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Shadow
01-02-2009, 04:30 PM
I have been thinking more about what I want to do for our next game. I have tossed around a lot of ideas and have even blogged recently about some initial ideas (http://www.soldak.com/Blogs/Steven/Next-game-thoughts.html). Just a few days ago I thought I had it narrowed down to a hardcore dungeon crawl or maybe a short diversion with a port of Kivi's Underworld to the iPhone. Apparently things can change quickly for us small indies. :)

I think I have finally settled on a line up for possibly most of this year. The current plan, in order, is a multiplayer expansion for Kivi's Underworld, a multiplayer expansion for Depths of Peril, and then a hardcore dungeon crawl.

This isn't an official announcement and I might very well change my mind next week, but that's my plan at the moment. Any thoughts?

GeorgiaBoy
01-02-2009, 05:55 PM
Sounds like a lot of work. We may not see these for a while. With the multiplayer expansion of Kivi's and DoP, would there be an expansion of content as well? I would gladly pay more for more content than the original (MUCH larger world for DoP, DoP that is scriptable, my other ramblings: http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1168.). I hope that multiplayer only means LAN. I would not like to see another WoW, but if a TON of work was put into a mod by part of the fan community, one could mod DoP/Kivi's world to approach its size (DoP item system resembles WoW now)...

GB

Shadow
01-02-2009, 06:41 PM
Well I am thinking of internet stuff also, but definitely not an MMO and no charge per month. I'm thinking along the lines of 2 to 8 players.

Right now I'm only planning on multiplayer and not much other new content, so I can focus on the multiplayer.

GeorgiaBoy
01-02-2009, 09:42 PM
Maybe softcode DoP completely? Remove the level cap? Be able to turn off covenants completely?

GB

SharpCarlos
01-03-2009, 01:31 AM
I'm not really sold on the idea of multiplayer Kivi. I consider it to be a casual, just-before-bedtime type game, as apposed to an "appointment" type game. In other words, I don't see myself talking friends into buying Kivi, and then arranging times we could hook up and play.

Multiplayer DoP? Aaah, now you're talking. I'd be all over that. I have a silly grin on my face just imagining the broken treaties and back-stabbing...

Probably too soon for you to answer this, but if we're talking about an expansion that adds multiplayer but no new content, what sort of pricing were you thinking about?

GeorgiaBoy
01-03-2009, 02:56 AM
Multiplayer DoP? Aaah, now you're talking. I'd be all over that. I have a silly grin on my face just imagining the broken treaties and back-stabbing...

Probably too soon for you to answer this, but if we're talking about an expansion that adds multiplayer but no new content, what sort of pricing were you thinking about?


I agree with SharpCarlos completely. If it is purely a multiplayer update, I would pay a lot less (say $15-20 again). I would like to see the more of the work Deliah did for DoP in the expansion. If, on the other hand, there was a lot more content (in addition to MP) like the requests on the forum, as well as my wish list, I would pay $50+. I guess both SharpCarlos and I would like to see time spent on DoP rather than Kivi, but of course, we do not see the big picture like you do...In fact, there could be a conflict...Crank out more $20 titles quicker and appeal to a broader base (which pays the bills quicker), or produce a title which is more in-depth, takes longer, but charge more ($40+ but appeal mainly to the same base), hoping to go 'more mainstream'...It's all about that big picture.

GB

Kruztee
01-03-2009, 04:02 AM
I'm not going to add very much except to say that multiplayer does not really interest me that much. If I want a MP fix, I'll just hook up with my buddies in WoW. Still, I'll be in the minority here, I'm sure. Most players on these boards seem to want to have MP functionality in DoP more than anything, so it would probably be a smart move. :p

I wouldn't buy an expansion for DoP unless there was significant single player content included as well. And I wouldn't buy an expansion for Kivi - period.

I'll wait for that hardcore dungeon crawl. THAT sounds like a lot of fun, especially building on the excellent features that we've already seen in DoP. Can't wait to see some ideas / concept work!:)

scragar
01-03-2009, 05:17 AM
I think multiplayer would be good, but I'm not a multiplayer fan for a good reason, I like to take the time to explore, i map out every area as I pass through it, I think that this method of play doesn't suit multiplayer.

