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Author Topic: 10/28/2009 Hero Mages: RPG/Dungeon Crawl  (Read 20740 times)
Ross Przybylski
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« on: October 28, 2009, 11:23:32 AM MT »

With the advent of the AI, we are pulling together ideas for the creation of something new and terrific for all you fans of Hero Mages out there: a single player/cooperative RPG campaign/dungeon crawl mode.

As many of you know, Hero Mages began as a physical board game of this very sort, and later evolved into the strategic multiplayer battle mode you know and love as a result of players inevitably deciding it was more fun to kill each other than work together.

This being said, we want to carefully design this new RPG format to be just as exciting in its own right while still maintaining the core aspects that distinguish Hero Mages as a unique product.  Browser based MMOís are a dime a dozen these days, with new ones coming out every day, so we believe the key to success here is to build something you want that the others cannot or will not offer.

So, our questions to you are: Why are you here playing Hero Mages and not some other game?  What element(s) do you feel Hero Mages can offer as an RPG that other games canít?

~Ross
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Warmage
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2009, 12:08:22 PM MT »

Thats really cool, I like the idea of co-op dungeon crawl. When I catch up on some stuff its gonna be fun to leave some input here.

My first few thoughts are - random (or close ) enemy deployment when you replay the same board.

Unique treasures - perhaps its magic items in game or like new colors for mages or new avatars. We all like to feel special lol

Level ups and abilities that make you want to try different ways to play same boards.

I think making the user profiles or characters of  different players varied greatly you make the game more personal and not just a game you hop on and play then leave, it might make you stick around and see what kind of new items other people have and so on and give people something to talk about. - Wow how did you get that ?
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Alderon

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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2009, 04:08:45 PM MT »

The reason I enjoy Hero Mages so much is due mainly to the fact that it plays just like a boardgame, mixed with the battle system of D&D. (Obviously simplified.) I believe that this is the game's strength and when designing new content you should keep this firmly in mind, Ross. Don't make the mistake of generalising the game to appeal to a wider audience, because in the end it will not work. For the dungeon/RPG mode therefore, I suggest keeping the core mechanics as they are, but throwing in a few new monsters and perhaps a hero or two, which I know you plan to do anyway. To keep things interesting, you could introduce a few more options for personalising your account a little more, as suggested by Warmage. For example you could have account 'rewards' for completing certain aspects of the dungeon crawl. Such as a unique colour scheme for your units, designed by the player himself, or even items. The odd healing potion or 'weapon' that adds +1 to dice rolls or somesuch. To even things out you could introduce more options for the standard multiplayer skirmish, including limiting the amount of items available for use to each player, or disabling it entirely. Another factor I believe I previously mentioned in another post could be a 'leveling system' where your units become stronger based on the actions they take. This could be done in any number of ways, one of which could be this; when playing single player the improvements gained remain in your account with an option to reset them if you so desire. In multiplayer it is disabled, or limited. Again, more options to further customise the 'standard' game. These are just ideas I'm randomly throwing out there, I'm very confident in your ability to make this awesome Ross.

Another feature I think would be nice is perhaps short 'story' sections between dungeon levels, just a screen with some dialouge or some such, this could even be customised depending on the characters chosen. For example if the Rogue is used, he might say completely different things and lead the adventure a slightly different path than for example, the Paladin.

Which leads me to yet another little idea. Perhaps you could even throw in a system where players can 'make a character' perhaps using a sprite already used, but giving a custom name to it and distributing 'stats' in some form. (HP/Str/Def.) Which can be improved as you progress through single player via 'leveling.' Again, this could be something exclusive to single player, or an option to allow them in standard games implemented.

Thanks for reading all that drivel! Oh and thank you for the kind birthday message, Ross. I never actually expected you to give me a free hero pack mate, it was all in good spirits.  Smiley
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2009, 10:53:12 PM MT »

The longer and more in depth the feedback here- the better!  If you've got lots of thoughts/opinions here, don't be shy to let them out- I want to hear it all.

