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"Content-less" Online RPG Project - Starting Small(ish)

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    "Content-less" Online RPG Project - Starting Small(ish)

    Maybe those kooks on the street corners were right: Repent or be punished by God. Strangely fitting words as we stand on the brink of starvation looking up to the skies. Now word is that our final hope lies not in the sky, but within wires and lines of code; that it sits in the frail hands of engineers! “Utopia is a data cycle away and it can be harvested!” Bold propaganda, but I refuse to believe a cure for our troubles would come that easy.

    So here I sit with the last remnants of mankind, preparing for whatever awaits us on the other side. Give the sane access to the heavens, find progress, maybe even salvation. Give the desperate and hungry access... I guess we'll see.
    Project Divine is a 'contentless' RPG based on the tagline “The most fun 5 levels you’ll ever gain.” Because it is indie-developed with very little funding, we’ll be using a “minimal-content” approach. Rather than focus on creating a full commercial game as most indie teams do (and fail), we’ll focus on creating an incredibly short, but fulfilling and feature-rich experience. In simple terms, the project only includes content for levels 20-25 (one stage), giving players a good idea of what the game would be like were it a full game, but saving massive amounts of development time that would be spent generating art assets for the other ~80 levels. The main goal of Project Divine is to have players finish the content we do provide and wish that there was more.

    Note, this project was begun awhile back and we currently have a good deal of art assets. We went into hiding a bit while we waited for our first programming milestone. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, our lead programmer had to drop out, leaving us with a fairly big hole. With the upcoming release of UE4, a decision was made to hold off on any further progress until UE4 was released as it'd likely be easier to begin anew on programming than just try to fill that hole and repurpose. Now that that's happened, we're coming back out of the woodwork to continue.

    The easiest way to describe the game would be a mix between Diablo (loot, character progression, etc) and Dynasty Warriors (Open stages, fluid chaotic combat). Players control single hero that gains levels and items, as well as a group of officers they can customize and command to move around the battlefield. "Quests" are broken down by stages, where the player/team of players will fight against AI controlled opponents on a stage. After completing the main objective, players gain experience/items and can move on to the next stage. At this time, we'll be focusing solely on single-player/co-operative multiplayer but depending on budget/timing we may add some competitive multiplayer functionality.

    Here's some of our design goals:
    • Unique, fluid combat system using WASD movement system. No simple ‘hold down mouse button until dead; repeat’. Each consecutive mouse click performs part of a combo. Enemies also cast area of effect or power attacks that can be evaded.
    • Deep character customization on multiple levels (including underling officers), such as stats, skills, perks, etc, not “hit level 10, unlock X”.
    • Rewarding gameplay with constant improvement (frequent leveling), not “Do 100 quests to gain 1 skill point”
    • Give players a reason to repeat content outside of “This boss drops X and I need that.”
    • Multiple hordes of enemies at a time (a’la Dynasty Warriors), not “only pull 1 mob at a time”, but also require strategic planning and active reflexes for encounters (no button mashing)
    • Competitive Co-operation: At the end of each stage, receive scores based on a number of criteria. Compare scores between friends after the stage, or compare your team to others.
    • MMO-style unique boss-fights that require proper positioning and have multiple phases, not “face-tank and spam left-click”. Stage bosses are unique encounters, not just enemies with higher stats.
    • Diverse skillset to break monotony of left and right-click weapon attacks. Player-controlled hero has access to several skills to control and manipulate the battlefield.


    Team Structure

    Right now, the team is primarily freelancers doing a bit of work here and there for us. We've got some awesome character and enemy concepts in the work as well as some 3D stuff coming down the pipe. As a very young project, we're moving fairly quickly.

    Talent Needed

    Creative Designer (Hobbyist only):

    While I'll be handling most of the production and systems design, I'm terrible when it comes to the creative aspect. This spot would be filled by someone who has extensively played similar game-types and has experience doing creative design, including story-line and universe shaping. Experience in Art Direction is also a plus.

    3D Environment and/or Character Artist (Hobbyist/Freelancer):

    Our 2D pipeline is in great shape and we currently have almost all planned characters accounted for and most environmental things are also in the works.

    At this time, one of our larger needs is 3D artists for either characters or environments. On top of our characters and environments being awesome, the Isometric camera game-type means you can cut a few corners here and there, cutting down a bit of the time a job like this requires.

    Character Animator (Hobbyist/Freelancer):

    Self-explanatory.

    Contact Method

    Skype - CThomlison
    E-mail - CThomlison@gmail.com


    Compensation Plan

    In some exceptional cases, I am willing to pay for work at indie (or less!) wages. Note, this is personally funded, not commercially. I'm always up for work/quote discussion, so feel free to contact me in any case.

    As for hobbyists, everyone puts "you get money when game is released", but that never happens. You're probably not going to make money from this, but in the case that we happen to shake the foundations of the world, we'll figure it out when that stage gets closer.


    Last Words
    Again, our website can be found at http://www.divine-game.com. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Thanks!




    #2
    Hi CThom,

    I'm a Game and Web Programmer. Interestingly, I admire the concept behind MMOs, but, don't play them. I feel that some form multiplayer inter-connectivity (turn-based or real-time) and interfacing to the WWW can truly breath life into a game. My first UDK Project was a Pseudo-MMO. A Coop multiplayer FPS RPG with MMO features such as persistence, economy, political systems, social systems and more.

    The co-developer for that project bailed on me. Since that time, I've continued to study UDK and settled on what will be my FINAL attempt to produce a commercial game product. Many of the ideas and design concepts for OverArc were rolled into the framework design for my Game Console Simulator: Arcade Komodo.

    I believe Modular Construction for everything is the key to pulling it off, that includes code and media assets. One cannot rule out the Art Assets. I devise game systems with consideration to networking, modular construction, and player customization in mind. We have many game design goals that are similar, however, our commercial goals are not aligned (and this has proven to be counter-productive in the past.) Nevertheless, I believe we could still have valuable conversation about developing a Pseudo-MMO.

    Comment


      #3
      Bumping for website and updated post.

      Comment


        #4
        Just to make sure my e-mail didn't get lost: I guess not receiving an answer means no interest in collaboration?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by asdfguy View Post
          Just to make sure my e-mail didn't get lost: I guess not receiving an answer means no interest in collaboration?
          Can you re-send it? Granted I'm slightly behind on e-mails, but I thought I had hit most of them.

          Thanks,
          Chandler

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by CThom View Post
            Can you re-send it? Granted I'm slightly behind on e-mails, but I thought I had hit most of them.

            Thanks,
            Chandler
            Alright, done.

            Comment


              #7
              http://www.gamedev.net/blog/355/entr...making-an-mmo/

              http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/que...-develop-a-mmo

              Comment


                #8
                I understand you're short on content, consider the following solutions:

                Use modular construction system that connect smaller 3D parts to assemble a variety a larger complex entities. UDK's Slots and TargetMorphs systems are designed for this. A couple of hundred entity variations could be generated from a dozen or so different parts per part-category. Modify part textures and shaders to exponentially increase variations. Practically every character, weapon, vehicle, furniture, structure, etc could be constructed in this manner. The system can produce a library of prefabricated entities and entity customization.

                Automate entity assembly with a random entity generator. Accept Player-assembled creations.

                Consider Crowd-sourcing the Part-Art to generate content. Hold a contest. People love to see their name in the credits. There are thousands of 3D tinkerers out there who may not be able to sculpt a full body in polygons, but can make a very pretty 3d foot, hand, etc. In this scenario, its quantity over quality, however, I personally feel you will see some unexpected high quality as a small part demands focus on smaller details.

                Networking or AI skills are a plus, but not at all requires.
                I highly recommend requiring experience in UDK networking and web programming. UDK TCPLink Class is going to be your friend in setting up connections to Web Servers. You can use these connections to communicate to online databases and web apps. I personally feel that a majority of your MMO-ish features will be realized within the WWW interface.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi there, do you require a sound designer/composer for your project?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hi, I would also be very interested in doing sound design or music if you are looking for someone. Heres a link to my site:

                    www.jacktheobald.com

                    I do have many more examples too if you require it.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Bumping for some new content!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        UpupupUpupup

                        Comment


                          #13
                          you do know an mmo without the full ue3 source is not possible right?
                          do you mean mo? (multiplayer online)

                          edit:
                          not to try and discourage you but its a hard coded technical limit that no amount of enthusiasm will conquer.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by tegleg View Post
                            you do know an mmo without the full ue3 source is not possible right?
                            do you mean mo? (multiplayer online)

                            edit:
                            not to try and discourage you but its a hard coded technical limit that no amount of enthusiasm will conquer.
                            It's actually lobby-driven. The mentions of MMO up there are just for design references.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Up. Really looking for another programmer to help our lead out.

                              Comment

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