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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 55 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [SIc] Fantasy Fight Arena  (Read 3633 times)
Björn K. Johansson
Member

Posts: 16


« on: July 21, 2007, 07:50:03 AM »

Here comes my contribution to System in a Can.  I am very new to this so if I have misinterpreted some information  please say so. Smiley

SET D
Setting: sword-and-sorcery/cyberpunk.
Theme: religious conversion/flight-of-fancy story.


In the future when the virtual world of the Internet is almost as real as the real world new computer games and sports emerge. The biggest of these virtual games is the Fantasy Fight Arena that is sponsored by the Matrix Corporation. The game is held in a virtual fantasy world where combatants fight each other in different types of competition. For example tournaments where every meets everybody or in cups where the players are eliminated if they lose a match.These combatants create an avatar to use in the game, an avatar they use to fight with. This avatar can take the shape and skills of many fantasy setting characters as The Human Warrior, The Elven Mage or even monsters as The Minotaur Cleric. The person that can use the skills of his avatar to his advantage will win, but your skill with an computer will help....

Ok, the game I will try to make in this challange is an Duel Roleplaying Game. In this game two players will Duel each other with a character they generated. This character has different attributes as speed, toughness and magical power. And different skills that can be used in combat as spells or special attacks. Ad to this the roleplaying element. The idea is that when a character wants to attack his opponent he must describe this "move" in a cool way. The better (or cooler) the description is the more bonus he gets hitting his opponent. After the battle the avatars get experience and gold. With this the avatar can be made better by purchasing new skills or new equipment. I was thinking of adding some way to buy (with experience or money) out of fighting game advantages/cheats that could be used during a duel. Maybe a hacking skill that made the other player go offline for a while or cheats that temporarily boosted your avatar.

Well I think that is it. I have had problem incorporating the themes but maybe you can see the idea of trying to be the best champion in this game as a flight-of-fancy story...
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2007, 10:32:59 AM »

It doesn't seem like you're misinterpreting anything Smiley

A couple of loose thoughts:

It doesn't seem like the game incorporates the "religious conversion" part. I have a suggestion for that, although it might be a bit stretched. What if the combatants had their cult followings in the real world, devoted to the point of worship? This might include mostly teenage fanbase, but some could actually become world-wide known celebrities. Anyway, players could track the popularity of their characters, and use it as a resource, instead of experience or gold.

Another thing. It doesn't sound like there is much interaction between the real and virtual world - i.e. you have the virtual fantasy where most of the action occurs, and the real world as the backdrop. At this point, it doesn't seem there is much to do in the real world, however. However, I think you could use this setting duality in some interesting ways. For example:

-What if instead of experience and gold the player gained influence and popularity in the real world (I'm not sure if two types of resources are really needed here, btw)? If you add some concrete goals to achieve in the real world (i.e. personal motivations or whatever), the players could generate resources that bring them closer to ahchieving these during the virtual sequences, and generate resources that help in the virtual world during the real world sequences.

-What if it was ambiguous which of the worlds is real? What if figuring this out was the final goal of play? E.g. after the session, or a chosen number of sessions or fights, the answer would be determined on the basis of players decisions. Maybe you could have some kind of score that would change every time you sacrifice something in the real world to gain an advantage in the virtual world and the other way around, and after the endgame is triggerred it would determine the truth?

Is there a GM in your game? If you want it to focus on dueling, he might not be needed. Also, from my experience with such games, it's good to limit the number of players, or give those who are not currently engaged in a duel something to do (i.e. some way to affect the game).

And a related thing - who awards the bonuses for narrating cool moves? This part might be tricky, unless you have an impartial judge. This might be one of the reasons for keeping the GM in the game, but I'd be careful with it (i.e. it could turn out that the players have much more fun).
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Björn K. Johansson
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Posts: 16


« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2007, 03:26:08 PM »

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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 02:09:50 PM »

As for the development, do you want the focus on development as in "mechanical advancement", or maybe rather the characters becoming "deeper"?

I think it's worth to consider that with a competitive model, there's a risk that once one of the players gains more mechanical power, the other might have a hard time for the rest of the game. I think it could actuall be interesting if the winner gained victory points, but the loser gained more experience, to have some advantage against the better player.

I'm not so sure about the war thing - I suppose I like the idea of it being a sport more.
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Björn K. Johansson
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 10:48:46 PM »

As for the development, do you want the focus on development as in "mechanical advancement", or maybe rather the characters becoming "deeper"?

I think it's worth to consider that with a competitive model, there's a risk that once one of the players gains more mechanical power, the other might have a hard time for the rest of the game. I think it could actuall be interesting if the winner gained victory points, but the loser gained more experience, to have some advantage against the better player.

I'm not so sure about the war thing - I suppose I like the idea of it being a sport more.
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xenopulse
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2007, 07:22:36 AM »

Hey Bjoern,

I love dueling games, so yay for that Smiley

I agree with Filip that the biggest challenge will be the implementation of the bonus for cool narration.  My own game, Beast Hunters, is almost completely based on the cool narration principle, and I realized quickly that you can't have players be competitive and then judge each other's input at the same time. It works only for a select few players, but most people will not judge the other side as fairly when they are competing.

