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D2TM - DEMO 3 progress


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LAST UPDATED: 15-02-2006 : 12:57 GMT + 1

This topic is devoted to the changes compared to DEMO 2. You will see this post being updated. If you think something should be fixed/changed/added/etc to DEMO 2, just post it here.

Current list:

DEMO 3 - DEMO 2 (released at: dd/mm/yyyy)

-----------------------------------------

From the Author:

This version is about 2 things:

- make it fun to play

- make it more complete

1st:

This is done by balancing, and improving the AI. The AI will build units like

carry-alls, (or ornithopters!), it will send units for repair and it will

think about attacking (ie, if you have too many units). It also takes care

of its economy. It does not cheat in map visibility (fog), so yes, you can

sneak attack the AI even!

2nd:

Add more features; the repair facility works; ornithopters work. You can send

your harvesters to your refinery earlier and so on.

BALANCING:

* In General:

- Infantry, Troopers, Trooper and Soldier are more of use now. Harder to kill, tougher in fights.

  NOTE: Do not take this to lightly , the above units where nearly useless in Dune 2,

        in D2TM they are really functional!

- Quads and Trikes have a bit weaker anti-infantry guns now (though they are the best to kill infantry with)

- Special weapons are balanced more; deviator is not as dangerous as before, and can easily be

  killed. Though if used well, it can be a very usefull weapon as it turns units into yours

  for all time.

* Detailed:

- Trooper HP INCREASED from 45 to 80

- Troopers HP INCREASED from 110 to 140

- Troopers sight/range INCREASED from 4 to 5

- Troopers damage to vehicles INCREASED from 8 to 16

- Troopers Attackfrequency LOWERED from 25 to 18

- Soldier HP INCREASED from 20 to 80

- Infantry HP INCREASED from 50 to 150

- Quad damage to infantry(*) LOWERED from 12 to 8

- Quad attack frequency INCREASED from 10 to 12

- Trike damage to infantry LOWERED from 7 to 6

- Deviator chance to deviate lowered from 100% to 40%

- Deviator move speed LOWERED from 4 to 3 (means faster!)

- Deviator turn speed LOWERED from 4 to 3 (means faster!)

- Deviator HP DECREASED from 110 to 70

(* Infantry=Troopers, Trooper, Soldier, Infantry)

FIXED:

- Several bugs in attack thinking, guard thinking of AI etc. AI units should be tougher

  to beat and also units behave more correctly.

- Gun turrets damaging friendly structures.

- Several bugs concerning odd movement. (mostly after attacking)

- Now you will REALLY get a reinforcement when you have lost all harvesters, but you still have

  a refinery...

- Bug where ai would suddendly attack own unit or structure.

- Fixed a bug where walls turn into spice (by field= entries).

- Sandworm is now drawn ok (under units, not 'above' them).

- Devastator who would explode and damage surrounding units will not cause a stack overflow anymore.

- Fixed several bugs in moving code.

- Fixed 'harvester suddendly dissapearing'.

- Fixed 'shroud reveal' bug on up and left part of the screen.

  (When unit was moving upwards and visible , or going left and visible, the shroud would not

   be removed correctly when revealing parts that are not visible on screen).

CHANGED:

- Upgraded concrete slabs can be placed even when red squares appear. The only exception is you

  cannot build them out of range (ie, not bordered to another concrete or friendly structure)

- Some unit graphics are upgraded, thanks to Nema Fakei.

  - Combat Tank

  - Launcher

  - Siege Tank

  - Sonic Tank

- Better removal of unit data on map (faster, more effecient).

- Logging of pathfinder in log.txt

- Harvesters prioritize spice hills above normal spice now.

NEW:

- Spice blooms are generated 'instantly'. There is a minimum requirement of 3 spiceblooms a map.

- Compile date and time are now in log.txt (check this to be sure to have the latest

  version if you are not sure).

