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Otherworld - a game I'm working on

Discussion in 'Online Game Development' started by Tariel, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you commenting on things I share. Currently I have no one actively helping me with the project, and I need this feedback to keep my thought process active. Every question you ask helps me clarify more what I want from this project and how I'm going to make it real.

    Of course we mustn't forget about NPCs when it comes to hunting. It might be possible that a group leader handles PCs and NPCs the same way, with the exception that PCs can change their settings. There should be some benefit to using human actions instead of automation, but after defining enough preset actions in advance to answer the questions that might arise ("What if I get injured?" "What if I get scared?" "How many people do I need as back up in order to attack a beast larger than myself?") even automated action can look like human action, because a human action was taken in advance and all the possible scenarios were assessed. But there are always unexpected things that no programming could anticipate and that's what makes the group leader necessary. Also people will have fail safes so that if a group leader flips out and tries to send people on a suicide mission, most people will question his right to lead at that point. Characters will have some self preservation. Each character will have a breaking point when it comes to physical pain. They're not tanks. They're human beings.

    Also it should be possible to hit a shield so hard that it shatters.
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Glad I can help you:). Don't worry, I know the feeling. Although I have help now, I started this website by myself around 14 years ago and it was not easy.

    Also I do like to create (like the Ogre Wars Dice RPG and websites) despite having no real coding experience. Looking into LISP as a potential start though:). Think a project will be the best way to learn so I may can help you at some point on that too.

    Yes, feedback is great:). We get some here on the forum from time to time on various stuff. In fact, we used to have a form plugin where we could ask questions and they would answer.

    So it will be like a hunting safari and the leaders would be professional hunters? That could work if they are controlling all of it. Hmmm, any ideas on the kinds of NPCs and what exactly they will help the PCs hunt?
     
  3. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    The internet was a much simpler place 14 years ago. In the other hand, it was harder to find information so a lot of people wrote javascript and such from scratch instead of recycling other people's code. Also if people saw something nice on another person's website, they would copy the source code because it was visible. A lot of stuff was done in the user's end instead of hidden on the server.

    Nowadays people place a lot of demands on websites, so old-fashioned things like text-based games have a hard time breaking through because they're not as flashy as professionally made games. I'm artistically talented, so I could make a lot of graphics if I wanted to, but I want to keep things simple and stick to the point. One of my ideas is that my game should be so subtle that people can check it during a work day and not get caught because it doesn't look like a game. The local map view takes something away from that but I wanted to show people I can do graphics if I wanted to. Another question is if this is the best way to accomplish things. It's often better to leave the layout of a city more vague and only define which building is close to which, leaving something to the imagination. With my current system, it would be very hard for someone to give another person a tour of their town, "This is the market square, that's the smithy shop and this is the street kitchen". The current setup makes that very clumsy if not impossible. One thing to look at is mobility and character interactions. It should be possible for a character to lead another one through several locations and the other person could view the journey at their own pace.

    I would like there to be hunting parties where the members are pretty much equal, but since it's very hard to have more than two people online at the same time, it either requires automation or one person leading the show. The only other option is stretching it out over the course of several real life days and that's out of the question. It makes sense to put the most experienced hunter in charge, because they know what they're doing. Still there should be a way for inexperienced players to learn how to lead, so that they can one day take the role if the prefered leader dies or becomes incapacitated. Comparing to Puzzle Pirates again, often inexperienced players don't get to load the cannons at all because they do it so slowly that there's no way they could win a fight with that speed, so they implemented a mini game that lets about a dozen people man the cannons at once instead of just one or two people. I thought that was a great move since it took the pressure off and let people learn. Now of course animals are unpredictable and if you go hunting boars or bears or leopards, a chance is a lot of people are going to get seriously injured if they let an inexperienced person be in charge. But inexperienced people can start with easier prey and learn the ropes that way.

