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Game Design Theory: Smartphone MMO Strategy Game

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I know that some/many people see smartphone/web-browser MMO strategy games as shallow, no real strategy/tactics involved, cheap, Pay2Win, and such. This ranges from Evony, Clash of Clans, Ikariam, to Townsmen, to others less popular ones. But, are they ?? Well, some probably are. And some might not.
(No, we're not talking about the God-awful Dungeon Keeper for smartphone game.)
 
I think that smartphone strategy is just different. And so we have to treat it as such. Can't compare it to other sub-genre of strategy.
 
 
Examples
  • Starcraft2 is anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours per match. Once you get up from your computer, it's over. There's a winner and there's a loser/defeated. Then, next game, it's start from scratch again.
  • Civilization series is more grand scheme. A game could easily take days and weeks(or months ?) to come to conclusion. But once you get up from your computer, the whole thing is paused. Until you return back to it. And eventually, it's over. And then next game you start, it's back to square one, again.
 
So, what's smartphone strategy game is like ?
 
It's a strategy games that do not wait for you. Off-line time IS part of the strategy. Utilizing the 8 hours you sleep to the most efficient you can is how you gain advantages over other players who do not. Because, at the core of most Strategy games, it's about gaining advantages. (building workers to quickly improve your cities, picking researches that will enhanced your play-style, building 2nd base near resources and such.)
 
So, this means, that, smartphone strategy games, have the POTENTIAL to be of much larger scheme of epic scale than any other strategy games we have ever seen before.
 
Instead of having you play it for a few hours straight like Starcraft and Civilization, smartphone strategy games have you spend a short amount of time per session, but more frequent. You know, 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there, 20 more minutes here. Throughout the whole day !!
 
Now, this might get in the way of your *gasp* life *gasp* if you are a busy person. Then this kind of games most likely not gonna suit you so much. (this is just me pulling shlt outta my arse, don't hate me.) But for others who have the time in between your other activities, this could be thing you're looking for. Something that will keep your interest for months. Of course, it will be different from MMORPG or Dragon Age or Mass Effect that get you hooked for a week or two, then bring you back now and then and again for 3-4 months.
 
Smartphone strategy games could be something that lingers on the back of your mind the whole time! Think of the good old days of Ragnarok Online, and you spent the time you weren't playing the game, planning out what to do when you play it. Where to go level next. Glast Heim ? What kind of build will your Acolyte go ? Priest or Monk ? What MVPs will you camp or what rare items will you go collect next ? Smartphone strategy games could bring back that addiction. If you never played Ragnarok Online, just think of Runescape or WoW, I guess. or, Eve Online.
 
Of course................... assuming that the game is good, to begin with.
 
 
Well, now that we know this genre could be good, how do we build it and make it great ?
 
The formula of Clash of Clans is a good one, although it's been cloned to death, now. So, we need to innovate it. Make it better and fresher and different, though still based on similar formula.
 
For this I draw many inspirations from other games.
Edited by PyrZern

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Though first off, let's break down the elements of Clash of Clans.

 

Tada, your Village. Needless to say, this screen is about half of your gaming time. Base layout is super important. And it offers great variety. You can focus your defense on your Resources, or on your Townhall. Or on both to a lesser degree. And this is thank to the resource raiding mechanics. On the other hand, Boom Beach, another game by SuperCell, has no concept of raiding resource. When you attack other player' base, you have to win by destroying the HQ. Thus eliminating major game concept of what to protect.

 

Clash-Of-Clans-Hack.jpg

 

 

So, I want players to be able to build their village, and setting up defenses. But, it's been done so many times over.

 

But I also want it to be more strategic. Let's say Command and Conquer series. There are so many targets to attack in that game. You can cripple their resource gathering. Or destroy their power plants, which will render some defenses offline, slow down unit production and disabling radar/minimap so you can launch another surprise attack somewhere else..

