Think of Osgard as the love child between the old school ASCII Rogue genre and your classic D&D top down RPG. You then condition that child into learning algorithmic procedural generation and infuse him with dynamic gameplay. That’s the idea.
Intended for PC, I have yet to figure out the visual medium of Osgard or even the coding language. Choosing between 2D, 3D or even the visual projection is still out there to decide.
I don't imagine Osgard to become the next gen in terms of visual capabilities but we’ve seen many times before that good graphics don’t always make good games. Therefor leaving a big part of the visuals to the player’s imagination.
Hopefully the player will feel like every run of the game is a new adventure. Limitless possibilities at the hand of the user while retaining an organic feel to the world. The hardest part of this is to keep a sense of story when things are randomly generated. A way of giving your character a purpose in the world other than exploring, killing and leveling up.
The style is heavily influenced by your typical fantasy setting. Everyone knows Dwarves and Orcs kick ass so why leave them out anyway? Some of the main playable races are as follow:
The first world map is generated using a grid shaped plane with even coordinates. These coordinates represent map tiles with different attributes that will be generated using a method called procedural generation or fractal terrain generation. The first stage is to use static algorythms to set creation points for physical bodies of land types and water. That way you are setting a canvas to help you layer your terrain with further information.
This generation procedure has been done many times before throughout the rogue game genre. Although Osgard doesn’t use height maps (see Dwarf Fortress) it uses a flat terrain that inter-links to spawned locations. So if character X is walking around map A and happens to find a cave, a map B will be generated for the cave itself and it's continuing levels.
There are certain things to consider when making an open roaming world. For one, there needs to be a sense of scale, free will and direction in the level of difficulty while keeping the player challenged.
One of the ideas I came up for the difficulty scale goes a bit like this:
The main character is randomly spawned into a starting point(1) on the world grid. As you get further away from your starting point(2), new map tiles explored increases in difficulty. This way the player can choose to hang around the initial map tiles and wait until he feels ready for a bigger challenge or he can chose to take a risk and explore(3). Leaving himself to greater danger but also finding better loot. The difficulty "meter" does not have to be set on specific criterias but more for creating a range(1-10, 11-20) of possible values. You could find very tough encounters within the first few minutes of game play while finding greater drops and then hit an easier mid-game experience or the other way around.
Within the difficulty scaling system there are "special" map tiles (0) with unique generated events. These events may have a global effect on the world or be locally affecting your character. They can trigger plots, characters, quests of a greater scale than kill X and bring back to Y. Like exploring a deep goblin cave said to hold something that can cure X town from a plague (or exterminate a herd of killer bunnies).
Once a player reaches the edge of the world he can choose to explore the remaining map tiles or simply generate and move to a new world map(5). Traveling West, East, North and South to continue the adventure.
Old mighty guardians and mountain
dwellers, these fierce giants are
known for their strength.