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Katie Byrne

F.O.B: Forward Operating Base

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F.OB: Forward Operating Base is a military themed base building and resource management game.

I am currently about 6 weeks into development. still implementing core game mechanics. The game is playable in a basic sense right now but there are no objectives or missions or anything motivating really lol. 

I have been inspired by games such as prison architect and rimworld. both in visual style and general gameplay ideas. Here is a quick 2 minute video i put together that hopefully communicates the general feel of the game and what gameplay is like. Any feedback or criticism is welcome :)
 

 
I have been keeping a development diary on my youtube channel and i hope to have more developments on this project very soon. 

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2018 - DOWNLOAD LINK FOR BUILD 0.38 AVAILABLE

So i decided to upload the current build. hopefully get some feedback.

Its still incredibly incomplete and poorly documented so please feel free to ask me any questions about how to do tihngs. I am working on better documentation and more intuitive interactions.

Any feedback would be a huge help. positive or negative. :)

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WpgO5h1nHyTh5AGYX7kxeC9qnDZ_ByAX


It's just a zipped Unity build. simply unzip and run the .exe no need to install anything :)

Oh yes, there will be bugs :P but please let me know if you find any and i'll do my best to fix them 

Edited by Katie Byrne
updating information

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Looks pretty cool! Not quite reflective of the experiences I had living on a FOB, but hey, this is supposed to be a game, not real life :) Keep it up, I think you'll do pretty well once you're ready to release.

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2 hours ago, slayemin said:

Looks pretty cool! Not quite reflective of the experiences I had living on a FOB, but hey, this is supposed to be a game, not real life :) Keep it up, I think you'll do pretty well once you're ready to release.

Thanks slayemin :D

Haha yes I can imagine my rendition deviates from reality significantly :P But as you say it's to make the game (hopefully lol) fun. I'd always be open to any suggestions about changes that could be made though :)
 

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I personally would make this game closer to reality and introduce some mechanics related to real life.

When a country goes to war, they don't enter a war when they're broke and have no resources. They invade with a massive, overwhelming military force. So, the economic system is backwards. Instead of resources being limited, you have an abundance of resources available for disposal.

I was stationed at Camp Fallujah, which was a former base occupied by the Iraqi Republican Guard, so there was a lot of infrastructure already in place. We had walls, builds, barracks, and a ton of other pre-existing infrastructure to fall in on. A lot of the infrastructure needed to be renovated (ie, wiring rerun, walls painted, buildings repaired, etc). The walls had guard towers placed about 200 meters apart and we had 24 hour watches, some guard towers being manned by third country nationals (outsourced to ugandan contractors). We also had entry control points (ECP's) manned jointly by US and Iraqi troops, and these were usually heavily fortified.

Another interesting idea is that you could choose which country you want to use as your nation. Each country could have different units and capabilities. Generally, a FOB will have lots of firepower, so attacking it directly is usually a mistake. But, there are often coordinated attacks at ECP's.

Indirect fire (mortars, rockets, artillery) can be a common source of casualties. I don't know how you can work this in.

Money comes once a year or once a quarter. The amount of money you get is a function of your host nations "political will" for continuing the war. Your actions influence the political will. Losing a lot of troops reduces it, having victories increases it, creating propaganda increases it, etc.

Command staff usually get a morning briefing about the battlefield situation. Usually every battle staff section goes through and gives a report. They're usually the following:
G1 - Staffing and administration
G2 - Intelligence reports (human intelligence, ISR, sigint, etc)
G3 - Current Operations
G4 - Supply & Logistics
G5 - Future Ops (planning)
G6 - Communications
METOC - Weather reports & operational impacts
PAO - Public Affairs Office (reporting on media reports)
Civil Affairs - Humanitarian aid and civilian/military interface

There's also some daily command and control stuff, reports of combat action, responses to previous requests for intel (RFI) reports, etc.

These could be NPC officers you assign to various positions, and based on performance, could get promotions. You might also consider some officers or soldiers do bad conduct types of things and need to be punished with demotions, firings, pay cuts, brig, hard duty, etc? 

On the FOB, you'd sometimes have a FOB Mayor, who is responsible for running the whole fob, ensuring we have electricity, clean water, food, protection, etc. Local security forces would be responsible for walls, sandbags, guard posts, guard duty, gate guards, etc. If there are friendly forces engaged with the enemy somewhere, a quick reaction force would be dispatched from the base to go help (sort of like a fire truck, but shoot people).

