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Topics - Tom

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16
Rules / Creations
« on: December 21, 2017, 11:03:48 AM »
Facts of the game world that can be re-used from legend to legend.

While immortals can simply invent and write about nameless humans, villages, forests as much as they want, any of these and many more can be created as (semi-) permanent features of the game world. Some possible creations are:

  • Heroes - mortals touched by Prime, i.e. explicitly created by an immortal. Many legends feature such heroes as story characters.
  • Artifacts - often magical, or with a specific fate or meaning.
  • Places - lakes, forests, mountains, rivers, even entire continents.
  • Settlements - villages, towns and cities of humans.
  • Cultures and religions - abstract collections of rites and habits, rituals and beliefs.
  • Kingdoms - and other realms and political constructions.
These creations can be created at any time in a story (effect: new creation), at which point they will get a name. Names are unique. Depending on the type, they will also have other mandatory attributes - for example, places have a location on the map, settlements are of a specific size, etc.
Creating and adding attributes to a creation costs Prime.
Creations can also be killed, destroyed, etc.



Enter and Exeunt
Existing creations can be added to a new story for a Prime cost much lower than creating a new, similar creation. They can then be "exeunt"ed, removing them from the story. While they are active in one story, they cannot be activated in another story. At the end of a story, all participating creations are automatically freed up again.

Creations controlled (see chapter on Influence and Control) can only be entered and exeunted by immortals from the controlling council.



Timelines
All creations are linked to all the stories that they appear in, and in this way have their own history.



Travel
Mobile creations (such as heroes or artifacts) can be moved to other locations on the map as an action. To give all participants a chance to contribute, and to make creations vulnerable at times, only one travel can happen to every creation per chapter. If you want to write a story about a hero travelling through the lands, each station on his travel needs to be one chapter.

Note that characters can also travel using this mechanic. This can be necessary e.g. to tap Prime Sources.






Creations are a blank core element of the game and extremely versatile and powerful.

17
Rules / Story Writing
« on: December 21, 2017, 10:11:19 AM »
Stories are written in chapters, by multiple authors. Each chapter consists of a text describing what is going on, and effects encoding the events of the chapter into game mechanics.


Workflow

Any immortal can start a new legend at any time. Starting a new legend costs some Prime.

The immortal who started a legend also writes its first chapter. Writing a chapter is a three-step process:
  • Write the chapter. Take all the time that you want, but no more than 7 days. If you do not submit the chapter to the 2nd step within 7 days, the chapter opens for open writing. An open writing chapter can be submitted by any immortal and whoever submits a chapter first becomes the new author of that chapter.
  • Once submitted, a chapter enters discussion, which lasts up to 3 days. During these days, anyone can comment on the chapter and the author can edit the chapter to accomodate comments.
  • After the discussion period, the chapter is voted upon. Players can vote up or down. A chapter is accepted if at least 2/3rd of votes are positive. It is rejected if at least 2/3rd of votes are negative. If the votes are inbetween that, it goes back to discussion (and the author can edit it) the first time. When the chapter comes up for voting a second time, a simple majority decides. If a chapter is accepted, it becomes part of the story and its effects are applied upon the game world and the relevant Prime is spent. If it is rejected, nothing happens.
During the discussion and voting phases, immortals can also bid on being the author of the next chapter. Bidding is done in a Vickrey auction style, meaning all bids are secret and the winner pays not his (highest) bid, but the 2nd highest bid (which means that if only one immoral bids, he can write the next chapter for free). Payment is done in Prime. The current author cannot bid, so consecutive chapters are always written by different authors.

One of the effects that can be included in a chapter is THE END, concluding and closing the story. Like any other effect or part of a chapter, this is subject to discussion and voting. THE END cannot be used until at least 3 chapters are written.


Effects
Anything can be an effect. Game development will largely consist in coding newly invented effects into the game. For the beginning, several basic effects are offered:
Creations can be created, changed and eliminated. A basic creation costs 1 Prime to create and will have a name and a type. It can be further fleshed out by adding more details to it. This is explained more thoroughly in the chapter on Creations. Existing Creations can also be entered and exeunted (removed from) stories. This allows the re-use of existing creations, for example places, heroes, etc. for a flat fee instead of creating them entirely from scratch for a large amount of Prime.

Influence and Control can be placed upon Creations. This is further detailed in the chapter on Influence and Control.
Magic can be used in stories to enable supernatural events. Compared to the mighty powers of Immortals, the magical effects of mortal mages are puny, so most of them require only a single unit of Prime. The actual magic used can be freely described, and can be anything from fireballs, illusions, mental control to summoning of ghosts and virtually anything else.


