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Petition to create a first-person story-based D&D co-op ARPG

El1teKatana

Barely Literate
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
Messages
3
Petition to create a first-person story-based D&D co-op ARPG


http://chn.ge/2cnlcxH


This is what I think a great RPG could be based on my opinions and experiences as a gamer. The aim of this post is to truly crowdsource the specifications of a game, before handing a much-signed petition to a major games company for development (or not, please see the development section!). If you have any ideas about how to make this better, please comment them or message me, and I will add them. The great thing about crowdsourcing is the result is what everyone wants, positive suggestions only please.


Summary


Most multiplayer games these days are too bland, simply play – win – repeat. Many open-world RPGs, while fun for a few hours, soon become samey and dull. The best story-based RPGs (The Witcher, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy) aren’t co-op, and so many feel that it’s better to play a grindy FPS with friends than to play an RPG with a 70-hour solo campaign. Imagine a game which captures the spirit of D&D: a close band of friends, adventuring together, each totally committed to a single character over a huge campaign. The last great games to attempt this are the Black Isle games (Baldur’s Gate series, Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale), which are known as some of the best RPGs in the world. These games were made using the technology of 1998, so how good could they be now?


Key features of such a game would be:

- Modular story-based world: D&D’s module system would be the inspiration for the game design, where the players are given a small open world within each module in which to complete quests and explore.

- Team work: Each player is a vital part of the team, and the game allows you to develop your own solutions to the challenges presented. Players are encouraged to co-operate, for example a wizard could cast Cone of Cold on a goblin, and then a fighter should use a blunt weapon to shatter the goblin to pieces.

- Reactive environment: Players could interact with the environment (physically or with magic), for example a fighter could literally throw an enemy into a rack of swords, or an archer could set an enemy’s wooden shield on fire with an arrow.

- Intelligent AI: Enemies and NPCs sense realistically through sight, sound and smell. Once alerted, enemies should behave appropriately, readying weapons and spending time searching thoroughly for players, making stealth much more of a challenge.

- Combat: Most real-time RPGs have a combat system of stats-based button-mashing. In this game, combat involves accuracy, reflexes and skill. Weapons and armour sets and monsters all have strengths and weaknesses which have to be learned.

- Advanced customisation: Players can customise characters’ looks, from faces right down to the colours of armour sets. Every character can have his or her own emblem made by the player for shields and armour, and magic-users even get a unique spell using their emblems as casting sigils.


Combat


Melee


Summary: Melee combat is the most common kind of fighting in the D&D universe. Unlike in many games, the way you fight is heavily dependent on your weapon. Someone who has been playing for hours with a sword will have to adapt his play-style to use a spear or a hammer. Critical hits will not be luck-based, as a critical hit will be granted when a player strikes a specific weak point on the enemy. Also, players would have special abilities, such as lunges and AoE attacks unlocked as they levelled their weapon skill. As you use a particular kind of weapon, your weapon proficiency level automatically increases.


Combat style: The combat system could take inspiration from the versatility of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare in allowing different weapons to have different moves and styles. Some weapons need to be played close-up, others, like spears, are stronger striking from a distance. Different sets of armour and monsters also require different playstyles, as armour sets require different areas of defence and monsters have different weaknesses. Heavy weapons would slow your character down while carrying, whereas light weapons would make no difference.


Accuracy: As your weapon proficiency increases, so does your hit accuracy. At a low weapon proficiency level, your character is quite inaccurate and will often miss the point at which you want to hit. At the max level, your hits are always pixel-precise, making critical hits much easier and allowing you to target weak spots in armour.


Strength/Dexterity: Each weapon has its own unique stat profile, which defines how it is affected by strength and dexterity. For example, a battle axe would rely almost solely on strength to increase its damage and attack speed, while a rapier would rely almost solely on dexterity. Some weapons, like a longsword or a quarterstaff, would rely more on combinations of the two stats. The stat synergy of a weapon with a player would increase the size of the critical hit target.


Weapon types: As in D&D, weapons are sorted into slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning. Each monster (and, in the case of players/human enemies, armour sets), would have particular strengths and weaknesses against these 3 categories. When using the most effective weapons, you will gain extra damage and the critical hit area will be larger. The opposite applies when using the least effective weapons.


Ranged


Summary: Ranged weapons are what they sound like. Several types of ranged weapons exist, and as with melee weapons, rely on very different tactics to use. Some are fast yet weak, others slow and strong, and some are better for stealth as opposed to large battles.


Combat style: Each ranged weapon, as with melee weapons, would change the player’s movement speed depending both on its weight and whether it is drawn or not. For example, a character cannot hold a drawn bow for long, and cannot move fast while holding it. Hand crossbows would confer no movement penalties, whereas heavy crossbows would cause the character to slow significantly. Some weapons would be louder than others, and different kinds of ammunition would be more obvious, like fire arrows.


Accuracy: See melee, except when a character has low proficiency, the crosshair literally shakes from side to side.


Strength/Dexterity: See melee.


Weapon types: See melee.


Ammunition types: Every weapon has several ammunition variants, such as poison, fire, blunt, acid, ice, lightning, etc. Not only are these useful for targeting specific elemental vulnerabilities, they also allow for environmental usage.


Magic


Summary: Magic is the single most iconic fighting style of D&D, and is incredibly powerful yet also very situational. Spells range from passive stat boosts to fireballs, and players must be careful that they don’t hit their own teammates with attacks.


