Geneforge 5 - March Update

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AuthorTopic: Geneforge 5 - March Update
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Now that I've spent two months working reasonably hard on Geneforge 5, I can start posting some monthly updates about it.As time goes on, I'm talk about the interface upgrades (considerable), the game system and spell system upgrades, and all the little things that will go into finishing this series.

This will indeed be the last game in the Geneforge saga. At last, you can bring the war to an end. Coming up with a plausible way for one lone person to help end this enormous conflict has been very difficult. The complexity of the game and the storyline is making me a bit dizzy. Still, I think I have it under control.

The storyline and game structure will be much closer to Geneforge 1 and 2. You will wander around and interact with five (FIVE!) different factions. Eventually, you can choose one to fight for. There are all of the options you probably predicted from the previous games, and others that might take you by surprise.

You will start, as usual, as a lone Shaper/lifecrafter. You will be able to choose to be either a Shaper character (the old three choices) or as one of the six different rebel classes. Yes, I am putting in the "missing" sixth character class from the rebel side.

The spell system will be mostly the same, but I am completely reworking how buffs work to make them more interesting and player friendly. I'll go into this more in later months. Suffice it to say for now that the "OK, this fight is tough, I'll put 12 buffs on every character. Zzzz." system had to go.

The big design question for me now is how to handle the "evolved" versions of the creations. Geneforge 4 had stronger versions of creations that started dying immediately so you had to use them quickly. They appear to not have been at all popular. I want to find a better way to approach this. (Note: Making creations during combat is not an option.)

I hope to release the game for the Mac in November. Since I've been making good progress, this seems doable.

- Jeff Vogel

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spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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You're telling us this just to torture us aren't you? :D

Sounds so cool...... :eek: but it is so far away... :(

Simply can't wait! :)
Posts: 21 | Registered: Wednesday, September 12 2007 07:00
Shaper
Member # 7420
Profile Homepage #2
Starcraft II, Fallout 3 and Geneforge 5 all coming out at the same time? I am so going to flunk out of school.

Geneforge 2 was my favorite mostly because of the variety of factions. I have high hopes.

Edit: This kind of reminds me of my favorite Mortal Kombat game, Mortal Kombat: Trilogy, where they just included every fighter, move, and arena from every previous game. It was awesome. Geneforge 5 looks awesome for the same reasons.

[ Wednesday, March 05, 2008 15:14: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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You lose.
Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Agent
Member # 4574
Profile #3
So, from what I can gather, you can play as a Shaper or Rebel from the start, then convert? And five different factions? Of course, there are multiple endings for each... the sheer replaying possibilities brings a tear to my eye.

Now, disregard this section, Jeff. I'm going to go on a whim and say the five factions are Awakened, (the Human Rebellion) Shapers, Takers, (Hardcore Rebels, Drakons) Trakovites, and maybe a loose conglomeration of Barzite/Tullegolite* like characters. (A faction of Monarchs!)

*Actually naming them the Tullegolites would be very interesting...

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"I'm happy I'm the mentally disturbed person I am." -Nioca
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Posts: 1186 | Registered: Friday, June 18 2004 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 9906
Profile Homepage #4
quote:
Now that I've spent two months working reasonably hard on Geneforge 5, I can start posting some monthly updates about it.As time goes on, I'm talk about the interface upgrades (considerable), the game system and spell system upgrades, and all the little things that will go into finishing this series.

This will indeed be the last game in the Geneforge saga. At last, you can bring the war to an end. Coming up with a plausible way for one lone person to help end this enormous conflict has been very difficult. The complexity of the game and the storyline is making me a bit dizzy. Still, I think I have it under control.

The storyline and game structure will be much closer to Geneforge 1 and 2. You will wander around and interact with five (FIVE!) different factions. Eventually, you can choose one to fight for. There are all of the options you probably predicted from the previous games, and others that might take you by surprise.

You will start, as usual, as a lone Shaper/lifecrafter. You will be able to choose to be either a Shaper character (the old three choices) or as one of the six different rebel classes. Yes, I am putting in the "missing" sixth character class from the rebel side.

The spell system will be mostly the same, but I am completely reworking how buffs work to make them more interesting and player friendly. I'll go into this more in later months. Suffice it to say for now that the "OK, this fight is tough, I'll put 12 buffs on every character. Zzzz." system had to go.

