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Rei May 18, 2023 (Edit)
I'll start off by sharing what I have heard so far about the idle game, and my thoughts so far.

KaizoZing
Heya Rei! I writed you on the site (the mails are hard to read there), but here are some random ideas:

It would be cool to decide where to send the idle charas:
Mining, Fighting Monsters, Doing Research, Doing Quests and such!
Each mission / job will have a set amount of time to be completed, and they will get resources / level up by doing so (it would be cool to have different stats, and each kind of "activity" give em a boost at those stats). We can also use the currency system already builded in the site (the gems). Also quests / job that need multiple charas to be completed, would be a neat idea. The thing that will mostly draw people in, will be the gacha side tho. Those are popular.
I will not go for evolutions, I would probably avoid equipments too (even if they could be neat, maybe equippable artifacts / sets that boost stats? those could be quests reward, also it could be nice to add a shop where people could spend the gems for more "summons" and equips / whatnot).
For characters limit, items in the shop and avaiable quest, I would go for a building system. Using materials and gems, ppl could build and upgrade buldings, that allow em to hold more charas, and do more things, maybe you could also assign charas in those buldings, to make em more efficiens.
Only issue I have with, is that characters pictures in the database lack a bit of consistency. Many have full body pics with transparent / white background, which is great, and some are just screenshots of their face. It would be impossible to re-edit all the charas for the game, so we need to think something about it, or just use em like they are in the family tree.
I would also make summoning not that easy to make. Maybe you start the game with 10 summons or so, and then to obtain em, you have to do something a bit difficult and more grindy... Maybe special quest or bossess... Something like the card packs, is something you can buy, but with time limit / expensive. Also to store more chars, you would need buildings as I said.
Oh and bosses and such would be a good idea, with the classic "you have this amount of time to kill em", and based to dps of the team, you can win or not.
I will avoid any kind of monetization, but eh, is your work, so you could also sell gems, to support the site.


RinaK
=== Popular Idle Game titles ===

Neko Atsume - game where you set food and toys around your yard and cats come by to eat and play with those toys. Special cats are attracted to special toys which you can get by the in-game coin. The cats eat and play and leave some coin for you. You can take a picture with each cat and make up an album of collected cats.

Afk arena - Battle game with heroes. You get new heroes and se tthem to battle while you're away. When your team wins, you get in-game coin to get more heroes.
Raid Shadow Legends - Send champions to battle or let them journey while you're AFK, the heroes will collect in-game coins.

Touken Ranbu - Semi-idle game where you collect cards and antropomorphized Japanese swords. Certain elements of the game are idle, such as crafting new swords, collecting resources or keeping a farm.

Animal Restaurant - Restaurant idle game where you're the manager of an animal restaurant. You set the menu and adverts for your restaurant, the animals come in for food which you have to serve manually until you get enough in-game coins for autmated services by acquiring employees. The money is used to buy new food menus, new automated employees and decorate the restaurant.

Cookie clicker - Browser idle game where you get cookies by clicking. The work has to be manual up until you have enough cookies to buy upgrades and automated services. The game has new funny messages for each hidden level of cookies acquired, depending on the upgrades, the game can change appearance and have different messages. It has achievements and savestates.

=== Conclusion ===
Basically these games all contain a sort of in-game currency which the player uses to either get more furnishing or acquire new units while not actively playing.

*All games have aspects of active gameplay (clicking, making new teams, decorating);
*All games have idle cummulation of resources (coins or items);
*All games have a virtual market to spend those resources, mainly for in-game upgrades or to attain new units.

------

I think the game could have the main objective of having either a certain amount of characters or making the strongest team of sorts. We both like RPG and so does everyone else xD
I could whip up some achievements and requirements for you. My vision of perfect idle game is cookie clicker, I used to freeze my entire computer and waste away mice by playing it back in the day.


Rei
It's a lot to consider.
I'm trying to think of a framework to work this all into.
Another part is what is the goal, main objective? What will people ultimately be working towards?

The way I see it so far you'll have
1. your characters
2. selection of missions
3. mission status
4. resource and rewards - or i guess inventory

What tabs, what information, what features - I'd like to put together a really rough first version so we have something to work with.

I don't see a need to think about monetization in the beginning. If people ask for it, then I'll think about it.


