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Telcontar

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  1. I don't believe anybody has approached this from the development side: the added complexity of putting in what is essentially an entirely different game. That's a lot of extra development time and hassle to do it well, and if you DON'T do it well the "less limited" form of the game will be a hindrance and not a benefit. Players will look at your RTS sections as half-assed and unfun, thus pulling down the entire game if you don't pull them off. Many games do attempt to play with genre within their particular rules. For instance, Starcraft has levels without basebuilding and with very limited resources, making them akin to some sort of dungeon crawl/adventure game. These are built to vary the games experiences without actually requiring the player to learn new skills.
  2. I feel like "Power" might be a poor choice in this case. Strategic resources in a game are usually things we understand to be easily transportable and stored, so you can stockpile when able. Unless you're making a more futuristic (which it doesn't seem like, though I could be wrong) power doesn't fit that frame. Electricity generation is highly local - power plants need to be fairly close to the areas they serve because power is lost when transmitting it a long distance.  Even if you remove power, you can still have bonuses to production or other game areas that are understood to come from good power generation (like near a hyrdoplant-capable river/dam).  Assuming this game is set in or near the modern day, I might go with mines/metals as a resource. Not necessarily for the common metals like copper and iron, but rarer metals used in more specialized and high tech weapons like titanium and rare earth metals. They could be a high-tech gateway.  Timber doesn't seem like a good choice. Agriculture maybe, especially if it fits the game (maybe there's a world-wide food shortage and fighting over arable land is a big part of the conflict? Could make for a good game element).    Now, on to your main issue of funds. Representing funds income as taxation makes sense - most players will understand it. Does that mean that conquering cities/populous regions immediately increases your funds income? Cities would probably also need to be peaceful and safe to allow for actual taxation, offering incentives to not just conquer areas but to secure them. As far as how it works with totalitarian governments, you might look to Hearts of Iron for an example. There is no real concept of fungible wealth in that - you control resource sources and usage directly. The State has taken complete control of any production necessary for wartime, so they don't worry about paying for it - they just worry about getting and using it. If you were to abandon the funds concept altogether I think that could work just fine. Really depends on what other uses you have for it.
  3. Seems like you're trying to write some manner of marketing copy: a short, efficient introduction to the idea of your game's world, characters, and mechanics. As with all writing there is a great deal of subjectivity here, but your intro will largely depend on what exactly you think is most important about your game.  If you had to pick exactly three things about your game to tell somebody in order to maximize the chance that they'd be interested in learning more, what would those things be? You need to distill the central hook of your game to as few elements as possible, then describe them evocatively. Obviously it might not always be 3 things, it may be more or less - but the fewer the better. Introductions of any sort usually benefit from focus; getting across the most essential information as quickly and memorably as possible. Ex: "Meet SKULL BABY: the most dangerous two-year-old the galaxy's ever seen. SKULL BABY is ready to take down the disgusting hordes of the Slug Boogers with an enormous arsenal of booger-busting weaponry, all while LEAPING jumping occasionally hopping a short distance up or down." Having worked from your example and tweaked a bit, this sounds to me like a side-scrolling platformer shoot-'em-up, with emphasis on everything but 'platformer'. It wouldn't hurt to make the genre explicit, ending with "... in this action-packed side-scrolling shooter from <COMPANY NAME>".
  4. How exactly do you mean introduction? Are we talking an intro to the game that the player sees when they start the game? Marketing materials? A pitch to a production company?
  5. I enjoy the initial concept, and definitely find it interesting. Giving up control of certain functions in order to make them more powerful, but having to do deal with the consequences of an AI's actions rather than my own? Neat. I think there are a lot of great possibilities there. My main concern with that gameplay is how you make the AI of your various upgrades actually feel like AI and not like more basic programming. For instance the combat powerup that assumes control of your shooting: we usually expect "AI" to do things better than human beings, that being why the AI is used. So if this AI can make "mistakes" or take actions you wouldn't want it to take, there must be a reason. Maybe the AIs are being controlled/influenced by other things? Maybe they have ulterior motives? Maybe some AI have weird quirks you have to deal with? Like one Shooter AI has the quirk that it absolutely hates blonde people, and will attempt to shoot at blonde people wherever you encounter them (an extreme example just to demonstrate a point). Thus the player would need to try and avoid blonde people unless he doesn't mind killing them.  As I said, I do like the concept - but removing agency from the player is something that must be done extremely carefully, and whenever you do it you should hand back ways that the player can take it back (work around the problem). That being said, I would certainly take a second look at a game like this. Oh, and one note about the story: if this is post-apocalyptic that usually means people die all the time. Even if we get to know this boy from the memory chip, what would make the player character try so hard to bring him back? Is it a family member? Otherwise important?
