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Any game like this?


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#1 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:14 PM

Hi guys,

 

I'm currently looking for a game with similar gameplay to NHL games minus the sports theme.

Anyone has seen any similar game?

 

The closest I've seen (and its a long stretch) was the Majesty series, but it was lacking the management aspect where you'd draft rookies, train them, etc.

 

 



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#2 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 16714

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:25 PM

I'm not exactly sure I understand what you are looking for - I've only played NFL Blitz 2000 - but maybe take a look at some 'Mount and Blade' combat videos on YouTube. Though this also has the lack of micro-managing recruits, afaik.

Edited by Servant of the Lord, 19 April 2013 - 05:31 PM.

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#3 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 05:39 PM

I'm not exactly sure I understand what you are looking for -

 

I agree, its hard to understand from the very few details I've given out.

I'm referring to 'Be a GM' mode in NHL's most recent titles.

As you might know, when competing in a match, you only control a single guy at any given time, with the rest of your team responding to an AI you have some control over, but mostly sticking to their duties depending on their position (left winger, center, right winger, left D, right D and goalie) and role (dangler, sniper, etc).

When you are out of the games, you perform trades, choose how to focus the training of your current players, and be on the lookout for your yearly drafts.

 

While I'm really stoked by the entire gameplay experience it offers, I'm a bit turned off by the hockey theme nowadays. I'm looking for an interesting twist on this idea that works differently.

 

but maybe take a look at some 'Mount and Blade' combat videos on YouTube

I've been a supporter of these titles since the early days (got the original game back when they were selling their alpha for 10$). I see how that could relate, but a few things make it very different in my opinion:

- You always control the same guy (your hero) and can't switch between team mates

- Your hero is strong, your team mates are canon fodder

- The 1st person view rather than bird's eye

- The AI: your units behave like a pack, and while you can issue some types of orders, it really falls short of the complexity of nhl. Part of the issue here is that the only goal is to kill one another, rather than attempting to reach an actual objective (scoring goals by diverting the goalie's attention and bypassing the D-men).

- As you mentionned, lack of drafting. Well, you can actually draft men from villages you are friendly with, but peasants don't really have starting stats.

- Scope of the team: since this is an 'army's game' and that you will play with armies of perhaps 100 people, the game wasn't built in a way where you have meaningful control over their progression. They will level up, and give you generally two choices you can choose from (footman or archer?) but it really lacks the depth of nhl in that regard. A game with a smaller scope in terms of how many units you control at once would have more design space to work with such finer details. In NHL, you can have your sniper train his accuracy, shooting speed, skating speed, puck control, etc.

 

Thanks for pointing it out though (I hadn't realized how similar it was).



#4 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4543

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 07:57 PM

Not being a sports fan at all, I haven't played any NHL games.  It sounds kinda like Game Dev Story (which, you were just posting about a very similar game, so you probably know that).  It also seems a bit like a Fire Emblem or FF Tactics type game; neither of those are too different from a standard tactical game, which pretty much all have that "recruit and train units to use in group combat" aspect.


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.

#5 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 09:42 PM

It sounds kinda like Game Dev Story

 

It is a management game allright, but it doesn't look/feel like Game Dev Story though I reckon the human resource management is still present (especially the skill development part). On the other hand, your impact on a person's development is very limited...

 

It also seems a bit like a Fire Emblem or FF Tactics type game

I guess I should point out that NHL games are real-time. They are, in fact, a real time tactic type of game in their own way. I haven't seen many other similar implementations of such a gameplay aside in sportsgames.

That said, if there's any hybrid (tactic game vs sportgame realtime tactics) I'm all ears.



#6 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 920

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 11:30 PM

Crusader Kings 2 has an aspect like that. Mixed in with Dynasty management. I'm not sure if its pure enough. You also have to deal with combat. Well, not technically, you could eschew it if you wanted. And the event system is helpful since you can make choices about your guys. You search around the game for good marriages and try to breed good congenital traits to your dynasty and used education to get good traits for your kids.



#7 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4543

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Posted 20 April 2013 - 07:57 AM

It also seems a bit like a Fire Emblem or FF Tactics type game

I guess I should point out that NHL games are real-time. They are, in fact, a real time tactic type of game in their own way. I haven't seen many other similar implementations of such a gameplay aside in sportsgames.

That said, if there's any hybrid (tactic game vs sportgame realtime tactics) I'm all ears.

