Playing with monsters

By on July 4, 2010 2:56:41 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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Before anything goes into the public beta tree it has to go into the private beta tree. And before it goes into the private beta tree it has to get played with in the prototyping tree.

The protyping tree is where all the experiments happen. That’s where we will try out some interesting idea that looks good on paper but discover it’s not “fun” when put to the test. 

Sometimes an idea will make it all the way to the public tree and then get demoted back into the protyping tree to get more experimentation on later.

Other times an idea will look good but take too long to test or balance and stay in the protyping tree for a long time.

Today, I’m playing around with creatures.

image

I’ve always wanted to see whether I could just have monsters spawn out there occasionally out in the woods to keep the world lively and dangerous. 

Each monster has its own intelligence level so I could, for instance, divide up the handling of monsters by intelligence. Intelligence <2, for instance would be basically just an animal that won’t likely bother you unless you attack it or get too close. At higher levels, they could get more cunning.

I don’t know if this prototype stuff will make it into the shipping game or some future update, but it’s the kind of experimentation that often leads to new ideas on how to make games more fun.

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Blackoth
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July 4, 2010 3:29:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A living world +1

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July 4, 2010 3:31:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This sounds awesome... things like this can really make the world like the real and dangerous thing it should be...

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July 4, 2010 3:36:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like the idea that forests, since we can't mill them anymore, hold all the danger and creatures of a german fairytale.

 

In no one has told you today Elemental team, You Freaking Rock!

You guys are the reason we won our indepence, to make better games!

 

Long live the Frogboy!        

                                       

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July 4, 2010 3:49:07 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the kind words.

I really enjoy this stuff.

I am sure many people have observed the bizarro way Stardock runs its betas.  A lot of that goes back to the founding of the company where we really wanted to have what we do be transparent (both the good and the bad).  

Usually, you only get to see how close something comes to disaster in some later memoir on the making of a game or a movie or novel or what have you.  We prefer that users get to see just how close a given project came to making tragic mistakes only to have some great stuff wrap together in the end.

...Of course, I still loathe the economic system in Galactic Civilizations but that's another story.

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July 4, 2010 3:51:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I also would like to see some creature lairs regenerate or respawn over time. Say you haven't swept units through a certain region or forested area near your cities in a while...bam a bandit camp has developed over time there and you will need to clear it out etc.

 

BTW, thanks for working on a holiday

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July 4, 2010 4:01:10 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Heh, I just made it so that monsters of different kinds will attach one another. This ought to be interesting.

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July 4, 2010 4:11:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

awesome.. that is one thing I am sure I am not alone in wanting to see.. some monsters with team / pack mentality where the will attack on creatures of other packs / types and some that are just down right uncivilized and will eat anything heh heh..

 

toss in your earlier creatures can spawn from lair / home turf  areas and wowie zowie awesome sauce...

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July 4, 2010 4:24:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yea for one of my spell suggestions i had suggested 'create Spawning Ground'

i was thinkin either small things like spiders could spawn but if a real monster took it they would spawn from there then

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July 4, 2010 4:54:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, get monsters to ally against your encroach civilization. They should demand tribute

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July 4, 2010 5:18:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

YAY...that forest drake can go chase the little spiders around rather than my sov:D

The fact that the world can grow (or regrow) more dangerous and interact when your not around would make the game more fun, and give you incentive to get out there before the world grows without you

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July 4, 2010 5:19:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Heh, I just made it so that monsters of different kinds will attach one another. This ought to be interesting.

That does sound cool, very cool in fact.

On slower machines though won't that use up more memory making the game auto calc battles that the player isn't even taking part in? Also, what happens when one NPC monsters kills another and there's loot? Does the winning monster get the losers loot? Because I'd like to get that loot. Especially if it's a rather "Rare" monster that was killed or that I needed for something.

It does sound like an awesome idea though. We did this back in old school UO to some extent with a lot of success. Our Dragons would actually attack and eat wild game as would our wolves and some other predators.

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July 4, 2010 5:20:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Monsters attacking each other makes sense as few animals will let a rival set up camp to close.

While a smart monster might leave lesser monsters alone as a kind of buffer.  Oh crazy thought but what of a war lord monster a very smart monster who has formed a war party with lesser monsters for an attack somewhere?

The idea of monsters spawning later in the game is a great idea. Something for your Teenager to go off and kill and thus proving his worth etc etc

ps Happy Independence Day on USA's 234th birthday from your northern Neighbours.

pps Canada just turned 143 July 1st

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July 4, 2010 5:21:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Heh, I just made it so that monsters of different kinds will attach one another. This ought to be interesting.

I'm tired of worlds where everything exists only to attack the player.  If the world is going to feel real, everything should be doing real things.  I wish RPG makers would learn that.

 

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July 4, 2010 5:37:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is nice you take fun days to tweak around with things just cause you can!  I'm a fan of monster spawning.  Would like to see different types of creatures on different terrain.  Out of the mountains come the Rock Trolls and Stone Giants; Balrogs and Lava Sprites from the volcanoes; Sea Serpents and Kraken from the sea; Shades and Demon Frogs outta the swamps; etc.  Some terrain of like types being more dangerous than others (haunted forests, infested swamps...).  Would be fun. 