To keep things going, I'll keep adding some additional questions to keep us all thinking how the adventure will unfold.  So, today's questions to consider: Should the adventures be strictly single player- with you controlling your Mage and two guardians as usual- with casting spells and such working relatively in the same fashion?  Or- do we want to allow for coopertive player partys- meaning each player commands a single character (Mage/Guardian) and then adventures through the dungeon together? 

The reason I ask is is that I generally feel single player will need to capture different elements of strategy than the multiplayer brawl.  In the existing game, you are pitting your wits against other human players whom you know the locations of on the board and who will intelligently plot their forces against you.  In adventure, you are pitting yourself against the unknown environment (exploration) and surviving the horrors within (monsters, traps) in order to perform some specific task. 

The rewards are also different.  In multiplayer, its about the rush of outwitting your human opponent.  But in single player, it's about surviving, gaining treasure, and increasing your power in some way so that you can progress to harder challenges.  It's also about role-playing, with "Role" being the key word.  Each character is meant to play a particular part and contribute something unique to the team for the challenges that will be faced.  For this reason, I suspect that some mechanics of adventure will need to function somewhat different than multiplayer- perhaps beginning with adding more indepth abilities for the Guardians so that the success of the party is not as reliant on the presence of the Mage. 

I don't see any issues with awarding aesthetic customizations for achievements in adventure mode, similar to how Halo rewards different armor.  This allows you to personalize yourself without affecting the balance of the game.  But, if we take this route, I'm not as certain that abilities should carry over to multiplayer (less they detract from the more simple and strategic gameplay of commanding party vs. party).  What are thoughts on this?

Also- tell the other players about this post so we can get everyone contributing Wink
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maltross

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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2009, 11:28:43 AM MT »

I love the awards system for customizing characters, and agree that any extra powers shouldn't carry over to the multiplayervsplayer.  I love love that idea that you choose one character, and maybe add some different powers to the different characters, like maybe give the rogue a hide ability or something of the sort.  Maybe the hero draws the cards, and can give a certain amount of cards to the guardians, that they can cast on their own, with a limit on what kind of card you can give the guardians. Like the resurrect spell would be a hero only, but the Cripple would be a Hero/Guardian spell.

Equipment and items..maybe not a whole set of equipment per character, maybe like a special weapon, or a card they always have on them, and a timer that counts down til they can use the card again.  This might actually be good for the guardians for spells, something to toss around i guess.

So, i picture a dungeon crawl like this:

I create the game, and get dies and two other guys to get in the game, or if it's just gonna be 3 player crawl, like the partys we use now, dies, xplayer, and myself.  At the creation screen, i choose to be a guardian, making dies play a hero, and the other guy a guardian. I pick the rogue cause i like to disarm traps and hide around with him, dies takes the wizard to kick butt with, and xplayer takes the paladin for some healage. Maybe there's a new unit, cleric or whatever..maybe DRUID Shocked) that can heal.  We pick the difficulty, or any other settings, and the game begins. Maybe at creation screen, depending on what achievements we have, we pick a special item to take with us into the dungeon that gives my rogue a bonus of some sort, maybe +1 to his attack rolls, or extra movement or something like that.


sorry this is all jumbled together, just how i brainstorm ideas.
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Glenn

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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2009, 08:21:20 PM MT »

first off i think that this is an amazing idea and will make the game even more popular than it already is.

I think that anything done in the single player/ co-op campaign should be seprate from the pvp game.

I love the idea of new monsters and leveling. Also i would keep adding more and more cards to choose from as you level. But only let you pick so many cards for each board, addding to the strategy of it.

I think that single player/co-op should have you use more than just the hero. it will add a level of stategy that most single player rpgs don't have. or maybe just have the option to only use one hero.

the co-op is what gets me most excited. maybe have all the same boards available for single player and multiplayer but you just get better rewards from completeing a board by yourself.

all in all i've seen how you put together the pvp heromages game i have no doubt that what ever you decide is going to be an awesome addition to the game. keep up the good work
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diesbudt

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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 08:59:22 PM MT »

Well, I thought I'd stop by and put my input.

