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# Words!

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Did some different coding things today. First, I compiled all of my reusable XNA classes(sprite, collision, etc.) into a library file that I can easily reference in my projects.

Secondly, well...

FEAR THE PRESCHOOL ISOMETRIC TILE ENGINE:

This is something I've wanted to try for awhile, making an isometric tile map. I've made alot of top-down rectanglar tile maps, and side-scrolling tile maps, but no isometric ones yet. One thing I was never able to figure out was how exactly to draw one of these. I thought about it today, and came up with a method which apparently works. Although, it didn't work at first:

This is really part of a broader game concept that I've been thinking of for quite some time, and that I will elaborate on now.

It really started when I started getting into Warhammer 40,000 tabletop this summer. I've started collecting a small army of Orks(mob would probably be a more appropriate word). I really like tabletop strategy games, ever since the days years ago when I used to play a little known Warhammer spin-off called Epic 40,000. One question I've always had is, why aren't there some computer strategy games like these? By that I mean, turn-based tactical games about battles between armies. Now obviously dice-rolling would be replaced by health bars and slightly random accuracy, but the key concepts and flow of the game could remain intact.

Now it could be argued that games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem count, but they really don't. Those games are about small groups of characters who level up in RPG fashion. Furthermore they take place in a Fantasy setting, where I'm talking about modern or futuristic warfare. What I'm talking about is a tactical turn based strategy game with large armies consisting of soldiers and war machines. A game like this would have no RPG elements, instead having players field armies of equal value against each other. How the player commands their army would be more important than what abilities their troops have.

Strategy games of warfare are usually reserved to Real Time Strategy games, like Command and Conquer, Starcraft, or my favorite, Dawn of War. The problem with these games is they rely too much on the mechanics of base-building and resource managment, rather than tactics. Meanwhile, Turn based strategy games are usually 4X games, or simplified military games like Advance Wars. Ofcourse I realize there are some exceptions, such as X-COM(which I really, really need to try, I know).

Picture the game tile map as a tabletop. In a 40K game, the unit of measure for movement and shooting is inches. Just the same, in the computer game version, one tile represents one unit of measure. Some units, such as tanks, will be several tiles large. Things like morale and squads, and even what direction a unit is facing would all be important aspects of gameplay. In other words, this is just a computer version of a tabletop wargame, such as Warhammer 40,000.

I think this would be a great game, because playing a tabletop wargame is a hobby in itself, and an expensive one at that. People would be able to get the same strategic depth of one of these games in a computer game. Obviously a computer version would never be as good as the real thing, but it will provide a more casual alternative.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that I'm working on a game like this right now, I'm just talking about an idea that I've been thinking of. I plan to make a game like this one day, possibly soon, but not right now. I think it can be done, and I've already thought of how to implement several of the concepts in the game, but I need to study on some things before I could make it. I just think it's a great concept for a turn based strategy game, but it might just be something only I'm interested in.

Hey,

Just wanted to drop a line and mention that this is very similar to what I'm currently working towards for my current RTS project. The project itself is currently in very early stages.

