MrFlibble

Wyrmsun - an RTS game inspired by Warcraft II

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While browsing IndieDB a game called Wyrmsun caught my attention. It very conspicuously copies the visual style of Warcraft II, with much of its graphics apparently based on Blizzard's art. Hopefully the developers use "clean room reverse engineering" to produce their graphics, and not just edit Warcraft II sprites.

Anyway, Wyrmsun has the appearance of an original, quality product. It is still in development, but it already has two playable and two non-playable factions, three tilesets, a random map generator, and a bunch of features not found in Warcraft II (such as units getting experience etc.).

Wyrmsun runs on the Stratagus engine, which is an open source engine recreation of Warcraft II.

Here's a gameplay video of the single-player campaign mode (showing a slightly earlier version):

And yeah, the music in the game is borrowed from The Battle for Wesnoth :)

[Edit] Some discussion of the game's art can be found here.

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Wow. That guy has a no clue how to pronounce "wyrm" xD

I specifically looked it up, btw... it's pronounced "wurm", with the "u" pronounced like the german "ü" sound.

...and it looks like it's not the only word, lol. Doesn't have a clue what "mead" is, either :P

...

All of those Wargus mods seem like textbook definitions of "bad looking game clone", to be honest...

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Hmmm, this looks more like WC 1.5 then WC or WC2 :D

How does XP work in that game? Damage is 1-9, will it become 2-10?

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I've just noticed that for some reason I posted this in General instead of Gaming. Fixed that now.

 

Wow. That guy has a no clue how to pronounce "wyrm" xD

I specifically looked it up, btw... it's pronounced "wurm", with the "u" pronounced like the german "ü" sound.

...and it looks like it's not the only word, lol. Doesn't have a clue what "mead" is, either :P

I mispronounced a lot of things in that video. [source]

All of those Wargus mods seem like textbook definitions of "bad looking game clone", to be honest...

What makes you say that? The game has some very Blizzard-like graphics. Some of the assets were created by this artist, and I should say it's some impressive work.

How does XP work in that game? Damage is 1-9, will it become 2-10?

I haven't really figured that out yet. The experience system is modelled after The Battle for Wesnoth. In fact, the author plans to add an evasion system as well.
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Evasion is actually neat.

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It is my understanding that quite a few players criticise The Battle for Wesnoth exactly for this feature. Hit-and-miss is entirely randomized, and by simply re-loading a saved game enough times you can change any situation in your favour. In fact, a while ago I got bored and somewhat frustrated with Wesnoth exactly because of this, as save scumming became a major part of gameplay.

This might be not as serious in real-time combat though. But in a turn-based game there's no fun whatsoever when you surround a single enemy unit with several ones of your own, only to have them all miss or deal minimal damage, and then the AI scores a big hit and takes out or seriously weakens one of your units.

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While I love the concept of randomness.

It is only randomness in a low scale game.

And it is only fun when you play a board game or multi player with other players.

 

Against a computer, it is no fun.

Hey, I even used this trick in WC2 from time to time. Also in Dune2!!! when using missile launchers or facing/using the death hand.

 

When a massive war is going on, your randomness becomes deterministic. I had a big discussion about this once on BGDF if you are interested. Only good games know how to deal with randomness. But if I where to talk about that, than we would be going off topic with an epic journey.

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Well, I admit it would be interesting to know if the author manages to implement evasion well.

Also I kind of expect Wesnoth developers to have improved their combat system at some point (actually, IIRC there was even an "unofficial" branch that made combat less random), but I haven't checked new builds for quite a while.

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Randomness.

You make this extreme, or you leave it out.

 

Let's say an unit has 60 health.

Your tank does 10, 11 or 12 damage.

 

How many shots do you need on this unit?

 

If you shoot 12 all the time, only 5 shots. But the chance for this is 0,4%

In amass games, this happens regular, but then it isn't a random factor any more.

 

Warcraft 2 has a bigger difference. 50% to 100%.

But even then, it only applies as random event when 1 unit needs 1 to 2 hits for being destroyed. Even 2 to 3 hits is a good random. Yet, I need to repeat, we are talking about battle's where you use 1 unit.

2 catapults against each other. or 2 V2launcers against each other. These battle's often require luck, and even skill can mean a difference.

 

In starcraft, randomness has been discarded. The game actually stayed the same.