I've also got to ask how you will handle mods, I love experiementing and messing with the game as much as the modding system allows, creating a mage who does one hit kills, but is slow to cast and can't take a single blow is great fun, but how will this work with other players? Will the mod work at all? Maybe for both players? Or just me, and if so what is to prevent cheating?

I would love to play the game against a few friends, I've got to ask though, won't this be server intensive?

Delve
01-03-2009, 10:05 AM
Handling generic content mods has been done before (think maps and models in Unreal Tournament). The underlying engine may have to be expanded to allow arbitrary classes, but it looks like this may have already been done as part of Kivi's?

The main thought there is that you'll have to eliminate limits that would create conflicts between different sets of mods. In other words, currently if you have two databases with mods that alter the warrior class there's a conflict that can't be resolved without data loss. If the engine can simply create a special MP type class to support the foreign content then all's well.

Another option would be serving all content direct from the server into a special temporary MP database structure on the client, and storing save states on the server (which would then require a login of some kind). This may introduce a noticable overhead at the start of a new game, but in theory if the MP database is cached for later use it won't be any more onerous than the now-standard update processes of MMOs. Though on a per-server basis. Actually, the more I type about it the more that sounds like the better solution of the two. Just ignore my previous ramblings!

Edit: Oh yeah, sorry I've been absent lately. I've just got too much going on.

Of course, I'm assuming that all mods will be driven by the server so that all players can know what they're dealing with (adding a mod reviewing interface to the client would be desirable, for transparency). Trying to merge multiple DoP databases on the fly as part of the process of starting a sort of ad hoc client to client game sounds much to hairy to be feasible, nevermind the player's confusion of trying to digest multiple unfamiliar mods at one go.

I'm more curious about whether the covenant structure will change. In a MP world, will more than one PC exist in a covenant? Having 4 covenants with 3 players apiece and the remainder filled in by NPC recruits would be hot stuff. Presumably each PC could party with one other PC/recruit, except the poor schmuck(s) left behind to guard the fort. That would introduce a bit of intra-covenant politiking. Would the covenant leader be able to enforce a certain partying order and force another player to stay in town? Would it be possible to overthrow the covenant leader in such a system? Hmmmm, so many possibilities.

Edit: Oh, sorry I've been absent lately. Just too much going on.

Shadow
01-04-2009, 10:59 AM
Kivi is actually a step towards DoP multiplayer since it should be much simpler. Kivi is going to be all about co-op.

Probably too soon for you to answer this, but if we're talking about an expansion that adds multiplayer but no new content, what sort of pricing were you thinking about?


I'm not completely sure, but probably $10 to $15 dollars (although I'm leaning towards the low end of that).

I think multiplayer would be good, but I'm not a multiplayer fan for a good reason, I like to take the time to explore, i map out every area as I pass through it, I think that this method of play doesn't suit multiplayer.

I think Kivi multiplayer will suit this style of play fairly nicely.

I've also got to ask how you will handle mods, I love experiementing and messing with the game as much as the modding system allows, creating a mage who does one hit kills, but is slow to cast and can't take a single blow is great fun, but how will this work with other players? Will the mod work at all? Maybe for both players? Or just me, and if so what is to prevent cheating?

I would love to play the game against a few friends, I've got to ask though, won't this be server intensive?

The game is already server/client. In general, whatever the server has running is what is going to happen.

I'm more curious about whether the covenant structure will change. In a MP world, will more than one PC exist in a covenant? Having 4 covenants with 3 players apiece and the remainder filled in by NPC recruits would be hot stuff. Presumably each PC could party with one other PC/recruit, except the poor schmuck(s) left behind to guard the fort. That would introduce a bit of intra-covenant politiking. Would the covenant leader be able to enforce a certain partying order and force another player to stay in town? Would it be possible to overthrow the covenant leader in such a system? Hmmmm, so many possibilities.

Right now I'm thinking that each person would have their own covenant.

