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[gm] Introduction


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#1 Pirotic

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 11:39 AM

First of all, big thanks to GP32x for creating/hosting this forum for 'Guardian Monster's. Cheers Lads!

Brief Introduction
GM is a virtual pet game for the GP32 with a strong role-playing element (think Pokemon meets Harvest Moon meets Tamagotchi), your task is to build a Monster Ranch and raise a elite team of monsters who will battle for you in tournaments and undertake missions on your behalf, which in turns earns cash which you can spend in the town to buy new equipment for the monsters, and new items for the ranch (or, if you have enough - buy a new monster egg to raise).

Unlike Pokemon you will not have direct control over any of the monsters, they each have their own agenda and personality, but with some well timed slaps and some treats you can eventually get them to behave how you want them to, and get them to develop the skills you need for your team to function.

The main goal for the player is to build and design a ranch which will keep the monsters happy and allow them to train up skills to help in battle.

Everything costs money, which is why you must pick which missions to undertake and which monsters to send out, as well as taking part in tournaments where the other monster trainers in the region will be.

(perform poorly in a tournament, and less people will want to hire your mosnters for missions!).

Multiplayer will be supported in a couple of ways, basically you can export a monster from your ranch into a file on your SMC, you can then send this file to a friend. allowing you to trade monsters, or via a website multiple people can submit their monsters and have tournaments against one another.

once the tournament has ended the players will be e-mailed their monster file back (if its still alive), along with any money won and the stats gained from battle.

If your an evil sod, why not torture your monster before hand, so as soon as your friend imports it into his ranch, it goes mental and attacks everything in sight ;)

Current Stage
Only a few weeks work at the moment, i'm still working on the basic game engine and the monster AI. It's already being beta tested in order to iron out bugs and basically to get suggestions from people on the direction its taking.

Beta Testing
If you'd like to beta test the project please drop me an e-mail to GM at pirotic dot com, along with your forum handle, your e-mail address and any skills you may have which could help (art/audio etc).

Once you're in, you'll probably get an e-mail once a week of the current build. but instead of e-mailing me back, please report any bugs/ideas/suggestions to this forum, that way the other testers can comment on your ideas and we can keep everything in the open.

Also, please dont post any screenshots or send out the file to anybody - but your free to talk about anything so long as you keep it in this forum for now so we dont pester the other forum go'ers to much.

Also please put [GM] before your thread title, as i had some complaints that the gigas threads showed up to much in the 'Latest Comments'.

Cheers
Well, thats about it for now - im aiming to get a public beta out in a week or so, but i'll answer any questions and post some screenies in the mean-time.

- Pirotic

Edited by Pirotic, 24 October 2004 - 11:41 AM.


#2 Bingo Jesus

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 11:40 AM

This is the release i'm most looking forward to, thanks Pirotic. When do you think you'll want beta-testers?

#3 Pirotic

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 11:43 AM

I'm already sending out beta releases, but its so early that its not much of a game at the moment, and is just for bug finding and suggestions. it has alot of place-holder art etc, so people come back with an idea about how a menu should look or what sort of music it should have etc.. which is always helpfull.

Heres a screenie with the place holder artwork:

Posted Image

Edited by Pirotic, 24 October 2004 - 11:48 AM.


#4 kotd

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 11:52 AM

Just a question will you still finishing gigas? Will there ever bre a turn based engine? Or is this taking over completely?

#5 Pirotic

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 11:55 AM

Just a question will you still finishing gigas? Will there ever bre a turn based engine? Or is this taking over completely?

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Oh yer, forgot to say - im still working on Gigas, i always finish my projects.

I just really want a virtual pet game, the GP32 had one lined up at some stage but i think it got cancelled or something - plus coding AI is interesting, which is why i took it up as a second project.

the challenge with GM is to have all original content, so no ripped graphics or audio - which is why i need artists if any fancy offering a hand ;)

Edited by Pirotic, 24 October 2004 - 11:56 AM.


#6 Tobriand

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 12:10 PM

Just wondering if you could utilise each Gamepark's PDUID in the moster format and behaviour - i.e. if your GP32 has a different PDUID to that which the monster originally came from, it might be restless being away from home. Of course, that would change with time as it got used to its new home, but it would be a nice little thing to make AI even nicer. One way to do it might be to change a letter/number from start to finish of the original PDUID to that of the new unit or some such - moving it repeatedly between, then, 8 different units would completely mess up its sense of home and it'd take ages to get it settled in, but just one move might not take that long.