Spell availability: This is the same as in classic D&D, where you regain spells on sleeping and have access to different amounts/types of spells depending on your class.


Spell targeting: All spells auto-target enemies. Unlike in Baldur’s Gate (for example), you can select multiple enemies for spells like Magic Missile and the missiles seek each one individually. AoE spells would work one of two ways, depending on the type. Spells like Cloudkill and Fireball would be aimed at the ground or at an enemy a distance away, while spells like Cone of Cold would simply be fired directly from the hand in a specified direction. Party members would not be immune to mage spells, and so would have to stay out of the radius of AoE spells or be hit.


Saving: Magic ignores armour, instead relying on saves as in D&D. There are several different kinds of saving throw depending on the spell, from specific magic saves to simple dexterity saves.


V/M/S: Every spell requires a (V)verbal chant, a particular (S)gesture or set of gestures, a (M)material, or a combination of the three. If a mage is silenced, he won’t be able to cast a verbal spell, if he is caught in a web, he won’t be able to cast a somatic spell, etc.


Spell selection: By the end of the game, magic users have access to a vast library of spells. As there is limited space on a keyboard, the best way to access these is to use hotkeys. The most commonly used spells would be under 2-0 on a keyboard, the next on shift/1-0, then ctrl/1-0, and finally alt/1-0. If your character was so powerful that this wasn’t enough slots, you would just have to select a few spells from a menu instead of using shortcuts. You are unlikely to need or use this many spells, because many of your spell slots will be filled with multiple uses of the same spell.


Unique spells: As part of the extreme customisation, magic-using classes have the opportunity to develop and name their own custom spells that only they can use. When creating a character, a player can choose an element and colour for the spell. The spell would be a beam attack, and would level in strength with the player such that it was always useable.


Body targeting: Unlike in many games, hitting different parts of the body would have different effects on the enemy. For example, a hit in the arm can go anywhere from a graze in which the arm’s strength is lowered slightly, to complete amputation, in which case it is obviously unusable. Strong injuries would cause bleeding, the effects of which would range between weakness and fainting. Head injuries would cause dizziness and even concussion. Healing spells/potions could heal wounds and regrow limbs, and so are important in the heat of battle is injured.


Armour: Armour, instead of providing damage percentage reductions or adding extra health to the character, absorbs some damage on a hit. For example, if a player has 600 health, the armour has a bonus of 50, and the player is being hit by a 150 damage attack, the player takes 100 damage as the armour has absorbed 50 of it. Unenchanted armour has a health pool, and the more damage it absorbs the closer it gets to breaking. Different parts of an armour set absorb different amounts of damage, and some areas are completely unprotected but are often hard to hit.


Aesthetics/Customisation


Aesthetics


Landscape: As in Baldur’s Gate and Morrowind, the landscape would need to vary between areas. With the exception of Solitude and Markarth (and the DLC areas), Skyrim’s landscape is quite dull after the first few hours of gameplay. Different cities would have their own individual twists in terms of architecture, colour and building materials. As the game would be split into several parts (see Module System), each different section could be slightly different in design to the last ad the heroes (or villains) travelled the land. Weather would also change dependent on area, to further add to the design (as well as limiting player visibility in the case of snow or storms).


Spells: One of the coolest things in the DnD universe is the magic system. In this game, there could be two ways of casting, either straight from the hand or by use of a sigil. The ‘S’ spells’ movement component could be the hand movements needed to draw this sigil in the air.


Graphics: Obviously, the graphics of the game will be very good. As technology has developed so too have graphics, and if a game like Planescape Torment had been run on a modern graphics engine it would have looked amazing. However, many players will not be able to handle Shadow of Mordor level graphics, and so the game will have support for players running on “potatoes”, and must be well optimised.


Customisation


Characters: Many people enjoy creating their perfect characters as much as they do playing them. There will be an advanced character creation section, allowing players to make the characters’ faces and bodies. Each character would have his own emblem (uploadable by the players themselves) for shields and armour, to make each one truly unique. This emblem would also serve as an ‘S’ component for magic-users’ custom spells.


Dyeing/design: Armour and clothes looted from monsters and chests would be a particular colour and have a particular pattern, but the appearance of equipment from shops could be changed when the items are bought. Found items could be taken to a dyeing NPC who would change the colour and design, for a sum of gold. Unique items would be locked to a particular colour, so if you’re struggling to pick between two magical items you can just pick whichever looks best!


Module System


World: As mentioned earlier, completely open worlds swiftly become flat and repetitive. The best way to stream players through a particular (interesting) path is to lock areas (through geography, like raised bridges or guarded gates) until players have completed main quests in the last area. Also, design main quests to be difficult enough that players need to complete side quests for experience and items before being able to complete them. There will be wilderness within each area, allowing for open-world-like exploration, just limited to avoid boredom.


Story: The story will also be designed in these module-like sections. Obviously the same story will run through the entire game (and any potential follow-ups), but different sections of story, leading to specific dungeons/bosses, will be split into the areas mentioned above. Side quests will also be area-specific, although some might link back to previous areas and characters as players would be allowed to travel back to anywhere they had previously been. If players were not high-level enough to complete quests, the quest NPCs would hint at that by saying that they were not ready, not professional enough, etc.


AI


The 4 Levels


Passive: When enemies haven’t been alerted to your presence, they will just wander aimlessly, patrol, and wait in groups.