The big design question for me now is how to handle the "evolved" versions of the creations. Geneforge 4 had stronger versions of creations that started dying immediately so you had to use them quickly. They appear to not have been at all popular. I want to find a better way to approach this. (Note: Making creations during combat is not an option.)

I hope to release the game for the Mac in November. Since I've been making good progress, this seems doable.

- Jeff Vogel

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

When is it gonna come out for PC?
I is gonna flunk school too, SC2 will destroy my live, G5 is gonna be the painkiller. YES!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jim, the end of the world is here, the Xel'Naga have returned -Zeratul in Starcraft 2 trailer
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Pylons!
Posts: 301 | Registered: Tuesday, August 21 2007 07:00
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We are truly doomed. :D We will die of thirst and hunger. But at least it will be with a smile on our pale faces. :D :P
Posts: 21 | Registered: Wednesday, September 12 2007 07:00
Councilor
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Profile Homepage #6
quote:
You will wander around and interact with five (FIVE!) different factions.
Woo!

quote:
I am completely reworking how buffs work to make them more interesting and player friendly.
Hoo!

Dikiyoba.

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Episode 4: Spiderweb ReloadedEpisode 5: Spiderweb Resistance
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Law Bringer
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Powergamers rejoice as we now have more people to milk for their rewards. This will quickly create an major debate about the best class since lifecrafter versions have more creation abilities versus the original 3 shapers.

I don't think we needed the missing 6th class, but it will end that complaint.

Best news will be a less linear world if we get to wander around to deal with the factions.

Who needs a life outside of the game?

[ Wednesday, March 05, 2008 17:02: Message edited by: Randomizer ]
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
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So I can play an Awakened Servile? I hope so!

And my brother will, I'm sure, be a Tullegolite Agent :P

This is going to be epic. :D

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Love is the movement.
Posts: 432 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2007 07:00
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I'm predicting that the sixth class will be the playable drakon. Which, if magic holds its same strengths, will completely own anything in the hands of an expert.

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Ornks, Guac, Gazers. 'Nuff said.
=:T:=
Posts: 454 | Registered: Monday, August 20 2007 07:00
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Great I'm starting Grad School in the fall. Luckily I should have a hundred or so sick hours by then. "Hey, boss I don't think I'll be in for the next week, I think I caught Geneforge 5".

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Posts: 145 | Registered: Sunday, February 18 2007 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
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Cool! The G1/2 style storyline sounds particularly neat. Does that mean the game will also feature the somewhat open-ended exploration of G1/2?

The "missing" 6th class has the potential to be the strongest class of them all, the Agent Plus.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
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It would be cool if perheaps war tralls be accesible only to shaper charachters and drakes and dragons only to rebell charachters.
Posts: 263 | Registered: Sunday, September 9 2007 07:00
Warrior
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Ending the series with a stylish boom. Props to His Jeffness if he can pull off all of the abovelisted features.

As much as I'd love to start as a Drakon, I don't think it's going to happen... too overpowered from the start. Although, no canisters, presumably. Hm...... Either way, the missing 6th character is probably a reference to the one combo of strength and weakness in magic, melee, and shaping that was left out last time.

I personally beg for pack-Ornks. Realistically, if the Shapers can make modified drayks for boats, they can also make faster Ornks suitable for carrying heavy loads.
Posts: 153 | Registered: Tuesday, December 2 2003 08:00
Infiltrator
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I almost wish I hadn't read this, since now I'm going to go loony waiting for the game. Luckily I don't have far to go.
Posts: 437 | Registered: Sunday, July 13 2003 07:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:

You will be able to choose to be either a Shaper character (the old three choices) or as one of the six different rebel classes.
I like that very much. Walking around as a lifecrafter wasn't quite the same as being a rebellious Shaper.

Of course, everything sounds promising. I really can't wait to end the war.

[ Thursday, March 06, 2008 08:18: Message edited by: Henry Plainview. ]

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Nikki's Nook - You don't want to know.
Posts: 2864 | Registered: Monday, September 8 2003 07:00
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Ha -- a ton of factions, and being able to start from either side. That ought to let everybody find the ending they like to the series. And it brings the entire ideological cast out onstage for the final big number. Lots of replay value too. I just hope it isn't too much to design five good nonlinear plots, without just reverting to the G2-style passive world.

