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Googleshng - April 21 '03- 2:00 Eastern Standard Time
This weekend I had to get up 5 hours earlier than I normally do for
an appointment, received a rather unsettling piece of news, had a chance to get an accurate count on the
huge fight near the end of Shenmue (it's actually 71 on 2 if you count the leader afterwards), got a lot
of work done on weird creative side projects and got to the last level in Fantasy Zone 2.
That last point is enough to put me in a darn good mood. For those who have never played it (just about
everyone), Fantasy Zone 2 is a ridiculously fast-paced old shooter where for all intents and purposes
you only get 1 life, no continues, and die in one hit. Technically you get plenty of lives mind you, it's
just that losing all your powerups upon death makes the game more or less impossible if you die after
the third level.
Long rant, but decent ideas.
Man, first off, major props and all that has to go Gilbert for his AMAZING
idea yesterday. When I read that early morning Sunday, my mind constantly
popped in and out of a raging debate about how one would exactly implement
this idea into a MMORPG and circumvent any problems that could pop up.
(Obviously, the system would have to be almost completely random every
single time to make sure that only one person got one story and you don't
have 2 - 20,000 new players with the same quest and story). Andrew brought
up a good point in saying that to have it be completely random, in the fact
that any joe - schmoe newbie could end up being the King of some land and
screw around with hundreds or even thousands of NPC's and PC's by randomly
attacking allies and/or themselves, would be a catastrophe. I don't
normally discuss my ideas with anyone (let alone the entire gaming
community), but since this is Gilbert's idea and I'm only expouding upon it,
here are my suggestions for making it a little bit better.
Instead of having players jump from life to life after completing it, have
them stay with their same character, but each time they complete a main
"quest" successfully, their status would go up and allow them to have new
quests that deserve more skill and obligations, but alos more priveleges
and rights in the game world. For example, say you have two characters;
Simon and Drake. Simon is a starting out 1st level ranger from a small
village near an imposing forest, and one day, a group of bandits raid the
village and kill his father and one of his friends. He goes into the forest
to bring the bandits to justice. Drake, a starting out 1st level
fighter/soldier, is a young soldier who is also sent out to bring the
bandits to justice, who have been raiding military shipments. Drake and
Simon meet up, join forces, and squash the bandits. Not only are they now
probably buddies, but they gain "Destiny Points," meaning their plot will
now becomes more interesting and involved and their advancement goes up.
Killing the bandits reaches the ear of a young lord, who then hires them to
help find his kidnapped fiance; accomplishing this mission means they have a
young lord (who maybe even be a PC himself) on their side, increasing their
prestige and coolness of their future missions. Of course, the game could go
the other way; maybe the bandits in the forest and the thieves who kidnapped
the young lord's fiance are under the command of a powerful evil PC Duke,
whose mission is two - fold; subvert the kingdom and get rid of these pesky
do - gooder PC's. The Duke, like Simon and Drake, started out as a common
thug, but through good, hard playing, has cheated, lied, and stole his way
to becoming a Duke, and has his own share of PC enemies and allies, all at
different levels of advancement. Hell, he could even serve a Demon Lord, who
is a PC himself!
Of course, consequences would be severe if a player detracted from his path;
if a major knight in a Paladin Order decides randomly to run off and work
for a demon lord, he can expect his old buddies to send NPC and PC Paladins
to go wack him; conversely, a Dark Knight who finds the path of light and
defects to the Holy Kingdom (which is fighting the forces of Hell), he could
throw the war on the side of the holy warriors (due to his knowledge and
power), who previously were being routed by the forces of Hell.
Players, of course, who got tired with their character or simply didn't have
the time to run them anymore could opt out and start fresh; their old
characters could then be turned into NPC's (and therefore fodder for budding
I think that Gilbert's idea (with my improvements, but mostly it's his)
would definately present a much more realistic presentation for MMORPGS. The
plot problem is definately solved, and developing relationships with other
players would be required, but in a way that is up to the player; never
again will players be forced to go with groups of 80 - 100 people (unless
they want to), and we can have a world filled with power mongering dukes and
princes and wandering swordsmen and minstrels (if, you know, being a bard
is, ah, appealing to you). An entire contained community could evolve, one
that would be a lot more intimate and personal than any other MMORPG, more
than Everquest or anything else.
The whole concept reminds me of the idea I had for a MMORPG some time ago. There are no NPCs, there are
no monsters, there are no monthly fees. Just two kingdoms, composed entirely of PCs at war with eachother.
You pay by the war. When one side gets wiped out, you start over with characters in a position of power
based on how well they did.
More unorthodox game design.
This weekend I was watching Friday the 13th Part 3, and I came up with a great idea. Somebody should make an RPG where you're in a (relatively) small area, and you're being stalked by a psychotic killer who knocks people off one by one, and you have to defeat the killer before he gets you, too. There could be quests like you have to find certain items that will increase your chances of getting him, and stuff like that. The obvious problem would be that the final battle would be one on one since everybody else would be dead, but there have been RPGs where you only controlled one character. What do you think of that idea?