What I was thinking was that since the combat/sports part is a separate game phase from the management, it seems easy to mentally hybridize the two.  But no I've never personally encountered a non-sports real-time tactical game.  There apparently are some - when I googled "real-time tactical" I got some wikipedia pages and some lists of games in the category from different gaming sites and individuals.  Looked like a total of maybe 15 games various people consider to be RTTs, with the total War series accounting for about a third of them.


Edited by sunandshadow, 20 April 2013 - 07:57 AM.

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.

#8 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:02 AM

Crusader Kings 2 has an aspect like that

 

The Crusader King series uses an approach that has much less to do with training and more to do with lineage and political decision. If you play it hard, chances are you or your heirs will inherit 'injuries' (being 'stressed' for example) and each of these keywords will have a static effect on your stats. I see how you feel this is loosely linked to the nhl be a GM mode, but its really a loooong stretch there.

 

You search around the game for good marriages and try to breed good congenital traits to your dynasty and used education to get good traits for your kids.

When you put it that way, it is true, but it does play very differently in-game. And making a suitable heir is more hit and miss. Besides, when faced with a tangible political decision, you'll often take the one that benefits you the most (generally immediately) through riches and whatnot. You can always switch political regime to get a better heir later on afterall. In other words, that aspect of the gameplay is definitely not as core as it would be in nhl.

 

Looked like a total of maybe 15 games various people consider to be RTTs, with the total War series accounting for about a third of them.

It's quite true. The Total War series somehow comes a bit closer (and further) from what I'm looking for. But I'm affraid this is mostly an un-explored genre (which is precisely why I'm looking for more info before setting my idea up).

One of the things I've seen which is also a long stretch, is digital card games with crafting mechanics such as D.O.T. and others. In these games, you need to merge different cards to control the growth of your card pool. You level them up in various ways and make them specialized. The gameplay itself, while very far from a sportsgame, is generally automated and AI plays it out for you.



#9 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 920

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 10:45 AM

Part of my current project involves an aspect of developing characters for the economic and combat simulations. Its extremely difficult to find games close enough to evaluate for ideas and almost no one wants to discuss design theory. So I suspect your chances of finding anything really similar are quite low.

 

Unless you wanna go from hockey to football or baseball or soccer or something.



#10 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 21 April 2013 - 08:35 PM

Quite evidently so.

What I chose to do is research sports history and underlying principles. I've based my researches on football (instead of hockey) and have investigated the original rulesets and involvement during the middle ages and see how this can intersect with various other gameplays.

I'm finding more and more interesting tidbits of information, but the big part of it will still be how to render this onscreen in a non-chaotic form of game.

At this stage, I think I've found a way for players to easily understand what its about and easily get the hang of it, but I want simple controls and UI to accompany this and that will be a headbanger :)



#11 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2458

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:53 AM

If you don't like hockey, find another sport; all types of football are highly promising. (Violent variants with large teams, like Calcio Fiorentino, might be closer to tactical wargames and more thrilling.) How abstract and close to real-world sport rules do you want the game rules to be? Emulating special cases and unusual plays is likely to be cumbersome, while well-flowing game rules are likely to deal with abstract resources that don't have much in common with real football. Do you want abstract player controls, e.g. assigning players and zones as targets instead of explicit movement orders? What skills differentiate strong and weak players? Did you try existing football board games and computer games?
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#12 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:26 AM

Actually, I want to use the same underlying principles to insure the mechanics are sound, but I don't want it to feel like a sport at all. I've delved into several archaic forms of football for that, but I'm also a hockey fan.

 

Do you want abstract player controls, e.g. assigning players and zones as targets instead of explicit movement orders?

Precisely. Aside from one player at a time, all other allies will be answering to AIs which is based on their role. That role is defined by you, from a list of roles, and none are necessary/required.

 

What skills differentiate strong and weak players?

By player, do you mean the person behind the screen, or the actual players (units)?

 

Skilled players (person) will have different unit compositions, defining their overal strategy based on the cards they are dealt (figuratively). Since not all players (units) are created equal, and that the player will be able to maximize the use of certain talents, their ability to determine what will "work" best with their team will make them better players.

Also, since they'll always control one of these players at all times, they actual efficiency with the game itself will help the team overall.

 

As far as players (units) are concerned, they'll all have various talents in different quantities. Some will be useful because of their speed, others because of their toughness, etc. I don't want to go into the very low-level details, especially before its even designed, but there will be many stats with many uses. Part of the game's appeal will be to determine how to use a player (units)'s strengths and weaknesses and define what role they should use (and there will be more than one viable option). Sometimes, a player will even be assigned a role that really doesn't fit their skillset, just because the TEAM critically needs such role. While the unit will underperform, it will at least fill a much needed goal.

