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Member Since 16 Jan 2010
Offline Last Active Nov 20 2015 10:44 AM

#5199033 Multiple battles in same place

Posted by Telcontar on 18 December 2014 - 06:36 PM

With the given scenario (two attackers independently attacking the same planet) I would have the attackers fight each other, then the survivor fights the planet. This gives an advantage to whoever owns the planet itself, and mirrors a bit of history - occasionally two independent armies WOULD go for the same fortified place at the same time, and when that happened they would often tear each other to pieces over the "right" to take the planet, weakening themselves past the point of actually being able to take it.


So for any fortified or otherwise conquerable area, that's how I'd do it. If the fight lasts more than one turn, the fortified area fights no one - unless they choose to specifically attack one fleet, maybe?


For three different fleets meeting out in space somewhere (assuming that is possible in your game), you can try to decide on other factors (do fleets have a "speed" attribute of any kind? If so, the two fastest fight first), or have the game try to guess what will give the player the most fun - and what THAT means is entirely up to you. As battles can last more than one turn, you may need to have a system where either defeated fleets "flee" a short distance or multiple hostile fleets can actually occupy the same tile, even if only two can fight each other at a time.

#5154007 Macroeconomy

Posted by Telcontar on 16 May 2014 - 08:06 AM

Here's another fairly simple question: How long would the economy be able to run itself, without interference with the player, before disaster strikes? So far the various moving parts you've described don't need/allow much input from the player, except tariff rates and taxes which govern how much money the government pulls in. What does the player use that money for?

#5153322 Macroeconomy

Posted by Telcontar on 13 May 2014 - 09:15 AM

...And they want *DIFFERENT* things biggrin.png There is a conflict inside the society. That's the primary thing I want to "change".


Alright, I think I've got a better handle on your aims now. (I also agree that Tropico tended to be way too easy. One of the newer ones had some sliders you could adjust at the beginning of the game, and I always jacked them way up to make the game as hard as possible).


Well, as Shane mentioned you're going to have some serious work to do on the AI front even for a simple self-directed economy. Though to be honest, that sounds like a lot of fun too.


I think it will be important for their to be a fairly large amount of detail to your map so that a lot of differentiation happens with regards to choice building locations. That way you won't just have conflicts between rich and poor, but even competing rich factions. Take the following situation: A factory baron and a shopping mall conglomerate both want the same location because of reasons. The surrounding population is heavily in favor of the shopping mall, but the land is already owned by the factory baron. The locals try to block the construction legally, and at the same time the conglomerate offers to buy the land fairly cheaply. Being that this is a dictatorship (or something like it) you can either choose to allow the factory to be built, or not.


Allowing it makes the people unhappy (though it will open up lots of jobs, which might help your overall situation if you have high unemployment), and will displease the conglomerate, but will please the factory owner and perhaps the unions who will have more workers/dues payers.


Denying it makes the people and the conglomerate happy, but pisses off the factory barons - and because they already own the land, if they refuse to sell to the conglomerate you might have a big unfinished building and useless plot of land sitting there for awhile, when you could have had productive use. Forcing the baron to sell will just piss them off more (but it could be an option).


The above scenario springs out of the simple fact that construction is expensive, and some places are FAR more attractive (and cheaper) to build on than others. "Location, location, location," as they say.


I'd actually suggest that the player represent a "legislature" of some sort rather than an out and out dictatorship, as you will need to put limits on what the player can do with regards to private property (like having the ability to force the baron to sell the land or just taking it away from them) OR you will need to implement a lot of that political stuff and the danger of assassinations and uprisings if you abuse your power too much. The fun of your game will be heavily influenced by how many of the "economy's" decision you cannot change.


Anyway, those are a few thoughts of mine.

#5153148 Macroeconomy

Posted by Telcontar on 12 May 2014 - 03:56 PM

I like this kind of game too. Have a few ideas for one, but doesn't sound similar to yours - which is more like a "Tropico meets Dwarf Fortress" kind of thing, If I'm reading it right.


So my first question is: What's the game? To what end are you trying to influence the economy? What are the benefits when you are doing well? After all, in the "real world" when governments regulate the economy to a successful degree (which we'll define here as: 'the economy is doing well'), the incumbent political party/coalition keeps power. Going back to the Tropico comparison, so long as things don't go to shit you get to keep playing.


Assuming you go a similar route, there is only one primary change that needs to take place from the basic recipe of Tropico. In that game, all buildings (except huts, which don't count) are built solely by the player. If in your simulation this is not true - buildings go up when the "entrepreneur" NPC's see an opportunity - you automatically get a few built in playing choices. For instance, environmentalists will want you to curb the building of factories and mines, while factory and mine owners will want you to help them get through red tape. Basically, nudging the interests of all these different groups one way or another will be the game. Can you think of another direction for it to go?


Seeing as I've not drawn a bevy of comparison to Tropico, I should also ask you how the vision for your game would differ from it. :)

#5152540 Assassination & game over

Posted by Telcontar on 09 May 2014 - 09:18 AM

A lot of game recently have you playing not just one ruler, but a dynasty of successive rulers. This makes it possible to lose your "life" to assassination without the game ending. In order to adjust the mood, all you have to do is decide the after-effects of an assassination. For instance, if it serves as the impetus for a popular uprising against a hated line of rulers, it could still lead to a game-over scenario, but at least the player would have the chance to get things back under control.

#5152053 why in many fps games player character doesnt talk?

Posted by Telcontar on 07 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

Most FPS's are pretty light on the customization side of things. At the same time, they want the player to project themselves into the main character. Giving the MC a voice and dialogue makes this harder - the player needs to accept that dialogue as their own, but what if they say something at odds to the character the player imagines themselves to be? Suddenly the player is nothing themself within a game, they are piloting somebody else within that game. This may change what they feel is the "correct" action to take in some cases, and it becomes what they want to do vs. what they think the character would do.


I'm not actually suggesting that most players would care about what their character would do vs. what they, the player wants to do, but it is just another level of distraction between the player and the game. FPS's are about a fairly simple experience when you get right down to it.

#5150157 Magic advancement system

Posted by Telcontar on 28 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

I'm developing an RPG system which uses something similar - a certain kind of magic user can draw energy from his surroundings and other sources and use them + own knowledge to work a spell. My suggestion comes directly from my system.


In yours, you describe "type" and "target" spells. However, what happens if you allow a mage (as they gain power) to apply multiple "type" levels to each casting? So, a level one mage (or skill 1, whatever system you use) has one Type slot and one Target slot. But when that mage gains in power, they earn a second Type Slot. They still must pick a single target (unless you can think of a good way to utilize multiple target slots...) but they can increase the power of a spell by using multiples of the same Type (2 Fires + 1 Other == Bigger Fireball!) or even get more complicated spells by mixing Types (1 Fire + 1 Air + 1 Other == Fire Tornado?)


It has the possibility of getting very complex, but with a few ground rules on how to handle certain uncharted multiples you can handle much of that. For instance, you could have a  "general energy" Type, and any time a mage tries to cast a spell which isn't actually it's own spell the extraneous Types get turned into general Energy. So, if 1 Fire + 1 Water + 1 Other wasn't actually a spell, it would turn into the spell 1 Fire + 1 Energy + 1 Other. Thus, you draw everything back down into a baseline which you make sure to define behavior for.


My only question for this system as you've defined it (with Target being a special magical sphere of its own) is how many targets you're really going to have? In my system, the target is not a magical effect in itself, and mage level basically directly corresponds to how many Spheres he can throw into his spells.

#5148528 Is the Eve Online style time based leveling up system good or bad?

Posted by Telcontar on 21 April 2014 - 06:54 AM

I stopped playing EVE many years ago, but when I played I enjoyed the time-based system. For one thing it was something new, and all else being equal I like seeing new approaches to things. More importantly, I didn't have nearly the time to dump into the game that a lot of players did, and this helped keep me on par with them. Obviously they outstripped me quickly in physical assets like money and ships, but I was "gifted" a lot of that due to being valuable to my corporation (and later, alliance), so that helped as well.


I would have liked to see a system where it was even harder to get certain key skills, so that a player really had to focus in on a certain set of ships and abilities. But then, my "dream MMO" wouldn't be very popular, cuz I keep wanting to make things harder...

#5104416 Strictly Dominant Strategies and the Tech Tree

Posted by Telcontar on 25 October 2013 - 12:02 PM

From my standpoint, much of the real problem in this lack of choice comes down to the fact that the vast majority of games don't really apply the concepts of scarcity well. As Khaiy said "by the time you can get [the best weapon] cost is mostly irrelevant."


A lot of games don't scale the costs of maintaiing a vast empire as quickly as the profits reaped from having one, so anybody reaching a late-stage game is going to be rolling in resources. One of the primary worries in using "new" technology is the real world IS cost: economies of scale have not yet been developed for it's production and thus it is far more expensive than the "next step down" despite likely being only a marginal improvement. In a different case, for thing like infantry weapons and equipment, small costs balloon quickly due to the sheer volume needed.


In the real world scarcity can be fairly easily measured due to monetary value. You aren't dealing with discrete piles of resources, you're dealing with a certain cost-per-unit in order to obtain something. Because everything can be boiled down to money, you have a real tradeoff - you have lots of other things to use money for. Buying more expensive rifes for your troops, or better missiles for your battleships, means you have less money to use everywhere else. Games generally do a mediocre-to-poor job of representing this opportunity cost. Using my best resource on the military doesn't matter to the rest of the game, because only the military uses that resource.


