A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

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A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

Post by Insignus on Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:12 am

Hello. As a diehard space and gaming enthusiast, I regularly make the rounds for games like this, because I see them as a way of getting closer to the game that I want to see made. So I pick them apart on occasion, and offer some suggestions. Some of them you undoubtedly will have had already, but maybe some that are fresh. Naturally, I'd like to see them implemented or discussed, but it's ultimately your baby.

So, for starters, I do like the initial video. Its better than some of the others I've seen that are pre-rendered or just outright generated, and you can tell from your commentary that you're enthusiastic about your game. People like that, it connects you to your customers. Keep doing that.
Also, never get ahead of yourself. Don't worry about modeling and texturing until you've setup your core architecture for the features you want to implement. That said, some things to ponder adding:

Story noding: The ability to create custom story arcs from either preset or (Ideally) user generated scenarios that begin and end with fungible interchangeable endings. This would let players create their own little adventures to have with their friends, or set it to random to entertain oneself. Or, perhaps more interestingly, a dialogue based "choose your own adventure" system.

As an example: Marklar is flying through space collecting craft resources with his friends. NPC Villain1 spawns a massive ship out of nowhere and starts pulling the player ship in with a tractor beam. At this point he can "Standby to repel boarders! (Intense Combat and quest start)" "Hide and ambush (Stealth and combat quest start)" or "Turn and fire on the beam projector (Space combat)" or "Try to hack the enemy ship and escape (Cancel scenario and go back to what you were doing)" Naturally, these all initiate rolls or ability checks and proceed from there, but in the case of the quest cancellation, if it succeeds, the user gets some experience or something valuable. If it fails, an even bigger ship jumps out of nowhere and swallows the previous one, and promptly ignores the player.

For implementation and sort of "Theme" of these encounter, I'd highly suggest playing Faster-Than-Light, which is sort of "Rogue-like, in space".

Ship construction: I'm a strong advocate of player shipbuilding. But that sort of modular and procedural generation doesn't always work well with games that include boarding, and may be beyond the resources of your team (Ironically, it is beneath the interests of most large production houses that could actually do the two. It's deemed "Too tedious" and "Unmarketable" by pencil-ties). Although the "Look what badass thing I built guys" is definitely an attractive feature. File it away for a DLC or a third-party program or mod.

But, if you wanted to give it a try, I'd suggest tracking down GMOD loaded with Spacebuild mods, and play with it a few hours. If anything, it'd show you some new ideas about how to put ships together. Don't be afraid to experiment with bizarre shapes, and remember that conventional aerodynamics don't apply. Also, some ships are too big to land or manage as a single player. So be prepared to introduce NPC drones with customizable AI upgrades (Potentially craftable). Like drone carriers, for example.

Systems engineering and hardmode: You seem to be appealing to a "Lets fly and have fun crowd" so I'll spare you my rant on realism and the endless challenges of space travel. Hand-wave some of it, introduce lite elements of them such as life-support failures, ship fires, collisions and depressurization, as a form of "Hardmode" for people who want a challenge. Thats where developers lately have been running into trouble. Too much "Wii" in games (A comment inspired by your choice of avatars in that first video Wink), making things hypercasual and easymode.

I've trained on games like orbiter, dominated space wars in gmod, and commanded teams of players in FPS-RTS games. No offense, but I prefer some difficulty.

Malfunctions: Don't be afraid to model complex disaster scenarios. Fires sucking up all the oxygen, radiation off the engine forcing you to land, all of these things spice up the endless void. Also, pirates.

Customization has been discussed alot in your forum, and you should apply that to all aspects of your game experience:
Do you want piracy? If so, how much?
Do you want swarthy and vulgar humor from your NPC sidekicks? If so, PG or R?
Do you want explosive gib effects, or rainbow kitten life shields?
Do you want scaled enemy difficulty, or hoards of low-powered enemies?
Supervillains enabled? How many?

Also, remember, physics themselves can add fun and interesting dimensions to games, particularly in space. I recall one thrilling episode from when I used to build ships in GMOD where someone decided to pop into a build-only server with his 500 part LAG-O-WAR ship, which we all agreed had to die immediately, so to facilitate that I used my little freight train starship to decouple my containers straight into the middle of his ship. It was spectacular and fun for all involved. It melted teh server, but such is life. Same can be done with asteroids and physguns Smile

Also, I would suggest later game features including building custom space stations out of modules, with spaces for collectibles and items and marketplaces and NPC controlled revenue generating stores, etc. Basic a lite-form of city managing.

Anywho, my 2 cents. Hope it works out, will check in some weeks from now.

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Re: A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

Post by Overwatch301 on Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:51 pm

Wow that is quite the post good sir thanks for taking the time to post it and welcome to the forum!

