Your video game ideas

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Quizatzhaderac
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Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:44 pm UTC

I know ideas for video games are a dime a dozen, but I'd still like everyone's two cents worth. Fun-fact If we use per-decimalization pound sterling and "two pennies" those numbers fit together
I don't expect anything to come of this other than discussion; hopefully after each idea will get some comments and constructive criticism from each other.
I'll post a template here, and then one of my ideas to start the discussion. Paste-able template spoilered. Feel free to augment or reduce the template as suits your idea.
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

*[b]Name:[/b]

*[b]Genre(s): [/b]

*[b]Motivations: [/b]

*[b]Influences: [/b]

*[b]Principles: [/b]

*[b]User experience: [/b]

*[b]Mechanics: [/b]

*[b]Points of flexibility: [/b]
*Name: Hopefully this will become a discussion, so we'll all need to be able to refer to each others' ideas. If you have a meaningful name great, if not a short description will do.

*Genre(s): The genre the game would belong to, and genres the game has significant elements from.

*Motivations: What basic motivators drive someone playing the game.

*Influences: Games that are contextually significant to your idea. Optionally some analysis of their mechanics.

*Principles: A set of aesthetics or a high level design you're trying to achieve with the mechanics.

*User experience: The experience you're trying to create for the user. Possibly with examples of typical play arcs.

*Mechanics: Specifics of how you hope to achieve the above things.

*Points of flexibility: Significant things you (by intention or sloth) have not decided.

Edit added motivators.
Last edited by Quizatzhaderac on Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:00 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:44 pm UTC

One I'm sure some of you have had before.
*Name:MMORTS

*Genre(s): MMORPG, RTS

*Motivations:
**Rivalry against other players.
**War in PvE
**Potency, some kind of progress is almost guaranteed.
**Gathering: availability of resources isn't predictable.
**Nesting: Base development.
**Real life: Other players and situations where you're encouraged to team up.

*Influences:
Warcrarft III
Spoiler:
There are a series of four single player campaigns connected by narrative. CHanges from battle by battle are purely sequence drive, actions in one battle don't affect others.
PvP unrelated to single player. Your win record affects the quality of your opponents, but apart from that, PvP matches are unrelated to each other.
The player begins each match/level with a given supply of resources, buildings, troops, and advancement through the tech tree.
The army can be expanded up to the food limit, which is typically many times the starting size.
The tech tree starting point is determined by the match/level. In PvE the illusion of consequence is created by requiring an update in one level, and it being available at the start of the next level.
In PvP your can always max out the tech tree.
Your building choices do not carry over between levels/matches.

Units have a set of abilities. Some are always used, some are always used if set to active, and some are used only on specific user action.
There are hero units which are disproportionally strong, can level, can be revived, and tend to have many abilities that require direct user invocation.
Warhammer Fantasy
Spoiler:
The player begins each match by selecting an army within a certain points budget.
There are point allocation limits preventing "gimmicky" armies (for example you cannot spend more than 25% on allies from other races, more than 50% on leaders, or less than 25% on regular troops.

There are exceptionally strong units called leaders that have more individuality. There are both generic leaders (Goblin hero, Skaven mage, other permutations of role/race) and specific heroes from the narrative. Leaders are generally able to act as independent units (versus a unit of 20 spear-men which can't split or merge with another unit). Leaders can be customized by giving them magic items.

In theory one's army can completely change between matches. However, since this is a tabletop game played with dozens of (player) hand painted miniatures a player effectively has a limited pool of troops to build the army out of.
Clash of clans
Spoiler:
Buildings are generally divided into three categories: resources, army and defenses.

Resource generation is real time based. A successful attacks nets a fraction of the defender's resources, and an unsuccessful defense losses a fraction of your resources.

Army buildings create, store and improve your attack troops. By and large your army is not involved in defense in any way.

Defense buildings automatically attack, trap, or passively hinder attackers. Traps must be reset at a resource cost ( a fraction of building/upgrading them).

There's a PvP score in "trophies" which determines match making. Trophies and marginal resources are the principle effects of PvP. All buildings can be destroyed in attacks, but (except for traps) they all are un-destroyed after the match for free. This results in a total wipe being annoying, but not devastating.

PvP is strictly passive on the defender's end. The attacker and defender can't even be logged in at the same time. The defender has choices in building placement and defense upgrades, but does absolutely nothing while their village is attacked. I'd assume this greatly simplifies PvP match-making.
*Principles:
Spoiler:
** Growth across sessions
The player's army should be able to improve the force they wield across sessions, not just their own skills. Scope of improvement includes quantity, quality and variety.
** Fuzzy neighborhood
The player will have a sense of space and surroundings, but the content will be contextual.
** PvP and PvE variation
The game should have a mixture of single PvE, multi PvE, and PvP. Moreover, there should be mixtures of symmetric and a-symmetric battles to permit different play styles and ability levels.
** Nien Das klicken!
The rate at which a player can select actions should not be factor in success. A player may be unable make the best decision possible in the time frame, but they should be able to input their decision. Alternatively: mods parallelizing commands should be useless.
*User experience:
Spoiler:
**Tutorial
The user starts with a simple infrastructure and army and is given several simple improvement objectives and small, baroque NPC enemies. The map starts off blank and starts to have a few points, mainly resources and punching bag NPCs. Possibly friends' camps are assessable to enable co-op though the early challenges. When the player leaves the tutorial phase they have used the all of the basic attack and defense mechanics (not necessarily in combination), the player will have used the mechanics to create new troops and improve infrastructure.
**Early
Customization options become available, different players' armies start to diverge in shape, not just scale or progression. NPC forces start to resemble player forces. Voluntary PvP becomes possible, but not important. Involuntary asymmetrical (in your favor) PvP becomes possible. Tutorial co-op starts to appear, to encourage and model ally seeking. The player starts to "explore" their world map.
**Middle
Equally progressed players now how significantly different armies. The world map is now extensive with some points occasionally pruned. Involuntary symmetric PvP becomes possible, some anti-symmetric PvP becomes practical. Single PvE becomes robust challenges. Co-op PvE starts to require more skill (not merely enough allies), but is only moderately challenging. Casual gamers may stay in this phase permanently, while still slowly growing power to the same levels as more advanced gamers. Players that are only advanced in some aspects may keep to upper-middle content in other aspects.
**Advanced
World map is mostly full, pruning and replacement are of significant importance, as is using other players' maps. Single PvE is very demanding and typically requires optimal strategies. PvP grows in importance. PvE co-op now requires solid teamwork.
**Master
For leader-board types. Symmetric PvP with other masters. Increasingly dramatic anti-symmetric PvP with everyone else. PvE that's barely possible.
*Mechanics:
Spoiler:
**Types of PvP
*** Symmetric active versus active: This is essentially what most RTS PvP is. This is present, but not exclusive like other games. Scheduling conflicts would probably mean this is two armies meeting away from their camps.
*** Symmetric active versus passive: CoC style, this has the advantage of simplifying match-making. This would dominate antagonistic conflicts with direct neighbors, with one's camp involved.
*** Asymmetric: Tutorial and single player can ease one into PvP, but there still tends to be a sharp curve once one starts PvPing. Matchmaking is also imperfect and can't always create fair matches. Asymmetric matches are not "fair". Typically, they'd consist of a stronger player and a weaker player with the scenario favoring the weaker player.
*** Competitive but not combative. Two players are both overlapping and conflicting interests. A good analogy is (USA vs. USSR) vs. Germany; Both sides wanted to stop Germany, but both also preferred their side capture German held territory. This may be (PvP)vE or (PvP)vP, but mostly (PvP)vE as I'd image that's more manageable.
*** Other permutations: Not all permutations may be present or frequent, but the full space is: Symmetric/asymmetric single/multiple active/passive versus single/multiple active/passive.

**Positive sum antagonism: When two players are in conflict, it will often be possible for all players to (on average) gain. For instance: two armies may be fighting over 100 resource. One might "lose" by only getting ten, but if you played the same scenario twice with opposite results, you'd come out ahead.

** Map functionality. The player's map will be underlied with a graph. The map will not necessarily be consistent between users, euclidean or simply connected. Generally we'd try to keep that maps simple enough to not throw the odd geometry in the players faces.
As the player "explores" a new node, a node appropriate to their progression is added. Occasionally nodes/paths/branches will be trimmed if they're unused or no longer appropriate, this will require some kind of narrative explications like rock slides or tears in time/space.
While the map is a graph, the game would attempt to create the illusion of a contiguous 2D space. Mental directions like "right through the woods 'till a clearing, up 'till that funny rock, left then north-west at the fork in the stream" should work.
Co-play will be accomplished by meeting at the destination (if both have it) or one player following the other (if the players have each other).

**Actions per minute: Design of each scenario will heavily consider both maximum possible actions per minute and minimum sensible actions per minute. Exceeding the maximum would make simpler actions more powerful and create player frustration as they are unable to enter all desired commands. Exceeding the minimum would be boring.
***Troop/time continuum: The number of troops usable will be inversely proportional to the rate time moves. As such, starting and max troops will be close in magnitude (say max only 150% of start. (Note this doesn't preclude enormous replacement.)
***Conservation of individuality. Individuality in terms of focus required to determine a unit/groups actions. All actions will control either a group, or powerful abilities. An example violation this principle are the orc boar riders in WC3: they could each net a flying unit, but each net was operated individually, so for five riders versus five flying units requires selecting each rider then each flier in turn.