  6. Depending on the game mechanics, perhaps customization options or a sandbox mode could be fun. If your game involves limited uses of any kind of ability/mechanic, unlocking unlimited uses can be really rewarding for players who loved that particular part of your game.
  7. I've played Darkest Dungeon quite a bit (somewhere around 40 hours currently and intend to go back for more eventually). I do agree that the grind gets boring - but here's the thing. Not all grind is boring. Just the right amount of grind makes you feel like you had to work hard to achieve something, which increases the emotional payoff. It would be repetitive and boring if I always did exactly one or two non-boss dungeons and then another boss dungeon. Too predictable. One way I feel Darkest Dungeon could have been made to feel less grindy without even changing much is to allow for "partial" victories over the various bosses. Currently, the grind is made all the worse because you know if you go after a boss with an insufficiently leveled group and don't win, you have to do the whole thing over again. Not just the boss battle but the grind, because you probably lost at least a couple of your highest level characters in the fight. THAT is when the grind actually starts feeling grindy.  Consider the change if, when fighting a boss, you could partially kill it or give it some kind of injury that makes it easier to defeat the next time - or makes the battle more predictable, gives you a known advantage you can exploit. Should this be the case, you might feel comfortable immediately dispatching your runner-up team to take it on without necessarily needing to send them through three or four dungeons just to level up. Game designers need to be careful with player setbacks. Setbacks which force the player to change their tactics and continue are okay. Setbacks which require the player the do the same stuff again, but better/longer are rarely a good idea (except in certain kinds of games where they are kind of the point).
  8.   Yeah, probably mostly a UX challenge. The best way I've run into is just to make lots of tooltips for in-game text. And by swing cases I mean ways for a player who is behind to catch up rapidly. Think powerful board clears or legendaries in Hearthstone or area-of-effect damage in strategy games. Often, they are designed to take advantage of the exact behaviors the leading player will most often use to capitalize on their lead. 
  9. Disregarding the anachronism of some of your game elements, you seem to be looking for a "currency" resource that feels more archaic than gold. You could look to actual history for such things (beads/wampum, clay tablets, etc) or make up your own. Honestly, I think "flint" works just fine. Players generally understand the idea behind tech resources even if it doesn't make much sense for "flint" to be used in construction. Edit: On another thought, maybe just "clay" could work for you as well.
  10.   Skill as the determining factor is usually always going to be the case unless you have large, dominant random elements. The question (as Ryan_001 gets at in his answer) is what KIND(s) of skill you want to be important. Do you want high strategic skill to be paramount? Then you are going to have to design for longer games, larger numbers of options/possibility spaces, and a heavy emphasis on balancing to do away with dominant strategies. Do you prefer tactical skill? Engagement outcome high dependent on terrain, positioning/movement/flanking, troop composition, and ability usage. Something else? Determine what elements reward that kind of skill and design to bring them up in importance.   Learning curve is a trickier one. For one thing, many games are easy to pick up in their basics, but I would argue that this does not necessarily make an easy learning curve. Sure, I may be able to beat simple AI's in starcraft using only marines and siege tanks, but I haven't learned the game by only using those two units. Learning difficulty is usually inverse to game complexity because it entails how much time I need to spend to understand any given game state at a glance. Learning curve is reduced when all necessary information is included inside the game, which is relative rarity in the age of wikis. I remember that the original Starcraft had a miss change for ranged units attacking other units on high ground - but I don't think this was every explained in the manual or tutorials. This significantly raises the learning curve for players who do not know it, but who instead might notice a discrepancy between how they understand a situation (attacking an enemy on higher ground, but full vision and with a superior force, thinking they will win) and what happens (somehow they lose! Why weren't they doing any damage?).   Your final case is highly dependent on that opponent. When i play game I absolutely do want to punish every enemy mistake. Most games have important swing cases that allow for reversals of small (or even large) leads under the right conditions to try and make up for this.
