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Standard war game with a twist

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Note: This is not a wip. It is just a game idea that I plan to save until I have the skill to complete it.

----- TimeWars -----

Introduction Here is an idea that I've been working on for a while. The base for this game is a standard strategy war game like Warcraft, C&C, Red Alert etc. Basicly it is the same system of using buildings to train units, research upgrades or process neccesary supplies. But it also has an extra feature which further expands the posibilities of strategy. [EDIT] Decided to leave out the story since it really isn't that important. The basics I have tried to make an if not realistic then at least plausible base for the game. It is in a futuristic setting so there will probably be some obscure technology. An example of the realistic setup is the supplies: Water - The main currency. The nuclear war poisoned most of the earth's water supply and have because of that become very valuable. Gold did not seem very realistic considering the futuristic setting. Metalls - Wood has long since been replaced by metalls when it comes to manufacture buildings among other things. Oil - Despite the advanced technology oil is still very much needed to make some of the more usefull and complicated substances. I haven't worked out that many details yet because I like to focus on what is unique: The twist Yes, you guessed right. The twist is Time Travel. The majority of this will be carried out by one building: Time Conductor This is the building in charge of time travel. After being built it will steadilly charge. After that it will be able to carry a number of units (and possibly buildings) within its range forward a certain measure of time. The range, possible number of units and the maximum amount of time shift should increase with the charge. When the time travel is engaged the units will disappear and be invisible to all players and will at the end of the time travel simply reappear at the spot they where in when the time travel started. When units are in time travel the player will have lost control over them until they reappear and time will progress as usual for all other units.    A possible upgrade might be the ability to transport the units to another location as well as time. In order to maintain a game balance I have also added this: Time Shield This building creates a shield over a certain area that protects it from being invaded by enemy units coming out of time travel. The HQ should have one of these built in to protect the base camp. New tactics There are two new main advantages that I can see at the moment though there ought to be more. 1. Suprise attack When in time travel the units are invisible and therefor in a perfect position for a suprise attack. The downside is that you have to know where the enemy will be at a certain point in time. 2. More thurough tactics A Time Conductor gives the player a much bigger control of where and when a certain unit will be at a certain point in the game. The Time Conductor allows a safe setup of a large army by simply moving small groups of units to the place they ought to be in and send them to a specific time. The army will then reappear as a whole at that specific point in time. But you have to make very sure that there is not a Time Shield at that location. There it is. What do you think? I am focusing mostly on the time travel part of the game for now but any comments are welcome. One of my main concerns is the game balance and how to maintain it. I am also wondering what should happen if one or more units tries to exit time travel on top of a Time Shield or in a spot already occupied. As a side track I am also a bit curious as to what other advantages time travel will have besides the two I mentioned above.

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What would be the benefit of the player sending units into the future? I can see the value of teleporting them to a different location on the map, but a "time-warp into the future" feature is basically just preventing the player from using the units for a period of time. When the units become available again, the tech level of the player and his opponent(s) may have advanced, rendering the time-traveling army obsolete. At best, the units may surprise an enemy who underestimated the player's strength.

Maybe you could consider letting the player send units into the past? Unfortunately, that is not technically possible, so you'll need to fake it.

Perhaps the player could request reinforcements form the future, via the Time Conductor building. The player could request more advanced units by upgrading the Time Conductor, or performing research in other buildings. When the player requests a unit, it instantly becomes available. At a certain point in the future, the player would be required to build the actual unit and send it back in time. If he fails to send the unit back in time, some sort of dire punishment would be in order. The subspace continuum could rupture and destroy a building, or something to that effect. Maybe the player's bank account would simply be deducted the cost of the unit, possibly pushing his finances into the red.

The game would become a balancing act of requesting as many troops as possible from the future, but not so many that the player is bankrupt before winning the game.

- Mike

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Thanks for posting :)

Quote:
Original post by doctorsixstring
What would be the benefit of the player sending units into the future? I can see the value of teleporting them to a different location on the map, but a "time-warp into the future" feature is basically just preventing the player from using the units for a period of time. When the units become available again, the tech level of the player and his opponent(s) may have advanced, rendering the time-traveling army obsolete. At best, the units may surprise an enemy who underestimated the player's strength.

The advantage that I was thinking of is that if you want to create a large group of units in a normal war game you would have to create each unit separetly and because of that there will be a delay between each unit. But mainly the point is that the enemy will know what is going on. With a Time Conductor this problem will have been completely removed. You simply send the first unit to the point in time when the last unit is done. You then have an army in an instant that could strike at the enemy without warning.
   But you are right about it not being usefull without the possiblily of moving to another location. My solution is that I swap the features like this:
1. Time Conductor becomes SpaceTime Conductor (and Time Shield becomes SpaceTime Shield)
2. It has the power to move a unit to another location on the map.
3. It can upgrade into moving a unit forward in time as well.

