Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Spidweb

Avadon Developer Diary #2

Recommended Posts

I have finally put the second part of the Avadon Developer Diary up on my blog here. It talks about process of setting the theme and mood of the game, which is something I need to do before anything can actually be written. Hope it has something of interest ...

 

- Jeff Vogel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we get to play the game as Judge Dredd. "I am the Law."

 

Nah, you can never have too much power as a gamer. The monster might scratch you and ruin a perfectly good outfit. smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aw, you didn't use the "adolescent power fantasy" tag. frown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still await the game where we work for Robespierre. I'd have preferred if we sort of got to watch someone spiral down from defender of liberty to tyrant. And then, of course, killed him off and replaced him wink.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yay humor! I love the dry humor in Jeff's games. Things like the "Violators will be Toad," outside the magi offices in Fort Emergence, or even the item description of a rock in Geneforge 1. I'm glad it will continue to be a feature of the games.

 

His description of the tone of the choices is also interesting...I wonder how it compares to Geneforge in terms of ambiguity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Triumph
Yay humor! I love the dry humor in Jeff's games. Things like the "Violators will be Toad," outside the magi offices in Fort Emergence, or even the item description of a rock in Geneforge 1. I'm glad it will continue to be a feature of the games.

His description of the tone of the choices is also interesting...I wonder how it compares to Geneforge in terms of ambiguity?


My favorite was the description of pants in the Avernum games: This is a pair of pants. Many great adventurers also wore pants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the games have great moods. A bit of humor that stuck with me from G5 is this:

Quote:
You search through it, looking for clues. Alas, not all pots in Terrestia contain valuable information.

Not sure why, but I always appreciated that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it could be a Spiderweb game without that certain touch of humor.

 

And I'm excited for having power, again. That was something I always enjoyed from the first Geneforge games. "I'm a SHAPER. That means I get stuff FOR FREE!" sort of thing going on. Terribly fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Goldenking
I don't think it could be a Spiderweb game without that certain touch of humor.

And I'm excited for having power, again. That was something I always enjoyed from the first Geneforge games. "I'm a SHAPER. That means I get stuff FOR FREE!" sort of thing going on. Terribly fun.


Shaking down merchants for lower prices is an option in Avadon. I always giggle when I let players use their power in obnoxious ways.

- Jeff Vogel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Spidweb
Shaking down merchants for lower prices is an option in Avadon. I always giggle when I let players use their power in obnoxious ways.

- Jeff Vogel


What you need to add is a secret reputation counter so halfway through the game their behavior comes back to haunt them. The merchants suddenly are out of key items, shops are deserted, ....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Originally Posted By: Spidweb
Shaking down merchants for lower prices is an option in Avadon. I always giggle when I let players use their power in obnoxious ways.

- Jeff Vogel


What you need to add is a secret reputation counter so halfway through the game their behavior comes back to haunt them. The merchants suddenly are out of key items, shops are deserted, ....


But but... then I can't extort people anymore! Extorting people out of stuff was FUN!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to see that Avadon follows in the path of the later Avernums in that you play through pretty much the same game, mostly, regardless of which side you're working for. Or that's how I interpreted it, anyway. As a completionist, I appreciate having fewer triggers for compulsive play.

 

—Alorael, who is also hopeful about Redbeard. If Spiderweb games have a weakness, it's that characters tend not to play central roles in the story. Maybe it comes with the generic PC system, but it's a shame. He's hoping that happy, possibly evil Redbeard will break the trend and have a real personality with character development visible in a single game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
So we get to play the game as Judge Dredd. "I am the Law."
I don't mean to oversimplify, but when you remove the plot, isn't that the way it is with all of Jeff's games?
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
What you need to add is a secret reputation counter so halfway through the game their behavior comes back to haunt them. The merchants suddenly are out of key items, shops are deserted, ....
Or the merchants make you start playing by their rules to buy anything.

I can just see this in one of Jeff's future games: There's a merchant somewhere with an item that you need to complete a game-winning quest, and he's the only one who has the item in stock. However, because you have a bad reputation with the local merchants, he won't sell it to you unless you say "pretty please" or clean out some stables or something. tonguewink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Jeff could always reinstate the calendar where on certain days the shops are all closed. smile

 

I'm more in favor of a Geneforge reputation system where certain behavior gets you chances to do quests. But for a twist being obnoxious means when you ask for directions to your next mission instead of being told the short, safe route you get the long trapped filled route with lots of dangerous monsters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
I'm more in favor of a Geneforge reputation system where certain behavior gets you chances to do quests. But for a twist being obnoxious means when you ask for directions to your next mission instead of being told the short, safe route you get the long trapped filled route with lots of dangerous monsters.


