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As far as I know there aren''t any quality TBSs. None. Sure there are plenty of turn based sims, the civ sort of stuff. However I''m talking strategy, which means multiplayer. I think there are two interelated reasons for this problem: 1)it is very hard to make the game end in one session 2)people who strongly prefer turn based games prefer sim, people who strongly prefer strategy prefer real time. I think a lot of poeple would like a turn based strategy game but nearly all of them are satisfied by one of the two alternatives. What are the solutions? Simultaneous action seems like a good idea (which I''m using) but it means users have to enter in their commands and then watch them exectute later. However if the map takes up more than one screen it takes a work around to see all the action. Showing the same turn multiple times in different parts of the map greatly increases game length, particularly the part with no player interaction. Or you could zoom way out, however that makes things hard to see. I haven''t decided how I''m going to handle this problem yet. If you don''t go simultaneous movement things will take far longer, this means fewer turns total, which decreases the depth of the game. Also are there other reasons that TBS games don''t exist that I don''t know about? I think the market would be kind of small but even small markets have games made for them, just not as many. oh and it should be mentioned somewhere on the site that anons can''t start threads

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One possible solution could be some kind of semi-turn based movement method. I like the method they use in Titans of Steel (or Mechforce).

It doesn''t work like traditional turn based games because one player doesn''t move all his units at once. Instead of beign "turn of player one" it is "turn of unit one". Then the player who happens to own that unit moves it and then follows "turn of unit two".

When you move some unit you move it only one tile even if it was very fast. The difference between speeds is in the frequency of their turns. If one unit is five times faster than another then it has five turns when the other unit has only one. Also different actions take different times.

In that kind of turn based you never have to wait very long for your turn to appear and there''s no need for separate execution phases.

Of course this method works only if you have reasonably few units.

-Ratsia

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Guest Anonymous Poster
hey that''s a great idea, too bad it wouldn''t work in my game but I like it a lot. Maybe I''ll try that in another game I have planned where each player controls four units.

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I''ve just completed a game design for a semi-turn based strategy game so please let me expain how i got around my problems and solved some pressing issues you could be facing :-)

Firstly the game was designed to be a Java/Webpage game. You''re probably seeing the problems already with a turn based game in this environment. Firstly, waiting for other players to take their go so you could have your go. So i ditched this concept completely.

I decided to make the game logic (combat engine) solve all conflicts simultantously. This way every one has their go at the same time. When the last person hits the finish button all the data is sent out to the server and calculated then sent back.

So how did i get rid of the "drifter" player who takes 12,000,000,345,345,645,897 years to have their go. Simple, everyone gets 10 mins to have their go and if they havn''t hit the finish button by then then they lose their go. Simple :-)

I hope this helps

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
yeah that''s exactly what I''m doing, the problem is still time. The unreachable ideal is a 30 minute game, the goal is an hour and the game will be considered a failure if the average game is over two hours. It is ok if individual games take hour after hour, I just want the average to be pretty reasonable. I''m figuring a minute per turn, half the player using the interface and half the playback (since each turn is broken up into 60 ticks, a half second per tick). As you can see that is really time consuming, yet the game will still feel rushed. Fortunately I''m going to have attack move, patrolling, , queuing etc.. commands, all the standard RTS stuff. That means that on any given turn you only give orders to a handful of units. Still it just seems quite rushed. Oh well it should be a good lan party game though.

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There are turn-based strategy games. Heroes of Might and Magic is an awesome turn-based strategy series, although not in the typical RTS mold. But your right, the games do take forever (best time waster I''ve ever seen :-)

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We''re applying somewhat the same techniques as Paul in our game (space strategy): players take their turns simultaneously and when a conflict occurs (combat), it''s being resolved real-time. The other players can fight out their own combats, or can watch the other players fighting as spectators (without knowing which is which, as this can be used against the fighting players).

Remains the problem of time calculation. How much time is assigned to each player? Do we keep constant times or does the available time increase as the game progresses? We decided to mix all possibilities into one big jar:
- Each player gets an amount of time equivalent to his number of units, bases, ships, etc... (so larger empires get more time).
- One problem with above system is that one player with a large empire will make all others wait. We haven''t solved this completely, but for now we''re thinking of "forcing" that player to end his turn early, by exponentially speeding up the time he uses, if he is the only player that hasn''t ended his turn yet (can''t remember the details, should check the design doc ).
- When a player has time remaining at the end of his turn, that time is transferred to the next turn.
- Should one or more players have an acute shortage of time, they can issue a "voting" to extend all the player''s times with a given number of minutes. If a majority (51%, 67% or 100%, depending on the type of vote) of the players agrees, the vote is accepted.
- To make sure the game doesn''t become a time-consuming "micro management fest", we want to add a good AI to assist the player in managing his empire (like mayors to manage planets, governors to manage entire sectors, etc...).

Now I must warn you that all these nice theories haven''t been fully tested yet. We''re still in an early development phase.

You can check it all out at The DQ development page.

Dormeur

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GREAT ideas guys. I''m doing something very similar to what you guys are. I do have my own unique solution that is probably tailored to the type of game I am making.

A great old turn based strategy, in my opinion one of the best games of all time, is Machiavelli the Prince published by Activision about six years ago. This game was multiple player via hot seat. My game is loosely based upon this game''s playability. I am basically extending it into the realtime massivley multiplayer arena.

