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Dune II - The Maker - where should it go?


What do you think? Try to keep 2 game modes, or go your own way?  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think? Try to keep 2 game modes, or go your own way?

    • No, I'd love to play the old dune 2 game. Support 2 game modes (I don't care it takes longer)
      3
    • Yes, why bothering with an old game. Times change, introduce new things but keep graphics the same (keep dune 2 feeling, but use new features)
      1


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Ok, so here is the deal: 2 things are limiting the development of dune 2 the maker at this point:

1. Time

Ah time is such a wonderful thing; but you always lack it.

2. Features

Since i can't manipulate time, i'd leave point 1 for what it is. But, point 2 can be influenced.

I am struggling with the future of D2TM, because intentionally it was made to be a Dune II clone. Keep as true to the original. And be fun.

But lately i doubt that; so i need your opinion; so i can get to a decision and get on with it.

If i wan't to keep the Dune II (original) mode, and  i want to introduce new things; i must introduce a flag or some sort to distinguish the 2 modes. And actually, I think that sucks :) Or, i could just use one game mode. It would be like creating 2 games in one executable, which really makes things complicated.

The pro's and cons:

Pros:

- freedom, creating new stuff is easier, no need to be 'backwards' compatible

- less time needed , because no need to take care with backwards compatability

Cons:

- unable to play original dune 2 missions, unless modifications are made. (missions could be used, but gameplay changes)

- looks will be the same, but it won't be dune 2 anymore.

Anyone else has thoughts? ideas?

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My vote: Create a viable Dune II game which is moddable without recompiling.

The DII game doesn't have to be precisely the same as DII - tweaked for a little balance and, obviously, usability, is fine. Purists can make their own mods, and once there's a basic engine, the prerequisite skillset for expanding that is greatly reduced, meaning that other people can take the load off your shoulders.

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I completely agree with Nema. The differences between the Classic Dune 2 and D2TM can theoretically be limited to unit stats and tech tree specs for each House, which should be easily moddable via RULES.INI-like file, provided the engine itself allows for such moddability. So basically, the "Classic mode" will be just a limitation of the features built into the game.

As for the conquest mode and other suchlike gameplay options that we have discussed earlier - those are still optional to be introduced (as opposed to a more-or-less linear campaign with selectable variants of each mission).

So I vote for two-in-one game which is based on a flexible, moddable engine.

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"So I vote for two-in-one game which is based on a flexible, moddable engine."

For clarity, I'm arguing something slightly different. Make D2TM as a remake of Dune II in a way which you feel comfortable with and in a way that isn't extremely hard-coded, and let modders do the rest: no need for a two-in-one at all.

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Making things soft-coded (via ini files or whatever) is always a bit more work then hard-coding things. Also, there has to be some limit to moddability. Ie, if you want "water"  as a resource , or whatever, simply disabling it will also  have relation with other game rules you might have implemented. Therefor moddability is quite complex.

I do intend to create D2TM to my liking, but keep some things moddable. I don't know if 'water' is one of those moddable things.

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Actually i seek to make the game more interesting, but also more fun. Being able to tank rush in Dune is quite odd right? Where the planet is crawling with sandworms and such. You'd expect to see alternative ways to get across the planet, instead of using tracked units.

So, I think a few modifications could make the game more interesting, but way less dune 2-ish.

By:

- adding more worms (with some restrictions, but adding more worms = good)

- lessen the amount of rock , but where rock is, it should be more huge (allowing bigger bases)

- add more air units

- make infantry more interesting

- who knows, rpg elements?

so many ideas, wishes, thoughts, so little time :)

So in short, related to this topic; if any of the above is going to be built in, it will have effect to the dune 2 feeling for sure. On the other hand, it will distinguish itself as a game itself, instead of being a 'clone'.

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- adding more worms (with some restrictions, but adding more worms = good)

- lessen the amount of rock , but where rock is, it should be more huge (allowing bigger bases)

- add more air units

- make infantry more interesting

- who knows, rpg elements?

All this sounds very good :) However, I'm somehow specifically interested if you're planning to make the global conquest mode we discussed some time ago ;)

EDIT: BTW Stefan, if you focus on the D2TM part, would it be possible to make it in 3D? You know, I especially like the design of units and structures in Dune 2 (as opposed to Dune 2000 and Emperor), and I find it a pity they opted for something else in the later games design-wise. So I wouldn't mind being able to play Dune 2 in 3D, you know :) Just a thought anyway.

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Yes, the conquest mode still is an idea I'd like to work out. It would also make it more Dune 1ish I think.

But how to make it practical, playable, and fun? (i mean, it is impossible to defend all your areas at the same time). But that kind of things will require me to rewrite portions of the engine and that would also mean break completely with the Dune II support.

Perhaps another way of doing this, is copying the engine and change from there, so the old engine is not lost. But then I've to work on both engines.  ::)

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I have made up my mind. I'll toy around with some ideas i have to see if anything will work out. Until then i won't let anyone know anything yet. But you can assume that it will be different than dune 2. (though don't worry, it still uses those gfx).

I thought more about this conquest mode, but it is very difficult to make it work 'real time'. I have thought of a 'simple' yet effective (i hope) sollution for that, that is one of the ideas i'd like to toy with...

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You know what, Stefan, I remembered how you'd always try out something new with D2TM (even back when it was v0.6-something and then v0.90-0.92 ;)), so I think you should stick to this tendency and do something new. If people want to play the original Dune II, they can use an emulator to do so (DOSBox works fine for me). Even adding multiple unit selection is already a difference, so I think new ideas is better that one-to-one engine recreation.

Speaking of the conquest mode, it'd be interesting how you solve this :) I've played a game called Horde: The Northern Wind (developed by an amateur Russian company in 1999), there you could travel across 9 regions (arranged in a 3x3 pattern), and the AI supposedly calculated the events that would happen on each map where you had a base and units while you yourself (represented by a commander-type hero unit) were absent (I've recounted this somewhere before, but just for the reference). However, I have no idea how exactly it was done (it would take some time to calculate the changes on the map before it was actually loaded), but the result looked quite realistic (the AI that commanded the player's base would usually play defensive, scattering groups of units across the base, and perhaps attempt an attack against an opponent or two; it should be noted though that generally, the AI quite sucked in that game).

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Yeah, change is good ;) But i really should not think of how long i'm busy with these projects. It must have been 8 years already? (even longer i think).

Anyhow, as far as the 'conquest' mode goes. Instead of splitting up regions and zooming in/out on them, i thought of a bit more pragmatic way. What do you think of a large scale map? (4096x4096 cells). Ofcourse you do not control everything, but what are your first thoughts on that? ;)

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