Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

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Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:05 pm

Hello all,

I have a game that I will describe below. Of course I want players, but I also have a need for people who can help with making the game playable on Roll20 (character sheets, etc.), finishing production of some of the manuals and resources, and making a website to allow others to enjoy the game.

I have dumped more than 15 years of my own efforts into this thing and have had a lot of players and a decent amount of help over the years. It is time for me to recruit help to get this thing into the modern age of the internet. :D

For a description, read the following excerpt from my post on the Roll20 site:
The game I am proposing is my own game system (Allies of Majesty). It has enjoyed over 15 years in development, active playing, and refining. It is in its 5th rules version. It has a nearly 80 page (still not fully finished) Player's Manual. It has seen more than 150 different players over the course of that time. My point in saying all this is simply to put to rest any concerns that this is an overnight impulse rather than a developed, playable game...

... at this time I am most interested in a group of people who would like the challenge of taking a foreign rules system and making it work as smoothly as possible in Roll20. Below, I will offer a basic Game Description and a basic Rules and Style Description. I won't get into too much detail as all you really need to know at this point is if the game piques your interest and you have the Roll20 skills I lack. While I am a skilled game designer, I am not skilled in scripting, program writing, whatever...I don't even know the correct term for sure let alone how to do it.

While the game is Christian based and I prefer a PG-13 (at worst) gaming environment, you don't at all have to be a Christian to play and certainly don't have to be one to help me make it work in Roll20.
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Game Description:
The players each have characters that are angels. These angels are not naked babies or pale women with flowing robes or androgynous men with roman-style armor. These angels are of a description more like when man has his eyes opened to the spirit realm in biblical accounts. They have multiple sets of wings, and have the face of a lion, eagle, ox, man, or even multiple faces.

Because the characters are usually influencing events in the natural realm, but not usually directly manifesting in the natural realm, roleplay is often less involved or straight-forward than in traditional RPGs. Players that are able to be creative with the abilities to, when appropriate, manifest physically, but not visibly; visibly to some and not to others; manifest physically and disguised as a human or animal; speak so that a human can hear with his spirit's ears, but not physical ears; etc.; these players will find roleplay significantly more fun and intriguing.

As I said, you do not need to be a Christian to enjoy this game. You probably should not try, however, if you are offended by biblical principles or the idea of roleplaying an angel that is committed to embodying those principles. The game is designed to reflect these principles to its very core. This is intended to reflect how the spirit realm, as described in the Bible, is full of symbolism and its principles are reflected in even its smallest details. I make use of numerology quite a bit, relying more on numbers such as 3, 7, 12, 40, 144 or multiples of these. Even the central dice system depends on rolling 7D12's.
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Rules and Style Description:
As I stated just above, I have my own rules system that is not based on D20 or any other game system I am aware of. (With all the games out there, I am sure there are some games that resemble my rules in one way or another. I am not claiming total originality. Hard to claim these days. No need to challenge me on such a claim.) I have even managed, over the course of my progressive rules versions, to make what used to feel like "magic user" classes to feel more unique and realistic of beings in a biblical spirit realm.

When conflict ensues, it feels almost like a tabletop strategy game. You are each still controlling a single character with personalized stats and abilities, but measurement, ranges, dice-rolling, and strategic ability usage add to the feeling of a tabletop strategy. Due to this, the game can sometimes feel like conflicts sandwiched in between story and roleplay unless the Host (this game's title for the GM) is skilled at progressing detailed rules-based combat simultaneously with storytelling.
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It is the dice system and the rules-based, strategic combat that pose the greatest challenges to making this work in Roll20.

That pretty much sums it up. If interested, reply to this thread and/or feel free to email me at diastellofamily@gmail.com. While I welcome opinions and comments within the thread, please try not to fully derail its intended purpose of recruiting interested parties.

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby Woiv » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:57 pm

Hi, looks like you worked hard on this! I'd love to help, but sadly i don't know enough to help you in any way. However I am learning some coding languages, so maybe I can help in future?

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:30 am

Thanks for your interest!

Stay in touch. If you are not on here often, maybe shoot me an email so I can contact you when we are ready to play. I have one guy helping me on Roll20, but he can't code either. He is just fairly experienced with a lot of the features and is helping to get them feeling smooth enough to at least start playing it. He and I played a sample/test run this evening and it went better than expected. With a few more games under our belt, it might be smooth enough to progress toward more formal online play.

Still, not having online character sheets kind of stinks and hinders things a bit.

Great thing for me was that he (as an experienced D&D player) found it fun, refreshing, different enough to stand alone, but similar enough to be understood quickly. Maybe I can get him on over here to post his own thoughts sometime.

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby Woiv » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:36 pm

Sure. I'll always be active on the website. Excited to see how your game works!
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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:02 pm

I'm a professional software engineer and I like the concept of your game. I don't understand what your goal is with Roll20. Is there an API you want to use to integrate your game with a modified instance of Roll20?
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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:23 pm

This is where I get to be far out of my depth. Frankly, I had to look up what an API even is.

