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Shadow
06-17-2009, 11:38 AM
Well I've started working on the design of the next game and as I have promised before I'm going to try to be more open during the process. This is not an official announcement or anything because it's always possible I will change focus. However as of right now, our next game is going to be more of a hardcore, realtime dungeon crawl (hardcore compared to Kivi that is).

It's going to be an action RPG that is going to take some elements from Depths of Peril (no covenants though) and some from Kivi's Underworld. I'm thinking of having some of the key features revolve around random elements (controlled randomness), a very dynamic world, and lots of smaller game mechanics that can interact to result in some more emergent gameplay than is usual in an action RPG.

This doesn't give you much to go on yet, but now is a great time to give your input of what you would like to see in a realtime dungeon crawl. Don't worry I have plenty of ideas to make this a really cool game, but I love hearing feedback from all of you. I will try to comment more than I usually do on ideas. Even if I do not comment on your idea, I will read it and consider it (assuming it's not spam).

I'm only going to use ideas that fit my vision of the game though, so please don't get upset if I don't use your awesome idea. BTW, sometimes ideas really are awesome, but can't be used for various reasons like it's not feasible to do with this team or within this game's time frame or it just doesn't fit with this specific game.

Anyone have any cool and fun ideas?

GeorgiaBoy
06-17-2009, 07:44 PM
Hi Shadow,

Sounds great! Whatever you do, please softcode as much as possible. Please keep the modding system in DoP (maybe even simpler if .txt files in a file take precedence over zipped files). In a perfect world:

1) Moddable quests as well as random quests
2) Multiple towns with a world to explore. Fate (the game) did not have this.
3) Moddable classes with the ability to create new classes.
4) Level cap? What level cap?
5) DoP item system with more levels of rarity. Socketable items and runes would also be very nice.
6) Modifiers, modifiers,and more modifiers to protection, damage, etc. Examples include: Experience Drain, Level Drain, Paralyzation, Stun, Disease, Spreading Disease, Possession, Pertification, etc. Of course, the usual Lightning, Fire, etc.

More to come.

Thanks, Shadow!


GB

Delilah Rehm
06-17-2009, 08:34 PM
Number 4 made me laugh! ;)

SharpCarlos
06-17-2009, 09:58 PM
Woo hoo! As a dungeon crawl fanatic (and DoP fan), I'm VERY excited about this. Top three things that I think make for a great dungeon crawl:

1) Awesome loot. Well, yeah, of course, but I mean more than just finding a sword that does 2 points more damage than the one I already have. GeorgiaBoy really hit the nail on the head with his point #6: modifiers. I want stuff that will tempt me to use an item that's slightly less powerful than another because it's more FUN. I want to play for 20 hours and still once in a while find an item that makes me say "Whoah. I didn't know there were swords that could do THAT."
2) Randomization. Not just of items and level layouts, but quests and everything else. Your description of "emergent gameplay" and my experiences with DoP make me pretty confident that you'll have this nailed.
3) Skill trees with interesting skills. Much like with the item mods, I want skills that make me anxious to get to them just so I can see them in action. Crazy spell attacks, summoning abilities, passive skills that don't LOOK passive (dodging, counterattacking), etc.

Combine those three things with the general quality and polish that you've demonstrated in DoP and Kivi, and I'll never stop playing...

Shadow
06-18-2009, 10:05 AM
1) Moddable quests as well as random quests

This should be possible. The quest stuff is now much more moddable with the changes from Kivi.

2) Multiple towns with a world to explore. Fate (the game) did not have this.

I'm currently thinking that each "world" will have only 1 town, but ever world has a different town.

3) Moddable classes with the ability to create new classes.

This should already be possible from the changes in Kivi.

4) Level cap? What level cap?

Sad thing this isn't as easy as it sounds. I can change the number easily of course, but you start running into more and more integer wrapping issues.

5) DoP item system with more levels of rarity. Socketable items and runes would also be very nice.

I'm basically going to start with the DoP item system. I haven't decided what to add yet though. I'm very much considering sockets, runes, gems, and other crafting ideas.

6) Modifiers, modifiers,and more modifiers to protection, damage, etc. Examples include: Experience Drain, Level Drain, Paralyzation, Stun, Disease, Spreading Disease, Possession, Pertification, etc. Of course, the usual Lightning, Fire, etc.

So you're looking for things like a percent chance to cast a spell like effect?

For both of you, is there any game in particular that does what you want?

1) Awesome loot. Well, yeah, of course, but I mean more than just finding a sword that does 2 points more damage than the one I already have. GeorgiaBoy really hit the nail on the head with his point #6: modifiers. I want stuff that will tempt me to use an item that's slightly less powerful than another because it's more FUN. I want to play for 20 hours and still once in a while find an item that makes me say "Whoah. I didn't know there were swords that could do THAT."

Are you just looking for weapons that can cause a spell like effect, or something more?

2) Randomization. Not just of items and level layouts, but quests and everything else. Your description of "emergent gameplay" and my experiences with DoP make me pretty confident that you'll have this nailed.

If I can get what I already have thought of working, it will be very cool and every game will be very unique (different town, people, quests, items, monsters, events, and theme(s) ).