The idea really isn't well-suited to an RPG. Like you said, it doesn't really allow you to have a party
of characters, you couldn't really have hordes of random monsters to character build on, heck, the very
notion of experience levels is directly incompatable with horror, and you'd want something more action-oriented
so you can handle chase scenes.
The idea would work quite well however as an adventure game, a genre much better suited to horror in general.
Of course, working with that genre the idea has been done many many times before.
How about transfering the idea to a free-roaming action game? Think Metroid Fusion with some other characters
running about, and the SA-X being a constant threat and not just an occassional gimmick.
Conquistadors would probably stop at that idea...
New issue - Golden Sun! Yay! I just picked this game up a few days ago on a whim, and after just a day of playing I snapped up the expansion the very next chance I had. It's got such an odd look like an old game I couldn't remember that I can't help but irrationally love it.
I really couldn't place it until my roommate pointed it out, but this game is really like a nostalgic blast from the past, almost entirely in part due to its resemblence to Shining Force (I can't point this out enough.) The 3 stats, the simple (in some ways) storyline, and the lack of slotting Mako-aeon-combo-chart-overly-complicated weapons also help, but the Shining Force-ish graphics and sprites really make it seem like they're related. Do you get that nostalgic vibe from the game or am I just entirely too obsessed with Shining Force?
Golden Sun reminds me a bit of Shining Force, being made by the same people and all, but it reminds me
even more of all their other games. particularly Beyond the Beyond. I still find it odd really how the
average person can hate BtB but love Golden Sun.
Im afraid you were slightly off in your information
about Shadowrun the pencil and paper version.
Whizkids does own it.
HOWEVER, they are not printing the RPG. They are
about to release a collectible action figure game
based on the property.
But all is not lost!
They have given the rights to the old games they have
ownership of (the founder of Whizkids was also the
founder and creator of many fine products from now
defunct game company FASA!) to Fantasy Productions
Inc, a German game company responsible for THE fantasy
RPG in Germany, Das Schwarz Aug (It roughly translates
to "The Dark Eye") and who printed and translated Fasa
products into German.
They are now making Shadowrun products, reprinting
some of the old stuff, and even making new products
available in both languages, and uses Fast Forward
Productions as their North American distributor.
I know this because I am HUGE fan of Battletech, the
giant robot strategy game which has spawned many
electronic products, a cartoon, over 50 novels, and an
upcoming movie by the people responsible for Stargate,
ID4, and erm.. Godzilla..
Some links for the fellow who wanted to find out about
http://www.srrpg.com (Official Shadowrun site)
http://www.classicbattletech.com (Official Battletech
http://www.fastforwardgames.com (Fanpro distributor
site. Does individual orders for product should your
local game/comic shop not carry Shadowrun stuff)
Glad to have been of help to fellow Gamer Geeks..
I see. Now all I need to do is find some way to get my hands on a set of Blood Bowl...
Tori Amos quote for you, eh, nevermind.
I was just writing to see what you thought/knew about the Mother 1 and 2
And i just realized that all of this is assuming a North American
release... oh well right, as I was about to say... I'm excited at the
thought we'll finally get to play Mother 1 legally, haha. Do you think
Nintendo will beef up the translation, or just pick up the one they
abandoned? And what would you speculate they would call it? I assume
they won't call it Earthbound 0 like the rom community... Maybe
Earthbound -1... Anyway...
I sort of wish if people were going to do rereleases they'd enhance the
games. An 8 bit game on a 32-bit handheld doesn't really make sence to
me. At least do something with the music...
Which brings me to another question, what do you think about companies
making games for GBA and not really getting everything out of what it
can do sound quality wize? I seem to of noticed a lot of gbA games with
old gameboy style sound quality (Robotech comes to mind... I love
Robotech music, but not the 8bit twangy version...).
Ps. What's a Pokémon Box? (You wrote it in your New topics area
there... by the way, I picked up on how for two days you've put swords
vs. guns in the old issues box.... I agree.)
Pokémon Box is evidently the GameCube equivolent of Pokémon Stadium, except that it doesn't
actually contain any gameplay. Color me underwhelmed.
As for the quality of sound on the GBA, that's a pretty good question. I think the primary cause is either
an issue of not wanting to waste the cart space on high quality music, or that they figure people will
probably just turn the sound down anyway to conserve battery life.
*snip* We covered this on Friday.
Still on the **** swords vs guns topic: What's your opinion on the rational
behind giving Yuna (staff bearer) a pair of guns?
Uh, if you read up on any of the news about FF10-2, you would know that it features a job system not unlike
those in FF5 and FFT. Yuna only uses guns when in the gun-toting class. I see no problem with this.