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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsProject PDRPG - an MORPG in the works
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Icarus
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« on: December 02, 2009, 12:53:05 PM »

December 7th: Graphics update.

December 2nd: Log started. Version 0.7a in development.


What is PDRPG?
I've been meaning to bring out an online multiplayer game for some time now, but for the first time I'm even this close to actually being successful.

I gained motivation to try again after fiddling around with the tools for a while.
The result of my fiddling: PDRPG.

PDRPG comes from "Player Developed Role Playing Game", which is a reference to my earlier RP game, PDRP ("Player Developed Role Play"), which never really got published. This is not, however, the final title of this game.

What's the big idea of the game?
Well, personally, I'm tired of the system most of MMORPGS play nowadays; click here, click there. Then do some more clicking... This also includes grinding. A lot of it, too.

The big idea behind PDRPG is to lower the need of grinding monsters, and bring more of a social way to play the game. Second, the invetory/equipment system will be different from your normal "kill and loot" RPG games. I wish to bring something original(-ish) to the concept of online gaming.

So, instead of continuously killing the same kinds of monsters, you explore the vast world and its dungeons, towns and more, with your friends, and possibly join the search of a rare artifact.

Quote
The game will include combat, but it will not be the main part of the gameplay - we will concentrate on different parts, for example exploring the vast world with your friends, finding rare artifacts buried in the ground and completing quests which need you to solve puzzles (instead of killing 5000 rats in a basement or the sewers). The combat system will work so that grinding will not be needed; you only use combat to actually fight someone or something, not to gain experience. Fighting will NOT give you experience points in this game as it doesn't have an experience level. The only levels are the skill levels including Acrobatics and Speed.

About the inventory system - the loot system will be altered from many MMOs in a way: there will not be different kinds of weapons, but one weapon which you upgrade in an arcade game manner. You collect powerups and your weapon may fire faster, different kinds of effects may be applied to your bullets, it may give the monsters a knockback or so.

The weapon will have three upgrade slots. The powerups will take up one slot each, which will limit your upgrades in a way that reminds of collecting different items. Think about adding more parts to your loyal weapon and switching old parts to new ones to make it better, only the gun has three different parts you can upgrade.

Some people may ask about "random drops". How can they exist in a game like this, if it has no inventory like other games? Well, the monsters drop random upgrades, depending on the monster, which have a random multiplier each. For example, if you kill a cave lurker, (which will be one of the first monsters you can fight in the game) you may get a powerup by the name "Weapon Power +2%". If you go and fight an enraged astroguard instead, you might get a "Weapon Power +10%". That simple, only the amount of different kinds of powerups will be massive - so that everyone can design a weapon of their own style, whichever fits them the best.

But as I said, this game will not concentrate on grinding and combat.

What's the part you call "Player Developed" in the game?
As I said, the project name's origins are in another, old and abandoned project of mine, PDRP. That game gave the players an ability to decide what was going to happen in the universe, depending on their actions. The game would develop based on what they did, and so the "story" of the game would flow. I'm planning on something similar in this game, although in a different, maybe smaller scale.

The game may also include a possibility for user-based content contribution - effectively bringing out the Player Developed -part. This has not yet been decided on, as there are many possible problems associated.

What's the game like right now?

The game runs in 320x240 resolution.

Here's a small list of features that the game actually does have at this moment:
- A fully functioning multiplayer server/client platform
 - A working skill system with 3 skills implemented
 - A skill-affected movement engine
 - 4-level parallel backgrounds
 - Partly functional character save system
 - Serverside administration system


Additionally, here are some pictures to give you an idea of the style of graphics:
There's unwanted blur in the images - they're PNG files all the way, though.  Crazy



The updated ground graphics look better now. At least in my team's opinion. Camp Antinum.


Traveling underground in the Antinum Mines.


Camp Antinum, showing off the text box... The font is crappy, but will be changed.

Who's participating in the development of Project PDRPG?
I'm doing everything myself, except for music and most of the graphics. I'm using music from The Mod Archive until I can get some original music, and my graphics artist, Phantom/ArchMonitor, takes care of the graphical awesomeness.

I also want to thank Hempuli for helping me with the code.

If you're feeling crazy enough to want to help with this project, please give us a note or something; right now we could use help in
 - Background musics, we're looking for something original
 - Basic engine and multiplayer system testing, aka. alpha testing


Progress
Graphics:III-------
Gameplay:I---------
Multiplayer:IIIIIII---
Engine:IIIIII----

These only show how me and my team feels about the progress of development; they are in no way "real percentages".


Todo-list:
-Combat system
-NPC synchronisation system
-Inventory system
-Save system
-General bugfixes


Please ask if there's something more you would like to know about the game.

