Space Survival Rogue-like?

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So I've been playing space survival rogue-like games lately, like FTL, Prospector and Into the Stars, and I'm wondering about making something like that in RPG Maker MV. I also like the MMO Star Trek Online, which isn't survival oriented, but I think it's a cool way to do a space RPG.

I'm going to be making my own character graphics, and I want to do a game with anthros (animal people) as the "aliens" or people in space. I'm thinking each anthro race has an inherent ability, like rabbitoids are super fast, turtloids are slow but tough, sharkoids are immune to fear and have electro-receptors, that kinda thing, and then they combine this with some kind of space job, like Engineer, Pilot, Gunner, Doctor, Scientist, etc, which gives more abilities or stats and determines what gadgets they can use.

I would like to do a system that allows you to interact with your characters. I feel like the characters in space survival games tend to develop a personality through play, and I'd love to make a way for the player to explore that a bit more, through hanging out or going on dates or whatever.

I'm thinking I want some degree of randomization. Into the Stars has a system where it picks from a selection of portraits, and assigns a randomized name and collection of stats. I think I could do that in RPG Maker, I'm not exactly sure about randomizing a character's stats, but I could fake it, and there's probably a plug-in somewhere to do something similar. For the maps, I know those would be tough to randomize in true Rogue-like style, so I was thinking I might make the sector or whatever stay the same in every game, but your starting point could be randomized. To visualize this, it would be like if the sector is a like a map of the United States, and you start randomly in New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago. There should also be some kind of fluid story that can change or build depending on your actions. Nothing crazy, but maybe like the game is built out of a bunch of side-quests, none of which need to be completed to beat the game.

So I'm thinking that the basic flow of the game is mostly like Star Trek Online and Prospector. You fly around in your space ship, find a ship, star base or planet, and you are given a mission or you explore on your own. For missions, it would be cool if these were non-linear in nature. Like say you have infiltrated a prison where they are wrongfully holding one of your buddies. If you find your buddy and free him without fighting, he joins your crew and you start a series of missions to get revenge on whoever framed him. If you fight the prison warden, you start a chain of missions where the space police starts chasing you across the galaxy. There should also be a fail condition, if you don't rescue your buddy or fight the warden but have to run away because you're out of healing potions or something. Although, this would obviously be a lot of work. It might work better to do a series of dungeons with randomized skill checks, like a room with an electronically locked door, if you've got someone with Hacking skill, thy can bypass the lock and enter the room, if not, better luck next game.

But I'd be very interested to hear any thoughts, and especially interested in what plug-ins might be helpful.
 

sura_tc

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As I am someone who is making a sci-fi RPG with MV, I will say this.

You will have to make your own tileset. There isn't any commercial 3rd party tileset that will do the job. Expect to design your own spaceships, planets, nebula, and such.

And, for survival elements, I guess MOG Variable Hud (Atelier Rgss) will be a must.
 
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Yeah, I did try making a ship in the map editor. I think the modern/sci-fi tiles are good enough, as long as I don't take things too seriously, it'll feel like outer space. Here:

I thought about maybe doing a sort of jokey or stylistic game where you fly through space in a wooden pirate ship with super engines or magical crystals, like Rogue Galaxy, but the wooden ship tiles aren't any more fleshed out than the sci-fi tiles.

It looks like the MOG Variable HUD is for RPG Maker VX Ace though. I definitely need the 48x48 tile space for my custom characters, and I like Yanfly's battle stuff. Honestly, I'm feeling inspired by rogue-like games, but JRPGs are still my first love and I don't mind making something with a heavy JRPG feel. The main thing I want to borrow from the rogue-like genre is some degree of randomization and a short strategic gameplay experience instead of a long visual novel interspersed with grinding.
 

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The MOG variable HUD is also available for MV. I can vouch for it since I am using it.

Since you are pretty much forced to make your own tileset, I suggest moving away from RTP style.

The number "992" on top right is using MOG variable HUD.

This is my style. (and my own design)
ss_08.jpg
$spaceship.png
 
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Thinking about a little world-building right now, I'm remembering an old space adventure campaign setting that I thought up ages ago for an all-human setting, I think it could work for anthros as well. There are several factions that are pretty shamelessly derived from popular space opera.

Star Patrol - A multi-planetary police/peace-keeping force similar to Star Trek's Federation and Star Fleet.
Imperium - A authoritarian empire, similar to Star Wars' Galactic Empire, it is fueled by propaganda, its soldiers and citizens believe wholeheartedly that only the Imperator is capable of ruling. They are possibly run by Genobles.
Corsortium - A merchant organization obsessed with wealth. Kinda like Star Trek's Ferengi Alliance, but a more serious satire of the dangers of unfettered capitalism. They are possibly run by Genobles.
Pirate Alliance - Space pirates with a code of ethics and loose organization. Possibly more of a privateer force, or a former privateer force that has spiraled out of control. Possibly like Outlaw Star's space pirates which are more like the Mafia.
Hunters Alliance - An organization of Bounty Hunters that organizes jobs and payment for its members.
Space Barbarians - A warrior culture with might-makes-right ethics. They believe that living by instinct is the true purpose of life. Kinda like Star Trek's Klingons, but more extreme.
Genobles - "Genetically Enhanced Nobility" A real-life fear of genetic enhancement is that only the wealthiest will be able to afford the best enhancements and then they will use their enhancements to grow more wealthy and use their wealth to prevent others from having what they have. This could either be a faction on its own or the ruling leaders of the Imperium or Consortium.
Academy of Exploration - Kind of like an old Victorian era scientific society, they are, on paper, purely interested in the pursuit of science, but internal rivalries and lack of concern for life can cause them to act cold heartedly and destructively. The Academy can also have some Mad Scientist type characters.
*Psionic Knighthood - A cross between Star Wars' Jedi Knights and Star Trek's Klingons, they have a very strict code of honor, which may seem barbaric to outsiders. Having psionic/jedi powers supposes the existense of "magic" which I'm not sure I want for this game. They might be combined with or replaced with Space Barbarians.
*Oblivion Order - A faction that is opposed to the Psionic Knighthood, like Star Wars' Sith.
*Swarm - A race of robots that have gone berzerk and try to take over the galaxy or kill all humans or whatever. Implies the existence of at least quasi-intelligent robots, which I'm not sure I want for this game.

