Oculus Rift Dev in Cape Town and Game Ideas - Collaboration: DUNGEON THRONE [WIP]

edited in Projects
Hi, Ive ordered my Oculus Rift and its hopefully coming around August. Any one else in the Cape Town area getting one or keen to collaborate?

Ive since come up with about 30 potential ideas (Some games, and some just virtual experiences) , ill share 2 of my ideas for games with you. They still need a lot of work and discussion, which is why im posting here, looking forward to hearing feedback if you think the projects are viable etc. I may detail them further or share some other ideas at some point.

The other point is im not sure how valid the point of making a good game even if it wasnt for the Rift is, and since i haven't actually seen the rift i am not sure of this. In other words its a different kind of experience, one that im not familiar with. Ideally id like to make a good game that would work without the Rift though, but be absolutely awesome with it:

Now to the games:

Crash Land - Survivor: FIrst you crash land on a planet, and you have to survive. The whole VR thing will make it awesome , with a lunar lander like sequence at the beginning, (but in VR, you are in the cockpit with it cracking and burning up, entering the atmoshpere) then unlockables later to replay the scenario. It will be a sandbox type game, with different worlds. Basically you WILL die, but you will try and maximize score. Each planet will have its own hazards, for example desert you will Dehydrate or burn to death, the ice planet you will freeze to death. Your starting location will be determined where you crash landed. As you play you unlock perks , items etc. So for the 2nd time on the desert planet you could unlock the Force Suit, which gives you 10% protection. Its single player but you compete with players around the world for score. Multiplayer could be an option later, with teams working together. You will land roughly in the center of the map, its up to you which direction to take. As you unlock more items, you could get further on the next replay, or try different strategies. Or maybe that boost in speed will get you to the shadow of the rock before the sun rises.

The Dungeon Master: Like an inverse Rouge, you are the dungeon master sitting on your throne. Minions report to you. You can treat them fairly, or shoot lightning bolts at them. You see the dungeon from your command throne, you dont actually move. Your can look around your throne room, cast spells and issue commands. I was thinking about possible voice recognition as well. The dungeon will be shown as a map on table, with chess like pieces representing monsters, adventurers invading your dungeon etc. You could also then zoom in on the action via crystal balls etc. The development of the game could be scalable, in the way that you wouldn't need to show everything happening at the first build, ie no crystal balls, just as a real king would be sitting on his throne and his minions are coming to report to him. Minions could lie as well, or be too scared to tell you the truth. They could steal gold etc.

Anyway, looking forward to feedback. I've fleshed out Survivor so far, Dungeon master (temp Title) I just had the idea now.

Im a 3d artist/Animator, not a programmer, so also looking for anyone who would like to get involved. I was thinking of using Unity.


  • Sounds like fun

    I have heard that any FPS style game with the rift is disorientating (as you are sitting and char is not). Would be cool if it could be co implemented with an omni directional treadmill like: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1944625487/omni-move-naturally-in-your-favorite-game to help with the effects of immersion ^^

    If you need a filler (As in helping with bits and ends) person I'll help where i can (Between my own projects and university ^^)
    Good luck man. I'll definitely keep an eye out for progress.
  • This does sound interesting. The Dungeon master idea sound like a blast, but you would need some fairly sophisticated AI for the minions.

    Let me know if you need any help.
  • Ok thanks so far, i need to flesh out the Dungeon Master Idea further then. What id like to do is focus it, then put it on Steam or IndieGogo. What kind of help are you offering, im assuming programing? So out of these two ideas, you think the Dungeon master idea has more potential?

  • I do think that the Dungoen Master idea has more potential, but it is also far more difficult to implement. I am mainly offering help with programming. I am learning Unity at the moment (I have a lot of experience as a Java programmer, although I am new to Unity)
  • Sounds awesome! I must say that Omni stuff is AMAZEBALLS! But of course having to have a junction of both would severely limit the people who would have access to your game. How about creating a game that is specifically designed for the Oculus, instead of trying to implement something "traditionally" needing to walk and be all first person-y? Something that intrinsically has the player cast as something that's not supposed to "walk", but maybe should only be looking around without feet to move, and uses a controller for thrust and movement (like a spaceship I guess), or something along those lines? :)

    Good luck! :D
  • Or sitting on a throne :) Ok will think more about the Dungeon master idea, i think the Speech recognition would be sweet as well. Yes, i agree to focus on the OR. I will update the idea, flesh it out and post again soon...
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    Perhaps the main character is a supervillain , that has ended up paralysed during his last battle with the heroes, and now sits in his life support chair, commanding his minions? OF course, in the latter part of the game, he can build himself a robot body to spice up the gameplay. (It is basically another spin on the Dungeon Master idea).
  • I do like the idea of the Dungeon Master sitting on a throne, even if he could get up, running the whole game with his bum on seat is such an deliciously sarcastic statement to run with :) Commentary on all "executives" in the world :)

