Friday, December 14, 2007

Flash Game Idea Thing

I had a notion. It is impractical, as so many are, but I have a burning urge to have it out. Feel free to ignore the following.

In games derived from MUD, such as the archaic "EverQuest" or more recent "World of War-Craft", it is often the case that when players inflict the fruit of their aggressions upon non-player-controlled foes (or NPCs), those NPCs are filled with hatred, attacking whoever damaged them the most. In this manner, the commandment dictating the trade of "an eye for an eye" is respected, momentarily disregarding abilities that manipulate this hatred.

To my understanding, this generally only pertains to combat, as players attempt to direct the loving attentions of their foes to those among them best suited to receiving it; but it can go terribly wrong. In a rout, players may flee pell-mell, gaining a larger and larger following in the process of foes seeking to rend them limb from limb; a "train", if you would. This is, in general, disastrous for anyone in the area, as the monsters are frequently willing to divert themselves from pursuit of the fleeing to attack passers-by in overwhelming numbers.

But what if you wanted to gather such "trains"?

The notion here is, as mentioned above, of a flash game. (The original thought was for something more similar to a miniature MMO, but my ambitions have since scaled down; I may revisit that later in the post, though.) It would be multiplayer, by whatever means necessary - I have seen Flash multiplayer-over-Internet, but local play on the same computer-box could work too. Players would stroll about in a placid landscape filled with hideous, hateful monsters. Their objective, in this hypothetical game, (at this point I switch tenses) is to kill each other. But they can't attack each-other directly. Only the monsters can.

Thus! (And I finally get to the main concept.)

Players can attract monsters' hatred with a touch of arrow-shot. These monsters would then follow the player that attacked them, becoming, with numbers, a "train". The player, ever fleeing (for he does not wish to be gobbled up by his own creation!), would seek to gather more monsters and ambush his opponents with them, trapping them between evils.Here, the left player (marked in green) ambushes another player (also in green, to the right). The right player has monsters behind him (which will catch him and maul him if he turns) and monsters before him (which will catch him and maul him if he stays the course just like the Iraqi insurgency). He is, as they say, "screwed".

This is the essence of the notion. There are many potential complications and elaborations. Players would (of course) have health, letting them potentially survive an ambush... once. Monsters might come in many varieties; speedier and slower, deadlier and weaker, more hateful and more placid, etc. Power-ups might be placed around the area, to make players faster, healthier, capable of firing on the move, that sort of thing. There might be bonuses for acquiring a particularly large train of monsters, and ways to make it more difficult; their hatred might fade over time, causing them to wander away, or certain types (for instance, ice wolves and firecats) might fight if placed in close proximity, requiring careful placement. All of that sounds pretty rad, except maybe the last sentence. Maybe. But the idea could be made very simple or very complex."Very complex", with different types (colours) of monsters, power-ups, etc.

The main obstructions to its creation are these:
-I have no artistic skills or Flash skills. (The whole "blocks of colour" theme is more of a limit on my mock-up skills than a representation of what I imagine the hypothetical game would actually look like.)
-Anyone who does would likely prefer to work on their own notions.

It is a shame, but I am not motivated enough to do anything other than blag about it.

In reference to the pseudo-MMO notion: Play would be persistent, and players would gain experience by killing others. Levels would grant skill points for things like increased speed, faster firing, multishot, that sort of thing. It probably wouldn't make much of an MMO - though it could be an amusing mini-game in a larger MMO.

I need to think about that, but that's all for now.

Thanks for reading!


Desmond said...

It does sound like an interesting concept.

King Kessler said...

You should totally poke Game Maker repeatedly. Get obsessed with it once, and you're able to mock stuff up with it at any point in the future. It probably wouldn't actually be that hard to to implement the basic elements of this thing here, if you could figure out a way of keeping the monsters from clustering on one spot rather than staying spread out.

Maraj said...

I saw the phrase "It probably wouldn't actually be that hard to x".

Kelsey, your statement has been invalidated. I'm sorry.

King Kessler said...

If you'd read until the end of the sentence, you'd notice that "basic" occurred later in the sentence. Give me five minutes and I could implement this:

Have the monster object move so-and-so pixels toward the protagonist object, but only if there isn't another monster object in the way.

The fun part is in refining the algorithm.

Cavalcadeofcats said...

Ethan just dislikes Game Maker. I could have a shot at it, I suppose. Maybe were we to work together some time?

It's a thought.

Oldboy said...

how is that fun?
i can never understand why people like programming
or like
you know
and stuff

Maraj said...

I refuse to have any part in this bar graphics.

Game Maker is the anti-Ethan.

King Kessler said...

You can do the sprites! Use Pixen.

Also, David: Different things float different people's boats!

Cavalcadeofcats said...

David: Why are you in Compsci?

Oldboy said...

i did it for the lulz