Not Me's Tower MMO

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Not Me
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Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:37 pm

HARROW. I AM MAKE GAEM. READ WORDS. HAVE JOY.

To elaborate on that, I think my MMO is going to happen. So I figured I'd start a topic and share some more infos. Yayyyyyy.

I should explain what my MMO is first, I suppose. The idea here is, there is one dungeon in the game, which EVERYONE plays in. Or most people, anyway; I may set up several instances in the case there's too many players. But anywho, everyone plays this dungeon. However, when someone dies, they stay dead. There is no way to revive once you've died. Fortunately for the players, the dungeon resets every month (or so, depends on testing). When the dungeon resets, they can try again. There will still be PvP and maybe even small single player challenge dungeons to do while they're dead, so they're not totally kicked out from the game.

And speaking of PvP, that's another thing. By clearing floors in the main dungeon, players unlock PvP modes, maps, and other features. For EVERYONE. So PvP may not actually be available until someone beats floor five, for example. Then anyone can go play PvP.

This won't be easy, though. The dungeon will be randomly assembled from premade rooms and such, and regenerate every reset. There will also be more than one hundred potential floors in the tower. By that I mean, floor twelve may not always be the same theme, use the same roomset, or have the same boss. And while every player will be supplied with an item to escape the tower at any time, it won't be guaranteed to work in every situation.

Regarding the players themselves, the maximum achievable level will be 1000. As it happens, it will also take 1000 skill points (which you'll earn every level) to max out any particular skill. Skills being anything from sword proficiency to blacksmithing to cooking. Players with proficiency in skills like the latter two will play a major part in the economy; They'll be creating the weapons, armor, and whatnot that other players will buy from the shops. And they'll be creating it from items that explorers find in the dungeon. So, some players will have to sacrifice combat ability in order to produce items for the rest. They'll get a total of 1500 skill points over levelling up, though, so they shouldn't be completely helpless finding materials themselves. A maxed out blacksmith should still be able to provide support as a healer or other back-line unit, even in major battles.

The combat and exploration will be turn-based. The system will work like this: People are given a short period of time to select an action (thiry seconds or so). They can choose actions ranging from inspecting objects to swinging their weapon to walking around. When the timer runs out, everyone's actions are carried out simultaneously. The system is less like the old Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest games, and more similar to a fighting game in that there is no pause for the characters; they don't just stand around while players choose their commands, the game pauses entirely. So if you charge toward a far-off enemy, the turn timer may come up while you're in the middle of your sprint. Then you may have a chance to see the archers lining the walls and back off, or just say screw it and keep going.



So! The level of progress I have made. Not much, honestly, but I have in-game registration and login/logout working. I do want to test logging out a bit more, but it all seems to work. I want to release an alpha for testing PvP once I have combat working.

Also, in regards to graphics. I'm not sure what I want to do there. I'll be putting everything together as text-based for now, but I'm not sure what I want to do later. I may stick with text (that is, everything will be described in text instead of graphics), since I know I can do the environments justice myself. Or I might get someone to do pixel art for me, or I may even try 3D. I'm not sure. I do know that once the game is VERY NEARLY complete (as in, in a final polishing phase), I'll have to put together a kickstarter or something to pay for a server, but that's way off in the future.

Oh, and one more thing. I want to monetize the game to some extent. I'm honestly a bit more interested in how people will react to the game than anything else, but I do want to make something off of the game. What do you guys think I should do there? Should I charge for the game? Should I add some costumes or something as in-game purchases? Do you have a better idea? I absolutely want to avoid anything resembling pay-to-win, so I dunno what would be best.

Ideas regarding that (or anything else, really) would be greatly appreciated.



So, uh, thanks for reading, I guess. :razz:
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Wonderland » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:46 am

All I can say is, wow, that sounds exciting.

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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Eclectic gaming » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:30 am

Sounds very interesting and fun! As for how to monetise, cosmetic items are probably a good idea. I wouldn't put in an option to pay to revive, as that almost resembles the infamous Infestation Survivor Stories, which could ward players off. All in all though, it sounds very promising.
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:05 pm

There will be absolutely no revives, besides a VERY limited number of items (which will send you back to town after one death) hidden in VERY secret places. There may be, say, five in the tower at the maximum, and they may not generate in at all.