3) Skill trees with interesting skills. Much like with the item mods, I want skills that make me anxious to get to them just so I can see them in action. Crazy spell attacks, summoning abilities, passive skills that don't LOOK passive (dodging, counterattacking), etc.

I haven't thought too much about our skills yet. Any specific skill ideas?

As a side note, I'm trying to get our skills & spells to interact with the environment a bit more with this game which should lead to some interesting events and tactics.

SharpCarlos
06-18-2009, 11:09 AM
Yeah, a percentage chance to cast a spell-like effect is something I LOVE in items. And not just weapons; it's cool when an armor piece has a chance to do something (like fire off a retaliatory fire ball) when you get hit.

Here are some item mod ideas (some of which are already in GeorgiaBoy's initial post).

Weapon type effects (many should be % chance):
1) Freeze
2) Slow.
3) Poison.
4) Confuse (wanders aimlessly).
5) Enchant (enemy fights for the hero)
6) Morph (turn foe into weaker enemy type)
7) Silence (foe can't cast spells).
8) Stone (temporarily can't move or attack, but is invulnerable).
9) Weaken (enemy does less damage, or has less defense).
10) Fear (runs away).
11) Disease (like poison, but can spread to other enemies).
12) Vampire (player gains hit points when doing damage).
13) Knock-back.
14) Homing (for ranged attacks: arrows).

Passive abilities (probably armor mods):
1) Increase movement speed.
2) Gradually heal over time (or increase rate if that happens naturally).
3) Retalliation (either fire off a spell at attackers, or cause a status effect in attackers).
4) Radiation (gradual damage to all enemies within a certain range).
5) Increase chance of finding hidden objects or traps.
6) Boost skill, or grant skill the player doesn't have (maybe from a different class).
7) Rescue (chance to reduce/eliminate any death penalty the game may have).
8) Increaes damage (or attack speed, or something) when close to death.

And some skill/spell ideas:
1) Summon minion.
2) Teleport out of danger.
3) Heal, or cure status effects.
4) Create wall.
5) Invisibility.
6) Set trap.
7) Super Speed (actually slow down the rest of the game world temporarily).

Note that a lot of the "weapon mods" above could also make fun attack spells, and a lot of the armor mods could be temporary "aura" type spells.

Something that's strategically interesting with skills is when some rely on a status effect (Guild Wars) is great at this). Like, a skill that can stun, and another skill that does huge damage, but only to stunned opponents. This can also interact with the loot (makes a weapons with a chance to stun even more valuable).

By the way, your randomization goals sound really cool. Can't wait to see them in action!

Shadow
06-18-2009, 11:24 AM
Lots of cool ideas SharpCarlos.

GeorgiaBoy
06-18-2009, 07:40 PM
+1 SharpCarlos. For more modifier ideas, look at Diablo II.

Titan Quest is a great example of a skill tree. Of course, make it moddable.

It is very disappointing that there is only one town per world (?) planned. I really do not understand this trend of only one town (Torchlight, the Fate series being two). Does it really cost that much in priogramming time?

GB

Shadow
06-18-2009, 07:46 PM
It is very disappointing that there is only one town per world (?) planned. I really do not understand this trend of only one town (Torchlight, the Fate series being two). Does it really cost that much in priogramming time?

In this case, the idea is that you are a hero that has come to save the town. After you have solved all of the quests for that town you have "won" the adventure and move onto the next town. So there is only 1 town at a time, but every adventure has a different town.

SharpCarlos
06-18-2009, 08:01 PM
In this case, the idea is that you are a hero that has come to save the town. After you have solved all of the quests for that town you have "won" the adventure and move onto the next town. So there is only 1 town at a time, but every adventure has a different town.

Ooh, so this will be a bit like DoP, in that I'll be able to finish "a game", and get some sense of closure, but then continue with that character in my next game? That sounds terrific.

I agree with GeorgiaBoy that, STILL, no game has done a better job of offering up tantalizing loot than Diablo II. And, yep, Titan Quest does have a terrific skill system. One of the coolest things about it is the ability to dual-class, which really opens up the opportunities for interesting builds.

Shadow
06-19-2009, 11:09 AM
Ooh, so this will be a bit like DoP, in that I'll be able to finish "a game", and get some sense of closure, but then continue with that character in my next game? That sounds terrific.

Yep, that's the idea. It's a way to break the game into smaller chunks so you don't have to remember as much when you are away and also so you feel satisfaction when you "win" an adventure. I can also do more dynamic stuff with real consequences since it won't screw up the entire world. Oh, and yes your character will carry over just like DoP.

I agree with GeorgiaBoy that, STILL, no game has done a better job of offering up tantalizing loot than Diablo II. And, yep, Titan Quest does have a terrific skill system. One of the coolest things about it is the ability to dual-class, which really opens up the opportunities for interesting builds.

I have played a lot of Diablo 2. :) I probably should go back and play a bit more Titan Quest though.

Delilah Rehm
06-19-2009, 11:25 AM
I think the multiple town idea works better for Depths II than the dungeon crawl, although we are improving from Depths I which only has one town ever. :) Each game starting in a different town with many various problems to solve is going to be fun. Unless there were underground towns, I don't know how to work multiple towns in one game???