 

What if.... what if we put in characters as resources as well ?  In Clash of Clans, you get multiple builders so you can have multiple buildings upgraded at the same time. (Boom Beach only allows 1 building at a time). Armory or Research building is its own things as well. So it's like another builder that only build Upgrades for your units. Altar or Magic Factory also is its own builder, that builds its own spells.

 

Now, say, we give players 5 characters to start off. Players can assign some of them to gather resources, and one to build a building. Or maybe three of them to build a bigger building that would require longer time alone. Research would also require a character to man the research table as well.

 

Players can also send out some of those characters to raid other player's village for resources.  Let me brainstorm base layout / defense with the character idea.

 

maxresdefault.jpg

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There are some nice turn-based strategy phone games, including tycoon games like Game Dev Story.  Games like Pandemic are also strategy games that work well on phones and have no relation to offline time.  Not to mention many RPG-strategy hybrids which have turn-based combat or tactical turn-based combat.

 

Personally I think tying any single-player game to offline time is a gimmick - because it's not common it can make a game seem a little unique, most notably in the case of Animal Crossing, but ultimately it's either annoying or addictive in an unpleasant way, depending on the player's personality.

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Oh crap, I forgot to mention I will focus on MMO strategy games. Luckily, this forum is awesome in that it allows me to re-title the thread myself without admin help. Awesome.

 

@sunandshadow That's a really good point there actually. I am playing Dragon Age: Inquisition; and I'm not super sure yet what I feel about the War Table. I like it that it's something extra there. But also it's kind of annoying that I have to go back to Haven/Skyhold so often, and God, the loading time. (teleport back, loading screen, fast travel to the hall, loading time, run to the war table, enter the room, loading time, leave the room, loading time.) I'm still early in the game so I don't know about later on, but most missions are quite short and that it forces me to return early and often. And there isn't any long mission for when you logoff for the night.

Edited by PyrZern

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Ah, MMO strategy games are a bit different.  I haven't seen too many successful strategy MMOs, but the ones I have seen have all been restarting server games - a new server opens somewhere between every month and every year to level the playing field and allow players to start building all over again if they have already used up most of the game's building-related play.  A strategy MMO could be a sandbox MMOsim like A Tale In The Desert, or it could be a real-time based empire building wargame (e.g. Evony), or it could be a game with a mostly single-player PvE pet capturing and breeding aspect and a tactical (if pets are used as units) or CCG (if pets are used as cards) PvP dueling system.

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Now, this might get in the way of your *gasp* life *gasp* if you are a busy person. Then this kind of games most likely not gonna suit you so much.
You seem to be missing what MMO stands for, Massively. 
Most MMO players are casual gamers, with work and some scrap of a social life.
 
The fact is unless you can somehow provide for your game with out players paying, you will NEED those casual gamers. Thy are the ones who pay for a subscription and thy are the ones who buy stuff at the store, and yes thy are the ones who only get 2-4 ours a day to play and could mostly benefit from a game that can play it self when thy cant.
 
The actual game play sounds good.
If you use time based game play you should provide some way to make up for lost time, most players can't play every day.
I quitted Clash of Clans after attending a seminar for a weak, there was no way that I could catch up to my friends.
Now we all play Cardhunter, no penalty for missing a day or two.
 
Don't allow players to speed up build time by paying with real money, people will be discouraged from doing this in fear of being called cheaters.
 
Remember that most paying customers work and cant play at work.

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Maybe try a different look at strategy, maybe high level strategy. As you said, offline time is key. I'd use this to field the best army you can, not just resources but refining (upgrading resources), unit construction, unit refining (upgrading with items and training), use of veteran units (to train new units or upgrade into command units as a teamed combat unit) and researching new tech. Like most touch screen games these choices are made during play then a time tells the player how long until these choices are available.