Alert: When enemies have seen a flash of a player or been distracted by an ability (see Stealth), they will send someone out to check the disturbance. If the enemy comes back having found nothing, the group will return to passive, but if he doesn’t return (or they catch sight of a player), they will switch to Ready.


Ready: In this state, enemies will be prepared for the players to attack. They will have unsheathed swords and raised shields, archers will have knocked arrows, and magic-users will have prepared spells ready for instant casting. As soon as a player is seen, they will attack. If they see nothing for a few minutes, they will return to Alert and then back to Passive.


Fighting: The enemies will be fighting, and will chase down players if they try to run. Obviously, if an enemy sees a player for longer than a split second, it will jump straight from Passive or Alert to Fighting as opposed to going up the levels one by one.


Stealth


Senses: Enemies will be able to use all their senses as opposed to just sight as in many stealth games. If an enemy sees a player (even if that player is crouched), the player will be detected and the enemies will go up one or more alert level. If the player is hiding in shadows (literally, not in the sense of the DnD ability), it will take longer for enemies to see the player and they might miss him completely if only looking casually as opposed to searching. Crouching is useful more in terms of sound that sight, in that it makes less of a footstep noise for enemies to hear. Depending on the type of ground, players will make more or less noise and as such will be able to sneak closer to enemies faster without being detected. Stealth levels will also affect the noise players make, but not how easy it is to see them. Certain weapons/armous make louder noises than others, and enemies will be able to hear players talking (see Voice Chat). Some enemies, such as wolves, will be almost impossible to sneak up on without special spells or items, due to their keen senses of smell.


Distraction: Enemies could be distracted by sounds or sight, such as by players throwing coins or rocks, archers shooting walls, and rogues using special abilities like Throw Voice.


Behaviours: Radiant AI, while good, is slightly unnecessary unless the players plan on stalking an NPC for a full day/night cycle. However, NPCs should have cycles relating to the time of day. For example, particular NPCs should do tours of the areas, patrol certain places, and go to bed at night. It wouldn’t be anything like realistic to have the same quest-giver sitting in the same chair of the same pub all day every day. This would also encourage players to look around areas at different times, to see if they have missed any NPCs, instead of just scanning areas once then moving on. If players didn’t want to take the time to check at different times of day, it would add to replayability, as they might arrive at an area at a different time on another playthrough.


Environmental Design/Interactivity


Locks/Traps: The lock-picking system itself will work similarly to that of Skyrim and Fallout 3/4, why mess with a system that works? If a player is just to low-level for a lock, there will be literally no spot in which they can turn the lock. When just in the level, the spot is very small and will only appear at certain times, to simulate the character’s inability to find the spot. Then, at higher levels, the lock spot gets bigger and bigger. The traps would be literally built around rooms, with the mechanisms only visible to those with the Find Trap ability. The character would have to work out the mechanism of the trap, before finding a particular spot in which to remove a part and deactivate the trap. The higher the level of Find Trap, the more of the trap network would be greyed out, to signify your character’s knowledge. Even when the character tried to remove the correct part, there would be a dexterity roll, which if failed would trigger the trap.


Player interactivity: Of course, players would be able to interact with the environment. Wooden things could be burnt, water could be frozen or electrified, etc. Archers could trigger traps by shooting the triggers, and rogues would have to be careful not to step on anything that would make too much noise. Spiky things would be able to damage characters, so racks of spears could become weapons! Enemies would be able to be thrown from high places, and magic users could even blast them into pits of spikes. Loud or groundshaking spells would alert enemies from nearby, so parties going for a stealthy approach would have to stick to simple spells as opposed to fireballs.


Damage Types


Unlike in most games with enchanted weapons, this game will intelligently handle the DnD 5e damage types. Fire would burn wood, lightning would affect water, acid could melt metal, etc. This would give elemental arrows, weapons and spells much more strategic, as opposed to simply doing extra damage for the sake of it.


Levelling / Reputation


Levels: While this game will roughly follow DnD levelling, there will be some differences. In terms of statistics (health, etc.), the levelling will follow DnD rules. However, instead of weapon proficiency points being assigned by level, your weapon skill would automatically level as you used that kind of weapon. This prevents players from jumping straight into weapons at high proficiency levels, and adds a level of realism in that you need to be experienced in order for your character to be. Besides this, the rules for rogue points, mage spells, etc. would follow 5e.


Reputation: Now, this game will allow to play good or evil. Quests will have multiple endings, each giving equal rewards for either alignment. Shops will sell cheaper to good parties due to their hero status, and cheaper to evil parties due to fear. Good parties will be ambushed by bandits, evil parties attacked by guards.


Voice Chat


This game will include in-game voice chat, and will encourage players not to talk on Skype. Since the in-game voice chat will work with distances (people sound quieter from further away), players who go off alone have to return to talk again. Monsters can hear players talking (although not understand them), so parties have to be careful!


Resting


When in the outdoors, there would be a random chance that when you attempted to rest (to regain spells and stamina, cast long ritual-style spells, and just change the time of day), you would be ambushed. If in a dungeon, you would not be allowed to rest until your floor was clear.


Replay/Video


The game will buffer a customisable number of previous minutes of gameplay. This buffer can then be imported into a replay manager which allows the footage to be edited and rendered in high quality to create gameplay videos. Footage can be manipulated, with time slowed, camera angles changed, and filters applied. This way, you could construct a short film of your favourite battle, and “film” it to look even cooler after the fact.


