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Co-op tactical rpg: realtime vs turnbased

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In a cooperative game, with focus on tactics and elements of roleplaying, what do you think would be best? Imagine something like Fallout or Hitman coop. Realtime or turnbased? Turnbased has obvious problems in multiplayer, while realtime risks removing the rpg feeling and reward players reflexes more than I'd like etc... Are there other alternatives?

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lol, i came up with that idea 6 months ago, and my design document is already 15 pages long :D

and yea! my idea on getting rid of the multiplayer conflict is a secret ;)

ok ok, back to the topic...I talked to my friends about this real-time vs. turn based. Real-Time is definitely more imerging than turn based, but turn based offers better coordination. Also, turn based games are very VERY unpopular in multiplayer, mainly because of the waiting time between turns, Civilization 4 tried to handle this problem, but it still exists. Hell, even the waiting time in GunBound is unbearable to me.

Currently, there are 2 games I know that are TRPG online, Dofus and Tactica Online, both of them are recieving a bad rating, although Dofus did recieved award on innovative visual art.

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When you say coop multiplayer are you talking about like MMO (or more than 2-8 players) or are you talking ~2-8 players? Also, are you talking about over the internet (like a client server model) or or over a TCP/IP connection (P2P)/same computer?

If its ~2-8 players and P2P, then I think that turn-based would be the best way to go. Or, you could do realtime movement and turn-based battles. It really depends on how the game is going to be played. HTH!

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Original post by Programmer16
When you say coop multiplayer are you talking about like MMO (or more than 2-8 players) or are you talking ~2-8 players? Also, are you talking about over the internet (like a client server model) or or over a TCP/IP connection (P2P)/same computer?

If its ~2-8 players and P2P, then I think that turn-based would be the best way to go. Or, you could do realtime movement and turn-based battles. It really depends on how the game is going to be played. HTH!


Turn based games for multi-player is really a bad idea, unless you have some really genius idea that solves the problems existed in "Heros of Might and Magic 3" and "Civilization series". It's better to stick to single player when it comes to turn based games

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Original post by lightblade
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Original post by Programmer16
When you say coop multiplayer are you talking about like MMO (or more than 2-8 players) or are you talking ~2-8 players? Also, are you talking about over the internet (like a client server model) or or over a TCP/IP connection (P2P)/same computer?

If its ~2-8 players and P2P, then I think that turn-based would be the best way to go. Or, you could do realtime movement and turn-based battles. It really depends on how the game is going to be played. HTH!


Turn based games for multi-player is really a bad idea, unless you have some really genius idea that solves the problems existed in "Heros of Might and Magic 3" and "Civilization series". It's better to stick to single player when it comes to turn based games


What problems? I've played all of the HoMM games so far (with at most 4 people I think) and I've had no problems.

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Original post by Programmer16
What problems? I've played all of the HoMM games so far (with at most 4 people I think) and I've had no problems.


I think most people don't like to wait 5 mins for their opponents to take their time. It is common with chess games to have turns take limited times, each turn is at most 30 seconds

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Original post by Programmer16
When you say coop multiplayer are you talking about like MMO (or more than 2-8 players) or are you talking ~2-8 players? Also, are you talking about over the internet (like a client server model) or or over a TCP/IP connection (P2P)/same computer?

I haven't decided yet. The only thing I want is coop, tactics and character creation/development (more or less), and now I'm looking to come up with/design/create a game that gives me those things in the best possible way. If I'd have to guess this is a game mostly played with ~2-8 players, but possibly with support for upwards of a hundred players using TCP/IP. But as I said, I don't know. For now all I got are some random images of what could very well be a Cool Game swirling around inside my head, and I need to find out the best way to translate them into a game. :)

Multiplayer Fallout/Hitman are just example descriptions that come close to what I'm after. Close but not spot on. Another example is Guild Wars, without the MMO part and just keeping the instanced missions/quests.

