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Guys, Let's Make A Roguelike! (Community Roguelike Creation)

Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
edited May 2007 in Games and Technology
So recently, suffering from a spot of burnout on another project of mine, I decided I also wanted to work on something (comparatively) easy where I'll see results instantly, something that won't tax my spriting skills too much; and I ended up thinking about making a roguelike.

But I'd actually also like this to be a community effort - I know there's a lot of roguelike love hiding behind these boards. So I put it to you.

What would you guys like to see? What kind of setting? What kind of systems? Go crazy. Would you rather it be sci-fi or fantasy? Both? Modern setting fighting against zombies? Post apocalyptic? A STALKERish setting? Or something that more echoes the lonely fantasy setting of Shadow of the Colossus? Should it be balls-grindingly tough or just focus on having fun?

The good thing is that roguelikes don't require a lot of processing power, so gamemaker is both quick and hella easy for this kind of stuff. In fact, once we know where we're headed, I can probably get a prototype up in a day or less, provided I can find somewhere to host it.

Much as I love ascii, I'd love to get some spriting practice out of this, so it'll probably be some windowed, low-res style stuff. Something along the lines of DeepQuantas's excellent dwarf fortress creature tileset;
Spoiler:
... would rock real hard.

Another awesome thing about gamemaker and low-res is that I'll be able to have absolutely huge maps. Some seriously huge ones. Whether we'll need that is of course another matter. And I'll be able to focus a lot more on AI, too, once the system's in place. You might even be able to lead a squad around, who knows.

We might not get far on this, and we might never finish it. You guys all know the survival rate on these kinds of projects.

But man, in the meantime we could have a lot of fun.

So... Discuss!

Zetetic Elench on
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Posts

  • BlueDestinyBlueDestiny Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I demand a limb-based health system. And superpowers. With an arena-survivor gamemode.

    Any sufficiently advanced friendship is indistinguishable from magic.
  • thorgotthorgot Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    But I'd actually also like this to be a community effort - I know there's a lot of roguelike love hiding behind these boards. So I put it to you.

    If it's hiding, it's hiding out in the open, because there's a thread every few months on them.

    If you want to be classy, you could go with a PA-themed roguelike.

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  • SceptreSceptre Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The one thing I've always found cumbersome in roguelikes is the inventory and magic systems. I think that whatever you do end up making, a graphical interface would be extremely awesome for those two.

    Especially the inventory, and the equipping of items there of. It wouldn't have to be complicated, just a picture of a dude (or dudette) and you can drag and drop items onto them.

    The other suggestion is that if it's going to be a PA community roguelike, it has to be funny. I will be expecting a good ratio of cocks/dicks to "LoL's".

  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Limb-based damage all the way, baby. Who can fail to learn that lesson from DF's wrestling system? I remember when I woke up to find one of my arms missing...

    The idea of a PA community roguelike scares me; if it goes well, it's awesome, if it fails, it'll be so lame.

    The idea of a Lock Thread superpower is intriguing, though...

    I'm absolutely planning on a graphical inventory. It'll mean more spriting, but yeah. Theoretically you'd hit a button to call up a mouse-based interface, like you see in STALKER and RE4 and XCOM. That kind of grid-based idea. That includes picking things up. Unless anyone can think of a better system?

    Edit: And hiding because, well... Like you said, every few months. It disappears regularly, which is a shame, because I love that thread.

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  • BlueDestinyBlueDestiny Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Speaking of making roguelikes, what tools would one use if one was interested in such an endeavor, my good sir?

    Any sufficiently advanced friendship is indistinguishable from magic.
  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Depends on what you're trying to do, exactly. Gamemaker, what I'm using, is the best "quick and easy to use" style program, and it's got a ton of really nice features, and it's incredibly flexible, but... Try to do too much with it and it starts to slow down real fast. That's not a problem for roguelikes, of course, which is why I'm using it. Like I said, you can get something up and running within a day.

    I mean, traditional programming languages seem to be pretty good for the more traditional roguelikes; they lend themselves nicely to an abstract text output. Things seem a lot easier when you have to worry about less graphical gubbins. But there's not a lot of stuff you could do with them that you couldn't with gamemaker. At least, nothing you'd really want to do. If nothing else, GM is a decent introduction to the ideas in programming.

    I can't think of any other tools that'd lend themselves to the genre, to be honest.

    Hmm. Settings. I'm leaning towards the zombie idea myself, but I kinda feel like it might end up feeling stale after a while. My second choice would be some kind of fantasy that isn't generic. Your thoughts, people? Once I know this, I can start knocking out sprites.

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  • PipboyPipboy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    If you're going to make it at all PA themed, make it based on Frank's escape from Cambodia. You know, the time he was lost in the jungle, bare assed and hopped up on some jungle mushrooms.

  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I shall note down:

    * must be able to get all hopped up on some jungle mushrooms
    * must be able to abuse employees

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  • BlueDestinyBlueDestiny Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Some ideas for a setting:

    DC/Marvel universes (or just superheroes and such)
    Zombies
    Pirates
    Mecha, giant or otherwise
    Nuclear apocalypse
    Zombie apocalypse
    Ninja apocalypse
    Cyberpunk dystopia
    Space/Space stations

    Any sufficiently advanced friendship is indistinguishable from magic.
  • nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    nothing gives me a hard-on quite like the idea of a good roguelike

    EDIT: except maybe bicycles.

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  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Some ideas for a setting:

    DC/Marvel universes (or just superheroes and such)
    Zombies
    Pirates
    Mecha, giant or otherwise
    Nuclear apocalypse
    Zombie apocalypse
    Ninja apocalypse
    Cyberpunk dystopia
    Space/Space stations
    good ideas, but your thinking too small, the trick is to combine some of the above, ZombiePirateNinjaMecha Apocalypse in Space! Multiple space stations, some crewed by ninjas, some by pirates, as they fight each other in giant mechas while simultaneous fending off the attacks of the space zombies. Choose to play as a young pirate or ninja mecha pilot, each side with its own set of unique subclasses, skills weapons and mechas..or maybe i'm just crazy

    WII U NNID- talios
    steam-taliosfalcon
    XBL-AdeptPenguin
  • nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I feel like something to do with bicycles would be awsome.

    except in a roguelike it probably wouldnt.

    like at all.

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  • JJJJ Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Zombie Apocalypse

    Yes.

    Huge maps of desolate terrain and city/ town areas. Other survivors that can either help or attack you.

    Stalker + Zombies

    Also, for no reason there should be rogue robots that tear the shit out of anything. Don't fuck with the robots.

    If you're going to limb based damage you should check out SD Snatcher. Interesting battle system they had.

    Mr. Banballow was so badly maimed, he turned into a hideous monster, oozing and bleeding, snarling and growling like a beast---enraged and bent on revenge. He tracked down the kids responsible for the fire and killed them one by one----with a blowtorch. That wasn't enough for Banballow. He won't leave his inn or his memories, so there he waits....in ambush....
  • hambonehambone Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Cowboys and Indians

    vs.

    Zombies

    Just a bunch of intoxicated pigeons.
  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The basic promise of a rougelike is to reach some sort of goal. (In Nethack for example you become a god / demi-god at the end if you find the magic trinket). In order to reach the goal you have to go through a mazelike world.

    The fun of these games is the route and the actions you take in order to get reach it. (For example polymorphing you into a dragon, or finding a genie which grants you wishes, so you can get the ueber armor at the beginning)

    A modern day roguelike would be a nice change. Lets keep the goal simple. How about: "Walk to the mall and get a Wii (or enter high in demand next gen console here). Maybe money is part of the game. So you have to evade/beat "enemies" which try to steal the money otherwise you can't affort the console.
    Even the enemies could be funny "the obnoxious fanboy", "the mac zealot", the "overambitious clerk".

