Project D.O.R.F.
10-24-2015, 09:56 AM (This post was last modified: 11-23-2015 09:29 PM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #1
Project D.O.R.F.
This is the design thread for Project D.O.R.F., planned to be run after Lootcaps ends (2-3 months, with the speed it is progressing)

I like the genre of survival and base building games, and I have run a few so far, and I have seen quite a few. I would like to take my hand in it again, but, I would like to ask for you help to figure out the mechanics, to make sure they don't flop from untested things.

The setting will be a base on a recently discovered planet in Nthspace, owned by a multispatial corporation. The players would mine for anything they can find, to figure out the past of the planet, and what made it so hostile.

Things I need feedback and ideas upon:

Survival
Now, I think that I will keep the survival aspects minimal. Previously, in magic exile and Hive, eating food actually took an entire turn, and food would be have to be produced, and counted. This is not fun, you could be building magic robots during that time!

Therefore, nutrition and similar things will not be actively kept track of. Instead of giving a numeral value of hungriness, the only thing that would matter is if there is a food court or not.

Keeping out Deadly Weather would still be part of the game.

Management
In Magic Space Program, the management department broken up between the players was a huge disaster. Those single aspects, were only fun if they were used together! The non managers, the pilots, had nothing to do, even when flying. Casting someone as a The Chief was bad too: if he went missing, everything was held up.

Therefore, players will be just senior technicians, mostly free to their own devices. They would still be an area of expertise for them, but that is in addition to their basic tasks.

The actual The Chief will be an NPC. There might be other NPCs working in the base. I am not sure about how that work: arrive to staff certain rooms at certain intervals, or perhaps everyone would start with a friend NPC, who could be ordered around to staff certain things.

Resources

I wouldn't keep track of the common items. If a room was built, everything that would make sense to be found in it exists. For example, a workshop should have a workbench and the required tools, and a library would have bookshelves.

Specific, non-basic tools and equipment would probably be made from mined or requested resources. They would be kept track of, but they should be rather unique things that would show up on the map.

Key structures such as power plants and testing equipment would be probably their own rooms.

Supply shuttle room would be used to ask The Chief to send you stuff needed for your work, in Supply Boxes. Supply boxes would either be things like "Generator Parts", "Botany parts", "Armoury parts". Or should there be only "Generic Parts"?

Building
If a place is dug out by someone, anyone could build something there. A room would either require a block of mined mineral, and/or perhaps a Supply Box. Probably making a Generator Room would use a box of Generator Parts. Making a dream powered generator would require a box of Generator Parts, and a refined Gudnite ore.

Vehicles would require a home room to return to, and so would captured or owned beasts.

Turns and time
I am not sure about this one! How much could be done in a turn? Should there be a turn? All I know is that if there IS a turn, it shouldn't be forced to be wasted on "I sleep" or "I eat", unless you want it to.

Exploration

Exploring outside is painful to GM. HIVE really suffered from it, as I had to draw a completely new area every time the nearby places were explored! The harsh weather will prevent from straying far away from the base.

Exploration is still a thing. You will probably wander into underground cave systems, which have to be explored, fortified, stripped of resources and cleaned of deadly traps and beasts.

There should be a control room in the center of the base, which would help mining the right direction, and perhaps triggering traps, so less STRONG characters could help out too.

Combat
Beasts would lurk below, coming upwards. They would never strike from where you don't expect them, so you can actually make defenses.
Actual fights would be done really quickly, so they don't drag on.

SCIENCE
Science...... The different minerals and artifacts found underground could be tested out in Science Labs. What strange properties could they have? This would weigh more on making suitably amusing testing equipment, than on actually running the tests though.

Other parameters
What would be the ideal player count? 4-5? How long should the game run? Should there be a depth limit, which when reached, initiates The Final Act?

Anything else? Feel free to add.

It is time time
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11-18-2015, 06:52 AM
Post: #2
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Sorry for not getting to this, I really like this concept! I'll address things in the points you brought them up in.

Survival - I think managing food would be a good idea still for a survival game? I agree that eating shouldn't be an entire turn, but I think there's a good place between that and just having a food court. Maybe we have to make sure there's always enough food, ie. we'd have to go out and find some or something. If players could take several actions in a turn that could also mitigate the un-funness of having to spend time making food, since players would then be able to do other stuff as well.

Management - Having NPCs mostly be The Chief and Underlings is a really good idea. I'd be okay with having there be NPC managers as well for vital things none of the players might have chosen to manage, like security or construction or something.

Resources - I like both the idea of parts being generic and specific at the same time, because it could encourage players to fight/improvise a little. Like say one person wants to build a new room but orders stuff to heat it, they might get building parts and electrical parts. Some other player might steal the electrical parts to fix an engine, and the first player now has to figure out how to use just generic building materials to keep the room from getting too cold. Another example might be tool parts which could be used to make tools or weapons.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I think resources should have somewhat specific purposes but still be multi-purpose within that category.

