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Diodor

Maps

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This thread is for discussing improvements of various maps that may come up in strategy games. I want a strategic map, fullscreen size, available at the touch of a button, clearly showing everything that I should know about a game, and allowing me to rapidly give global, strategic orders. Don''t just scale down the big image that is the game map - make the strategic map image completely new and abstract. If it doesn''t have a strategic effect on the game, don''t draw it. Use colors and fill patterns to describe elevation and terrain, not to make the map look good (and useless). Don''t add units as pixels - group units in logical groups and add an appropriate a sprite for each group. Anyway, clearly show the differences between a unit that is a fat army cook and a pixel that is a heavy tank.

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I think that the mini-map present in all strategy games is extremely useful, however, you are right: the player should be given a bigger, better representation of the map for strategy purposes.

Another feature that I really like that is only now popping up in a few strategy games is the ability to add signal points on a map, so allies in network game can be shown something important. There are a lot of features that can be added surrounding this in a system that includes the mapping system you desribe too. Such as various types of signal points, ie, permanent pin points, points with text descriptions attached, points marking regions, etc.

Something to talk about and test. I just wanted to contribute to the topic.

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Sim City had that kind of minimap with layers, you could see pollution, traffic, population, crimes, etc... with only a few clicks.

Maybe you should allow the player to choose from many filters, one with its own information.

For instance, a "cover" filter might make each pixel you can shoot at without moving green. The more units that can shoot at a pixel, the brighter it is. Pixels that cannot be shot at are plain black.

Another would be to have anti-air, anti-infantry, anti-tank capacities written out (with a distinct color and brightness ).

Another would be an enemy marker history - keeping track of recent enemy attacks : the more he attacks an area, the brighter it becomes (colored in red), and the brightness decays with time.

Also, mark all idle units on the map when the player asks you to.

Mark units (by type, by attack type) with an icon, whose size depends on : number, total health, total firepower. Or maybe two half-disks (left half = defense, right half = attack).

ToohrVyk

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quote:

Original post by Alex

Another feature that I really like that is only now popping up in a few strategy games is the ability to add signal points on a map, so allies in network game can be shown something important. There are a lot of features that can be added surrounding this in a system that includes the mapping system you desribe too. Such as various types of signal points, ie, permanent pin points, points with text descriptions attached, points marking regions, etc.



For Pax Solaris I wanted to add the ability to paint lines on the game map in multiplayer games as in Paintbrush but I gave up on this eventually due to technical reasons. This would have given players a lot of expressivity by allowing them to drawing front lines, attack directions, etc. (something like the whiteboard basketball coaches use).

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