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Koei's strategy sub-genre

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I'll give a warning ahead of time: KOEI's strategy games are IMHO either the sorts of games that you love or hate. Whether you hate them or not, I'm trying to focus on the design elements unique to the sub-genre that separate it from regular turn-based strategy games, good and bad. I have always been a big fan of KOEI's strategy games, including "Nobunaga's Ambition" and "Genghis Khan" for the Nintendo console, "Romance of the 3 Kingdoms" III and IV for Super Nintendo, and even the most modern of their PC "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" (9 and 10) games for the PS2 (both are available for the PC in Asia with a partial and unofficial English Patch, which is the version I play most often now). Before someone brings it up, KOEI's "Dynasty Warrior" series is not very closely related to the games I'm talking about. To all those unfamiliar with these sorts of games, they are all historical turn-based strategy games, in which you are trying to take over the gameworld (China, Japan, or Earth) by building up your cities production and defenses, training military officers / soldiers, and taking over more land. Often the battles involve various tricks, in which you can set traps / light fires, bribe enemy officers, etc. and so the battles aren't strictly about position and numbers as in many other strategy games. I have always found these games engrossing, and although they are time consuming, throughout my childhood they always seemed to beckon to me to come back, play another game, and try to master them. Try to conquer each scenario, try to do it or merely survive playing as different characters. Even now when I play these games, I feel they just have something different about them than most turn based strategy games now. There is just a completely different feel as you hit the "end turn" button than there is in Civilization, Master of Orion, Imperialism, or any other game I know. My question, to those who have identified similar feelings when playing these games: is this my nostalgia kicking in, because I liked these games as a child? Is this because I love history, and enjoy interacting in a game world with it? Is this because I like brutally long, epic strategy games? Or is this because of unique design elements in KOEI's games? I feel it is a little of each, but I'm looking to isolate the design features unique to this sub-genre (that differentiate it from normal turn-based strategy games, like civilization, master of orion, or even games like final fantasy tactics) that make it so engrossing. What unique design elements does KOEI use, right or wrong? To those who enjoy these sorts of games too, what made them special? Does anyone else on this board have similar feelings about these games? Have you used any elements from these sorts of games in your own designs (finished or unfinished), or seen them in any recent games? To start, I'll answer with my view: I believe one of the things that makes them special is the historical backdrop, and the detailed involvement of many characters into the story, that gives their games an RPG feel. I believe they do a good job of immersing you in the setting, from having townspeople make comments to you, to story events and all the game mechanics (it really feels like you're managing an ancient city). I also believe they have a higher level of complexity than many strategy games, and the "tricks" / plots in battle allow for more flexibility, and hope even when one is the underdog.

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Best turn based strategy game ever:
Dominions 2
* 17 Compltly unique Nations, nations also have choices to follow "Themes" which probaly make around 25 different nations.
* More than 1000 different units.
* More than 500 unique spells.
* More than 300 magic items.
http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/threads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=UBB74&PHPSESSID=

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Raghar if your refering to DOM2, that is a matter of preference. I think the single player dom2 is about the best single player game out there, while playing multiplayer makes 3x10*8 cooler.

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No doubt the historical background is crucial to the success of the game. One of the most important parts of the game is to capture the 'famous generals' from your oppenents.

And one of the hidden factor is that the game difficulty is adjustable from person to person. You want it to be more difficult, start with and maintain some lame generals. You want to be dominant, just capture as many talented generals as possible and you'll own the world.

I have a full plan to write a perfect "Romance of the 3 Kingdoms", I dont just have the time thou, lol.

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I am trying to isolate the historical factor from the strategy elements.

Design:

Your ranking starts as a 'Chief' till you make it to a 'Warlord' or whatever name is. While you generals will adapte the medieval army ranking (i am not familiar with the Roman army ranking), from lieutenant to general(?). There will be a NPC char generator and several *royal* generals are created for you at startup, the names and stats of those royal generals are assigned randomly following a preset criterion defined in the generator. The effect will be the same as you start a new game in 'Romance of the 3kingdom' (RO3) but with the historical factor removed.

The gameplay will be similar to RO3 but something must be added to compensate for the lack of a strong historical background as in 'RO3'.

1) You need to do some quests to gain your war tactics/skills, so in the monthly turns you may go the wildness or dungeons to finish the quests in order to get to some legendary figures to learn your skills. The lengendary weapons/items (eg: lubu's horse and etc.) are also obtained this way.

2) You are going to obtain Diablo type items during the quests, and you may upgrade your own gear or give them to your generals to maintain their royalty.

3) Other than the normal battles as in RO3 (or the like), there will be mimi-battle scenarios where you may choose to role-play one (or more) of the generals. The mimi-battle is Warcraft-like, you are assigned with a team of soldiers to accomplish certain tasks, such as taking down an enemy's fortress and so on.

4) As an option, there will be monsters and monster armies such as those mobs in Warcraft and other medieval games. This is a bet, players may find this something new and fun or it may ruin the game since it's bit off the genre.

5) As another option, there might be a simple levelling system where you and your generals (as well as your enemies') will level up as time goes by. But this will make the game abit more complicated than expected, lol.

In a word, the game is based off RO3 as and takes some good elements from Diablo and Warcraft to compensate for the historical part of RO3.

How's that sound?

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