Make a Game with Me!


  • Pitcrew

    Once, the island of Antillia was relatively isolated and left in peace to develop its own rich culture. Rumor has it that the people who lived there were surprisingly advanced, and the island dominated those around it. This changed though, when the Foreigners came. These hardy men and women came from the Old Continent and were on the search for riches. Antillia was conquered by these foreigners, as was the rest of the region and the New Continent, with Antillia becoming the natural stopping point before the last push into the new world. Because of it's highly strategic position and it's history, the island now finds itself caught between the old world, the new world, and it's own traditions as varied forces fight for control of the island.

    Antillia is an original themed mush very loosely based on the myth of Antillia Island and Caribbean history. Though it takes inspiration from these periods in time, a setting in a unique world will allow give the game and its GMs flexibility.

    With Antillia, I want to design a game that matches my philosophy of player empowerment in a dynamic world and a political atmosphere, where healthy conflict is encouraged and loss gains more reward than winning. However, while this has been something I've been wanting to do for a long time, I know it's not something I'm capable of doing on my own.

    I told myself that I'd put this project on hold until my real life eased up. Well, that's going to happen. So I'm wheeling it out again and looking for people who would like to help make this a reality, by helping to clarify systems, crystalize theme, help with GMing (in the future), and help me muddle through coding (this is especially needed!).

    If you're interested, please let me know. Obviously, I'm looking for someone who agrees with my basic philosophy, while bringing their own ideas to the table.


  • Admin

    I don't know what my level of involvement can be but if you want some early questions:

    • What level of technology do you have in mind for this?
    • Does magic/the supernatural exist?
    • Is the game primarily PvE or PvP?
    • Do you have a system or mechanics in mind for it?

    You also mention conflict How do you plan to systematize it staying healthy, and losing being a rewarding experience?


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel

    @Arkandel said in Make a Game with Me!:

    I don't know what my level of involvement can be but if you want some early questions:

    • What level of technology do you have in mind for this?

    The game will most likely start at early 15th c. level technology. I want the players to be able to grow and shape technology as the game progresses.

    • Does magic/the supernatural exist?

    Yeeeeeeesssss? The Antillia myth is tied to a boat of demonic priests that settled on the island. I like that. I also want to give space for priestly types and paganistic religions. However, I think the preferable scope on abilities is small. No gods appearing. No magic automatic healing. No supernatural abilities that allow you to overwhelm your enemies. etc.

    • Is the game primarily PvE or PvP?

    I think a good game is an equal mix of both. In Antillia, I would like to create an environment where characters are naturally at odds, but circumstances keep factions working together and keep any one group from ever winning.

    • Do you have a system or mechanics in mind for it?

    d10 system. I have some game systems sketched out in varying degrees of completeness, but I since I plan on bringing more people on board, nothing is 100% settled.

    You also mention conflict How do you plan to systematize it staying healthy, and losing being a rewarding experience?

    As mentioned, I have some systems in mind that would really benefit from having someone work with me on them. However, the TLDR; is that I think you reward what you want to see, and so XP is tied to healthy conflict to some extent and especially to 'losing.' I think the more a character 'loses,' the more XP they should get. Ideally, this should serve the dual purpose of keeping dinosaurs from ruling the game and encouraging loss as positive thing. Although, of course, game atmosphere and proactive staffing is equally important in this area.


  • Admin

    Alright, some input then (that's my preferred level of involvement in most projects, at least at first - let me know if it's unhelpful and I'll stop).

    • Does magic/the supernatural exist?

    Yeeeeeeesssss? The Antillia myth is tied to a boat of demonic priests that settled on the island. I like that. I also want to give space for priestly types and paganistic religions. However, I think the preferable scope on abilities is small. No gods appearing. No magic automatic healing. No supernatural abilities that allow you to overwhelm your enemies. etc.

    Thematically that sounds reasonable. One of the problems on L&L games has been that faith-based characters either lacked depth, purpose, a niche or all of the above; on paper they had things to do but in practice they were often caught in a limbo where they lacked both political and military clout but were burdened by IC limitations (say, not being able to marry) compared to other PCs.

    In terms of game effects balancing supernatural powers is tricky. A common issue for example is some of them are simply more useful than others, so you get the type that conveys the better powers. Another is that the cost to getting them needs to be calibrated as well - you'll know which ones pretty early on if your demographic gets really obviously skewed; players are typically great at figuring out where the best bang for your buck is.

