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The BoM's Hypothetical Game

Discussion in 'Playground' started by Aikanaro, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

    Apr 20, 2002
    Likes Received:
    [​IMG] Due to the time constrants the game is likely going to be recurrent or limited timespan.

    This will probably mean incorporating strategy or puzzle elements into the game. For example the game may be set in a town that is isolated from the rest of the main trade routes by various factors - for example a change in geography such as the blizzards experienced in the Frozen North of Faerun or a neighbouring region driving away monstrous humanoids that make travel too dangerous or even an increase in banditry such as in BG.

    by combining factors like that which can be coded in increase in risk periodically there is a means to make a simple system which has multiple uses.

    If, for example, the catalyst for initiating the game is similar to Fallout - there is a limited timespan that the town has before they run out of food. There is a pretanatural frost destroying crops, monstrous creatures nearby are raiding farms and making the place dangerous at night, bandits are roaming the roads at day stealing money for their own food making it too dangerous to even leave the town. The nearest town that could provide a portion of food is several days travel away.

    That gives three variables at the start - unnatural weather, night time attacks, daytime travel risks. Interfering with one goal - obtain food.

    Then you have options - do you risk bargaining with the bandits? They could perhaps be convinced by a character to hunt the beasts at night time if you can provide them with adequate payment. Do you attempt to defeat the beasts and bandits? This could mean the town is simply abandoned by all the most stubborn members as they have means to leave now. (Which means the town has to be important for some reason to make this option less favourable - perhaps something to do with the relics in Marcerors' post? The town could house a protected relic that prevents the rise of a powerful dragon or is a keystone to one of the angelic/demonic/draconic powers that needs to be kept in balance)

    There needs to be incentive - why were YOU chosen to travel? Do you possess and unnatural power of some kind? Where you a trouble maker that people blame for their misfortunes? Again - could relate to having a mystic ancestry.

    What happens when you achieve your primary goal? In most games once the primary goal is achieved the main crux of the story is initiated. (See pretty much any fantasy RPG) You have saved the village, huzzah! But we want you to leave - being one example. Another could be that after saving the village a bigger problem surfaces - having you sent away from the village was a distraction, taking away the most able person to defend the relic kept in the town meant that it could be desotroyed/stolen/activated without interruption - the villain could still be hidden, a mystery within the village or it could be someone who reveals themselves and it is your duty to uncover the location of the other relics and save them before it's too late DUN DUN DUNNNN

    Climax and scale - If you want to make the game more personal then there needs to be a direct implication between you and your enemy, is this a relative of yours? The cause of your loss of family? Is this your mentor and tutor who sent you on your initial mission who was like a father to you? Is this you evil twin? Or perhaps the good twin? Is the world in danger because you neglected a pre-ordained duty now?

    What if your ancestry as an angelic/demonic/draconic being was because you were sacrificed to fulfill a prophecy? By fulfilling your role as an angelic/demonic/draconic entity you endanger the plans carefully laid out to avert a disaster - perhaps you have a spiritual counterpart who awakens once you realise your own potential - a dangerous equal who owes you his life but cannot bear the risk of letting you live.
  2. Marceror

    Marceror Chaos Shall Be Sown In Their Footsteps Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

    May 3, 2003
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    [​IMG] Alright everyone. Here comes the glorious climax to our hypotethical scenario, which only awaits some final hypothetical results from the idea’s founder, Aik.

    Story - The BI team made their game, using an adapted version of Faye’s story that included prominent BoM board members as the core of its gaming world. Significant time was spent on the story’s development, with Faye as lead writer, and Marceror as an involved collaborator. 8people regularly provided excellent feedback and perspective on the story, that forced Faye to work even harder, but ultimately led to a richer story with a greater emotional impact.

    Engine/Art Style - The engine we used was FIFE, as suggested by Aik, and soon we had a Aik, BlackthorneTA and Morgoth very proficient with it. We had to use some of our hypothetical budget (Aik never supplied me with the amount, you see) to hire a competent artist, who had to do nearly all of the 3d and 2d art herself. Cap’n CJ assisted her and greatly increased his skills along the way.

    In deference to a large portion of our fans, we chose an art style that resembled that of the Baldur’s Gate series, but with a somewhat grittier element, ala Icewind Dale. The final product was an isometric game that while simple in its presentation, was something we were all proud of given the amount of time we had to pull it all together.

    Game Mechanics/Design - 8people worked tirelessly, and closely with Marceror and the programmers to create game mechanics that resembled those of 3rd edition D&D in many ways, but were different enough to be a new system. She also spent a lot of time writing descriptions for in game items and the like with Marceror assisting her when her plate got overfilled. 8 and Marc also had to spend a lot of time writing requirement documents so that the programmers could understand our creative ideas and turn them into reality. There was a hell of a lot more writing required than any of us expected.

    It was a party based game with up to 6 party members. You could play as a warrior type, rogue or mage. There were also healers in the game, and one who was available to join your party early on. There was also a clockwork golem and a ratman, among others, who would join you, making for a rather eclectic and, hopefully, interesting group of adventurers.

    Sound Design - Never before have the sounds of swords hitting, monsters growling, wind blowing, and cities bustling been better realized than by our very own Gaear. He turned out to be something of a prodigy in this area.

    We had to keep voice acting to an absolute minimum, due to time and (perceived) budget constraints. But we did manage to voice some key game moments, and created a nice, voiced game introduction that played whenever a new game was started.

    Music in the game was minimal also. Marceror, a former professional musician, was able to call in some favors with some of his old college buddies to put together some dark, ominous musical backgrounds. It was mostly keyboard based music, with some acoustic/electric guitars and percussion.

    Our title track (the one that plays when you first launch the game) was a ballad, with a piano and a string quartet accompanying. We managed to get Annie Lennox to sing on this one. The last I heard, Annie’s people are still calling Harbourboy for payment. I forgot to mention that one to him before I lined it up. Sorry. I thought this would help put our game on the map.

    Other -
    • Marceror wore a number of hats, but mostly focused on the overall creative design and plenty of project management. Fortunately, Tal made himself available to assist with the project management duties, and together they ensured that deadlines were met in order to deliver within the timeframe we had to work with.
    • Harbourboy kept us honest with our spending, and while I never learned what our budget was, I assume Aik relayed this information to HB. At least, I sure hope so! HB still hasn’t forgiven me for the Annie Lennox thing though.
    • Cap’n CJ, when he wasn't assisting as a concept artist, had to test like a crazed baboon. He got some support from the developers, when they could spare the time, but mostly he was on his own here. We think we’ve squashed most of the bugs, but CJ really could have used more help in this area.
    • Although there are a number of lawyers at sorcerers place, none stepped forward to participate in this project. We did our best to craft sound contracts with our employers, and keep ourselves out of legal trouble, but only time will tell if were successful in this regard.
    • Public relations and advertising? We did none of that ourselves. We left those tasks to our employers.
    • As for Rotku, his smile was so enchanting that we worked it into the cover art for the game. There were even some posters made of that cover art, truly making him our smiley poster boy! ;)

    For what it’s worth, I’m wrapping this up here as to take it a lot further would require a significant time commitment. While in the hypothetical scenario we all have nothing better to do, in reality most of us have very full plates, very full lives. If someone wants to pull a “Scooby Doo ending” and end this some other way, be my guest. This is how I envision things having played out under my direction.

    Aik, please give us a final wrap up. How did our game do? Did it soar or did it flounder? Did we incur serious legal problems? Inquiring minds want to know! :thumb:
  3. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

    Jul 8, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Ill just test the thing when you guys are finished with it
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