Anyway down to addressing all of your great ideas:

First of all the rogue like "story noding" that you discuss in the beginning of the post is something that is down very well in FTL but I do not think that is belongs in this game, this game is about 100% freedom not being given a very small amount of choices and told to choose while the game says "see its freedom don't you feel free yet?!" Very Happy

Anyway to the advanced features that you want to see (hardcore mode as you say) I would love to see that in the game, I love games that really take realism to that level, for the early game I don't believe it will show up, but I think as the devs become more well off that is definitely a great long term goal!

As for the ship construction I don't think that this is what this game's niche is, if you would like full building of your ship try checking out Rodina or Kinetic Void, of course neither have the coop and vehicle feature set that wayfarer does.

Now onto the last block of questions
Do you want piracy( pirat )? If so, how much?:
yes piracy has not only been confirmed but it should be in the game anyway, I think that piracy will be more prevalent on some planets and systems more than others (a barren desert planet vs the pirates HQ) as it should be.

Do you want swarthy and vulgar humor from your NPC sidekicks? If so, PG or R?:
I would love to see NPC's in the game, I am not exactly sure if it will be in the game in the beginning (another long term goal?). As for the humor I would play the game a bit too much if the NPC's cracked the same kind of jokes you see in Uncharted, I think that is the perfect balance of humor.

Do you want explosive gib effects, or rainbow kitten life shields? :
Hmmm the rainbow kitten life shields are pretty enticing but I think that for damage effects it should be along the lines of the ARMA series, realistic but not exploding in fountains of blood everywhere after you poked them (looking at you TF2)

Do you want scaled enemy difficulty, or hoards of low-powered enemies? :
I would like to see a bit of both, as for herds of animals on planets, they should stay with hoards, but for more experienced enemies, I think it should be a scaled enemy difficulty system, slowly providing more and more of a challenge.

Supervillains enabled? How many?:
The best thing possible would be to have factions and if you piss them off you can make a supervillian, its fun to look at an enemy and think back to what you did to get them to that point (Mount and Blade anybody?). I don't like when a game gives me somebody to hate, it makes me think why?

Anyway that's just my take on it, I'd like to hear other people's thoughts. Great post though!
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Re: A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

Post by Vexxtal on Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:01 am

I like a lot of the ideas here especially the ones about difficulty, and I thing even at the easiest setting this game should provide a serious challenge for players as it is a survival game. Also from the live stream I remember the dev team mentioning that they intended to incorporate random system failures in flight but were just trying to decide on a way to make them fun and not annoying
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Re: A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

Post by Insignus on Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:20 am

Gremlins. Every ship has one, and they can either cause or fix ship malfunctions. When one pops up, you can pay them or give them an item in order to make it go away, or suffer the consequences and play a mini-game to fix it yourself.

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Re: A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

Post by Overwatch301 on Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:59 am

I'm going to have to say that that shouldn't be in the game, just because it turns it away from its survival roots and more towards a fantasy/cartoony type of game. Welcome to the forums Insignus btw.
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Re: A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

Post by Insignus on Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:37 am

Yea, I get that criticism. Perhaps a comprise "easy mode" could be created?

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Re: A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

Post by Marrowmatt on Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:04 am

I had to refill my coffee to read this one ahah!

A lot of these points have actually been address in other areas of this forum. Although ship construction is a cool idea, it really isn't really something that was ever considered in this game. We never set out to make a 'build your own custom thing game'. Wayfarer is a survival game, and the gameplay focuses strongly around that.

However, there are plenty of components in your ship that could either break or malfunction, and just like everything else, these parts deteriorate over time and either need replacing or repairing. You may have to set your ship down at some point for a major repair, if you remove components for repairs, their dependant systems won't be available until that component is replaced.

Wayfarer difficulty is always in our minds, it's not designed to be easy. Although we're not going for super realistic space aspects like Newtonian physics and all that stuff (Like flying forward, rotating and still travelling in the same direction but backwards) I actually prototyped a ship to fly like that and it was awful, it was tricky to control and I felt really uncool. I'd much prefer to sacrifice some realism so I can pull off some cool manoeuvres while I'm dodging through an asteroid field!

We're taking the realistic challenges of space but assuring that they play out in a fun way that challenges the player and keeps them on their toes rather than frustrate them.

But we're more than willing to hear any ideas that 'space fanatics' have so we can decide how to take those mechanics and make them fun and playable for all.

P.S...Nobody in our company is a fan of the Wii - unless we're playing Mario Kart drinking games...which Craig still refuses to participate in on behalf of his claims that the Wii is a stain on humanity.
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Re: A suggested list of gameplay and design choices.

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