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Oh yeah, one other really important element to add... The war in Afghanistan has lasted something like 12 years, but no person has stayed in Afghanistan for 12 continuous years. Every year, you have a unit rotation. This unit rotation has a huge influence on the way a FOB is operated and the effect it has on surrounding areas. Units are large groups of people who enter and exit theater in waves, and when a new unit comes in and replaces an old unit, they have a phased replacement process. Each unit and its command can have really different culture and values, depending on the mission role of the unit, what branch of service it is a part of, how funded they are, what part of the country they're from, their historical legacy, etc. I've personally overseen about 5 unit rotations myself and have a pretty good idea on the process, both formally and informally.

informally, when a unit first arrives in country, they are very energized and ready to go. They've been preparing for this rotation for over a year with training, briefs, etc. The new units traditionally fall in on a unit which is exiting theater, so they're replacing a tired unit. The tired units are really tired out and spent. They're only thinking about going home and resting. Who can blame them? They've all been working for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for 365 days without breaks. The new unit gets in and sees how "poorly" everything is running and they vow upon their unit pride to turn things around and make a mark in history. The underlying political current is "Everything is fucked up, we're going to fix it all by changing everything!", so there's a bit of upheaval as a new unit comes in and changes everything, even if it worked. What's especially ironic is that the unit leaving theater always says, "We're going to leave the incoming unit in great hands by having everything ready for them to fall in on." (and they do). The end effect is that, even though you have 12 years of war, due to the unit rotations, you have twelve one year wars instead of twelve years of one war.

In my very first unit rotation (Feb 2004), I was in the Marines with 1st MEF and we were the relief for the invasion force in Iraq. We occupied a new base called "Camp St. Mere" at the time. It was about a mile outside of Fallujah and we were replacing the 82nd Airborne Division (army). Of course, the marines are supposed to be the best branch of service, so there was a notable rivalry between the Army and the Marines. At the time, Fallujah was the most violent city in the world. A few weeks prior to our arrival, insurgents had attacked the local police station and killed 40 police officers in downtown Fallujah. Every evening, we took rockets and mortar fire. Several people died. The army policy was to just wait it out, but the marines weren't interested in sitting behind walls and letting people shoot at us. I worked in the command staff, so I heard several officers say quietly that after the army left, we would be the new sherriffs in town and go on an offensive against fallujah. Right around the end of March, four idiot contractors decided to drive right through the center of fallujah, alone. Their SUV was surrounded by insurgents and all four of them were killed. Their bodies were dragged through the streets by a mob, and then hung off the side of a bridge. This became worldwide news and hit washington DC. The secretary of defense wanted retribution. Now, we were already planning on going into fallujah, but in a month or two. After this incident happened, our timetable became rushed and within a week, we had the whole city surrounded by army and marine units. I watched from the comfort of our command center as units spent days doing bloody house to house combat, winning territory a neighborhood at a time. The ring of units surrounding Fallujah gradually constricted, slowly closing on the center of the town. We were a day or two away from victory, and then we got an order from Washington DC to withdraw. The civilian casualties were too high for the politicians to stomach. There was an uneasy peace agreement struck with the citizens of Fallujah: We promised not to come into their city if they promised not to shoot rockets and mortars at us. It lasted for 3-4 months, and gradually the mortars started again in July. We were leaving theater in September, but that summer, secret new battle plans were being drawn up to take Fallujah in response to the breach of agreement. Except, we wouldn't be the invaders this time, it would be our replacements. A few months later, I watched the news in November as the marines retook fallujah. After their rotation came back, I asked some of the marines about it. They proudly said that they had to come in and do what we couldn't do: take fallujah. I laughed quietly to myself, knowing better but letting them have their victory.

Oddly, about 10 years later, I was a contractor in Afghanistan working on an army/airforce base (Bagram) and oversaw three different unit rotations over the course of 18 months. The interesting thing here is that the units left, but I did not, so I was a source of continuity between unit rotations and had pretty deep knowledge about what was being done and the reasons behind them, so when new units came in, I provided a bit of stability between rotations instead of the traditional upheaval.

I have no idea if or how you'd like to use this in your game, but it would be fun to see these effects simulated in a video game. I suspect that if you really nailed it, you might actually get a few military officers to play your game as a part of their training and preparation for a deployment.

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Slayemin clearly has a lot of front line experience and is giving you a lot of good information about how things work in real life.  I would just point out that you should not let yourself be confused as to the nature of the situation due to the widespread incorrect use of terms.  There is no war taking place in Afghanistan and there has not been for many years now.  A war is between governments and their armies.  When the government collapses and the army disbands and goes back too their homes, the war is over.  Both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq lasted about 3 weeks each.  Everything after that is what is called a "post-war occupation".  There is a very significant difference.  They tried to tell you, "Mission Accomplished", remember?  That was when the war in Iraq ended.  It really is a very important thing to understand.

 

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hey guys apologies for the lack of replies the past few days. I'm away from home atm (in Sydney, Australia) until the 30th.