 

Online gameplay, intelligence (after fielding spies and recon units) the player uses these units to identify threats at the location their sovereign (commander, government, corporate head, etc) is requesting them to ascertain. A rough estimate (based on quality of recon units) of enemy activity indicates the position's level of risk. Battle. Split into offensive and defensive. Defensive starts with dropping start positions for combat units choosing targets to defend and patrol paths. This is passive gameplay for other players to challenge. Offensive combat has the player dropping units start positions creating a primary and secondary objectives as well as a drawn path of attack. Units automaticly follow paths to achieve objectives. During combat play the player can choose their units and activate skills (special abilities). Obviously the aim is to win combat. My addition (units that aren't killed are captured and can be converted over time) making stealth and speed the key. After combat the player fields their next army.

 

Combat locations are based on match making and resource requirements.

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Now, this might get in the way of your *gasp* life *gasp* if you are a busy person. Then this kind of games most likely not gonna suit you so much.
You seem to be missing what MMO stands for, Massively. 
Most MMO players are casual gamers, with work and some scrap of a social life.
 
The fact is unless you can somehow provide for your game with out players paying, you will NEED those casual gamers. Thy are the ones who pay for a subscription and thy are the ones who buy stuff at the store, and yes thy are the ones who only get 2-4 ours a day to play and could mostly benefit from a game that can play it self when thy cant.
 
The actual game play sounds good.
If you use time based game play you should provide some way to make up for lost time, most players can't play every day.
I quitted Clash of Clans after attending a seminar for a weak, there was no way that I could catch up to my friends.
Now we all play Cardhunter, no penalty for missing a day or two.
 
Don't allow players to speed up build time by paying with real money, people will be discouraged from doing this in fear of being called cheaters.
 
Remember that most paying customers work and cant play at work.

 

 

I know what MMO stands for tongue.png I have been both casual and hardcore players as well. I think it also depends on the lifestyle, not just free time available. I could be busy all day long except 3 hrs at night, which then I could play WoW or Mass Effect just fine. But might not be best to play Clash of Clans because I don't want have small time during the day to check it back often.

 

Microtransaction going to have to be in the game, yeah, that's how the game will generate revenue. No question. I think this is how Guild Wars 2 done right. Cosmetic items and vertically progress. Also, Boom Beach provides players with free Gems daily. Not a big amount, but enough to speed things up here and there now and then and again sometimes ;P . So, in Boom Beach, utilizing free Gem is also part of the  strategy. (how to best use limited resources to speed some certain things up)  

 

I will have to think more about that obviously.

 

 

 

Maybe try a different look at strategy, maybe high level strategy. As you said, offline time is key. I'd use this to field the best army you can, not just resources but refining (upgrading resources), unit construction, unit refining (upgrading with items and training), use of veteran units (to train new units or upgrade into command units as a teamed combat unit) and researching new tech. Like most touch screen games these choices are made during play then a time tells the player how long until these choices are available.

 

Online gameplay, intelligence (after fielding spies and recon units) the player uses these units to identify threats at the location their sovereign (commander, government, corporate head, etc) is requesting them to ascertain. A rough estimate (based on quality of recon units) of enemy activity indicates the position's level of risk. Battle. Split into offensive and defensive. Defensive starts with dropping start positions for combat units choosing targets to defend and patrol paths. This is passive gameplay for other players to challenge. Offensive combat has the player dropping units start positions creating a primary and secondary objectives as well as a drawn path of attack. Units automaticly follow paths to achieve objectives. During combat play the player can choose their units and activate skills (special abilities). Obviously the aim is to win combat. My addition (units that aren't killed are captured and can be converted over time) making stealth and speed the key. After combat the player fields their next army.

 

Combat locations are based on match making and resource requirements.

 

 

Good point there man. Since I really like utilizing these characters(heroes), I think of games like Original Wars and/or Battle Realms. Those heroes can man different building and become different type of units. So, they can have levels and skills and traits. 

 

For example;

 

Heroes

Name: Pyrasia   Level: 8 (gained exp from doing activities like chopping down woods and researching metallurgy)

Skills: Mining 3 | Alchemy 1 | Building 2 | Raiding 4 | Leading 3 | Intellect 4 | etc etc

Traits: Swift (more around faster especially in raiding), Strong (construct buildings faster & gain advantage in melee combat)

 

Name: Artharas   Level: 4

Skills: Leading 5 | Farming 3 | Patrol 2 | 

Traits: Leadership (more soldiers under command in combat), Alert (fast to detect intruders in the village).