    A modern day setting doesn't mean it has to be realistic. Maybe aliens stole all the Wiis in order to direct a attack on earth with the help of its motion detection capabilities. So at the end you'll walking around in their mothership. If these gameplay elements would be mixed with PA style humor my pants would explode.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I'd like to see a sci-fi Roguelike for once. It would be neat if we added in a(n) (optional) mission-based system, as well.

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  • nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    has anybody read Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars trilogy? I've always thought something along those lines would make a fucking awsome computer game.

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  • WoodroezWoodroez Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    hambone wrote: »
    Cowboys and Indians

    vs.

    Zombies


    I LOVE YOU

    but seriously, barring that, I'd love to see a take on the fantasy setting. Maybe similar to the Warhammer universe, which managed to make even elves badass.

    Or you can take those terrific sprites in the OP and change them slightly for a zombie apocalypse within a fantasy setting.
    Spoiler:

    EDIT: You could always make the PA references only within a certain area. Like a Knights of Arcadia camp or something. That way, if it doesn't come out right, the game wasn't really banking on it being the focal point. I have images dancing in my head of steampunkish fruit-fuckers modified for zombie combat.

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  • PeewiPeewi Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Whatever you do, this needs zombies. Lots of zombies.

    Wii U: Peevvi || 3DS code: 3480-2527-9521
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  • nefffffffffffnefffffffffff Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    yes. and we will get Dragonforce to compose an original score.

    EDIT: is that trogdor down towards the bottom of the sprites in the OP? seriously the second row from the bottom, the one with just two dragons. the one on the right is trogdor.

    TROGDORRR!!!

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  • GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I'd say a superhero setting would be awesome. I suppose using pre-existing characters would be some sort of massive felonious violation of copyright, so new characters with a highly customizable power creation system and supervillains as boss characters would work nicely.

    I think a City of Heroes-esque system with power sets would make alot of sense, but the powers should be adjustable (sort of like in pen-and-paper hero RPG's, where you can add range or damage or armor-piercing or whatever) using experience.

    steam_sig.png
    IOS Game Center ID: Isotope-X
  • PendegastPendegast Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Awesome idea! I didn't know Gamemaker was capable of handling a roguelike game -- are there any tutorials out there for getting it to produce randomly-generated maps and whatnot?

  • -SPI--SPI- Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I say fantasy wild west. Jam in as much stuff as possible, because Cowboys+anything=awesome

    See!

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  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited April 2007
    sci-fi, (optional) mission-based
    sci-fi
    JJ wrote: »
    Stalker + Zombies
    Also, for no reason there should be rogue robots that tear the shit out of anything. Don't fuck with the robots.
    Peewi wrote: »
    Lots of zombies.
    Woodroez wrote: »
    zombie apocalypse within a fantasy setting. steampunkish fruit-fuckers

    Seems like there's two for sci-fi, one for modern, two for fantasy, and four for zombies. Oh, and two for superhumans in some way. And three for wild-west.

    I'd really like to try my hand at a non-generic fantasy setting (i.e. no orcs/goblins/elves/etc.), and you know what this pretty much says to me?

    A fantasy steampunk set in a post-zombie apocalypse world that's mostly desert.

    With those neat six-shot revolving rifles.

    And steampunk giant trains. And yes, steampunk close-combat zombie killing robots.

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  • hmxmosshmxmoss Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Pirates vs. Ninja vs. Zombies vs. Robots vs. Aliens vs. Cowboys

    Oh, and Vikings.

    And triffids....

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  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Pendegast wrote: »
    Awesome idea! I didn't know Gamemaker was capable of handling a roguelike game -- are there any tutorials out there for getting it to produce randomly-generated maps and whatnot?

    You know, I looked, and I couldn't find any. But the basics would be pretty simple, I think.

    You'd generate the terrain by picking randomly from room tiles, and each tile has a handful of x/y coordinates for how other tiles should match up, so that you don't get randomly screwed up corridors. If a tile doesn't fit, you pick another one or choose an ending tile (as in, dead end). Then you populate it with monsters based on how advanced the player is.