One thing I was considering was the option to pay to get a jumpstart for one incarnation. Larger jumpstarts could be obtained depending on how many floors have been cleared; if they've made it to, say, floor 50, you could buy a pack that gets you level 25, with some suitable equipment, instantly.
I'm not sure if that's a good idea, though. Being able to skip grinding through half the dungeon would be nice, but would it discourage other players who can't afford the jumpstart? Maybe it should be purchasable with in-game currency as well? That is, when someone dies, they have the option to buy a jumpstart with the money they had left? Maybe they should only work up to thirty or so levels? I'm very unsure about this.
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Gamerdude » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:40 pm

I've always been interested in the economics of in-game purchases, and I strongly believe that for an mmo that includes PvP elements, the only things you can pay for should be things that will save time, but give no other advantages over other players. For example, the level pack is good because it unlocks the skill points and saves them time, but they should receive no stronger weapons or anything. That way you can pay, or you can grind the hard way, but neither option is better than the other. Alternatively, you may decide that paying to save time can go the "Rare Candy" route - you level up and gain skills/stat points, but no EVs like you would get from actually fighting for experience (a lá Pokemon). So the people who grind the hard way may have slightly better stats. This would need to be balanced of course but just throwing it out there.

I read a book about the economics of game design and technology, and it said that free-to-play games that have some sort of booster available for purchase tend to make more money than games that to outright buy, which is why I guess most mobile games tend to do this now. So if you wanted to make money, that's probably an option you could look at.

Now, about the actual game - I like the sound of it. It reminds me of an anime called Sword Art Online, which has much the same premise. I'd actually really like to see the roles of blacksmith/cook controlled by other players, who can set their own prices. That way it feels like a living, breathing community where players may decide they would rather be the item shop than the hero. Leads to some very interesting gameplay.

I'm very interested to see how this turns out. It seems ambitious but it would be worth it.
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:14 pm

As a matter of fact, the idea was indeed heavily inspired by Sword Art Online. That's the only anime I've ever watched, actually. So yay! You guessed it! :razz:

Anyhow. I think I will do a quick level thing. I'll have to mull it over a bit more to decide how best to balance it, but it does seem like a good idea.

I suppose I should stop being lazy and work on some profile stuff or something tomorrow. Haven't had much luck playing with files in php, so my plans there may or may not come to fruition. We shall see!


Figured I may as well update y'all, so you know I'm still going.
I've been working on profiles, which are basically where I'm going to store each player's information on the server. Stuff like what instance they're in, their coordinates in the tower, their health, their stats, etcetera. I've got a script made to initialize profiles, and I'm working on one which will return a particular piece of information. Just their health, for example.

No actual game stuff yet, unfortunately.

I have been contemplating how to set up the marketplace. My issue is that almost all items will be made by players, which means that nearly every weapon or piece of armor will be unique. I'm a bit unsure how to organize them in such a way that players can get the equipment they want without having to scan through a list of 1500 swords. I've been thinking, maybe it could be set up such that you'd say, "I want a sword, and I'm willing to pay this much for it." and it would find a sword that fits your budget and show it to you. Then you could reject it and it would find another one, or you could buy it. Is that a good idea? I rarely buy things from other people in MMOs, so I dunno.

Speaking of equipment, I've thought out the blacksmithing a bit more. It needs to be a fairly involved process, and there need to be enough options that players can have their own style. Also, as the game progresses, there should be innovation. Not just in discovering new materials, but in design.

So, making a sword might work like this: You decide on the base material, which will determine the sword's basic properties (sharpness, affinity to magic, etc.). Then you can add additives to it, which will give it additional properties like lifesteal or poison touch. Next, you have to shape it, which will change its effectiveness for various tasks. A short, serrated blade, for example, may be effective at slashing your way through underbrush. Once it's made, you could then add enchanments to it, or sell it directly to the market.

Opinions?
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby AnvilHouse » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:06 pm

I do like the idea of a fully player run economy, but that comes with huge involvement either by scripting based auto price regulation or manual based price regulation. For instance, what would stop players from jacking up prices for low level resources, in essence killing your game.

