A new 4x game is coming

Talk about anything and everything related or unrelated to the FreeOrion project, especially Strategy Games.

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KurtGodel7
Space Floater
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:30 pm

#16 Post by KurtGodel7 »

Ray K wrote:
KurtGodel7 wrote:But what if the designers of MoO2 had said, "Let's take MoO1, improve its depth and richness, and avoid all Civ influence?" There would be race design, because that's a natural evolution of the race differences that existed in MoO1. The ship design process may or may not have turned out the same way it actually did. But the real difference would be in planetary management. You'd have slider bars instead of those three rows of civ-inspired person icons. There would be no planetary buildings; hence no micromanagement problem. MoO1 did a good job of allowing you to use technology to upgrade your planets across the board, without having to mess around with build queues and so on. So if my only contribution to the world of 4x gaming was to create the MoO 1.5 described in this paragraph, I think it'd be pretty good.
Well, I hope this doesn't rain on your parade or anything, but creating a MOO 1.5 has been sort of a "Holy Grail" for a lot of gamers. A lot of fans talk about writing a game, some actually get a few early screen shots, fewer attract enough people to provide the variety of skills needed to create a complete game, and none have actually finished.

I see FreeOrion as inspired from MOO2 and my Rise From Ruin project as the MOO1.5 game you are talking about. Both projects are in pretty advanced stages and both are going to be free.

So not only are you behind the curve, but you have an even steeper hill to climb if you are going to try and sell your game.

There is a lot of talent on the FO team and I'm no slouch myself, so good luck! :wink:
Good luck to you too. This genre could use a few good new games.

It's not my intention to simply take ideas from the MoO series and refine them into a game. That really wouldn't be a bad starting point, but there are other ways for me to achieve my broad goals:

-My game should have the discipline, smoothness, and lack of micromanagement of MoO1.

- The game should have at least as much depth, richness, and variety as MoO2.

- The game should have a bunch of really cool ideas and innovations that do not appear in the MoO series. These should always be consistent with the first two goals.

To some extent these goals pull in opposite directions, as good goals generally do. Figuring out how to achieve both sets of goals is what makes things interesting for you, and rewarding for the players. It may only be possible to achieve 70% of the discipline of MoO1 in certain areas if I'm going to add depth and richness to compete with MoO2. For instance, in MoO1 there is a maximum of 13 icons in any space combat: 6 stacks of ships for each side, and the planet stack of missle bases. I'm leaning toward allowing a greater number of stacks than just six per side to allow a greater variety of experience.

But MoO1's system really does provide discipline. In MoO2 it's in your best interest to redesign your ships every time you make even a small tech discovery. It's not a terrible idea to frequently refit ships as well. But with MoO1's limitation of the six stacks, it's not in the player's best interest to redesign too frequently, because you'll end up scrapping a perfectly good stack of ships that's not obsolete yet. When to redesign is, for MoO1, a strategic decision rather than the micromanagement nuisance it became in MoO2. On the other hand, MoO2 allowed you--if you wanted--to have a much greater variety of types of ships present in any given space battle. In practice that ability was generally useless because it always made sense to have all your ships of the same type. But in theory the feature represents depth and richness that would have been eliminated had the number of allowable ship designs been reduced.

The point I'm making is that there's almost always a trade-off between discipline (MoO1) and depth and richness (MoO2). Knowing when and how to make this trade-off is one of the most challenging tasks of designing a game.

KurtGodel7
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#17 Post by KurtGodel7 »

To sum up my previous post, the various 4x games being developed will be different for three reasons:

- Each design team will make different choices as far as the trade-offs between discipline and depth and richness

- Each design team will choose a different set of cool features to add to their game

- Each team will have a different goal for the overarching feel and experience the game should provide

There are so many different directions you can take a 4x game. Thus far, we've barely even scratched the surface of the potential this genre has. Maybe someday there will be the "ultimate" 4x game; a game that's so good that nobody else can offer anything unique. But this genre is a long way away from that point, trust me. I mean, I've gotten a ton of killer ideas from the surveys, and I'll be lucky if I'm able to use a third of them. There's room out there for someone for someone to figure out how to use the other 2/3.

To those who've responded to the survey, I read each idea, and carefully consider how it might be added to the game.

Ray K
Krill Swarm
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:41 am

#18 Post by Ray K »

KurtGodel7 wrote:-My game should have the discipline, smoothness, and lack of micromanagement of MoO1.

- The game should have at least as much depth, richness, and variety as MoO2.