    I think the tough part is really coming up with enough random tiles that it looks natural.

    Edit: I got botp'd, so I may as well say it again.
    Fantasy steampunk set in a post-zombie apocalypse world that's mostly desert.

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  • JamesDMJamesDM Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Woodroez wrote: »
    zombie apocalypse within a fantasy setting. steampunkish fruit-fuckers

    Cybernetic Zombie-Fuckers? If so, I'm in.

    If you have any complaints about this poster then feel free to: Иди на хуй, Сучьи :D

    Steam, PSN, XBL, Xfire and everything else JamesDM
  • NerdtendoNerdtendo Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I think I saw it mentioned, so I'll toss my vote in for a post apocolyptic zombie setting.

    It could make for an awesome rogue-like if it's done well. Dense city, multi-level buildings. Windows to look out of. Keep the mortality fairly realistic, a bullet to the head should almost always be fatal (if you go with a d system, the head's hp could be 1d4, and a single 9mm bullet could do 1d4 damage). The player could find other survivors that could be helpful or harmful.

    It'd be really cool if the game starts off as a normal day for the player. You could choose a "job", which determines your starting abilities and equipment. The player is simply waking up in the morning getting ready for work, and something triggers the first attack. From there, it spreads, and the difficulty steadily increases. The game could generate new NPC's and zombies to replace dead ones as it progresses.

    Man, it would be sexy.

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  • Hotlead JunkieHotlead Junkie Registered User
    edited April 2007
    How about instead of having the usual '1 step at a time' sort of interface where the length of a turn is about 6 seconds or so (You know, enough for you to swing a sword, hit someone and have them retaliate in one turn), how about having each turn represent a fraction of a second? Let's just take any example of an action scene, a bunch of dudes firing guns at you as you walk past a window.

    Your character is represented as normal (@) and the enemy characters with uzis are represented as (U). Each time a turn is passed/the character moves a step, the bullets move one space in the direction they were fired in (a bunch of -'s heading towards your character). The trick here is that your character is superfast, and let's, for argument's sake, is on the level of Neo or Viewtiful Joe in the bullet-dodging department. If the - hits your character, they take damage/dodge it/it deflects off their armour/whatever, but if you are standing next to it and initiate an attack (in most of these games, just 'pushing' your character into it or pressing 'f' and towards the target) the character can deflect the bullet back or at an angle (randomly, but if your character is adept in this skill they will always deflect back in the direction they came from).

    If the character can get up close to the people firing the guns by dodging the path of the bullets by simply navigating through the streams of -'s or getting close another way, as they are way faster and can simply pummel them/pick up and throw them/snatch the weapon from their hand and fire back/etc.

    That's just the basic gist, but the idea is simply from playing one single action scene instead of a level in the same 10 munites it would take to do either, and having the player have a lot more control of their combat.

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  • hmxmosshmxmoss Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Nerdtendo wrote: »
    I think I saw it mentioned, so I'll toss my vote in for a post apocolyptic zombie setting.

    Same here...

    And let me add that I'll offer my help in the coding department, if necessary. I'm not sure what gamemaker requires, but if you wanted to go more primitive with C/C++/whatever, I'll help out.

    I'm just not big on the organizational thing, especially considering everything else I gotta get done. My evenings are partially available, but my day belongs to Rock Band.

    Anyway, just tell me what to do, and I'll hop on it. If someone does organize, send me a PM.

    EDIT: BTW, I also know someone else who might be interested in joining as a coder. I'll have to ask... but for both of us, it would have to be a cross-platform project, since neither of us are big on Microsoft (except for our 360s).

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  • DeepQantasDeepQantas Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I believe there are several roguelikes that measure time in 1/1000ths of... umm... turns. I mean when the player does something, he spends something like 900-1100 time units. Fast monsters spend less time, slowed player spends more units, etc.

