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RPG Design - WarHampster - Sep 22, 2008 03:45 PM

No, this is not a "make a MMORPG for me" thread... I'd just like to know what you guys think about the concept I made up for my RPG.

In the world the game takes place in there are four main cities, each one using a different power source. These sources are steam power, solar power, water power, and cyber (a kind of natural battery) power. Depending on which city your character is from (there are 2 playable characters from each city) you must use weapons powered by that city's power source. These sources all have their strengths and weaknesses, such as:

Steam Power - extremely powerful, but prone to overheating (which breaks your weapon)

Solar Power - moderately powerful, and you never run out of it (when your above ground, at least). When its raining or you are inside, your weapons have to rely on the energy they stored while above ground.

Water Power - the least powerful, but most water powered weapons use very little power when fired, and you can take your weapons anywhere and still be able to use them.

Cyber Power - second most powerful, but firing cyber powered weapons takes a lot of energy. Also, firing cyber powered weapons in the rain or while in water will electrocute you.

Hopefully, this will heavily affect gameplay. For example, if you choose one of the two characters from the steel empire (the steam powered city), you will use steam powered weapons. There will be a gauge on the side of the screen that says the amount of steam pressure remaining. When you run out, you need to return to your city's boiler room to re - pressurize your weapons, or use a steam canister. Similar things will happen to characters of other nations as well. However, if you are a character from the steel empire and buy a weapon from another faction, it will not run off steam power without heavy (and expensive) modification. So, unless you are friendly enough with the other nations (maybe killing their people is a bad idea ) you shouldn't use weapons that rely on their energy sources.

Naturally, I think that this idea is awesome (I wouldn't have posted about it otherwise). However, I realize that I may be a victim of over ambition.

So, do you think that this would make for a fun game? Please don't post anything regarding the programming of this game (or that I should go make pong instead). After all, the is the Game DESIGN forum.

- WarHampster

RPG Design - AnotherJake - Sep 22, 2008 04:19 PM

You should consider making Pong first...

I kid, I kid! LOL

Sounds like a pretty neat idea actually.

Best thing to do next is to start creating low-poly graphics for the world. Once you have one of your cities created with its two characters animated and ready to roll, you can shop around for a developer or start doing it yourself with Unity.

RPG Design - OneSadCookie - Sep 22, 2008 04:41 PM

"Cyber" seems a poor name and is clearly the odd one out here, with no basis in reality. Steam and water may be too similar?

I think if the theme is to come through, the designs for the weapons will need to reflect the faction as well as the global mechanic. Do you have some examples for each faction?

Weapons that break periodically strikes me as really annoying.

RPG Design - WarHampster - Sep 22, 2008 04:56 PM

When the weapons overheat they don't really break (like you can never use them again). You just need to wait a few turns for them to cool down.

I most likely won't keep the name for cyber, it's just there until I think of something cooler.

I've got some pretty awesome (in my opinion) ideas for the weapons and cities. The steam powered city is my take on a steam punk design (if you've ever played panzer dragoon saga, thats what my airships are like), the solar powered city is based in the desert and has a pretty unique feel, the water powered city (which is pretty different from the steam power) is like rapture in bio shock (except more modern, and not overrun with zombies). The "cyber" city (cyberpunk, if you hadn't figured it out) is supposed to be like modern Japan, with high technology and the like. I know that it is very different from the other citys, but how the different cities with completely different cultures and levels of technology deal with each other is integral to the game's story.

By the way, this is going to be a 2d game... I should have mentioned that in the first place Rasp

RPG Design - monteboyd - Sep 22, 2008 11:58 PM

I really like the concept, the thing that instantly struck me about it was the possibility of injecting some environmental cost factor into it. So obviously the solar powered civilisation has the least environmental cost through to the cyber having the most etc. This could just influence the story or it could introduce some strategy elements about conserving power sources. Anyway, good luck, I think it sounds quite original and very topical in today's world.

RPG Design - WarHampster - Sep 23, 2008 04:22 AM

Thanks for the ideas, I might include some power conservation overtones in the story (the steam powered city doesn't really care about the environment and is completely engulfed in smog, but the cyber city at least tries to be efficient.)

RPG Design - BeyondCloister - Sep 23, 2008 05:57 AM

OneSadCookie Wrote:Steam and water may be too similar?.

