Call for an Erfworld Video Game

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Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby privatepepper » Mon May 11, 2009 8:34 pm

Edit: There's now a wiki for this. Go there to help with the planning. http://code.google.com/p/erfgame/
Edit2: Changed the wiki to one at code.google.com. If you want to help, PM me in this forum or send an email to prvtpepper@gmail.com to be added as a member.
EDIT BY BALDER: We were specifically asked if this project is okay with us, so I am answering that. This project has the blessing of the Erfworld creators, as long as it stays noncommercial. If you eventually want to make it into a commercial venture (and that includes accepting ads on the game site or dev site), then you'd have to negotiate a licensing deal with us. Should we want to make it commercial, we would negotiate some kind of compensation for the principal developers. We claim no ownership of this game, but reserve all rights to our characters, designs, trademarks, and the name Erfworld. Make sure you guys are in agreement about who the principal developers are, and that those who are doing volunteering and testing understand that they're not owners of the project and will receive no compensation for their work. Lawyers ruin everything. Let's keep them out of this cool thing as long as possible. Forever, if we can. :)

I am calling for the development of an Erfworld video game, one which can support multiple players and versus AI.

Other than planning (feh), the first steps to do this would be:

1: Find/make a way to render units, cities, and the like on a hex grid. Multiple units per hex is preferable- if that's impossible, show the strongest unit in the stack [unled] or the leader [warlord or caster]. Perhaps we could start by looking at the Wesnoth code, which is under the GPL?
2: Develop a system to track stats and abilities for individual units, at least 400/side with 12 or more sides.
3: Create a combat system, where combats are either simplified [like Wesnoth] or interactive [like Heroes of Might & Magic, but not too like].
4: Incorporate rules for cities, popping units in the wild, et cetera.
5: Add ways for players to control units.
6: Create two-person "hot seat" gameplay, turns, and alliances.
7: Expand two-person gameplay to work over LAN, then a server. Perhaps also write AI for computer-controlled opponents?
8: Ideally, at some point far in the future, we can develop this such that one large Erfgame server can be maintained with only player-controlled sides. People who log on pop as barbarians in the wilderness, and people who log off either designate another player in their alliance as an heir or simply disband their side [as if the overlord died].

Alternatively, we could go the easy route, and simply make new units for Battle for Wesnoth that stack onto the same hexes, script the rest of the Erf mechanics, and release the Erfworld units and maps as an "Era" pack.

I'm not an excellent coder, but I'm going to put forth as much effort as I can into this if enough other people are interested to make it happen.
Last edited by privatepepper on Fri May 15, 2009 12:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby madmaw » Mon May 11, 2009 10:20 pm

I'm a senior developer/architect/software-engineer and am also interested in doing this. The first step, aside from getting more expressions of interest, would be to put together some kind of vision document (probably a Wiki) that the team could agree on as a focal point for the product we want to make (for example, I'm not particularly interested in customising Wesnoth, which isn't really all that like Erfworld mechanics at all).

I think it would be a great project to do and there are probably enough coders in the Erfworld community to make it happen. Speak up folks.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Mikalyaran » Mon May 11, 2009 10:27 pm

I'd much rather see an old fashioned pen and paper game. I'm old fashioned like that though.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby madmaw » Mon May 11, 2009 10:56 pm

Mikalyaran wrote:I'd much rather see an old fashioned pen and paper game. I'm old fashioned like that though.


Automating a pen and paper game might be a good option. For example, the CIV[ilisation] line of games are essentially complex board games that have the paper work done for you by the computer. Not saying that's what I necessarily want to do, but Erfworld would translate to that style of game quite well.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Mikalyaran » Mon May 11, 2009 11:35 pm

madmaw wrote:
Mikalyaran wrote:I'd much rather see an old fashioned pen and paper game. I'm old fashioned like that though.


Automating a pen and paper game might be a good option. For example, the CIV[ilisation] line of games are essentially complex board games that have the paper work done for you by the computer. Not saying that's what I necessarily want to do, but Erfworld would translate to that style of game quite well.


