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Auto Combat System

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Hey all, my first big ask on this Forum.

I am looking for some ideas for a combat system for a game I am making. The game is a turn based space 4x strategy game, I am busy dealing with the economic and galaxy building side of things at the moment but I keep thinking about how I am going to deal with the combat system. Because the game is going to be a multiplayer i can't really be having people wait for other players to have battles on top of their moving.

I was thinking of doing like a "set fleet" stance where the player could set the stance of a certain fleet eg attacking, medium or defense. if a fleet was on attack stance and it hit a minefield it would loose larger casualties than that of a fleet on defense but a fleet set on defense wouldn't do so well against a fleet on attack.

Maybe I could get some other ideas?

Many thanks all.

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How fancy do you want to be? You could have full-blown crews and AI for epic space battles, though if it's all automatic that seems like a waste. What's wrong with just having the relevant stats of each ship bash against each other? It works for games that focus more on the empire portion (like Civ or GalCiv), though this may not be your design. Your idea of setting stances seems like it would work as well, provided that the stances really do make a difference and there are real reasons to pick each one in different circumstances.

Have you ever played Sword of the Stars? It has a heavy focus on tactical battles, but in multiplayer each player is only allowed one manual battle per turn. The rest are resolved by stat-matching, like above.

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Galactic Conquest has a fairly good battle system along the lines you would want. It is easy to grasp, but hard to make really good use of. As Khaiy said, if your focus isn't combat, just leave it at stat bashing -- allow players to research a lot of tech to increase their relevant stats/numbers, so that those that care about battle will be rewarded with winning.

Ogame managed to make quite a simple, yet complex system of fighting in space. The complexity stems from the researches and variety of upgrades rather than formula of combat -- instead of a stance, you can have your fleet upgraded with additional heavy plating, making them resistant to heat based weaponry, but more prone to AP misslies.

I can't remember the title of the game, but it's core feature was the ability to seriously customize your fleet -- you basically had templates of fighters/battleships and you fitted them with certain parts. You were limited by the template's capacity for weight and the individual parts' needs (power output/consumption, stuff like that).

Remember that while it is fun to make manual combat and apply stuff such as stances, most of the time people will be offline -- work/sleep/school/whatnot, so the system has to fend for the player itself. Do not allow a situation where an online player will have an immediate advantage over one that is absent. A situation like that would include leaving your fleet on defensive stance during the night, have an enemy player probe you, spread the word of how to attack you and then r*pe the sh*t out of that player with aggressive stance attacks.

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Some good references to check thanks, The players will not be offline when playing. The game was more so for an office / uni environment lol the idea would be that all players have other work to do but can periodically check if it's their turn, hence a complex battle system much like Starcon or even MOO would make for too much of a lag between turns.

I like the idea of a "kitting out" before each battle, perhaps like a complex rock paper scissors but with stat bashing included. So if I had better tech but chose an horrific setup I may loose but if i was teched to a similar level as my rival I would most definitely loose the battle.

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