Further Game Ideas
Looking further in to the DLARP concept, the basic game mechanics become more apparent. The best way in which to explain them is to run through a brief explanation of how you “play” the game.
DLARP bracelets or “Keys” are sold in tech and game stores much in the same way as AMIIBOS. These Keys are essentially small computers, think “Arduino“, “Fitbit” or “Raspberry Pi” in terms of micro powerhouses. The computers are pre-programmed and cased based on the character type they are designated to. The keys also serve as motion trackers during gameplay and combat as well as assist in interacting with other players through bluetooth and NFC. More than likely the keys will be shaped similarity to the ARDUINO FLORA and thus would need to maintain the same silhouette. The cases however would be moulded in the shape of a symbol based on base class. Basic classes and their sub categories are as follows:
Mages – each subgroup is designated or chooses a specialty. These may include any of the elements, medical assistance (See Priests), game influence etc.
Warriors – Designated either a Light, Medium or Heavy subclass and choose their weapon type: Bow, Axe, Sword, Mace and fighting style One or Two Handed style etc.
Rouges – are a sub group of both warrior or mage class but more suited to travel, less conflict with other factions and better international trade deals.
Upon deciding on a class, you would purchase your key and take it home to charge it and unlock the free mobile app. The app works in coalition with the wearable key and you create your RPG Character. Looks, Name, Class and local factions can be formed and chosen by the player, however, your home and lifestyle dictate your base skill set. Factors such as climate, environment, landmarks, population, as well as basic biometric data set via GPS and scanning by the Key upon immersion dictate your Stamina, Environmental tolerance, Skill set, Noble Allegiance and Basic quests.
So now you’re in and rearing to get out and about to accomplish quests. First thing’s first though you need to familiarise yourself with your new digital landscape. The first thing you see upon creating your character is an introduction to the noble-folk of your region. Developers (Read noble-folk) are chosen by prolific game input. Aside from basic programming and other generic game development employee jobs, Noble-folk require an understanding of their region in order to closely blend the in game world with the real world through synchronising the in game gameplay with events (music festivals, movie premiers etc), quest authorisation and important landmarks. Noble-folk and other elite character classes are chosen once a region has built up enough of a community to form a council. Prior to a council forming, the region is ruled loosely by the head offices. This promotes community building in the game to create more immersive experiences. Noble-folk are elected by state or national officials after applying and expressing prolific game development input. Whether these players are employees or not is a TBA.
Okay so NOW you can get out and about. Quests are the in game way to boost your character’s skills and experience. Your quests are based off of your current experience level, your environment and your character type. Warriors typically start with physical quests such as exercising and building up a healthy lifestyle. Mages are generally requested to complete complex task puzzles and find ways in which they can increase their learning, Priest subgroups tend to focus more on the spiritual, mental, physical and spiritual health of others. Rouges gain the most xp early on by leaving their home and trading with other factions as well as completing the quests set via their umbrella class.
In these early stages you are unable to appear hostile to others but also do not get multiplayer quests or event news.
After completing your first few days of basic tasks such as “take 10 000 steps today” or completing quizzes, you enter the multiplayer world. The personal tracking data from the Key updates your character and you officially join the external world. Your phone app visualises the information but now your Key is your core character. The wolrd, NPC’s and other players are rendered in the world through your phone, similar to the Augmented reality on SNAPCHAT and POKEMON GO. When you pass within bluetooth or GPS range of another player, NPC or in world landmark, your Key will either glow blue for friendly, Purple for in game landmarks or orange when you approach a member of an external faction. Neither of these other character types are inherently hostile but you can choose to attack external faction members. Trading is the other form of interaction between players outside of multiplayer quests. Trading within your faction is the easiest way to trade but more mutual gain is achieved when trading with other factions.
Trading is established over bluetooth and completed over NFC. Combating other players however is completed on the app. The Augmented reality (AR) along with traditional button mashing combat types are used to fight other players. AR is also useful once councils start inputing environmental renders in to their local game and more accessibly during multiplayer quests.
Multiplayer quests are designated either by the state/national officials or local councils depending on the state of the game community in that region. It is advised that you work with others in your region to complete these quests because cross faction completion results in less bounty for each faction’s player. However if you are in another faction, you will get their quests. These quests would mostly comprise of either: Faction conflict, retrieval missions or bounties. The quests are more structured than base quests and thus can usually be rendered through the player’s phone. An example of Multiplayer quests is, a bounty may be put out after a dragon, the creature is impossible to defeat alone so a group of faction members are required to travel to the quest location. Within the phone, other players and the objective (Dragon) are rendered in real time using both your phone and Key’s drives to set up an AR simulation.
Another aspect to the game which was briefly aforementioned is the trading aspect. There are items, perks, potions, money and classes which are all tradable. NPC’s and Quest completion are the best way to circulate money in to the game but players are advised to trade with other players, especially other factions. NPC’s and natural resources are different in different environments so items circulated naturally are specific to each faction.
Another DLARP specific practice is the act of Live action Machinemas. The more a community is built, the more AR can go in to these in game entertainments. Quests, conflicts or character lifestyle can be recorded via the AR mainframe of the app and Key.
Developing a wearable that can be used in the way that the game demands is not an expensive expenditure, powerful micro computers such as the Arduino or Raspberry Pi are not incredibly expensive and hardware development is fairly simple thanks to technological advancements, prices for hardware development would not exceed $50 per unit. The real costs will be the development and maintaining of an AR MMORPG Developing multiplayer interactivity, game items, quests, AR renders, NPCs skill sets, character classes, faction logistics and other basic game developments. However, these large costs are not designated prices per person so would eventually pay itself off if the Game is successful.
The best time and way to market this game is the inevitable evolution of mobile apps as a serious gaming platform. This concept is not ready for the market as of the publishing of this blog post. The market is slowly shifting with the release of the Pokemon Go app theorised to be a literal game changer. The price point for the game would be much higher than any mobile app on the market at this point, edging closer to console game prices. So would be better off kept off market until more traditional “Video-game” prices are more accepted on the App Store.
Target audience members are hard to gauge this early in app game culture, though the main target would be players who are in to RPGs and VR style games. Shadowing Pokemon Go again, the best way to gauge customers would be to see how well more experimental and sophisticated app games faired in the gaming community.
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