Minigames


Sometimes individual players may need to spend a few minutes on individual recon missions (for example, thieves may have to scout for enemies/traps). To eliminate potential boredom, the remaining players can indulge in a number of pastimes built into the game. These could include card games, rock/paper/scissors, brawling, target practice, etc.


Singleplayer


Characters can play solo while their party members are offline. This would allow warriors to go and compete in arenas, thieves to…well…steal, and magic-users to research new spells and magical items, in mystery-style quests.


Shops


Try before you buy. Shops allow you to:

- Try on clothes and armour. Pick colours/designs.

- Try out weapons and armour – and spells?

- Customize existing weapons/armour.

- Purchase special stock based on reputation/level.


Guilds


Guilds can offer training which improves weapon accuracy/adds special attacks. Guilds can offer side quests which will be quests the guild members themselves couldn’t perform for various reasons, but which reward the party with special class-specific items.


Training


Once your party picked characters, you’d be stuck with them for an entire campaign. For this reason, the game will have a training mode before you play, allowing you and your party to pick generic versions of each main class to test together.


Alignment


At any particular time, the whole party, based on the combined alignment of their collective acts, have a position on the alignmentometer. This is a position within a circle drawn around a cross with axes good/evil and chaotic/lawful, with true neutral at its centre. Thus, the whole party will gain general bonuses as their party behaviour aligns with their respective alignments, and general deficits as their behaviour does not align with their alignments. This also gives a concept of a buffer whereby, for example, repeated good behaviour allows for some exceptional bad actions to be performed without tipping into evil. Obviously actions will be weighted such that doing something downright grim will affect the alignmentometer far more than a minor infraction.

This is as simple to implement as having the concept of alignment linked to actions. There would have to be some subtlety added by context of action, for example “stealing” from a chest in a dungeon is not wrong, “stealing” from some random person’s house, or a public area is wrong. Context is important: stealing from a house which is a necessary part of a quest for a greater good would not be wrong, but outside of the quest it would be wrong.

Singleplayer actions (see Singleplayer) would not affect the alignment of the party.


Development


Although the game concept will be open-source, we can’t program it. Once this document has been made into its best form, we’ll either give it (with the petition) to a games company, or (potentially) try to pull together some sort of indie conglomerate. Indie games companies are much closer to the ground than big games companies, and have much more diverse skills. Of course, they are usually quite small so several companies would be required to focus on individual parts. Small-scale game prototypes could be released to the Internet, allowing users to test the game engine and mechanics and provide regular feedback.


If you’d like to contribute an idea, post it in the comments with the following format after it: “© [your name], [the year]”, and I will include it (with your copyright) in the document. In posting a message with this copyright in the replies to this one, you agree that you are happy for your ideas to be used by games companies of the authors’ choice.


© Martin Patefield-Smith and Chap Patefield-Isacoff (El1teKatana), 2016.
 

Bester

⚰️☠️⚱️
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After laughing on and off for about 10 minutes,.. I just want to suggest you two kids start learning how to program and how to 3d model, 15 years old is a good age for that, your frontal lobes are 80% developed at this point. That's what I'd tell a 15 year old self in retrospect.
 

gaussgunner

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Try making a coop text adventure first.......

I could get excited about a basic single-player 2D iso ARPG if it's tastefully done. But 3D, dress-up customization, multiplayer, coop, voice crap, those are absolute dealbreakers for me. And minigames... seriously??
 

gaussgunner

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I just googled them. LOL. They're blasting this all over the web. Some of these other sites like Reddit are making the Codex look like a friendly inclusive safe space :lol:

Not sure now if by ARPG they mean "popamole with dialogue" or "augmented reality pokeman gathering"...

Also, one of them is literally a 15 year old doing a homeschool degree in Environmental Management, obviously bureaucratese for "petitioning for bad ideas in a domain outside your area of expertise". The other one is his dad.
...or maybe they're Sam Hyde alts, 'cause you know how much he loves hyphenated names...
Either way, expect glorious :troll: and :butthurt:
 

Durwyn

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Google "Successful video game pitches by 15 yrs old and his dad"
 
Last edited:

Kev Inkline

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A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Ok...Why the random cancerous cynicism?
SEtpWbX.jpg
 

Keldryn

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Ok...Why the random cancerous cynicism?

To put it bluntly, it's because what you posted is hopelessly naive and unrealistic. To the cynical, that is reason alone for ridicule.

And for those of us who have been on this forum for a long time (or on similar forums), we've seen countless similar postings. Somebody new pops in and posts their ambitious and detailed game design ideas, commenting on how the big game development companies just don't get it anymore but of course they know how to do it better than the professionals. But they don't have the talent/experience/resources to build a game, so they need other people (programmers, artists, etc) to implement their game design ideas.

This is what is known derisively as the "ideas guy" and the harsh truth is that nobody takes an "ideas guy" seriously. Not in the industry, and not outside the industry. Virtually everybody working in the industry has their own game ideas that they would love to work on if they had a chance; "brilliant" game ideas are a dime a dozen and are essentially worthless unless you have the ability to implement those ideas.

So if you truly want to see this game that you have described come into being, then you need to sit down with Unreal Engine or Unity and start learning how to make a game. When you have demonstrated that you can actually produce something (obviously drastically reduced in scope from what you have described), then you might be taken seriously enough to be able to recruit additional people to help you build your game.

