View Full Version : Would you be interested in a King game?

07-02-2002, 10:09:37
I'm just curious...

One of my hacking projects is a basic fantasy TBS game, with my gal as the 'Target Audience'. You'd think it was a copy of Heroes of Might and Magic, if I ever let you see it, but it's really just extremely influenced by Tom Wham's Kings and Things... Tom Wham is a TRUE GAME GOD!

Anyways, today at work, the idea of immersing you more in the actual game setting crossed my mind, rather then pushing units. Where you'd play the part of your selected leader (Wizard, Knight Lord, etc), and the story of you and your people would grow out of your followers needs. For instance...

You are a Wizard, tolling away in your tower. Magicking up your items, getting ready to go dungeon delving in search of monster mugging (and to recapture the item your previous character lost in there). As a Wizard, you don't like wasting your Magick time chasing up food, so you've employed a farmer to grow food for both of you. While you are away, you come back, and your tower has been plundered, the food stores are ruined, and your poor farmer has been severely beaten. He's been waiting on you to return (as he''s loyal for having cured his only son of some minor curse), but he tells you:

"Sire, you knows I'm a loyal man. I owe you mies bonny boy's life to you. But if you expects to find anyone alive when you return from your gallavanting the countrysides, yous better hire some guard. I want to live to see my grandchildren!"

Do you:
a) Hire guards to guard the tower and your lone farmer?
b) research some wards to make trouble 'avoid' your land?
c) magick up some guardian spirits?
d) forget about it, hoping to one day to just have a flying tower and no need of food?


See... Castles...

It would be pretty easy, actually, to build a system wherein the locals come to you with their different desires, random patron and danger bits, etc.

For instance...
Let's say you go and hire some guards. Now, your poor farmer follower cannot grow enough food to keep you, the Tower guard, and your farmer in food for a year. Guess what? If you don't resolve that, SOMETHING is going to happen...

Your guard, if they are somewhat loyal, might approach you about the low food situation.
Your guard, if they are not loyal or dislike you, might abscon with the flashier bits of your Tower stores... the more material valuables of your treasures, for instance, en masse.
Your guard, if split in their reactions, may just desert one by one (not 'stealing' due to their fear of you and your magick, for instance).
Your Farmer, being the loyal, loyal, man he is, might tell you that unless you can fit 3 growing seasons into one, and make every day 3 days each, he won't be able to feed you and your people...
giving you warning about the situation, if you been to busy with other things...

So, noticing a problem, you go and acquire a few more farmers... they are just the youngest sons of youngest sons, so they don't owe you any real loyalty (unlike your Follower). You are offering them a chance for their own land, their own place. In a short while, they might be knocking on your door, telling you that there aren't enough ladies about for a young man...
...the guards could be complaining they need a blacksmith, or armorer, or whatever...

Like I said... something in line with Castles.

Would you be interested?

07-02-2002, 10:17:26
It sounds a bit like managing one single city in civ but in more detail.

For me, if you are a King you'd have to be able to expand your influence beyond your local tower, go off, fight other kings capture their castles etc.

Maybe if the person you were controlling was a local landowner, like an earl or something and the goal was to make their little area of the country, rich, powerful and influential enough that they could be named king as the ultimate goal of the game.

07-02-2002, 11:25:41
I think you need to work on your stereo type farmer dialect a bit more.

Try "Get ORFFF MOI LAAANNDD!!!" A few times.

of you can find the song "I've got a brand new Combine harvester" on MP3 I think you'll get the idea.

07-02-2002, 11:27:05
If not search for The Wurzels. Reminds me of The Wurzels story but I think I'll post that in music...

Resource Consumer
07-02-2002, 12:41:55
I'm fed up with ...king games.:D

07-02-2002, 13:36:30
I'm a real king.

Greg W
07-02-2002, 21:25:49
Interesting idea. It's sort of Pendragonish in a way. Ever play Pendragon? PnP RPG based in Arthurian times in England. Basically you start the game as a land owning knight, just knighted with about 1 acre of land, you go off and adventure, perhaps marry for more land, have sons, cut down forest for land, basically manage your estates while still galavanting around.

I loved the game PnP style, and have been wondering for years why nobody had really converted it to a CRPG (or variant thereof). Brilliant game, sounds pretty similar to what you're talking about - maybe you should check it out.

