Brainstorming: A Fishy RPG

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Brainstorming: A Fishy RPG

Postby Seven Shikami » 28 Apr 2009, 19:38

I had an idea today. I'm trying to think of new toys, new games, new things that work with fishing but don't require too much interaction. Passives. Bounty hunts and CPGs and contests rule because they just "happen" while you're fishing. The arcade-style games don't because you need to stop fishing and interact with them.

I remembered a "fish bingo" idea brought up on the forums awhile back, and extrapolated an MMORPG-esque system based on it...

"7Seas Adventure"

The game is a HUD that you wear, which offers a list of available quests. After selecting a quest to undertake, you get a story notecard or picture which introduces the quest, and either a list of specific fish to catch or a fish attribute you need to seek out ("blue", "shift", "guppy", "shark"). When you finish a quest, you get an Adventure Point, which goes on your account. New quests are added weekly, so you always have some fresh content to play, even when you've done them all already.

I'm perfectly happy with this design -- it's the best of all worlds. It's passive (just pick your quest and go!), it's fun, it allows a stream of content, it gives you something to do other than collect random fish. But the primary problem is rewards.


WHY finish quests? It's a neat concept, but the concept alone is not going to be fun enough to justify the time and effort for a lot of folks. My initial thought was that each quest would be worth X "Adventure Points", or AP, a new metric you can measure against when competing against your fellow fishers. You could say "I have 50,000 XP and 200 AP!" in a boast. Heck, I COULD wire it to give you more XP -- XP is kind of meaningless and just for fun after 500, after all. But there's a serious, serious issue there.

The problem is farming. Just like in MMORPGs, people WILL find whatever adventure offers the most points for the least effort. Even if they all offered 1 point and no more, the lowest effort quest would be the only one undertaken. You'd end up with a dichtomy of play-to-win powerlevellers and folks who try to be honest about it (and then get sour over how much AP the grinders are getting compared to them). I don't wanna add drama to things.

This could be solved by disallowing players to repeat any one quest. Therefore, you have a maximum AP you can reach, and the only way to go higher is to wait for next week's quest. But this means it's a meaningless metric with no 'just one more quest!' factor, since odds are all the hardcore fishers will perpetually live at max AP.

Plus, this would require server-side storage of flags for every single quest in the system... a beefy database backend that may be overkill. (I'm a PHP newbie, and we'd be flying without the original 7Seas database backend coder. Adding an "AP" column to the user table and a script to update it, that's easy. Adding an entire system of relationally joined flags would be horror.)

Sooo, not sure. I guess it could be rewardless, but again, why bother doing it if there's no purpose? Filling out a bingo card is not thrilling in and of itself. Perhaps if it's wrapped in a story, then you'd have "enough" fun just fufilling the new quests that get released each week to see how they end? I don't know.

So, given the game type above (get a quest, fufil its conditions, repeat) what sort of reward wrapper would motivate you to play AND be difficult to impossible to exploit?

PS, if you value your lives, the answer is not "MOAR BAIT". That wouldn't solve the problem of farming, anyway.
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Re: Brainstorming: A Fishy RPG

Postby Dade Laville » 30 Apr 2009, 10:27

Well, I suck at this type of thing but I'll try to add some thought.

A level based system, I think, would be really nice. Where you can repeat the quests as much as you like (since most are fishing because they enjoy it anyway), earn AP for completing the quests to level up, and follow a funny and exciting storyline. You could have things to purchase HUD based for your AP, or for some kind of money earned randomly from quests, that is solely for personal enjoyment (depending on how much you want to customize the HUD's look to display their trophies, game room, etc.). Most people have caught ALL of the fish from the Official 7Seas database and still fish just because they enjoy it. This mini-game would give those fishers something else to focus on while fishing. It would all be for personal enjoyment and not to get something that the other fishers, who decide not to play the mini-game, can't get. Or perhaps custom catchables available to those wearing the HUD. That way, the only thing that you gain is more fish (aside from the fun and enjoyment of questing and building up your personal HUD based aquarium or room and following a sure-to-be-great storyline). These are just my opinions and thoughts.
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Re: Brainstorming: A Fishy RPG

Postby Judi Newall » 07 May 2009, 00:53

I despair of people who exploit systems and I can't hink how to combat them, I'm no scripter.

I'd love a game like you suggest though, could it be set for fishing area owners to add their own prizes? Then it would be worth completing each one several times over with just your final catch needing to be at the site where you want a particular prize? Or better still make it a 7seas catch as reward but make a new class of catch to which we can add a custom, the Q class! :)
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Re: Brainstorming: A Fishy RPG

Postby Xundra Snowpaw » 07 May 2009, 21:15

In World of Warcraft, they have "Daily Quests" Where you can only complete a particular quest once a day, and you have a limit of total Daily Quests you can do. This might help with the grinding issue.

Also, perhaps require fish to be caught at certain areas. You could use the data from the promotional tool, say catch a gold guppy at pala a blue jellyfish at 3 stars and sun and so on, I think this might help against grinders because they can't sit in one spot. It would also get people exploring different fishing areas.

At any rate, this sounds like a really fun idea, but you can't please everyone. The one thing I have learned from playing mmorpgs is the fun is in getting to level 80 or whatever - if you grind all your fishy achievement points so you have a big number that you didn't really earn, you really have missed the point of the game.

I like Dade's Idea of a fishing quest HUD - perhaps your fishy adventure points could be traded in for items to use with your fishy adventures.
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Re: Brainstorming: A Fishy RPG

Postby Kosh Magic » 21 Jun 2009, 04:10

I think it's a great concept, however I don't participate in role playing games. Mainly because none have interested me so far. Since I love to fish and create customs, maybe this game would spark my interest.
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Re: Brainstorming: A Fishy RPG

Postby Seven Shikami » 23 Jun 2009, 13:47

I should note, we're putting this one aside for now in favor of a different progression-metric tied into a different sort of thingy which I can't talk about right now. Jen's super stoked for it and I'm gonna be doing the code this week and there will be an OpenSeas variant for folks who want to have their own localized version of the system.

What is it? Well, if you read the official announcements forum regularly like a good fishing citizen, you'll have seen the musical hints already. :) It's one of those.
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