The petition idea is new though; I'll give you credit for that. :) But no established game development company will ever agree to build this for you -- for many reasons. The legal issues around IP alone ensure that.

And while crowdsourcing the design of the game sounds like it might be a good idea, it's basically a new term for "design by committee" which tends to produce games that are bland, samey, and dull. The best games are generally the result of a strong, singular vision; a benign dictatorship rather than a democracy.
 

majestik12

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Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
2,196
If you’d like to contribute an idea, post it in the comments with the following format after it: “© [your name], [the year]”, and I will include it (with your copyright) in the document. In posting a message with this copyright in the replies to this one, you agree that you are happy for your ideas to be used by games companies of the authors’ choice.

- Ditch D&D and switch to GURPS. Implement all official rulebooks.

© István Dregović (majestik12), 2016.
 

zwanzig_zwoelf

Graverobber Foundation
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Hey guise I have dis totally kkkool idea how about makin a real olde-skuul rpg like:

  • no levelups
  • no healing pickups
  • no items apart from quest shit
  • harcore inractivity like missing yer targ8t and acidentally hitting a nuke
  • turn-based action rpg tactical goodness
  • ai controls half of yet actions
  • hardcore open world world with random encounters ala final fantasee

Guiise it wil l sellliek hotcocks me swewr! Chess eet a dick!

emoji767.png
Almonzo Tovilino (schwanzikk)
 

Neanderthal

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Petition to create a first-person story-based D&D co-op ARPG


http://chn.ge/2cnlcxH


This is what I think a great RPG could be based on my opinions and experiences as a gamer. The aim of this post is to truly crowdsource the specifications of a game, before handing a much-signed petition to a major games company for development (or not, please see the development section!). If you have any ideas about how to make this better, please comment them or message me, and I will add them. The great thing about crowdsourcing is the result is what everyone wants, positive suggestions only please.


Summary


Most multiplayer games these days are too bland, simply play – win – repeat. Many open-world RPGs, while fun for a few hours, soon become samey and dull. The best story-based RPGs (The Witcher, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy) aren’t co-op, and so many feel that it’s better to play a grindy FPS with friends than to play an RPG with a 70-hour solo campaign. Imagine a game which captures the spirit of D&D: a close band of friends, adventuring together, each totally committed to a single character over a huge campaign. The last great games to attempt this are the Black Isle games (Baldur’s Gate series, Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale), which are known as some of the best RPGs in the world. These games were made using the technology of 1998, so how good could they be now?


Key features of such a game would be:

- Modular story-based world: D&D’s module system would be the inspiration for the game design, where the players are given a small open world within each module in which to complete quests and explore.

- Team work: Each player is a vital part of the team, and the game allows you to develop your own solutions to the challenges presented. Players are encouraged to co-operate, for example a wizard could cast Cone of Cold on a goblin, and then a fighter should use a blunt weapon to shatter the goblin to pieces.

- Reactive environment: Players could interact with the environment (physically or with magic), for example a fighter could literally throw an enemy into a rack of swords, or an archer could set an enemy’s wooden shield on fire with an arrow.

- Intelligent AI: Enemies and NPCs sense realistically through sight, sound and smell. Once alerted, enemies should behave appropriately, readying weapons and spending time searching thoroughly for players, making stealth much more of a challenge.

- Combat: Most real-time RPGs have a combat system of stats-based button-mashing. In this game, combat involves accuracy, reflexes and skill. Weapons and armour sets and monsters all have strengths and weaknesses which have to be learned.

- Advanced customisation: Players can customise characters’ looks, from faces right down to the colours of armour sets. Every character can have his or her own emblem made by the player for shields and armour, and magic-users even get a unique spell using their emblems as casting sigils.


Combat


Melee


Summary: Melee combat is the most common kind of fighting in the D&D universe. Unlike in many games, the way you fight is heavily dependent on your weapon. Someone who has been playing for hours with a sword will have to adapt his play-style to use a spear or a hammer. Critical hits will not be luck-based, as a critical hit will be granted when a player strikes a specific weak point on the enemy. Also, players would have special abilities, such as lunges and AoE attacks unlocked as they levelled their weapon skill. As you use a particular kind of weapon, your weapon proficiency level automatically increases.


Combat style: The combat system could take inspiration from the versatility of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare in allowing different weapons to have different moves and styles. Some weapons need to be played close-up, others, like spears, are stronger striking from a distance. Different sets of armour and monsters also require different playstyles, as armour sets require different areas of defence and monsters have different weaknesses. Heavy weapons would slow your character down while carrying, whereas light weapons would make no difference.


Accuracy: As your weapon proficiency increases, so does your hit accuracy. At a low weapon proficiency level, your character is quite inaccurate and will often miss the point at which you want to hit. At the max level, your hits are always pixel-precise, making critical hits much easier and allowing you to target weak spots in armour.


Strength/Dexterity: Each weapon has its own unique stat profile, which defines how it is affected by strength and dexterity. For example, a battle axe would rely almost solely on strength to increase its damage and attack speed, while a rapier would rely almost solely on dexterity. Some weapons, like a longsword or a quarterstaff, would rely more on combinations of the two stats. The stat synergy of a weapon with a player would increase the size of the critical hit target.


Weapon types: As in D&D, weapons are sorted into slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning. Each monster (and, in the case of players/human enemies, armour sets), would have particular strengths and weaknesses against these 3 categories. When using the most effective weapons, you will gain extra damage and the critical hit area will be larger. The opposite applies when using the least effective weapons.


Ranged


Summary: Ranged weapons are what they sound like. Several types of ranged weapons exist, and as with melee weapons, rely on very different tactics to use. Some are fast yet weak, others slow and strong, and some are better for stealth as opposed to large battles.


Combat style: Each ranged weapon, as with melee weapons, would change the player’s movement speed depending both on its weight and whether it is drawn or not. For example, a character cannot hold a drawn bow for long, and cannot move fast while holding it. Hand crossbows would confer no movement penalties, whereas heavy crossbows would cause the character to slow significantly. Some weapons would be louder than others, and different kinds of ammunition would be more obvious, like fire arrows.


Accuracy: See melee, except when a character has low proficiency, the crosshair literally shakes from side to side.


Strength/Dexterity: See melee.


Weapon types: See melee.


Ammunition types: Every weapon has several ammunition variants, such as poison, fire, blunt, acid, ice, lightning, etc. Not only are these useful for targeting specific elemental vulnerabilities, they also allow for environmental usage.


Magic


Summary: Magic is the single most iconic fighting style of D&D, and is incredibly powerful yet also very situational. Spells range from passive stat boosts to fireballs, and players must be careful that they don’t hit their own teammates with attacks.


Spell availability: This is the same as in classic D&D, where you regain spells on sleeping and have access to different amounts/types of spells depending on your class.


Spell targeting: All spells auto-target enemies. Unlike in Baldur’s Gate (for example), you can select multiple enemies for spells like Magic Missile and the missiles seek each one individually. AoE spells would work one of two ways, depending on the type. Spells like Cloudkill and Fireball would be aimed at the ground or at an enemy a distance away, while spells like Cone of Cold would simply be fired directly from the hand in a specified direction. Party members would not be immune to mage spells, and so would have to stay out of the radius of AoE spells or be hit.


Saving: Magic ignores armour, instead relying on saves as in D&D. There are several different kinds of saving throw depending on the spell, from specific magic saves to simple dexterity saves.


V/M/S: Every spell requires a (V)verbal chant, a particular (S)gesture or set of gestures, a (M)material, or a combination of the three. If a mage is silenced, he won’t be able to cast a verbal spell, if he is caught in a web, he won’t be able to cast a somatic spell, etc.


Spell selection: By the end of the game, magic users have access to a vast library of spells. As there is limited space on a keyboard, the best way to access these is to use hotkeys. The most commonly used spells would be under 2-0 on a keyboard, the next on shift/1-0, then ctrl/1-0, and finally alt/1-0. If your character was so powerful that this wasn’t enough slots, you would just have to select a few spells from a menu instead of using shortcuts. You are unlikely to need or use this many spells, because many of your spell slots will be filled with multiple uses of the same spell.


Unique spells: As part of the extreme customisation, magic-using classes have the opportunity to develop and name their own custom spells that only they can use. When creating a character, a player can choose an element and colour for the spell. The spell would be a beam attack, and would level in strength with the player such that it was always useable.


Body targeting: Unlike in many games, hitting different parts of the body would have different effects on the enemy. For example, a hit in the arm can go anywhere from a graze in which the arm’s strength is lowered slightly, to complete amputation, in which case it is obviously unusable. Strong injuries would cause bleeding, the effects of which would range between weakness and fainting. Head injuries would cause dizziness and even concussion. Healing spells/potions could heal wounds and regrow limbs, and so are important in the heat of battle is injured.


Armour: Armour, instead of providing damage percentage reductions or adding extra health to the character, absorbs some damage on a hit. For example, if a player has 600 health, the armour has a bonus of 50, and the player is being hit by a 150 damage attack, the player takes 100 damage as the armour has absorbed 50 of it. Unenchanted armour has a health pool, and the more damage it absorbs the closer it gets to breaking. Different parts of an armour set absorb different amounts of damage, and some areas are completely unprotected but are often hard to hit.


Aesthetics/Customisation


Aesthetics


Landscape: As in Baldur’s Gate and Morrowind, the landscape would need to vary between areas. With the exception of Solitude and Markarth (and the DLC areas), Skyrim’s landscape is quite dull after the first few hours of gameplay. Different cities would have their own individual twists in terms of architecture, colour and building materials. As the game would be split into several parts (see Module System), each different section could be slightly different in design to the last ad the heroes (or villains) travelled the land. Weather would also change dependent on area, to further add to the design (as well as limiting player visibility in the case of snow or storms).


Spells: One of the coolest things in the DnD universe is the magic system. In this game, there could be two ways of casting, either straight from the hand or by use of a sigil. The ‘S’ spells’ movement component could be the hand movements needed to draw this sigil in the air.


Graphics: Obviously, the graphics of the game will be very good. As technology has developed so too have graphics, and if a game like Planescape Torment had been run on a modern graphics engine it would have looked amazing. However, many players will not be able to handle Shadow of Mordor level graphics, and so the game will have support for players running on “potatoes”, and must be well optimised.


Customisation


Characters: Many people enjoy creating their perfect characters as much as they do playing them. There will be an advanced character creation section, allowing players to make the characters’ faces and bodies. Each character would have his own emblem (uploadable by the players themselves) for shields and armour, to make each one truly unique. This emblem would also serve as an ‘S’ component for magic-users’ custom spells.


