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Trying to Go Digital: Soldier Warfare


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#1 CJ P   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:24 PM

Introduction
I've been working on a strategy game, Soldier Warfare, and made a board game as a prototype for it. The rules are complete at this moment and it works fine as a tabletop game, but now I want to make the real thing. I would like to know if you, the community, feel the game is ready to developed by a team. I would also like input on how to best go about building a team and developing such a game. Furthermore, any advice on release platforms would also be appreciated as I'd only plan for PC, but having Mac, iOS, or XBLIG as well would be nice, though I'm not naive. It may seem like a lot, but the primary purpose of this post is to call for a general critique, with the query of 'do you think this game is ready to be made?' everything else that I've asked for falls secondary to that. I appreciate you understanding.

General Concept
The game occurs in a not too distant future where technology has progressed to the point of manufacturing specialized suits of armor for soldiers. These suits can aid soldiers by consuming energy points, allowing for one of three abilities to be used. These abilities are sprinting, armor, and camouflage. With these suits, five man squads face off against each other.

Rules
https://docs.google....gY_ItUBpG8/edit

Pictures
https://docs.google....TkwNTY5NmU5ZjU0
https://docs.google....TMxZTA3MWFmY2Rl
https://docs.google....Tc3MjY0OTdjYmVm
https://docs.google....Tk1MmRhZDczZjhi

Desired Aesthetic
2-D, hand drawn sprites and environments in pseudo isometric style, and classic birds eye view found in strategy games(Skulls of the Shogun uses this point of view).

Changes In Going Digital
As may be necessary, I'll change the damage system to a set of normalized numbers for each soldier to replace the rolling of dice. I've prototyped the adding of 'obstacles' such as buildings, on the board, and would like to build several maps for the game. Maybe even a dynamic map or two, though I have yet to test this. And of course whatever else needs to change along the way.

P.S. As always, I would appreciate it if we could keep unnecessary negativity from creeping in, and thank you all.

CJ

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#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17251

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:54 PM

Firstly, congratulations on a working prototype, you've already made a lot more progress than many people do, and by actually prototyping your game rather than simply writing down ideas and formulas you've given yourself the chance to "find the fun" and to start balancing the game before a line of code is written! Posted Image


The rules aren't the best worded I've seen -- if the board game were the final product I would probably suggest re-writing them to be clearer and to fix a couple of small grammatical errors -- but they seem sufficient for a prototype and seem to cover most of the basics. I don't see an explanation of the "lock on die", or on exactly how the Scout's "dynamic range" works, you may want to add those.


Is the board game fun to play, and does it seem well balanced? Have you got feedback from other people without guiding them through the rules to see if they can figure out for themselves how to play; i.e. is it reasonably intuitive?

If the answers to these questions are yes then you're probably ready to start developing a digital version of the game.


You haven't listed whether you have any experience in developing video games. Are you planning to take on a technical (programming) or content creation (artist, composer, etc.) role, or were you hoping to just be a designer and work with others? In hobbyist and indie development it's unusual to have a dedicated designer rather than a designer who also contributes a technical or content-creating skill to the project, so you'll probably find it tough going if you wanted to be a pure designer.


A good next step might be to produce a digital prototype using a package such as Game Maker -- you should be able to create a prototype without any help with much less time and effort than other solutions, and the free "lite" version should be sufficient just to try out a digital version of the game. You can then try out your "adapted for digital" rules, you'll have something extra to show if you need to recruit help down the line, and depending how it goes you might even decide that the Game Maker version is good enough to be the final product with a little visual polish.


Don't recruit others until you're ready to work with them, and if you do so be clear and up-front about:
  • What they get out of joining the project.
  • What you are contributing to the project.
  • What will be expected of them.
  • What the idea is -- some people are over-protective of their ideas, but honestly, in most cases no one joins projects that "will share info once joined".
If you do recruit or join others, you'll want a small and easily managed team. Just because a lot of people might want to help doesn't mean you should have all of them on-board. I've seen far too many projects start recruiting and end up taking every (or almost every) person who expressed interest, leading to a large, difficult to manage team with a poorly shared vision for the project and no real amount of work for most of the people. Beyond gaining a necessary skill adding additional people does not always make your game production faster, and the quality can also suffer as a result of slightly different styles.


I hope that's helpful! Posted Image

#3 CJ P   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 03:35 AM

Jbadams,

Thank you. A lot of what you've shared with me is helpful.

I'll try to work on the wording of the rules as I know they currently aren't the best. I forgot to show a picture of the lock-on die, which is a 2/6 chance die. The Scout's dynamic range is just the difference in damage (dice used) depending on the distance to the target.

It's fairly fun to play and feels roughly like chess. People have little difficulty understanding the rules and no one has been flat out confused as of yet.

I don't have any prior work. I would be creating content for this game, as I don't believe my programming skills would strong enough to efficiently help in developing code. However, I would be able to handle developing art for the project.

I will look into Game Maker, and when I'm ready I'll be sure heed your words about recruiting others.

Thank you!




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