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Old 04-09-2008, 01:44 AM   #1
jillduffy
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Default J. Portnow's Game Design Challenge

Discuss your responses to James Portnow's Game Design Challenge for April 9, 2008 here.

The Challenge: Create a new class or set of classes for a fantasy MMORPG.

See the Challenge for complete details.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:12 AM   #2
Adrir
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This sounds like fun!

With regards to the class-based system, how much flexibility is available? Can characters belong to several classes, or are they bound to a single class? Do players pick primary and secondary classes? Are classes dicotomised into groups that players pick one from (ie. players choose a crafting class and a combat class)? Do we decide?

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Michael "Adrir" Scott
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:56 AM   #3
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Now this is something very fun and exciting! ^^ Got my creative juices flowing today!

If it helps Adrir, I created mine based on an MMO I'm familiar with. From the article Jillduffy posted, I figure if you don't have much MMO experience then you can research World of Warcraft as a start. Building on an established mechanic should make an entry more understandable than trying to convey aspects of a game that doesn't exist but in one persons mind. I mean, you'd have to write nearly a full gdd to clearly get across the one element the contest judges, right?
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:03 AM   #4
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There are so many variations of class-based systems and depending on what frame of reference is used, judging and justifying how different classes interact will be different. Even World of Warcraft, as an example, offers professions that seperates crafting and other skills from the core classes. At a glance, they seem to have a focus around combat roles.

The specification describes the game as a "brand new way to play", which doesn't strike me as an exercise in iterating preconcieved conventions. I just don't want to pigeonhole myself! However, I can see your point of view. Without keeping it simple, alot of uneccessary writing would be neccessary to convey the vision.

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Michael "Adrir" Scott
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:37 AM   #5
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Great idea always love an intellectual exercise.

I am just a little confused on the requirements though. MMO design is reliant on the class design. Without really knowing the design of the propsed "fantasy MMO" its hard to make a judgement on whats needed.

Are we designing the whole game play of the MMO? Or rather taking an existing model ie:"WoW" and building new classes?
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:56 AM   #6
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Just saw this on rss feed and heck going to join in.
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:42 PM   #7
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I would think that the way you create your classes would hopefully create a "new way" to play the MMO fantasy genre. Make the game fun and let loose your creative mind.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:34 PM   #8
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"All the classes must have synergy."

Oh, so we've got that kind of boss... :P

This design challenge made me remember that I got an account ages ago -- here goes!
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:04 PM   #9
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Well for those of you who are wondering, this is the way I went about it.

I looked up all I could on the different WoW classes (Wikipedia is a definate sweet spot) and then just went with things I've seen in movies, read in books and learned from playing too many games. Somethings work, somethings don't and really you have to keep in mind: Be creative, but remember, be realistic. Some poor programmer has to help you with your idea and if it's too complicated then it's going to take him even longer to accomplish what you're imagining.

But seriously let your mind wander, what would you like to be able to do in a fantasy type world? Think of the different kinds of support your particular character should offer to help gather together with a common goal. Whether it's felling the oldest great wyrmking, or helping a caravan across rough terrain, how would your particular class help in such situations?

That's another thing, if you're not familiar with the fantasy genre as a whole, look up Dungeons and Dragons or D&D. Also Neverwinter Nights, Diablo or Balder's Gate would be handy things to check out. But you're going to want to make sure your character will be able to offer some support in any kind of situation in order to make it as unbiased as you possibly can. Most MMO's today are still suffering from those kinds of things where certain classes aren't nearly as effective, so those people get neglected. Hey, but then again... this isn't my challenge! Take my advice with a grain of salt and just have fun! This isn't homework, nor should you treat it as such!

Good Luck Everyone!!!
Tim Edwards

Last edited by TimEdwards : 04-09-2008 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:29 AM   #10
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Here is what I have come up with.

Deep underground a new race has awoken. A race of magical metal beings, the Niet. They are a race of servant golems built by a long dead civilisation, the Nietsneknarf. The Nietsneknarf were a powerful magical race that long ago vanished mysteriously without trace. Without their creators and masters the Niet just simply stop, oblivious and unaware, and waited. Frozen at their moment of abandonment the Niet lay dormant for eons but then a miracle happen. An unknown force has awoke them and made them sentient. Now they are lost and without guidance looking for a purpose. Some are emerging from their ancient subtertian metropolis and are wondering the surface world. They quest and search for the meaning of their sudden conscious. Why have they become aware? Who gave them this gift or is it a curse? What has happened to their past masters? These questions haunt all Niet.

Though the Niet are a new race they are more like a new warrior class. Most Niet are made from metal, though there are rumours of clay, wood and stone Niets (any flesh Niets have rotten away and turned to dust). Though they are magical by nature they do not have any magical abilities. Because they are not technically alive they do not breathe. Thus they can not drown and gas attacks are useless against them. Poisons are also useless against them but acids can still cause them damage. Niets do not sleep but still have to stop and oil their joints. They may use any weapon, if trained, but their fists are natural war hammers. Because they are made of metal they have a natural armoured body, so they donít ware any armour except they may carry a shield. Because they are incredibly heavy most mounts can not or will not carry them. Iron Niets are stronger and tougher than Bronze Niets but they have to be careful of water because they will rust. When the Niet is hurt or damage they can not be healed like other beings, they need to be repaired by a blacksmith. An expert metalsmith can even alter and improve the Niet by adding extra limbs or inbuilt weapons.

What do people think?
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