Design Concept: The Verdant Forever

 
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Somatic Apoptosis



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:02 pm    Post subject: Design Concept: The Verdant Forever Reply with quote

Hello, I have been thinking about this design concept for the last day and was thinking I could try and get some feedback to an area I am calling "the Verdant Forever".

It is a plane outside of the one which the main game world is located. It also plays only a small part in the game itself and is meant as a minigame of sorts in which the players can amuse themselves. It is an endless, lush and green forest, complete with trees that grow tall and thick, and rampant undergrowth. While the flora has grown to a surreal degree, there is still some fauna - though it is widespread and timid of predators.

The area will be procedurally generated using (mathematic) noise, a technique not utilized elsewhere (possible exception being the ocean). Dynamic loading will be used, as I plan for the Verdant Forever to be ~1,000 rooms square (1 million rooms). Going too far in any one direction simply causes you to loop around to the other side. The seed would be changed each time there is a group entering the Verdant Forever when there is noone already in it. Items dropped on the ground are pulled into the earth by vines and roots. The area is designed for max level characters (as most game content is).

Entering the area requires you have first completed a lengthy quest, the last objective of which is to gather a certain material used in the ritual to travel to Verdant Forever, then return to the quest giving NPC and participate in the ritual. At the conclusion of the ritual, participating members are struck unconscious, and travel there in their dreams, whilst their bodies remain prone in the NPC's home (this presents them to no danger). Going to sleep, or dying, in the Verdant Forever results in you simply reawakening in your body (there is no penalty for death there other then HP loss).

Once inside this dreamworld, you can not use any magic which would effect the normal world, and any spells you were maintaining end, and must be recast. Parties can complete the quest as a group, and travel there together.

The objective while you are there is to hunt. There are various, sparse creatures which can spawn (generally one at a time) and you must see how many you can hunt down... and I do mean hunt, as they will run away from you, creating a minigame itself by trying to follow them through the tangled maze of rooms; over fallen trees, atop the wide sturdy branches, or through a small stream. With each one you kill, the next becomes faster, smarter, and stronger. And, each time you kill one another mob is loaded with the intent of hunting *you* and you must defeat it before you can continue. These mobs increase in difficulty as well. The appeal of the minigame is that if you do well, there is a chance that some of the last mobs which spawn (before you simply cant take them anymore) can drop a magical item.

Alternatively, you could not play the minigame and try to harvest the lush soil for minerals. To do so effectively you would have to cut down trees to make room for the mine, and to have planks to reinforce the walls.

This abuse of the trees would anger the defenders of the forest (the same creatures which would hunt you after making a kill in the main minigame) and they would come at your party in waves (scaled to party size). Your party could also build defensive structures, but must be wary because each time you cut down a tree the defenders become enraged moreso - sending more powerful and numerous fighters against you with increasing frequency. Thus the objective is to scrape by building as few/as little defensive structures whilst keeping the largest mine open as long as possible. You will have to split your attention between cutting down trees, making the wood useable, building, and mining.

I am unsure of exactly how to impliment this second minigame, as Id like to have it playable with as little as a party of 3 but not become unbalanced with a large group. Something Ive considered was that if I merely had to keep the largest portion of the mine open at once but did not require actual extraction of ore or minerals. I have yet to think of a reasonable explination behind this, or a justification for making the building/digging process go as fast as it must in order to be fun... again, the reward for this game is the possibility of a magical item (or a rare material of some sort).

So what do you think, what improvements are there to be made, and what features to consider?
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am unsure of exactly how to impliment this second minigame, as Id like to have it playable with as little as a party of 3 but not become unbalanced with a large group.


I've made a script for a zone that loads a bunch of mobs whose strength is adapted to the level, tier and number of remorts of the player who enters certain rooms. Perhaps you could use something similar, and adapt it to the size of the group, and possibly the strength of the group members too.
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Alexander Tau



Joined: 15 Jan 2006
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When discussing how one might create something it helps to know what sort of codebase they plan on using, any thoughts on that Somatic?

I have created many different self-adjusting areas along the lines of what you are talking about. What you will need is some sort of controller that can watch over each Group and spawn things as needed.

There are no standard formulas but by the time you create this Forest you should have an idea of how much your characters can take. If you have something watching each Group while they are there you can keep adjusting things on the fly.

A.T
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Tyche



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Design Concept: The Verdant Forever Reply with quote

Somatic Apoptosis wrote:

The seed would be changed each time there is a group entering the Verdant Forever when there is noone already in it. Items dropped on the ground are pulled into the earth by vines and roots. The area is designed for max level characters (as most game content is).
...
Alternatively, you could not play the minigame and try to harvest the lush soil for minerals. To do so effectively you would have to cut down trees to make room for the mine, and to have planks to reinforce the walls.
....
Thus the objective is to scrape by building as few/as little defensive structures whilst keeping the largest mine open as long as possible. You will have to split your attention between cutting down trees, making the wood useable, building, and mining.


The area is described as temporary, yet you describe what I'd call a long term game of building and harvesting.
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