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Starting D2TM - Next version.


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Hereby i invite you to think this through. You launch the game. What do you expect?

Currently i have this:

- intro scene starts

- you select your house

Depending on the house you select, you get one region on the map, that is yours. Here you have to start. You click on ' your' area, and you start to build your base to get some cash flow.

HOWEVER:

Personally i think we miss something:

BEFORE intro scene -> menu . Or after intro scene?

After MENU -> You select your house

After HOUSe selection, see your control panel. Here is where all global economy is, terrain/regions. Etc. What should be visible?

- Quota amount of spice in total

- Quota emperor demands.

- Year / Month / Day stuff

Ok, i have thrown in some elements. its nice to hear what you expect to see. I like to toy with ideas before getting into final designs.

Also, do note that the game will switch a lot between the control panel and the combat panel. Probably 80% of the time will be on combat panel, but the 20% you are at the control panel you should be able to see things quick. Get notified quick. Etc.

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BEFORE intro scene -> menu . Or after intro scene?

After MENU -> You select your house

Hm, I think intro should start at the very first launch of the game (like in Dune 2), then - only accessible from the main menu ('View Intro' button)

After HOUSe selection, see your control panel. Here is where all global economy is, terrain/regions. Etc. What should be visible?

- Quota amount of spice in total

- Quota emperor demands.

- Year / Month / Day stuff

I think there should be some kind of tutorial conducted by the Mentat, to show all functions of the global panel, the game objectives as well as some playing hints.

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Hm, I think intro should start at the very first launch of the game (like in Dune 2), then - only accessible from the main menu ('View Intro' button)

Or, next to a 'View Intro' button in the main menu a tickbox for 'Don't show the intro and Produced by stuff automatically'.

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Think about the Duniverse.

The first big problem with wars is troop transport costs. We need some way of modelling how the guild and CHOAM reacts.

The global map should tell you about what you have on your homeworld, and how much it will cost to import it. The guild may, for example, be quite fond of a competition to produce spice, and may therefore favour the loser (which gives a good excuse to make later missions more difficult than ealrier ones rather than just a turning point beyond which victory is pretty much guaranteed).

You need to decide how much spice you're going to declare (and so how much you will cream off tax-free), you need to allocate your harvesting operations (as in Dune I). Will you get smugglers and fremen to work for you? Harvesting, spying, or even fighting?

Global economy should tell you about your water restrictions - water merchants will rip you off, large windtrap farms mean attacks on those territories will be particularly dangerous, and it may be difficult to transport water from polar regions.

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I have an idea:

To make the feel of a global conquest more real,

we already have: a tactical screen and a battle mode,

now, since you will *actually* be fighting many battles at the same time, how about using a TIMER.

At the start of each battle you have 5-10 minutes to do what you want, if the battle isn't over by then it will remain active until you return the next turn and you'll have another 5-10 minutes.

This way you can:

- fight several battles at once

- share your income, such as,

- get very important help from tactical screen if one battle is going wrong

- if a battle is going well you can 'donate' some extra money

- always be fighting a battle, and if you're in over your head you can retreat...

and you can see how tactical will become more important this way too.

You could even put the superweapons in the tactical screen to be used only then (maybe with a little timer of its own, to allow for better strategies.)

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I think money is a factor that can be used on all areas. Meaning, you will start with 1500 credits. Build up some tiny base at your first area and grow from there. The money is used on all missions. So you should have some sort of status bar continiously on the screen, no matter where you are (tactical view, combat view). I am thinking about how to do this. Because this woul dmean the engine should be capable of running 27 REGIONS at ONCE ... Also meaning, it should be ablet o handle around thousand units and such, and not hog at all...