- Damage done by units/structures is now House depended:

  - Ordos do at least 80% damage

  - Harkonnen do 120% damage

  - Atreides = 100% for everything

  (as you may have noticed, moving , harvesting, dumping etc is already House

   dependant. So is Ordos quicker with moving, dumping and harvesting)

- Return harvester to refinery: Select harvester, press D. (from Dump/Deploy spice)

- Ornithopters work now. Swift attacks of 2 rockets. However, in order to be taken down

  the Rocket Turrets are able to shoot "homing missiles" which will track down the ornithopters

  for an amount of time. Units are able to damage the ornithopter mostly with luck.

- Rocket Turrets will now shoot 'bullets' when target gets too close.

- Rocket Turrets have priorities now in targets

  - Aircraft (ornithopters) , high priority

  - Enemy ground units, normal priority

  - Sandworms, lowest priority

  EXAMPLE: When the enemy attacks with aircraft & enemy units. The aircraft is the target

           , then the ground units.

- Worm leaves now a trail of 'distorted sand'.

- When insufficient concrete is built beneath a structure, the structure will damage easily

  through time and will require frequent repairs. Eventually it will stop at 50% damage.

  AI will react to this and repair at 75% damage.

- Clock-wise progress indicator is now 32 frames instead of 16, more fluently and only

  on ICON-picture (not text).

- Repair facility works. Hold R and hover above units to order them to repair. They will be

  picked up by Carry-Alls automaticly if available. They will be brought to the nearest

  available repair facility.

AI SPECIFIC:

- AI will build more harvesters, and will rebuild harvesters when eaten or destroyed to keep

  harvester/refinery ratio 1/1. If possible, it will try to build the ratio as 2/1

- AI will build carry-alls.

- AI will build ornithopters

- AI will use repair facilities for damaged vehicles.

- AI will blow up spice blooms by walking over them with light infantry or troopers.

New addition to the "version history.txt"; a description about balancing and units:

==================================

BALACING NOTES / UNIT DESCRIPTIONS

==================================

One of the things DUNE 2 lacked, was real balancing. Mostly you would win by just having bigger

better , and mostly, more units then your computer opponent. In D2TM this issue should be solved;

though I am not there yet, I do intent to get there!

In order to tackle this issue, a few things have been changed:

Troopers/Trooper:

-----------------

These units have big impact on units now. They can take out a tank/quad in a few shots. Though tanks

cannot kill any infantry with their massive firepower. Yet they do have effect on structures and other

units.

Infantry/Soldier:

-----------------

These units have little to no effect on bigger units, but they are the best weapon against the Trooper

and Troopers. Having no soldiers around your base, makes it a lot tougher to defend it. Even trikes

and Quads will have a more harder time to take out Trooper/Troopers then the Infantry/Soldier.

Quad/Trike/Raider:

------------------

These units are quick and have machineguns, so they are better against legged units. They can take out

any infantry (troopers, etc) quicker then any other tracked unit. In groups these units can be a

massacre for any infantry legion.

Tank/Siege Tank:

----------------

With their massive brute force firepower, the tanks can take out any wheeled units without trouble.

They do have a lot of trouble with Troopers and the Trooper. A few Troopers take out tanks in no-time

so its not wise just to use these units.

Rocket Launcher:

----------------

Like in the original Dune 2. These units are devastating, when set on the right range towards their

target. It is not wise to use them against units who like to fire at close range. Once the target

gets too near, the rockets will never hit their target and miss terribly. These units are perfect

for taking out bases quickly, especially turrets while your tanks distract the turrets firepower

from the Launcher.

Devastator/Sonic Tank:

----------------------

These units are accessible once you have built the House of IX and upgraded your Heavy Factory.

The units deliver more firepower. The Devastator has more armor and is harder to destroy; yet it is

a slow tank. When destroyed the Devastator will take any surrounding units/structures with it or

damage them horribly.

The Sonic Tank uses a sonic wave to attack its units. Effective against infantry and troopers! It

is fast but it lacks armor. Therefor it is easy to destroy.

Deviator:

---------

The Deviator acts like a normal Rocket Launcher. However, by firing its nerve gas it will convert

any unit to its own side. (Unline Dune 2, the units will STAY that way and not be converted back).

The unit is fast, light-weighted and has little armor; thus easily to destroy. However, do NOT

underestimate the power and danger of this unit!

