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Project "Pink Void"*

Intro:
"Pink Void" is supposed to be a fun, cooperative, non-massiv, multiplayer online game. Let's call it a simple 2D-Space acarde game enriched with roleplaying elements.

Gameplay:
Most of the game consists of flying around in relativly small sectors, fighting space monstrosities for experience and loot and searching for the 'exits' to other sectors.
These sectors should take no more than 4 (or possibly 2) minutes to fly across, but it should still be a bit of a challenge to find the exit to the next sector. The exits would generally be of the 'worm-hole' variety. The ships should be fast and manouverable, but not too toy-like. [Option: Objects may have gravity, attracting ships and loot). The effect of a collision of a player and a non weapon-non loot object will be a passing of energies from one to the other (meaning the ship will bounce of planets ;-) ). Loot objects will be picked up by flying over them. The player has then to confirm the pick-up into his inventory via a keypress. If he decides not to pick it up, it get's dropped at his current location. Semi-picked-up objects will be droppend when entering a wormhole.
Fighting will be done via the mouse, ie. the player clicks the location he wants to shoot at with either the left or the right mouse button. Each ship may have up to two active weapon systems. There will also be one or two spots for "magical artifacts" (like rings in diablo), which can boost the players properties.
Character properties, which can be extendend for every level a player gains with his experience, will be no more than 4. Suggestions include: power (needed for bigger weapons, also boosts acceleration (not max speed!)), computer-intelligence (needed to control weapon systems, also boosts evasive ability, shielding (how much damage your ship can take) and subspace-control (which determines how big your inventory is). I suggest a maximum of a 100 levels, each level brings 5 property points which the player can distribute at will. Different clasess of ships may have different starting and max values for these properties, though we probably will only implement on class of ship for a start.
(Option: Spell system)
Destroyed enemys drop loot based on their level and a certain probability.
We will neither have gold, nor the usual tradesfolk. (That guy in Tristan must have made gazillions from all the warriorsr buying stuff from him ;-)). I don't think we should be having PvP either, because I want a cooperative gaming experience.
Storyline/Gameduration:
Evil coming out of space, you elite of the elite of the elite of earth, go defend ;-). Couple of sidequests, 'find out what happend to mine xxx', sectors randomly generated each game. (Easy, when there are no walls ;-) ). I think a complete 'final' game should be doable in a weekend, call it 20-30 hours... staying on the low side will allow us to add on an expansion later on. For the early testing stage 20 mins will be enough (ie. 2-3 sectors), later maybe two hours, and we'll see from there.

Graphical style:
I see... gloomy, yet shiny and bright at spots, dark, sometimes brushed, metal, planets of all kinds... bigish suns shooting random little solar bursts, character images could actually be loaded in 50x50 images from the web, so that everyone could customize himself a bit. Shield(life) at the left hand side of the screen, power at the right hand side, status displays below... think 800x600, I don't want to have to get more out of the gaming engine right now.

Please comment,
TP

* - we really need a nice name for this!

Comments By WarMage
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I am against using the mouse for combat. The mouse is nice for 3d shooters but if I were to play a 2d flying game I would want to use the keypad. In my experience it makes it much nicer, and allows a bit more control, and the need for a bit more skill. If you could move your mouse over a target and click it makes it a bit easier, than if you were required to have to calculate based on where your ship is pointing, which would increase the need to hone your skill with the weapon's system.

I question the non-pvp nature. I think in order to bring out the game there is a nessesity for character combat. Think waring factions. But I do not feel that killing other characters should offer a good experience bonus if any. The point of killing other players would be to make sure your sector is still controlled by your team, and that your team does not lose experience or money due to another persons existence in your area.

For the experience part. I can see a ships captain gaining experience. I think things such as experience should be used in a fashion that would augment abilities that would appear semi life like. An experienced captain would gain the ability to get the most out of his/her ship, there for you could get a better speed out of your ship, better turning radius, better aiming abilities, the ability to get more shots out at a faster rate.

I also need a little clarification on the lack of a money unit. How would this work? Why would we want this? How would a character accumulate better weapons? Would there be no trading?


Respones by Tyberius Prime
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That's why you have a front and back weapon - the front weapon can only fire front. And of course, you still need to hit. I am all against doomsday devises (think instant teleporter combined with bombs), and more for the old fashion laser gun thing... they'll need a few moments to get where you clicked... it won't be too easy, I promise.

The non-pvp - well, with probably only 8 - 16 players max, do you still think we should implement this? (then, We can always add it later ;-))

As for the money: Didn't I mention? In our Univrese, Fidel conquered first the US, and then the whole rest of the world, and we'r little communist slaves sent out to defend holy mother earth ;-).
No seriously, weapons come from: Loot! And they degrade when used. Someday, you'll have to find an new superduper weapon. If you want to trade with people, do it with the only real space commidiy: Weapons. Or possible health/energy packages, but I'd believe them to be rather plentiful in our universe.

