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Old 02-14-2018, 02:40 PM   #41
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Noblesville, Indiana, USA
Default Re: How Would GURPS Rules Need To Be Changed For A Computer Game?

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
I don't particularly care for Rogue-like games, but yeah, something like that idea only implemented with a first-person point of view. I'd also want an MMORPG, and not a single-player, although you could start out with a single-player game and build it out, iteratively.
A MMORPG definitely changes the experience substantially vs. a single player game, but both have incredible potential.

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
I'd even have the game start with each player on a sea voyage, c. 1850, when a banestorm manifests and pulls his or her ship into a different world. Mostly, it's the same as Earth -- but only mostly. I'd add some fantastic elements for the players to slowly discover.
Brilliant. I like this as an opener, and it would be an interesting dynamic if some of the other people on the ship survived the experience as well and either help or compete with the protagonist.

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
The character gets built ahead of time -- either use a template as-is, or do some modifications, or (or for more advanced players), build one from scratch. Use the GURPS skill system, as much as possible, and add in some advantages and (maybe...) some disads suitable to a computer game.
I'd think a handful of templates to select from would be necessary for GURPS newbies as you wouldn't want them to miss out on critical skills. In fact, if allowing a totally custom character, it may be necessary during character creation to have minimum requirements (e.g., at least 1 ranged weapon skill, 1 melee combat skill, 2-3 outdoor skills, etc.). Without this as a guideline, a crucial skill may get missed that prevents the protagonist from accomplishing a key part of the early tasks.

Disadvantages are definitely needed as these are pretty key features of GURPS. Some possibilities might be Addiction, Chummy, Curious, Gluttony, Honesty, or Insomniac. For extra brutality, how about Bad Sight, Hard of Hearing, Hemophilia, Insomnia, One Eye, or One Arm? Amnesia might just be required given the protagonist's origin story.

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
The character wakes up after the storm, on a small atoll , with the wreck of the ship in shallow water, visible, but a ways offshore. In that sense, it starts off a bit similar to Stranded Deep, but it's more granular and skill-based.
Perhaps there is more than one shipwreck nearby, and the materials and designs of some of the vessels are unfamiliar...

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Scavenge what washed ashore with you; locate a source of fresh water (a spring in some cases, a coconut grove in others, the ability to create an evaporative purifier, perhaps...); and then get some food; and then take stock of what's available on the island. Build a raft or something, to get out to the wreck, where at least one significant predator has been drawn to the bodies. Use fatigue as well as HP, and enforce encumbrance rules using GURPS so it's similar to, for instance, The Long Dark.
It would be good to give the player several options for getting around obstacles like this. Are there raw materials to scrounge together a usable weapon that could be useful in fighting off the predator(s)? Is approaching the wreck stealthily and sneaking on board an option? The skills available to the player would be really critical to determining the available options. It would increase replay value if there were many options here, but only available if the player had the right skill(s).

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Salvage what you can, fight off the critter, get what you've found back to the island, and realize you'll use up the food available faster than it can replenish itself, but fishing can extend that. Use the salvaged gear to build a larger vessel (a character with a "Survival" skill builds a raft or dugout canoe; one with the skill "Carpentry" builds a better raft or dugout; one with Area Knowledge (Polynesia) builds a large outrigger dugout; one with "Carpentry" and "Boating" can fix the hole in the side of the whale-boat or wooden dinghy found on the wreck; a character with "Carpentry" and "Boating" and "Crewman (Sailing Ship)" can add a mast and maybe a keel or leeboards to the repaired whaleboat) that allows escape to a different island. Find a tall island (the remnants of an old volcano), which is larger and has more resources (and dangers), and perhaps eventually discover a continent with many secrets.
I love this idea. I would want waterways to be a key feature of the game though to make sure all this boat crafting stays useful as the game unfolds. I'd really like it if the vessel could suffer damage from various events and need repairs. Perhaps over time the protagonist could become skilled enough to build bigger and better watercraft, eventually even being able to use the vessel as a sort of mobile base. For those completely devoid of these skills, there is always Swimming. Let's hope your character is not wounded and there are blood-crazed predators in the water.

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Allow crafting mini-games of all sorts, give characters the ability to trade with one another from the get-go (but only if they're face-to-face -- no EVE-type markets), and let the characters teach each other skills. Allow the characters to set up cooperative endeavors, so they can accomplish things together that neither could do alone (for instance, if a character with an "Engineering" skill has enough ropes and pulleys, he or she sets up a block-and-tackle, and more than one character can pull on the rope to lift heavy objects -- stuff like that).
I've spent a lot of time thinking about MMORPGs in my life, and I think having a host of NPCs around would be necessary as well. There are simply some repetitive tasks and certain skills that players will find less fun than others, and not having NPCs to dynamically fill in those gaps can lead to unbalanced economies (surpluses of things fun to build and scarcity of things not as fun to build). It may not always be valid to assume that players will always help each other, so having NPCs available to help in some instances could be needed so that all players feel like they can accomplish everything they want to accomplish. I've always tended toward solo play in MMORPGs myself, and I don't think I'm unique in that regard.

