Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Acharis

Fleets

This topic is 2045 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

It's for turn based strategy/4X space empire building game. The goal is to focus on strategic and operational level with removal/reduction of tactics and micromanagement.

 

The idea is that you *define* your fleet composition (just like the table of equipment and organization http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/army/unit/toe/ but much, much simplier). Then your auto industry build and assign/reinforce your fleets. And you move only whole fleets on the map (which power depends on numbers of flotillas and the fleet compostion you defined (or to be more accurate on the part of it that your industry managed to produce already)).

 

 

* You have several types of ships (predefined).

* You define a squadron, which consist of units. You can have as many squadron types as you wish (these could be recon squadrons, battle, command, repair, long range, etc).

* You define a flotilla. It can consist of any number of squadrons, but there is a limit on a total tonnage of the flotilla. You have only one flotilla defined.

* A fleet is the smallest formation that can be moved on the map. It consist of X flotillas (note that you have only one flotilla type, therefore all fleets are identical except size). You can have any number of fleets. All fleets over the same planet fight together as one (all flotillas summed). The number of flotillas in a battle adds to command burden and reduce efficiency (too big fleets get a penalty, therefore it's better to have a medium size fleet made of quality ships). The combat is done by your AI admirals (you can decide on "combat doctrine" which will affect how the AI use your units).

 

Now the tricky part:

- you never move units on the map, only fleets can be moved, actually separate ships do ot even exist on the map, you fight with squadrons/flotillas

- you don't manually build ships, these are auto build by your industry based on your defined squads composition. All you can do is decide which/how many factories are working for military.

- there is no difference (distance wise) which factory built a ship since build ships are not moved anywhere but added to your reinforcement pool (which I don't know how should work yet)

- all fleet repairs/replacements/whatever is auto done and not concern of the player (again, no clued how yet)

 

 

I know, it has holes... But what you think about this idea? Does it sound tasty?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

It's for turn based strategy/4X space empire building game. The goal is to focus on strategic and operational level with removal/reduction of tactics and micromanagement.

In essence, you're doing the exact opposite from me? :P

 

 

* You define a squadron, which consist of units. You can have as many squadron types as you wish (these could be recon squadrons, battle, command, repair, long range, etc).

I actually like that idea. It fits your purpose.

I don't remember whether this was Sun Tzu or Marius that mentionned this, but squadrons are definitely what you want to have. Despite the fact each squadron isn't necessarily proficient in all situations, in the overall scheme of war, it will be the most efficient just because you'll always know what it can and can't do, and measure things in terms of amounts of squadrons you need.

 

Where I think it doesn't work is that you'll put all of these squadrons together in a flottilla rather than spread them around.

 

Pro players of RTS games (and I know you don't like this, but it remains a good example) tend to create these types of squadrons. They'll produce a certain set of units (in SC, you could see things such as 5 marines with a marauder for example) and group/ungroup squadrons as needed. That way, they can efficiently spread out or concentrate their forces whenever required because they've created a basic unit system (the squadron) which works efficiently for them. These players become oftentimes nearly unbeatable in conventionnal tactics.

 

* A fleet is the smallest formation that can be moved on the map. It consist of X flotillas (note that you have only one flotilla type, therefore all fleets are identical except size). You can have any number of fleets. All fleets over the same planet fight together as one (all flotillas summed). The number of flotillas in a battle adds to command burden and reduce efficiency (too big fleets get a penalty, therefore it's better to have a medium size fleet made of quality ships). The combat is done by your AI admirals (you can decide on "combat doctrine" which will affect how the AI use your units).

I'm a bit iffy with the single flottilla approach. In essence, your fleets would all be a function of how many flottilas they are comprised of. Why not simply make flottilas the base unit you can move around, and group them at will?

From my understanding, a fleet will be a particularly large unit.

 

I'm a bit turned off by the fact that all of your fleets will be identical in purpose, as it will simply remove your ability to bring up special forces and whatnot to surprise the enemy. If all of your fleets are short-ranged logistically efficient warbirds, it could really throw the enemy off if you come on the side with a long-ranged special forces which trades logistic efficient with added firepower (at the cost of having to return to base after striking for example).

 

- you don't manually build ships, these are auto build by your industry based on your defined squads composition. All you can do is decide which/how many factories are working for military.

That is consistent with your design. I like this too.

 

- there is no difference (distance wise) which factory built a ship since build ships are not moved anywhere but added to your reinforcement pool (which I don't know how should work yet)

Also consistent. This is an interesting abstraction of warfare, but we'll assume there are lower-grade military commands handling these micro-management operations and delivery on-time and on-budget.

 

- all fleet repairs/replacements/whatever is auto done and not concern of the player (again, no clued how yet)

Do you have to pay resources for the replacement though?

 

I know, it has holes... But what you think about this idea? Does it sound tasty?