For example, a team of agile and fast people could all go archers in a medieval fight, but if someone takes them headon, they'll all die. It might make sense to armor up one of the archer and give him sword and shield instead, so that he can soak up some of the damage. The same will apply to the game logic here, as each role will come with a different AI, and you're likely to want to cover some zones none of your unit is suited for...

 

Did you try existing football board games and computer games?

Yes and yes. Unfortunately, I want to play the realtime aspect here to make it more like the NHL feel (which bloodbowl doesn't achieve) and most computer games, aside from Madden, didn't help much in that regard. As I said though, NHL gave me the overall feeling I want to achieve, and now, I want to move away from Sports. If you have a game in mind that has the same underlying principles but isn't themed with sport, I'm all ears (in fact, my original post asked for that precisely).



#13 JungleFriendStudios   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:53 AM

This is an interesting idea. I played a fantasy version with no graphics for the NFL which was a blast! I hope you pursue this project.


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#14 overactor   Members   -  Reputation: 198

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 09:46 AM

What if you come up with a more combat based sport like pro bending in the new avatar show? (The legend of Korra)

It's always going to be difficult to have a situation that doesn't have very specific rules to be played out like a sport.


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#15 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 03:10 PM

What if you come up with a more combat based sport like pro bending in the new avatar show? (The legend of Korra)

It's always going to be difficult to have a situation that doesn't have very specific rules to be played out like a sport.

 

Well, my initial approach (and I'm finding this difficult) was to play the mcguffin card. For example, make the ball a "bomb" that you need to place in the opponent's base, knowing that the opposition can capture the bomb and nuke your own base. Of course, that feels awfully inorganic and forced, but I pursued this idea for a while, implementing a darkstone approach and similar concepts. It does feel like this is the kind of abstract thing that's better left unexplained.

 

While I'm ok with the game feeling a bit like a sport, I don't want to advertise it as such. First, I want to make the rules simple. A wall-enclosed area where you can check opponents against the walls is all I need. That said, limitation of warriors on the battleground will feel artificial, but I'm assuming people might be forgiving if its done right?

Second, I need to figure a reason for players to spread out. It would be boring if a team of rock-solid warriors could just form a big bioball of players around the ballcarrier and make their way accross the battlefield to score. This reason need to spur strategies.



#16 Amadeus H   Members   -  Reputation: 1180

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:49 AM

Maybe I'm alone in this, but a secret guilty pleasure of mine was Blitzball in Final Fantasy X.

Very simple rules, a bit like handball underwater. Enclosed area, RPG "combat" throws and defence. Missing a bit of tactic, but I liked it.



#17 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 920

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:46 AM

Maybe I'm alone in this, but a secret guilty pleasure of mine was Blitzball in Final Fantasy X.

Very simple rules, a bit like handball underwater. Enclosed area, RPG "combat" throws and defence. Missing a bit of tactic, but I liked it.

I only ever played FF at a short lived friend's house, but we all loved Blitzball.



#18 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:35 AM

Maybe I'm alone in this, but a secret guilty pleasure of mine was Blitzball in Final Fantasy X.

Very simple rules, a bit like handball underwater. Enclosed area, RPG "combat" throws and defence. Missing a bit of tactic, but I liked it.

 

Interesting, I have absolutely no recollection of that despite beating FFX...

I'll youtube-it and see. Thanks for the heads up!



#19 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6143

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:03 AM

Unfortunately, this is turn-based. This drastically differs from what I'm trying to achieve here.

The real challenge I'm facing and dealing with a lot of AIs and how to make it manageable for the player. Being turn-based removes this obstacle somehow as it allows you to pace the game accordingly and individually control characters if needed (such as in Bloodbowl) whereas NHL and MADDEN's innovation comes from real-time management of all of the players and somehow bringing them together towards a common goal through different player-defined strategies (either through line changes, actual strategies/plans or just picking the right players and player roles for the job).

 

Thanks regardless!



#20 overactor   Members   -  Reputation: 198

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:26 AM

I have this idea in my head of a mechanic, where you can cast your soul into bodies.

This soul could function as the ball in some regard. And with a variety of warriors, you could justify them staying apart a bit.

 

I can't seem to get any details down though, but I just thought I'd put it out there.


Edited by overactor, 25 April 2013 - 09:27 AM.

"You can't just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood."

"What mood is that?"

"Last-minute panic."





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