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466  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: Setting Ideas: Brainstorming on: March 05, 2009, 10:51:44 PM
I think I saw a discussion that was about that but can you choose the age for your character ?

The game starts 20 years after the war. Thats fixed now, yes ?
 Will you be born into the post-apoc world or will your knowledge and skills come over from your 'previous life' like in Mad Max ? Then you'd have to be around or close to 40+ to actually have any detailed knowledge of something (depending on your background) or a meager views and not fully developed attitude toward life and world and politics in general if you're <30. If you're <20 then wouldn't we need semi-fixed background stories for the new characters ?
Like you can choose if you're a boy/girl from the bomb shelter in the Big City or a girl/boy from the cellar of a garage 20 km/some miles out of town ?

If you're the latter then you'd listen to the rumors and ask around maybe if you're interested. But if you're playing the old character then that would have to be clear from the start - you have your own diary somewhere somesuch.

But if the reason of the war is not critical to the advancement of the plot then the discussion's importance is pretty moot at this point. There's a big possibility that the topic of the beginning of the war will not be touched at all during the demo-town/areas which were one of the first priorities
467  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: Main Story Arc idea on: March 05, 2009, 10:36:08 PM
You'll just enter the correct activation codes for the secret Weather Machine that the pre-war scientists built for that very reason deep into the Arctic ice... piece of pie
468  Development / Mechanics / Re: Food, Water and Endurance on: March 05, 2009, 03:33:52 PM
- character specialization 1 - you can have high endurance and survival/wilderness skill and travel on foot/your own sledge but then you have to find/prepare/buy the rations - cheaper (you could actually butcher random encounter bears-cubs for meat hides to sell)
- character specialization 2 - you have high charisma and haggle and get yourself on a caravan or hire a sledge-driver with rations - more expensive and maybe less flexible as in where you can go, but you have to worry about it less + during random encounters the driver might also act as a mercenary

ways how the environment affects you:

lets say the game starts, you're in a room (your hut whatever) you run out into the open and enter world map and try to walk to a nearby settlement. You automatically exit world map and you get a message "You stupid f. forgot to wear a coat, you froze to death" with a nice animation or still of a dead body/skeleton in snow

The right approach would be to instead wear a piece of clothing at all times. let's say at first you get a heavy woolly cardigan off your bed that you wear on top of your neutral clothing (fallout had jumpsuit, some games have you walking around butt-naked, some have underwear whatnot). heavier armor (a beaten trash can lid) goes on top of the mandatory warm clothes. Later on in the game you might find more high-tech polymer-type jumpsuits in military installations or wherever that protect against the cold. 

I wouldn't find that very tedious. It's sort of part of your character configuration. During the game like perks of special abilities one might get as they level up you find clothing that's lighter and/or more durable. Brainstorm alert: Maybe in a frozen military-class sub you might find a Fremen stillsuit-like suit that helps you preserve your bodily fluids.

I mean in Fallout the clothing/armor was mainly for defence. OK power armor gave you strength, logical too for the exoskeleton. I'm not saying that we have to have magical amulets and rings, but the clothing might be an integral element in the game for survival - you mess with it during the character creation phase and a little at the beginning but then you play the game freely
469  General Category / Introduce yourself / Re: DK (that's me!) on: March 05, 2009, 12:00:16 AM
hullo !

yar study'n what I'd love to study :O
470  Development / Graphics / Re: General concept art, pictures etc. on: March 04, 2009, 09:42:46 PM
wow, that is actually... really cool Cheesy
471  Development / Graphics / Re: General concept art, pictures etc. on: March 04, 2009, 07:29:46 PM
Zero project has some nice in-game scenery (trees notably)
As it is in German I couldn't discern if the art is theirs or not
If someone missed the NMA news-post, then:

472  General Category / General Discussion / Re: PARPG team Gaming?? on: March 04, 2009, 06:58:53 PM
Arr, I'd love to sit back relax and play but with six days of school a week 12+ hours of classes a day I'm too exhausted to do even that.. though. then there's homework...
 Roll Eyes
473  Development / Mechanics / Re: Trading and haggling, bartering and bargaining on: March 04, 2009, 06:46:08 PM
Thanks for the reply. Hmm. I don't think I agree on either count.

First the waste of time part - I encountered the 'my version' of haggling actually in the wasteoftime Neopets (see neopets.com) in it's stores. The storekeeper gives you a price and will lower it to a certain price. He tells you 300 you tell 150 he tells you 275 you tell him 200 he tells you 250 you tell him 250 he stops on 250 you try 240 he's still on 250 therefore he most probably won't go down any more. You try 245 and actually get him to give you 'a bargain' for 247. It's quite fast if you can type in the amounts you want to offer. THAT only when using the currency in the game. Using items it would actually make the trading process easier. When you lack some 5 coins from the actual price for the guns then you don't have to go and scroll down to your coin pile (fallout) to dig out the extra 5 but the shopkeeper might give you the very 5 coins worth of a discount. Depending on your haggle skill.

Eventually at the end of most games you have enough money to buy anything, so if we also want to make a game where at the end stages you have a lot of money then my change would have the biggest impact on the beginning stages of the game where you have to swet blood and tears to survive in the game and to advance (equipment-wise)

Secondly what you're saying about there not being anything to trade at all - that would make an agreed-upon currency in the game obsolete. If there's nothing to trade then why would there be a currency (which actually kind of left me wondering in Fallout games). Most of the things would be either scavenged stuff that's degraded and close to breaking down or newer self-manufactured low-tech items.

as in NATURAL ECONOMY which would be dominant in a post-apoc world, no ?

I would think of interactive trading an investment in the idea of SURVIVAL in general. It doesn't happen, you work for the valuable valuable items.

Which brings me another thought. Then (if such trading is involved) you can actually make the choice in game whether you'll be combat-oriented or a charismatic trader. As many have said that they'd like to see more low-tech equipment, weaponry. Instead of using your reflexes and strength to get close to the home-village-raiding yeti to skewer it on your wooden sharpened pole, you'll take the time to trek to the nearest trader to use your charisma and wit to get the best price for a revolver and after some practicing you'll just position yourself strategically and next time the yeti comes on a night-raid you'll shoot it's small brains out

Sorry if I sound really aggressively defensive about any of my ideas - that's not the case, I sort of like argumented discussions plus it might open up some new doors ideas-wise
474  General Category / General Discussion / Re: What are your favourite cRPGs? on: March 04, 2009, 06:20:54 PM
Hm. The first cRPG I was introduced to was actually Fallout. It was a pirated copy and my friend had it. The thing didn't have any videos or talking heads or anything like that. I'd go to his place after school to either see him play or play myself.
I even learned the basics of English on that game. I think I was 8 at the time Cheesy So my English vocabulary never lacked any of the juicy profanities from the very beginning.
Years passed and I got myself Diablo 2 and got bored with it quite soon. Then I saw Fallout 2 on the shelves at a store and from there on I spent a lot of time playing that. Afterwards I really dug Arcanum and after that I discovered the Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale series, which I liked for the setting and the beautiful graphics - I still think that Baldur's Gate 2 has some of the most beautiful sceneries in gaming history - Any Oblivion or Fallout 3 3D graphics never got to me really.
And at one point I found Planescape: Torment. I think it might have been through the Baldur's Gate and Lost Realms communities.

One other that I liked was Deus Ex. I stumbled upon it pretty late on and the graphics were really outdated, but it never bothered me. I found the storyline entertaining and the possibility of being a sneak and making the minimal amount of shots to actually get to the end of the game really appealed to me. Also the alternate storylines, depending on your choices.

There were also the SNES Final fantasy series. They were sadly linear, which is pretty common to the Japanese cRPGs, but the graphics in FF3/6 just baffled me. What could be done with PIXELS !

So. My top list from various kinds of cRPGs would be the following:

1. Fallout (the original one) - It was the one that started it all. I guess all the pro's that are listed in these forums or anywhere
2. Arcanum - I've been a nut for the Steampunk setting as long as I can remember.
3. Baldur's Gate 2 - art, development of the NPCs throughout the game, also the setting and no lack of detail in anything
4. FF3 - graphics and development of characters throughout the game
5. Deus Ex - different approaches to achieve a goal, choices which influence the storyline

I liked Planescape a lot but I do not put it into the list, because it really bothered me a lot that you couldn't much configure the character itself. You were stuck with an ugly undead guy whatever you'd do to avoid it. But for what it was, it was great none-the-less

Basically a cRPG where you can keep to the shadows and steal or plant something, while when you do get caught you can use your sharp tongue to get you out of trouble or if all else fails then drop a smoke-bomb, punch the lead guy's nose in and use the chandelier to fling yourself through the window into the dead of night - and freedom
475  Development / Mechanics / Trading and haggling, bartering and bargaining on: March 04, 2009, 05:50:52 PM
Whether playing fallout or other cRPGs where there's the bartering/haggling skill I always found it kind of strange that when you opened up the trading menu/board the haggling itself was already done for you. As in when I tried to sell my "three kilos of ripe apples" and trade them for a nice worn-out revolver. So the total value for those apples was 75 bottle caps/coins and the revolver was 80 bottle caps/coins I would have had to add a "carrot" to offer the full 80 bc/coin value of goods.

I'd think it would be cooler if the trading part would involve you a bit more, it being more.. interactive ?
Let's say I first offer him a kilo of apples their value being 25 bc/coins and he asks for his piece a full 100 bc/coins. Then I'd offer 50 bc/coins worth of apples and depending on my haggling skill he'd either lower the revolver's price from 100 to 95 or 90 or  shake his head and say something like "No-no girl, you're being too cheap, look well - it's a well cared-for gun!" and thus stay with the original price.

Essentially you wouldn't do that many more clicks back and forth so it shouldn't become too tedious BUT while trading it's also not going to be just something you do to get the gun - 'Oh great here's your apples give me the gun thank you good luck and good night'. Actually your thought would be involved in the process and a bit more of your attention invested in it.

So there. That's my two pennies
476  General Category / Introduce yourself / gaspard on: March 03, 2009, 12:01:11 AM
Hello to everyone !
I'm pretty new to these forums and I am not assigned to any duties whatsoever !
Personally at the time I am residing in the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia and I attend the local Repin State Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architectue my major being (classical) painting. My goal is to become a (successful Smiley) portrait painter, but if that would fail I'll probably go for commercial and free-lance work including conceptual art for.. let's say.. the gaming industry.
Between my absolutely crazy schedule at school and my regular visits to the State Hermitage Museum, I like to read a lot, science fiction included in my favored genres, watch appropriate films and draw out my favourite characters, scenes, monsters, scantily dressed ladies in distress, what-not.
Here's a quick self-portrait from 5 minutes ago:

As the PARGP project advances and there arises the need (assuming that this does not coincide with my exam sessions) I'd be willing to whip up some concept art
477  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: No Pulp-Sci-Fiction ? Plus an alternative Gameworld Setting idea on: March 02, 2009, 12:56:41 AM
heh, well I sort of gathered from the rest of the discussions that pulp is not the most popular um.. genre in this community.
but one can't blame a guy for trying, eh. So I guess we might drop that issue.

I think your population numbers seem a little low.  Current european is 730M or so.  1990 was maybe 600M? (Guessing here).  Kill 95% in war and "secondary kill" you are down to 30M still, which is the peak population at during the classical era and about 1066 AD (was higher during roman empire).  That seems about reasonable.  Could modify this by a factor of 4 either way, but not much more.   Not that until industrial revolution, population grew at 20%-33% per CENTURY or so (except when it dropped 25% due to black death or something)  (here is my source: http://migration.ucc.ie/population/4%20eupophistory.htm).

I would not disagree with those numbers and statistics of the population in the past.
But wouldn't you agree that back (way back) then the people were accustomed to their, let's say, pretty firm lifestyles. If you took all the farmer's cows away then he would surely starve if he didn't have some sheep stashed away just for an occasion like that, no ?

Would these modern people have the skills necessary to survive a mere setback like the apocalypse, and not only survive that but survive in an environment which not only lacks the commodities of the recent past but is offensive and throws at them harsh weather conditions; there are the arising social problems, diseases and accidents with probably close to no active professional medical aid available, those wild animals mentioned in other threads and possible roaming remnants of various armies or factions trying to get by by raiding and pillaging ?

