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Tiblanc

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  1. [quote name='Acharis' timestamp='1355739019' post='5011624'] 2) How to deal with increased resources (and ability to play more cards per turn)? At the beginning you get +1 resource per turn lat's say and a card cost 2 on average. Then you build a factory and get +1 res/turn, then another... You see the problem It's not that visible with standard mechanics but with cards it's more visible. There are so many cards you can have on hand at once (both display limit and human's brain limit) and increasing it is not a real option... [/quote] You can use cards as resource in addition to these or have some cards require upkeep. You could increase the amount of required resources. For example, you start with +10, factory gives you +1 and cards require multiple of 20. That lengthen the buildup time, but doesn't make the problem go away.
  2. Non war focused could be interesting. It would allow you to dig deeper in economics and politics without having to tie everything to starship production. I would set the goal to produce a resource intensive wonder as fast as possible. The gameplay is then centered on how to be as efficient as possible in managing the empire. If you throw in random events to throw the player off balance, it will be as interesting as nuking aliens.
  3. You can't just drop people and use their work. They still hold copyrights unless you have a contract saying they forfeit their copyright if they are inactive for X time. My suggestion here would be to create a game that doesn't require fancy art. From experience, artists will rarely work for free. Pixel artists even less. This might also have the benefit of scoping down the project and allowing you to actually finish it. About arguing with team member, it's usually a good thing up to a point. Sometimes, you run head first into a wall and the only thing that can save you is someone hitting you with a baseball before you reach the wall. However, it must not be taken personal. If someone starts saying "use MY idea or I quit!!!1", then you should definitively not use their idea and find someone else. The better ideas will be created when you try to bridge different concepts in a simple and efficient way.
  4. Check out The Space Game, Creeper World and AI War. They sound like the kind of game you are going for. They are asymmetric strategy games where you expand your base and constantly fight back the enemy. For the AI, you can have them occupy planets and wage war. Simply use a different rule set than the player and call that alien technology. This will allow you to create a simple AI and retain a realistic feel. You could also have them teleport motherships/stations and spawn units from there. It would make the entire map a potential battle zone instead of fringe territories only. Personally, I would go with an abstracted system rather than a detailed one. There is little to gain from being so detailed if the game is supposed to last 2-5 hours. As for the rest, it depends a lot on the victory goal. There are a lot of ways to do it. Just need to figure out an interesting mechanic, like the card one.
  5. Right, when I talked about rare resources, it wasn't necessarily scarce but rarer than common resources. They need to be rare enough to be hard to acquire, but not so rare that you expend more energy than what you could get with common resources. You might find common materials on half the planets and rare ones on 5~10%. Yield of rare materials would be similar to common materials so it's a matter of securing the correct planets. About fuel, the way I see it, it's the backbone of every economic decision. Everything can be traced back to energy efficiency. Creating a ship requires a shipyard which requires ship components which requires a factory which requires resources which requires energy to extract and transport. Ferrying cargo or building a refinery on the spot is a question of energy. Does it require less energy to ferry raw materials than building a refinery, ferrying refined materials and defending the refinery? A ship design then becomes a counter to another ship design when its total energy cost * lose% is lower than the other ship's.
