stefanhendriks

I don't want to get your hopes up.. but I can't deny it much either...

49 posts in this topic

57 minutes ago, X3M said:

oh wow, I totally forgot I already got those parts implemented as well... 

I like how C&C handles infantry. With Dune 2 the 1 or 3 soldiers (infantry) are fixed units, as in the sprites basically have 3 soldiers or 1. I like the C&C approach better, but it is a bit more complicated regarding occupation of cells/tiles.

Balance wise, I think infantry should play a more prominent role. I find in Dune 2 that infantry is useless very soon. In dune 2000 the rocket infantry was actually very good against tanks and such. I liked that quite a bit. So when I will build my own 'infantry' thing, I will probably make them stronger and also try to make them more versatile.

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Even troopers are rather useless. Still, you keep building them fot that last 1% advantage. What dune2000 needs and dune 2 are more terrain where infantry get an advantage.

I got a little theory about why the infantry and troopers are so weak in dune2. They got the ability to damage or take over structures. Thus they where made weak and slow.

Also, they can be squashed. Somehow this was never balanced properly. And there is no noticable difference between troopers and infantry regarding damage. The only difference is range.

Instead of squads of 3 or 5. What about 4? Simply halve the size of the grid?

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35 minutes ago, X3M said:

Even troopers are rather useless. Still, you keep building them fot that last 1% advantage. What dune2000 needs and dune 2 are more terrain where infantry get an advantage.

I got a little theory about why the infantry and troopers are so weak in dune2. They got the ability to damage or take over structures. Thus they where made weak and slow.

Also, they can be squashed. Somehow this was never balanced properly. And there is no noticable difference between troopers and infantry regarding damage. The only difference is range.

Instead of squads of 3 or 5. What about 4? Simply halve the size of the grid?

What I remember from D2k is that troopers could get on 'rocky' terrain that tanks could not pass, from there you could have basically 5 troopers gunning down tanks pretty quick.

In dune 2 though the troopers where useless. For fun I tried to win only with troopers, but it seemed like impossible. Very slow movement and rocket turrets will kill them too fast. And damage dealt by troopers is way too weak.

Taking over structures was a neat idea, I still like that. I don't like this 'engineer' unit that is in other Westwood games - as if one person could just take a whole building. From a game mechanic it is cool though. I always got a bit nervous when an engineer got into my base. Then again, I think if you could achieve the same with all infantry units... that would make you want to defend against infantry way more. 

C&C/Dune 2 always was being praised about the Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanism. But I don't feel its like that at all. There are just a bunch of Rocks (Siege tanks/Devastator) that obliterate the others. What would be a good balance then?

To me, infantry would be one of the sides. Infantry -> Tanks -> Light units -> Infantry ? something like that?

 

 

 

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Well, I said more terrain. Not, there should be terrain. I am well aware of those few rocks. I just feel that there are never enough of these.

I tried to finish the game with only infantry. Turns out, turrets are hard. Rockets turrets are impossible. The difference is just too huge.

In dune2, all I use are Rocket Tanks and some other tanks that I got in the start for their protection. I never use devastators or deviators. Sometimes, I use a couple of Sonic tanks together with Siege tanks.

Dune 2 doesn't have much RPS. Dune 2000 has.

 

Your classification of RPS is a more correct one. But applying the C&C logic means, we have 4 corners, not 3, in the RPS.

Another problem is the lack of micro. The only micro that I know of is, vehicles against the rocket launcher. And the rocket launcher in hit and run attacks against all other units except the sonic tank. For the sonic tank, I use the siege tank as counter.

 

What the first RTS games lack, is the knowledge of 1 times infinite strength against infinity times 1 strength.

The results are exactly 50% for the 1 times infinite strength. For balancing, we have to apply the square root of 2 in costs to this unit. That is, if no other statistics are used.

The same goes for placement in combat. If both sides are melee and lined in a single line against each other. Than the X times infinite strength against infinite times X strength is once again a factor of 2. This just happens to apply to dune 2 as well. Again, to balance, a square root of 2.

In other words. A siege tank should be worth close to 1200, if pitted against infantry. Which cost 100 each.

And last, the unit total limits. Obviously set every imba factor to the power of 2?? Meaning that a siege tank should be close to 2400. When pitted against infantry. Expecting that both sides build to the limit of 25?

 

I do have to say, this above is a starting theory. Balance is depending entirely on the game play, game mechanics, and player skill developments. Eclipsing the basic math.

I see no other choice than to simply make the game complete. Than supply the unit statistics. And allow some testers to suggest alterations to your choice of statistics. Kinda like how they grinded (and still grind) starcraft to perfection.

 

It never happened correctly to Dune 2.

And C&C's "off" balance is shadowed by a strong RPS mechanism that is mechanical in nature instead of natural. The 2 different races also strongly depend on map designs. Something that starcraft also noticed, but did take in mention during the official tournament maps.

