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Fields of Mars - wargame

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ok, here's my idea, although I bet it's been thought of before, but how about creating a Real time, 3D, empire building totalwar-type ancient warfare simulator, not game. The key to an addictive game is reality. This game will recreate Ancient life - populations / societies / cultures / warfare etc so the player "feels" they are actually in an ancient period. In the past I've tried to create a tactical battle simulator (BlitzBasic) and even created a intro video for it, but I'm not very talented and found the task of just creating a tacitcal battle simulator very difficult. Here's a link to the Intro video, it's not very good. http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=-5412068534556160236 What I need is people with similar ideas, preferably talented LOL!, OR maybe someone who could suggest a War Simulator Development Engine I could use. I found BlitzBasic good but I need a 4th / 5th generation language to reduce development time. Thanks Padlock,

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Original post by padlock
ok, here's my idea...I'm not very talented...(the) task of just creating a tacitcal battle simulator very difficult...(so) I need...people with similar ideas, preferably talented LOL!, OR a War Simulator Development Engine I could use...to reduce development time.

I'm truly not attempting to be rude or jest in this post.

Instead, I'm trying to point out how your post and conduct is perceived when I read this.

In a sense, around here, much of what you state when asking for assistance is not too dissimilar from the environment in a job interview; it's all about presentation.

So here, you essentially summarized in my mind as the impressionable following:
"I suck and failed at this before, LOL totaly!, so like, I need some more talented people then me to give me they're talneted ideas and a program that even an idiot like me, LOL, can use to make a killer realistic war game ftw!"

I'm not saying this is your mentality.
What I'm saying is this is, however, unfortunately how you came across.

You talked down about your own skills, gave an example and a link to a self admitted failed project that you see no value in (which means that I have no vested interest in it's value), and then proceeded to ask for potentially my ideas for a game which has little to no goal or direction stated, for you, a person who I have no established reason from you to believe will have the capacity to accomplish designing, programming, and fully developing; furthermore you are asking me to supply you with a program that will microwave the process for you.

...

Can you see how this comes out the wrong way?

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I'm sorry Sir! Arrogance drips from your post but you are American so I will forgive you.

facts

(1) It's not a job interview! LOL! far from it, just looking for like minded people

(2) I'm mostly looking for info on any new engine / development tool that might help me develop what I stated.

If you cannot help with either then .... LOL! (but i'm not trying to be rude! LOL!)

Padlock.

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Arrogant or not (and why do you have to go with the "insult an entire nation because of one guy who was basically telling you the truth" card?), you should start at the beginning. And there is a forum for beginners. Or if you are looking to start a team the help wanted section (I suggest reading the FAQ there before posting).

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No, it's not professionals only here. But game ideas aren't a valuable resource around here. Almost everyone has more than enough of them. It's about the skills you need to get something done. And no, there is no magical shortcut like a create-my-dream-game-with-a-few-clicks-tool. Everyone who gets something done around here, beginner or professional, has taken his time to learn an get the skills to do so.

So, if you want someone to be interested more in your ideas than their own you have to show that you have the dedication and skill needed to get something done.

If you don't have the skills to make a big scale game just yet, why not start smaller and work your way up? Like I said, there are no shortcuts. Making games is like any other craft. You have to start small and practice, practice, practice.

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Sorry, didn't realise this was a professionals only group.

Padlock.


This isn't a site for just professional developers, but just because you aren't paid to make games doesn't mean you can't act in a mature and professional manner.

You were offered some great and very true advice. Most people are likely to end up reading your first post as I did. "Meh, some kid that doesn't know anything about development and would run off to chase butterflies two days after I offered to help him." Or something to that effect.


But this shouldn't stop you from trying to go on with your project, but rather help you change how you are approaching it.

Start by laying out, in detail, how your simulator would function. Just how detailed are you making this function? How fine of a simulation is this going? How far in can you 'zoom'? Are you able to look inside the cities themselves? Or are they just icons on a map of Europe? How much of the world are you simulating?

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Total War games are highly moddable (at least they have been until M2, not sure about Empire), and there have been several "realism" mods for each Total War game based on detailed historical research. They push the realism barrier as far as I think it's possible in a video game, not just in battles, but empire management and maintaining historical accuracy during gameplay as well.