Dyeing/design: Armour and clothes looted from monsters and chests would be a particular colour and have a particular pattern, but the appearance of equipment from shops could be changed when the items are bought. Found items could be taken to a dyeing NPC who would change the colour and design, for a sum of gold. Unique items would be locked to a particular colour, so if you’re struggling to pick between two magical items you can just pick whichever looks best!


Module System


World: As mentioned earlier, completely open worlds swiftly become flat and repetitive. The best way to stream players through a particular (interesting) path is to lock areas (through geography, like raised bridges or guarded gates) until players have completed main quests in the last area. Also, design main quests to be difficult enough that players need to complete side quests for experience and items before being able to complete them. There will be wilderness within each area, allowing for open-world-like exploration, just limited to avoid boredom.


Story: The story will also be designed in these module-like sections. Obviously the same story will run through the entire game (and any potential follow-ups), but different sections of story, leading to specific dungeons/bosses, will be split into the areas mentioned above. Side quests will also be area-specific, although some might link back to previous areas and characters as players would be allowed to travel back to anywhere they had previously been. If players were not high-level enough to complete quests, the quest NPCs would hint at that by saying that they were not ready, not professional enough, etc.


AI


The 4 Levels


Passive: When enemies haven’t been alerted to your presence, they will just wander aimlessly, patrol, and wait in groups.


Alert: When enemies have seen a flash of a player or been distracted by an ability (see Stealth), they will send someone out to check the disturbance. If the enemy comes back having found nothing, the group will return to passive, but if he doesn’t return (or they catch sight of a player), they will switch to Ready.


Ready: In this state, enemies will be prepared for the players to attack. They will have unsheathed swords and raised shields, archers will have knocked arrows, and magic-users will have prepared spells ready for instant casting. As soon as a player is seen, they will attack. If they see nothing for a few minutes, they will return to Alert and then back to Passive.


Fighting: The enemies will be fighting, and will chase down players if they try to run. Obviously, if an enemy sees a player for longer than a split second, it will jump straight from Passive or Alert to Fighting as opposed to going up the levels one by one.


Stealth


Senses: Enemies will be able to use all their senses as opposed to just sight as in many stealth games. If an enemy sees a player (even if that player is crouched), the player will be detected and the enemies will go up one or more alert level. If the player is hiding in shadows (literally, not in the sense of the DnD ability), it will take longer for enemies to see the player and they might miss him completely if only looking casually as opposed to searching. Crouching is useful more in terms of sound that sight, in that it makes less of a footstep noise for enemies to hear. Depending on the type of ground, players will make more or less noise and as such will be able to sneak closer to enemies faster without being detected. Stealth levels will also affect the noise players make, but not how easy it is to see them. Certain weapons/armous make louder noises than others, and enemies will be able to hear players talking (see Voice Chat). Some enemies, such as wolves, will be almost impossible to sneak up on without special spells or items, due to their keen senses of smell.


Distraction: Enemies could be distracted by sounds or sight, such as by players throwing coins or rocks, archers shooting walls, and rogues using special abilities like Throw Voice.


Behaviours: Radiant AI, while good, is slightly unnecessary unless the players plan on stalking an NPC for a full day/night cycle. However, NPCs should have cycles relating to the time of day. For example, particular NPCs should do tours of the areas, patrol certain places, and go to bed at night. It wouldn’t be anything like realistic to have the same quest-giver sitting in the same chair of the same pub all day every day. This would also encourage players to look around areas at different times, to see if they have missed any NPCs, instead of just scanning areas once then moving on. If players didn’t want to take the time to check at different times of day, it would add to replayability, as they might arrive at an area at a different time on another playthrough.


Environmental Design/Interactivity


Locks/Traps: The lock-picking system itself will work similarly to that of Skyrim and Fallout 3/4, why mess with a system that works? If a player is just to low-level for a lock, there will be literally no spot in which they can turn the lock. When just in the level, the spot is very small and will only appear at certain times, to simulate the character’s inability to find the spot. Then, at higher levels, the lock spot gets bigger and bigger. The traps would be literally built around rooms, with the mechanisms only visible to those with the Find Trap ability. The character would have to work out the mechanism of the trap, before finding a particular spot in which to remove a part and deactivate the trap. The higher the level of Find Trap, the more of the trap network would be greyed out, to signify your character’s knowledge. Even when the character tried to remove the correct part, there would be a dexterity roll, which if failed would trigger the trap.


Player interactivity: Of course, players would be able to interact with the environment. Wooden things could be burnt, water could be frozen or electrified, etc. Archers could trigger traps by shooting the triggers, and rogues would have to be careful not to step on anything that would make too much noise. Spiky things would be able to damage characters, so racks of spears could become weapons! Enemies would be able to be thrown from high places, and magic users could even blast them into pits of spikes. Loud or groundshaking spells would alert enemies from nearby, so parties going for a stealthy approach would have to stick to simple spells as opposed to fireballs.


Damage Types


Unlike in most games with enchanted weapons, this game will intelligently handle the DnD 5e damage types. Fire would burn wood, lightning would affect water, acid could melt metal, etc. This would give elemental arrows, weapons and spells much more strategic, as opposed to simply doing extra damage for the sake of it.