Starcraft is mainly balanced on the tournament maps, each race and unit counts. But god forbid, you playing a 1 on 1 against me on a starcraft map, that I choose.

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On 13 September 2016 at 8:49 AM, stefanhendriks said:

C&C/Dune 2 always was being praised about the Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanism. But I don't feel its like that at all. There are just a bunch of Rocks (Siege tanks/Devastator) that obliterate the others. What would be a good balance then?

To me, infantry would be one of the sides. Infantry -> Tanks -> Light units -> Infantry ? something like that?

In D2, infantry is too slow and too vulnerably. C&C infantry being resistant to tank shells is of course nonsense in the sense that a human doesn't survive a direct hit from a tank shell, but at the same time realistic because tanks aren't the best anti-infantry weapon and highly vulnerably to, say, guys with RPG launchers hidden behind the next building.

Rocket troopers should be more devastating against tanks and at the same time still vulnerable to machine guns (i.e. light units). The "triangle" you suggested sounds good.

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I'll reply more in-depth tomorrow. 

Just want to let you know I reached a little milestone again - I finished up the primitive building of stuff. As a ritual: it gets merged in Github and I make a little demo @ youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IttcoPU_LY0&feature=youtu.be

Oh, and I was actually pretty proud on a unit test I could write: https://github.com/Fundynamic/dune2themaker4j/blob/master/src/test/java/com/fundynamic/d2tm/game/rendering/gui/sidebar/SidebarTest.java

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Quote

C&C infantry being resistant to tank shells is of course nonsense in the sense that a human doesn't survive a direct hit from a tank shell, but at the same time realistic because tanks aren't the best anti-infantry weapon and highly vulnerably to, say, guys with RPG launchers hidden behind the next building.

The RPS in real life is one based on overkill.

1 Bullet kills 1 soldier.
1 Rocket kills 1 soldier or 1 tank.
There are many more soldiers than tanks.
So the Rocket is better used on a tank than a soldier.

The life on all units is multiplied by a factor X. These are hit points. But you could consider having an infantry unit taking damage. That they would normally have died. I consider 1 infantry unit as a symbolic replacement of an entire squad.

I use the same principle in my board game as well. My factor is 3. While C&C has something along the lines of 6-7.

 

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Slight tangent: Is there a way to make Sonic Tanks not blow up your own stuff?

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Curious.

50 for 1, 150 for 3 infantry? Is the group literly 3 times stronger?

1000 for an refinery. Happy to see, that it is increased. But why 1000? What is the logic behind it?
How much will an harvester be worth? From 300 to?
How much a silo? From 150 to?
And how much the refining process? From -50 to?

Everything seems to be building at the same speed. I bet it is your next step to change it. If I may advice: relate this to the cost. So that later on, all you need to do is change the costs of something. And the build speed is adjusted automatically. Further, put the prices above or below the pictures. Not on the pictures. Or make it a pop up if you hoover long enough over the picture?

 

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34 minutes ago, X3M said:

Curious.

50 for 1, 150 for 3 infantry? Is the group literly 3 times stronger?

1000 for an refinery. Happy to see, that it is increased. But why 1000? What is the logic behind it?
How much will an harvester be worth? From 300 to?
How much a silo? From 150 to?
And how much the refining process? From -50 to?

Everything seems to be building at the same speed. I bet it is your next step to change it. If I may advice: relate this to the cost. So that later on, all you need to do is change the costs of something. And the build speed is adjusted automatically. Further, put the prices above or below the pictures. Not on the pictures. Or make it a pop up if you hoover long enough over the picture?

 

Hi,

Just to make clear, I did not do anything balance wise yet. So do not take the costs/building speeds etc too literally :)

That said, for demo purposes I reduce the build speeds because else you might wait a bit. If you are curious, look at the INI file and see the buildTime property (these are in seconds).

There is no silo/storage feature yet. (thx for reminding, just created the issue at github).

Also the rendering of prices is very blunt (like you said, it is on the pictures, which is ugly). I want to improve the sidebar logic further (created another issue for that).

Perhaps you have some ideas about economy related things? Let me know, it is my focus for Alpha #4! 

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Well, economy related things? I assume you keep it the same as Dune2 in many regards? But I am hoping for some upgrades.

Although, what I hated about Dune2 was the cheap Refinery. It had the storage of a silo, an harvester, and the refining ability.
An harvester and silo together was already $50 higher than the refinery itself.
I think that the refining process should be costing just as much as the silo property. Thus the Refinery itself would cost 300. And you pay 300 extra for the harvester. A total of 600 is what I think would be best for an Refinery. And of course only 50% repair costs compared to other structures.

