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Author Topic: Midnight Oil (Editted July 16th 2014)  (Read 1442 times)

Topagae

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Midnight Oil (Editted July 16th 2014)
« on: Jan 28, 14, 04:19:19 AM »

Hello,

Mostly for funsies I'm putting up details of our game here. It's called Midnight Oil. It's basically a steam-punk Shadowrun. It's Eve Online without Spaceships. If that doesn't make sense to you, it's cyber-punk in the 1880's. If that doesn't make sense to you, it's like a Victorian Skyrim with a ridiculous amount of more corporate espionage, nobody is a Dragonborn, and everybody dies. But you know, they come back. If THAT doesn't make sense to you, but you HAVE seen the Matrix. It's that in 1880 New Orleans with Magic, except you're not Neo, you're like. The guy who sold out to Mr. Smith and liked steak. But you're all that guy, and there's lots of different agent corporations running things.

Square? No. Aight, here's an example of our MAIN CORE GAME LOOP. A small story which will attempt to represent within it all of our core game systems.

You: You're a bad-ass leader of a squad of rough and tumble mercenaries. Most people pay you to get things. Things behind locked doors and idiot guards.

Your guild leader just got a commission from Topagae corp. (Shutup, I get a corporation). Their rival corporation, Charlie Co., is building a new awesome steam-gun that shoots lightning shurikens. The pay is good, and muscle is needed, so your guild leader sub-contracts the mission to you, which you share with your team. Should your team bring back the goods as laid out in the contract, you and your guild leader get a sweet piece of the pie and a nice reputation boost with Topagae corp. Time to get to work.

You, but like, another guy: Charlie Co. knows your crafting guild is second to none and just put in an order for a new steam-gun that shoots shurikens and lightning. Badass. You don't have any vacant warehouses so you find one and rent it for a couple days longer then it takes to build the gun. You whip out your sims-like interfact to plop down some science machines, couple science bots, crafting tables, "Unpaid" labor. And all the shiny charts start telling you the gun is getting built. Minus expenses you are making MONEY baby. Being a cautious cat, you ask some of your guildy buddies to watch over it when they can, subcontracting the original build order with some money and terms saying he won't get squat if the gun isn't delivered on time. Sadly, there isn't a lot of boom-boom traps in the Victorian Ikea Catalog, time to go shopping.

"Security" expert: You make home protection devices. Business is good. Some idiot came in and started bragging about how much money he's making off Charlie co. making some new gun. He needs some land-mines, a couple automated turrets, and some sensors to make sure his investment stays invested. Sure, why not. You live to make this stuff, and every idiot burglar that goes boom trying to steal from you is like a very bloody advertisement.

Idiot Burglar: But not stupid enough to try and steal from the explosives expert, smart enough to skulk around listening to the man who needed a lot of hardware. Shuriken lightning gun? Better follow this guy and scope the place out. Wow, he REALLY skimped on the warehouse. I wonder who'll pay for this info.

Lackey guarding warehouse: BOOOOOORED, this gun gets built so SLOWLLLLY. Oh hey, my buddy just logged in. Yea man, just guarding a dumb-ass warehouse. No shit, your squad leader just got a mission to raid this place. 10,000 credits says I take off and don't leave a message. Nice.

Back to you, bad-ass merc: All right. Friend of a friend left his post, idiot burglar just gave me a map of where the mini-gun ISN'T. I got ninja-man to stealth this. If someone manages to spot him, we've got enough of an arsenal to force the issue. Roll-out baby.

So there you have it. All that action because our mission system told one guy to build a gun. And another to steal it. Here's a system over-view with notes and annotations to drive the point home.


Player Actions System: Players in midnight oil are always connected as long as they've logged in recently enough. In addition to manual controls, players will have the ability to program easy state machines to trigger actions based on things that happen in the game. This will allow them advantages in combat, as well as mild protection when logged off or disconnected.
Easy Example: Someone has turned hostile, pull out gun and blast them.

Dossier System: Closely related to the overall Information System, everything you know about another player in the game is recorded as part of their Dossier. Depending on how you collect and make use of Dossiers, they can be valuable when sold or give you in-game bonuses when dealing with people. Combat is incredibly deadly in Midnight Oil, any player will be able to kill any other player in short order if they're not careful. It is also somewhat easy to be resistant to a couple forms of damage. Because of this, knowing your opponent is usually the difference between victory and death.
Example: The idiot burglar with his high perception skills got a good read on the crafter to allow him to pass his info onto the merc for a little scratch.

Information System: Related to the Dossier, information is fundamental to the system, and everything you can think of is tracked and eventually can be found be those people looking. Cover your tracks!
Example: Again, the idiot burglar made a dossier of the guard and all the stuff in the warehouse, sold for a tidy sum so that the merc could go in and not get dead by way of avoiding all the traps.