    The Matrix stuff would simply be a matter of making the bullets into objects that spend something like 100 units per move... and player spends about the same while the enemies are stuck with 1000.


    Anyways, the funny thing is I've been toying around with a roguelike concept that does the exact opposite. Instead of focusing on the micro level, it'd measure stuff in hours when you're not in combat.

    When not in combat, the game is "real time" so that you and the NPCs can move about and do whatever you want. However, you don't need to worry about the clock ticking away your precious time. Time doesn't pass and NPCs don't do anything significant until you yourself do something. For example...

    - Travelling one screen: 10 minutes
    - Mining one square: 30 minutes
    - Smithing a sword: 2 hours

    And so on and so forth...

    When you spend time doing this stuff, the game gives the same amount of time for the NPCs to spend, so now instead of idling around, they actually start doing stuff like farming, eating, trapping, wandering in the dungeon or whatever.

    Of course the time you spend doing stuff on-screen is not tied to the "real" time spent. Mining a square takes about a second or two even tho it represents half an hour's work. On the other hand, even tho travelling represents the least time spent, it's going to take most of the screen time for players and NPCs.

    Now, of course all this could be done in the traditional way (you mine for "30 minutes" while NPCs zoom around in warp speed), but I have a dark ulterior motive... You see, with this kind of time management I could make it a co-op game. :P

    m~
  • NerdtendoNerdtendo Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sweet! More of the same opinion!

    Yes, definitely an apocolyptic zombie rogue-like in a city. I'd suggest basing the "leveling" system around skills instead of higher HP, more damage, etc.

    Maybe explosives, projectiles, and melee as your basic weapon skills. As you use a hand gun, for example, your skill in hand guns and projectiles goes up. You could then pick up a rifle, and be fairly decent with it because of your projectile skill, but rifles would fall into their own catagory. Higher projectile skills would increase your accuracy. Higher explosives would increase your knowledge of the blast radius and safety measures, plus the best way to place one for maximum effect. Higher melee would increase your accuracy and damage.

    A crafting system would be pretty awesome too. Read up on chemistry and explosives, or use explosives enough, and you'd get a general idea of how to make a crude grenade using a glass bottle, draino, and aluminum.

    A player would have to rely on tactics and ingenuity more than their level; which brings us to the enemy. I think the main threat of zombies should be as it's always been, becoming overwhelmed by them. A single zombie should be a relatively mild threat to a player with any type of weapon. And keeping just a few variations of zombies would simplify things for the designer.

    Man. Just thinking about the possibilities makes my crotch area all tingly.

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  • WallyWally Registered User
    edited April 2007
    :^: for skills over leveling.

    It'd be cool to have no final goal other than "Zombies are running amok, see how long you can survive."

  • NerdtendoNerdtendo Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I think having various modes would be pretty sweet. The basic mode being survival of course, try to live as long as you can. You could also have an extraction mode where you come in with a team of marines looking for survivors. You have a certain amount of time to find as many as you can, and take them to an extraction point before the city is nuked.

    Squad based rogue like? Oh yes! The game would score you based on how many people you have alive by the time you escape, that includes squad mates.

    But as for survival, for the sake of gameplay, add the possibility of travel between cities. You could keep files for various cities explored, and when you go to another, the game could load it up or produce one. It would be kinda lame for materials to appear around the city you're in magically. On the other hand, you could easily write it off as survivors turned zombie, survivors from other places, or zombies moving stuff around.

    What about zombie types (if any)? Regular dumb zeds of course, and after 28 ingame days (little tribute to the movie), faster smarter zeds start to show up. I guess if the player survives long enough, the zombie population could begin to shift towards the smarter ones. Progressively make the game more difficult, first by increasing the zombie population, then by changing the zombies into more difficult types (based on player feedback). I'd assume most players would be long since dead before the end of the first month though.