As for crafting I had an amazing idea a while ago.

Use pre-defined line segments that you can edit the arc to create the sword (would not affect the equipped visual unless you would develope a coordinate change based on rotation degree and oversize the main gfx) .

If you don't get what I am saying I will add a little visual representation and a more in depth explanation.
Demo-Visual.png
Demo-Visual.png (7.72 KiB) Viewed 2583 times


Each weapon will start out with a basic editable diagram, containing a series of editable line segments that is mirrored along the Y axis (or not depending on checked or unchecked options). What you do is change the midpoint by accessing a height variable. The calculations are in the link I added below.
(Removed link due to games section rules.)

To start the script would require a timer that spawns a single dot every .01 secs along the plotted calculation (it would trace the arc based on the coordinates you add...in essence creating a plotting function a graphic calculator uses). Very complicated but the results would be insane.

I still have yet to think of a way to add color to the black outline.
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Or aside from the calculated insane version you could make premade segments that you could hammer-out (simply cycle through premade sections of a sword, then run a hammering animation as a confirmation) Visual Concept added below.

Demo-Visual-2.png
Demo-Visual-2.png (6.92 KiB) Viewed 2583 times


As for signature parts, you could find a way to import custom 001 resources into the game, that have been designed by players. Or even a simple made by graphic when displaying the items ( Shows some Made By text when highlighting the item at the bottom of the description with a chosen predefined graphic)
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Tons of options to do...sorry if this is kind of confusing I always find it hard to explain things. Also games section does not allow url linking so if you need the site with a decent explanation of Sagitta (height) arc calculation go ahead and pm me.
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:27 pm

My plan regarding pricing is that blacksmiths will sell the tools that they make to a market, and get immidiately paid based on their item's quality (modulated some by supply and demand as well). Consumers would then come and buy equipment from the market. It may be better to give the players some sort of control over pricing, but I'm not sure how. Maybe limiting price to a maximum based on item quality?

I almost want to give players free reign, just to see what they do. I can't imagine they'd all try to screw each other over, since progression would benefit all of them.

As for your crafting idea, it sounds really cool, except that I'm not sure if it would work quite the way I want it. I'm not sure how to explain it, but it's sort of like an emulation of the actual actions. Like, you can hammer on one side to flatten it, and make a sharp edge. Then you could let it cool down, and then sharpen the edge.

I'm also a bit unsure how I'd store the items on the server. Right now I want to have inventory slots in the profile files, which would basically contain a sequence of numbers that describes your weapon or armor. For example, 144271 may mean a sword (1) with a sharpened front edge (44), coming to a point (2), with serrations along the upper half of the back (7) and blunt the rest of the way down (1). Or something similar to that.
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Mr.Numbers » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:25 am

Assuming it would be using MySQL, why not store items in a table of their own? For instance, when you make a sword give it a unique ID (Easy with the "Increment" collums), say it turns out to be "9", then in each collumn do its different stats, modifications, graphics to use, etc...
Then inside the player's "Profile" (aka row in a table) just specify that the player owns the custom weapon "9"

Thats how I'd set it up at least :P (Saves the engine from doing some crazy math calculations to determine all the stats and everything from one number)
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:35 am

I have no clue how MySQL works, so I've been using file stuff in PHP. The way I have it set up right now, every player gets an individual file in a directory. The file contains all of the information about the player; coordinates, health, money, equipment, all of it. ...That isn't bad, is it?

Maybe I should simplify equipment a bit. This is all getting complicated! :razz:
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Eclectic gaming » Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:36 am

That could work in theory. Here's my understanding of it (which is limited and should not be taken as written truth.) With PHP you can query certain numbers into variables, for example, a players coordinates. For example, lets say Player A and Player B were playing Not Me's Tower MMO. You are player A. In order to see Player B, you could query his coordinates, save into a variable, then create an actor at that coordinate. I may or may not be right, but that's how I hear it. The disadvantages is that you would need 100s of these per second; so it could be very clunky and laggy.