It would potentially work for macro players. As you know, I'm not necessarily your target audience here, but one thing that strikes me as a potential issue is the fact your game only scales vertically (with fleets). Also, it feels like, once you've created your flottilla unit, it cannot be changed as there will be active fleets which would need to comply with this change.

If anything, I'd do this:

Merge flottila and fleet. Allow various different types. Retain the squadron approach as it really helps macro.

 

Thus, you could have:

 

1 Squadron meant for dogfighting comprised of several different ships (interceptors, mid-sized frigates, etc)

1 Squadron meant for frontal assault (larger battleships with shields and beams)

1 Squadron meant for support (freighters, repair ships, etc)

1 Squadron meant for long-range support (ships with long-range weaponry such as missiles, relatively undefended)

etc.

 

Then, a "conventionnal" fleet could be something like:

10 X dogfighting squadron

2 X frontal assault squadron

3 X support squadron

1 X long-range support squadron

*You'd have a lot of these fleets at the same time in-space, as they'd be your current version of an optimized fleet unit

 

But, you have the ability to tinker with different fleet compositions and see how they behave.

You could also have special forces or new conventional fleets in the works.

Example:

50 X dogfighting squadron

5 X long-range support squadron

*This fleet wouldn't be able to sustain long encounters, but the meatshield (dogfighting squadron) would allow your long-range support to deal very heavy damage to any fleet or planets it would encounter. Then, you'd have to turn your back and resupply to the nearest outpost, and lick your wounds (build new dogfighters).

 

or variations such as:

8 X dogfighting squadron

3 X frontal assault squadron

3 X support squadron

1 X long-range support squadron

*If you expect to counter a fleet with more capital ships and less sheer amount of ships

 

of

 

12 X dogfighting squadron

1 X frontal assault squadron

3 X support squadron

1 X long-range support squadron

*If you expect to face large amount of weaker ships

 

etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Acharis, on 02 May 2013 - 13:14, said:

It's for turn based strategy/4X space empire building game. The goal is to focus on strategic and operational level with removal/reduction of tactics and micromanagement.

In essence, you're doing the exact opposite from me? tongue.png

Maybe. Hard to tell since I got confused what you are exactly making several times already :) Maybe opposite, maybe not, all I could say is that there are probably some major differences :)

 

Why not simply make flottilas the base unit you can move around, and group them at will?

I meant fleets mostly as an UI convenence (clicking on units, no need to group them, etc). We can ignore fleets for the purpose of this topic.

 

I'm a bit turned off by the fact that all of your fleets will be identical in purpose, as it will simply remove your ability to bring up special forces and whatnot to surprise the enemy. If all of your fleets are short-ranged logistically efficient warbirds, it could really throw the enemy off if you come on the side with a long-ranged special forces which trades logistic efficient with added firepower (at the cost of having to return to base after striking for example).

Well, I was thinking of operational level, so no ambushes and such... I was even thinking of not allowing the player to select which exactly planet will be attacked next by his fleet lead by the AI admiral :) Anyway, this fleet model can work with any combat scale, so we can ignore that one too I guess.

 

Also, it feels like, once you've created your flottilla unit, it cannot be changed as there will be active fleets which would need to comply with this change.

That's the key thing. The flotillas will be AUTOMATICLY ADJUSTED ALL THE TIME. Like new units will be replacing the older ones, your changes to squadrons composition will be carried over, destroyed/damaged units will be replaced as well (you need to pay for replacements, actually, that would be identical to building new units, these would be just not used for forming new flotillas but for reinforcing the old ones).

 

 

This all can be simplified to:

You define what units should be in a flotilla and then the AI will try to keep up with the production/replacements to keep your flotillas as near your desired composition as possible. You will be only moving flotillas around (some which could be not in full strength at the moment).

 

Althrough I would keep squadrons for the mood (the breakthrough of flotillas/squadrons you wrote is very tasty, I want to play it :D) especially if there are different flotilla types.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then I'd say you have a concept on your hands.

I hadn't initially seen in quite in that light, but perhaps it would be fun to enhance the AI role of Admirals even further and give them very broad orders.

In earls 90s, my brother and I have created a prototype of a turn based strategy game where you'd create an army and give it a broad order "Conquer the world" and it would try to achieve this as best as it could with decision process.

Now obviously, tech of that time didn't quite support advanced programming of AIs that can learn and assess complex situations. Obviously now, its a matter of putting the time into it :P (it can get quite complex if you want it to feel particularly good). You could even improve it by adding personalities and all.

 

I can see how putting Admiral Farek (a badass sob with a taste for war) in charge of an invading fleet and Admiral Bootsy (a very careful and cold invidivual) in charge of keeping the peace around your empire would result in an evolving situation where Farek pushes against the enemy, sometimes being knocked back all the way to Bootsy, getting his help to push back the invader, and launching a new onslaught once his fleet has recovered. All of that, automatically.

You could just have a very simple UI where you'd pinpoint locations of interests as areas. such as: I'd like to expand in this direction, or, I'd like to acquire more (insert random resource here).