    Speaking of, what are your plans for the power curve? How will advancement (XP?) work?

    • Is the game primarily PvE or PvP?

    I think a good game is an equal mix of both. In Antillia, I would like to create an environment where characters are naturally at odds, but circumstances keep factions working together and keep any one group from ever winning.

    Sure, but how? Do you have plans or only the goal for now?

    d10 system. I have some game systems sketched out in varying degrees of completeness, but I since I plan on bringing more people on board, nothing is 100% settled.

    Okay. I'm typically not that interested in systems, I just wanted to see if you were adopting an existing RPG or running an original one.

    You also mention conflict How do you plan to systematize it staying healthy, and losing being a rewarding experience?

    As mentioned, I have some systems in mind that would really benefit from having someone work with me on them. However, the TLDR; is that I think you reward what you want to see, and so XP is tied to healthy conflict to some extent and especially to 'losing.' I think the more a character 'loses,' the more XP they should get. Ideally, this should serve the dual purpose of keeping dinosaurs from ruling the game and encouraging loss as positive thing. Although, of course, game atmosphere and proactive staffing is equally important in this area.

    Alright, some thoughts here:

    For starters you are quite right, you reward what you want to see (or you get what you reward, whether it's intentional or not). There are many ways to skin that cat, but my very early advice is to design a system that's not going to require staff supervision over handing out every reward. It's going to drive up the workload very rapidly and it's really boring as a persistent task; consider going with a "trust, and verify" approach instead so there's a record of these things to catch abuse after the fact, but allowing players the leeway of monitoring their own advancement.

    Beats in nWoD 2.0 are interesting. That system does exactly what you suggest - it incentivizes trying and failing. I would still put that firmly in the 'trust and verify' category as well, since it's a lot of work and scales up very poorly otherwise.

    Don't be afraid to stealbe inspired by successful implementations in other games either. For instance Arx's making it a rewarding experience to play with newbies (through @rs) is an excellent idea. KD had a good one too where you filed a weekly report detailing what significant advancements you've attempted IC in that time; that allows staff to keep an eye on what's happening on the grid by delegating monitoring - and making it voluntary - to the players themselves, but also (theoretically) rewards attempts to make actual progress. If you reported "well, I had great sex with Jane" that wouldn't count, and if staff eventually noticed it you'd get a finger-wag.

    What are character archetypes you have in mind for this game? Are there factions and what kind? What's the political environment like in very broad terms?


  • Pitcrew

    @Lisse24 said in Make a Game with Me!:

    As mentioned, I have some systems in mind that would really benefit from having someone work with me on them. However, the TLDR; is that I think you reward what you want to see, and so XP is tied to healthy conflict to some extent and especially to 'losing.' I think the more a character 'loses,' the more XP they should get. Ideally, this should serve the dual purpose of keeping dinosaurs from ruling the game and encouraging loss as positive thing. Although, of course, game atmosphere and proactive staffing is equally important in this area.

    I like this idea a lot, although it might a bit tricky to pull off. One thing to support it that I might suggest is to consider reframing it from 'winning' and 'losing' to opening a different set of opportunities. Political battles are at their best when parties are open to maneuver and come at issues from different angles. One of the ways that L&L games tend to falter is that opportunity only really goes up with social status. So the higher your status, the more opportunities you have - a high level noble can FUNCTIONALLY slum it in the poorest parts of the city as well as attend the finest parties in the city, and suffer no repercussions, while a commoner can only do one of those thing (and maybe not even that, if the local dives are filled with nobles throwing around money and influence).

    So, perhaps, conceptualize instead of an objective social status, sliding scales of reputation/influence with different groups that are mutually exclusive - If you suffer a major setback/scandal with one group, you lose reputation with that group, but may gain it with another opposing group (who now sees an opportunity to take advantage of a disgruntled member of another faction). So, the commoner who "makes good" and becomes popular in high society loses a lot of his connections with the slums, because he's "better than he ought to be", but the noble who is disgraced in a scandal might lose standing with high society, but the local Hellfire Club thinks she might make a fine recruit.