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Deviator:

---------

The Deviator acts like a normal Rocket Launcher. However, by firing its nerve gas it will convert

any unit to its own side. (Unline Dune 2, the units will STAY that way and not be converted back).

Scary. And I really like the idea of infantry having a larger role.

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Suggestions for the next DEMO:

Bug-fix Harvester wheels/belts are partly transparent (are this on purpose?)

Add a power-off/no-radar map with only allied buildings.

Add harvester return on demand (let the harverster return when you move it to the refinery)

Add move penalty on mountains (is this added already?)

Next conquest map - Add the old arrows instead of/in addition to the blinking field

Next conquest map - Syncronise the blinking fields, as you can unsync them my moving your crusor over them

Concrete-speed boost are already added right?

I must say that the game is very playable with the Demo 2 and it still becomes better

Future suggestions:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What about adding a (multiplayer) Emperor:BFD style game mode? Where you attach, the enemy attack (you defend with the base from the last mission exept for upgrades, starport and palace)++?

As usual I'm hoping for a massive and fun multiplayer mode ;)

Thanx for making this game Stefan :D

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Add a power-off/no-radar map with only allied buildings.

Would not be of a use in the game yet, but is a nice idea.

Add harvester return on demand (let the harverster return when you move it to the refinery)

Yes, this should be build in using a hotkey i think or something, since the harvesters are way too uncontrollable.

Add move penalty on mountains (is this added already?)

Yes, it is already in. Infantry and such is slowed down by mountains.

Concrete-speed boost are already added right?

Right.

Next conquest map - Add the old arrows instead of/in addition to the blinking field

Next conquest map - Syncronise the blinking fields, as you can unsync them my moving your crusor over them

Actually i thought that unsyncing them was quite cool. Else its so 'standard'.

The arrows is a nice idea, but is a lot of work to implement so i left it out. Is a nice addition later on. Also, it must be editable through an INI file then.

@ Multiplayer:

If i ever learn to code multiplayer stuff, i will surely do it right. But for now, do not count on it. I just don't know how to code stuff for that :(

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Hi, wow the progress since beta 0.92 is amazing. I'm checking the updates since november and I can't wait for the next release. Good work, continue!

I remaked some stuff in the demo 3 that should be fixed or few of my suggestions to ameliorate this allready incredible project.

1 : We can't order the units to attack walls.

2 : Will we be able to sell structures (and gain infantry and 50 % money) in the future version.

3 : Would be nice to be able to place the ubgraded concrete(2x2) with only at least 1 valide square to place. Sacrify money to build  only 3,2 or 1 concrete block. ( i think it was in the original dune 2 ).

4 : Add the original hot key to dune 2 [ctrl:force attack, alt : force move, R: retrete in dirrection of the constrution yard, ... ]hotkey.

5 : Have the hability to run over soldier with heavy thanks, but with a damage penality ( cause by running on explosives )

    proportional to the weapon damage of the enemy (exemple : higt to low :  1 Sardaukar's, 2 troopers, 3 infantry ).

6 : When you place wall if you old the click button, you can select the direction of the wall and you can make a single row by moving the cursor, and then your  yard is blocked until your row is finish to build. Also adapted grafics to wall to make then fit to turrets would be so cool ( like in dune 2000 when walls end near turret ).

7 : The troopers, sardaukar's can be anti-air and the missile lanchers can be anti-air but with only 25% of the land accuracy.

8 : [Explosions, missile, or a certain amount of heavy bullet] on clear concret, sand and rocks damage de terrain.

9 : Implements a repair/return curosr whend on the repair depo or rafinery.

10 : Adding the unit stack build like in the starport.

11 : I think there is a visual bug in the lower part of the construction yard grafics.

Give me a feedback of what you think

(ps, sorry if my english is bad)

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Thanks for trying out this demo and your contribution! I will reply on all your points of attention:

1 : We can't order the units to attack walls.

I did not bother about this, because units will automaticly attack walls for you when a structure is behind. But, then again it would be more user friendly if you could select walls as a target. Perhaps this could be done in combination with point 4...

2 : Will we be able to sell structures (and gain infantry and 50 % money) in the future version.

