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non-violent RTS

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Lately I''ve been fixated on doing some kind of "building" game; my most recent idea involves building roads. Basically, given some random terrain, try to construct a route from a starting point to a destination, which a bunch of "Lemmings"-type guys or vehicles will eventually have to navigate. I''m thinking the terrain will include hills, gorges, cliffs, streams, lakes, etc., and the building process will mostly involve (1) deforming the terrain, and (2) building bridges. On to the premise: In the future, scientists discover some priceless natural resources scattered on a distant planet, and several large corporations immediately launch expeditions to retrieve it. You, as leader of one such expedition, will be competing against the others to set up and maintain mining/processing operations (Remember the SCVs in Starcraft? That''s my entire game, hehe). Since these corporations are all basically law-abiding, nobody will be building missile turrets or launching nuclear strikes. However, I still want to force the player to defend their operation, as well as give them opportunities to sabotage their competition''s. Any suggestions?

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Guest Anonymous Poster

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How about land ownership, and you could split the map up into smaller sectors, and then to "own" a sector, you must maybe have a truck parked there for x minutes. Then, have a way you can take land off other people, say by parking more trucks on their land and paying a fee, or surrounding their land with land which you own.

Perhaps also you could have coorporate type attacks, where you release documents which accuse the other company of doing bad stuff, so then they will have to prove that they didn''t.

You could also try and include things like power companies who supply power to your facilities, and by buying them out, you can shut down the electricity to your opponent.

Or blockading roads to prevent your opponent from getting places.

Have you ever played transport tycoon? Great game that, it had something where you could pay the town to have the roads upgraded. This did little except disrupt traffic, so when your enemy had a nice bus network happening, you would upgrade the roads and the busses can''t go

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Look at the boardgames that have non-violent empire building:
-Settlers of Caran
-Wildlife Discovery Adventure
-Monopoly (well, maybe)
-Florida Flyer Game
there are lots of these, most of them involve transportation of objects, recipie fullfillment, a fluctuating market, a fluctuating raw materials supply

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There are things that can be applied here from Alpha Centauri
- Have a technology tree and with technology you'll have espionage.
- Set up a new bases and that shifts the boundaries
- Add finds that add temporary funds
Also check into the classic non-violent game M.U.L.E.

Another different direction to go is with the Railroad building board-games like the 1830 or 1857. Not only did you have a set of tracks that could be upgraded with more features, you had a series of different trains to be upgraded. So we're talking about upgrading costs from one level to the next weighed vs. the benefits.
One of the most important factors in business is productivity. How much does each item cost to produce and that can depend on the cost of labour. If we've got a plant that produces 20 Widgets at $100 per day, it might be worth our time to invest in a plant that produces 25 Widgets at $60 per day.

There's also the development of new products with R&D. Usually at the beginning the margin on these is very high. As the market becomes saturated and other competitors join in the margin is cut.

Another feature of 1830 etc. is share-prices. A share is considered a portion of the (assets minus the liabilities) PLUS a guesstimate of the revenue flows for each share over time discounted.

My favourite is the Canadian version of the rail game in which, if you occupied and built a prosperous railroad, the Canadian government would buy you out at a hefty profit to create their own network of rail.

Another item to handle is a fluctuating demand for stuff.

In looking over your original question, I think I've wandered a bit off-topic. So to get it back on-topic:
A lot of economic games with just one item usually ends up that those that produce the most cash at the beginning build more stuff to produce more cash and it builds exponentially.

What you might do is make there be a cost to exploration, to transportation and to final refinement of the "priceless" stuff.
Exploration has to be more than a little guy wandering around putting on a flag and instant! production. For exploration you could have a technology tree of examination equipment. You little guy goes out in a explorer vehicle that has a 40% chance of being right about Pricelessium(i.e. you've got a chance of hitting a dry hole) or its quality. And upgrade that as technology improves.
Then build a technology tree for transportation systems - upgrades etc.
Then a technolgy tree for for refinement capacities and productivities.

Developing a iso-tile 2D RPG with skills, weapons, and adventure. See my old Hex-Tile RPG GAME, character editor, diary, 3D Art resources at Check out my web-site

Edited by - ZoomBoy on July 29, 2001 11:51:08 AM

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