Erfworld MMO?

Speculation, discoveries, complaints, accusations, praise, and all other Erfworld discussion.

Erfworld MMO?

Postby Beeskee » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:56 pm

See posts below, starting on 2014, for notes on custom IP and open game project, First Pancake

TL;DR? DNR, PLZ. LOL. :)
Quick summary: An Erfworld MMO would be neat, and possible, but we would need to know a lot more about Erfworld than we do now, which would take a little bit of the fun out of the comic.

The document mostly covers gameplay modes as well as how to finance the project, as well as how to encourage folks to join up and play well.

Basic gameplay is an MMO-RTS/TBS* style gameplay for rulers combined with raiding-based gameplay for units.

(*edit: I wrote RTS here originally but I mean the turn-based gameplay like Erfworld has where units can move across hex borders only on their turn )

Erfworld MMO ideas:


This is a super rambling train-of-thought document. It is not supposed to make much sense, and may induce headaches. It's also unfinished. I reserve the right to use Retconjuration to alter this document. I divided subjects into categories and made it easier to find them.

Nothing herein is set in stone. It's set in, like, the opposite of stone. Warm butter on a hot summer's day. Hawt.

I also reserve the right to be silly. :D

I talk about RL money a lot. Remember, MMOs cost 80-100 million to make. And a LOT more than people think to run.

Sometimes I also talk about an option like it is the only way, but I am thinking of it being optional, or one of a possible set of choices.

A lot of the actual game rules will have to wait until we learn more about how Erfworld "works" :D

Assume that none of this will be done without the approval of the Erfworld creator, and every piece of content will be subject to their approvalz. They can also take all this and run with it, make their own game, get a trillion dollars, and I won't be mad. Well, I might, but I won't be able to do anything legally about it, because I am giving it to them right now. That said, I enjoy programming and have always wanted to make a game. :D I couldn't do something of this scale alone and unfunded tho.




Gameplay type:

A strategic turn based high-fantasy game with strong FPS/RPG elements. Larger gameplay scope revolves around massive team-pvp and raiding type events, a theme already proven popular in other MMOs.



Investors:

All potential investors need to know: It smells like money. :D (Penny Arcade reference)

Erfworld already has a huge fanbase, and if the subscription model included an option to get a bunch of friends involved, the popularity will skyrocket. The player and subscription model I describe in this document is designed to be inclusive to a large number of players, allowing one player in a leadership position to invite a potentially unlimited number of friends to participate as members of their team.

The gameplay style described in this document is a turn-based strategic game, with players taking on various roles from the full spectrum of Erfworld's available units, from basic units to warlords and casters, and the rulers who guide them.



Design problems overcome:

The problems with the turn-based nature are mitigated by allowing users to set their preferred play schedule, allowing the game to function on a 'raiding' schedule similar to how large groups play popular MMOs, but with a gameplay style unique on the MMO market.

Additional difficulties in meshing so many overlapping schedules can be mitigated by a careful map design that guides player expansion, similar to principles used in MMO design today. (The same techniques theme parks use to guide guest foot traffic.)

It could be done as a 100-level WoW style grindyfest samey questathon, (if that doesn't give away my opinion on THAT) with NPC rulers, and players taking on the role of basic units. The only problem with that is that WoW already exists and has many years of additional development time already put into it. WoW cannot be beaten at it's own game, and innovation takes more than re-skinning WoW.



Canon:

Too many differences from the actual Erfworld canon and this becomes !Erfworld, (pronounced "not Erfworld") which is sort of like a crummy version of WoW Battlegrounds with a bunch of stupid rules. This must be avoided. However, some canon things may just not fit the MMO genre.



Payment Model:

Could be done on a F2P model for basic characters, a one-time payment for starting as a warlord or potentially as a caster, and a boxed set, per-monthly account for overlords/kings.



Boxed Sets:

Collector's Edition - big boxed set, even more expensive, lots of goodies - start as a royal king - can choose to start close to other sides (more dangerous), or further away (safer) - comes with a TON of free royal warlord/caster invitations for friends and invitations to let folks pop as a royal heir or other royal unit

Regular Edition - boxed set - start as an overlord - can choose to start close to other sides (more dangerous), or further away (safer) - comes with some invitation codes to let friends start as a warlord or caster for free.

If boxed set/highest cost set allows overlord status, there'll be a LOT of overlords even if the game does only moderately well. Should be plenty of warlord/caster positions available for other folks. But those could be disabled if it really does fill up.

A player who bought a collector's edition could still choose to start a warlord character, or a regular unit character. Maybe they get x (1?) overlord/royal ruler slot per boxed set with the option to buy more.



Free to Play:
F2P:

F2P - start as a non-warlord unit of any type. (maybe even weird ones like golems?) Can choose to start near the action or further away in a safe area, or for a specific side. Can be promoted (for free to player? or fee?) to warlord, if it is possible for that unit to become a warlord. It definitely costs schmuckers to do but maybe could be free in RL cost, to encourage players to participate in battles and do well as a basic unit, get noticed, and get promoted to warlord - tho possible exploit, why would folks pay to start as a warlord? Other than to maybe just to start quickly? And F2P could get to command a single stack even before promotion, so folks can get the hang of commanding multiple units.

This is the big one, with a F2P model that lets a player skip a fee and get to play as a warlord for free, it encourages units to do well, make progress, participate in battles. And letting folks start in a side that's close to enemies, or a safer side, lets folks start out how they like.

One time fee F2P - start as a warlord or caster (different prices?)

How many char slots for F2P? Or more advanced subscriptions? Maybe the ability to buy more slots? I don't think extremely limited character slots would work as well. Not all sides will be in conflict at the same time, so players who wish to play active regular units would need a large number of slots. Perhaps regular units don't take a character slot? Selling additional character slots is one aspect of the F2P game market, however users generally resent overly-restrictive starting slot counts, moreso if it does not mesh with the gameplay.

There could be other elements like an item store, schmuckers or gems for sale for RL cash, etc. I don't know how well actual units being for sale would work, but some unit upgrades such as different armor styles, etc.. Especially decorative items. Stuffamancers should have their own crafting and it should be reasonably equal to item store things, tho store items could be unique in their own ways. Gameplay would need to be tested extensively to see what effect purchases like that have. Money/gem purchases may need to be limited or not included. However that opens up gold/gem farming... The game company selling virtual currency may be distasteful but if they do it then that makes it harder for gold sellers.



Character and account types:

Chief Warlord - promoted from warlord only, by ruler. can't buy position, can't choose to start as one. This is a very important position.

Warlord - for one-time fee? or each time? can start as a warlord. Allowed to choose side. (maybe password-protected if side is not open-enrollment, or needs invitation code from box or a code issued by overlord (no additional fee) ?)

Caster - for one-time fee? can start as a caster - maybe this way they cannot choose their side except with an invitation code from a boxed set. They are supposed to be rare and random. Sides with no casters should get first priority, if no invite code was used, per comic. There are several Issues with casters, discussed elsewhere in this document.

