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Rasm

Squad Wars: minigame idea

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Imagine a game where you equip soldiers, fall into formations, and take on other player's squads in a series of minigames... Squad Wars is designed to be a 2d top down game focusing on team management and strategy. I came up with this idea about a week or two ago and decided to get some input on it before puting it in my TODO stack. Note: The name squad wars is just a placeholder until more of the game is designed. Apologies if you already have a project named this... Description: Equip and manage a squad of soldiers to defeat opposing squads. Gameplay: You play as a commander that must coordinate your troops from a birds eye view. You have no direct control over any of your soldiers and must therefore organize a functional squad and give them orders based upon what they report back to you. There are several game modes with different objectives. Gamemodes: (minigames) Elimination You must destroy the opposing squad(s) and have at least one soldier alive to win. (1 winner) Massacre Kill the most enemy soldiers in X amount of time to win. (1 winner) Attack/defend X amount of squads attack a location and X amount defend. Timer optional. (X winners) Pursuit 2 Squads compete to reach the finish line first. Only one soldier has to cross the finish line to win. One squad leaves x amount of time earlier but travels at 1/4 speed and half health. X being half the usual time it takes to run the course. During this time the leading squad can place traps, explosives, or leave a man behind to hinder/slow/kill the following squad. (1 winner) Manhunt A random squad is chosen. That squad has 120 seconds to hide. Waiting squads participate in a mini massacre mode until the time is up. Winning squad must then find all members of the hiding squad in 60 seconds to win the mode. The hiding squad must have at least 1 unfound soldier after 60 seconds to win. (1 winnner) cooperation X amount of squads cooperate to defeat enemy AI squads/boss. (X or no winners) Without going too much into the management of the squads (ie giving orders, equipment, etc), I would like some thoughts on this type of game. Assume squads are created and setup by the player before any game is joined and therefore can be customized for each gamemode. Questions: 1) What do you think about playing a game where the objectives change and general game modes last about 5 minutes or less? Explain what you think is bad/good about it. 2) From a designers standpoint, what do you think would be an interesting game mode that requires proper coordination of a team to accomplish a task? 3) How much control would you like over building your squad to accomplish these game modes? (ie selecting equipment or hand picking people with stats based on physical / mental abilities..) Any other comments or questions are welcome. Thanks.

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Quote:
Original post by Rasm
Imagine a game where you equip soldiers, fall into formations, and take on other player's squads in a series of minigames...

Squad Wars is designed to be a 2d top down game focusing on team management and strategy. I came up with this idea about a week or two ago and decided to get some input on it before puting it in my TODO stack.
Note: The name squad wars is just a placeholder until more of the game is designed. Apologies if you already have a project named this...

Description:
Equip and manage a squad of soldiers to defeat opposing squads.

Gameplay:
You play as a commander that must coordinate your troops from a birds
eye view. You have no direct control over any of your soldiers and
must therefore organize a functional squad and give them orders based
upon what they report back to you. There are several game modes with
different objectives.

Gamemodes: (minigames)

Elimination
You must destroy the opposing squad(s) and have at least
one soldier alive to win. (1 winner)

Massacre
Kill the most enemy soldiers in X amount of time to win.
(1 winner)

Attack/defend
X amount of squads attack a location and X amount defend.
Timer optional. (X winners)

Pursuit
2 Squads compete to reach the finish line first. Only one
soldier has to cross the finish line to win. One squad leaves
x amount of time earlier but travels at 1/4 speed and half
health. X being half the usual time it takes to run the course.
During this time the leading squad can place traps, explosives,
or leave a man behind to hinder/slow/kill the following squad.
(1 winner)

Manhunt
A random squad is chosen. That squad has 120 seconds to hide.
Waiting squads participate in a mini massacre mode until
the time is up. Winning squad must then find all members of
the hiding squad in 60 seconds to win the mode. The hiding
squad must have at least 1 unfound soldier after 60 seconds
to win. (1 winnner)

cooperation
X amount of squads cooperate to defeat enemy AI squads/boss.
(X or no winners)

Without going too much into the management of the squads (ie giving orders, equipment, etc), I would like some thoughts on this type of game. Assume squads are created and setup by the player before any game is joined and therefore can be customized for each gamemode.


Questions:

1) What do you think about playing a game where the objectives change and general game modes last about 5 minutes or less? Explain what you think is bad/good about it.