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Randomness.

You make this extreme, or you leave it out.

I'm not sure if I understood this correctly. Are you saying that you would prefer a game that actually makes it possible for any unit to miss literally every single time? Because the versions of Wesnoth that I played do exactly that.

For example, a somewhat experienced orc swordsman can make six consecutive attacks during a single round. Damage, if the target is hit, is calculated in a fashion which is probably similar to Warcraft II (at least, the interface makes such an impression). However, the attack can also miss entirely and do no damage. And the game allows this to happen for like five out of six if not all six times in a single round.

I'm sorry I didn't get it from your replies if you have played Wesnoth - if you have, you probably have figured out the game mechanics better that I could :)

Another game, Eador, also includes the possibility of any attack to miss. However, it is implemented in a much more reasonable fashion which leaves a lot of room for actual strategy.

But these are both turn-based games. In real time everything might work differently.

Also of course the mechanics of how hits or misses are determined could be implemented in a number of ways. I had the impression that in Wesnoth the hit-or-miss chance is completely random (or maybe it depends on some intrinsic traits of units, not sure). An opposite approach would be to calculate the chance of a hit as a function of the attacking unit's accuracy and the defending unit's evasion ability or agility. I think this is how many role-playing systems tackle this subject. And it also seems like the developer of Wyrmsun is also using this approach.

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Well, to be honest, I only watched the links that you had given. And I only looked at the screen. I didn't really follow how things works.

 

If 5 out of 6 misses. Than that is an extreme. It is better then a 5 out of 6 hit. But it completely depends on game mechanics and the quality and/or quantity of units. If a hit is an instant kill or extreme damage. Than it is ok. The player has to take a gamble.

 

I know a game where your unit has a 5 out of 6 hit. But with a bit of luck, you do have 6 hits. Meaning you kill two opponents instead of just one. This means you also take much less damage if the enemy returns fire.

There is even a small chance that you can take out 3 units with that same shot. Meaning no damage returned at all in most situations.

Same principle, but hidden within a low risk environment. (Actually, the risk is just as high :) but no one can tell the difference)

 

Now, games like warcraft 3 have something really stupid called evasion.

15% chance to evade an opponents attack. When talking about 1000 health and 25 damage. We have like 40 hits (41 if you count healing)

This chance only increases durability, but not a risk factor. With 15% miss, we get a factor of 1,176. Thus 1176 health or 30 hits.

A big factor, but again, there is no risk in missing. Since in the long run, it doesn't matter.

 

But wait, we have a big retreat option in warcraft 3. (other games don't really allow this) With this I mean that 1 unit often needs to get healed or run away for surviving. And those who have played wc3, know that this is a big matter. When the last hit misses. You have 1 extra unit. Only then, we have a yes/no situation. Only then, the 15% matters.

 

Randomness/Deterministic this is a very wide study. And you can only understand when you start playing with numbers yourself.

 

I will look into the combat mechanic of the game. Perhaps it shows something new. :)

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Hello there! Wyrmsun's creator speaking. Thanks for your interest in the game :)

 

All of the game's sprites were created 100% from scratch: although the visual style is inspired by WC2's, nothing was directly copied. We're looking into changing the UI to differentiate the game's visual identity more as well (if anyone has suggestions in that regard, I would be happy to hear). It's also planned to add a third resource (stone), and to make gold gathering work a bit differently than what it does now.

 

The randomness in the game is entirely optional: there is a "No Randomness" option which can be activated, and using it will cause damage to be constant, with accuracy being turned into a damage bonus and evasion into an armor bonus.

 

When accuracy and evasion are working normally, the formula is the following:

0...Attacker_Accuracy - (0...Target_Evasion - (2 * Is_Flanked))

 

...considering Is_Flanked to be 0 if the target is not flanked, and 1 if it is flanked. If the result is greater than 0, then it results in a hit.

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Hello Andrettin, pleased to meet you, and welcome to the forums! ^_^

You did a great job with the graphics. Everything looks so much Warcraft II style I actually had to check the original Blizzard art to make sure there are no edits :)

Actually I believe this is a good thing. I'm trying to keep a list of free alternatives to classic games, and will be happy to add Wyrmsun to the "inspired by" section. There can't be too many games in the Warcraft II style really :D

If you don't mind, a small note: the Mead Hall's shadow doesn't seem to completely cover the ground in the bottom left corner of the sprite.