You would be very hard-pressed to come up with something more realistic, but if you're up for it, then modding a Total War game would probably be the best way to go about it, especially if you don't feel comfortable with advanced programming.

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Quote:
Original post by padlock
I'm sorry Sir! Arrogance drips from your post but you are American so I will forgive you.

facts

(1) It's not a job interview! LOL! far from it, just looking for like minded people

(2) I'm mostly looking for info on any new engine / development tool that might help me develop what I stated.

If you cannot help with either then .... LOL! (but i'm not trying to be rude! LOL!)

Padlock.

The reason I said it wasn't too dissimilar from a job interview is because the community here is largely cynical when it comes to posts about ambitions to make video games, so the representation of yourself is essential and many times the only credibility that you may retain.

That being said, if you are inexperienced, but looking for something along the hobby lines of what you describe as a "War Simulator", then I would say that Talin has some great advice; modifying an existing game, such as Total War, is an excellent method of getting your balance in a given genre as it involves a method of reverse engineering whereby you will be teaching yourself how exactly the developers put together their game and the reasons why.

It also allows you the opportunity to explore a variety of technical components that were used that you can learn more about to see if those, or related, components are a system you would like to use in the future.

Directly to your question:
Quote:
This game will recreate Ancient life - populations / societies / cultures / warfare etc so the player "feels" they are actually in an ancient period.

I think this order is too large for you to take on by yourself, but there are a variety of methods to approach this desire.

You can do so as a personal experience simulator ("sims" environment) concept, a political and war simulator (like Total War), a society simulator (civilization), or all of the above mixed together based largely off of user population (MMORPG).

I would venture to suggest that this ambition, while great, is best reserved for later, and to start off where Talin suggests and work your way up until you can work on a project as colossal as creating a very large environment where the players "feel they are actually in an ancient period".

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As to Totalwar, I already do modding, see my mod here (half done of course .. I can never finish anything! LOL!) -

http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=136142

..But, The engine is too restrictive, politics should be major aspect of Roman life but I could not add it easily to RomeTotalWar. Some modders did achive something better but only after years of dedicated struggle .. a game engine shouldn't be that difficult. That's why i'm asking if there's any 5-6 generation development tools available?

As to Development tools, my question was answered on another thread. Torque looks interesting but I still think it won't do what I want.

Padlock.

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You mentioned waiting for ETW several times in your thread you linked; to see how the political system (for one) would come out and to see if it could be modded.

It can be modded, but did the political system not meet your standards?

And if not, roughly how robust of a political system are you looking for; is there an example game conceptually that you have in mind?

[edit]I would say Torque with the RTS add-on was a good suggestion as well btw; but I'm thinking that you will need to eventually get down into the code somewhat if you want something specific out of the political system.

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politics in a Sim are difficult because they must be simlified to keep them interesting and understandable while still retaining the realism.

The Poltical system for ETW, ie 18th century world, is good, having various Government types but there's no connect to the player I feel. It has elections but in the game it's hard to tell any difference if a government changes!? In reality England for example, I think, had Conservatives and Liberals, one all for military expansion, the other more for social reform?? This should be exploited more. It should annoy a military expansionist player if Liberals are voted into power and his actions are restricted. RTW did this to an extent with the player forced to do the Senates bidding otherwise face war.

A far better game design for TW would have been multiplayer, realtime, where 6-8 players take control of the Roman Republic, each player a senator / head of a faction so not only do you have external conflict but internal as well. 2 players would be elected consuls while other roman players forced to do their bidding. Other nations, controlled by kings, would be headed by one player as king while other players are his generals. etc etc.

Sounds a Great Sim idea but not for all gamers.

Padlock.

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Could you not allow for leadership population within a player's empire to modulate according to a variety of factors (whatever you want) so that players must concern themselves with what powers are growing in their empire; also, by extension, allow for the same (or similar) political options within the empire as the options that exist outside of the empire (such as those in TW between empires).

Then, as far as parties and why they matter, treat each party as a very complex version of how you design a unit.
Normally, you would designate various attributes to a given unit.

Instead here, attribute a variety of societal variables (military, economy, and growth sub-categories) to the different parties, each to reflect how you want each party to be perceived as in the game.

This means that a player playing as the ruler would be concerned with who is potentially capable of being in power in the senate in Rome because they can sway the government structure towards a government standard that will move counter to what the player is wanting to work with.

