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 Post subject: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 21st, 2013, 8:27 am 
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Found this awesome blog post (the rest of the blog is pretty awesome too):

http://rottenpulp.blogspot.com/2013/03/negadungeon.html

Quote:
If you're in a Negadungeon, you've fucked up. Everything within will:

A. Curse you
B. Trigger traps
C. Unleash unspeakable evils
D. All of the above.

It is not made to entertain you; it is made to destroy you. It holds nothing but negatreasure and negaexperience.


What if the dungeon itself is a horrible experience, but you're collecting lots of treasure and awesome gear which makes it feel almost worthwhile. Sure you've had to do some horrible things to get through the dungeon and one of your party members is now permanently dead, but look at all this sick loot! And it's not just ordinary good loot; it's loot that's really good and very fitting for the party. If someone's specialized in axes, there will be a really powerful axe (possibly generated with the attributes of that character's current weapon, except much better).
Once you step outside the dungeon however all the gold turns to sand, your weapons turn fragile and shatter on the first hit and worn items become cursed.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 21st, 2013, 8:35 am 
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Being Grimdark to the point of parodying myself, I love this concept.
Going through terrible hardships for absolutely nothing really appeals.
Although putting it into a modern/scifi context would be preferable to going in an actual dungeon.

Can't stand fantasy most of the time.

Darkchild


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 21st, 2013, 11:20 am 
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It has the masochism thing going on, which I am a fan of.

Also, at one point all the grimdark will simply be normal to you, which means you have at least learned something. Nothing makes the human spirit grow better then going trough a lot of bad shit that's all for nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2013, 5:57 am 
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Was Hotline Miami not a bit of a Negadungeon? In the end he devs tell you that it's all pointless.

Although I'd like to point out that if you are making a Negadungeon in a digtal game, you better make the moment-to-moment-gameplay be fun, even if you are doing horrible in-universe things. This is something I'd want to make, and see how people play it, as a digital game.

The "we must keep going or all this will be for nothing" is broken by "it WAS for nothing" in the end puts more focus on the journey to the goal than the goal itself. You might think you're saving the world, or helping someone in need, but in the process of doing so you realize that you are doing horrible things. It is a "moral choice" to even keep going with the thing.

Heck let's make it. I'm interested in how long players can continue this. The best would be if it was co-op, and they'd start fighting about which routes to take. All this recorded, datamined, and youtubed as an LP video.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2013, 7:42 am 
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Hotline miami hits a few of those notes actually.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2013, 8:21 am 
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Glad to see interest, I'd expect most people to dismiss the idea out of hand.

ZombieOnion, I actually posted a list of some digital games I consider to be Negadungeons a while ago. They vary in the degree.

http://rottenpulp.blogspot.com.au/2013/ ... geons.html

As you'd expect, they're mostly frustrating, confusing, or masochistic, but I love 'em anyway. I think there's definitely a lot of potential out there for mechanics that are compelling, but still give you that sinking feeling. The moments of Hotline Miami where the music cuts out and you slowly walk back through all the people you killed are great at that.

I was just thinking about this kind of thing in relation to Yume Nikki. If you haven't played it, the moment-to-moment gameplay is just about walking around these crazy environments, lost. So, obviously holding down the left arrow is not a compelling mechanic, but it gives you this great feeling of loneliness, confusion and emptiness. I was wondering if it would be possible to make some kind of core movement mechanic that gave the same feelings, while being more compelling.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2013, 2:47 pm 
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It's time to repost this.
Especially important I find the locations. Interesting visually, and thematically, but not really inviting, or even pleasant to be in.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 24th, 2013, 1:45 am 
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zombieOnion wrote:
Heck let's make it. I'm interested in how long players can continue this. The best would be if it was co-op, and they'd start fighting about which routes to take. All this recorded, datamined, and youtubed as an LP video.


Co-op Negadungeon would be brilliant. Good gameplay but no rewards, characters do not get stronger, horrible downward spiral of a plot -- I'd play the shit out of it. Especially if you managed to fool players into thinking they are in for something else entirely.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 24th, 2013, 4:05 am 
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dare wrote:
Co-op Negadungeon would be brilliant. Good gameplay but no rewards, characters do not get stronger, horrible downward spiral of a plot -- I'd play the shit out of it. Especially if you managed to fool players into thinking they are in for something else entirely.


