Spy Game Design – Inventory and Related Areas

So in thinking over how inventory should be handled, I came up with a couple of issues:

  • # of weapons that are carryable
  • ammunition for said weapons
  • reload time based on location of ammunition
  • how does ammunition affect combat
  • how much gear should be reasonably allowed to be carried, even considering strength
  • how gear is obtained
  • First off, I wanted this to be semi-realistic, which means unlimited weapons and ammo are out. This should be more about the skills of the character than just being able to blow away all the enemies standing in the way of the completion of the mission. Two, maybe three weapons max is reasonable IMO.

Obviously, realistic weapons mean those weapons have to have realistic ammunition in terms of type of # of rounds. This brings into play how many clips a character can carry and where are these clips stored. A character can reasonably have a couple of clips quickly available, but if he gets into an extended firefight, after these clips are used up, it’s going to take longer to get to others and reload. That means combat resolution has to take this into account. Not a big problem but making the combat fun and still keeping these things in mind is an issue. Having weapon cooldown between clips like spell cooldown in fantasy MMOs seems a good way to handle this. The cooldown obviously changes based on how many clips are used. This also means clip location has to be handled in the inventory. Again, no problem, just something that has to be noted in the design.

Gear loadout is going to change mission to mission of course. The agent would get this gear at the agency headquarters, assuming that’s where he gets the mission. I’m imagining missions can be obtained on-the-fly in the field. These missions would provide more XP, since it would possibly mean some improvising, thus making the mission completion harder. (note to self – document in design doc :D)

Obviously, gear selection is going to be tailored to the mission type – the character isn’t going to be able to select a rocket launcher on an infiltration mission (geez, another thing to note in the DD :\). The character also isn’t going to be able to load up on every piece of equipment that could possibly fit the mission, so how do we determine how much equipment the character can carry while keeping in line with the where is it stored idea noted above in the ammo discussion. The time to retrieve this equipment isn’t as important, usually, since it’s mostly used during non-combat times, but still – even the biggest backpack can only carry so much and the character has to have the strength to handle it. Does this mean every item has to have a property to tell how much area it’s going to take up along with it’s weight? Possibly. Is this the best way to handle it? Don’t know yet, what do you think?

I envision a black market being available in the game where equipment can be obtained in the field, which means the character has to carry money of the type used in whatever country he’s in. Where does the character get this money? Agency HQ, hideout/safehouse in the city he’s in, stealing it? All these are possibilities I guess. This means a fairly robust game world with a lot of NPCs that can be interacted with in a lot of ways, but that’s a good thing IMO. Most NPCs in MMOs are usually just placeholders for things like training, getting quests, buying and selling loot, etc. They’re not really non-player characters. This is one thing I’d love to see changed in MMOs. Yes, it means a lot more work, but it’s a big thing that needs improvement.

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