Unit - F2P character, may be promoted to warlord by a ruler.


Charlie:

Charlie should be run by staff. Also, VERY IMPORTANT, GM help should NOT be Charlie. VERY apart. Not even kidding on this. An "ASK CHARLIE" big glowing button which pages GMs to talk about "game" issues (bugs and stuck issues and the usual MMO stuff) is lame. Charlie is a SIDE. An Enigma. BOOPING Badass. Ok I am better now. Heh Heh. I would say the Charlie-controlled archons should be npcs, or staff members but that is a lot of archons.. if they are played by a player, it should be very exclusive, not bought but given, and possibly a great reward. But it also is a bit (or a lot?) of a job, so there should be some reward. Maybe they can play a choice of archons (in different time slots) and they get extra free character slots, but can't use the archons in sides that are in conflict with their side, to prevent exploits. I would think alliance sides would be ok, and their own side should be okay. Their side would have to agree to pay charlie whatever the costs are for the archon to do whatever. But there also is the 'full buy' option (is it a one time fee of x schmuckers or a per-turn fee?)

Anyway, keep GM game support stuff far away from Charlie. Sides should be able to call Charlie, as per comic, and maybe hire Archons and other basic services from him automatically, but the complexities of more sophisticated negotiations would need to be handled by a real human being. (Most likely, beings, due to the 24h high volume stuff going on.) And again, as much as possible would have to be automated, but only things which SHOULD be automated.

Side conflicts would basically be big PVP/PVE events. Sides pop NPCs, if a player begins they "take over" the lowest level unit/highest level unit available or pop as a unit that is immediately popping.



GM and staff:

GM Behavior: Gms need to be professional, discreet, if the problem is between players they should help explain how the players can resolve it between themselves.

Any response should be completely personalized. No form letters. If they are just pasting a form letter, aka a FAQ, they should just link to the FAQ that exists already. But this should be in addition to the personalized response, and should really make sense. "here's a faq on how to reset your password, but basically on the website click ..." after, of course, really *reading* the message to see what the player is saying, especially if, for example, the player is saying that they tried it and it doesn't work after that major website upgrade or whatever. (no not a RL example from me, just stressing the importance of someone actually READING the emails, rather than an autoresponder faking it.) If it's not in the FAQ it should be added to the FAQ, because obviously it is a FAQ. :)

Any message that is from an autoresponder (let's face it they can be useful if programmed well, just most aren't) - any message should start "Hi I am an auto-responder! A REAL human being WILL read your email. In the meantime I noticed a few keywords. Here are links to the appropriate FAQs..." and then list off *each keyword* and then the FAQ link. Auto-responders should NOT respond to already-existing communications between GMs and players. They don't need an autoresponder conversation when they are in the process of talking to a real human being. If the human being determines they need a link to a FAQ they can paste it themselves.



Security:

Let chief warlords and overlords/kings 'lock' units to keep someone from respawning into them for specialized units maybe? Also lackeys, could let overlord/king directly control (play as) some of their lackeys so they don't have to just sit in their castle all day being bored, they could take action on their turn. Natural thinkamancy? Hehe.



Relative unit numbers - unsure of some

#overlords > #royal kings?
#warlords > #casters
#basic units > #warlords

So in decreasing relative numbers it would likely be

Basic Units > Warlords > Casters > Overlords > Royal Overlords

Chief warlord is exception since a side only has 1, so can be considered roughly the same as the number of overlords. (Less, if some have died and not been replaced/repromoted/respawned)



New player experience: (Starting from launching the game)

Player can pick what to play as, depending on their subscription model. If they want to pop for a specific side, they can type that in or pick from a list, maybe entering a password if the side has locked. If they have an invite code and it matches a specific side, maybe it auto-defaults to that side?

Random name generator: Should verify suggested name is not already in use before displaying it to the player, if it is, pick another one and verify, repeat until one is not in use. Random name generator would need a LOT of inputs and variations. Needs a team of writers, and would be subject to Erfworld creator's approval. (along with everything else about the erfworld mmo)

Getting started: So, what happens if a player plays, for example, a twoll? (Basic unit) Well, they are assigned to a random side (or side of their choice) which has a twoll popped or is popping a twoll at that moment. If the side of their choice is in the process of popping a twoll but it doesn't exist yet, they could be given the option to play as another unit and re-pop as the twoll when it is ready. Maybe all unavailable options are grayed out but the player can choose to enter a queue.

So, if no Twolls are popped in-world it appears grayed out and says "none currently popped or popping" - if some are in progress it could say "in progress" and give turns to completion.

Ok, so they pop. Now what? They are in their starting city, maybe on-turn, maybe off-turn. There's a few basic quests to do, that teach the basic mechanics of moving around, fighting, commanding a stack, etc. Maybe they can leave the city hex, maybe not, depending on whether it is their turn or not.

I picked twoll for a reason, what if the city is having their twolls manufacture things? When does it trigger? Most convenient for side and player is for it to be automatic, but they could get a huge bonus if the player actually goes to the armory or whatever. They shouldn't have to stay all day, but walking in then walking out warlord-style might do it.

Any active combat could be marked with an indicator, as in, travel to this hex if possible or head to this area of town.


Promotion to warlord: So they did well, participated in some real battles and gained levels beyond tutorial levels, they get noticed by the chief warlord or overlord, or maybe saved a caster's bacon, and they get promoted to warlord. If they haven't been warlord before, they get some tutorials for that, and then get flagged that they completed the tutorials so they don't have to go through them again if they don't want to.

Now the unit can command stacks, do more for their side, lead groups into battle or maybe relax and tend to their assigned city, all chosen at creation as to whether they wanted an active side or one not at war with anyone. But sometimes war comes rolling up to your door so you may end up in a battle sooner or later...



AFK:
autopilot:
npc control:

Units could be simulated by NPC until a player can fill the role. There should never be not enough infantry/basic units to allow all F2P players to play, they seem to pop in large quantities.

What if the player needs to go AFK? AFK button, or Autopilot button. Turns player completely over to NPC control until they come back? Like the "away" mode in L4D? I loved that mode. What about disconnected? NPC control again? So cities could get their warlord bonus from a player who didn't log in, and if they were offline they could still help with the battle. But if they were online they could help more. Players should be able to be better than NPCs. NPCs shouldn't be weaksauce tho.

So warlords ordered to maintain a city don't have to do it themselves, the bot control will go do it for them automatically. Does it have to be done at start of turn? Or can they maintain a city off-turn? Player could choose to do it themselves, maybe getting another bit of a bonus? But a side wouldn't be totally screwed if they had a warlord that couldn't log on for a few days.

Regular units, warlords, and casters could be able to participate in battles if AFK or offline, if they were NPC controlled during those times. The units could follow orders as given. Chief Warlords and Overlords could have a basic set of orders to give to units for times when they are AFK or offline.



