Author Topic: Planning: Identifying options  (Read 30366 times)

SithRose

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #80 on: September 05, 2012, 02:22:55 AM »
thier record so far is 100% kill it with fire. but thats for selling the IP.

<_< licensing it or one of the other options? we're still waiting word, but at best it'll probably be a week.

I'm not expecting speed right now. I know I've been pretty quiet in the community for the last couple of years, but...This is important. I want to help. I can edit and collate like a fiend and write plot archs, so can my husband. Between us we've got better than 20 years experience in high-level RPGs. (I'm talking writing and running convention LARP games of 1,000+ players with 10 assistants type XP and taking reports from 40 assistants to create a picture of what's happening in a 10K+ person global-level game. And I totally just typed XP instead of experience.) Yes, it's all pen and paper or LARP, but it's something I CAN do.
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SithRose

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #81 on: September 05, 2012, 02:45:58 AM »
If we get to the Plan Z stage (and to be honest, this is much closer to the middle of the alphabet anyway), we're going to have a hundred visions of what City of Heroes "needed" and what the "real spirit" of the game was.  And both of the purist approaches -- design by democracy and design by dictator -- will destroy the community.

There's also, and this factors into my thinking on the subject on a creative level, the Champions Online problem.  Champions has most of the things you mentioned, fascists, giant monsters, etc... but it doesn't have the feeling of history that City of Heroes got largely by making a bunch of really fortuitous mistakes and trying to make it look like a dozen different stories were really the same story.  We can't just replicate that organic feeling whole, and just "making mistakes" isn't going to cut it, either (because CO made plenty of those too).  What we'll need, far more than an author (I'm an amateur author and so are a thousand others) or even one story, is a really really good gardener.  Somebody who knows the art of cultivated chaos.  (And no, I'm not nominating myself for this job.)


It needs a backstory and a hook, and a SOLID universe with storytellers who can run with cultivated chaos, pick it up, and change it on the fly to improve the game. It needs a flexible story that can suit multiple people, with a flexible sandbox that allows people to choose between nothing but outside play, nothing but instanced play, or a combination of the three. It CANNOT have just the "Go, hunt, kill Skuls" type of outside missions, nor can it have just the "I need 10 Skull Masks" types. It needs to have choices of "The city needs you for this, this, this, or that. Please do any combination of them, then call me" outdoor missions and "Go do X in Y location" instanced missions.

I can do cultivated chaos. That's what LARP storytelling IS. I can do stories with 6 possible endings based on player choices plus a "Oh, I didn't think of THAT" response.

So far, my vague idea is "Phoenix City", an area that just suffered some kind of apocalyptic event and is in the middle to late stages of rebuilding, with several groups of contesting bad guys who are trying to take control over various aspects of rebuilding/city life/criminal life. If the world looks like it's suffered a catastrophic event, the art designers and programmers would need to code it for either phasing or easy alterations at various points in the game as the world progresses - keeping it an organic world. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to change contact conversation based on world status from a coding perspective, but that would be something I'd find ideal for creating a more immersive environment. (Trying to avoid the "We redid this zone but we have to redo this zone still" problems that many MMOs have had with later content...and no, I don't know whether that part is even possible.)

I'd defer to the techno folks as to whether an open-server environment like in CO is easier to handle than a closed-server environment in the current COH/WOW/most everything else model. But that would be a major point of how to handle the world-building and on-going storylines.

It needs a starting zone that teaches you about the game unobtrusively, is easily skipped for experienced players, and is fun to play for new players. That's part of the hook. It needs GOOD mid-game content with enough options for players to play through at least 10 times without repeating enough content to bore them. (COH did have a consistent problem with that.) It needs a solid end-game that feels like progression, with goals that make sense for heroes at extremely high levels. It absolutely MUST have a good sidekicking system.  It also needs very solid, fleshed out villain groups, and the ability for players to play villains as well as heroes. I think giving players the ability to select a villain or hero group to align with at the start OR be independent would be ideal, and allowing them options to change their alignment, whether it's within villain groups or over to rogue/vigilante/hero.

This is just off the cuff thoughts, mind you. I've only given this a little bit of thought so far. :)
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Golden Girl

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #82 on: September 05, 2012, 02:50:28 AM »
The name "Phoenix City" has been suggested by several people, not only for the suitable symbol of rising from the ashes, but also because it preserves the "PC" shortening.
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dwturducken

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #83 on: September 05, 2012, 04:00:43 AM »
If we do end up at Plan Z, I'm assuming there will be a team with a leader, and those individuals will, rightly enough, want to put together the Phoenix City alternative to the Freedom Phalanx using their own character names.  Can those names come from their favorite characters/alts in CoX, like FP grew out of the original developers' characters during testing, or are those names and likenesses now the property of NCSoft?  This gets really fun when you consider how many players have versions of those same characters in other games.  (I can't be the only one!)
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SithRose

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #84 on: September 05, 2012, 04:16:12 AM »
If we do end up at Plan Z, I'm assuming there will be a team with a leader, and those individuals will, rightly enough, want to put together the Phoenix City alternative to the Freedom Phalanx using their own character names.  Can those names come from their favorite characters/alts in CoX, like FP grew out of the original developers' characters during testing, or are those names and likenesses now the property of NCSoft?  This gets really fun when you consider how many players have versions of those same characters in other games.  (I can't be the only one!)