Or something.

It could, potentially, also be used to create a game-wide economy if you had to register your GP32 in order to get your version working. Then there could be some *massive* online tournaments - you'd send in your monster to someone impartial with time on their hands who'd run the tournament (or better still, it could be sent using a PC client across the web, but that'd be VERY hard). But then the winner of that tournament not only received their monster back, but also a few quests only for the winner or some such. This would of course require that quests were PDUID encoded and in separate files to prevent simply sharing them around.

However, I suspect I'm thinking too big there. Just a couple of ideas though - this game sounds like it could be brilliant once its under way :)

#7 Pirotic

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 12:18 PM

Just wondering if you could utilise each Gamepark's PDUID in the moster format and behaviour - i.e. if your GP32 has a different PDUID to that which the monster originally came from, it might be restless being away from home. Of course, that would change with time as it got used to its new home, but it would be a nice little thing to make AI even nicer. One way to do it might be to change a letter/number from start to finish of the original PDUID to that of the new unit or some such - moving it repeatedly between, then, 8 different units would completely mess up its sense of home and it'd take ages to get it settled in, but just one move might not take that long.

Or something.

It could, potentially, also be used to create a game-wide economy if you had to register your GP32 in order to get your version working. Then there could be some *massive* online tournaments - you'd send in your monster to someone impartial with time on their hands who'd run the tournament (or better still, it could be sent using a PC client across the web, but that'd be VERY hard). But then the winner of that tournament not only received their monster back, but also a few quests only for the winner or some such. This would of course require that quests were PDUID encoded and in separate files to prevent simply sharing them around.

However, I suspect I'm thinking too big there. Just a couple of ideas though - this game sounds like it could be brilliant once its under way :)

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I like the PDUID idea, i dont want to ruin the single player game but i'll def make some rare items which are generated based on PDUID, i can also attach the last few PDUID's to the monsters, so they remember where they came from etc.. so they might not fight so well against a previous owner or something.

the tournaments will be done via a website, you just submit your monster file into the tournament you want, and you'll get e-mail updates and then at the end get your monster back along with whatever you won. you can also place 'bets' on monsters if you dont fancy taking part in the fights directly, as you can export cash the same way you can items and use that to bet with.

for now tho i'll just focus on 2 on 2 fights where you just send your monster to a friend or a third party who'll host it on his GP32 for you (the host doesn't have any advantage, other than he can watch the fight).

my main worry is monster theft, if he doesn't export the monster back into the file and send it back etc... which i'll need to think up a solution for.

#8 Bingo Jesus

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 12:54 PM

How about this

Monster data is contained in two files:
encypted.dat
unencrypted.dat (The Export file)

unencrypted.dat is updated whenever encrypted is, but only contains the monster stats (not game data like money ect.) and can be read by any other GamePark.

unencrypted.dat is found in GP://GPMM/~whatever~/Export/unencrypted.dat and whenever you wish to send the moster you send this file.

When you recieve the file back you put it into GP://GPMM/~whatever~/Import/unencrypted.dat and next time you run GM it updates both encypted.dat and unencrypted.dat.

#9 Mark

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 01:13 PM

That sounds great.

What about something that asks you the month when you turn it on, and creates a nice weather effect and music to match :)

#10 Topcat

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 01:13 PM

Sounds brilliant :D

What kind of music did you have in mind ??
.. and which format (mod, wav, ???) ??

#11 Tobriand

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 01:27 PM

You could always put a timelimit into monster files as an option (which you'd be told about when you import it) - i.e. it'll only run on a GP other than its owner's for say 2 hours of play-time, which ought easily to be enough to do a tournament. Or however long the owner decided to set (with presumably most tournaments including a proviso that should the time expire before the tournament was completed, all further fights were default losses). A sensible max for this would be, say, 24 hours - perhaps a bit long, but better that than too short.

This eliminates the incentive to steal monsters. It does not eliminate the possibility of the monster being unfairly treated whilst away from home. This, I think, is harder to deal with.