I think many of these ideas are great, I do feel however adding in too much at once could be overwhelming, Maybe adding some PvE first than expanding what you can do in PvE. I love this idea of solo/dungeon mode... As I don't get games in as much as I used too. (For multiple reasons).

I played hero mages (as me and Vinman spoke a few nights ago) that it has the strategy of chess, but at similar strategy skill "rank", Luck plays a major factor in the game. Even than, the game is plenty of luck. Anyone can beat anyone if the rolls are against you. (Most of you know I quote this over and over)

I have an idea for the "RPG" mode though. Instead of making your own characters, I like the idea that every time your unit gets the killing blow he gets a "level" up increasing his/her STR by 1.

Customization is a key in success of 1 player/solo/co-operative games, as it gives you more reason to keep playing it (to get the customization you want) and it feels more fun as it feels your characters are actually changing (or spells) as you progress through a game.

However in the PvP aspect, as I enjoy new game types, I however feel any customization (own characters and making own card decks, would destroy the one thing I enjoy most about this game; luck.) The more customization in PvP creates more cookie cutter unit or spell combinations, making it be just bland and boring after a while.

For PvE maybe you could make a "ladder" game which has 5-10 different "difficulty" dungeons, strengthening the A.I. and stats of each level of dungeon and you cannot move to the next until you beat the first. (this will help people practice strategies for PvP.)

I would however say that this is the first non-MMORPG game to grab my attention for as long as it has, congratulations on making a great game Ross.

P.S. When are you gonna be set up in the Twin Cities this weekend? If wanted I'll gladly log on and help new people learn, that pick up the game from there.

P.P.S  Also you could think of changing the heroes' names in PvE to have a real name like: Diesbudt, the Fighter Mage,  or Maltross the Summoner. This will not only make it seem more "real" in the game, but it will also allow you to make actual short back stories behind each units' childhood/learnings of Magic and possibly even a short story of them on an advanture.

P.P.P.S  Also FFA multiplayer, I think a new way to do ratings (Might be difficult to judge/code) would be that no one can lose more than 1 game worth (average of other players ratings) of points.

Say your rating is 1000 and your opponents are 900,970,1100. If you lose you would lose 1 games worth as if you lost to an opponent at a rating of 990, instead of losing 1 game to each opponent that finishes before you at their rating. (This causes ganging up on the higher rating players.)

And when beaten, whoever put the most damage/killing blows on that team takes the majority of the points from that player's loss.

This way you can only lose 1 game worth of rating, but if your aggressive and beat 2 opponents badly only to lose to the 3rd because they sat back as you expended youself, you would still get a positive, decent rating.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 09:14:27 PM MT by diesbudt » Logged
Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 09:48:46 PM MT »

Wow!  Thanks for all the feedback everyone!  I really appreciate this- keep it coming!

So far, I'm seeing a general consensus that multiplayer and single player game styles should utilize similar core mechanics but otherwise remain as generally separate game types (with single player being more role playing, and multiplayer remaining a strictly tactical battle game with limited customization options).  I'm actually pretty excited to hear this; it speaks alot for the simple, yet compeling gameplay I intended for multiplayer.

Secondly, it seems everyone wants to explore the abilities and stories of the other characters more in depth- so these will be a major focus of development.  Earlier in development, a friend of mine had suggested to me the concept of "snit-bits of story" as a reward-  and I'm feeling that developing the background of the characters and world of Papillion would greatly compliment the dungeon adventures.

Dies- you had some other topics you mentioned about TCGF and ranking system- I'll cover these in some other posts for you tomorrow when we get to the hotel- along with adding the next series of questions for this great dialogue we've got going here with everyone.
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diesbudt

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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2009, 07:58:51 AM MT »

I honestly can't think of what the TCGF stands for...
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Warmage
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 08:34:16 PM MT »

I think another idea for this is to use the rpg mode to help tell the story of heromages. I think involving the players into the discovery of the heromages world will add a level of excitement and attachment.

