GSoC 2019 Proposal Draft - Light and Shadow Remastered

darshan3

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Hi,

I have written my first draft for GSoC project proposal "Light and Shadow Remastered". Please feel free to provide your valuable feedback.

Light and Shadow now has a working CTF system. I wish to enhance it and create fun, playable gameplay out of it. I have also listed down some stretch goals for the future development of this project.

Edit:
(Current) Second Draft : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cuhsoIp4c8ifrJRXuQt5TGqVlQNTsCAY62hRWcWJFbE/edit?usp=sharing
First Draft: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZUa9lRIsSW0ITPHgjOJz8EKCeEuG5ogEw3D68SfZAkY/edit?usp=sharing
 
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Cervator

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Alright, one more round of heavy feedback coming your way, nice work so far! :)

Pinging @SuperSnark and @Skaldarnar for some more feedback if able
 

Skaldarnar

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Hi @darshan3 =)

I'll have a look at the proposal! I would like to see some action on Light and Shadow, as I really like the lore and the art style @SuperSnark has worked out for it. And, in particular, I think it makes for a fun game mode that can be interesting to casual players as well (to get them hooked with Terasology…)
 

darshan3

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After considering the feedback, I have tried to form two different types of gameplay for Light and Shadow. I will be aiming to create a playable fast-paced CTF for my GSoC, second idea is for ideation purpose and it is something that can be implemented in the long run.

CTF (Fast-Paced)
Typical duration should not be more than 15 mins.
  1. Choose a faction. You will be spawned at the home base.
  2. Objective - Get the opposition flag ‘x’ times to end the game.
  3. The game has one resource. (Name to be decided later as gold is very cliched! Suggestions are welcome :D)
  4. You can get the resource by one of the following means:
    1. Hitting opposition players
    2. Killing opposition players
    3. Holding opposition flag
    4. Capturing the opposition flag
  5. Start with a basic gun and a magic wand.
  6. The game will have a market place to exchange resource for:
    1. More powerful guns
    2. Potions (Increase health, Increase speed)
    3. Defence towers (To weaken the enemy as they reach your base)
  7. Defence towers hit opponents if they are within some radius.
  8. You will be respawned after one min if killed. During this one minute, you can observe the game.
CTF (Longer Version)
Typical duration can be an hour,
  1. Objective - Same as above. (Playtest might even reveal that capturing the flag once is a huge task in this format.)
  2. The map will have some defence towers set up initially to discourage players from directly attacking.
  3. More resource types
  4. You can get resources by:
    1. Mines (Keep attacking this section of blocks to generate resource)
    2. Collecting bushes, wood, dirt
  5. The market place will have items that can be exchanged for a collection of resources
  6. Ability to buy NPCs that can:
    1. Collect resource
    2. Follow you and attack enemies within their radius
    3. Guard a radius
  7. User level ups to increase power. (Optional)
  8. Choose user type when starting the game:
    1. Quicker but less powerful
    2. Powerful but slow
Is there anything that I am missing? Is there anything that needs to be changed to make it more fun?!
Please provide suggestions on how to improve it further. :D
 

Cervator

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My suggestion: I think the balance is off between the two modes, especially vs what is likely able to fit into one GSOC. I suspect if you were to aim for the short CTF you'd hit a wall on stuff like "More powerful guns" - you could easily spend an entire month on that, another entire month on potions, and another on towers. Let alone marketplace or observer mode. Getting those kinds of things working really well in multiplayer can be hard.

I think you could go for just those three as primary goals, shift marketplace and resource stuff into the bigger CTF, which becomes more like a Battleground. At 15 minutes expected duration (if goal is 5 points that's three minutes per round or less) the idea of navigating a UI to purchase things sounds like it would be potentially disruptive. Less so at an hour. Maybe if it was something like picking a class on the lobby platform before spawning into battle (just make multiple team selection blocks and have it cost some resource to pick others). That could also really be enough slowdown punishment for death - just having to navigate the spawn platform, rather than spend nearly 10% of a game waiting because you died once.

