• Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Campaign Structure Idea

This topic is 5930 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 am currently in the process of developing the campaign structure for our game "The Iridius Encounter" (www.legiongame.nl), and hence the mission design. But I''ve hit 2 minds about how I should do it. The first way I am thinking of is that each mission, though part of the greater campaign, is totally separate. Some missions might cross over, but generally they are separate levels. The second way I am thinking of doing it was inspired by Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles. In that cartoon, the war was the overall 40 episodes, but was split up into 5 "story arcs", mini-campaigns set on different planets. We are going to have between 25-30 missions, and I was thinking of doing it the second (but harder) way. I like the idea that the gameplay is split into 3: - The overall war operation on the planet, which the player contributes to. - The campaign, where they player and his squad are sent off to some part of the planet to accomplish a task that command has set out for them. - Missions, which are objectives of the campaign. Missions themselves are split down further into objectives, but all these are accomplished in that one setting. So, my idea is to make 5 or 6 small campaigns where the player must effect the outcome of the war (though failure is not a option. In the time-limit we have for development, having a theater of war is pretty hard if not impossible). For an example campaign, we have "Capture Alien Technology". That is the overall campaign, but its then split up into "Neutralize ground defenses", "Rescue the Sapper team who were downed coming to support you", "Clear air defenses", "Capture alien technology". That''s 4 missions, each with there own clear objectives. Of course, capturing alien technology helps in the overall war. After the next arc, they might get some new funky weapon, or defense against an alien weapon. They also get a little more background info about the overall war, so for those 4 missions the player is really in the dark about the background events. But all these events lead up to the final campaign in which the player takes part in. Though the story is linear, the idea is to let the player feel that they are part of a bigger picture, and they are not the only ones on the planet fighting the aliens, but that they are also just another squad - command just think of them as cannon fodder. Of course, the player will ALWAYS be at the front of the action. So that''s my idea anyway. Good? Bad? Anyone with suggestions on how to make the campaigns flow better (flow is the main problem I am having at the moment). Tane Piper Lead Designer - ZZICT Entertainment http://www.zzict.nl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
whoa!
this is one of the best game ideas i have seen in a while, i like the thing a lot, but maybe instead of having the plot completely linear, maybe the certain order in which you complete the mission can affect certain areas of the next while keeping the objective the same.

IE: You do a frontal assault on a base and take out all of the guards, and the next mission you have to do something at the same base, but security is beefed up because of the last attack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree that you should use the second idea I think, also, that you should write the tutorial you were talking about in "Articles and Proposals." You seem to know what your doing.

Good Luck.

Artificial intelligence is the devil... resist intelligent NPC''s


"He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster... when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you..."~Friedrich Nietzsche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
or, if you have a LOT of time on your hands, you could make the game less linear:
(1) allow the player to pick from a few different campaigns, and play one of them. the other two or three choices can be put off until later, or attempted by the player''s allies (not necessarily with tons of AI, just randomly figure out if they completed the mission, or whatever).
(2) don''t make a failed mission automatically end the campaign. perhaps if they mess up on mission two of a campaign, mission three will be harder, or a less-wonderful reward will be given when they finish the campaign. also, don''t make a failed campaign automatically lose the war. if the player doesn''t get the alien technology, they either have to do without for the next few campaigns, or try again later.
what do you think?

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by krez
or, if you have a LOT of time on your hands, you could make the game less linear:
(1) allow the player to pick from a few different campaigns, and play one of them. the other two or three choices can be put off until later, or attempted by the player's allies (not necessarily with tons of AI, just randomly figure out if they completed the mission, or whatever).
(2) don't make a failed mission automatically end the campaign. perhaps if they mess up on mission two of a campaign, mission three will be harder, or a less-wonderful reward will be given when they finish the campaign. also, don't make a failed campaign automatically lose the war. if the player doesn't get the alien technology, they either have to do without for the next few campaigns, or try again later.
what do you think?

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)



I'd love to make the game less linear, but unfortuantly time IS really pressing. Each mission has be designed, then coded then tested by a VERY small team who are all busy with there own jobs on the game, so it sucks. The A.I. coder works with me sometimes on the design side, but then he doesn't get the full time he needs.

Luckly, if we pull off this game, and there is a chance of a sequel, the nature of it already makes for a excellent dynamic mission structure (yes, I have already thought about the sequel


Tane Piper
Lead Designer - ZZICT Entertainment
http://www.zzict.nl

Edited by - Tane on November 23, 2001 3:58:55 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I think a great way to make it non-linear would be to make
it an MMO.
It''s kind of an idea by itself.
But instead of playing deathmatches versus a few people,
what if both armies are made entirely of gamers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wasn''t halo supposed to be like that?
how would you handle player death?

