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1156  Development / Mechanics / Re: How the game will play on: February 10, 2009, 08:19:11 AM
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Also, while I am thinking about it, NO PSYCHIC GUARDS! 

HAHAHAHAHA.  You won me over on that one.  I just finished FO2 yesterday, went to go make (in game!) a "post enclave" Porn Movie... searched a shelf and this porn actress jumped me!  I mean punching and kicking!  So, I shoot her in the arm or something with my gauss rifle... now all these porn stars and fluffers and prostitutes are after me!   I run, because it's not really worth the trouble to stop and shoot them all.

FO (and I agree - really a fantastic game) - not only had psychic guards but sometimes forgetful ones too.  Leave the map, and presto everyones' cool again!   

Well, on thing is clear (so far) - we are interested in "natural" responses from NPCs.
1157  Development / Mechanics / Re: Ruleset/System ideas on: February 10, 2009, 08:11:23 AM

It is an RPG.  I am outlining a possible system for a character to do things.  Fight, get hurt, lie, shoot a gun, fix a flat, or swim an icy river.  Whether or not anyone wants to do any of those things in game doesn't matter.  The system would handle it.

EDIT:  Sorry for being a jerkface.  I'm tired.

Hey, it's the internet.  I try not to take it personal.

But what about THESE tasks:
- Fly a spaceshuttle
- Raise an octopus
- Design a computer role playing game
- Change a diaper
- Hit a baseball
- Defuse an alien WMD

Are you going to design a system that handles those too?  Or maybe they won't be in the game?  But how would you know if it's not been decided what's in the game?

You're the guy going "No XP! No HP! No Levels!"  Oh, but we need 7 stats like every other game.
1158  Development / Writing and Quests / Re: Setting Ideas: Brainstorming on: February 10, 2009, 08:03:48 AM
Well, sure - [cue barney voice] The only limit is your imaaaaaggination [/barney].

Right now, I am partial to the Soviet hook.  I have sort of a "thing" for the USSR and alt-history in general.  The advantage of an alt-history approach is that it's a simple hook to hang your rhetorical hat on.   Another thing is that I think it helps the artists and modellers out to have a theme to draw from. 

 One reason to have a post NATO/Pact war for a game set in Central Europe is that it is a ready-made excuse for there to actually, be, you know, GUNS lying around (Ever some time after).  Europe is not the US - they don't have 2.4 .45 Colt ACPs per household.* (this is when the Germans come and correct me)

Another idea (still post Cold-war based) would be to set it in the US, BUT after a Soviet takeover!  "Somehow" the US loses the cold war - badly.  The Russkies take over (a la Red Dawn).  Secret loyal americans go underground, plot revenge.... start up a new War of Independence... it goes awry "Civil World War III".

I think the hard part about setting a game RIGHT after the "cataclysm" is that there are still too many people around.   The RPG Aftermath! (A great resource for you PA game afficionados) - which is setting-independent describes the "Post Ruin" world as "Primary Kill" (some event that kills 50% of the world's population) followed by "Secondary Kill" - which kills 90% of the remaining 50%....   What makes this hard to game is that the environment would be changing SO fast, it would become difficult to code.  Although if you like to watch movies of people starving to death...   I would think of this kind of game to be basically like "Dawn of the Dead" or "28 days later".  Instead of "real" zombies you just have starving desperate people.  Probably make a good FPS game though.

After everything settles down - stabilizes a bit - is when you get your more typical RPG FedEx quest action.  I think you could maybe do 5 years after, if you wanted a game with basically "No shops".   20 years after is a cool mix because you get the "clash of cultures" where you have 40 or 50 year-old survivors who remember the old days AND 17 year old kids who were born in the wasteland and raised by hyenas or whatever.
1159  Development / Mechanics / FO followup on: February 10, 2009, 07:45:17 AM
Well, I was just trying to describe fallout so we could decide what we were or were not keeping. I certainly don't want to do a "Chosen One" vs. "Scouring the Wastland" game...

I didn't find the choice and consequence in FO very compelling, but I gather from the scuttlebutt about other games that they did a good job.    I mean... I guess in FO2 you could screw the ghouls or not, and there were a bunch of double-ended / conflicting quests (i.e, NPC1 and NPC2 hire you to murder each other).   Is FO the only game that does that?  

We are talking about "in game" consequences or, post game slide show?   Most games have basic consquences - if you shoot the town guard, the town gets all torqued at you and tries to kill you.

Fallout is a fighting game in the sense that THE CORE ENGINE is designed around the combat resolution.  The most expensive and valuable items are all arms and armor.  There are 4 fighting skills compared to "Science" and "Repair".    Criminy, 80% of the objects in the _game_ are guns.    Now, it's not a pure fighting game like, say Mortal Combat or even Half-Life.     Note that this is true of most PnP RPGs as well.   Was is theoretically possible to finish Fallout without winning a combat (i.e, you are allowed to run)?  I suppose.  But you could also finish the game with an INT 1 character - I sort of think of that as an aside.