GeorgiaBoy
01-05-2009, 01:06 AM
So, in the MP expansion of DoP, additional content is ruled out. If so, would there be another expansion contemplated for DoP? As you said, things can change...

GB

Delilah Rehm
01-05-2009, 12:37 PM
We definately plan to do more with Depths of Peril. I have a huge list (finally found it and put it someplace I'll remember) of things including more items, more monsters, more towns, more classes, more races, more stories and lots of other stuff. We probably won't do this until after the dungeon crawl. I don't know if we'll do everything, throw in a kitchen sink and call it Depths 2, or if we'll put out something faster but only doing part of it and making it another expansion. I'm voting for the former but I'm not the boss-man. ;)

Also, it will probably (guessing here, people) come out in 2010.

I'm actually relieved we're not doing Depths right now because I have promised myself a ton of writing during the next 5 months. 3 months of the Fantastical Creature Reality Show (which I think is going to be really fun!) while at the same time finishing (80,000-100,000 words) my first novel, Vampire Planet. Then for 2 months I'll be editing (120,000 to 150,000 words) the novel. I would have a break in the summer but I'll probably be working on the dungeon crawl then! It's going to be one busy year. :)

Cadfan
01-08-2009, 05:27 PM
I don't think I would enjoy a Kivi multiplayer. I did like the tactical RPG idea.

I can't really say what you should do though, because I don't know how widespread my opinions are, and I don't know how long it would take to write everything. For example, I assume that writing a Kivi multiplayer would be a lot faster than creating a whole new tactical RPG game from the ground up, so maybe you wouldn't need as many sales to make it worthwhile.

deathlich22
01-08-2009, 07:55 PM
Depths of Peril 2 multiplayer would be great and 3 new classes like barbarians that can use 2 two handed swords and animals like wow that u can ride or have in battle ...... that would get alot of people my hole family would buy it we love games like wow

GeorgiaBoy
01-08-2009, 10:45 PM
We definately plan to do more with Depths of Peril. I have a huge list (finally found it and put it someplace I'll remember) of things including more items, more monsters, more towns, more classes, more races, more stories and lots of other stuff. We probably won't do this until after the dungeon crawl. I don't know if we'll do everything, throw in a kitchen sink and call it Depths 2, or if we'll put out something faster but only doing part of it and making it another expansion. I'm voting for the former but I'm not the boss-man. ;)

Also, it will probably (guessing here, people) come out in 2010.

I'm actually relieved we're not doing Depths right now because I have promised myself a ton of writing during the next 5 months. 3 months of the Fantastical Creature Reality Show (which I think is going to be really fun!) while at the same time finishing (80,000-100,000 words) my first novel, Vampire Planet. Then for 2 months I'll be editing (120,000 to 150,000 words) the novel. I would have a break in the summer but I'll probably be working on the dungeon crawl then! It's going to be one busy year. :)

Thanks for the encouragement, Delilah. I was thinking Soldak was ending DoP with the multiplayer expansion...Sounds like you will barely anytime to breathe!

GB

torikamal
01-08-2009, 11:30 PM
Is there any chance of getting a random dungeon generator with the Kivi multiplayer? I would love to Lan play with my sister who lives across the state and I think it would be a lot of fun to just go in and explore Kivi that way.

Cadfan
01-09-2009, 03:01 AM
I've been thinking about it- I don't expect this to actually happen, but I'd really enjoy a grid based "kivi tactics" type game. I love the simple "weapon/active/passive" system for differentiating characters, with depth being added through a very lengthy list of character choices. I'd enjoy seeing a tactical RPG based on that system, and I think you have the basics for doing it already in place.

I've got no idea how popular that game would be outside of the target market of people with the pseudonym "Cadfan."

Shadow
01-12-2009, 02:28 PM
Both of those ideas are very interesting. I'm not sure what is going to be in the multiplayer expansion yet. A random dungeon generator would be cool though.

I would really like to do a tactical game some day. I was always thinking more along the lines of complex classes, but Kivi's simpler classes would also be cool.