Casters:

Rands: Every caster pops with a certain number of rands? To earn more they have to do actual work for players or sides. They spend them on work from other sides or players. There could be a tiny allowance, extra rands each turn, but I think each caster popping with a set amount and only being able to trade them with players. How to keep moneymancers from having control over this though? Maybe it's limited somehow? Though even if caster slots have to be re-purchased each time, someone could pop a caster, give all their rands to someone, get croaked, and buy another slot.. maybe linked per account? But folks could buy extra accounts. Not enough really known about rands other than the name and that they are a high-value barter credit not affected by moneymancy, and are apparently transferred by a form of natural thinkamancy (in-game menu lol?) And game exploits wouldn't make sense in erfworld, can you imagine popping warlords to get the occasional random caster, just to order them to give all their rands to someone and then killed, ordered to commit suicide, or disbanded? That probably wouldn't happen much even in an MMO but in Erfworld where units die "for reals" it probably wouldn't be possible. But a huge side in the MMO could possibly do this exploit, or someone with a bunch of money even if the caster slot could be re-purchased.

Maybe folks start with 0 rands and get a tiny allowance. 1 a turn? 1 every 10 turns? 1 every hundred turns? It would reduce the rate of exploits but probably not stop it. Moneymancers have a LOT of influence here. Even if casters were limited to one per account and had to be re-purchased. Maybe not allow folks to start as casters AT ALL? Casters could be all NPC, or, truely random, like you choose to start as a warlord and maybe pop as a caster a tiny percentage of the time. With no way to be sure you would ever get a caster... but again moneymancers could just keep buying warlord slots then.

Damnit. Lol. I get the feeling not much is really known about rands because there are a lot of "background" holes in the rules, but it sounds really good just from the brief description we do get. High-value barter credit. Can't be magicked. Sounds awesome.

What happens to rands when a unit croaks or is disbanded? We don't have canon on this. can they set up a will to automatically give all their rands to another caster of their side? Do rands even matter to anyone except individual casters? Can overlords order casters to spend rands? Do overlords/kings even KNOW about rands?

Maybe overlords/kings don't know about rands in the comic, but players in an MMO would know about them if they had read the comic. Maybe orders concerning rands could be considered an exploit as far as the MMO is concerned, something that an overlord/king would be reluctant to do lest they be reported. Otherwise newly popped casters may find themselves with strange orders regarding their personal rand supply. But if the caster could say, "hey, that's considered an out of game exploit and I'm asking you to not ask me to do that." the overlord/king could reconsider. But if they popped some casters that they were already friends with they could arrange something like this.

I think rands are only useful between casters, and can't be spent to buy scrolls or anything like that, just for personal training or whatever. I think it could be done well, and definitely done poorly. I'd hate to see it done grindy-mmo style with "kill 5 rats for a rand that you will spend learning the same re-named spell 1000 times over for 100 levels" quests. :(


Magic:

Do casters invent spells? How does it work? We don't know enough about Erfworld magic yet...
What about magic items? Likewise.



Levels:

Level cap? I don't know if there's a level cap in erfworld. One character in the comic mentions a "level million" but is probably not serious, just saying that to get someone else to shut up about levels. Maybe level 10 as the starting cap would be good, to keep folks from grinding too much. Leveling is supposed to be slow. Tutorials shouldn't take the character to level 10. Maybe level 2 or 3, to help them out a little. The rest they should see from actual combat with sides. There's always an exploit... allied sides could 'practice' against each other, letting each other kill disposable units. In the comic this would be frowned upon at best, maybe inconceivable. Might cause units to turn, disband, or defect. In game this might be considered an exploit that earned a temporary/permanent ban. Lots of issues with MMOs and folks gaming the system, every aspect of it will have to be examined with a Parson-like attitude for exploits, loopholes, etc.



Ruleset:

Game Rules:

Game rules vs MMO rules: We don't know enough about Erfworld to construct a full set of rules. That's part of the fun of the comic, slowly discovering the world and it's rules, and how they can be bent by a clever mind, alongside Parson as he learns about it and works on breaking it. :) But a lot of the things that would be exploits for an MMO wouldn't be possible in Erfworld, with each unit being an actual person with wants, needs, feelings, etc. Orders to suicide or disband for the heck of it, borderline exploit combat training, etc.. a lot could be countered with special rules and GM observation of a side's behavior.. maybe for training, allow allied sides to "spar" - that hasn't been a subject in the comic, whether units can train off each other and level without killing each other. It hasn't been said that it's not possible either. I don't know how much of erfworld's internal ruleset has actually been defined. I know some things have been retconned, and I support the decision if it makes for a better story. Erfworld the MMO would need a ruleset that was as close to Erfworld the comic as is possible. Another MMO re-skinned as Erfworld would suck. We have a ton of those. But an MMO designed to be as like Erfworld as possible, with custom rules close to Erfworld's as possible for an MMO, and a well designed system of rules that allowed for a good game experience would be awesome. It would be mostly PVP, that's kinda the point of Erfworld, but if done well it would be tons of fun and a completely unique MMO that fills a niche that has been almost totally ignored by the existing MMO market. (Totally ignored by the mainstream MMO market.)

If it was done well, with nice graphics and sound, a good game client, a compelling storyline, good GM interaction, excellent Charlie interaction, etc. it could be completely awesome.

The problem is, it would spoil the comic a bit to know all the rules, that's part of the fun. I think the MMO would probably have to wait until a LOT more of the comic was known.

A lot of the MMO rules could be adapted to a boxed game set ruleset. In the comic, it's a big strategergy game basically, with an especially imaginative player involved currently, and a relatively lenient and creative GM. It would do well as an 8-player boxed set, maybe with one player being GM, and another being charlie for big games or a combined role for smaller ones, maybe shared with a player roll for smaller than 8 games. Maybe an additional small boxed set for games > 8 players. Would need to be good value of course and include things to extend the regular game.



Game Table:

Overlord's "game" table in MMO: big one. How does it work? Well, if no thinkamancer/lookamancer, they use models from a box, henchmen to move the pieces around manually, and scouts, runners, messangers, and natural thinkamancy to handle the updates. A lot of that could be handled automatically by NPCs. It could be handled manually by players too for the full-on experience. (Ok, maybe it's just me who thinks it would be cool to be a player chief warlord, for a player overlord/king, giving orders to players while manually moving pieces around the game board to show updates. It shouldn't be too difficult for players to control, let them click to move an updated piece, or manually "push" it with a 3d control, and give them an easy way to update/reset the board by just clicking to have them 'automatically' do it via npc control. NPCs should probably be standing around the board, but they should not just do idle animations of "BS shoving pices around only not really J/K!" - if it shows them push a piece, it should be because they actually pushed a piece, because a unit actually moved, as reported by a scout/runner/natural thinkamancy/thinkamancer/lookamancer/(what did I miss?).