** Troop semi-mortality: When a unit is slain during a scenario they stay slain for the scenario. For the next scenario they, their experience, and equipment persist.

** Technology and infrastructure: Technology is developed over the long term, across scenarios. Infrastructure is developed during a scenario, with starting points and caps determined by technology. There will likewise be a short term/ long term division of resources.

** Troop pool: The player will cultivate a pool of troops, only some of which will be used in any given scenario. Quantity and variety during a scenario will be influenced by infrastructure.

** Passive defense: This is accomplished by a combination of defense placement and troop placement. The defender's troops will be less effective, but the defender will have defensive structures.

*** Secondary camps: Placed to collect resources, enable travel, ect. This will divide up the defenders troops and provide context for asymmetrical PvP.
*Points of flexibility:
**Narrative
**Races: Although I'm certain each player's army should have space to be significantly different, I haven't decided what races there should be, or if differentiation should be accomplished through races.
**combat mechanics: I've decided not to pin this down because I don't have original ideas for this. In my mind I'm switching between computerized Warhammer and Warcraft, but most RTS combat mechanics should work.
**Art style
Last edited by Quizatzhaderac on Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:47 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:56 pm UTC

If I had infinite time and money and could actually program, this is the game I'd want to make.

*Name: No idea. I'll call it "Endless Realm" for discussion purposes.

*Genre(s): RPG

*Influences: Old school RPGs, particularly Wizardry 7, Baldur's Gate, Ultima. The game would be multi-character party in the classic sense of Wizardry, with a similarly high degree of difficulty and fairly specialized classes. One of the features from Wizardry 7 that I would like to bring forward is the idea that the world is dynamic: There are other parties/NPCs traveling the world, leveling and completing quests at the same time as you, and sometimes their objectives would conflict with yours. Game offers great replay value because there's too many things that you need to do and not enough time to do them all before someone else does. Like Baldur's Gate, there would also be intra-party tensions due to race, profession, and history (ie. noble vs. peasant births) of each character, though once again, raised up a level--the fact that two of your characters don't like each other, or are in a romantic relationship or whatever would have more direct effects on gameplay, via bonuses/penalties in combat, how well characters perform tasks together (eg. standing watch at night), etc. As with both BG and Ultima, quests would generally have multiple solutions with potentially karmic effects later on (and party relationship effects), as well as, of course, the potential that some quests will be finished by someone else.

*Principles:
--Dynamic party and dynamic world: As described above, the key would be to make the world feel more vibrant than the classic RPG predecessors, primarily through NPC parties and party dynamics. Perhaps even the overarching story could also have a dynamic component--eg. a long war where various areas may be conquered/liberated, which can lead to effects on the difficulty in certain areas, as well as trade in certain goods. The game should be responsive to ingame developments, so that while the overall plot may remain the same, the details may change dramatically from playthrough to playthrough.

--Tactical combat: Combat should be strategic and thoughtful; fewer, more complex battles is preferable to many boring ones. Definitely not a clickfest RPG.

*User experience:
--The game should be fairly short, since replay value is high. 40-60 hours or so for a playthrough is probably sufficient. Given the dynamic nature of the game, it's also possible that the player could arrive in situations that are (nearly) unwinnable, so it's probably best to keep it short to avoid frustration.

--Again, harkening back to old school games, gameplay would be entirely turn-based.

--Heavy emphasis on non-trivial decision-making. I want the player to spend time thinking about the right course of action, not just in combat, but also with interactions with NPCs, how to best complete certain quests, which quests they feel that they are able to complete, etc. given the (possibly incomplete) information available to them about possible consequences of their choice.

*Mechanics: Specifics of how you hope to achieve the above things.
--Combat: Combat would be turned based with each character being represented on a grid/hex. The player would have direct control over the party leader, and would be able to issue orders to the other characters on the team. Although these would usually be obeyed, depending on the specific order and the character's disposition, they may occasionally balk (eg. a character may refuse to help another character that they dislike, or may flee if they feel overwhelmed). Characters with melee weapons would be able to engage any creature next to them (or one space further for a longish weapon). Once engaged, if the foe attempts to disengage (eg. moving away, moving passed), then the melee character can block them or score free attacks, allowing them to protect characters in the rear. Multiple characters engaging the same creature would give surround bonuses, etc. Magic users would require multiple turns per casting, generally, and spells could be disrupted if attacked in melee. As with Wizardry, a heavy emphasis on tactical/disruptive rather than direct combat magic is ideal.

--Party interactions: Each character in your party would have a personality generated at creation (or recruitment?). Personality would be determined by the character's race and profession (chosen by the player) as well as personal history and religion (procedurally generated, not revealed to player). This would affect their disposition toward other races or characters, possibly phobias, etc. Most party development would take place at camp or in inns and taverns. At camp, there would be various tasks to perform (generally automated), which could result in incremental changes to the relationships between characters. The main character might also have some time to chat with different characters in the team and learn about their histories and feelings toward other party members.

--NPC/Party Interactions: NPC parties would travel the realm, completing quests and acquiring items. Locations where they visited might give information on their exploits, particularly as their fame and fortune grows. If the party happens to encounter an NPC party, they will have several avenues to approach. Generally, parties will meet diplomatically, possibly trade goods or equipment, or ask for services (eg. healing, weapon repair). You can share information, maps, etc. with NPC parties, in exchange for information that they possess, and this would affect how well they are able to complete quests they've been assigned. It would be possible to lie to them about such things, although this will hurt your reputation with that party and possibly other friendly groups they encounter, and likewise, they may lie to you. Theft from other parties would similarly be possible. Naturally, it's possible that they may attack, or you may choose to attack them. If they are losing, they may try to flee or yield (also options available to your party) rather than perish. Various choices will have effects on your reputation with other teams, naturally.

--Quests: Depending on the nature of the quest, the directions to accomplish it may be quite vague, requiring the player to seek out lore from various sources, scholars, books, etc. or trade information with other parties. Quest details will change slightly from game instance to instance. Some quests will be simpler of course, when it makes sense in context. Generally, there would be a large number of quests available, and it would be up to the player to choose which ones are worth attempting since it is unlikely they would be able to complete all of them.

*Points of flexibility:
--Character creation: I'm on the fence as to whether or not this should be chosen at the beginning or if there would be a pool of characters to recruit. In practice, the latter is probably easier to implement and may add more interesting party dynamics.

--Large scale dynamic world: Whether or not large scale events (eg. wars) might be possible or have major effects on gameplay.

--Story: I haven't really given this any thought at this point.

--Permanent party/character death: Replay value will be high, so it might be interesting implement this.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:31 pm UTC

heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:16 pm UTC

@SexyTalon: Thank you for your curatorship, for some reason when I looked through the form in firefox it only lists there being four pages of threads to this forum. Has there been any thought to a design/ theory sub-form?

Regarding endless realm.

So I'm assuming the NPC adventurers would have buildings conforming to the same mechanics as PCs? What about the sedentary NPCs, would they have a farmer or shopkeeper build? Could those NPC skills be of any use for PCs?

Combat space mechanics - I'd guess you're thinking similar to D&D, but if not, how would you use space in terms of terms of motion per turn and size of the battlefield?

For the quests, I'd suggest any implementation also have some kind of comprehensive note tracking/ cross referencing/ reminding system. Complicated quests are fun, but in a very open world one can lose track of what quests they're on, or relevant to what they're doing.

Character creation: It seems like it would be better to find the party members in situ. First because you're planning on having adventures running around everywhere anyway. Second, to force the interpersonal drama it'd help if you couldn't pop a mono-ethnic party with the job list you like, and needed to get along with people to recruit.

Also, LaserGuy, have you played Dwarf Fortress in adventure mode?
Last edited by Quizatzhaderac on Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:50 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:24 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:@SexyTalon: Thank you for your curatorship, for some reason when I looked through the form in firefox it only lists there being four threads to this forum. Has there been any thought to a design/ theory sub-form?


Not really. It comes up infrequently enough that I'm not sure there's demand for it. I could very well be mistaken, though.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:46 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Regarding endless realm.

So I'm assuming the NPC adventurers would have buildings conforming to the same mechanics as PCs? What about the sedentary NPCs, would they have a farmer or shopkeeper build? Could those NPC skills be of any use for PCs?


The NPC adventurers would run the same skillsets, races, and classes as the party, yes, as would monsters, where appropriate. Expanding on your idea below, this works more sensibly into recruiting NPCs, either by joining parties (up to a certain size), or by maybe poaching disgruntled NPCs from another team. Or they could be wandering around alone. Sedentary NPCs... possibly. I don't like crafting mechanics in games, myself, so some of that side of things would be stunted quite a bit. But a merchant NPC might have a haggling skill or a diplomacy skill or something else that's relevant.

