Monday, January 28, 2013

Game Idea: Zombie Apocalypse

In most "Zombie Apocalypse" type games, shooting zombies is the only measure of skill. Not here...far from it, in fact.

When you log in, you can create a character. Perhaps a few strategic customization options here - select a policeman and you'll start off with a gun. Then, you are thrown into the game in a random location. The game world would be hundreds if not thousands of blocks across. Each "block" contains one place of interest, IE a police station, or a hospital, or a grocery store. You have a very simple interface holding the following:

This shows where you are and the locations in 8 directions around you.
This shows you your stamina and any other pertinent information about you.
This is where all your items are. You can use them (shoot, eat, bandage, whatever) or throw them away. That's about it.
This is what's in you area. All the items there (which you can pick up), as well as the "Fortification" level.

Now, the most important thing about this game is that there's basically only one key value: your stamina. Moving to another location, or fortifying your location, loses stamina. Eating gains it. If a zombie enters your location, you die instantly. If you run out of stamina, you die instantly. Dying causes all your items to be dropped on the ground, and you become a zombie.

Zombies cannot hold items. All they can do is walk around. Attempting to walk into a fortified area sacrifices stamina, but breaks down the fortification a bit. If a player shoots at you, you lose stamina. Either dying or killing a player will end this period and allow you to become a human again.

And that's really all there is to it. Most of these ideas have been rather open-ended, but the whole point of the game is that it's very, very simple. But these systems should self-regulate themselves, as long as you have a few active players then it could easily go on forever.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Beyond the Pick

Beyond the Pick
Beyond the Pick is a Minecraft mod I'm currently developing. It uses Minecraft Forge, so it is both singleplayer and multiplayer, and is compatible with other Forge mods. The idea is to add more content while not changing the feel of Minecraft.

Feature List


(Any ingot can be converted into dust and back.)

(Alloys are made by crafting two or more dusts together to make the alloyed dust.)
Copper + Tin
Copper + Zinc
Iron + Coal

Pickaxe, Sword
Pickaxe, Sword

(I intend to add some form of genetic breeding to get these plants. For the moment, they have simple crafting recipes.)
(Glows in the dark, drops glow stone.)
Seeds + Torch
(Can only grow near water, currently drops wheat. I plan to change the drop.)
Seeds + Water Bucket
(Drops string.)
Seeds + String
(Drops wool.)
Seeds + Wool

These are the current features implemented. I'll try to update the post as I add more. Maybe I'll even include a download link!

Friday, November 9, 2012

On Mud Design - Part 2

Right, so I realized I didn't give enough information on my previous post about my actual game, so I've decided to write a continuation.
On Mud Design - Part 2
Let's start with the basics. I'm going with a post-apocalyptic steamjunk  genre. Steamjunk is a variety of steampunk; it's when steam machines, rather than work beautifully, break down and are cobbled together. This technological trouble is caused by some natural disaster, the cause of which is currently unknown. But in essence, only a few settlements exist. They're more like forts, really. Not to keep out monsters - this is no zombie apocalypse - but to keep out raiders with guns.And this brings me to next major feature.

PvP. This game will be mostly PvP. I may add some PvE but only for grinding purposes. The key thing here is players don't disappear when they are offline. They just "go to sleep". It's easy enough to murder these players while they "sleep". However, PvP is disabled within settlement walls. So sleep in a city, and you're safe. Sleep in the wilderness, and chances are you'll wake up dead. There will be some ways to allay this-you'll be able to hide in objects which will mean you will only be revealed upon closer inspection of the object. Unfortunately, you can't move while hiding, so this is only a desperate attempt to prevent yourself from being killed. The best hunters will be those who look everywhere.

This is starting to turn into a design doc, isn't it? Well, that's okay. I always intended to be very open about the development of this game.

Anywho, I'll edit this post with more details...whenever I feel like it, I guess. If you're reading this, comment. Please. Just a little thing to show someone actually cares :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On MUD Design

Been too long since I posted a blog. Wanted to do one but never got around to it. So I said, "up yours, procrastination!" And here we are...

On MUD Design
Alright, I'm going to come right out and say it. I don't like playing MUDs.


Alright, now that that's settled in, let's talk about why.

First thing's first, it's not that I don't like MUDs. I don't like playing MUDs. The idea has so much potential for creativity, it could be amazing. But most MUDs today (and maybe before, but I wouldn't know, I've only recently gotten into the genre - 10 years to late) are either:

Too combat oriented or too elitist.
Too generic or too unusual.
Too spammy or...yeah only too spammy. Information overdrive!