Cadfan
01-13-2009, 01:37 AM
Don't get me wrong, I'd want complex combat- but complex combat can arise from the interactions of a wide array of simple actors.

But don't take me too seriously, either, I'm just one guy. :-)

Shadow
01-13-2009, 03:54 PM
Don't get me wrong, I'd want complex combat- but complex combat can arise from the interactions of a wide array of simple actors.

I agree with this completely. You don't always need complex options if you have enough simple ones. Chess and Go are the classic examples of this.

icekrystal10
01-19-2009, 11:00 AM
Other multiplayer concerns I had. Just some things to think about.

How will drops work? Each player could get their own drops. The player who kills a monster or opens a chest has the item inside tied to them which will be invisible to the other player. Or perhaps it will be first come first serve. Or players take turns claiming what was dropped.

Finally, monster scaling. If you increase the number of players, monsters will need to have their difficulties increased as well. Otherwise the game will be too easy.

Darkhon
01-19-2009, 11:26 AM
If I could make computer games of the quality you do, I would go for something like one of the following ideas;


A) "Kingdoms of Peril" - So you've kept the Barbarian City safe a few dozen times? Now carve out a Kingdom! More than a sequal or an expansion, this would be the next logical conclusion for any worthy faction leader.

Expand the playing field to a large Kingdom and change the scale so that while the player does have a personal avatar that they can move around with bodygaurds and advisors, when you zoom out to the campaign map you are delegating.

Add in some ability to grow cities, perform research, equip city watch. To do this properly you could even segregate the game into real-time for exploration and turn based for the kingdom management. (The game pauses while in certain kingdom managing screens and when you press "End Turn" all adventure ends until the turn processes.

I would love to see dynamic events where the player is presented with a situaiton;

"My Leige, we've caught this bandit hunting in your royal woods..he says he only did it to feed his family, what should we do with him?"

A) Why bother me with this? Off with his head.
B) Ask him to court to explain his actions in greater detail
C) Let him go

Depending on what the player chooses and other conditions within the kingdom, that will influence subsequent events.


The only game that has come close in recent memory (but no way do they get the cigar) is Hinterland. A nice hybrid between roleplay and strategy.

I used to play Castles I by Interplay back in the day and I loved the story they told through simple events and strategic management of resources.


B) Futures of Peril
Take your game engine and now do a hybrid of Post-Holocaust/Futuristic

Barbarian City sound good? Mutant City sounds better. Mutant abilities, Alien Artifacts and Pre-cursor technology takes the place of magics.

Expand your existing engine for Depths and Peril and merge it with Kivi's Underworld to add an element of adventure for side quests and then put in place some futuristic robots and mutants!

C) Olbaid

It's no secret Kivi's underworld spiritual ancestor is Diablo. We've all played the Rogue, Paladin, Mage etc who explored a dungeon filled with bats, rats and ultimately got to kill the Dark Wizard only to find out he was just a pawn of some greater evil. Then back to the Town to store our goods and fight on.

Sure, we need more of that formula of game, it's a genre that will be existance when I am a withered old man and I'll say "Boy, In my day we used ta play in MMO's...." "Shut up gramps!"

But what if you reverse the formula just this once? (One hint where Olbaid comes from).

The Player starts off as a Demon Lord trapped in the Netherworld and assigns attributes to his Demon Lord in a traditional RPG fashion.

The first "Adventure" you take control of a Dark Preist who has a small tower in the swamp gaurded by kobolds and a couple Gnoll champions. The initial game starts off with a conversation between you and the priest and then you start handling the priest as if he was your character. Your goal is to recruit more followers and expand the tower (ultimately to bring your Demon Lord into the world to reak havoc on those who imprisoned you).

The play involves sending your Priest along with his kobolds and gnolls to explore parts of the swamp and the dreaded "level two" of the ruined keep. Eventually allying with a necromancer (or defeating him and taking his power)

Meanwhile the game periodically creates "First Level Adventurers" and has them try to go through your Dungeon "Clearing it out". The Game simulates the AI of players where they will methodically try to go back to town to level up, but you can stop them on the way out even!

