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Paul Cunningham

The Elements of Strategy (Map Design)

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If one was to make a strategy game, somewhere down the line your going to need some sort of map. A map that holds strategic values. But what are all of the geometric strategic values that you can have in a game. Here''s some that i''ve thought up feel free to add your''s: - Higher and Lower ground - Income values (see Axis and Allies) - Accessability (advantages/disadvantages) - Building Materials (wood/rock/steel etc) - Distance from Allies/Home - Environment (Surrounded by Forest/water ,snows frequently) - Natural Infrustructures (rivers for transport)

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I''m assuming you''re commenting on the desirability of controlling a given space on a map? Depending on how your system works, you might want to add prestige/history: eg, a local landmark that conveys no actual benefit other than to perhaps raise troops'' morale that it was retaken. Apart from that, I think you''ve covered most things, but it depends on what kind of game you are doing and why exactly you need to judge each map area like that.

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So what your saying is... the "psycological value" of the land? I''ve if you aren''t it''s a good one ;-)

- Psycological Land Values




The measure of intelligence is in the question not the answer.

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What about how easy a location is to hold?
Or what a location gives you access to (ie a bridge)

As Mr Cup always says,
''I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.''

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quote:
Original post by Mr Cup

What about how easy a location is to hold?
Or what a location gives you access to (ie a bridge)

As Mr Cup always says,
''I pretend to work. They pretend to pay me.''



Can you elaborate or "how easy a location is to hold"? like what really makes a place easier to hold "conditions?".

Artifical infrustructure (docks/bridges) definity ;-). This could come under "Available vessels" though.

- Vessels (non/mobile)

How about.."I pretend to talk, you pretend to listen ;-)"




The measure of intelligence is in the question not the answer.

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How about summing up all that landscape stuff in combat modifiers? After all that´s what I´d guess you need from a map.


accessability (like forest, swamp... affects movement; are there roads, bridges.... ex: dense forest impassable for vehicles except heavy tank unless there is at least a lvl1 road-dirt track). and also how easy it is to hit something (hidden in the woods)

Height, as would modify los, and also air density (may sound stupid, but if you´re creating BIG maps with mountains on you´ll have to take that into account as well). This would seriously impede planes and esp. Helicopters (higher fuel consumption, lower speed....). But i guess it would aid other vehicles, like a rocket powered flyer...

temporary modifiers: flooded, on fire, bombed (to rebuild first),, ....

If you have an abstract resupply system the distance to allies would affect that, as well as if there is a continuous line of supply...

BTW I don´t know Axis and Allies, so if any of what i said seems to be from there, sorry.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Well i have a few ideas:

-Environments:Deformable landscapessomewhat similar to Tiberian Sun.)that could be used to troops advantage.Example:Troops equipped with shovels(or small explosives) can dig (or blow up)holes for bunkers and/or trenches.The dirt piles that come up could be used to fill sandbags(although this part would fit under Building materials).

-Higher and lower ground:Heavy snow could slow down Troops and vehicles.Icy hills at high inclines would make it harder for troops and vehicles to climb.

-Environment temperatures:Hot and cold areas that could effect troops and vehicles in different ways.An example would be:
In scorching hot weather, some over worked troops could pass out from heat exhaustion or certain vehicles (Jeeps/Humvees) will over heat there engines if Driven for too long.In cold weather,troops could catch things like colds,frostbite that would weaken performance or even get hypothermia.Some vehicles could also have problems starting up.

-Man made Infrastructuresfarms,cities,towns,buildings)Snipers could be hidden in tall buildings to shoot enemy soldiers.In places like old barns or large buildings,troops,artillery or tanks could be hidden in(Depending on how much room there is).

I hope this could be of some help.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Mmmmm thats strange,It put Sad face''s where apostrophes should be.

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I just realised another one actually.

- ability to gather intelligence (a map position could increase your ability to spy on enemy troops as an example)






WE are their,
"Sons of the Free"

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Humm.. Paul, it seems to me that you need to define how to use them, as well. I mean, for pure military aspect, there''s the higher ground, fortified, etc. But in terms of troop moral there''s things like kill success rate vs loss rate and so on that fit in the psyco factors Humm.. occuying your own land that''s been devistated would lower moral. You could also have optional things like entertainment, shore leave.. etc to boost moral.
Also try to think about what else holds value. Resources are valuable, for sure. Fresh water, natural things and so on make a difference, too. What setting is this in? Axis and Allied style combat with tanks and planes and infintry? or more past or more future? Each would hold different things which are valueable to the society at that time. In the past, things like castles mattered whereas underground bunkers are the thing today (well, up until the advent of the shelter penetrating missle). So once the time frame is determined, you can take a hard look at the values of that time and try to imagine what''s important to them more than other things. In old times, for example, you had to stay near water or you couldn''t drink for too long. Now we can fly supplies all over. Or in the future you could beam your troops around, so location to home base makes no difference. It''s all in the values and morals of the time period

J

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