2) From a designers standpoint, what do you think would be an interesting game mode that requires proper coordination of a team to accomplish a task?

3) How much control would you like over building your squad to accomplish these game modes? (ie selecting equipment or hand picking people with stats based on physical / mental abilities..)

Any other comments or questions are welcome. Thanks.




One question, how is this different from your standard RTS? Or am I just not understanding?

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
One question, how is this different from your standard RTS? Or am I just not understanding?


You can't build structures, harvest resources, and games last 5 minutes or less. The gameplay is focused on short matches on how you manage your soldiers and how you set them up matters whether you win or lose. Depending on feedback, I'll wait to see how much in detail people want to customize their squad and continue with the design.

I appoligize for the missing details but I'm trying to focus more on the gamemodes than the entire game design right now. I realize people like to associate ideas to other games to compare but I ask that you just take what is given (imagine the rest if you need too) and help give feedback on a game design that doesn't fall into a genre niche. Thanks

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I think it's a great idea. I especially like the pursuit game.
I did think of something similar with a small 'arena' where 2 squads battle it out. Similar top-down perspective where you play a single character who gives orders to the other squad members but you don't control them.
e.g. Click Assault-team1 click house, click assault.
Click fire-team1, click house, click covering fire.
or
Click Sgt Jones, click flank-left, click enemy.
The AI would then check the best way to do it, go as far as they can but then stop when either the situation changes or they can't go on and report back.
e.g. Sgt Jones spots another enemy preventing him flanking.
Each squad member is able to look after themself (find cover, return fire etc)
and act within their own fire-team.



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Quote:
Original post by tonyg

I did think of something similar with a small 'arena' where 2 squads battle it out. Similar top-down perspective where you play a single character who gives orders to the other squad members but you don't control them.
e.g. Click Assault-team1 click house, click assault.
Click fire-team1, click house, click covering fire.
or
Click Sgt Jones, click flank-left, click enemy.



Yes, this is pretty much how I envision giving orders except instad of choosing a fire-team you would choose individual soldiers. Squads would probably be a small 5 man team or so you don't have as much to manage. As far as when you issue orders, I was thinking that the AI chooses how to move, ie move to the next barrel to take cover or run out in the open. Until I get some feedback on question 3, I'm not sure if players will like having limited control.

Quote:
Original post by HAM
For research purposes I'd suggest playing Laser Squad Nemisis

Its an excellent game.


Thanks for the link. I'll check it out after work today.

EDIT: Alright, I've downloaded and played the demo. The gameplay is interesting and has given me some thoughts. I do not plan on making the game turn based though like laser squad nemisis. I see how making it turn based allows for more fine tuned actions so I will have to keep the orders that can be sent from the player interface neat and simple. I'm thinking that if I limit the number of players you can have in a squad, it will simplify the amount of clicking you have to do do thus making planning still effective rather than how fast you can click in realtime.

I was dissapointed that the demo didnt allow you to customize your personal units other than picking which one you want.

[Edited by - Rasm on August 9, 2005 9:40:53 PM]

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3) How much control would you like over building your squad to accomplish these game modes? (ie selecting equipment or hand picking people with stats based on physical / mental abilities..)
[/QUOTE]

I'd prefer to handpick people from a squad with phys/ment abilities but also a preferred role (i.e. scout, grenadier, support etc) who have a tweakable predefined weapon load.
I even thought of having a management side where you buy/sell players a bit like SpeedBall.

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sounds cool, I would let the commander be in game to give it the extra element of protecting the commander.

you could allow the commander to be a playable character but as soon as it dies then the game is over.

also would you use a fog of war type effect or would the player be able to see the whole battlefield from the start?

The thing I like most about this idea is it is a casual game thats not a puzzle game aimed at women. seems to be the norm in casual games at the moment.

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Quote:
Original post by tonyg
I'd prefer to handpick people from a squad with phys/ment abilities but also a preferred role (i.e. scout, grenadier, support etc) who have a tweakable predefined weapon load.

This is one way I could go. Personally, I prefer picking all the nitty gritty details also but wanted some feedback as to what others would think. How nitty gritty though is the key. The most complicated that I could think of is if you personally create a soldier, named him and he had basic stats such as, physical strength, stamina, self control, etc, and you would be given a certain number of points to allocate. So basically if you wanted a soldier to be a sniper, you'd put points into self control etc... With stats you could have the soldier miss a shot because he is afraid or barely escape a blast with quick reflexes etc.