Now you may be saying "Ah-Hah! Dungeon Keeper!" Yes and no. Dungeon Keeper was the first game that tried this, but no, not as frenetic, keep the pace a little slower, add some turn based strategic elements and some RTS for defense of your tower and exploration.

If you can, add that dynamic events system I talked about earlier;

"My Lord, the Undead Zombies are periodically eating the brains of the Kobolds, what should we do about it?"

A) Good..good, I never liked kobolds....see if the kobolds can be undead
B) What? move the kobolds quarters to keep them safer
C) Hunger for brains? Send the zombies down to the village of Eversmile, those peasents don't use theirs very often anyway.

As the player accomplishes a set of goals (using a variety of different means) the play expands each time the player takes the role of a new Wizard, Death Knight or Unholy Herald of Doom.

(naturally you indirectly control the others through mouse clicks, but your 'avatar' is the one that has to survive or the adventure is over and restarts).

Each time the game ramps up what adventurer is coming for you. Eventually even 2 or 3 come at a time.

Until about the 6th or 7th adventure finally the dark gate is open wide enough for the player's Demon Lord to come through. For the rest of the game the player takes the role of the demon lord as his avatar.

The final adventures involve larger adventuring parties, even perhaps with persistent names "They keep getting ressurected? Or are they saving the game and restarting? who knows..just make it so the player starts to feel that these adventurers (some of whom have been coming after him since the first adventure) have personalitys of their own and are intent on sending you back where you came from"

The final adventurers involve not only bigger underground cities/complexes of dark elves and trolls, but also planes where goblins war eternal with centuar or elemental fire reigns supreme in a race for rare artifacts against the adventurers.

Let the player promote champions to be his advisors and generals, and some final adventures could be "The Town of Jovian must fall, it has been a base of the adventurers for some time...go forth my minions and destroy it" so mix it up, some adventures are reverse dungeons they could be one where you have to destroy and pillage a city or race against another adventuring party to get an artifact through a dungeon.

But mostly, it would be reverse dungeons where you build more infernal forges and arcane research facilitys, traps, etc and deal with your minions and the heroes that come to "Clear out the dungeon".

udm
01-24-2009, 11:26 AM
If you guys are gonna make an expack to DoP, may I suggest some ideas that I have:

- More complexity in the strategy aspect. DoP accomplished its mission of making negotiations and relations a solid gameplay aspect, but there's always room for expansion. Maybe include some research to your covenants, or being able to construct buildings/structures, such as totems.

Eg: when your crystals increase, you're not just limited to buying beasts. You can also build structures, like totems to increase certain abilities within your covenant (such as reducing the prices that wilderness merchants offer), or tower defenses (which can be used to defend your covenant, or even Jorvik from invading creatures!), or being able to change the appearance of your covenant. Something like 4X games, such as Master of Orion, or Heroes of Might and Magic

- Larger Jorvik, larger covenants. The idea of raiding and attacking covenants could be made into a larger version of itself. Being able to defend your covenant, you can choose how you want your covenant to look, and maybe set up traps for invading enemies. Maybe you'd like to build a solid wall near the lifestone, to force enemies to go around it, instead of being able to charge directly

- A more lively Jorvik, and maybe other towns to explore. It's more of a first impression that I had with DoP than anything else - when I first saw Jorvik, I liked the vibrant colours and landscape, but I wasn't too fond of the bleakness of the population. Surely the last few survivors of the invading hordes would include more than just an armorer, trader, apothecary, beastmaster etc?

- More skills. I'd like to see more skills, but being able to specialize in a few ie. too costly to specialize in every single skill. This makes the game more replayable, as players who specialized in offensive skill A and B may want to try a character that specializes in C and D. Also, you don't even need new animations - just new effects

GeorgiaBoy
03-08-2009, 10:34 PM
Any updates on any of the three games since the Kivi's Networking update 2?

GB

Shadow
03-09-2009, 06:03 PM
I've been working on networking stuff quite a bit (except last week). So far it is going pretty well. I should probably do another blog post (I've doing some twitter posts though).