 Gentleman Gentlemen...
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 12:22:48 AM by Icarus » Logged

MaloEspada
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 12:58:57 PM »

Little artistic critique:
Your game seems to rely on pixel art, yet that sky background seems like gradient... I personally dislike the clash of styles.

Also, the characters are a little small for that resolution...
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Lime
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 01:01:16 PM »

Also, the characters are a little small for that resolution...
Yeah,that's right.I can hardly see the characters...
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 01:04:42 PM »


The big idea behind PDRPG is to lower the need of grinding monsters, and bring more of a social way to play the game. Second, the invetory/equipment system will be different from your normal "kill and loot" RPG games. I wish to bring something original(-ish) to the concept of online gaming.


Can you expand on this and give a little bit more detail about how it will differ from current ways games do things? And can you explain how the 'player developed' part of this game will work?
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Icarus
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 01:05:20 PM »

Little artistic critique:
Your game seems to rely on pixel art, yet that sky background seems like gradient... I personally dislike the clash of styles.

Thank you, critique taken and we'll get working on the backgrounds as soon as possible.  Smiley

 
 
Also, the characters are a little small for that resolution...
I've been thinking about stretching the screen, so the pixels grow a little larger, making the characters larger in the same process.  Concerned
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 01:08:35 PM »

Ah, good day to all of you. I'm ArchMonitor, also known as Phantom to some, and I'm responsible of those graphical fails. Except for the characters, I bugged Icarus to let me make them 32x32 and not 16x16... I've been stalking around the art section for some learning.

The gradient sky was placeholderish - I'll replace it as soon as possible. We are possibly upping the sprites into 64x64 blocks - characters would be 32x32 after that.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2009, 01:09:49 PM »

Another artistic critique: The art styles for the background and the ground & boxes clash, a lot. The boxes seem fit for some kind of realistic, gritty game while the background is all happy-happy. The small characters did not bother me, nor did the sky.
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2009, 01:22:50 PM »


Can you expand on this and give a little bit more detail about how it will differ from current ways games do things? And can you explain how the 'player developed' part of this game will work?

Updated to give more information on that behalf.
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« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2009, 01:26:39 PM »

Ah, good day to all of you. I'm ArchMonitor, also known as Phantom to some, and I'm responsible of those graphical fails. Except for the characters, I bugged Icarus to let me make them 32x32 and not 16x16... I've been stalking around the art section for some learning.

The gradient sky was placeholderish - I'll replace it as soon as possible. We are possibly upping the sprites into 64x64 blocks - characters would be 32x32 after that.

Yeah, bug him some more! The first thing that struck me from the screenshots was how small the characters are. Remember, as the graphics guy, it's your job to bully your programmer into finding the technical fixes required to make your vision a reality (I say this having recently had a similar issue come up with a programmer I'm collaborating with). They'll thank you for it in the end, when they see how awesome their game looks.
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« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2009, 01:44:17 PM »

Another artistic critique: The art styles for the background and the ground & boxes clash, a lot. The boxes seem fit for some kind of realistic, gritty game while the background is all happy-happy. The small characters did not bother me, nor did the sky.
It's true, partially due to me redoing almost every graphic when I started making characters. First I were going to do more realistic vision, but then I fell in love with simple colours resulting in the character you see now. Box was just something I had not replaced yet - but I did it now, in 64x64 if Icarus can add them to game. :3

The redone box, on 64x64. :3
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st33d
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2009, 02:40:48 PM »

Ah, good day to all of you. I'm ArchMonitor, also known as Phantom to some, and I'm responsible of those graphical fails. Except for the characters, I bugged Icarus to let me make them 32x32 and not 16x16... I've been stalking around the art section for some learning.

The gradient sky was placeholderish - I'll replace it as soon as possible. We are possibly upping the sprites into 64x64 blocks - characters would be 32x32 after that.

Yeah, bug him some more! The first thing that struck me from the screenshots was how small the characters are. Remember, as the graphics guy, it's your job to bully your programmer into finding the technical fixes required to make your vision a reality (I say this having recently had a similar issue come up with a programmer I'm collaborating with). They'll thank you for it in the end, when they see how awesome their game looks.

This attitude stinks. I've worked under it before and what happens is that you end up thinking, "you know what? Fuck you and fuck this game."

And you make a bad game, because you're not having fun making it.

Making the graphics work is about working together. That way you get far cooler graphics because the programmer will come up with cool new code driven effects for you to draw the sprites and animations for. They'll be stoked about getting the graphics to work instead of thinking of you as a necessary evil.
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2009, 02:57:01 PM »

The character size doesn't bother me either, I like it with that visual style actually.