    Now, this could get rather complex, true, depending on how many factions you have, and you have to make sure that the factions are well-balanced in the things they can do (they don't need to be able to do THE SAME THINGS, but the things they do need to be equally fun and useful - Nobles Who Can Do Everything and Hunted Petty Criminals are not balanced factions, for example, but a powerful trading consortium and a powerful smuggling network MIGHT be).

    Edit: I'm also going to make a tremendously unpopular suggestion regarding character advancement - if you want a fairly 'realistic' (as in not epic heroism) setting and play, then advancement regarding the characters /inherent attributes/ should be incredibly slow, and likely capped fairly low. Political play is best facilitated, IMO, by spending a lot more time tracking and playing with changing RESOURCES, not static attributes. If you want a truly political mindset, then you need to think of characters in terms of what they have access to, and what that access allows them to do, rather than a stat-block. Also, you need to decide what kind of access is MOST important. For example, a political intrigue game is probably going to prioritize access to information most of all, which means creating, discovering, and tracking secrets is going to need system support, as are things like blackmail and bribery (and they're going to need TEETH). On the other hand, a land-and-trade political game is going to be hugely concerned with finances and trade resources, and so you're going to spend the bulk of your system resources tracking things like production of goods, market prices, trade routes, etc.


  • Admin

    @Pyrephox Why not reward long-standing antagonistic relationships?

    So for example when you first clash with the Baron in the local senate it gives you a small amount of XP. As the two of you become rivals the rewards begin to scale up; it's becomnig a long-standing feud which trickles in over time. At that point it becomes a periodic income, which adds up.

    Then you don't want to kill him. You need the bastard! In IC terms someone else would have taken his place anyway, at least he's the devil you know... and it's giving you the chance to learn from the conflict.

    Treasuring your IC enemies seems like an interesting recipe. Thoughts?


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said in Make a Game with Me!:

    @Pyrephox Why not reward long-standing antagonistic relationships?

    So for example when you first clash with the Baron in the local senate it gives you a small amount of XP. As the two of you become rivals the rewards begin to scale up; it's becomnig a long-standing feud which trickles in over time. At that point it becomes a periodic income, which adds up.

    Then you don't want to kill him. You need the bastard! In IC terms someone else would have taken his place anyway, at least he's the devil you know... and it's giving you the chance to learn from the conflict.

    Treasuring your IC enemies seems like an interesting recipe. Thoughts?

    Oh, I /love/ that. That's an awesome idea. Now, you'll have to be careful that people don't just...designate a whole bunch of nemeses and then not push that relationship, but you could do that by tying certain rewards to specific actions against your rival. (I admit, I still want to move away from XP as the main reward system, unless you've got some serious, ongoing and meaningful XP sinks that don't boost PC inherent ability beyond a certain point.)


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said in Make a Game with Me!:

    Speaking of, what are your plans for the power curve? How will advancement (XP?) work?

    I want XP to be tied to good RP, not just any RP, and loss. I would like to award a limited amount of XP for a) working towards player goals, b) acting in theme, c) acting according to characteristics and an unlimited amount of XP for 'loss.' Yes, @Pyrephox, I know loss isn't a great term for it yet. Should someone come on board and I can work on this project in earnest, that would be the type of thing that gets refined.
    Anyway, I think a good way to handle this would be through player verification similar to how @randomscene works on Arx. You type in a command that says why you deserve XP, the other people in the room verify it. Use of the command gets stored so if there is XP cheating, we can go back and look at it.

    What are character archetypes you have in mind for this game? Are there factions and what kind? What's the political environment like in very broad terms?

    I want the political environment to be fluid and changable, with different factions and players gaining power and then waning as time goes on. I would like factions to have various benefits to being in power and benefits to being out of power.
    I'm thinking of 4 different types of factions, which right now, I'm referring to as:

    • Heritage (How did you get to the island?): Western Continental (Spanish/British influenced), Eastern Continental (Russian/Asian influenced), Mainlander (American influenced), Foreign born/Tourists, Native Islanders, Mixed Native, Sea Farers (Traders/Pirates)

    • Political Philosophy (What do you want to happen to the island? - these factions totes need cooler names): Colonial Rule, Mafia/Mob Control, Democratic, Socialist, Theocratic, Military Rule, Native Reversion

    • Spheres of Influence: Political, Industry, Trading, etc.

