# browser based game

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First of all this game is going to be written using PHP (Actually, I should say is being written because I'm all ready working on it) and it's browser based. So keep that in mind.. Just wanted to bounce off some general ideas off the comunity and see what y'all thought. Note: I know I don't post much but I still love coming to these forums and reading. :) Moving onward, 4X Space game is the setting. Right now I am considering doing the game real time where everything can be related to real world time. If I do so do you think there would be value in making it so that whenever an unknown fleet enters into your scanning area your advisors immediatly begin tryign to guess it's destination and if they determine that the fleet is heading toward one of your planet,they notify you. (whether ro not their right is another matter). I was thinking this would definitely add a depth of strategy that just isn't seen in most browser games. Also, is there such a thing as too deep when it comes to diplomatic options? and do you think most gamers love seeing some unexpected suprises that add a "realness feel" (work with me) to the universe. I.E. : raiders that strike at random or on purpose(they can be bought). also think of implementing an extensive tech tree so you can get a feeling of accomplishment, going from basic rockets to where you can cross through the galaxy. what do you think?

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Dimplomatic options are fine, just don't make them too complicated or time consuming for the average player.

I assume you'll have a limit to the amount of raiders you can purchase? Wouldn't be too fair if one player had a hundred raiders and has overwhelming chance of hitting you many times a turn.

I love the idea of upgrading your weapons through research/purchases/levels/whatever. I like taking a moment to reflect on how far I come in game. It's a tried an true feature, and people seem to like it, but it's not original and you don't want your game to just be a clone. Make sure you have a few original ideas in your game to atract people.

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fair enough. I don't think there are many 4x games in the browser genre that quite start you out on a home planet and force you to research everything. A few other features I thought might be useful would be an advisory recap every time you login that gives you a summed up version of what's eben hapenning and once you join the galactic community ( haev to research certian communication techs) it gives you a galactic recap. plus implementing some useful spy options along with just having deep space probes that can remain hidden in enemy territory. All while trying to keep it playable..heh :-D

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Quote:
 Original post by Charles256fair enough. I don't think there are many 4x games in the browser genre that quite start you out on a home planet and force you to research everything. A few other features I thought might be useful would be an advisory recap every time you login that gives you a summed up version of what's eben hapenning and once you join the galactic community ( haev to research certian communication techs) it gives you a galactic recap. plus implementing some useful spy options along with just having deep space probes that can remain hidden in enemy territory. All while trying to keep it playable..heh :-D

Giving a summed up version of all that's happened may be anywhere from a paragraph to twenty or so pages of text, depeneding on how big your player base will grow. You'd have to keep the info really summed up and simple or else none but hardcore players would read the recap because of it's size.

Maybe give a chart of what happened with links to read more:
Player 327 attacked Player 24's planetPlayer 72 researched atomic powerPlayer 156 joined your galactic federationDreteru Galaxy declared war on yoursPlayer 723 joined the game: Planet XII of Xore system was born...

This way you don't have to bother the players with a paragraph or two describing each battle and it's outcome and casualties.

I also suggest that you constantly display what's happened in the last 24 hours(at most) instead of just when you log on. If you display it from when you last got on, you'll have to keep in memory a week or two of memory for those who haven't had time to play recently or were on vacation, and that will add up to be alot of outdated and memory taxing data. (Unless you'd keep the memory anyway, perhaps in an archive, for people to wander through)

Sounds fun though, make sure you create a thread once it's up. Just be creative and don't be afraid to wander from your original plans. Something you rhink will be a nifty feature now, may not be apealing once you implement it. Just keep on messing with the design until it comes out the way you think is best.

[Edit:] Oh, and I'm not to familiar with the term 4x. What does it mean?

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Yeah. When I say summed up I mean real summed up. I.E.
Empire A attacked Empire B. X planets were taken.
Planet C accepts your alliance propsal.
You've been attacked by empire D on planet Y.

Something simple like that. With links to things that relate to you for a more in detail story.

and 4x..grr..never can remember what all the x's are. three of them, expand and exterminate, explore, and something else. :-D

I'll be sure to post a link when I get into beta, give me about four months.

Exploit

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I'm curious about the game structure, something you have many options for in a broswer game. Do you use 1 or 3 month rounds after which the results are recorded and you reset or do people join into groups of 20 and start their universe or ...?

So how do you decide if your advisors are right or wrong? Also what kind of things can you do to prepare to meet them?

I think that 4x is uniquely suited to have some diplomatic options, but they should be more than cosmetic. If you can break peace treaties at any time without loss it is worthless. However, you can just give everyone a message of 'CrazyCurry12 has broken a peacetreaty and attacked littlejoohn!' and let players take care of justice. They tend to be harder enforcers, so you might want to be careful with that.

Unexpected surprises are an added random in most games, something you can't predict and can't react to. "Your world is having commercial succes you gain x money" "One of your generals defected taking 131 soldiers with him". Better is periodical randoms that you can react to or choices where you know what choice you're making "Over the next 50 turns, commercial success adds +5% to income" (because then you have turns to react to it or not).
"General Anderson wants a bonus of x money"
choice: "Make an example of him to increase military efficiency but decrease moral"
or "Pay x money and risk this happening again"

often games give these choices:
"Give the money"
"Don't give the money"
where it's more of a risk at what the designer created and unless you give a clue it's still essentially random.

I hope this helps.

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Quote:
 Original post by Charles256First of all this game is going to be written using PHP (Actually, I should say is being written because I'm all ready working on it) and it's browser based.[...]Right now I am considering doing the game real time where everything can be related to real world time. If I do so do you think there would be value in making it so that whenever an unknown fleet enters into your scanning area your advisors immediatly begin tryign to guess it's destination and if they determine that the fleet is heading toward one of your planet,they notify you.

Providing updated data in real-time is something that neither PHP nor a standard web-browser minus any plugins (such as if you were using Java or Shockwave) is very good at doing. How are the advisors going to inform you?
There are ways of 'pushing' data from the server using Ajax, but they're generally considered to be somewhat of a hack. Other than that, you'd probably have to implement some kind of automated refresh if you want to properly capture a 'real time' feel, and some players may find such a thing annoying.

How are you planning to give new players a starting chance against those that are already established?

On the diplomacy thing, I essentially agree with what's already been said; giving the player options is good, but make sure you don't overwhelm them. You could potentially alleviate this problem a bit by starting players off with a smaller number of options and allowing additional functionality as they progress through the game.

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