But for the powergamers here...that will qualify as a REWARD, not a punishment. tongue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to see in the game that you have to buy certain items from merchants and craft items, etc. Finishing the game with all crafting items and herbs intact shouldn't be so easy. Also having the merchants stock a whole bunch of stuff you'd never buy is a bit annoying - like why have all that. An Eschalon-style rotating stock system is more interesting than merchants becoming redundant once you've cleaned them out of inv elixirs and wisdom crystals. Kind of keeps the whole map alive all game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if the stock rotated, it would still be the same stuff you don't want to buy. This is because the existence of trainers break merchants. If there were no trainers, and hence there was no incentive to be a pinchpenny, there are plenty of items that -would- be worth buying, even though the power boost you get from them might only last a few areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
Even if the stock rotated, it would still be the same stuff you don't want to buy. This is because the existence of trainers break merchants. If there were no trainers, and hence there was no incentive to be a pinchpenny, there are plenty of items that -would- be worth buying, even though the power boost you get from them might only last a few areas.


So nerf trainers by making it possible to have ridiculously high skills (Like 20-30 points) with ease, while still having the trainers only train 3 levels. They'll be a much worse deal for your money, and the player will be encouraged to invest in things from stores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That just makes the skill point system stupid. Granularity does not enhance strategy, but on the contrary adds an element of mindless logistics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The better solution would be to reduce the number of trainers, the cost of trainers, or to increase the amount of money available.

 

Dikiyoba.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
The better solution would be to reduce the number of trainers, the cost of trainers, or to increase the amount of money available.

Dikiyoba.

I'm a fan of not capping money, myself. 30000 was okay, but I really ran into problems when my limit was 9000 or 15000 in the earlier Avernums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to see no trainers and no stat boosts from random puddles, walls, etc. Skill points are all that's needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trouble is, the way we are all conditioned after the last half a dozen games, no trainers = no point in money. The merchants would have to be offering pretty compelling merchandise to get me to buy it. Maybe if all the best items weren't available by searching pots/killing monsters...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there aren't trainers to save money for in the game, then it goes to spell training. Buying equipment before you can get it by killing things is near the bottom for most players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually it would be quite nice to see a game where buying equipment actually made sense. It wouldn't necessarily be any better inherently than loot drops from dead foes, but at this point it would be a refreshing change, that's all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem is it isn't bottom for "most players" -- it is bottom for all half-decent optimizers, which is a small chunk of the playing audience.

 

Jeff doesn't have to cater to optimizers who want balanced gameplay because they (we) will play his games regardless, as nobody caters to us anymore and he is as close as it gets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff really could put valuable things in shops and give only limited money. Then there's a point to strong-arming merchants and a cost as well: you can get that nifty piece of gear now, but you might be costing yourself more gear in the future.

 

—Alorael, who of course realizes that all acceptable optimizers would then demand all merchandise from all merchants at the end of the game. That's just good sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: CRISIS on INFINITE SLARTIES
Jeff doesn't have to cater to optimizers who want balanced gameplay because they (we) will play his games regardless, as nobody caters to us anymore and he is as close as it gets.


this is really only true if you also insist on turn-based combat, there are still FPSRPGs out there with decent potential for character optimisation, it just comes in slightly different forms

and even if you do insist on turn-based combat, the new King's Bounty games on highest difficulty are pretty well-suited to optimisers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem with most of the optimisation that goes on is that it's optimising for the whole thing. People will make things overly difficult through the whole game for the sake of having the most powerful character possible right at the end.

 

A real optimiser would realise that buying that mass haste scroll now would have a bigger effect on the next battle than saving the money to buy 1/4 of a point of anatomy ever will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

otoh that's only true if at any point in the game you found yourself in a situation where you would have used a mass haste scroll if only you had one more of them

 

no point in stocking up consumables that you'll never use, and there are enough of most things just lying around that you don't need to buy more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The question is, do the characters know that they don't need to buy anything because they will just find stuff lying around? I play with the assumption that if the characters need something, they will purchase it, since they don't know the future, and hoping to find it in a random barrel is too great a risk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: madrigan
The question is, do the characters know that they don't need to buy anything because they will just find stuff lying around? I play with the assumption that if the characters need something, they will purchase it, since they don't know the future, and hoping to find it in a random barrel is too great a risk.


i play characters who have good pattern recognition skills

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My characters also occassionally have mystical energy heal them or replinish spell points. Its only natural if one of thier ancestors is divine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Lilith
otoh that's only true if at any point in the game you found yourself in a situation where you would have used a mass haste scroll if only you had one more of them

no point in stocking up consumables that you'll never use, and there are enough of most things just lying around that you don't need to buy more


Almost every battle would be made easier by using a mass haste scroll. Stockpiling them all for some future eventuality that never comes is the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Khoth
Almost every battle would be made easier by using a mass haste scroll. Stockpiling them all for some future eventuality that never comes is the problem.


most battles are easy enough to begin with, and if you're using a mass haste scroll in every battle then you're definitely going to run out

so unless you're going to make a list of all the battles in the game and decide which ones to use a mass haste scroll in, you have to use a heuristic which will probably either overestimate or underestimate the number of scrolls you actually need. if you know from experience that you tend to overestimate how many items you'll need, then you shouldn't buy scrolls until you start to run low on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I play characters firmly opposed to the Anama. Knowing that pernicious group's habit of selling magic item substitutes, they boycott all such things. Knowing that an adventurous life is one in which pressing need can, in the heat of the moment, overcome virtue, they sell all such equipment at first opportunity.

