I’ve started working on a new web game I’d like to introduce.
The name is short for Legend of the Ancient Mystical Entities. It’s an homage to indy RPGs, especially in the late ’90s, which often had names full of words like “dungeon”, “sword”, and ”fantasy”1. I’ve had the name in mind for a long time and I’ve started and abandoned a couple games already (including the original LAME Online, which I’ll write about some time).
LAMEO is a browser-based RPG focusing on dungeoneering and trading. Dungeoneering is similar to older console RPGs. Dungeons are randomly generated and manually tweaked, and released on a regular schedule. Battles are random encounters and one-on-one.
Battles are synchronous and turn-based, similar to paper-rock-scissors. Both you and the enemy have a set of actions which can counter one-another. If you throw rock and the enemy throws paper, you won’t do any damage but you’ll take double. Enemies have deterministic AI. Once you find their pattern, you can win without taking any damage. But the AI will be complex (but not necessarily smart) so it takes more than a handful of encounters to do this.
After you complete a dungeon you’ll gain experience based on what you did in battles. If you only cast fire, you’ll only improve in that skill. You’ll also collect gold and equipment in dungeons. If you die, you’ll lose everything you found or earned within the dungeon, but there’s no additional penalty.
Outside of dungeons is a single conglomerate area where you can buy and sell equipment and spar with other characters. All trading is done between players; there are no stores. To sell items you simply put yourself in “sell mode” and select the items you wish to sell and their prices. To buy, you can search by item name, filter be type or cost, or just browse the other characters’ stores.
Sparring I haven’t quite thought out yet. It will be similar to battling in dungeons, except you’ll fight other characters. There will be a wagering system so you can risk your hard earned money and equipment.
I’m still pretty early in the design phase, and I’ve just started development. I have some page mockups and a few skeletons of code.
This will be my first real product. I’ve worked on dozens of projects before. Some of them have yielded results but most haven’t. But a product is different. My goal isn’t to learn and gain experience, or just have fun; my goal is to create a finished game that people will play. This means I have a lot more to do than just design and code. I’ll need to market, provide support, ensure the code is secure, and do all the other stuff that, in my mind, separates software development from programming.
- Yes, commercial games also follow a similar naming pattern [↩]