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MMO RTS, what if blown up stuff didn't disappear?


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#1 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

I'm working on an MMO RTS, that I imagine will have things like tanks.  And weapons like EMP's.  EMP's don't blow stuff up, they just cripple electrical equipment.  So what if you had a large group of tanks approaching and crippled only the first wave with an EMP.  the other tanks typically can't just ride over the first tanks.  But in Star Craft and most others, the just disappear   

 

It makes sense from a processing sense, as ever bit of shrapnel takes a toll on performance.  (I have ideas on how to make that better in certain areas)  I like the idea of being able to take a disabled tank, rehabilitate it, and use it for your side.  Or even take a disabled tank and learn its technologies.  

 

What ideas do you guys have for left behind shrapnel?  Handling it, clearing it, etc... 

 

 

I'm not as interested in the programming of it, but more in the application of it to the player.  What would it mean to you, what complications and advantages could be used?  would it be annoying to deal with and are their ways around the annoyances?

 

Thanks.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


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#2 Cyberdogs7   Members   -  Reputation: 147

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

Total Annihilation did this WAY back in the day. Units would leave behind block scrap heaps, which could be harvested back (for metal, one of the 2 resources). 

With additional fire, the scrap heaps would crumble, clearing the way, but also reducing the salvage value.

I still consider Total Annihilation the best RTS ever, and I liked the scrap heaps as it gave the winner of a battle the spoils (if you took the time to collect them).



#3 PyrZern   Members   -  Reputation: 306

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 07:52 PM

Also Metal Fatigue. In that game, you make big giant robot mechs, each made up of Torso, Head, Arms, and Legs. When a robot is destroyed, those pieces scatter on the battlefield. Another mech could come and grab the arms and utilize them right away (Laser Sword arm, homing missiles launcher arm, etc.). Other pieces need to be brought back to base, researched, reverse-engineered, then you can use enemy's technology against them. AWESOME game. TRY IT.



#4 Strewya   Members   -  Reputation: 1589

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 02:07 AM

Don't know if this is exactly an answer, but CnC Generals had something like that. The GLA faction had a hero unit Jarmen Kell who had a snipe ability, which would render any vehicle unit neutral, and which would then be captureable by sending any infantry unit into the vehicle. And you could theoretically have an infinite number of neutral vehicles, although it was rarely so, since players would try getting those vehicles for themselves as fast as they could :)

 

Also, the game Universe At War had a similair principle, as every mechanical unit destroyed on the battlefield was then salvagable for resources.


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#5 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:43 AM

Units would leave behind block scrap heaps, which could be harvested back (for metal, one of the 2 resources). 

 

Excellent idea.  I like the idea of recycling for raw materials, or, if you know how to use it, there is potential for parts to be salvaged as well.  

 

With additional fire, the scrap heaps would crumble, clearing the way, but also reducing the salvage value.

 

Also a good idea.  Scrap heaps or disabled vehicles could be blown up with rockets/tanks, etc... to get them out of the way.  or, prevent capture for studying the techs.

 

When a robot is destroyed, those pieces scatter on the battlefield. Another mech could come and grab the arms and utilize them right away (Laser Sword arm, homing missiles launcher arm, etc.). Other pieces need to be brought back to base, researched, reverse-engineered, then you can use enemy's technology against them.

 

I definitely like the idea of usable parts.  For instance perhaps tanks and other vehicles have optional weapon bays, which you can pay to have something their, or upgrade these ports.    That would be quite nice that a tank, if their mechanic has the skills, could collect and attach these additional features.

 

Don't know if this is exactly an answer, but CnC Generals had something like that. The GLA faction had a hero unit Jarmen Kell who had a snipe ability, which would render any vehicle unit neutral, and which would then be captureable by sending any infantry unit into the vehicle. And you could theoretically have an infinite number of neutral vehicles, although it was rarely so, since players would try getting those vehicles for themselves as fast as they could

 

This is good, having weapons or troops with skills to disable instead of destroy.  like turrets for instance, not just vehicles.  as this would allow you to take over a turret at the edge of an enemy base, using their own weapons against them.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#6 Strewya   Members   -  Reputation: 1589

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:54 AM

just make sure those abilities aren't too spammable, because it can get really annoying for the guy it's being used on.

always think about the guy on the receiving end when designing abilities :)


devstropo.blogspot.com - Random stuff about my gamedev hobby


#7 GiroKa   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 413

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:10 AM

In the single player RTS  I' m currently working on the debris of destroyed units stays on the map until level completion  I think its makes for more realistic enviroment for the player.



#8 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5039

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

It's not only much more realistic, but also interesting from a strategic point of view.

 

Having an EMP cannon would be not only a means of destroying some units (all units that have un-fortified electronics), but it also lends as a kind of improvised Czech hedgehog (debris blocking the way), and finally the enemy delivers resources right to your doorstep. Three for the price of one -- that's almost as good as Kinder Surprise :-)

 

Of course you would need to have fortified tanks or tanks without electric circuits, too. Otherwise using anything except EMP would be utterly pointless.



