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Please test my RTS game - Pax Solaris


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#21 JonW   Members   -  Reputation: 173

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 08:08 AM

Wow!! I liked this a lot better than Dune

Your game seems fine as is, no glaring problems, but sometimes I''ll start getting attacked and not notice until its too late. Maybe your stars under attack could be highlighted or something?

Sponsor:

#22 5010   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:23 AM

quote:
Original post by Diodor
5010, the user interface you propose may indeed be more intuitive to some people, but I suspect the average user is more used to having the left mouse button as a command button. As it is, my interface has a single serious problem: unexperienced players tend to forget they have already selected a star, and when they left-click a neighbour of that star to select it an unwanted move order is generated, which can get extremely annoying. This problem wouldn''t occur if they''d use the right-click to select. In the UI you propose this problem doesn''t exist, but it''s also harder to quickly stop the moving orders for more stars (you must left-click then right-click each one of them).



Yeah, after playing it for a while I got used to the UI and you are right that your UI makes it easy to stop a bunch of stars.

quote:

(about setting minumum ships per star)
#1 is definitely a feasible idea. I''m worried though it will cut down on the risk factor of the game: breaking through the lines and stealing all the undefended stars is just too much fun, and losing all the stars because of a silly mistake keeps you tense throughout the game.



Yeah, it''s a tough call. The current game has a thrill factor because of the tendancy to have undefended stars behind the lines. Making this change would require new AI too, so it''s not a trivial matter. But one nice thing about making this change would be that you could flow excess ships across the front line wall without having to micro-manage it.

quote:

(about different type of path)
#2 seems a bit unnecessary - I almost always want to move ships faster rather than slower. Initially I also wanted to add different types of attacks, and attacks in multiple directions from a single star, but I gave up on these to keep things simple.



After playing it more, I agree. Unnecessary complication and not much value. Having different bonuses for star types is good enough.

quote:

(about monster ships)
I think #3 could be made to work and create some interesting gameplay. It still goes against the simplicity rule, but I''ll keep it in mind in case I''ll want to make an expansion pack.



Yeah, imagine the fear factor when one of those babies is parked next to your wall of ships. You keep watching for the little arrow to pop up, and when it does you''d better retreat quickly. At the same time, you''re gathering troops to counter it with your own monster. Definitely adds complication to the game and AI and so it would be better left for an expansion.

I haven''t tried the multiplayer mode yet. The demo levels are very easy once you get a feel for the game. I''d like to try the other levels. Is the registration stuff ready yet or do we need to wait till a release version to register?

-solo (my site)

#23 Diodor   Members   -  Reputation: 517

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 11:21 AM

quote:

The demo levels are very easy once you get a feel for the game.



Yes, they are, but getting good times becomes more and more challenging. Right now my record on the "one" level (the first level) is 3'32"


quote:

I'd like to try the other levels. Is the registration stuff ready yet or do we need to wait till a release version to register?



Yes, the registration service is available and the game is officially released.

[edited by - Diodor on June 25, 2003 6:22:40 PM]

#24 Silvermyst   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 02:13 PM

Woohoo! Got my license key

#25 coderx75   Members   -  Reputation: 406

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Posted 27 June 2003 - 10:11 PM

This is a badass game! I was gettin'' my ass handed to me at first but I just managed to take the "Risk" map. Now I''m off to conquer the default map. Great game!

- Jay


[ Here, taste this ]


#26 Diodor   Members   -  Reputation: 517

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 04:23 AM

quote:

Original post by Symphonic

Woohoo! Got my license key



I''m glad to hear that! There''s a new version of Pax online now, with a much better user interface: now you can give orders to multiple stars simply by holding the left mouse button down and dragging the mouse pointer over the stars. Just download it again and reinstall.


#27 Peon   Members   -  Reputation: 276

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Posted 28 June 2003 - 06:48 PM

I''ll be honest. I thought it was stupid at first (it''s not much to look at, and I''m a visual kind of guy). But then I actually played and wow, it''s pretty cool! I only won once so far, but I really like the simplicity of it. I don''t know if this was the intention, but it feels a lot like a real-time Risk (and I noticed one of the maps IS called Risk) One thing I''d like to see are some "cards" or "powers" you can earn in some way, just to change the game a bit. By far the coolest thing right now are those white stars on the Cross map. Really makes you think about how you want to play, and it keeps you on your toes.

