Designer/Developer: SpryFox

Platform: Flash Based / Windows & Mac (Steam)

Date: May 29, 2014

Game Location: http://www.kongregate.com/games/wild_shadow/realm-of-the-mad-god

 

Explanation

In Realm of the Mad God the players move through a world and kill enemies. Players control a single unit that shoots projectiles at enemies. Players can move using standard FPS controls and shoot the same way as well (players shoot in the direction the mouse is pointed). The game is a Top Down Shooter / MMO that allows a lot of freedom for movement. The main component of the game consists of finding enemies, killing them, and getting loot. Even though it sounds simple it is not. This game uses a perma-death mechanic. If the player dies they lose all of their items, their cloths, and their money – everything – forever. Players can create new characters after they die and they can use the same name as the previously deceased character but they must begin the game from the first level and earn back all of the items they previously had. The game is free to play but it has a fairly heavy focus on micro-transaction. Players can purchase pets, potions, random chests that contain random items, and much more. Players can enter portals that transport them to dungeons, areas where stronger monsters await but the loot is better, when they enter a portal the player must either complete the dungeon or teleport out which will take them back to the main town in the game. Killing strong monsters gains the player fame. Fame is used to show the skill of a player to the rest of the community. Players can even look up the players with the highest fame on a list titled “Legends”. This means that players who survive, and prove they are strong enough to kill difficult enemies, can receive real fame from the game, at least within its own community.

 

Screenshot

Starting in the main section of the screen the left ¾ of the screen is the play area. In the center of

RotMG gameplaythe screen just below the middle is the player character. Here he can be seen firing purple projectiles at his opponent who is currently covered in his own attacks. The enemy fires projectiles back at the player all of which can be seen here as large whit circles, flowers, and blue balls. In the upper right portion of the screen is the mini-map. The player is always centered on the map. Enemies are shown as small red dots. The mini-map is also covered in darkness until the player has explored the area, similar to the fog of war mechanic. Beneath the mini-map are the player’s name and a small icon of himself. To the right of that is a small white house, this button teleports the player back to the main town instantly. Moving further down we see the status meters. The top most bar is the fame bar representing your character’s current level of fame. Beneath that are the HP bar, obviously showing health, and then the MP meter again showing the obvious amount of magic power remaining. Below that we see four boxes which represent the character’s currently equipped items. In order from left to right are the weapon, secondary item, armor, and an accessory slot. Beneath that we see the player’s inventory which consists of only 8 slots. Notice the three small tabs on top of the inventory window, they allow the player to select different stats or displays in the area containing the inventory. Finally below the inventory are the characters health (red) and mana potions (blue) including the amount remaining.

 

Strategy

  • If a player is in a tough situation and their health is getting low it is usually a good idea to just leave the area by teleporting back to the home town.
  • Carrying multiple weapons and items is good for switching them out as certain situations require. I.E. High attack bonus ring during times of ease and a high health ring for more difficult fights.
  • Players can run away from enemies in an attempt to make them follow, this can be used to line up multiple enemies so that the player can hit them all simultaneously.

 

Dynamics

  • Since players have very limited inventory space they must be very picky with what they pick up. Players tend to only keep items that are useful for them or are better than what they have.
  • Because the game is perma-death based players are very cautious with their actions and they care more about their characters.
  • The increased care about the characters may cause some players to be wary of attempting higher difficulty dungeons.

 

Additional Notes

I enjoy the concept and the novelty of a game that has permanent death but I question its usefulness in mainstream gaming. Most players don’t want to put time into a character if there is a chance it will become completely useless and a waste of time. Blizzard did this already in the Diablo series in Nightmare mode. After playing this for an hour, I think I want to make it a weekly thing, it is actually quite addictive.

 

Similar Games

Diablo II

The Binding of Isaac

Path of Exile

8 Bit MMO

 

Design Ideas

Not a lot to be honest. The dungeon crawling, one life thing was already done by Blizzard over a decade ago so this is fairly old hat. The only real difference between the two is that it is done in pixel graphics as opposed to 3D and the skill trees were removed. I suppose if I were forced to make something based off of what this game had to offer it would simply be a very fast paces MMO game. In this game players would not have conventional quests and would instead level solely through fighting. Their prowess in battle would unlock higher difficulty dungeons which are only available to players of similar skill levels, thus eliminating the “noob” aspect of the game. Lower skill players would play with similar skill players until they skill up enough to progress. This may feel limiting but a game only for the elite would appeal to a niche crowd and may inspire a cult like following. Though I fail to see how even this idea is much different from almost every dungeon crawling, loot gathering game out there. Maybe we could add a bit of Metroidvania to it and force players to retrieve certain items they need to access other areas. Or, conversely we can play it similar to how Zelda was and place all players in a live world that is having constant problems with monsters invading it. This could have multiplayer dungeons that require group problem solving activities to progress.

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