Information, tools, and thoughts on tabletop games, video games, and their worlds

Dark Merchants: Online multiplayer business simulation

Shianra version 2.0 was actually delayed for a month because of a small project I was working on — a project I named Dark Merchants. It was named as such because it takes the Dark Souls world and makes the user/player a merchant who can buy and sell all the items found within the game to other players and NPCs from the game.

I think, in terms of actual hours, this took me somewhere between 20 and 30 hours to complete and I got a lot of help from a couple of amazing people. Because of them I went from knowing nothing about ASP.NET (plus MVC, Razor, and Ajax in this context, etc.) at the conception of this project, to being able to use it comfortably at its completion. Before this, I was always the PHP and MySQL person, but now I think it’s great that I can comfortably use both.

However, I digress. Here are the details of my little Dark Merchants project which, despite being a really simple online multiplayer business simulation game made for browsers, was really fun to work on.

How Dark Merchants works

Dark Merchants

Individuals can register to make an account, making them players. This will be required to allow them to play this game.

Players will each get their own personal page and are able to open market stalls from which they can start selling items. Players will be able to trade with each other and non-player characters, known as adventurers. The adventurers will randomly appear every so often, both requesting and offering various different items.

Dark Merchants
Dark Merchants
Dark Merchants
Dark Merchants

The location of the player’s store will determine how difficult some items are to obtain. This is due to the availability of local resources and will affect the prices of the items. Furthermore, players will be able to open multiple stores in different locations, but only store per location.

The location will also affect how often the different adventurers will visit. Some adventurers will prefer to visit some locations more than others.

Dark Merchants

Each adventurer will prefer different items. This means that they will be willing to pay more for items they like. Conversely, the will also be less willing to pay much for items they’re not particularly fond of.

Items will go through trends. Every week a different item type will be “abundant type”, making it cheaper to purchase than usual. Similarly, there will also be a “rare type” which will be more expensive to purchase during that week.

Planned features

Players will be able to send shipments of items between their own stores.Shipments can be sent via various vehicles. Different kinds of carts and ships will be the initial vehicle types. Each store will be able to accommodate a certain number of vehicles at any one time based on their store level. Each vehicle will have a different speed, storage capacity, and purchase price. There will not always be a “best” choice of vehicle.

Players will be able to join a Guild which can provide various benefits and challenges.

Players will be able to compete with each other via a Rankings system. Each player’s net worth will be used to rank them against each other. This will be based off the total worth of all items on hand, vehicles, and the value of the stores themselves (value of level upgrades).

Dark Merchants