Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some Details On Game Design Concepts...

From my replies so far, both on and offline...they've been pretty useful, the spaghetti is sticking to the wall very nicely-

Basic Concepts And Such-
  • Once upon a time, I had a somewhat sarcastic thought about RTS resources management, on the basis of the old cliche of "Mars Needs Women" a'la really BAD '50s movies. So, by the following logic if Mars Needs Women, Venus Needs Men, and the poor humans are just trying to hold onto both of them with both hands. Venus needs Men for their high-end, Tier 2 and 3 units, Mars needs Women for major upgrades to their walkers, and humans need 'em both for keeping their really advanced weapons working.

    This, of course, lead to the whole joke of "how do you catch women? Shoe sales?" and going on and on and on from there. The horse had been VERY well flogged, thank you....
  • One of my big problems with Supreme Commander was just how BIG it could get. Oh, it was fun, no doubts about that, and the whole "sending hordes of soldiers across the map, raising huge dust clouds" has an appeal to it, but at a certain point, I kept getting the feeling of pixel bitching, wishing I had a few (human) sub-commanders I could just assign bits of the combat assignment to, I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of a on-line game, etc, etc...

    So, we have both the scale (enough to give some tactical variety and make it challenging without "oh, it takes three hours for our fastest ground vehicle to make it to the other side of the map") and by building infantry in a squad format encourages players to save units that have built up a really high level of experience-pull them back from the front lines, rebuild their capability, then send them right back out into battle again...
  • Mid game...this is the point in DoW where you've maxed out your Tier 1 building capabilities, have about half or so of your Tier 2, and looking seriously at your future options. Better yet, in Supreme Commander, you have your builders building Tier 2 defenses, the factories are churning out Tier 2 vehicles and you're seriously thinking about what your Experimental Weapon for stomping the enemy flat will be.
  • When I was talking about resources...Humans have their resources sent to their base directly by teleport technology. It's slower, but it can't be stopped short of destroying what's mining the resources. Mars and Venus need to use vehicles and build buildings to store resources, and they can be attacked and destroyed. Mars units can have shields and weapons added to their transports to make them much harder targets, Venus can add stealth systems and boosters to make them faster.
Universe Notes Bit-
Ah yes, THIS bit of fun...
  • The game's basic concept is "serious comic"-we have humor, only 40% of the humor is black, and the game does take itself (mostly) seriously. The designs of all three sides are practical within their context.
  • The game takes place on Earth, Mars, and Venus. The game's campaign mode (which ties into the game's on-line mode...you can play campaign battles online and earn achievements a'la XBox Live!'s system...) takes you through the story and the three factions. Each one of them has a part in the story to play...
  • All three sides are (in campaign mode) mostly shooting at each other. Both of the Alien sides want humans, the Humans want their world back, and nobody is going to play nice.
  • The game is in full 3D with "fog of war" effects on both the visual field and radar possible.
  • The technology is realistically stylized...you can tell right away "oh, that's a Martian" unit right off the bat...
The Factions
  • The Humans are the "conventional" faction. You need to build or improve buildings to build better units. They have infantry and vehicles...and these are separate things. Human infantry is built in squads, etc, etc....
  • The Martians start out with a central core/factory that can only build light "infantry" drones, construction drones, and materials transports. As it gets resources, it upgrades into a much larger core, which can build heavy "infantry" drones, then the first Walker lands. Walkers, with the right Core upgrades, can build "vehicle" drones and "aircraft" drones. As the Walkers grow more legs, they grow more Core slots, which you can add more facilities to produce drones, which means you can build better drones. Of course, each space taken up by a drone facility could mean you can't upgrade your shields...and shields are what keeps nasty weapons away from your fragile hull.
  • Venusian units start out with a single factory...and all it can built are Builders and Troopers (basic soldiers). You mix and match Builders and Troopers into buildings, more powerful infantry units, and eventually you can build Scouters, in which you can combine 'em with Builders and Troopers to produce even more powerful weapons, base defenses, infantry and vehicles, etc, etc...

    One small note about Venus buildings-blow one of them up, and you suddenly are under attack by the "liberated" Troopers....
I'll talk more about units when I have some chance to figure out exactly what the units will be...

1 comment:

fingolfin said...

Hey how did I miss this one?! Maybe you could setup a "tag cloud" or a categories menu so stupid people like me can find related articles (add tags such as "rts", "concept", "strategy"... etc.) I have that option in Wordpress, I presume Blogger is somewhat similar. Anyway I've been slowly updating my notes and putting them into a more organised form. It's going OK and I've asked a friend of mine to do some concept art because I'm really naff at getting my ideas down visually, especially concerning the GUI.
Keep me posted with any new developments, I'm slowly turning my blog into a centre for all RTS related articles and information!