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Lumin
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« on: June 11, 2008, 05:43:50 PM »

Faery Tale Online is a forthcoming Massively Multi-player Online Role-Playing Game - more specifically it is a Persistent Browser-Based Role-Playing Game.  This means that if you can read this post you already have the system requirements to run it.  PBBRPGs have become quite popular lately, evidence of the countless banner ads that can be found just about anywhere you go online these days.  They work not only because they are so accessible, but because they can provide a fun, satisfying experience even for the most casual of gamers.  Most of these games, unfortunately, do not try to break any new ground in terms of ideas and game-play.  They usually try to replicate common, console-based mechanics and fail to take full advantage of server/client-side scripting techniques as well as powerful database storage features.  You may have played one of these before and, as I have, felt a little disappointed. 

I speak in general terms, as not all PBBGs have the fallacies I have listed above, but what makes Faery Tale Online so unique is that it does away with most of the cliche'd mechanics found in most games of this genre.  A while ago I decided I would stop waiting for the game to come along that would do it right and to just do it myself.  For the last year I have making notes, revising, building and perfecting the infrastructure for what I think would be the ultimate computer Role-Playing Game.  Below is a list of some of the mechanics that have been built into the game that I hope will answer some of the problems above.

  • Absolutely no quantification
    You will not find hit-points, magic-points, status points, experience points or anything of the kind.  Instead, we use descriptions of location-based damage, skill gain and status effects, we let the computer take care of the dirty work.

  • The player creates the world
    I believe that players are happiest when they see the world from their own mind, instead of from the mind of the programmer.  You will find neither images nor text descriptions of people, places or things in FTO that have been created by me or any other development staff member.  The only things you will discover are the most basic of resources and natural objects.  The rest of the world is up to you to create.

  • Online History log
    There is no predominant back-story or mythology in the world of FTO, as all major events will be created by players to be recorded into an online history book.  Players will be able to view their achievements and contribute to the on-going story just by playing the game.  Your impact on the world around you will be publicized and never forgotten.

  • Real-time events
    I hate power-gamers and meta-gamers, the kind of people that are just out to try to make the rest of us miserable by endless grinding.  I want somebody with only 10 minutes a day be able to have just as much success as someone who has 8 hours a day to play.  In FTO nearly all events, from walking from one town to the next, to chopping down a tree will happen in real time.  When you log out of the game, your character will keep doing what you told him/her to do.  Walking 100 miles in-game will literally take you a few real-world days.

  • Weather Effects
    I have a lot planned for the seasonal weather system.  Every real (and some unreal) weather effect you can imagine will make it's way into the world.  They will have true effects on the world they come in contact with.  Winter storms will blanket cooler latitudes with snow that gets deeper during a storm making travel more difficult.  If not wearing appropriate clothing you'll get sunburned and frostbitten.  Hurricanes can destroy villages, and tornadoes can carry your young ones away...

  • Families
    Finally, the most revolutionary aspect of FTO will be the introduction of family trees.  This is a critical part of this game - not something on the back-burner for later.  Players are not warped into the gaming world requiring role-players to explain the phenomenon as some kind of magic trick, but each new registrant will be logically placed into a family.  Female characters can become pregnant, carry a child and give birth to a new player characters.  During this learning phase, Babies grow up quickly to be children, and children quickly become adults.  It is up to the parents to choose to provide protection during this period.  Babies and children, because of their inexperience will be unable to complete certain tasks, such as combat or speaking, but they will also take on some of the genetic traits of their parents.

    Of note, there will be no inappropriate actions during these events as I want players of any age to be able to participate.  I also realize that there are a few limitations to a family model of this kind.  In keeping with realism, players may register for the game, but cannot actually play until their character has been born within the game.  I believe, however, that the advantages to the role-playing experience are so great, it is worth a few accessibility sacrifices.

  • Other features
    At the current time, the world is 25,000 square miles in geographic size.  The world is divided into coordinates of 2.5 miles each.  Each section will host natural landmarks, resources and dynamically-spawned fauna.

    As the name implies, this is a fantasy world - a high fantasy world to be precise.  Fantasy non-player creatures, both good and evil will be found inhabiting the land.  They will have some degree of intelligence and know where the best living places are at.  Although rare, magic will also exist in different forms and will be an integral part of the game.  Magic is considered to be very special in the world of FTO, it cannot be learned simply by studying it.  Only those born with the gift may use it.

    Even though some actions will take time, such as building houses or digging mines, combat will take place on a much quicker scale.  Players must be able to work together and learn to organize themselves politically and militarily to rid their lands of monsters and rival factions to ensure their survival.

    Once launched, my role will move to part-time Dungeon Master where I will have a real effect on the in-game story and events.  I am also building a comprehensive back-end system that will monitor everything from global weather patterns to real-time player actions and events.  This will allow me to contribute in a meaningful way to the balance of the game.  It also means I can throw in special events and plot twists to keep players constantly challenged and surprised.  Computer algorithms alone simply cannot create the level of immersion I am aiming for.

    Finally, the game will be completely free to play.  There are no hidden fees, microtransactions or purchasable "credits" to unlock better loot.  Everyone should have an equal opportunity to advance, and complete in the world of Faery Tale Online.  As this is a hobby for myself I am rewarded merely by the experience of building the virtual world I have always dreamt about.