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Because this woul dmean the engine should be capable of running 27 REGIONS at ONCE ... Also meaning, it should be ablet o handle around thousand units and such, and not hog at all...
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Actually i want it to be RTS all the way. So , yes, sometimes you must trust your bases to handle several attacks... But ofcourse some stuff should be automated, like repairing, etc. And also, with real-time strategy on several regions, it forces you to think twice before you just spread out and take all land.. ;)

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I don't have really objective or impartial arguments against this system but when I imagine it I get:

Conducting more than one battle simultaneously is painfully bustling. Even in case of one battle the player may have hard moments when he will lack time because he can't control his units at the required rate, with a sufficiently low action-reaction delay. What to tell about 2-3 simultaneous battles? It seems to me that this will just spoil all the pleasure of playing these battles. Carpal syndrome guaranteed ;) Not too high units number in Dune-2 was an advantage, IMHO, and it will disappear as you make the player keep control over several different battles taking place in different places. He don't have multithreading in his head...

This is total nonsense in reality: no one can control at low-level several battles. An army group commander performs a more high-level control, and his armies operate at common territory and with common aims...

You say that it will make the player think before capturing too much territory. Well, maybe it'll make him think before playing D2TM? ;) I mean the nature of this obstacle. This is a technical problem, no way connected with the in-game universe and strategy. A legal obstacle might be the need to guard long borders, patrol vast territories, maintain many structures etc, etc. But not the need to frequently switch between global mode and several parallel battles, controlling each of them less than 40-50% (3 battles) of time and for the remaining 50-60% leaving your armies without any control (except AI), on their own...

As the player captures too much terrain, just as well you could put obstacles to him in several similar ways:

- reduce the mouse sensitivity in proportion to the captured territory,

- or just suddenly make the game hang or restart the PC...

;)

These obstacles are illegal because they are beyond the game universe and are just properties of your full-time real-time system. If the gameplay is going more and more worse as you capture territory and conduct more battles, it is not a good system.

That is my idea of what D2TM is going to become. And the point is that I can't think of it any other way :(

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I think its a bit of overreacting.

When you go on war, you don't fight on several borders at once. When you spread out, you should simply select one region and try to conquer that. You fly in with carry-alls, tanks, etc. Try to set up a small base perhaps and wage war.

When you're under attack, something similiar happens, but only the opposite way. If you are in war, and you are under attack at the same time. You better hope your region has enough defence to handle the amount of tanks that is heading to your borders. Simple as that.

Ofcourse things will be tweaked to make things easier on you. Like maintaining your base.

All in all, its just a game of good preperation. Where is the fun when you can just go attack every region, take your time, and while the computer wants to attack you, you can wait till you conquer area X and then head to area Y to make sure you won't lose it..?

Its a 'world war' ;) You can't be in 2 places at the same time. And thats a game-element as well. Trust... trust your own strategic setting, your defence, etc, etc.

Also, do you relaly think you will build bases in EVERY reagion? What if a map was only containing a lot of spice (and blooms)...? No rock at all, where do you want to build your base then? :)

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A conquered regoin means the one that is free of hostile presense adn thus more secure. Minor interferences into secure sectors can be held by low-level commanders, by whom the AI is meant. If something serious happens, the player must get involved. Concerning several battles simultaneously, I think this might be possible, but player is doomed to loose. But it's no way a ground to remove such options. Player must learn how to conduct global strategy and avoid such situations with two or three fronts to battle upon. What do we have diplomacy options for? Hire mercenaries to guard your back! Plead to the Landsraad, they'll lend a hand against the greedy Emperor's demands! Befriend Fremen to have the DESERT POWER! Build counter-espionage networks! And so on, and so on...

I like it! ;D

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You get the idea mr Flibble ;)

Basicly i am thinking the global menu should contain several buttons:

CHOAM -> Contact with choam marketing

RELATIONS -> What relations does a player have with certain groups/houses and what deals?

ie, when you are under attack at region X and you have a deal with Mercenary to help you defend that region. You can be assured they will help you. ofcourse it has a price.