It will be like Depths I where you continue on with your character after winning a world. Another different thing will be the quest line. Instead of one straight line with random stuff thrown in, there'll be a grab bag of quest lines. Each game will get one main line plus some of the random stuff.

I can't tell you how excited I am for this new game. Steven talks about his ideas all the time and they are AWESOME. If I could be playing the game right now, I would! You are going to have more influence on the world than I've ever seen in any other game. Depths barely touched the surface of what the dungeon crawl is going to do.

I'm wracking my brain for a name for this game. There isn't one big bad guy, there isn't one main quest line, there isn't one town or starting scenario. Ahhhhhg! What to do! :D

Coreyh2
06-19-2009, 09:02 PM
I've played many dungeon crawls. The things I liked most about Depths of Peril were the unique faction elements that made it seem more dynamic. I'd like the combat to be more complex and faster paced. I'd like the combat to have more physics with magic and blows that have force to them. More story in the combat areas like dialog, scripted events, and music cues for bosses. If you are still making randomly generated areas have some random odd areas in them. Like caves and vaults in Angband (http://rephial.org/).

SevenMass
06-22-2009, 11:09 AM
OK, I may have a novelty idea

How about indirect control mechanisms?

As an example, take a look at this game called Gish. (http://www.chroniclogic.com/gish.htm) It has 4 control functions: sticky, glide, heavy (also expands) and move. But by combining these simple controls, you can do more. Sticky can help you move across a ceiling, but you can also stick objects to yourself, by combining it with the move and heavy function, you can throw objects, and with some skill, control very precisely with what force and under what angle the object is thrown.

A direct "throw" function wouldn't be able to have such level of control, at least not without a very complex control scheme, with separate controls for the angle and force.

Just play the demo to see what I mean, or watch a YouTube playthrough video about the game instead.



Maybe in your new game, you can give the character the functions:
walk-movement, charge, jump, swing, hold, let go.

The swing control can swing a sword, but also throw objects (including that sword, regardless of whether that is a wise thing to do with your sword)
The swing animation takes a certain amount of time, by pressing the "let go" function at the right time, the player can control the force an object is throw. Combine it with walk, and the object is throw with even more force, combine it with a short charge, and even more.

Hold, move and let go, without swinging will just move object. (that don't fit into your backpack) Even heavier objects can be dragged or pushed this way.

Walk into a door, and it will just open, unless it is locked, charge into a door, and you can attempt to break it. Drink a speed elixir, then charge, and you break with more force (useful for higher quality doors) A player can decide to either look for the key somewhere in the dungeon, or beak in, and sometimes even using up a speed elixir to do so.

Combine jump with swing, and your character will hit the enemy with more force in one blow. Combine charge, jump, and swing, and, well, you get the idea. The amount of time you hold charge, and jump determine the exact force of the blow.

Combine it with an environment where many objects are lose (destroyable)... Charge into a lose staple, and the staple will tumble, maybe even into an enemy.

Using indirect controls, the player gains a great amount of freedom, and very precise controls with a simple control scheme.

It also puts playing skill into the equation, instead of just helping the player with the most uber items.


Indirect control isn't a new invention (after all, Gish has it) but I know no Action RPG game that uses it, so it would certainly set the game apart from the already existing ones. And gives people more reason to play it instead of just playing DiabloII.

Shadow
06-22-2009, 02:11 PM
I've played many dungeon crawls. The things I liked most about Depths of Peril were the unique faction elements that made it seem more dynamic. I'd like the combat to be more complex and faster paced. I'd like the combat to have more physics with magic and blows that have force to them. More story in the combat areas like dialog, scripted events, and music cues for bosses. If you are still making randomly generated areas have some random odd areas in them. Like caves and vaults in Angband (http://rephial.org/).

I'm not sure about more complex (complex has a lot of meanings, some good and some bad), but I think we will have more options thanks to more interaction between the environment and different systems.

I am thinking of adding some more physics type things. Probably not a real physics system, but that you can effect more of the world than you could in past games.

I'm seriously considering things like vaults and some other similar ideas. I think they will end up in the game, it's just a matter of will they show up directly in the map or will they be like secret areas in DoP and are separate.

OK, I may have a novelty idea

How about indirect control mechanisms?

I have played Gish before. Gish + an action RPG would be an intersting game. I don't think it will fit with what I'm trying to do in this game, it would be cool though. It might work really well on the Wii or Microsoft's upcoming Natal stuff.

Walk into a door, and it will just open, unless it is locked, charge into a door, and you can attempt to break it. Drink a speed elixir, then charge, and you break with more force (useful for higher quality doors) A player can decide to either look for the key somewhere in the dungeon, or beak in, and sometimes even using up a speed elixir to do so.

I'm actually planning on some of this. If you find a locked door and have no key, do you search for a key or bash down the door?

FloodSpectre
06-23-2009, 07:44 PM
First off, I love it when devs look to the community that supports them for their ideas. Thanks for giving us a chance at some input!

