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Design Document - Game Development?
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Posted 2002-05-01, 09:34 AM
Well, I was bored so I started off by writing on a design doc for a game I've been thinking about for a while. I would appreciate if someone could read it and tell me some points and ideas.


The Concept
The battle between the different FPS games is constantly going on, and it is simply enough tricky to come up with something new. The "games of the future" will be the massive multiplayer online, also known as "MMO" games. Some of the most popular ones today would be Ultima Online, Anarchy Online and so on. The UO authors are currently working on a "Star Wars Online" project where you will be able to fly around in space with Tie Fighters and battle other players, but what if we could take it one step further?

If we look at what makes a game popular, it's based on team play to 75%. Counter-Strike is not an exception, and in a MMO game, you can have thousands of players in one arena if the server is capable of handling that. Another factor is obviously the gameplay, which would be ideal with the engine I'm going to talk about soon. The graphics could be turned into some of the best ones ever.

The Idea
Making something new that hasn't been done before in the online gaming community isn't an easy task today. This, however, has not been talked about much, and no-one has ever turned this brilliant idea into an actual game.
Imagine games like Freespace and Decent, with the difference that you team up and can be several players inside a ship to co-operate against other players, or maybe even AI controlled opponents, like malicious aliens.

The idea is to make a realistic, futuristic environment that lets the player think what would be best for his team instead of just do whatever he thinks would be best for himself. A balance that makes the team play work a lot better than just going solo would be one of the goals.

All ships and players can take realistic damage, which means that if an engine blows up, you will have to repair it before you can accelerate with your ship again. If a laser turret gets hit, it will not function properly until repaired and so on. If the ship takes enough damage without being repaired, it will be destroyed. Obviously, repairing a ship should not be that easy, and attacking an enemy stronghold with a damaged ship would be suicide. Doing insane Star Wars missions where one single pilot, formely known as the "hero", can take out hundreds of enemy ships because of his skill simply won't happen. Sure, a good player will obviously have an advantage like in all games, but not THAT much of an advantage.

For instance, in a ship with 8 players, one person can be the pilot, four people can be gunners and be in control of a laser turret or something even nastier, and the rest can control the radar or EMP systems. If the ship gets hit by enemy fire in its engine, the engine will most likely explode if it takes enough damage, which means that the ship can't accelerate properly until a mechanic on board will have repaired it.

One of the basic ideas will be that you can buy your equipment by visiting several outposts of the base. For instance, you might want to stay in your base, which will usually be a mothership in this game, and try to defend it with a heavy laser battery, or you might want to buy a small hovercraft to attempt to assault your enemies. The player will obviously be in charge of his decisions, and freedom/non-linearity will be some of the biggest factors in the game.

Target Audience
The game will be available for all people around the age of 15+, since it will contain some violence, which includes lots of different ways to destroy your opponents. The blood from player models being shot can be turned off with a simple setting, but the destruction and havoc you usually see in movies like Star Wars cannot be avoided. Infestations like in Starship Troopers will also be arguable, which means you might see a nasty death animation or two if you're not being careful enough.

The Storyline
To be added later on.

The World
The game will take place in lots of different futuristic and desolete environments. This includes space areas where you can fly around freely, subterranien maps where you can explore huge caverns, planet surfaces, rift gates, alien infested bases and meteor belts. There will obviously be more scenes, but they can be discussed later on.
The idea is that the world is supposed to be open, and therefore give the players the freedom to fly around almost everywhere, while there will have to be a limit somewhere, or the game will never have its end. No-one wants to play a game where you can hide in an almost eternal world, so there will be radar systems to spot the players with.

Equipment
There will be two main factors for equipment; character equipment and ship setups. The characters will be able to buy different protective suits, powerful hand-held guns and different kits that can be used to repair ships for instance.
The ships will have heavy guns, different radar/EMP systems and special features like extra boosters to increase the ship acceleration.
The equipment will be "free", but you can only have two weapons at the same time. If you decide to buy two heavy guns, you will obviously have a lot of firepower, but you will be slower than ever before, which means that you might be an easier target. Light guns means you can run faster, and usually fire them faster too, but their damage will not be as high.

Character Equipment: Guns

Laser Enforcer
The standard Gamma Section hand-held laser pistol. It has both a short fire range and does little damage, but it can fire fast, and runs on energy cells, which means that it will drain your energy shield a little while you shoot it, but in return, you can fire a lot, and it will not let you down until your shield runs out. The gun is also extremely accurate, and your aim will almost stay entirely still after you have fired.

Primary Fire:
Base Damage: 15-20
Weapon Type: Light Energy
Ammo: 6 EP (Energy Points)
Rounds/Clips: Inf
Fire Mode: Semi-Manual
DBS (Delay between shots): 0.32s
Accuracy: 98%
Muzzle Flash: 1%
Bullet Speed: 16384 u/s
Range: 24576 u
Notes: Starting Gun

Seconday Fire:
Base Damage: 15-20
Weapon Type: Light Energy
Ammo: 6 EP
Rounds/Clips: Inf
Fire Mode: Semi-Manual
DBS: 0.26s
Accuracy: 96%
Muzzle Flash: 2%
Bullet Speed: 16384 u/s
Range: 24576 u
Notes: The secondary fire mode makes the Laser Enforcer fire faster, but in return, it gets less accurate and the Muzzle Flash (the amount the gun "shakes" while being fired, ie, randomly adjusting the aim) increases slightly, which makes this mode more suitable for short range battles.