Turns - I like the idea of turns, as it means that players know what they can do and everyone is doing about the same number of things. The turns do not have to be super rigid or obvious though. For sleeping specifically I think you could have a night turn where everyone automatically sleeps or does one or two quick actions (NPCs always taking the night shift). Like I said before, I think people should be allowed to do multiple things per turn.

Combat - I wouldn't mind if beasts did try/have the opportunity to surprise players, but I think that should be more if players don't prepare properly (ex: if they're always checking to make sure the vents are okay or something things shouldn't suddenly break through, but if they're too busy with other things they might be attacked from there after a while).

Other - 4 or 5 is probably pretty good, I think the game should run until players reach the Final Act (or screw up to the point where they lose).
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11-23-2015, 09:46 PM
Post: #3
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
The food courts were supposed to things like fungal farms, hydroponics protein bar replicators, etc, generating food slowly. I was thinking that to have enough food always present, you would have to make sure there is enough of these resources.

Your take on the parts sounds good. What about allowing players to smelt down and recycle Parts into different parts? Like the player ordering the heater would get Heater Parts, which could be smelted down to Electronics and Scrap.

Hm, perhaps three small tasks or one large one would be a good idea? Although that brings up the question, what would count as a small and a large task.

Perhaps the final act would start when the player reach the depth of one mile in the mines.

It is time time
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11-24-2015, 02:08 AM
Post: #4
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Food bit makes sense, seems like we were secretly on the same page there.

Smelting down and recycling is a great variation on my setup that I like more and now can't see as not being part of the system.

Afraid right now I can't help you with figuring out the difference between large and small tasks, but maybe one of the things about a large task is it allows you to go around and interact with/help other people with their things? That way someone doing a big task (which would probably be necessary at times) could still be doing things instead of just sitting around by themselves. Actually I think exploring/combat stuff could count as a big task, since even once you're finished you'd probably be too tired/injured to do much else for the day.

One mile seems like a good point to enter endgame. How far can players dig down into at once?
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11-24-2015, 03:54 AM
Post: #5
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Lets go with a Kilometer instead, as I am more familiar with that one, and say that there is 250 floors worth of rooms and caverns there. I would say a player would dig two floor worth of depth with basic tools, and if more players dig at the same time on the same place, or if the tools are upgraded, they can dig much more. Preferably it won't take 125 turns to reach the bottom, if the people are good at SCIENCE, they can finish much faster, probably around in 30. There are also caverns which don't have to be dug out, only made prettier.

It is time time
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11-24-2015, 11:43 AM
Post: #6
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Yeah that makes sense. It also allows for players to more or less choose the pace at which they want the game to go - if they want to speed through they can focus on digging, but if they'd rather make it last they could instead let it progress more slowly and only really move on when they're ready.
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11-27-2015, 08:56 PM
Post: #7
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Do you think this is ready to run as is? Perhaps we could make a few Test Turns in here, with me presenting a scenario and you could react.

It is time time
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11-28-2015, 02:05 AM
Post: #8
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
I wouldnt mind helping you with that.

Sorry i havnt said anything in here earlier, im just not sure what to make of mechanics in what i assume is a game mostly about creativity and player freedom? Or did i misunderstand the intention?
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11-28-2015, 02:25 AM
Post: #9
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
The main intention is to run the base while facing the danger of limited resources. The mechanics are for ensuring that there are limits, which should also help people to set goals for themselves, and for things to do.

It is time time
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11-28-2015, 02:38 AM
Post: #10
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Yeah I'd be willing to help test out scenarios and the like.
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11-28-2015, 02:43 AM (This post was last modified: 11-28-2015 02:44 AM by chimericWilder.)
Post: #11
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Indeed, and thats a good thing. For the most part i agree with the suggestions Pala has already made, and the only thing i can really think of adding is making sure that your players feel under pressure to keep growing - otherwise, theres probably a good chance that it will be a stale experience with little happening that the players themselves didnt initiate. Monsters and a shortage of resources are both good ways to handle that, though.
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11-29-2015, 12:55 AM (This post was last modified: 11-29-2015 12:55 AM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #12
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Alright, lets test out a scenario!

Lets say your base looks like this:

[dirt][dirt][cargo depot][dirt][dirt------]
[dirt][--------hallway------][generator]
[botany][mess hall---------][dorms---]
[freezer-][mine shaft][toolshed][------]
[-------][mine shaft][----------------]
[-------][mine shaft][----------------]
[lake---][goldish-ore---][barricade][molebeast]

You have a failing generator: it doesn't do enough power to expand. There is a horrible molebeast at the barricades. You have the ability to make a cargo request right now. There is a ladder going from the cargo depot, down straight to the goldish ore. What would you do?