Based on a quick non-lawyer read of the EULA, if you can demonstrably prove that your character existed in another game and was not solely able to exist due to your use of COH, you're probably OK.

For example, my characters Agent Storm and DJ Leshya should be just fine, since I can demonstrably prove that both, as a character in entirety, likeness and powers, existed prior to the existence of COH. However, my character Void Hunter is derived entirely from COH IP, and would NOT be OK to use elsewhere with that name and likeness. Since he's, you know...a Void Hunter. Costume and all.

There are some very clear cases where players have successfully made the case that a character is their personal IP, and have been able to continue to play that character within City of Heroes without violating other IP. (Harry Dresden comes to mind as a stellar example.)
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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #85 on: September 05, 2012, 04:34:09 AM »

neonphysalis

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #86 on: September 05, 2012, 04:51:23 AM »
Has anyone been able to contact any of the Paragon Studios staff?

TerryXY

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #87 on: September 05, 2012, 04:54:45 AM »
I think we got a good start here, but we should probably wait with all those ideas until final decisions have been made, or if there are any news from NCSoft/Paragon about the future of the CoH Engine/IP... If it really comes to plan Z then it would take quite a bit of time to actually recreate the basic gamemechanics to atleast walk around/create a character/level&skill system/ and all those "small things"... then we can worry about the background story, zones, mapping etc.

Also to get back to the engine topic: Used UDK before and in my opinion it is horrible. Too unorganized and way too much stuff premade there, which limits yourself. I would really go with an engine like jMonkey because it doesnt limit you at all, and you can easily handle such a complex game with it. UDK games feel like all the same imho. Just different assets, a few small tweaks to the gameplay and voila yet another boring shooter/rpg. (Ofc there are some games that did a good job at this)

If you think the "good looking" graphics come from the engine, then this is probably like half true, even less. There are whole lot of engines which can render beautiful graphics just like UDK. It's more about the assets(3D model, textures, animations and so on) and the artist creating those. They do the "good looks".

You can add all those nice effects/filters like motion blur, proper lighting/shadow, etc with most of the up to date engines easily.

But the best thing would be, if we could use those assets even when we don't get the rights to use the engine. Creating those assets is where i think we will fail. You simply can't create such a huge amount of models, within a short period of time. It takes years. I don't even want to know how many "men-hours" they spent to create all those assets, over the past years.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 05:04:21 AM by TerryXY »

Victoria Victrix

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #88 on: September 05, 2012, 04:56:41 AM »
Has anyone been able to contact any of the Paragon Studios staff?

Yes.

See my post in Star Power.
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A Side Leader

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #89 on: September 05, 2012, 04:58:21 AM »
Yes.

See my post in Star Power.

LInk to Star Power pleas!

neonphysalis

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #90 on: September 05, 2012, 04:59:46 AM »
It's the thread below this one! :D

eabrace

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #91 on: September 05, 2012, 05:04:49 AM »
Well, to be fair, the threads are shuffling around quite furiously.  :)

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SithRose

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #92 on: September 05, 2012, 05:28:54 AM »
Well, to be fair, the threads are shuffling around quite furiously.  :)

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Maybe Plan Z should be taken to another thread entirely so it doesn't clutter up the all-options thread?

I'm looking ahead cynically and wanting to have a partial world brainstormed before the end - The more time for that, the better. I hope we don't have to USE it, but...
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Golden Girl

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #93 on: September 05, 2012, 05:35:46 AM »
I that it could be a distraction, right now - we really need everyone focusing on Plan A and B, especially as we heard this evening that the devs are also making an attmept to talk to NCSoft.
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SithRose

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #94 on: September 05, 2012, 05:44:04 AM »
I that it could be a distraction, right now - we really need everyone focusing on Plan A and B, especially as we heard this evening that the devs are also making an attmept to talk to NCSoft.

I'll let you guys make the call on opening a new thread then. You're in charge. :)
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jacknomind

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Re: Planning: Identifying options
« Reply #95 on: September 05, 2012, 12:38:23 PM »
I'm with GG.  We have a ton of work on our plates already; there's no room for food.