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Building a Space Pirate MMO...Need Feedback!!

EldonKEldonK Milwaukee, WIMember Posts: 5

Hey everyone, I am the Product Owner of a game project here in Milwaukee who is currently working with a team to build a F2P MMO designed around Swashbuckling Space Pirates with historic references to The Golden Age of Piracy and modern Sci-Fi. Its a very ambitious project and currently we are in preproduction. Before we even get one line of code in the game, we’d like to get feedback on our designs to help bring a better product to the gaming community that people would actually play and to remove as many assumptions as we can. If you are interested in helping please continue reading and answer the questions below. Thank you for all your help.

Our F2P MMO set in a sandbox universe where you and your friends are let loose into the galaxy to commit crimes of piracy, smuggling, and other dastardly deeds to get by. Players will be given an customizable character and will form crews with their friends and man customizable spacecraft in which to engage other spacecraft in a naval combat modeled after galleon tactics during the 1680’s to 1720’s. The each member of your crew will work together to man certain stations on the ship whether it be mounting a turret, manning the helm or diverting power to the shields. Everyone will have a job and will need teamwork to be successful.

Once they have engaged an enemy ship the objective is to disable it, board it and transition to a swashbuckling RPG style combat. The focus here is to get on the enemy ship and steal their cargo but the ship will have its own defenses which includes crew itself fighting you all the way. The rpg combat would be designed to be more action based by having the player use their mouse to determine where they will attack and defend when battling other players and NPCs. Characters will have different abilities depending on the play style the players choose and which perks they pick while leveling.

All of the above is the core combat of the game. It very much a PVP centered environment but using the above systems, we plan to create PVE scenarios that get you to dive into ruins to find ancient treasures, work for trading companies to gain letters of mark (which make it legal, by their standards, to pirate other people) and even accomplish special missions that emulate episodic misadventures of what we have seen in Sci-Fi television. We want the players to come together and explore the universe, find adventure and go to immersive locations filled with characters that are as deadly as they are intriguing.

The questions I’d like to ask are as follows:

Would you play this game based on the dynamics described here and why?

What kind of things would you like to see from a game like this?

What kind of things would you think could make or break the game for you?

What are some of the things you would like to do in a space pirate game?

Do you have any suggestions of what we could change?

Comments

  • JaknifeJaknife Bexhill-On-SeaMember Posts: 51

    1. Would you play this game based on the dynamics described here and why?

    Based on the very brief overview listed, I would play it.

    It sounds a lot like Firefly, as an MMO, which I think a lot of sci-fi fans would like, but all depends on the execution of it.

    Like the aspect of having to work together to man your ship, and working together in the boarding party.

    2. What kind of things would you like to see from a game like this?

    I would like to see it as literally a vast universe, where you can go anywhere and do anything, I would like to settling on planets (after all, pirates need somewhere to hide the stash).

    But then on the settling, how far do you take it ? would like to have ground vehicles, ground housing etc.

    Space stations, for refuelling, limited capacity cargo holds (which you have to compromise on storage).

    But then, do you have a space police force trying to catch the pirates ? in which case, are they players as well ?

    I can go on, and on with more questions and ideas.

    3. What kind of things would you think could make or break the game for you?

    Immersion is the key for me, so as much customization as possible, crafting, I want to make my own pirate clothes, my own pirate logos / banners.

    If no code is written yet, I think every single game item, should be created with an RP aspect, so from a programming perspective, every time should be a class, with it's methods. (for example, a chair, I can sit in the chair, I can pickup the chair, I can throw the chair, I can destroy the chair, I can customise the chair). I might want to pickup the chair and smack someone over the head with it, and then pickup the damaged remains to build something else with.

    4. What are some of the things you would like to do in a space pirate game?

    I love Eve online, love it, it's very complicated, but also limited, maybe not as detailed in terms of graphics as it, but I would love to go into orbit of a planet, board a shuttle and go down to the planet.

    Go to a bar on the planet, look at a wanted board for example, or trade with people, make vid calls etc, buy ammo.

    I would want it to be as sandboxy as possible.

    That allows lots of immersion, and fun, certainly would be something I would love to play.