KaizoZing
Well, goal in idle games is to "grow", aim for the high numbers and so on.
So if we put a level system, and quest / bosses, that will be enough to make people play more and more.
You know, like in diablo, where ppl replay the game over and over just to improve the stats!
I know is a lot of work, but once you made the basic code for boss and quest, is just adding higher / more difficult numbers.
Same with buildings and upgrade. The "summon" system, to summon new charas to use in the idle game, will be the main core tho.
People love to "build" characters. Anyway, Iunno what is possible and what not with the tool you use.
But yeah been able to "summon" from the database (maybe "sell" the characters you "draw" but don't like), will be the most charming part of it.
So yeah to put a simple "blueprint" of the game menu & gameplay:

Stats (check "party" you have, and the charas stats, all start at level 1 with 1 in every stat and then grow up from there, discard option too)

Inventory (item & equip you have, items for craft, item to use, equip like armors & weapons or whatnot)

Quests (idle quests & bosses)

Dungeon (idle monster farming, can be moved in "buildings")

Buildings (build, check and manage buildings, assign characters in em which will level up, like monster farming & quests. we can move dungeons here too)

Shop (buy crafting materials, weapons, items)

Summon ("draw" charas from the database, to use in game, using some sort of in game currencies, limited per day)

Something like that! Discard should give some resources back. Quests can fail depending on charas stats.
What do you think?


Rei
I've got an idea now what the game will be.
If you've watched Fairy Tail, you might have an idea what I'm thinking.

An idle game where you are the Guild Master of a guild you can name. You start with one random member, and send them on missions. Mission rewards will allow you to upgrade the guild, and recruit new members.

Everything you've mentioned so far, I think can be worked into this setup.



KaizoZing

I like the whole "Guild Master" setting!
Been able of create and custom your own guild, is neat!
Rei May 18, 2023 (Edit)
I just need to recover a bit. Translating these ideas into sql tables, html, javascript, php takes a toll.

Missions are next to code.

I want like a tutorial - your first mission rewards resources and finishes in a minute. Then you use the resources to buy a new bed for the guild. Then the next mission recruits a new guild member, also quickly.

Beyond that, I leave it to you!
Rei May 18, 2023 (Edit)
And I totally want to see some visual progression of the Guild Tiers, if anyone has ideas how to put graphics to that.

We start like a shack, and one day own the whole city!
Chinesegirlcartoons May 18, 2023 (Edit)
Wow, reading through this sounds like a lot of good ideas! I'm honestly really impressed you put together something already, haha.

I will agree with Kaizo in that a lot of the reason I like these kinds of games is just the aspect of collecting and growing. As far as immediate next steps, I think getting a basic loop going would be the most important, then flesh out the details after.

To that end I think you'd want to:

1) Get some kind of simple timer based missions in place. In the future there can be a lot more variables (time, success rate/difficulty of quest, characters or guild need to be X level, need to send multiple characters to one mission, etc), but for now just something like the character goes out for some time, returns and brings some resource.

2) Basic character exp or level system. In the future characters might have different stats like in an RPG (randomly generated I assume since there's a gazillion characters lol) but for now just having one stat like "Skill" or "Power" to represent their overall usefulness and tying it to the above mission system. Character returns, gains some EXP. Level goes up, power goes up.

3) Basic guild system. Kind of the same as above? I imagine later the guild will be based on spending resources, but maybe locked behind the total level of your characters? For now something simple like spend X resource to make the guild level up.

4) How to get new characters? Spend resources to recruit people, maybe show 10 and you get to pick 1 like the current system, so it's random but with players having some control over the outcome and who joins their guild.

I think with these four things in place you'll have a basic repeatable loop. Then things can be incremented (character stats, new missions, guild upgrades, etc) over time.

As for graphics, my first thought was to use something like RPG Maker to represent the different levels, but I think a funnier and easier idea is to just use screenshots from various anime. Start out with pictures of the barns from Konosuba or Felt's house from ReZero or something equally rundown. Upgrade through bigger buildings until you get to the Fairy Tail guildhall or similar, or keep going until it's just a screenshot of one of those big circular isekai towns lol.
Rei May 19, 2023 (Edit)
I appreciate the feedback Chinesegirlcartoons!