On the other hand, I could design it so there are preset people (ie Rainbow 6 series) where you choose from a list of people who are better at (assualt, sniping, demolition, etc) and you choose what equipment they carry. Guns could be configured which ammo and which side arms grenades, health kits, etc...

Yet another way is if you create just a generic class for each type of soldier such as laser squad nemesis. Depending on which gamemode you play, you could select soldiers for that task. It would be take away from the character creation but it would also focus the game more on combat than micromanagement. I guess this is total preference but I'd like to know what people think.

Quote:
Original post by tonyg
I even thought of having a management side where you buy/sell players a bit like SpeedBall.

I'd like to hear about it. It reminds me of professional athletes and how they are traded.

Quote:
Original post by Themonkster
sounds cool, I would let the commander be in game to give it the extra element of protecting the commander.

you could allow the commander to be a playable character but as soon as it dies then the game is over.

In laser squad nemisis there was a commander also. I'm not sure what he did because it wasnt covered in the tutorial but I did notice he costed more points to deploy so I assume he has some special ability. Now depending on if people think adding stats to the game is beneficial, I could make the commander not only boost the morale of the soldiers (causing them to perform better) but the soldiers could respond quicker to orders (ie you give commands to the commander and he barks out orders to the rest of the squad).

Protecting the commander could make a pretty good game mode also. I suppose it could fit under attack/defend but with a real person as a target. [evil] The commander could also be a more powerful soldier and thus you may want to actually use him to kill the other commander instead of hiding him in the farthest corner of the map.

Quote:
Original post by Themonkster
also would you use a fog of war type effect or would the player be able to see the whole battlefield from the start?

There will be a fog of war so to speak. I haven't decided whether to make it total (ie everything is black, to see anything a unit must be in the area with appropriate field of vision) or partial fog (ie the whole map can be viewed but enemies can only be seen when they are in your site range). I think adding one of these is better than making the whole map visible because you would have to think more stategically. Things such as flanking, estimated guess as to the enemy squad location and so forth adds to combat realism. You would have to take chances, such as deciding to split the squad up to cover the most ground or stick together incase theres a firefight.

Quote:
Original post by Themonkster
The thing I like most about this idea is it is a casual game thats not a puzzle game aimed at women. seems to be the norm in casual games at the moment.

I'm glad you like the idea and thanks for posting. I'm a bit concerned now about the use of minigame in my post title and description. I guess for the majority of people it means some sort of puzzle game. I kind of picture it a game that doesnt last long or is part of a complete game.

Please keep your comments and questions coming and thanks to those that have replied.

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I definetly like the idea of having a combat type game as a minigame. Because I have small periods of time to play video games, I like the idea of having something only 3-5 minutes long so I can bail out at any time, and it not have a huge effect. Minigames are also addicting, in case noone noticed. :]

I would say that this is a really good idea. As to game modes, I have a couple of my own to add.

Mobile Assault:
One team is given a mobile assault command module, or something of the like. They have a minute to deploy it, wherever they like. The enemy team is blinded totally at this point, for example playing a minigame type thing while they wait. After the first team deploys the command module thing, a countdown timer is started. The other team now has until the timer hits zero to attack the module. Kinda like hide n seek.

Terrorist hunt/capture:
Two teams; they are not friendly, they are opposing each other. There are also computer opponents that are terrorists holding an objective, or some such. The two human teams have to capture the objective, whatever it happens to be. But remember, they are not cooperating in this effort. They start at two different drop off poitns, and have to attack the objective. After one has made it to the objective, the other team can follow their trail and retake the objective. It would become a fight for the neutral objective after all the terrorists are gone.

Infiltration:
This one is a bit different. You have two teams. One team is in control of a building(call this team A). They control all the security aspects of that building, including where everything is placed. The team(s) against them have to infiltrate this building, bypassing or eliminating their defenses, and get to the objective(call them team B.) Then they have to make it out alive. After they start away with the objective team A is activated and spawns at the original Team B spawn. The building now becomes team B's spawn, and team B has to take the objective out before a time limit.


Thats all I have for right now, but I would definetly play this game.

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