If possible, I would like to see another harvester take the journey towards a refinery, when an harvester is already in. However, it would stand waiting just outside the refinery. I don't like the fact that the Original keeps them in the field. With all risks intended. In C&C they already return to a refinery, while the refinery is busy. This also means that it would be neat if a carryall also places the harvester close to an refinery. And of course, afterwards, back on a (or the) field.

Last, I like the spice balooms in Dune2000, returning all the time. However, the ammount was overkill. If you do something similar. Please keep it to a minimum to 1 or 2 per player, maybe a 5th to conquer first. And even better, maybe a counter on the balooms, that they will return only a few times. Another option is to have them being created by the sandworms. The ammount in the baloom would be less than the units eaten. A sandworm creates a baloom after a random amount of time, after having its fill. Maybe the sandworm returns to the baloom in regular basis, to get spice in stock. Of course, sandworms themselves create just a little bit of spice every minute.

So, not only will a baloom kill an unit by stepping on it. The sandworm might have it as a territory. Yet, in the end, the other fields that are safe are gone. And players need to fight over the dangerous fields. Sandworms should return on a regular basis.

Hmmm, shoot the baloom, and the units around will take damage? :)

This was, just throwing out some idea's

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@X3M, does not sound hard to do (make harvester move to refinery although it is already occupied by harvester). Makes sense too.

I am working on the harvesting logic and finally introduced a State Machine. This means refactoring some stuff, but that goes along pretty well since the code is not that complicated (and I have been working on it regularly so my mental model of it is sharp enough).

Anyway, here is work in progress in an animated gif :)

 

d7f6f69c-95ed-11e6-828e-6cc01d8679a9.gif

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282b95411927f12e9cc5db9c36473cc6bc946d7f

 

Curious as to what choice you are going to make, regarding the harvesters first choice of harvest.

The thick spice and immediately the thin spice under it? Or complete random? Or the thick spice only first and return later for the thin spice? Or....?

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9 hours ago, X3M said:

Curious as to what choice you are going to make, regarding the harvesters first choice of harvest

To answer that, look at this file: https://github.com/Fundynamic/dune2themaker4j/pull/147/files#diff-72dbe6535a69a1935f616af0c17b73a7R13

TLDR: It is just random.

Prefering 'thicker' spice would make sense, which would basically mean I need to order the list of candidates and such and perhaps pick randomly one of those.

Even better would be to prefer those who are easily reachable, ie, the unit does not need to turn around and such to optimize its harvesting.

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Very happy to see that you have picked this up again :)

(have been feeling guilty ever since evangelizing C++/SFML and the whole thing petered out!)

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2 minutes ago, Spectral Paladin said:

Very happy to see that you have picked this up again :)

(have been feeling guilty ever since evangelizing C++/SFML and the whole thing petered out!)

Don't feel guilty. I think the C++/SFML thing was a little bit too much to learn next to my full-time job and such. Doing Java (and perhaps Kotlin soon) is way closer to my comfort zone (as in I can be very productive in a short time).

The C++ project really looked nice, its pretty well documentend and I think anyone can just pick it up and work on it. Too bad it is in a too early state. But who knows, Java is easy to learn (relatively) and you can get up to speed very fast with how I set up the project. Literally you just need Java and Maven and you're set.

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It has been a month on this one. So relatively speaking, it is still fresh on this board.
Any progress?

At least your project is moving again in public. I kept mine in the shadows for discouraging reasons.

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7 hours ago, X3M said:

It has been a month on this one. So relatively speaking, it is still fresh on this board.
Any progress?

At least your project is moving again in public. I kept mine in the shadows for discouraging reasons.

I moved it into public because I felt it became more 'mature' relatively speaking, and also it is a motivator to keep going.

About progress. I have been sick for a while (still not entirely better). Also we have a bunch of holidays - so I did only a few maintenance things like keeping dependencies up to date. The state machine has been untouched since last post.

I do sketch some ideas (on paper) how to deal with "Harvester returning to refinery and dumping spice", but its not in code (and thus not seen).

Thx for asking though! :)

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Hey,

Sorry for a belated reply. At this point I've come to believe that the only way for the legacy of Dune II to continue is to create a derivative game that builds upon the original's mechanics and gameplay principles but is stripped of any proprietary content, copyrighted names and all the other stuff which makes Dune II unlikely to become a legally freeware game. Kind of like your Arrakis but entirely free of proprietary stuff.

I suppose that your project could pretty much be such a game. You have demonstrated your coding ability countless times (how many builds and incarnations of D2TM alone have there been anyway?), so a good question here would be that of game mechanics. In what ways can we expand upon and improve the original Dune II experience? What can be borrowed from later titles? What lessons have we learned from the history of the genre?

As for the asset basis of such a game, there are some libre graphics e.g. from BOS Wars, and there are resources at OpenGameArt.org too (e.g. here).

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