Combat space mechanics - I'd guess you're thinking similar to D&D, but if not, how would you use space in terms of terms of motion per turn and size of the battlefield?


Well, simplest version would be that you can do exactly one action per turn, except for a few actions that take multiple turns. If not that, I'd probably go for something similar to Fallout/Betrayal at Krondor. Each character has a certain speed/action points per turn, each action costing a specific number of points, and they can perform as many actions as their points allow. I guess for the spellcasting type mechanics, the points would either have to be bankable if a character were to pass a turn, or, alternately you could give yourself a point deficit and have to pay it off in subsequent turns. So it would be something like: a character starts with ~5 points, movement costs 1 point; attack costs 3 points; a big spell might cost 12. The details would come down to what works best for game balance, of course.

For the quests, I'd suggest any implementation also have some kind of comprehensive note tracking/ cross referencing/ reminding system. Complicated quests are fun, but in a very open world one can lose track of what quests they're on, or relevant to what they're doing.


Yes, there'd have to be a very good journal system for sure.

Character creation: It seems like it would be better to find the party members in situ. First because you're planning on having adventures running around everywhere anyway. Second, to force the interpersonal drama it'd help if you couldn't pop a mono-ethnic party with the job list you like, and needed to get along with people to recruit.


That makes good sense.

Also, LaserGuy, have you played Dwarf Fortress in adventure mode?


Nope. I played some in Fortress mode awhile back, and have played other Rogue-likes.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Adam H » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:28 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Clash of clans: There's a PvP score in "trophies" which determines match making. Trophies and marginal resources are the principle effects of PvP.
The most similar thread of all: if you could make a game what game would you make? Also Building a TransGaming system from the ground up.

But I don't think having this thread is that redundant since the game ideas in it are very fleshed out compared with other threads.

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Clash of clans: There's a PvP score in "trophies" which determines match making. Trophies and marginal resources are the principle effects of PvP.
Clash of Clans is IMO worthy of being copied, but one thing I hate about it is the match-making. Matching players with similar trophies means that players are highly encouraged to lose trophies (in Clash of Clans, by baiting attackers into destroying their town hall without going after their resources) so that they get favorable matchups. It would be harder to game the system if you had two separate ratings: one for defense and one for attacking. Then players who purposefully suck at one aren't aided in the other via easy matches.
-Adam

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:14 pm UTC

Adam H wrote:Clash of Clans is IMO worthy of being copied, but one thing I hate about it is the match-making..
Agreed. I mainly included it because it's where I got the idea of active versus passive PvP. As for the matchmaking: it's problems are very concrete, which makes solutions seem easier (if you're building from the ground up, of which Supercell no longer has the luxury). One thing is that PvP is negative sum in terms of resources, that combined with many people's preference to keep the resources they collected over risking stealing others, strongly incentives being low ranking, and hence losing.

That's why I have the "positive sum antagonism" mechanic. Let's reduce all hypothetical non-ranking impacts of PvP to a one dimensional points system. At low level a loss, tie, and win would get you -1,2,and 5 points. At a high ranking it would be -2,4,10. The only reason it'd be better to be low level is if you're losing consistently and badly, if which case the ranking should reflect that to.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:09 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Combat space mechanics - I'd guess you're thinking similar to D&D, but if not, how would you use space in terms of terms of motion per turn and size of the battlefield?


Well, simplest version would be that you can do exactly one action per turn, except for a few actions that take multiple turns. If not that, I'd probably go for something similar to Fallout/Betrayal at Krondor. Each character has a certain speed/action points per turn, each action costing a specific number of points, and they can perform as many actions as their points allow. I guess for the spellcasting type mechanics, the points would either have to be bankable if a character were to pass a turn, or, alternately you could give yourself a point deficit and have to pay it off in subsequent turns. So it would be something like: a character starts with ~5 points, movement costs 1 point; attack costs 3 points; a big spell might cost 12. The details would come down to what works best for game balance, of course.
I was thinking more along he lines of:

What would the ratio of occupied/empty space be?
How long would it take to cross the battlefield?
What opportunity costs does moving have? You already addressed this, but without context I don't know whether charge and attack is (8 squares * 1 pt/square) + 3pts or (1 pt any distance) + 3 pts.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:40 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:
Combat space mechanics - I'd guess you're thinking similar to D&D, but if not, how would you use space in terms of terms of motion per turn and size of the battlefield?


Well, simplest version would be that you can do exactly one action per turn, except for a few actions that take multiple turns. If not that, I'd probably go for something similar to Fallout/Betrayal at Krondor. Each character has a certain speed/action points per turn, each action costing a specific number of points, and they can perform as many actions as their points allow. I guess for the spellcasting type mechanics, the points would either have to be bankable if a character were to pass a turn, or, alternately you could give yourself a point deficit and have to pay it off in subsequent turns. So it would be something like: a character starts with ~5 points, movement costs 1 point; attack costs 3 points; a big spell might cost 12. The details would come down to what works best for game balance, of course.
I was thinking more along he lines of:

What would the ratio of occupied/empty space be?
How long would it take to cross the battlefield?
What opportunity costs does moving have? You already addressed this, but without context I don't know whether charge and attack is (8 squares * 1 pt/square) + 3pts or (1 pt any distance) + 3 pts.


I'm not exactly sure on the field size. Going off of games I know with this sort of system, my memory is that Betrayal at Krondor has a 8x8 or so field, with a maximum movement of 5. The player party size in that game only 3 though, with up to, maybe 6-7 monsters possible. And my memory is that battles in that game do feel pretty cramped. Star Trail can have fairly large fields, maybe 20x30 or even bigger, with a maximum movement of 8, but very large numbers (>30) monsters possible on rare occasions. I think this is probably closest to what I'd want. In the original Fallout, I think the field is only limited by the size of the map you're in, with a maximum movement of 10, though in practice, most fights happen in much smaller areas than that. I guess that's kind of the extreme case.

Roughly speaking, it would be something like this: a battle party would be six characters per side. Each character would control a radius of 1 (maybe 2?) squares (I'm talking square grids because it's easier for me to visualize, but the same would apply if hexes were used instead) around them where enemies would have difficulty passing through, either being blocked completely or attacked if they tried to pass. Based on that, I might want characters to move ~6 spaces per turn (maybe a bit more if I were to use the larger radius). To avoid battles having too much walking, I think I'd probably want it to be possible to cross the field in 3-4 turns, so I guess we're looking at 20x20 or so for the base field size, modified by the terrain. Something along those lines.

I'd have movement take one action point per step in normal terrain. So in my original formulation, moving three steps would be the equivalent to 1 attack.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:36 pm UTC

Name: Wizards : Fuck With Shit
For those of you who remember the ramblings in the Magic Thread, this is what I crammed it into. For those who don't... the name's pretty descriptive. You're a wizard. You get to fuck with shit.
Spoiler:
*Genre(s): Sandbox RPG aka whatever the hell Mount & Blade is.

*Influences: Mount & Blade (Open World make-your-own-point gameplay), The Elder Scrolls series (primarily Arena-Oblivion's spellmaking mechanic), Saints Row series, Just Cause series (the overall theme of "Fuckin' with shit 'cause you can"), Gary's Mod (Modular interaction of gameplay elements), Dwarf Fortress (AI interaction, world history, etc), Fallout, Max Payne, (VATS/Bullet Time), Red Faction series, Magic Carpet series, Spore (real-time terrain and building deformation)

*Principles: While there will be pre-built quests that are given by certain NPCs, especially in the early game to teach gameplay and thought-style, the overall gameplay should be one where the user, knowingly or not, is constantly creating situations where the AI interacts with itself and the player to create unique experiences. Things like the player burning down a forest will anger the elves and delight the goblins, damming a river causes crop problems downstream, carving random holes in a mountain creates lairs for creatures which may or may not have been the idea, building a massive base creates a target for mauraders and so on. But while the game should flow from what the player does, the primary point of the game is, and should be, "Wait, so can I telekinesis this tree out of the ground and beat this blacksmith to death with it?... coooooool."

*User experience: The player starts out with an element and a handful of modifiers. For example, Fire, and the modifiers* Direct Effect, Spray, Area of Effect and Effect over Time. The player is taught to utilize their Intellectual Superiority (Bullet Time) to give them the time needed to mix spells on the fly.

The modifiers should work more or less as follows - what I'm calling Direct Effect should be a large, near instant spike affecting one item, limited area, creature and so on - anything that one can quickly think of as "one" - that isn't as powerful as Effect over Time. EoT should affect the same target area (one creature, object, or small area of space) and have a much larger overall effect at the cost of taking 20-40 seconds or more. Spray would be the immediate area in front of the player affecting a 45 to 90 degree angle of view, and Area of Effect would be a large circle in a targeted area, affecting more area than Spray but with less strength. In short, the understanding of modifiers should be that the faster and larger area covered, the less done overall while targeting a small area and letting it take it's time creates more impressive effects.