Slayemin thank you for giving such in depth suggestions and yes i REALLY like some of the ideas you've put forward. I'd definately like to discuss them further and work out how to implement them within the mechanics framework i have when i get back home on the 30th :) 

I'd definatey been considering the idea that unit's get rotated home after a set number of days and the idea of 'political will' is very appealing. the money mechanic i know is kind of cheap and makes no sense in a real world setting but i was basically trying to use it to limit/control player progression. Like i know it is probably not realistic but i wanted to have 'grades' of presence at each map grid. so you start off with like 'Landing Zone' and move up eventually to like 'Overwatch Position' etc eventually reaching 'Forward Operating Base' or even 'Main Operating Base' maybe. 

sometihng that isnt illustrated in the demo video is that there will be a greater like 'region map' or 'country map' and each grid will be a playfield. so you can set up multiple bases and will need to manage personel and supplies across them all.

I'm spit-balling here though as like i said i'm away from home right now and not  thinking as clearly as i would back at home haha :P but yes i'm certainly very open and interested in your ideas and implementing them into the game :)

I'll send a better and more in depth reply when i get back in a few days. again thank you for all the feedback and suggestions :)

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So here is some video of the latest Build :)
 


 

 

On 24/01/2018 at 8:52 AM, slayemin said:

I personally would make this game closer to reality and introduce some mechanics related to real life.

When a country goes to war, they don't enter a war when they're broke and have no resources. They invade with a massive, overwhelming military force. So, the economic system is backwards. Instead of resources being limited, you have an abundance of resources available for disposal.

I was stationed at Camp Fallujah, which was a former base occupied by the Iraqi Republican Guard, so there was a lot of infrastructure already in place. We had walls, builds, barracks, and a ton of other pre-existing infrastructure to fall in on. A lot of the infrastructure needed to be renovated (ie, wiring rerun, walls painted, buildings repaired, etc). The walls had guard towers placed about 200 meters apart and we had 24 hour watches, some guard towers being manned by third country nationals (outsourced to ugandan contractors). We also had entry control points (ECP's) manned jointly by US and Iraqi troops, and these were usually heavily fortified.

Another interesting idea is that you could choose which country you want to use as your nation. Each country could have different units and capabilities. Generally, a FOB will have lots of firepower, so attacking it directly is usually a mistake. But, there are often coordinated attacks at ECP's.

Indirect fire (mortars, rockets, artillery) can be a common source of casualties. I don't know how you can work this in.

Money comes once a year or once a quarter. The amount of money you get is a function of your host nations "political will" for continuing the war. Your actions influence the political will. Losing a lot of troops reduces it, having victories increases it, creating propaganda increases it, etc.

Command staff usually get a morning briefing about the battlefield situation. Usually every battle staff section goes through and gives a report. They're usually the following:
G1 - Staffing and administration
G2 - Intelligence reports (human intelligence, ISR, sigint, etc)
G3 - Current Operations
G4 - Supply & Logistics
G5 - Future Ops (planning)
G6 - Communications
METOC - Weather reports & operational impacts
PAO - Public Affairs Office (reporting on media reports)
Civil Affairs - Humanitarian aid and civilian/military interface

There's also some daily command and control stuff, reports of combat action, responses to previous requests for intel (RFI) reports, etc.

These could be NPC officers you assign to various positions, and based on performance, could get promotions. You might also consider some officers or soldiers do bad conduct types of things and need to be punished with demotions, firings, pay cuts, brig, hard duty, etc? 

On the FOB, you'd sometimes have a FOB Mayor, who is responsible for running the whole fob, ensuring we have electricity, clean water, food, protection, etc. Local security forces would be responsible for walls, sandbags, guard posts, guard duty, gate guards, etc. If there are friendly forces engaged with the enemy somewhere, a quick reaction force would be dispatched from the base to go help (sort of like a fire truck, but shoot people).

ok so i really like your resources idea and it made me think of sometihng while i was away. So basically the game is going to be built around a country/region map idea. where each map grid is a game world like the ones seen in the video. How about if the player starts in a grid out at sea. the grid contains an aricraft carrier, an LPD and other support ships and basically they start with a TON of resources but their deployment is limited in game by like the on shore facilities the player has built. The idea of political will could replace the money mechanic i tihnk to some degree and money instead can be used to replace things every 90 days or whatever.

Again these are all really rough ideas but i think that mijght be a cool feature to have :)

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another update

actual game stuff starts about 9:30 lol i kind of waffle on for a bit about the things i'm learning as i go :P
 


 

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So i decided to upload the current build. hopefully get some feedback.

Its still incredibly incomplete and poorly documented so please feel free to ask me any questions about how to do tihngs. I am working on better documentation and more intuitive interactions.

Any feedback would be a huge help. positive or negative. :)

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WpgO5h1nHyTh5AGYX7kxeC9qnDZ_ByAX


It's just a zipped Unity build. simply unzip and run the .exe no need to install anything :)

Oh yes, there will be bugs :P but please let me know if you find any and i'll do my best to fix them 

Edited by Katie Byrne

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