However, do bear in mind that a lot of the time, honour is perfectly good. If I lend a friend a DVD, I expect it back soonish, and not in bad condition. If it isn't in good condition when it returns, I yell at that friend a bit and we fall out for a day or two until he says sorry. Why shouldn't the same apply to a monster - if a friend nicks it from you, you simply don't lend it to anyone again.

A much larger issue, perhaps, would be monster duping. That is, exporting your monster, sticking it on a website, and then just letting every Tom, Dick, and Harry use it at the same time. And possibly even enter it into the same competitions, etc.

This could be gotten round, simply, by having the program create a file you needed to send to someone in order to transfer ownership of a monster (less of an issue with time-limited ones, I think). Either their PDUID or a file containing essentially just that. The Monster, once exported, would be encrypted in such a way as to only be readable on your unit (if the swap fell through) or theirs - anyone else'd get an error.

But to be honest, the moment you start transfering data between GP32s in a situation like this, there open up thousands of possible abuses. Some you or a tester will notice in advance, some no-one will until they start showing up. But that's why patches arrive - as long as you leave space on the end of Monster files for future fixes (say about 100kb or something, depending on how big they end up) you can probably take most of the issues as they actually arrive...

#12 Ernest

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 01:29 PM

Wow, im definately looking forward to this, best of luck with the project, and if you need any music for the game let me know im happy to help. ;)

Edited by Ernest, 24 October 2004 - 01:31 PM.


#13 pakoito

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 01:30 PM

Mp3 or wma of course!!!! It'll be nice to listen to your favourite songs while you're playing, so you can use it both as a players an also as a game at the same time, which is something you can't do with any gp program (any I know)

Edited by pakoito, 24 October 2004 - 01:31 PM.


#14 Vimacs

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 01:51 PM

this sounds DAMN nice

#15 Pirotic

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Posted 24 October 2004 - 02:56 PM

You could always put a timelimit into monster files as an option (which you'd be told about when you import it) - i.e. it'll only run on a GP other than its owner's for say 2 hours of play-time, which ought easily to be enough to do a tournament. Or however long the owner decided to set (with presumably most tournaments including a proviso that should the time expire before the tournament was completed, all further fights were default losses). A sensible max for this would be, say, 24 hours - perhaps a bit long, but better that than too short.

This eliminates the incentive to steal monsters. It does not eliminate the possibility of the monster being unfairly treated whilst away from home. This, I think, is harder to deal with.

However, do bear in mind that a lot of the time, honour is perfectly good. If I lend a friend a DVD, I expect it back soonish, and not in bad condition. If it isn't in good condition when it returns, I yell at that friend a bit and we fall out for a day or two until he says sorry. Why shouldn't the same apply to a monster - if a friend nicks it from you, you simply don't lend it to anyone again.

A much larger issue, perhaps, would be monster duping. That is, exporting your monster, sticking it on a website, and then just letting every Tom, Dick, and Harry use it at the same time. And possibly even enter it into the same competitions, etc.

This could be gotten round, simply, by having the program create a file you needed to send to someone in order to transfer ownership of a monster (less of an issue with time-limited ones, I think). Either their PDUID or a file containing essentially just that. The Monster, once exported, would be encrypted in such a way as to only be readable on your unit (if the swap fell through) or theirs - anyone else'd get an error.

But to be honest, the moment you start transfering data between GP32s in a situation like this, there open up thousands of possible abuses. Some you or a tester will notice in advance, some no-one will until they start showing up. But that's why patches arrive - as long as you leave space on the end of Monster files for future fixes (say about 100kb or something, depending on how big they end up) you can probably take most of the issues as they actually arrive...

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What i figured is, when you export a monster you have to select if your giving it away, or just entering it in a comp. as each player has a name, i'll get it so when you give it away you must enter the name of the player your giving it to, and if your entering it into a comp, the comp must be within 24 hours of the file being exported else it wont work.

as the multiplayer comps will be done via a website, i can make it check that no monsters are clones (each monster has a unique 'DNA' which is used to calculate its personality, this along with stuff such as original owner can easily spot clones).

Like you said, it may just be an issue of trust if you 'lend' it to a friend so he can play with it for a bit... but, how about when you lend it you pick how quickly you want it returned, and if the guy you lend it too keeps it over that amount of time, the monster will just sulk and refuse to do anything until it goes back.

hopefully that'll address everything.