After playing Lord of Ultima and hearing someone (I think Notch) mention an idea for a fantasy-themed, fantasy-football type game, I decided I wanted to take a shot at creating a similar game. The basic idea of Ungrund was you (the player) started the game with a castle and a group of adventurers. The goal was to expand your empire by raiding dungeons for loot and hiring new adventurers. I wanted the number of adventurers the player controlled to be massive, and was trying to design the game to be more of a macro-management style game than an rpg where you’re micro-managing each combat round of 6 or so characters.
For combat, I decided to try something different (and simpler) than the regular d&d-style rules that most rpg/fantasy games used. I decided to have three stats: defense, offense, and support. The way those stats were applied depended on who was attacking, and who was defending. Combat outcomes were calculated once per battle, instead of per round. While this worked, and seemed to be fairly balanced, it wasn’t very fun.
The world was generated on the fly using a combination of perlin noise, cell noise, ridged fractals, and fractional brownian motion. This created a world with a decent amount of variety. The main problem with having a procedurally generated world was trying to implement pathfinding that accounted for portions of the world that didn’t exist yet.