Great work, I''m loving it

#28 Silvermyst   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 02:19 AM

My one wish: some way to speed up the end-phase of the game. Would it be possible to make the game speed variable?

#29 Diodor   Members   -  Reputation: 517

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 04:49 AM

quote:

Original post by Symphonic

My one wish: some way to speed up the end-phase of the game. Would it be possible to make the game speed variable?



I disagreed to a speed control that would allow to decrease the speed of the game, but I don''t see anything wrong with increasing it.

You can press "give up" though, which does increase the speed of the game a lot, even too much. After this you still control your stars, and you can still win, but you can''t turn down the speed again - so use it carefully.

#30 Silvermyst   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 01 July 2003 - 05:00 AM

Diodor, I agree that player should only be able to INcrease speed. I hadn''t tried ''Give up'' as I figured it would do just that. Sounds like my wish had already been implemented Man, that would''ve saved me about 20 minutes! (I played a one-hour level yesterday... I think it''s the level called Galaxy, which is my favorite so far).

#31 D_JildQuantum   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 09:27 AM

Just played the game, and one the "One" Level! AWSOMELY SWEET! There was one point in the game where i was realy stuck, he had the whtie star, and i had to take it, and the green one that connects the two white stars in the upper left corner, and i had to develop my own strategy, of pulling his forces toward my weaker fortificatoin,s while i set up some troops that would make it there and save it just on time, and then take the green and white stars at the same time! wow that was fun! anyway, i dont know if this would be feasable, but did you ever think about working to make a sequal of 3d? then you would have to like protect in a sphere. Just an idea, but i think it would probably be really cool... or even have it layered, so that you had to monitor 2 or 3 layers at once. Anyway, its just a thought.... not meant to be taken entirely seriously

Quantum

#32 Dobbs   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 02 July 2003 - 10:03 AM

There''s no reason to go into the 3rd dimension... any 3d map could be represented in 2d in this game, and the 3rd dimension would just make the UI less natural.

I keep trying to get into new games lately and I keep finding them boring... but damn I enjoy Pax Solaris every time I play. I''m about this close <-> to registering. Damn you Diodor, I think you''re about to take away some of my hard earned money.

#33 Diodor   Members   -  Reputation: 517

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Posted 03 July 2003 - 04:34 AM

quote:

Original post by D_JildQuantum

anyway, i dont know if this would be feasable, but did you ever think about working to make a sequal of 3d? then you would have to like protect in a sphere. Just an idea, but i think it would probably be really cool... or even have it layered, so that you had to monitor 2 or 3 layers at once. Anyway, its just a thought.... not meant to be taken entirely seriously



Have a look at the cube level. I don''t want to make such drastic changes as adding layers or going 3d as they''d spoil the game''s simplicity and ease of use.

You''ll have to agree though that the white star is giving the map a sort of an extra dimension - and indeed much of the gameplay challenges seem to revolve around the white star. I''m planning on adding white stars in more colors, linking different points on the map together. This will capture the essence of 3d maps, unfolded on the 2d screen.

quote:

Original post by Dobbs

There''s no reason to go into the 3rd dimension... any 3d map could be represented in 2d in this game, and the 3rd dimension would just make the UI less natural.



There are 3d models that would be hard to put on the screen right now - the cube level is as far as I could go - and it''s not the easiest map to play. I would only need two types of white star to create a _very_ easy to visualize unfolded cube model (8 stars) and four white star groups to unfold a 3x3x3 cube though. Most interesting...

quote:

I keep trying to get into new games lately and I keep finding them boring... but damn I enjoy Pax Solaris every time I play. I''m about this close <-> to registering. Damn you Diodor, I think you''re about to take away some of my hard earned money.



The same thing has happened to me. I can''t even touch great games I used to play, let alone learn new ones but I find myself addicted to very simple games. Slay and Solar Wars instead of Shogun Total War or Homeworld, Soldat and the infamous Stick Soldiers instead of Counterstrike and Unreal. Triplane Turmoil is another great one.