    If I go with the system where the party leader controls the actions of the group, there's very little difference between human players and NPCs. Human players can change their settings, but NPCs come with preset settings that most likely won't change, unless somehting drastic happens. NPCs will usually demand either some sort of payment or a part of the day's catch. Human players can understand if you get bad luck and catch nothing, there is no prey to share, but NPCs would require minimum compensation whether or not you catch anything. In some societies, NPCs will be free people, where as in others they will be slaves. Of course in some societies there's a mixture of free and slave NPCs. Slaves will do as they are told, but their loyalty levels may vary. They will expect to be fed and clothed, but they don't expect to own capital. Mercenaries and hired hands generally expect more than this. They want to ensure that by working a few days, they can take some days off to work on their own things and improve their lives. I'm thinking of giving at least NPCs, perhaps PCs as well, an individual bravery attribute, and if the scariness of a situation exceeds this value, they will flee. Bravery can be trained by repeatedly exposing themselves to scary situations. Also if the commander is scarier than the foe, the troops will be too afraid to flee because they fear the consequences. Also each character will have an individual pain threshold. Again, if this is exceeded, they will flee or go into shock. They can improve their pain tolerance by body modifications such as tattoos, piercings and stuff like making small cuts in the skin and inserting stones under the skin. Bringing a character close to their pain threshold without exceeding it will potentially raise the threshold, and doing this repeatedly is guaranteed to raise it. This will probably lead into hunters and warriors using forms of self-mutilation as a means to get stronger, whereas peaceful characters will remain soft and unscarred.

    There should definitely be hunting dogs as well. They will be able to run faster than humans and smell prey. Untrained dogs will be harder to control and there's a chance they will ruin the prey by tearing it apart, but well-trained dogs will just hold the prey still by running around in circles and barking until the hunters get there to finish it off. Some characters will have a natural knack of training animals, so even if a person is weak or slow, they can contribute to the society with other gifts. My thought is that every character should have at minimum one talent, but it will be hidden when they are born and they need to discover it through trial and error.
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    I would definitely develop at least one text game on GameOgre if I could do it:). LISP may teach that so that is one of the reasons I am interested in it. I am just winging it on Ogre Wars with a dice plugin on the forum, but we did try a choose your own adventure project once that we were going to call Ogre Adventures:). I think it is still possible to build a small community around text games if you have enough good ones that you can support well. In fact, I would possibly buy some if I could not develop my own or if I found somebody willing to sell full rights to some good ones. I have bought full rights to software (one which powered the directory for a number of years) and plugins before. Although many players will not read much, I think a deep text game will still appeal to some players looking for a more fulfulling experience. By fulfilling, I mean something that can really capture their imaginations:). Plus as a writer, I could edit and add to a text game much easier.

    But if you can make graphics, that is a huge plus and always in demand:). Yea, leading other players through would be a good idea.

    Hmmmm, that is a good idea by Puzzle Pirates. Yes, new players need to have a chance to learn.

    Yes, NPCs should be paid. Started a game this week that is actually free now because Twich chat beat the developers:). In One Troll Army, you control one giant troll that looks like an ogre to me lol. This is the only character you directly control. If you want some help, you can build a tavern and recruit orc mercs. Each orc costs you money and you have a button that releases them in battle. Once in battle, the AI controls them so I can focus on my "ogre" :).

    Think your game will have a hunting pet/monster that you can just unleash it and it hunts all by itself? That could be an automation option for those who do not want to hunt themselves. The main cost would be feeding it, of course, so it does not eat all the prey it catches:).

    I like the the one talent aspect. How many possible talents have you came up with so far?
     
  5. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    Concerning talents, sometimes having a bonus on a main talent can affect all of its children, so you technically have multiple talents.

    People also have the basic traits of strength, agility, constitution, intelligence and perception. Strength affects how much you can lift and carry. Constitution affects how far you can carry it and generally keep walking without resting. It also affects your resistance to disease. Agility affects both major body movements and fine motorics. Intelligence affects speed of learning and some skills like making engines or gunpowder have a minimum intelligence requirement. Perception affects things like tracking, hunting with a bow and finding things to forage.

