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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Lightbulb A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Have you grown tired with what modern MMO have to offer? Do you feel thereís not enough role-playing in role-playing games? Do you dream of being part of and have an impact on massive fantasy world? To truly be a part of an epic story rather than have some NPC get all the credit?

    I wanted something more from MMORPG experience - a living, breathing world, with players filling roles in all walks of life. A world not unlike those created by the game masters in the traditional role playing games. For a long time I struggled to figure out how this could be achieved and after much pondering I came up with a new, outlandish approach to playing MMORPGs. And thatís when I decided to create Soulforged.

    The gameplay in Soulforged is nothing like your usual World of Warcraft. The main way of interacting with the game is issuing actions for your avatar to do and simply leave them to their own devices, where actions can take from a few seconds to hours. The world persists at all times and your avatar is always present in the game world - carrying out action you assigned. The game enables varying game styles which allow you to tailor your role to fit your daily life by adjusting how often you interact with the game. In the world of Soulforged you could take on any of the many roles the game presents:
    • As an explorer traverse the world and survive the dangers all to find new exotic materials or locations;
    • As a researcher you would collect all the different items and produce available and trying to work out how they can be combined to discover new recipes;
    • As a crafter - be it a smith, leatherworker or one of many other - you will use your skills to produce useful items and, as your skill increases, you will get to make some really rare and powerful pieces;
    • As a farmer your character will simply spend most of their day tending to the crops and while you decide what to produce;
    • As a trader you can spend the time travelling between different player-made towns and provide the materials or gear that might be in demand, but lacking due to resources or skill;
    • As an adventurer you will be venturing into dangerous and rewarding dungeons that reward very active and full engaged play style;



    At no point you are required to commit to a single style, you can mix, match and maybe find new ways to interact with the game and other players. Whatever the case is, to fully leverage your playstyle youíll want to engage with other players - who will be providing gear, nutrition, materials or other items, all of which will enable you to better perform in the aspects of the game that matter to you.

    The game can sometimes be harsh, almost unforgiving. When taking the risks your character may end up suffering serious injury or dying. Death in this game has a serious impact - your character will take with them their skills and drop anything they carried. But that doesnít mean no meaningful progress can be made - you will keep anything you have in your storage and any recipes you have previously researched. In addition to that, your future characters can be customized with various unlockable traits. And while death may look scary, thereís no escaping it - as characters grow old they all eventually depart.

    All you need to play the game is having a Google account. As for the pricing - thereís no upfront cost, no fees, no credit cards, no subscriptions, no micro-transactions. In other words - thereís no way to spend any money on this game and there are no plans on changing that in the future. This is a passion project that is managed on a very low budget and thatís what enables this model to work.

    Please bear in mind that the game is very much work in progress and it keeps evolving and improving fairly regularly. Iím also very interested to hear feedback, criticism or feature requests for the game - even with a handful of players who engaged with my game so far I already had a lot of useful feedback and many changes were made to the game based on that, all to provide a better experience.

    Would you like to learn more? Check out the website and be sure to take a look at the feature list - https://soulforged.net/pages/#/about/featureList

    If youíd like to play, then head straight to https://soulforged.net:8443/

    I'd love to hear from you what you think about this concept and the execution! I welcome all constructive feedback, criticism (no matter how harsh!) and suggestions!
    Last edited by Ethnar; 2019-05-26 at 01:16 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: An fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Ok - I find parts of the interface somewhat counter intuitive. It took me a long time to figure out how to make a sharpened rock, for instance. But otherwise, so far, it seems fine.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Itís funny you say itís dissimilar to WoW, yet the description isnít that far off from WoW :P

    Well, except player-made towns. Maybe WoW + Minecraft.

    It sounds interesting, but alas I have no free time. Not enough to start an MMO anyway.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Ok - I find parts of the interface somewhat counter intuitive. It took me a long time to figure out how to make a sharpened rock, for instance. But otherwise, so far, it seems fine.
    Hi Kaptin Keen!

    Thanks a lot for giving it a go! The UI is indeed far from perfect and I keep improving it whenever I can - only I need the input of new players to see the problems. Can you point me to anything more specific that was throwing you off? Was it the tabs, the specific icons used maybe?

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    Itís funny you say itís dissimilar to WoW, yet the description isnít that far off from WoW :P

    Well, except player-made towns. Maybe WoW + Minecraft.

