Author Topic: Help Choosing a theme  (Read 11610 times)

PtKaisen

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Help Choosing a theme
« on: March 05, 2015, 11:27:57 AM »
Hello

I know this is not an easy question but here it is:

I want to participate in 7DRL 2015 but i am having a little trouble finding a good theme/setting for my RL

I think that if a am going to do something equal to all of the other RL's, then there is no point in doing it.
I mean, just changing the name of the item to something more SCI-FI and changing the name of the monsters will not create a RL

I am following the libtcod + python tutorial and i understand programming (i know a little bit of Visual Basic and Object Pascal, and i find Lua [using LÖVE2D engine] and python very easy to learn)

Programming is not the problem, just finding a good theme/setting and create the is a little bit different, not the same ASCII chars on screen with different meanings.

May be i can take ideas from SCI-FI pen and paper RPGs?

Can anyone help me on the steps to choose a good Setting/Theme for my RL?

Thanks in advance

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2015, 12:58:50 PM »
Maybe take a look at this list of themes, and see if something catches your fancy. Unconventional themes for the win, although designing a standard fantasy/sf setting does provide all sorts of easy shortcuts, for better or worse. For a 7drl, you should probably go for something you're already familiar with (eg. don't do a Yoruba-inspired 7drl if it entails reading up on the religion from scratch).

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

Darren Grey

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 01:36:13 AM »
Non-western inventions are really interesting and underused. Except Japan, I guess. But instead of Western fantasy go with Middle East fantasy or Indian fantasy. Loads of interesting stuff and it gives a cool exotic feel! It's weird how fantasy, which could be literally anything, these days means the most unimaginative boring crap... Make your fantasy interesting!

Cyberpunk is also completely underdone in roguelikes, I think, and offers lots of potential for interesting mechanics. Setting reinforcing mechanics is really useful for explaining things to the player.

guest509

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 05:19:22 AM »
Super Hero please! :-)

PtKaisen

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 10:19:10 AM »
@AgingMinotaur: Thanks. Very nice link to take some ideas, specially the "Mythology and folklore". Thanks

@Darren Grey: I like cyberpunk and i also would like to do some "different fantasy", may be looking in middle east fantasy.
And a little noob question: what is "Setting reinforcing mechanics"? Thanks for your help

@Jo: Super Heroes will be very good, but i dont really see how can i do it :/ ... and i dont have much time to think about it and participate on the challenge, but may be in a future RL i could do something like that using the rules of the HERO System RPG (is that legal?) ... dont know. I have a question for you too: Can you give me a link to download your game "Cardlike 7DRL"?, what is the theme or setting of the game?, how do we play it?. The link to your blog http://zeroframespersecond.blogspot.com/ is broken (blog not registered). Thanks

Thanks to all, very nice tips for a little noob like me :)

Omnivore

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 10:54:31 AM »
In regards to the legalities of using a published, trademarked, copyrighted set of tabletop RPG rules as the basis for computer algorithms in a game...

As long as all of the following are true you're fine:
A) You do not use the trademark names in your game.
B) You do not copy published material into your game (as descriptions, background, etc).
C) You do not attribute your game as being 'based upon' or, to be safe, 'inspired by' said rule set.
D) No one has patented the algorithm(s).

Case A is trademark law.
Case B is copyright law.
Case C is cover your ass law because there are lawsuit happy idiots out there in table top RPG rule set land who have a history of suing computer game manufacturers.
Case D is the sad fact of life as a programmer in the USA today with the fubar'd software patent laws, and applies to every bit of code you write, game or not, and ignorance of any possible patent is not a legal defense.

All of that said, no one can get blood from a stone (without bashing someone's head in with it first).  If you're doing a free game, worst that will generally happen is a 'cease and desist' order which, depending on what sites are hosting the game software for download, may result in the game no longer being available for download.  If you're doing a commercial game, well be smart and incorporate, then at worst you can't lose anything more than the time you put in, the expenses incurred in development and publishing, and any profits you gained.

Do keep an eye out on your country's laws though.  In the USA the laws are getting really screwed up as lots of money is being thrown about by the movie and music industries.

Finally, if you really think you have something to lose and are considering treading on dangerous ground, consult a real lawyer who specializes in software copyright and patent law.

Krice

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 11:09:36 AM »
Some kind of "silk road" theme would be nice for 7DRL. Big desert to cross with a bunch of camels and possibly members of a trading team. Exciting water management. Fight snakes and scorpions, and occasional outlaws trying to steal your merchandise. Find hidden treasure in forgotten ruins and graves.

