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Non-infantry units
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Harabek



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Arkansas, yes we have computers.



PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 12:42 pm    Post subject: Non-infantry units Reply with quote

I've seen a lot of talk about the infantry but what about other things? The only tanks I've seen are the ones in the dev diary and those are pretty cool. But, how many other units are we talking about? What classifications? Is there any indication that naval units will be represented? Question
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current plan (which i'm sure will change) is to implement 7 basic unit types or "templates"

1. light wheeled
2. heavy wheeled
3. light tracked
4. heavy tracked
5. light air frame
6. heavy air frame
7. a man

The idea is to be able to kit them out using a variety of equipment (like Starscape) to make custom units. Some equipment wont fit on certain templates or will be compromised i.e. a canon on a light tracked unit would be less powerful (it has to be smaller) than a canon on a heavy tracked unit, but it would also be cheaper to make.

The landscape also impacts on template choice, i.e. wheeled units are slowed by trees but zoom along roads, tracked units are less affected but generally slower and men suffer no penalty but are slowest of all. Tracked units can be seen at greater range than wheeled units, while men are the most difficult to spot.

All this is somewhat confusing for the beginner so the player can initially access all the predefined units the AI is using. These units are broken down into classic military roles i.e. scouts, infantry, elite-infantry, tanks, artillery and logistics.

By capturing cities, specialising/levelling your forges and collecting a full set of templates you can eventually start customising your army layouts and their units for specific roles (or you could just keep using the defaults). You might have an artillery focused army you use to hold cities at the front or an all-airforce style army that moves quickly to help others in trouble.
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X-Fighter
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm. It sounds like water/space/subterranean units are out of the picture then?
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that would add about 6months onto the development time, we need to leave something for the expansion pack/sequel surely ?
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NOOOO! CRUEL TWIST OF FATE!

Now I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of "BattleScape: Master of the Stars" expansion pack, and you guys haven't even finished the game yet!

Oh, the humanity of it all...

Are you absolutely certain it can't be done with just more layers? There's an air layer already...

Woe unto ye, o majority from the "Land Air Sea" poll thread. What treachery have the celestials bestowed upon us now! Curse the ill star that presides this constallation, for it festers a wound unto all mankind, the likes of which can never be erased!
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Poo Bear
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think of it as a 3 course meal.

1. land locked battles over a single continent - the first game.
2. fighting over the whole world, obviously using oceans for naval battles, coastal artillery support and army transportation between continents.
3. inter-stella planet spanning war, satellite defence platforms, spaceship fleets, drop ships.

Sounds like each course (i.e. game) just gets better and better and bigger and bigger!

If we try to do everything at once we'll probably go bust before it is finished and breaking it down into a series of games will probably get you a better gaming experience anyway. You always get a better end result if you break a complex problem down into manageable chunks that can eventually all fit together.

p.s. we haven't forgotten all the Starscape fans either, we'll have to slip "Starscape: Battle for Earth" inbetween somehow too.
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No subterranean warfare plotted at all?
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nooooo i nead M.O.L.E* tanks and i nead them now

you at least have to have naval units in the first game pleasse

*you think of a good acronem fore M.O.L.E
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mobile Offensive Loam Excavator
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icarus
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whats "Loam"?
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Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So with this 3 course meal, in terms of coding anyway, will the coding be done in a way that will fit those elements together for a larger title afterwards? (the space chunk game/ground chunk game/whatever-the-other-chunk-will-be-game)

See, I could win at Scrabble if only they had hypons. Smile

Anyway, I like those three points, there's defintely expansion material there. I was just curious as to your hoped-for (there I go again with the hypons, that's gotta be worth a few points) evolution for the game universe, if/when your thinking of delving into mulitplayer down the pike. Also if the coding is radically different between titles, do you think you'll somehow layer those elements for that title, or would something like that need coding from scratch?

My general hunch about such a project is that it'd be more sensible to code from scratch than it would be to incoporate all the layers that went before?
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icarus
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

huh? Question Question
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be nice to build upwards with the ability to assign aspects of the game you are uninterested in to subordinates.

So in the land based game you have a system akin to feudal lords bickering over control of city states who form an unstable ruling council. At this level there are:
1. battles to fight (generals)
2. armies to customize and train (military strategists)
3. cities to develop so that technology can be advanced (town planners)
4. alliances to create or break (politicians)
5. intelligence to be gathered (spy masters)
Each of these "jobs" can be performed to a lesser degree by an AI stand in, thereby freeing you from something you might not be interested in currently.

