern, I believe it will take us longer to do, thus we'll be less likely to complete it.

This post has been edited by Derp: Jul 19 2009, 05:07 PM
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Jul 19 2009, 05:36 PM (Post #6)
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The more simple the better. You know, why don't we try going back further—maybe stone age? There are few things to work with, but if you can get a prototype off the ground, then we can get somewhere.
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Jul 19 2009, 06:39 PM (Post #7)
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QUOTE (Albert @ Jul 19 2009, 05:36 PM)
The more simple the better.  You know, why don't we try going back further—maybe stone age?  There are few things to work with, but if you can get a prototype off the ground, then we can get somewhere.
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I like his stone age idea, so if it came to a vote, I would throw my vote that way.

how about stone age, with some simple magic units, and some mounted units.

that way, as far as troops, you basically have.

Melee-footsoldier
Ranged-Footsoldier
Magic attack-footsoldier
healing- footsoldier
melee- mounted
ranged- mounted
magic attack- mounted
healing- mounted


mounted units have more range of movement, less attack power.

melee units can't attack at range, range can't attack at melee, magic can attack both

magic is weaker than melee or ranged.
------------------

anyone like that at all?
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Jul 23 2009, 08:13 PM (Post #8)
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Simple is good, for now. But remember, once we get up and running with a finished product, it will be easy to substitute in or add or swap out elements to change the time period.

An idea: If we want to be original, then why not do something really original? (Not sure if being original is even a main concern, aren't we just sort of making this for ourselves, not for anything commercial?) Let's do all of suggested themes. It'll evolve. In the beginning, it'll be medieval, or even prehistoric, with people chucking rocks at each other and hitting each other with clubs. As levels or time progress, (however we end up mapping progression in the game) more modern, powerful elements will become available. That way, assuming once we're done with general mechanics we do start coding at the beginning, we will be coding the simplest stuff first and have something playable before we get through it all.

I'm still in favor of us settling if not on a theme, then at least on the specific mechanics of a game before we go much further. What code we have runs on assumptions. Sure, it's pretty darn likely we'll have a map and different map tiles, but it really is an assumption. How far can we go before we know exactly what we're creating? Jinghao said that would top-down big corporation management, inefficient for us. I don't suggest we have a bureaucracy, just a uniting vision we can all share in before we each delve into our own ideas of what our work is.
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Jul 25 2009, 01:12 AM (Post #9)
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I still think we need to get it down how the strategy of the game will work, so that from there, we can work up. Just my opinion. I like throwing rocks at things.
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Jul 25 2009, 08:26 AM (Post #10)
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I'd definitely like to keep magic out of the mix, at least for the time. I have no interest in incorporating anything D&Desque into this project.

Honestly, I think it would be spot on easiest to create a modern theme, or if people are hellbent on horseback, a WWI-era modernity would suffice, giving you the advantage of not entirely gimped foot units, while not having the technology too clunky like in the earlier 19th century.

WWI era also has the advantage of not being extensively covered.

At the very least, this should serve as a beta test. We could, if successful, simply incorporate extra themes into the game, assuming people get tired of what is currently given.
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Jul 25 2009, 04:38 PM (Post #11)
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QUOTE (Billy Mays @ Jul 25 2009, 12:26 AM)
I'd definitely like to keep magic out of the mix, at least for the time. I have no interest in incorporating anything D&Desque into this project.

Honestly, I think it would be spot on easiest to create a modern theme, or if people are hellbent on horseback, a WWI-era modernity would suffice, giving you the advantage of not entirely gimped foot units, while not having the technology too clunky like in the earlier 19th century.

WWI era also has the advantage of not being extensively covered.

At the very least, this should serve as a beta test. We could, if successful, simply incorporate extra themes into the game, assuming people get tired of what is currently given.
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1. Agreed.

2. That'd be great. It gives us great room to implement new technology for "research". That ways, if you want a jet that's marginally than a stupid prop-based plane, you have to put in the research time and money ssmile.gif
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