You could still write up a bunch of the extras as stretch goals. But start trying to detail exactly which weapons and potions (I'd go for powerups, really, maybe even spawn them directly into the world, maybe on obstacles) you'd want to include. Then think about how they'd be implemented. The added detail might help get a better feel for just how long it would take to implement.

For the towers two big questions to consider: do you make them spawn as part of the arena (my recommendation), or do you add the complexity of having players somehow place them, and acquire them in the first place? And what logic will they use? If you can drop in the "towers" from GooeysDefence and just tweak them to hit a player then be done then that's one benefit and that might not take a month on its own. But ask @jellysnake how long it can take to get that sort of thing working well ;)

I'd also still go for weapons and powerups that focus on movement instead of power (although you could probably get a powerup that temporarily supercharges how much a defense tower would push a player). We're not playing Counterstrike here after all - it is a dark fantasy setting in a magical place. You don't need to upgrade into higher caliber bullets and treat players like bullet sponges. You've got magic wands :)

Remember: The current L&S CTF setup? That took three months to get right.
 

darshan3

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  • As we had discussed earlier, the marketplace won't take a lot of time for navigating, as you can use a key to display it and click on an item to buy. Thus, the time to buy would be quite less.
  • Considering the fast pace of the game, observer mode can take a back seat for now. Spawn a player back to its home base on death.
  • Guns instead how being more powerful can be of different types:
    • Damage based
    • Stun based
    • Slow down enemy
  • For towers, the initial aim would be to spawn them directly in the arena and then I can look into how to use structured templates to place them. I will talk to @jellysnake regarding how much work has been done currently in the gooeydefence.
 

SuperSnark

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I would just add that, to keep within the theme of fantasy you might substitute "guns" with wands. You could also consider adding spears and bows and then have incremental upgrades for those items.

Also remember that in addition to the "dark fantasy" type theme there's also the "board game" theme. For weapons with specialized properties I might suggest adding a new/different type of themed weapon that fits that element:

  • jacks (the little metal ones you try to scoop up) as basically caltrops - a way to slow down + damage over time an enemy.
  • dice (these could be thrown. Depending on the numbers that are "rolled" you might have a different effect.
- snake eyes = poison
- double 6 = explosion
  • pick up sticks - a spike trap you can drop instantly. Maybe this is a permanent defense to guard your base's flag.
  • cards - a thrown weapon that "cuts" an enemy and fires in a shotgun style burst that damages + DoTs an enemy
Those might also be stretch goals, but as official Loremaster I'm oblidged to keep the game "on theme". ;)
 

SuperSnark

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Oh, for currency, I would suggest using dominoes, also referred to as "bones". Fits both "dark fantasy" and the board game theme. :)
 

darshan3

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I have updated the proposal. Please check the second draft and provide your valuable feedback.
I have finalized the following points to implement a fast-paced CTF:
  1. A small symmetric map
  2. Bases situated diagonally opposite corners
  3. Balanced teams on both sides
  4. In-game money ‘Dominoes’
  5. Marketplace to convert resource to items
  6. Items include wands and towers
  7. Earn dominoes by hitting opposition players
  8. Respawn at home base on death
  9. Victory on capturing opposition flag ‘x’ number of times
  10. Scorecard, with the ability to restart the game
 

Cervator

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More feedback added! Pretty happy with the proposal overall now, most the remainder is fairly trivial stuff. One sort of remaining meaningful part relates to killing/hitting of players, but I don't doubt that'll be worked out :)

Edit: Oh! Stray thought. There is a working "Dominog" creature hiding in the asset module, IIRC. It is a domino piece that's also a dog. Looks great, walks around great. I've mentioned spawning random powerups as an extra, not only could you spawn little static objects the player could pick up or interact with you could spawn a Dominog and the player that catches it gets a pile of those domino currency points ;) That'd be a great fun little thing.
 
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