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Member Since 02 Mar 2013
Offline Last Active Oct 17 2014 09:44 AM

Topics I've Started

Allowing players to create procedures in strategy games

02 March 2013 - 08:12 PM

Hi, I'm not an English native speaker and I apologise for all the mistakes you will see in the following post.
I just want to talk theoretically about what could, and I think should, be a feature in strategy games or even a whole new game design.

I first think about it when I encounter something very frustrating in the first strategy game I played to. In this game (fragile allegiance) you had to rule over a bunch of asteroids. Every month in this game a federal ship come to one of your asteroid and you can sell him the resources you have accumulated on that asteroid, therefore every month you have to send all your resources from all your asteroid to that asteroid thanks to a ship or a teleporter.

The first month when you have only few asteroids its fun, but then it becomes very repetitive, boring and sometimes you just don't have the time to do it !
Then I thought "Why the hell can't we just tell a ship to travel every month to collect all the resources and bring them to one asteroid ?"

And in every details of that game and all those I have played since I encountered this "problem" which often I think is not a misconception but a choice : you can never build an organisation, a system where you have put in place procedures, where you can give orders.

When you can do it it is just for a few details and you never have the possibility to give exactly the order you want to use.

There are many examples where you can do it partially, and sometime I think it's a good idea to force the player to use "supervisors" to take care of substructures of your empire since it can add something interesting to the game, but I'd love to see a game where you can really take care of every micro management details by giving orders or by putting procedures into place.

It would be something systematic : for example in the game alpha centaury you can give to a terraformer unit orders such as "plant forest everywhere" but neither "plant fungus everywhere" nor "plant forest exactly on the following area" : of course you can make the action "plant fungus or forest just there" but you will have to do it for every small square of the area you want to cover.

In the kind of game I would like to exist (I have no time to develop myself anything), every action could be put into more complex procedures : to continue with my first example :
-I can tell my ship to travel from one asteroid to another one
-I can take resources from an asteroid to store it in the ship
-I can unload the resources of the ship

Therefore I should be allowed to build a procedure that make my ship collect the resources of every asteroid and unload them on my main asteroid.

Every or most of the actions that the player can make would be usable in a procedure, events such as "new asteroid discover" could also be used
in procedure to automatically explore or colonize it.

That kind of feature could be used both in turn by turn and real time strategy game, I really think it would make very funny games and I wonder what do you think about it.