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Acharis

Fleets with personality & no micromanagement (4X)

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It's for a turn based space empire building 4X game. The major goal is reduction of micromanagement and makeing the player not thinking in terms of individual ships but whole formations.

 

 

Fleets

The player forms a fleet and appoints an admiral, it pops up on the home world and consists of one flotilla made of 4 squadrons (no actual ships yet). A fleet has a special crest, can have perks, experience, special trainings, unique abilities, history, officers, attached units, etc, etc. These are shared among all ships of the fleet. The player can have up to 8 fleets total.

 

Flotillas & squadrons

Fleet is an abstract thing, it does not appear on the map. Only flotillas appear and you move only flotillas. There are 4-12 squadrons in a fleet (at the beginning all in the first flotilla), you can split a flotilla anytime by deciding how many squadrons you want to move to the new flotilla. Flotillas can also merge anytime. But only flotillas OF THE SAME FLEET (can't merge flotillas of fleet A and fleet B).

 

How fleets are used (operational level)

The first flotilla of a fleet always houses the admiral (there is a star on that flotilla's icon) and it's the HQ of the fleet. Since a fleet can be divided into up to 12 flotillas it's quite a big and flexible formation able to conquer several systems simultaneously, the thing is all flotillas need to operate within a certain radius of the HQ flotilla (admiral) or face penalties (poor communication with the fleet commander). So, while you could move flotillas all over the map, in practice you want them to stick more or less together (like fleet A defends the north while fleet B defends the south).

 

Ships

I don't want the player to think in terms of ships, so these are never displayed on the map, also information about them is limited, also they are abstracted. To build a ship you go to fleet panel and click Build/Add (yes, inside a fleet, not a shipyard). Then a desired ship will be sent to that fleet from the nearest base or built and then sent (route is hidden/abstracted, they player can see only ETA). Similarly, if you want to remove a ship from a fleet you click Remove and that ship will be sent back to the base (you can't send it directly to another fleet, it first needs to go to the base where they will change the insignia on the hull to mach the insignias of the other fleet :D).

 

How ships are allocated within a fleet

The player has NO SAYING on how it's done, it's all automatic. All ships that are assigned to a fleet are redisributed evenly among all squadrons (the squadrons that have least ships getting them first). The player can only click on a flotilla and examine all squadrons (but can't do anything about it).

 

 

 

What you think?

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The player has NO SAYING on how it's done, it's all automatic. All ships that are assigned to a fleet are redisributed evenly among all squadrons (the squadrons that have least ships getting them first). The player can only click on a flotilla and examine all squadrons (but can't do anything about it).

Unless there is a crazy reason why the player should not have any control I believe this would be a mistake. 

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Ships

I don't want the player to think in terms of ships, so these are never displayed on the map, also information about them is limited, also they are abstracted. To build a ship you go to fleet panel and click Build/Add (yes, inside a fleet, not a shipyard).

 

If they can't think in terms of ships, see ships on the map, or examine much information about ships, why let the player build them?  It seems like the filming of the show Finding Bigfoot -- you won't find or see a Bigfoot (ships in your case), but you still have to drag your production gear out into the woods to let some knucklehead talk about Bigfoot like it is the most important damned thing in the world.

 

I sense a disconnect.

 


How ships are allocated within a fleet

The player has NO SAYING on how it's done, it's all automatic.

 

Why does the player want to build ships, then?  Again, you can't think about them, see them, read about them, and don't even DREAM about allocating them!  biggrin.png I know, I'm being a goon and making light of this part of your idea, but, if ships aren't the focal point, abstract all of this out.  Don't even mention ships.  Only have the player worried about the fleet level or flotilla or gaggle. 

 

I would like to be more helpful.  Your description of the various levels of abstracted ships really confuses me, though.  They may very well be naval terms but I find them off-putting in that way that makes me dislike WoW jargon and acronyms in the workplace.

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I create often too complex design and start simplifing it quite drastically later on
This concept is the one that got simplified drasticly already :D Imagine the original concept :D

 

I could easily get rid of squadrons (they are mostly for aestetic fluff) and replace them with percentages (Flotilla #1 has 70% ships and Flotilla #2 has 30%). Also, I woudl rather get rid of ships than fleets and flotillas.

 

Unless there is a crazy reason why the player should not have any control I believe this would be a mistake.
Actually, there is a crazy reason. I hate these individual ships that move around, I hate the way games make me thing like some accountant instead of an emperor. So IT'S PERSONAL :D

 

But as for control, the player has control, but on the fleet level, not flotilla/squadron. The player says how many ships of what kind there are in the fleet and then these are auto distributed among lower level formations.

 

I'm wondering if at this level of abstraction you shouldn't have flotillas which are dealing with sectors (or subsectors), composed of fleets with distinct costs and abilities (fast attack, bombard, support, etc.) and ditch ships altogether.
Yeah... Tempting :) I suppose in the alpha I would ommit ships and just make flotills.

But ships have some advantages, it makes simulation so much easier (otherwise I would need to introduce some HP of flotillas and upgrade and other non intuitive things). Also what about ship design and research? Plus, I suppose a player expects to have some ships if he/she runs a space empire :D

 

Still, yeah, no ships is compatible.