This is planned yes.

3 : Would be nice to be able to place the ubgraded concrete(2x2) with only at least 1 valide square to place. Sacrify money to build  only 3,2 or 1 concrete block. ( i think it was in the original dune 2 ).

Yes, this is planned, but i did not bother to look at this yet. I think its time to do so.

4 : Add the original hot key to dune 2 [ctrl:force attack, alt : force move, R: retrete in dirrection of the constrution yard, ... ]hotkey.

Force attack and force move never had any use to me, however, force attack would be usefull for walls in this case. So atleast force attack will make it.

5 : Have the hability to run over soldier with heavy thanks, but with a damage penality ( cause by running on explosives )

    proportional to the weapon damage of the enemy (exemple : higt to low :  1 Sardaukar's, 2 troopers, 3 infantry ).

Well running over is planned; but damage to vehicle would not make sense to me. I'll play around with that.

6 : When you place wall if you old the click button, you can select the direction of the wall and you can make a single row by moving the cursor, and then your  yard is blocked until your row is finish to build. Also adapted grafics to wall to make then fit to turrets would be so cool ( like in dune 2000 when walls end near turret ).

You mean like you can build multiple walls at once? Hmm..

7 : The troopers, sardaukar's can be anti-air and the missile lanchers can be anti-air but with only 25% of the land accuracy.

So far all rockets are anti-air, but there is nothing to shoot out of the air yet. :)

8 : [Explosions, missile, or a certain amount of heavy bullet] on clear concret, sand and rocks damage de terrain.

That is already in. Not on concrete though, i should fix that. But on rocks, sand, hills, etc. It takes damage, and it even differs what kind of bullet damages the terrain.

9 : Implements a repair/return curosr whend on the repair depo or rafinery.

Yes, repair facility is not functional and is prioritized to finish. The Harvester should also have more functionality (so yes, it can return earlier to refinery).

10 : Adding the unit stack build like in the starport.

A build que is a good idea, was planned, but i never finished it.

11 : I think there is a visual bug in the lower part of the construction yard grafics.

Good sight! The Con Yard has indeed a tiny graphical bug (around the flag).

Thanks for your comments, keep the progress watching (1st post) as i will surely take these points to make demo 3 better.

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I think the balance is a great idea but what is about driving over troopers and infantry? I don't need infantry if i can take a  tank to drive over some troopers. but perhaps it would add mountains more strategic worth. ;)

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Tx a lot for taking in consideration my ideas

to precise the point 6

You mean like you can build multiple walls at once? Hmm..

If we could build walls like in age of empires. But after the wall setup is positionned and started the con yard is buzy until all the walls in the row are build.

and also, the orientation of the building for the wall like in command and conquer generals would be great because(see the screenshot, sure it's purly estetical but would be more eye candy) , and modify the grafics of the wall when it ends near a turret would be eaven beter.

something I forgot is timed auto destruct for the devastator, press deploy key to make it explode after 5 or 10 seconds

[attachment deleted by Gobalopper]

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I just finished the harkonnen senario, we can really feel we are playing dune 2, it's really great.

I had some new idea/comments.

12 : Woulde be nice to start bulding stuff when we don't have the exact cash, and the counter just stop and wait for more money. (don't know if it's had or not to make in c++)

13 : Add more steps to the wating circle to make the it more fluid. Also synchronise the cash dropping with the completion advencing. At the moment sometimes the bulding is at 70% completed and the money stop dropping.

14 : The sand worm blur is not enought visible. the best would be ( to give a good impression of is monsterous size ) to make a the visual effect like in the picture attached. The grafical texture shold be moving sand ta leaves a puff, a bit like the harvester sand drop, and after his passage should leave a little trace ( the sand show be at a lower level like in the other joined picture ).

15 : I can't see the sonic tank bzz is that normal?

16: The range of the rocket tower is strange some times it can out range the rocket truck. and i found it a bit to great.

    I don't see guard tower and they are allready attacking me. When a tower or a unit fire on one of our unit, this should open a little visible spot ( it was in the original dune 2 i think )

continue your great job, you are amazing.