I definitely feel the need to echo others in this thread in relation to Titan Quest's skill system. It's easily my favorite system thus far, with the possibility for multiple character builds in each mastery, and even more when mixing them together. I'm certainly not advising you copy it, but I do believe some time trying it out and experimenting with builds in that game might give you some ideas for yours.

Unique items. I know they're normally in these sorts of games but I feel they ought to be more... well, unique. Angband has some of my favorite uniques. They'll usually be better than other items of their type in the typical ways, but then have effects like double or triple damage against certain enemy types, the ability to cast spells with a cooldown, special immunities not normally granted by any other items and fancy abilities like being able to see enemies through walls. Oftentimes they'll also have minor downsides, which i feel really helps balance them out. "I like this bonus regeneration, but do I want enemies to notice me half a screen sooner than usual?"

Another source of fantastic item design is King's Bounty. Artifacts have Keepers the player needs to defeat to improve the item to its next level. This gives some incentive to pick a favorite artifact and lug it with you throughout the game, eventually upgrading it when you feel you're strong enough to take on its Keepers. Another way of improving certain items is to perform actions the item likes. An Elven bow might be improved by having elves in your party, and by killing orcs. A dwarven axe, on the other hand, might become weaker because you've just used it to kill some dwarves.

Hm. Seems I've rambled on with what other games have done already... well, anyways, those are some item related elements in other RPGs I've truly admired recently. Maybe they can offer you some inspiration as well.

sleel
06-23-2009, 11:36 PM
I would like to see a really robust character creation and advancement system- stats are good. If you are afraid of scaring off casual gamers with a "stat-heavy" game, then just make a "simple" and "advanced" tab to accommodate both types of player.

kenhwcan
06-24-2009, 05:49 AM
Bought Depth of Peril ,the time quest are what I dislike. I like exploring maps and taking my time and not having to worry that I missed getting a shot at the second companion or missing a quest. While I may not be your perfect target market at least I bought the game.

Shadow
06-24-2009, 11:37 AM
I definitely feel the need to echo others in this thread in relation to Titan Quest's skill system. It's easily my favorite system thus far, with the possibility for multiple character builds in each mastery, and even more when mixing them together. I'm certainly not advising you copy it, but I do believe some time trying it out and experimenting with builds in that game might give you some ideas for yours.

I'm actually thinking about something along these lines. Any more people that like Titan Quests hybrid class system? Anyone not like it?

Unique items. I know they're normally in these sorts of games but I feel they ought to be more... well, unique. Angband has some of my favorite uniques. They'll usually be better than other items of their type in the typical ways, but then have effects like double or triple damage against certain enemy types, the ability to cast spells with a cooldown, special immunities not normally granted by any other items and fancy abilities like being able to see enemies through walls. Oftentimes they'll also have minor downsides, which i feel really helps balance them out. "I like this bonus regeneration, but do I want enemies to notice me half a screen sooner than usual?"

Cool ideas, I'm not sure what all we are going to add to the item system yet. I'm going to start with what DoP had and add from there.

Another source of fantastic item design is King's Bounty. Artifacts have Keepers the player needs to defeat to improve the item to its next level. This gives some incentive to pick a favorite artifact and lug it with you throughout the game, eventually upgrading it when you feel you're strong enough to take on its Keepers. Another way of improving certain items is to perform actions the item likes. An Elven bow might be improved by having elves in your party, and by killing orcs. A dwarven axe, on the other hand, might become weaker because you've just used it to kill some dwarves.


Sounds cool. I've always been interested in some kind of system where some items could gain experience and level some how.

The Roshambo Warrior
06-24-2009, 03:25 PM
Usually my most desired feature to be included into a dungeon crawler would be: lore, lore, and tons of discovered lore. It could just be a bit here and there picked up as you go through the areas, but it would add quite a bit. The little Diablo 2 had offered some detail, but I think others could do far better. Titan Quest had some, but it seemed to be isolated mostly in cities. Hack and slash dungeon crawlers seem to get a little stale after playing the dozenth or so one. I always feel I gotta have some reason to want to poke around besides loot and constantly kicking butt.

As for the hybrid class system in Titan Quest, it was fun and seemed to lend a bit of more flavor towards having something other than a set template of classes. I felt it allowed a player to better determine what kind of role in a group they could play. Even if it were in solo play, I think it offers a bit more variety to suit a player's desired playstyle.

As for weapons or other items gaining experience and the like, I'm having a few Daikatana flashbacks. :D

A vampiric blade, which starts out mediocre and possible less than other items, which you "feed" by taking the life of monsters. That sounds like one decent example, while adding in some challenge. Wait, it gets better, and for reasons of game balance. Undead, mechanicals, or similar, it could be useless against, preventing it from being a "macro weapon" of being able to kill anything if you leveled it high enough. That way you would have to keep alternative weapons around for those situations.

Shadow
06-24-2009, 04:31 PM
Usually my most desired feature to be included into a dungeon crawler would be: lore, lore, and tons of discovered lore. It could just be a bit here and there picked up as you go through the areas, but it would add quite a bit. The little Diablo 2 had offered some detail, but I think others could do far better. Titan Quest had some, but it seemed to be isolated mostly in cities. Hack and slash dungeon crawlers seem to get a little stale after playing the dozenth or so one. I always feel I gotta have some reason to want to poke around besides loot and constantly kicking butt.

If you haven't yet, you really should play Depths of Peril. :) There is tons of lore if you read the tomes in DoP, read the monster histories, and read the zone histories.

I'm a fan of lore myself. I'm not sure how we are going to add more lore to this game. We probably won't go the DoP route. Right now some ideas are to add blurbs to unique items and add some lore into the npc dialog. We also will probably do a bestiary thing like we did in Kivi's Underworld.

A vampiric blade, which starts out mediocre and possible less than other items, which you "feed" by taking the life of monsters. That sounds like one decent example, while adding in some challenge. Wait, it gets better, and for reasons of game balance. Undead, mechanicals, or similar, it could be useless against, preventing it from being a "macro weapon" of being able to kill anything if you leveled it high enough. That way you would have to keep alternative weapons around for those situations.

Something like this would be cool.

flushfirex
06-24-2009, 05:04 PM
Another source of fantastic item design is King's Bounty. Artifacts have Keepers the player needs to defeat to improve the item to its next level. This gives some incentive to pick a favorite artifact and lug it with you throughout the game, eventually upgrading it when you feel you're strong enough to take on its Keepers. Another way of improving certain items is to perform actions the item likes. An Elven bow might be improved by having elves in your party, and by killing orcs. A dwarven axe, on the other hand, might become weaker because you've just used it to kill some dwarves.
I'm sorry but I will have to disagree on this. I am a fan of KB:TL myself but IMO the concept of Keepers and Item Morale is far from fantastic.

1) It is essentially just a combat minigame. And in a game that has tons of combat why anyone would find needing more combat just to upgrade/upkeep items "fantastic design" is far beyond me. Take for example that dwarven axe. It's morale drops whenever you fight dwarves. If it's morale drops low enough it loses it's abilities/bonuses. Then you'd have to fight it's keepers to reset it's morale. Most of the time it's either you're strong enough to defeat those keepers or you're not. If you are strong enough, then it's just a repeating cycle of defeating those keepers whenever the item's morale drops and if you're not then comes problem no.

2) The item basically becomes an item with charges that you'd dispose of once those charges run out. Because you are not powerful enough yet to defeat the keepers, you'd have to make yourself stronger, and in the process of doing so you will eventually find something just a little inferior or even better than the item you are trying to restore, making it obsolete.

3) Most of the restrictions/balance that this mechanic imposes have already been covered by simpler item restrictions. Using the same example, why not just put something like "Ineffective against dwarves" attribute in the dwarven axe. Granted, it is better that it still be effective against dwarves but have the player suffer consequences later but again we are back to problem no.1 if you are strong enough to deal with the keepers and if you're not then chances are you won't be using it against dwarves anyway, which is the same as the item being "Ineffective against dwarves".

IMO, one great item mechanic in KB is the "grants one-time bonus after certain requirements met" for example an amulet gains the attribute +mana on top of its usual attributes after 50 victories while wearing it. This would be great in a sword, say, a generic Slayer becomes [Creature]slayer (Orcslayer, Elfslayer) after the player kills a number of those creatures with it, granting it a one-time bonus of added damage against them.
Sounds cool. I've always been interested in some kind of system where some items could gain experience and level some how.
I think the MMO route, items that upgrade equipment but with differing chance of success depending on the rarity of the upgrade item and the rarity of the item being upgraded, with some modification could fit that description somewhat.

The Roshambo Warrior
06-24-2009, 05:29 PM
If you haven't yet, you really should play Depths of Peril. :) There is tons of lore if you read the tomes in DoP, read the monster histories, and read the zone histories.

I'm a fan of lore myself. I'm not sure how we are going to add more lore to this game. We probably won't go the DoP route. Right now some ideas are to add blurbs to unique items and add some lore into the npc dialog. We also will probably do a bestiary thing like we did in Kivi's Underworld.


I've got a lot on my plate already. 3 game reviews, a couple of entire series to review, as well as developing my own games. Right now I'm playing hooky from the compiler as a break, and thought I'd offer an idea or two. Figures that an indie developer would have those bases already covered.

If your design already has a lot of lore, keep on going with it, it definitely stands out then and I'll be sure to check out these titles a bit more when I have the chance. :)

Kaizoku
06-24-2009, 08:11 PM
Glad to hear you're on your way to yet another game!

1. Any consideration for multiplayer co-op? Not pushing it, but if at all possible it would round out your gallery of RPG releases (single player in-depth, single player casual, and then multiplayer).

2. Will the graphics be similar to the previous two releases or will you be aiming for something of a higher resolution and higher polygon count?

3. Do you think NPCs could have schedules and behaviors, as introduced by Ultima in the past, or will they be static as in DoP? NPC relationships, reputation, fame, or notoriety considered?

4. Crafting/farming/fishing/mining/9-2-5ing/etc etc etc? Any of that stuff in mind?

You may want to take some time and just crunch through a bunch of video games, new and old, and let that be a good source of ideas. Not much good new commercial stuff out there but lots of old or indie games waiting to be explored!