Another similar concept that I always thought would go well with it, something that is sort of brushed over in Pendragon, is throw in a small battle engine so you could go off to war with your neighbours, expand your little fiefdom, etc. In some ways similar to what MikeH suggested. :D

07-02-2002, 23:01:53
Thanks for the feedback. Like I said, I was just curious.

In the beginning, you would typically 'start small'. And build/expand outward. Especially if you had to bring in more people/trade/etc to keep your current people (Followers and regulars) around so you could worry about building up sufficent strength to push your border out, or to be able to go acquire a rare magickal resource, etc.

Hey, it's my world. I can have them talk however I want. I was just having a bit of fun, trying something out. :D

Humm... well, its just a personal hacking project, but I was curious. I haven't seen anything with the Castles flair in a long time... and Castles was a tremendous game. The idea seemed to me to be very similar to Castles, if on a different scale, when I started analyzing it.

And what I had thought of, Mike, would include larger levels... wherein it's not just a peasant pestering you. I was just focusing on Wizards at the time, as traditionally, they are a bit stand-offish. A Knightly Lord would be more interested in having a village or ten... that's the warm bodies to fill out your army's untrained ranks. A Knightly Lord would be interested in having armorers, stables, blacksmiths, fletchers, masons, etc... they'd build a community just in bringing in and setting up what they needed to have better equipment, so that they could pacify a wild area and claim it, or be better able to defend their own borders.

And politics being politics, as you'd succeed, you'd gather jealous eyes to your happy little lands... so a Knightly Lord who has successfully extended his lands, pacified the nearby wild areas, and built up a thriving 'County', would find himself embroiled in many troubles. Many paths lead to being a High King, after all. ;)

Wizards, being more into having their power in themselves, rather then due to their GROUP and it's loyalty, are just a lot less likely to build a community. And that quick thought was just that... although it sounded like a fun thing. Which was what I was after, as I was originally considering how to make playing a Wizard Lord 'fun'. After all, they are going to be spending a good bit of time researching new or improved spells, and stocking up on magickal apparatuses. And any game where you'd sit for many turns with nothing to do, just isn't fun to me. (which lead me into the path that led to me asking about this in the first place. :))

It would be pretty simple to make replayability come out at the extreme of high...

Anyways, as I said, thanks for the input...

07-02-2002, 23:23:11
Anything like HOMM 2 is fine by me. (Finally bought HOMM 3 the other day, glad I didn’t waste too much money on it.)

Making a wizard fun is a question of what wizards are supposed to do—if they’re so smart, how come they seem to allow the Kings/Lords/Barons so much time and space? Arrogance is one thing, but that’s probably pushing it a bit.

Possible time wasters for a wizard could include...‘terrorism’ (instillling fear into other people’s people), training an apprentice, building up your own lands (magically fertilise the land, making the farmers dependent on you?), and keeping the monsters, the terrible monsters, from attacking.

Are you just going to have wizards and Kings/whatever? because the main flaw in that is that not many other stereotypical fantasy classes are interested in building their empire, they’re busy having adventures.

Sorry this is rushed—African Cup of Nations is on. I’ll give it more thought tomorrow.

08-02-2002, 00:35:17
Well, as long as it's just a fun project whose 'target audience' is my girlfriend, then yeah, I need Wizards. And Unicorns. And Dragons. And a few other things.

Which is why I am stealing, I mean, being inspired, but the greatest game god of all time, Tom Wham. :D

I've always figured that classically, most wizards don't get into the 'ruling' because they'd rather spend their time perfecting their magic. And if they were nobles, leading people, then they'd get most of their time sucked into looking after matters. There is just so much you can delegate....

Nice ideas... more for the creative stewing process. Very intriguing possibilities!

Greg W
08-02-2002, 00:52:07
I tend to think that the reason that the wizards tend to leave the Kings and the like alone is for one of the following reasons:

- A wizard may be able to kill a small baron very easily, but what happens when the local Duke gets very pissed off about that and sends 10,000 warriors against said wizard? Especially 10,000 warriors backed by his own pet wizard(s) - I mean, hey, even some wizards want a regular paying job, close to the throne, manipulating away, perhaps even the real power.

- Better things to do. Who wants to run a stuffy empire when there's so much arcane knowledge to acquire?