And I think it interesting if various factors could influence creature spawn rates.  Such as castles and forts decreasing it.  Spells to increase (harrass your opponents).  Various units (Beast Handlers, Druids) traversing through tagged terrain might spawn friendly animals/monsters. And more.

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July 4, 2010 5:39:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thats really cool! 

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July 4, 2010 5:53:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Thanks for the kind words.

Usually, you only get to see how close something comes to disaster in some later memoir on the making of a game or a movie or novel or what have you.  We prefer that users get to see just how close a given project came to making tragic mistakes only to have some great stuff wrap together in the end.

 

I'm glad you guys have the freedom to explore new options and experiment. I like the German Forests of Dhoom idea.

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July 4, 2010 6:08:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting WhiteElk,
Demon Frogs

Shhh, don't give him any ideas!

 

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July 4, 2010 6:10:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting WhiteElk,
Is nice you take fun days to tweak around with things just cause you can!  I'm a fan of monster spawning.  Would like to see different types of creatures on different terrain.  Out of the mountains come the Rock Trolls and Stone Giants; Balrogs and Lava Sprites from the volcanoes; Sea Serpents and Kraken from the sea; Shades and Demon Frogs outta the swamps; etc.  Some terrain of like types being more dangerous than others (haunted forests, infested swamps...).  Would be fun. 

And I think it interesting if various factors could influence creature spawn rates.  Such as castles and forts decreasing it.  Spells to increase (harrass your opponents).  Various units (Beast Handlers, Druids) traversing through tagged terrain might spawn friendly animals/monsters. And more.

I really agree with this.

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July 4, 2010 6:11:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
Heh, I just made it so that monsters of different kinds will attach one another. This ought to be interesting.

 

Love that idea.  It would also be neat to have monsters of a particular type have a prey preference tree, so they seek their preferred prey first, if none of those are around, they seek prey number two.  Somewhere on each tree should be player-types.  So, say Darklings love wolf meat.  A smart Darkling will seek wolves first.  If you've killed all the wolves in the area for their valuable pelts, the Darklings hunt humans.  If you leave some wolves alive, you've a buffer before they come after you.  If you're a Trog player in the area, you're pretty safe.  Darklings hate the taste of Trog.  Of course, if they run out of humans and there are only Trogs around, well, that's why the Titans blessed them with BBQ sauce, right?

As long as this is a playing-around-with-crazy-ideas thread, why not have monsters seek others of their own type to reproduce, resulting in new monsters of that type?  You could get some really neat ecosystems going where what you killed would make a difference and strange events where you'd sometimes get a plague of some particular species because conditions were just right or prey were plentiful.  If would also give natural monsters a need to wander eventually to seek prey or mates.  Weaker monsters at the bottom of the food chain would need to reproduce more to keep things in balance.

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July 4, 2010 6:11:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have a question, will we have Sea Monsters? Because I saw no one until now... (but since its a beta...)

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July 4, 2010 6:18:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'd like to see monsters level. It seems like now you fight a monster and if it is your Sov he flees to the nearest city if he is defeated. Then you go track that monster down and he is still as damaged as when you fought him before and you can finish him off.

I think monsters should gain xp and be able to level up, ESPECIALLY if they defeat your sovereign. And they should automatically be fully healed if they win a fight also. (Ideally they would heal over time like player units, but it might be easier to just fully heal them if they win a fight - that way each turn the game process doesn't need to check each unit and calculate healing.)

About a month until Gold Master!!!! Wow, both excited and nervous - I am sure both emotions are at least ten-fold for you guys!

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July 4, 2010 6:21:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not sure if sea monsters will make it in or not.  We have sea monsters (the assets) but there's no code behind it.

As for the monsters attacking each other, so what I did is that IF they're monsters of a different type, they'll be randomly inclined to attack one another based on the intelligence of the species (higher level ones are not inclined to attack other creatures unless it's part of its other objectives such as leveling up or whatever).

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July 4, 2010 6:37:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I guess this might be too hard, but you could have different spawn locations, so animals spawn from the woods, monsters spawn from dungeons and ruins etc. Might give a little incentive for clearing out those dungeons near your city.

Also you used the word attach instead of attack and I thought that would be really cool too, monsters joining forces into parties for self preservation. Leave too many wandering about and they might form up into an army.

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July 4, 2010 6:49:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

One thing that I kind of like in games like this is interaction with monster beyond the normal "attack" commands.  Maybe a spell that allows you to "talk" to a monster and persuade it to join with you?  The higher the monster intelligence, the harder it would be to convince it, but maybe you wouldn't need a spell to communicate with it. 

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July 4, 2010 7:06:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sherekhaan,
I guess this might be too hard, but you could have different spawn locations, so animals spawn from the woods, monsters spawn from dungeons and ruins etc. Might give a little incentive for clearing out those dungeons near your city.

Also you used the word attach instead of attack and I thought that would be really cool too, monsters joining forces into parties for self preservation. Leave too many wandering about and they might form up into an army.

 

Heh. Already done. Was thinking the same thing.

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