#9 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

just make sure those abilities aren't too spammable, because it can get really annoying for the guy it's being used on.
always think about the guy on the receiving end when designing abilities

 

That's a good point.  I would need to make it easier to take out than to take over, and make it a feature that turrets can upgrade, to first focus on approaching sabatours, or have a self destruct mechanism on take over.  Or even have a trap where if a turret is taken over, its weapons silently switch to healing rays, or shield buffers, so when its shooting your troops/machines, its a good thing.  *perhaps* being the operative word. I agree that this could be an annoying mechanic, and will certainly need consideration on how it works and remains balanced.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#10 Mratthew   Members   -  Reputation: 1583

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

I think this disabled, immobilized or destroyed permanent wreck system combined with Company of Heroes cover system could make the wreck of a defeated tank column into the covered approach of an infantry platoon. could be a lot of fun. Lighter vehicles could act like red barrels, being an explosive target for someone fighting someone foolish enough to use it as cover.

 

To save on data the library of instanced map objects could have a dynamic portion that allows dead units to be added and subtracted (if destroyed or salvaged) from it making the rules of the map's instanced objects apply to it. Maybe create a texture set that can be carried over to any wreck and corpse, the dead unit could then be replaced with the identical instanced map object and the instanced texture data, making the dynamic object into a static part of the map and level design.

 

This could be especially impressive with huge ships in low orbit crashing into the surface. Becoming a whole new part of the map and dynamic addition to the game since every time it crashed it would be different.


Edited by Mratthew, 07 January 2013 - 12:24 PM.


#11 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19433

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:15 AM

There could definitely be a lot of uses for such a system:

 

 

If wreckage can get in the way, you might choose to try to take out a unit in a choke point to disrupt movement.

If wreckage can provide cover you might position your units so that larger units can provide cover for smaller ones.  You might use the wreckage of an enemy unit as cover.  You might choose to move one of your units in an otherwise unintelligent way or fire upon one of your own units to prevent enemies from using it for cover.

 

If units have morale, you might have to ensure that weaker units avoid the wreckage from previous battles so they aren't lost.  You might ensure your units pass by the wreckage of enemy units to improve their morale.

 

If equipment can be salvaged from wreckage, or if you can gain resources from it then wreckage can potentially be valuable.

 

 

It's something that's been done before in numerous forms, but I think it's certainly worthy of consideration. smile.png



#12 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:37 AM

This could be especially impressive with huge ships in low orbit crashing into the surface. Becoming a whole new part of the map and dynamic addition to the game since every time it crashed it would be different.

 

 

This could be an interesting effect.  Asteroids/starships that crash to earth on occasion.  There certainly are chances this *could* happen over an existing base, in the middle of a battle or next to some event.  I'm thinking to maintain fun, it should destroy much.    Unless perhaps there is value in it as an attack.  Perhaps for some reason bombs can't drop from space.  but ships can.  Perhaps a colony can decide to sacrifice a transport ship to crash over an advancing enemy force.  The bigger the ship, the more valueble it is, so this is more of a last ditch effort.  

 

 

If units have morale, you might have to ensure that weaker units avoid the wreckage from previous battles so they aren't lost.  You might ensure your units pass by the wreckage of enemy units to improve their morale

 

 

Good call. I think that's quite reasonable to have an effect on non-veteran status soldiers

 

 - - - - - - - - - - 

 

This gave me an idea for non-mathematical combat.  You can tell if your troops are disheartened or emboldened, but not the enemy, and Vise Versa.  This gives an element to throw off calculations.  Typically you would not want to send a force into battle that was disheartened, if their ability was reduced.  Of course this could also mean that a soldier's drive is increased if their early experiences are positive, not just survived.  Perhaps when these soldiers go through additional training, they (or some of them) might graduate early and be ready for more battle sooner.    


Edited by hpdvs2, 08 January 2013 - 07:37 AM.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#13 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2645

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:48 AM

They could also burn for a while, creating a visual obstacle to your FoW.

 

If there is a large battle with tons of units getting destroyed, it would probably be hard for you to see minor enemy activity in the middle of it all, or lets say enemy aircraft flying through the smoke clouds.


o3o


#14 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:33 AM

They could also burn for a while, creating a visual obstacle to your FoW.

 

 I like that.  I had been imagining more along the lines of Blown Apart, but set on fire is good too, and both is better.  Then you could also create incendiary weapons, and set a path on fire.  It can be put out with a short amount of time, or an agent specifically for stopping the fire.  But that would also set traps to separate troops out, by having preset fire lines.  anyone directly over it, too bad for them, and then with individuals in between the fires, they are sitting ducks.  Easy targets, unless they run through a wall of fire taking serious damage.

 

Also, fire could have a range damage while it is going.  if are in it, it is terrible.  right next to it, depending on the size, it hurts a little to a lot. and a space or two away and your fine.  Also, the idea that fire can spread seems like another usable map feature.  Flammability of buildings and map features like trees.  


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.


#15 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:40 AM

hard for you to see minor enemy activity in the middle of it all, or lets say enemy aircraft flying through the smoke clouds

 

Smoke is another good aspect of fires.  allowing low/no satellite vision.  I also like the idea of deploying satellites for visibility.  you can always see but only in a limited spot, even if you have no troops on the ground in that area.  you can deploy multiple satellites, but they cost a lot.

 

But smoke, can hide forces.  Also, adding natural fog, not FoW, but fog literally   Just happens.  But can also be artificial, though the wind will be random.  once its in your favor, start fog machines, then send in troops under its cover.  Satellites can see you, but ground units probably won't.


Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

My Game(s), Warp Wars is in early development and can be found here: http://blog.WarpWars.Net.





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