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MrFlibble

Some D2TM gameplay & plot ideas

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A little note on clonning Dune-2

Nema Fakei wrote:

Hm. What I remember from DII is that moving units didn't fire

And that is not right. I am sure that turret vehicles (battle and siege tanks) do shoot when moving. For example, if you give a tank the odrer to attack a unit. Your tank sets course to the enemy and, on the way, drives past another enemy unit which is located quite close to the way of your tank. In this case the tank will point it's turret at the encountered enemy and shoot

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[pre]As to limited viewangle, I agree with you. As I wrote above, for this

improvement not to be a drawback units must be much smarter than now in

D2TM and in D2 so that they can use their fov correctly.

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Ant222, some of your posts appear with an incredibly small font size that is, at least for me, painfully hard to read. If it's not my machine, could you please have all you future posts with standard font size, if it doesn't contradict any of your intentions? And if it's my machine to blame, then, sorry in advance :)

EDIT: I see it's preformatted text. So could you please make it bigger?

Do you use your observation about RTS games as an argument against innovations?

Not at all. I just wondered how it could be done and why no-one did that before, although RTS genre lives and develops for many years now ??? I'm with my both hands up for innovations, given they prove to be reasonable. Just wanted to know.

As for my observations, that's a piece of info I thought could be useful in brainstorming over the unit sight subject.

Looks like units hiding behind each other isn't so useful... I remember that in Starcraft terrain objects that hindered view (cliffs, trees, rocks) would be covered in fog-of-war, as well as some area around them, if such objects were in the sight range of a unit that couldn't see though them (like a non-air unit). We must not forget that the fact that one unit sees another non-friendly unit doesn't have any significance by itself - it is for the player to see the unit, or for the unit to engage the enemy unit spotted (if it has corresponding orders to do so - hence, a unit with a 'stand ground' order won't attack a spotted enemy if it's within sight range and not within attack range).

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Ant222, some of your posts appear with an incredibly small font size that is, at least for me, painfully hard to read.

Lol. This is how it looks on my PC:

ScreenShot

But when I am on the "Post reply" page posts are written an very small font. Do you mean small characters on the "Post reply" page? Is it possible to make the preformatted style font larger?

As for my observations, that's a piece of info [observation - ant222] I thought could be useful in brainstorming over the unit sight subject.

Of course, they are. Thanks to them, we know: most modern RTS use similar visibility systems. But that in no way means D2TM must have such a system too. If we invent a better system, why not implement it? After an observation has been made we should decide: "Is it good for us?". And if we haven't seen anything better than some idea in the game X, why not derive it from that game?

In a word:

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Well, that's what the preform. text looks like on my machine:

eyesorefont6rd.jpg

Depressingly small, isn't it?

Hmm. That ground unit should see the obstacles which break his line of sight and, of course, it shouldn't see anything behind them. If in StarCraft obstacles are not seen too, it a mistake. Why not to think out a <correct> system where units (and other objects) will disturb the line of view properly?

Well, in starcraft the hindering object was partly seen, but everything behind it wascovered with fog.

P.S. It seems that you are Russian. Visit

this discussion of weapon modelling

Thanks, I'll read it at my leisure.

EDIT: If you see that my message has been edited but doesn't contain an

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Well, that's what the preform. text looks like on my machine:... Depressingly small, isn't it?

The link you have provided refers to http://imageshack.us/, so I had to copy the link caption and paste into the adress bar to view the screenshot. To post images, use what ImagesHack gives as

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Thus, it is ok. It seems that I haven't fully understood what exactly you don't like in this system from your first post about it. Explain it again, please. Is it the primitive unit AI (inadequate unit behavior) which cancels the advdntages of this visibility system?

It must be some sort of misunderstanding, as I didn't want to tell I dislike anything about your, or ayone else's, suggestions. The reason for my post with 'observations' was very simple, although I seemingly didn't care to expand the general idea. Ad you may remember, prior to my post we were discussing unit sight from the 'realistic' (I really don't like this word, but it suits here best) point of view, as our intention is to improve 'realism' of the game universe in a most suitable way. My idea was that unit sight in RTS is rather schematic usually, because the main emphasis falls on what the player sees, and not units, while for the units themselves the state of move and attack capabilities is more important. Thus, the discussion whether units should have variable VR according to time of day or not seems to be of secondary importance by itself, while the difference in day/night VR's of units could play a role in general gameplay strategy.

