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Critical_Waste

Are turn-based games a dying breed? If so why?

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Critical_Waste    148
I was wondering are turn based games dead? If they are dying off why do you think that is so? What is the attraction that people have to real time games and why is there that attraction? It seems like people have not explored modern turn based games and all the power it can afford the player if implamented correctly. People seem to think that if the player has to "wait" that the wait is unjustified. Feel free to give any thoughs on Turn-Based VS. Real-Time games. I would love to see what other people think of the whole comparision. [spell checked somewhat] [edited by - Critical_Waste on October 4, 2002 4:41:01 AM]

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LoneStranger    135
Turn-Based games are dying for a few reasons.

The current generation of gamers are more interested in being able to just jump into a game, kill a few baddies and then jump out. You can''t do that as easily with a Turn-Based game.

Turn-Based games usually require more thought than FPS. Today''s mind-numbed TV generation is used to not having to think very much to be entertained.

Multiplayer internet games can''t really be Turn-Based. Not for more than a couple players anyway. You end up spending more time waiting for the other players to play their turn than you do playing yours. Doesn''t make for a lot of fun.

What can we do to fix this? Probably nothing. But adding Play by Email to turn based games couldn''t hurt. Instead of having to wait for the other player to do his turn, you can do yours, send it off, and go about your business until the other player does his turn. Downside is having to wait, maybe only doing a turn every day and a half or so average.

I wasn''t trying to flame this generation. I am a part of this generation. I would think that most of the "this generation" talk doesn''t apply to the people here. The people who frequent these forums are more likely to have had a background with turn-based strategy board games and table-top RPGs. "This generation" was meant to refer to the majority of people buying the games off the shelf.

Anyway. These are my thoughts. I love Turn-Based games. One of my favorites is Empire Deluxe (though I was introduced to it a long time ago in it''s monocrome text version).

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Symphonic    313
current trends in online multiplayer gaming allow for streamlined realtime play. this makes turnbased games a bit tiresome to those less patient players.

I agree that a correctly implemented turn based game could be the next big thing, but I think most people developing games these days don''t have the freedom to risk making a game that doesn''t fall into the guaranteed gain pile.

George D. Filiotis
Are you in support of the ban of Dihydrogen Monoxide? You should be!

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pan narrans    1284
*strips naked, douses himself in gasoline, holds out match*

I find them, well, extremely dull. Sorry.

Before you set me alight, and do nasty things to my charred orifices, understand that this is only my opinion. But, like LoneStranger said, it seems to be a view shared by the majority. I find real-time much more fun and exciting than any turn-based game I''ve ever played. Plus, these days, what with programming and earning a living, I need games I can just jump in and out of. Sure, there are lots of people (many of whom you will find on these very pages) that prefer turn-based, and it would be sad if they went away altogether. But game developers will make what they think will sell. Personally, I am still lamenting the death of 2D adventures, sniffle


pan narrans
Study + Hard Work + Loud Profanity = Good Code

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Inmate2993    222
My experience with "Turn Based" has been limited to RPGs on the console, however, I have noticed something amidst them. On most of the ATB final fantasy''s, you have a Quick Quick move move attack attack ultima ultima mentality. Go fast before the enemy gets to go. I didn''t like it too much. I ended up making a lot of bad choices in this model, usually because the way FF prioritizes stuff, I end up acting smartly for the situation, but the situation then changes and I''m not allowed to correct for it. That leads to valuable xpotions being wasted on the dead.

Then, we had the turn based games, where at the top of each round you make your decisions, and then the battle rolls out according to your commands. I''ll throw Final Fantasy Tactics into this model as well, even though the command input is slightly different. Whats the fundamental interest here is that the player has some good time to work out a tactical solution to the problem. Here''s where I shine.

From what I gather, the turn based I''m used to has disappeared because players don''t have the patience or attension span for a strategy. My whole opinion on the subject is hell-yes, bring it back. Though, I imagine we''ll just get more bigger and brighter explosions, and less and less decision making on matters of tactics.

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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Argus    118
quote:
Posted by Symphonic
I agree that a correctly implemented turn based game could be the next big thing, but I think most people developing games these days don''t have the freedom to risk making a game that doesn''t fall into the guaranteed gain pile.
I agree with this totally, except I''d swap "developing" with "publishing".

Another reason is that the AI typically is either not challenging enough or not interactive enough to match multiplayer. And yet multiplayer turn-based games, even in simultaneous mode (which I hate btw) are just too time-consuming for all by the most die-hard wargamers. So if you want interesting opposition, multi-playerRTS seems to be the only answer.

I''m working on a turn-based game (by myself) that will hopefully solve that problem, while allowing for all of the coolness of turn-based gameplay (time to think, chat, eat, drink).