- Because wizards aren't as all-powerful as they seem. Sure, your spells will kill off the first few assassins, but one will get through eventually, and it takes a lot of power to keep an army or a succession of assassins out of your hair.

That's not an exhaustive list, but a few ideas thrown in there.

PArdon my ignorance, but what 's "Kings and Things" by Tom Wham? Never heard of it before...

08-02-2002, 01:09:23
Kings and Things is a board game that was out in the late 70's/early 80's. The object of the game is to become High King. It's a TBS conquer/build game. You win by destroying your opponent, or being the first person to build and HOLD a Citadel for a certain number of turns. I'd have to check my copy when I get home to give you the publisher.

08-02-2002, 19:46:04
You mean it isn’t a real-time board game? :D.

My point about the wizards leaving well alone was regarding DS’s implication that you could be a wizard or king, but your goals would be essentially the same. Otherwise, playing as the wizard means you sit around, advising kings and killing enemies, until you died. Whoo. Yeah.

08-02-2002, 20:12:32
That's right. You take turns in it, doing your turns, rather then a mad scramble. :D

Hummm... at this point, I'm thinking of a slightly more free form goaled game (with becoming the High King one of the major win conditions)... which is why I'm talking about it. Gives me a chance to formalize and analyze it. Gotta think ahead and know what you are trying to do before you set down the code, ya know. (Ok, you don't but it sure helps to think it out and think it through first...)

08-02-2002, 23:12:43
You’ll never be a game developer with that attitude.

What is a wizard’s goal, then? What are wizard’s goals, traditionally?

Same could be asked for most other standard fantasy classes, actually. They just seem to spend their whole life specialising ready for some unspecified Adventure.

08-02-2002, 23:35:31
Well know... for the traditional AD&D classes...

Fighter's goal: To become a landed noble with his own community.

Wizard's goal is dubious. Set by player.

Thieve's goal is to become top dog, and retire to the elite rank of guldmaster. Once their, it's to maintain being guildmaster long enough to accumulate enough wealth to truly retire and live like a spoiled king.

Priest goal is to spread the word and influence of his patron, found a temple, and grow it into the dominant power in the region. (Covers Cleric, Druids, Monks, etc)

Ranger's goal is to prepare for the goblin/orc/giants/etc wars.

Elf's goal is to have fun.

Dwarf's goal is to get rich.

Halfling's goal is to have comfortable fun. Or secure the means to be affluently comfortable. ;)

That's the main ones, traditionally speaking, for AD&D.

As far as what I had in mind...
One could set out intentionally to become the High King... or be pulled into it through story. After all, while being a Wizard and trying to become Immortal/Head Chair of the Wizard's Guild, one will accumulate friends and enemies... and when they start to come knocking, you'd generally end up adding some guards of some form. Now, maybe your community wouldn't be... human-centric. But even with Dragons and Orcs and Drow and Bugbears, you are still going to have to find: Food for the Dragons (Like--- Cattle, which takes someone to look after the cattle. Can't feed them just off those beings and beasts that you don't like, after all), new land for the growing Orc population (so you can have the strongest and brightest Orcs working for you...), treasures and live, soft pets (Humans, High Elves, Halflings, etc) for the Drow... handlers for the Bugbears (Drow will do that fine, for instance... so long as the Drow are in a tolerable zone with you)... etc etc etc...

MANY paths would lead you into community building, land ceizing and improving, polticking, etc...

The guys that are just out on their own to have fun are generally shafted, as I see it... they have less reason to STAY... too much trouble blows in, and they just blow out.

A thief running the guild has a motive to look after his community. after all, if the merchants aren't able to get in new goods, they won't have new things to sell... and so won't be able to pay protection. When the cash box is empty, it doesn't put gold into your pocket breaking up their business or person... And if you want to enjoy that fine halfling wine while dallying or what not, you need a supply of such wine, don't you? How do you get that? Trade and secure paths to the halfling's shire...

Priests take care of themselves. Any GOOD aligned priests are going to want to be the community protectors. Got to protect your flock if you want it to grow. And by doing so, you show just what benefits your flock gains, which in turn would gain you more as you help and protect. An Evil aligned priest (and his power) may be out to build up a human stronghold that follows and believes correctly... or they may side with entropy, and be out to unleash the wild upon the order of Menn. In the case of the Grand Destroyer and Horsemen of the Apocolypse, well... refer back up to my 'mean wizard'. Eventually, you need numbers if you want to do it on a big scale... which means building SOME form of community...