    It sounds interesting, but alas I have no free time. Not enough to start an MMO anyway.
    Hi Danzibr!

    I think I can see where you can find some similarities, but for the most part WoW is about spending time right in front of the screen, possibly hours. That's very different from how Soulforged is played. Another major difference I'd bring up is that at the end of the day in WoW you're either on the progression line of leveling-dungeons-raiding or really just treat it as a social hub - in this game there are many small, simple ways to contribute and no player can simply cover all the angles of this game.

    And well, obviously the graphics are way more beautiful than WoW, no? ;)

    I'm glad to hear the description piqued your interested, thanks! I'd still encourage you to give it a try - just to register and see how the game works. Maybe you'll find this game is much more accommodating to someone with little free time? :)

    Cheers!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: An fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethnar View Post
    Hi Kaptin Keen!

    Thanks a lot for giving it a go! The UI is indeed far from perfect and I keep improving it whenever I can - only I need the input of new players to see the problems. Can you point me to anything more specific that was throwing you off? Was it the tabs, the specific icons used maybe?
    Well, good question. I honestly don't even know what I did right. So stones can become sharpened rocks, but to do that I need a hammering tool - which, apparently, cannot be a rock. I cannot combine sticks with rocks to make a hammer, even though that seemed fairly obvious, with those two things being present in the starting area.

    But then, I passionately loathe crafting systems, so maybe I'm entirely the wrong guy to be testing this =D

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Well, good question. I honestly don't even know what I did right. So stones can become sharpened rocks, but to do that I need a hammering tool - which, apparently, cannot be a rock. I cannot combine sticks with rocks to make a hammer, even though that seemed fairly obvious, with those two things being present in the starting area.

    But then, I passionately loathe crafting systems, so maybe I'm entirely the wrong guy to be testing this =D
    I should study a bit how new players perceive the crafting & research interface. Stone can be used as a hammering tool (you can see that when yo tap on a stone in your inventory), but to make a hammer, you need something to help attach that stone to the sticks. There's another half-product you can get out of twigs, if you use the right tool - and that will help. I'd like to invite you to ask any questions about the game either here or on the Discord server (you can get access to the server using in-game settings panel)! Crafting is just a part of the game and you can also scour the area (there might be some items on the ground here and there) or check with other players to get your tools or recipes. :)

    Thanks again for playing the game! :)

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    So, the first impression I'm left with from this game is that it's an idle game, with a heavy emphasis on idle. One of the first quests involves moving around, and I almost just quit when I noticed that to move a hex would take me about half an hour. This is only the very first impressions. We'll see how I feel about things tomorrow when I've finally made my move. But right now, I feel like the game moves veeeeery slow.

    EDIT: Also, unable to join the discord server using the in game button.
    Last edited by Maryring; 2019-05-27 at 04:00 AM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maryring View Post
    So, the first impression I'm left with from this game is that it's an idle game, with a heavy emphasis on idle. One of the first quests involves moving around, and I almost just quit when I noticed that to move a hex would take me about half an hour. This is only the very first impressions. We'll see how I feel about things tomorrow when I've finally made my move. But right now, I feel like the game moves veeeeery slow.

    EDIT: Also, unable to join the discord server using the in game button.
    Hi Maryring!

    Thanks for giving the game a chance!

    First - I'm very thankful for your report about discord, that's a big oopsie on my end - I didn't update the code to match latest discord API. That has been fixed now, the button should be working alright.

    As for the idleness of the game - I do get where you're coming from, I think it's only fair. But it is my belief that the game has so much more to offer than idle games (as for instance described on wikipedia). There's a world that you can interact with and change and other players you can interact with. It's true and I don't shy away from that - many activities take a very long time. That's why the game is pre-built with notifications (for browsers, android phones and via Discord) so that you can interact with the game when your attention is needed.

    But it's that long action time that really enables you, as the player, to make meaningful decisions on what you want your character to focus on. That what makes a ranger patrolling the nearby forest appreciated; a trader hauling their goods half across the world provide valuable resources to distant town. Because nothing's immediate, players could hire others for the "boring" guard duty or escort - a meaningful quest driven by players.

    I get it's an outlandish idea and I myself often choose games where the results are more immediate, but I feel there's still room for something new, something different. :)

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Doing things takes a really long time - I agree entirely with Maryring on that.

