This post was originally published on netzkaempfer.com.
The old blog and domain is no longer active, but I’d still like to keep my old articles about web-based game development.
We want to transfer the elements of classical roleplaying in the world of social networks with our browsergame Social War. Currently we are in the concept phase / preproduction. Today we want to present the various character traits to give you an insight in the game. Experienced roleplaying gamers will see the patterns behind them.
Labor, homework, intake of food… how should one find the time for the important things in life with all these tasks? The more time you have for your travel in the social network, the more you will achieve. The “onlinetime” is one of the most important traits in Social War. It represents the health points of your character in fights. If you waste the onlinetime of your enemy with funny pictures, confusing discussions or exciting videos, you will win the fight.
Beyond fights the onlinetime has the purpose of action points and thereby defines how many actions your character can do. We’re still trying to figure out if this will work. Maybe we split the onlinetime and action points to prevent confusion and enable a better balancing.
Meme-Creator or follower? In the eye of the shitstorm or at the back of beyond? Which role you take in the social world depends on your skill to react on new trends or events. The character trait “quickwittedness” describes how fast you can adapt to the latest trend. Characters with a high value of quickwittedness can attack first in fights. A group with characters high on quickwittedness may defeat an enemy group before they even get the chance to attack.
Who wants to fight himself if others may do the dirty work? You will meet not only human players in the game. Every theme and every group is populated by non-player-characters (NPC) that are controlled by the computer. If a fight about the leadership of the group starts, the neutral NPCs will join you or your enemy. Whether you troop up with NPCs or are forever alone is defined by the charisma value of you character.
The seventh cat video? The fifth meme with Age of Empires? Your enemies will only show a worn-out smile. You cannot occupy them long with that. Only if you’re creative and create new, funny, fascinating and absolutely crazy content you can obtain their attention and waste their onlinetime. The character trait “creativity” defines how good the value of your messages, pictures or videos is. They represent the damage value of your attacks. The more creative the content is the longer an enemy will fiddle with the content and hence have a bigger impact on his onlinetime.
In the modern form of communication with social networks one has to be as snappy as in a real conversation. Only the one who counterattacks with ironic, sarcastic or argumentative comments can maintain his social status. The character trait “repartee” defines how well a character can react to the content of messages, pictures or videos. The repartee value represents the armor level in a fight. The more repartee a character has got the weaker the attacks of an enemy hit him. The player can counterattack the attacks of the enemy with good comments and thereby reduce the impact on his own onlinetime.
With the absence of gestures and facial expressions an empathetic understanding is important in digital communication. The frame of mind of a person can only be judged by his shared content, which makes empathetic characters in the social web a rarity. The character trait “empathy” defines how well a player understands his friends and how well he knows their personal strengths and weaknesses. Empathy supports the player in a defensive manner in a fight. With empathetic traits the attacks of the enemy are weakened and friends are supported, e.g. with healing.
Humor is a central element to improve one’s own content and entertain friends. Nowadays everybody tries to lighten up his dull daily routine with good entertainment. Humoristic characters are in demand. The character trait humor defines how well a player can entertain his friends and thereby bond them. Humor supports the party in an aggressive manner in fights. With humoristic skills the own attacks are strengthened, making it hard for enemies to counterattack and stealing more onlinetime.