Is there no game that is already similar to this that can be modded?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 24th, 2013, 5:34 am 
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Dark Souls?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 24th, 2013, 6:06 am 
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I believe Dark Souls modding is very limited. Restricted mostly to Texture reskins, model swapouts and the like.

I've had some ideas for games lately that borrow elements of the Negadungeon. They are Metroidvania in design except reversed; you start off with everything but steadily it either runs out or breaks - permanently.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 24th, 2013, 6:39 am 
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That sounds awesome, it would force you to get more efficient and resourceful as you advance towards your inevitable doom.

Darkchild


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: September 24th, 2013, 6:57 am 
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dare wrote:
Co-op Negadungeon would be brilliant. Good gameplay but no rewards, characters do not get stronger, horrible downward spiral of a plot -- I'd play the shit out of it. Especially if you managed to fool players into thinking they are in for something else entirely.


You know that bit at the end of some levels in Castle Crashers, where you have to fight all the other players to be the one who gets the prize?

It'd be amazing if you could get the players to do this without any direct intervention: just out of their own accord. They go through hell to get this macguffin, then it turns out only one of them can have it. They turn on each other, brother slays brother. The survivor takes the macguffin out into the sunlight - only to have it turn to ash in their hands. They killed their partner for nothing.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 4th, 2013, 12:15 am 
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Some co-op game mechanics naturally reinforce teamwork.

Other games are Battletoads.


Little Big Planet has both elements, but ultimately is more like Battletoads, but it pretends to be about teamwork. You have a shared pool of lives, which more than anything breeds resentment toward the slower or weaker players of the group, and at the end points are tallied to declare a winner. You there! Yes! You! You are the best at teamwork!


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 24th, 2013, 3:31 pm 
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Darkchild130 wrote:
Being Grimdark to the point of parodying myself, I love this concept.
Can't stand fantasy most of the time.


yuuuuup

on topic, i've never heard of this concept but it sounds really tantalizing. ninjas has often talked to me about the idea of a "reverse rpg" like some of you guys have been kicking around, that you start with all your best stats and abilities and grow weaker over time/lose things. the idea of a game centered around being the ultimate ammo miser is really appealing to me, somehow.

and the very notion of the negadungeon is pretty awesome. it's also an interesting lens to apply to other games--as mentioned, hotline miami is definitely in that wheelhouse, at least to some degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 25th, 2013, 1:50 am 
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gauss wrote:

on topic, i've never heard of this concept but it sounds really tantalizing. ninjas has often talked to me about the idea of a "reverse rpg" like some of you guys have been kicking around, that you start with all your best stats and abilities and grow weaker over time/lose things. the idea of a game centered around being the ultimate ammo miser is really appealing to me, somehow.



That came up as in an escapist article written by Yahtzee a while back while he went on about WoW. His solution to it was a sort of Benjamin Button level reversal thingy which I have no idea how it would work.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/extra-punctuation/8661-What-if-We-Leveled-Backwards

"Here's how I imagine this game working, which for now we'll just title Tfarcraw Fo Dlrow. You start off as a level 85 demigod in a wealthy and decadent court of heroes, but after some terrible threat strikes the land you are forced to embark on a series of quests, each of which takes its toll through either injury or exhaustion, gradually and permanently reducing your stats. After a while you're too weak to defend your home nation and must flee to a neighbouring territory where the threat hasn't escalated so far, but this is also some kind of spiritual pilgrimage where at various points you're required to select one of your legion of special powers and abilities to be simply erased from your repertoire before you can proceed. There'd need to be some kind of gating system to stop people getting into later areas too early and stomping all over them."


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 25th, 2013, 1:56 am 
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I like this, but I don't think the threat should de-escalate. You should just get weaker. It would work as the difficulty curve and force efficiency in play styles.

Darkchild


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 25th, 2013, 5:06 am 
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So you escape from your gulag and try to make your way to freedom, without killing too much of the co-players and surviving on what you can find in the wilderness.

Arma2 or 3 engine and editor maybe?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 25th, 2013, 5:30 am 
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Im going to write a story based on this concept, and try to make it not a ripoff of heart of darkness.
Or more likely specops.