It definitely could. There are certainly advantages to automating thing. Takes up way less time. But it's an entirely different experience playing with your friends across a board than it is with you looking at computer screens or even lanning. Also it remove a number of interesting options as well. An erfworld oen and paper allows for a lot of different thing a comp game wouldn't and visa versa. I guess in the end I wouldn't mind having both :p
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby malekith » Tue May 12, 2009 4:45 am

heya guys,
not sure if you've read the other thread in this section (called 'Systems of Gaming') but there's some discussion about translating Erfworld into a game.
We're not yet sure about what style of game we're creating but i think the general Idea is to create a PnP/TT ruleset and then see from there. Our main aim is to play it on the forum but it'd be great to have it on the TT. So if you want, people could combine these two projects because to have a whole erfworld franchise would be excellent :D

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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby depricated » Tue May 12, 2009 8:56 am

hey sweet

I'm a programmer, well by education. I'm a second year programming student at ITT Tech. I know C++, VB.NET, and am currently learning my way around Java. My education has been based primarily on coding concept rather than syntax(syntax being relatively universal - a for loop is a for loop is a for loop) and I'd love to get some hands on experience, maybe something that I could tag to a resume and say "I helped make this." Whether it's in one of the languages listed above or something completely different, I'd be ecstatic to be a part of it and learn what I can from more experienced programmers. Concept and labs are great, but they pale in comparison to true hands-on experience.

If the more experienced of you here don't mind my novice fumbling, and don't mind lending a guiding hand, I would absolutely love to do this. I have a good eye for code, I actually think it's fun - if you can believe that. For now, anyway. It kind of fulfills that OCD pattern.

Awesome stuff, awesome stuff. By the way I have also have full IDEs for the above languages and then some.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby privatepepper » Tue May 12, 2009 10:21 am

Great to know that there's at least some interest! :D

-Big coder guy has a point- a wiki is needed. While this is mostly Erf, a new wiki would probably be better than adding a page to the Erfworld wiki. Since there's no cost to making a Wikia page and never using it, to there I go.

-As a novice programmer, I've learned plenty of perl and Java, and a little bit of C, python, and php. Yeah, I know VB.net, too, but I don't think it's practical for writing games. ;)

-I've also had practice building 3d meshes and textures with Blender and general image/texture creation with GIMP.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby madmaw » Tue May 12, 2009 5:34 pm

Heh, 'Big Coder Guy'. Finding three people who can code and who are interested in a single day on an obscure thread on a new web site isn't a bad result.

On the Wiki, we might want to use one of the integrated solutions that provide source control, Wiki, file hosting, bug tracking, forum, and other features, rather than a separate product. I've used Assembla (www.assembla.com) before and it's pretty good, but Source Forge has probably come a long way since I last used it, and Google Code (http://code.google.com/projecthosting/) has probably got some neat features too. I'd be tempted to give Google a good look in preference to the others, but if you want to do the leg-work then it's up to you where we go.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Alcazabedabra » Tue May 12, 2009 7:37 pm

Erfgame can taste key lime pie?

The most lively discussion on this topic is happening on the Systems of Gaming thread. Read that, jot down some notes, and post something about your wiki page.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby madmaw » Tue May 12, 2009 8:12 pm

Alcazabedabra wrote:Erfgame can taste key lime pie?

The most lively discussion on this topic is happening on the Systems of Gaming thread. Read that, jot down some notes, and post something about your wiki page.


From what I can tell, almost everyone who's commented here has also commented in that thread. While the discussion seems to be about a variety of gaming mediums, you're absolutely right, if you want to discuss the mechanics of how you'd implement an Erfworld game that's probably where you should do it. If things start to get too board-gaming, or play by forum, specific, we'll break off a separate computer-game thread to capture computer specific ideas.

When the time is right, we'll 'mine' the thread(s) for all the great ideas and put the ones that fall within the scope of the game on the Wiki as requirements. Go nuts guys.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Alcazabedabra » Tue May 12, 2009 10:05 pm

Ah. Well, in that case, I'll just /sign, hope it happens, and add more ideas!

Probably shouldn't make all of our decisions as to design until we've had a little bit (or, hopefully, a lot) of input from the creators.

We might also want to see how Book 2 plays out. We could end up making alterations based on changes to Erfworld canon.

Meantime... let the ideas fly!
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Mal » Tue May 12, 2009 10:44 pm

... You know what'd be fun... TEXT BASED ERF GAME! :D

Text-based games FTW
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby madmaw » Tue May 12, 2009 10:48 pm

Alcazabedabra wrote:Ah. Well, in that case, I'll just /sign, hope it happens, and add more ideas!

Probably shouldn't make all of our decisions as to design until we've had a little bit (or, hopefully, a lot) of input from the creators.

We might also want to see how Book 2 plays out. We could end up making alterations based on changes to Erfworld canon.

Meantime... let the ideas fly!