 

Say, players start off the games with 4 - 5 of low level heroes. You can then train them up to how you like. Some might even have random starting traits as a bonus. Some might be better at researching new technology (high Intellect stats, maybe ?). That way, some heroes are not for combat at all, so players can't just send out all 5 heroes to attack someone. (well, he/she could, but risk getting weak heroes captured or killed by defenders).

 

Heroes come and heroes go. So, they can get killed, which will set you back a bit, but you can recruit a new one to replace. (like, pick a new one out of a pool of 4 different heroes.)

 

When a hero is captured in combat (or raid). 

The defender player can do the following task.

  • Put the captured hero on hold for 3 days for ransom from attacking player. (ransom can be paid in ingame Gold, or Gem.) This action requires a prison be built first. Attacking players can attempt to raid the prison to break captured hero free. (or to get more captured)
  • torture the capture hero (utilizing a hero of his own during that time, say 1 day, to be able to attack the attacker's village directly without relying on matchmaker.)
  • convince captured hero to join. takes 2 days and utilize a hero during which time.
  • Ransom can be paid by attacker at anytime even if the torture is underway.

 

I am also debating about player's progress in the game if it can be set back.

In most smartphone mmo strategy games, the only setback you will face is lost of resources and troops. Your buildings don't stay destroyed after losing a battle. Though in games like Civ and Starcraft, you gonna get your cities and buildings wrecked, and you just gonna have to come back stronger than before.

 

So, what kind of 'attacks' can players do to one another ??

  • Raiding another player's village for Resources [gold, lumbers, minerals, foods, etc] (depends on which building your heroes go into during a raid).
  • -----> This will be only resources setback. Though could be a hero setback too if one is captured. (raiders can overpower a weaker defender)
  • attacking another player's offsite camp [player can send out heroes to set up offsite resources camp, which will send back resources. This camp doesn't drain the onsite resources in the village . But it means you are lowering the defense of your village for more resources gain. Heroes take some food away from village to the offsite camps, so it's a food -> mineral/lumbers trade over time.]
  • ------> resources setback. Smaller amount. But also safer for attackers.
  • attacking another player's village. 
  • -------> Need more time to think of the setback here......

 

 

 

Resources Raiding.

 

Say, attacker sends 3 heroes out to raid another player's village.

The target village has following buildings around the village.

  • Citadel (the HQ building. Dunno what to gain from raiding this yet.)
  • Prison (raid this to free prisoners.)
  • Watchtower (intruders entering the vicinity will alert all nearby defender's heroes to intercept.) | (raiding an empty watchtower will lower defender's heroes respond time to intercept)
  • Granary (raid this for stored Food.)
  • Warehouse (raid this for store lumbers and irons, etc.)
  • Marketplace (raid this for gold)
  • Mines,Lumber-mill,Farms (raid these for smaller amount of iron, woods and foods. but safer than warehouse or granary due to being located further away from the village)
  • Alchemist Huts (raid this for research points)
  • Armory (raid this to lower enemy's attack and defense power by 10-20% for the next 24 hrs. [before you you go to war with them or something] )

 

Defending against Raid

 

This is prepared ahead of time, because you will get raided when you are offline only.

  • Watchtower will alert nearby heroes to intercept intruders.
  • Hero working at the lumber-mill during the day will be sleeping close to the lumber-mill. (raid is night-time) So, lumbermill will be harder to raid for attacker (unless multiple raiders overpower the defender)
  • in theory, a player doesn't have enough heroes to guard every building, so something will be easy to be raided. (smart players will use up that resources when he/she's offline for long period, though)
  • Player can put heroes on Guard/Patrol duty. They will not generate any resource/research, but they will be useful if player is raided against. Heroes on guard/patrol duty will also gain levels faster than heroes working on resources.
  • can build barricades, traps, campfires, and torch-lights during the day.
  • still brain-storming ideas.
Edited by PyrZern

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Warlords, Tributes, and Protection.