    That can work, though, but it seems to me the balance is wrong. I can log on, start one action that takes a bunch of time, and ... propable I wont log on again until hours later (say after work) or the next day. I'd guess the result becomes that people don't do anything. Seen more than a couple of characters actively starving to death, and that's .. not ideal.

    On the other hand, don't get me wrong, I'm impressed with the amount of work that's gone into this. I like the artwork, the whole style of the game is appealing. But it's really slow.

    Maybe ... a queue? Or an action economy?

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Aren't advertisements against the board rules?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Doing things takes a really long time - I agree entirely with Maryring on that.

    That can work, though, but it seems to me the balance is wrong. I can log on, start one action that takes a bunch of time, and ... propable I wont log on again until hours later (say after work) or the next day. I'd guess the result becomes that people don't do anything. Seen more than a couple of characters actively starving to death, and that's .. not ideal.

    On the other hand, don't get me wrong, I'm impressed with the amount of work that's gone into this. I like the artwork, the whole style of the game is appealing. But it's really slow.

    Maybe ... a queue? Or an action economy?
    The kind of dynamic where you leave the character to their own devices for half an hour+ is intended in the design. I wanted to avoid situation where the players feel glued to the screen all the time or wake up middle of the night to issue an order - hence the energy/sleep implementation. And the cost is, as you say, everything takes a very long time. It's an experiment and from the some very early tests I conducted previously it'd seem it's actually workable.

    The starving to death scenario - it's unfortunate, yes, but that's part of the reason the tutorial island exists - that way I don't really mind much if people give it a try and then decide it's not their cup of tea - the game definitely won't be enjoyed by everyone. That's I'm guessing the most likely scenario - people just finding it's not their cup of tea.

    Limited Queuing is available, but if you get to explore the game more - it's not a surefire way to help players. Especially when travelling long distances - enemies may appear in the way or the resource that you queued up to gather might be gone.

    I keep considering action economy, but there's lots of intertwined problems associated with it with how the game is currently designed.

    And last but not least - thank you very much for the kind word, it really means a lot to me. If you decide to stick around - there's so much more to see in the game already, and I keep adding more stuff :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Aren't advertisements against the board rules?
    Hi Rynjin!

    Thanks for popping by with the question. Because the game has no monetary strings attached whatsoever, it is fine with the rules. I read the rules through and through and still wasn't 100% sure, so I asked the question in this thread: /forums/showthread.php?588608-Advertising-own-non-profit-game (sorry, can't post a full link atm) and got a positive response.
    Last edited by Ethnar; 2019-05-27 at 05:16 PM.

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    That's cool, actually. I thought there were rules against shilling your own stuff even if there was no money involved.

    Might need to make a thread in Media soon then.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    That's cool, actually. I thought there were rules against shilling your own stuff even if there was no money involved.

    Might need to make a thread in Media soon then.
    Cool! Not involving any money does make many things simpler indeed. :)

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Ok, so .. I'm not crazy about losing all progress after the tutorial (ok, it's not all progress - just as close as makes any difference), but what I really disagree with is getting sufficiently wounded gathering sticks and stones to get started, that I'm now unlikely to survive. That's actually BS.

    Just to emphasize: I was hurt 5 times out of 10 gathering wheat. I'm dying from farming. That's abysmally bad game design. Sorry. If you want players, that has to go.
    Last edited by Kaptin Keen; 2019-05-30 at 05:56 AM.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Hi Kaptin Keen,

    Sorry about your recent bad experience.

    The way the game is designed, two major factors play a role when taking an action - skill and statistics.

    Wheat is actually quite difficult to pick up [in the game] and that difficulty translates to increased chance of injury (and the severity of the injuries). This can be mitigated by having higher skill (in case of gathering plants that's Foraging) and to get that higher skill the best way is to find some easier resources to gather first.

    From the statistics perspective Dexterity can be very important when it comes to difficult tasks as the higher the dexterity - the smaller then chance and severity of an injury. As all other stats, new characters start with fairly low values, but by day 15, when they turn adult, the Dexterity should be enough to attempt some extremely difficult tasks without immediately risking your life.

    With all that said - again I'd like to apologize for the bad experience you suffered. I realized that I don't sufficiently explain any of this through the game and I'll be looking to improve that.
    Last edited by Ethnar; 2019-05-31 at 08:42 AM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Don't apologize - I'm not mad at you. Nor, particularly, at the game.

