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About Drahaus

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  1. Hello. I’m currently working on a game and I need to develop a set of unit attributes and combat mechanics. I’ll be honest, this is my first foray into this aspect of game design and I’m feeling a bit lost. I wouldn’t mind getting a little advice or direction.   First, let me explain a bit about the unit attributes. My main focus is to have the attributes themselves be as simple as possible while keeping the number of overall attributes to a minimum. Currently, I have 5 unit attributes (not including HP):   Strength              (STR)     A unit’s base attack / damage value Defense              (DEF)     A unit’s base defensive value Intelligence           (INT)     A unit’s ability to research equipment Magic                   (Mg)     A unit’s aptitude for magic (modifies attack and defense) Tech                      (Tc)     A unit’s aptitude for tech (modifies attack and defense)   I realize that this might make some of the mechanics difficult to develop and that I may need to add or change a few attributes. This is just my ideal for now. A few notes about the attributes though. -          All units have standardised movement. Having a movement attribute is not needed. -          Both units must be at the same location in order to attack one another. Having an attribute for range is not needed -          The game is turn based. Having an attribute for speed is not needed. -          Values for STR, DEF, INT will range from 10-99 -          Values for Mg and Tc will range from 0-10   My biggest problem is that I’m not experienced enough yet to know where to start coming up with effective formulas for combat.  All of my attempts so far have resulted in awful exponential increases or they only work for that specific unit (not what I’m going for).   Damage What I’m trying to develop is a formula where STR is used to determine the base amount of damage a unit inflicts when attacking. I’m also trying to incorporate Mg and Tc into the formula as modifiers. If a unit possesses an affinity for Mg, then that unit’s total amount of inflicted damage will be increased – to what extent is determined by the Mg value. In this case, the units inflicted damage is no longer counted as regular damage, but as Mg damage. If the unit instead possessed a value for Tc affinity, the damage would then be counted as Tc damage. If the unit possessed values for both Mg and Tc, the damage would be counted as Mg / Tc.   Defence Similar to Damage, what I’m trying to develop is a formula where DEF is used to determine the base defense of a unit when being attacked. Again, I’m also trying to incorporate Mg and Tc into the formula as modifiers. If a unit possesses an affinity for Mg, then that unit develops a resistance to Mg damage – to what extent is determined by the Mg value. The same goes for Tc resistance if a unit possesses a Tc affinity.   Critical Hits Very basic. For now I’ve simply set it as a 20% chance for a critical per hit with 1.5x damage being dealt.   If anyone has any feedback on my proposed attributes or on where / how I can get started on building some of these formulas, I would be most appreciative.   Cheers, Drahaus
  2. Creating a diverse unit pool

      Funny enough, when we were originally coming up with the game idea, someone said the same thing. We looked at it and, in a lot of ways, it’s the 1996 version of the game we hope to build. In some ways, my dream is comes close to what a modernized, slightly re-imagined version of that game could be.   In terms of prototype, we’re just in the middle of getting our first build up and running. I agree that once we have a running prototype, things will be a lot less murky. I would just like to have my self set-up as best I can before we get there.     First, thank you for such a great reply. It is a computer game but, I find it’s easier to explain the game in terms of a (conceptual) board and cards.      Your chess analogy is quite apt, and it highlights my concerns perfectly. The hope that I have right now is that if I can balance my units right, I can have a transition from magic to mecha with minimal disruption. Magic being minor pieces and mecha being the queen, I would ideally like to keep the dynamic of the chess scenario you presented. Mecha should not completely dominate magic but, magic shouldn’t be able to thwart mecha easily or without some strategy or tact. My the idea is to have magic users being a unit that is effective at the start of the game (“out of the gate” if you will) but will become less and less effective as higher quality (price) units come into play. Having said that, what I need to do now is have a look at the concepts of mobility, control, and concentration; what role they play and how I can best utilize that in my design (or what relevant changes I need to make). I want to make sure I’m understanding the idea’s correctly though.   In my game, because magic is cheaper and weaker (requires more turns to control an area, weaker attacks), the player would have a greater ability to hire additional units based on their having a lower cost. Additional units can either begin taking over multiple areas simultaneously or can concentrate on an area and control it more quickly. Conversely, mecha units are stronger (can control an area more quickly) but, due to their higher cost, a player will be able to hire mecha units less frequently.   Mobility - with respect to my game, I feel like this would involve a players ability to grow their controlled area (with units) or simply the number of units a player would be able to move in a given turn.  If I have that right then I think the balance here comes in terms of a units ability to take control over an area. Control - where as mobility deals with the players ability to grow their territory, especially in multiple directions, I think control would relate more to a players ability to control and subsequently dominate an area. Concentration - I think this would apply to ideas such as “stacking” units on a given area and the subsequent effect this will have on (combined) unit actions. Again, this is highlighted in your chess example above.     Good point. I guess my thought with the whole “relevant combinations” was that, without it, I would be testing about a thousand or so units. I’m just not sure of how to do that without it taking an inordinate amount of time. I think this is the crux of my first problem - I can create a database of nearly every possible combination of stat (based on my outline) including modifications for race and class. But how do you play test a database that large?      I like the idea os specialization and “roles”; and I agree that it would help the player greatly and minimize confusion. Like you saw I’m already thinking of dividing units down by race and then by class. I think if I keep developing this, I can incorporate your idea further. If I take Orimus’ advice as well and develop a deeper role, it will be a bit like separating trail mix into its ingredients. I can have clear distinctions between all of my units but, I also have a wide variety of units within that distinct role.       I think this might allow the player to, as you said, quickly organize most units (conceptually) and allow the player to for a better strategy. Having that diversity within the role allows the player to finesse the situation and allow for more strategic play as opposed to being simply tactical as well.    