    Physical: affects climbing, jumping, swimming, diving, chance to learn acrobatics

    Foraging: affects the speed of picking berries, mushrooms and such

    Digging/mining: the use of a shovel and a pickaxe, possibly also recognizing the value of ores in case we decide to go to a less transparent system where similar ores can be confused for each other - compare this to Nethack, where worthless pieces of colored glass look the same as gems

    Hunting: tracking, setting traps, fishing with a spear/trident, pole fishing, net fishing, knowledge of animal behavior

    Fighting: martial arts, brawling (a less sophisticated form of martial arts), polearms, swords (1-handed and 2-handed take different techniques), axes and clubs, bows, crossbows, sling, throwing, blocking with a shield or temporary items such as chairs of thick limbs of wood

    Healing: treatment of wounds, fractures and dislocations, illnesses and burns; knowledge of related herbal remedies

    Cooking: ability to light fires quickly and knowledge of how to set the wood so it burns long enough; plucking (affects cleaning birds as well as berries), cutting, boiling, baking

    Time measuring and navigation: now this might be a tricky one if the game allows seeing your x,y coordinates and the current time, but this would involve understanding how the sun is in different positions throughout the year, reading the stars, understanding the changes of weather in nature, and possibly knowledge of songs and poems that can be used to measure time. If a person learns to chant a poem at a steady pace, they can measure for example how long to boil an egg

    Estimating weights: this involves the knowledge of how scales work - one big thing about the game is that in the finished versions, all exact weights will be hidden and a random variance is involved every time you manipulate resources. Currently it still shows the exact weights when dealing with resource deposits, but I'm planning to get rid of that.

    Measuring: affects things like making tailored to fit clothing, making barrels and other things that require watertight joints, making ships

    Tailoring: sewing, knitting, crocheting, spinning yarn, weaving (split into two skills, manual which involves macramé, basket weaving and carpet weaving, and another one that is weaving with a loom), making patterns (tied to the measuring skill), embroidery (sub-skill of sewing), lace crafting (sub-skill of weaving)

    Processing skins: skinning animals, curing hide, preserving pelts without damaging the fur, taxidermy (high level skill that requires knowledge in other things)

    Woodworking: felling trees (how to make sure they fall in a direction you selected instead of crushing people and houses), carving, using a lathe, chiseling, making logs, shipbuilding

    Smithing: refining/smelting (also extends to glassworks), forging, casting, making blades (sub-skill of forging)

    Pottery: knowledge of different qualities of clay and how to mix clays to get the qualities you desire, manual working of clay, and using a potter's wheel

    Masonry: making bricks, mixing mortar, the actual building work and knowledge in architecture

    Cleaning: generic cleaning of houses, washing fabrics, washing dishes

    Agriculture: weeding, ploughing, sowing, harvest, crossbreeding

    Animal husbandry: riding, herding, feeding, grooming, aiding animals give birth, butchering

    Chemistry: making soap, making dyes that stick, making explosives without blowing yourself up

    Precision crafting: gem cutting and polishing, gem setting, goldsmithing, making clocks, making steam engines, glass blowing, grinding lenses

    ----

    As for automated hunting, we don't want to make it too easy. You should control the animal somehow. You can for example have a hunting falcon that catches smaller birds or rabbits, but you need to give it signals and be there to welcome it when it returns. Otherwise it will eat the prey.
     