Darren Grey

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 11:13:00 AM »
@Darren Grey: I like cyberpunk and i also would like to do some "different fantasy", may be looking in middle east fantasy.
And a little noob question: what is "Setting reinforcing mechanics"? Thanks for your help

An archer can attack from a distance. This is easy to understand. If you see an enemy called an archer you won't be surprised if it hits you from afar. A giant might take lots of extra hits to kill but be easy to hit itself. The theme helps the mechanics seem intuitive without having to explain as much to the player.

If you had a completely made up theme, with harevlo'shan using mystic spirit energy to hit the player from afar then this becomes harder to make intuitive to the player. This is why many rely on tropes in their theme. The trick is to be find a balance between novel elements and keeping things appropriate.

mushroom patch

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 12:44:55 PM »
Some kind of "silk road" theme would be nice for 7DRL. Big desert to cross with a bunch of camels and possibly members of a trading team. Exciting water management. Fight snakes and scorpions, and occasional outlaws trying to steal your merchandise. Find hidden treasure in forgotten ruins and graves.

DesertBusRL

Rickton

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2015, 03:15:12 PM »
Some kind of "silk road" theme would be nice for 7DRL. Big desert to cross with a bunch of camels and possibly members of a trading team. Exciting water management. Fight snakes and scorpions, and occasional outlaws trying to steal your merchandise. Find hidden treasure in forgotten ruins and graves.
Purists probably wouldn't consider it a roguelike (though I think it's closer in spirit than most "roguelites"), and it's more about the exploration itself rather than the trading, but The Curious Expedition might interest you.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 03:18:03 PM by Rickton »
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
And its sequel, simply titled Possession

PtKaisen

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2015, 12:56:19 AM »
Thanks for all the help.

I still have a little bit of time to decide what to do ... but i think that i am not really prepared to start a Roguelike.

I can do a Roguelike in the next weeks , but in 7 days starting this Saturday or Sunday.

I dont have much idea about the theme i  will be using and have not planned very well how can i do it. My work and real life is obstructing my plans.

I really appreciate all the tips given by all of you and will try to start a RL in the next weeks, and post it here in the Temple of Roguelike.

I just think that starting without having planned ahead like Darren's Grey advice will be a failure and i prefer to start after i have more ideas. I will keep you informed in the next few days

I would like to know if you know any other competition in can participate in the next weeks or months?

Thanks you again

PtKaisen

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2015, 02:53:22 PM »
Sorry for disappointing all of you when i told i was not participating.

I changed my mind a few days later and registered in the competition (with a very simple game)

Here is the link to my game.

http://forums.roguetemple.com/index.php?topic=4513.0

Thanks

PtKaisen

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2015, 11:25:20 PM »
In regards to the legalities of using a published, trademarked, copyrighted set of tabletop RPG rules as the basis for computer algorithms in a game...

As long as all of the following are true you're fine:
A) You do not use the trademark names in your game.
B) You do not copy published material into your game (as descriptions, background, etc).
C) You do not attribute your game as being 'based upon' or, to be safe, 'inspired by' said rule set.
D) No one has patented the algorithm(s).

Case A is trademark law.
Case B is copyright law.
Case C is cover your ass law because there are lawsuit happy idiots out there in table top RPG rule set land who have a history of suing computer game manufacturers.
Case D is the sad fact of life as a programmer in the USA today with the fubar'd software patent laws, and applies to every bit of code you write, game or not, and ignorance of any possible patent is not a legal defense.

All of that said, no one can get blood from a stone (without bashing someone's head in with it first).  If you're doing a free game, worst that will generally happen is a 'cease and desist' order which, depending on what sites are hosting the game software for download, may result in the game no longer being available for download.  If you're doing a commercial game, well be smart and incorporate, then at worst you can't lose anything more than the time you put in, the expenses incurred in development and publishing, and any profits you gained.

Do keep an eye out on your country's laws though.  In the USA the laws are getting really screwed up as lots of money is being thrown about by the movie and music industries.

Finally, if you really think you have something to lose and are considering treading on dangerous ground, consult a real lawyer who specializes in software copyright and patent law.

Hello, thanks for the tips. I will not create anything based on any Published, Copyrighted RPG (i thought it was ok, but i will be better not to do it).

It is better to use to use the ideas i have on my head instead of using ideas from other people and have problems later.

In any case, i live in Portugal, may be i will not have those problems you say, but there are Software Patents here in Europe too and i don't want problems.

Thanks again

PtKaisen

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Re: Help Choosing a theme
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2015, 10:19:16 PM »
I finished my game!!!!

Take a look here http://forums.roguetemple.com/index.php?topic=4513.0