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suliman

How to make ww2 naval combat fun?

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This is similar to a previous topic i made but now more to the point:

I have a topdown ww2 naval adventure/rpg game with customization, quests and an (important) combat portion (see screenshot). The combat portion is a little too dull right now, and im thinking if i can save the project by spicing it up...

 

(Submarines and planes may be added but i want to work on making the ship-vs-ship more diverse first!)

 

What I have

Guns. You aim and try to hit other ships while controlling your own ship. Shoot too far or short and you hit water. Damage, rate of fire and range differ between guns. That's it.

 

Ideas to add

1. Rockets. Were mostly bombardment of shore installations historically, but maybe stretch reality a bit? Harder to hit (slower travelling) but deal more DPS if hitting? Longer range than guns? Separate aiming from guns.

 

2. Torpedoes. Might be too good in close combat, since its easy to get very close and just loose torpedoes on your enemy (movement is arcadish, like sid meiers Pirates!). Should deal lots of damage to tough, large ships but be harder to hit with compared to guns.

 

3. What else can be added? Some tech that came shortly after ww2 that i may squeeze into the fight for fun?

 

Comments, suggestions? I need to make combat more fun, or else i think the project wont work...

Thanks

Erik

Edited by suliman

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Heavy fog - shooting at ships that float in and out of view.

 

Ship sizes - Fighting your three or four ships of different sizes against three or four enemy ships of different sizes. Larger ships have more guns, shooting more projectiles with each barrage.

 

Projectiles hitting the back end of ships could do more damage (maybe x2.5) - adds an additional level of strategy, rearranging ships to try to flank enemies. Projectiles hitting front of ship could do less damage (unrealistic, but you could pretend they have extra armor at the front) - maybe x0.5 damage.

 

I like the idea of the rockets. In addition, you could also have special rockets that catch the decks on fire and burn heavily over time.

 

You could also add greek fire, and have one of your ships launch forward a line/trail of flames that float on top of the water and hurt any ship that go across it.

You could lay down floating mines (more in line with WW2, unlike greek fire).

 

You could do signal warfare - jamming their radio signals so they can't see you on the radar, or them jamming your signals so you can't see them - you'd have to find and destroy the ship that is the source of the jamming - that one ship would be very very apparent on the radar, but all their others would fade out (maybe only leaving greyed out points indicating their last known location).

 

Definitely add planes, because planes were one of the primary sources of ship-to-ship warfare in WW2.

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What about it isn't fun?  Just adding on more features may not be enough, if the core isn't any fun.

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How about turret rotation speed as a factor, so you can sail circles around an enemy boat so fast that his guns can't catch up to you?

 

Truth be told, it sounds pretty fun right now.  I don't know how the controls work, but if you're making it feel like an arcade game, could you have things like speed boosts in there?  What about "critical hits", due to either weapon type or a RNG proc, for hits that ignite the enemy's magazine or damage engines or weapons?

 

Naval warfare is often crazy long-range, so a distance fight might include some dodging or different mechanics to make it just as interesting as a close-up fight.

 

Can we cross the T?

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Try to utilize the setting. Your game is settled in the pacific, so have some combats where you have to carefully navigate around islands and while you keep track of your enemies. You could build in water streams which slow down or accelerate ships depending on their movement direction. You could include weather, especially storms / typhoons. If destroying an enemy doesn't feel pleasing enough, add more visual effects and better sounds. Are there multiple strategy to fight enemy ships? If not, then add strategies. Subdivide your ships into different sections with different functions. E.g. hitting the engine part will make the enemy ship immovable etc. You could include armor penetrating cannons which are especially good at kiling the functionalities of enemy ships, but however have other severe disadvantages. Actually, writing about this reminds me of the video game Star Trek Bridge Commander. It's more of a simulation game, but its combat system also deals with carefully manovering and strategically taking out certain functionalities of enemy ships.

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I'm with Penguin, not many boat games capture the true mistress of navel combat. The sea! Tides, weather, depth, waves. Push those little boats around a bit and let mother nature be the dice in the game. The navigation should be a challenge on its own. I can honestly say I don't know a lot about the topic of navigation at sea and learning more, bit by bit about the nuances through gameplay would be fun.

 

Adding skilled play in general beyond the shooting is important I think.  Creating skilled reloading of weaponry (timed event, rhythm based, etc). I watched the terrible movie Battleship recently. I must say exploring the different sized vessels and weaponry made the movie more interesting from a "naval tactics" perspective. 

 

Consider the chain of commander, have the player following the orders of a commodore and give that commander some character. Giving the player the sense that they are winning in the eyes of a mentor, beating the odds against authority, finding the third option, etc are all decent narratives for the player to feel like their actions have purpose. The other way to go with this is scoring and points.

 

Lastly I would consider giving the enemy some character through the AI and audio. Grabbing some authentic Japanese radio transmissions would be incredibly immersing. 

Edited by Mratthew

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cool stuff, thanks people!

Any more input and indeas are always welcomed!

Edited by suliman

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I agree  -- What isn't fun about this game?  To me it sounds difficult to not have fun playing something like this, particularly against a friend.

 

My suggestion would be to maybe think more about the simulation of the ship's movement.  Though I'm no sailor, I do know that maneuvering a ship isn't the easiest thing in the world, particularly during combat.  They don't accelerate, slow down, or make sharp turns well (at least the big boys).  That could definitely add some chaos to the combat.  Imagine currents, wakes, and player input all impacting movement.  It also makes weaker and more maneuverable ships viable in some situations.

 

Also...

 

Just a question -- do ships other than submarines have torpedoes?  I feel I should know this since my grandfather was in the Navy during WWII and my cousin was on a sub for five years.

 

Also also...

 

Love the screenshot!

Edited by GoCatGo

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PT boats, used in both WWI and WWII. Deadly little blighters. WWII hull was a racing boat design or planning-hull to move in fast do big damage to large vessels and bug out. The wiki has some interesting info about this type of ship. 

 

Queued way-point navigation mixed with on the fly steering and speed control to make evasive maneuvers could build a bit of complexity to the navigation.

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Many other types such as destroyers and cruisers had turnable racks launching torpedoes. But yes subs are most famous for it! Im thinking if ships are slower and more clumsy so closing in isnt so fast, torpedoes could work, gameplay-wise.

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