Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Interested in a FREE copy of HTML5 game maker Construct 2?

We'll be giving away three Personal Edition licences in next Tuesday's GDNet Direct email newsletter!

Sign up from the right-hand sidebar on our homepage and read Tuesday's newsletter for details!


We're also offering banner ads on our site from just $5! 1. Details HERE. 2. GDNet+ Subscriptions HERE. 3. Ad upload HERE.


Turn based strategies without...


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
13 replies to this topic

#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3884

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

I was thinking about possible mechanics for turn based strategies and it struck me that I can't recall almost any games that were not about a map with units moving to kill other units! So, if you know any, let's create a list of turn based strategies where you don't move units on a map to kill other units (planets count as a map too).

 

Such game needs to meet ALL conditions below:

- turn based

- strategy (in a very broad sense)

- you don't move units on some sort of map to kill other units

 

Whenever I think I found one (there are many sims/tycoons/managers that are not about moving units on a map) I quickly realize that it's not a turn based game :)

 

So far, I could think only of Dictator on ZX Spectrum as the lone example :D


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


Sponsor:

#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19042

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:12 PM

I can't think of any video games off the top of my head, but there are probably some examples if the world of card games.

It's definitely stretching the definition of strategy from that normally used in video games, but "Magic: The Gathering" and "Munchkin" are both turn-based and involve strategic planning.

#3 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3884

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:42 PM

It's definitely stretching the definition of strategy from that normally used in video games, but "Magic: The Gathering" and "Munchkin" are both turn-based and involve strategic planning.

Yes, but these are direct clones of boardgames (not only card games, could be Ticket to Ride, Kingdoms, Race for the Galaxy). Basicly all boardgames can be converted to computer games as turn based strategies... But... I'm not really sure if fully counts. I mean, these were designed primarily as boardgames and as computer games these are inheritably inferior. Or maybe is it that only clones of boardgames are the ones that do not involve moving units on a map to kill others? Is it truly that there are no computer only examples?

 

Which is kind of weird since boardgames proved that such mechanics can work and be fun, so why lack of these in computer games?


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#4 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19042

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:25 PM

Absolutely, and I'm sure there must be some examples, but I'm drawing a blank.

 

Perhaps it would be useful to more clearly define strategy, given you're using it in a broader sense than usual, as I think combat -- even if in an abstract form like Chess or Checkers -- is probably the most natural way of expressing it.  I think we could probably include anything that involves managing resources and planning ahead.



#5 Anastas   Members   -  Reputation: 247

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

I can't think of any existing examples, but I can think of a few ways to do this.

Something that immediately came to my mind was how in The Last Story, you see all your opponents before you begin fighting, giving you time to plan out your attack. However, it doesn't quite fit the criteria as it's an action game, not turn-based. But a similar design could be implemented into turn-based combat. I think the main key to get rid of unit placing is to focus the action, to strategize the actions of a party instead of troops.

You could take the standard format of turn-based RPG and do away with the aspect of grinding so that the player must adapt their strategy instead of leveling up to a point where they can just bash their opponents into submission. Instead of each character and enemy getting their own turn, they could each act as groups, allowing you to control the order in which your players attack.

Final Fantasy X let you see how your moves would affect who's turn it is in battle. Something like that in a game more designed around strategy would be pretty sweet.

 

 

Perhaps it would be useful to more clearly define strategy, given you're using it in a broader sense than usual, as I think combat -- even if in an abstract form like Chess or Checkers -- is probably the most natural way of expressing it.

 

That's still moving units across a map to kill other units. tongue.png



#6 PyrZern   Members   -  Reputation: 247

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:37 PM

Settlers of Catan ?



#7 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4981

Like
2Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

Yes, but these are direct clones of boardgames (not only card games, could be Ticket to Ride, Kingdoms, Race for the Galaxy). Basicly all boardgames can be converted to computer games as turn based strategies

The other way around applies too, though - basically all turn-based computer games can be converted to board games.  There are lots of board games where you move units on a map to kill other units, from Axis and Allies to Dominant Species and simpler things like Risk.

 

Personally I'm confused by what a strategy game that doesn't involve moving units on a map would even be.  I thought that was part of the definition of strategy.  But, if you want to define strategy in some other way, ok, what about the kind of games where you get a set number of actions (usually 3) per turn?  The strategy there is in what single-turn combinations are effective, balanced against whether individual actions are more effective when done earlier or later.  The Great Wall of China card game is an example of this - all players get the same deck of cards, though you draw them from a randomized deck.  Or how about the dice game Roll Through The ages, or the card game Saint Petersburg?  Those are both shopping strategy games.


Edited by sunandshadow, 24 December 2012 - 09:45 PM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#8 TechnoGoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2787

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:34 PM

I spent many hours as a kid playing pizza tycoon which is a business strategy game, and trade wars which is space trading game. But basically all non combat strategy games seem to be either business games or simulation games.

#9 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4497

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:19 AM

Aren't all puzzle games just a form of strategy game?

#10 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19042

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 25 December 2012 - 12:40 AM

<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="Anastas" data-cid="5014060" data-time="1356397363"><p>
<blockquote class='ipsBlockquote'data-author="jbadams" data-cid="5014039" data-time="1356387916"><p>Perhaps it would be useful to more clearly define strategy, given you're using it in a broader sense than usual, as I think combat -- even if in an abstract form like Chess or Checkers -- is probably the most natural way of expressing it.</p></blockquote>
<br />
That's still moving units across a map to kill other units. <span rel='lightbox'><img src='http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png' alt='Posted Image' class='bbc_img' /></span></p></blockquote>Yes, that's what I was saying...