The next few effects and modifiers should seemingly have nothing to do with combat - Manipulate Ground, Animate Object, Erase Unattended Object. Things that let the player create pits on the fly, make a chest of loot follow them around rather than the player carrying it, simply remove a locked door from existence. Get the player used to using these things in a noncombative way, but at the same time reward them for using them in combat - erasing support ropes of a bridge to cause enemies to fall to their deaths, animating the weapons and armor of sleeping or inattentive enemies not to fight them but to be inaccessible in combat (you ever try putting on a suit of armor that's actively running away from you? Doesn't work), opening pits beneath the enemy's feet or erupting spires of earth beneath them, launching them in the air.

Modifiers should be applicable to all spelltypes. Erase Unattended Object Direct Effect should basically be a disintegrate ray, a save-or-cease sort of thing, while Erase Unattended Object Effect over Time would slowly eat away at the object, being more destructive but taking far longer. Eventually, more modifiers should be added - area of effect over time (large area, large effect), spray direct effect (angle of effect, greater effect) direct effect direct effect (large spike of effect)

*Mechanics: Pseudo-Real Time - either fakery like Baldur's Gate/Neverwinter Nights where there are distinct Rounds, or something like Fallout/Max Payne where time manipulation is a core part of gameplay - namely in slowing/stopping it so as to decide your actions at your leisure.

Limited number of Targeted Effects, large number of modifications. Ability to scale up and down effects with modifiers - a single target fire effect with three or four weakening powers would be useful for lighting a candle or torch. A single target fire effect with three or four strengthening powers would engulf a building.

Modification of terrain features should be quick and effortless - the technology has been shown in multiple games.

*Points of flexibility: Ideally, the flexibility of the game comes from unexpected outcomes in play. The way it should work is that elements of the game have preset interactions (cold effects + pool of water = ice. Cold effects + waterfall = block of ice in the waterfall acting as a barrier. Water then applies it's spread effect, ultimately allowing you to build an ice staircase using a waterfall).

*Points of Failure: The game would rely heavily on randomly generated quests. Randomly generated quests are usually godawful. I cannot figure out a way around this without relying on pre-built areas. I'm not sure this is a bad thing.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby poochyena » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:27 am UTC

A game like the anime Sword Art Online.... minus the dieing in real life

basically, an mmorpg where there are many dungeons and such, all like a normal mmorpg, except when you die, your character gets erased, and you have to start completely over again.
You, and everyone playing, has to clear all the dungeons and beat the bosses to get to the final room and clear that boss, and the whole game is won.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:28 am UTC

I know I didn't do the best job, but can you try to use the template? You're also describing... I don't know how many exactly, so let's say 400. You're describing what 400 MUDS have already done.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Zcorp » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:05 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:One I'm sure some of you have had before.
*Name:MMORTS

*Genre(s): MMORPG, RTS

Is this basically Myth with more persistent bonuses between battles and possibly with a PvP campaign scenario?
Is base building external to the real time element?

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:59 pm UTC

@SecondTalon: It seems like what you want is for the game to evolve naturally, and as a consequence of all the stupid things the player does. Pre-built areas don't necessary contradict this. Did you know that in Spore the other empires are frozen in time until you contact them? You could do something similar if you want a thousand things affecting an area, but with some constants at the beginning.

Also you might be able to stick sub-plots in multiple areas. For instance say you want a Romeo and Juliet sub-plot; this plot structure also works well outside of renaissance Verona. You could write a plot about boy a and girl b from two warring factions A and B and tell the game to stick the plot wherever it fits.

Zcorp wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:One I'm sure some of you have had before.
*Name:MMORTS

*Genre(s): MMORPG, RTS

Is this basically Myth with more persistent bonuses between battles and possibly with a PvP campaign scenario?
Is base building external to the real time element?
I haven't played any of the Myth games, but going off Wikipedia's description:

The resource management and unit development would be on a different time scale than the actual battles. There would be more units and building development than an RTS, comparable in complexity to a MMORPG, because that would be the same time scale. By analogy: I'd say Pokemon is a game about catching, training, and building a team, but when when you have to fight Team Rocket, you don't actually do any of that in the fight. Your past decisions define everything you have to work with, even if your not making them in the heat of battle.

Base building would be done in long-term real-time (on the order of hours to days). There might be some things that can be built mid battle like trenches or siege towers, but the core structures would be persistent and planned outside of combat.

The other thing: there would not be a "PvP campaign scenario" nor a "PvE campaign scenario", nor even truely bounded campaigns. You create a profile and build up you army and infrastructure indefinitely (like an MMORPG); some of your engagements will be PvE, and some will be PvP. After a match it wouldn't matter that you got your XP/gold/ect from beating a human or an AI.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:10 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:@SecondTalon: It seems like what you want is for the game to evolve naturally, and as a consequence of all the stupid things the player does. Pre-built areas don't necessary contradict this. Did you know that in Spore the other empires are frozen in time until you contact them? You could do something similar if you want a thousand things affecting an area, but with some constants at the beginning.

Also you might be able to stick sub-plots in multiple areas. For instance say you want a Romeo and Juliet sub-plot; this plot structure also works well outside of renaissance Verona. You could write a plot about boy a and girl b from two warring factions A and B and tell the game to stick the plot wherever it fits.

Pretty much. Ideally three players could, after 40 hours or so of gameplay, be at radically different points despite the more or less identical start. As in one is in a city, working for a king and having a side business of selling magic items to NPC adventurers and can even go so far as to essentially sub-contract out quests (The king wants the goblin problem taken care of - I can go and negotiate a peace or maybe buy them out into some sort of servitude.. or I can put a $2000 bounty on them and let random adventurers take care of it.. or just pay Miguel the Undying $3000 to kill them all.), one is at the head of an undead/orc empire that's waging war on neighboring nations. Which, mechanically would probably play similarly (I'll just drop $2000 on training a bunch of grunts and send them out.. or pay $3000 to raise some elite undead, equip them with orcish gear and have them conquer the halfling town..) but be a different enough flavor to feel different.

And the third is not really running any nation, but is a walking avatar of destruction that nations send their armies to try and kill.. and he drops mountains on them. 'cause it's funny.

At any rate, you're right in that I'm looking for a reactionary experience. Or whatever it's called when a game watches what you're doing and says "Oh, this is what the player wants? Well, here's more of that"
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby firesoul31 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:36 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:@SecondTalon: It seems like what you want is for the game to evolve naturally, and as a consequence of all the stupid things the player does. Pre-built areas don't necessary contradict this. Did you know that in Spore the other empires are frozen in time until you contact them? You could do something similar if you want a thousand things affecting an area, but with some constants at the beginning.

Also you might be able to stick sub-plots in multiple areas. For instance say you want a Romeo and Juliet sub-plot; this plot structure also works well outside of renaissance Verona. You could write a plot about boy a and girl b from two warring factions A and B and tell the game to stick the plot wherever it fits.

Pretty much. Ideally three players could, after 40 hours or so of gameplay, be at radically different points despite the more or less identical start. As in one is in a city, working for a king and having a side business of selling magic items to NPC adventurers and can even go so far as to essentially sub-contract out quests (The king wants the goblin problem taken care of - I can go and negotiate a peace or maybe buy them out into some sort of servitude.. or I can put a $2000 bounty on them and let random adventurers take care of it.. or just pay Miguel the Undying $3000 to kill them all.), one is at the head of an undead/orc empire that's waging war on neighboring nations. Which, mechanically would probably play similarly (I'll just drop $2000 on training a bunch of grunts and send them out.. or pay $3000 to raise some elite undead, equip them with orcish gear and have them conquer the halfling town..) but be a different enough flavor to feel different.

And the third is not really running any nation, but is a walking avatar of destruction that nations send their armies to try and kill.. and he drops mountains on them. 'cause it's funny.

At any rate, you're right in that I'm looking for a reactionary experience. Or whatever it's called when a game watches what you're doing and says "Oh, this is what the player wants? Well, here's more of that"


I imagine this is what a very large Ars Magica 2 (Minecraft mod) server would look like if you gave everyone lots of free spell-creation stuff at the beginning.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby setzer777 » Fri May 30, 2014 4:43 am UTC

*Name:
Let's say "League of The Ancients" (LoTA)

*Genre(s):
MOBA

*Influences:
League of Legends, and an early DoTA clone called "Tides of Blood"

*Principles:
Start with the standard 3-lane 5v5 MOBA template, but surround the lane towers with miniature bases managed by the players. They have to balance spending money on items to upgrade their champion and improvements to their base.

*User experience:
-Character choice: As with current MOBAs, different champions require different amounts of item investment. But base upgrades would mostly replace wards as the target for money support classes receive. Champions would also be divided into thematic factions, with each faction having one or more exclusive base upgrade.

-Base customization: Base upgrades would be divided into three categories: static defenses (mini-towers to back up the main tower), reinforcements (units added to the friendly minion wave when it passes through the base), and guards (units that exclusively defend the base, and highly prioritize attacking enemy champions).

-Lane pressure: Bases would add an indirect method of pressuring lanes. Even with no champions in a lane, enough base investment can eventually produce minion waves that require multiple champs (or champs supported by friendly minions) to take down.