Scaling
There is a soft rule that says the story has to fit to the effect it creates. If you want to shake up the world, write a tall, long, complex and interesting legend about it. Expenditure of Prime alone will not be sufficient (maybe later a limitation of how much Prime can be spent in a single chapter will enforce this limit). Essentially, small things can happen in a sentence, earth-shattering changes take a whole story. Maybe the event at the end is short and powerful, but in such case a legend would tell everything that led up to the event, how heroes tried to stop it, which forces intervened, how everything is connected, and which strands of fate came together to make the big thing happen.

18
Rules / Meta Rules
« on: December 21, 2017, 08:43:31 AM »
This are the rules governing gameplay:


Story Creation / Chapter Writing

A chapter in progress can be flagged instead of regular voting, if it violates one of the meta-rules outlined below.

A Yellow flag means that the problem can be fixed by editing the chapter. For example, an effect is not explained in the chapter, the chapter contradicts an established fact in a way that can be solved with a minor change, etc. On a yellow flag, the player setting the flag is strongly encouraged to offer a suggestion on how to fix the problem.

A Red flag means that the problem cannot (in the eyes of the player setting the flag) be fixed without a total rewrite.

A Black flag is reserved for spam, trolling, harassment or other player-misbehaviour. We are playing a game together and even if emotions may sometimes flare high, we can all expect respectful, friendly behaviour from each other.



Game Facts

There are two kinds of game Facts.

A fact establishes a truth of the world, and thus can be a reason to flag a future chapter. Mutable Facts are those established by previous stories. They can be changed through story the same way they were established, but until they are explicitly changed, they are true. For example, a city created in a previous story and put at the side of a river in a lush forest cannot suddenly be located in a desert. A story can be written that changes the course of the river and destroys the forest through drought or fire or magic, in which case the fact has changed. But this requires said story to be written first, and its effects applied and paid for in Prime.

There are also Immutable Facts establishing the setting and boundaries of the game. These are the Immutable Facts:
  • Stories should be written in the style of legends - 3rd person, full sentences, no modern references, emoticons or chat-speech.
  • Other characters can not be killed or permanently disabled. Whatever you do to other characters, their players can always write their way out of it if they so desire. You can permanently destroy any Creations they like or control.
  • The laws of physics and common sense apply, unless magic is used and Prime expended.
  • Only named heroes of legends can channel magic. This magic always comes from Immortals and always requires the expenditure of Prime.

Game World Limits
Finally, there are some limits to the kind of world that can be created, in order to keep the world familiar and easy to enter for new players. These limits also count as immutable facts, but have a somewhat softer boundary:
  • The game covers the world. It does not extend to space or objects in the sky (stars, the sun, the moon, etc.) and no amount of Purity can change the world itself (e.g. make it flat, grow or shrink it, change gravity or any such things). Maybe a later extension to the game can open up such features, for the moment we play on and within the world given.
  • Technology beyond a roughly medieval level (e.g. no steam engines, electricity, gunpowder, and reasonable levels of mechanics, science and culture) counts as magic.
  • Fantasy creatures are somewhat rare - they may exist, but travellers would mention them in their letters. So a small area of the world where people breed Unicorns or use Earth Elementals as workers is fine, but a world-spanning dragon express service isn't. All fantasy creatures are at best as intelligent as animals (see next rule).
  • Humans are the only intelligent species native to the game world. Immortals can appear to them in the shape of elves, dwarves, trolls or any other creature of legend, and humans may well believe in the existence of such species, but no other intelligent species actually exists.

19
Legends of the World / Creation
« on: December 21, 2017, 08:26:01 AM »
Legends are the power of creation. They give shape and form to the primal force.
At the beginning of time, prime split into the four elements. Below was Earth, covered by Water. Above them, Air floated. And far above that, a thousand fires ignited in the sky. One of them was much closer than others, giving light and warmth to the world.
After an unknowable time, the first Immortals awakened.

20
Rules / Basic Concepts
« on: December 21, 2017, 08:13:42 AM »
Legends is a game of storytelling. Nowhere in the game does anything happen because of a button click or a mouse movement. Everything in the game happens through narrative.

Basic Game Elements

Stories are the myths and legends of the game world. They are divided up into chapters. Every chapter is one action or set of related actions, and is told by one player. The next chapter will be told by a different player. This is the cooperative aspect of the game.
After a chaper is written, it is subject to discussion and voting. Here, players can use the power they accumulated during the game (see below) to influence the course of history, and gain the priviledge to write the next chapter of a story. This is the competitive aspect of the game.

The parts of the story that have lasting effects on the game world are called effects. A chapter can have several effects, but every effect, every change caused to the world, consumes some of the primal creation energy that players accumulate. This energy is called Prime. Larger effects consume more prime than smaller effects. Prime can also be channeled through mortal beings, the heroes of legends, for superhuman or magical effects.

A small amount of Prime automatically accumulates over time for each player. Larger amounts can be found in Prime Sources that are scattered throughout the world. Control of Prime Sources will grant a steady supply of Prime.

Through effects, Creations can be put into the game world, manipulated and eliminated or killed. Typical creations are geographical features (continents, mountain ranges, rivers, forests, etc.), heroes (mortals touched by Prime), artifacts (objects touched by Prime), but also cities, kingdoms, religions, cultures.


Characters and Councils

Every player takes on the role of one Immortal in the game world. Some immortals self-define as gods, others as powerful mages, many simply as immortals.

Like-minded Immortals come together to form Councils or Pantheons. Only these groups can exert Influence over and gain Control of Prime Sources and Creations. Influence can be gained through effects. Once enough Influence is in the hands of an individual Council, control can be established. Once a council controls a Prime Source, it gets a steady supply of prime for all its members. Once a council controls a Creation, only its members can freely use this creation in stories.

Immortals also have a Personal Legend. The personal legend describes the character and is a special type of story that can only be written by the player controlling that character. The personal legend also establishes the goals and visions of the character - what he or she (or it) wants to achieve with the world. Immortals are driven by Purpose, a central value or set of values that determines their personality but also the kind of changes they intend to bring upon the world. Some immortals are driven by conflict and war, sometimes for the pure lust of destruction sometimes as a means to forge stronger and more capable mortals. Some immortals are driven by a desire to heal or invent, or by beauty. Some fall in love with individual cultures or realms, at least for a time. Some see themselves as forces of nature, embodiments of storm, water, nature or of lust, anger, calm. The purpose of an immortal can change over time, through the continuation of his personal legend.


Time

One real-life hour is equivalent to one day in the game world. However, story-time can differ. Within a story, time is more flexible and even though the writing of a story might take many days or weeks to complete, the story can describe only days or hours in the game world. The timeframe of the story is defined entirely within the story. The only rule is that it may not jump "ahead" in time to a point that has not yet happened. Thus, there is a Universal Time in the game, which determines the flow of Prime and other external effects, as well as the default starting time of new stories.

The game world has a moon cycle of 24 days, making one month 24 days long, and thus equivalent to one real-world day.
14 months in the game make up one year (a total of 336 days). The real-life equivalent is 2 weeks.

21
Legends / Introduction
« on: December 21, 2017, 06:49:35 AM »
Legends is the working title of a new game, currently in prototype state. It merges ideas from SpellMaster, BattleMaster, Might&Fealty and a couple others.

The game is an entirely narrative-driven world creation and world history system. Players take the roles of gods, immortals or super-powerful magicians, whatever your personal take is. Through the writing of legends, they can create and shape the world and its history.

This time, I mean it with the player-generated content. The game starts with an entirely empty map and a creation myth. Every continent, every mountain range, every river, empire, city, king and hero, every culture and religion, every magical artifact - literally everything in the game will be created by players.

---

This board serves as the testing ground for the manual pre-alpha test. In this test, I want to validate the basic game concepts. Everything will be done manually, no code exists yet to automate anything. Later in development, much of the game will be automated so that it scales to many players and doesn't require a constantly active GM to run. Nevertheless, due to the scope of the game and the free-form style, which allows players to do literally anything, a GM will always be there to implement player actions not covered by game mechanics.

During the test, the board is visible to all, but content can only be added by test players. I have recruited a few longstanding players. If you are not among them but want to join, contact me by e-mail. This goes especially to all the old SpellMaster players that I missed or whose e-mail addresses have changed. Your input would be most valuable.

22
Other Games / Elite: Dangerous
« on: December 21, 2017, 06:22:09 AM »
Anyone else flying in the galaxy?

I'm an ancient gamer and I remember the original Elite, which is why I bought Dangerous (after previous re-launches like Frontier were such a disaster). So far I'm very happy with it, currently exploring the Road to Riches with many detours, saving for an Anaconda, checking out different styles of play.

