Project Genesis an idea

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jdavidw13 101 May 02, 2008 at 15:37

Hello,

I’ve had this for a project in my head I’ve been tossing around for a while. Haven’t done much in-depth development of this idea yet, however I wanted to get your thoughts on the initial concept. It’s a game, maybe game isn’t the right word… Perhaps community building experiment with game like elements is a better fit.

The basic idea is that players are dropped into this untouched world, in which they extract the natural resources of the world to begin building player communities in. Players survive in the world by extracting “food” resources which will be consumed. Choosing not to consume food will result in a penalty of some kind which negatively affects the player. In this way, players are encouraged to work together to take care of basic survival needs so they can accomplish greater projects.

There is a construction/combination system where players can “combine” natural resources to form simple tools. These tools will provide certain bonuses to resource and food extraction, and are also the basic building blocks for more advanced tools and structures. The more advanced and complex the tool becomes, the more efficient it is at doing its job. Thus freeing players to pursue other interests.

There will be a combat system, in which players and communities with excess resources will be able to to build and support armies. These armies will need to be fed and supplied as they march across the lands. Players might use these armies to steal and pillage resources and equipment from other players, or use them to forcefully persuade other communities to join their own.

This is the basic idea for Project Genesis. What do you think?

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Dim_Yimma_H 104 May 02, 2008 at 19:41

@jdavidw13

Players survive in the world by extracting “food” resources which will be consumed. Choosing not to consume food will result in a penalty of some kind which negatively affects the player. In this way, players are encouraged to work together to take care of basic survival needs so they can accomplish greater projects.

It seems like players will be thrown out of the game if not consuming food resources. That’s probably a good motivation to keep “following the game”, but I’m unsure about penalty… Wouldn’t it be better to reward, to make it enjoyable to keep playing, instead of punish?
@jdavidw13

There is a construction/combination system where players can “combine” natural resources to form simple tools. These tools will provide certain bonuses to resource and food extraction, and are also the basic building blocks for more advanced tools and structures.

It’s always interesting with interactive construction, for the same reason it’s interesting with all the interactive destruction in games lately. But they’re both technically difficult, and the joy factor seems proportional to that.

Your post reminded me about Age of Empires by the way, that was a nice game.

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jdavidw13 101 May 02, 2008 at 20:26

@Dim_Yimma_H

It seems like players will be thrown out of the game if not consuming food resources. That’s probably a good motivation to keep “following the game”, but I’m unsure about penalty… Wouldn’t it be better to reward, to make it enjoyable to keep playing, instead of punish?

Your post reminded me about Age of Empires by the way, that was a nice game.

First of all, I’d like to say thanks! Folks, in general, seem to like the concept.

The idea behind needed to consume a food resource to remain functional in the game is primarily a means to get players to work together. It’s a common goal, gathering and consuming food, that unites players no matter the size of their community. It allows instant partnerships to be made, for example, one player says to another, “If you gather our food for today, I can find a tool to make it go faster”. Also, it seems to be a worthwhile way to simulate the quality and effectiveness of your time in game. If you’ve decided to go off on your own, you won’t be able to focus all your time on one particular thing. Some of that time will need to be spent on basic survival. However, if your survival is taken care of, you can focus your energy on something else.

It’s a model based on a line from my high-school world history book. Civilization is make possible, firstly, by the control of the food supply…

On the combination/construction system. The idea is that each item/tool/structure that can be built in game has another item and/or resources used in the production of the tool. The most basic of tools can be made by “combining” natural resources you get from the world with your bare hands. More advanced tools can be created with the use of previously created tools… And so on, and so forth…

Players have the task of determining exactly which resources, and in what amounts, are needed to create various items. They’d mainly go about this by trial and error. There may be a system in place which assists players as they “get close”. Another feature of this “discovery tree” is that it is completely open at all levels. Meaning, you don’t have to make the tier 1 items before you can create the tier 4 items. All you need are the required materials to create the item. Knowledge of the recipe can be passed on by word of mouth.

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Blaze_Wild 101 May 05, 2008 at 17:10

Dim Yimma H, I agree with you about your whole post. especially the age of empires. i agree. i’ve seen many games like this idea. such as age of empires and a game called “populous”(correct me on spelling) those games are kind of like a civilization where you just survive off of what is given to you in the wild. i like the idea though. those games are always very interesting. its like a survival game.

well i can help if its just volunteer. if you have AIM or another chat just email me at rob.silver.3074@gmail.com and give me your screen name. we can talk about it.