Is the idea that the water powered city uses water in hydraulics compared to the steam power city that uses the heated version of water? If so then sounds a good differentiation.

London in the era before electricity became widely mass distributed used water powered hydraulics for power lots of things such as lifts in buildings and the opening of bridges.

RPG Design - WarHampster - Sep 23, 2008 02:19 PM

Yeah, thats pretty much what I was thinking... where steam powered things use a steam engine, and the water powered machines use pressurized water.

The whole "steam powered weapons" thing is pretty unrealistic, as real steam engines are big and weigh a lot... not really convenient for a weapon. I was thinking that the most powerful steam powered weapons would be stationary (you can carry them around, but you cant move while you're using them) but the more portable weapons would be powered by come kind of compressed steam cartridge, which would directly send steam to the engine without the need for a boiler... you would need to visit a boiler room to re pressurizes these cartridges though.

On the other hand, the characters from the water powered city would have water tanks on their backs, with tubes attached to their weapon. These would be able to hold a large amount of water, which would be automatically pressurized and fed into the weapon's hydraulics system . You would be able to refill the tank at any water source.

RPG Design - AndyKorth - Sep 23, 2008 04:20 PM

There were steam powered rifles in Last Exile. I can't find any images for you, atm though.

Another idea you might wish to consider is doing something similar to the rock-paper-scissors game, which is very popular in RPGs. You'll see it in many games where water defeats fire, fire defeats earth, wind defeats earth, earth defeats water, etc. Essentially pokemon was a large rock-paper-scissors game.

This might not be a good choice for you if you want to keep a balance between the four main cities, although I am sure you could work it out. Would a player be committing themselves to one of these four options?

Also, consider geothermal power as an option? From what I'm reading, I'm getting the impression that "cyber" power is usually manifesting itself as electricity.. lightning, etc? I'm seeing the possibility a lot of these around there:

RPG Design - WarHampster - Sep 23, 2008 06:15 PM

Last Exile is among my favorite Anime Smile

No offense, but I think that rock paper scissors systems are stupid, they take the strategy out of a game.

No, the player would not commit themselves to one power source (they can buy/ find weapons from other cities). However, weapons from other cities obviously will not run off of your city's power (the exception to this is solar weapons, as they do not require a material source of fuel). You can modify weapons to run off another source of power, but doing so is very expensive and requires a high skill in craftsmanship. The ultimate weapon in the game would be one what can be powered by every source.

Geothermal power is a good idea, but I'd like to keep the amount of playable characters relatively low, so I won't add any more cities.

My idea for cyber was that it would be a kind of "natural battery", which is found in the earth and can be used to power things. The Van de Graff thing is cool though Rasp

RPG Design - AndyKorth - Sep 24, 2008 08:52 AM

If you dig up the right kind of rocks, and put them in one of these, you get electricity! Natural battery:

RPG Design - WarHampster - Sep 24, 2008 03:30 PM

Cool, maybe I'll rename cyber "Strontium-90" (the fuel the USSR used in it's Radioisotope thermoelectric generators.... according to Wikipedia Rasp)

RPG Design - cubytes - Feb 3, 2009 01:05 AM

sounds like a good idea Smile would need to test it out and see what kind of overall game play and story value it will have you can never go wrong with good vs evil but an entirely new concept might be refreshing to say the least.

RPG Design - RhinosoRoss - Mar 10, 2009 10:25 AM

Steampunk in an RPG...
Steam and water can be very different: water-jets are used to cut stainless steel in industry: like a super-jet-wash.
I'd just call cyber, electric and keep things recognisable.
The rock-paper-scissors thing, I think is referring to resource-management: picking the right weapon for the right conclusion: I'd extend the idea to include a variety of mines: an electric mine which would momentarily electrify a wet area (and with all the steam and water wetness could be quite a theme), water mines could make an area wet (joining other electified puddles etc.).
How things change in the wet could be part of the skills too: slippery floors, enemy puppet rag-dolls whose strings shrink when you water-pistol them and monster sheep who get so fluffy and heavy that they can't chase you once you've given them a good steaming...
Steam-powered enemy robots who explode if you shoot their boiler damaging others in their environment and making the floor wet... Some kind of heat-mine or flame thrower to dry areas out...
...OK, I'm done Bored