 

At start of the game, and every week afterward, player can choose to pay Tribute to one of the Twelve A.I. Local Warlords for protection.

  • Tribute is ingame Gold.
  • The Warlord you pay tribute to will reinforce your village for that week with 1 or 2 extra Guard/Patrol AI Heroes. (can't put them to work)
  • You also receive Warlord bonus and penalty, different depending on which Warlord it is. (extra Gold per hour, less Science production, faster Scout, etc etc)
  • If your Village is raided or attacked while you're under warlord protection, the AI will send you Aide (food, lumber, or iron, or w/e, depends on which Warlord), as well as send an AI attack against the attacker's village.
  • Warlord's bonus isn't big, but the penalty to is. So that players will stop paying tribute after they become strong enough.
  • Player can attack each and every Warlord for resources as part of single player campaign. You can no longer start paying tribute to that warlord for protection afterward. Same is true for raiding/attacking another player's village under warlord's protection.
  • So, if you keep raiding, soon no warlord will not stand by your side. In the beginning, you should choose which Warlords you want to keep around longer than others.
  • The Warlords you have conflict with will sometimes attack your Village. Until he/she is completely destroyed.
  • Think of Clash of Clans but with 12 branches to the Goblin Villages.

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Heroes, Weapons, and Combat

 

Each Hero has soldiers following. More soldiers = more powerful in combat. In peace time, the following soldiers are workers, so work gets done faster or more efficient.

 

By default, each Hero controls 500 folks. And that is 100% work efficiency. At certain level ups or specific traits, Hero can controls 550, or 600 or more folks. So, something like 10% extra bonus or something of the sort.

 

In combat, Hero with more soldiers deal more damage. Hero with 0 soldier left will flee the battle scene, or get captured. Soldiers will use the same weapon as the Hero. Hero's weapon is crafted, looted or bought.  After combat, Heroes take time to slowly replenish amount of soldiers under command.

 

  • Short-Range Melee weapons - Sword / Axe / Mace
  •        Sword is balanced. Axe has high damage to enemies. Mace deals extra dmg to building and armored target.
  • Long-Range Melee weapons - Spear / Chain
  •        Spear deals extra dmg to creatures (dragons and monsters. Yes!!), but weaker against short-range weap. Chain is a bit weak, but slows down target it hits
  • Ranged weapons - Bow / Crossbow
  •        Bow has longer range. xBow has higher dmg and bonus to armored target.
  • Magic-based weapons - Staff / Orb
  •        Staff has longer range than Orb, but longer cooldown.

 

Weapons unlock over research. So player isn't overwhelmed by the choices right at the beginning. Only Sword and, Bow are available at first.

Edited by PyrZern

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Why smartphones? It makes no sense, just make it browser based and it will be used by various devices (my MMOs were designed for desktop yet I see a very significant number of players from various mobile phones, even for games where I have zero support of these, nowadays - with huge smatphones screens - it's almost no difference to the user it seems). Two things to remember: include some mode to disable pictures (I dunno why but the players frequently asked me to do it :)) and do not rely on tooltips only (you can't see these on mobiles).

 

 

I can't resist this opportunity to dump links to some of my MMOs :) Feel free to examine them (note some of these are online for 9 years now, so they do have some survival traits you might want to copy). Especially observe how the social/group behaviour was mixed with the traditional gameplay without giving the feel of a "Farmville".

 

http://www.lordsgame.com/ (notice the small "smartphone" button at the very top, click it to switch between smartphone/desktop mode)

http://europe1300.eu/

http://www.samuraimmorpg.com/

http://www.moonstone-rpg.com/

 

 

What worries me is lack of any sort of "social" components in your posts (what players do with/to other players). If you are going to make the game just as if you were making a singleplayer/multiplayer PC game you will fail... MMOs are a completely different beasts, yes they share some things, but a single/multi strategy and MMO strategy is soo different it's almost a different genre.