But I will be less obtuse.  How much fighting should be in PARPG?  I am going to say "plenty" but I would like to leave out scouring the wasteland in search of XP in the form of crunchy radscorpions.  How deadly should the fighting be?  I think it should be both deadly and not-deadly.  Deadly in the sense of serious - if you get into a gun fight, you should be worried that your might take a bullet.  Not-deadly in the sense that "Victory... or Death" is not the only possible outcome of a fight.
1160  Development / Mechanics / Re: Ruleset/System ideas on: February 10, 2009, 07:06:06 AM
ALTHOUGH I AM NOT A LAWYER I do not think one can copyright or patent "game mechanics" or "rules". 

Yes, you can (copyright -- patent doesn't apply to this subject).

Well, you obviously can't copyright something like:
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Strength:  Ability to lift heavy objects and damage done through unarmed/melee combat.

I suppose you could try to copyright any given combination of dictionary words and definitions in a RPG setting.  Has anyone ever done this?  Sued over it?    Of course, if you are worried - just take whatever you want and swap "Deftness" for "Dexterity" or vice-versa.   


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Also, I wouldn't hack someone's system without getting the thumbs up and giving them attribution when it is appropriate.

Well, it certainly can be considered rude, and I wasn't recommending it.  I would just not be concerned in a legal sense with ripping off someone's game mechanic.  Believe me, if you can think of it, probably some goofball wrote it into a game in 1987.

Here's an example.  The Boss monster.  I had a discussion with a housemate today about how I HATE Boss monsters in video games.  Hate 'em!  Don't care for 'em.  Won't have 'em.   I got to wondering what the first boss monster in a game was.   I figured it was some 80s arcade game... and indeed, in 1980 Taito's game "Pheonix" (I played this in the 80s you young whippersnappers... get off my lawn)  had a boss monster!  HOWEVER the _first_ (according to wikipedia, so YMMV) was a dragon in a game called dnd for the for the PLATO system released in _1975_.  Even I am not old enough to remember the PLATO system!  (Google if you care about antiques...)

My point is - no one copyrighted the boss monster.  You can't.  Just like you can't really copyright "statistics" in an RPG.  You can only plagurize text directly.



1161  Development / Mechanics / Re: Ruleset/System ideas on: February 10, 2009, 06:57:30 AM
I am with you on the HP thing.  Although what I think you mean is the following:

1) Hide HP values from players
2) Don't have ever-increasing HPs (even if hidden) as players get better.



Nope, that isn't what I mean.  No hitpoints at all.  A working model will follow soon but I have had a long day and I want to go to sleep.

Hmm.... I think I skipped a step.    You have to represent your damage/trauma/heath model on the computer somehow.  The most simplistic model I can think of is:  You are either alive or dead.  If someone hits you with a (lethal) weapon - you are dead.  This is equivalent to a model where you have 1 HP (and all weapons do 1 damage!).    This is obviously expandable to a model where you are healthy/wounded/dead.  Now you have 2 HPs.  Then you could expand it to 6 hit locations (head, body, 2 arms, 2 legs - each which can be healthy/wounded/dead (read: crippled).   So each location has HPs... but if you are crippled in the head or body, you are dead (or unconscious, or whatever other health model you want to  impose).


1162  Development / Writing and Quests / Setting Ideas: Brainstorming on: February 09, 2009, 11:20:41 PM
I know Lamoot has some cool ideas on his User wiki page, but I will let him post them here.

I had some thoughts as well:
1) Game takes place in Germany/Central Europe
2) Sometime in 20th century, WWIII breaks out between US/USSR.  Europe is wasted.  US/USSR... unknown (to player... but the tanks and planes - from both sides are gone).  Game starts ca. 20 years later.
  - Some dates to think about:
   1968 Cuban Missile Crisis
   1989/90 Berlin Wall / German Reunification
   1991 Soviet Coup d'etat attempt

In game world, one of these things went "wrong"  => increased soviet aggression or us senstitivity => Nuclear (or NBC) holocaust.  Note that leaves a low-tech world - no lasers/vaults/plasma guns; barely even computers in some cases.

One I thought was an interesting idea would be that Berlin was somehow spared total destruction - neither side wanted to Nuke it (although population was devastated by bio/chem or neutron bombs or something).  That would force the "war" timing to be pre-fall of the Wall (although I guess they could tear it down - then put it back up within a year or two)

What I think is cool about this idea is that we can use historical stuff from the 70s-80s to flavor the game, and taking place in europe allows a good mix of NATO/USSR hardware etc.  Plus, if we postulate a conventional war there is some _reason_ for guns/weapons to be lying around..