Imagination is limitless, the only obstacle i see is HOW to make a good UI for this... A sort of roadmap would be handy.

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When you go on war, you don't fight on several borders at once... If you are in war, and you are under attack at the same time. You better hope your region has enough defense to handle the amount of tanks that is heading to your borders. Simple as that.

You may be forced to wage war on two front lines, or in several regions, deliberately. In this case you advise the player to take command of the operations in one region and to hope that the other dangerous regions will hold out under the command of AI till the player beats the enemy in one region and switches to another.

Of course things will be tweaked to make things easier on you. Like maintaining your base.

Also, you'll need a high-level AI which would play the role of human player in the absence of the latter. Thus, two equal AI players will fight against each other: one on the player's side, and one on the enemy's. The more battles are conducted simultaneously, the less is the player's role in the game.

All in all, its just a game of good preparation. Where is the fun when you can just go attack every region, take your time, and while the computer wants to attack you, you can wait till you conquer area X and then head to area Y to make sure you won't lose it..?

As I understand, by preparation you mean:

1. Building factories in appropriate regions,

2. Organizing spice-harvesting operations,

3. Conduction of various fortification operations,

4. Optimal distribution of your armed forces (AF) being affected by two opposite motives:

- a) Secretive concentration of your AF near regions to be attacked, attaining superiority in important areas.

- b) Having your AF distributed in a way allowing to effectively defend your territory and with a possible quickness deliver reinforcements.

What aspect of preparation (which I have probably missed here) depends on full-time real-time (simultaneous battles), assuming battle duration not long enough to let serious global-mode operations be made (as in XCOM) for a time comparable to that which a battle takes?

Also, do you relaly think you will build bases in EVERY reagion? What if a map was only containing a lot of spice (and blooms)...? No rock at all, where do you want to build your base then?

I thought so. Will it be possible to fight in regions where you don't have a base?

And one more question. The global mode allows the player to send units from one region to another. Thus, it will be possible to concentrate all (or half...) your armed forces in a single region. That'll be 100..200 or more units. Do you plan it will be possible (or is it already so?) to control hundreds of units in one region in one battle? Will (is) it be playable?

A conquered regoin means the one that is free of hostile presense adn thus more secure.

Initially I thought that a conquered region was one in which you had built a base and (if the enemy had had a base in it) destroyed the enemy base.

Neutral regions are free of hostile presence too... So, following your logic, we should demand that a conquered region be not free of our presence. Now, a single unit crossing the region border may effect it's status: neutral, yours, enemy's or arguable. Not very good.

Minor interferences into secure sectors can be held by low-level commanders, by whom the AI is meant.

Low-level? I understand low-level as signle_unit-level, when single units (apart from their detachments) are controlled by AI, when detachment tactics, and, furthermore, strategy do not concern AI leaving it for the player. But when the player (or the person for whom he is playing) is absent in a region, low-level AI will be not enough. So, as I mentioned above in reply to Stefan, high-level AI should be activated in this region. And it seems to me that it is low-level+high-level AI what is meant by Stefan.

If something serious happens, the player must get involved. Concerning several battles simultaneously, I think this might be possible, but player is doomed to loose. But it's no way a ground to remove such options. Player must learn how to conduct global strategy and avoid such situations with two or three fronts to battle upon. What do we have diplomacy options for?

Two fronts - two enemies. That is what diplomacy deals with. But what if the same enemy attacks you in several areas? You can't talk the enemy into attacking your regions by turn, letting you repulse his attacks with comfort...

You have proposed a few ways to avoid simultaneous battles, but it is undoubtful, that the player will dread them very much, while the AI-controlled enemy will widely use them making you dream of being omnipresent every time you play D2TM... And now it have come to my mind that this system leads to a great human-AI asymmetry, endowing the AI with a significant advantage against the player. Will it be used as a compensation of the natural advantages of human brain against hardware? Anyway, I find it not honest.

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