Keeping it simple and time based to start, I'll have the best chance of getting something launched this weekend. Adding new features and complexity later will always be an option.
Rei May 26, 2023 (Edit)
Tutorial is now live!

Step 1: Get a Guild
Step 2: Get a Character
Step 3: Mission to get resources
Step 4: Mission to add a bed
Step 5: Mission to get new character

When you first land on Guild it creates a Guild if you do not have one.

From Characters you can select a first character from today's random selection.

Missions will display available missions as well as characters available to deploy. When a mission is started, it will live track progress and automagically unveil a Claim Reward button at the completion of the mission.

The first mission, will not just add 2 resources. It will also increase the Tier of your Guild from 0 to 1. And increase max beds from 1 to 5.
I did this to simplify the tutorial, and would very much like to hear about how to increase max beds and increase Tier in the future.

The 2nd mission will increase beds from 1 to 2, and decrease resources from 2 to 1.

The 3rd mission will not claim in the usual way. It'll bounce you over to the Characters tab where you can select a 2nd character.

The game will PAUSE HERE a while, so we can give thought to how it should progress.

What do we need to track, measure, compare.
What should be the requirements for Tier increases. How many max beds should come with each new tier.

The GM tab is largely unfinished.
Moon_Moon May 27, 2023 (Edit)
I've finished the tutorial. Great work so far, Rei. My feedback for now is probably a way to actively reroll character recruitment. With the amount of characters in the ACDB, it's almost impossible to get the character you want unless you're incredibly lucky. Currently there's daily reroll system for character recruitment but it is not effective enough and takes lots of time to find the character we want. My feedback is probably an active way to reroll character selection but it costs resources to do so. IDK if the recruitment selection is same or different for players but having that option would be nice. Another thing is the way to retire character and give rewards based on the level of the character but probably doesn't matter for now since the game is still in tutorial.

I have no inputs for other aspects of the game until it's implemented but for now, that's all I can say. As usual keep up the good work, Rei.
KaizoZing May 27, 2023 (Edit)
Heya Moon! Well I do think the fact that is hard to get the character that you want, is part of the charme. Pretty much like cards.
Been able to refresh the charas, by using resources, is a good idea tho.
Chinesegirlcartoons May 27, 2023 (Edit)
I also just completed the tutorial and I've got some thoughts!

A) On the topic of rolling for characters I'm kind of between Moon_Moon and KaizoZing. I do think it's important that users don't just immediately pick their favorite characters, as aiming for those characters is part of the charm of games like this. That said, there really are...a LOT of characters on ACDB so any kind of traditional gacha style system means it's actually pretty likely that you will just literally never see any characters you like, or possible even characters you know.

To that end, what if we combined those ideas so that you roll for characters randomly, but they can be retired for some resource (based on their level/skill & different from the mission based resource) and this second resource can be used to recruit targeted characters? Retiring (maybe call it something else lol?) characters would just be put back into the general pool of characters. It would have to be fairly expensive, but this way you could still slowly recruit the specific characters you want into your guild? You could even make it so that each time you do this it gets more expensive, so people have to really choose which characters they want carefully.

B) In regards to missions I didn't think about it too much before but I kind of picture the flow like this:

1) There are specific "story" missions (like these tutorial ones) that are one-and-done. As you progress, these missions get more difficult and this is where the idea of difficulty/needing a larger team of more skilled characters comes in. These missions wouldn't be % based, but simply that your character or team must meet the requirement to complete. The actual guild tier could be reliant on completing certain key missions in this fashion. In the future you can unlock all the other features (equipment & items, new base buildings etc) through raising the guild tier in these missions.

2) There are generic repeatable missions that exist to level up your characters and get resources. The guild tier listed above only unlocks the OPTION to build/buy these new things, and you'll need to spend resources to actually build/buy them for your guild. This is where you'll level your characters (early on? maybe more options later?) when you reach a story mission you currently can't complete. These can be % based where maybe more difficult/riskier quests give better rewards, but there are also easier/guaranteed quests that you can always take as well?

3) The specific bed numbers are a bit nebulous since it kind of gets into game balance, but I think just increasing it by 5 or 10 for every tier seems good for now? Since these types of games are usually designed for long term play I do think it's important that the final upper limit is very high. Maybe even unlimited at the eventual final tier, with increasing costs for each one? If there are a lot more places to upgrade/spend resource in the future this might not be as important but you really want to avoid people "completing" everything there is to do too easily.
Rei May 29, 2023 (Edit)
Thank you Moon_Moon, KaizoZing, Chinesegirlcartoons for the kind words and encouragement! It gives me the energy to think about how I can bring your ideas into the game.