Overlord should have to walk his/her boop over to the table to see what is going on, (unless accompanied wherever else they happen to be by a thinkamancer/foolamancer?) How much of that tri-cast table was foolamancy... The entire thing? Could a foolamancer with up-to-date unit info project the image of a table? One of the comic story sections mentioned Jack helping to run a table. But the art showed him using figurines, and the story mentioned him using figurines rather than projecting the image of a table, or the image of units onto an existing table. To conserve juice? Because he wasn't ordered? A LOT of the comic leaves this stuff vague, which is interesting, keeps people thinking of how and why, and different interpretations of each. If the rules of Erfworld were entirely spelled out already there would be nothing to argue about. :D The MMO should probably conceal as much of the ruleset behind walls as possible, it seems like most units only have a basic understanding of the rules themselves. Yeah they might know that flying units can't be attacked above a forest except by forest units, but they might not realize they can be completely fooled into thinking a base hex was located at a certain spot. ;) Knowing it is possible and not thinking the enemy will do it are two different things, one reason I think overlords/kings/rulers should all be players rather than predictable NPCs.



Map:

World size would need to account for the possibility of this getting really popular, and there being a lot of rulers, as well as for the game to attract a smaller niche and have less sides. Probably a map that can be expanded if necessary.

Clever map design could keep too many sides from becoming too close to one another. Even if a mega side happened, it could have less than 24 possible neighbors, to allow for 1h turns. That seems like a good amount of time for daily turns. Weekly turns may be too much. Then again a game map could be cleverly designed so that only so many sides could be within range of one another. I imagine the mechanics of the game as portrayed by the comic are kinda like this too. The only possibility for breaking this is the arkentools, and only then would it really be a combination of these attuned to one side that would break the game model. Maybe that could switch the game to a different mode. (After all, arkenhammer+arkenpliers=infinite 0-upkeep decrypted dwagons.) Also, arkentools don't necessarily attune to everyone, they could be found by someone but not able to put to use until a certain point.)

One big world? (Ideal) or multiple servers? I think a honking huge map would be better. -10000x10000 to 10000x10000 or maybe even larger? Numbers came from uranus. Maybe -1mil to +1mil x and y. Sides that choose to start 'safely' should probably be 1000 hexes from their neighbors or more, if that fits comic lore.

It's said that the world is larger than any one side realizes, but I don't know if that means it will follow MMO-ish rules or if it's just a really big strategy game.



Turns:
Time:

Turn cone: like a light cone. based on maximum possible movement of a unit. Sides only share a turn order with sides inside their turn cone, because it doesn't matter if they are outside each other's maximum possible sphere of influence. However, large sides cause problems with this, and the more sides a side is closer to, the more possible issues there are with conflicts and diminishing amount of time a side can move outside their hex.

Turns: 1 RL day? Maybe 1 week? Server would need to calculate each side's turn cone. sides outside each other's possible turn cone (max distance a unit can travel * 2, or * 3 to allow for fudge factor plus mounted units with their own travel) can go at the same time without it mattering. What about a Ansom, mounted on a dwagon, carrying his carpet? He could go FAR if the move on that carpet is high. And then dismount and carry his carpet further?

If in range, could be limited to no more than 1/(sides+you in Turn Cone) th of a turn's RL length. Warning this might get tiny for sides in range of a lot of other sides. This below becomes important:

Important: ASK overlords/kings WHEN they want to take their turn and adjust initial turn order to match, in the beginning. Insert new overlords and warlords into turn order at their desired time if possible. Record logged times and note recommendations for turn order time or activity time to undecided or those who haven't set a preference. Also ask regular infantry/warlords when they want to play. Maybe allow them to swap sides (cost? maybe one free one?) if another side fits better? Could allow units to travel 1 hex away even "off turn" as long as no specials pop during off-turn, and the hex is not occupied by non-allied forces. Include optional auto-return to assigned hex function if turn begins or another side enters into conflict with that hex.

Chief warlords should have a lot of power, and also be able to give a lot of power to their underlings, so that a given side could all work together and do what needs to be done within their time frame.

Turns: Turn order problems aside, can units plan turns in advance? I think so, let the overlord plan maybe a week ahead or two, to account for vacations, etc. Differentiate between "away" orders and real-time orders, chief warlords, warlords, casters should be able to override "away" orders easily - "He/she doesn't know about THIS, that order doesn't make sense anymore..." - every basic unit should understand that, I can't think of a comic that mentions it directly.. I think the one with the dwagons crapping is the closest, but hard to tell if the one unit is just stuck-up or is that intent on orders... But a warlord or chief warlord, or caster, should be able to override that.

Turn order could be reassigned every X turns based on stated preference (with recorded actual gameplay times offered as a preference if the user hasn't set one) Warlords could be offered a chance, once they've completed the tutorials, to switch to another side that better matches their gameplay times and style (closer to active combat, or a quieter side far away from enemies)

Per comic, allied sides go at the last turn out of the entire alliance? I'm pretty sure that's right. :)



Tutorial:

For quests, they should be tutorials, and nobody should ever need to be instructed by a player to not follow the quest tutorials. So if one of the combat tutorials pops, say, wolves, and instructs you to kill them, they shouldn't be tameable or probably even interactable with by anyone not currently involved in that quest. A combat tutorial can pop a small animal nest near town and away from the roads, have the player kill it.

Forced tutorial? No point in forcing an experienced player through the tutorial again. If they went through it once, perhaps each subsequent unit of the same type should pop at whatever ending level the tutorial takes them to. (tutorial levels players so they stand out from the crowd. Could also have orders default to let any level 2 unit be the 'mini warlord' of their stack.

More tutorial. Different unit types need their own tutorials. Warlords have more of a role than just sentient unit and casters have almost their own game entirely. Their tutorial needs to focus on magic item creation, spending of juice and rands, as well as at least a little bit of combat, such as creating and commanding their summoned/created units if they are summoners or creators of some kind. And of course, casting spells. Chief warlords need their own tutorial too. Rulers need their own tutorial entirely, which should include everything everyone else knows, except perhaps casters. I get the feeling that non-casters only know about magic from what casters tell them unless they are particularly observant. (Sizemore says no other warlord asked, but that was just GW. Maybe other warlords know a lot more than the basics?)

The final quest in the tutorial series for new players could have them go meet their warlord, chief warlord, and ruler. If they've followed the tutorials and maybe participated in a few real battles, they could get promoted to warlord.

While playing the tutorial, players should probably respawn rather than perma-die, or always respawn if they die to npcs at least. Probably don't want to give sides too many reason to lock out new members. Could be exploited by players, running all their units into a meatgrinder one at a time. How do you tell the difference between a griefer and a bad player?

Game should probably offer a single-player tutorial that runs through all the stuff, that could be an alternative to an in-game tutorial that pops tutorial units and does other !Erfworld stuff. Once users 'graduate' the F2P tutorial they could play the game.