I agree that turnbased has a couple of severe drawbacks, but I was hoping there was some way to circumvent those, at least partially. Turnbased really accentuates the tactical aspect of the game, and eliminates any need for reflexes - so if possible I'd like to use it. Handling movment in realtime and switching to turnbased for combat/action is a step in the right direction. Though, turnbased might not work at all if the players can split up so that one group of players get into a combat sistuation while the others are somewhere else...

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Turn-based controls with realtime execution of commands. Everyone takes their turn at the same time. Use some kind of "tick" or action point system so that your character can do three seconds' worth of actions per turn. Running, shooting and diving under a table might be your move for one turn. So you set that up, and your guy runs, shoots, and dives under a table while all the other players' characters do their moves. If the other guy's thrown lamp hits your dude while he's shooting, then he falls down and fails to get under the table, and you start your next "turn" sprawled on the floor.

No waiting for six other turns, so bitching about "TEH LLAAAAAGGGGG" and the option to replay the whole event in realtime to get the full ass-kicking effect. It allows for seamless transitions from sniping to dodging to melee combat to operating a vehicle without confusing control screw-ups. Bonuses for time spent focusing your attention or a period of stout bracing could be your buffs and tanking. Unlimited contextual interaction with the environment becomes possible, and endless tactical variation. It could be played on dial-up with no real trouble, and still be awesome enough to justify smacktalk.

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I take it that means I have three seconds to choose my actions for the next turn? Or how do you mean that the execution of commands is done in realtime?

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Well, I'd love to see turn-based multiplayer rpg. Personally I don't see the problem with turn-based multiplayer especially if it's co-op (2-4 players). I would make everything else realtime except combat. If all players control a small amount of characters, like 1-4, then I don't think there will be a problem with long turns. And turn-based combat really makes the game focus on tactics.

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Original post by Wombah
I take it that means I have three seconds to choose my actions for the next turn? Or how do you mean that the execution of commands is done in realtime?


You can take all the time you need for your turn. Maybe a thirty second limit or something would be okay, but you can take longer to set up the maneuvers than they actually take to execute. This saves time by having everyone make their decisions simultaneously, rather than rushing players.

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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Turn-based controls with realtime execution of commands. Everyone takes their turn at the same time. Use some kind of "tick" or action point system so that your character can do three seconds' worth of actions per turn. Running, shooting and diving under a table might be your move for one turn. So you set that up, and your guy runs, shoots, and dives under a table while all the other players' characters do their moves. If the other guy's thrown lamp hits your dude while he's shooting, then he falls down and fails to get under the table, and you start your next "turn" sprawled on the floor.

No waiting for six other turns, so bitching about "TEH LLAAAAAGGGGG" and the option to replay the whole event in realtime to get the full ass-kicking effect. It allows for seamless transitions from sniping to dodging to melee combat to operating a vehicle without confusing control screw-ups. Bonuses for time spent focusing your attention or a period of stout bracing could be your buffs and tanking. Unlimited contextual interaction with the environment becomes possible, and endless tactical variation. It could be played on dial-up with no real trouble, and still be awesome enough to justify smacktalk.


From what I understand, this is how Laser Squad: Nemesis plays.

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Thanks for the input so far. I really like the 'turnbased controls, realtime execution' and hiding-the-turns-when-not-in-combat/action gameplay, but it is not without its problems. The main one is that I'd really like the players to be able to split up. I'm imagining scenes like Rainbow Six with one group going by the back door while the others go in the front etc., but where all the characters are players.
Now, this could lead to situations where one part of the group enters a combat/action scene while the others are still running towards the back door, and even though it is realistic, it might suck to have to go into turn-mode and not be near the action. Or it might work out fine. Either way it seems like the best option so far, if no one has a better suggestion.

[edit]
Just took a look at Tactica Online, and it seems to correspond to my wants pretty well from what I read on the site. Still in beta though, so I'll reserve the right to not like the final product. :) Thanks for the tip lightblade.
[/edit]

[Edited by - Wombah on March 4, 2006 12:49:38 PM]

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