  3. A few months ago a colleague and I began our first foray into game design. Since then, I’ve been joining sites like this and have spent hours reading articles. forums, and blogs. I’ve really enjoyed the process so far but now I’m coming to a point where I need some help and advice  - unit stats. I’ve done a lot of reading about stats and balance over the last few weeks but, few articles seem to be able to give me an idea of how to lay my groundwork. I’ve gone ahead and put some ideas together but, I would love to know if I’m on the right track or if I’m completely out to lunch with my stat / balance ideas. Any criticism or advice would be greatly appreciated.    Game Overview The game we're trying to develop is a turn-based strategy that uses a large number of randomly drawn units - at times I will almost describe it as being collectable card game influenced.   In the game, the player attempts to control areas on the game board. Controlling areas earns the player resource, for which the player can use to hire units, or to equip items to hired units. Players win the game by eliminating all other players - by taking all of their areas, and eliminating all of their units.   Units are drawn into the players hand from a deck, and can be hired with resources earned from the game board. units can only be hired to areas under player control or to areas having a player unit already on it. units can only perform 1 action per turn units can only move to an adjacent area units can only attack enemy units if both are on the same area   Units are able to perform 7  actions in the game Move – move unit from current area to an adjacent area. Control – unit attempts to possess an area not already under players control.  Dominate – unit dominates area, in an attempt to gain a secondary benefit from controlled area. Equip – add equipment to unit, enhancing stats. Research – unit does nothing on game board, instead unit is used to help unlock additional equipment. Attack – unit will attack unit under control of another player. Defend – unit defence increased and unit hit points recharged an amount (based on unit heal ability).   Units   In my game there are two races - magic users and mecha users; and four classes per race. I would like to have this reflected in the units created as well. My idea is to create generic “blueprint” units and then apply a “modifier” onto that unit to adjust it's stats into reflecting “X” race and “Y” class.    If I had the skill, another aspect I would love to employ is that, as a magic user there would be decreasing returns in relation to cost “less bang for your buck”. But, as a mecha user, I would have increasing returns or “more bang”. I think I might need to design two pools of units if I did that though.   My unit stats are going to be: Attack – multiplier for all units attacks. Used when determining attack strength. Defence – multiplier for units overall defence. Intelligence – multiplier for all know-how related actions (research, magic, mecha). Presence – multiplier for all control and Dominate actions  Health – amount by which unit can heal per turn Strength – physical stack force. Used when determining physical stack strength.  Physical – resilience of unit. Used when determining resistance to physical attacks.  Range – distance from which unit can hit. Used when determining ranged attack strength. Agility – ability to dodge ranged attacks. Used when determining ranged attack defence. Magic – units magical ability. Mecha – units ability to use technology   For actual actions, I was thinking this would be how they are affected by stats:  Attack Actions Physical attack = Attack x Strength Ranged attack  = Attack x Range Magic or Mecha Attack = Intelligence x Magic or Mecha Defence Actions Physical Defence = Defence x Physical Ranged Defence  = Defence x Agility Magic Defence = Defence x Magic Equipment Actions Research (Gear) = Intelligence x Mecha) / Magic Research (Magic) = (Intelligence x Magic) / Mecha Equipping Gear = Mecha Equipping Magic Items = Magic Area Actions Controlling = Presence Investing = Presence x Intelligence   Blueprint With all that, the “blueprint” portion of my idea is based off of the list found below. I equated each attribute to a cost, and then added in a cost change after a certain number of points is given to that stat. My idea is to create a list of all the possible attributes a unit can have at a given resource cost, and then keep the “relevant combinations” - those that have attributes that work well together (i.e. attack and strength). This would create my blueprint units up to whatever cost I decide. For a base unit cost, I decided that a unit with a cost of 0R(resource) will have: 1 attack, 1 intelligence, and 1 Magic or Mecha (depending on race). These base unit stats will be added to blueprint units created using the following stat cost outline. All possible card combinations are made for a unit with stats totaling 1R. Then again for 2R, and so on until a resource pool with sufficient depth and cost diversity is attained.   Intelligence and Magic cost: 4 until greater than: 3 new cost: 5   Defence cost: 6 until greater than: 2 new cost: 4   Attack cost: 4 until greater than: 2 new cost: 3   Mecha cost: 4 until greater than: 3 new cost: 2   Heal cost: 2 until greater than: 4 new cost: 3   Presence cost: 2   Strength / Agility cost: 2 until greater than: 4 new cost: 1   Physical / Range cost: 1 until greater than: 5 new cost: 2   Lastly, I mentioned that there would be 4 “classes” per race. The classes each come with an additional stat modifier   Magic 1   +1 Agility Magic 2   +1 Strength Magic 3   +1 Presence   Magic 4 / Mecha 4  +1 Heal   Mecha 1  +1 Physical Mecha 2  +1 Range Mecha 3  +1 Intelligence   I know it’s not a lot so far but, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t completely out to lunch before I really invested serious hours. Thank you for taking the time to read this, I really do appreciate it.