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Historian/Lore-person for an online browser game

conixconix Registered User new member
edited February 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey everyone,

I'm Joseph; I'm currently making an online browser game with my friend who's pretty good at coding. The game code currently has around 10,000 lines, so it's not just a pipe dream; however, neither of us is particularly talented at writing/coming up with backstories/descriptions of classes, so I'm looking for someone who can help us with that. If not, any critique about the game will be very much appreciated ^^

So anyways, about the game:
It’s an automatic turn-based strategy game with some RPG elements. In this game, players play as a "tactician" and manage multiple characters (each levels and changes classes individually), put them into formations, and battle them. It’s coded in PHP/MySQL, but battle will use C++. If you've heard of MyBrute, it's kind of like that but slightly more brain intensive and customizable.

Players play as a tactician that manages characters. These characters can be arranged into a 3x4 formation (with max of 7 characters) and fight other players. Characters level up and change classes independent of each other (there are a total of 123 classes). As characters change classes, they gain abilities that affect their neighbors; some classes may help their allies become stronger; others may be incredibly strong individually but detract from their allies. Characters only have 2 equipment slots, weapon and armor, but it's like this to prevent players from becoming too confused, since they'll be managing lots and lots of characters.

Here is some sample art I have for the basic classes:

If you're interested in the class trees, here they are. Characters start as Novices and can change into either a Swordsman, Trainee, or Spellcaster. The parenthesized numbers next to the name of the class denote the required level.

Descriptions of the classes when I created them:

The sizes of the class trees are pretty big so it's better if you open them in a separate window.

Also, some interesting example classes:

* Tyrant class:

Effect: -10% STR/INT/VIT to characters around it.

Character concept: The Tyant falls under the "selfish" archtype. It decreases the stats of those around it, but has above average attack while having no apparent weakness.

* Marauder class:

Effect: +2 strikes and +4 speed to the Marauder and those to either side of him for 1st 2 rounds of battle.

Character concept: The buffs the Marauder provides allows his neighbors to strike first and more often, but only at the beginning of each battle. The Marauder also has relatively high attack but low defense, essentially making him a glass cannon.

* Sorcerer class:

Effect: +60% Physical Defense to the character in front of the sorcerer and -50% Physical Defense behind the sorcerer.
Character concept: The Sorcerer gives defense to the characters in front of it while taking away defense to those behind it, which shows its mixing tendency. Players can take advantage of these effects by putting classes with very high physical defense in front of the sorcerer while putting classes that wouldn't really need physical defense anyways behind him.

If you'd like to take a look at what and how each class affects its neighbors, here's a spreadsheet of all the classes and their effects. To show what location the effects are present, I used a number system.
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9
5 is the character, 2 would be directly in front of the character, and 8 would be directly behind the character.

P.S. If you're interested in numbers, the second sheet of the spreadsheet shows some simple statistics on how each class fares stats-wise

The game currently is structured around simply fighting other players; in the future, I hope to implement several things: A "Player Versus Monster/Computer" function, Guilds for players to group up in, and territories for guilds to fight over. I've thought up of a good way for the latter two, but they're currently not being pursued since the basics of the game need to be programmed. Battle is fully automated for simplicity, so the structure of formations is extremely important.

Some other random things in the game:

* Characters have a specific affinity for an element. We are using the Chinese 5-element system (Water, Fire, Wood, Steel, Earth). Characters can deal extra or less damage based on its and its target's element; the affinity also gives small bonuses to make the character more "aligned" to that element, i.e. Fire affinity characters get +5% Attack and +1 speed.
* There are two ways to upgrade weapons: Refining and Imbuing. Refining adds simple stats (such as more attack for weapons and more defense for armor) while Imbues add special effects that have a range to keep players trying to get the "best" stats. Example: Desperation (Weapon Imbue): +20-30% Damage, +10-20 Critical, -3-2% Regen.

Essentially, I'm requesting help on coming up with a world for these characters to be in as well as descriptions for each of the classes. (oh, also, if you saw the class descriptions spreadsheet or class stats and have suggestions to change the concept of a character or name of the skill, I'm open to those too.

About the world: Since I'm planning to release a clan/guild function in the future (if this gets that far, heh) which is centered around fighting for land, I'd like a world that has many different types of terrain all in one place. A good example:

If you feel anything is confusing about the game feel free to ask me questions, I'll do my best to clear up confusion. I left out some things (namely damage types, stats, substats, effects, and how battle progresses) which I feel aren't as relevant at the moment, but I'm happy to talk about these if you're interested.

Thanks so much for your time!

Edit: Blah, just realized this section is for coming up with concepts, not hiring people. Sorry about that; If you guys could critique the game that'd be awesome too.

conix on


  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I hope you weren't expecting this to become a roaring business or something; even existing games have trouble trying to hold on to their customer base, never mind monetize. There are too many decent timesink games out there already.

    There's always a chance, but it's a distinctly small one, even if you write this as a Facebook game and gain access to lots of customers at once (required registration is massive barrier).

    As for your request... your concepts should be self-explanatory as far as possible, I don't think anyone plays browser games to expand their horizons. If you need a spreadsheet to explain the details, that's too many details.

    Judging from your spreadsheet as it is, there's a lot of Vit and Str and Strike and %s without any indicator of what relative usefulness they have, or whether the numbers are big enough for % buffs and straight +buffs to be comparatively useful. So make a lot of visual indicators of these in your game, or drop some of these entirely.

    Likewise with other game mechanics; if the structure of formations is important, then make sure it's easy to see what the "good enough not to suck" formations are.

    ronya on
  • UrQuanLord88UrQuanLord88 Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I like the concept of the game. If it is anywhere near myBrutes, it could go viral real fast. Some quick thoughts:

    Though a huge timesink, has a ton of informal/formal concepts of fiction if you ever need inspiration.

    Next, the game needs an overarching goal for the player. There should be a reason to fight and continue the battle. Is it a power struggle? A battle to restore order? A battle for survival? A battle for supremacy (to be unbeatable)? Or all of the above? There are tons of stories that could explain these motivations. My favorite persistent war excuse is ascension to God-hood, whereby the player fills in the area between mere mortal and demi-god-ness.

    I think basic game concepts should mold story. Take your element affinity game element for example. If it is integral to the gameplay, any small amount of story to explain the mechanics should be used. Pound it into the players heads in the story. Fire beats wood? Emphasize it every time, especially such that a 'Fire' theme'd character is somehow or another beating on a 'Wood' character and is always cursing or running away from a 'Water' person/event.

    Add/keep a sense of mystery, i.e. not everything should be explained to the last detail, aka do not explain the Force. You want people to create the world in their mind. All you need is to nudge them along with some core concepts.

    Speaking of core concepts, this includes major events and characters. Sprinkle them about. Take this class progression and their sample description for example:
    Barbarian - (I guess you can't use savage here because one of your characters is called a savage) Brutal and uncultured, the barbarians of FICTIONEARTH litter the landscape, wandering around with seemingly no purpose. In recent times, they are but a minor threat to travelers and merchants. However, the strength of these wandering brutes should never be underestimated, as they once plunged FICTIONEARTH into the TWILIGHTAGE under the great Conqueror, SIRWILLIAMNOPANTS
    Gladiator - Barbarians do not always live out their lives in the wild. Sometimes, they become attracted to the allure of civilization. Other times they are captured by the richfolk from the cities, like MAJORCITYSTATE. It really doesn't matter how they got into the coliseums, what matters is that they channel their wild brutality into the arena and if they survive, they become efficient killing machines: Gladiators.
    Dominator - Every city has their Dominator: an exceptional Gladiator who has survived and thrived in their respective coliseum. blahblahblah some backstory, some famous guy
    Conqueror - Fame and fortune doesn't always quench a Dominator's thirst. blahblahSIRWILLIAMNOPANTS didn't take no for an answer and was the first Great conquerer that started the TWILIGHTAGE. Since then, many Conquerors have tried to lead the barbarian armies but none have been succeessful

    I really like M:tG and its flavor text and that is where I'm coming from. There is always a something said about the card and a hint of the bigger picture, which keeps people speculating and working their imagination.

    UrQuanLord88 on
    Streaming 8PST on weeknights
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