Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Acharis

Steampunk industrial turn based strategy

This topic is 1985 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

I have been working on a prototype of a turn based strategy where you run a small country (on an island) and, well, build/improve your country (mainly industry). It's all set in a Victorian XIX century like theme.

 

First, I tried to make it an Industrial Revolution (historical, sort of), without warfare and just agriculture, industry, trade, inventions and social problems. But then I was started to think that Steampunk theme would fit much better here (non historical map, cool inventions, etc) and that maybe some warfare (defensive one, not conquest) would not hurt.

 

So, I wanted to stop for now and think/reevaluate what the game is about. Without any assumptions and such (a fresh look). How would you advice me? How could/should I proceed with such game?

(note I'm not asking how to make this game, I have my own ideas and views, but I just wanted to take a step back and listen, to refresh my perspective)

 

 

Here is the prototype http://silverlemur.com/work/ir-prototype.zip (Windows, low requirements)

 

A screen of the provinces map:

ir-screen-map_zpsec586314.png

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Where is the tutorial for playing the game? I done pressed so many build buttons that one land became submerged under the sheer weight of overproducing giant leaping spider bots, whilst another land ran out of food and cannibalised each other until only one fat peasant was left alive who then successfully launched a one man invasion of the neighbouring province. 

 

Yeah I need a readme/gameplay tutorial Acharis plz...I am dumb :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's kind of difficult to know what to look at, since you haven't really asked a specific question, but here are a few random thoughts anyway ..

 

Honestly, I'm having trouble picturing what the aim would/could be in this scenario. I seem to have a nation with several regions or provinces, each of which has been assigned resources (randomly?). Editing the map seems to have no impact on these, so my immediate instinct is that there should be an underlying resource map, and the borders of a province determines what resources it encompasses. From there it might be nice to place individual buildings, so that it becomes a challenge to make the best use of available land, but that still doesn't provide an over-arching goal.

 

Neighbouring kingdoms could add some diplomatic relations, trade, etc., and if they're on the map, you could fight over borders. Otherwise, I'm not sure how you'd work warfare into this, unless it was possible to have a civil war, and certainly defence-only warfare would be quite dissatisfying.

 

By "cool inventions", do you mean that you would unlock more industries? I don't really see how else this would work right now, or what they could contribute to the game, other than eye-candy. If you're fighting over borders, at least you have a reason to research and build weapons, which makes good fuel for industrial advances.

 

A lord (duke, or what-have-you) to govern each province might be a good way to give each area individuality. He would give some feedback about how his province is doing, and probably have strengths and weaknesses which would further affect the performance of his lands, and influence how you distribute land. I'm not sure what purpose the various regions have otherwise.

 

Getting back to the aim of the game, the most obvious approach would be to add multi-player, since players will automatically compete for whatever numbers they can get their hands on, but this doesn't appear to be part of the plan (?).

 

Competing for inventions could be the main goal, with something like a permanent bonus for the first player to discover a technology, and incentive for other players (although I'm sure you could make this work in single-player too) to spy on them for bonus research points toward this invention. This seems to me like a nice dynamic, providing plenty of motivation for conflict, and options for how to react to or avoid it, as well as a good excuse to throw in whatever cool technologies you want for players to fight over.

 

This could work on an international scale, or with each player controlling a region, and the NPC king redistributing land, titles, etc. based on your successes, but then your territory is pretty small, so you kind of get stuck with a role (limited resource allocation) based on which region you start out with, which might suck.

 

I think if you decide on what the aim of the game is, most things will logically fall into place from there. It could just be collecting points - Settlers of Catan gets plenty of mileage out of it, so why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I need a readme/gameplay tutorial Acharis plz...

I know, my games are confusing, sorry smile.png But I also think it's confusing because most things in the prototype does not work yet as supposesd to (there is no food consumption, you can go negative resources, building use only money, etc). Generally, the prototype (at the moment of writing) works like this. You decide what you want to build and where, then you do it and click EndTurn. The buildings will produce/process stuff. If you notice you are getting negative resources it means you are supposed to build more of mines/whatever you lack (again, in the current prototype it does not check for shortages, it always produces). Also you can move the map and resize the window to see how interface adjusts smile.png Oh yes, there is also workforce, but they change jobs automaticly, you don't need to manage them (in final version you will have some indirect ways to affect workforce allocation).

