Why not a PROPER Majesty Game?

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Alfryd

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Spidey, I'm not sure about your definition of 'story' here, but I already explained mine: an account of the non-trivial consequences of the non-trivial choices of non-trivial characters. This is more or less impossible in a game (such as warcraft) where the characters do not make choices or have discernible personalities. (Though it did happen to some degree in stronghold, apparently.)

As it happens, I do believe that a game of this type could sell well commercially- possibly exceptionally well, if you can pull in the same demographic play who play The Sims. Though I also consider it a worthy project for other reasons (I think it could, e.g, be a useful platform for certain forms of AI research), and certainly feel, as cyberlore did, that it's a better expression of the game's underlying design philosophy.
 

Spiderman

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A story can be about anything. You can make up a story whether the hero is "acting on his own" ala Majesty or whether you are controlling the hero. A story is any sort of narrative describing events on the screen.

Well, it appears you deem it worthy enough then :) Go for it.
 

AltarofScience

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Wow, I missed out on this whole conversation. Bummer. Well, I am super busy with EVE so maybe I wouldn't have had time. Hapuga had some really interesting posts.
 

Alfryd

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Wow, I missed out on this whole conversation. Bummer. Well, I am super busy with EVE so maybe I wouldn't have had time. Hapuga had some really interesting posts.

Actually, I was kind of wondering what your opinion on majesty's place on the sim/RTS spectrum would, since I know your own engine is even more OCD about the economy than mine would be.

I'm actually playing through Majesty Mobile at the moment, so I'll probably have some points to make on that front later this week or the next. For the moment I'll just say it's a mixed bag, but most of what it does, it does reasonably well.
 

AltarofScience

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Majesty is not at all an RTS. But its not really a simulation either. I mean, it depends on how specific you are about genres. I'd probably call Majesty kingdom management or something. But then I am super obsessed with labeling games.
 

Alfryd

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My understanding of simulationism is actually fairly broad- basically, a game where attempts to mimic reality and/or internal cause-and-effect determine, constrain or propagate most events. (Civilisation is a series I wouldn't quite place there, for example, since the mechanics have gotten increasingly abstract even while the strict need for direct micro has gone down.)

But more generally, I was wondering if you think a majesty sequel would be well-served with a heavier sim-centric focus, and if so in which respects (economic, personality, social/political, et cetera?) Or do you feel that would be more of a spinoff than a real sequel?
 

AltarofScience

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My understanding of simulationism is actually fairly broad- basically, a game where attempts to mimic reality and/or internal cause-and-effect determine, constrain or propagate most events. (Civilisation is a series I wouldn't quite place there, for example, since the mechanics have gotten increasingly abstract even while the strict need for direct micro has gone down.)

But more generally, I was wondering if you think a majesty sequel would be well-served with a heavier sim-centric focus, and if so in which respects (economic, personality, social/political, et cetera?) Or do you feel that would be more of a spinoff than a real sequel?

A direct sequel to Majesty 1 would probably focus on freestyle random maps, maybe deepen the guild tech trees a bit. Perhaps differentiate hero personalities a bit more. Maybe add some new races or something. Possibly add some kind of multi-realm interaction like a cooler version of trade routes? Would probably require bigger maps to do that.

I would prefer a game that was not a direct sequel, since I really want a very magical city building game, preferably with combat. But Majesty is not really a city builder.
 

Alfryd

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Yeah, one of the main aesthetic complaints you might make about Majesty is that, although the individual buildings look pretty, the overall settlement is inevitably sprawling and irregular. I think you and I touched on this briefly in your own development thread, but part of this is due to spontaneous/random placement of things like houses and sewer entrances. I think Colombo suggested earlier that you could have the player deciding on building placement in the central settlement, and have the surrounding countryside develop spontaneously in response.

Maybe he can elaborate on that a bit more himself, but how I'd imagine this working is that you'd separate the 'inner' and 'outer' settlement using walled districts as an extension of your palace keep. You'd place industries and amenities and security structures inside there, with things like mines and farms and trading posts appearing outside based on the terrain type, safety level and demand for different resources. (e.g, rocky map where you build blacksmiths => lots of mine entrances, meadowy map where you build inns => lots of farm manors, forested map fulls of monsters where you build marketplaces => lots of trading posts and hunters/trappers. Et cetera.) It would give a good balance between spontaneity and control.


Ooh- random yet awesome idea I don't know why I didn't come up with it sooner- get rid of the elven economy bonus entirely, and just allow the player to collect taxes directly from the elven lounge! (Yes, all my talk about economic verisimilitude was an elaborate ruse- what I really want is a fantasy pimping simulator.)
 

Alfryd

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In other news- I've pretty well finished playing Majesty Mobile, so I'll probably just recap what I said elsewhere: The content is pretty limited, but most of what's present is actually reasonably mechanically polished. My two major-minor complaints would be that (A) junior/low-HP heroes are pretty reckless, and (B) corpses disappear far too quickly for resurrection spells to be useful. In other respects, though, the AI is arguably improved over either Maj1 or Maj2.

It appears they had permission to re-use the original's theme music, so I'm kind of curious as to why they didn't simply recycle the voicelines and art assets too. It evidently sold (and reviewed) pretty well for a mobile app, so it's a shame it couldn't include the full range of guilds and buildings.
 