This is starting to feel like Majesty 2 though. Its still a somewhat original concept largely unused, and there is definitely a crowd of players out there that enjoy games with a large portion of automation. This probably started with games such as Progress Quest, but I don't see why you couldn't extend this to a 4X, a genre that is generally known as very complex and user-intensive.

Congrats, you have casualized the 4X genre sir!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now obviously, tech of that time didn't quite support advanced programming of AIs that can learn and assess complex situations.

On the contrary, I was thinking of making the AI admirals not that smart so the player (the emperor) would curse at their incompetent admilals feeling he could do it much better if he lead the fleet personally, which he can't do since he is to sit on the imperial throne :D Then the AI admirals could be taught advanced tactics (like keeping long range units behind and not charging with these) if you invest in a war college.

 

 

Back to fleets.

 

I think each flotilla should have a bar (fully filled if all required units are present) displayed. Note that sometimes a flotilla would have more than 100% of units (for example if you removed one squadron from the flotilla composition), these units needs to be removed later (by the auto adjuster of units). So there need to be transfer of units both ways (from the pool to the flotilla on the map and from flotilla to the pool). Then he can "form" flotillas (not build!) and appoint an admiral. A newly formed flotilla starts empty (there could be some cost associated for creating HeadQuarters structures and such).

 

Next the auro reinforcement of flotillas comes into place. Each turn it will auto adjust units. First it would try to reallocate the units within a flotilla (in case squadron composition is changed). Next it would remove excessive units from the flotilla. Next it would try add lacking units based on priority (higher priority goes first, but only if the lower priority flotillas have at least of 50% of units required). These changes (except of reallocation within flotilla which is instant) all require some time (like up to 20% of units of a flotilla can be rreadjusted per turn), so there is some delay and you can't fool the system by playing with flotilla composition or make instant "heal" of flotilla.

 

Quality of units. There would be levels of units like Destroyer I and Destroyer II (research). When defining squadrons you define only unit type (Destroyer) without mentioning the level. The auto adjuster will try to allocate the best versions of the unit type to each squadron (important note: the fleet size will depend not only available ships but also on population, there is a limited number of crew you can have total). Now the trick, the higher priority flotillas will get the best version of a unit first (so even if all your flotillas are 100% filled it still *usually* means that lower priority flotilla types will have worse units).

 

 

Have I missed something? Or a better solution? And how it sounds overall?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unit movement will really depend on how you want the game to play out.

 

Personally I think the idea of giving fleets a home base, a stationed base, and then zones of responsibility would be interesting. Units that are produced are first sent to a fleet's home base where they receive final outfitting and crew training before being assigned to a squad there.

 

If the fleet is not stationed out of their home base, then any new/repaired ship will wait there until enough ready ships are there to form a convoy-resupply squad/flotilla that would then make the transit to their station base. From the station base the fleet's AI would deploy the squads/flotillas within its zones of responsibility based on various factors you've set. (such as sentry picket zones would have light recon units deployed to it that are withdrawn at the sign of trouble, while battle lines would receive the bulk of the fleet. Patrol zones get visited by squads/flotillas based on priority, value, and fleet strength.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



Have I missed something? Or a better solution? And how it sounds overall?

 

I thought the initial idea was to simplify the amount of management the player needs to do?

With all of these units being shifted in and out, it feels like the player should spend a great deal of time to see how he can maximize the process.

I'm not sure its as straightforward as it sounds once you're in-game...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites



Have I missed something? Or a better solution? And how it sounds overall?

 

I thought the initial idea was to simplify the amount of management the player needs to do?

With all of these units being shifted in and out, it feels like the player should spend a great deal of time to see how he can maximize the process.

I'm not sure its as straightforward as it sounds once you're in-game...

No, no. It's all done by the AUTOMATIC adjuster (an algorithm). The player is not allowed to move units at all. He can only move flotillas and set priorities (for each type of flotilla).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that, but if the player has access to this information, and that he can arrange the fleet composition, he can try to min/max this process in whatever way.

I'm just advising cautious here. Its not because you're not intending for the player to try something directly that he won't naturally seek to do it in another way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a lot of thought on concepts like this one... I think it can be done but its tricky.  For me, the key is the AI... not that it has to necessarily be smart, but IMO you should put a large part of your focus on making an AI where results of certain decisions are clear to the player. 

 

I think something interesting would be to write several AI routines that range from completely brain dead to fairly smart and assign various intelligence scores or traits to admirals.  Then make high level admirals resource intensive to obtain and/or maintain.  Maybe all admirals start off brain dead, but you can open an officer training school that will train them up to some level at the cost of a regular resource drain.  To fit with your overall concept, you wouldn't even manually control individual admirals, just decide at what level they "exit" training school. 

 

Maybe you could have an "officer pool" as a resource, and have the total number of fleets you can have be equal to the number of admirals you have (one fleet per admiral).  Then, in addition to a cost in resources, setting the training bar higher would also reduce the influx of new admirals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!