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GaMe wIg    122
I find that the recently released "Golden Sun" for GameBoy Advance was a huge hit. I believe the reason for this was the amazing special effects. In order to revive turn-based games, we must use all the latest technology to make it interesting to "this generation".

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Shambles    122
quote:
Original post by LoneStranger
I wasn't trying to flame this generation. I am a part of this generation. I would think that most of the "this generation" talk doesn't apply to the people here. The people who frequent these forums are more likely to have had a background with turn-based strategy board games and table-top RPGs. "This generation" was meant to refer to the majority of people buying the games off the shelf.



Can you specify what you mean by "this generation?" One would think that a game such as Couter-Strike is the game of "this generation" since its an FPS and for some strange reason FPS is supposed to be the most popular genre?? This is simply not so. I belive this misconception comes from the generalization of young males and their hobbies concerning electronic entertainment. Although Counter-Strike is the most popular FPS (if its not, then pretend it is for the sake of this argument), it is certainly not the most overall popular game. In a IDSA survey, the majority of compuer gamers (42%) are over the age of 35. And in some reports (I forget which one) they show games such as "Roller Coaster Tycoon" and "The Sims" as being the top selling games.

The lack of interest from "this generation" towards turn-based games is NOT a contributing factor to a theoretical dying popularity to turn-based games.

Now that I got that off my chest. Let me give you a valid response: No they are not a dying breed of games. Arn't there games poping about all the time (which are aimed at "this generation") such as "Age of Wonders" and "Civilizations III"?

What I have found is that Chess is actually the most played game on the computer ever. Modern wargames are basicly derived from chess.


[edited by - Shambles on October 3, 2002 11:11:32 PM]

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KingRuss    134
The reason turn-based games are going down hill is they are too easy(basically). When I play, I don''t like to give each of my people the same experience(when I control multiple people, I would simply kill them all with one person, and since experience is usually given to who does what, I have one powerful guy)... this usually happens, though, because poor balancing(one person being able to kill easier than the others early in the game). If I only controlled one person it would be fine.

Look at this example:

Bob is waiting behind a wall to ambush the next person he sees, Jim is running around, looking for people to kill(its an online war game of some type). Jim runs around the corner and...

In a turn-based game he moves, then on bobs turn he gets shot(or whatever), since its turn-based(they could hide it, and that would help, but...), he probably sees the miss, or if he gets hit, the hit, and immediately knows what is going on. What ensues will probably be the same thing over and over, for everytime person A ambushes person B. The balancing must be -PERFECT- in a turn-based game, because each turn is important and without limitations on using magic like ultima every turn(minus running out of magic, you do have a lot), its balancing is flawed.

However, in an action game many things can happen. If Bob missed, jim might not even notice the fire. If jim is hit, he looks for the person(in realtime, which makes looking important), frantically(or calmly, depending how good he is) rotating to find him. In the meantime, bob is firing away at jim, and probably has a decent chance at missing still, since jim is probably dancing around like an idiot.

You get my point by now, even if the turn-based game had all the same features of the realtime game(if it calculated what you could see, instead of always showing it, if it randomized more things, instead of setting them in stone, if a moving target was harder to hit... that kind of stuff apparent in realtime games) it still wouldn''t have some features, and its harder to make anyhow. It could have freedom to join and leave at anytime, but probably only at the end of the round, etc... which, like I mentioned, just doesn''t feel the same.

The thing I would really like, though, is for more action games to be rpg inclusive... just because its action doesn''t mean its a fighting or shooting game(soldiers -do- get better after all)... Oh yea, and while there is a lot of easily recognized strategy involved in turn-based, there is even more strategy in realtime games, and it takes a longer time to discover.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Probably the wait time, especially in multiplayer.

I play Civilization 3 a fair bit (its getting a multiplayer expansion... whoo!) and I''ve found I''ve taken off ALL of the animations, just so that the game doesn''t take so long.

An option to fix this might be simaltanious turns, some games have it but the problem is: only one unit moves at a time (very irritating). If you had something that played real time, but with a limited number of actions (movement, building, etc) you could do before you had to take another ''turn'', might be the answer.

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cyrax256    149
I think most of the turn based games are underrated because they are usually very serious... really!

I think the gamers must meet other games that are REALLY good and have a very humorous tone. I dare any gamer here who thinks turn-based games are dull to play WORMS (Worms 2, Worms Armageddon, or Worms World Party), and still say turn-based games are boring.

This game has amazed me, it makes you laugh at every detail :D

Mac for productivity
Linux for development
Palm for mobility
Windows... for the Solitaire

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RolandofGilead    100
I know it''ll still be a problem, but as for waiting for people to finish their turn, make people take their turns at the same time.

Anyway, they''re dying for the oh so obvious reason that I have yet to finish my turn-based wargame.

Also, don''t know where it is in the post, but someone made a comment about the number of players, and I want to thank them for that because I just got this really cool idea.

I call it the miniMMORPG, although someone has probably already done it. Anyway, it''s like this, instead of hosting a multiplayer game of let''s say Quake that''s over in an hour, the software runs as a persistent world on a given server. (Ooh, I can see all the emails from isp''s complaining about bandwidth now.) I don''t think it''d be worth it to coordinate all the games on every server(a distributed MMORPG).

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MadKeithV    992
quote:
Original post by Argus And yet multiplayer turn-based games, even in simultaneous mode (which I hate btw)



What exactly do you mean by simultaneous mode? It can't be all players planning their turn at the same time, because it makes no difference if it's simultaneous mode or not to any single player. You still get to take "your turn", the wait between turns just gets shortened - you only have to wait the difference between your turn length and the length of the turn of the slowest player. Nomatter how annoying or slow that player is, it would always be worse in player-by-player mode.
So do you mean the style of play where at the end of everyone's turn, everything moves simultaneously? I'll pick up on that style further down this post.


But first I want to pick up on the "attack of opportunity" ambush example that KingRuss brought up.

A few tactical turn-based wargames came up with a solution to this problem: waiting. Instead of expending all your action points during your turn, you can leave a few action points to interrupt the other player's turn if one of his characters wonders into your character's field of view. This works quite well for turn-based games where you do your movement one at a time (i.e. after player 1's turn, all his units have moved and performed actions and the results have been calculated and displayed, then the next player does the same, etc..). Don't forget - this abstracts the whole fighting process, and you're not meant to get FPS-like situations where one player might not have noticed the other player shooting etc... if those effects needed to happen, there would have been mechanics in the game to calculate the chance of it happening.


There's another form, where players take turns (possibly simultaneously) planning their actions for the round. When each player has finished planning, then the action is played out, simultaneously. Diplomacy works on this principle - and it isn't even a computer game! Logistically, this type of game is much harder to get 'right', because the more you can do in a single round, the more of a problem things like interrupts become. Imagine if each round each character could run about 100 meters and fire a single shot. 100 meters would be enough to wander into a completely different section of the map, and possibly encounter a number of targets that you could not plan for. You can't target those new people, because you didn't see them during the planning phase.
To solve that problem, you could try introducing interrupts again, but then you'd get the problem of the simultaneous movement still being interrupted dozens of times to take 'extra' actions.
The other solution is not letting the players plan so far ahead per turn. If each turn, you could only choose to either move or attack, and your move would be limited to a single tile or a short distance, then it becomes less of a problem.


Just a few random thoughts to throw in and save turn-based games



[edited by - MadKeithV on October 4, 2002 3:29:46 AM]

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Argus    118
MadKeith - yeah sorry I wasn''t clear on what I meant by ''simultaneous''. There are quite a few turn-based games where you make your actual moves simultaneously (eg. AoW, Warlords3). But it often ends up being a race to move which I dislike since turn-based games typically don''t have a nice interface for it.

Simultaneous *planning* on the other hand, such an in diplomacy as you mentioned and also in MOO2 is fine with me, although of course we do run into the kind of problems you mentioned. Fallout had a nice system I thought.

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MadKeithV    992
I really should play fallout, it''s mentioned in a lot of the discussions I participate in! The problem is that I have very little time to play games, and I''m usually posting from work hehe.

I think I like the ultra-short planning phase, simultaneous resolution train of thought... Do you have any comments on that?

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Argus    118
Fallout really just has a good (useful) implementation of the interrupt system you were talking about. Jagged Alliance did something similar I think, but then they had to go and make JA2 non-multiplayer. Speaking of which, Civ3 and HoMM4 seemed to have MP issues..

Could you expand on what you mean by "ultra-short planning phase"? If you mean what I think you mean, wouldn''t it be an idea to go for real-time with a pause function? (we are getting a bit off-topic here though, should maybe be a new thread on how to implement turn-based MP).

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Critical_Waste    148
First off thanks everyone for all the replies! Second of all sorry about my spelling.

MadKeithV >> Thanks for such a long post.

Ok, say there was a game (yeah right) where player inputs commands while commands from "last turn" were being carried out. The commands inout in the current turn would be exacuted "next turn." So players could chose what to address or mearly watch their lasted efforts be carried out.