Darkchild


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 26th, 2013, 5:28 am 
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zombieOnion wrote:
So you escape from your gulag and try to make your way to freedom, without killing too much of the co-players and surviving on what you can find in the wilderness.

Arma2 or 3 engine and editor maybe?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C5%82awo ... k_to_India

So like that, except a single playsession won't last 11 months?


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 28th, 2013, 3:34 am 
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Darkchild130 wrote:
I like this, but I don't think the threat should de-escalate. You should just get weaker. It would work as the difficulty curve and force efficiency in play styles.

Darkchild



Yes, that's the thing. You get weaker, the threat becomes more present, and it's up to you to use your cunning/maximizing knowledge of how the game systems work to prevail.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 28th, 2013, 3:40 am 
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zombieOnion wrote:
So you escape from your gulag and try to make your way to freedom, without killing too much of the co-players and surviving on what you can find in the wilderness.

Arma2 or 3 engine and editor maybe?



I've often thought about not a gulag, but say the Jonestown settlement in Guyana. The trick would be that the game would be played (and replayed) through various perspectives. The "easy' run would be a lower level peon in Jonestown, a cult member without a lot of responsibilities but also not a lot of oversight. The game takes place over the final day (or two) of the cult's existence. So on the easy playthrough, the random low level member playthrough, players should be able to make it out pretty easily.

But playing different characters, ones more enmeshed into cult hierarchy, would involve more knowledge of the day to day operations, and figuring out exploits, holes in the security/routine in order to escape. Maybe high level members have dependents they have to escape with, maybe the highest difficulty is trying to escape as Jim Jones' right hand man--or even preventing the whole mass suicide from happening in the first place, or ALSO making sure the congressman doesn't murdered.

Tasteless as the game may be, I always admired JFK Reloaded in format, the idea of playing and replaying a set event to differing ends. That game was of course super narrow in scope, but if you moved the scope out to about a day or so, and widened the characters... that could really be a fascinating game. Not really a nega-dungeon, but you reminded me of the concept.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 28th, 2013, 3:41 am 
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Darkchild130 wrote:
Im going to write a story based on this concept, and try to make it not a ripoff of heart of darkness.



Like they say, if you're going to steal, steal from the best. Heart of Darkness and Huck Finn are the two go-to river picaresques (even if the former might be stretching the definition of 'picaresque').


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 28th, 2013, 3:48 am 
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My idea was an investigation of a fallout style vault, but massive. Scifi style, you make entry as security for a survey team to discover a self sustaining populace that aren't too happy about outside interference. As you descend into the vault, getting caught up in their internal politics (such as a rebellion) your kit slowly runs out of ammo or breaks.
So your super deathray rifle runs flat, forcing you to use conventional rifles etc. all your optics, HUD systems etc run out of batteries so you need to use torches and the like. You lose comms with the outside world, medkits runs out and the vault gets worse and worse as the levels descend.
The idea is, by the end you will be a total ninja but eventually hit a dead end and wonder what the fuck you are doing there in the first place.


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 Post subject: Re: Let's discuss Negadungeons
PostPosted: October 28th, 2013, 3:53 am 
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Darkchild130 wrote:
My idea was an investigation of a fallout style vault, but massive. Scifi style, you make entry as security for a survey team to discover a self sustaining populace that aren't too happy about outside interference. As you descend into the vault, getting caught up in their internal politics (such as a rebellion) your kit slowly runs out of ammo or breaks.
So your super deathray rifle runs flat, forcing you to use conventional rifles etc. all your optics, HUD systems etc run out of batteries so you need to use torches and the like. You lose comms with the outside world, medkits runs out and the vault gets worse and worse as the levels descend.
The idea is, by the end you will be a total ninja but eventually hit a dead end and wonder what the fuck you are doing there in the first place.



That's a pretty good idea, and the tech imbalance of going into a vault while being an outside is a good set-up for why you run out of all your most sophisticated kit. The added aspect of being found out by the lower-tech vault dwellers is an appealing prospect, IMO. both ninja in terms of equipment and stealth but also figuring out the vault culture and knowing how to blend in. Nobody takes kindly to the futureman in their midst.


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