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Hello Andrettin, pleased to meet you, and welcome to the forums! ^_^

You did a great job with the graphics. Everything looks so much Warcraft II style I actually had to check the original Blizzard art to make sure there are no edits :)

Actually I believe this is a good thing. I'm trying to keep a list of free alternatives to classic games, and will be happy to add Wyrmsun to the "inspired by" section. There can't be too many games in the Warcraft II style really :D

If you don't mind, a small note: the Mead Hall's shadow doesn't seem to completely cover the ground in the bottom left corner of the sprite.

 

Thanks :)

I'm happy you like the graphics; I didn't create them though, almost all of the graphics were created by b_o, Jinn and Leo for Wyrmsun. By the way, the graphics are all licensed under the GPLv2, so they can be freely used for other projects.

Adding Wyrmsun to that list would be nice.

About the Mead Hall, my graphics skills are limited, but fixing the shadow might be something I would be able to do. Where exactly would the shadow be missing here?

town_hall.png

I would be glad to receive further feedback and suggestions for the game :)

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I just examined the images more closely and it turns out that the shadow is there, but it kind of blends in with the patch of ground (which is part of the Mead Hall sprite) so I didn't notice it.

u9nx8aZ.png

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You got flanking...?

 

OMG, someone has flanking in his game!

That is awesome, it increases strategy exponentially.

Only C&C3 has done this right. But a yes and no situation is also good.

If you could do so. Make it something like this:

Frontal or North, where the targets faces up: 0 x flank

North West and North East: 1 x flank

West and East: 2 x flank

South West and South East: 3 x flank

South: 4 x flank

 

Where some units are good when flanking another unit. Like a spear man does with horses. The flank damage could be 1, or 2 or 3. Doesn't matter. Even 0, if you don't allow flanking if there is a bullet shooting unit. Stuff like that ;)

 

Third resource?

Some advice on resources, make them functional. So each resource actually allows more of certain types of units.

You see a lot of games where almost every unit needs some of all resources. These are the bad games.

If possible. Go like Resource A, B, C

Unit costs can be:

A

A+B

A+C

B

B+C

C

A+B+C

 

Gold and Wood are good. Stone is a much better addition than oil.

Gold for most land units.

Wood for most structures and ships.

Stone for harder structures.

 

Do you have a site?

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You got flanking...?

 

OMG, someone has flanking in his game!

That is awesome, it increases strategy exponentially.

Only C&C3 has done this right. But a yes and no situation is also good.

If you could do so. Make it something like this:

Frontal or North, where the targets faces up: 0 x flank

North West and North East: 1 x flank

West and East: 2 x flank

South West and South East: 3 x flank

South: 4 x flank

 

Where some units are good when flanking another unit. Like a spear man does with horses. The flank damage could be 1, or 2 or 3. Doesn't matter. Even 0, if you don't allow flanking if there is a bullet shooting unit. Stuff like that ;)

 

Third resource?

Some advice on resources, make them functional. So each resource actually allows more of certain types of units.

You see a lot of games where almost every unit needs some of all resources. These are the bad games.

If possible. Go like Resource A, B, C

Unit costs can be:

A

A+B

A+C

B

B+C

C

A+B+C

 

Gold and Wood are good. Stone is a much better addition than oil.

Gold for most land units.

Wood for most structures and ships.

Stone for harder structures.

 

Do you have a site?

Thanks :D

The way I had implemented flanking is that a unit was considered flanked if there were two enemy units on either side of the unit. But the way you suggested sounds better (I had done something similar for a "backstab" damage bonus for the goblin thief, so there was already similar code readily available, too).

So now flanking works like this:

Frontal: -0 flanking malus to target evasion

Attack from the front-diagonal: -1 flanking malus to target evasion

Attack from the side: -2 flanking malus to target evasion

Attack from the back-diagonal: -3 flanking malus to target evasion

Attack from the back: -4 flanking malus to target evasion

In "No Randomness" mode these become bonuses to attacker damage.

Spearmen already deal bonus damage against mounted units (+100% damage), so adding an extra flanking bonus on top of that could be too much. And it seems to me that cavalry would have difficulty fighting against spearmen even from the front, as the horses would be afraid of the spears pointed towards them, so a general bonus against mounted for spearmen would make more sense.