- The game should have a bunch of really cool ideas and innovations that do not appear in the MoO series. These should always be consistent with the first two goals.
OK, don't take this personally but when I read stuff like this, my bullshit meter goes off the chart.

It's one thing to say that your game will have "discipline, smoothness, and lack of micromanagement" as well as "depth, richness, and variety", but it's a completely different thing to actually do this.

Those are very broad and vague concepts that have different meanings to every gamer. It sounds nice to say all of that but the devil is in the details and hard decisions will have to be made about what constitutes "smoothness" and "richness".

I'd wager that most commercial games begin with lofty goals like those and fail simply because they are extremely difficult to achieve.
The point I'm making is that there's almost always a trade-off between discipline (MoO1) and depth and richness (MoO2). Knowing when and how to make this trade-off is one of the most challenging tasks of designing a game.
Agreed. So how will you convince people that you are The Chosen One to pull this off without providing details about your implementation? Especially since I already know that I'm The Chosen One.:wink:

I think that building a consensus from a poll is not a good way to do it. The MOO1 & MOO2 camps will pull you in different directions. They are very different games despite the name. When soliciting input for RFR, I make a point to discount the opinions of any gamers who prefer MOO2 over MOO1. It's not that I don't think MOO2 is a good game, but that's not the game I'm writing.

I say that it's better to have a vision, state it clearly, and then start writing the game with whomever likes your vision and is willing to help. If no one helps, then write it for yourself.

That's just my opinion, of course.

KurtGodel7
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#19 Post by KurtGodel7 »

noelte wrote:BTW: I would like to know the results of your survey. I hope you won't keep it under the hat. :-)
We may release a summary of the survey's results at some point. Not now though, because it's still underway.

KurtGodel7
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:30 pm

#20 Post by KurtGodel7 »

Ray K wrote: OK, don't take this personally but when I read stuff like this, my bullshit meter goes off the chart.

It's one thing to say that your game will have "discipline, smoothness, and lack of micromanagement" as well as "depth, richness, and variety", but it's a completely different thing to actually do this.

Those are very broad and vague concepts that have different meanings to every gamer. It sounds nice to say all of that but the devil is in the details and hard decisions will have to be made about what constitutes "smoothness" and "richness".
Believe me, I'm far enough along in the design process that I know what you're talking about. I've made good progress towards these goals already; and either I will finish along the path I've started, or the game won't get released.
Ray K wrote: I'd wager that most commercial games begin with lofty goals like those and fail simply because they are extremely difficult to achieve.


Anyone designing a 4x game should be seeking out both discipline and depth. Those unable to find a balance between the two goals have no business designing games. I'm not saying you lack this ability, just that, for me personally, abandonment of any of the three goals I stated would be reason to abandon the design effort itself.
Ray K wrote: Agreed. So how will you convince people that you are The Chosen One to pull this off without providing details about your implementation? Especially since I already know that I'm The Chosen One.:wink:
By doing it. Whether one of us succeeds or not doesn't really affect the other's ability to succeed.
Ray K wrote: I think that building a consensus from a poll is not a good way to do it. The MOO1 & MOO2 camps will pull you in different directions. They are very different games despite the name. When soliciting input for RFR, I make a point to discount the opinions of any gamers who prefer MOO2 over MOO1. It's not that I don't think MOO2 is a good game, but that's not the game I'm writing.

I say that it's better to have a vision, state it clearly, and then start writing the game with whomever likes your vision and is willing to help. If no one helps, then write it for yourself.

That's just my opinion, of course.
I agree that this game should be based on a single, unifying vision rather than an attempt to achieve consensus from a poll. Why do the poll at all? Because there are opportunities for the creativity, intelligence, and insight of others to help flesh out my vision. If someone proposes an idea that isn't consistent with the big picture I have in my head, I'll discard it. But just because an idea or an insight came from someone else's head rather than mine doesn't mean it has less value. I may have to work a little harder to see how it would fit into the overall vision, but it's worth the work to harness the creativity that's out there.

Dreamer
Dyson Forest
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#21 Post by Dreamer »

Ray K wrote:my Rise From Ruin project as the MOO1.5 game you are talking about.
Where is that one? I'm surely interested to take a look... I found some forums on google but no place to download and give it a try...

Ray K
Krill Swarm
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:41 am

#22 Post by Ray K »

Dreamer wrote:
Ray K wrote:my Rise From Ruin project as the MOO1.5 game you are talking about.
Where is that one? I'm surely interested to take a look... I found some forums on google but no place to download and give it a try...
It's probably inappropriate to link to it from here, so I PM'd it to you.

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