 

Generally, it's completely unplayable, and I gave the link to get the overall feel (interface, building types). So it would be easier to give ideas.

 

Also thanks for downloading the prototype, it's always very nice when people do it (especially since prototypes usually sux and are far inferior to even a demo) smile.png

 

 

 


It's kind of difficult to know what to look at, since you haven't really asked a specific question

It was on purpose. In this topic I primarily want your "impressions". You see the game and you tell me what you think/how would you want to play it/how would you do it if it was you doing this game/etc.

 

Multiplayer - no, no multiplayer (technical and other reasons) it's strictly singleplayer.

 

War - Hmmm, so you say defensive battles are no good? Even if, suppose, the game is primarily about other things than warfare (trade, economy, production)?

Anyway, here is a topic with some ideas http://www.gamedev.net/topic/652495-tower-defence-war-mechanic-for-a-turn-based-strategy/

 

Aim of the game - yes, I agree smile.png I have my (quite solid) ideas of the aim of the game (the nice thing is that at this stage I can still easily change them, since I have only map and basic production system) but I wanted to think out of my box. I will post my aim of the game a few posts later, but not yet, I first want to listen. So, do you have some interesting "aims" for such game (assuming singleplayer)? smile.png

Edited by Acharis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming that you can only be attacked and lose land, and cannot retaliate or expand by means of a military, I think defensive-only military conflicts in a game which includes military conflict as a territorial mechanic would be kind of a silly restriction. If you have other options, why not that one?

 

For an aim, it would be nice to have a variety of options to choose from, maybe even as a choice of win conditions before you start a game. The obvious way to do this is using the ducks-in-a-row method employed by many solitaire games : Reach 0% unemployment, 100% fulfilment, or what-have-you in all regions, or establish trade routes, diplomatic relations, etc. with all neighbours.

 

You could also use an actual "main goal" (again, why not choose from a selection, to reflect the play style you want for this session?) Reach the moon, build a world capital for trade, culture, etc. Building a set of scientific colleges (botany, zoology, chemistry, astrology, etc.) would fit nicely with a steampunk feel. The level of outside influence or competition you want will probably determine which of these are more likely to suit.

 

The goal could simply be to drag your nation, kicking and screaming, into the modern age. They'd bitch and moan about all the changes, but they'd be pleased with the outcomes, so you'd be trying to make the transition as smooth as possible by capitalizing on advancements to make up for loss of jobs and ways of life etc.

 

Collecting points may initially seem uninteresting, but there is no reason why it should be. Key to success with this goal is making the points represent something interesting or valuable, more like achievements or medals. For example, your nation could have mad inventors who write to the king asking for funding for projects. You, as the king, decide, which of these are likely to succeed or fail (based on the inventor's region of origin and its available resources, availability of supporting technologies, etc.), and fund the right projects, which, upon completion, will give you a victory point. As the project progresses, you receive further instructions, requiring you to meet various randomized mini-challenges to keep things interesting, but you can, of course, push resources in the right direction, research technologies, free up labour, and draw in investors, to indirectly influence the chance of success. Failure of the project would probably cost you a VP, but there may be ways to mitigate the loss. Maybe you even score on multiple tracks. Let's say a successful project to build the first airship would give you an industrial point, but if you publicize it and gain foreign investment, you could gain a cultural point as a bonus. Going for the bonus point comes with a risk, because if the project fails, you will lose both industrial and cultural points. Now points are not just a score, but a reminder of a challenge successfully met.

 

It would be nice to be able to build networks based around companies (or "societies" or whatever) which arise spontaneously as a result of the right combination of resources and abundance of enterprise. For instance, a region with a good supply of steel and coal, and a certain level of throughput within the kingdom would result in the rail company being set up. That would allow you to access the railway infrastructure interface, which would allow you to increase the flow, both domestic and international, of trade goods and resources. Similar systems would work for electricity, gas, airfields, etc., each of which would bring improvements in some area (resource flow, access to technologies, citizen wellbeing, etc., even tourism and renown). This might be a nice way to give some focus and distinction to individual regions if only one company or utility can be run from each.

