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Busy busy busy!! I promised a non-technical post tonight, I'd better get to it then. I'll probably just ramble about some gameplay stuff -

The first segment of the game, Fall Weiss, is essentially the introduction to the game. Moreover, it introduces the first method of play - you command only a single unit, probably a tank.

That isn't to say that you're the only one fighting, but rather, far from it. I want to capture the idea that its a war and you're just a drop in the ocean. This is one of my themes for the game (the idea that one person, or a small group of individuals is powerless), and I'll try to express it not only through the gameplay itself, but in the philsophical discussions during and between missions.

The problem with this is that the player shouldn't be allowed to rely on friendly units to get the job done; though forcing the player to achieve certain tasks is detrimental to the aforementioned theme, it is necessary to achieve gameplay. Though the AI friendlies are there and fighting, they shouldn't be able to do all the work. I mean, you're part of an army, so it doesn't make sense for you to do all of the work. But at the same time, it wouldn't be a game if you could just idle and automatically win.

I haven't really figured out a solution to this critical problem yet; but I want there to be a feel of a controlled chaos - how I would imagine the battlefield. Its a meager attempt to supply some level of immersion, but I haven't mulled over it enough.

Any ideas on a solution? How do I make it so the player seems insignificant and has to meet mission goals? I have a few ideas mind, but I'd like to hear some input first :]
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make them act as speacial forces.
basically, requirements that for your front to advance, you need to acomplish an objective.

Take out this bridge to prevent enemy troops from moving forward. Clear out this forward bunker.

On the ground, squads have orders and objectives. It is a cordinated mindless push. Some objectives are figured out on the ground, as a branching tree to get to a overall object that the entire front is working on.

Say, the goal is. Take this beach head and secure the area to establish a forward base.

Well individual squads have a general start area, and discover objectives to meet the main objective of clear enemy forces. Clear this bunker, establish a resupply point, provide artillery cover in a certin area to allow another section to advance. etc etc

Tanks were used as forward cavilarly, breaking up ground troops to allow their own ground troops to push in behind their path.

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Do what Quake 4 did and throw a battle all around you that your weapons are too insignificant to make a difference in, and attempt to kill the player with the aforementioned battle so they are always running.

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MustEatYemen - I have to say, I love it. It kind of has the same old "individual people determine the path" which I was trying to avoid, but I think it can be changed around a little to establish that, though you're the one accomplishing the goal you couldn't have done it alone.

I think I might be able to accomplish this through clever level design and scripting; say if you've got some anti-tank planes coming towards your column, you're basically screwed. But, just in the nick of time the Luftewaffe comes over and shoots down the enemy bombers, but only because you took down those AA sites that were plaguing them earlier in the mission.

Its that kind of "part of a big mesh" feeling that I want to accomplish I guess, so it doesn't feel like the player is doing all of the work (yet still forcing the player to do work).

In any case, I think I'm going to need a robust scripting system... which is already in the works anyway :D

Ravuya - yeah, that's another good approach (the goal is to SURVIVE!). Diversity is a good thing! I think in the later missions (towards the end of Barbarossa) this is going to be one of the more important types of missions - holding the front against insurmountable odds. And blistering cold. Yes. <3 the cold.

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The hardest thing to achieve with this type of game imo is balancing the players ability to effect change. If nothing can be accomplished, then it feels too scripted and the player feels insignificant and worthless. To much power, and the player is bored.

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