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Who would play an old-school themed RPG with a deep, open world a la Fallout, Elder Scrolls?


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Feel free to elaborate. Any feedback is fine. But the main reason I'm posting is to ask who WOULD be interested - who likes this kind of thing, besides me. I know a lot of people would NOT be interested :P

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Well, to be honest, I don't know if I'd be interested in a game like this. On the other hand, I see the appeal of this kind of throwback game. It isn't something a lot of developers, if any, are doing right now, and I'm sure there are people who would play it for the nostalgia element.

I think it's safe to assume that it's for a niche market, but at the same time, this seems like the kind of game that could explode from the right publicity. That's not something that can be counted on or predicted though. I just imagine that if the right person at the right gaming news outlet found out about it, the news would spread like wildfire. Then people would come for the novelty, and hopefully stay for the good game.

It seems like that kind of game to me. But, like I said, it's unpredictable. You might just end up with your small, niche playerbase and realize it wasn't necessarily a worthwhile endeavour.

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But the main reason I'm posting is to ask who WOULD be interested - who likes this kind of thing, besides me. I know a lot of people would NOT be interested :P

I'm always interested in playing text games / interactive fiction. Hell, I'm still playing the stuff that comes out of that annual IF Comp (and the stuff that folks like Zarf / Andrew Plotkin, Emily Short and Adam Cadre dish out). IIRC, no RPGs there, just plain old adventures. The reason I failed to mention this in my earlier post is that I somehow got the impression that this isn't what you had in mind. That and, as the others have said it, the fact that there's not a big market for these kinds of games. Especially on various handhelds.

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I said this on IRC already, but an option you might look at is doing the ASCII thing with support for wrapping into a graphical frontend, like what has been done with NetHack (Vulture's Eye makes it look a lot more like Diablo without changing the core gameplay~). Whatever you do for the graphics is kinda back-seat to the gameplay though. A deep open world that has a lot to offer is gonna be a good experience regardless of the medium.

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Definitely the kind of thing I would be interested in. Hell I would have been ok with ascii, nostalgic as that would be, though I do agree that for accessibility, some basic graphics would probably do better.

I really like the sound of the npc system, nethackish but with even more depth; something like this could be pretty amazing if it sees the light of day.

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It's been interesting to read this thread, as for the past several months I've been designing a concept for a similar game with someone else (who I'll keep unnamed at the moment). Hopefully in a couple weeks we will be releasing a concept demo video showing what the game could be like. Once released it will hopefully catch the attention of people who would be willing to aid in the creation of the game. I'll create a separate thread from this one when the time comes so I don't spam this one.

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Well, to be honest, I don't know if I'd be interested in a game like this. On the other hand, I see the appeal of this kind of throwback game. It isn't something a lot of developers, if any, are doing right now, and I'm sure there are people who would play it for the nostalgia element.

It's not really a throwback at all. It's in a roguelike graphical style, sure, but it's not a throwback to anything. This isn't a nethack clone, from what I've read on IRC and the thread is that this is far more open ended and interaction based then just combat and inventory management like many are. Just look at the "Whodunnit" quest in TES4 Oblivion. It's one quest that can take all of 5 minutes to do if you know what you're doing, but it's also by far one of the most popular in the game(perhaps in the series) because people like to have the choice on how they do things. There are numerous options on how to turn people into your favour, and it struck a chord with lots of gamers. A game built around that idea should be rather popular, if that one quest is any indication.

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As an update, I've now begun development on this as a personal project. I'm taking a very careful approach as I want to do things right, so I've tried to write out game designs and gameplay logic as descriptively as possible, along with UI sketches etc., so there's a clear picture of the roadmap for development. I've chosen Java with the LWJGL and Slick libraries to create the game (Java w/ LWJGL was used to create Minecraft, FYI!) and I'm working on setting up all the basic gameplay states and systems now. So far, I have a basic menu system, a tiled map and movable player sprite. It's something :P

I'd like to develop the game further on my own before I bring it to Space Whale officially (though I'm keeping them updated on my progress), but if there's anyone familiar with Java (or especially LWJGL/Slick) and/or anyone interested in contributing art, please let me know. I'm willing to put forth some of my own money to create this game, or at least get it to the point where we can 'officially' develop it further :-)

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Haha. Well, I only brought that up because some people hate on Java and say it's not good for game development. I have more experience with Java (well, that and C#, which is like Microsoft Java) than anything else; it's cross-platform, powerful and there are a lot of libraries & tools built for it already.

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It's mostly performance and design issues that give Java a lot of hate. It's not a terrible language by any standards, though I would personally prefer C# over it, just because it's basically 'Java: The Good Parts and More'; on the other hand, you couldn't develop for anything outside Windows.

Interested to see what comes out of this, nonetheless!

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Hating Java is so 1999. Whatever gets the job done, and a tool you already know gives you a head start. You'll be light on graphics side. I guess performance-wise the hardest thing you want to do is simulate a big world, a lot depends on how much of it you want to simulate simultaneously, and how precisely. (Like I knew what I was talking about.)

Do you plan on including procedurally generated content and permadeath? (The cornerstone roguelike features if you ask me.)

--Eino

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Update! I now have the following features.

* Very basic menu system.

* Map editor w/ rendering. I can create a map and give properties like 'obstructive', 'door', 'water' to individual tiles.

* UI display. The game shows your current stats, your name, etc.

* Player + enemy sprite rendering, player movement. Simple as that. Plus, checks for moving through various materials (like water), going through doors/walls, etc.

* Map scrolling. The map can be bigger than the screen, but as you get toward the edges, it scrolls.

* Text log. Shows about 8 lines at a time (right now, nothing of importance, but in the future it will show combat events etc.) You can scroll it up and down, and it stores up to 32 lines total (I can expand this easily.)

* Various behind-the-scenes stuff like storable names, stats, conditions, healing and so forth.

Not comfortable showing it off yet since it looks awful (just using open source graphics + MS Paint right now) but hopefully within a week it will actually have gameplay, as opposed to being just movement and UI right now.

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OK, need an opinion. I feel like I should try to set the graphical style now as it might be hard to change down the line. Let me know which of the following you would like to see in a game like this. Here's the graphical Nethack style - 32x32 tiles, very simple.

lizard-20050512164645.png

Here's something else in the same style, but with scaled-up tiles, reminiscent of old-school CRPGs:

silmar-29525-1.jpeg

A bit more cartoony:

plrhl.png

JRPG style (height of characters goes above the actual tile, things often take up multiple spaces) - this would take a LOT more resources to pull off and be insanely difficult. Plus, would it fit the gameplay?

loh1.png

8-bit pixel style, scaled up:

5cycdz.png

Any thoughts? Any other suggestions?

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What about JRPG-styled that isn't as high resolution, like SNES RPGs? Still a big task, though, but more feasible than that example you posted.

Funny, actually, a few friends of mine started work on the same premise (basically Elder scrolls 2D style) but it never really went anywhere. So this idea is right up my alley.

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I say go with the 8-bit style. With Megamans 9 and 10, Dark Void Zero and such, it's been shown that there's still a market draw for the NES/Master System visual style. It's simple in terms of color palettes, you can animate it to whatever level you wish, and tiling's quite easy. Plus, it still gives you room to play with its visual design type (realistic proportions, cartoony, etc.), detail level and whatnot.

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