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Paul Cunningham

The Elements of Strategy (Map Design)

13 posts in this topic

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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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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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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Niphty, as with most of the threads i start this one''s quite broad because i could use (mentally that is) all the idea''s that one wishes to share with me.

But just so you know and others who (i hope) may post here later. The elements i''m looking for could be used for either a boardgame or a java/online game. But that doesn''t really matter. If you or anyone else are working on strategy game and wish to share whatever ideas around about your game then by all means go right ahead even if they don''t fit in with what i''m planning :-)




WE are their,
"Sons of the Free"
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Like I said Paul, we just need to know more specific i can pick any one of hundreds of themes and run with it.. but it might not help you at all You need to focus our creativity a little more.

For board game.. do you mean like axis and allies? or like.. checkers? hehe Stratego was always one of my favorite games. So random.. so unpredictable.. so.. difficult It''s fun as hell though.
So what kinda game are we looking for here? Strategy like war games or like mahjongg with two players? hehe

J
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Ok, a strategy game involving territories on earth. Lets take a world war. You have different countries that are fighting for land and resources.

What would be your limitations. Examples would be manpower, hospitals, weapons, vechials. What else?

Also what are your goals. What could be the different types of goals that each player could have?

And how could a player achieve these goals? In a segmented fashion that is :-)

Any other ideas are also welcome like having Research and Development.

Technical Specs
---------------

Semi-Real-Time Strategy Game: Players take turns but they get "X" amount of time per turn. That is: All game logics are calculated simultaneously.



We are their,
"Children of the Free"
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quote:
Original post by Paul Cunningham

Ok, a strategy game involving territories on earth. Lets take a world war. You have different countries that are fighting for land and resources.

What would be your limitations. Examples would be manpower, hospitals, weapons, vechials. What else?



resources are the only limits here. People are a resource, money is a resource, and natural resources. If you can build structures to make things that''ll work for you, then they count as a derivitory kind of thing. The only real ones are people, money, natural, and time

quote:

Also what are your goals. What could be the different types of goals that each player could have?



The goals could depend on the side of the war you''re on. Axis vs Allieds.. Germany wanted to world, USA wanted germany in germany Russia wanted to stay alive and take poland. England wanted to stay alive and not really take anything. France wanted their country back. There''s many different aspects you can play from

quote:

And how could a player achieve these goals? In a segmented fashion that is :-)

Any other ideas are also welcome like having Research and Development.

Technical Specs
---------------

Semi-Real-Time Strategy Game: Players take turns but they get "X" amount of time per turn. That is: All game logics are calculated simultaneously.



We are their,
"Children of the Free"


Players can achieve goals pretty easily it seems. If you''re france, then you, england, and USA are all working to free you so you get help because your cause is part of a greater cause which is to put germany back in germany So you have a short-term and long-term goal in that sense. you can go even further down and say shortest term, shoter term, short term, long term, longer term, and longest term is nessicary A breakdown could be:
Defeat germany(longest)
Defeat german panzer units
Defeat german air units
push germany from france
push germany from paris
take back eiffle tower(shortest)

It''s long-term to what you need to get done NOW in order to help reach that long-term goal as a tree, the long term would be the root node and all under it would be things to help achieve that. Somewhere in USA''s tree was "liberate france to gain support" They tried to work with france to say "we''re going in now, distract them".

R&D was a big factor. The atomic bomb.. for instance There''s more, i''m sure.. i just can''t think of them now.. hehe.

J

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