    • PC created families/allied groups


  • Admin

    @Pyrephox said in Make a Game with Me!:

    @Arkandel said in Make a Game with Me!:

    @Pyrephox Why not reward long-standing antagonistic relationships?

    So for example when you first clash with the Baron in the local senate it gives you a small amount of XP. As the two of you become rivals the rewards begin to scale up; it's becomnig a long-standing feud which trickles in over time. At that point it becomes a periodic income, which adds up.

    Then you don't want to kill him. You need the bastard! In IC terms someone else would have taken his place anyway, at least he's the devil you know... and it's giving you the chance to learn from the conflict.

    Treasuring your IC enemies seems like an interesting recipe. Thoughts?

    Oh, I /love/ that. That's an awesome idea. Now, you'll have to be careful that people don't just...designate a whole bunch of nemeses and then not push that relationship

    The way I'd implement it is have code handle political decisions. So let's say a decision has to be made - do we impose tariffs on those southern barbarians' ships and risk war or placate them to continue the uneasy truce? If you and the Baron vote the same way nothing happens; if you vote against each other a counter is increased.

    That counter goes up every time you clash - the code keeps track. And the higher it is, the more you get from the relationship. In that way you want people to stick around - everyone wins from having these clashes. Winning politically is nice, but you always get more from such long-standing friction regardless.

    The system should ensure you can't just designate your TS-buddy as your 'foe'. It's handled automagically for you over time.


  • Politics

    One thing I recomended to someone recently is the Conflicting Interests System for any type of political faction play.

    For example. You have factions 1, 2, and 3.

    You also have interests A, B, C, D, E, F, any of which can succeed or fail.

    You give each of these factions interests they want to succeed, and interests they want to fail:

    Faction 1 wants A, B, and C to succeed, but they want D and E to fail.
    Faction 2 wants A, D, and E to succeed, but they want B and F to fail.
    Faction 3 wants B, F, and D to succeed, but they want A and C to fail.

    And then you, the person running the game, decide when each of these interests are important. Maybe A has to do with passing a law about the restriction of magic--Faction 3 is heavy on the magic use and the other two Factions band together to overwhelm them, but Faction 2 needs to be careful, because very soon, Interest E (certain gentrification platforms) will come into effect and Faction 1 is very against it, so they might want to curry Faction 3's favor...

    ... and so on and so on. Might get a little complicated, but only if you spread a little too far. The key is making sure every issue is represented (and reviled) equally, and that every Faction has a stance (even if the stance is 'neutrality') regarding every issue.



  • @Lisse24 'Good RP' is pretty subjective, though. How are you defining 'good RP'? Because, for example, 'bar room RP' is good RP for me. It's fun and enjoyable but for, say PlayerA 'good RP' is going on adventures or getting involved in politics but, no matter how creative a person is, they hate bar room RP ad n matter how 'good' a person might pose they don't consider it 'good RP'. Or you defining it by pose length? How often they delegate? How often they get out and RP with someone outside their circle?


  • Politics

    @Coin said in Make a Game with Me!:

    One thing I recomended to someone recently is the Conflicting Interests System for any type of political faction play.

    For example. You have factions 1, 2, and 3.

    You also have interests A, B, C, D, E, F, any of which can succeed or fail.

    You give each of these factions interests they want to succeed, and interests they want to fail:

    Faction 1 wants A, B, and C to succeed, but they want D and E to fail.
    Faction 2 wants A, D, and E to succeed, but they want B and F to fail.
    Faction 3 wants B, F, and D to succeed, but they want A and C to fail.

    And then you, the person running the game, decide when each of these interests are important. Maybe A has to do with passing a law about the restriction of magic--Faction 3 is heavy on the magic use and the other two Factions band together to overwhelm them, but Faction 2 needs to be careful, because very soon, Interest E (certain gentrification platforms) will come into effect and Faction 1 is very against it, so they might want to curry Faction 3's favor...

    ... and so on and so on. Might get a little complicated, but only if you spread a little too far. The key is making sure every issue is represented (and reviled) equally, and that every Faction has a stance (even if the stance is 'neutrality') regarding every issue.

    You can also give it a success sale, for example:

    Faction 1 needs A to succeed, wants B to succeed, doesn't care either way about D, wants E to fail, and needs F to fail. This gives them a lot of room to maneuver and see what to support at which point.