I can answer your questions around these kind of topics one of three ways:
1. You can ask me targetted questions intended to give you exactly what information you need to know.
2. I can make a wall of text giving you a better picture of what it is I hope to accomplish and you can sort it out.
3. We can schedule a time to meet on a TeamSpeak server or something and the interchange can be more efficient.

How would you like to go about this?

In short answer to your exact question, though, "No. There is not an API I have in mind."

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:42 am

Maybe this will be more understandable. I will give you my dream and then the reality I am working with.

Dream:
Have a Virtual Table Top that would allow people to play Allies of Majesty online together. Ideally, this VTT would be tailored to my rules system. It would allow for adjusting dice once they are rolled. It would consider ranges and a handful of other factors to resolve much of the calculations that can slow the game down. Basically, if you are going to use a computer to play a game, why not take full advantage of having a computer involved.

Reality:
I don't currently have the funds, nor the following for my game to get the funds needed to do that. Roll20 exists and is not cost prohibitive. Roll20 is a popular gaming venue. Roll20 could be a vehicle to gather greater popularity for my game. But, my game doesn't use the D20 system, so there are no existing character sheets for people to enter, share, and track their characters. Neither are there accommodations for some of the other ways my game differs from the popular games that are being played on Roll20 currently.

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So, my current goal is to find people who like my game enough that they are inspired to use their skills to make my game work in Roll20 as smoothly as possible. Eventually, if enough people with the correct skills are so inspired, then my dream may become a reality. Or maybe, Roll20 can still be utilized, but they will have helped make it close enough to my dream.

Really, I just want the game finished and out there. By finished, I mean some of the advanced materials need to be completed. By out there, I mean being played by people that have not been taught directly by me (or someone who themselves was taught directly by me). I want the game to be enjoyed freely and for free. I care more about its utilization than commercializing it. If it grew enough, I would certainly not be opposed to donations and microtransactions (such as the Premium art on Roll20) that would allow me the time and resources to increase the production quality. It's just that I have always intended it as a ministry engine and rather than a money engine.

My end goal is to provide a fun, quality game for christians to enjoy that supports and reinforces their beliefs. Not a lesser knock-off of D&D, but a game that is fresh and different. A game that is truly positive in so many ways that I should save them for a different post at a different time. Just suffice it to say that I have a plethora of testimonial stories of how the game has worked out to be exactly that, just on a smaller scale than desired in the end. That could change with increased exposure via Roll20.

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby Wintercross » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:25 am

It's not hard at all to implement custom rules to Roll20, though if you want to make an actual character sheet you need to have a subscription or get someone with a sub to implement if for you.

However, you can use the basic system and just have a template for players to use with the character sheet. With the attribute/ability bits, as well as macros you can do a lot of cool things.

Also, I'm pretty sure you can roll dice in roll20 with any number of sides, so rolling 7D12 would simply be a matter of typing '/r 7D12' into the chat

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:40 pm

Thanks for your reply.

Nolan is one of the primary Roll20 team members. I had a video conference with him in which we covered most of this. Yes, there are a lot of things that Roll20 can do, but not readily. It is not as simple as "click the options you like".

I already have a subscription so as to have all the advanced options available. I will play around with it a bit more, but my understanding is that in order to make a custom character sheet (not just use one from another game), you need to know things like HTML, CSS, Java.

And, yes I can roll dice. Yes, I can even roll seven 12 sided dice. It works well enough to be playable. But currently we have to mentally do the next steps.
-My game allows for adjustments up or down to some dice after being rolled. There is not standard option for that. I would have to know someone who can code that.
-My game works on a Success-Neutral-Fail system for interpreting the die results. I can almost get Roll20 to calculate it correctly. It does not account for a 12 being worth 2 Successes, not does it account for a 1 completely neutralizing one 12. These are nuances that just aren't readily doable.

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby Woiv » Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:46 pm

Where would I find the game to play in the future?
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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:34 am

Ideally you would find it on its own website that provides all the rules and resources via hotlinks on the site. I don't want to do .pdf in the interest of drawing people to the site more often in order to promote community. I want it to be easy to access, but on the site. I then hope to also have forums and such where people can collaborate on new materials, share Missions they have run for others to use, and all of that kind of stuff.

I will pursue the website as soon as either:
A. I get enough materials produced for the game to be fully playable without it having to also be taught via word of mouth.
B. I have enough independent groups playing (regardless of how they were taught) that there would be benefit to the community portion.

Either one of these would be enough reason to move to that stage.

You gotta understand. I have had lots of players over the years, but few helpers. I have had many people Host the game, but nobody to really help in development or production beyond playtesters for new concepts. The only real helper I had was an artist who was inspired to produced lots of art that helped shape the concepts. Otherwise, it has just been me producing everything. I have 12 children at this point and have multiple jobs. It is a bit slow going unless at some point God sees fit to inspire some other people to help speed things along.

That is my prayer.