So it''s multiplayer real-time/turn based. The way I do this is that I create what I call turns. A turn runs ten minutes ( or whatever I set it to) no matter what. The reason that it can''t use the voting model even though it is a great idea is because the design calls for massively multiplayer and we don''t want to have to monitor votes from 1000 people. Now like all of you I have the problems with synchronizing combat and movement. Well what I do is give each unit a number of movement points based upon its size and class. They can move their ship any number of spaces during their turn at any time while they still have remaining mp''s. Then when another ship moves into the sectors the movement is real time.

Let''s say that I am in a sector and used all my mp''s right away. Well a pirate decides to take after me. Because I used all my mp''s for the turn I can''t run away. I would have been smarter if I had reserved some mp''s for later and set my ship to auto flee when attack or approached. This allows for both turn elements and realtime resolution of combat.

Now as far as what the player does in between movement turns: Well there are political, trade, religious, and economical factors involved in the game and each turn a player gets a certain number of politics points and economic points with which they can attend matters of business. In Machiavelli the Prince the turns normally end up taking 10 minutes anyway so this way everyone has turns and can resolve politics by turn yet can solve combat in simulated real time. If anyone sees any shortcomings in this idea please reply.

Oh yeah, so far politics, trade, religion, and economic world factors are recalculated per turn. I don''t know if this is the best idea though. What this means is that right now market prices are stable for the entire turn. This also means that the results of votings and elections, espionage and sabotage, purchases and political assignments takes place at the beginning of the next turn.

Well, enough for now. Once again great thread. This is what I was looking for.

Random Task

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quote:
By Dormeur

- One problem with above system is that one player with a large empire will make all others wait. We haven''t solved this completely, but for now we''re thinking of "forcing" that player to end his turn early, by exponentially speeding up the time he uses, if he is the only player that hasn''t ended his turn yet (can''t remember the details, should check the design doc ).



You can use a resource system. In these systems, on a players turn, time is based on how much food,energy,technology etc they have produced in their previous turn, with a cap at course. What this does is it makes a player aware that if they increase the amount of units they have then they have to increase their resource production to cater. This way players get two choices:
1. Make less units (more resources per unit) - which allows their units to travel further on their go but their army has less firepower.
2. Make more units (less resources per unit) - to increase their armies firepower but each unit can travel less distance.

The benifit here is obvious game balancing which takes a lot of sweat of the gama testing and fine tuning stage of the game.



I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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Good idea, Paul. It''s somewhat similar to the techniques applied in MOOII (command points) and the Civilzation series (base support).
We''re planning on doing something like that. Since money is very important in the real world (and has been since its invention), we want to make money equally important in the game.

So every ship or base or whatever requires some funding (e.g. for the crew''s salaries and the ship''s maintenance). If you don''t have enough money, the ships won''t just dissapear, but they won''t be usable either (just like the crew is on strike ).

Where you say "resources", we just use money. The money is raised by means of taxation (on trade, in colonies, etc...). But higher taxes limit productivity, of course.

Dormeur

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Ok, before i can be of any further assistance there''s a couple of things i would like to know. 1st, how do you control troops in your game. ie "windows style" where you select units then scroll map and click or is it more remote than this, that being more gui orientated?

and 2ndly, have you nailed do the combat engine maths logic yet?

I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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I just skimmed most of the post, but here goes...

quote:

As far as I know there aren''t any quality TBSs. None. Sure there are plenty of turn based sims, the civ sort of stuff. However I''m talking strategy, which means multiplayer.



Heroes of Might and Magic (which is mentioned here) and X-COM (also mentioned here) are both good games, although X-COM is more along the lines of a jagged alliance-style squad combat than TBS. Another good game is Warlords III (supposedly, Warlords II Deluxe was better, but I haven''t played it.)

Stars!, which I don''t even know if can be found any more, was also a pretty good game. While it didn''t have a turn time cap, it allowed everyone to play their turns simultaneously (? spelling) and then submit them to the computer hosting the game. It used a combat engine to create the battles, then saved them to videos which are sent out to the players so they can see exactly why they won (or lost) a fight.

quote:

One possible solution could be some kind of semi-turn based movement method. I like the method they use in Titans of Steel (or Mechforce).



Don''t forget M.A.X. It actually gave you your choice of whether to play TB or RT.

one more...

quote:

and 2ndly, have you nailed do the combat engine maths logic yet?



If I understand this right, this isn''t necessarily needed. For instance, HOMM based its combat engine on unit speed and unit (or stack) HP. Warlords III just pops up and has a dice-based combat engine with no player control over the battle.

I don''t like that very much, but I guess in the case of the Java web-based game, that''s required.

Dormeur, I like the idea of carrying time over and of AI-assisted management, but I''ve discovered that sometimes AI doesn''t work at all like it should. In Stars!, I let the computer play a few turns for me, and it proceeded to switch all of my mine building (mineral-free) to defense building (very expensive) and started randomly throwing minerals around my empire. So my suggestion for you, and anyone else trying this style of control, is to have several different AI settings, for how strictly they stick to what you''ve already set up. With a loose setting, it would do whatever it thought would be best for you, while with a very strict setting, it would do things which don''t drain your resources or upset your people (like exhorbitantly taxing them.)

I''m done with ideas right now, but I''ll come back if I get any more. Oh, and yeah, it should tell you you can''t anonymously start a thread.

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