Possible counter idea to either the Psionic Knights or the Swarm is an organization that specializes in cybernetic enhancements and augmentations. Possibly a little like Star Trek's Borg, but I never liked how the Borg is an invincible force of nature. They should have some sense of humanity and ability to negotiate.

To keep the work load low, you're probably not going to be able to officially join any of these organizations, but they might give you missions or you might fight against them at some points. Like Star Patrol might ask for help against an invasion of Space Barbarians or the Consortium might ask you to defend a shipping lane from Pirates.

There's also the thought of having homeworlds and racial empires, like the Foxoid Homeworld, Sharkoid Empire, etc, but I feel like this is more limiting. It'd be kinda like the Gym Leaders in Pokemon, if you're fighting the Sharkoid Empire and all the Sharkoids have a specific set of strengths and weaknesses, all you have to do is adjust your party and equipment and you can breeze through them. And storywise, if the Sharkoid Empire is the antagonist, then how do you get Sharkoid party members? So it might still be fun to find a Foxoid colony on the frontiers of space, or the Imperium might send a Sharkoid legion to attack a water world, but I think the major factions should be multi-racial.

While I'm at it, let me share my current lists of animals. I've actually got 2 lists, one which I felt was more generic, and then another which was more piratey, since another version of this game concept was pirates or space pirates. Since I'm not a traditional furry, I want to offer a selection of different animal types, so I settled on 3 mammals, 3 birds, 3 herps, 3 sea creatures. My rules for animals is that I want to use only wild animals, and only small animals, since I feel weird if something like a cat and a bear are the same size.

Generic List: Fox, Hare, Wildcat, Raven, Falcon, Swan, Lacerta, Tortoise, Tree Frog, Spurdog (a small shark), Squid, Lobster.
Piratey List: Raccoon, Monkey, Rat, Parrot, Seagull, Flamingo, Iguana, Sea Turtle, Tree Frog, Spurdog, Squid, Lobster.

I'm torn. On the one hand, part of my profit plan is to sell the character graphics on the side, so being generic with the characters should give people more of what they want, but I feel like the piratey animals are a little more fun. Although for mammals, ditching foxes, hares and cats seems like a mistake.
 
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Another thing I've been thinking about is space battles vs away team battles. Having both was one of the features I really enjoyed about Star Trek Online. In STO, you have a party of about 4-5 people. On away missions (i.e. exploring an alien planet on foot, boarding another starship) your crew hangs around with you, a lot like a JRPG party. In Space Battles, your ship has bridge stations, and you can assign your crew to them to get different abilities. So for example, if a tactical officer might have abilities that charge phasers faster, while engineers can buff shields or engines.

Doing something like this in RPGMaker would be an interesting challenge. My first thought is that away missions use the side-view battle system while ship battles use the first person battle view. Your ship has 4 stations like Bridge, Guns, Engineering, Medical or Laser Turret, Torpedo Tubes, Command Center, Shields, etc, that are really RPGM Actors and each station can equip items, like weapons, shields and a character or two that mans the station and gives it some kind of stat boost or abilities to use.

The tricky thing is switching between the two systems. For equipping a party member to the station, it's simple enough to make an equipment item with the party member's name, but if you want the party member to gain experience for space battles, or if you want the character to gain new ship battle abilities by leveling up, I don't really know how to do that. Or if you want different names for the stats of people and stations, like if you want people to have Intelligence and Health and stations to have Shields and Hull. Very interested to hear any ideas on this.

I fear that even if I came up with a way to switch, it would be buggy or feel odd, so in the end it might be best to skip one of the battle systems or keep one of the two battle systems very very simple. There's a certain sense is skipping away the away team battles, since those require extra graphics (although I'm making the graphics with 3D, so it's less arduous than spriting). I would still like to have maps to explore, but the actual encounters could be resolved through text and skill checks instead of the RPG Maker combat system, akin to FTL or Into the Stars. Or something like that could be done for ship battles, the ships roll dice a few times, and if you win ship-to-ship combat, your away team boards the enemy ship to finish them off and loot it, or if you lose ship-to-ship, the enemy boards you and you fight them off of your own ship. Or I might be able to put together a simple ship-to-ship combat system using the menu selection dialog and some variables.
 

Kes

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'Game Mechanics Design' is not for discussing and giving feedback on individual specific games, it is meant to be much more general than that. So far, all I see is a lot of detail about one particular game which would be better in the forum section 'Ideas and Prototypes.'

[mod]I am, therefore, closing this. I suggest you post a thread in Ideas and Prototypes if you think you have enough material for that, otherwise post in the thread 'Ideas which don't deserve their own thread'.[/mod]
 
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Stream will be live shortly with a session of the interactive text adenture! Feel free to drop by!
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