    Ooh, even (dare I say it?) a sort of RTS mode for controlling zombies? You start off with just a single infected zombie, and you progressively take over the city. Again, you play for a certain amount of time, and are scored based on how much of the population you kill. It would be difficult to figure out a way to manage hundreds of zombies though... Maybe you can switch control of single zombies any time, and could also direct zombies within a certain radius (city blocks?) to attack specific areas.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The only thing I think needs to be added to the classic roguelike formula is context-sensitive buttons. I still can't get into Nethack because each button on the keyboard does something different. You don't need one key for going up stairs and a different key for opening a door, etc.

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  • mrflippymrflippy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I've always wanted a game like this that you can finish in a few hours, has quick character power progression, but has a ton of character/class/skill/power combinations.

  • mrflippymrflippy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The only thing I think needs to be added to the classic roguelike formula is context-sensitive buttons. I still can't get into Nethack because each button on the keyboard does something different. You don't need one key for going up stairs and a different key for opening a door, etc.

    What happens when you have a door right in front of the stairs down or something though?

  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    mrflippy wrote: »
    The only thing I think needs to be added to the classic roguelike formula is context-sensitive buttons. I still can't get into Nethack because each button on the keyboard does something different. You don't need one key for going up stairs and a different key for opening a door, etc.

    What happens when you have a door right in front of the stairs down or something though?

    You screw with the level randomizer so that such events don't happen?

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  • ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You should build it off of IVAN, if possible.

    It has a great location damage system (lots of severed limbs in this game).

  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Okay, I think I can safely say that I'm getting a zombie vibe here. Which is great, because I really wanted to go for that.

    However, I'm torn between those two settings. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

    Steampunk Fantasy Post-Zombie Apocalypse:
    You'd play as a soldier in a fantasy setting, possibly part of a squad, investigating the underground ruins of an old city in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. There'd be heavy steampunk elements, so there'll be guns, steam killer robots, trains and whatever other mechanisms you can think of, and crafting'd go hand in hand with that. Think Vagrant Story's undercity sections.
    Pros:
    With both guns and medieval melee weapons, the limb system could get real interesting
    Room for a wide, wide variety of enemies, but mainly zombies
    Much wider, non-standard race selection - you could theoretically be any sentient race that exists in the game, including lizardmen, squid-heads, an insect-race... Yeah, I'm a big Mieville fan.
    Cons:
    Not as many people seem interested?
    The setting will take a little more work
    It'd have to be balanced more carefully than the other setting, which means more time spent playtesting rather than getting things done


    Modern Urban Zombie Apocalypse:
    Pretty self-explanatory, really. You'd be a survivor in an urban area, possibly hiding out in metro tunnels that have become isolated survivor villages.
    Pros:
    Wide array of guns and grenades to blow dudes up with
    Different survivor groups could be interesting
    Multi-storey buildings and barricading
    Cons:
    Urban dead got really boring really fast for me
    There's way less fun shit to do with the limb system when you're just using guns
    Fun as it is, it's been done to death



    I can safely say that, in either setting, you will use guns a lot (provided you want to), there will be a crafting system (since I love that stuff), and most importantly, you will be able to command a squad at some point. But one step at a time.

    DeepQantas: The time system I'm thinking about implementing is quite similar to yours, but comes at it from a different angle - it'd be based on initiative more than the time the action takes. And longer actions like smithying a sword give you a big penalty to your initiative. It'd effectively work in a really similar way to your idea. The only problem I can see with it is that long actions give a previously-offscreen NPC more than enough time to sneak up behind you and shiv you in the ribs.

    hmxmoss: Thanks for the offer! I appreciate it. But really, the only help I need is with ideas. Unless I need a C++ plugin for gamemaker - then I'll absolutely call you.

    Nerdtendo: I <3 crafting systems. I already designed a gun crafting system that would fit really neatly into this game, so I fully plan on that. I do plan on having levelling up, and on skills being just as or more important than that. Nothing beats the cheap thrill of a level-up, I'm afraid.

    Keep going, guys. This is all great stuff.

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