EDIT:  I remembered a 90s PnP RPG I played a couple times that had a very similar theme:
GDW's Twilight 2000.  The game (out of print, but I would spring for a copy if this idea had legs) was not really post apocalypse but rather "Secondary Kill" - the war is grinding down.    I think this would make cool background material, but I think 10-30 years post war makes a better cRPG (during war = better tactical/strategic wargame? - not surprisingly there is a 1991 MS-DOS game of Twilight 2000. 

Of possible interest: http://www.php.isn.ethz.ch/ - Parallel history project re: NATO/Warsaw pact ( I think mostly useful for de-secreted Warsaw pact documents)



Also - I floated this on NMA, but may as well add it here:

Bioweapons have caused extreme outgrowth of plant life - forest/jungle!  Everything overgrown.  Animals (released from zoos, free of human predation run wild...).    This is actually quite plausible (well, sorta) - Agent Orange is actually a plant GROWTH hormone, that "grows plants to death"  however, at lower levels it causes plants to grow.   I can find a source for this if you want...   it's not too great a stretch to imagine some bio/chem war agent + a little good old fashioned mutation = The Black Forest.

Wherever in the "real world" the game takes place - I think it's important for SOMEONE to know the (current) world geography quite well.   One thing that bugs me about Fallout2 is that there's a San Francisco that is nothing like the real one (I know cause I live there)
1163  Development / Mechanics / Re: Ruleset/System ideas on: February 09, 2009, 11:07:59 PM
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These are derived from the Tarafore system by Tim Dedeaux (http://www.rpg.net/columns/talesfromtherockethouse/talesfromtherockethouse1.phtml).  I obtained his permission to adapt his system for an RPG I started working on last year.  My programming skills were not good enough to complete it, so I hung it up.  I will contact him and obtain written permission to adapt his system if this is something the PARPG team wishes to pursue.

I wanted to comment on this, and also Martins wiki comment about "stealing SPECIAL".    ALTHOUGH I AM NOT A LAWYER I do not think one can copyright or patent "game mechanics" or "rules".  You certainly can with artwork, source code, or text.  You can theoretically patent algorithms from a computer science perspective - but I don't think we are going to get into any IP (Intellectual Property) issues ther.

RPGs since the 70s have used some combination of these stats (between 3 and 20 in number) using various synonyms for Strength, Constitution, Wit, Wisdom, Dexterity, Charisma etc. that have been around for years.  They might vary from 1-5 or 3-18 or 1-21 or 1-100 or 1-very large number.   

My approach would be to decide what "stats" your game needs and name them in the most descriptive way.  Don't worry about duplicating some other game system - it's more like fashion design than literature; game designers have been ripping each other off for years.
1164  Development / Mechanics / How the game will play aka META mechanics on: February 09, 2009, 10:40:44 PM
Hi all.  I have been talking to Martin a bit "off line" about PARPG.  Just finished a Wiki page for y'all:
http://wiki.parpg.net/User:Zenbitz

I mentioned this in the other thread - but I have not seen anything written on it (please point me to something if I missed it)

What will this game be like?   So far, the parameters are "Fallout-like isomorphic RPG". 

So lets start with "Fallout-like" - what does this mean? (Free free to argue!)

1) Post apocalypse world, to be defined.
2) Player is a character with an origin
-- fallout has a SINGLE origin FO1 = Vault Dweller, FO2 = Tribal "Chosen One" but variable statistics/skills/etc.
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)
4) Player talks to NPCs, fights stuff, steals everything not nailed down, does quests for XP (may or may not require "talking" or "fighting"), maybe solves a couple puzzles (I think there are maybe 5 total in FO1+2)
4.5) Player ALSO does non-XP things like "sleep with prostitutes" or "become porn star"... is that it?   What other not XP stuff do people do? (Killing things doesn't count because you get experience points for that)
5) Player "levels" up both skill and equipment-wise, fighting ever-tougher bad guys until the Big Boss at the end.

 What did I miss?   I point out that (at least at this stage) free to add or subtract things from this list!
Some other things players could do (Obviously, this is going to depend on the exact nature of the as-yet-undefined world)

- Found a community
- Trade / Economics
- Become a bandit leader
- Destroy civilization (not just murdering inhabitants)

Basically - fallout is a fighting game (that is not a criticism) - although it's a modified one where most of the "main questlines" can be solved by NOT fighting.

Do we even want a game "to be solved" (i.e, have an ending?)
1165  Development / Mechanics / Re: Ruleset/System ideas on: February 09, 2009, 10:05:57 PM
I am with you on the HP thing.  Although what I think you mean is the following:

1) Hide HP values from players
2) Don't have ever-increasing HPs (even if hidden) as players get better.

I also hate levels, classes and all that AD&D version 1.0 baggage (Although I haven't done much in the last 10 years, I cut my teeth on the old 80s and 90s PnP games)

But I think before we get into stats etc., it needs to be decided more what players are GOING TO DO beyond just
"something fallout like".   We may decide that the answer is "exactly" like FO1/FO2 but it should at least be enumerated what these things are.

Uh, since I brought it up, I will put it in a new thread.

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