  6. [quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1353271648' post='5002099'] I would tend to agree, and though the victory is inevitable, it leaves you hoping. One of my main concern with Galactic Civilization is that it allowed this to happen, and it was the most unfun situation I've seen in any 4x games. With a tech tree so vast, you could reach a point in a game where there was no way you could win whatever you did, whichever winning condition you were aiming for, but the game wouldn't let you know that until 10-20 turns later. The aftertaste of that was so bitter that it felt like an utter waste of time. It was frustrating. The opposite also happened a lot: you got simply stronger than everyone else, that one of your ships could probably annihilate all other warfleets in combat without taking a single hit. Yet, the game allowed you to expand at will and play sim city. I want an environment that's thoroghly balances, where its hard to gain any form of an advantage. Ships, themselves, won't overpower each other that much. It is the resources you have under your control that determines whether you can rebuild a fleet and continue waging war. So if your opponent's strategy is superior (he has intelligence that confirms capturing planet X would cripple your ability to stay in the fight) then so be it, even if his fleet is largely inferior. This means he's taken advantage of the knowledge he has to even the scores. Besides, if you have a 'rich planet' you should definitely put it out of reach. Building starbases on the fore-front is a risk: it can allow your reinforcements to jump straight into the fray and sustain a military push, but it can also be your downfall if its overrun. Think about the Death Star's destruction in Star Wars, and imagine how the empire can recover from that. Yet, like I said, it shouldn't all be decided on a single planet. Otherwise, this means your are a bad strategist with a poor economy. You need to stretch your empire deep, and then choose the planets you will develop. Sometimes, it means neglecting a faraway rich planet just because it is not within your real area of influence, too far off to really contribute to your economy substancially: it requires more military forces to keep within your area of influence than the resources it yields. That, too, is recognizing good strategy. [/quote] In essence, you want to destroy the slippery slope while allowing fatal blows if the enemy is careless and have a strong focus on economics. How about associating rare resources to a given counter? You retain the base resources used in every ship. For advanced components, you add a rare resource. Its counter component would require another rare resource. If creating a new base requires a lot of resources, you end up with a few refining/production bases and lots of mining planets. Players would then target specific planets based on the rare resource mined there. If you're building armored ships, then you could target armor piercing resources to make it harder for your enemy to counter your fleet. Also, you would be unable to mine everything. Even if you have lots of planets, fuel costs would prevent you from ferrying it all. Choosing which resource to mine, ferry and refine becomes part of your overall military strategy. That will reduce the slippery slope effect.
  7. [quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1353205170' post='5001916'] @Tiblanc: Your idea could do, but I really want to emphasize shortage and its effect on the game. One of the reasons for this is that I believe a 4X game may tend to go on forever. If you deal a crippling blow to your enemy's economy (by, say, disallowing him permanent or temporary access to ability to produce shields or beam weaponry for example) it should lead to a downfall of that player and shorten the game. Always having alternatives just makes it artificially longer with comebacks, etc. I think keeping it more finite and black&white makes it easier to see the danger of space and plan accordingly. As a result, a player using a single base to mine a specific good will FEEL vulnerable, and so should he. [/quote] They would feel vulnerable. If all you do is mine low quality materials, you will get crushed by high tech ships because they can produce them more efficiently. You can still cripple another player by raiding his high quality mines. The difference is you cannot kill a player by capturing a single key planet.
  8. I would go with quality levels. There would be few resources types, but they would have sub types. For example, Electronics would be a type with silicon chips and superconductors being sub types. When building something, you can use any sub type for a given category. Building a ship could require Metals, Electronics and Fuel. You could build a ship with Steel, Silicon chips and Petroleum or go with Titanium, Superconductors and Elerium. You could also mix and match quality levels. The point here is to allow different strategies to emerge. The 2 main types are quality and quantity. Depending on the availability of raw materials, you could adapt your economy to optimize your output. If raw materials are abundant, going with a quantity strategy is optimal because it allows you to field more ships in a given amount of time. As materials get rare, it becomes better to invest time to turn them into higher quality components. One key aspect is to allow any sub type to become any other sub type. A low quality iron ore could be worked into a high quality armor, but would require much more time and energy than if you started with a high quality metal. The advantage is you cannot lack any key resources so economics work at small and large scales.
  9. Check out Starship Unlimited. It's an old game where you had 3 or 4 ships at the most. It could have benefit from a few more, but it's old and was pretty nice back in the day. I see where you're going with this and it sounds like a good idea. The biggest challenge is making sure stack strategies do not become dominant. You don't want players creating huge armies and going from planet to planet obliterating everything. How to do it properly I don't know for sure. Resupplying sounds like a good deterrent. If you have too many ships around a planet, they would drain its resources faster than it can produce it, stranding them or requiring you to have a big supply fleet. I think going up an abstraction level would work well. Instead of moving ships to specific tiles, give them missions like disrupt supply lines, sabotage communication satellites, etc. This would allow the player to wage the economic war instead of going all out in one glorious battle. The success of missions depends on the defensive missions the enemy assigned. The nice thing is you can do covert ops more easily like this. In standard 4X games, if you send a small squad to disrupt enemy lines, they will get crushed fast. With this system, they can do their thing and bail out when they get detected. That would work well to defeat the stack strategy because you cannot react fast enough to counter enemy missions. They would happen simultaneously so if you have all your ships at one planet, all other planets are completely vulnerable to whatever is coming their way.
  10. [quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1352480780' post='4999344'] I think two very interesting things you've left out would be Generators & Engines. Generators are still good because, ideally, they set a cap for overall ship functionality. Once you've purchased a certain generator, it limits what you can put in the ship (what weapons, what shields, what engine). Engine is good because it allows to gauge mobility. The reason why I think this is a good strategic element is because it lets you create fast scouts that are lightly armored by picking the topmost engine and the weakest beams. [/quote] That was abstracted in the Hull category. There's a strong correlation between engine type and ship size. You can't really have a fast battleship due to high mass and you wouldn't create a slow fighter. Same thing for generators. The choice between many ships with weak generator and weapons or few ships with strong generator and weapons is valid only if resources for both batches are different. If they are similar, then it becomes a calculation to determine which is superior based on your production capabilities and resources on hand. You can achieve the same results by skipping the generator and having different power ranks for a same weapon class. Cases where it would make sense to separate engine and generators from ship type are rare and add burden on the player. By making things simpler, other choices can be made more complex without adding complexity.
  11. [quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1352469073' post='4999279'] When playing an opponent, there's a huge strategic difference between knowing or not the base ships they have on their fleet (or could have). By limiting this to 12 known types with a few permutations and tech upgrades, you're playing a strategy game much akin to playing chess ot SC2. Thers's back-and-forth, tactics change and evolve, etc. Because you have a basic grasp of the opponent's strengths and weaknesses, you can attempt to surprise, play around them. If each player can do "anything", you end up playing a game of information where you need to know as much as possible about the enemy fleet, and if there are no limits to how many designs are available to a player, then the game can be pretty random if your opponent makes no single ship like the other. To me, what in theory gives the player more choice actually ends up decreasing the fun, but I might not be seeing the whole pic there... [/quote] I agree with you here. I've been toying with game ideas that involved customization and found out that without categorization, everything becomes a giant mess of random stuff and no strategy emerges. I'm sure there are counter designs to ships in MOO2, but without doing a spreadsheet analysis, there's no way to figure them out. Also, since tech evolves and designs become outdated, it becomes irrelevant. What I felt worked best was providing ways to categorize designs into common features. Depending on the keywords attached to a design, combat dynamics change. For example, you use heavy armor on your ship which tags it with Armored. Armor Piercing weapons get a bonus against Armored designs. It becomes clear that using an armor piercing weapon is optimal in this case. Also, going into micro details is a waste. The player will not care how many weapons can fit on a ship. The answer is always as much as possible. That's why I would go with these choices : - Hull - Main Weapon - Secondary Weapon - Armor/Shield - Utility Slot This gives you more than enough design choices without being a burden. Hull dictates the strength of other slots. A battleship would have 10 main weapons while a fighter would have 2 for example. It then becomes easy to figure a counter design because you're limited to few meaningful choices. This also tie nicely in espionage. Your spies can report the tags of the enemy fleet which can be inaccurate. "We spotted a fleet of Nimble ships equipped with Tracking weapons". Nimble and Tracking are properties countered by various components so you can build accordingly. If the report is inaccurate, you can omit tags or give the wrong one.