Actually, thinking things through is the standard motto that game developers give lip service to. Most just don't seem to know what it actually means. :D

Sir Penguin
10-02-2002, 08:51:02
Originally posted by Darkstar
Hummm... at this point, I'm thinking of a slightly more free form goaled game (with becoming the High King one of the major win conditions)... which is why I'm talking about it.

You mean kind of like Princess Maker 2, but action-based instead of stat-based?

Greg W
10-02-2002, 21:46:20
It's funny how an innocent comment can start some weird chains of events. Recently I decided that I really had to get up to speed on the latest versions of VB/COM/DCOM/SQL Server etc, so I was going to sit down and write myself something to help me get up to speed. My original thoughts were a business app, just managing inventory and stuff. But this thread brought Pendragon to mind. And then I found out that a good mate that I used to RP Pendragon with is going to start up a campaign soon, which I may end up playing once a month or so.

So I thought to myself: why not write a Pendragonish game instead. I can design it around all the technologies that I want to use, and porting from VB COM/DCOM to plain DLLs wouldn't be hard at all. So over the weekend I started laying down some high level design stuff for a game. So you might have some competition DS, so you'll have to excuse me if I steal ideas from you, heh heh. :D

Seriously though, they'll only be similar in small ways, mine is going to be more like sim-Baron, based on RL stuff with a little mythology thrown in, rather than a fantasy based game like you're looking at. Though a lot of what you're talking about in terms of events really appeals to me.

I'll start a new thread outlining what I am looking at, see if I can get a few ideas and stuff. Only problem I see is that my design could easily creep to the stage where it'd take me years to actually write the game. I keep thinking of new things that would be cool to have. Oh well, should be a fun little jaunt anyway. Probably never get anywhere, but I've always wanted to write a game, and I have the perfect reason now. :D

12-02-2002, 06:43:17
Never played Princess Maker (of any number). Heard of it, would like to give it a spin just to see.

Brother Greg, competition? No problem by me. Heck, I'm more then happy to talk and place bounce board and just shoot the breeze about your project. Like I said, this thread was more of just an 'Hey... what would people think about...?' thread. :D

I might get comfortable enough with such a hack to let people see it, but odds are against it. It's just a little thing for a certain someone. Not for general viewing. Know what I mean? I've got a certain level I require of anything I'd give to people. Like... it won't crash and burn outside it's ideal environment, does sanity checks, yadda yadda blah. Wouldn't want people thinking I worked for Sierra... as most don't understand the difference between a simple 'hacked' toy, and a real app.

Humm... a Sim-Baron? Sounds cool! I'll hunt down your thread, and see what fun things are being talked about. :D

Feature creep is a big problem with any project, especially games. You MIGHT want to consider laying down a few phase milestones... say, phase one will have this stuff, I'll put THAT feature in after the basics, that's something great, but I'll tag it in when I feel like... :D

Greg W
12-02-2002, 21:26:15
Yeah, being a developer by trade, I know all about scope creep. Which is why I am laying down some design ideas now. After I thrash them out a bit, then I'll look at a serious design document, or at least scribble down some designs on a notepad.

13-02-2002, 20:00:19
Design Document? Brother Greg, you must administer yourself 10 lashes just for suggesting that!

In a one man team, you shouldn't need a 'Design Document'. Merely a few sentences captured about what you are after, and your notes as your work your way through the app.

Design Document! What blasphemy! Besides, it's not like 99% of developers every follow the DD. Or keep it up to date. :D

They are useful for helping you clarify what you want, and how you want it, I find. Other then that?

Greg W
13-02-2002, 21:46:40
Well, the thing is that a friend *may* be helping me somewhat, and hey, if I ever want to sell it, I'm gonna need those documents. And of course I can see that happening. :D

13-02-2002, 21:57:33
Best of luck Brother Greg!
I know this has been in the heart of your heart a long time.
Cheers mate.

14-02-2002, 00:08:28
Not being a game developer at all, I can only say that the job description has a definite Eddings feel to it. I can almost see Sir Sparhawk. For those who are not Eddings literate, the church knight/mage who wreaks havoc with the Gods, in both the Elenium and Tamuli trilogies.