Quote:
Original post by doctorsixstring
Perhaps the player could request reinforcements form the future, via the Time Conductor building. The player could request more advanced units by upgrading the Time Conductor, or performing research in other buildings. When the player requests a unit, it instantly becomes available. At a certain point in the future, the player would be required to build the actual unit and send it back in time. If he fails to send the unit back in time, some sort of dire punishment would be in order. The subspace continuum could rupture and destroy a building, or something to that effect. Maybe the player's bank account would simply be deducted the cost of the unit, possibly pushing his finances into the red.

Now this is a very interesting idea. Keeping the game balanced might be tricky but it definetly increases the usability of the Time Conductor.
   The only problem that I see is that a when a player thinks he or she is loosing the player can request more troops that he or she can afford. That player then maybe beats the other player but has such a large "bill" that both player loses. This can of course be solved by using a limit but I want to have has few restrictions as possible. Hmmmm....

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Have you played Red Alert 2? There were units called Chronotroopers that could abuse time to "teleport" anywhere on the map. Basically, they appear where they were because they went back in time and went there. However: The further you tried to teleport from their current location, the longer it took for them to get there because of the whole time-walking thing.

Perhaps that kind of mechanic would suit the gameplay here?

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That might be nice addition to the game. Maybe I could add a unit that does something like that. Hmmm...

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I was thinking of a time based war game a few years back, in it I had special ore with unique properties that was the basis of all time travel technology.

Some of the ideas I had where:

Cartographer - a unit that is able to change the terrian in the a local area. Causing forests to appear, or raising/lowering a hill.

Temporal rift generator - open rift in space time somewhere on the map that release hostle neutral units from a random point in history. Open the gate in an enemy base and t-rex might charge, or a horde mongolian soldiers.

Temporal Assassin - Send an assassin back in time to eliminate a person crucial to the technological development of another faction. Could be used to deprive members of that faction from having a certain type of technology.

Relativity field generator. - Increase or decrease the speed at which time passes within the field. Nothing can pass into or out of a relativity field while its active.

1000 years gun - A weapon that ages its targets by a 1000 years in an instant.

A time based war game could be a lot of fun the trick is making use of the time aspect effectivly.

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Now I really like that Temporal Rift Generator. It would be lots of fun to bring back a dinosaur inside the enemy camp :)

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What would be the benefit of the player sending units into the future?

Actually, if you could target Enemy troops, this would be advantageous. You could target an an enemy squad and transport them to a point in the future. You could then bring your units into position for when they re-entered the time line (and wipe them out).

Another use, might be to target your own units and then it "Stores" (a temporal snapshot of the units that can be recreated at a future point) them and allows you to re use these units (even if they are killed in the past) at an arbitrary point in the future. Each Time Conductor can only track a certain number of units, so the player has to manage which units and how many of them are stored in the Time Conductor.

This would be a good concept to turn the tides of battle. You might take a "temporal snapshot" of several units, then during a battle your troops are being overwhelmed, so you activate the Time Conductor and bring these units into the present. They could only exist for a limited amount of time before having to be returned (and can only be used once - and if they die, they are instead returned just before they die).

A player could, build many of these Time conductors, but then only build a few units. They could then place a Snapshot of these units in each conductor and use these copies to actually fight their battles.

So, transporting a unit into the future could be a good idea. But you would also need the unit to continue to exist in the current time frame or the advantage of time travel with your own units is lost.

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Another idea that may or may not work too well would be the idea of time copying. Basically it projects the unit a bit into the future without actually removing the unit from the battlefield. Thus a whole army could be constructed from a single unit. The catch would be if the original was shot, all the rest of them would cease to exist. I dunno if this could be utilized as a good game concept, but I figured I might as well throw it out there.

edit: on second thought it is done by sending yourself back in time and then meeting up with the original, not by projecting yourself forward. But yeah same concept.

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Quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
I was thinking of a time based war game a few years back, in it I had special ore with unique properties that was the basis of all time travel technology.

Some of the ideas I had where:

Cartographer - a unit that is able to change the terrian in the a local area. Causing forests to appear, or raising/lowering a hill.

Temporal rift generator - open rift in space time somewhere on the map that release hostle neutral units from a random point in history. Open the gate in an enemy base and t-rex might charge, or a horde mongolian soldiers.

Temporal Assassin - Send an assassin back in time to eliminate a person crucial to the technological development of another faction. Could be used to deprive members of that faction from having a certain type of technology.

Relativity field generator. - Increase or decrease the speed at which time passes within the field. Nothing can pass into or out of a relativity field while its active.

1000 years gun - A weapon that ages its targets by a 1000 years in an instant.

A time based war game could be a lot of fun the trick is making use of the time aspect effectivly.


Really liking these ideas. The thought so sending in a kamikaze rift generator unit to an enemy base and letting the beasts of earth's past rape down their defenses makes me smile in an evil and sadistic way. Yay.

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Quote:
Original post by Edtharan
Actually, if you could target Enemy troops, this would be advantageous. You could target an an enemy squad and transport them to a point in the future. You could then bring your units into position for when they re-entered the time line (and wipe them out).


Nice idea. Never thought of that. One could expand on this in various evil ways. Say for example that the enemy launches a rocket. What you want to do then is to target that rocket and transport it to the enemy camp using the SpaceTime Conductor.

