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Is Unit Design Fun?

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I think it is fun. It is usually my favorite part of the game. But what about you? What aspect do you enjoy the most? If you don't like it what could be changed so that it would be interesting? For reference, my current plan is to show a rough silhouette of the unit with locations to add hardware. Each location will require a certain type (such as wheels going on the bottom). Some of the types will have multiple variations (such as legs, tracks, wheels). The brain of the unit will have slots for adding predefined behavior code (such as obstacle avoidance, flocking, decryption of signals, even memory slots on how to create parts). Does this sound interesting or does it sound tedious?

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I'm not sure about anyone else, but you've lost me already, probably because you're one step further in your head when you talk about this than the rest of us are.

Are these units for a character-driven game, i.e. the avater of the player? Or are you talking about RTS or turn-based units, like the customization in Sid Meier's: Alpha Centauri? Non contextually, I think any chance for the player to customize an element of their game is a bonus, as they're directly influencing the gameworld with their own particular style or preference.

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Players don't engage in unit design; modders do. Players engage in unit customization. Give them a few base templates and allow them to customize by adding gear/weapons/clothing or modifying anatomy/accessories. Make it interesting by demonstrating some cool consequence of the last attribute added - if the player increases strength for an avatar in an RPG, show it smash a board; if the player increases durability for a vehicle in an RTS, show it drive through an explosion unscathed.

It isn't inherently fun, but it can be.

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It's a continuum, surely. Given a sufficiently flezible template, I think you can indeed say that the player is 'designing' rather than 'customising' - MOO2, for example, although since there was a best design at each tech level you could only do so much. But that's a balancing issue.

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InnocuousFox: Actually, I was talking about coming from a play standpoint, but you and the others have touched on something. I find designing the units more fun than your average person because I like design more. I will either target people like myself or shift strategy slightly to accomodate others without my personal drive for design.

King of Men: I agree that it becomes a balancing issue. I guess I will need to cross that bridge when I get there.

Oluseyi: I like the idea of customizeable prototypes. That shouldn't be hard to implement.

BCullis: The game is a TBS with as many units as I can concievably control. Here is another thread explaining it: Creep Control

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I always find ship/unit design great, though far too many games provide too few actual options. Usually a lot of meaningless or terrible choices, or very few choices which might as well just be enumerated.

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Unit (and player) customization is very fun for me. Although I agree with everyone else, don't include options just for the sake of including options. Look at Vanguard for example, you can customize your avatar's nose (that no one sees, ever) but you can't adjust the width of your shoulders. It just doesn't make sense.

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