    This also lets you retroactively decide what's important for a faction and why, creating something that a lot of people might be much more invested in.


  • Pitcrew

    I love the ideas being thrown around! A lot of them are similar to or elaborations on or clarifications on what I was already thinking I would like to see.

    I'm just trying not to get too excited though. While this is something that I really would like to work on, and while I think there'd be an audience for a game like this in the MU world, I really can't do too much planning until I know I can move forward with this. I really can't move forward with this until I know that I have at least one other person who's willing to work with me on this.

    So, like, back to original point, anyone wanna take a stab at making a game?


  • Admin

    @Lisse24 said in Make a Game with Me!:

    I want XP to be tied to good RP, not just any RP, and loss. I would like to award a limited amount of XP for a) working towards player goals, b) acting in theme, c) acting according to characteristics and an unlimited amount of XP for 'loss.' Yes, @Pyrephox, I know loss isn't a great term for it yet. Should someone come on board and I can work on this project in earnest, that would be the type of thing that gets refined.
    Anyway, I think a good way to handle this would be through player verification similar to how @randomscene works on Arx. You type in a command that says why you deserve XP, the other people in the room verify it. Use of the command gets stored so if there is XP cheating, we can go back and look at it.

    I dunno. It might work - but usually such vote systems (which is basically what this is) are plagued by circlejerking as people's friends make vouching basically automatic. Remember cheating is really hard to show; was I bullshitting when days earlier I said I was 'cultivating a mutually beneficial political relationship with the Baroness' or was I just hitting on her and getting XP for it? Looking back you can catch the most blatant abuses but realistically... that's it.

    I think here you know a lot more about what you want so far than how to make it happen - which isn't a bad starting point. Most games launched don't even ask these questions, they just copy whatever the last game they played at did. :)

    A good idea might be to integrate as many of your systems as you can. In other words don't worry about the exact methods of XP distribution yet, but design all of your game's other portions - how politics will work, how resources will factor into it, what will tie organizations and goals together, etc. And once you have enough, hitch your XP wagon to those. Ideally progression happens organically, through things your character is already doing, rather than in reverse - knowing what will generate XP ('large public scenes give more +votes!') and playing your character accordingly.

    I want the political environment to be fluid and changable, with different factions and players gaining power and then waning as time goes on. I would like factions to have various benefits to being in power and benefits to being out of power.
    I'm thinking of 4 different types of factions, which right now, I'm referring to as:

    • Heritage (How did you get to the island?): Western Continental (Spanish/British influenced), Eastern Continental (Russian/Asian influenced), Mainlander (American influenced), Foreign born/Tourists, Native Islanders, Mixed Native, Sea Farers (Traders/Pirates)

    • Political Philosophy (What do you want to happen to the island? - these factions totes need cooler names): Colonial Rule, Mafia/Mob Control, Democratic, Socialist, Theocratic, Military Rule, Native Reversion

    • Spheres of Influence: Political, Industry, Trading, etc.

    • PC created families/allied groups

    Sure, that sounds reasonable. My advice is to make some concepts very easily playable - in other words, allow unique concepts of course, but have some suggestions aside for new players who might not want to spend a lot of time upfront coming up with them. "Pirate", "nobleman", "merchant", "mercenary", "priest" for instance are pretty universal and a newcomer doesn't have to read a long wiki. Then CGen can help guide them through the types above anyway.

    Do you plan to allow leadership of organizations/families/factions open to PCs?



  • This sounds cool.


  • Politics

    @Lisse24 said in Make a Game with Me!:

    So, like, back to original point, anyone wanna take a stab at making a game?

    I'll be your huckleberry.

    PM me with what you're looking for. If system isn't an issue, I'd pick nWoD as a starting point, customizing bits of it as needed.


  • Pitcrew

    I had some time this week, and so transferred a lot of my ideas from a half-formed disorganized gdoc, to a half-formed, somewhat better organized wiki.

    Still looking for people interested in planning/staffing, especially in need of a coder.

    http://antilliamux.wikidot.com/start


  • Pitcrew

    @Lisse24 The idea of the game looks really fun!

    Sadly I'm not really anything of a coder to offer assistance in that regard. But I love historic themes.


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