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Russ_Nightshade

Technology

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I'm writing a game design document for a browser based strategy mmo. It'll be relatively simple, and look and act a lot like alpha centaria or something similar. The reason I come to these boards is i'm currently stuck on how to implement the technology side of the game. The technology will do the following. - Upgrade Existing Units and Buildings - Open access to creating new Units and Buildings - Control the pace of the game, by introducing more powerful abilities after x amount of time. There are several different ways to implement technology in a game. Such examples are, - After x,y and z resources are met, a button pushed by the player will begin a countdown. After which, will apply the upgrade. - Several different skills or trades will automatically upgrade the more you do the tasks. After x amount of work by y amount of workers, there will be a default upgrade. - Given X amount of resources you must choose which upgrades are important to you as a player. Once the resources are used, an option usually becomes available to progress to the next stage of technology and a new batch of resources, leaving the unlearned resources in the past. While 3 seems the best benefit to increasing the game. I don't like the system because ultimatum choices seem cheesy and will most likely backfire. I was thinking a combination between the first 2, where research advances on its own but can be helped along by scholarly focus... Any who; I’m just wondering if anybody has thought of a unique and exciting way to implement technology into a game. I really want it to increase the game play instead of just being something that has to be thrown in. If you can think of other ways to implement technology into a game, that would also be helpful. Thank you in advance.

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Have you considered having Labs, Lab funding, and research focus?

All techs are either a 'pure' science, or a 'cross' science, and have a minimum science level required to develop it.

Sciences could be:
Energy Studies
Chemical Studies
Material
Health
Biological

and or any others you think of. Combinations can be, 1000 points in Material and 800 in Biological, and you can produce composite armour for your units. Energy and Material gives an Energy Field Reinforced Armour for tanks. Energy can give access to new power sources, or improvements to existing ones. Chemical, Material, and Physics can give you new projectile weapons, replacing chemical with energy and you get rail guns.

Doing things like this lets you introduce better means of stealing technology, and a more balanced and realistic view of science. After all, a new means of controlling a high energy plasma stream for improved electrical power production could be turned into a weapon with a little more effort, and that new weapon system could have some affect on a peaceful tech.

If each science is actually a general header for 3 sub levels, stealing becomes interesting. Which of the sub levels gets points put into it depends on how you choose to do the system. It could be based on other sub levels of other sciences you have, or purely random (A mix of the two is better I think) and each tech is unlocked when its needed sublevels are filled. This makes stealing tech more 'interesting' in my mind, as if you are researching topic "Weapons" to get something that needs 400 W1, 300 W2, and 500W3. You currently have the W1 and W2 needed, but almost nothing on the W3, and your opponent happens to have all the W3, and nearly all the W1 but lacking W2, stealing from his W3 could get you the development before he does. Letting him do most of the harder work, while you spread your research out and go strong on spying.

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What if the research you do (which costs resources) only has a probability of success (of getting the technology or discovery you desire), but the probably increases the more and more times you pursue it.

This is similar to the way it was done in Axis & Allies (a board game). You spend money each turn to buy dice which you rolled, and depending on the technology you chose to research, if you got the right number, you got the tech. The more dices you bought, the greater your chances were for getting the tech.

By the way, have you ever heard of Ascendancy? It used a 3D research tree.

http://free-game-downloads.mosw.com/abandonware/pc/strategy_games/games_a/ascendancy.html

Quote:
Another great feature is the Research Tree, which is remarkable not only in its innovative 3D presentation, but also in the highly creative alien technologies you can research. Inventions may lead to other discoveries, and sometimes only a combination of different technologies can unveil interdependencies between technologies. You can rotate the Tree in all directions to explore the various topics. This is arguably the game's best feature, and one that should be emulated in later games.


I've never actually seen it, but it sounds interesting.

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It really depends on how you want to your game to play out really. The standard method is you choose a topic to research, which requires X resources to complete and you wait until its completed. A research topic oculd not nessarily result in something you can use it could open up a later research topic when combined with something else.

Another method that you could try is having different nonplayer controlled research labs/organization each research different topics or innovations. You can then provide them with research grants to increase the likly hood they will succeed at that project and then the speed at which it is completed. Labs then make their technology available to purchase once complete.

So, Anderson Alloys could be developing a new energy resistant armor. Once they complete it then you can upgrade your soliders for a fee to have increased resistence to energy weapons.

But to make things interesting, if you don't have an exclusivity deal with that lab then can sell the tech you helped them develop to any player.

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Talroth's post inspired me and I then found myself with a basic system and just began to expand ontop of it. I've decided to use 5 sciences, 1 science that controls the society advancement, a kind of epoch or age advancment bar. Which goes forwards and backwards depending on how advanced your society is. The other 4 sciences are a more basic, and to research a certain upgrade it requires you to have so much of a certain research and maybe another 1 or 2 requirements.
Thanks to all who contributed.

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Ascendency is great...

It works this way, there are a HUGE tech tree, that have various sorts of effects, the tree sometimes have some "diamond" research, that is, a topic after researched open two new topics, that will go opening their branches, until sometimes they unite again (IE: a topíc that can only be researched if one specific topic of each branch is already researched)

Also, depending on the race that you are playing, you can use the race ability to "instantly" finish your current research.

The research works this way: each colony generate research points, and each topic cost a amount of points, after you finish researching a topic, the research points are subtracted (so, little excess points are maintained), and you can select other topic, and because of the nature of the tech three, you can focus only in things that are intersting to you, for example you can race to build bigger and bigger structures, or research only the cheapest research avaible, widening what you can do, but not opening "cooler" technologies.

Altough seemly the tech three is 3D just for beauty, it is actually usefull, since sometimes the branches and requeriments everywhere get a mess, and being able to rotate the thign to see where each line ends is really usefull, also if someone do not want to rotate the thing, they do not need to, and it will still looks like 2D (you can only rotate in one axis, so the tree always look like a tree)

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