My Minecraft Clone: Storytelling, Innate Aptitude and A Flag To Start With
Okay. I just don’t have the brains to get around Tessellating Quads and Perlin Noise and other wonderful game development understandings.
A few weeks back I looked around at 3d Engines and came across Panda3d. In a swirl of intensity I got a demo to the point of .. A square block moving about on top of other square blocks.
Huzzah for the world!
It came to me that I probably don’t have the quickness of understanding OR the time to be intensely single-focussed (that’s a decision, not an excuse) to get any further with any great speed.
Here’s my brief. It’s a game I think would rock the world. Because it has it’s roots deeply embedded in Minecraft (mega shouts out to @notch). And because it’s quite different.
It all starts with a flag.
You begin the game in a world of forests. There are hills and valleys and mountains in the distance. Random-generated, this is important
And the only piece of equipment, the only thing you have is a Flag.
“What is so special about a flag?” I hear an eager 14-year old reader ask.
This game, this Minecraft clone, is all about YOU.
A flag has two singular (can’t be both) purposes.
1. Either you place the flag, or 2. You keep the flag on your person.
Placing the Flag
Placing the flag would instantly create a circular-ish ring around it’s location. Here I was envisaging a kind of Settlers (the old versions) or Civilisation mechanic.
This is your Kingdom.
And in this you have made your first choice. To be the sovereign of a Kingdom. To care for the kingdom (or not). To nourish it (or not).
Keeping the Flag
Deciding to keep the flag means you have chosen the lone wolf, the brave sell-sword, like Drizzt first out in the above ground world, seeking a place, a name, a cause.
The flag gives you strength and ability in some form. Depending on what RPG mechanics are put into the game
And so you journey about the game-world without a fixed abode, but far stronger (and it would grow with you, not a static effect) than if you had placed the flag.
I haven’t yet worked out exactly how this would roll. But first thoughts are that with either path chosen you would have quests. Random within themselves, but also chained in various instances. So a quest could have a number of linked quests (because the randomness is placed upon the group, not the single quest).
BUT .. If you do choose to Keep the Flag there would be an over-arching story. Something about a growing evil.
In fact (making this up as I go, as you can see) keeping or placing the flag wouldn’t change that. A growing evil is in the land.
One really cool (but untested) mechanic I wanted to try out was this.
Your character is generated with an innate aptitude towards a randomly selected Skill Set.
That means you start the game and you are good at something, but you don’t know what.
It could be building things, or mining things, or killing things. It could be that you find Treasures (another single mechanic) better than usual, or that you have much more influence over the people than usual.
Which reminds me of one of the things that sparked me on this journey.
Playing Minecraft (single-player) I was really, REALLY, lonely. At heart I’m a single-player junkie.
So the world would be populated with non-playing characters. Some would be merchants. Others would come to your kingdom, or be Friended (like a Facebook or Twitter mechanic) if you’re going the Lone Wolf journey. Not exactly sure how to get around that as a Lone Wolf you could at any time place your flag
Treasures would be chests or other stashes that you can find. They have to be found. They might be linked to a quest, or a character (eg a Dragon’s hoard), but they are found.
And there you have it. The beginnings of what I think would be an awesome game.
Thanks for reading.
Once I teach my brood to code I’ll have a team to make this game and many more. Mwhahahaha, the Family Business!