Sunday, January 4, 2015

Grave Story- The World and How It's Affected

So, when making a game, I find it important to me to think about what I'm going to do to make the particular game I'm working on stand out. What sets it apart? Why should you play it? What does it do that other games either haven't done or don't typically do?

Now, as you are likely aware of by now, undead are running rampant throughout the world, pillaging and destroying wherever they can. In a typical RPG, the world will be "in danger", but not really. The antagonists won't actually have any kind of impact on the world whatsoever. Leave the game idle for 2 months, the world will be exactly the same. Well, I'm doing things a little differently. The world IS in danger. The undead are a very real threat. Every town/city in the game will be actively affected by this. By that, I mean every city in the game can be destroyed- which means all NPCs in the city are killed, the place is ransacked, and anything you could've done there is most likely gone.  Meaning if you did leave the game idle for two months.... well there's going to be a few casualties.

So how does it work? The system is relatively simple. There are three variables that are important to each city- City HP, City Defense, and Undead Attack.  City HP and Defense are pretty self explanatory; Undead Attack is a random number within a range (see the example below).  After a set amount of time, undead attacks will happen in the background, potentially damaging the city.  After this happens, the timer resets.  If the city's HP reaches 0, it's destroyed and everyone in that city dies.

Since cities will be endangered, there are countermeasures that will be put in place. For one, cities will be safe until you reach them. If the story involves the city in some way or another, then they'll have immunity until they're no longer vital to the story. Other countermeasures may need to be put in place, but the general idea is that if the game can theoretically prevent the player from completing the game (even if the odds are astronomically low), then it has to be taken care of.

Now, there's ways you'll be able to help or sabotage cities. If they take damage, you'll be able to help with repairs (at a cost), donate money/resources so they can repair, and so on, that way cities can recover health. You'll also be able to boost or lower a city's Defense through assistance or sabotage. Maybe help clear out a mine of undead, or clear out a lumber yard. Donate money or weapons so guards are better prepared. Alternatively, steal the weapons from the guard house, or blow up that mine entrance. There will be options available for each city, though not all will be sabotaged/assisted in the same way. As the game progresses, the undead's Attack range may go up- forcing you to decide whether you're going to help these people, or leave them to fend for themselves.

Before anyone asks- yes, this WILL have an impact on the ending. There will be two parts to the ending- the regular ending, and a sub-ending, so to speak. The sub-ending will tell you what happened with the world- did it survive? Did it have some casualties? Was most of the world population destroyed? You can get the best ending the game has to offer, but still fail in saving the world.

The reason I want to do this is I don't really know if it's been done before. I like games that have weight attached to their decisions. As stupid as Grave Story is, I still want that kind of weight in the decisions you make. There's really no kind of morality system- it's simply how you feel about your actions. There are the Virtue/Sin stats (used to be Noble Deeds/Atrocities), but those are really only telling you how you're playing the game, and Sin has a very minor effect on the game, if at all (Sin inceases Arkon's spawn chance.) Regardless, I want an RPG were the world feels like it actually is in danger, rather than this "fake danger" that most create. And it's a mechanic I'm excited to explore.


  1. Sounds really interesting so far. Maybe virtue could reduce the amount of resources you need to repair a city or something like that.

    1. I might find some other minor impact regarding Virtue; though being a good person doesn't exactly fix holes in walls. :P

  2. Sounds great Camel, really diging it.

    Always felt like it was such a needed thing, the sense of urgency, cause everywhere else, ya could just lolygag around, doing f*ck all, when the world was suposedly gonna end.

    New perspectives are always nice, lets hope ya can come up with some more interesting ideas, eh?

  3. This could be annoying if implemented poorly. PROBLEM: Deep in a dungeon and you need to get back to a town SOLUTION: Add a teleport/Portal item to warp out of a dungeon and resume right where you where when you are done. PROBLEM: Too many cities need your help. SOLUTION: Only certain or a small amount of cities need help, PROBLEM: Cities are always in danger and can overwhelm a new player if they have constantly to keep an eye on one city and then need to help another city far away from being destroyed SOLUTION: 1-Add permanent solutions like completely gearing up a city, or clearing out a undead nest, killing a leader that stops undead sieges in that area 2- Make it only a feature that only becomes a huge concern for people who try to ignore it.

    1. A city could accidentally be ignored and destroyed while the player would never know that while they are already knee-deep in a dungeon and later find out that a vital/personal city was destroyed. This can infuriate or send a player into paranoia constantly leaving dungeons to insure a town/city's safety. That player probably being me in the future.

    2. That's the idea, actually, and these are all concerns I've acknowledged. This is something that will be tricky, but I think if it's done right, it'll be quite good. But for the most part, you would have to actively ignore a city in order for it to get destroyed. Granted, there is some RNG involved. but as I pointed out- cities only become endangered once they're no longer vital. So it'll at least give a sort of progression in terms of how many cities are threatened at once.

      Some are also less concerns than others- the first undestroyed town, for example- I can confirm that it'd take a bare minimum of 20 assaults with some horrifically bad RNG in order to destroy it. Which it'd take about 5 hours for that to even happen if you didn't progress at all. You'll have to progress further until cities are actually in some super-serious crap.

      But yeah, I do really appreciate you pointing out your concerns. These are things I have to think out as well. But I do have another post covering checking a city's conditions remotely.