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Hi everyone!

It looks like there is quite a bit of demand for a new framework for pet games. I would love to be the one to meet this need.

What are you looking for in a framework? What features would you like out-of-the-box? What frustrates you about current frameworks?

Would you be interested in a subscription-style payment plan (I provide hosting, updates, etc...you pay a monthly fee; tons of customization options, ability for creating custom features; layout builder) or would you prefer a framework that you can just purchase, download, and go?

I would truly love to hear your feedback on this!

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I think most folks prefer a framework that they buy once and download because it generally offers more flexibility in customization.

Honestly the main thing that frustrates me with the very limited currently available frameworks is the total lack of updates or radio silence from developers.

Of course "out of the box" the most basic features should be ready to go- secure registration, login, log-out, account management, admin control panel, mod controls. Ability to turn registration on, off, or limit to code-based access, etc. A flexible and fully usable admin control panel is a must. Should be able to turn features on and off, modify pages, users, etc with ease.

As for actual pet-game features it depends highly on what style of game you want to cater to. The more adaptable you make it, the more people will be able to use it. Making features togglable is a great way to offer something for everyone.

Take a look at most modern virtual pet games and figure out what they have in common. I'd recommend starting small and simple, and then listen to community feedback.

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Have to admit; getting stuck in the Decision Fatigue of the Framework Wars is part of the reason I'm dragging my feet on my own project. 

I've tried both PGF and Mysdia from the existing frameworks. 
I think people are looking for something closer to Mysdia, but newer. 
For something a bit less niche -- think of something like Wordpress. 

Money isn't really a problem for me. I have enough to fund my project, but my inability to make a decision over the Framework is what's causing nothing to happen now. 

Ability-wise, I know both Front (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and Back-End (PHP and a bit of Java and Python) and know enough about servers, versioning and hosting to be able to set it up myself with a bit of instruction and/or trial and error. I'm stronger on the Front-End ... and the part that bothers me is communicating back and forth with the database. I know how to set up and even manually add data to quite a few types of databases, but writing the script chokes me. 

I am confident enough that I can learn a framework if I pick one ... but that's a big if. 

Thinking a pricing scheme like this might work for a hosted solution; 

  • Trial of Premium Service (14-30 days)
  • Free Service with limited features/ads 
  • Premium Service as either a monthly (slightly higher) or annual (slightly lower) plan 

If you offer the script for free or even for cheap you'll probably have to find another way to monetize it -- like selling plugins or dedicated hosting space. 

Like @KingOfCrows says there are several genres of Pet Game. 

Your framework would either have to fill a niche well or be flexible enough (perhaps with plugins) to fill a variety of roles. 

I have nothing to hide and everything to gain by talking a bit, so I'll talk a bit about what I'm looking for specifically game feature-wise: 

  • A way to set, keep, and check time when running scripts (like a Cron-Jobber?)
  • A Pet/Creature Creator with the Ability to set a number of Stats (pets have 16 stats in my concept) 
  • An Item Creator that lets you set Item Image, Description and Attributes (items have about eight attributes) 
  • A Daily Creator (click a button a certain number of times a day and receive a list of items, effects, or perks) 
  • Map Editor (you can either have a text list and/or upload an image map and set the links) 
  • News/Blogging System (if you seen a modern blog you know what this is)
  • Quest Creator/Editor (you set up a quest and the steps/flags a user needs to preform in order to complete)
  • Dialogue System (actually made a very basic one in JSFiddle and JQuery with faces and a click for next button) 
  • Collections System (You collect a certain number of objects and receive a prize)
  • Achievement System (Unlock a prize when you meet a certain criteria) 
  • Admin/Moderation (able to view a players status, activities, and change statistics/ban the player if needed) 
  • Random Event Creator (be able to set, enable/disable, determine frequency and effects of Random Events on refresh and click of an object)
  • Themes (It is relatively straightforward to either create or install an existing theme for your Game and Admin Panel) 
  • Page Creator (and perhaps having customer Header/Footer code within those pages)
  • Widget Maker/Creator (just being able to insert HTML in certain places would be enough for me) 
  • A way to hook your Framework up to a Forum or Chat (think you shouldn't re-invent the wheel and make your own, and many modern softwares allow this)
  • A Games Manager (I've already built some JavaScript based games in Construct 3. If I can load them into an "Arcade" relatively easily that may be a boon. Being able to pull some data from the framework into construct can also enhance the gameplay experience. I may be able to change point ratios, item pools or even do multiplayer)
  • Plugin Manager (being able to install and enable/disable plugins) 
  • Lookups for Users, Pets, and Stores 

That's not everything for me, but having even half of that would be a move in the right direction. 