I agree with much of what you said about resources. I had something similar to what you mentioned in mind for stone, using it largely for fortifications (towers and fortresses). I was also thinking of using stone to differentiate the civilizations, however - making most or all dwarven structures cost stone as well as lumber. Axemen and spearmen need a small quantity of lumber as well, to differentiate them a bit from swordsmen (who need only gold to be recruited).

As for a site, the game has an IndieDB page, on which I post the news and development screenshots for the game:

http://www.indiedb.com/games/wyrmsun

And the latest development version can be found in Wyrmsun's GitHub repository:

https://github.com/andrettin/wyrmsun

Also, here are instructions on how to keep the game up-to-date with the latest development version without having to redownload the entire game every time):

1. Download the GitHub client from here.

2. Go to the Wyrmsun repository and click on "Clone in Desktop". Select the folder where you placed Wyrmsun.

3. Open up the GitHub client, choose the Wyrmsun repository, and click on "Sync" to synchronize to the latest changes.

 

The flanking changes I mentioned in the beginning of the post have already been uploaded to the game's repository.

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Sandwiching has just become very deadly. ;)

I find is awesome that you have implemented one of my suggestions.

 

May I ask if your damage system is based on a wild guess, or is there some logic involved?

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Sandwiching has just become very deadly. ;)

I find is awesome that you have implemented one of my suggestions.

 

May I ask if your damage system is based on a wild guess, or is there some logic involved?

 

The damage calculation works like this:

 

1. The game takes the attacker's base damage.

2. The damage modifier variable is initialized (as 100).

3. If a critical strike happened, add 100 to the damage modifier (currently only used by units which acquired the "Critical Strike" ability by levelling up). In No Randomness mode, add the critical strike chance to the damage modifier instead.

4. If the attacker is positioned exactly behind the target, add the attacker's "backstab" value to the damage modifier. If the attacker is positioned in a back-diagonal angle in relation to the target, add half the attacker's "backstab" value to the damage modifier instead. Backstab only works on organic units. This is currently only used by goblin thieves.

5. If the attacker has a bonus against mounted units, and the target is mounted, add that bonus to the damage modifier.

6. Multiply the attacker's base damage by the damage modifier and divide it by 100.

7. Decrease the damage by the target's armor.

8. The final damage will now be calculated, varying from half the damage value present in step 7, to the damage value present in step 7 itself.

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Looks pretty cool!

However, I think I would appreciate an option to switch between several UI positions - you know, how Tzar does it: there's the default Warcraft II style sidebar, its mirrored counterpart on the other side of the screen, and the bottom bar, StarCraft style.

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Looks pretty cool!

However, I think I would appreciate an option to switch between several UI positions - you know, how Tzar does it: there's the default Warcraft II style sidebar, its mirrored counterpart on the other side of the screen, and the bottom bar, StarCraft style.

 

Thanks! :)

 

Allowing the player to switch between several different UI positions would unfortunately create a significant graphics burden, though, as each new civilization would need not only all the graphics for the bottom-type UI, but for the other sorts of UI as well.

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No switching needed. Choose one, keep it!

 

Most people have widescreen or just a screen.

I also advice to make this different.

Keep the sidebar on the left, or the right. Warcraft 2 gives a good option. C&C has one on the right.

 

And the thing with starcraft was that there was so much info down there, it all got smaller and thus it didn't take much screen.

If you want to have it like starcraft. Perhaps putting the traits etc. between the soldiers head+healthbar and the building options.

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No switching needed. Choose one, keep it!

 

Most people have widescreen or just a screen.

I also advice to make this different.

Keep the sidebar on the left, or the right. Warcraft 2 gives a good option. C&C has one on the right.

 

And the thing with starcraft was that there was so much info down there, it all got smaller and thus it didn't take much screen.

If you want to have it like starcraft. Perhaps putting the traits etc. between the soldiers head+healthbar and the building options.

 

You mean having it above the minimap or the button panel? That's not a bad idea, but it would unfortunately require remodelling the UI's graphics again. The same is also true for putting the trait and other unit information between the info panel and the button panel (and there's also not enough space in the 640 resolution width).

 

One big advantage of having the UI modular like this is that the same graphics can be used for pretty much any resolution.

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