    Heck it could be "Jones Listed Company Master" lol
  • I picture it being a mix of Majesty and the old ZX spectrum game Dictator. Perhaps you have factions in the dungeon and you have to balance them, For example the Goblins, the Dragon and the Undead. Every "turn"minions come to you for advise or to make decisions. The OR part is that you can really feel like an evil overlord sitting on his throne. Perhaps there are trap buttons on the chair, so think of Jabba the hut, if a minion comes and you dont like the news, one of the options would be to push a button, and the minion falls down a trap door.

    Because its focusing on the Rift (OR) most of the fun will just be sitting in the throne, being mean to your minions and feeling wicked! :)

    I think i want to keep the fantasy theme, but the idea of him being crippled is interesting, but maybe a bit limiting.....
    Perhaps there is a button that just moves you between throne, map and crystal ball view. Or perhaps the minions come and show you the map on a movable whiteboard type display. :) It would be nice only to sit on the throne though...
  • There could be achievements or unlockables depending on how evil/nasty you can be, yes and i like the idea about evil executives! :)

  • I think the next step is to start mocking up a throne room, something like the throne from Game of Thrones, mixed with High Fantasy. The room could also upgrade or downgrade depending on how well you are doing... The tapestries could start rotting, the dungeon could become messy etc...
  • Rather than a whiteboard, they could use a situation table, where they move the pieces around to show you what is going on? (The kind of thing they used before screens and white-boards)
  • I think if you want to take the game idea further, it's time to work out game mechanics! Prototype! Even if you're doing it with cards and dice, or game maker, or just drawing flowcharts on paper, knowing what the game is before going into visuals is important - I know you're a artist so you'll tend to think visually first, but a pretty throne room doesn't make a game... It rounds out a game. So knowing what game you're making will help tremendously - in fact the game will guide the visuals!

    So work out some mechanics - what variables are there for your domain? Goblin population, dragon population? Are they happy/unhappy on one variable, or are there percentages of their population that are happy, unhappy, sad, angry? What makes them happy, unhappy, etc? What can you do to affect them? Can you see them individually stroll around? Etc etc...

    What's the game goal? How is that quantified? :)
  • Um, question about the dungeon master on a throne concept: Wouldn't that just emulate some kind of interaction device (or devices) in front of him/her that controlled the stuff going on in the dungeon? Effectively re-creating a traditional computer interface inside a non-traditional computer interface? I mean, it's not like you'd be able to look around everywhere - the throne would block a lot of visibility "behind" you, after all.

    I think you need to flesh out an interaction mechanism that really makes sense to use the Rift before you focus on story or setting justification. Not that the setting you're talking about isn't cool :) I'm just asking what makes this thing amazing with a Rift as opposed to something you could build on normal screens right now.

    Also, why complicate stuff with voice controls? Are those super reliable all of a sudden now? Wouldn't they just be an extra thing to fight with?

    P.S. I used to work in VR. The whole "moving around in a headset while seated is bad" idea isn't actually a problem. You actually want to be changing the viewpoint to emphasise the impact of the headset's 3D view. People who feel a disconnect between motion in the headset and them sitting still are actually complaining about things like view-bob and other micro-movements that people associate with FPS motion but aren't actually happening with their head. Essentially, move the viewpoint around as a whole, but don't add fake head motions when you're actually tracking real head motion.
    Thanked by 1Tuism
  • You are all right, its time to flesh out the details. Thanks for the feedback so far.

    First some more ideas: You could choose your class, Lich, Warlock, Wizard. These would give you special powers and different options. So same like choosing a traditional class in a RPG. Wizard could shoot lightning bolts out his hands to punish his minions.

    The Throne Room: you would literally start off in a small chamber with wooden boards, and as you get more powerfull it gets bigger. Im assuming with the Rift you would see the changes visually, which is a good point dislekcia brings up, i want to show visually what you normally see in an interface in a traditional game. So if your minions looks sad, they are sad. If your throne room is getting rich and expansive it shows. All you hear are reports from your minions. So they report to you, perhaps something like "Master the goblins are unhappy, 3 of them were fed to the dragon last night. The undead are quiet" What are your options?
    Then perhaps a dialogue appears (not sure how clear the text would be on the rift, but for instance : 1: Sacrifice even more goblins to appease the dragon 2: Stop feeding the Goblins to the Dragon. 3: Tell the goblins to Kill the dragon.
    Behind the scenes each faction could have various stats, like Number, Power, Happiness, Loyalty etc. Your decisions would then influence those stats.

