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Member Since 07 Oct 2010
Offline Last Active Aug 21 2015 05:05 PM

Topics I've Started

Comments/Crit on Infinite Space RTS

11 September 2013 - 02:18 PM

I've been toying with this idea for a while. I put it on hold for a few years as I started teaching myself web design.


However, now that i'm seeing what HTML5 can do, I'm interested in revisiting this idea as a possible browser game ...in fact, it would be THE BROWSER game to end all browser games.


I'm just looking for some interest/comments/crits suggestions on the idea as a whole.  Ideally, suggestions as to what platform might be best to begin development.    If you find yourself interested in starting/contributing, also feel free to post.






The human race has evolved.  Science and technology has advanced to the point where space exploration is possible, and specific groups on Earth are taking off into the unknown to discover new worlds, mine precious resources, and build and control empires. 


In short, this is a bigger, always on, civilization game, with a load more options, and less micromanagement.




Players begin on Earth.  Here, they are introduced to the early mechanics of the game.  They are given the choice to become 'influential' through politics, religion, or war.  However, on Earth (the tutorial) War is prohibited.  This means, players will rise in power through either politics or religion to begin the game.  


The player is given some limited options to influence a group of people and make money.  Hence, three main factors, population, money, and influence.  


At a specific point, a very rich contributor will send the player a message saying something like, "I am so impressed with your <politics or religion> that I want to buy you a starship.  It will fit 5,000 population, do you want to set off into space to begin your expansion?"


Of course, the player says Yes, because its the tutorial and you have no choice.  But here in starts the real game.


The Game:


The game is quite simple on the outside.  It is a large grid of 1x1 unit blocks.  Each 1x1 unit block represents a distance (1 light year?).  When leaving earth, a stargate type option is available(teleports to outskirts of a developed area) to help starting players branch out past players who already established worlds nearby earth.


But either way, all players leave and traverse space in their ships.  The catch is, you travel in REAL TIME (based on game time).  AKA: if your ship has the capability of traveling the speed of light, and every hour represents 1 year in the game, it will take the player 1 hour to travel across a single 1x1 unit grid.  


Each 1x1 unit grid will populate with specific criteria upon exploration (i.e. if a player explores this space for the first time, it will forever be populated with a specific amount of variables).  Variables for grids include:  Type of Space: System/Asteroids/Empty;  The amount of resources that can be mined; Random Enemy Units/Aliens, etc.  Minecrafts 'biome' system is a relevant comparison.  


The game will consist of a few actions the player can do, though much of the game will play out automatically while the player is not controlling it.  These actions include:  Space Travel, Economy, and Colonization (which includes religion, war and politics).


Each 1x1 grid allows all 3 of these things concurrently.  


Space Travel


As alluded to above, traveling and exploration is vital.  Because each area of the grid has different properties, it is important to find good areas for colonization or mining.


As the players influence, gold and population increases, they will be able to build more/bigger ships.  Specific ships / upgrades will provide different statistics of the area they are in or the areas around them.  


Their first ship, a colonization ship, once founded, gives them access to manufacturing/refining and opens up population control (colonization).


Manufacturing opens up construction of ships, which requires ore. For instance, maybe the first thing a player wants is a ship equipped with a 'ship scanner' which will scan the grid and output information of all other player ships in that area.  


Other ship ideas include:


Beacon - Fire it out into space to explore. It explodes when it reaches its destination and provides vision of grid for some time.

Cruiser - Large battle ship

Mining ship small->large - Mine

Eve Ships <- kind of the same ideas.


Ship parts:  Scrambler : Show up on ship scans, but without any details of ship type.





This is just like Eve. Find a resource heavy grid, and move some mining tools into it. Start collecting it and send it to home base.


However, its a good time to bring up the idea of Space Ports.  Not very close to a planet? Got Enough miners in an area? Or youre particularly rich?  Start construction of a space port.  Space ports act as mini planets, just with a smaller population cap.  


One of the ideas is that everything in the game will be owned and managed.  For instance, whoever controls/owns the spaceport, will be able to charge others to dock there.  They control the price.  a 'share' system would be nice to allow multiple owners.  