I would still think that the population would be a lot smaller than what you said it might be.
And Lamoot, I was thinking about that only in terms of background story. Of course in the game we do not meet every single surviving individual, but thanks for reminding that Smiley
478  Development / Mechanics / Re: How the game will play on: February 28, 2009, 04:22:13 PM

3) Players wanders the waste land in a non-linear fashion - and is "free" to be good or evil or in between (for lack of a better way to put it)

Survival is often amoral.  It should be extraordinarily difficult to be squeaky clean and a do-gooder all of the time.

I basically agree with this one. But if there's a hard-core do-gooder who plays this then there might be possibilities to DO GOOD but on the expense of your... health, wealth, experience what-not - that could be determined on the run. Then you'd make a SACRIFICE.
479  Development / Writing and Quests / No Pulp-Sci-Fiction ? Plus an alternative Gameworld Setting idea on: February 28, 2009, 03:43:26 PM
First of all - hello to everyone. My first post here and all. I've spent the past.. very many hours trying to catch up with the brainstorming and as a long-time Fallout/Arcanum/PS:Torment fan a big question rose up for me:

Is there going to be any pulp science fiction implemented into the story ?

So far the discussions have been about the most 'logical' backstories for anything that has happened in the GW (short for Game World). There's the map discussion and the historical aspects and so on so forth.

To the point then. I've had my own ideas for a PARPG for some time now. So I'll modify them enough to fit into an already sort of agreed-upon setting.
How about it if we start the holocaust in a more pulp-ish way? I'll throw my own idea into the mix. Comments and modifying my ideas encouraged.
I'll divide the following paragraphs into a loose set of cathegories: BACKSTORY, MAP, FACTIONS whatnot

Let's say a biological weapon from a European science lab gets onto the streets. Biohazard. Quarantine - military troops are in the streets with mass-control non-lethal weaponry and equipment. Virus is not airborn but the continental travel has helped it spread across many countries (some may have been unaffected) Settlement and country borders are guarded by heavily-armed forces. There's panic, violence, the civilians go nuts and to top it all off on the other side of the world the Cuban crisis goes all bad and triggers a nuclear war which (let's take into account pretargeted automated launches which are not that impossible during general panic) in itself due to the domino effect (missiles launched on all fronts) engulfs the whole world in mere hours if not quicker (there's missile travel time to take into account).
And then: silence.

The virus itself is neutralized or rendered dormant in the subjects/victims by the high doses of radiation in the atmosphere. This might make it a bit too Fallout-ish but mutated strains of the virus could cause various physical mutations, let that be weird pigmentation as in albinism or blue skin or crazy rashes which could evolve into elephant-men (thick skin) or hairy people. As a spreading disease that could happen in a 20-year time-period after the war.


This has been talked about a lot in other topics. I'm all for the coming of another fatal Ice-Age

I'm all for sci-fi power sources like fusion or some-such. It would have to be scavenged from old pre-holocaust experimental labs because during cold-war days they were not in use but may have been taken into use by the desperate survivors - maybe even distributed by the scientists themselves in an attempt to restore a kind of civilization

weaponry ? I'm not against the omitting of laser-type weapons or beam guns and plasma rifles. Just regular cold-war weaponry would be fine. With dominating primitive weapons like bows and makeshift crossbows or harpoons. But without many guns the game would be like.. a regular D'n'D. Instead of a mace+2 you'd bash a fur-clad eskimoe's head in with a titanium crow-bar while the little guy tries to block your attacks with a fishing-pole or a stick. Is that much fun ?

As I said before the military was in the streets, armed to the teeth, during bio hazard and the quarantines. Whatever defences they would've used, the surprise nuclear blasts would still wipe them off their feet. That would leave a lot of scrap metal and not so little working military equipment literally ON THE STREETS. Later the survivors of the holocaust would scavenge some of it for protection against.. well... Post-war Vikings on motor-sleighs. Some military groups might have survived in bunkers or subway tunnels.