-Late game minion relevance: by strengthening bases over time, this game would avert the convention of minions becoming relatively insignificant in the late game. Unless you're facing non-upgraded bases, running ahead of your minion wave can be quite risky.

*Mechanics:
-Base upgrades would not require the presence of the champion. You can even upgrade your base while waiting to respawn.

-Bases would have an extremely powerful but extremely expensive upgrade designed to break late-game stagnation. If everyone's finished their item builds and keeps turtling, this can be used to force a resolution. This would be something purely destructive that can only be countered by destroying the base, not by buying the same upgrade. Say a nuclear silo or the like.

-Players would still only have direct control of their champions. Base guards, reinforcements, and turrets would all be handled by the AI.


*Points of flexibility:
-I haven't figured out how I'd want base placement to work, given the presence of 5 players but only 3 lanes. I don't know if I'd want to place some players' bases in front of others where they are likely to be destroyed first. I'm also not thrilled with location choice becoming another point of contention between teammates.

-On the other hand, it could be a good point of strategy - item dependent champs take the forward expendable bases while support champs take the safer-to-invest-in rear bases.

-I definitely want static defenses and guards to be destroyable, but I might want to have the minion wave reinforcements be a main-base upgrade, so they stick around the entire game. Having them linked to forward outposts could exacerbate snow-balling when one team gets a tower lead. Alternatively, the reinforcement buildings could be indestructible even after the towers are gone, but lay dormant if your minion wave isn't making it that far down the lane.

-I haven't decided whether a champion's base should be lost forever when destroyed, or whether they should have the opportunity to rebuild it minus the main turret.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Envelope Generator » Mon Jun 02, 2014 9:16 am UTC

Years ago when I was still interested in coding and had the time for it I toyed with an idea for a space flight/exploration/combat simulator in four-dimensional space. There would be no graphics at all beyond the inside of the player's vessel (the handwavy backstory would have involved the insufficiency of the human explorers' senses to grasp the environment), and all gameplay would be via sensors, instruments and radio navigation. It would be possible to program one's own instruments to interpret, visualize and react to the sensor data from the environment. Kind of like a really, really obtuse mash-up of submarine and civilian flight simulators and the Elite series.

Back then (when Wikipedia was barely a thing) I didn't know about inconvenient minor details like the impossibility of stable orbits in four dimensions, but maybe that could've been handwaved away somehow too.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:12 pm UTC

Unstable orbits could work for a video game. Two categories of objects: 1) "fixed" objects start in perfect orbits, minor forces that would tip it off balance are ignored; 2) powered objects (namely the players craft) apply marginal thrust to keep their orbits stable.

Or just keep gravity a inverse square force. That'd technically allows violation of conversation of energy, but I doubt your game would allow the player to trigger those conditions. Or if the game does allow it, and the player exploits it: Kudos on integrating field potential over four dimensional space and translating the divergent result into a celestial perpetual motion machine.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quercus » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:18 pm UTC

*Name: Haven't thought of a name, how about "total war in spaaaaaace"

*Genre(s): Hardcore space RTS

*Influences: Homeworld, a bit, but mainly lots of hard sci fi from the likes of Charles Sheffield, and military sci fi, particularly The lost fleet series by Jack Campbell

*Principles:
  • No faster than light travel during combat.
  • No instantaneous knowledge of enemy ship movements - if an enemy ship is 10 light minutes away you observe its actions with a 10 minute delay and vice versa.
  • There is instantaneous communication between friendly ships - I initially thought about command originating from a "flagship" and orders to and actions of other ships having an appropriate speed of light delay. I quickly realised this would be impossible without leaving most of the control of most ships up to AI, which I didn't want to do.
  • Ships are constrained by: reaction mass, specific impulse (i.e. taken together, a total delta v limit) and acceleration (lower limits for manned ships, higher for missiles, drone fighters etc.). All of these will probably need to be highly buffed from "realistic" values to make the game playable in a reasonable timescale.
  • Full newtonian and orbital mechanics - ships maintain velocity in the absence of engine inputs, ships can orbit/slingshot/fall into stars, planets and moons, ships take as long to decelerate as to accelerate (longer if they don't swing around to bring their main engines to bear)
  • The speed limit is c, or at least a significant fraction of c (I would like to include relativistic effects - but that's clearly not possible if you are controlling ships in multiple reference frames)
  • A very powerful and flexible interface for queueing commands to different ships and formations, possibly with if/else mechanics. For example: "if enemy ships in firing range at time t attempt to match speed and engage using attack formation omicron else enter orbit of planet x using orbital parameters y. Limit acceleration/deceleration to 1/2 maximum (to conserve reaction mass).

*User experience: I envisage this feeling a bit like the board game go i.e. overall strategy interfacing with detailed tactics and a strong emphasis on predicting corresponding enemy strategy and tactics. I would envisage most encounters as a series of commands given to various elements of the fleet, the results of the commands playing out under computer control (encounter speeds will probably be too high to allow much manual control during a firing pass, unless someone has been very stupid), followed by both sides reacting to these results with a new set of commands. It would probably play more like a TBS than an RTS.

*Mechanics: No clue, I have no intention of ever writing this, It's just a game I like the sound of. It's probably totally unrealistic and would require too much computing power (for the Newtonian mechanics simulation of several hundred objects moving at appreciable fractions of c), and much better AI than currently exists (for running encounters occurring far too rapidly to be under direct manual control).

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:26 am UTC

Communication lag was a very real military concern fight into the 20th Century. I'd be interested in a game that actually used that as a mechanic - the biggest design issue is that you'd need some way of dealing with the fact that players' orders will usually come too late when it comes to dealing with evolving situations, or attempting micromanagement - historically, the problem was solved by giving the local CO strategic objectives rather than tactical commands, and expecting them to use their judgement to deal with the situation as they found it. Obviously, going down that route would mean either going multiplayer (and dealing with the fact that the players can just communicate outside the game) or getting some exceptional AI, or getting very creative with user interface so the player can say "hold this position at all costs", "hold this position as long as you can safely", "try to hold this position, but it's more important to stay alive for later", or "try to be somewhere around here in a couple of hours, but stay undetected at all costs" in a way the AI you've got can understand.

If you're going to allow AI units to go off after targets of opportunity, you need the AI to be able to tell an opportunity that's worth taking...

Ideally, you'd also be able to dictate standard doctrine and tactics ("the Book") but that's liable to be a bit boring for the average gamer - though just being able to automate some of the standard micro-management of a game like StarCraft II would be a radical change.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quercus » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:08 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:Communication lag was a very real military concern fight into the 20th Century. I'd be interested in a game that actually used that as a mechanic - the biggest design issue is that you'd need some way of dealing with the fact that players' orders will usually come too late when it comes to dealing with evolving situations, or attempting micromanagement - historically, the problem was solved by giving the local CO strategic objectives rather than tactical commands, and expecting them to use their judgement to deal with the situation as they found it. Obviously, going down that route would mean either going multiplayer (and dealing with the fact that the players can just communicate outside the game) or getting some exceptional AI, or getting very creative with user interface so the player can say "hold this position at all costs", "hold this position as long as you can safely", "try to hold this position, but it's more important to stay alive for later", or "try to be somewhere around here in a couple of hours, but stay undetected at all costs" in a way the AI you've got can understand.

If you're going to allow AI units to go off after targets of opportunity, you need the AI to be able to tell an opportunity that's worth taking...

Ideally, you'd also be able to dictate standard doctrine and tactics ("the Book") but that's liable to be a bit boring for the average gamer - though just being able to automate some of the standard micro-management of a game like StarCraft II would be a radical change.


That's the most significant bit of my idea (EDIT: not quite, I misinterpreted your post - my response still matches the spirit of what you are saying though, whether the time lag affects only knowing enemy responses, or knowing your responses as well, most of the conseqeunces are the same) - actually as you say, this game doesn't really need to be space based at all. As for creative UI one idea I had was basically a scripting language that could, as you say, automate micro-management. You could use it to build a list of contingencies and what to do in each of them. A significant part of the game would be writing classes/modules/subroutines that would form "the Book". A game I was really excited about was 0x10c, and I was disappointed when it was shelved. I remain hopeful about project Trillek though (the community project which sprang from 0x10c's ashes).