 

If they can't think in terms of ships, see ships on the map, or examine much information about ships, why let the player build them?
You can see them in the battle report (and thart's a big thing), the point is to build proper composition of ships to assure victory. You merely don't track how these move and can give only general orders to their placement (like 70% in the south, 20% in the north, 10% in reserve).

 

Your description of the various levels of abstracted ships really confuses me, though.
Hmmm... I will post it simplier way in a moment, tell me if it's still confusing.

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Since it was confusing I will tell you another story (forget the first post) :)

 

 

Once upon a time there was a space Emperor. He had 5 admirals:

- Red - the most brave one, all ships under his command dealt +10% damage

- Yellow - cunning and treacherous, all his ships had a chance for a first strike in battle and were immune to ambush

- Pink - the noble one, not that skilled but rich, all his ships were cheaper to maintain by 20% since he paid for it from his personal purse

- Green - master of defence, all shields on his ships had halved chance for breakdown

- Blue - machines maniac, all his ships were immediatelly repaired after battle

 

The Emperor gave Red adminal: 4 battle cruisers, 10 destroyers and 4 brand new destroyers; Yellow admiral got 2 battlecruisers, 20 outdated frigates and 6 destroyer.

 

Then Emperor ordered the Red admiral to make 3 red flotillas, the 1st red flotilla got 50% ships and the 2nd and 3rd red flotillas 25% each. The Yellow was to create 2 yellow flotillas of equal size 50% and 50%.

 

Then the imperial clerk make a fleet roster and concluded that the empire had:

* 1st Red Flotilla: 2 battle cruisers, 5 destroyers and 2 brand new destroyers

* 2nd Red Flotilla: 1 battle cruisers, 3 destroyers and 1 brand new destroyers

* 3rd Red Flotilla: 1 battle cruisers, 2 destroyers and 1 brand new destroyers

* 1st Yellow Flotilla: 1 battle cruisers, 10 outdated frigates, 2 destroyers

* 2nd Yellow Flotilla: 1 battle cruisers, 10 outdated frigates, 2 destroyers

at the disposal.

 

Then came bad aliens and were annihilated by the 5 admirals and the Emperor gave them medals and the Red one got to marry the imperial princess. And they lived happily ever after :)

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You can see them in the battle report (and thart's a big thing), the point is to build proper composition of ships to assure victory.

 

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but aren't you still talking about [Word for Lots o' Ships] rather than individual ships?

 

For instance, let's do a thought experiment that involves a game about electric guitars.  Electric guitars are my third favorite thing in the world, so I'd enjoy this game.  Anyway, let's say that you run a business that builds electric guitars.  Not surprisingly, these things of beauty are made of parts.  Lots of parts.  From chunks of wood to magnets -- even some plastic, metal, and wire!  The sum of these things makes your end product.

 

Certainly you can make different guitars from different combinations of parts and quality of components, but, in the end, you make guitars.  You don't create parts, you don't see parts, you don't allocate parts, you don't care about parts.  You care about finished guitars.

 

While this game isn't likely to be fun, it is focused on one product:  Guitars.  Not about controlling guitar parts (strings, knobs, cables, etc.)

 

If you are focusing on [Word for Lots o' Ships] rather than ships, don't make the player build ships.  Let them customize their guitars... errr, [Word for Lots o' Ships], but don't make them worry about the little things they can't even control or influence.

 

Again, I don't really know what your game is about, so take this advice with a grain of salt and the spirit of encouragement and good-humour with which it was given.

 

Since it was confusing I will tell you another story (forget the first post) smile.png

 

Sadly, I still don't get it.  I will respectfully refrain from making further comments to prevent my ignorance from shining too brightly!

 

Best of luck, though.  I'd love to play this game when it is complete.  I want to be a Yellow guy.

Edited by GoCatGo

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It does seem a bit confused still. On one hand you want to have the player design and build ships and on the other hand you don't want them to actually deal with ship assignment and use.
 
Why not let the admirals design and build their own ships in an abstract way that the player just sees the overall status of the fleet?
 
Once upon a time there were three admirals.
 
War Master Black - An elite fighter, who utilized the latest technology, surprise and stealth in all his battles.
The Yellow Lord of Char - Who knew every salvagers trick in the book and ruled a vast junk planet, he could push even the old ship to its limit and command vast armadas.
The Blue Eyed Mystic - Whose telepathic powers unlocked the potential of his crew, and devastated the enemy.  She preferred to stay safe behind vast shield walls while artillery ships laid down devastating bombardments.
 
The emperor allocated them each 100 points from the empires military capacity and commanded them to take the fight to the enemy.
 
War Master Black built a fleet three high tech war cruisers equipped with energy absorbing hulls, cloaking fields, an array of devastating weapons, and the fastest engine available.
The Yellow Lord of Char built a fleet of 50 refurbished drones, 10 strike craft, and 5 custom built cruisers with the latest weapons payload.
The Blue Eyed Mystic - Built a super carrier filled with fighter and bombers, 4 shield projector ships with gravity nets, and 2 heavy artillery ships able to inflect damage over a vast area.

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