The question remains: What is our character? The Ship, or its captain. I believed the ship, but I might be convinced otherwise.

ps: We still need a name. *g*


Comments By Veneficuz
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I'm more in favour of using the keyboard to control the ship. I've never played a game like this that uses the mouse for targeting so for all I know it might work. But it would seem more 'natural' for me to use the keyboard.

Why not add pvp as an option when creating the universe, or just enable pvp for different regions? From what programming experience I have it doesn't sound that difficult to add this as an option. The reasons WarMage mentioned are all good reasons to enable pvp even though there will only be max 16 players. Think of two teams of 8 ships racing for control over the universe. It would add another challenge to the game, since just playing against the AI might become boring after a while

I'm more in favour of using the pilot as the character. It wouldn't be like most other games of this kind, and it would add a 'new level' to the game. We could then make it possible to take over enemy ships or to trade your ship betweens captains...

The enconomy idea sounds good to me.

Comments by Suho1004
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1. I'm not sure I like the idea of having no money. A barter economy doesn't really make sense in a technologically advanced society. With regards to money, our own society is moving toward abstractness (digital money) rather than concreteness (physical goods for barter). It would also be harder to implement and slightly frustrating to play (I feel)--a laser cannon may be worth 1,000 credits in a money economy, but in a barter economy it would be a lot harder to come to an agreement between players. Barter still exists in a money economy, of course, and could be used to "fill in the rough spots" of a deal. Let's say, for example, that I have the aforementioned laser cannon, and another player has a warp coil. The warp coil is worth far more than the laser cannon, but I don't have anything else suitable to offer in trade, so I just throw in an extra 7,000 credits. I now have my warp coil and the other player has his laser cannon plus liquid assets that can be used later on.

Forcing players to only barter not only presents this sort of difficulty, it also presents the difficulty of volume. One of the primary advantages of money is that it is small in comparison to its worth. That 7,000 credits, for example, may have taken up a fraction of the space the laser cannon did (and if it was digital money, it took up no space). If there is no money, the amount of wealth a player can accumulate is limited by his cargo space.

Also, as I mentioned above, due to the lack of a standard (money), barter economies cannot develop very far. If we want this game to have an interesting economic element to it, money is a must. Otherwise, it is going to be very primitive in the economic aspect. Personally, I would find that frustrating.

2. I would also vote for the captain as the character, rather than the ship. In fact, I would go one further--the captain isn't the only person on the ship, right? You need a communications officer, a pilot, a weapons officer, an engineering officer, etc. As you (the captain) gain in experience and reputation, you not only get more out of your crew (that is, your crew will gain in skill as you gain in experience), but you attract better and brighter crew members. I know we haven't decided the political aspect of the game yet, but if we choose a mercenary route you could hire better and more experienced crew members in various ports, space stations, and planets. It wouldn't be too hard to populate our universe with named characters (what are called NPCs, or non-player characters, in role-playing games), each with their own distinctive traits and skills. For example, we could have Lothar Lightspeed, an engineering expert who is willing to take risks to squeeze that extra bit of speed from your ships warp coils. Characters like this would breathe life into the game, and their addition to the crew could be easily quantified as bonuses (in Lothar's case, maybe +10% to max speed) and penalties (again, maybe +3% chance of engine failure) to performance. Think of the possibilities! Of course, the type of characters and the areas of expertise, etc., would be determined by the game mechanics themselves. But they would be very flexible, and could fit into just about any mechanics you could come up with.

3. As for pvp, I can understand concerns on both sides of the fence. We could set it up so that a player could be either pvp or non-pvp. If they are pvp, they may kill and be killed, and if they are non-pvp they are safe but cannot attack other players (or an attack on another player would bring a heavy experience penalty and immediately make them pvp). Whatever route we go, I agree with WarMage; there should be little to no bonus for actually destroying another player, lest we encourage people to go out of their way to hunt other people down.

4. Regarding game mechanics (mouse vs. keyboard for weapons, etc.), I will leave those sort of things to others. I'm more of an "ideas" person myself, and I would gladly do anything to breathe life into the game universe (create a whole bunch of NPC crew members, design weapons systems and other technologies, etc.). Anytime anyone wants to talk to me about this on Q, just drop me a line (I'm usually invisible) and I'll get back to you (right away if I'm there, or later if I happen to be away).

5. Ah, a nice name. Are we trying to stick with the Ozone theme on this, or are we moving in another direction? How about "Ozone Raiders?" I don't know, that's just off the top of my head. I'll have to think about it some more.

[Notes: Of course, the above "officer" system wouldn't negate ship upgrades. Also, perhaps the officers could gain in experience as the captain gains in experience, and their associated bonuses/penalties could be adjusted, along with their fee. I'll post something later on to give a better idea of what I'm talking about here.]

[OK, here is a tentative design proposal for the officer system. This is just an attempt to organize my ideas, a suggestion for something we might want to implement in the game. If we do decide to implement it, I imagine that it will require a bit of work and fleshing out.]

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Relevant threads:

*ozonia* ad astra, home made

Ozonia Ad Astra (arcade)

Ozonia Ad Astra (strategy)


<Comment from="AT">

Removed the backslashes infront of " and '

</Comment>

(Edited by AT on 12-14-2004 03:44)

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