This one will be a little different as I currently don't have much of an answer to provide, only the problem. Hopefully you'll be able to assist me as you have in the past.
My current problem is this:
I'm trying to implement communication as a key element of the gameplay in my game. Given that it ties well with the theme of logistics that I'm trying to establish, it 'feels right' and gives me another means to reinforce logistics while providing further strategic decisions and opportunities to the player.
The issue here though is that I don't have a gameplay implementation for what communications entails.
The closest element I've found in games was the influence, which would stretch from planets up to a certain distance and have an effect on things located within that distance.
My initial assumption was that, much like is the case with current limitations, and as can be seen in sci-fi tv series, if a ship would ever leave the maximum communication range of the empire it is connected with, it would be 'on its own'
Unfortunately, I'm struggling with this concept for various reasons:
- Similarly, I don't want to limit the range. I think its important for the player to be able to send a ship very far in exploration, and a communication range would just prevent this. Likewise, it would suck to be unable to retaliate on an enemy just because he's destroyed one of your bases and has come out of your range.
- In tv series such as, say, Star Trek, when a ship is beyond the range of their central command, they have sufficient leadership aboard to make clever decisions. The issue here is that, its very hard to grasp that from the standpoint of the player if he is playing the collective counsciousness of high management. On the one hand, I don't want the player to lose control of his ships just because they are out of range, but then, if I don't do something drastic, communication ranges won't mean anything.
Therefore, I'm looking for a tangible way to implement a logical system that would either buff units for being within range, or penalyze them for going outside, or any tangible reason for you to stay within these lines as much as possible and seek to expand them.
One concept I've ruled out is the implementation of influence in Galciv2 as it allowd you to takeover enemy planets through influence, and this really doesn't make sense for communications and for my game.
One thing I've noted though is that communication could have a detrimental effect on any enemy's sensor within range, somehow hacking them and sending fake data, but I'm not sure I want communication to play as the defensive counter to sensors.
Any ideas here?