Also I love that this is an ORPG.
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2009, 05:15:33 PM »

Remember, as the graphics guy, it's your job to bully your programmer into finding the technical fixes required to make your vision a reality (I say this having recently had a similar issue come up with a programmer I'm collaborating with). They'll thank you for it in the end, when they see how awesome their game looks.

This attitude stinks. I've worked under it before and what happens is that you end up thinking, "you know what? Fuck you and fuck this game."

Errk. Shocked I think you may have interpreted this comment rather more seriously than I intended it. It's hard to get the right "tone of voice" in forum posts, and I appear to have failed here.

What I meant to say was that good things can come of collaborations when the members of the team push/inspire each other to come up with stuff and solve problems that they wouldn't bother to on their own. I know that in my own (non-game-related) freelance work, I do my best stuff for the more demanding clients.

However, I think I might have phrased this in a way that made me look like a dick.

Anyway, back ontopic, the small characters might work if the whole display was only like 320 x 240 px or something. I mean, they're not much smaller than the character from Knytt, and Knytt looked awesome. It's more that they look a little lost in the screenshots as they are; at first glance it's difficult to spot them at all.
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2009, 10:35:22 PM »

However, I think I might have phrased this in a way that made me look like a dick.
Actually, we both laughed at that on Skype chat, so no worries.  Wink

Characters MAY be changed into 32x32 from 16x16, but it all depends now on if ├Źcarus is going to recode the engine for 64x64 blocks.
Anyway, back ontopic, the small characters might work if the whole display was only like 320 x 240 px or something. I mean, they're not much smaller than the character from Knytt, and Knytt looked awesome. It's more that they look a little lost in the screenshots as they are; at first glance it's difficult to spot them at all.
Yes, they could look nice on 320x240, but some features would not be so easily accessable (read: chatbox) since the small resolution of the screen would make it fill the whole screen.

Yet, this could be possible without editing the code by stretching the sprites into 2x versions and leaving the resolution and chatbox alone.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 10:58:20 PM by ArchMonitor » Logged

LazyWaffle
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2009, 04:58:42 AM »

Not a fan of MMORPGs, since they all seem to be about grinding. I'll see where this goes, though. Try to avoid MMO cliche's, and don't make quests or grinding or medieval settings. That's just way too overdone.
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2009, 06:25:02 AM »

True, medieval fantasy is way too overused. That's why I'm making steampunk-styled world. (We all know steampunk is awesomeness.)
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2009, 09:16:06 AM »

True, medieval fantasy is way too overused. That's why I'm making steampunk-styled world. (We all know steampunk is awesomeness.)

Steampunk is easily as boring and derivative as medieval fantasy. If you say the words "two dimensional steampunk platformer with low res pixel graphics" you've pretty much described 80% of all indie games. If you're going to do it, you're going to have to do it well.

First up the characters are way to small, if you're not going to make them bigger then 320 x 240 is a perfectly valid resolution.

Check it:


Not saying this is what you SHOULD do, I'm just saying that you can do this without losing any vital information.
But, you shouldn't even be mixing pixel graphics with anti-aliased text in the first place.

Also, never EVER use the noise filter when drawing pixel art. EVER.
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2009, 09:38:37 AM »

Oddly enough, I don't know a single steampunk platformer. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

Anyway, having read the whole thread, I don't think I really get what this game is about. So apparently the world changes according to the players' actions, but how? I also couldn't really discern whether it's going to have user-created content or not.

Just a little hint in case you're going for user-created stuff: I'd be very careful with that as it has a tendency to get extremely messy. And don't forget that people are, more often than not, douchebags on the internet. So you should limit it just enough to not allow any of that to happen.

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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2009, 09:43:18 AM »

I was about to say the same thing, CAsinclair.  Actually I know of maybe one steampunk platformer that was a flash game but it was pretty short. I think that there is alot of talk about steampunk, the indie crowd really likes steampunk, and alot of steampunk projects that never get finished but there aren't many finished games set in steampunk worlds.  Still steampunk has picked up so much popularity these days that you do have to be careful because it can easily become cliche and boring.
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2009, 10:10:09 AM »

Well, a lot of this is WIP, but we'll be sure to take in your commenting. The textbox containing anti-aliased text - well, it's default, methinks. I'm not in charge of any coding here, I suck in that stuff. There have been some shortcuts used on the placeholder graphics, such as the dirt walls/stone walls made with some noise and the previous sky being a gradient. They aren't going to be so blocky either, the transition from stone to dirt, and dirt to our parallel background will be smoother, and not defined by the 32x32 blocks.

We all love steampunk, but there's not too many games of it. :c

About the usermade content: I have no idea. Icarus is in charge of that stuff, I only do graphical assets of the game.
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