Reputation System: The system that serves to keep everybody in-line and civil, the reputation system provides much of the impetus to not be a jackass. For corporations it acts like factions in any other MMO, static value of how much they like you. For other PLAYERS it works like Ebay. When you share a contract with a person you have the option of leaving a star rating and feedback. This allows players to build up a good reputation that allows them to interact better with other players (Or prevent bad reputation players from getting work until they shape up). It also allows for variable successes in contracts.

For example, in the story above, if the gun is completed, the guard who abandoned his post would still technically have fulfilled his contract (By dumb luck) but his employer can leave a bad rating because obviously he failed at the spirit of the contract. On the flip-side, had he stayed and did put up a VALIANT effort to defend the place, but failed. His contractor could leave a great rating and a partial reward for a job well done despite failing to meet contract terms.

Combat System: MO is a combat-oriented game. The combat system will be deadly. A character who has just joined the game with a gun will be able to cap the very first player on the server if they aren't paying attention for a few moments. Protecting yourself is a matter of trying to play the angles because it is somewhat easy to be highly resistant to a few forms of damage, impossible to be highly resistant to most or all forms of damage.

Perception System: Everything in the game you can see, you can see for a reason. Hard to explain, but a lot of character investment for a smart player will be perceiving other players and their actions and consequently hiding themselves and their actions from others. With high enough skills, the right equipment and abilities. Cat burglars can lift things without a trace, assassins murder someone without ever being pinned.  Combat is especially quick and deadly, so very quickly in this world will people find safe havens, and invest heavily in skills/abilities/equipment that help you find others, and not be found yourself. Also applies in the heat of combat, so if the enemy ninja throws a flashbang, your rocket launcher won't be much use if you can't target the guy who just stabbed you in the stomache.

Skill System: Everything you can do in the game is described by a skill, making them integral to the game-play. On their own they do nothing, but they scale all of your abilities in some way as to make them more effective.

Abilities: Abilities are unlocked by having the pre-requisite skills and are usable in the game world, most commonly as a combat "Power" or "Spell". Also includes passive abilities that can be equipped in lieu of active abilities. There is a set limit of how many abilities can be equipped to a character at a time. Most will develop several loadouts to deal with various situations, with a mixture of different utilities for different tasks.

Building System: Crafting the interiors of buildings, for missions and any other purpose you want. Build a secure safe-house. Build a bar and charge admission. Build a store and sell your stuff. Plop down some researchers and make a shuriken lightning gun for somebody =).

Contract System: The fundamental driving force behind interpersonal relationships, and the tool the Mission System uses to act upon the game. The Contract system will be a build-a-contract with game definable terms to allow players to assign or subcontract missions to other players given to them from the game world, or between each other. Make a contract to make some guns. Challenge a guy to a duel and make a contract forcing one player to give up their prized sword if they lose.

Mission System: This is the automated system that will create and dole out missions and rewards in such a way that the game stays basically balanced. The mission system uses the Contract System to do most of it's dirty work- it only needs to create contract terms intelligently.

Equipment System: Instead of "Chase the higher tier" style of MMO equipment, MO equipment is instead more for utility. Though there are tiers of equipment that are better then others, more importantly most abilities and in-game actions will require the use of specific equipment. Like abilities, players will probably keep lots of different sets of equipment handy for different tasks. But don't get attached, equipment deteriorates, can be lost, and will eventually be beyond repair and get broken. In addition, all but the most basic equipment must be crafted by other players, making for a healthy economy where players will have to constantly get new equipment somehow.

Team System: Player teams are well supported by the game, allowing for shared contracts, equipment, money, and information. All teams also possess their own forums, chat rooms, and other aspects of the Information System

Crafting System: Equipment is much more temporary then most MMO's, and all but the most basic stuff has to be player crafted. These facts allow us to have a robust crafting economy where many players can be involved in the creation of many different kinds of equipment as a fun part of the game. Recipes are not permanent, so you can't get every recipe and be your guilds "Alchemist" and make every potion in the game. Instead, crafters create blueprints that can make certain amounts of whatever the blue print can build. This will allow for awesome customization, random generation of cool stuff, and a healthy economy where equipment enters and leaves the world through bloody violence and money changing hands. That or you can just kill a guy and take his stuff. Classic.

Q and A:
Feel free to ask any questions and I will answer. To start with

Q: Are you recruiting.
A: YES. We need 1-2 more devs, if you're interested.

Q: Aren't you afraid someone will steal your ideas?!
A: No. Ideas are cheap, execution is hard and expensive. That's why we're all here using someone else's MMO framework.




« Last Edit: Jul 16, 14, 02:31:06 PM by Topagae »
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