Call for an Erfworld Video Game

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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Rejun » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:44 pm

I'm going to chime in with some thoughts (rather than continuing to just read), as I see some concerning things in this thread.

  • Design by committee is going to fail, this project needs a benevolent dictator to go anywhere. Evidenced by no code, and no design document even preliminarily produced in the month and a week (!) this threads been around.
  • Committing to Java is silly. Don't get me wrong, I do a lot of work in Java and its a fine language, but the libraries for decent game user interface just aren't there. Do it in C# using WPF or XNA, its close enough to Java to be easily picked up by those that want to contribute, but it won't look god awful. Heck, do it in Python with Pygame if that's better for those involved (I doubt it). Erfworld is simple enough, that a reference implementation on Windows* should be good enough for someone to hack-up ports to Linux & Mac if anyone wants one.
  • Pet peeve; game rules aren't patentable, they're a process. Art, names, basic copyrightable material can be denied; game rules independent of non-obvious apparatuses cannot. That being said, I think those involved can agree not to try and monetize the game on principle.
  • MMO vs. RTS vs. RPG vs. Wii-waggle ( :lol: ) discussions aren't contributing anything. Erfworld is clearly a turn based strategy game played on a hex grid. Even if some coherent argument for RTS or MMO is made, there's no way a community as small as Erfworld's could possibly produce either in a reasonable time frame.
  • Seriously, where's the code?

*Lets leave any debate on the merits of each OS elsewhere. Bang-for-buck chooses Windows as the target OS if there's only one.

I'd suggest those who care to, or have already, volunteered to contribute take a personal, one-man-team hack at building something to serve as the basis of the project. Heck, there's even the possibility of competing designs from which the "best" can be chosen more communally.

To contribute something other than nitpicking, here's a PDF (, since attachments aren't permitted) where I went through comic by comic and tried to pick out the rules as they were introduced. Its not a design document by any means, but it collects a lot of information that's just kind of floating out there together.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Doktor Jones » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:41 am

I'm fascinated by this concept, and hope it can be implemented well :)

A few ideas...
  • I think it should unquestionably be a TBS. I've grokked from the rest of this thread that the goal is to make a game based on the mechanics of Erfworld -- the mechanics are inherently tied to the notion of turn-based action, thus you cannot have an Erfworld game that is not turn-based.
  • I'd love to see it done with pixel art. Sprites are cheap these days, and it's something even I can do! Beyond approximating the "feel" of Erfworld, I think graphics are at best tangential to the creation of an Erfworld game.
  • While UI design is a ways off, this idea ties into the actual mechanics, so I'll bring it up. I think there should only be one level of hexes, but that the player should be able to zoom in and out. When zoomed out, a hex might only have the sprite (assuming pixel art style) of the Warlord/Commander/Caster/most powerful unit, and a number indicating total unit count. A medium level of zoom could have a sprite for each stack, with a number below the sprite indicating units in the stack. Fully zoomed in, you would see sprites for each unit.
  • Rules will have to be determined. Those rules that aren't canonically defined will have to be hashed out; if a non-canon rule is later contradicted by canon, well, there will just have to be an update. There cannot, by definition, be rule-breaking capability such as Parson has -- to my knowledge, any breaking of rules would still have to be defined in the code, and thus you're not so much "breaking rules" as "unearthing hidden rules".
  • I think it would be most Erf-like if each player were an Overlord, controlling an entire side. While the "Overlord" unit generally stays at the capital, the player could opt to send the unit into battle (or flee, if they feel their capital is about to be taken).

That said, I have a question: should the map be based on Erfworld, with Erfian landmarks and cities, or will this be more a "parallel" universe? If the latter, I'd love to have a hand in conceiving and mapping the world; I don't feel I have enough knowledge about the geographic layout of Erfworld to assist with the former though.

Lastly, some definitions need to be agreed upon in the very near future. While they won't be set in stone, the team needs to define certain things so that coders and producers have definite goals to work toward. Here's a (very) incomplete list:
  • What stats units will have (Hits, power, defense, move, level, special, etc)
  • What terrain types there are (field, desert, forest, water, mountain, lava, etc)
  • How resources are managed (do all players get a fixed amount of shmuckers based on how many cities/whatever they control? do they have to dedicate units and/or hexes to production, which determines the rate of income? something else?)

It's 2:40 in the morning and I have to get up at 7, so I'm going to call it quits now. Hopefully this provides at least a few extra milliamps to the collective grid powering those light bulbs above everyone's heads ;)
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby lathomas64 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:28 am

anyone besides depricated still working on this?
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby madmaw » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:19 am

I'm working on ... something. There are some mechanics of Erfworld that I'm not sure I like as game rules (was kind of thinking of something more like Dwarf Fortress with graphics and hexes), and there are a couple of ideas in the forum that I wasn't enamored with, so I've gone off and am doing something on my own for now. It's very early stages yet and what I have done could be used for just about anything that features an isometric view of fully-deformable 3D terrain. You can see progress here (probably will be the first visitor that isn't me if you actually click on this) ... p?blogId=1

If things come together and I like the direction of the Erfworld game and/or I abandon the project, I'll donate the code.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Firkraag » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:32 pm

Erfworld: Turn-based strategy and real-time tactics. It'd make a great mod for the Total War series of games, if I knew how to do that.
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Re: Call for an Erfworld Video Game

Postby Kazagistar » Sun Dec 06, 2009 3:12 am

I will leave it to everyone on this forum to kindly assemble all the rules, and perhaps even some textured models for Erfworld. I will simply code a nice little python mod for Elemental: War of Magic, and release it with the most permissive share-alike license I can find.

If that is not benevolent dictator, I don't know what is... good luck, see you in a few months!
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