There should be basic quests in the form of TUTORIALS ONLY, just simple stuff that explains combat mechanics, etc, I'm not talking about lv 1-100 grindfests, but something that may level a person once or twice and teach them how the game works. Quests should ONLY be TUTORIALS. BASIC STUFF. GET IT? ORLY? YARLY! SRSLY! LOL! :D

unordered list of stuff a player can do, and would need to be taught about

fighting, foraging, flight (for non-heavies), travelling across hexes, picking up new equipment, understanding and executing chief warlord or overlord orders, participating in a battle, defending a hex, attacking a hex, city defense and attacks,

Oooh hey the 'flight tutorial' could be one of the last ones the player experiences, and it takes them to the front lines of their side. :D or to meet their ruler/chief warlord/etc. Of course if there is something to do near the hex they are in, or there are existing orders for them to go to another hex, that should be a priority.



Beta:

Beta players could get to start as a royal side - they could still have to buy the box? but only need regular to be royal. What do they get for collector's if they were beta? Maybe more territory, and they start as a titanic royal side - can trace lineage to time of titans lol :D - a ruler that popped in the time of the titans, unattainable by any other means. Maybe everyone that was in beta gets to be titanic, but collector's edition would have to offer some real in-game benefits as well as lots of fun trinkets to appeal to folks. Lots of extra invitations, maybe enough to invite nearly their entire guild hint hint. They could promote extra friends from F2P basic unit to warlord for schmuckers too, as per comic, letting a whole ton of friends play for free.

Beta wipe vs transitioning the entire thing to live so that kingdoms are already established: Could avoid a wipe if some things were changed. Any glitches/unfair advantages would have to be accounted for. Could cap schmcukers at a certain amount, or restrict sides to only founding x cities in beta.. or force them to abandon cities till they fall below X before release.



Permadeath:

Respawning or permadeath? I can imagine most engagements wouldn't be anything other than completely one-sided if permadeath was implemented. Even tho it's completely against everything the comic says. Maybe units could lose a level? Or it could be implemented in some other way? Popping into an existing npc unit of the same type for the same side? But if permadeath is enabled I can see a lot of problems because of it, even tho that would fit the comic story the best, and I think I'd like to see an MMO that did permadeath, but maybe this one isn't the best one. Then again, it is how the game works. Maybe any costs associated with it are one-time fees that unlock a "slot" which works like SWG's jedi slot. If your jedi died, guess what? Roll a new one. Maybe it is the same for overlords/kings, and casters? For warlords, could a player just 'take over' an NPC warlord for the same side if available, or given the choice to wait for the next warlord for that side to pop, or to pop for a new side? Same for caster? Basic units can just take over another NPC unit for that side or another side (give them the choice)

Permadeath would probably be the biggest issue this mmo faces, but if it's enabled, non-essential units could just repop into one of the existing NPC-controlled units. For larger ones like warlords and casters, if their side has an NPC they could repop into one. Casters are high value targets so it is likely all sides would have orders to try to capture rather than kill. Warlords are high value but usually killed, however sides could set up 'automatic payments' ready to offer an attacking side to not kill a warlord.. npcs could be given this command automatically and it could be a default command setting for commanding player units. That might help solve issues with most fights being rather one-sided. But still allow the setting to be changed for realism. Chief warlords, overlords and kings are obviously high value targets, and it depends on if a side is really trying to wipe out someone or not.

Permadeath is something that seems like it would be a real PITA to deal with, since if it exists, each side would be careful to only engage in combat that they were sure to win. Or they would only be attacked by folks who thought they could almost certainly win.

Pre-set "offers"? Carpool offered Transylvito schmuckers to not attack and sack their cities. Presumably Some presets could be put in place to avoid similar loss of life. Automatically offer attacking side X schmuckers to not attack a city, etc etc. Could help offset permadeath somewhat.

Disbanded? Maybe like death the unit could pop again to their side into an npc unit of the same type and level, or offered a choice to pop to another side as that unit type, or repop as a different type (or other standard character creation options available to their membership level.)

Perhaps Permadeath would only happen when a unit was battling a player or participating in a large-scale battle? Or maybe folks just have to suck it up and deal with permadying even while offline? Units in Erfworld face that daily. (While offline the player would be NPC-controlled)



Conclusion:

Do-able, tricky, definitely possible to do wrong and will sink faster than a rock if so.
If done right, could be an awesome fun game, and a good producer of revenue for a company and/or investors.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby the_tick_rules » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:01 pm

Ok that's WAY too long to read. But an MMO is an entertaining idea.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Beeskee » Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:17 pm

lol. Quickest summary ever? An MMO would be neat, and possible, but we would need to know a lot more about Erfworld than we do now, which would take a little bit of the fun out of the comic.

The document mostly covers gameplay modes as well as how to finance the project, as well as how to encourage folks to join up and play well.

I was surprised the forum let me post that much text at once.

It's only 37,000 characters and growing. C'maaan. You know you want to read it all and find the weak spots.

I modified the formatting and reorganized most of the info. It's still sloppier than a man-wich (not man-witch get your mind out of the gutter!)

(edited a few times by Beeskee)
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby MarbitChow » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:37 am

I think a MMO would be way too difficult to get up and running, but a Kingdom-of-Loathing type of web game might be a lot more feasible. KOL has about 1000 players at a given time, which seems like a much more realistic target.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby charles » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:38 am

The problem with an MMO is that Erfworld isn't really designed for that sort of thing. Its more of a table-top two-player strategy game.

I guess you could try for an MMORPG by using only Barbarian casters for player characters.

You begin as a Barbarian, out in the field or something, maybe at the defeat of FAQ and start with some initial quests that lead to you finding your way into the Magick Kingdom which acts as your main safe base. From there you gain access to certain areas of the Magick Kingdom and certain portals where you can get more quests to act for various warlords. As you progress levels and/or story quests, you gain access to more of the Magick Kingdom and more portals to access more of Erfworld and even more quests. Instead of the general good and bad side, you'd actually be allocated to one of the eight magick classes and follow a slightly different progression depending on which class you belong to.

Heck, if you really want to vamp it up, you restrict certain caster types and make it so that you must have a certain caster of a certain level before you can create a new character of a restricted caster type. E.G. start and level up a Shockamancer to level 40 before you can create a new caster of Croakamancy.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Thunder » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:04 pm

i disagree, 1 on 1 leaves out way to much of the diplomacy and interaction that erfworld has to offer. id say a good game would be closer to 10 or so sides, or players(id say it really only be fun to play if your in charge and that is why i said 10 sides, each led by one player)
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Radagast » Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:08 am

A turn-based game inherently does not work well as an MMO.

I wouldn't mind playing an Erfworld game of course but there are more than likely other gametypes that would suit it better.

Civ5 mod anyone?
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby charles » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:15 am

Thunder wrote:i disagree, 1 on 1 leaves out way to much of the diplomacy and interaction that erfworld has to offer. id say a good game would be closer to 10 or so sides, or players(id say it really only be fun to play if your in charge and that is why i said 10 sides, each led by one player)


But then its not really an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online game) with only 10 players. Its just a regular multiplayer game (which would still be, admittedly, awesome).
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Thunder » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:30 pm

yah, i know, thats because erfworld just does not work as an mmo, it has two faults.