 

Maybe the projects come up as challenges from other nations, as in "Your neighbour, France, challenges you to a race across the Atlantic" or "British build 100MPH car!" and you have to do it bigger, better, faster, etc.

 

Or you could commission the projects yourself. The challenge then would be to take enough out of the country to complete the project, without upsetting the population, disrupting trade, etc.

 

I may have got a bit carried away there. I'm not very good with the aim-of-the-game question, but I think if you look at the big achievers in the industrial revolution, and try to isolate what made them winners in whatever sense you deem most enjoyable, it should give some clues as to what a player should be expected to do in order to win in a game about industry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[...] neighbouring province.
How you feel about the map?

 

- Assuming the internal province stuff is relatively rich/complex, do you find the current 12 provinces enough? Maybe add more?

- How you feel about the island surrounded by endless sea? Is it OK? Or maybe I should add some other islands around it, even if with very limited interaction (like owned by AI nations but no option to conquer)? If yes, how important adding these you feel is?

- Overall, what was you experience regarding interacting with the map?

- Does the map require zooming? And minimap?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How you feel about the map?

I feel OK about it, but I like hexagons. If I didn't, I'd be annoyed that they exist without a purpose.

I also want it to be procedurally generated so I can play more than once.

The giant leaping spider bots button needs to be more obvious.

 

- Assuming the internal province stuff is relatively rich/complex, do you find the current 12 provinces enough? Maybe add more?

This seems like a game balance question, and there is no game yet. It's impossible to say without knowing what they're for.

 

- How you feel about the island surrounded by endless sea? Is it OK? Or maybe I should add some other islands around it, even if with very limited interaction (like owned by AI nations but no option to conquer)? If yes, how important adding these you feel is?

Personally, I feel a bit bad about it. It feels isolated, and accentuates the feeling of having no aim or impact. More islands are only useful if you can interact with them in some meaningful way.

Also, possibly irrelevant, but if you give me an island, I want a boat.

 

- Overall, what was you experience regarding interacting with the map?

It was fairly smooth and intuitive, although scrolling at the edges of the window was unnecessary since the whole map fits in the window, and especially annoying because it continues when the mouse is outside of the window.

 

- Does the map require zooming? And minimap?

No. Zooming might be nice, because it's interface customization, which helps with comfort and convenience (You could zoom out so the island is small enough to fit in the right-hand side of the screen, beside that huge build interface, which could probably be smaller), but I can see no reason to have a minimap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know if that's relevant to you, but I have had a few UX concerns.

For example, your End Turn button should be bigger, and hopefully on the bottom right.

Also, the resources overlay should be something that can always be displayed from the HUD (it looks like its important enough that I might want to have it up when making decisions on what to build next).

 

 

From a gameplay standpoint, I'm a bit surprised that construction hardly impacts population growth. I've taken one of the smallest provinces and boosted their schools/university and industry by a significant margin (99 everywhere in fact) and it failed to catch up with any other province over the course of many many turns skipped. I'd be tempted to believe that, as people increase their average income, so too would they better be able to care for their children and insure they are in good health and eventually become part of the nation's economy?

 

I'm also a bit unsure where you are headed with the overall design. It seems there's actually few to do (choose what to build essentially). What is the core gameplay loop you are hoping to achieve? (logical flow of things you expect one player to actively engage in repeatedly).

 

All in all, its good to see an executable though :) Keep it up! (never give up on the indie life)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I feel OK about it, but I like hexagons. If I didn't, I'd be annoyed that they exist without a purpose.
Yeah, I had a slight dilemma with the hexagons. On one hand these have no real purpose, on the other I like hexes :D

 


although scrolling at the edges of the window was unnecessary since the whole map fits in the window, and especially annoying because it continues when the mouse is outside of the window.
And if you maximize the window (or even better go fullscreen - you can do it via config.ini)? Still annoying?

I was testing disabling the mouse movement if outside thw window, but then there is problem with making the map move at all (you move max to the left and you are outside...) Also its terrible if you have dualscreen and fullscreen (right part of the map scroll would "not register" since you frequesntly "overshoot").

