Roguelike MMORPG - Game Design Discussion

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by KeeghanM, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. KeeghanM

    KeeghanM New Member

    Jan 17, 2018
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    Right, heres an idea I want to discuss! A Roguelike MMORPG.

    Let me preface this chat with:
    • This is not an engine limited chat, it is a high level game design chat
    • I have no intention of developing this game as it is waaaaaay beyond the scope I can achieve. So I'm not farming you for ideas.
    • This could be purely futile, and entirely impossible. If so, tell me! Thats kind of the point... am I crazy for thinking this could work?

    So with that out of the way, heres my idea.

    A classic roguelike set in a multiplayer world. Where everyone can interact and progress together in the world. You can either work together to fight the monsters, or fight each other.
    It would still have the traditional elements of a roguelike such as Dungeon Crawling, Random Generation, Permadeath, tile based gameplay. It would not inlcude turn based gameplay for obvious reasons.

    I have thought through some of the technical problems, and some of the story/setting ideas.
    Technical Thoughts
    Problem: If every player is free to move around, and free to attack other players, how do you prevent high levels camping the spawns and just constantly killing new players. Or even just wandering around... and killing new players.
    Solution: Picture the world as a tower (I'll be referencing this a lot. So, get used to it!). The tower has floors to it, these are technically infinite due to the endless random generation aspect, but... floors. You map these floors to the player levels. When you spawn as a level 1, you are on floor one. To level up, you must physically travel to Floor 2.. thus becoming a level 2 character. Once you have gone up, you can't come back down. So while you could still have an experienced player hunting new players... they will all be the same INGAME level, balancing it out atleast 80-90%
    Problem: Roguelikes are randomly generated, how do you handle multiple players (hopefully 1000's) who want to A) Interact with other players but B) have their own random rooms.
    Solution: Back to the tower, on each floor is a "Room". This room can be arbitrarily sized. From an actual room through to a city, right now it doesn't matter. The idea is that the "World" is a grid of "rooms" and each room is only generated when a player visits it for the first time. So lets say Player 1 spawns in Room 1. It generates. Player 2 spawns in Room 1, and gets the exact same room, and can interact with Player 1. Player 1 goes East, gets a new random room. Player 2 goes West, and gets a new Random room. They can both go back to Room 1, or to the room the other players went to... It is a MMORPG remember.
    Problem: This raises the problem of late comers getting only pre-generated rooms. Lets say 1000 players have played the game. Now Mr 1001 comes along, and they never get a new room. Worse still, Mr 999 dies and respawns (it is permadeath) in Room 1... and it's the same Room 1 they had before.
    Solution: Room Resets. There are two types of Room Resets I can picture. The first is to do with visiting an already generated room. The second is for re-generating rooms. Type 1, a room can either reset it's contents (loot, monsters, puzzle items etc etc) constantly so theres always a steady stream of enemies pouring through the walls for example and loot is always there for each new player (one player can only take it once though).. or once there are no players in the room it resets. The other type is to do with re-generating rooms, which is tricky. You want to keep rooms around for a while so players have a familiar path if they backtrack. But re-generate them eventually to keep the game fresh. My idea is to reset a timer everytime a player enters the room, and start the timer when there are 0 players inside. if the timer reaches some time (example, 60 minutes) then the room can re-generate.​

    Setting Thoughts
    • Multiplayer games always have multiple Servers you can pick from. I picture these servers being called "Adventurer Guilds", each time your character dies you get the opportunity to pick a new "Guild". Now, most people will pick the same because it is a server and people pick that for lag reasons etc, but this does allow players to get more variety. And also spreads the players out, increasing the chance of room re-sets.
    • You could also have "Private Guilds" these would be groups of players who want to play together. They can setup their own server and run that in private mode.
    • Continuing on with the "Tower" idea, that would be the setting. You would be an adventurer who is exploring a powerful wizards tower. This explains the changing, and seemingly infinite size.

    Right. Thats my thoughts so far on some of the problems and how I would work around them.
    I'd love to hear your thoughts on the concept as a whole, and whether there is anything I missed. Or any glaring mistakes that would make this simply impossible?

    As well, what would you like to see in a game like this? What would you do for the design and setting? Etc etc etc!
  2. cjmarsh

    cjmarsh New Member

    Nov 27, 2017
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    Unfortunately, I think there's something fundamentally wrong about mixing the two genres. Roguelikes are generally designed around impermanence and the idea that when you die you lose all your stuff. This adds a certain level of challenge and makes your every decision matter as it could literally be game over with a single mistake. MMOs on the other hand, are all about persistent progress. They achieve player retention through a variety of means but most are geared towards making character progression seem relevant to the player and their friends. Both genres are good examples of how to design a game, that is they both strive to provide meaningful progress to the player, but they do it in almost diametrically opposed ways so I'm not sure if they would mesh well as a single design concept.

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