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Author Topic: King under the Mountain - Fantasy simulation-based strategy  (Read 30889 times)

Zsinj

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All of those ideas sound amazing. Also, your artwork and GUI look extremely promising. The multiplayer component sounds like it could help breathe some new life into an existing genre.

The main thing I would like to see however, is some sort of over-arching objective. Are we trying to survive against increasingly deadly enemy sieges? Or trying to build up enough wealth to unlock all the fancy construction pieces so we can make a big elaborate castle that will impress visitors? Or struggling to satisfy the demands of nobles so that we can attract a king? Base-building is a great foundation for creative minds, but if you want to hold their interest you'll need some sort of objectives for them to pursue.

Thanks for the interest! That's an excellent point with having objectives to aim for to keep players engaged and definitely a key ingredient to get right. It'll depend on who you're playing as for the most part - researching and collecting lore and magical items as a wizard, unlocking progressively greater secrets and more powerful abilities as a necromancer. As for the dwarves, building up an increasingly expansive and impressive fortress/city is likely one of the goals, though I hope to come up with several to give players a choice of what they're playing for. Attracting or better yet becoming the king ties in directly to the game's name. I really like how Kerbal Space Program pushes you to explore further and further away as you unlock better tech through science - where the science gives diminishing returns if you don't push yourself further. Something along those lines :)
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Zsinj

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Sorry I just edited my last post to hammer it in more - apologies! I just really feel like it'd be a shame to see your obvious talent and dedication go to something that's just absolutely saturated.

In terms of niches, I prefer a wizard/necromancer idea to a dragon, as - whilst it's very cool - I think it'd be difficult to pull off. It's always something you could pull in later, but it might be very difficult to give the dragon the power it needs to be well...a dragon, whilst still keeping it half way balanced. It might also be a difficult thing to display in a way that conveys 'massive dragon' whilst till keeping to tiles. Imagination can carry you so far, but if you basically just look the same as a normal dwarf, it can ruin the effect a bit.

From your earlier edit you're absolutely right that it would be foolish to try and recreate the breadth and depth of DF in anything else and that's not what I'm aiming at doing here. The Dwarf Fortress inspiration is in building a set of interconnected systems to simulate the world based on simple rules that hopefully drive out more complex behaviour. That and trying to capture the magic of the core gameplay in fortress mode. I'll never have procedurally generated dwarven poetry!

I'm also very much in agreement with the difficulties in pulling off the larger scale of a dragon with the graphical style used. It'd definitely take up multiple tiles at least (which should lead to some interesting and more realistic lair design, such as how wide all the dragon-accessible passages need to be). Thanks for the feedback!
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Zangi

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Dwarves are done to death because most developers courting B12 use Dwarves(or little people) as their pitch. 
Most of us replying here have probably also played many similar town builders.

Not bad though, has that Rimworld look to it.  (Watching these posts.)
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All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu...  This is the truth! This is my belief! ... At least for now...
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Zsinj

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Dwarves are done to death because most developers courting B12 use Dwarves(or little people) as their pitch. 
Most of us replying here have probably also played many similar town builders.

Not bad though, has that Rimworld look to it.  (Watching these posts.)

Sounds reasonable, I guess I'm late to the party when it comes to the B12 crowd :) I think Rimworld and Prison Architect have shown the graphical style is an excellent fit for the genre, and that's what I'll be building on. It should be a little more advanced graphically (at least in some ways) from those games, mostly from the dynamic lighting system which I've not gone into too much detail in here yet. You can see it in action from the point light in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd5X5Vzusv0

PS Is there a way of embedding youtube videos here?
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Silverthrone

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I'd still advice a bit of caution. It's quite easy to get lost while chasing after what players might want.

Fantasy-themed settlement games certainly has been done before, but I think that it's for good reason; they're fairly reliable experiences. It's a sturdy foundation to branch out from. It's a very solid, promising project this far, and I would personally recommend that the basic meat-and-potatoes of the gameplay be tied together first, before the more novel features are built on to it. To maintain a managable scope in development.