Another little beef I have with a lot of strategy games is a lack of inequality in efficiency. To take the already used example of Galactic Civilizations (which I personally did not like a great deal), the armor of any particular technology basically cancels out the same level weapon of that tech. I have level two lasers and the other guy has level two shields, I can't do crap to hurt his ships - his shields practically nullify my weapons. This is all kinds of wrong. This means that I can't rely on lots of lower-gunned weapons to overwhelm the other guy with numbers. His defensive tech renders my offensive tech useless, which - historically - is an extremley rare occurence. In order to compete at all, I have to catch up or surpass the opponent in the tech game, thus removing all my other choices for dominance.

#5078500 Tablet (space) RTS's and limits of Unencumbered UI and gameplay design.

Posted by Telcontar on 17 July 2013 - 12:06 PM

You and I happen to share a devotion to the idea of true ship design and engineering. I'd love to see how you've gone about solving some of the problems!


To get to the point of your post, though, I think perhaps you are trying to build the wrong game. Or at least, trying to build the wrong game first. I'm sure a 4X game with that kind of design freedom would be awesome - but if you've really gotten a design system so capable and detailed you should build the game to showcase it.


That means a game where you painstakingly build and fly a single ship, or a very small number of ships, at a time. Basically, an RPG where your "party" are ships.


To start off, the player might have a certain amount of design money and components to play around with and then they are released out into the game to run some missions or whatever, eventually given the option to upgrade their ship, or simply add more ships to their fleet. Obviously the gameplay itself can take any number of forms - the important element being a smaller number of ships so that the uniqueness of each one can be lovingly showcased and all the time spent designing them can really pay off.

#5077202 Specialization Bonus for General Skills

Posted by Telcontar on 12 July 2013 - 03:17 PM

I actually rather like the idea of eliminating critical failures, assuming that critical failures are actually painful to the player. In many games it's just a single bad attack or damage roll, and that quickly gets lots in the thousands of attack and damage rolls you make in the game.


Are specializations a one-off cost? You either have it or you don't? Or is it a separate and more focused skill rating a la the Shadowrun system Meatsack described? If the former, then you can create unique abilities unlocked by each skill - for instance "Headshot" for sniping or "Lead Storm" for automatic weapons. However, if they are scaled abilities you'll need to keep the benefit more tame and scaleable. Increasing damage with the specific weapon category, or success chance, or whatever.


Hard to give more suggestions without knowing more about the specifics of your system. As a more general statement, I'd try to use the specializations to make the skills more unique and really give the player a reason to use them.

#5066600 Strategy Game - Unit Damage

Posted by Telcontar on 31 May 2013 - 10:16 PM

I have to wonder though, if the randomness is used such that you wouldn't notice it, is it really adding anything? Is doing a range of 20-26 damage much different from doing a flat 23 damage?


It very well could, depending on the game. Imagine A small-unit count tactical game, where each unit actually means something to the battle. A player is retreating his units, the rear of which has 22 health. This unit takes a shot before it can get under cover/out of range.


Does it die?


In the flat deterministic system (23 damage per shot) it does. In the more randomized system there is the chance that it does not. Provided that the game itself rewards players who respond well to such situations, it could be a very fortunate thing for a player to salvage one more unit out of a battle.


Really, it all depends on the rest of the game. A bit of variability can provide short-term advantages or disadvantages, thus giving players the chance to capitalize on the former or attempt to mitigate the affects of the latter. Thus, a dash of randomness can reward a player's ability to adjust on the fly. Conversely, a completely deterministic system may be more rewarding to those who can plan far in advance.

#5066146 Strategy Game - Unit Damage

Posted by Telcontar on 30 May 2013 - 08:57 AM

I find that introducing small amounts of randomness in damage or other affects is useful in turn-based or other slow-playing games to prevent certainty of any particular outcome. If you keep the range of randomness small, "bad luck" is unlikely to actually decide any particular situation. The player with the larger or better army will still win - but by how much? WIth what exact losses? Over time, the small variations snowball into larger amounts of uncertainty, keeping thing exciting.

#5030714 Interesting Post about Planetary Annihilation's Terrain Engine

Posted by Telcontar on 10 February 2013 - 09:28 AM

Find it Here


I'm terrible when it comes to graphics programming but I have delusions of someday becoming competent at least with the concepts. I learned a lot from this blog post by one of the developers of Planetary Annihilation.


It's edifying to see that they are doing a lot of work to make their eventual product actually match the look and feel of their demo (which was created without any game tech in place, as far as I understand).

#5012269 MMORPGs, Why Is There More Discussion Than Other Genres?

Posted by Telcontar on 18 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

'Newbie designer' comment is a pretty good point.

Also, I'd say that anyone who plays a lot of video games knows about the shortcomings of computer opponents and computer teammates. Having people working both for and against you is more fun and will open up more engrossing interactions.