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stefanhendriks

Could there be Dune without tanks?

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Hey,

I am at the drawing board, busy sketching the new Dune game i want to create. But i was wondering if Tanks, Launchers, Siege tanks, etc would even be realistic in the Dune scene.

As far as i know, there are only:

- airborn units

- infantry (who can have several type of weapons, lasers, rockets, 'sound' weapon, etc)

I could imagine there would be wheeled units (like fast trikes to explore the dunes, to find spice).

But that would be about it; so what do you think?

I think a dune game should be more focussed on its infantry and wheeled units. Also Ornithopters could be more interesting as a serious weapon. Airborn units in overall would be more interesting i think.

The only tracked (or is it even wheeled?) unit i can think off is the Harvester.

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nemafakei    6

You could use them on rock as mobile turrets. And use carryalls to get to unconnected rocks. But if they went onto the sand, they'd get eaten up pretty quickly.

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Exactly, you'd be using more like long range 'tanks' which need to be traveled across the map with carry-alls, else they'd be eaten for sure.

Makes me think, would be a very interesting unit.

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MrFlibble    114

If you want to stick close to the books, then no tanks and even wheeled vehicles at all should be used. For scouting purposes, 'thopters were used just the same way as for anything else. Generally, infantry shouldn't wander into open sand either, unless they're Fremen or do that for a very short time.

But wouldn't all this put the game very, very far way from the original? (I'm still undecided if I like the changes that are discussed here or not, if you ask my opinion; gotta think some more about it ;))

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Yeah, i figured that sticking true to the books is really not fun in an RTS game.

But, using 'floating' (anti-gravity) units would be a bit more realistic, i guess.

There are only a few type of units possible:

- airborn (safe from worms)

- floating (potentially safe from worms)

- infantry (need huge amounts of water, stillsuits, whatnot, but with many can be a pain for sure)

- wheeled (fast trikes to ride the dunes, makes sense to me, but huge worm attractors)

- harvester (slow, but trivial)

I'd love to send rockets to the enemy and such; but at the same time i want it to be a bit more realistic (i mean, tanks on Dune, right...)

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MrFlibble    114

I like tanks in Dune 2 because I've always viewed this game in the context of the Command & Conquer series rather than the original books. However, trying out something else could also be good.

I'm still pondering that plot idea that dawned upon me a few years ago - that there's another split faction of humanity that was isolated from the Known Universe generations ago, and now they come back for the spice (like the Scattering in the last two books of the hexalogy). This way you could put the "20th century-like" arsenal of the Empire against some weird stuff like ray guns, spider-design crawler mechs and that kind of thing. But I think this idea would be better realized in a project that would utilize 3D graphics or, at least, some more detailed sprites than those in Dune 2.

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nemafakei    6

Hey, there are still issue records from 2006 raised by us artists. And no outstanding requests for graphics to be produced, as far as I recall.

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MrFlibble    114

Sure, but the kind of modification I proposed (with at least one totally new side) probably deserves something more that simply enhanced Dune 2 graphics. But this proposal will probably not be realized in D2TM (or, at least, in its primary core), since it's too much a deviation from the original.

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I'm busy with a new concept; where i'd like to use new gfx. So it is not entirely unthinkable that I request some artists to fill in the graphical gaps.

But before i do so, i'll release a proof of concept (with some temp graphics). I don't want to waste anyone's time.

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MrFlibble    114

Good to hear that :) What's in the concept? Or is it a secret yet? ;)

I would probably like keeping the old units but tweak them in certain ways (by the way, I believe the current release of D2TM does not reflect the fact that wheeled and tracked vehicles differently interact with different terrain: namely, wheeled vehicles should slow down on rough rocks, additionally getting a jolting motion, whereas they speed up on sand; on the contrary, tracked vehicles sped up on rocks and sand dunes, and slow down on clear sand), since, as I stated above, I like Dune 2 for its C&C likeness (should be the other way round, C&C being in the likeness of Dune 2, but anyway ;)). However, a new concept, if it plays well, would also be fine, so I'm waiting for the new release :)

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I don't think 2d is the limit, but more the lack of 2d (pixel) artists? ;)

2D, 3D...

...What's next? 4D?

(Enter areas on the map accidentally and/or enter 'timeports' deliberately that have been built around such areas that were folded in time?)

??? :O ::) ;)

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The concept is not that big, it is using the "good old rts" combining with a 'world domination' factor and some 'rpg' elements (ie the commander gains experience, etc).

I have a paper somewhere with all ideas. And i already started writing from scratch the new engine for that.

I don't know if it will work out well, but it is worth a try. Perhaps a few hints would be:

- RTS (like "dune 2 / d2tm")

- No "select your next region". But instead, choose between different "quests" (as you know in RPG) , but this time called Missions or tasks.

- One world to fight (so one huge map)

I want the player to be free with how it wants to conquer dune. So, you could try to help Fremen out (if you can find them) and gain some trust. If you gain trust, you might get help, etc. Or, you can try to destroy them and such.

But I do not know enough of the Dune universe to know of all kind of interesting sides.

However, i want to have some proof of concept, so you get the idea and people can throw in ideas for sides, plots, missions, etc.

If you ever played an RPG you know you can gain eXPerience by completing quests. Picture this in an RTS game where you have tons of goals you can fullfil , all optional, in order to gain control on Arrakis. With ofcourse a direct enemy (Harkonnen, or Ordos (or both?)) to compete with. Also, with such a large map that it is not enough to build one big base and do tank rushes.

Just to give you an idea, i have a big document (draft) on my computer. If you are interested, email me (stefanhen83 at gmail.com) and i could share.

And yes, in response to AldenteVonTino, Time (as in matter of '4d') is of the essence in that concept as well. (ie, one 'goal' could be to keep the Emperor happy by delivering monthly an amount of spice (your quota)).

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MrFlibble    114

Lately I've been pondering the idea of giving each House specific features and upgrades (in addition to several unique units and the superweapons) that would correspond to each House's strategy and attitude to warfare. For example, the Atreides tend to be defensive, why not give them an upgrade that would increase the armor (HP) of buildings and walls? They're also environmentalists, so features like vehicle self-repair (not to 100% HP though) and more effective Spice harvesting would be in order. The Harkonnens value heavy armor and firepower, so they'd get armor and attack upgrades, perhaps something like adding splash damage to certain units' attacks and so on. The Ordos lay stress on speed and masses of cheap, fast-produced units (think Zerg ;)), so give 'em a 25% increase in unit production speed upgrade, speed upgrades for tanks and such. I've also been thinking that, since Ordos don't have the rocket launchers to safely take out base defenses, they could make use of ECM systems installed on their combat tanks so that they'd have a better chance surviving missile attacks (from rocket turrets) when rushing enemy bases (combined with a speed increase upgrade).

I can expand on that, if you like it :)

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Sounds great to me. I can see where you're going at. Though your suggestions are at the "RTS" side of the game. I think when you see it all up and running, you'll understand why it will be hard to maintain such a game as i propose, because all the little missions/quests need to be created somehow.

If you have msn, contact me at stefanhen83 at hotmail.com . Would surely be interesting to have a chat or two about this.

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MrFlibble    114

If you have msn, contact me at stefanhen83 at hotmail.com . Would surely be interesting to have a chat or two about this.

I'm pretty busy ATM, but I'll be posting ideas here at the FED2k board when I get the opportunity, OK? :)

Though your suggestions are at the "RTS" side of the game.

Sure, that's because I'm a long-term RTS fan ;)

Tell us more about how you view the experience system. Will experience points be used to gain new upgrades or technologies? Or for something else? Will there be such parameters as troop morale and motivation (think Dune 1 *wink wink*)? ;D

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I'm pretty busy ATM, but I'll be posting ideas here at the FED2k board when I get the opportunity, OK? Smiley

Sure thing

Tell us more about how you view the experience system

Basically, in RPG's you recieve Experience so you can defeat enemies with higher XP level than you. It is a one on one system. With a higher 'level' of experience, you gain access to better weapons, armor, etc.

In an RTS you could translate this to unlocking new technology, more experienced units in overall (apart from their 'personal' experience), etc.

I think however that you should not only get "experience"  for doing missions, but also earn "credibility" by helping the side you're doing your mission for. Meaning, if you help Fremen all the time, they should trust you and let you gain access to their specialties.

Where "Fremen" is a very concrete "side" in the game. You could also imagine non playable sides, like the Guild.

Imagine this; you could either find all the fremen by gaining their trust, and thus they reveal their locations more and more. Or, you could simply favor within the Guild and give them a lot of spice in order to remove the Fremen cloak (as in the books, they bribe the Guild to keep the sky clear of satalites, etc).

Perhaps you can think of other possibilities of other houses. Ie, IX delivers additional technology?, Guild can give you more 'sight', or intelligence?

I'm trying to toy with these ideas and see how they work out in a game. Dune 1 elements surely should be taken into consideration. Perhaps you know a bit more about that, because I haven't played Dune 1 that much.

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MrFlibble    114

Speaking of experience,  think I'd mention Horde: The Northern Wind once more, since it has a pretty simplistic but effective experience system: all units gain experience, which seriously affects their performance: if a "rookie" unit won't survive even a couple of hits, a veteran one will easily shrug off some serious attacks and regenerate health. The only important thing to note is that Horde: The Northern Wind is set in a medieval fantasy world, and therefore most units are either foot soldiers (swordsmen, archers) or cavalry, and thus the experience system is more at home there; as Edric O mentioned somewhere in a Starcraft II thread, it is hardly credible that when a vehicle's crew members become more experienced, this can directly affect the amount of damage the weapon mounted on that vehicle will deal.

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Agreed that units with crew should not get more firepower. But, you could have more accuracy? (ie, doing more damage?)

So, this would mean when units fight, they have a chance of missing, or inflicting less damage. Where more experienced units will have higher chances of doing more damage. Although more firepower really does not make sense, the amount of inflicted damage could be explained by accuracy. (But ofcourse, should be limited)

But , in the context of infantry this would make way more sense. Lets take a Trooper for example. When it gains experience, it should be able to take out tanks faster, because it has gained better accuracy (experience).

So perhaps, every unit type should have stated what its maximum inflictable damage is; lets say a trooper has 100HP damage per shot at max. But in the beginning, only 30 or 40 is caused. Simply because of lacking experience.

This could be drawn further for aircraft, tanks, etc. Perhaps even Harvesters; where you could say "the maximum of spice harvested per time (second) is 10" , but due the lack of experience , it is 5. So the more a harvester 'lives' , the more experience it gains, the more spice it will collect within the same time frame.

The "experience" vs "health"  issue is a bit unrealistic. Sure, a more experienced unit will be able to survive longer. But regenerating health? I find that a bit odd. Perhaps all units should regenerate health , but more experience units should regenerate a bit faster? (ie, self-help care, etc)

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MrFlibble    114

So, this would mean when units fight, they have a chance of missing, or inflicting less damage. Where more experienced units will have higher chances of doing more damage. Although more firepower really does not make sense, the amount of inflicted damage could be explained by accuracy. (But ofcourse, should be limited)

This is a reasonable way to implement experience, I have thought about it before.

But , in the context of infantry this would make way more sense. Lets take a Trooper for example. When it gains experience, it should be able to take out tanks faster, because it has gained better accuracy (experience).

So perhaps, every unit type should have stated what its maximum inflictable damage is; lets say a trooper has 100HP damage per shot at max. But in the beginning, only 30 or 40 is caused. Simply because of lacking experience.

What if you directly implement accuracy calculations? E.g. when a unit fires at a target, the amount of damage this attack does will depend on how much impact the weapon projectile made on the target; on whether the target was moving or not; type of weapon (e.g. whether it has splash damage or not) etc. So, instead of a direct hit-damage correspondence, damage will be influenced directly by how successfully the projectile hit the target (= how accurately the attacking unit aimed its weapon).

The "experience" vs "health"  issue is a bit unrealistic. Sure, a more experienced unit will be able to survive longer. But regenerating health? I find that a bit odd. Perhaps all units should regenerate health , but more experience units should regenerate a bit faster? (ie, self-help care, etc)

A reasonable explanation for hit point regeneration is natural health regeneration for infantry and repairs for vehicles. I view it this way: wounded soldiers' regeneration rate should depend on 1) environment (e.g. there's no talking about any considerable health recovery when you're in battle or running away; however, when a soldier is a friendly base, or simply resting (= not moving) he'd recover faster) and 2) the seriousness of damage: a heavily wounded soldier is more likely to lose health rather than gain it (especially when fighting or moving), or recover much more slowly compared to a light wound.

However, infantry units are probably not likely to survive long enough for health regeneration to be effective and realistic at the same time (not like the RA medics ;))

With the vehicles, I think the crew should be able to fix certain damage when the vehicle is not moving, but of course full repair, especially when damage is heavy, is not possible in the field.

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What if you directly implement accuracy calculations? E.g. when a unit fires at a target, the amount of damage this attack does will depend on how much impact the weapon projectile made on the target

Perhaps even taking it further? Not-experienced units will sometimes really miss, and the place where a unit gets hit will determine the amount of damage?

This could mean you will see unexperienced units really miss , in the case of the Trooper it kinda looks like a Rocket Launcher in Dune 2 when a targeted unit is too close?

But, the more experience, the less differentiation?

Would make it more visible, and also less like:

"rocket fires"

"rocket hits unit"

"label pops up with : Miss"

would be lame ;)

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MrFlibble    114

Perhaps even taking it further? Not-experienced units will sometimes really miss, and the place where a unit gets hit will determine the amount of damage?

This could mean you will see unexperienced units really miss , in the case of the Trooper it kinda looks like a Rocket Launcher in Dune 2 when a targeted unit is too close?

But, the more experience, the less differentiation?

The only real question is, do you really want it to be that realistic? Will it add to gameplay and make it more interesting or challenging?

And by the way, why newly produced units should necessarily be inexperienced rookies?

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nemafakei    6

You could do it Z-style and have it so that the effectiveness (accuracy, manoeuvrability, pathfinding) of the vehicle is dependant on the infantry in the vehicle, and then give the infantry the experience.

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DragoFire    0

From what I remember from the books these are the vehicle types available.

Thopter's (light through to heavy, single person scouts upto cargo/harvester transporters)

Ground vehicles (mix of wheeled(cheap cost to make and maintain) to suspender(hover), there is even heavy tracked transporters(where suspender units can't support the large weights)

Spacecraft (one man aerospace fighters to frigates)

and a mix of older tech(depending on planet)

So you can go in any direction with vehicles for Dune.

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