    A mechanic in your game killed the character I played for doing something a child could do safely without trying. It killed that character with no recourse open - I had no option other then gathering ressources, and I had no options except to die after I did.

    If you want feedback, and I assume this thread is at least partially for feedback, then ponder that fact. You cannot ask for feedback, then ignore everything people tell you.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    As a designer of this game I feel responsible for the experience people are having. If there's a strong disconnect how the game works and what people would reasonably expect - that's bad, in my opinion, and I do feel I want to apologize that - it's a way for me to express I respect that you, as the game itself comes second and it's about the players and the experience.

    A mechanic in your game killed the character I played for doing something a child could do safely without trying.
    Reading that I feel I see where the disconnect it. I think you had a reasonable expectation that this action should be safe, that it shouldn't cause any real harm. But when I designed the game I have to split the activities across the range of skill levels and wheat makes sense to be more difficult to forage for - not only because of what it is, but what it can be used for.

    And that lead me to realize that the game really did fail in conveying that picking up wheat in this game is not something that's trivial.

    When it comes to your choices, could I ask you to tell me a bit more about how limited they were? I try to make it feasible that the starting area on the mainland has a number of option available for the players, with couple of plains areas available and ensuring the hostile creatures are not too deadly.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Maybe picking wheat in Death Valley? Or wheat with poisonous barbs? Or wheat that fights back like that corn boss in Castle Crashers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by danzibr View Post
    Maybe picking wheat in Death Valley? Or wheat with poisonous barbs? Or wheat that fights back like that corn boss in Castle Crashers?
    Hmm.... having a wheat monster that you may awake sometimes when gathering, that could be "fun". ;)

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethnar View Post
    Reading that I feel I see where the disconnect it.
    I feel you're skipping pretty lightly over the part where I died from picking wheat! No justification is going to make that alright. Even if wheat somehow turns into tactical nukes, there is no way for it to be reasonable for wheat to be that dangerous to pick. It's .... grass!

    You asked for feedback. Please show me some sort of hint that you have any ability to listen to it, otherwise the exercise has a very strong feeling of futility.

    Going from memory alone, the starting area has sticks, stones and wheat. I was hungry right from the start. So I picked wheat, imagining it would be food - not, silly me, that it would eat me. When I realised the danger, I did the only other thing I could do in the area: I made an axe. Because the only other food around was guarded by spiders. So I went there, killed the spiders ...... then bled out!

    If you see nothing wrong in this, I cannot further explain the problem to you.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    I feel you're skipping pretty lightly over the part where I died from picking wheat! No justification is going to make that alright. Even if wheat somehow turns into tactical nukes, there is no way for it to be reasonable for wheat to be that dangerous to pick. It's .... grass!
    I don't believe I'm skipping lightly over the death of your character, but it is true that I don't find it unacceptable. Death is something that happens and sometimes due some weird circumstances - it remains an integral part of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    You asked for feedback. Please show me some sort of hint that you have any ability to listen to it, otherwise the exercise has a very strong feeling of futility.
    I have stated a few times earlier how your feedback actually influenced me and made me reconsider and improve the early game experience. I actually implemented a number of changes prompted by this conversation. I'm sorry, but it sounds a bit that if I don't change exactly what you would expect me to change about the game, that means to you I'm not listening to your feedback - and I don't think that's very fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Going from memory alone, the starting area has sticks, stones and wheat. I was hungry right from the start. So I picked wheat, imagining it would be food - not, silly me, that it would eat me. When I realised the danger, I did the only other thing I could do in the area: I made an axe. Because the only other food around was guarded by spiders. So I went there, killed the spiders ...... then bled out!
    The resources in each of the locations are randomized, I don't control what resource pops up where exactly. It's possible that for a brief time an area could lack food. That's also something that is explained in the tutorial. Then - there are other players who from what I see are very happy to help people in game, even if that requires a day of travel from them to bring the food. And also - there's a way to manage bleeding effects in the game, in a few ways, and the materials to do that are guaranteed to be available.

    Also - all of that is the reason why Rook Island is where players start the game, since it's a much more controlled environment and food is always available there.

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Ok. Last try.

    Wheat killed my character. There is no way that's sane game design. If a player of a game you created tells you 'I was killed by wheat' - you really have only one viable out. You say 'oh, that sounds like a bug - I'll fix that right away.'

