I’ve long had an idea for an RPG or MMORPG that is fantasy based. The resources it would take to make such a game might presently make it prohibitive, but it’s fun to dream. Essentially, it has features of the Infinity MMO. Players would be able to construct buildings with some creative freedom, create fortresses and towns of mixed NPCs and players. The players would expand civilization, but from a ground level. The core gameplay would revolve around economics, warfare (especially in the protection of territory, which would contribute to economics), and then there would be overarching storylines within the world. So, centralized lore would be complex like a comic-book universe. Players would also lead and direct NPCs, making the game somewhat like an RTS where the player is more of a hero-level character, but the gameplay is a lot more focused on the player’s combat, with the NPC’s AI doing a lot of the combat planning.
Combat would be fluid, somewhat more skill-based like Dark Souls, but not overly difficult for PVE experiences. Gear would matter to a degree, but players would be able to design gear themselves. I.e. you might not really have classes of weapons (i.e. axes, polearms, swords), but you’d be able to piece materials together in such a way that you could do some basic physics calculations in the code to determine the damage the weapon would do. So, you’d be able to choose where to place your hands on a sword, axe or polearm, which would change some basic functioning. It would be hitbox based.
You’d be able to design spells in a similar way. Certain styles of gameplay would emerge to be better than others, but the goal would make combat evolve emergently like decks evolve in a CCG. So, maybe there’s this dungeon with a lot of spiders, so you fashion a spell that is really good at dealing with tons of spiders. Or, maybe an opposing group really likes the strategy of using ranged attacks from horseback, so you counterattack it with polearms. The goal would be to make it endlessly creative while providing the fast track for people who care less about the creative details.
So, for divergent, creative sandboxy people, you might spend your time exploring, designing weird weapons or finding that weird weapon idea that just happens to work better than a lot of other stuff. For more linear-progression people, you might spend time building up your resources, defeating bosses or other accomplishments in the game.
Combat would be less tank-dps-heals, and more “you get hit a few times, you die, you find a way to avoid it” like Dark Souls. To make it possible for players to counteract powerful bosses, they’d have temporary invulnerabilities rather than large health pools. Artistically it would be fairly realistic, and I’d try making aesthetics that are in good taste: not cartoonish, but beautiful and realistic, but with players able to model whatever they’d like. And, if they want to make giant dildo statues, I’d say “go on ahead and do that.” I’d opt for an M rating because there would be decently enough gore and sexuality in the game as is. So, basically I’d implement some simplified modeling tools. For buildings, you’d be able to design many different types of structures, perhaps where you can modify things like pillars. I.e. if you make your building with thin structural elements, it will be weak. It seems like a lot of this could be done with fairly simple physics calculations where the behavior is dependent on geometry. You could include some continuum mechanics as an approximation, where things like stone and concrete have high compressive strength but not tensile, whereas wood has high tensile strength but not compressive. Numerical moment of inertia and center of mass calculations would allow for correlations that don’t necessary mean as much for the animations as they do the characteristics of a structure or weapon.
Environments would be ideally fully destructible, but that could get super difficult. So, perhaps I’d implement some simplified fragmenting destructibility and not full-blown continuum mechanics.