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@KingofCrows I understand that completely. Most developers are indie and cannot roll out continuous updates. The perk of hosted solutions as a developer is that I will have income coming in to feed back into development. Another perk of a hosted solution is that I do not think it's something that's been done before...low initial investment for a game owner, a lot of options, and maybe an option to buy a copy of the code down the line? How nice would it be to sign up, pay for that first month at $20, and have all of the options available to you? You'd be able to see quickly whether or not the framework works for you. That's the way I'm leaning with this :) EDIT: I do plan on offering a demo version as well that would be free.

I'm thinking more along the lines of wordpress, definitely! I've started building the admin area which allows a user to set the basic game variables (name, admin email, etc.), toggle options on/off (open for registration, moderate members prior to joining, etc.), toggle features on/off (quests, cash shop, etc), and a layout builder (with both options: basic skinning or you do it all).

The options I listed above are for a hosted solution. If I were to sell the code itself, I would require a licensing agreement and link back. At this point, I'm going forward with a hosted option to see where it takes me. It will be easy enough to box it up at a later time and offer it for individual sale if hosting doesn't appear to be the way to go. :D

Thank you both for your input, especially listing out the individual features that you feel would be important. I will refer back to this topic a lot, I can tell!

Edited by myztacia
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I have a faint memory of a hosted Virtual Pet Game solution. It was free. 

I remember the layout of the site was Red and you could create species, shops, and pages. It moderately popular with people with no coding experience at all, but if you did know a bit of what to do it was pretty restrictive (you couldn't change the layout significantly, code your own features, or implement plugins) so not a lot of games came out of it. The site isn't around anymore. 

You're thinking about setting the price at $20 a month/$240 a year?

I can swing that, but maybe you should hold a poll or survey to see how much people are willing to pay for your service. 

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A hosting solution would certainly work as long as it was flexible (offering pay-for-plugins could certainly be an idea!) It has been offered before, MyAdopts was an old one that I was active on until it shut down several years ago. It had a teeny tiny team and unfortunately could not maintain development. Then there was My Virtual Pet Site, I think. I know it promised a lot but ended up falling flat when it was released. I know there also used to be two older ones but I cannot recall the name.

I think a big issue is a lot of them do not charge, and do not have a team of developers. So getting a team may be a wise decision to consider.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m still in the long process (I’m a slow coder tbh and some pho isn’t clicking with me like I’d like it to. 


my project is being done in laravel and I would honestly love to see a very basic pet framework that’s expandable in Laravel or even codeigniter. 


I chose laravel simply imply for the login system and it’s supposed ease of use and learning curve. While we have a start on it there’s so much that’s needed. 


Its fun fun learning but I also learn by seeing and doing.  An updated framework would do wonders.


id personally prefer a buy once and done type model and have plugins or something to add onto other than my custom coding.


i don’t like bloat and even sometimes laravel is just a lot to go through (for me)

i wouod also be willing to shell out for various plugins such as times events. At certain times of the day etc etc



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Thank you for the continued input! I have been working on this project and while I'm not sure which route I will go as far as hosted vs. one-time payment, I'm pretty excited for the progress.

I'm building this on php 7.3, mysql 5.7, codeigniter 3.1, bootstrap 4.3, and jquery 3.4. I've been toying with boostrapvue as well and may swap out jquery + bootstrap in favor of that, but I also don't want to make it hard for a new game owner to update their own game.

I definitely love the idea of plugins. I've never built a plugin feature before, and it's a new challenge that I'm looking forward to :) 

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In my War on Frameworks I tried both Semantic UI and Bootstrap -- but ultimately went back to Bootstrap. 

Not just because it's what my day-time employer users, but I found it was easier to learn and more widely supported (that is, if I have a question I can find more people to answer it). 

Creating a site that does not look generic is more a challenge for the designer and/or developers. 

Any tool is only as useful as the one implementing it. 

Big Edit: Ah. 

I found something that might be helpful looking for something else; a list of Mods I installed on my Mysida Build

- Explore System (Dailies) 
- Stats and Training 
- Official Shop Mod
- User Shops
- Item Management Pages
- Sorting Pets
- Random Events
- Private Messages
- Secondary Currency
- Pet Lookup
- Achievements System (Badges/Avatars) 
- Item Drops for Clicks 
- Pet's Birthday Check
- Lottery
- Raise Stats with Items
- Personality
- Item Mixing
- Facebook-Style Messenger
- Admin Control 
- Seamless Login
- Customize the Index Page
- Anti-Brute Force
- Welcome Message for New Users
- Held Items
- Change Browser Title
- Quests
- Admin Panel
- Time Specific Text ("Good Morning/Evening")
- Daily Surprise 
- Avatars in the Members List
- Favicon
- Bridge to Forum Software 
- Dialogue System 

Edited by Mobotropolis
Added Mod List
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@Mobotropolis wow...love the list. Thanks!