Yeah, I'm not sure what Rob and Jamie think about the idea, or what kind of license a fan-created game based on Erfworld could run under. GPL? Creative Commons? Public Domain? Anything that actually made money would be hard to divide the proceeds of up fairly, but then they may have plans to develop a game in the future so there's also the issue of lost revenue if a competing, free product set in the same world, following similar rules is released. We may be able to mitigate some of these problems by making the units and environment pluggable (and unpluggable if required), but it's still a concern.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby privatepepper » Wed May 13, 2009 12:05 am

Hmm. Yes, a code-hosting solution would probably work better. ^^;

I've seen a lot more projects hosted on Sourceforge than Google, but of the few that I've worked on at Sourceforge, none of the project pages have had as much functionality as I've come to expect from Google. Since the wiki attached to Google Code is much more specific, we should probably hold off on the specifics of the game mechanics until we've actually started something.

Forgive me if I'm being too hasty. ;)
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby privatepepper » Wed May 13, 2009 12:09 am

madmaw wrote:what kind of license a fan-created game based on Erfworld could run under. GPL? Creative Commons? Public Domain? Anything that actually made money would be hard to divide the proceeds of up fairly, but then they may have plans to develop a game in the future so there's also the issue of lost revenue if a competing, free product set in the same world, following similar rules is released. We may be able to mitigate some of these problems by making the units and environment pluggable (and unpluggable if required), but it's still a concern.


The code would be under the GNU General Public License 3.0, and the media would be under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License. The original Erfworld comic, on page one, has this Creative Commons license, which means that derivative works are allowed, but that they must "share alike" under the same license and attribute the concept and any other borrowed ideas/media to the original authors.

Basically, only ideas and media could ever cause a conflict, and as far as I can tell, their license clearly allows this type of project.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby madmaw » Wed May 13, 2009 12:49 am

privatepepper wrote:
madmaw wrote:what kind of license a fan-created game based on Erfworld could run under. GPL? Creative Commons? Public Domain? Anything that actually made money would be hard to divide the proceeds of up fairly, but then they may have plans to develop a game in the future so there's also the issue of lost revenue if a competing, free product set in the same world, following similar rules is released. We may be able to mitigate some of these problems by making the units and environment pluggable (and unpluggable if required), but it's still a concern.


The code would be under the GNU General Public License 3.0, and the media would be under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License. The original Erfworld comic, on page one, has this Creative Commons license, which means that derivative works are allowed, but that they must "share alike" under the same license and attribute the concept and any other borrowed ideas/media to the original authors.

Basically, only ideas and media could ever cause a conflict, and as far as I can tell, their license clearly allows this type of project.


That's the basic licensing scheme I was thinking of too, but it doesn't hurt to explore options, or get confirmation from the authors that we're all good.

Certain material provided by Rob and Jamie is available for use through a non-commercial Creative Commons license, but not everything. For example, the high-resolution panels in the toolbox have full copyright, presumably to stop people printing off copies and calling it a book. The system of rules could potentially be protected to stop people writing them down and calling it a game. Rob has been pretty clear that 'Jamie and I reserve the right to do anything with any fan content that we want to, including telling you "That's inappropriate; take it down and knock it off."' http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29092.

That's probably fair enough, I'm not a writer or an artist, and the writing and art is something we want to leverage off to create a great game. None the less, we don't want to be told to 'knock it off' after 6 months of development either.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby depricated » Wed May 13, 2009 6:05 am

I would think Jamie and Rob would likely enjoy the opportunity to play in the world they created. But yes, it is in the end their call, the rules and Erfworld being their intellectual property. If they say 'stop mothasuckas' there's not much we can do but shrug and put down the keyboard.

Anyway, I think Java would be best for distributing it. I only mentioned VB.NET to show I know something other than just C++. I'm open to any language though, if we come up with something different.

I think this has some serious potential.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Alcazabedabra » Wed May 13, 2009 6:17 am

depricated wrote:Anyway, I think Java would be best for distributing it. I only mentioned VB.NET to show I know something other than just C++.


Naw, we'll do it all in assembly.

*snrk*


As for the licensing issue - the Creative Commons license that the comic is under would mean that we could spend a couple years working on a game that we could never sell. We'll never make any money on this, except by express permission of the creators, or by donation.

I think Jamie and Rob would probably like a fangame to be free in any case. They *may* have a vague hope of creating an Erfworld video or TT game some day, and actually selling it, but unless we get a big, coherent fan project going with lots of professional-looking work and lots of input from the creators... keep your day jobs.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby malekith » Wed May 13, 2009 6:32 am

Anyone actually pmed jamie/rob?
I was thinking about doing so for the TT game discussions over on the other thread.
might be an idea to actually get them to look at these projects before they go very far...
just my idea

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