Move that to the world scale, now you have entire countries (a nice point to introduce the navy and satellite weapons) ruled by local governors in some kind of assembly. You still have the same gameplay elements but on a larger stage.

Move that to the stella scale, now you have multiple planetary systems (good time to introduce space technology) ruled by emperors in some kind of Terran Federation. Still the same concerns but elevated even higher.

Each level feels and plays in a similar way to the one below but the battles and politics become more epic. Each game could use the code and resources from the one before to simulate the level below. Each game introduces more high level AI stand-in options to let the player pick and choose what activities to involve himself in. This gives the appearance of an ever expanding universe without the player getting stuck in micro-management. As we have a completely developed simulation of every level, the player can still decide to dive into a minor city battle, planetary war or stella conflict safe in the knowledge that the AI will run things on his behalf while he is away having fun.

The conflict comes from internal rivalries/disputes and from external attack. Internal disputes are usually about power / politics / independence but are tempered by a desire NOT to destroy everything and the balanced application of force. External disputes would presumably involve an alien threat with no concern for collateral damage and a fight for survival. That might lead to two quite different styles of gameplay that should keep things interesting, nothing like an alien invasion to make people put their petty disputes aside and come together.
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icarus
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

when i say i want space wepons i just mean satalites and ICBMs not supper star destroyers and tye fightrs

and you nead nead nead nead underground units if you dount make them x-fighter and i will attack moonpod central with our M.O.L.E tanks
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2004 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm left wondering if the space conflicts will be fun...

And it's only a M.O.L.E., not a MOLE tank, it's like saying XP(short for "experience points") points. Already got that covered.

I am left wondering about the political AI on underground, myself. Large armies travelling underground wouldn't upset an AI at you(or you at an AI), just disturb your people("We've had 15 earthquakes this year, my house can't take anymore!"). Yet, when tunnels start intersecting, instant war issues arise("There's HOW MANY miles of man-made tunnels under our country!? AND THEY LEAD TO NORTHENHEIM!!???!!!"). It would also be another source of alien life(find fun and interesting things that were content to live 20 feet underground and not kill you, until you mined through their capital).

One last thought, for multiplayer, it would be cool for cooperative sub-featuring to be available--each player could "claim" certain jobs, while others are shared between several(P1 becomes the Intelligence director, P2 the Engineer, P3 the Strategist, and everyone share the ability to fight battles and render alliances for their adopted area of the country). Players could abdicate(it'd tell everyone else they did) if someone else needed to do something, but would otherwise run that part of the country.

There'd have to be some verifying system(a yes/no vote, I guess) before anyone can take over a given facet, but these could be done both before the game starts and with quick interface(click yes/no on a question box, with a time limit on how long before the voting concludes without you).

Perhaps a more sympathetic system, such as being able to select a player
to handle your share for you would be better, so that there'd be less hand forcing. This would, of course, require some statistics stored on each facet, so that players could readily interface.(If you see someone has a 200 in politics, and they're asking for your alliance control, you know you can genuinely trust them). Probably done best with a post-game vote system and graph bars(if the person did a good/bad job, you vote as such, and their bar recalculates with properly... a non-vote counts as +1(just to show they've got experience at it), a + vote counts as +2 (they've got experience at it, and they're good), and a - vote counts as +0, but increment the denominator used in calculating the bar by +1 increment by. The initial denominator should be somewhere between 10 and 100, I'd imagine, with each player being allowed to select different initial ones for "zoom" effects(2 guys with about a dozen fights each have near-equal bars at x/100, so finding the better one would require a smaller sampling... they haven't played enough yet to make a huge difference on their bar yet; on the other hand, sometimes you legitimately don't want a guy who's only fought 12 battles showing up as a potential general, unless he's gotten an awesomely high score).

Hm. Post thought: Naming. There should be sub-ranks for size categories(a general controls land battles for the nation, a colonel for just a small region; an admiral might control 1 solar system, while a Commodore would control a galaxy)
Action Position Rank Stat
Battle Commander Tactics
Unit Development Strategist Strategy
City Development Civl Engineer Design
Alliance Management Diplomat Diplomacy
Intelligence Gathering Director Covert
Research Management Scientist Technology
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