  6. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    Another thing though, I lost my investor last night. If I understood correctly, he wanted to develop a game that is more similar to Cantr. I haven't done anything to advance my game in the last whole week. I'm going through a dry spell. My idea is so complicated that it's like a tangled ball of yarn and I don't know where to start solving it. I can imagine parts of it but when I start thinking about actually coding it, or entering values in the database, I feel like meh. Last thing I did was work out which ingredients are required to manufacture all the tools. I need to research all the types of wood in the game to find out which ones are suitable for which purpose. One thing I learned is that the wood from citrus trees is useless and is no good for anything, so it shouldn't be in the game at all. All regions that have some trees have either hardwood or softwood firewood that can be used for well, fires, but all bigger things like planks and logs require felling trees. All hardwoods require a metal axe, whereas softwoods can be felled with a stone axe. It should also be possible to harvest tree limbs for smaller things like hilts and handles, and for building huts. Some trees like baobab and oak can be so wide that you can make a whole table by taking a slice from the middle. I need to research how thick and tall trees of different types generally are, and it isn't always easy to find. There is a wood database that has useful information, but some more obscure woods are harder to find. I remember there was something that was so gnarly that it can generally only be used for odd-shaped bowls and nothing that would require a straight grain. One of the trees I have is linden, which is the best wood for amateur carvers because it has basically no grain, so it can be cut in any direction. I wanted people to be able to use the wood from fruit bearing trees, because it doesn't make any sense that there is a tree but you can't do anything with it, because its only purpose is to bear fruit. I should implement a type of junk wood, but currently it isn't possible to have the same material come from multiple natural sources. So I would have to make multiple types of junk wood, and give them different names because the column for resource names is currently unique, so it doesn't allow double values. The reason it is like that is that I wouldn't accidentally enter the same resource twice.
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    That is a lot of great talents:). How long do you think it would take to put those in the game?

    Hmmm, would writing an outline of the whole game help you? Like put everything you want for the game in one place. Maybe even write a detailed plan for it if you feel it is getting out of whack. Another possibility could be to keep it simple at first and then branch out further as you build a good foundation.
     
  8. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    I have a lot of separate text files but if I were to put everything in the same file, I would have to write it in Word and divide it into chapters, otherwise it would get too heavy to read. I have a summary of the main features, and a work list that shows in which order (approximately) things should be added. I'm currently working on the manufacturing system. I'm trying not to make it any more complicated than it needs to be. It's already complicated enough as it is. Once I get the key items entered into the manufacturing system, I can do a play test and see what's the minimum time needed in order to play a whole month. If it's disproportionately long, I will have to look into enabling routines to automate repeated actions such as cooking, weeding fields and harvesting from memorized deposits. In the current system, it's easy to harvest everything from a deposit with one or two clicks, but with resources like fruits, they spoil faster when out of the tree, so it would make more sense to leave the excess in the deposit and only harvest what you need to feed yourself for that day. The game doesn't protect against foolish moves, so if a person depletes all their edible resources and doesn't have a means to preserve what they foraged, they might end up starving.
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Ok, that is a good way to do it:). Writing stuff down helps me a lot for some things.

    If you need me or members here to playtest, just say the word:).

    That should appeal to hardcore gamers especially. Many gamers do not want to be too restricted so they can do it themselves. That also ties into the popular survival genre going on now:).
     
  10. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    It's going to be a while before it's ready for a playtest. Currently we don't even have a server. In the beginning it should be possible to put it on a free shared server, but if it was to be actually playable for more than a hundred people, it would probably need a dedicated server. I was looking at the possibilities earlier. Some hosts specifically forbid PBBGs of any kind, but I was able to find one that allows them.

    Yesterday I was entering the components for manufacturing projects, but entering the resources will be more complicated, because for example things that require wood can use almost any of the types of wood in game and currently there are 32 different kinds. I will need to figure out how much the hardness/workability affects the speed of project completion. Some woods might only be workable with metal tools and not stone tools. For that I would need to add a new object type and a project to produce it, then make it an option for any project that can use the softwood handle.
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Yea, hosting can be tough sometimes. GameOgre is on a dedicated server now and has been for many years, but it started on a shared one. Wasn't free and did fine for a while, but it grew too fast for other members lol. That said, is there a way to allow playtesting but keep a cap on the number of players at once so you can stay on that server:)? That should help if you can cap it.

