Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's it all about...

We debated about sending this note as a little information is worse than no information in some situations. Anyway, this is for those who would like something to read while they wait.
For those who would rather just know how long the wait will be. Well, we are keeping a bit quiet because there are still some things to test so we can only say around a week, might be less might be a bit more. Warning, this note may leave you with more questions than answers, if so ask Baal, Kora is busy :)

What’s it all about.
Well first off, thanks for being patient and waiting as we get things finished here in KOS.
We figure you are probably wondering, what the heck is this thing that is taking so long, so here is an over long note just to give you a little idea of what’s coming very shortly, and we mean very shortly.
Our basic idea is to try to create a game structure that backs up, and hopefully provokes, role-play, something we can continualy improve and build upon over time.
Of course, a sim does not need a game system and meter at all and theoretically can run on pure RP alone.
We do not dispute this fact, but we wish to try to create something which provides players with some simple tasks that might make them feel motivated to do more than just hang around in a sim waiting for the next fight or using it as a pretty chat room.
On the other hand we also don't want the sim to fall into the clique mentality, where a few players dominate role play and dictate the rules of play to all others in the sim.
We believe that there are people out there who fall somewhere between the purist role player, who would rather die than put on a meter or HUD, and the all out run and gun player, who lives only to increase the kill score in their meter.
With this in mind we have tried to put together a system that mimics everyday mundane, but also essential, functions, such as eating drinking and states of mind.
Once you are setup in the system you have to move to survive, you have to do something, even if there is no one else in the Sim. Your life goes on from day to day, and you must take care of your chosen character or face certain consequences.
For instance, in KOS each day you need to eat, so each day you log in you loose a little health to reflect this daily need for food. Each day you will also loose a few mental health points; this tries to reflect our daily need, like hunger, for pleasant stimuli. This might seem a bit unreal until you think about how much time each day we all spend on doing things we hope will feed this need for pleasure, even simple things like listening to music or having a glass of wine or a can of beer.
You don’t have to deal with any of these scores immediately, a bit like in RL if you just worked and slept and did nothing else for a month. But after a while, you would begin to mentally feel the effects of the lack of pleasurable stimuli, and of course the lack of food. So in KOS you will need to eat to keep physically fit and seek out pleasurable pastimes to keep mentally fit. If you let your mental health drop too low you may well need to spend a while recovering on the mermaid island, listening to the soothing sounds of their songs. Some might want to move in permanently :)
You will of course need money to pay for your food and your pleasure. You can get this money by working at a mundane job, cleaning or sweeping the streets, but this will again effect your state of mind.
Maybe it would be better to learn a skill then. The skill system allows you to sell your skills for game money. So you could for instance learn the healing skill and other players would pay you to heal them, which healing will actually effect their physical score, same with mental healing. Of course you may also give Skills away for free if you wish.
Each person will be able to acquire up to 3 skills, but they must be learned one at a time.
Skills we already have include healing, Dancing, Prostitution, Musician, Combat, Brewing, Cooking etc etc. As I mentioned earlier, all skills will affect your physical mental and moral (see bellow) scores in some way.
Or maybe you want an easy life and decide to steal to get your money. This is also possible in KOS, but it brings us to another score you must keep an eye on, your Moral score. In KOS we believe in instant Karma, you pay morally for misdeeds. Actions considered to effect your moral standards drop your moral score. Who sets the morals? Well in KOS the Sultana sets the moral code for the citizens living in its city, and her Knights enforce them.
You can of course ignore your moral score completely, you are a bad guy or girl and you don’t care who knows it, well eventually the Knights will get to know and care, and at some point you will find yourself paying a heavy fine or even doing a spell breaking rocks on the Prison Island. Of course breaking the law is a great part of the game, you just have to be a bit cleverer to make sure you do not become a target for the authorities.
Maybe I should mention quickly the Clan system.
It works this way. If you think you can lead a Clan you can go to the clan register and register the name of your proposed Clan. This will register your Clan name which appears in your meter.
Being a Clan leader gives you some benefits such as a rise in social level, which in turn raises your max Physical health by 5 pointsb, but you do not get these benefits until you have at least 3 other members in your Clan. These members will themselves need to go to the register and sign in as members of your Clan. This will now give you the benefits of higher social level .
But these benefits will be taken away if anyone leaves your Clan leaving you with less than the required amount of members, so it pays to be a good leader.
Well that tells you a tiny bit about what’s coming and probably leaves you with more questions than you had before starting reading. But we just felt it would be nice to let you know a little about the structure. There is also the disease, yes have fun infecting all your friends :) a customizable combat system, a banking system, make it hard for those thieves, and a pretty HUD which will eventually have three skins that you can change as you flit from Sim to Sim, because the same System will be used in all our Sims from now on. So if you get tired of sunning yourself in KOS you can nip over to bleak old Nomos and hang out with the cyber punks in desolation city.
I guess this may well sound very complicated to some people. But you do not need to read the manual, just jump in and start playing and learn as you go. As I said at the beginning, the point is to try to mimic everyday life in the way that there are things you just have to deal with whether you want to or not in a day. It should be an aid to role play not a hindrance. In having to eat you will need to interact with others, in seeking some form of pleasure to deal with your depression you must again interact, by doing “good” and “bad” things others will need to interact with you. You can of course mechanically increase your scores by doing the minimum needed, but the RP opportunities are always there, and believe me the scores mean very little on their own except as instigators to more action and involvement in the life of the city.

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