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Old 08-04-2016, 10:12 AM   #1
CaptainMurphy
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bullhorn Brethren of the Coast (working title)

Howdy folks! Knowing that a lot of folks here are fans of Sid Meier's Pirates! I feel like this is just the right place to get some feedback on our newest game concept and WIP Brethren of the Coast (BotC). I'll try to give a quick rundown from our game design document, though I will be leaving some of the more technical parts off as they are not quite relevant here. What I am really looking for is feedback from the general community about the concept and to hopefully get some more insight for features that are wanted/needed before we get too far into development of the prototype.

Concept in a Nutshell
Brethren of the Coast: Dead in the Water is a Wolf Pack Games standalone game project set in the Age of Sails era.

BotC will feature a vast open world, filled with historically accurate locales to explore with Age of Sail iconic sail-ships of all sizes. The gameplay will revolve around choosing your nation or faction (England, Spain, France, Dutch, America, and Pirate to start with) and exploring the “new world” of the Caribbean.

The player will assume the role of a captain in control of a ship. An ever-changing economy will affect the game world and the decisions the player makes. The player may choose to enlist in a navy, become a privateer, lead an honest merchant life, or resort to piracy, with each career path being equally rewarding and engaging.

Wolf Pack Games (WPG) will host dedicated servers for the game, but also wishes to allow the buyer/player to run their own private server if they choose to.

Fundamental Concepts
Quick Overview
Theme: Age of Sail
Genre: MMORPG exploration, trade, PvE and PvP
Setting: Mid-17th to mid 19th century Caribbean
Type: MMOPRG but self hosted games can be single player or coop
Game Engine: Unity 5
Target Platforms: Windows primarily and possibly Android (Mac and Linux releases not discussed, though should be possible with minimal tech debt)
Pricing: $15-20 (Suggestion – not discussed). Additional model/DLC packs would be independent and priced separately.

Design Philosophy
First and foremost, the game needs to be fun and engaging. “Game” is the keyword here, with an emphasis on creating an Age of Sail experience that players will enjoy.

In addition, the game will pay homage to older titles in the genre while innovating and experimenting with new features to enhance the experience. The game should appear familiar to players of similar titles, but different enough to keep it fresh and interesting.

Realism vs Arcade
‘Arcade’ (defined as gameplay mechanics that subvert realism for the sake of playability) will generally take precedence over ‘Realism’ (defined as realistic gameplay mechanics and physics), though both will feature in some capacity.

While some elements of the game may appear to tend towards realism, the game philosophy is to be easy to operate, understand and play without any common understanding of the era the gameplay is set in. The style is more leaning towards Arcade.

The player will be able to customise their experience to suit their personal tastes, whether that means making it more or less realistic, within reason. Although we will aim to cater to as many people playing as possible, allowing them to tailor their game settings to some extent will ensure they get a more personal experience.

Reality vs Fantasy
‘Reality’ (defined as elements that exist in the real world) will generally take precedence over ‘Fantasy’ (defined as elements that are made up) in the game world, but the latter may be worked into storylines or quests. Fantasy elements may appear in the open world.

History vs Fiction
‘History’ (defined as historical events or persons) and ‘Fiction’ (defined as made-up events or persons) will both be featured in the game. Storylines and quests may make use of either concept but will for the most part follow the path of Fantasy.

Look and Feel
Ships
The ship models in the game will be built from historical plans to a high level of detail for our other game project, Tides of War – then reduced in geometry but trying to keep much of the detail to work in the world of Brethren of the Coast.

Example Brig:


Characters
There is a chance characters will be added later in the development, as our system allows for this in the engine - But for the MVP and intermediate stages of development it will not be implemented.

Landscapes
Landscapes will be built from heightmaps of the Caribbean islands. They will be populated with prominent towns that existed in the game’s time frame, as well as jungles and coastlines for the player to explore. Key Areas (defined as points of interest to the player or certain quests) will be manually populated with scenery, whereas large expanses of jungle will use procedurally generated trees and scenery.

Example Town:


Some example screenshots of the prototype:




This only covers a small portion of the design of the game. You can think of it as an MMO version of Pirates! with more RPG type elements mixed in. We want to allow the player to have the freedom to play the game the way they want by allowing them to host their own games. Each 'game' will be a self contained world with its own timeline, characters, and economy. We plan to host 'official' servers that make it easy for people to join an 'in-progress' world and play with others, however, we don't want to restrict it to just our own servers and will be setting up a master server list that shows other games that are in progress as well.

As mentioned before, we are looking for feedback on the concept. I will try to answer any questions that are asked, if I don't, just keep bugging me about it! I'll try to elaborate more on the concept as questions are asked, we don't want to give TOO much away!
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Old 08-04-2016, 05:16 PM   #2
CaptainMurphy
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Time
Forgot to mention the size of the game world and how the world works in terms of continuation. Essentially the world is constantly in motion. Taking time at a port taking on goods? Well you are burning time in the world. The world continues to move with or without your interaction.

World
The first world we are planning on (and have in the prototype so far) is the Caribbean. Out plan is to have DLC later on that has new worlds, new ships, more quests, expanded functionality.

Current map in the prototype:


It takes around 24 minutes to sail from the farthest corner of the world to the other. Most islands are mere minutes away from each other. The world is sufficiently large to house thousands of active AI without crowding. Each active server instance will allow up to 64 active players at a time. We plan on having the server allow an option for Faction balancing so that no 1 faction can dominate the map with more players than the others.
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