Don't worry too much about the dwarves. They've been done, but since you're not relying entirely on them, it's not a concept you'll have to bin all together to keep with the times, as it were.
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Zsinj

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Great, that makes me a feel a lot better because that's the plan I'm aiming to stick to - I love the feedback to let me know what I'm generally steering towards but I'm focused on having a vertical slice of the game playable to drive out the basic systems and interactions, as a base to keep building on from there. I'm well aware just how much of a killer scope creep can be and as the gameplay experience of "just dwarves" is a lot better defined, that's where I'll be building from. Same for the somewhat ambitious "asynchronous multiplayer" aspect - it's probably fine by itself but the challenge is going to be mixing it with a very moddable game without blocking mods from being used in it. So thank a lot for all your input so far, I appreciate it!
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Retropunch

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I'd still advice a bit of caution. It's quite easy to get lost while chasing after what players might want.

Fantasy-themed settlement games certainly has been done before, but I think that it's for good reason; they're fairly reliable experiences. It's a sturdy foundation to branch out from. It's a very solid, promising project this far, and I would personally recommend that the basic meat-and-potatoes of the gameplay be tied together first, before the more novel features are built on to it. To maintain a managable scope in development.

Don't worry too much about the dwarves. They've been done, but since you're not relying entirely on them, it's not a concept you'll have to bin all together to keep with the times, as it were.

Whilst I agree to a point, you can be left with a problem that necromancers and wizards/the things that really make it unique become just bolted on reskins. I strongly believe it's best to go for what you want from the get go, rather than think 'I'll build a really bland fortress game, and then add the bits that make it interesting at a later date.'.

It's better to start with the thing that makes your game awesome and expand from there, rather than think 'I'll make it awesome later'.


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With enough work and polish, it could have been a forgettable flash game on Kongregate.

Silverthrone

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Nae worries, I like this project, and I'd really like it to go well. It's easy to feel the innovation pressure when you're doing something, but it's best to give it some time. It's a lot on the plate, but it certainly looks like a damn good start.

I'd still advice a bit of caution. It's quite easy to get lost while chasing after what players might want.

Fantasy-themed settlement games certainly has been done before, but I think that it's for good reason; they're fairly reliable experiences. It's a sturdy foundation to branch out from. It's a very solid, promising project this far, and I would personally recommend that the basic meat-and-potatoes of the gameplay be tied together first, before the more novel features are built on to it. To maintain a managable scope in development.

Don't worry too much about the dwarves. They've been done, but since you're not relying entirely on them, it's not a concept you'll have to bin all together to keep with the times, as it were.

Whilst I agree to a point, you can be left with a problem that necromancers and wizards/the things that really make it unique become just bolted on reskins. I strongly believe it's best to go for what you want from the get go, rather than think 'I'll build a really bland fortress game, and then add the bits that make it interesting at a later date.'.

It's better to start with the thing that makes your game awesome and expand from there, rather than think 'I'll make it awesome later'.


That sort of depends on if the game will be bland and uninteresting at its core. I don't think it necessarily will, as much as it will be basic with room to expand. I imagine the game modes will be fairly similar in a mechanical sense, and thus not too likely to suffer from not being first in the line. If anything, with the basics completed, they might be easier to polish up to their best standard.




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Retropunch

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That sort of depends on if the game will be bland and uninteresting at its core. I don't think it necessarily will, as much as it will be basic with room to expand. I imagine the game modes will be fairly similar in a mechanical sense, and thus not too likely to suffer from not being first in the line. If anything, with the basics completed, they might be easier to polish up to their best standard.

I don't think it'll be bland and uninteresting in a objective way, but more that there's no point making a game that's been done 100 times before to then put in the 'real' content.

More than that, if it's built up in exactly the same way as every fortress game out there, it'll end up being like that at it's core no matter what you add onto it. Yeah sure you're a wizard, but it's basically just gnomes + a wizard character. Building it from the ground up to be about wizards (or whatever) will give it that strong centre that will really grab people.