It has crossed my mind that there may be some people that will want a very specific set of characters to make up their guild. Say for example you wanted to recreate the guild Fairy Tail with only members of Fairy Tail.

I would like to approach this with a couple of solutions.

One will be as discussed, using resources to reroll / get another 10.

But another idea of mine is, what about a Hero Summons ?
Use of it would have to be quite limited. Long duration? High resource cost? Once per ______?
Then upon completion, you'd be able to enter the id of the exact character you want.


I would like to have something like character levels soon. What I have in mind is basing character level on number of missions run.

Level 1 to 10 would require 10 missions
Level 11 to 100 would require 1000 missions.
Level 101 to 1000 would require 100,000 missions.
Chinesegirlcartoons May 29, 2023 (Edit)
I think once per week & a high cost would be valid. It does somewhat depends on how many characters will be allowed in the guild in total. The fewer characters you have to work with, the more valuable each slot is, so to speak.

Making the duration long is kinda the same as once per ___ unless there is something else in the equation. If it takes up a character's time (so they can't do missions) then a user would just send some random unimportant character.

The "economy" of this game is a total mystery right now so if it's just a high cost with no timer, it might be possible to get a ton of resource very quickly later on and mostly ignore the cost. If it's just time based that's slightly better but it feels counter intuitive because then it's separated from the rest of the game too much. I think unless the summoning itself has a high difficulty or some other special requirement, the best thing would be to make it time limited and somewhat expensive.

As for character levels, I think basing it just on # of missions run would be a bad idea. It means the best way to level is to just repeatedly run the shortest mission over and over, which is not good but people will totally do haha.

If you want a simple method using what you've already created I think something like duration (in hours?) * difficulty seems intuitive? Longer missions = more exp, harder missions = more exp. A lengthy and difficult mission = much more exp.

I'm sure there are edge cases that wouldn't work perfectly, but it seems straightforward and should work for most missions. If there are missions that require a team, does it get divided (like in a lot of JRPGs) or does everyone on the mission get full results?

Looking forward to the updates!
NatsumiSawada Jun 5, 2023 (Edit)
I tried it a few days ago and did the 'New Bed' mission but I cannot chose any other missions. Even though I try doing the bed mission again it gives me an error: ERROR: This mission is not suited to your Guild Tier.

Or.. are you still working on make that possible, Rei? xD
Rei Jun 5, 2023 (Edit)
Thanks for the report NatsumiSawada!

After completing the first mission, your guild tier is upgraded. But the tutorial missions are all tier 0, my latest update limiting missions to tier may have broken that.

I'll drop the guild_tier check until I can work out a better fix.

Let me know if the missions resume working!
NatsumiSawada Jun 5, 2023 (Edit)
Bed mission works now!
chanchanlee Jun 15, 2023 (Edit)
I think Character Level also had to be locked behind resources.
If it's just missions, you can just keep repeating a 1-hour mission to do so.
I like Chinesegirlcartoons' suggestion but I also agree with Rei's. A combination of the two is nice.
Like, the character doesn't automatically level up, they need experience and resources to raise their level.

Example:
Lv 1: Exp 20, Resources 10
Lv 2: Exp 40, Resources 20
Lv 3: Exp 80, Resources 40
and so on.

I think 100 level cap would be ideal maybe? It's quite a struggle to reach that point using this method after all.
Some quests enable the character to level up automatically is also okay, though I don't think it should be that many.
RinaK Jun 17, 2023 (Edit)
An interesting option to keep guild size down would be to have to retire certain characters after they reach max level. If you have a limited guild size and characters that need to be retired, you'd have to carefully pick which ones you'll send on missions, which ones to keep and which ones you'll let go.
chanchanlee Jun 26, 2023 (Edit)
I think it's nice that every character gets character points to spend on their stats whenever they level up, which are hidden from people other than the guild they're in. These stats determine which missions that are perfect for their character traits (You wouldn't send Idol characters into battle if they have low battle stats, right?)