Levelling / Reputation


Levels: While this game will roughly follow DnD levelling, there will be some differences. In terms of statistics (health, etc.), the levelling will follow DnD rules. However, instead of weapon proficiency points being assigned by level, your weapon skill would automatically level as you used that kind of weapon. This prevents players from jumping straight into weapons at high proficiency levels, and adds a level of realism in that you need to be experienced in order for your character to be. Besides this, the rules for rogue points, mage spells, etc. would follow 5e.


Reputation: Now, this game will allow to play good or evil. Quests will have multiple endings, each giving equal rewards for either alignment. Shops will sell cheaper to good parties due to their hero status, and cheaper to evil parties due to fear. Good parties will be ambushed by bandits, evil parties attacked by guards.


Voice Chat


This game will include in-game voice chat, and will encourage players not to talk on Skype. Since the in-game voice chat will work with distances (people sound quieter from further away), players who go off alone have to return to talk again. Monsters can hear players talking (although not understand them), so parties have to be careful!


Resting


When in the outdoors, there would be a random chance that when you attempted to rest (to regain spells and stamina, cast long ritual-style spells, and just change the time of day), you would be ambushed. If in a dungeon, you would not be allowed to rest until your floor was clear.


Replay/Video


The game will buffer a customisable number of previous minutes of gameplay. This buffer can then be imported into a replay manager which allows the footage to be edited and rendered in high quality to create gameplay videos. Footage can be manipulated, with time slowed, camera angles changed, and filters applied. This way, you could construct a short film of your favourite battle, and “film” it to look even cooler after the fact.


Minigames


Sometimes individual players may need to spend a few minutes on individual recon missions (for example, thieves may have to scout for enemies/traps). To eliminate potential boredom, the remaining players can indulge in a number of pastimes built into the game. These could include card games, rock/paper/scissors, brawling, target practice, etc.


Singleplayer


Characters can play solo while their party members are offline. This would allow warriors to go and compete in arenas, thieves to…well…steal, and magic-users to research new spells and magical items, in mystery-style quests.


Shops


Try before you buy. Shops allow you to:

- Try on clothes and armour. Pick colours/designs.

- Try out weapons and armour – and spells?

- Customize existing weapons/armour.

- Purchase special stock based on reputation/level.


Guilds


Guilds can offer training which improves weapon accuracy/adds special attacks. Guilds can offer side quests which will be quests the guild members themselves couldn’t perform for various reasons, but which reward the party with special class-specific items.


Training


Once your party picked characters, you’d be stuck with them for an entire campaign. For this reason, the game will have a training mode before you play, allowing you and your party to pick generic versions of each main class to test together.


Alignment


At any particular time, the whole party, based on the combined alignment of their collective acts, have a position on the alignmentometer. This is a position within a circle drawn around a cross with axes good/evil and chaotic/lawful, with true neutral at its centre. Thus, the whole party will gain general bonuses as their party behaviour aligns with their respective alignments, and general deficits as their behaviour does not align with their alignments. This also gives a concept of a buffer whereby, for example, repeated good behaviour allows for some exceptional bad actions to be performed without tipping into evil. Obviously actions will be weighted such that doing something downright grim will affect the alignmentometer far more than a minor infraction.

This is as simple to implement as having the concept of alignment linked to actions. There would have to be some subtlety added by context of action, for example “stealing” from a chest in a dungeon is not wrong, “stealing” from some random person’s house, or a public area is wrong. Context is important: stealing from a house which is a necessary part of a quest for a greater good would not be wrong, but outside of the quest it would be wrong.

Singleplayer actions (see Singleplayer) would not affect the alignment of the party.


Development


Although the game concept will be open-source, we can’t program it. Once this document has been made into its best form, we’ll either give it (with the petition) to a games company, or (potentially) try to pull together some sort of indie conglomerate. Indie games companies are much closer to the ground than big games companies, and have much more diverse skills. Of course, they are usually quite small so several companies would be required to focus on individual parts. Small-scale game prototypes could be released to the Internet, allowing users to test the game engine and mechanics and provide regular feedback.


If you’d like to contribute an idea, post it in the comments with the following format after it: “© [your name], [the year]”, and I will include it (with your copyright) in the document. In posting a message with this copyright in the replies to this one, you agree that you are happy for your ideas to be used by games companies of the authors’ choice.


© Martin Patefield-Smith and Chap Patefield-Isacoff (El1teKatana), 2016.

Don't you listen to these negative Normans El1teKatana everybody wants to hear such good gospel as you're preachin. I say enlarge your campaign, send this an all your other ideas to game dev companies an publishers on a daily basis, do a Youtube video talkin about it, bombard every forum wi your ideas, start a Kickstarter, start a Patreon (may need to dye your hair pink an say you're a bird ocassionally,) pay some devs to make you a mock up.

Above all though don't get discouraged, keep sending your ideas an designs out, resend em if they're rejected, ask for feedback from all communities an keep em informed of what you're doing.

Good luck an don't give up, an share feedback wi Codex an all, we'll help all we can.

Oh don't forget to post on Facebook, Twitter an all other social media shit, do it hourly if needs be, keep your ideas in everybodies mind.
 
Last edited:

Mastermind

Cognito Elite Material
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Bethestard
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Apr 15, 2010
Messages
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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
May I please ask how this is relevant?

Your entitlement is way off the charts. Nobody wants to slave away at their keyboard to make a game for some random dipshit on the Internet. Most of us already have our hands full working on shit we'll never finish.
 

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