    5. Do you have any suggestions of what we could change?

    Not sure about change, as not really lots has been mentioned, a colleague and I, had lots of ideas about a game like this before, I wrote up a few notes on it, from things like fuel for ships, different ship cargo holds, upgrading of ship components etc.

     

    Jak

     

  • EldonKEldonK Milwaukee, WIMember Posts: 5
    Originally posted by Jaknife
    "I would like to see it as literally a vast universe, where you can go anywhere and do anything, I would like to settling on planets (after all, pirates need somewhere to hide the stash). But then on the settling, how far do you take it ? would like to have ground vehicles, ground housing etc. Space stations, for refuelling, limited capacity cargo holds (which you have to compromise on storage). But then, do you have a space police force trying to catch the pirates ? in which case, are they players as well ?"  

    What our initial ideas are, is to allow the player to go planetside and do things interacting with the locals,  dive into dungeons and overall get themselves into trouble. Vehicles are a possibility. For settling we were going to have space stations where the players can dock their ships to unload cargo, have individual quarters and drink and be merry. Didn't think about have them be on planetside....mhmmmm.

    As for police force, it will depend on where you are and who you are good with. We are not going to start the player allied with anyone at the beginning, they will have to earn their letters of mark by doing tasks for the factions. otherwise if you are labeled as a pirate in that area you might have a bit of running to do before you are safe. And for that last part, depends if you are hired by a faction to hunt down pirates or not. 

    Thanks for the feedback!!

  • LokeroLokero Member Posts: 777 Uncommon

    I'm curious what you have mind for controlling/flying the ships.  Are you thinking something like Puzzle Pirates meets EvE or something more Flight-Sim style?

    My main feedback would be to get as much off-ship stuff in the game as possible.  Whether that's driving around in some type of hovercraft/rover/ATV or whatever.  And, of course, with a crew-focused game, you could even go so far as to make all vehicles crewable.  Playing darts in a bar, having mini-races, gambling, etc.

    You could take the base combat system to ground pretty easily for exploring ruins and such.  An engineer to repair your cruiser, a gunner, etc.  Even the swashbuckling style stuff as vehicles got disabled.

    This is going back some years, but what comes to mind to me would be a similar system to an old PC game called http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinel_Worlds_I:_Future_Magic.  No idea if you are familiar with such an oldie, but it let you land on planets and go on little adventures, etc. with your crew.

    Using space and PvP piracy, you have a ton of options before you to choose from, really.  But, those are just a few examples I thought I'd toss out.

    The only make or break for me would be never getting off the ship(even just a space station/bar is a huge breath of fresh air).

  • EldonKEldonK Milwaukee, WIMember Posts: 5

    Thanks for the Feedback!!

    To Answer your question we want to make the ships seems large and clunky so we are using the keyboard at this time to convey that. WASD is the direction of the ship's trajectory while QE determine the Roll of the ship

  • Attend4455Attend4455 BirminghamMember Posts: 161

     

    disclaimer: I play Eve Online and yes I have spent time as a -10 living in low sec

    I like alot of the ideas you have but I also have a question. The people that you propose to prey on - are they NPCs or other players? If they are other players then you need a reason for them to go into dangerous areas or alternatively you could have a game like Darkfall where it is free-for-all.

    I don't have any preference but I would point out that Eve's model of zones has worked well.

    Good luck to you either way :)

    I sometimes make spelling and grammar errors but I don't pretend it's because I'm using a phone

  • EldonKEldonK Milwaukee, WIMember Posts: 5

    1st thanks for the feedback, and looking at us.

    To answer your question, both. Within our universe there will be trading companies and planetary governments, These factions need to get goods across a the void. They will hire the players to either haul or escort a convoy of ships to their destination. Why would the players go through this? Money, Reputation and the ever sought after Letter of Mark. The Letters of Mark would say that it would be legal for the Player to pirate the enemies of the faction in question and be safe in their harbors. Normally if the player would be likely to be attacked on sight for being a Pirate, but with Letters of Mark it tells you who you can pirate from and that when you need supplies and repairs you can come back to your Marks territory and be safe...and spend you money. For a fun fact this is just one of the elements from the actual Age of Piracy we are adding into the game to give it that piratey feel

    Thanks again for the feedback!

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