The stats consist of:
Strength - Stats that are perfect for battle-type missions.
Mind - Stats that are perfect for nonbattle-type missions. (Such as study, investigate, etc.)
Tech - Stats that are perfect for various-type missions. (vary, can be superpower related, or technological)
Magic - Stats that are perfect for magic-type missions.
Charisma - Stats that are perfect for entertainment-type missions. (such as charity, entertainment related)

Well, in the end, the final decision would be in the hands of the admins. These things come to my mind and think it would be nice to have multiple variations of missions and characters.
Chinesegirlcartoons Jul 4, 2023 (Edit)
Meant to write out this feedback a while ago but got busy IRL uguu~

Anyway some thoughts:

1) Personally I think an important grounding point for this game is that it utilizes what ACDB already has. I mean if Rei wants to build out a bunch of unrelated stuff then I won't complain, but it's a lot of work haha.

To that end, anything like character stats opens up the question...who determines what they are? There's no way we're going to go through every single character on the site and give them unique individualized stats.

I think I originally suggested that any stats in the game are just randomized, but what if they were at least somewhat based off of existing data? IE, base the character stats off of the appearance, tags, personality fields that are already added when new characters are entered into the database. It would still be a lot of work to set up (does red hair mean more strength or magic lol?), but at least then it's a system that works universally and doesn't need to be manually placed onto every single character.

2) In regards to guild size, I think it opens the question of "What is the goal of the game?". Games like this generally have a few methods of determining progression:

A) Direct progression - in this instance it would be a line of increasingly difficult missions. The "goal" is to reach the end, and getting new guild members/leveling them up is the means by which you move up through harder missions.

B) Collection progression - in this instance, the missions have no real end and the "goal" is just to...collect everyone.

C) Story progression - sometimes tied with A, but I'm not going to detail this one because this game has no story lol.

In the interest of leveraging ACDB's strengths I think B is a much better solution. ACDB is a massive collection of characters and that is the core conceit of this game IMO. If the number of characters is limited then the missions must be added increasingly or the end will be reached and there will no longer be a "goal." If the goal is collecting characters then there is already an incredible dearth to choose from, but it's also something that will grow natively with the site's actual purpose. That is to say, new characters are added all the time so Rei wouldn't need to sit here and make a bunch of new missions regularly to raise the ceiling.

New stuff could still be added if the game really takes off, but as a core loop collecting characters becomes self fulfilling and easy to maintain.

---

The concerns with a massive guild size boil down to two different issues as I see it:

1) What do they actually all do?

Right now each mission is just one person, picked one at a time. This would obviously be insane once you had like 1000 people or more in your guild. There may be a better solution, but my immediate thought is that you can delegate members of your guild into different teams. Then, you're actually sending the teams out on missions and their collective stats are what is used? Each team could have a captain (use their image to show the team) and a name? If a limit is needed, there could be a limit on how many teams you can create. This way you can still collect characters, but only so many can be "active" at once. I really like this idea for theme reasons as well, IE you could slowly piece together the actual Fairy Tail guild, or make a team of the Phantom Troupe from HunterxHunter.

If the quest is to defeat a dragon you could have a team of 100 weaklings, or a team of 2-3 strong characters. There could also be quests that limit team size, but that's another topic. The main goal is to allow for a large collection of characters without being totally overwhelming to look at.

2) How do you parse the information?

Currently characters are listed out one by one underneath each mission (and for some reason the mission listing is diagonal haha) which again will get totally overwhelming once there are more missions.

I'm...not a designer so there are probably better options, but honestly my first thought is to make frequent use of dropdowns/accordions to categorize things. Something like:

Mission List

≻Difficulty 1-50

≻Difficulty 51-150

≻Difficulty 151-250

When you click on one of these it unrolls into the actual mission list for these ranges.

Inside that it would be something like:

≻Difficulty 1-50

≻≻Escort the Merchant

≻≻Chop Wood

≻≻Find Missing Person

Then when you actually click on a mission it would display all of the details like it does now, but instead of showing every single character in a row, it would show a list of teams that you've created. The captain's photo, with the team name and overall power level underneath. If we ever reach a point of actually having different stats it could display the combined value of the team members stats as well.


Hopefully this makes sense, but the TLDR is that I think the game should leverage all of the info that ACDB already has so Rei doesn't need to reinvent the wheel.
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