New game idea LFF (Looking For Feedback)

So I’m a glutton for punishment. I’ve got a couple of games already started and decided to think about starting a new one. :\

Being an RPG/dungeon crawler fan, I wondered what a game that is completely about dungeon crawling could look like. I also thought about how cool it would be if the game could dynamically be expanded through user contributions.

The basic idea is a world map that shows, from the start, all the dungeons that are known to exist in the world. It shows dungeons you’ve completed and not completed differently. It could also show new dungeons that have been “discovered” (uploaded by community) since you last played. The “goal” of the game would be to complete every dungeon in the world.

Leaderboards would show stats such as most loot collected, most monsters killed, most experienced characters as well as non-in-game stats such as highest-rated dungeon (did I fail to mention that the community could vote of contributed dungeons? :D), most crawled through dungeon, highest rated designer, etc.

One idea I’m kicking around is that a player can only have one character at a time. If a character dies, you start over. Stats will carry over, loot and such, but stats would also be displayed as an average – total loot/exp/etc. / number of characters.

Ideally, contributions uploaded by the community would be scanned and ranked based on content – total treasure, total monster exp, etc. in order to allow only characters in a certain range to go through them. Designers could just load down a dungeon will all treasure and no monsters. The loot-to-monster ratio would have to be within a certain percentage.

I need to figure out the specific RPG elements – character stats, classes, equipment, etc. as well as monster and dungeon designing tools, but that’s just a matter of time to ensure the tools are robust enough to enable designers to create good, fun content.. Figuring out if this would even work and be fun is something that I need to get some opinions on. I know it would be fun for me as both a player and a designer. I imagine the achievement/leaderboard junkies would play to get to the top of the boards.

I could see this expanding into areas like allowing players to trade and buy and sell loot, grouping and guilds (this would be single-player only at first), etc. Things like this would be wayyyyy down the road. :)

I’m hoping I get some good feedback and see where this thing goes.

6 Comments

  1. Jakob Krarup says:

    I really like the “you die – means you’re dead!” idea :) I am guessing it will give a very real sense of danger to every encounter. Let us know what you decide, and if you could use an extra coder :)

    Kind regards – Jakob

  2. Mach X Games says:

    I’m not sure about the perma-death thing, but a lot of people like rogue-likes. We’ll see I guess.

    At this stage I’m just doing more of a proof-of-concept thing. If it takes off into something more real I may need more people.

  3. Dustin says:

    The one character at a time, and you die you have to start over sounds good. On the other hand if you get to keep your loots, level, and stats it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a downside in dying other than for the leaderboard, perhaps adding an xp penalty and loose equipped loots (or maybe only one or two pieces) would make death more than a hit to the leaderboard?

  4. Mach X Games says:

    The player doesn’t keep the loot and such as it’s linked to the dead character. The values stay with the player’s leaderboard stats though as those are across all characters. A character who dies means the player starts a new character with nothing but the default stats and equipment.

    It would also mean the player would possibly have to redo low-level dungeons (need to consider that), but they wouldn’t get credit for them in their leaderboards. The character reaps the rewards the second time around but not the player.

  5. MikeBMcL says:

    In my experience, developers like the idea of perma-death far more than most players since for devs its an intriguing gameplay concept while to players its, at best, exceedingly tedious (at worst they’ll rage quit, never play again, and trash your game as horrible both online and off).

    Something I could see working far better would be for the player to lose everything they gained in a particular dungeon if they die in that dungeon but to retain everything they had when they started into it (in other words they’d keep everything they’d gotten from beating previous dungeons). If a dungeon is particularly long, then a save-point halfway through it (or even several for particularly long/difficult dungeons) might be appropriate; letting the dungeon designer have that option would definitely be a good idea at any rate.

    I definitely like the multiplayer co-op idea; it’ll likely require some complicated network code though.

    Something I think would add to it would be to let some dungeons have story arcs. They could be single- or multi-dungeon arcs. Depending on how you define “pure dungeon crawler” that might not fit, but I think it could help broaden the appeal and there wouldn’t be any need for a dungeon to have a story, just an option for the designer.

    I’d also consider making it so that player and item stats could scale easily such that someone who’s level 50 could go play a dungeon designed for players who are level 5-8 without needing a new character and without having the dungeon be extraordinarily easy for them. You could also scale the monsters instead.

    Any thoughts on target platforms? If you get serious on it starting now (or very soon, at any rate) it could be a good DBP entry (assuming there’s a DBP this year, of course). I’d be up for signing on if you’re interested. Drop me an email if so and we can discuss it.

  6. Mach X Games says:

    I guess it would be a small niche of players that would go for perma-death in a dungeon crawler. I do like your option. Maybe make the rewards better for those that choose to play their character using perma-death.

    I’m not sure how doing story arcs across dungeons would work. If the designers were cooperating I guess that could be done. That would be functionality that would have to be added that I wasn’t planning on.

    I’d have to think about the scaling. Having a dungeon that’s designed for level 1 characters that’s filled with just giants rats would seem weird if scaled to handle level 50 characters. Those would have to be some really tough rats. :)

    I was planning on this for PC since it would make the networking easier. Leaderboards are not easy on the 360, although possible. It would be awesome if DBP allowed PC entries. I guess I could drop the leaderboards and just make it a generic dungeon crawler, but that would be pretty boring. I’d love to get something finally submitted for DBP. I’ve tried a couple of times and been overcome by Real Life events. :( I’m getting ready to start a contract job so I probably wouldn’t be able to start on it for real for a month or so, but I’d be up for it.

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