I've always been an admirer (but never a player, didn't have any friends who were interested and as you said, it's an expensive hobby) of the GamesWorkshop games like WH40k and I especially liked the sense of scale in Epic. I liked the idea of commanding large armies. If you're interested in a similar (although smaller scale) concept in a game, check out any of the Close Combat series by Microsoft. In Oz, the fifth game "Invasion Normandy" is currently available for $10 in bargain bins. Some of the concepts in these games that I really like are: 1) Command "squads" of units, not individual units themselves. Helps cut down the micro-management. 2) Morale is modelled. A unit can flee/panic/go berzerk/etc if they (or those around them) take too much punishment. 3) One-shot-kills all (or at least, with infantry it does). A unit will die or be severely injured from a single bullet-wound. However, weapons fire is only reliably accurate on units that are caught in the unfortunate position of standing upright and not in cover. This leads to... 4) Cover is important. Forest, copses of scrub, buildings, destroyed vehicles all increase the survivability of your troops in a large way. This makes the game much more strategic in that you are generally moving your troops from cover to cover and trying to catch your opponent in the open. 5) The maps don't look "tiled". While 2D, the maps are quite impressive in that they don't seem to use tiles. You won't see many straight lines here. The terrain looks varied and interesting. If you're interested in collaborating, or even just swapping ideas, PM me. #### Share this comment ##### Link to comment Looks pretty cool, I was never brave enough to venture into the world of isometric games! Also, I would like to suggest you try the game Ground Control, you can get it for free from Gamespy when you download the demo for Ground Control 2. It has alot of the stuff you and LachlanL were talking about in it, such as no base building or resource management. I always liked it because you had to make do with whatever units you brought with you. #### Share this comment ##### Link to comment Quote:  Hey, Just wanted to drop a line and mention that this is very similar to what I'm currently working towards for my current RTS project. The project itself is currently in very early stages. I've always been an admirer (but never a player, didn't have any friends who were interested and as you said, it's an expensive hobby) of the GamesWorkshop games like WH40k and I especially liked the sense of scale in Epic. I liked the idea of commanding large armies. If you're interested in a similar (although smaller scale) concept in a game, check out any of the Close Combat series by Microsoft. In Oz, the fifth game "Invasion Normandy" is currently available for$10 in bargain bins. Some of the concepts in these games that I really like are: 1) Command "squads" of units, not individual units themselves. Helps cut down the micro-management. 2) Morale is modelled. A unit can flee/panic/go berzerk/etc if they (or those around them) take too much punishment. 3) One-shot-kills all (or at least, with infantry it does). A unit will die or be severely injured from a single bullet-wound. However, weapons fire is only reliably accurate on units that are caught in the unfortunate position of standing upright and not in cover. This leads to... 4) Cover is important. Forest, copses of scrub, buildings, destroyed vehicles all increase the survivability of your troops in a large way. This makes the game much more strategic in that you are generally moving your troops from cover to cover and trying to catch your opponent in the open. 5) The maps don't look "tiled". While 2D, the maps are quite impressive in that they don't seem to use tiles. You won't see many straight lines here. The terrain looks varied and interesting. If you're interested in collaborating, or even just swapping ideas, PM me.

I had looked at Close Combat before, but I wasn't sure that I would like it. It sounds like a strategy game that I would enjoy, so I'm going to give the demo a try.

I'm glad to hear that your working on something like this. An RTS with battles on the scale of Epic would be awesome. I've just never been into the whole concept of base building in strategy games. I like Rome: Total War because it's tactical, but it would be awesome to have a game like that with modern or futuristic armies.

Quote:
 Original post by Sir Sapo Looks pretty cool, I was never brave enough to venture into the world of isometric games! Also, I would like to suggest you try the game Ground Control, you can get it for free from Gamespy when you download the demo for Ground Control 2. It has alot of the stuff you and LachlanL were talking about in it, such as no base building or resource management. I always liked it because you had to make do with whatever units you brought with you.

I'm actually suprised that the isometric code I thought of worked. I haven't really read any material on Isometric tile engines, but I just came up with my best guess on how the map would be drawn. It's a rather strange method, involving drawing the top and bottom half with a seperate routine. Well, I don't know if that's strange, for all I know that could be how it's supposed to be done.

I actually have the full version of Ground Control from Gamespy somewhere on my computer. I played it a little and forgot that I had it, but I'm going to go find it and play it now that I have time. I prefer strategy games that require the best use of your units, rather than just building a base and churning out constant waves of unit. Although, I do really like Dawn of War, because I think it handles the resource management really well.

##### Link to comment
Have you tried the older Warhammer games?

Final Liberation: Warhammer Epic 40,000
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate
Warhammer: Dark Omen

I never really cared for Final Liberation, but you might want to try it. Chaos Gate was my favorite, it's similar to X-COM except it doesn't have lighting and the graphics have this "shiny plastic" look to them. Dark Omen was fun, but it wasn't anything to write home about.

Good luck finding them though(well legally). I bought them as a pack in 1999 and even then they where hard to find.

##### Link to comment
I've seen these, and have wanted to play them badly, but like you mentioned, they're very hard to find. They're releasing a PSP game, called Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command later this year which looks like an updated version of Chaos Gate. I guess I'll just have to wait tell then.

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