For the sheer heck of it, I think it should be possible to use a G1-style 'real' geneforge, get über, and toast lots of stuff. Fitting that possibility into a satisfying resolution of the serious Geneforge themes, that might be difficult. 'Power is great because it lets you blast stuff' is hardly a final note that does the series justice. If there were a way to combine 'Cordelia increases everything by 10' with a substantial final verdict on unringing a bell, though ... it would be one heck of a game.

Overhauling buffing sounds like a great idea.

The upgraded creation versions have always been kind of hit and miss. The problem is that each upgraded creation type has many direct competitors, and the game cannot require too extreme an optimization. The 5 tiers and 3 creation types already pack the optimality space tightly enough, that the very slight advantage of another creation balanced somewhere between them isn't worth the player's trouble to consider. So unless an upraded type is actually too good, it can't really be popular just on general bang for buck grounds.

It needs to have some kind of specialized edge, that makes it worth taking for a certain kind of character, or a certain situation. The G4 idea of short-lived high-intensity creations seemed brilliant to me, but I didn't use them as a player. They seemed like a good idea, but not like good creations.

Maybe some specialized resistances and attacks can get spread around. Or maybe the skill levels needed to make higher tier creations can be pumped much higher, so that they become too expensive for Guardians, who end up making uprades of lower tiers instead. Or maybe an upgraded creation that's actually defective from the point of view of a Shaper-type, because it has huge health but does negligible damage, but that can save the bacon of a glass cannon Agent by being a really effective meatshield.

Or there's the exact opposite option, of making the upgrades primarily attractive to Shaper-types with lots of essence and creations of all levels. The upgraded forms could be enhancers of other creations, in various ways. Not much use if you're only bringing a few creations, but really effective to have one or two in a squad of 7.

[ Thursday, March 06, 2008 09:12: Message edited by: Student of Trinity ]

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Listen carefully because some of your options may have changed.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
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what is the sixth class? is it a high magic and medium shaping unit? If so, could you make it as an unlockable character that can be available to both shapers and rebel after the game is beaten? In the current setting is seems to me that rebels have too much units(5 or 6) opposed to the shapers that have only three.
Posts: 48 | Registered: Thursday, December 20 2007 08:00
Law Bringer
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Jeff -

Does starting as Shaper or Rebel mean a Nethergate style game? Or is it you pick one of 9 classes, but start at the same point with being a Shaper recruit that joins the Rebels or Rebel recruit starting with the Shapers?

I can almost hear the anguished cry of the lone indy game designer scripting dialog for unaligned and 5 factions with each zone. Not to mention balancing for all the character types.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Agent
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quote:
In the current setting is seems to me that rebels have too much units(5 or 6) opposed to the shapers that have only three.
This is simply because the Shapers are much more efficient.

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Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
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I Can Honestly Say that I began to drool after reading this.
The complexity of it all will be amazing! I can now start of as a loyalist rebel, respecting creation rights, only to turn around and become a loyal Barzite, destroying all those pathetic useless mindless thing's that do not follow me! Oh, I'm already relishing the cruelty in it, town's shall come to fear the name Barzite Bane!

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Die
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Also hoping for a built-in editor. The A5 one is beautiful!

Edit: Typo

[ Friday, March 07, 2008 18:16: Message edited by: Micro Phage ]

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The point of fighting is to win. If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!
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"Also hoping for a built-in editor. The A5 one is beautiful!"

It is extremely likely that this will happen.

- Jeff Vogel

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Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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Will we be seeing boats and/or elevation?

Also, since this game looks like it will get a lot of replay, how about the ability to turn tutorial messages off? No need to ruin the exciting escape from the giant intelligent friendly talking clawbugs (or whatever :P ) by being told how to equip a dagger for the fifth time.

Dikiyoba.

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Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
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quote:
Originally written by Spidweb:

"Also hoping for a built-in editor. The A5 one is beautiful!"

It is extremely likely that this will happen.

- Jeff Vogel

YES! :D

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The point of fighting is to win. If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!
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