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Alfryd

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A direct sequel to Majesty 1 would probably focus on freestyle random maps, maybe deepen the guild tech trees a bit. Perhaps differentiate hero personalities a bit more. Maybe add some new races or something. Possibly add some kind of multi-realm interaction like a cooler version of trade routes? Would probably require bigger maps to do that.

I would prefer a game that was not a direct sequel, since I really want a very magical city building game, preferably with combat. But Majesty is not really a city builder.
Anyways, getting back to your original points:
* Agreed on the tech trees, which are pretty threadbare for most structures. I'd probably merge the magic bazaar functions with the marketplace and sorc's abode with the wizard's guild for those purposes.
* I think that if you're going to do multi-realm interaction, having bigger maps isn't as important as being able to interact with settlements off the map completely. But yeah, inter-kingdom relations like trade/diplomacy/marriage-alliance/invasions would all be pretty sweet.
* I was thinking it might be nice to add the goblins as a 4th non-human species, given that there is some tentative precedent for it in some of the NE quests (urban renewal and darkness falls.)

Out of curiosity, what are you defining as a citybuilder?
 

AltarofScience

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Some sort of resource management, probably including at least 16 resources. Managing housing and growing own food probably important, too.
 

Alfryd

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Well, I'd certainly love to see what you can come up with in your Mandate engine. I was hoping to release a PC demo of my own game prototype a few months back, but unfortunately some hectic events at home/work have pushed that back considerably. I might start a different thread for that, given time.
 

AltarofScience

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Well, I'd certainly love to see what you can come up with in your Mandate engine. I was hoping to release a PC demo of my own game prototype a few months back, but unfortunately some hectic events at home/work have pushed that back considerably. I might start a different thread for that, given time.

I'm giving up my game project. Due to certain personal drama with certain members of various video game communities there is no point now. Good luck with yours though Alfryd.
 

Alfryd

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I'm giving up my game project. Due to certain personal drama with certain members of various video game communities there is no point now. Good luck with yours though Alfryd.
But your last git commit was only 20 days ago! I was promised pets! PETS, DAMNIT!

Seriously, though, what happened? Was there actually some kind of legal dispute over the assets being used? Like I said, I do have some spare building models in storage if you wanted to adapt those, and I could do a couple more if you keep the requirements reasonably trim.

At any rate, it'd be a damn shame to leave that much work to waste. Think it over and see if you can't salvage something.
 

AltarofScience

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But your last git commit was only 20 days ago! I was promised pets! PETS, DAMNIT!

Seriously, though, what happened? Was there actually some kind of legal dispute over the assets being used? Like I said, I do have some spare building models in storage if you wanted to adapt those, and I could do a couple more if you keep the requirements reasonably trim.

At any rate, it'd be a damn shame to leave that much work to waste. Think it over and see if you can't salvage something.

There's no legal issue. I just disagreed with the owner of a large simulation game community forum/popular sim game about what constitutes picking fights or being hostile, and I sent him a response to a 5 day mute(or as people not full of shit call it, a ban) comprised of what could reasonably considered a hostile response, rather than the mere blip I received the mute for. I still maintain the other person said something more offensive to me than I said to them but w/e. That's what I get for getting into an argument about video games with a girl on the internet. Everyone has to white knight her even though she started it. Anyways that community contained a large minority of people who would care about the genre my game was in. I have a hard time maintaining focus on anything anyways, so this issue just piled on the last bit of friction needed to make me give up.
 

AltarofScience

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But your last git commit was only 20 days ago! I was promised pets! PETS, DAMNIT!

At any rate, it'd be a damn shame to leave that much work to waste. Think it over and see if you can't salvage something.

I can't remember if I added the follow behavior, I think I did. In that case pets already work, minus loading and unloading into other units. If you play a style of game where a unit with pets doesn't load into anything else though, they are working currently I think.
 

Alfryd

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...I'm not actually that enthusiastic about pets. I just wanted to show solidarity. Angry, griping, demanding solidarity.

I think it's possible that you may have spread yourself too thin on this project, which makes it hard to maintain enthusiasm. Why not just trim the core engine down to say, 3 or 4 working guilds, plus 3 or 4 support structures, create working apps for mac/windows, and I'll see if I can't sort out some dedicated art for those?

I'm betting you'd get more feedback if the install process weren't so elaborate, and if that works out, you could add more guilds & structures later on.
 

AltarofScience

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...I'm not actually that enthusiastic about pets. I just wanted to show solidarity. Angry, griping, demanding solidarity.

I think it's possible that you may have spread yourself too thin on this project, which makes it hard to maintain enthusiasm. Why not just trim the core engine down to say, 3 or 4 working guilds, plus 3 or 4 support structures, create working apps for mac/windows, and I'll see if I can't sort out some dedicated art for those?

I'm betting you'd get more feedback if the install process weren't so elaborate, and if that works out, you could add more guilds & structures later on.

Well, I didn't design the compiling process. And as I said art isn't really the issue. Drama is. At least for Windows though if you only download a release version the install process is relatively simple compared to compiling from source.