Maybe. Possibly.
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Mr.Numbers » Sat Apr 12, 2014 12:51 pm

The more ideal thing (In my opinion) is to save its location, Z Velocity, moving speed and direction. Then rather than querying every millisecond, you could get away with querying 10 per second, and having scripting "Fill" in the gaps of their movement. For instance, now that we know they are at position 100,100 moving at a speed of 0.5 in the left direction, we can tell the engine to put the character at 100,100, facing left, move left for 0.1 seconds. (Then query again)

And since you're using a flat file system (Aka, all variables and data are stored to raw files, instead of a MySQL table) thats perfectly fine. Just save all custom weapons to a "Custom Weapon" file which again saves all stats and stuff, then inside the character profile just say the player has for instance, "sword_98291", which will allow you to grab "sword_98291" data out of the custom sword folder :P

As far as saving location and all of that stuff, thats perfectly fine :P And in fact, I'd recommend you keep all that stuff contained in the same location! You can of course keep equipment in there as well too though :P In reality all you need to save is the scripting ID, any "Add-ons" such as enchants, upgrades, etc... and any other variables associated which 001 can't handle regularly (Damage value, etc) and of course, the slot in the inventory the item is located in :)

As for custom items, you would do the same as above but rather specify it as "Custom", such as doing "CUSTOM.sword_98291", followed by enchants, upgrades, durability, slot, etc...

Then in 001, when you retrieve an item that starts with "CUSTOM.", you check the "Custom Items" file, which will ONLY tell you the base damage, stat changes, which graphic to use, player who made it, etc..
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:57 am

With my system, I only have to query as often as the players input, which would be every thirty seconds (or more, I may change it depending on testing). So lag when connecting isn't really an issue.

I think I get what you're saying, Numbers. I'll have to give all of this some more thought.


Okay. I haven't had the chance to work on this much, but I have been pondering the graphics style (or lack thereof) that I wish to use. That is, 2D, 3D, or text.

And I think I want text.

I don't mean nethack text, either. I mean Inform 7 text, if you know what that is. Like the old text adventure games, basically.

There's a few reasons for this. One is the fact that I'll be able to do some crazy wordplay and make the game feel 3D, without actually being 3D. It'll also be a lot less graphically intensive. Another is, I'll be able to design every floor myself. I can ensure they all "look" the way I want them to without having to go through a graphic designer. Or pay one, that helps too. Perhaps most importantly, however, I'll be able to add another feature: player-created dungeons.

My idea is to use the filesystem to read custom dungeon files. That way, anyone can go and make their own single player dungeons. This also opens up the door for DLC, potentially. I could design sets of dungeons based on a theme or storyline, and release them as extra content.

What do y'all think?
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby metomunc » Sun May 04, 2014 11:53 pm

Sounds very involved.
Who should I really listen to?

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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Wed May 07, 2014 11:41 pm

It is, which is why I haven't done anything with it for a while. I was also sick for a bit, which helped nothing. Need to focus on school right now, being so close to the end of the year, so there will likely be no progress for another week or two (I think? Pretty close at least), but I want to do good things once summer begins.

I did get around to making a full input set for typing, with shift and stuff, which took forever. Triggers for SO MANY keys. Be kinda neat if I could just release that, might be handy.
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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby kerub » Sat May 24, 2014 4:09 am

Sorry, but you lost me at the "get pwned to death as a fresh noob by the pro players (or the AI if new players aren't able to participate in PVP) and wait a month to continue pls" part.

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Re: Not Me's Tower MMO

Postby Not Me » Sat May 24, 2014 1:37 pm

PVP will be a separate game mode from the Tower; you won't have to wait to join a new match. And the tower won't be overly difficult, at least not right away. I do have a pretty mean trap planned for floor 11, and some mildly ridiculous gimmicks for other (later) floors, but for the most part the tower's difficulty should sit just a bit on the tougher side of fair. It won't get really ridiculous until floor 60 or so. ;)

And as for other players, I'm not sure how that'll work out. It's kind of an experiment. People may build up a friendly community, they may troll, or they may ragequit. I'm really curious how everyone will deal with things, myself.

'Course, I have to actually make the game first.
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