Keep on thinking (: great idea.
Cya,
Rob

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Dim_Yimma_H 104 May 06, 2008 at 15:03

@jdavidw13

The idea behind needed to consume a food resource to remain functional in the game is primarily a means to get players to work together. It’s a common goal, gathering and consuming food, that unites players no matter the size of their community. It allows instant partnerships to be made, for example, one player says to another, “If you gather our food for today, I can find a tool to make it go faster”.

It sounds like each player controls one human character in the game, so it seems like a fusing between strategy game and role playing game. The hack and slash RPG’s are kind of tiresome, so your idea sounds like a perfect complement. Though, it might be a good idea to avoid any “food grinding” and make collecting food actually enjoyable.

Food that increases abilities? That sounds like enjoyable, as long as the abilities are fun. What about fast running, strength to easily break branches?
@jdavidw13

It’s a model based on a line from my high-school world history book. Civilization is make possible, firstly, by the control of the food supply…

I think I recall that principle. If food control was the first primitive form of agriculture. And most agriculture actually forces the humans to stay in one place until the food sources grow and can be harvested.

And once the humans stay in one place, it’s a settlement, which together with trading leads to civilization. History books are awesome. :)
@Blaze Wild

Dim Yimma H, I agree with you about your whole post.

Thanks, even if I must admit there wasn’t very much content in my post. :lol:

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onyxthedog 101 May 07, 2008 at 00:16

Since I have not done developing much, in fact I am just starting my first game because I wanted to take sometime to get a better grasp of programming in general, I may be interested in helping you create it. Mainly programming because that is my strong point. But if at all I wont be able to help for awhile.

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jdavidw13 101 May 29, 2008 at 17:21

@Dim_Yimma_H

It sounds like each player controls one human character in the game, so it seems like a fusing between strategy game and role playing game. The hack and slash RPG’s are kind of tiresome, so your idea sounds like a perfect complement. Though, it might be a good idea to avoid any “food grinding” and make collecting food actually enjoyable. Food that increases abilities? That sounds like enjoyable, as long as the abilities are fun. What about fast running, strength to easily break branches?

Thought I had subscribed to my own post… Sorry I missed these new replies. Yes, you are correct. The game perspective is played with the player controlling their single character. And, your point about food gathering can be made for ALL RESOURCE GATHERING. This is really the first game design challenge (other than getting a basic engine up and running), how do you make basic survival (food gathering/consumption) fun?

My initial ideas on food gathering which would be available almost instantly are:
1. Foraging - very boring, very grindy, although can be done just about anywhere. This may suffice when no real food sources are near.
2. Hunting - you chase npc critters around with your fists or a primitive weapon, hitting space bar to attack it. Perhaps it actively tries to flee from you, so fast, that you’d need to follow some kind of blood trail to find it on screen again.
3. Agriculture - I really liked the game Harvest Moon, I thought the farming was pretty fun. Things you’d need to do are till the land squares, sow the seeds, and provide a water supply to your crops. Perhaps players could create ditches from rivers to their crops. The crops then basically grow themselves, until it’s harvest time.

One thing that will need to be carefully balanced is how to penalize players for not consuming food. At one end, you don’t want to outright disable and prevent players from playing if they don’t have enough food. At the other end, you don’t want to make food gathering so easy and so accessible that it can be performed relatively quickly with little effort.

I think a common need shared amongst all players is necessary to get them to work together on the societal level. If this need is negated, I believe relationships become more of a grouping/guilding system. I’d really like to test this idea out with the project. If such a system were in place, what kind of virtual communities would form, and how would they function?

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onyxthedog 101 May 30, 2008 at 15:46

You could make them gradually get weaker and you need a certain strength level to do tasks. The player could always steal out of another farmers farm, but runs the risk of being attacked.

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jdavidw13 101 May 30, 2008 at 20:03

@onyxthedog

You could make them gradually get weaker and you need a certain strength level to do tasks. The player could always steal out of another farmers farm, but runs the risk of being attacked.

I like that idea. Your hunger level goes down in stages. At lower stages you become less and less effective in doing tasks. Anyways, did you get my PM? I would love to have you join the project! Let me know.