    Voice Controls: Would be optional, was just an idea. Would need to test it, but you are right, it could complicate things.

    Game Mechanics: the dungeon is set. There are factions. Decisions you make influences factions but does not control them. Behind the scenes maybe its just a grid. You can make decisions and issue commands. Your minions may or may not listen to you depending on how you treat them. As im not a programmer this is where i need the most help :) I mostly just have ideas. :)

    Im open to other ideas, i think this has potential, so id really like to flesh this out to the next level.

  • I see the game in 2 parts really : 1 is the game as if it was a traditional RPG/Management type game , and 2 the OR support - where you can really be an ass, and be really mean and cruel to your minions. The Game part is slightly simplified for the OR support, but half the fun will actually come from being in the throne and just experiencing the world. So shooting minions with lightning or pressing trapdoors is fun, but it also will influence how your minions view you. Perhaps there is a cruel rating, and the higher it is the more they respect you.

    As for the game part, its a management system at the core, with you just seeing the result in your throne room in VR. Just as you would in real life. :)

    Perhaps there are more than 3 factions, maybe you can even choose how many. You could also interact with monsters and issue commands , like raid village etc. You dont control that at all, just have a meeting with the monsters, sit back and wait, and when they return you interact with them again.

    One questions, could this be fun? I think the answer is YES. Even the old management game dictator was fun, it was simple text and turned based, and you just had to make as much money as possible and survive for as long as possible.

    So back to the first point, The game needs work, and the OR fun part also needs work, but they are 2 separate points, but are linked....hope that makes sense..
  • I think the essence of what dislekcia is saying is: what is it about what you're describing is not doable on a normal computer screen? All the stuff you've mentioned: goblins looking sad, the room getting more posh, etc, are all visual things that are not only possible but probably have bend done (look at Dungeon Keeper and Overlord).

    What separates the OR from traditional devices? Off the top of my head:
    1. Actual 3D depth perception as opposed to just assumed (bigger is closer) depth.
    2. The ability to turn the head as a separate axis from, say, a mouse or an analogue stick.
    3. The ability to turn your head along the z axis (tilt)
    ... Can't think of anything else.

    But yeah, think of ideas that play with those rather than the traditional space, I think? :)

  • Ok, have a look at this, this would be the core :)
    But there is a lot more that could be done, more factions, the whole OR - VR experience, An actual map where the factions are positioned, etc, etc. Actally i need feedback from a programmer to tell me how feasible the parts would be.
  • I agree with dislekcia and Tuism on the count that this game can be easily implemented without using the rift. Having said that, I still think that the proposed game could be really fun. For me, the main appeal of the idea is the unreliable minions angle, where the player actually has to think about whether the information she is getting is correct, and cannot just assume that her orders are followed.

    I am thinking that the minions could have several stats reflecting their attitude to the master, such as loyalty, honesty, fear... And based on this, the probability of them taking one course of action over another is determined. (So, high fear will mean that the minion will try to do what the master orders... Low honesty would mean that he will tend to report success regardless of what actually happened).
  • Yeah, of course it could be implemented without the rift, but the point is, i want you to actually feel like you are the evil overlord! :) And just have that awesome cool factor. Like its your throne-room, you are shooting lightning out your fingers. It becomes personal. I like Nenads idea and that was the direction i was thinking.

    Once again thanks for the feedback, its been awesome so far.

  • Do you think it would be correct to break this down into these points:

    GAME PLAY - How the game play would be even without the Rift. So a cool dungeon sim from the Dungeon Masters Perceptive.

    RIFT INTERACTION - How the Player uses the rift to control the game, or how its possible to interact in other non traditional ways, for example head tracking, nodding your head for YES, Shaking left to right for NO ;) Voice Recognition as well? Other Input methods

    RIFT VISUAL FEEDBACK - For starters total immersion, 3d, sense of scale etc. that couldn't normally be achieved without a rift. A completely different experience.
    Thanked by 1Nenad
  • Just some more ideas I had (sorry if I seem to be posting too much). The master can look through the eyes of any of their subjects. Not necessarily control them, but just use them to know what's going on. This will somewhat sidestep the issues of moving around that you mentioned in the initial post.

    Also, giving orders to a remote location is only possible by messenger, so if the master wants to call his forces back, he will have to send a goblin to tell them to retreat... If the Goblin falls afoul of a wandering hero on the way there...

    We have to have a throne of skulls... Pigeon and rat skulls in the beginning, working its way up to the skulls of the legendary dragons of yore.