Kaizoku
06-24-2009, 08:13 PM
Oh, and as for Titan Quest's hybrid class system, I thought it was interesting enough but didn't particularly like it. If you're going that route I recommend a classless system.

beefeater999
06-25-2009, 12:23 AM
Would it be possible for the game to be heavily based on choices & consequences?

flushfirex
06-25-2009, 01:00 AM
Would it be possible for the game to be heavily based on choices & consequences?
it's a dungeon crawl/action RPG. the c&c is in what build your character is going to have. :p

Shadow
06-25-2009, 12:18 PM
1. Any consideration for multiplayer co-op? Not pushing it, but if at all possible it would round out your gallery of RPG releases (single player in-depth, single player casual, and then multiplayer).

Part of the reason why we just released a multiplayer expansion for Kivi was so I could do multiplayer in this game. :) I'm pretty sure it will be co-op based.

2. Will the graphics be similar to the previous two releases or will you be aiming for something of a higher resolution and higher polygon count?

We might push the res and poly count a bit like we did between DoP and Kivi, but I wouldn't expect too much of a difference. I always try to focus on bringing better gameplay than better graphics.

3. Do you think NPCs could have schedules and behaviors, as introduced by Ultima in the past, or will they be static as in DoP? NPC relationships, reputation, fame, or notoriety considered?

I have some ideas to make them a bit less static. I'm not sure how much we will push this. I do like the idea of having npcs that are not just placeholders.

4. Crafting/farming/fishing/mining/9-2-5ing/etc etc etc? Any of that stuff in mind?

I don't know yet. Having some alternate methods of getting stuff than combat would be cool, but I'm not yet sure how feasible it will be.

You may want to take some time and just crunch through a bunch of video games, new and old, and let that be a good source of ideas. Not much good new commercial stuff out there but lots of old or indie games waiting to be explored!

Don't worry I play a lot of games, read a lot of books, and watch a lot of movies. Asking for feedback from RPG players isn't from a lack of ideas. :)

Would it be possible for the game to be heavily based on choices & consequences?

it's a dungeon crawl/action RPG. the c&c is in what build your character is going to have. :p

There will definitely be choices and consequences in your character build, but I think you will also have plenty when it comes to the quests just like there is in Depths of Peril.

Kaizoku
06-25-2009, 02:48 PM
I appreciate your responses to my questions/suggestions. An indie game to try out to see what a broad gallery of features (most of which are in development) does for a game is Elona. Great dungeon crawler, fairly unique rogue-like, and shows awesome potential: http://homepage3.nifty.com/rfish/index_e.html

One feature I'd love to see in an RPG is more non-combat character development and less tedious combat. A change in perspective from the traditional dungeon hack along with making monsters fewer and stronger would make me a happy gamer.

For example, the traditional hack would feature about 50 generic monsters on a single floor of a dungeon, most or all of which are nuisances at best. Loot makes them mildly interesting but otherwise they are the usual hurdle or hoop-jumping facet that requires only a fraction of our attention span.

What I would like to try is a game that features fewer monsters, some of which wander alone (a minotaur, for example) and others that wander in small groups (like traditional kobolds and goblins), all of which offer very different qualities which call for alternate combat strategies, and greater challenge than the traditional mob (goblins could be individually more powerful and dangerous, but fewer in number) and proportionately handsome rewards for defeating them. And then of course there would be boss monsters, which are fearsome and perhaps unbeatable at certain points in player progress. I like the idea that it's acceptable for a player to face a monster far too powerful for them, and have no means of defeating them for quite some time. It makes the world feel more persistent and real, that it isn't a step-by-step incline of difficulty that holds a player's hands and gives them an omniscient knowledge of how to proceed in everything.

Non-combat character development could be some kind of trade skill (if implemented), for example a mining character will develop strong swings and be able to deal more damage, but will not learn anything of importance in regards to defense and evasion. A character hunting in the wilderness would develop great aim, agility, and stealth, but not be developing the sturdiness and endurance to face greater opponents.

Speaking of hunting, how about eating and drinking? Not making nutrition as rare as many roguelikes, but the necessity of food offers a money sink and a strategy component. A lot of developers (Ultima series by Origin, Eschalon Book 1 by Basilisk) are nervous about implementing food necessity because it has never seen major commercial success (not since Dungeon Master: Skullkeep), but I've always enjoyed the atmosphere of a world that features something so real and basic as hunger.

Didn't even realize you'd released a multiplayer expansion for Kivi! Never played the game due to it's perceived lack of RPG depth (gotta have my excess complexity) but now I'll have second look.

Shadow
06-25-2009, 04:20 PM
I appreciate your responses to my questions/suggestions. An indie game to try out to see what a broad gallery of features (most of which are in development) does for a game is Elona. Great dungeon crawler, fairly unique rogue-like, and shows awesome potential: http://homepage3.nifty.com/rfish/index_e.html

I don't think I've ever heard of Elona, I'll have to check it out.

One feature I'd love to see in an RPG is more non-combat character development and less tedious combat. A change in perspective from the traditional dungeon hack along with making monsters fewer and stronger would make me a happy gamer.

