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Old 02-22-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
hero_of_canton
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Lightbulb An idea I had bouncing around... what do you all think?

I LOVE Ender's Game. It's one of my all-time favorite books. I think it lends itself well to a MMORPG.

Here's the basic idea, tell me what you think...

1. Each player is a student at Battleschool- a school for training captains of starships. A large part of the school curriculum is a war game played in zero-G; this would be the main focus of the game.
Because of this, the world would be fairly small and very detailed. There'd be lots to do, but in a very small space.
2. Players start as "Launchies"- lowerclassmen- at levels 1-10; they work their way through being soldiers in the armies (levels 10-50; at level 40 you become a "toon leader") up to being the captain of an army (level 50 and beyond). Launchies do more quests and more things outside of the war game; soldiers spend a little more time on the war game.
3. The war game itself is the main focus of the game. Launchies spend time learning how to play the game; soldiers and captains play the game itself. The game is a battle in zero-g; movement is only possible by pusing off of things. The object of the game is to "freeze" all of your opponents, leaving them motionless, and capture their door. (Read the book for more details.) All players who are soldiers or captains play the game; the captains and toon leaders command the other soldiers.
4. Other ideas for other "quests": the arcade games in the game room; academic classes, practices in the battleroom, and the ever-popular "fetch quest". ("Hey, Launchie, get my desk for me, or I'll smack you."... that sort of thing.)
5. You can interact with characters from the book.

That's my (very rough) idea... whaddaya think?
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:54 AM   #2
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At first, the zero-G game from the book seems like it would be best-suited for an FPS, where everyone is equal. How would you integrate loot and levels (ie characters of varying power) into the zero-G game?

Also, why would it not be better simply as the zero-G alone? If the point of the game is to play the zero-G thing, why make people do fetch quests around the ship?


It could be a fun game.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:54 PM   #3
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Cool Thought about that... there's a reason for it

The weapons and such stay pretty constant (yes, I know, I know... everyone's going to stone me) but the amount of power you have over the game is different. As a Launchie, you spend a good deal of time learning to do cool moves and practicing- with other launchies. It's very relaxed and very calm. As a soldier, you fight in a multiplayer environment and level up a bit faster; as a commander, you can give orders to other units (that they may not obey) and you can even have control over the hook, a device that lets you maneuver directly with your arrow keys.

As for the quests... this is something I didn't make clear right away. The practices (Launchies and armies alike) and battles (soldiers and commanders) are in *real time*. In practice, that means that it's more like playing a sport than a regular mmorpg. The fetch quests and arcade are for this purpose. They help you to level up quickly (as a launchie and low-level soldier) without spending months and years at practices.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:01 PM   #4
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Touche.

I'm going to keep pushing you to develop more details. What does end-game look like when everyone is a commander? If the only difference is the amount power you have over the game, then everyone would be the same at level 50...

And I don't think you answered my question. What is the point of making people do fetch quests? You design a great game (the zero-G) and then you force people to do boring stuff running around a space ship for ten levels? What's the point?

Why not have them able to do all their leveling inside the battle room(I think I finally remembered the name)?

Last edited by bob : 02-22-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:14 PM   #5
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Default Thinking about it...

Here's the thing... all level 50 players are NOT created equal. Just like in the book, there are leaderboards and such that track who is the best player; they change from month to month. The top 40-50 players on the leaderboard (who are above level 70) are commanders.

The fetch quests are a minor part of the game- kind of like doing "fetch missions" in Spore. You don't have to do them if you don't want (in fact, you don't have to do ANYTHING if you don't want- this is a game) but they will help you level up faster. If you wanted to, you could spend your whole life in the battleroom or the arcade.

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Originally Posted by bob View Post
Touche.

I'm going to keep pushing you to develop more details. What does end-game look like when everyone is a commander? If the only difference is the amount power you have over the game, then everyone would be the same at level 50...

And I don't think you answered my question. What is the point of making people do fetch quests? You design a great game (the zero-G) and then you force people to do boring stuff running around a space ship for ten levels? What's the point?

Why not have them able to do all their leveling inside the battle room(I think I finally remembered the name)?
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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I see, I see...

And tell me... *smokes on pipe* what happens to the command structure if the top players don't want to lead? And.... what if there is a player who is great at inspiring and coordinating his team mates but can't break the top 50 best players? Or even, can't break the top 100,000 players but would still like a chance to lead?
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:22 PM   #7
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Default Umm...

Well, my idea mostly goes "by the book"... and in the book, there were kids who turned down being a commander. So it could be possible... if you had time conflicts or w/e...

Simple fix for #2. You talk to your commander and ask if you can become a "toon leader" and lead a group of maybe 10-30 other people. It's more small-scale than commander, but judging from your hypothetical player, that's just what would be perfect. (From the book: Bean, that tiny little kid with wacked-out ideas.)
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
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I don't think you can have leadership based on rank like that. The top fifty list might be full of people who don't want to lead/don't know how, or are douchebags. Why not just have a guild system? Anyone can form a team and manage it and they can all compete.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:25 AM   #9
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As someone who hasn't read Ender's Game (comes with being European I guess), I'm at a bit of loss here.
I read 'MMORPG', then I read 'zero-G environment', which makes the bad taste go away and finally I come across 'FPS', which instantly reminds me of a little game called Shattered Horizon.

But... what is it exactly? Is it a FPS, is it a MMO, is it a hybrid of sorts? There's a lot of 'what' here, but a great lack of 'how'.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:08 AM   #10
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Isaak, it *is* sort of a hybrid- that's the best way to describe it. The action in the battleroom would be more like your standard fps; the stuff outside would be more like an MMO. I looked up Shattered Horizons and it is that sort of thing, but with a twist.
Only reason for the MMO stuff is that you can't spend your whole life in there, there're only a certain amount of battlerooms for everyone to use and you have to plan practices accordingly. (It's more like playing a real-world sport... you have to get everyone there at a certain time.)

To Quote Bob: The top fifty list might be full of people who don't want to lead/don't know how, or are [jerks]. Why not just have a guild system?

(sorry to butcher your post, but my Mormon ears can't stand swear words. Carry on.)

If you remember, there were a lot of jerkwads leading the teams in the book. Rose the Nose much? I don't know about a guild system. On the one hand, it could be really, really cool. On the other hand, deciding who would play who would become exponentially more complex. Go figure.
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