The micro-management is the bit I find really boring in RTS games - I remember watching Time Commanders on TV and getting really excited about Rome Total War, then being disappointed when, in the actual game, you couldn't tell your troops to do things like "attempt to take that hill but withdraw behind our left flank if your losses exceed 40%", "adopt formation x against cavalry, formation y against infantry, formation z against ranged units". The prevailing sense of any RTS I try is that you're commanding an army of passive, indecisive idiots who need to be spoon-fed one order at a time. Your units can't even tell you how they are doing so you have to fly around the battlefield like a mad thing checking on every one of them. It's less role-playing a general, more role-playing every officer on the field at once. People will say this is unavoidable, but even some simple branching logic as above should allow much more responsiveness than I've seen in any game. While we're on the subject, another thing that would make RTS much better is a good relative positioning system - in most games you are limited to either pre-defined formations, or commanding the movement of all units individually. If you could specify relative positions, you could define your own formations, either before battle or even on the fly. As you can probably tell I stopped playing RTS a while back.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby rmsgrey » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:51 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:The micro-management is the bit I find really boring in RTS games - I remember watching Time Commanders on TV and getting really excited about Rome Total War, then being disappointed when, in the actual game, you couldn't tell your troops to do things like "attempt to take that hill but withdraw behind our left flank if your losses exceed 40%", "adopt formation x against cavalry, formation y against infantry, formation z against ranged units". The prevailing sense of any RTS I try is that you're commanding an army of passive, indecisive idiots who need to be spoon-fed one order at a time. Your units can't even tell you how they are doing so you have to fly around the battlefield like a mad thing checking on every one of them. It's less role-playing a general, more role-playing every officer on the field at once. People will say this is unavoidable, but even some simple branching logic as above should allow much more responsiveness than I've seen in any game. While we're on the subject, another thing that would make RTS much better is a good relative positioning system - in most games you are limited to either pre-defined formations, or commanding the movement of all units individually. If you could specify relative positions, you could define your own formations, either before battle or even on the fly. As you can probably tell I stopped playing RTS a while back.


Yeah, Time Commanders and the Command School from Ender's Game (the book - haven't seen the movie) both revolved around the idea of having a command structure with intelligent individuals at the next level down, letting the guy at the top delegate with confidence. With Time Commanders, it was interesting seeing the range of command structures that appeared even within the 2 and 2 constraint - there was at least one team where it broke down into one guy looking at the map and giving the orders, one relaying the orders and feeding back additional reports, and then the two on the front line talking to the computer operators. Or there was the question of how to divide the troops, with some teams giving both front-line players a mixed force; some giving one player the cavalry and the other the infantry; and at least one that gave one a small force to micromanage, while the other used the bulk of the army to keep the enemy busy...

And yeah, the standard RTS model is to require the player to control every unit on the field at once, as well as managing base construction and unit build queues because the default behaviour is so dumb. One of the Command & Conquer games (possibly the original) let you press a key to make selected infantry "scatter", making it much harder to run them over with vehicles. That just raises the question of why the infantry stay massed and throw themselves under the treads of a tank if you don't tell them to dodge - if there's ever any benefit to staying massed, surely that should be the exceptional condition that requires an explicit command, rather than "don't suicide"...

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Biliboy » Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:06 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:*Name: Haven't thought of a name, how about "total war in spaaaaaace"

*Genre(s): Hardcore space RTS

*Influences: Homeworld, a bit, but mainly lots of hard sci fi from the likes of Charles Sheffield, and military sci fi, particularly The lost fleet series by Jack Campbell

*Principles:
  • No faster than light travel during combat.
  • No instantaneous knowledge of enemy ship movements - if an enemy ship is 10 light minutes away you observe its actions with a 10 minute delay and vice versa.
  • There is instantaneous communication between friendly ships - I initially thought about command originating from a "flagship" and orders to and actions of other ships having an appropriate speed of light delay. I quickly realised this would be impossible without leaving most of the control of most ships up to AI, which I didn't want to do.
  • Ships are constrained by: reaction mass, specific impulse (i.e. taken together, a total delta v limit) and acceleration (lower limits for manned ships, higher for missiles, drone fighters etc.). All of these will probably need to be highly buffed from "realistic" values to make the game playable in a reasonable timescale.
  • Full newtonian and orbital mechanics - ships maintain velocity in the absence of engine inputs, ships can orbit/slingshot/fall into stars, planets and moons, ships take as long to decelerate as to accelerate (longer if they don't swing around to bring their main engines to bear)
  • The speed limit is c, or at least a significant fraction of c (I would like to include relativistic effects - but that's clearly not possible if you are controlling ships in multiple reference frames)
  • A very powerful and flexible interface for queueing commands to different ships and formations, possibly with if/else mechanics. For example: "if enemy ships in firing range at time t attempt to match speed and engage using attack formation omicron else enter orbit of planet x using orbital parameters y. Limit acceleration/deceleration to 1/2 maximum (to conserve reaction mass).

*User experience: I envisage this feeling a bit like the board game go i.e. overall strategy interfacing with detailed tactics and a strong emphasis on predicting corresponding enemy strategy and tactics. I would envisage most encounters as a series of commands given to various elements of the fleet, the results of the commands playing out under computer control (encounter speeds will probably be too high to allow much manual control during a firing pass, unless someone has been very stupid), followed by both sides reacting to these results with a new set of commands. It would probably play more like a TBS than an RTS.

*Mechanics: No clue, I have no intention of ever writing this, It's just a game I like the sound of. It's probably totally unrealistic and would require too much computing power (for the Newtonian mechanics simulation of several hundred objects moving at appreciable fractions of c), and much better AI than currently exists (for running encounters occurring far too rapidly to be under direct manual control).



The parts of this that I like seem to be covered in the game now in alpha called Novus Aeterno, see my post about it here in Gaming. I haven't seen real Newtonian mechanics translated into a video game that's fun over solar system scales without being horribly boring (for combat, not for kerbal hyjinks)

I would like to see better friendly AI in games, but if you add too complicated a system for adding orders/intelligence then you just get people downloading stuff from the internet and then watching the game play itself... hardly entertaining for long.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:30 pm UTC

I'm going to coin a term: "Lieutenant A.I." - an AI subordinate to a player that interprets a players orders but is intentionally limited in scope to force a player to understand and deal with the big picture.

Lieutenant A.I. is possible, but it's difficult and underdeveloped. We know from the existence of robust enemy AI's that we can teach computer's to play the games we design; however enemy AI is seen as essential and Lieutenant A.I. as optional.

Apart from the programmatic problems, there's the issue that the ludology of issuing strategic objectives in stead of concrete commands hasn't been refined. Designers have little history or experience to draw upon and players don't really have skillsets to describe tasks as anywhere between knowing every exact action and having the AI handle all aspects of the total objective.

The first games with Lieutenant A.I. will probably need to be relatively simple compared to mainstream strategy games, with the player's focus on grappling with only sort of telling it's troops what to do. I'd also imagine there would be quite a few attempts at Lieutenant A.I. before good Lieutenant A.I. or a standard command syntax emerges.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quercus » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:16 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I'm going to coin a term: "Lieutenant A.I." - an AI subordinate to a player that interprets a players orders but is intentionally limited in scope to force a player to understand and deal with the big picture.


I like it - good coinage.

It may be considered optional, but I can tell you that Lieutenant A.I. is essential before I'll start playing strategy games again. I actually think that some games do have the idea of this (mainly identified as games where I don't end up wanting to shoot my own troops for criminal stupidity*), but they tend to get around it by abstracting away the smaller scale stuff in dice throws etc. rather than actually trying to model anything. I'm thinking games like the Civilisation series (can't comment after II, which is the last one I played), and Sierra's old city building series (minus the military parts).

*Okay, it's ultimately my poor playing, but there is a reason why militaries have a command structure with more than two layers.

Edit: Given that Sierra's city building games popped into my head I was thinking of trying out SimCity, then I read that it basically enforces city design based on single-use zoning, which I hold to be one of the more stupid ideas in the history of urban development. The very fact that people are talking in reviews about mixed-use zones not being included because they would be "too useful" rather goes to illustrate my point.
Last edited by Quercus on Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:31 pm UTC

Sergeant AI would be more useful - Lieutenants are there to keep non-coms from running the army efficiently...

I suppose players would complain that the Sergeant AI showed too much initiative and made a habit of quietly ignoring orders that it thought were stupid...

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:28 am UTC

I guess throwing around these ideas are kinda fun sometimes.


*Name: The name should be the last thing you decide on.

*Genre(s): Visual Novel, SRPG, Space Combat

*Influences: Visual Novels in general, Starship Operators, Final Fantasy Tactics

*Principles:
*No Story-Gameplay Seperation at all
All SRPG sections of the game would be integrated with the visual novel aspects of the game. For instance, your instruments officer would alert you to the presence of another ship in the region. You would interact with your nagivations officer just like at any other point in the VN to give them movement commands during battle. You could ask your communications officer to hail the enemy captain. You could ask advise or innovative solutions from your Strategians/Tacticians/Scientists. You could abandon the bridge to help stop soldiers that have boarded, or help engineering fix a problem you know your character, the captain, could fix. All of this would happen through character-interaction visual novel interface. At no point does the screen shatter into pieces, battle music start, and an 'Objectives' screen pop up, you're just always in the visual novel. If you want to look at a reprisentation of your position vs the enemy's position, you'll have to ask your nagivation's officer to send the data to your console, which you can look at through the visual novel interface.


*Relationship Management as a Major Gameplay Element
Since almost everything requires interfacing with the various characters, relationship management becomes very important. The crew performs better when morale is high, and characters that like you tend to perform better under your command. Turns out that character was a spy, or did they become a double agent because you treated them badly and the offer to spy from your enemy became appealing to them? Maybe that character who was a spy decided to betray their employers because they came to like you enough? A crew member might join or quit on the basis of your interactions with them.