1) it fits much better as a large multilayer game (max around 10 people)
2) its inherently a turn based game, which does not work as an MMO
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby charles » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:06 pm

Thats why I only think it would really work as an MMORPG with barbarian casters for the PCs. Most of the time the turns wouldn't matter as you're not in any kind of battle. When they do, the hexes are still bloody large and you'd have to co-ordinate with other PCs or NPCs on your side in the HEX, not to mention defending from unfriendlies. Turns would have to be fixed lengths of time (say 15 minutes, maybe even as little as 10) and possibly skip the night time (this is when you have unfriendlies in the area).

Possibly use a bird's eye map to conduct movement between hexes rather than have the character walk the distance. Obviously any encounter in a hex on the way would pull you out and into the encounter hex, but otherwise you make it as far as you can with the move you or a mount has, mess about in the hex space or travel to another one and mess about there if you have the move. Stack and re-stack with some troops or other units on your side and drag them around with you.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Beeskee » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:00 pm

Updated original post! Over Fourty Thousand Characters!!! Act Now!!!!!1ONE

Re: movement, if your unit has movement and has orders they could follow them even if you weren't connected, or were AFK. I was imagining a system sort of like L4D's away mode.


Re: # of sides: We see 14 portals in one sketch of portal park. The first coalition has 7 sides. We see 3 new ones in RCC2. There's 16 sides in the full known sides list from the wiki. It's said the world is far larger than any one side realizes, and these folks all seem to know each other. There are 2 more 'far off' that Jillian encountered in the past, she worked for one of them and fought the other's natural allies, so it sounds like there may be other clusters of sides elsewhere in the world. It's called the "great western conflict" but we have no idea of the full scale of the map, or the scale of the area we do know. I'm not sure if the sketch of portal park is canon. There may be multiple parks, or multiple magic kingdoms, or only a certain number of portals, or only certain kingdoms have portals, or the portals could open and close, or it could have just been a quick sketch. :)
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Afjord » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:59 pm

Oh yes, I love you! :mrgreen:
Although I recon that such a project will never actually be done, nor could be done, I actually have faith in you to pull of a Parson! Call me Wanda, but I hope and pray that a person willing to write, was it 40k characters?, is a person, the person, able to create this utopia of nerdism (and nerds for that sake)

Yours truly

Edit: On the topic of perma-death! Players should play important roles, and you don't necesseraly croak when you are fighting. Players could be incapicatated, and then the winner of the current battle takes control of warlords, captures soldiers, and casters can choose to be teleported to MK or join the winners side (if the winners side is your original opponent). Just a random thought

Random note 2: I had just used around 48 hours on Erf alone... I realize i might have been a bit, uhm, overexalted, but hey, there you go (komma for the win)
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Beeskee » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:06 pm

According to Extra Credits, (I love that show, it rocks btw) it takes 60-100 million to make an MMO. And an entire team of folks. So, uh, I can't do this alone. :D

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be a part of something like this. I think Erfworld itself is awesome and I think an MMO Real-time Strategy/Turn-Based Strategy game, done well, would be absolutely incredible, and completely unique compared to the many "samey" MMOs out there. I have no illusions as to my level of programming skill and competency tho. ;) I can write code, in a few different languages even, but there's a wide gap between basic knowledge and the high level of skill it takes to write good, stable, lag-free code. I also have less than 0 art skills so I wouldn't be able to do anything there. On a real programming team, with actual experience writing multiplayer network game code and high-quality 3d engines, I'd probably be the guy getting coffee for everyone else lol.

There are still quite a few problems to be solved too. Permadeath for one. Units in Erfworld DIE. Forever (barring decryption) - I still haven't figured out the best way to handle it. Too many differences between Erfworld the MMO and Erfworld the comic would turn the game into World Of ErfworldCraft and that is definitely a bad path to take, especially since WoW already exists. Everyone who wants to play WoW is playing WoW, or a WoW clone.


Edit: I think I'm unintentionally working on memorizing the comic. I've read through it countless times. I bought the book, tho I didn't sign up for tool membership mostly because I needed to conserve funds back when I started reading, I'm realizing that isn't a valid excuse for me anymore so I probably better go sign up. :D Anyway, I noticed on page 12 that unled dwagons were able to capture, and that got me thinking about preset order complexity... I have more notes to add to the document lol.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby depricated » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:32 am

I was previously doing some work on an online-playable Erfworld game. Since it was abandoned by everyone involved but myself I've diverted the code into a vastly different game(I just kept the hex mapping, beyond that everything changes).

You mentioned doing something like KOL, and that's easily doable (and probably the best option) for Erfworld. I entertained this idea early on as well. The biggest problem you'll run in to is maintenance. People don't do this kind of stuff for free, and while I would be happy to contribute code to the project for nothing more than a mention, I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice my own servers to host such a game. I would be happy to do some lightweight maintenance, but there's a point at which you move from hobby to work.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby youngstormlord » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:40 pm

I have read the op (full 40k characters of it) and I can see you've given'
it quite a lot of thought. It’s a wonderful dream but, as you are clearly well aware of, it’s out of anyone’s reach for now. You are proposing MMORPG the world has not seen before and I respect you for that. It’s a wonderful idea but very complicated to pull off.

It requires lots of funding and at least a couple millions proper belonging to the fan base. Since the earth has around 7 billion people, that means that about one person in 3500 needs to be Erfworld fan, ready to pay 50$ for the game. Considering that most of the world doesn’t have clean water, enough food of salary greater than 100$ a year, it’s a hard thing to accomplish. Not impossible, but I can safely say it’s improbable. Meanwhile, I propose spreading the Erfworld meme in different ways.

There are different games to be developed in Erfworld universe besides MMOG’s and turn based strategies. The simplest of them would be side scrolling shooters and RPG’s. The game you are describing to me seems most similar to RTS Dungeon Keeper 1 and/or 2. It’s a strategy game, you play evil overlord and build the rooms, rain and level units, move them over the map etc.
The only difference is, you have a spell that allows you take over the mind of one of your units and personally do the job, in which case game turns into quassy-RPG/First person shooter. In that shape you can “Stack” with other units, shoot the enemies, break the doors etc… The game you so thoroughly described seems the same, only turn based instead of RTS and MMO.
I propose making one of those simpler games and spreading it on multiple platforms. Flash games, mobile games, iphone games... Make something with a cliff-hanger and let people’s curiosity do the thing for you. Then, when you get enough potential customers take a turn towards programming PC game.