@Jinjojin I chose bootstrap for the same reason as Mobotropolis. I'm already fluent in it, it's easier for others to make changes, and it's relatively easy to use. Codeigniter is a personal preference.  I used laravel in a few corporate projects and that may be flavoring my distaste for it. I've used a few frameworks (as well as written my own for some personal projects), and my general opinion is any framework can be as good as any other so long as you know what you're doing. I'm not sure what kind of longevity CI has, but I am also capable of editing the framework if need be for future versions of PHP. It provides a lot of security built-in (which is why I quit using my own framework...why reinvent the wheel?), it's MVC and makes sense to my brain, it's easy to extend, and I really enjoy it. *shrug*

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Actually have a feature list this time- note this is based entirely on what I would like to have in my own game, so features may or may not be useful to everyone. Will modify when I find my masterlist of "site features I wanna include" lol.

-In-depth coordinate based exploration and event system


A system in which the admin designs a map on a grid and the users explore by choosing which direction to take, either can show them on the map, or, as is my preference, have them explore it with each movement bringing them to a new page. Can choose whether or not to save user location for when they leave the explore page. Can set each coordinate to have either no events, a specific event, or a random event (and set the likeliness of the events occurring.)

So, example. The user starts out going to the explore page at the designated start position, let's say 1x1. They can move forward to 2x1, or down to 1x2, etc. The admin designs the explore map(s). They can add different region types (i.e. wetlands, prairie, river, etc), and event types (find item, find pet, find npc, enemy, just flavor text ("A rabbit darts across your path and disappears into the woods.")) Event types can either be tied to a specific region type (rabbit flavor text only appears in woodlands region, etc), or more specifically to certain grid coordinates.

Location URLs cannot be saved, to prevent cheating. Refreshing page does not allow repeat of events.

-Quest System


Start quests, track progress, complete, get reward. Some quests can be repeated, others cannot.

-NPC Creation/Storage


Set an NPC name, ID, image(s), and conversation options. Can then set a specific NPC as a shopkeeper for different shops, or have them appear at events during exploring or randomly, etc.

-News System


A simple blog-style news system. Can allow comments from users or not, make sure comments are easy to moderate. Notify users of new News.

-Mini Games


Just fun little html5 or flash games from which users can earn currencies or items.


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I'm building out the plugin system right now with Alpha Codes as my test subject. ?

CI is tricky to use as far as creating a plugin system. It has hooks, but it's not as extensive as Laravel. @Jinjojin this is one situation where Laravel may have been a better option.

Edited by myztacia
plugin rambling
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  • 2 weeks later...

Maps, shops, exploration, items, these are all the fundamentals << I could easily elaborate on each of these topics.
Gating tasks in various ways: whether its to limit a purchase, a quest or so on is probably important to note.
Loot boxes and gachas would allow for currency sinks but also adds to the instant-gratification so many seek in mobile games these days.
Professions add flavor to some game concepts but require a lot of other things to take place (exploration, item drops, item combinations, timed events), so I can't imagine it being immediately important.

I also love the concepts of incorporating more social networking styled profiles and character designs, I feel like this is the changing market to pet games. We could learn from Amino and other apps that are gaining favor and what they have to offer their userbase, while improving upon it.

I feel like most of us want to feel like independent creators, but I also feel like often times a lot of the success in niche platforms rely on communities functioning in federation with one another. To maintain the independence of creators while still allowing for us to communicate and exchange, something like Mastodon's fediverse model could work.

Edited by banshee
gramatical error
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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice project you have here and it's definitely a big one to tackle. Another suggestion is a battle system. You could make simplified versions of everything and eventually create add-ons that makes it more complex. If you need ideas for different kinds you can look at virtual websites like Furvilla, Flight Rising, Goatlings, and Eliyo. You could make it player vs. opponent or chosen pet vs. opponent and so on.

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  • 3 months later...

There's quite a few people following this topic (yay!! :D) so I wanted to give an update. I picked up a rather large commission project in September, and I've put this on hold for a little bit here. My commission ends in February, and I plan on coming back to this in March! :)

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  • 1 month later...

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