That's all. I didn't want to criticise your proposals, but express my opinion on a more general subject.

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question: Do you really want a significance play change in day/night stuff? That would mean years will be SLOW. Which would mean the entire gameplay might be slow too...

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I hope skirmish works, and Teams can be set, that idea was the best in .92 but unfortunalty it didnt work. I hope that is going to be in it

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question: Do you really want a significance play change in day/night stuff? That would mean years will be SLOW. Which would mean the entire gameplay might be slow too...

It's up to you to decide, Stefan. I just pointed out some theoretical possibilities, without taking their practical side into account. As you might remeber, the primary purpose of the day/night cycle was to count days until the Emperor demands more spice from player, Dune 1-style.

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@ Sandworm, if its done correct, the game is actually some sort of skirmish. Since there is no fixed line of the story (in missions, etc).

@ Mr Flibble, true. I am reading as much as i can and decide upon that. I know it is 'my' project, since i am lead coder and founder. However, i like to take many (wild) suggestions and try a lot of things. Something new is cool. But, not always better or more fun :)

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Question: Do you really want a significance play change in day/night stuff? That would mean years will be SLOW. Which would mean the entire gameplay might be slow too...
As you might remeber, the primary purpose of the day/night cycle was to count days until the Emperor demands more spice from player, Dune 1-style.

AFAIK, Stefan is planning to add the global mode so that the player not only conducts battles (missions) but also controls all the operations of his house on Arrakis. I suggest that it be organised like in Xcom. In battle-mode day/night cycle has a normal (period of 2-8 min) speed, but in the global mode time speed can vary depending on the player needs.

My idea was that unit sight in RTS is rather schematic usually, because the main emphasis falls on what the player sees, and not units, while for the units themselves the state of move and attack capabilities is more important. Thus, the discussion whether units should have variable VR according to time of day or not seems to be of secondary importance by itself, while the difference in day/night VR's of units could play a role in general gameplay strategy.

If VR (or, rather, visibility) doesn't depend on time of day  (to a different degrees for different units) there will be no difference in day and night tactics. But that would be very good, adding another time factor and diversity to the gameplay.

As to obstacles, they are good too. In the original Dune-2 all terrain is plain (no covers) which reduses strategy and tactics to monotonous and primitive actions. There are no 'keys' there except for two bases and spicefields.

I didn't want to criticise your proposals...

Of course, you did ;) And that is appreciated.

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A thought has occurred to me. In D2 intro, the Emperor says: "There are no set territories and no rules of engagement" But wait, according to the books, it's not the Emperor who decides that, for any conflicts in the Imperium are governed by the Great Convention and the rules of Guild Peace. The question is whether the conflict on Dune can be considered a War of Assassins. I think it can. Therefore all the rules of it apply.

I mention this only because it might affect the gameplay. Say, Harkonnen are the only house to use their atomics, but they should actually got big trouble using it, with Landsraad, Guild and so on. But not if the Emperor backs them up. What do you think about it?

I also wonder if digging into Dune Encyclopaedia (anyone have one? I don't) would bring up some useful plot/game ideas... ???

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"I mention this only because it might affect the gameplay. Say, Harkonnen are the only house to use their atomics, but they should actually got big trouble using it, with Landsraad, Guild and so on. But not if the Emperor backs them up. What do you think about it?"

Well you could use some sort of scoring system on how well you are getting along with the Emperor then perhaps..

Like a percentage value. And using a nuke will lower that percentage value quite alot. To boost percentage could be done by sending extra spice and always make your deliveries in time.

The emperors "messages" and behavior could use a random-events-table. Having a low percantage gives less great events, like attacks by sardaukar on really low percentage levels. What do you think?