Take your minions for example - if you're a dwarf they're going to have all sorts of humanoid emotions/needs you need to balance, if you're a wizard you'd probably want a lot less focus on that and more on spell crafting, alchemy and so on. If you build the game up with the first mode in mind, you'll need to do significant changes for the second one, or it'll just be 'golems are just boring dwarves'.
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With enough work and polish, it could have been a forgettable flash game on Kongregate.

Silverthrone

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So, bin the lot and start from scratch with the wizard game mode, basically?

EDIT: That sounds a bit more snide than I intended. But I'm unconvinced. Significant changes will be rather unavoidable; the question is if it is best to stamp out some game modes and try to stitch them together at the bottom, or stamp out a bottom and stitch together the game modes.


« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 04:20:08 pm by Silverthrone »
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Zsinj

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I don't think it'll be bland and uninteresting in a objective way, but more that there's no point making a game that's been done 100 times before to then put in the 'real' content.

More than that, if it's built up in exactly the same way as every fortress game out there, it'll end up being like that at it's core no matter what you add onto it. Yeah sure you're a wizard, but it's basically just gnomes + a wizard character. Building it from the ground up to be about wizards (or whatever) will give it that strong centre that will really grab people.

Take your minions for example - if you're a dwarf they're going to have all sorts of humanoid emotions/needs you need to balance, if you're a wizard you'd probably want a lot less focus on that and more on spell crafting, alchemy and so on. If you build the game up with the first mode in mind, you'll need to do significant changes for the second one, or it'll just be 'golems are just boring dwarves'.

I'm not too worried about building up any piece of content before another - the code is designed to be pretty modular and responsive to change, I wouldn't write my way into a corner making it difficult to add something I know I'd like to add later. There's definitely a question of which features and systems the development priority will be on - I'm really just aiming at getting the main systems in place first - how the map works, how things grow, how characters in the game think, pathfind and communicate, that kind of thing. The beauty of this style of game is it can be approached in a lot of different ways (after the basics) so other than the order they're written in, spell crafting and alchemy don't directly affect other systems in the game (everything should indirectly affect everything else though - see drunken cats!).
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gordy

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rubberduck

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As long as you make sure to enable multi-tile creatures. You'll need that for the dragon  ;)
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Retropunch

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I'm not too worried about building up any piece of content before another - the code is designed to be pretty modular and responsive to change, I wouldn't write my way into a corner making it difficult to add something I know I'd like to add later. There's definitely a question of which features and systems the development priority will be on - I'm really just aiming at getting the main systems in place first - how the map works, how things grow, how characters in the game think, pathfind and communicate, that kind of thing. The beauty of this style of game is it can be approached in a lot of different ways (after the basics) so other than the order they're written in, spell crafting and alchemy don't directly affect other systems in the game (everything should indirectly affect everything else though - see drunken cats!).

That's great, and I'm glad you're going for a modular style. However, I'd still think about your end goal and build it towards that. Maybe not immediately, but after you've got the basic systems in you've got to make choices or it'll be just a bland colony game with different re-skins and stats for each race.

If you stick to dwarves - great! Make sure they're extra dwarvy and have something to distinguish them from DF, Gnomes and all the others.
If you go for Wizards - great! Make the gameplay based around learning powerful tactical and strategic spells, dueling other wizards, growing in power and building a huge library of rare tomes.
If you go for Dragons - great! Make it all about being a terrifying dragon, obsessed with hoarding gold and powerful artifacts.

Just don't make it dwarf fortress lite, plus dwarf fortress lite re-skin with a main character that can throw fireballs and make potions, plus dwarf fortress lite reskins with a dragon which is really powerful.
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With enough work and polish, it could have been a forgettable flash game on Kongregate.

Ozyton

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Sorry for dropping in without having read the topic or anything, but is it too late to consider changing the name of the game? I'm just saying, the acronym for your game... KUM... yeah.
King Beneath the Mountain, perhaps?
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