 

A note: this is supposed to run in fullscreen by default in the final version.

 


Also, the resources overlay should be something that can always be displayed from the HUD (it looks like its important enough that I might want to have it up when making decisions on what to build next).
I have a problem/dilemma here. Should I do it? First of all, I can't display them all (need to choose what to display). Buildings will use planks and bricks to build. When you build railroads you might need planks and steel. Other upgrades (bureaucratic/laws) might require paper.

Such display would look very odd/random (imagine planks, bricks, paper and steel :D).

 


From a gameplay standpoint, I'm a bit surprised that construction hardly impacts population growth. I've taken one of the smallest provinces and boosted their schools/university and industry by a significant margin (99 everywhere in fact) and it failed to catch up with any other province over the course of many many turns skipped. I'd be tempted to believe that, as people increase their average income, so too would they better be able to care for their children and insure they are in good health and eventually become part of the nation's economy?
Not implemented yet :)

I think I should have called this TechDemo instead of a prototype, would be less confusing :)

 

I know, check this web version of my much older (but quite playable) prototype:

http://silverlemur.com/minigames/industrialrevolution/

I plan to go a bit different route (for example separating the country into individual regions and removing land concept), but yeah, it should convey the mood and mechanics I aim for much better than the .exe version.

 


I'm also a bit unsure where you are headed with the overall design.
You know, it's a brainstorming topic. I want to reevaluate my overall design (so I prefer to avoid answering this yet), instead I would like to listen what overall design you see emerging from the current map+production system+theme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


I feel OK about it, but I like hexagons. If I didn't, I'd be annoyed that they exist without a purpose.
Yeah, I had a slight dilemma with the hexagons. On one hand these have no real purpose, on the other I like hexes biggrin.png

 

 

 


although scrolling at the edges of the window was unnecessary since the whole map fits in the window, and especially annoying because it continues when the mouse is outside of the window.
And if you maximize the window (or even better go fullscreen - you can do it via config.ini)? Still annoying?

I was testing disabling the mouse movement if outside thw window, but then there is problem with making the map move at all (you move max to the left and you are outside...) Also its terrible if you have dualscreen and fullscreen (right part of the map scroll would "not register" since you frequesntly "overshoot").

 

A note: this is supposed to run in fullscreen by default in the final version.

 

 

 


Also, the resources overlay should be something that can always be displayed from the HUD (it looks like its important enough that I might want to have it up when making decisions on what to build next).
I have a problem/dilemma here. Should I do it? First of all, I can't display them all (need to choose what to display). Buildings will use planks and bricks to build. When you build railroads you might need planks and steel. Other upgrades (bureaucratic/laws) might require paper.

Such display would look very odd/random (imagine planks, bricks, paper and steel biggrin.png).

 

 

 


From a gameplay standpoint, I'm a bit surprised that construction hardly impacts population growth. I've taken one of the smallest provinces and boosted their schools/university and industry by a significant margin (99 everywhere in fact) and it failed to catch up with any other province over the course of many many turns skipped. I'd be tempted to believe that, as people increase their average income, so too would they better be able to care for their children and insure they are in good health and eventually become part of the nation's economy?
Not implemented yet smile.png

I think I should have called this TechDemo instead of a prototype, would be less confusing smile.png

 

I know, check this web version of my much older (but quite playable) prototype:

http://silverlemur.com/minigames/industrialrevolution/

I plan to go a bit different route (for example separating the country into individual regions and removing land concept), but yeah, it should convey the mood and mechanics I aim for much better than the .exe version.

 

 

 


I'm also a bit unsure where you are headed with the overall design.
You know, it's a brainstorming topic. I want to reevaluate my overall design (so I prefer to avoid answering this yet), instead I would like to listen what overall design you see emerging from the current map+production system+theme.

 

 

 

You could have an overlay panel that can be switched on/off at the botom, but that isn't concurrent with other menus. Then replace text with icons, making it more intelligible. That way, you give the player the ability to display all of the resources when they believe they need it. I think a common misconception in design is to make assumptions for the player. A number of UI awards have been granted to games that actually allow the user to decide what they need to see.

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!