 

—Alorael, who has made min-maxing a way of roleplaying. He has found ways to optimize his roleplaying, as it were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Micawber
Maybe if all the best items weren't available by searching pots/killing monsters...
Wouldn't have to be the best items. Just have to be items that aren't substitutable by random loot. If there were a particular category of item--e.g. armbands--that enemies never dropped and that was never given as a mission reward, stores could sell items in that category and they'd be worth buying. Even if the items in question were fairly weak, overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no interest in optimisation, it's boring. Killing things and using potions/scrolls as I get them is way more fun.

 

But Yeah I totally agree that the shops should sell items that are better than you can find on some dead Goblin. Some of the shops should at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could have no drops of anything better than iron armor. That way you either have to wait a very long time for drops from bosses or tresures in certain areas or buy steel from the store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Wouldn't have to be the best items. Just have to be items that aren't substitutable by random loot. If there were a particular category of item--e.g. armbands--that enemies never dropped and that was never given as a mission reward, stores could sell items in that category and they'd be worth buying. Even if the items in question were fairly weak, overall.

You wouldn't have to have a special equip category to have items that aren't substitutable by random loot. What if you could only get the poisonous sword at the shop? No perceived obligation to buy it, but a good use of gold for someone who likes poisoning things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Fearstung
Quote:
Wouldn't have to be the best items. Just have to be items that aren't substitutable by random loot. If there were a particular category of item--e.g. armbands--that enemies never dropped and that was never given as a mission reward, stores could sell items in that category and they'd be worth buying. Even if the items in question were fairly weak, overall.

You wouldn't have to have a special equip category to have items that aren't substitutable by random loot. What if you could only get the poisonous sword at the shop? No perceived obligation to buy it, but a good use of gold for someone who likes poisoning things.


But then people would carefully weigh the risks vs. benefits, and then either not by it and hold out for a better sword later, or only go to that shop to buy the Venomblade, or whatever it was called, and ignore the rest of the merchandise there.

That said, this reminds me of something Ephesos said after one of his DnD campaigns here [paraphrased]: "The best armor probably doesn't come off of the guy you just killed", which is true for rather obvious reasons tongue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Dantius

But then people would carefully weigh the risks vs. benefits, and then either not by it and hold out for a better sword later, or only go to that shop to buy the Venomblade, or whatever it was called, and ignore the rest of the merchandise there.

Well, isn't this already a more interesting decision procedure going on at the shop than "buy their entire stock of invulnerable potions and leave"? And there would be many such risk vs. benefit items to consider of course.

But I think the emotional lift of wearing the possessions of your murder-victims more than outweighs the dubiousness of actual protection afforded. Yes my armor is dented. I dented it. With a Mighty Blow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Dantius

But then people would carefully weigh the risks vs. benefits, and then either not by it and hold out for a better sword later, or only go to that shop to buy the Venomblade, or whatever it was called, and ignore the rest of the merchandise there.


I know of a few RPGs that have something like a "customer rating" mechanic, where spending a lot of money with a given merchant will allow them to bring in better items. Implementing that in a SW game would require a more elaborate shopping system than they normally have, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Fearstung
But I think the emotional lift of wearing the possessions of your murder-victims more than outweighs the dubiousness of actual protection afforded. Yes my armor is dented. I dented it. With a Mighty Blow.


More like "Yes, my armor has been perforated in multiple places and has been baked into a thin sheet by the spells of my mage".

An interesting thing to think about would be doing a sort of Oblivion leveled armor type of thing, but just have two levels: armor you buy/steal/diplomatize yourself into [better/normal], and then armor you take off of dead bodies[normal/worse, maybe a 5% armor penalty and if it's magic, -1 for all effects].

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Dantius
An interesting thing to think about would be doing a sort of Oblivion leveled armor type of thing, but just have two levels: armor you buy/steal/diplomatize yourself into [better/normal], and then armor you take off of dead bodies[normal/worse, maybe a 5% armor penalty and if it's magic, -1 for all effects].

While we're at it, if you take too many hits to kill the baddie their armor is unwearable. But if you hit it with the right combination of spells, it acquires special powers!

Also characters have body sizes and get penalties for wearing the wrong size! And some merchants are better than others at giving you the right size armor.

Soon we will create the perfect armor/merchant system and then Jeff can use it for Avadon. Free of charge!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff said in this game that working for Redbeard would give you access to the better equipment. So does that mean that you can buy it or intimidate the merchants into giving it to you? Or would does it mean that you are giving some better equipment and merchants are for supplementing with extras for those that like to burn through potions and wands?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×