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"Story" setup for beginning a new game

#1
I know that the FAQ and description say that there is no story, I'm not suggesting we implement one. I was just suggesting a certain level of setup to a new game.

Many games in the sandbox, RTS, or RPG genre often started very abruptly. Minecraft; "you begin existing with no goals". Age of Empires or Civilization "Here's a settler inexplicably surrounded by uncharted land (even tho he's landlocked)".

I don't know what mechanics will be used to teach the player how to play; whether it's like EVE; with business missions (but randomly generated), like Minecraft; every man for himself and build up from nothing, or like an Age of Empires story level; "here's a small collection of structures, and some beginning resources, now build up".



My suggestions:

For EVE-like beginning: Simple enough. Just start off a new game with an optional set of tasks to earn your basis in the newly generated universe.

For Minecraft-like beginning: Instead of just plopping the player drifting through empty space, give them a reason to be there. If they're supposed to build up their empire with no NPC initiative, make it like a "AoE lone settler survives the raid and rebuilds" sort of obligatory sense. Have them leave a warp or wormhole bubble and greeted with a message saying "Well... you're the only surviving crew. Narrowly escaped through a closing wormhole, you dodged your faction's annihilation by the skin of your teeth. Now freed from any restrictions of your faction, you may forge your own path to greatness."

For Age of Empire story level-like beginning: Similar to the EVE-like beginning, but the player has full ownership of all the NPC structures.



What are your guys's thoughts?
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#2
My thoughts on it are positive, in general :)

Ideally, I would like to procedurally generate an entire backstory to explain why the player is in their current situation. I.e., when you start the game, you'll have roughly the same net worth each time, but vastly different roles. Perhaps one time you're in the middle of a trade run and find some cargo in your hold, and a nearby planet offering a good price. Perhaps another time you're docked in an asteroid base in a dusty field, and your logs indicate that you've just gotten back from a successful bounty hunting mission.

For me, the best thing would be to have this procedural backstory, then have a system explaining how to complete/continue it. In some sense, it's like beginning with a mission, or beginning when you're halfway through a mission, much like the EVE setup you describe.

Of course, how feasible this whole thing is...remains to be seen, but it would be very neat to have a different story each time you begin!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#3
JoshParnell wrote:My thoughts on it are positive, in general :)

Ideally, I would like to procedurally generate an entire backstory to explain why the player is in their current situation. I.e., when you start the game, you'll have roughly the same net worth each time, but vastly different roles. Perhaps one time you're in the middle of a trade run and find some cargo in your hold, and a nearby planet offering a good price. Perhaps another time you're docked in an asteroid base in a dusty field, and your logs indicate that you've just gotten back from a successful bounty hunting mission.

For me, the best thing would be to have this procedural backstory, then have a system explaining how to complete/continue it. In some sense, it's like beginning with a mission, or beginning when you're halfway through a mission, much like the EVE setup you describe.

Of course, how feasible this whole thing is...remains to be seen, but it would be very neat to have a different story each time you begin!
If you do manage to somehow find the time to create procedural backstories letting the player pick career beforehand might be a good idea, so that someone who isn't at all interested in trading doesn't start out with a trading mission.
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#5
Bele wrote:If you do manage to somehow find the time to create procedural backstories letting the player pick career beforehand might be a good idea, so that someone who isn't at all interested in trading doesn't start out with a trading mission.
Yes, good point. I could offer a number of levels of control over it, so that the adventurous player could just hit "random," while the precise and scheming player can carefully choose the parameters of their backstory. Reminds me of some good Morrowind mods that let you do just that. Ah, Morrowind. :D
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#6
If you do set it up to give you options so you can help the game generate a backstory to your liking, you could do it in a way similar to character creation in EVE. You could start off selecting a race, then a cultural background, and then finally a profession. Heck, you could add Mass Effect like options as well, like choosing your origin, and maybe past experiences. Of course the options would have to be somewhat vague because you wouldn't be able to use actual names of places ("Earth" for example) because there is no guarantee that that place would exist in that universe.
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#7
So Josh, on the subject of character creation, are you planning on giving the player a 3D character model, customizable in any sorts?