  12. [quote name='Blinn' timestamp='1351359386' post='4994463'] 1: What do they consider a "good" idea for a game? I already have a game idea, but how should I present it? I currently have no game design document; just some gameplay concepts in my head. I am prepared to write one, but not before I learn what it takes to make a great game design document which will grab and keep the reader's attention. [/quote] Good ideas are the ones they come up with. We all have way more game ideas than what we'll have time to implement. Selling a game idea is about as futile as talking to plants. [quote name='Blinn' timestamp='1351359386' post='4994463'] 2: How do people from a strong team with plenty of manpower when they first start out, having every essential role covered? Forming a team is the most important step to me. I actually work with another game development team, but they're occupied with their game currently, and we're in pre-alpha so it's going to be a very long time before we finish it. I have an idea of my own, and I want to at least start working on something soon, rather than wait a few years before I get another chance. [/quote] Teams form because people do not have the full skillset required to create a game. Developers can't draw and artists can't code. That's where the biggest effort lies so if you cannot pull your own weight in either of these, chances are nobody will work for you. [quote name='Blinn' timestamp='1351359386' post='4994463'] 3: What kind of problems can I expect to occur during the entire game development process, and what kind of solutions are available to overcome them? I would much rather learn from someone else's mistakes than my own. There are two things I'm particularly concerned about for the simple reason that I'm inexperienced with them - legal matters and creating a secure website, suited for e-commerce. Any advice on gaining the necessary funding for all expenses involved in making a game would be much appreciated as well. 4: What advice can I make use of when trying to secure the loyalty and reliablilty of people who join a team? What are some good tips to get people genuinely interested in making a game, especially for a project that has no budget? A lot of the best people out there only join projects because there is a guarantee of payment, far beyond what most aspiring game developers can afford. Now, I am fortunate enough to have an existing team (suited for 2D art and audio) who are genuinely interested in a different idea I have and want to contribute, but for something like game design, that takes a lot more people with different talents and a lot more time, and I want to make sure that whoever joins the team actually wants to see this game idea through to the end. [/quote] Communication and motivation are your biggest enemies. If you work with people online, it becomes a task better suited for greek gods. You need to talk and show progress on a steady basis or people will drop out. People are motivated by 2 things : money and accomplishment. If you can't provide money, you need to make sure your teammates do not feel like slaves but feel like they're doing something interesting. Keep in mind you're asking people to use their leisure time to produce something that is generally done during work hours.
  13. [quote name='Densoro' timestamp='1345029905' post='4969803'] My biggest problem with safe havens in RPGs is usually just that they exist xD You're being told that an ancient soul-sucking evil has been unleashed on the world to cause chaos wherever it turns up, so why are villages so close to ground zero still hosting carnivals? It really kinda ruins the tension in an effort to make the game 'varied' and 'relatable' instead of focusing the theme. [/quote] The average citizen is oblivious to the imminent doom, so they still hold their carnivals. The big bad evil guy usually prepares the world destruction from his secret lair. Citizens will get annihilated when the evil plan is completed, but in the meantime, the big bad evil guy don't want interference so he has no need to wreck havoc on the local towns. Doing so would get an army knocking on his door instantly.
  14. [quote name='Rybo5001' timestamp='1344572734' post='4967977'] [quote name='TexasJack' timestamp='1344453532' post='4967492'] I had thought of that, but I'm not sure it's enough. [img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--_qjaFoX_8Y/UCK2gPOhS6I/AAAAAAAAABM/qNXWJWLGNBM/s320/Depth%2BExample%2B2.png[/img] It works to a certain extent, but I'm not sure it would work for larger depths or larger surface areas[/quote] I don't really understand why that isn't already perfect, at a glance I can tell the depth. If it gets darker+darker as it gets deeper, eventually it will be black, most people understand that black means it's so deep that no light gets down there. [/quote] I'd go with this too. Make the darkness based on the current elevation of the player. If the player goes down stairs, deeper tiles will get illuminated as he goes down until he passes them, after which they get progressively brighter. It will be easy to figure out how high are things no matter your current elevation.
  15. [quote name='Orymus3' timestamp='1342112240' post='4958470'] That said, I see how it can apply to changing monsters every so often, but I don't see how it correlates to attrition per se. Care to elaborate? [/quote] It's not related in any direct way. That was a comment about ways to figure out how long is long enough. If you set the target at 30 minutes and a battle lasts 2 minutes, then you should aim to have at most 15 encounters before progression. That can then be used to figure out the dungeon length, encounter rate and encounter danger level.