  11. For surveying: Depending on the tech level you're dealing with (or if you have ascending tech throughout the game) you could start with them having to do manual "mark one eyeball" surveys, actually assigning a survey task to the characters who must walk around. This could inform a 'mining area' overlay which shows regions of suspected resources (and perhaps a level of certainty on them). As the player techs up new survey options could become available, from soil analysis to ground penetrating radar.   As for actually exploiting the resources, one of my ideas for a roughly similar game (that admittedly focused on the mining part) awhile back was to have the player essentially need to build a small mining complex to do things properly. As in, once the resources are found they have to build a mineshaft opening. But that mineshaft opening, when worked, produces all sorts of stuff. Rock, dirt, and other tailings as well as ore. The tailings need to be hauled elsewhere (and any toxic parts of them disposed or they'll poison the area later, which may or may not affect the player). Ore needs to be processed, washed, and finally smelted. All of these require auxiliary buildings and transport infrastructure to do efficiently. The idea was to allow the player to decide where such activity would go on. Would they build an entire mining complex right over the resource? Would they have the processing stuff back at the main base and use high-volume transport to move materials back? Would they try and locate a mining center equidistant from several mines? Do they process the toxins for safe disposal or just dump them somewhere remote? Etc etc. 
  12. I have only limited experience with gratuitous Space Battles (didn't find it particularly to my liking) but have been playing the Dominions games for ages (and there is another, similar game from the same people called Conquest of Elysium which is along the same lines combat-wise). Could you be more specific about how there is "a lot of input besides the customization"? Do you mean there are too many options for the army?   There are some tangential examples I can think of where the player has only limited control over fighting. The Majesty series (of which the first was superior in my opinion) puts you in charge of a kingdom where all you can do is bribe heroes to do this or that, but you have no direct control over their decision making in or out of combat. In the Paradox grand Strategy games like Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Hearts of Iron the player assembles armies and throw them at other armies, but has no directly control over tactics or whatnot.
  13.   Would depend on the structure of the rest of the game. If it is primarily about project or systems management, then the individual 'employees' are little more than cogs to be replaced when they quit/break whatever. While a perfectly reasonable stance for a game to take, if that's going to be the case why even bother having the player manage employees at all? Immersion and mood are well and good, but if a feature does not serve the game's purpose in an entertaining way it should be abandoned or changed.   If the game is trying to be about people management, than having a worker leave suddenly and unexpectedly is one of those problems the game should be focused on. Making up for the lost work, covering caps in schedule/capability on a team, that sort of thing. If I have a team of Workers Abe, Betty, and Carl, and Carl up and quits on me, how do I keep the project or store or whatever from suffering too much until I can hire a suitable replacement - and of course, how does the game make it fun for me to solve this problem? I could bring in a rapidly-hired, lower-wage, but lesser-skilled temp worker to make up some of the shortfall, while also asking Abe and Betty to work extra hours. Asking this of them will probably require something more, overtime pay or the expectation of a bonus at project's end. I as the manager may be a character in my own right and could step in to join the team in Carl's place - but if Carl wasn't the manager, then having me do work "under" one of my own employees could cause friction depending on my skill and personality. And furthermore, while I am busy doing Carl's job my own managerial work isn't getting done. Etc, etc, etc.   I've been thinking about this topic a lot as well, having a management prototype in the design phase. My idea is definitely a "character focused" game, where each employee is a fairly well-fleshed out individual and the player is rewarded for getting to know their team's foibles. 
  14. What is the average length of a combat engagement, in your vision? To-Hit chance works better when there are longer combat encounters, because it gives time for the average damage of each weapon to stabilize between hits and misses. However, in short combat encounters, characters who wield high-damage/low to-hit weapons get shafted on a miss. They don't have the time for those big hits to start coming through every third or fourth attack or so, wheareas the characters who reliably hit for smaller damage still get their licks in.   If you're looking at it numbers-wise (and lots of people will), all that matters is average damage. And average damage will matter most when you can trust that average to actually appear.
  15. A possible alternative to the supply resource could be organization - the concept of having enough staff and command coordination to handle increasing numbers of units. Same idea, really, but might help spur some differences from other games. Oil/fuel is probably a must-have, given it's importance in WW2. Iron/Steel/Metal is a good catch-all term for a structural resource.   You could also try having something like manpower. Producing by various 'training' facilities and used in varying amounts to build any unit. Destroyed vehicles might leave injured drivers/crew that you could recover. Likewise, infantry might occasionally leave wounded instead of just dying. Sending in medic teams and recovery teams can help you conserve manpower.