 

Also you need to answer yourself the question if the game is going to be everlasting (incredibly hard to make a strategy game that way, better for RPGs) or will have rounds/eras/ages (periodic wipeaut - it allows very nice mechanics to be introduced and overall strategy is much more meaningful then).

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@Acharis Hey there !! I think that's really a good point you've got there about web-browser vs smartphone app. I will discuss about it in a sec. Also, about the social aspect or the MMO part of it as well. Thanks for the links, btw :) Alas, I wouldn't want a server wipe/reset so often. But if I can think of something like a Replay+ where player can sort of restart but with small advantages each time. Hmmm...

 

This game.... Gahhh, I need to come up with a prototype name at least, I suppose I have to balance it out so that players don't gain advantage for being online for long period of time. Instead, the advantage should come from how often the player comes online.

  • In many MMO smartphone strategy games, the player cannot be attacked while they are online (unless it's over 8hrs or something). That way the player is rewarded extra protection time by being online... Something smartphone user will have disadvantages for running out of phone battery, while webbrowser can stay online for the whole day.

I suppose I can have it so that player's village can be raided at anytime, offline or not. It doesn't make much different if player's offline. So, yeah, sure. Web-browser is fine :) Also, I can release Graphic assets for players to download, so images are loaded from their hard-drive instead (save up bandwidth and loading time.)

 

 

The Social Aspect aka the MMO

  • Player can Scout, Raid and Attack other players' village. (via matchmaking)
  •         In retaliation, captured scout, raider and attackers can be tortured so a direct-counter attack can be launched. (as well as counter-raid)
  •         The 12 warlords will also give player quest to raid/attack other players' villages under other warlords' protection.
  • At certain level/research, a Player can join up with one of the 3 Kingdoms/factions, which will go to War with another; weekly war time or something. Each player can contribute Heroes to passively participate in the war, raising that Kingdom's war effort. Reward gets distributed to each player per week.
  •         Once a player belong to a kingdom, player can no longer raid players in the same faction.
  •         Note that a player can switch faction after some time, with a single-player quest or something.
  • Players can then form guilds as long as they belong to the same Kingdom.
  • Each guild can also participate in the Kingdom Warfare, but with better reward and organization. Each guild is given task to attack other kingdom's strongholds. Players will coordinate the attack themselves.
  • Each guild can get a hold of Guild Stronghold as well. (if players can defend their stronghold, each member gets reward)
  • Players in the same guild can Hire extra guards/patrols or attackers  from the guild. (funding goes to the guild)
  • There will be trading in the game. Players can trade resources with other players especially those in the same guild.
  • There will also be side mission for guild to complete. Think of it like single-player campaign, but with guild effort.

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Attacking Soldiers that survive the attack; go home alive or lost forever

 

In many smartphone strategy games, deployed soldiers onto the battlefield are gone afterward, even if the battle is won and they actually survive through it. This might be to ensure that there's more to it than just 'deploy every best soldier and swarm the enemy with great number' strategy, or lack there of. This is also used as a gold sink for players as well as removing resource from the game and slowing down player's progress. It also encourage players to spend Gem (real money) to speed up troops training time.

 

Though I think there are better way to make this work without getting rid of those soldiers.

  • It should cost money to deploy each soldier, not just cost to launch an attack. That means you can deploy large forces if you want to/or need to, but you will spend that much more resources as well. And you might not get enough back (plundered loots/rewards) to justify the cost of the attack.
  • There could be Rest time for each deployed soldier. During which time, they could be just flat out 'unavailable to deploy'.
  • ------ Or they could still be deployed but with injuries sustained from previous engagement.
  • ------ or both resting time and then recovery time.
  • The resting time could be determined by how long the soldiers were in the previous battle. The recovery time depends on how much damaged/injured they are.
  • This would also mean that your own base/village is more vulnerable to other players' attack after you attack someone.
Edited by PyrZern

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Back.  I spent some time testing it out on Pen n Paper board game.