It is time time
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11-30-2015, 04:16 AM
Post: #13
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Well, for starters, some information about what we would need to do to keep that generator running would be nice!
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11-30-2015, 07:24 AM
Post: #14
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
It needs expansion using ordered parts, or parts found on this area, or by digging further.

It is time time
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11-30-2015, 08:52 AM
Post: #15
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Depending on how threatening a molebeast is, i'd either team up with the other players to take it down or i would try to figure out whats in the lake (if thats a thing to do). That cargo request could probably be put to use on either of those things, or on parts for the generator?

I'd probably also have plans for digging out that gold and for putting a new room at the end of that long hallway. Seems like the easiest access point for sneaky digging monsters.
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11-30-2015, 10:11 AM
Post: #16
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
What weapons and tools do we have?
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11-30-2015, 09:16 PM
Post: #17
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Ice- and butcherknives in the freezer, various drills in the toolshed, anything you make from the goldish ore.

It is time time
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12-01-2015, 06:03 AM
Post: #18
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
I think then that we could order a new generator, put it together, and break apart the old one for scrap which we could use to either fortify the barricade and the possible weakspots that are our walls, or build makeshift weapons and fight.
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12-02-2015, 03:10 AM
Post: #19
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Alright! Those are good ideas, and in line of what I was planning for the game.

New scenario: same setup, but the generator is going fine. You have a set of Shocking Arms made from an old generator,a box of Molebeast Body Parts and a pile of unrefined Goldishium. Supply shuttle is still available. You found a Terrifying Golden Idol in the lake, your task is to provide experiments on it, safely.

It is time time
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12-02-2015, 05:45 AM
Post: #20
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Hm. This might be a stupid question but what do we know about goldishium?
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12-02-2015, 06:35 AM
Post: #21
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Hm. I think maybe i would make it my goal to dig one or two floors down and then set up a test chamber. After all, when our tomfoolery inevitably goes wrong the monster/bad thing/explosion wont be in the middle of the facility.
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12-02-2015, 07:21 AM
Post: #22
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
You don't know anything about goldishium besides that is shiny like gold. You have to invent your own tests. You can try anything, and it will guaranteed to have some results. No case of "you have to try this one specific thing or nothing happens". At worst, you get a flavour message, but the more stranger the test is, the better the results will be.

Making a safe labroom is a good idea.

It is time time
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12-02-2015, 01:23 PM
Post: #23
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
We could just build it in the level above the lake? That way we just have to destroy the mineshaft if things go bad and we have it blocked off.

Or, we could order parts for a machine to drain the lake, set up our tests there, and be ready to flood it again if things go badly - after all the lake kept the thing in check this long, maybe water could stop it if it started to destroy things.
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12-03-2015, 12:34 AM (This post was last modified: 12-03-2015 08:25 PM by ProfessorLizzard.)
Post: #24
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Great solutions.

Alright, last scenario to test out: Cargo shuttle is offline. A meteor hit a hole through the surface, exposing botany to the harmful Outside Weather. You need to get a food source fast. Tools are the same as the previous scenes. The Terrifying Golden Idol turned out to have the power to turn a nightmare into reality if fed Goldishium.

It is time time
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12-03-2015, 02:32 AM
Post: #25
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
I assume just fixing the hole wouldn't solve the problem?
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12-03-2015, 02:36 AM
Post: #26
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Turn a nightmare?

Provided that we didnt drain the water, i'd scavenge through the wreckage of the botany and use those parts to put up a new one built on top of the lake for an easy water supply. I dont really know.
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12-03-2015, 08:27 PM
Post: #27
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
*turn a nightmare into reality

Checking the place, turns out fixing the hole is a solution, but the repairman would be in a lot of danger while the storm lasts.

It is time time
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12-04-2015, 02:09 AM
Post: #28
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Well i guess my plan wouldnt work either in that case, unless we have seeds or whatever in storage

Could we just sort of slide a barricade onto the spot at the end of the long hallway, above the botany? Would that work?

Another solution could be digging further down in search of a larger cavern and (hopefully) something edible in there, but thats neither safe or reliable. Or in a particularly desperate situation, one could use that artifact to conjure a horrible nightmare critter, then hope to gog that it can be killed and eaten. Locking it inside the botany for the duration of the storm could work. Maybe.
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12-05-2015, 03:59 AM
Post: #29
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
We could turn chimericWilder's well-documented fear of food into a reality. Or, you know, eat the weakest of us.

Seriously though, we could try and lure something to our barricade using the mole-beast's parts as bait and kill it for food, or do the same for anyone who fears beasts (with the goldishium).
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12-07-2015, 09:11 PM
Post: #30
RE: Project D.O.R.F.
Alright. This means the most common scenarios can be solved in a variety of ways. Thanks for the help! This will be ready for business in a few weeks.

If you have any leftover ideas though, feel free to say them.

It is time time
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