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Zanshibumi

Why use tiles?

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Zanshibumi    334
I was starting to build the 3D environment while thinking on how to store the map features when I started again thinking about the hexes vs squares thing. Then I remembered my old games of warhammer. Moving a hundred lead units with the 8cm ruler. I think I'm going to try to go tile-less. The player could pick up and release units by distance, not number of steps. The combat range (the area where a unit will fight if an opponent's army enters) could be a simple circle instead of a number of squares or hexes. I'm sure this has been thought many times and that I'm not seeing some problems, so I ask for your help. What problems do you think I could find?

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jebus11    154
I think the main advantage of tile-based games is quick-and-easy collision detection. If this isnt a major issue then the fluidity of a tile-less game is probably a more attractive option.

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Zanshibumi    334
Quote:
Original post by Benjamin Heath
Problems with gameplay, you mean? Well, did you have any problems playing Warhammer with regard to this?


I meant problems in the implementation part. For example as it also has simultaneous turns I'm having problems thinking a "support ally army" feature.

Joining two armies when both expend all their allowed movement and end up less than half an army's width, is the first serious problem I've found, for example.

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Benjamin Heath    925
I'd start by scrutinizing the need for simultaneous turns. Maybe I'm not picturing things correctly, but if you're going to do something like that in a TBG, why not just make it real-time?

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Zanshibumi    334
Quote:
Original post by Benjamin Heath
I'd start by scrutinizing the need for simultaneous turns. Maybe I'm not picturing things correctly, but if you're going to do something like that in a TBG, why not just make it real-time?

Turns are 1 day long, and are simultaneous because the effects happen between turns. the idea is:

You open you app, login and see a list of the games you're playing.
Then, you open one and see the map as it's left after the result of battles you planned the day before.

You read the diplomatic messages from each player, answer them, send new messages, offer treaties, trades, etc...

You order your building instructions for the current turn, move the units created the last turn and set the orders for the rest of the units. For example "attack any army that enters in range" or "support in defense that allied army if it enters combat".

You might cast some spells (from the magic guild or similar), send heroes to run some errands. I don't know, whatever I think of.

Then the day ends and every move is played, every declared alliance starts having it's effect, every combat is calculated and full turn spells have their effect.


So, having this structure. I thought my options where tiled or by regions (Risk). However now I'm thinking "why not eliminate tiles and give every army the chance of travelling in any direction?"

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Benjamin Heath    925
Zanshibumi, that is completely not what I imagined. :P Thank you for clarifying.

I've never played anything like Warhammer, but the "joining armies" problem is also present in Lords of the Realm 2. It's not something I'm not used to. When you combine two armies, they lose some time to move, and so the army's mobility is reduced for the rest of the turn. Maybe I'm wrong, but that sounds reasonable enough to me.

I don't know, but let me know when you have something playable up. Should my schedule allow it, I might want to try it.

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Zanshibumi    334
The current problem with joining armies created by non-discrete movement:
(using m as generic meaningless metric unit)


(armyA 2m radius) <--10m--> (armyB 2m radius)


So the center of A is 12m away from the center of B and the border of A is 10m away from the border of B.

What if the player wants to move A 11m and that's A's movement limit? They could join, but then, the units in A would have moved 1 more m than allowed.

Any suggestion?


(Or any heads up on other problems you see)

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TechnoGoth    2937
When joining armies, or moving groups of units with different speeds. The standard approach is that group moves at speed of the slowest unit.

So if you join two armies and one has only 2 movement and the other has 10 the new combined army would only move 2 units, the unused movement is lost.

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Talroth    3247
I agree with TechnoGoth. Keep it simple and easy. To combine armies, you move one onto the other, and give the 'new' army the amount of movement points for the rest of the turn based on which ever army had the lowest.


So if you had 2 armies (that are circles with radius of 2u, u being undefined units of measurement. Each army has 20u of movement.) that are as close as they can be to each other.

you select Army A to combine into Army B to make Army C. Both A and B have 20 movement points. C will have 16 movement points.

Another option would be to select two armies and have them combine at a point. Both march to that point and combine, again using the lowest number of movement points as the new army's points for that turn.

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Zanshibumi    334
Apparently I didn't explain it clearly. My English is quite poor yet.

The problem is during the act of joining the armies.

Imagine the army A is at position p0 and the army B at p10.
Now imagine each army as a figure with a circular foot with 1cm radius.

If A can only walk 9 steps, his "foot" is over B's foot but he doesn't have the last step to join B army. Do I give A a free step to join B at B's position? Do I move B half a step back and A half a step forward?

The problem is both this solutions generate extra movement and that can be exploited joining many armies into one.

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Palidine    1315
No. If they can't meet up that turn because of movement restrictions then they can't join. Just blow out your numbers a little bit:

A is at p0
B is at p10,000

A can move 10 per round.