For example, the traditional hack would feature about 50 generic monsters on a single floor of a dungeon, most or all of which are nuisances at best. Loot makes them mildly interesting but otherwise they are the usual hurdle or hoop-jumping facet that requires only a fraction of our attention span.

What I would like to try is a game that features fewer monsters, some of which wander alone (a minotaur, for example) and others that wander in small groups (like traditional kobolds and goblins), all of which offer very different qualities which call for alternate combat strategies, and greater challenge than the traditional mob (goblins could be individually more powerful and dangerous, but fewer in number) and proportionately handsome rewards for defeating them. And then of course there would be boss monsters, which are fearsome and perhaps unbeatable at certain points in player progress. I like the idea that it's acceptable for a player to face a monster far too powerful for them, and have no means of defeating them for quite some time. It makes the world feel more persistent and real, that it isn't a step-by-step incline of difficulty that holds a player's hands and gives them an omniscient knowledge of how to proceed in everything.

We have some of this in DoP and Kivi. The different monster behaviors force different tactics at times especially things like scavengers. We also throw things like unique monster groups at you that can be quite difficult.

I'm going to try to push further in this direction though with more interaction with the world, more teamwork type stuff between the monsters, and varying the monster behavior even more than DoP did.

Speaking of hunting, how about eating and drinking? Not making nutrition as rare as many roguelikes, but the necessity of food offers a money sink and a strategy component. A lot of developers (Ultima series by Origin, Eschalon Book 1 by Basilisk) are nervous about implementing food necessity because it has never seen major commercial success (not since Dungeon Master: Skullkeep), but I've always enjoyed the atmosphere of a world that features something so real and basic as hunger.

Eating is an interesting mechanic. Directly many people really dislike it. It's kind of annoying to have to worry about eating when I'm this awesome hero saving the world. Indirectly though it causes a bunch of interesting things like pushing you forward in the game and taking greater risks because you are low in food. It also adds another important stat and mechanic so your game gets a little more depth, but without much added complexity because everyone already understands eating and starving to death. Eating really needs the correct game to work. I would guess it won't fit in this game, but I am considering it.

Didn't even realize you'd released a multiplayer expansion for Kivi! Never played the game due to it's perceived lack of RPG depth (gotta have my excess complexity) but now I'll have second look.

We just released it a couple weeks ago.

Kaizoku
06-26-2009, 01:27 PM
Along with suggestions of what should be included, here are some things that I recommend not implementing (at least in an initial release):

- A huge game world. Moderate in size and dense with interaction and activity is what many game developers should aim for, but instead they release huge worlds that offer relatively little content. The result? Jogging. Lots of it. Or teleporting around, which makes the game feel "instanced" and not "real."

- Player Character Good/Evil Choices (dialogue options, evil quests, etc). It's getting popular these days, but no doubt a huge expense of time. An alternative would be to make all NPCs attackable, with consequences.

- Set items. This system is seldom useful, due to it most often being overpowered or underwhelming. Unique items also bring about odd balance issues and if implemented, their effects should be indirect (percentage or effect-based rather than damage or defense) and/or novelty (making your character glow, making him bigger/smaller, or some really amazing looking capes).

- Lore. I know, this is contrary to what was initially suggested, but I think that inconsequential lore not related to immediate tasks should be left out of the game until much later releases, and the mythical world should be left to interpretation or expansion, with revelations yet unknown to players. DoP's lore was neat and all, but as much of it had no significance to the character's adventures and there was so much very secret information simply given away rather than discovered, it made everything feel so past-tense and unimportant. Maybe release patches with quests that unveil dark truths behind a certain NPC or monster, or write forum stuffs about the lore.

- "Main" storyline. Because the current concept revolves around dungeon crawling, how about not releasing a major storyline with an "end game" and instead starting out with a game that offers a player some interesting adventures, and release more over time, always giving the player an option to "retire" if they wish? I like that game style because as with most RPGs sometimes we just want to do more after we've beaten the "final boss" but many games tend to offer very little after the fact. My ideal game is beating an infamous and almost legendary monster/villain, going home, selling his loot, and then telling everyone at the tavern about it, hearing about some other dangerous caves and their inhabitants in the next town over.


But these are just some of my personal preferences, and I've been known to have odd taste.

Delilah Rehm
06-26-2009, 06:10 PM
I'm struggling with the idea of what lore means to gamers. I think the short stories worked well in Depths of Peril and I may write more for Depths of Peril II. It's sort of a thing I want to keep special for Depths, at least for now and maybe for always.

Many games (as far as I know) wrap story around main quest lines. This we will not do for Game 3 either. At this point, there will be no main quest line, rather, many scenarios to discover and play.

In Depths I had an indepth chat story through the NPCs. Most people probably never noticed that little drama play out in town. :D I seriously doubt I'll do that again either.

What I'm leaning toward at this point is story about bosses- giving them a background and personality, then letting that affect the quest line.

So... what does lore mean to you guys? What kind of story/writing do you want to enjoy in game 3?