I feel if you took example from Terraria, you can pull it off while not requiring the player to make a new one for each level. You could have a universal character that the player can create and customize, and his skills could carry over between game worlds (or not).
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#9
MrMusAddict wrote:So Josh, on the subject of character creation, are you planning on giving the player a 3D character model, customizable in any sorts?

I feel if you took example from Terraria, you can pull it off while not requiring the player to make a new one for each level. You could have a universal character that the player can create and customize, and his skills could carry over between game worlds (or not).
Personally I would rather not see "universe hopping" in the game. It just takes away from the immersion when you generate several universes each different to mine different things.
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#10
MrMusAddict wrote:So Josh, on the subject of character creation, are you planning on giving the player a 3D character model, customizable in any sorts?

I feel if you took example from Terraria, you can pull it off while not requiring the player to make a new one for each level. You could have a universal character that the player can create and customize, and his skills could carry over between game worlds (or not).
Nope, sorry, definitely zero chance of 3D character models this time around! The whole reason that I'm not supporting walking outside of the ship/on planets is primarily due to the inability to handle 3D character animation. The reason is that I do not know how to do these things procedurally yet, but maybe someday!

Also, characters will not be able to carry things over between universes. You will be able to import/export ship designs, but other than that, transfer between universes is pretty much minimal - the idea is to have to start a whole new life if you want to explore a new universe!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#11
JoshParnell wrote:... characters will not be able to carry things over between universes. You will be able to import/export ship designs, but other than that, transfer between universes is pretty much minimal - the idea is to have to start a whole new life if you want to explore a new universe!
<nods> Good!
The only good fnord is a dead fnord!
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#12
JoshParnell wrote: Also, characters will not be able to carry things over between universes. You will be able to import/export ship designs, but other than that, transfer between universes is pretty much minimal - the idea is to have to start a whole new life if you want to explore a new universe!
However, wouldn't the Ulterior Seeds mentioned allow you to do that?
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=282
“The impact of space activities is nothing less than the galvanizing of hope and imagination for human life continuum into a future of infinite possibility.”
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#13
jawdan wrote:
JoshParnell wrote: Also, characters will not be able to carry things over between universes. You will be able to import/export ship designs, but other than that, transfer between universes is pretty much minimal - the idea is to have to start a whole new life if you want to explore a new universe!
However, wouldn't the Ulterior Seeds mentioned allow you to do that?
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=282
Manually changing a seed wouldnt allow you to start off with everything you had in the other universe.
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#14
MrMusAddict wrote:
jawdan wrote:
JoshParnell wrote: Also, characters will not be able to carry things over between universes. You will be able to import/export ship designs, but other than that, transfer between universes is pretty much minimal - the idea is to have to start a whole new life if you want to explore a new universe!
However, wouldn't the Ulterior Seeds mentioned allow you to do that?
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=282
Manually changing a seed wouldnt allow you to start off with everything you had in the other universe.
That's not what I'm suggesting.
“The impact of space activities is nothing less than the galvanizing of hope and imagination for human life continuum into a future of infinite possibility.”
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Re: "Story" setup for beginning a new game

#15
jawdan wrote:
JoshParnell wrote: Also, characters will not be able to carry things over between universes. You will be able to import/export ship designs, but other than that, transfer between universes is pretty much minimal - the idea is to have to start a whole new life if you want to explore a new universe!
However, wouldn't the Ulterior Seeds mentioned allow you to do that?
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=282
Picking preferred attributes/styles is not the same as carrying over character-specific content. Guiding the PCG engine toward a preferred layout/appearance development path is vastly different from porting a character and their 'stuff' (physical goods as well as relationships, design/development knowledge, bank balance, etc.) in to a new universe.
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