Game Design


Stuff that could or should be implemented in the game




The goal of this document is to collect central features of the game that I would like to implement. It’s both a collection of ideas as well as a plan…




Quests are one of the central concepts of Little Goblin. Quests come in several types and each quest consist of several steps that need to be completed. A quest has a quest level, and upon completion, the character attains that level. He can only embark on quests that are rated higher than his current quest level. This way, the game ensures that a quest is only available once. And it also opens up interesting choices if two quests have the same questlevel - then the player has to decide which quest he takes and which he ignores. One design goal is to prevent the inflation of meaningless automatic quests. It is not really fun to run 100 quests where each is just the same monster, adjusted for the current level of the player.




  • A quest has a start page. On the start page the quest description is shown, along with an option to accept or decline.
  • A quest has an end page. At the
  • Quests have decision trees. (An encounter type: decision). If the player does not hurl a fireball at the chicken crossing the road, it may lay a golden egg…
  • Implemented quest rewards and effects. The golden egg in the previous example can be added to the PC’s items. Reputation is not yet implemented.
  • Quests may have prerequisites, like a UserProperty of a specific level. For example, a quest to help the dwarven king will probably not be available to an elf or orc.




Items help the PC to survive and complete the quests. They


  • are indivualized ( based on a template, but each item is unique. This enables improvements which can be added to items as well as charges and other enhancements.)
  • can be traded / sold (to a bot, or to other players)
  • can applied / used once or multiple times (if they have charges)
  • can be equipped
  • are scriptable (or use special classes) to enable effects. This is related to the “can be used” effect, but it goes further than “this item gives +5 to strength” - I would like for items to have a nethack-esque complexity. Or something like it, so you can damage a undead with holy water - and heal a holy creature with it, while a fire elemental would take normal damage.

  • can be counted. (99 Arrows should not take up 99 slots in the backpack. Especially because the backpack has definitely fewer than 99 slots).


(Those features are not implemented yet).




Monsters appear as part of a quest. The PC has to fight or evade them by some means to get on with the quest.


  • Alternatives to fighting:
    • bribe a monster
    • hide from monster (skill!)
    • reputation based mob evasion / aggression [depending on UserProperties]
  • Treasure and Items of monsters should be distributed via treasure tables.


Fight / Combat system


A fight is currently round based between one PC and one mob. The idea was to allow several PCs to band together under the leadership of one player.


Current combat modifiers are:


  • strike
  • parry
  • initiative (determines who strikes first)
  • damage


Planned modifiers are:


  • armor class
  • multiple attacks
  • attack types (based on creature attributes or item properties, for example: Sword of Flame)
  • reputation


Tech Tree / Skills


PCs should be able to learn skills which help them in combat and during quests.


For the first version of Little Goblin, there will be the following skills:


  • Target practice (=> strike)
  • Defensive maneuvers (=> parry)
  • Strategy and perception (=> initiative)
  • Power training (=> damage)


There is at the moment no plan for a tech tree per se. See strategic browsergame project stratbrog for a ideas for a tech tree based game.




When completing quests and defeating monsters, the PC is rewarded with experience points. A PC has an experience factor, which is reduced with each quest he starts each day. This means that you can solve quests for as long as you like on a given day, but you will get diminishing returns quickly. Once the factor turns negative, it will be a question of how urgently do you need this quest vs. how much experience points do you spent. This game mechanic should create a balance between power gamers and casual players.