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby Foxwick » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:39 am

I'm getting into coding, and have some knowledge of coding languages. I'm still learning how so I can code on my own. I enjoy it and soon to hope its my career! But if I knew a lot more I could would defiantly help you.
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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:27 pm

Well, I invite you to try with me. :D

Attempting to put skills to use is a great way to strengthen what you do know and give you reason to learn other things when you come across things you don't yet know but need to for your current endeavor.

Anything we can accomplish is better than what I currently have.

Please reach out to me so that we can arrange a way and time to meet. We could use a Team Speak server or whatever. I will private message you.

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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:38 am

Sorry to be slow getting back to this.

If you're looking for technical assistance for your idea, you really need a clear and concrete understanding of what, exactly, they'll be doing and what features you're looking to have in your site/application. I don't really g et the impression that you're at that point yet, so I'd strongly recommend writing down a list of features you want, along with a little research on what features may already exist in the system you're choosing to work with. You don't have to have a bunch of technical knowledge to do that. Once you have those items in mind, then a technical person or developer can be of much better assistance to you.
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Re: Coders and developers for Seasoned Christian RPG

Postby PureFun » Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:14 am

Thanks for the feedback.

I did not want to give too much information until people displayed interest and ability. Until that point, this thread would accomplish little more than generating interest in the game in general.

To be fair, you are the only person who conveyed both interest and ability. You did so in the sum total of two lines and so I didn't want to put too much time into it until I knew it might be worth putting that time in. Similar to how I guess you might feel right now about my endeavor. You don't know much of what you would need to know, so you want to know more to judge if you believe it worthy to invest that time in.

So, let me try to answer your question as best I can as a layman and you help me tweak that answer until it gives you what you are looking for.
Deal?

I haven't used Roll20 except for a few times to familiarize myself with it. Assuming that Roll20 is the platform that requires the least effort to utilize and (due to Roll20's polularity) provides the greatest exposure to people whom Allies of Majesty would benefit, then there are specific things I would desire in order to be able to play my game. I will categorize them as Minimum and Awesome. Minimum is the minimum I would need to add a whole level of functionality and ease to the game. Awesome is something that would greatly enhance the experience if it were made possible, but is not an absolute need.

MINIMUM - Interactive Character sheet
The stats in my game differ significantly from many common games. In truth, my sheet is much simpler and differently organized.
I need a sheet that is organized to match my game and can be filled in by the player and updated as the character progresses.

AWESOME - Interactive Character sheet
Most Gameplay Attributes are derived mathematically from Basic Attributes. It would be great for those to be auto-calculated.
Many things a player will select about their character are from a list of possibilities to choose from. Since many of these options are finite, it would be great if the character could select from a list (dropdown possibly) and the pertinent information would then be inserted.

MINIMUM - Rolling 7D12 and seeing the results of each die
This is already present in Roll20!

AWESOME - Being able to translate the result into game terms
There are finite meanings to the results of the die rolls. Each 9-12 is a "Hit". Each 4-8 is a "Miss". Each 1-3 is a "Stop". A Stop cancels a Hit.
It gets a bit more complex when you include that each 12 counts as two Hits and each 1 cancels a 12.

SUPER DUPER AWESOME - Being able to adjust dice after being rolled
Each roll compares two competing factors and the character who possesses the superior factor gets to make adjustments to the dice after they are rolled.
Being able to adjust individual dice up or down after being rolled would truly make the game feel like it feels at a tabletop. This is the biggest way that using Roll20 feels like we are just "making due" with the platform we have available. This feature would be the difference between "Playing Allies on Roll20" and "using Roll20 to try to play Allies". Unfortunately, this is also the part that Nolan balked at the most during our video conference when I was asking him about ways to play my game using Roll20.

AWESOME currently, MINIMUM soon afterward - having a dedicated website
Having a dedicated website for the game would allow me to share the game without simply handing out PDF's of the rules and materials.
I am open to distributable information, but my concern is developing a community for the game.
Having to come to the website for the game source materials, but making the website super user friendly with hotlinks and dropdowns or whatever would, in my mind, encourage the development of such a community.
I would like to also have forums such as this for discussion and whatnot as another way to encourage community.
If I have interested parties to help, I will find a way to fund such a project.



Honestly, these are the biggest things holding the game back at this point. The other parts of playing the game can be done well enough with Roll20 and will get fairly smooth with a bit of practice.
-Getting a Custom Interactive Character sheet would be enough to get a few gaming sessions going and gather some Players.
-Once Players are gathered, maybe I will find some more skilled people who are more than just intrigued by the concept, but also have developed some attachment to or even passion for the game itself. Such a community could move the game beyond the point I am talking about above. The fact is that 15 years is slow progress as mostly one person with occasional help. It was great for letting God refine things over time and not rush into production. It was also great to allow technology to advance to the point where I can offer the game without needing physical production and distribution that would require me to charge a fair amount for others to enjoy it. Now that things are largely ready, I will need more people who share the vision to do anything substantial with the game. Especially now that I have 12 kids to invest in as a father and also the work needed to support such a family to also attend to. I am neither an island nor a miracle worker. Even if I had the knowledge and skills, I could not produce this game that I have invested so much into without the help of an inspired community of others.

Hope this helps.


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