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09 February 2005 @ 10:20 pm
Game ideas  
My other idea for a 3D adventure game actually has a name: it's called (currently) "Runic". It's based around a play mechanic somewhat reminiscent of Black & White, but geared towards real-time action/adventure. The main character is an apprentice mage: on a Dual Shock-like controller, the left analog stick controls movement (as usual), but the right analog stick controlshis staff, which is used to cast spells. Spells are built from symbols you "draw" with the staff, in a sort of ideographic language with a simple grammar. While you learn complete spells throughout the game, if you experiment with the symbols you learn you can create spells of your own.

The game would start with the main character receiving a lesson on some basic spells from his master (an opportunity for an in-game tutorial), with whom he lives in a remote cottage in the mountains. After accomplishing the basic tasks in the tutorial, the old wizard receives a visit from a mysterious figure, and promptly packs up and leaves, telling you to take care of things while he's gone. But shortly after he's left, the cottage is attacked by monsters, and after you've managed to escape you set out to find your master and find out what's going on. The plot will turn out to revolve around a rogue wizard who has resurrected knowledge of a forbidden element and is trying to take control of the kingdom. The mysterious figure is an emissary from the Council of Mages, of which your master is a member. The evil wizard is the final boss, and you have to fight him without knowing going into the fight what the symbol is for his forbidden element (you need to know the symbol of an element to cast protection against it), forcing you to pay attention to the symbols he traces so you can learn to cast the protection spell on the fly.

The game would also feature two different kinds of steeds for the hero: a warcorn (a type of tough unicorn) and a falcor (a large bird you can ride).

Unlike most Zelda-like adventures, you mostly don't get money for beating monsters. Instead, you have to work for your pay in different places, but with creative use of your spellcasting abilities you can make many tasks easier. However, you learn early on that you can't let people know about your magical abilities (it'd make you a target of the villain), so you have to hide it.

This whole thing is inspired by some things I find to be lacking in how magic is used in most adventure and RPG video games. Usually, spells are set in stone. In adventures specifically they are used as "another type of weapon/item", no different from a bow & arrow or grappling hook (think Zelda 64's 3 spells) except that they use "magical energy". In RPGs, magic users are basically heavy artillery (sometimes with the ability to heal). I want to turn things on their head so magic, not swords & shields, is primary, and is a flexible tool. The main character is a mage, and the player's tactics have to take that into account.
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Vorn the Unspeakableunspeakablevorn on February 10th, 2005 07:08 am (UTC)
AAAAAHHHHSTOPITSTOPITSTOPIT!

:P

Vorn
gwalla: evil mickeygwalla on February 10th, 2005 07:13 am (UTC)
Hee! >:D
The Watcherrimspace on February 10th, 2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
Except for the presence of controllers in the equation - gesture recognition is more powerful and easy with the mouse IME, but then I'm anti-console anyway... - sounds a good idea.

One of these days I'll get around to finishing that Diamond CLOD-based landscape engine (I need it anyway, along with a pseudo-random landscape generator no less), if I do you can feel free to use it... ;)
Derakonderakon on February 10th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
I'd generally say that you should design with a computer in mind, since consoles are a lot trickier unless you have a team of programmers under you. This would probably also let you snag mouse gestures from some open-source project (if you were willing to OSS your game, that is).
Derakonderakon on February 10th, 2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
Er, that being said, I'm designing my game with a Dual Shock controller in mind, at least as far as how many buttons get assigned. I don't need analogue sticks, though, since it's a 2D game.
gwallagwalla on February 10th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but this would require two analog inputs. I don't see how that could be accomplished on a PC.

Besides, I'm not a big fan of PC games.
The Watcherrimspace on February 10th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but this would require two analog inputs
Not necessarily: hold down RMB while drawing gestures for example, while LMB sets the move destination. That's the sort of scheme I've used in the past. Or even have LMB clicks set the destination and held LMB draw destures.

Only needs analogue controls if its designed to need them ;)
gwalla: halloweengwalla on February 10th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)
Man, I hate that Diablo click-and-move mechanic. There's so little direct control over the character.