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I meant that the Great Convention says, "usage of atomic weaponry against humans should be cause to planetary destruction", and if Harks use their nuke, or blow up a devastator in the field (still nuclear reactor), they're gonna have trouble, but if their relationship with the Emperor is good, and we know it's initially quite good as Harks do the dirty work for the Emperor, the latter will help to conceal the fact of atomic weaponry usage, or otherwise back them up and protect against Landsraad and the Guild. But if the Harks have spoiled their good relationships with the Emperor, bye bye Giedi Prime ;)

EDIT:

Additional idea is that the three playable Houses have different backgrounds that affect the global part of the game. So the Harkonnen are part of the Emperor's party, the Ordos, as merchants, are allied with CHOAM, and the Atreides are the unspoken leaders in the Landsraad. Thus the three playable factions represent the 'tripod of power' in the Imperium. It must be yet brainstormed on how exactly all this will affect the gameplay other than story-wise.

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that sounds quite cool mr Flibble. Perhaps, that could make more options open for 'super weapons' (and the like). Ie, not only pure bullets, but also political power can be a factor then. Well, its still a bit fuzzy, but i do like the idea of it.

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Think of some global economy developments. The Dune universe has subtle economic and poilitical system with lots of different links between factions and forces. A war on Dune creates a highly unstable situation in the whole Imperium, and almost everyone is interested. Remember, Emperor's not just Sardaukar, CHOAM's not just Starport deliveries and Landsraad's not just a borrowed word ;)

Political decisions made in global mode. How's that? We must think...

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Would be fun to recieve a message through your mentat, that 'your position in the landsraad' is getting 'critical/good/etc', and with the landsraad you can access several 'powers'? (ie, i try to make it simple here).

If you are favored for 40% by the landsraad, you could perhaps get some extra reinforcements now and then. But with 100% being favored, you can launch nukes without trouble? (ie the icon is accassible..)

I like the political side, but i've yet to see some 'idea' how to make it 'easy' and simple accassible (and make it a real benefit to the game play).

Also note, not to discourage anyone here, its most of the time 100s of ideas come out for a game and 70% gets cut since its "not doable" and such. I have read the HL2 development book ("Raising the Bar") and its not the only story told like that. Also, think of the many overhead and the main goal : Conquering dune. :)

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Sure. That's why my suggestions mostly have the form of hints or abstract ideas to think over, so we can invent how to add them to game or not, or just keep them as pieces of plot info. There are some more such abstract ideas yet:

Let's review:

Spice is not only the ultimate wealth. It is the only substance that keeps the Imperium from falling apart, it brings profits, it prolongs life. Naturally, the one to control Arrakis, the only place for spice to be found, will be ultimately rich and prosperous. However, during the Harkonnen reign on Dune, the link between worms and spice was not officially discovered, the rumors not proven. if they were, HK's would try to keep this link in secret, as knowing that would enable to create new 'homes of the spice' on virtually every planet by infesting it with sandtrout (see CH:D), and thus ruining the monopoly on spice. On the other hand, different 'spicy' worlds would bring benefit to the Guild and many other factions, but the worth of spice would slowly reduce, right?

Now, the Emperor would like to have Arrakis for his sole control, but he can't do that without crossing the other Houses of Landsraad, that, if united under one banner, will dispose of the Emperor and his Sardaukar. Actually, they may even decide to nuke him in order to prevent such power concentration in one hands. He has to fear the Guild, too, but the three strongest Great Houses are a threat. Luckily, there's a blood feud between Atreides and Harkonnen, but it can be put aside until the Emperor's dead. The best thing is to weaken and suppress these Houses, and 'spice competition' seems to be the bright idea. All three Houses may prove valuable allies, on the other hand: the trusty Harkonnen, the wealthy Ordos or the popular Atreides. Observing the competition, the Emperor will decide who's in favor, and shift tensions that way so no House can gain too much power. Total destruction of any House is a critical step, only if they become a threat too serious. The competition must not last for too long, as his devious plot may be uncovered at any time, and then Landsraad will strike, the Guild will not help and everything will go bleak for the Emperor.

That's some food for brainstorming at our leisure.

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Sounds very good, and a lot resembles to Dune 2. Ie, like when you progress with your house through the missions, the Emperor clues 2 houses together to fight you, etc. Eventual goal to destroy or weaken you and also the other houses to get weak (by using so much force to fight you and bring you down on your knees).

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If we're going to do politics, the guild is key when working on Arrakis. If they're worried about spice production, they may just stop all troop transports in - or let the Emperor send in lots, depending on the situation.

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