#34 Dobbs   Members   -  Reputation: 164

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Posted 05 July 2003 - 07:30 PM

Thanks, I''ll check those out. I broke down and bought Pax Solaris, so have a beer on me (or feed your kids and wife if you have em, whatever).

#35 echoknight   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 06 July 2003 - 04:47 AM

Pax is a great game. Very enjoyable and actually challenging Well written AI.

This is one of the first shareware games i am actually thinking of buying.

#36 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 08:58 PM

wow nice job, very addictive. ive never registered a shareware game but im thinking about it now.

my only suggestion is instead of having just one arrow make the star lane line change to color coded arrows

**************** = no one moving or attacking
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> = moving / attacking
>>>>>>>><<<<<<<< = when both oppenents are moving to eachothers planets

i think this would make it a lot less confusing

one other thing. i dont really get the point of the damaged ships. mabye you could explain why you decided to add the from a design perspective?

great job though!

#37 Diodor   Members   -  Reputation: 517

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 09:54 PM

quote:

one other thing. i dont really get the point of the damaged ships. mabye you could explain why you decided to add the from a design perspective?



Excellent! A design question at last

The damaged ships allow for some interesting tactics - defeating a star will simply force it''s damaged ships to retreat - and about half of them get repaired during the retreat. The defender has a large advantage here. That''s why the attacker must try to first surround a star with many damaged ships before forcing it to surrender. But to surround a star one must break through the enemy lines and often risks getting his attacking force cut off and surrounded.

Tactical retreats also work well, particularly against the AI. I retreat from star A, the enemy takes it. I retreat from star B, neighbor to A, the enemy takes it with forces from A (half of them move forward to B). I attack and take star A - perhaps half the enemy forces from A retreat to star B which is now surrounded - and has 3/4 of the forces the enemy started with - waiting to be destroyed.

That''s where the blocking move comes in (two stars attack each other). In blocking fights there are only destroyed ships, none damaged, and the smaller side loses ships faster than the stronger side, but it takes longer for the battle to unfold. So the blocking move can be used to keep a star surrounded for a little more time until it is defeated.

From a defensive point of view, getting ones forces broken up in more pieces can equal a catastrophe. That''s why it is often necessary to retreat instead of standing to fight. The blocking move comes again handy by helping to keep a corridor open just enough for the threatened forces to retreat.

Damaged ships make surrounding and forcing a surrender a very effective tactic, and this tactic is the main reason for the tactical complexity of Pax.

There''s also the issue of mobility. Too much mobility makes planning impossible. Damaged ships cannot move. Attacking a star decreases it''s repair rate a lot, so it''s often preferable to keep attacking it even if there''s no hope of taking it just to keep the large amounts of damaged ships from getting repaired fast. Damaged ships limit the freedom of both defender and the attacker - and this allows for planning. It''s the same stuff I was talking about in the Constraints; granularity; tactics thread.

In a way damaged ships increase the granularity of a game: a successful attack will force a surrender and destroy many ships - a failed attack will not be able to force the surrender and will only have destroyed a few enemy ships - with the rest of them damaged but getting repaired fast after the attack is lifted. There is no gray area between a successful attack and a failed one.


#38 yumi_cheeseman   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 07 July 2003 - 10:28 PM

overall ur game is very good. after a while u have to learn the strategies.

the problem with the mouse did not occur 4 me.

what u need is some kinda intro screen. u really need to sell ur name in games. if u sell a game that someone really likes then they''ll remember ur name and maybe buy another of ur games.

maybe a bit of a story behind it. y r the ppl fighting each other and who r they?

____________________________________________________________

as you can see i ramble, but at least i have my own opinion
have a nice day

#39 D_JildQuantum   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 02:28 PM

Update: I still havnt beaten the Crossed Level! its driving me nuts! i have beaten the others in under 10 minutes... arg crossed is crossed! rofl

Quantum

#40 Luctus   Members   -  Reputation: 580

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Posted 08 July 2003 - 09:54 PM

Holy sweet..this game is the the first with an original concept I''ve seen in quite a while, and have a great feel for the S in RTS, not just the RT as one usually see in big-title games..great fun too, two thumbs up!

-Luctus

Statisticly seen, most things happens to other people.
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