There is no currency,but there is a limited amount of each resource.  So currency will build based on supply and demand automatically.  If a player shoots out a beacon to explore, and it is destroyed, its resources are added back into that grids resource count.  



This is the fun part.  Take over the universe!  You would do this through the colonization system.  Because you are an influential person, and population is crucial to expanding, you can enter specific populated sections of the universe and vie for peoples attention.  You do this through political movements, religious movements or War.


Political means you throw money at the people and earn followers.  They become yours.  Each world has a maximum amount of population based on whoever is currently living there.  


Imagine for a second that someone arrives at a grid with a planet.  They do a scan and notice that its inhabited by 1 other player, who has colonized 10000pop/100000000.  You decide to colonize.  The other player logs on and notices this and is pompted with a message, 'player b has colonized near you: action?'  "Extend Peace, send Missionary, WAR!?"  


He doesn't see a threat, so he extends peace.  The other player succeeds, but his  influence is very high.  In which case, 10,000 of player A's population hears his game and randomly may choose to leave.  Eventually player B steals all the population and Player A is forced to gather up his pop and fly away, or fight back with money of political propaganda.





So, this sounds hard to implement.  Not really.  The grid system allows you to organize UI into manageable sections.  At any given moment, the player has only a single grid selected.  Options within each grid are as outlined above: Space Travel, Economy, Colonization.  Within Space Travel, you will see all your available ships and have the choice to move them.  Each ship will have specific abilities.  In economy, you will be able to manage resources and build.  In colonization you can interact with other players and participate in war, politics or religion.


I personally would find this game very intriguing.  The bottom line is, some people would be rich, and others wouldn't make much of a dent in the game, they would only exist.  Randomization in population and influence algorithms would allow certain turnarounds.  Say you win a battle and get an influence buff that follows you around for a while.  The random algorithm happens to kick off a rebellion and tons of people switch to your side. Having population behind you increases awareness of other players in that sector, and they support you by donating money to build bigger projects.


The goal of course, is to make a very realistic player driven world, but do so in a way that is easily maintainable and expandable via code.  A certain level of AI needs to be created for the population, which make decisions on specific influences that are around them.  Everything else (other than storing all the data for the huge world), is pretty straight forward.  


Thanks for reading this long write up.  I wish I had more time to focus on writing a very detailed write up and grammar spell check, but this was a spur of the moment write up, so please bear with me.


Again, looking for comments/suggetions/criticism/interest.  

The viability and marketability of text-only RPGs on mobile

06 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

I used to be a huge fan of browser-based RPG's.  The one I played most was called, "Archmage," later reconstructed under the name, "The Reincarnation."


The interesting thing about this game, and its genre, was that there were no fancy graphics.  It was based entirely in 1998 browser windows, displaying stats and text with some cool images sprinkled here and there.


I would say that this early genre was the foundation for games like Farmville.  In both games, you manage, 'buildings' which grant you income/economy.  You use that income to grow your city.  


The main difference between Archmage and Farmville, however, is the amount of cooperation and competition involved.  Farmville and subsequent games have no challenge.  You work with others, and you grow your 'land,' but through an investment of time, not strategy.


Archmage on the other hand allowed users to compete with each other.  Strategically, you had to manage your army, and economy correctly, or risk losing units or structures.  You focused on gaining "land" to expand your territory, like Farmville, but it could be stolen from you in battle and you too, could expand by attacking others.  


The other difference, and the main meat of this topic discussion, is that Archmage doesn't use a 'field' or placement grid for buildings.  Your city was represented as a bunch of numbers, with gold regen(+ or -) mana, building count, etc.  As is your army.  When you attack, you don't do anything manually.  You are presented with a report, and wit how much land/gold you gained and how many units died.


Is there a place for games like this still?   Games that focus more on strategy and numbers than handholding and graphics?  


I suppose the questions comes up, does implementing graphics/2d fields/grid take away from the strategy, or hamper the experience.   