Of course you'll also have the ability to assign crew members in certain jobs and manage their duties. Do you put the brilliant engineer in engineering even though they'd personally rather work in the research division? How far will you go to help a character become qualified for their dream position in the crew? Do you run them ragged to maximise preformance or be lax in hopes that they'll like you better? What about the serious get-work-done characters who hate it when things are lax? You can't please everyone.

All these factors should affect how the character reacts to the actions you take as the Captain and how they like you personally. These personal interactions may not have a massive effect on the plot itself, but I think it is the little moments that count. Massively different plotlines aren't as important as the little effects you see your actions having all the time. Maybe a character you like or hates dies, but anyone qualified could do their job so that wouldn't necessarily completely change the plot. I feel it would be feasible to have quite a large and living/breathing character base without the game being bogged down with too many plot possibilities to code.


*Consequentialist space warfare
By this I mean that the SciFi tech introduced to the world should have an effect on the world. You don't expect FTL to exist without society being significantly restructured due to the particulars of the FTL tech. Similarly you shouldn't expect there these sci fi weapons and defenses to exist within a vacuum. Weapons will have particularly effect counters and key identifiers and so on. When a ship first appears you won't necessarily know what it is other than that it is a ship. Once you have a good visual on it, you might be able to match it against a database of standard ship types. When a ship fires it's weapon, your instrumentation/optics crew might be able analyse the light spectrum from the flash made by the attack to determine what kind of weapon the enemy is using. As you get more details you have a better idea about your enemy and their capabilities. The more you know about their capabilities, the better you can put strong countermeasures into effect.


*User experience:
The game should mostly play like a visual novel which has extra mechanics built into it. Every moment should seem like a natural part of the novel rather than something which feels like 'VN stops now, Minigame starts now'. So, mostly it should feel like playing a visual novel, even during the SRPG bits.

Ultimately the game should progress and feel a lot like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBnm37UUSE8#t=843

Battle shouldn't feel like a mechanical aside to the rest of the game. It should play like you're actually the space captain telling people what to do and receiving information from them.


*Mechanics:
I've described a lot of this in the principles sections. You would need to develop a good way of describing characters relationships (which is something I've previously worked on and don't see as too much of an issue).

You would only be controlling one ship which has a variety of hard and soft points that allow for customisation with various modules. The weapons and defenses will be very paper-scissors-rock. Point defense is extremely effective against missiles, sandcasters are extremely effective against lasers. This game would be focusing on big battleships skirmishing with eachother rather than the unreasonable space dogfighting that a lot of scifi games feature.

All crew members will have stats in various abilities/skills/jobs that suggest where they might be best utilised in the crew (which contributes to your overall stats for the ship, and their performance and personalities will directly affect how you interface with the ship, enemies, etc as much like any Sci-Fi show you interact with everything else through the crew), but they should all also have somewhere they prefer to work in, which might not always be the same spot they're skilled in. They'll have their own personal sidequests that the captain can choose to indulge in which might change their prefered work or benefit them with more stats, or qualify them for a type of work they previously couldn't do. Of course completing sidequests would also typically make them like you more.

Ultimately the combat should play like an SRPG, but through character interaction rather than through a menu.


*Points of flexibility:

There is not much I've not decided on. The basics of the plot/setting I've already worked out but there is a lot to flesh out, and of course, I'm certain many new ideas and various aspects of what I've relayed here would change during a hypothetical development process (of course it'll never happen :P). Most of the flexibilities is in the particulars.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:56 pm UTC

One thing worries me about The last thing you decide on.

Captain: Fire!
Armory officer: Fire higgsion torpedo!
Munitions chief: Fire bay seven!
Ordnance specialist aims.
Ordnance specialist: Fired!
Munitions chief: Torpedo bay seven fired.
Armory officer: Higgsion torpedo fired.
Spectroscope Tech looks for explosion
Spectroscope Tech: Partial hit.
Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman: Chevron six encoded.
Sensor ensign calculates effects
Sensor ensign: The higgsion was 63% effective, 78% percent of enemy shields remaining.

Repeat for every minute combat action.

With traditional combat, you'd aim, see it hit, and see the enemies shield bar go down a bit. Each combat action is several social actions. But, since professionalism, discipline and survival instincts are things, people will almost always stow their social issue during crises. Which means many social interactions that very rarely have anything socially interesting going on.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:34 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:One thing worries me about The last thing you decide on.

Captain: Fire!
Armory officer: Fire higgsion torpedo!
Munitions chief: Fire bay seven!
Ordnance specialist aims.
Ordnance specialist: Fired!
Munitions chief: Torpedo bay seven fired.
Armory officer: Higgsion torpedo fired.
Spectroscope Tech looks for explosion
Spectroscope Tech: Partial hit.
Chief Master Sergeant Walter Harriman: Chevron six encoded.
Sensor ensign calculates effects
Sensor ensign: The higgsion was 63% effective, 78% percent of enemy shields remaining.

Repeat for every minute combat action.

With traditional combat, you'd aim, see it hit, and see the enemies shield bar go down a bit. Each combat action is several social actions. But, since professionalism, discipline and survival instincts are things, people will almost always stow their social issue during crises. Which means many social interactions that very rarely have anything socially interesting going on.


There is no reason why you'd see the lines from every single character, it is a command structure afterall. The gunnery and munitions crew report to the weapons officer in the bridge, and they relay the info to you. There might be a couple non-bridge personnel that may occasionally need to chime in (especially if important equipment is located elsewhere) but there is no reason why it'd be that long.

Combat wouldn't be where social interactions become important (except in specific circumstances, like commanding people to take actions that tax their morals) but rather the effect of social interactions previous become important (since those interactions will inform the crew's morale and thus abilities, and possibly their entire personality/morals/goals/qualifications when considering side quests). 'Does the crew member like you' only really factors into morale in generic combat situations, but whether they're tired because you ran a strict schedule or swapped out the relaxation module for a munitions storage module or depressed because of your commmand style (or just in general, since some people are depressive) then that can and will be a serious effect on that crew member's ability.

The crew member's fondness of you will be significantly more important in more specific circumstances like, whether the character will go through with the assassination plot against you, or whether the character will jump in front a bullet for you when a boarding party attacks.

One thing I forgot to mention, which you remind me of, is that the combat wouldn't be fast enough to allow so much repetition within the space of a few minutes. There would be much more going on in between just confirming the launch of various attacks. You'd even possibly be able to leave the bridge (though your crew might disagree with that) to talk with other characters, or whatever. There may even be specific fight sequences that encourage that (stealth ship that has your instrumentation crew working 24/7 to find it but no one else can do anything until they manage to pick up a signal, for instance).

Another thing I forgot to mention was that combat would be very brutal in this game. It wouldn't be the sort of 'spam attacks at each other over and over till they die' thing, a direct hit should be death or close to death for most enemies (the PC's ship might be a bit more durable). This puts the focus on growing your crew's abilities quickly and maintaining their effectiveness while employing strong strategies/tactics (which your crew could help you with, since you'd have advisers. Which, at least to me, is somewhat interesting interactions to be having during battle).

The only thing that would be taxing to create in this game would be the vast amount of dialogue you'd need for all the characters in various crew positions and competancies, side quests, deaths, tactics/strategies for prescripted (and possibly generated, if you could invent a good scheme for it) battles.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:19 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:There is no reason why you'd see the lines from every single character, it is a command structure afterall.
Apart from the gentleman visiting from the SGC, everyone in my example does something ludologically interesting. The captain decides that the ship will fire, the armory officer decides what type of attack, the munitions chief picks which resource (loaded torpedo bays) to expend, the ordnance specialist decides the timing and trajectory. If you cut these people out of combat interaction, you basically need to cut out these combat mechanics. I suppose you could leave them in and have after action reviews where you discover what happened, but I'm not sure if you'd want meetings as a gameplay mechanic.

Actually you (literal you, not editorial) might. A rag tag crew, some of whom hate each other, some are only partially qualified for their positions, and some have problems with authority could make a drill and performance review interesting. With a disciplined military crew that could perform near optimally that would be very boring though.
Gelsamel wrote:Combat wouldn't be where social interactions become important
Which is kind of the crux of the problem, as I see it. Social interactions are there, but not important; you're using the same interface (One designed around social interactions) regardless of the importance of social interactions.
Gelsamel wrote:...combat wouldn't be fast....combat would be very brutal in this game....
This seems wise. In my mind I'm picturing a WW2 submarine movie where the subs barely know where each other are. There's uncertainty and tension, but it's never very fast. I'm guessing combat also wouldn't be a huge portion of play time; just these points of punctuation where you have a real chance of dying.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:36 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:There is no reason why you'd see the lines from every single character, it is a command structure afterall.
Apart from the gentleman visiting from the SGC, everyone in my example does something ludologically interesting. The captain decides that the ship will fire, the armory officer decides what type of attack, the munitions chief picks which resource (loaded torpedo bays) to expend, the ordnance specialist decides the timing and trajectory. If you cut these people out of combat interaction, you basically need to cut out these combat mechanics. I suppose you could leave them in and have after action reviews where you discover what happened, but I'm not sure if you'd want meetings as a gameplay mechanic.