    I was killed by wheat. A vegetable so unthreatening it's been feeding all other forms of life since the beginning of time. At no time, ever, has wheat fought back. You can choke on wheat and die, or a field can catch fire and burn you - but wheat cannot do anything on it's own to harm you.

    I killed spiders that were designed to fight back. No sweat. The wheat was FAR ... MORE ... DANGEROUS ... than the spiders were.

    I don't care about the character. I've played video games since 1985, I don't get overly attached to pixel men.

    Hey - I have a comparison for you! Remember the wolves? In Skyrim? Right? The wolves that would level along with you, so when you're level 117 you can run into a random wolf, and it kills you. That was a massive outrage. See my point, there?

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    A key part of game design is taking into account your players' psychology and not just the raw balance numbers. That's why you take like 3 classes on coding and about 16 on team building, leadership, psychology, and social studies type classes.

    On paper, wheat being a dangerous activity is reasonable because it provides a lot of benefit, which should commensurately involve an equal cost.

    In reality, your players (as seen here) are going to find it stupid because it's not an intuitive mechanic and doesn't mesh well with reality.

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    I must say - I appreciate your persistence Kaptin, I really do.

    I gave it some more thought and I decided to rename the plant formerly known as Wheat so it won't potentially send signals as to the difficulty of picking it up. It's called Razorgrain now.

    The reason why reducing the difficulty won't simply work is due to the later usages of that plant and the tools required - early, hungry characters are quite unlikely to manage to get the edible produce out of it in time.

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Game loads but a lot of buttons/functions do not work on mobile (Chrome browser on a Galaxy s7). I'd either include support for it, or when a user tries to connect from a mobile source, redirect them to a page indicating it is not supported
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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by tigerusthegreat View Post
    Game loads but a lot of buttons/functions do not work on mobile (Chrome browser on a Galaxy s7). I'd either include support for it, or when a user tries to connect from a mobile source, redirect them to a page indicating it is not supported
    Hello tigerusthegreat!

    That sounds really, really bad. Thanks for reporting this! Would you be so kind as to provide a screenshot of how the game looks like on your mobile?

    I really would expect all Samsung S4+ phones with Chrome to work just fine. I'll see if I can reproduce anything with emulation.

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethnar View Post
    It's called Razorgrain now.
    Brilliant. That's basically all it takes. I might have suggested another solution - making those later uses for wheat require something harder to get, or more dangerous - but it does the trick regardless.

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    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Brilliant. That's basically all it takes. I might have suggested another solution - making those later uses for wheat require something harder to get, or more dangerous - but it does the trick regardless.
    Awesome, feels really good to have this resolved! Again - thanks for your persistence, I think the game is better thanks to it. :)

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    May 2019

    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethnar View Post
    Hello tigerusthegreat!

    That sounds really, really bad. Thanks for reporting this! Would you be so kind as to provide a screenshot of how the game looks like on your mobile?

    I really would expect all Samsung S4+ phones with Chrome to work just fine. I'll see if I can reproduce anything with emulation.
    I've installed an emulator and configured all the options to best reflect a Galaxy S7 device. Installed Chrome on it and tried to access the game - everything worked as expected.

    Can you tell me the Android version and Chrome version on your device? I was running Android 6.0 x86 Marshmallow, Chrome 74.0.3729.157

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    tigerusthegreat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default Re: A fresh take on Online Roleplaying Game (free)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethnar View Post
    I've installed an emulator and configured all the options to best reflect a Galaxy S7 device. Installed Chrome on it and tried to access the game - everything worked as expected.

    Can you tell me the Android version and Chrome version on your device? I was running Android 6.0 x86 Marshmallow, Chrome 74.0.3729.157
    Chrome: 74.0.3729.157
    Android 8.0.0 SM-G930P Build/R16NW

    During the tutorial, the button for continue/complete quest doesn't work. It is clickable, but doesn't do anything.

    To specify, the very first mission where you wait to talk to the cloaked figure, didn't pop up until I reloaded the page. Once I did that it seems to be working.

    Other Feedback: Default quantity on eating/using to the minimum (1). I almost ate all my bread in one click.
    Last edited by tigerusthegreat; 2019-06-03 at 02:30 PM.
    The Chaotic Evil Dungeon Master

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