 

I'm going to switch from 12 Warlords to 12 Deities instead; and here're why.

  • Make more sense. Why have 12 warlords AND 3 factions. Usually one would destroy the other.
  • Make benefits/bonus of picking one more powerful.
  • Sending Aid is more interesting as well.
  • So is Revenge Attack.

So, say, out of those 12 deities, some are God of Earth, Goddess of Sky. Goddess of Fire. God of Water, etc etc etc.

 

Worshiping God of Earth

  • Extra Farming/Harvesting Yields 
  • Extra Mining Yields
  • Trees grow back faster
  • If Raided, your attacker suffer Penalty to Farming and Mining for 48hrs.

Worshiping Goddess of Sky

  • Champions with Ranged-Weapons get extra damage and range.
  • Generate Research Points faster
  • Faster Scouting (clear Sky)
  • During Raided/Attacked, the attacker's soldiers get randomly thunder-struck. 

Worshiping Goddess of the Moon

  • Champions require less Resting time.
  • During Raided, your defending champions get bonus to line of sight. (Full Moon for them)

After Worshiping a certain deity for a week, player receives a specific Gemstone/Crystal related to that deity. With enough Crystals, players can build Altars/Temples to greatly enhance benefits. Players also receive Crystal from raiding other players under protection of deity, or destroy other players' altars/temples.

 

With Temples/Altars built, players can have champions actively work at the buildings for greater benefits. 

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Why smartphones? It makes no sense, just make it browser based and it will be used by various devices (my MMOs were designed for desktop yet I see a very significant number of players from various mobile phones, even for games where I have zero support of these, nowadays - with huge smatphones screens - it's almost no difference to the user it seems). Two things to remember: include some mode to disable pictures (I dunno why but the players frequently asked me to do it smile.png) and do not rely on tooltips only (you can't see these on mobiles).

 

 

I can't resist this opportunity to dump links to some of my MMOs smile.png Feel free to examine them (note some of these are online for 9 years now, so they do have some survival traits you might want to copy). Especially observe how the social/group behaviour was mixed with the traditional gameplay without giving the feel of a "Farmville".

 

http://www.lordsgame.com/ (notice the small "smartphone" button at the very top, click it to switch between smartphone/desktop mode)

http://europe1300.eu/

http://www.samuraimmorpg.com/

http://www.moonstone-rpg.com/

 

 

What worries me is lack of any sort of "social" components in your posts (what players do with/to other players). If you are going to make the game just as if you were making a singleplayer/multiplayer PC game you will fail... MMOs are a completely different beasts, yes they share some things, but a single/multi strategy and MMO strategy is soo different it's almost a different genre.

 

Also you need to answer yourself the question if the game is going to be everlasting (incredibly hard to make a strategy game that way, better for RPGs) or will have rounds/eras/ages (periodic wipeaut - it allows very nice mechanics to be introduced and overall strategy is much more meaningful then).

 

Though depending on how game will be tailored , web based games are theoretically platform agnostic but in reality have several issues. First of all, it is nightmare to maintain browser support (especially if you intend to include prehistoric Android browsers as well) , also performance hit occurs in comparison to native app.

 

If it will be something like Clash of Clans or so (where a map involves) ie heavy canvas usage , it is wiser to check wrappers like CocoonJS , Titanium Appcelerator etc. as they also allow you to use sensors, HTML Device APIs aren't widely used atm.

 

On my own, because my game is mostly a browser game (glorified spreadsheet) , I am ok with semi-liquid responsive design atm. But in time, I'll have to use a wrapper or have native platform specific apps because there is another issue of assets, if assets are tens of MBs , web isn't the best way to serve for smartphones. This is why my initial plan is simple wrapper with asset manager where game can get assets from app and then native apps if needed.

 

PS : I think they ask you to disable images either because of limited bandwidth (GPRS/EDGE) or design inconsististincies.

Edited by Unduli

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