In the end, it’s all about resources, and marketing, and profits and potential market shares :)... Sorry if I rained on your parade right there. Economy student here, with a big pinch of business programming.
Always remember, Erfworld is just a webcomic. It might be the best webcomic there is (and I would agree with that assessment) but it still has quite a limited audience and, unless it gets featured on some big, very visited site that gets millions of hitsies, it will stay that way. The easiest form to make a MMOG in to reach the biggest possible audience is so called “Zynga form”, form of flash game on facebook. The financial bases are easier to cover that way. :). Here’s link for facebook version of aforementioned dungeon keeper (Dungeon Overlord).
Don't click on this link, you might feel cheated if you do.
Hint:
Spoiler: show
It's my fanfiction. :)


My erf PC game (first test version): Jack Attack Update: Gone after fall of megaupload. Update2: Uploaded again on another hosting. Give it a go.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Keybounce » Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:25 pm

It requires lots of funding and at least a couple millions proper belonging to the fan base. Since the earth has around 7 billion people, that means that about one person in 3500 needs to be Erfworld fan, ready to pay 50$ for the game. Considering that most of the world doesn’t have clean water, enough food of salary greater than 100$ a year, it’s a hard thing to accomplish. Not impossible, but I can safely say it’s improbable. Meanwhile, I propose spreading the Erfworld meme in different ways.


Just as an aside, this is why the "doubloon" model works so well. (Name taken from Puzzle Pirates).

The model is: You buy play tickets ("doubloons", in a pirate themed game) from the company. You use them to access various non-basic areas of game play, or for fancy clothing, etc.

But there is also basic game play, free to play, to earn game coin.

And, you have an in-game exchange to trade game coin (earned by spending time in game) with play tickets (earned by spending cash).

This works well when there are things that use a lot of game coin (for example, raids, or dungeon entrance fees, or popping and maintaining bigger units), and separate things that require play tickets.

In other words, you put the things that require (in theory) lots of people under you -- running a country, or a faction -- as requiring lots and lots of game coin. Not anything related to real world cash. How do you get that game coin? Probably by buying the things that represent real world cash, and then selling them to other players for their coin.

In a sense, this directly represents the taxation model -- you tax game coin from your underlings (in this case, by selling them something useful in game), and use that for your unit upkeeps.

You get the following:
1. Large player base, without needing a lot of people with disposable incomes
2. An opportunity for those people who have lots of spare cash to send it to you
3. A game model that actually matches the source -- big units are expensive -- without turning directly into a "pay cash for big fortunes" -- you could, for example, actually build a guild and get game coin from the guild members.

But really, how about as a better choice: Rethink what developing an MMO really involves? Maybe the art doesn't need to be as expensive as all that?
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Beeskee » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:08 pm

Other things could be sold too, like city designs, graphics, weapon textures, etc. I personally don't think it should sell units or items that provide an in-game bonus, no +1 swords or anything, but that's just my opinion, it may be very profitable to do but I feel it has to be balanced very carefully or it gives too much of an advantage to the players with extra disposable income. "Game coin" is already represented by shmuckers. Units would be popped by cities like they are in the comic.

An MMO based on Erfworld could do well even tho Erfworld doesn't have as many fans as Warcraft did. Not everyone who plays WoW was a fan of the RTS.

The "raiding" model for free-to-play seemed natural since Erfworld naturally has large-scale combat. The engine would need to be able to handle large numbers of units active and onscreen at the same time. The game server itself would kinda "know" when and where large scale combat was going to take place (hmm let's see, side A and side B are moving troops toward each other...) so it could auto-scale server resources, sort of like how EvE does only without needing players to fill out a form. Just look at troop movements instead. It could still offer a form where players could schedule large combat, but the turn-based nature of the game would make auto-detection easier than it would be in EvE.

I figured with x thousand units involved in large-scale combat events, that would be a great way for free-to-play players to participate. They could control one of those characters for the battle. Lots of MMOs support raiding or other scheduled group gameplay, and a lot of MMO players keep playing MMOs after they got bored of the actual game because of the people they've met and developed friendships with. Erfworld MMO could be inclusive to those players, and guild leaders could say, "Come check out this game, we can do a raid at X time, and you can all play as members of my kingdom for free. And we'll be playing against other, real players, for an actual result."

I'm guessing that a lot of folks here have tried some MMO or another. Does Bal'grozoth or whoever escape his thousand-year prison because your group decided to do something else that evening? No, he sits there with his thumb up his butt, waiting for the next raid. :P :D Only in a few MMOs has raiding ever mattered, and WoW is definitely not one of them. EvE is probably the largest MMO where there is territory control and raiding that matters, and it's been holding a reasonably solid second place behind WoW for years now. It has it's own issues tho and it's difficult for new folks to just jump in and be useful right from the go with a group. An MMO based on Erfworld has an opportunity here.


In short, I think it can be done, and done well. :D It doesn't have to be done the way I described, just that I think that would be the most successful way.


It could be done like I described, but with tons of pay-to-play options that provide in-game stat bonuses. I feel this would detract from gameplay and unbalance the game in favor of the rich. I wouldn't want to sell shmuckers or gems, or things that provide stat bonuses. I like the idea of pay options that offer added gameplay value without causing imbalance. Things like Stanley's rockers all having weapons with a glowing red edge. That could be a custom model set that he bought. :) It doesn't have to add stats, just an alternate appearance. Stanley's new city design is another possible example. I'd want to provide both free city models to choose from, and plenty of nice fancy pay ones. And I'd definitely want to get feedback from the community regarding the pricing model.

It could be done as a civilization-style top down MMO with no display of units in detail. The engine could be much less powerful. I can't think of a vector for free to play players tho, or any way to invite large groups of friends to participate with you, if unit control is abstracted out by the engine like that.

Heck, it could be done as a web-based CCG MMO. :P :D But I need to stop before I type another essay lol.

Tho I will say I love Dungeon Keeper. I was playing #2 recently hehe. I wish they'd made a new version. Overlord (not the facebook one) isn't quite the same.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Beeskee » Thu May 29, 2014 6:12 am

I'm glad I posted this here, my original notes are tucked away on some drive somewhere. I've been thinking about this a lot, especially how to handle various things such as IP. What I came up with is a unique IP, for a game similar to, but not quite Erfworld.

Something unique in it's own right, but without Erfworld's unique charm and sense of humor.

The game is called First Pancake.

Okay maybe it has a little of Erfworld's humor.

I'm working on notes but it is basically a fantasy-medieval setting, featuring more historical and mythological foundations, with a few anachronisms. It is different enough from Erfworld to not infringe upon it's IP, but similar enough that many of the assets and much of the code could be re-used.

The plan is for a multi-mode game, with single and various multiplayer modes, with the initial sale comprising the bulk of the startup financing and MMO-related sales and continued software sales sustaining development for some time. (Similar to Minecraft and etc.)

Modes:
Single Player - starts a local network-capable server
Multiplayer - Small Server - small meaning a single server or small cluster of servers, not small in terms of quantities of players
Multiplayer - Cloud MMO Server - meant to run on large scale cloud server hosting, anyone can set one of these up just like the small server. One official, paid MMO server is planned.

Versions:
Windows / Mac / Linux - optimized clients for each platform, based on the same code
Web - plain html - optimized for no graphics gameplay / basic mobile gameplay
Web - 2d graphics - optimized for 2d/low graphics gameplay / midrange mobile gameplay
Web - 3d graphics - basically the same as the Windows/Mac client, in a browser, for PCs/Macs/Linux or high end mobiles
Iphone App 2d/3d (separate, optimized apps for each mode)
Android App 2d/3d (separate, optimized apps for each mode)
More? xbox/pswhatever/ouya/other?