The closest you could come to it is to have elements that players can establish and bring in. For example, you both create the arena together with specific descriptors, and whoever first uses a descriptor in an attack gets a big bonus, later uses get smaller bonuses, and so on. That way, you get narration that incorporates other elements while still being fair and balanced. In addition to the arena, your elements can be anything from the character's motivations and quirks to the invocation of the setting's Gods that grant specific boons.

I'm looking forward to see how this shakes out Smiley
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Chainsaw Aardvark
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 09:16:07 AM »

How does the interface between players work - VR force feedback, or brain direct, or just a terminal like a conventional MMO?

As we know, there are some religious groups in the corporeal world that don't understand the boundary between fantasy and reality. They seem to think D&D players learn spells/worship false g-ds rather than manipulate playing pieces that do these things. Or that it is the gamer committing mayhem in GTA rather than their avatar.

However, if its some type of direct to senses system (think the anime Dot-hack or the web comic Mystic Revolution) then this filter disappears for the player. It becomes actual gladiatorial combat between players, not icons controlled by them. The boundary disappears, and some people may become stuck in the fantasy, while others begin to side with the religious concept that the game is bad, or encourages violence in real life.

Or perhaps there is a literal des ex makina lurking outside the boundaries of the arena, and if players find out how to exit the "stadium" they find other things. Or can make sacrifices to this rouge AI in the real world (open up web links/do physical work) to gain advantage from it manipulating the game.

Although a GM is on hand, the coolness of moves is rather subjective. What some find interesting, others find cheesy or over the top. (Ever play Apples to Apples?) Perhaps a system could be set up so that players get style points for accepting penalties to hit or reduced damage (drawing out the fight/drama). These points in turn can be spent on special moves, power ups, etc.

Does the Matrix corp have any ulterior motives?

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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 11:02:06 AM »

Quote
The idea is that the players develop in the sense that they get more skills, equipment etc etc.  Here the influence comes from games like  Bloodbowl where you can loose the match you still get experience and money which means that you still develop even if you lost (only that the winner maybe gains more influence of some kind and the loser can lose influence).

Ok, so it's going to be a much more straightforward competitive model than I initially thought. This means that indeed, both endgame goal and lack of such could work here. However, if there's no end point, I suppose it's better to be careful with too open-ended advancement, especially if you limit the game to two players after all (i.e. at one point one of the players can get much, much more ahead of the other).

Have you thought about giving each player a stable of characters, btw? You could have, for example, four characters per player and end the game (or some stage of the game) after each of the characters fights which every opponent's character once.
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Björn K. Johansson
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Posts: 16


« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2007, 10:34:17 PM »

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Reprobus
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Posts: 31


« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2007, 01:49:42 AM »

Just one idea... I made a Wushu based game called Full Frontal Vegetables Cheesy where tomatoes and other green stuff fight each other (I know it doesn't sound too good, but this is not the point now Smiley). The players can bet on each others fighters and if they put the right bets, they got rewarded with game-money. The players can have more characters and if someone pays the right price he/she can buy another players fighter or he/she can buy better equipment and stuff for the warriors. 

So what about including something like this?
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My SIC thread about cowboys, pirates and splatterpunk: Disguised by Borrowed Plumes
ja-prozac
Member

Posts: 41

nerd with an attitude


« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2007, 11:45:02 AM »

Perhaps some strange power up gladiators can use while fighting but which can made
them stuck in virtual world? Or check out contenders and add some scenes to roleplay
between fights that somehow change the gladiator?
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Chainsaw Aardvark
Member

Posts: 17


« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2007, 10:51:13 AM »

We could go the anime/allegory route, point out that the matrix corporation is just a holding company for hell, and you litterally pay pieces of your soul to play the game. Who actualy reads the entire Terms of service document for computer software - anyone? Of course there should be some redemption, this is a game.
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Vulpinoid
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2007, 02:19:43 PM »

I'd like to see the meat of this game...the mechanics.

Too detailed, and people get bogged down in the numbers and figures, the game becomes a number crunching exercise and people lose the theme and background.

Too abstract, and the game can lose interest from those players who enjoy the min-maxing and the "power-combos". At this extreme, the quality of the theme and background really have to be given priority because the events between duels become far more important.

Is each game only going to be a single duel between players? Or is each game going to be a series of duels with interconnected stories happening in the background?

Work out where the balance lies between roll-playing "up-time" and role-playing "down-time", and that will start to determine where you need to concentrate most in the game.

V
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A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.
Björn K. Johansson
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2007, 07:34:58 AM »

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Björn K. Johansson
Member

Posts: 16


« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2007, 07:40:05 AM »

I didn'f find a way to edit my last post so I just make another one. Smiley I was playing around with my ideas in my head about the look of the game. so here is an example: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1230/917547246_fb19dc777a.jpg?v=0
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