(ps: a post like a "to do" list to have an idea of what you want for the first part of your project(dune 2 clone) and see checked items that are completed and a pourcentage of completion between releases would be nice)

[attachment deleted by Gobalopper]

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A to-do list is nice ;) will work on that shortly.

The effect of the sonic blast is the exact same code as a worm. But the sonic blast travels much faster, therefor it is not easily visible.

I had choosen to not let a player buy stuff it cannot afford. Like in C&C Generals, where you cannot buy anything when you don't have the cash to build it.

Yes, you are right about creating a visible spot when its not visible to the real player, i will add this.

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but what you think of the sand worm stuff i'm talkin about ?

also some times certains sounds stop and come back an other time.

a volume controle in the menu for music, voice and sound effect would be nice

cause the music is not enought at high volume compare to the unit fire sound.

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I have spoted some other stuff for sugestions

17 : Tank Turret destroy wall when attacking enemy's. Bullet should pass over in my opignon.

18 : Stand and atack mode for tank to make temporary turret.

19 : Startpor order maxed to 12, and the computer AI should use starport to. ( this could be interesting, to

    recive a wave of 8 tanks in one shot from the computer )

20 : One great eye-candy addition could be increasing the unit posture/position from 8 to 16, this would make

    the turning of the unit more fluid.

21 : At the moment, I don't understad the interest of the palace icone in the left bulding row ( maby you

    have future plan with this )

22 : Some addition that could be interesting is superweapon for each team accessible by the palace (

    harkonend death hand missile, atreides fremen, ordos saboteur ) stuff like that.

23 : Palace could would add some new functions :

     A- Ubgrade Power Generators.

     B- Ubgrade spice storage.

     C- Give the ability to radar to make scans ( this would not reveal the fog but in your radar you will see

        the enemy possession for short time in the selected zone ).

     D- (Somthing like paratroops timer) 3 Carry all arrive and drop 3 infantry squads in the selected     

         emplacement.

There is an important bug that makes the game crash i don't know why but I know with what. the game crashed 2 times when this particular situation arrive :   

[

A rocket tower fire at an devastator tank, the devastator is moving to reach the tower location when he recive the last rocket to make him devastate the game crash and close imediatly. ( i think it's because the devastator is between 2 square of map and when the tank try to calculate the 8 sqare around him he found's half-square so he bug)

]

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hi, first of all - you did awesome remake!

and now suggestions/questions

1. are you planed to realize bulding capture by infantry, like in orginal dune2 ?

2. ornithopters seems totally useless in DEMO2, may you add attack "feature" ? :)

3. please add "land/forece attack", i don`t want to sacrifice units to blow up spice mines

4. higher resolutions?

5. infanty again - can`t run over by heavy vehicles :(

6. AI can`t build anything. maybe you wrote some advanced tactics like attacks by huge amount of units, not 1 by 1. also in last harkonen mission emeror units and structures was attacked by house atredis! is they heard about alliance?

7. radar - when no outpost built or power supply is too low the minimap is black and none frame to navigate

8. can i build 2 tank factories and produce 2 tanks at same time?

9. if you planned to change some aspects of game, can you make 2 modes:

classical - all features like in original dune2

modern - your balance changes and so on

10. add advanced unit selection like starcraft. +shift - add unit to selected group (not group you binded by ctrl+1,2,3...). +alt - select units of same type on screen. +ctrl - delete from selected group.

11. it would be nice to see "game speed" option implemented  in game menu, and menu with other options itself :)

not too much requests for ya? :)

---

sorry for my english

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There is a bug in the harvesting and spice code. Basically, there are no gfx for heavy spice to coincide with sand, since it is always created within light spice. However, if light spice is removed (i.e. harvested), then there is an unseemly vertical line:

.....  .....

..L..  ..L..

.LHL.  ..HL.

..L..  ..L..

.....  .....

The H square in both instances is the 'island' square (i.e. it thinks there is light spice on all sides). However, where the light spice used to be is just sand.

This could be remedied by degrading the heavy spice to light spice (but keeping its currency value), or by forcing the harvesters to take heavy spice first.

