Which should I implement?

A Set in Stone Tech Tree with all Predefined Techs
0 (0%)
A Fully Dynamic Tech Tree for Maximum Creativity
3 (50%)
A Mesh of the Two in a Tech tree that is both Dynamic yet well Defined.
3 (50%)

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Author Topic: Need Opinions on an Independent projetc Idea  (Read 601 times)

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Offline TodTheFox

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Need Opinions on an Independent projetc Idea
« on: February 05, 2015, 01:46:46 am »
So for awhile now I've been working on a very special RP(ish)-Board Game(ish) project which follows a similar style to DnD wherein a Player takes control of their own Space Empire in a quest for victory through Domination or Research or otherwise. And naturally since I hope for it to fall more into the category of RP than strenuous board game that makes you wonder why you aren't just playing a 4x Space game I really feel the need to carefully design every aspect to preserve that element of collaborative storytelling while incorporating these DnD style concepts that strive to bring a level or organization required for an RP of this scale and ambition.

Naturally one of the largest problems to plague me is decided to between a predefined Tech Tree or a more Dynamic Tech Tree which allows for Player created Techs. Obviously the later creates a certain degree of worry for unbalancing effects that could potentially occur due to the nature of player created content. I have been very careful to try and keep the game-rp balanced since Players will actually be fighting each other and it just seems like a Dynamic Tech Tree has the capicity to really make or break that precious balance.

At the moment I'm leaning to a mesh of the two which offers predefined tiers within predefined branches of the Tech tree while also allowing for some completely dynamic and new Techs not bound to any given tier but still within an approved branch. To make better sense of this system I will pull out an example: The Mining Section of the Tech Tree would be broken into three Branches: Scanning (For locating Mineral Deposits, thereby increasing mining speed of all Mining Facilities), Drilling (For cutting through harder rocks and stones, used for mining on planets with harder stone types, asteroids, and simply mining deeper into worlds.), and Safe Mining Techniques (Which is a Catch-all for techs regarding Safer Mining for use mainly in random event occurrence.). These branches would then have tiers within them with no defined techs within said tiers, the player would define the techs in those tiers as they moved along the tree however the tiers themselves would remain set in stone such that it won't break the balance for players to define their own techs and everything stays nice and organized as I can define which tiers are able to mine through which stone tiers and what not. An example of Techs not bound to any tier system might be miscellaneous ship modules since that's where creativity can really take hold with things like Drone/Fighter Bays.

So what do you think? Completely Dynamic tree with total player Control (Much harder on the GM)? Set in stone Tech tree with all predefined techs and Tiers? or finally a mesh of the two as mentioned above?

Offline Doaxes

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Re: Need Opinions on an Independent projetc Idea
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 02:40:11 pm »
Well, I'd think ideally you would want a combination of both. Never underestimate your players: if they like the game enough, they will put in the effort to make player-created content that is balanced (just look at D&D). That being said, there will also be players who just want to play the game that's right in front of them, and so you'll want to have a tech tree that functions well by itself. Compromise is important.

I've been involving myself in language construction lately (basically inventing new languages), and I have a similar problem: do I want a grammar and phonology system that is flexible and allows for easy importation of words from other languages, or do I want a grammar system that is strictly defined and can convey meaning as efficiently as possible? In my case, I ultimately came to the conclusion that I would have to compromise between the two, and it looks like this may work the same way. Sounds like you already have a system figured out, too, which is all the better.

Whatever choice you make, good luck! It sounds really cool!