I am sure u have all played Robosport for the MAC right?
Urrmmm right, its late, sorry about the rambling.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Here are some links to in-development turn based tactical games:

Paradise Cracked:
http://www.buka.com/games/paradise/
Demo available (in Russian, just guess the buttons if you don''t speak it):
http://www.3dgamers.com/games/paradisecracked/

Silent Storm:
http://www.nival.ru/eng/s2_info.html

Rabid Dogs^2:
http://www.rabiddogs2.com/


Also, the webmaster of X-COMMAND (X-COM news/info site) is making his own turn based game:
http://www.strategyplanet.com/xcom/

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KingRuss    134
Yea, some systems do overcome many of the problems I presented, what I did was just list some common ones, when really the only major problem you have to deal with is balancing... I could probably design a near-perfect to perfect game due to the various training things I have(playing, creating, misc...), but I am on a different path right now. Did you need any help over in your post about turns keith? I have some time to waste.

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Zefrieg    316
Well, I am planning a game that is a turn-based wargame. I''m going to freshen it up a bit though. I won''t do the, one side does his turn, other side then gets his turn. I will basically be done with action points ala Fallout. Unfortunately, the player won''t be able to stop and think, "Duh, what should I do" for very long. It will have some realtime elements so you have to think fast. Units will have a action bar that continually climbs. They can actually attack, move, defend, even when the bar isn''t full. A penalty will be assigned based on how much percentage of the bar there was left before doing the action. 75% of the bar filled will be needed for a maximum attack. This will allow units to advance slowly and still keep an offensive edge. I thought it would make it a bit more realistic. 100% will basically mean the unit is fortified at the position, and the unit will get maximum defense points. Different units types have strengths over others. Also, terrain types give pluses and minuses to attack/defense/movement. Basic stuff really. I have alot of other things I want to impliment.

This game will basically have a dark futuristic setting. I am basically building a portfolio of games to show industry bigwigs when I get my CS degree. This is my "2d innovative design" game. I''m just building the tools right now though. It sure does take quite a while. Anyway, I plan on making a simple 3d multiplayer space shooter (save me from doing alot of models/art). Still, I will probably do alot of work on it to make it look impressive. I think that is about all I can expect to create by myself in 3 years. Hopefully that will be enough though.

I think I will stop rambling now...

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Impossible    134
quote:
Original post by pan narrans
But game developers will make what they think will sell. Personally, I am still lamenting the death of 2D adventures, sniffle



Yeah, I loved old adventure games also. In my opinion all of the most detailed stories\settings and all of the best humor in games has been in old text and 2D adventure games. They also tended to have the best characters and dialog, better than console RPGs that everyone uses as examples of games with great stories.

The problem is in the gameplay... Although console RPGs have interesting stories and flawed gameplay (IMHO) adventure games had even worse gameplay. You can make a relatively simple FPS with good technology that''s still fun to play, but if you don''t design the puzzles right in an adventure game you''re screwed. There is no one puzzle formula, puzzles vary a lot, so you need to have a very good designer behind them.

Then there''s the bigger problem, adventure games force you to think like the designer. Most adventure games have only one or two solutions for any puzzle and those solutions usually don''t follow common sense. For example, if you want to get into a warehouse with high security, using a chicken on a homeless guy that''s afraid of chickens so he runs away from his box so you can get the box and sneak into the warehouse isn''t necessarily the most logical way to go about the problem. The gameplay basically boils down to you clicking random stuff with random items trying to find out what reacts and a lot of the time isn''t very much fun. I think adventure games could (and maybe will) comeback in a similar style with more emergent gameplay. Instead of designing specific puzzles, the gameplay would have to be built around more flexible systems. This is way off topic, but I needed the quote. New thread?

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omni777    122
Wow. It seems I''m not the only one that still appreciates the classic 2D turn-based RPGs. It''s good to know that the one I''m working on now will actually have an audience outside my friends when it''s done. One thing I''m trying to do now is to work out all the common problems these games seem to have like casting Ultima over and over or having one super character while everyone else is weak. I''ve got a couple ideas on how to do this, but luckily I won''t be starting the battle system until next week, so if anyone has any ideas on what can be done to make a turn-based RPG battle system more fun, feel free to let me know.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Zefrieg
Well, I am planning a game that is a turn-based wargame. I''m going to freshen it up a bit though. I won''t do the, one side does his turn, other side then gets his turn. I will basically be done with action points ala Fallout. Unfortunately, the player won''t be able to stop and think, "Duh, what should I do" for very long. It will have some realtime elements so you have to think fast. Units will have a action bar that continually climbs. They can actually attack, move, defend, even when the bar isn''t full. A penalty will be assigned based on how much percentage of the bar there was left before doing the action.


This sounds a combination of the worst of both real time and turn-based.

When I play turn-based, I want to be able to sit there and go "Duh...". I may well go eat dinner, watch some TV, then return and make my move. That''s the incredible advantage of turn-based. It fits into your life, instead of forcing you to play on someone elses schedule.

When I play real-time, I want immediate gratification. I want my guys to run around like morons and shoot everything that moves. I don''t want game-induced lag.

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