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I can't reply to all of them individually, however, i have printed out all the suggestions.

Do note that demo 3 is not out yet ;) I only let you watch the progress of demo 3 closely :)

@ Nema: Yes, this bug , i know the harvester should prioritize the spice hills over the normal spice in order to 'avoid' these kind of situations (like in dune 2 orignally too btw).

@ AAS

Ornithopters work in demo 3 already.

I do intend not to show a frame when no outpost is there or on low power, you are litterally blind ;)

@ The Beast

Yes, the Palace would have multiple additions. Like you said, some upgrades would be nice, or some other stuff perhaps.

In general:

Too much requests? No, that does not exist. I only select that what i like and what i think that fits in the project currently. So it may be that not all of your requests make it in the game, but then again its a simple project and i am very  happy with the response and your requests, as it shows me you have played the game and you looked at it, pretty good even ;)

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I was playing through the Ordos today (The Deviators are scary), and came across a few bugs.

  At one point the Harkonnen just started attacking their own base, but I see that you know that already.

  One thing that happened twice, when the harvester dropped off spice, it tried to enter the refinery, but instead of docking with it, it just moved over the drop off pad, and didn't cash in the spice, and was stuck - both losing controll of the harvester, and the refinery. (see attatched)

  Also I had the game crash when a devastater went atomic... It was under my control too :( (it was when the devastater was between tiles as well)

  The blurred sand effect of the sand-worm happened when it was beneath a tank of mine (not eating it), and it blurred the tank.

  Are rocket turrests suposed to shoot their cannons rather than rockets when an enermy gets within a certian range?

  Oh, and some of the Mentat lines overlapped. As in, he said something, and the next line (I presume) instead of being blank, had the start of the next displayed text. I can't quite remember the mission, I think it might have been 4 or 5? I'll check it again if you wish.

Other than that, it really is fun to play, Stefan.

EDIT:  One other thing, the map doesn't seem to be absolute. Units can go off the map. It wasn't that much of a problem, because I had it in a numbered group, so I could select it and get it back, but still.

[attachment deleted by Gobalopper]

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Hmm yes.

There are indeed some harvesting drop bugs, mostly when using carry-alls. I should add a check for this when he tries to drop. I think this happens;

- 2 harvesters are ready to dump spice and call a carry-all

- both get picked up, harvester a was closer and is delivered to the refinery

- harvester b arrives by carry-all and gets dropped while even harvester a is dumping.

- harvester b should enter refinery once harvester a is done

this mostly happens ok, but it does not when the harvester can't leave the refinery at that point and gets 'dumped' in the refinery itself (which is also logged i think in log.txt).

I will look into it.

The Normal turrets behave a bit odd, but this is fixed already; they shoot friendly buildings, walls, etc. Should not happen ofcourse.

The sandworm effect blurs the unit, yes, its a bit odd i know but its due i do not draw them 'first' and thus the tank gets blurred with the sand (instead of the sand only).

The mentat strings are not tuned 100% yet, the ordos could use indeed some little spacing here and there.

Rocket Turrets should indeed fire normal bullets once the unit gets too close; this was in dune 2 , so it hsould be in d2tm too.

The map is indeed not 'absolute'. I have a border (you cannot see) around the map to fix up some nav bugs, to give freedom to sandworms and also to make reinforcements work (as they start in th eborder, you cannot see, and thus it looks fluid as if they where coming from a loooong way).

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Things are looking great in demo 2. Dune 2 was my favorite PC game in its day, and I still enjoy playing it. Its simplicity compaired to other RTS games with their complex build trees and such gives it a charm I still cannot resist.

Looking in the controls document, I didn't see anything for pausing the game. Also, the text during mission briefings and such could stand to be quite a bit bigger. Neither of those those things are a big deal, though if it is not too much trouble to add/fix them in demo 3 it would be nice  ;D

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and another update to the list; phew, and its getting late.

I think i will split things up and release demo 3 earlier. DEMO 4 would become VERSION 1 then if possible, or perhaps it will be like:

DEMO 4

VERSION 1

where , hopefully demo 4 contains save/loading procedures and version 1 perhaps even skirmish.

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