Monday, January 26, 2009

Contriving the Idea

Before one can begin coding or designing, the idea must be born. Luckily, over the past few years I have been writing down ideas for exactly this purpose. As someone who plays a plethora of games in various genres, I have plenty of ideas regarding what I would like to see in a game.

The idea for Vile War was partially spawned by playing EA's Spore. This game allows you to create a creature, and take it through various stages of evolution until you are part of a flourishing society full of your own creations. The idea is beautiful, the implementation was somewhat lacking, however. My favorite part of the game was the initial stages where you design your creature, and shape it based on the actions you take. Once your creature becomes civilized, this is where the game starts lacking. It just didn't keep me enthralled, plain and simple.

  • In Vile War, you will not be creating a race, but you will be creating a tribe, or a clan. You will play your clan's leader, and will have the ability to oversee all of your clan's development. Your clan will be part of a much bigger picture, however, as you will be part of one of many alliances of your own choosing. Alliances will not be user-created/controlled, and the number of them is still undecided. My guess at this point is that there will be between 2-5 alliances. More on this will come later.

  • In the early stages, your clan will be focused on self-growth and development. Tools, crafting, hunting, inventing, building, you name it. Your actions and decisions will shape the type of clan you lead. As this progresses, you will soon interact with other player created clans. At first the clans you encounter will be part of your alliance, so you will not be able to attack them. Instead, you will be working with these neighboring clans to progress your own interests. It will be stressed that working with other clans in your alliance will be an absolute must in order to progress at a high rate. However, if you do not want to work with other clans, you will still have that option.

  • Each clan will have different strengths (and weaknesses), and this is why it is so important to work with others. Your clan may be excellent builders, but your building designs are lacking because you are a low intelligence clan. With great builders, but shoddy designs, your buildings will not be built to the fullest potential. Sure, you can design and build and your own from scratch, but why not purchase plans from a neighboring clan who specialize in structural design? Similarly, when they want to start building their own buildings, it would be wise for them to approach your master builders to ensure a quick, but thorough job. This has not been completely hammered out, at this point, and changes will certainly be made, but that will come at a later date.

  • As mentioned before, alliances will be an integral part of the game. They will be incorporated into the design of the game. Each alliance will be defined by its respective god (or goddess!). These deities are hostile with one another, and are battling for control of the various contestable territories. Each clan will be under the protection of its god, and therefore you will not be able to attack another clan's home directly. All Clan vs. Clan combat will take place in contested territories. The reason I am designing it like this is because I do not want someone's home to be destructable. If someone destroys your home, I don't think it is fair to force someone to restart somewhere else. This will lead to people either leaving the game permanently, or creating dual accounts to start over. Yes, there are ways around this, but I don't think I will pursue them. So for that reason, there will be designated PvP areas that will contain player-built buildings, and those WILL be destructable. These contested areas are not going to be under the protection of a deity, which is why buildings are not protected.

  • You will be able to contribute resources, intelligence-gathering, innovations, and military might to the alliance you are in. This will (obviously), allow your alliance to have a better chance of survivability against others.

  • Leaders will also be an integral part of the game. A leader, simply put, is you. Standard RPG stats/experience will apply (strength, agility, skills, etc.). Your leader will be able to take other followers into dungeons (PvE) and contested territories (PvP). There will be quests, just as there are in standard RPGs, and they will require dungeon raiding and general PvE combat to complete. This will allow me to provide both PvE and PvP environments.

  • One of my favorite implementations will be PvP and PvE "Call-to-Arms." If you are online during a Call-to-Arms (C2A), you will have the option of volunteering to partake in them. A PvE-C2A will consists of some sort of NPC attack, such as a dragon attack. The goal will be to slay this dragon with other members of your alliance before another alliance does. To the victor cometh the spoils: loot, gold, all the good stuff. A PvP-C2A will involve all alliances being involved in a battle in one place, with maximum carnage to ensue. Again, rewards will be given.

I will be unveiling more as it comes to me, and as it is needed. My next update will be about the actual implementation process.


  1. Sounds like an awesome start to a great project. I have a few questions:

    Do you plan on providing any explicit benefits to building in the PvP areas? An implicit one would be, for example, to quickly shelter soldiers who returning from a fight. Are there any specific perks on the PvP areas that you've though of?

    Also, you stated that alliances would not be user create or controlled. But does this mean that two different players can join the same alliance? Would they then have special interactions as allies?

    Thanks, good luck with the game.

  2. There absolutely will be benefits to building in PvP areas. Some resources will only be available in PvP areas, and in order to harvest them you will need to build a mine. Another example would be a garrison, which will give you a place to safely station troops in otherwise dangerous areas. More on that will be announced as it is developed.

    Regarding alliances, an alliance is essentially one's alignment to a particular god/goddess. Alliances are not player controlled, and every player must choose one during registration. There will be 3 from which to choose. One of the main goals in the game will be to strengthen your alliance and take over contested territories. There are a number of reasons why I do not want these player controlled, and I will discuss this in a future update.

    Sub-alliances will be referred to as guilds. Guilds will be player-created and controlled, and will essentially be groups of clans. These will be looked at in a further update as well.

    Thanks for the interest.