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Quote:
Original post by space warp
Quote:
Original post by Edtharan
Actually, if you could target Enemy troops, this would be advantageous. You could target an an enemy squad and transport them to a point in the future. You could then bring your units into position for when they re-entered the time line (and wipe them out).


Nice idea. Never thought of that. One could expand on this in various evil ways. Say for example that the enemy launches a rocket. What you want to do then is to target that rocket and transport it to the enemy camp using the SpaceTime Conductor.


I'm not sure that would be exactly a good idea, it could create an unfair advantage. For one, the computer opponent would always zap away your rockets and rockets would basically become obsolete for both parties. I've got another idea. There should be restraints to both time and space. Both conductors should use some expendable resource. I also think that the space conductor should have limitations, namely you should have to teleport from within a radius near the building, or maybe only teleport friendly units, also every use of the teleporter could drain it a fixed amount, or it could be based on the mass of matter transported, distance, or both.

The time could work like this, you target the incoming rocket with the time conductor, and it would freeze with a little box where you hold down a button and watch the seconds fly by on the ticker (seconds would turn to minutes pretty quickly, like pumping gas) all the while this is draining your time/space fuel. The idea being that if you can buy some time on that rocket reappearing you can move your troops away from the target and minimize damage, put up a shield etc. But, if you had sqaundered your time fuel, you'll top out at like 2 min, and may not have enough time to get your people out of there. I believe this would do a lot to balance gameplay.

You also mentioned water is scarce in this dystopia like environment. perhaps you could enable the machines to bring in water from the past at a tradeoff of time fuel. Since this would be like a hundred years you could make make past travel cost way less fuel, which is plausible, besides you could use past-travel in limited practical ways.

Since time-travel is the main theme here, you should utilize this technology elsewhere. maybe units could have miniconductors on them and make it like an upgrade. for example, instead of casting speed on a unit, it would be similar but more like starcraft stimpaks, activated on each unit. It could be effectively work like speed, but be a small jump into the future. So as your units attack you group them and activate this temporal-skip, and yout armies will suddenly appear twice as close to attacking the enemy as before.

You could also do the opposite by having defensive towers near your base(using a weaker form of the technology, possibly one that draws on a nearby time conductor) that cause a temporal-stutter upon the enemy's approach. Effectively setting them back several marching strides and possibly buying valuable time for your guys. Just some ideas.

Imagine this, in a multiplayer setting the enemy is charging to meet your ranks halfway between your bases. they suddenly disappear. They know they are in the future, but...where? did they retreat? or are they behind them now, waiting to attack from behind. Or did they go on to attack their base while it is vulnerable. Of course to do this you'd have to use teleportation somehow.

Hope that gives you some more ideas.



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Yes that does give me a few more ideas, thank you. But I still want to zap rockets over to the enemy camp :) (but I do know that if that's going to happen then I have to balance it and so on, it's just a fun idea).

But travelling backwards in time doesn't look that good because if you take water from the past then there is going to be less left for now and you wont have gained anything.

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on the past thing, we're talking like hundreds of years in the past, if water was wiped out by a nuclear holocaust or similar event, forcing people to dig for it in the desert, then taking water before this catastrophic event for one military base, is so insignificant. Besides who knows how much water was ruined, any water taken before would have been dried up later anyway, no waste there.

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Quote:
But travelling backwards in time doesn't look that good because if you take water from the past then there is going to be less left for now and you wont have gained anything.

Which could be why water is so scarce now, it has all been taken by people in the future...

For one, the computer opponent would always zap away your rockets and rockets would basically become obsolete for both parties./quote]
Actually this could be a good thing. You could use this to alter the unit balance and provide a dynamic that will force players to reassess their strategies and tactics.

You could, however, balance it with a resource. If the Time conductor takes time to recharge between activations, then an initial missile salvo could be blocked, but then a follow up one would be able to get through as the conductor is recharging.

In most RTS games, I feel that the defences are lacking. There is no real defence against artillery. Light (or tier 1 defenses) turrets are usually good against the infantry (or other tier 1 units) and the heavy turrets are good against the tougher units, but against long range units, there is usually no real defences(except to counter attack).

A building that could act as an artillery defence would be a good addition to the defensive line up in RTS games.

They should be able to be overwhelmed by massed fire, but it would stop the "lone" artillery from slowly destroying your base. If you are playing without sound, hearing impaired, or have a lot of alerts going off around the same time this one overlooked unit can do more damage than a major attack.

An artillery defense would actually reduce this problem (and level the playing field for hearing impaired players) and give more strategic play (building an artillery defence near the enemy base would make a good cover for an assault (or even work as a diversion as the enemy tries to destroy it before your supposed counter attack).

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I think that instead of or in addition to affecting units, you should have the whole time travel mechanic affect the battlefield. You could turn a forest into an oil field for the resources, or send a unit back in time to destroy the area where an enemy is setting up a base years before he begins. It would work best if you had several "eras" of the same map running at the same time, then switched peices of the map around as you used up your time travel ore.

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That would work best in a team game. Four people in charge of four timelines. That could be really fun, but I think it might be a bit over the top if you're doing it all by yourself.

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