#11 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3884

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:30 AM

Perhaps it would be useful to more clearly define strategy

Let's definie it in marketing terms, a strategy is a game that is put on the shelf called "Strategies" by the shopkeepers and clients do not complain it was wrongly placed :) I think such real life definition is far more useful than any academic distinguishion.

 

 

BTW I found a few examples!

Detroit, Old Timer, Oil Baron.

Which, I'm quite sure, would be done as realtime if these were to be released nowadays...

 

But basically all non combat strategy games seem to be either business games or simulation games.

Interesting thing, isn't it?

How about combat strategy games that do not use a map to move units? Anyone stubled upon something like that?

(I have, but it's one I made so it does not really count :) http://silverlemur.com/minigames/wartimeindustry.php )

 

 

The other way around applies too, though - basically all turn-based computer games can be converted to board games.  There are lots of board games where you move units on a map to kill other units, from Axis and Allies to Dominant Species and simpler things like Risk.

On the contrary, these are pretty rare (nowadays, in the past indeed all kind of hex based wargames were domanating boardgames). The trend in boardgames is for Agricola, Puerto Rico, Le Havre, Power Grid, definitly unlike Risk.

The interesting thing, computer games don't have these mechanics... The "evolution stopped" at chess and we still redo this board with units over and over again adding more units, cities on some grids, diplomacy, but in the core it's the same kind of game. No revolution of any kind here, for some, unknown to me, reason...


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)


#12 WavyVirus   Members   -  Reputation: 735

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 25 December 2012 - 09:12 AM

The "evolution stopped" at chess and we still redo this board with units over and over again adding more units, cities on some grids, diplomacy, but in the core it's the same kind of game. No revolution of any kind here, for some, unknown to me, reason...
Maybe this outcome is somewhat inevitable, given the way the human mind works?

A strategy game usually involves a substantial set of possible game states which the player must understand and reason about. The player must be able to evaluate the current state of the game and plan a sequence actions which will allow them to transition from the current state to a more favourable state in future turns.

As it is not going to be practical for the player to maintain the entire state of a complex game in thier head, it seems natural to introduce some sort of visual representation for them to refer to. It may be possible to represent the game state in some sort of spreadsheet-like form, for example, but this is hardly ideal when the state is large and complex. We then begin to look for a more intuitive way to represent the game state "at a glance". Research shows that humans are able to distinguish certain characteristics more quickly and reliably than others. Some relatively efficient ways to visually encode information for interpretation by humans include:
  • Colour
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Spatial (position/orientation)
Given all of this, is begins to seem natural for humans to gravitate towards the traditional "game board" representation. As creatures used to living in three spatial dimensions, a 2D projection for our game board is perhaps the most practical in the general case as it is easier to look at, navigate and physically construct than a 3D game board. It's just an efficient way to represent the multidimensional space of possible game states.

Edited by WavyVirus, 25 December 2012 - 09:15 AM.


#13 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3171

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 27 December 2012 - 04:20 AM

If "strategy" is "make most optimal use of your resources" then I guess I could point out some real world games I've played with my friends.
Such game needs to meet ALL conditions below:
- turn based
- strategy (in a very broad sense)
- you don't move units on some sort of map to kill other units
There's no killing involved in Adastra, by Bruno Faidutti, albeit there are units to move on a map. I think it's a remarkably balanced game.
The game is based on acquiring resource cards by moving units on planets to mine.
The strategy involves maximizing your score and not giving advantage to other players. There's also a nice "shuffling" action system which allow players to act out-of-order and yes, it is often useful!

Stone age, by Bernd Brunnhofer it's a twist of the same problem. Again, no killing involved. The main difference is that there are really no movement costs (units move just for visual aid), they often have a chance to produce. Resource competition is no more driven by a production card but instead by a limited set of production slots. It's really more complicated than that.

Agricola (already mentioned), by Uwe Rosemberg is quite famous (even cited in XKCD). I guess I'm the only one not liking it as it gives pro players an extreme advantage compared to newcomers. I still have to remember what cards are supposed to be useful, let alone understand how most cards interact with each other!
In a certain sense, Stone Age is a streamlined Agricola, the difference being an extreme amount of emergent complexity, a richer resource set and a scarcer amount of resources. Agricola is a two-phase game:
  • Players choose their advantages. This is basically playing poker, except every card is unique, you have to figure out what to pick up in advance.

  • The game itself.
It is more difficult to understand and has more emergent complexity. I have played it for years and I still have to understand how people can do that in their spare time. To me, it is as fun as solving a 8x14x3 matrix. Or hunting a bug in a dynamically generated shader with dynamically streamed resources...
But I admit it has extreme strategic elements.

Edited by Krohm, 27 December 2012 - 04:20 AM.


#14 Blind Radish   Members   -  Reputation: 355

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:09 PM

These Extra Credits video is a discussion on how to create better balance, but I think they could easily be converted into a rule system for designing strategy mechanics - no mention of the spacial concept.


 

 

I think people have a hard time thinking abstractly, and it provides a lot of concepts to limit the influences one thing can have on other things by putting them into a game space.  It's an easy and effective way to enhance the strategy, but I would love to see more games that don't have it.






Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS