15 November 2006

Plans for the future.

EL is pretty complete for the time being, there are a few things to add, and some tweakings to do, but overall the game is almost complete.

If EL were a single player game, I'd move on and make another game. But with MMOs, you don't have that luxury, people expect you to always add new content, and you have to maintain the game as well.
Some of you remember that about 2 years ago, I wanted to make a new MMO, called Barren Moon. That project didn't work well, with team mebers leaving, and me being too busy with EL.

Recently, I started to think about how to improve EL beyound just adding new items, and I wanted to add player houses for quite a while now (since this summer). Since a player housing system requires a dynamic map format, I am thinking to take this a little farther and add to EL most of the Barren Moon features.

Here is a small sumary on how it's going to be:
The dynamic maps will be on a separate planet, where you can get via a portal, after paying a fee. You won't be able to take any item with you except for gold coins (maybe a few other items as well).
Once you are there, you will be able to join an existing city, or help create a new city.
Each city will be totally player built, and there will be a mayor (elected by democratic vote), research advisor, military advisor, commerce advisor, and so on, each elected by democratic vote.
Players will be able to construct buildings, research new technology, etc. The technology will start at an iron age level, then evolve to plasma cannons, space ships and other SciFi stuff. It will not be possible (or it will be very hard to the point of not being worth it) to bring items from the new planet to the 'standard' EL.
People that do not like SciFi are free not to go on the new planet, in case someone has a problem with that.

Anyway, I will give more details on this as I start implementing it. If everything goes according to my expectations, a preliminary test version should be available this comming spring or summer, and it should make it in the client in Q4 of 2007 (about 1 year from now).

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet. Love the idea. We've been arguing abt something similar to this on the EL forums but I think this meets all our expectations.

Way to go Radu.

15/11/06 10:03  
Anonymous Sandtiger said...

Sounds very interesting. But I must admit, that I have indeed a problem with the SciFi setting. Well not with the with the SciFi setting per se. But from my experience whenever Fantasy and SciFi settings are mixed the result looks silly. OK, you are planning to separate the SciFi part rather strictly from the Fantasy part (mostly for technical reasons, I guess?). So the effect shouldn't be too bad.

Just an idea. Why not have a technical evolution, that is not based on physics, but on magic? You could still have all the stuff you mentioned. Obviously it would be a lot more work since you can't reuse any RL knowledge about how the stuff works, so you would need to develop a whole new “magic science”. But at least it would fit into the original setting and it would be unique.

A few ideas, that come to my mind:

building/construction material:
- start with simple iron
let mages develop a technique to project their mental power into the iron to reinforce the molecular structure (make it harder, more resistant against high-tec weapons or something)
- let mages develop a machine, that is doing the reinforcement, so they can start with mass production (maybe the machine has a trapped ghost in it)
- next let the mages find a way to create a synthetic ghost, so there is no more need to capture them
- at a much later stage, let them find a way to transform magic energy into matter, either of temporary nature (holodeck?) or permanently (probably with some very exotic properties)

weapons:
- start with a laser: a light source (maybe a trapped fairy) and a magical forcefield that acts as a lens, which is aligning the light
- next a desintegrator: develop a source of destructive rays, that break up the molecular structure (unless the target consists of the magically reinforced iron)
- a weapon, that works telepathically maybe?

space ships:
- start with an magic instrument (helmet?), that lets mages transform their ethernal points into gravitation fields (spelljammer, anyone?)

At the moment I am running out of ideas how to continue, but I am sure, that a lot more would be possible.

15/11/06 11:30  
Blogger Radu said...

There will be no magic in the future (except for some of the magic spells the player has). But no magic buildings. So they will be kind of seaparated, the technology in the new world, and the magic and stuff in the current world.

15/11/06 14:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandtiger, I guess you aren't familiar with the Final Fantasy's? Those are fantasy and sci-fi combined, and they do an excellent job.

15/11/06 14:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am surprised to see you think EL is almost complete. There are items still to be made harvestable; harvestable items to be made useful; items that could be manufactured, crafted or alched;and attributes not being used at all. The SciFi scenario might be interesting in the future, but I see some basic elements of the game still missing at this point.

15/11/06 18:08  
Anonymous Sandtiger said...

Haven't played FF, but I have seen enough of it to get an idea and I must say, that I am not impressed. Well, I guess it is a matter of personal taste.

15/11/06 18:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dobar dan Radu,

As a new player of your MMO, I can't believe how addicted to it I am.

With that said, I like the expansion you are developing conceptually. I'm sure changes will be made as you move forward. The idea of dwellings in the game brings over the concept of wanting to store items the person has gathered as a product of time. I do know that item storage is something that severely affects the database size.

I'm under the impression that the new world will be a different game. Sort of like taking people from a primitive world and placing them on a planet where the populace is far more advanced.

Am I right?

15/11/06 19:10  
Blogger Rei said...

Pay a fee -- real dollars or gold?

I have absolutely no problem with mixing SF and Fantasy, as long as there's a clear border. I used to play on a mud called Three Kingdoms -- so named because there was a central city with portals to each of three kingdoms (Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Chaos). Each world was consistent within itself (except for Chaos, which wasn't consistent with anything, or for that matter, euclidian). Quite a nice setup, if you ask me.

15/11/06 19:39  
Blogger Gavin Smith said...

I've been following your blog for quite a while. It's really good; keep up the good work.

Quickly - I came across this link on the BBC. I thought you might enjoy it.

16/11/06 22:07  
Anonymous majestyk said...

Maybe this link could be an interesting read (it's about what changes might be done in WoW, but the basic ideas apply):

http://www.slate.com/id/2153757/?nav=ais

17/11/06 04:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the city could also choose between developing very advaced tehcnology or very advanced magic that does the same?
I would definetly move to the city of mages ;)

17/11/06 09:00  
Blogger Radu said...

Anonymous:

When I said that the game is pretty much completed, I didn't mean some new items. Of course there is always room for new items and manufacturing formulas and harvesting stuff. But that's not my idea of developing a game, always adding new items. They will be added, but I want to do a bit more than that.

17/11/06 23:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings

Sometime ago, i read not sure if it was on this new blogger of yours or at the old one @ gamedev.

That you are planning on implementing a shapeshifting skill/ability or whatsoever, could u throw a light in the dark about what's going on with that, if anything is going on at all?

20/11/06 05:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff Radu hope to see this added sone! thank you for el.

Morabelon out

6/2/07 17:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have a problem with sci-fi content for EL. Why not just make them in the style of the rest of the game out of wood. I think magical features for the house would be very interesting. A town system could be very effective but I think that adding sci-fi would ruin the atmoshpere, as an experienced player I would reluctantly have to consider quitting the game because to me the dark ages scheme of the game is something very important to me.

13/2/07 14:13  

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