Actually you (literal you, not editorial) might. A rag tag crew, some of whom hate each other, some are only partially qualified for their positions, and some have problems with authority could make a drill and performance review interesting. With a disciplined military crew that could perform near optimally that would be very boring though.


That is only pertinent to your example. There is no reason the captain can't choose the munitions type. Indeed in many Sci Fi shows that is exactly what the captain does, "Ready Photon Torpedos". This is a problem that doesn't exist, and I don't think anyone designing this game would go out of their way to invent this problem for themselves.

Which is kind of the crux of the problem, as I see it. Social interactions are there, but not important; you're using the same interface (One designed around social interactions) regardless of the importance of social interactions.


Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you're saying but...

I think you're overestimating how integral combat is to this game. Combat is just a another piece of the story puzzle (though a pivotal one). This isn't an SRPG game with bad interface, it's a visual novel with combat through the visual novel interface every now and then. Why? So that you aren't ever taken away from the novel. SciFi Battleship stuff is somewhat unique in this regard, since the classical trope of this genre is simply that the captain talks/interacts with his crew to make stuff happens, so it is well suited to the visual novel framework.

There isn't a problem if, during battle, the difference between fondness 10 and fondness 11 doesn't contribute to anything significant, because the relationship system is pertinent to the novel as a whole. Though +10/+11 should, over time, have slight effects on various other major stats like morale and willingness to take orders that conflict with the character's principles.

Basically the relationship system and combat system are 'modules' that I'm integrating into the visual novel framework. They're not "The game" which I'm overlaying a visual novel on. They exist to serve the novel. There are hundred of visual novels SRPGs which have the novel part, and then a seperate game part which completely disconnected from the story, only to switch back into the novel part and pretend that everything is the same.

The point of my game would be that you'd JUST be engaging in the visual novel. No dissonance between story and mechanics because the mechanics ARE part of the story. The relationship mechanics are part of the story, and the SRPG is part of the story. The relationship mechanics are NOT part of the SRPG (though they will have effects on the SRPG). I'm just pointing out that they're seperate and the relationship mechanics are something that is meant to serve the novel rather than something that is meant to serve the SRPG. If I were to draw a graph you would have 'Story', 'SRPG' and 'Relationship Mechanics' with double arrows pointing between 'Story' and 'SRPG', and 'Story' and 'Relationship Mechanics'.

Gelsamel wrote:...combat wouldn't be fast....combat would be very brutal in this game....
This seems wise. In my mind I'm picturing a WW2 submarine movie where the subs barely know where each other are. There's uncertainty and tension, but it's never very fast. I'm guessing combat also wouldn't be a huge portion of play time; just these points of punctuation where you have a real chance of dying.


Yeah exactly. Massive high tech battleships are expensive and most factions would only have a couple of them. Giant weapons platforms that an entire faction spends all their money/tech on to make the best version of. Because of that they're sparse but also very unique (making decerning how they work important) and dangerous. This isn't a "everyone has shields that last forever" setting.

These encounters would be seldom (in terms of non-combat time vs combat time, there would be No. of Factions * Avg Number of Battleships per Faction number of possible fights though) but extremely important and pivotal. I guess from a mechanical standpoint you could think of them as testing how you've done at managing your crew so far (with low resolution, since +10/+11 won't matter, but low morale vs high morale will matter) but they'd always be serving the storyline. If you can make choices to avoid confrontation with a certain faction, there is no reason you'd end up fighting their battleship(s), so battles wouldn't really be checkpoints.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
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"Do you think games are silly little things?"
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"Is it all pointless?"
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"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Biliboy » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:28 am UTC

What sort of weapons are you thinking of for this game? For the sake of "realism" you need to consider how each weapon type would affect ship and defense design. Also the affect of defenses on weapons as well.

Generic star trekwars shields mean you want weapons that can focus energy to punch through or drain shields. Armor and point defense make more dakka/macrosse missile massacre systems more likely. Stealth/submarine type games would mean more focus on EW.

It may not be really important to what you're describing, but it's something I like to think about when reading and playing in sci-fi universes. Some universes don't make much sense when they describe kilometer long battleships weighing millions of tons that can die in a few hits from fighter craft or rail guns. (or giant lazors, looking at you babylon 5)

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:56 am UTC

Biliboy wrote:What sort of weapons are you thinking of for this game? For the sake of "realism" you need to consider how each weapon type would affect ship and defense design. Also the affect of defenses on weapons as well.

Generic star trekwars shields mean you want weapons that can focus energy to punch through or drain shields. Armor and point defense make more dakka/macrosse missile massacre systems more likely. Stealth/submarine type games would mean more focus on EW.

It may not be really important to what you're describing, but it's something I like to think about when reading and playing in sci-fi universes. Some universes don't make much sense when they describe kilometer long battleships weighing millions of tons that can die in a few hits from fighter craft or rail guns. (or giant lazors, looking at you babylon 5)


For generic energy shields, you usually want to get enough total energy onto the shield to drain the enemy's power - it's only when you start breaking through the shield that precision targeting matters - until then, every hit on the shield contributes. With armour, you want your energy delivery to be tightly focused on one spot to penetrate since shots at undamaged parts of the armour have to start again from scratch. Energised armour or a layered system with both shields and armour want a mix of both - every hit helps reduce the energy in the defences; punching through the passive armour wants a focused blast.

Point defense and other active defences reward a saturation approach, as do high mobility evasion, cloaking and other ways of generating misses.

When it comes to weapon type, the main consideration is how much energy they deliver to the target, and how focused that delivery is in time and space - it doesn't matter whether you're using a depleted uranium railgun, a pulsed laser, or a pulsed neutron beam - except that the laser pulse will hit sooner - all three will deliver a similar amount of energy (at appropriate power settings) to a similarly sized region of the target over a similar period of time (okay, the railgun probably has a longer range in the interplanetary vacuum since it doesn't need to worry about beam focusing and dispersal). There are exotic weapon possibilities which work differently - weaponised nanites just need to come into contact with exposed hull at a low enough relative speed and they can do their thing; chemical corrosives similarly - but "conventional" weaponry is all about dumping energy into a part of the target faster than it can be safely dissipated, whether it's kinetic, thermal, electrical, sonic, or anything else...

As for what it takes to take out a starship, that depends on the balance between offensive and defensive systems - if there's an unbreakable defence available, then ships will be hard to take out; if there's a weapon capable of overwhelming any available defences, then one-hit kills will be common. In Babylon 5, most of the quick kills on capital ships were in fights where one side could barely scratch the other side's armour - how many shots would it take a modern battleship to take out the best of the ships of the Athenian fleet of antiquity?

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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Gelsamel » Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:27 am UTC

As a physicist, and as someone whose read all of ProjectRho's articles... I am well aware of the issues surrounding sci fi space combat. It won't be super realistic or anything, but it will always be very consequentialist. Shields as envisioned in Star Trek, etc. would not be a thing in any sci fi setting I get to write.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
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"Is it all pointless?"
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"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:09 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:That is only pertinent to your example.
Sorry, you're right. I was having an extended brain fart where I was thinking of it as a simulation and forgot about all the common game mechanics to abstract away NPC's decisions; a skilled gunner can have +5 to hit without actually deciding anything.
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:26 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:@SexyTalon: Thank you for your curatorship, for some reason when I looked through the form in firefox it only lists there being four threads to this forum. Has there been any thought to a design/ theory sub-form?


Not really. It comes up infrequently enough that I'm not sure there's demand for it. I could very well be mistaken, though.


I would love such a thing...but I suspect that the lack of demand is accurate. After all, I'm responding to a post from March in a fairly short thread.

Ever since I dabbled around on Tribes RPG ages ago...I've thought about doing something a little bit similar. Like an MMO, with the highly interactive nature of it, and FPS like controls...but a very small world. Huge worlds seem to end up bringing up huge challenges...fetch quests, empty zones, etc. Yes, yes, I'm aware that having a decently sized population in a small area brings up significant performance issues, but hey, huge games have content issues, so performance wise, it's not entirely one sided.

The big thing is having not everyone be in LOS of each other. You can do heavy optimization with chat servers, etc, to make it feel as if you're all together(albeit at the price of requiring harsh anti-spam options), but every server buckles under the weight of thousands of people all messing around with each other...even EVE has trouble with that.

So, you need resources to be fairly well distributed. This includes mobs, of course. In a small world, you need them to be fairly dense, yet distributed enough that the player base naturally fans out. You also will need this small world to be very deep...a level specific area in a bigger MMO can get away with not a lot of depth, because screw it, the PC is leaving after they ding anyway, so who cares if the NPC stands in the same spot for forever, and exists in three places, or whatever other cheat you need.... In a smaller world, you get to dodge such issues less...and probably need to rely on player/player interactions more.

I actually started sketching out the back-end for such a system once, but it got hellishly complicated. Most MMOs are, too, and this would really be no different...but maybe I'll come back to it one day when I have time.

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SecondTalon
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Re: Your video game ideas

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:02 pm UTC

I have moved discussion to the "What makes an RPG an RPG" thread, located here
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.


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