    One more important aspect of the game is that everything that takes place within the game world must stay in the game world as much as possible.  I will leave it up to the player-base to enforce this rule and guard in-game secrets.  This means, digital distribution of maps, strategies or online wikis is prohibited.


I've left out details on a lot of this, but more will come as development progresses.  I do not have a release date planned yet, but my goal is to have the game ready for launch by the end of 2008.  At the current time I am working alone on this project, but I do plan to enlist close family members to help in the near future.  My goal is to implement at least all of the features above, but I hope to rely on help from the community to give suggestions on other ideas.

From this point forward, I will be posting periodic announcements of my progress on these forums.  Feel free to give feedback, ideas or even rants on these message boards.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 02:27:19 PM by Lumin » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 05:47:54 PM »

This is months old now Lumin, now a question: How accurate has this turned out?
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Lumin
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 06:07:15 PM »

This is months old now Lumin, now a question: How accurate has this turned out?

What do you think?  There are still some things on this list that I haven't yet implemented.

The History Log is something I haven't completed yet, and I have actually debated whether or not we even need this feature at all.  I think players posting their own stories on third-party sites/blogs may be a better way of telling the story.  It's still something I haven't fully decided on yet.

Weather is still something that needs to be finished.  It doesn't really do anything yet, and I intend it to actually have real effects on characters.  I have put it off since I want to allow players time to establish themselves more in the game before adding another layer of difficulty.

The world size is actually larger than what is posted above.

All in all, I think I've met my goals above pretty closely.  Yes, there are things I haven't finished, but there are also a few things I've added that are not even in the preview list.  I think if you ask most game developers, the finished product never turns out exactly as it was planned, but in the end they will tell you that it turned out just right.
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 06:58:04 PM »

The world size is actually larger than what is posted above.
Quote
At the current time, the world is 25,000 square miles in geographic size.  The world is divided into coordinates of 2.5 miles each.

(25,000 / 2.5 = 10,000)
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Marauderr
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2009, 07:42:18 PM »

That's awesome. The larger the land, the more it'll be crucial for marked routes and roads, and for regional specialists of the land, like rangers and such. Awesome stuff.
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Lazer Bomb
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2009, 07:57:09 PM »

Except that it will be FOREVER till colonies find each other...
Especially if each colony only occupies 1 square, because communication is hard across even 1 square due to the 1-day travel time. (at the most I can see angry relatives moving to an adjacent square, leading to maybe a 3x3 area at the largest for a long time)
Then colonies will only find each other by pure chance or by combing the land for real life YEARS.

By the way, this gives me an in-game idea- leaving stone markers pointing to our colony for the surrounding area, so any potential neighbors are more likely to find us.
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gamefreak1
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2009, 08:18:51 PM »

yeah but then vatican can find and exterminate you or worse lol
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Marauderr
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2009, 08:19:11 PM »

True.

But you might want to also keep in mind that the original (spawned) location of your colony might not be the exact location of it, since you're probably still in hunter/gatherer stage, and might find a better place to migrate to or something...

As for travel times, Lumin's mentioned smoothing and paving roads, leading to decreases in travel time. I'll go ahead and assume that one day some animals will be able to be domesticated and ridden on for sped up transit. We might be looking at waaay quicker transportation times.
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brandX
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2009, 09:12:26 PM »

By the way, this gives me an in-game idea- leaving stone markers pointing to our colony for the surrounding area, so any potential neighbors are more likely to find us.

Hmmm...chop off head, gain there power. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

I don't know about this idea of yours Lazer...might lead Vatican straight to us.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 12:30:51 AM by brandX » Logged
Lazer Bomb
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 03:01:03 AM »

Yeah, it only works if all other players peace loving unarmed travelers. Oh wait, I did leave a couple resources on the ground when I left our forest... oops.

Wait, do the Kindred have metal yet? Even if they do, I doubt that they(Vatican) would carry heavy armor around with them while on a xeno-hunt, because of the increased travel time. So we have a home-advantage (unless he attacks children and unarmed first.. eep).
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Vatican
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2009, 03:05:23 AM »

Sheesh! It's like Elder is a walking madman bent on spilling blood! Right now, my RP reason for traveling is to find Alden, not kill babies. Although, I could perhaps find a way to RP why I sudennly want everyone and everything dead...
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Hyakkugojyuuichi
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2009, 05:45:45 AM »

It's going to take a lot more than a single primitive xenophobe to bring us down...
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2009, 06:05:48 AM »

Sheesh! It's like Elder is a walking madman bent on spilling blood! Right now, my RP reason for traveling is to find Alden, not kill babies. Although, I could perhaps find a way to RP why I sudennly want everyone and everything dead...

Such as insanity?

Oh, and I underlined your grammer mistakes.
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Vatican
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anubis7898
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2009, 06:49:10 AM »

I use an opera browser on my phone to play most of the time. no firefox spellchecker.
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Lazer Bomb
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2009, 07:48:31 AM »

Oh, and I underlined your grammer mistakes.
I believe it was a spelling mistake.
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