I imagine something like getting a random drop in game (or not random) that may even be perhaps unique - even if its something as simple as a scroll with a part of the written history on it - then that scroll goes in the official heromages vault that displays all the findings and who and when found it, sorta like eternal gamer "props" in hermoages.

I think many games now miss the mark on customers and how to make them feel included. I think a living history that is partially discovered and or created with the players could hook some players.

My thinking with this is to reward players who play often but not by giving them things that create an unequal playing field in multiplayer.

would be cool if you were playing and perhaps ran the map fast or killed enemy quick or whatever and you found a scroll that later becomes a spell that is used in game - things of that nature that keep a player attached and involved.

I think using the Rpg mode to map out the world is a good idea too, perhaps different game maps = different world locations. Given time things like this I feel would create a rich history and fan friendly involvement that would be unique in any game I have seen.
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2010, 02:09:32 AM MT »

I think another idea for this is to use the rpg mode to help tell the story of heromages. I think involving the players into the discovery of the heromages world will add a level of excitement and attachment.

I couldn't agree more.  Player's really haven't had a chance to experience the possible stories in the game and this would be an excellent way to get people involved.  Once AI is complete, I hope to develop this area of the game more- perhaps integrating it with the achievement system to offer players more rewards.

FYI- there is a world map laid out, though no official illustration yet.  The mainland is actually shaped like a butterfly (see if you can make the connection) - and there is a specific reason for how the game world is meant to tie into the story.  There are also regions specifically geared towards each map type and mage's lair.
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2010, 09:18:05 PM MT »

This is very exciting! my noob $.02 is coming.

Though i havent had time to read through every post, (dies posts seem to require a level of commitment  Grin) I have read some, and agree with a few that i will mention.

First and Foremost, this game reminds me of the tabletop miniature games I used to play 10 years ago. The randomness of the dice provides such an unpredictable and unique element, it can make for huge come from behind victories, or epic fail blunders that lose you the game. I get the feeling that the major battle mechanics are set, and not going to change. I hope so.

The DungCrawl/RPG element is outstandingly cool, and a lot of the things mentioned resonated with my thoughts. The awards, story elements, unique in dungeon "items" or boosts. Perhaps things like trapped tiles, or healing tiles. Im sure they have been mentioned.

I may edit with more specifics, with a better outlined suggestion, but then again, i probably wont. A concern, that I do have, is change to the core gamelay that is HeroMages. Also, I think it could become to difficult to balance, with a huge selection of playable charachters, at least for PvP.

Looking forward to any news on developments.

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Dustin

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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 11:48:08 PM MT »

Hows this mode coming along? Definatley looking forward to it! It's crazy how much we think alike. I developed a WC3 game that was quite similar in style to this game.

Here's a video of the map!
Battle Tactics 1.5 Pre Beta WC3 Map
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Ross Przybylski
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2012, 09:11:23 AM MT »

Wow, Dustin! This looks really cool - I can't believe you were able to build something like this with the Warcraft 3 editor. I'm very impressed - especially with working AI mechanic. Where can I get a copy of the map file? I'd love to try this out.

The aggro system for the AI is a neat idea. Hero Mages AI always goes for the most opportune victim based on threat and likihood to defeat, but I've always been interesting in adding more personality to the AI. A friend of mine always dedicates his entire strategy to killing the first player to attack him- I used to joke about making an AI character like that. An aggro system like you describe in the video sounds like a great solution for cooperative based RPG.

Have you ever considered porting this to mobile devices? This certainly demonstrates that you've got some crazy good programming and design skills.
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Dustin

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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2012, 02:31:09 PM MT »

I've got a copy I can let you look at, it only works with 1.21b of WC3 because of them completely patching their Game Cache system. Just shoot me an email to dustin.hendrickson@gmail.com and we can talk about it a bit more!

I've thought about porting it to a standalone game, im in the research phase on what engine/language to put the game in then get a couple of dependable people together to help.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 04:38:39 PM MT by Dustin » Logged
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