Slightly back in time again: Due to the chaos wrecked by the bio hazard and military quarantines not many people managed to get into hiding or into shelters, fallout-shelters, whatnot. That would give us a really small population (which I find more interesting). In whole Europe there could be no more than a couple hundred thousand people, million tops. Let us take into account that as the infrastructure as we now it (OK - as they knew it back in the Cold-War era) would be gone. I know too many people who would not ever s u r v i v e without pizza-places, Internet, McDonalds and supermarkets. I heard that it's even worse in the States (I'm from eastern Europe myself). So - low low population

MAP 1. (taglines - secluded populated areas, means of long-distance transport)
So if we have a bigger map, it would not be populated as densely. Maybe three-four different various-sized settlements to a region (I show them as blue dots on the following map which I took from the brainstorming topic)

Of course the game does not have to have so many settlements (If the map's going to look fallout-ish), some of them may be just shantys or interesting places with nice scenery or some valuable items. Arcanum for example had tons of various locations on it's map ranging from a nice-looking magical rock or a pit with two spiders in it to a huge metropolis.
The idea for this big map with scattered areas of populated areas is that you would need a means of transport for longer voyages through the mostly empty frozen wilds. Let's say still working or repairable railways (there might be a faction in control of that + it might need a pulp-sci-fi energy source), ATVs or SUVs for rough terrain and/or crossing the expanses of frozen seas-lakes (ie Baltic Sea which might be 75% frozen).

Pros of this kind of map:
+ a lot to explore
+ quests related to finding transport into newer areas - this way the game could be separated into chapters of sorts even
+ can work easily with many very different ethnic groups (although the map is mostly Scandinavia and surroundings... therefore the temperaments do not vary as much; less racial but more national harrassment ? There should be a social aspect to problems in a wintery wasteland)
+ ...

Cons for this kind of map:
- difficult to set up in a well-playable way - a lot of material to prepare, therefore helluva time-consuming
- it is more difficult to find some tying social element in the game. What I mean is that in Fallout it was the US national propaganda. The American Dream and the art and posters and scenery reflected that. America has had a huge impact on world pop-culture or actually any kind of culture. Therefore ironic references to the superficiality of such things added to the Fallout setting. In a smaller map this would be more difficult because of all the different countries involved. More on this in a following paragraph

MAP 2. (taglines - small, easier to work with, more possible meaningful material)
What if the map really would be smaller. A LOT smaller. Maybe something like this:

maybe something a lot different.

Anyway. In this map we would have a smaller area to work with and therefore a lot more meaningful content can be seamlessly implemented into the Game World. The Baltic Sea would be frozen to a degree and then there would be easier access to all the little islands on the coast of Finland
With a map like this the faction possibilities could involve the Commies from the east - from here we could get a lot of Communist propaganda material into the game. The Soviets didn't have the American Dream but they had their Communist Utopia - pretty much the equivalent of the other in my opinion though...
Sweden was mainly neutral in the Cold War, but it's Scientific Institutes provided the Allies with technology to upgrade their missiles and what-not (also the source of the aforementioned virus ?). The Soviet Union took it's raw material for the very first atomic bomb actually from Estonia, from a mine-lab-processing plant location a little west of Tallinn, the capital. The Finnish people were notable in the Winter War against the Russians. They put up crazy resistance on skis and with snow-camo clothing+rifles, burning their own villages in retreat from the Russian troops to leave them nothing to live off.

The settlements themselves would still be scattered and with a very low population, but using trucks or SUV's or motor-sleighs to get over the frozen Baltic Sea would sound a bit more logical than getting a huge Ice-Breaker Tanker under your own control to crash through waves and ice wherever you please. Aerial craft is.. Well. If you're a tribal or a regular guy/girl then where would you get your flying skills in a world with absolutely no piloting schools left (Of course if the game is let's say 20 in the future there might be a war-vet or two flying over the icy expanses in a two-seater or a little copter like in Mad Max for example.) The eastern coasts would have old Soviet military and/or intelligence installations and/or subs which might be stuck in ice. In the forests of Estonia in some places there are still the radio-waves blockers - the purpose of those was to block the western radio stations from broadcasting their 'enemy propaganda' into the Iron-Curtained Soviet areas. Another quest material

So here we go. From here on the Ice-Age main plot can be implemented nicely into either type of my proposed map and.. yeah. Well. My fingers feel funny after all this typing and my head is a little dizzy.
If the admins think that this didn't deserve a separate thread then I apologize and feel free to drop it into brainstorm for example, but I thought the Pulp aspect should deserve a topic on its own.
I haven't gone in-depth as much as I'd have liked, but it'll have to do for now.

This type of origin in itself leaves a lot of pretty realistic possibilities for a post-apoc world.

What's your thoughts ?
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