    I still have shared hosting under a few lesser domains that might can be used, but not sure of their policy on PBBGs yet. Also, do you have a domain yet? I have not really hosted a game yet except under domains. Still, it would probably be a good idea to have one for the game at some point anyway:).

    Yes, 32 types of wood can complicate matters. I had a small "store" once and I sold furniture along with almost everything else. During that time, I probably did not see more than 10 types of wood:). Of course, the most abundant sources were like Pine and then the two that are not really true wood, Plywood and Particle board.
     
  12. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    Currently the game only exists on my computer, and I run it through xampp. I used to have a web server but it required logging in once a month and I failed to do that, so it got deleted. I often go through dry spells when I don't work on this, so having a server that absolutely requires logging in to keep it alive might be too much for me. I think it was in July when I was looking at servers and I found one that allows PBBGs but now I can't find it anymore. I didn't write down the name.
    Most of my types of wood are specialty woods from fruit bearing trees, so they are in no way optimal, but I wanted to enable using them. Currently the hardest wood types can only be used to make handles and shafts for various items, and they can only be worked on with iron tools, not Neolithic. It might be good to add a few very common trees like ash and hickory to balance things out. I'm not allowing every type of wood for every item, but I'm keeping my alternatives open so if it turns out that some society only has access to specialty wood and nothing common, I can add "recipes" for items that use their specialty wood. I've heard that date palm has very low quality wood that's not technically even real wood, but there are desert regions where that is the only tree, so there's one thing that I might need to add more uses for in the future.
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Well I pay for shared hosting for some lesser sites and haven't logged on some for years lol. Still havent found out if they allow PBBGs, but I think it could work for a while if you don't need a lot of resources. I still have to ask about another site so I could ask them then:). Think you could put it on a domain for something like that? That would help with testing it right?

    Yea, adding common trees would be a good idea. Hmmm, would you create the recipes or would they be real ones?
     
  14. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    I will get a website if this advances far enough, but it needs to have php5, phpMyAdmin or equivalent and preferably support for cron jobs.

    I'm trying to base the uses of wood on real world uses, but in the game, people might need to use specialty woods for plain purposes just because it's the only species available in their region. For example, online articles say that it doesn't make sense to use anything but hickory and some other tree for tool handles, but in my game it's possible to use almost all of them. You can't use bamboo for other than small handles, though. The softness of wood affects durability. Later on I can tweak it so that types of wood that are more springy and have a high modulus of rupture are better for axe handles, because they need to be able to withstand impact.

    In real life the wood of fruit trees is often used only for art objects such as bowls and sculptures. In my game they are used for anything they are suitable for, because this wood might be locally common unlike in real life.

    Yesterday I made a javascript that randomizes character visual traits. It isn't directly related to Otherworld but it's good practice. Javascript often causes me gray hair, so I'm glad to know I could actually do something like this.
    You can check it out here:
    RP Character Creator - JSFiddle
     
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  15. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    [​IMG]

    I managed to implement a build menu after two or three days of work. I'm using an external code called AciTree. Clicking on a button loads the information in the side panel. The categories are in an array instead of reading them from the database, but the item data is read from the database.

    The buttons were created using this site: A useful tool for designing css buttons
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Yea that would be the most practical way to do it. In the meantime, it would be a good idea to back it up somehow if its only on your PC. I have to do that for something all the time because I have lost it before.

    Nice, making a new script is always good. I fiddled around with it:). Yea, you probably can find a good use for that. I could see an Ogre feature like that with different characteristics lol. Could call it something to the effect of "What kind of Ogre are you?".

    I like that set up, because it makes it much easier to read. Bookmarked that site because may need that myself someday:).

    How far advanced do you want to get the game? To where it can be play tested or is there another goal you want to reach first on it?
     