If the government does sway opposite to the players interests, then they will be forced to make a decision to accept the new form of government, sway more toward their ideas, or remove the opposition that have swayed the government standard away from their interests.

Would this work for your interests?

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Sorry, I didn't understand any of that, are you referring to ETW? or a new game concept? what's a "leadership population"?

As to a king, yes there would be internal factions trying to oppose him. other players wouldn't just play minor generals but aristocratic generals (with possible claims), kin, leaders of religions, leaders of commoners etc

Do you have a current game in mind?

Padlock.

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I wrote it from a single player perspective; assuming multiplayer as an extension.

The leadership population is other leading character's than the player; who, assumably, is the king or emperor.
The leadership population is assumed as individual AI characters.

I did not have any game in mind, but instead modeled after Total War; which aside from the political, seems to be to your liking.

Then I treated the political structure as a unit, just like a soldier.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perhaps this will help.
(this is an incredibly simplified version only to help in explanation; add complexity of the attributes [for starters] and you could get quite a bit more back out of the system)

  1. You are king of Red Empire; Red is good for Military; moderate for economy; poor for growth(population).
  2. You are in a government type that does not use a Senate; Tyrant.
  3. You have to run off of appointed local rulers.
  4. You pick your rulers; all Red favored at first, obviously.
  5. As time goes by, you expand to new areas and you need to choose new rulers, but eventually, you don't have enough rulers on hand, so you choose from the local group with the most favorable to you, though not to Red; he's a Blue.
  6. Some of your Rulers, you have noticed, are turning to Orange and others to Yellow for a variety of political reasons (read this as, insert a large amount of systems [other empires courting your rulers with gifts and trade, for instance] that would arrive at this issue)
  7. So now you have to contend with Blue, Orange, and Yellow biased internal rulers in your empire.


So what do you do?
  • Do you accept the changes of time?
  • Do you set a tyrannical campaign for reforming the empire? (read; witch-hunt)
  • Do you set a passive campaign for reforming the empire? (read; plead, or create a military mission of success to stir up Red favor.)
  • Do you call for a massive wall to block the empire from outside interaction?
  • Do you kill all of your rulers that oppose you?
  • Do you win the rulers that oppose you back over?
  • Do you do one of the other many choices possible?


This is all on top of all of the politics that you would have to deal with from other kingdoms and empires as well.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now that is an incredibly small and empty version of the concept, but it helps in showing the movement between the functions of such a political system.

To reach any complexity that you want, simply continue to add as many attributes (above there were only three; military, economy, and growth) to as many different parties (above there were only 4; Red, Blue, Orange, and Yellow) in as many different Countries as you wanted (above, only one empire was examined. However, extrapolate to other empires and kingdoms and you would have a more accurate picture).

This basically means that each Party has attributes (just like your infantry and cavalry, that you design for the game, have varying attributes).
So parties become political "units"; the number of which exist in a given area of the same party, or friendly parties, sways the area to favoring that construct of politics.

(instead of military, for example, "their" political party favors population growth and frowns on military expansion; if you are a tyrant, you won't like this idea.)

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That sounds a good system, it seems fairly genetic and could work with many socities.

my idea was to have population groups, each with it's own attributes, and you would extract leaders / soldiers etc from these groups. For example, as in historical reality, Roman Senators originally only came from the ruling class - Patricians, who probably originated from Etruscan invaders in the 7th century BCE. The common romans were decended from Sabines and Latines, thus you end up with the conflict of the Patricans V Plebs. Luckily both groups had the common sense to stick to political conflict to obtain their needs rather than mass murdering each other, like in other societies.

In the game design, a group of 3D characters would represent a population group and they would be seen living their lives as their attributes dictate. Different population groups could live totgether in one society etc.

Have you produced a design document for game concept? I'd like to see it. I haven't produced one for my game yet, it's all in my head.

Padlock.

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Have you produced a design document for game concept? I'd like to see it.

I have created design documents, yes, and I don't mind sending you one for you to look over if you want it.

That said, I can say from personal experience of suddenly going from a mechanics modifier of RPG's to a hired game designer of an MMORPG charged with writing such a document, that the best method is to just start writing entire groups of information out with little regard to format.

Then circle back around and reorganize the concepts together as they are needed to be later.

Documents usually end up written in many versions so don't worry if your first version is not perfect, or even missing entire sections.

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