    (Just random ideas as I think of them, let me know if it is too unfocused)
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    On the VR experience side of things - consider turning those Cheesy Interactive movies (the kind they always have outside of cinemas in malls) into a playable game. Like the traditional roller-coaster one could be turned into a roller-coaster tycoon type thing, where one could walk around your amusement park (1st person using Rift), but then also enjoy the rides in a 1st person perspective. I know that this has nothing to do with your Dungeon Master Theme, but I think it would be a meaningful implementation of the rift as you could experience movement while still stuck in a seat.

    Hell you could always give your Master a dragon to cruise around on - which would be like a roller-coaster
  • No thats great, any ideas are welcome! :)

  • I like the ideas you've got there :).

    If you're still adamant about using the Oculus Rift, you should message/talk to @MrNexy he's been developing a VR game for a while. Not sure where he's based, but he's probably the most experienced with VR on MGSA :).
  • I am talking to MrNexy, we are helping each other out! :) I have done some modelling for him, and will do more in the future... :)
    Thanked by 1Bensonance
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    Have a look at dungeon keeper 2:

    And overlord 2:

    These have very close ideas to what's being proposed: I'm not saying dont do it, it sounds damn cool, but knowing what's already been done will allow you to explore in different directions than what's already come before :)
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    Personally, the biggest advantage of any kind of VR headset is the ability to put a player into a situation that they wouldn't otherwise be able to experience and then control that situation in interesting ways...

    I'd love a game about wingsuit-flying that had you lying on the floor, for instance. Or a downhill skateboarding game that used your head height above the floor to control how much of a crouch you were in. Both of those settings reward the player for looking around in 3D and require non-standard positions to play in.
  • Interesting Ideas Disklekcia.

    What are your thoughts on little mini games or not really needed? For example, one situation could be an assassin is trying to kill you and approach the throne. They run between pillars. You could shoot lightning bolts or magic missiles at him before he can kill you. Or another fun mini game , there is an annoying fly buzzing around, use the OR headset to try and track it and shoot it as well.
    Minigames might be a welcome distraction, or just that, a distraction. Just brainstorming for the moment...
  • Yes, was thinking also about that, maybe 3 or 4 buttons, 1-3 dialogue choice and button 4 to shift location. Then the OR has headtracking to look, or interact in interesting ways, for example dialouge you can nod or shake your head. I also like the idea of taking over a body but not having control, so you can look around while the body you are in does its own thing.
  • #Tuism Thanks for the videos:

    So Dungeon Keeper 2 is more like Simcity :)

    Overlord 2 is a 3rd person action game.

    The similarity is only really in Theme with DK2 and Overlord 2, not so much game play.

    I want the game to me more like Majesty or Dictator. You ARE the Dungeon Master, you sit on the throne, issue commands, make a difference :) The OR will put you in the situation. You will feel the power. Its more like Chess, where you move the pieces and wait for the outcome. More a throwback to old ZX spectrum management games like Dictator or even Mugsy.

    I also want its with the OR help to be something along the lines of a stress relief game : Something like this, but in game:

  • Sorry i have played DK2 a lot, not so much overlord, just realized my post above suggested i was seeing it for the first time :)
  • I think everyone wants to make some sort of Majesty-esque game. I know I do.

    I just don't see how any of the stuff you're talking about needs a Rift, nor benefits from having one if you do make it. Stop feature-creeping yourself into "this is never going to happen" land and make something.

    Minigames? Sweet. Make them first :)
  • Sure, it doesnt need a rift, nothing really needs a rift :) But it just seems like a cool idea, and this is just brainstorming and seeing what is feasible and what is not feasible at the moment. Feature creeping is dangerous i agree :)
  • I beg to differ, on a few points:

    Dungeon keeper and overlord has many of the elements you're talking about, you just don't know enough about them to realize :)

    And many things may need a rift - for example having to perceive 3D depth rather than seeing different sizes, for example the ability to look away while keeping aim and move with a secondary control device (joystick, mouse, gyro in sixaxis, etc) and I haven't got more answers cos I haven't got experience in it. My point is that if you assume "nothing needs a rift" then you won't ever come up with those ideas. So give it a try before saying that.

    Building a game on nothing but ideas isn't very wise, get it started. Work out what the game is, thinking up minigames doesnt help, build those minigames :) use pencil, use paper, use cardboard, use chalk :)
  • Good points, yes which is back to my point, i don't have a rift yet :) Am waiting patiently for mine! And yes there is a lot of stuff that i have no idea about yet, because i have no experience in it either. But thanks so far far for all the input, i will take the feedback, and come up with a basic design and take it from there. And watch the videos again :)
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