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Wavinator

Can TB be RT with pausing?

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Turn-based vs. real-time: Is there a flaw in my thinking here? There are some real-time games out there that let you pause. When you''re paused, some even let you queue up orders. So if you had an option to periodically pause, wouldn''t this practically be a turn-based mode in a real-time game? The whole point of TB gameplay (which I enjoy right along with real-time) is to have a more controlled, thoughtful game. In an X-Com or Jagged Alliance type game, you can stop long enough to aim, crawl, swim, switch inventory, etc. for multiple characters. It''s harder to do this real-time, but real-time works when the units are simple (Starcraft) and you want the action fast. Waddaya think? You could vary the interval of the stop / go / stop / go action and pretty much customize the game pace as much as you want. If your engine were designed to break up the processing of actions and periodically save the results (things like hit calculations, physics effects, etc.) then would this work? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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Well, It is kind of choice, but Real time basically goes through and sequentially checks the inputs from each player right? So putting in a pause between the switching makes it TurnBased... I think that is the main difference, and it isn''t much of one

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I''ve been thinking about playing with this in a strategy-type game I''m designing. I''m thinking of monthly resource management phase (Romance of the Three Kingdoms type) , broken up by paced sequences that are either quasi-arcade like (basically the pacing of a game like Thief), turn-based tactics, or a blend, like Final Fantasy''s ATB meter, or an RTS w/ alot less units and alot more options for unit control.

This isn''t a central feature of the game, but I''m wondering what you guys think about a pacing like this. I''m trying to capture an atmosphere alot like Mario Puzo''s "The Godfather". (I can be more specific w/ examples from my design so far, if needed)

These wouldn''t be discrete "game modes", as I''m trying to make the controls for each very similar to each other. The reason for it is that, while it''s a strategy game, I wanted to be able to highlight the violent parts with frenzied action, since physically violent encounters would be few and far between.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster.

These wouldn''t be discrete "game modes", as I''m trying to make the controls for each very similar to each other. The reason for it is that, while it''s a strategy game, I wanted to be able to highlight the violent parts with frenzied action, since physically violent encounters would be few and far between.


How are you going to handle the learning curve? Is the player going to be able to practice these infrequent parts, or are you trying to make it so familiar that if you''ve played an RTS you can get the hang of it quickly?

I think a step-pause RTS with detailed units would be ideal. It could give you depth while letting you have the action you want. The more you make something arcade like, the fewer and less detailed your units can be. So this sounds like a good compromise.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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This is all still on the drawing board, but the learning curve would be handled by

a)keeping the control structure similar for all game modes
b)early "training missions", hopefully inobtrusive, that are skewed towards one of the play modes, such as a "bloodbath" level featuring the arcade segment.
c)intuitive controls (for the purposes of this game, I could, as you said, make them instantly accesible to anyone who has played an RTS. the interface itself should be pretty familiar.)
d)probably all of the above

Still, I''m wondering if I couldn''t do better than, say, Baldur''s Gate step-pause RTS style. I don''t have any ideas at the moment, and I''m dealing w/ last-minute details w/ college registration (gag me w/ a wombat! arrrrgh) so I''ll try and get back during my next class. -c-ya-

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator

The whole point of TB gameplay (which I enjoy right along with real-time) is to have a more controlled, thoughtful game. In an X-Com or Jagged Alliance type game, you can stop long enough to aim, crawl, swim, switch inventory, etc. for multiple characters. It''s harder to do this real-time, but real-time works when the units are simple (Starcraft) and you want the action fast.



Have you tried X-Com: Apocalypse? It has a system similar to what you are talking about here where you can choose to play in ''real time'' but you can pause the game at any time and issue different orders. I personally didn''t like Apoc near as much as I liked the first two. I''m not sure if that is a result of the combat system or something else (like the retro artwork which I don''t really like). I overall thought the first two games were more fun and better designed, but that just might be my opinion.

I think that a system like the one you are talking about could work if it is done well. It just needs to be designed with that particular system in mind. You don''t want it to feel like Real Time with just a pause mode or like turn based with a real time element tacked on.

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Icewind Dale just does that. Is it fun? yes! Is it Turnbased or Realtime? I don''t know but it works and it allows for more tactics! It''s hard controlling 6 characters in your party at once.

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What I think could work ( and this is just one example, that appeals to me ) is the following:
In the fixed, turn-based segment, you can issue some orders, set up the AI parameters for all your units, set or modify paths, waypoints and loops, and examine all your units for damage and such. All this is done for a RT segment of a minute to five minutes to whatever seems to work when you playtest.
When you click "finish", it goes into real time, with you in control of a single unit or group at a time, while everything else is following the orders you just gave ( and the unit/group you''re controlling is doing the same, until you manually intervene ).
That way, you have a "battle scene" in which you can still intervene in real time, but not everywhere at once.


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Hmmm. This is a good implementation of the "feel" I was going for. In my design, the player as ''general'' gives out orders once a month, then the player as ''captain'' (actually general==godfather, but I don''t know the Italian for captain) executes each order in real-time. This would work very well for the scripted missions, as the necessary data could be imbedded in the map for the ''foot-soldier'' AI to work through, but I wonder if it would be feasible to do effective AI for more open-ended missions? I am trying to keep the interface inobtrusive, as this is really an atmosphere game, but if the orders were given during the monthly management phase, and player scripted via gui on a map, this could work. The AI would still have to be pretty advanced, though, as I''m working w/ one-shot kills, and combat as an infrequent stratagem. (maybe 20-40% of conflicts will end in combat) If the units were getting hung up on obstacles, or not taking cover appropriately, the player would soon be throwing fits.

Another thing that could work would be a live command interface, like in SWAT. The player is still based in one unit, and its still real-time, but if the player could issue general commands to his units, then this could work to bolster weaknesses in the unit AI. I definately like the mult-tiered strategy/tactics, though, with the player living through his carefully crafted strategy as a unit. This is also more realistic (hence easier to make it immersive, hence better for the kind of game I''m working on) since w/out modern technology (game is set in 1920-40''s) it wouldn''t be possible to issue specific, detailed orders in the heat of combat.

Ok, I''m stopping here, because this is turning into more or less a random brain storm. My apologies. (hah! I''m posting anyway)

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quote:
Original post by Spyder

Icewind Dale just does that. Is it fun? yes! Is it Turnbased or Realtime? I don''t know but it works and it allows for more tactics! It''s hard controlling 6 characters in your party at once.


Isn''t Icewind Dale an RPG? Granted, virtually any type of game can be TB or RT, but generally when someone defines a game as TB or RT, the ''S'' for strategy is generally assumed.

That said...

This may be slightly off what you mean, but a couple of years ago Lords of the Realm II was released by Sierra. It had a mix of TB and RT styles...I haven''t played it for a while, but as I recall, the actual exploration and kingdom management was done as a TB game, and all of your units were represented simply as numbers in a stack, with only one actual marker on the map. If you attacked an enemy stack/town/castle, the map was expanded based on local terrain (something I''d like in more RTS''s, if you didn''t read my RTS design doc) and units were placed on it for an RT battle.

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