Photon Burster
The Photon Burster is a heavy pistol developed by the John Aegis corporation. It uses Photon Cells to charge itself with, which means it will not actually leech from the user's energy shield. It is a very accurate gun with a very high bullet velocity, which makes it ideal for taking down creature targets from long distances. However, ships with more than 50% EMP resistance will be completely immune to the Photon Burster effects.

Primary Fire:
Base Damage: 25-60
Weapon Type: Light Photons
Ammo: 1 Photon Cell
Rounds/Clips: 8/10
Fire Mode: Manual
DBS (Delay between shots): 0.40s
Accuracy: 100%
Muzzle Flash: 2%
Bullet Speed: 40960 u/s
Range: 49152 u
Notes: <50% EMP Res = Obsolete


Seems like I didn't write more for now
Note that this is copyrighted material by Zelaron Inc (c), and rip it off, and I will suey-sue
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Posted 2002-05-01, 10:08 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
Sounds awesome. Sign me up for the development team

I know several people that have discussed that kind of thing before, though they were only talking about the space part.

Quote:
No-one wants to play a game where you can hide in an almost eternal world, so there will be radar systems to spot the players with.
Why not? It's no fun hiding indefinately. Eventually they will show themselves.

The one thing I'd like to add is that there must be realistic physics. None of this air in space stuff I see in most space sims. When you turn, it should take time to change your direction.

Anyway, if you decide to actually make this, be sure to let me know
--WetWired
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Posted 2002-05-01, 10:38 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
Same here. Sign me up, I would like to help!

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Posted 2002-05-01, 11:20 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
First off, dumping the Unreal Warfare engine would be ideal if we could make more money out of it, but it would also take a load of extra work.

Well, some facts I got from Trojan:

Hosting a server for 1000 people that are constantly on 24/7, with an average bandwidth consumption of 1 kb/sec each, the monthly bandwidth bill would reach $55,000 USD.

Selling it as a retail game for say, $30 per copy and having 100k copies sold would cover the bandwidth bills for almost 55 months, minus salaries and so on, and that wouldn't really be ideal, since the game wouldn't exactly last forever.

Monthly bills might work, but people think the game has to be really good then, so there is another option, but I will only discuss it with those of you who are really going to be dedicated
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Posted 2002-05-01, 11:21 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
Also, a game that sells in 100k copies would probably have more than 1000 people on constantly.
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Posted 2002-05-01, 11:38 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
count penguin in if this game ever gets off the ground =o
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Posted 2002-05-01, 01:54 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
I am so dedicated to get this off the ground I knowtheres a lot I couldn't do (all that technical stuff) but I'm up for the grunt work e.t.c. and don't count me out of the technical stuff I'm still learning



I'm your man for this...
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Posted 2002-05-01, 01:58 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
:moved: so unregistered users don't copy this move back if you disagree
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Posted 2002-05-01, 02:03 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
My services are 10 dollars an hour.


J/k.. I can probably do something image-wise or idea-wise (im no good at programming), that is if it gets off the ground
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Posted 2002-05-01, 03:37 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
idea-wise here feel free to use me
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Posted 2002-05-02, 07:26 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
WetWired has decided to get into this big time, and he is one of the most dedicated people I've met in this team if you get the idea

Well, we have planned a lot more, and it's so good that it will be better than just good if we actually make it
Well, if you are willing to join, PM me with everything useful you know, and we'll see what happens.
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Posted 2002-05-02, 07:48 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
I am sure it'S useless to post here since chru and I developed alot ofthese ideas but so some peeps know me...
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Posted 2002-05-02, 07:55 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
I'm afraid i can only help idea-wise until i learn some god damn programming... grrr i know html does that help?
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Posted 2002-05-02, 08:23 AM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
Not really, HTML isn't too useful right now.
C++ or art skills would help a lot though.
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Posted 2002-05-02, 03:25 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
did this ever happen

and i can do the buttons bt that is all i got learning 3dmax
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Posted 2002-05-02, 03:30 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
Well, 3dsmax people could prove to be useful, but we'll see. Programmers are the people that could be most neccesary right now.
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Posted 2002-05-02, 03:41 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
My 3dsmax is fux0red right now.. I need either a FULL version or the missing setup cab files


And a crack wouldn't hurt either
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Posted 2002-05-02, 04:22 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
mmmnn...can I help, too? What spot are left-out?

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Posted 2002-05-03, 03:32 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
I'd definitly be interested in doing something like this.. I don't have much in terms of graphics experience (or game experience for that matter... part of the reason why I want to get in on this), but I do have a lot of C++ and programming in general experience.
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Posted 2002-05-03, 04:02 PM in reply to Chruser's post "Design Document - Game Development?"
C++ programmers is exactly what we need right now.
Get on AIM sometime so we can talk
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