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Basically, the rules of a game influence how the players will play that game. If all you have is combat, then combat is all anybody will do. Allow crafting and trade, and permit players to set up safe areas where (for instance) they can create unique structures if their characters have the right skills -- or if multiple characters have the right combinations of skills, and agree to cooperate under a character with (say) the skill, "Administration."
I wholeheartedly agree with this. There are certainly players that will want the combat stuff, and there are lots of GURPS rules to back that up, but a big focus on crafting would be great too. Crafting buildings and vehicles would be a great addition to the game and GURPS has plenty of skills and rules to back up those activities.

It could also be fun to include the invention and gadgeteering rules for coming up with new items. Cross-TL skills would be fun if the protagonist was dropped into a lower or higher TL world or if there was a primitive tribe or particularly advanced settlement encountered. Things like Archaeology, Hidden Lore, and Occultism could be helpful for investigating those mysterious old ruins.

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Maybe let them declare their characters as part of a defense militia when the player is off-line, and allow someone playing a character with military skills to set up 1850s style lines of battle to defend the settlement.
This always gets into the controversial territory of "What happens if my character dies while I'm offline?" Maybe having an offline character participate in a logistical capacity by making his or her skills available to the defense militia would allow them to participate without risking their character directly.

If you're going to get into organizing defense militia and there are NPCs available to fill the roles of rank and file troops, then maybe there is an opportunity for some Mass Combat.

Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Implement as many options as possible, for the characters to choose from, and all sorts of emergent game-play occurs.
Yes, there are so many options here to contemplate. Just looking at the GURPS skill list can generate all kinds of ideas for how to implement them in a computer game in a meaningful way. All of the skills that get included need to be useful in many ways to make them worthwhile to players. Nobody will want a skill that has a very niche application and doesn't bring much value to their experience.
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Old 02-26-2018, 10:28 AM   #42
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Sumter, SC
Default Re: How Would GURPS Rules Need To Be Changed For A Computer Game?

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I agree. Unless you were talking about an indie game, 3D rendering can cost millions of dollars worth of computer time. Music rights can also cost in the millions of dollars, as can voice acting. Marketing can also cost tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.
3D rendering: it depends on how much 3D rendering you want to do. You can do it on the cheap (War for the Overworld) and have it look reasonable.

Music rights: Garageband and equivalent programs can make your own music reasonably cheaply so unless you are aiming for name recognition by go for owned music?

Voice acting: This can be an issue but voice synthesizers have gotten to where cost there can be reduced.

Marketing: This varies all over the place and is only expensive if one uses traditional outlets. Word of mouth still works very well.

Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
GURPS probably lends itself more easily to video games than many other gaming systems because of it is moderately simulationistic. With only four Attributes, it captures reality in a relatively small box. The only problem is that a game that used GURPS can only capture a few dozen styles of play (the combination of difficulty levels and options).
If you mean within the context of the world you are making; that is a given.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:02 AM   #43
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Calgary
Default Re: How Would GURPS Rules Need To Be Changed For A Computer Game?

More than once I've considered putting together a GURPs combat simulator or GURPS specific VTT, similar to how MegaMek works for BattleTech. Could even get some basic enemy AI for testing new character builds. The trouble is that it's not worth the effort. SJ Games has a rather old fashioned view to even extremely basic rules automation, so I imagine that something that complex would need to be for my own personal use only unless I wanted about a million C&Ds.

I do tend to run my GURPs campaigns sort of like a computer RPG though, using prototypes of the above built in Maptool. I had one thousand line macro that would allow a user to click on a target, select their weapn, turns of aiming, number of rounds fired, etc. Then it would calculate the number of hits, roll the enemy's active defence automatically, check hit locations (using the more complex LT table), calculate for location specific DR, apply the wound modifer, and then apply any special effects for that location being wounded (limbs/joints/extremities crippled, etc), make stunning and knockdown rolls, and death checks.

Of course, Maptool's parser is awful and that macro would cause stack overflow errors on some machines, but it worked quite well on my machine at least. Combats that should have taken hours would only last minutes, and I was able to use the more complex and detailed rules without the extra overhead. I want to go back and recode it in something else, maybe fantasy ground's lua code or Maptool's new JS implementation, but Ive been holding back since however well it turns out I won't be able to share it.
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