To start the discussion off, I would argue that, in a way, it does hamper the experience.  If the gameplay requires constant building/rebuilding of structures (which archmage would), it would get annoying to have to manage placement of buildings that might vanish or be destroyed.


You could choose to visually show expansion by managing a dynamic image which changes with player power, but I think thats about as necessary as it would get.  


This means that the main question is, would players be able to handle a game with no graphics?  I think there is certainly a niche, but could that niche be expanded and grown?

How to set up a Newsfeed - DB design and view

04 February 2013 - 08:31 AM

I am developing a neat little browser based RPG in jquery mobile. 


The best way I can describe it is by referencing, "Archmage - The Reincarnation. (or essentially, the grandfather of Farmville)."  The game takes place entirely through text and images, similarly to Rage of the Bahamut.  Your actions are controlled via "Turns" which you accumulate over time, mixed with some management of gold/mana/population.  You raise up large army's and seek to steal resources from other players to raise your rank.


IMO, its a REALLY fun genre which deteriorated with the simplicity and anti-competitive nature of games like Farmville. 


Anyway, I am to the point where I need to implement a Newsfeed.  Essentially, a little widget that I can throw on the page that lists all recent actions taken upon that character: such as,


being attacked



land management (destroy / build / etc)

buffs running out

warnings of negative economy regen



Now I have an idea as to what I will do, but I know this has been done before, and I want to make sure im doing it the right way.  Anyone have experience in this area in regards to designing the Database?


My current thoughts is:


Table1:  Messages




Table2: Messagebridge










Something like the above.  Where variable 1 - 5 would contain specific information pertaining to the message which would be sorted out in PHP functions.





1. You have recruited <#units>, <#unit type>

Variable 1: normal int

Variable 2: pull unit info from unit_tbl via 'unit_id'<- which is what is stored


It seems cumbersome, and I am usually not too fond of serializing.  Though I can see a slight benefit in doing so.  


Anyone have some suggestions or recommendations? 


Augmented Reality - GPS - Mafia type game

23 April 2012 - 12:38 PM

Really interested in conceptualizing a world(region) domination game based on augmented reality.

Firstly, groups would be formed from things like facebook groups, google hangouts, zip codes, regions, etc. The player may choose to play in one, or many.

The idea would involve a Four-Square type check in style of gameplay, where, if you are in a relatively close proximity of a location, you can "take over." Depending on how many times you are there, you reinforce your position. Others can then attack you and attempt to bring you down.

This would be done by using augmented reality. Once you are inside the location, you seek out, "targets." However, this is funky and clunky and requires you to look funny aiming your phone around a building in public. I think a better idea would be to user Augmented reality for a search...allowing you to seek out specific 'target' locations

If we wanted to get REALLY complex, we could focus on a hub system, where you could only attack buildings by owning a specific other building. these hubs might come from specific advertising budgets from advertisers. This means, larger advertisers would get more traffic because players would have to go to that area to expand quickly.

Like I said, this is just preliminary planning....straight off the top of my head. If anyone is interested in discussing this, let me know, we can get together on skype / google docs / an SVN, or brainstorm right here.

Browser based webgame - "Managing Turns" in mySQL/PHP

08 February 2012 - 01:56 PM

I've been attempting to teach myself THE WEB (html5, css3, ajax, php, mysql) by starting production on a browser based web game.

So far so good. However, I've reached a wall that I can't quite figure out.

If you are unsure as to what a browser based game is...one of the originals was Archmage, or "http://www.the-reincarnation.com/"

In this game, every 5 minutes, each player receives a turn, and they max out at 200, or some other arbitrary number.

I have no idea how I am going to accomplish this.


-I want it to be a server-wide update. As in, everyone receives their turn at the same time.
-I can not use mysql event_scheduler. I am using a web host, and the hosting service has it disabled. At this time, I can not host a server on my own machine. Its just not feasible at this point in time.

event_scheduler is a mysql 5.1 addition, so it would appear many other games/including archmage have some other solution for granting turns and keeping track of time.

I can only think of really poor ways of implementing this, and could really use some advice. Thanks!