Can A & B join this turn? No. They can't get close enough. You have to draw a rigid line in the sand at some point so just do it at the exact movement speed.

Now, your example:

A is at p0
B is at p10

If they both can move 9 per round then they can move 5 each and join up.
If A has no move points this turn they cannot.

-me

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Derakon    456
I'd personally use hexes because they make a lot of rules simpler. Players know exactly how far they can get, exactly which terrains affect them, exactly which units can support or attack them, exactly how long it'll take to reach the target, and so on. If you make things be just by distance instead, then it's a lot harder to judge the situation. That doesn't mean that using a non-tiled system is bad; it just means that you'll have to work harder on the UI to retain the usability that a hex-based system gets for free.

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Talroth    3247
Include easy way to let the player pick one of two join types.

Join style 1: Army A moves ONTO army B's position: Creates Army C with the number of units in Army A + number of units in army B, with the movement points of A or B (which ever is lowest)

IF Army A's movement range does NOT include all of Army B's position, you get your big flashing Red Sign.

Join style 2: Army A and Army B MOVE TO location. Both armies will move toward a location chosen by the player and merge upon arrival. Again creates Army C same as in style 1.


Easy UI ideas for such a system:
1. Select your Army A, issue command "Merge" (or join, whatever you want to call it) click on Army B for Join style 1. Double Click on Army B, then click position for both to move to for Join style 2.

2. Select Army A, Issue Command "Merge". Click on Army B for Join style 1. Click and drag Army B to new location for Join style 2.

In both, provide an over/under lay in 2 shades/colours. Shade X will be maximum movement of your unit A. Shade Y will encompass ALL units that are in range to use Join style 2. Once you select your B unit, show outline of all possible locations to create C from A+B.

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shurcool    439
One consideration for not using tiles you haven't mentioned is the art. If you don't have tiles, how are you going to represent your world? I'm not sure what the graphics will be like in your game, but I thought I'd mention it as that's one of the fundamental difficuilties in going tile-less.

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Talroth    3247
Even if a game uses tiled backgrounds, it doesn't mean that the GAME is tile based. Which is what we're talking about.

Think of most 3D games. Many use some form of tiles for large outdoor areas, but no character is bound in any way to those tiles. And then there are other games like Baldur's Gate where each map is a large, single image.

However the background art is handled, it won't have much impact on how you move your units around the map.

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Zanshibumi    334
Quote:
Original post by Talroth
Easy UI ideas for such a system:
1. Select your Army A, issue command "Merge" (or join, whatever you want to call it) click on Army B for Join style 1. Double Click on Army B, then click position for both to move to for Join style 2.

For method A I'll just merge by drag drop (as the normal movement) without allowing to drop is the movement wouldn't allow a merge.

Quote:
Original post by Talroth
2. Select Army A, Issue Command "Merge". Click on Army B for Join style 1. Click and drag Army B to new location for Join style 2.

For method B, tell me what do you think of:

- click A, select MERGE, click B. Both units disappear and the mouse starts dragging unit C only allowing to put it in positions where movement by A and B would allow a merge.

This method allows the player to merge any number of units without losing any movement.

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future farmer    100
From what I've understood:

If you're going turn-based at all, be it by day or by minute, I think tiles are probably the way to go.

For instance, a player will have an easier time planning future moves based on a tile count rather than some sort of distance radius (impeded by terrain?); this is true for both his moves and his enemy's.

If you want a really hardcore game, go with distance radii. It'll be extremely dificult for players to learn. Unless you want a game where movement is the main aspect of victory, don't do it. If not, I hope your actual fighting calculations will warrant that sort of complexity.

You can make a game equally as intense with tiles, which will be more predictible, and therefore the players will feel that they use more strategy.

My 2 cents on it. Good Luck. Sounds interesting.

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Derakon    456
If you're just going with straight lines, then distances are not that different from tiles. However, any time you have to do a non-straight line, calculations for distances get more complicated (e.g. if you want to detour to pick something up, or if you want to curve around some obstacle). This is also true if you try to plan for your opponent doing non-straight lines (in which situation you won't be able to do a "try it and see" approach because you don't control his units).

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Zanshibumi    334
Ok, ok... :)

Tiles allow the player to know beforehand how far the unit will go. Showing where will a unit go in the first turn is easy, showing how far will it go in two, three, etc... is quite harder.
Showing how far will a unit go while doing non-línear movements around mountains or enemy troops can be even worse.

So I'll go with tiles. I'll try the tile-less turn-based strategy thing with a simpler game some day. :)

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TechnoGoth    2937
Not really. It all depends on you GUI. If you build a movement path by clicking points on points to move then all you really need to you to tell the player how long that path is and how many turns it takes to reach the end. The easiest way to do this would be to place a dot or other symbol on the map for every movement point that path requires and number for the number of turns it will take to reach that point every time the movement cost exceeds a turn.

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