This is a problem. MUDs can do better. They can be amazing experiences that put the "social" back in "social games" and the "RP" back in "MMORPG."

But let's backtrack a little. How did I get into MUDs? Well, it started with IF, or interactive fiction. Or text adventure. Think Zork. This is a genre I couldn't really get started on until I played the wonderful game Vespers. You should go find it and play it. It's great. Seriously.

But anyway, I loved Vespers and started playing all the IF I could find. IF was great. I like reading, I like thinking, I like playing games. We were in love right away.

But something was a little off. They sometimes felt forced. The storyline was something you were locked into. Re-playing a game made it very obvious that there wasn't much room for deviance.

There was another problem. The worlds were empty and tiny. I always wanted to go beyond the monastery gates in Vespers and into Rovato. But I never could. That frustrated me. Exploration is a huge pleasure for me.

So, I left IF for a few months. I didn't play it at all. And then something happened...I recalled a game genre I had heard of before. MUDs. I started to look into it. A multiplayer text adventure? Amazing! I was fascinated!

So I went looking for MUDs to play. I realized that the genre was far beyond it's prime and the greatest games would no longer exist. But I went looking anyway. And I found a few fairly active games. But I just couldn't get into them. They weren't inviting enough, friendly enough, for the reasons I've mentioned before. It's like Shamus Young said; it's easy enough to play a game in a genre you've been playing for a decade, but new players will need a gentle start.

That's what I want to make. Something to ease players into the world. But this does not mean it will be easy. I'm going to make PvP very brutal. Decide to sleep in the wilderness? You'll find yourself dead.

So the game will be hard. But it will be accessible. It won't spam new players with very long chat messages that make no sense. It won't have very long character creation, if any at all.

That's the plan. We'll see where it takes us.

Part 2

Monday, October 15, 2012

Status Update

Yet another status update! I know these posts will be basically useless in the future, but I think I've put off posting for far too long.

My three project philosophy remains the same, but, sadly, I've abandoned all three of my previous projects. Some of them may return in the future, but I wasn't having fun working on them, and that's what really matters to me. Hence, my new projects:

Long Term Team Project: ???
I'm afraid I can't reveal any details yet, but with any luck, this collaboration should turn out most awesome. It's my most ambitious project yet, so stay tuned!

Long Term Personal Project: Turn based RPG
Think Pokemon. This isn't actually an individual project - I'm working with a long time friend - but I'm doing it for personal reasons. Again, I can't reveal much detail yet, but I have a reason to finish this game, so hopefully it'll go far.

Short Term Personal Project: MUD
Any of you who've made a MUD, you'll know it's not a short term project. But, I'm not certain how long I'll actually work on it (I might very well not finish it), so, that's why it goes here. This one actually has a play-able demo, click here. Go try it out!

Friday, August 31, 2012

FPS/Roguelike Hybrid

First of all guys, sorry I've been gone so long. (Haha, like anyone actually reads this.) I had computer issues. But now I'm back to posting!

Anyway, I've been experimenting over the past 2 days with an FPS / Rogue like hybrid. It's sci-fi, set on a space station, and it's looking pretty cool. It has gameplay like classic FPSes (IE Doom, the original one) but features of roguelikes such as randomly generated levels, inventory management, customization, and perma death.

I'll show you a few screenshots of my progress so far.

Customization screen. I'm feeling pretty good about this so far.

Gameplay with some temporary textures. These will be replaced.

I also entered the Ludum Dare! I made a town building sim where you "evolve" your little village. You can play it here: Magistrate.

Thanks for reading! See you later!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Game Idea: Space Station Survival

In this game, you create a character each time you want to play. Your character can have a certain job which affects their skills and items; a security officer will get a gun, a technician will get a toolkit. Then you spawn in on a space station. This is a MMORPG, so all the other players are there, and the space station is persistent; it never resets. The space station has been attacked by alien zombies. Your objective is to stay alive and to help others. You can move around and interact with things: open doors, repair computers, and etc. Repairing the space station and killing aliens will earn you points. Eventually, however, the aliens will get you. Then you turn into an alien. Your goal is now to kill players and wreck havoc. You can quit the game at this stage of course, but then you lose all the points you accrued as a human as well as the points from the alien, so that's not a good idea. When you are killed by humans, you are now back to the character create screen. However, the points you earned will allow you to start as new jobs, get perks, etc. So this game is a game where you only play for short sessions, but while alive, you have to try to make the world better for you and the other players.