Coreyh2
06-26-2009, 09:44 PM
I like the modern western rpg style. Spiderwebsoftware (http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/come_aboard.html)and amateurs (http://nwvault.ign.com/) manage it. You just need to fit it to the structure of the actual gameplay.

Game writing is different then normal linear stories. Its about creating atmosphere and interesting characters. Its not necessary about plot as much as immersion in a world.

Shadow
07-01-2009, 09:58 AM
- Set items. This system is seldom useful, due to it most often being overpowered or underwhelming. Unique items also bring about odd balance issues and if implemented, their effects should be indirect (percentage or effect-based rather than damage or defense) and/or novelty (making your character glow, making him bigger/smaller, or some really amazing looking capes).

I'm not sure what we are going to do about set items. I like the concept, but that never work out as well as they could. They work better than usual in DoP because of the shared stash, but there has to be something better.

- "Main" storyline. Because the current concept revolves around dungeon crawling, how about not releasing a major storyline with an "end game" and instead starting out with a game that offers a player some interesting adventures, and release more over time, always giving the player an option to "retire" if they wish? I like that game style because as with most RPGs sometimes we just want to do more after we've beaten the "final boss" but many games tend to offer very little after the fact. My ideal game is beating an infamous and almost legendary monster/villain, going home, selling his loot, and then telling everyone at the tavern about it, hearing about some other dangerous caves and their inhabitants in the next town over.

Well it doesn't look like we will have a "main" storyline. It will be random and dynamic instead. After you beat one adventure, you can move on to the next one, which will be very different.

PixelLord
07-07-2009, 03:58 PM
Looks like art assets are going to begin to be created soon. Does anyone have things they'd like to see (or not see) in this newest game?

FloodSpectre
07-09-2009, 07:24 PM
Looks like art assets are going to begin to be created soon. Does anyone have things they'd like to see (or not see) in this newest game?

Bioluminescent mushrooms as light sources in caves. I don't know why, but it's always seemed cool to me. :)

icekrystal10
07-12-2009, 06:24 PM
Bioluminescent mushrooms as light sources in caves. I don't know why, but it's always seemed cool to me. :)

Hehe, I like the sound of that. Bioluminescence can give a nice eerie feeling to caves or dark forests.

fab
07-24-2009, 04:58 PM
Looks like art assets are going to begin to be created soon. Does anyone have things they'd like to see (or not see) in this newest game?

I can't wait to see what Soldak comes with next.

Based on my early impressions of Kivi, I thought I'd post to say how much I like the outdoor environments in Depths of Peril. They're great! The forests are the best. There is this little Ultima/old school feel, plus the variety of sprites for the bushes and plants etc, all the grass, all the outdoor environment sounds, and with the day/night cycle personally I find the forest areas to be sometimes enchanting or even a little eerie.

I have played only 6 missions of Kivi so far but didn't see any outdoors, and I am really hoping to see outdoor areas in the next game. It makes for more variety and "rhythm" as well, whereas dungeons tend to be more square and linear (paths and branches), the outdoor areas let your explore in any direction. I suppose that was a conscious decision for Kivi as it is much more "mission" based than DoP.

fab
07-24-2009, 05:08 PM
I think the multiple town idea works better for Depths II than the dungeon crawl, although we are improving from Depths I which only has one town ever. :) Each game starting in a different town with many various problems to solve is going to be fun. Unless there were underground towns, I don't know how to work multiple towns in one game???


So there is also a DoP 2 ? Wow..

I had this image in my mind about a successor to DoP, where it didn't necessarily have multiple towns, but instead the south west was a docks, with the sea, and boats would come and go at given intervals (like random quests that seem to be on a hidden timer), and those boat would bring news of things afar, quests, loot.. maybe going on the boat and paying woudl tkae you directly to other maps with a coast and then some inland, which can also be randomized. I'm not sure wherre this boat idea was going though other then exploring new areas.

Randomized towns wouldn't work well imho, it's really nice in DoP, and in Diablo 2 as well, how you have a fixed layout and you get to know the place and all its little "nooks and crannies".

Delilah Rehm
07-24-2009, 08:34 PM
There isn't a DOP II yet, but we plan to make it at some point.

The river idea is interesting.

The multiple towns in the same game idea, I'm not sure how that would work with the games we've made and are making now. I like the idea of having multiple towns in DOP II, but only one town per game. You'd level into new towns at intervals.

Steven's vision for soldak is creating fun games he wants to play, and so far that's been short games with ongoing characters rather than a wideopen land with really long storyline quests (hinse, the multi-town problem). He wants an evolving world that doesn't sit still until you do what you're supposed to. Fire and rain change the world. The monsters change the world. Nobody is going to wait for you. :eek:

fab
07-25-2009, 12:17 PM
Some random ideas:

Achievements: having "achievements" (eg. 100% explored) like in Kivi, that carry over from one game to the next (basically global achievements, that you can work over time), and somewhat related, have your statue displayed in a town place :) with a plaque and stats on it, or as you mentioned the house decoration, various trophies in the house earned from achievements.

ShaggyMoose
07-26-2009, 09:25 PM
Love the statue idea. That is a really cool "hall of fame".