Payments:

Base payment for game, includes everything
All game modes: Item store: Account items, Server slots, Character items
Purchases made via game currency payments, $1 USD = 100 points, to allow for microtransactions.


One of the benefits of a custom IP is that I can basically do everything everyone was asking for above, as well. :D

These would all play the same basic game, be able to connect to the same servers, etc, but with customized/optimized interfaces for each platform.

The entire thing will be some variant of public or open source, including the complex MMO stuff and backend stuff needed to run it. I have a pricing model in mind too for how the larger scale stuff should work, one that rewards both developers and server owners so that the game helps cover the cost of hosting it.

Speaking of costs, I am able to cover the costs of things like web and small server hosting, and upgrading the time tracking account if that becomes necessary. When it comes to testing the Cloud MMO part, I have an account with Amazon and will grant appropriate access to developers who need it and promise not to drain my bank account dry with server fees. :D

I'm looking strongly at Unity3d for the engine, and I'll have an announcement in a few days regarding handling of compensation for the project.


I don't know if Rob wants to make an Erfworld game but I definitely know he wants to make money. ;) If this project is successful, then Erfworld the game could easily be done using this project as a base. Depending on how things go, Erfworld could be a mode in the game similar to how Warband or Fallout/TES games allow selection of mods or conversions. Or it could be done as a stand-alone game. Or, with permission, Erfworld could be developed in parallel or as a mod or addon to the main game.

I need to talk to Rob about this part, but I know he is busy. ^.^;


More notes and project + files links below. :D Edits for minor detail additions.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Beeskee » Fri May 30, 2014 1:00 am

One thing I saw mentioned before in this thread that I definitely understand is wanting to be paid for any content contributed, if a project is financially successful. So I wanted to announce that I've set up a project on teamwork.com. You can use the site or the tools it offers to track your time worked or an estimate of the hours for already-completed work:

https://firstpancake.teamwork.com/

If/when First Pancake is commercially successful, you will be paid. :D
There's no money yet. I know Future Money sounds like Pretend Money, and it might be. There is risk involved. Be advised.

You can sign in with OpenID, or pm me your email address and I will send you an invite.

If you haven't used Teamwork before, there is (extremely) basic training here, which is also billable:

https://firstpancake.teamwork.com/messages/117172

One note, file storage space is currently limited, please upload large files to an alternate storage area for now. If there is actual interest in the project, I'll pay for the upgrade.

On the First Pancake site, I've set up some general categories to bill time to. I also created a separate Learning project for charging time for research or training for various programs. This includes Erfworld research. Yes, that's right, get paid for reading Erfworld. :D Training and research is billable, paid work. Of course, you have to contribute actual content to the game to qualify. ;)

There's even a simple task list, aside from the generic entries, to start with. There are things that can be done right now, for those who know or are willing to learn Unity3d. That engine is fairly easy to learn, also. Anyone on the forums could contribute.

Spoiler: show
--

Windows and Mac Client - List:

1: Create Hexagon base for scenes in Unity3d
We could use a standardized base for scenes to be built on, as well as an example to determine the ideal standard size for hexes. This should be a large hexagon suitable for walking around on to get a feel for the size. If you want to make it a walkable scene, please place a few to-scale reference objects on it and a simple skybox of your choice around it. No need for too much decoration, we just need a base and a sense of scale.

The size to make it will be a problem. A city will need to fit inside one. A wild hex should not feel tiny. I'm guessing from somewhere between 1-10 km. As far as I am aware, there is no current canon for hex sizes.

Note: This task is not for a full scene, just a standard base hexagon platform.


2: Determine best Hexagon base
Community decides on which hex base to use.


3: Create scenes on hexagon base in Unity3d
Anything you can think of that fits the theme of either Erfworld or First Pancake
First Pancake IP: Vaguely fantasy medieval with anachronistic elements to it, with a foundation in history and mythology.

If you are having trouble deciding, there will always be a need for:
- grasslands, hills, mountains, forest, swamp, snow, desert, tundra, plains, oceans, beaches, and etc.
We will also need transition hexes and trails, roads, rivers, ocean shores, and other mixed hexes.
Please feel free to make scenes with terrains not listed above, of course.

Note: For matching with other hexes, on these early hexes the terrain should be flat against the hexagon base at all edges, for most hexes.

--


I'm still getting my notes on the IP together. Meanwhile if anyone wants to play around in Unity making a standard hex, go for it. And yes, I'm working on one too, though it may likely suck. :D

At this point, the project is open for anyone to join and contribute. :)


Edit: I also registered a domain: http://firstpancakegame.com - there's nothing there yet.
You can tell this project is serious because I have invested almost 10 whole dollars.
I could have bought a sandwich with that. Oh it is getting real now. :D
Seriously though, I've got web space with php covered, and I can cover the Amazon server costs once it comes to that.


PLAYABLE tests:

6/2/2014:
Early hex test: http://firstpancakegame.com/files/hextest4.zip - the hex is way too small but you get the idea. Includes standard generic trees for scale. Watch out for the edge. Alt-F4 to quit.

6/2/2014:
Hex Test 5: http://firstpancakegame.com/files/hextest5-huge.zip - takes about 5 minutes to walk from one edge to the other. settings: blend hex, x:10 y:10

6/2/2014:
Hex Test 6: http://firstpancakegame.com/files/hextest6-huger.zip - closer to what I had in mind, size-wise. This one takes about 10 minutes to walk from one edge to the other. settings: 3ds hex, x:2000 z:2000

I'm done messing around on that for tonight. :D

I have the entire project directory zipped up and available for download here:
http://firstpancakegame.com/files/New%2 ... roject.zip


6/8/2014: Beginning my weekend today, and I've been sick all week. Yay. :) I'm working on notes and various stuff this weekend. Also I'm reluctant to keep bumping my thread when there haven't been any replies so that's why I just keep editing this.
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Re: Erfworld MMO?

Postby Finn MacCool » Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:01 pm

i've thought a bit about how to best emulate erfworld's turn order and how to avoid having to ask people when they want to play or artificially limiting their freedom of movement.
now, even a small side can be in contact with umpteen others (think mercenaries), but it's unlikely to have more than a dozen (if that) unallied sides in one hex.
so i propose to rely on relative time and have all units move (or rather be able to be moved) simultaneously - up to the point where they come in range of unallied units (this could mean entering the same hex or coming into sight). then all the sides that have units in that spot of the world (and haven't ended their turn yet) would have the remaining turn time split equally between them* and could move according to their turn order. but only in the spot in question - all their units elsewhere wouldn't be influenced. those could still move simultaneously (barring other encounters).

*the time has, of course, to be recalculated every time a side leaves or enters the spot.

also, regarding permadeath, i favour the idea to have players respawn into existing NPCs of similar level.
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