23
Black Forest / Not Dead !
« on: October 06, 2017, 08:20:05 AM »
The game is not dead. Hey everyone!

So here is my thoughts on how to complete it, given that my time available has dropped dramatically:

  • Planning Mode is shelved for the moment
  • In-Game Store is shelved for the moment, probably coming back but with in-game currency only (i.e. no real money transfers)
  • I want to add more competitiveness to the end game, so a new feature will be that if a family is defeated, its resources are distributed, equally, remainders are dropped. That means in the early game, typically nothing will be left (family dies with 12 wood, 16 families still in the game - nobody gets anything). But in the end game, killing off someone can ensure your survival (family dies with 10 stone, 3 families still left in the game - everyone gets 3 stone, 1 stone is lost).
  • Later on, I want to add a few special events to the deep forest, to raise both risk and reward.
Once a couple bugs are fixed, the game will also need a polishing and marketing drive to restore the player base to something more serious. For this I will need a small team. Not programmers (though one more wouldn't hurt), but artists and social media people.


24
Black Forest / Support Site / Bug Reports
« on: September 12, 2016, 08:58:17 PM »
There is now a support site for questions, problems and bug reports. Simply go here:

http://lemuria.org:8080/servicedesk/customer/portal/1

25
Black Forest / Steam Greenlight
« on: August 07, 2016, 02:35:10 PM »
The game is now listed on Steam Greenlight. Please go and give it a thumbs up here:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=739047467


You can also see the latest gameplay video there. It's quite long, but shows you pretty much everything.

26
Announcements / Please vote for me on Greenlight
« on: August 07, 2016, 03:48:07 AM »
My game Schwarzwald is now on Steam Greenlight. It could use some up votes. If you can spare some seconds, please go here and give it a thumbs up:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=739047467

27
Announcements / hotmail has [email protected]#$ed me up again
« on: July 20, 2016, 07:13:54 AM »
I can't send mails to hotmail addresses and I can't figure out why.

If someone has an idea, here is a typical bounce message:




<[email protected]>: host mx4.hotmail.com[65.55.92.184] said: 550 SC-001
   (SNT004-MC4F44) Unfortunately, messages from 92.51.146.66 weren't sent.
   Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network
   is on our block list. You can also refer your provider to
   http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx#errors. (in reply to MAIL
   FROM command)
Reporting-MTA: dns; flame.lemuria.org
X-Postfix-Queue-ID: 5C1BE4045B
X-Postfix-Sender: rfc822; [email protected]
Arrival-Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 07:10:16 +0200 (CEST)

Final-Recipient: rfc822; [email protected]
Original-Recipient: rfc822;[email protected]
Action: failed
Status: 5.0.0
Remote-MTA: dns; mx4.hotmail.com
Diagnostic-Code: smtp; 550 SC-001 (SNT004-MC4F44) Unfortunately, messages from
   92.51.146.66 weren't sent. Please contact your Internet service provider
   since part of their network is on our block list. You can also refer your
   provider to http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx#errors.


Very helpful, yes? And no, the blocklist [email protected]#$ excuse isn't true and if I contact my provider they send me to hotmail. If anyone knows of a solution other than completely ban all hotmail accounts from the game (again), let me know.

28
Other Games / Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
« on: June 26, 2016, 09:11:06 PM »
Wonderful game, just picked it up. Now I'm looking for people to play it with, over Skype or Teamspeak or something.

You don't even need the game if you are happy with just playing the experts. How that works, check their website:

http://www.keeptalkinggame.com/



If you are interested, drop me a message. I'm looking forward to playing this game!

29
Shopkeeper / Relaunch
« on: June 17, 2016, 12:11:12 AM »
I've begun to work on this game again. You can check a lot of screenshots that I've posted on the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pnpshopkeeper/

No date for the next testing round so far. There is a lot of work ahead of me. But there will not be another web-based test. I am confident to get the 3D client running this time.

30
This Forum / Forum merging / new structure
« on: June 14, 2016, 08:34:44 AM »
At this time am running two complete forums (BM and MaF) and they both have sections about other topics as well.

I very much want to merge them into one. Each game would still have its own seperate section, it can even have its own look, but administration of one forum would be much easier than administration of two.

There would be some issues with user accounts and such. I haven't figured out how exactly to do it and if someone wants to dig into SMF docs and plugins that could help, it would be much appreciated. But ultimately, I cannot sustain several forums.

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