  17. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    I'm just going to rearrange my work log and post it here:

    Alpha:
    - cooking/processing resources
    - character creation (assumes NPC parents)
    - preventing you from getting more than a day ahead of other players
    - manually switching to a new month when most testers have reached the end of the previous month
    - hunting system
    - ability to cut down trees
    - farming system (at least in rudimentary form, includes seasons)

    After these features, I should get an online test server and allow selected people to test it.

    Beta:
    - cron-based switching of months
    - mating and pregnancy
    - foods/cooking/nutritional values
    - hunger and digestion (average people get hungry after spending 240 AP, so if they eat every time they get hungry, they need to eat 3 times a day)
    - cooking system
    - buildings
    - locks and lockpicking
    - aging system
    - PvP combat system
    - sailing system (initially with one ship type)

    At this stage, introduce more testers.

    Finished version:
    - register new account
    - clothing
    - armor
    - making certain objects increase AP gains through resting
    - following/tracking system
    - refined NPC system
    - using NPCs in combat
    - the ability to assign activities to other people or cooperate on foraging/farming/hunting
    - make it possible to view a log of how you've spent your AP
    - crossbreeding system
    - meteorite system to introduce random iron
    - making endurance affect how far you can walk in one go (tiredness)
    - skills affecting what you can manufacture and its quality
    - preventing people from leaving their comfort zones to create safe spaces for people who want to avoid newbies
    - signal fires/ability to see smoke from a distance
    - introducing local OOC codes of conduct
    - burden slows down traveling speed, individual capacity is bound to strength
    - animal domestication
    - riding and carts
    - possibility to cut stone blocks of a selected size
    - means to transport heavy things (such as using rollers)
    - event messages for basic actions ("you dropped 2 peaches")
    - ability to assign other characters as watchers and kick current watchers
    - adding more ship types
    - animal attacks

    Things that aren't strictly necessary:

    - chains and other movement restrictions, bondage
    - ability to swallow small items such as needles and rings; damage from swallowing sharp items
    - used capacity counter for containers, volumes of objects
    - throw
    - kick items
    - water-powered mills
    - mining tunnels, other underground structures, possibility of natural caves
    - steam engine

    The not strictly necessary features are things that aren't available in Cantr, so if we had them, it would be a step up, but if that game has existed for 10+ years without them, it means we can also get started without them without losing anything.
     
  18. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    [​IMG]

    A quick update, I have continued working on the manufacturing system and it's now up to a point that you can finish items if all the resources have been added. I haven't yet added the mechanic to add components, and it doesn't check for tools even though it asks you to select what to use if there are multiple options. My test location has both granite and flint, so it's possible to make some of the neolithic items.
     
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    ogreman

    ogreman Ogre In Charge Staff Member GameOgre Admin

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    Good idea. I actually had a small web game with cron jobs many years ago that I bought on a domain forum, but I made the mistake of letting players help me with it back then lol. I think one of did something and I did not know how to get it back at that time. Oh well, it was a learning experience. Cron jobs can be good if you know what you are doing with them:).

    Yes, keep the testing small at first.

    That schedule looks good. It always helps to put down what you are striving to accomplish.

    Thanks for the update:).

    Went on a virtual tour of a game today for a couple of hours and really got to take a look at what they are planning. It was a great experience:). They are planning on having houses/castles that can be decorated etc. Housing is going to be a feature at some point right? Without reading past posts, i think we talked about that before right? I have liked that feature all the way back since the Realm Online, but haven't really played the games that have had it since then. The dev said that Wildstar and Runescape has it.
     
  20. Tariel

    Tariel New Ogre New Ogre

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    There will eventually be buildings, but the decorations will mainly be in text form instead of in graphics. I will encourage players to customize everything they can to create unique things. In fact, I'm sort of planning to avoid having preset descriptions altogether, because it limits imagination. A basic description won't cost any extra time, but longer descriptions will cost extra. A few points every 200 letters or so.

    I made this graph thing that shows the most recent travels. I made it include random wobbliness, which is hilarious in my opinion.
    [​IMG]
     

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