I like your multi-threaded campaign idea, you should run with it. Look at the X-Com series for some good ideas.

George D. Filiotis
Are you in support of the ban of Dihydrogen Monoxide? You should be!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the second idea.
Perhaps a fallback mission or two could be used to provide a little more variety (failure/partial failure in an offensive mission could result in the opponent having enough resources to mount a counter-attack, or the players side sending another squad to rescue the first). Fail to turn back the counter-attack, or rescue the squad, and it''s all over, sucessfully turn back the counter-attack and continue. Wouldn''t be a full theater of war, so should be easier to implement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been thinking of adding fallback missions. With the current campaign structure I have, there are only 17 missions, so that could give room for another 5-7 missions on top, and possibly some covert ops missions the player can CHOOSE to take.

Campaigns won't be multi-threaded, they all follow in chronological order to tell a story. There are missions I would LIKE to affect the overall campaign, like a stealth mission where you mustn't be spotted - if you are, the mission doesn't end, it just gets harder. I would have liked an option for the player to pull out at this point, and so not destory their objective leaving a gap that changes a future mission, but there is no option to fail the mission at this point in time due to time constraints.

As for death, when the player dies they have to restart the mission like most other games. The player will want to keep there character, as there is an element of player building.

For example, if they use the sniper rifle more than the rocket launcher, they will become better with the sniper rifle and more accurate overall.



Tane Piper
Lead Designer - ZZICT Entertainment
http://www.zzict.nl

Edited by - Tane on November 28, 2001 8:00:18 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I personally like how OPERATION FLASHPOINT did it, and maybe you could split up some of the the different missions as described below:
1) "campaign game" - i believe that on some of the missions, if it fails, the next mission changes a little bit. But in your case, just make them retry.

and..
2) "single missions" - Fun single player games such as COVERT OPS, Air-Support mission, armored-support missions, etc etc. Basically missions that you wouldnt/couldnt normally do "in character" during a campaign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok guys, here is a my more coherent and beefed up version of my idea. It goes over stuff already in this thread, but I hope it makes more sense.
===============================================================
The campaign/mission structure was inspired by Roughnecks: Starship Trooper Chronicles. In that cartoon, the war was the overall 40 episodes, but was split up into 5 "story arcs"; mini-campaigns set on different planets.

We are going to have between 20-25 missions, and the idea is that the plot and mission structure is split into 3.

- The overall war operation on the planet, which is the background story to the game. Everything that the player does contributes to this story.
- The campaigns, where they player and his squad are sent off to some part of the planet to accomplish a task that command has set out for them.
- Missions, which are separate objectives of the campaign.

Missions themselves are split down further into objectives, but all these are accomplished in that one setting.

So, my idea is to make 5 or 6 small campaigns where the player must effect the outcome of the war. So for an example campaign, we have "Capture Alien Technology". That is the overall campaign, but its then split up into "Neutralise ground defences", "Rescue the Support team who were shot down coming to support you", "Clear air defences", "Capture alien technology". That''s one campaign with 4 separate missions, each with there own clear objectives.

Of course, capturing alien technology helps in the overall war. So for example, after the next arc, they might get some new funky weapon, or defence against an alien weapon. They also get a little more background info about the overall war. For that entire campaign, the player is really in the dark about the background events. The final campaign though is the conclusion to the story, and the war - the player is a great hero.

Though the story is linear (each campaign will be chronological), mission events will affect later missions. For example, if you fail a mission to defend a communications tower, that will make a later mission harder - but it won''t change the overall plot, as the mission can still be achieved, they’re just harder. The idea is to let the player feel that they are part of a bigger picture, and they are not the only ones on the planet fighting the aliens, that they are also just another squad - command just think of them as cannon fodder. Of course, the player will ALWAYS be at the front of the action.

There will also be side missions that the player can choose to take, or that only become available due to an event in an earlier mission, but these won''t affect the overall story - they are just to add some more background plot.

We also have a stats-like system for the PC and NPC''s. For example, if the player uses a sniper rifle more than heavier weapons, they will become better at aiming weapons and more agile, compared to a bulkier player who uses heavy weapons


Tane Piper
Lead Designer - ZZICT Entertainment
http://www.zzict.nl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement