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Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003 4:40 pm
by jbarcz1
Real-Time space combat might work. I thought MOO3's was ok. Ground combat, I dunno about yet. It might be really cool to have real-time ground combat as long as it didn't turn into a stripped down version of starcraft. We aren't trying to make an RTS here, so if turn-based will give combat more depth and strategy, I'd say go with turn based.


JB

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:49 am
by utilae
Iw would be awesome if ground combat was real-time. At least that way each race could have its own units, making each race that much more unique and different. It would also add to the feel of the game, where you can see your race in action, with alien infantry units trying to take down some human artilary, etc.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 1:26 am
by OceanMachine
I think real time is definitely the way to go for combat. MOO3 was not bad. The graphics sucked, the control wasn't great, and it desperately needed pause/time-control, but the general concept was pretty decent. Would also look at Homeworld (still the coolest space combat engine) and the Total War series (for pace, control, and tactical depth). If we absolutely had to do turn-based combat I'd vote for a system where each player entered orders for their units and then the orders were executed simultaneously. The whole taking alternate turns thing ruins the metaphor of combat and puts you more into an atmosphere of playing cards or chess or something.

As for ground combat, keep it short and sweet. That's really not the focus of a 4x game, IMO...

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 2:44 am
by sebas
hi, i beleive that RT and TB should both be look at. why not take people who care about RT or TB split and develop the two branch. i dont know if a 3D engine was choosen. i remember to use OpenGL. but was it a costum engine or a general 3d engine. if a general engine like OGRE is used, you only need to lock action on a 2d grid. the ship model could be reused.

ogre: http://ogre.sourceforge.net/
on a follow up question: for TB what kind of grid layout should be used, square or octogonal or ..... ?

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 4:14 am
by jbarcz1
I agree with having simultaneous turns if it's turn-based. Just as long as it doesn't turn into Birth of the Federation. That game had some good qualities but I found the combat lacking, not enough control over what my ships decided to do.

For ground combat, I'd like to be able to design ground forces in at least as much detail as ships. If we just have a predefined set of units I'm afraid of it degenerating into Starcraft. Starcraft is a good game, but in a 4x game such as this, I like to see depth in all areas, including combat.

JB

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 4:21 am
by OceanMachine
Another thought on ground combat.. If we're going to do something other than a quick-sim sort of resolution the way most 4x games do, could we implement some sort of a strategic level combat system? The idea of directing a few tanks and squads of infantry around when you're fighting for control an entire planet seems a bit odd. This is probably why no 4x games have attempted any significant ground combat engine before..

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 4:37 am
by jbarcz1
Ever play Star General? It was basically two games in one. Space and ground combat were seperate battlefields, which used the same tile-based combat engine. I didn't get to play it too much but I thought the concept had merit.

We could try having military units at, say, the division level, and then make a turn-based engine where you fight on a region-by-region basis. You might have, say an armored division, two mechanized infantry divisions, and an air-assault division, with several fighter squadrons for air support. Each turn, you'd issue orders like, "assault region X" or "fighting withdraw to region Y". Then the combat would be processed and both sides would take casualties. This could get especially interesting if your landings get botched and all your divisions end up in different places on-planet.

MOO3 actually has an incredibly detailed combat system if you read the docs up on their website, you just never know it because they dont give you any control, or let you see the results.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:38 am
by Nightfish
OceanMachine wrote:This is probably why no 4x games have attempted any significant ground combat engine before..
What about the Imperium Galactica series? Those games had RTS ground combat and the AI actually did a half decent job of fighting there. First it would group his forces and array them, before advancing. Usually it didn't just move in single file to your forces like normal RTS games do. Sure, IG 2 wasn't grand, but there are some small things we might steal there.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:55 am
by Tyreth
Stars! also had initiative to decide order, which I think was a good idea. You had to choose whether to make a ship high initiative, or sacrifice some for other advantages (more weapons, faster movement, better armor, whatever).

Which is one reason why I don't think TB is totally useless.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:57 am
by utilae
Maybe the players not having battles and waiting can be spectators and watch other players fight. They can also chat.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 10:11 am
by utilae
Any one good at art?

Should draw up some potential FreeOrion battle systems (Space and Ground). Kinda like how the User Interfaces have been done and look so good.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 10:59 am
by drek
utilae:
We are no where near having to make concrete designs for space combat. When the time comes I imagine there will be plenty of prototype graphics for space combat.

That spec idea is great; I see no reason why people shouldn't spec combat during a friendly game.

Ground combat:
We don't have infinite resources--need to decide where our focus is going to be, at least for the core v1.0 game. imho, detailed ground combat is a no-brainer for the chopping block. The art assets alone would probably be hellish to come up with.

Space combat:
I'd greatly prefer a RT engine in the spirit of the Total War games, with the look feel and sound of Homeworld...but that's pie in the sky. I'd be happy enough with playable RT gameplay and Moo3's level of graphics.

Someone on the old forums (can't remember who) had an idea for a hybrid RT-TB engine simlair to japanese console RPG combat. The combat is RT until a Fleet fills some sort of Action Gauge--then the game pauses long enough to allow the player to select an Order for the fleet to carry out. Sounds interesting to me and close to lag proof.

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 11:58 pm
by utilae
Yes, I remember that. It sounds similar to how final fantasy 7, 8, 9 and 10 work, if you've played them. Great games too.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:07 pm
by dirt-bag
real time ultimately turns into a test of who has the best internet connection and who can click the mouse faster. if u want true strategy i think turn based of some sort is the only solution.

i think spectators is a great way to aleviate the boredom of sitting thru a combat. u could always have a toggle to switch it off. or have players decide weather or not they wish to 'broadcast' a battle that way if either combatant chooses to broadcast the battle anyone can view it.

moo2 has a wait button in combat which makes no real sense and detracts significantly from gameplay. otherwise i think ship initiative is a great idea. i am also a fan of simultaneous movement, it is pretty rare to see this in a game, i have only seen it twice. its' shortcoming is that is has no initiative factor.

Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 10:29 pm
by utilae
dirt-bag wrote:real time ultimately turns into a test of who has the best internet connection and who can click the mouse faster. if u want true strategy i think turn based of some sort is the only solution.
In a game like Moo, RTS combat is not prone to the 'whoever pumps out the most units' problem, because pumping out ships, exists outside of combat. Imagine you are in a battle, you have a group of ships, they have a group of ships. All you have to do is just select them all and click attack on one of there ships, how hard is that and how many clicks is that? Plus if the ships fire automatically, when enemies are near, it won't make a difference in who clicks first. Technology and numbers will be more of a deciding factor. Plus with the right tools and user functionality, it will not be so difficult to play.

And about the Internet thing, in any game, if you have a bad Internet connection, you will be affected.

Turn based is a good method, as long as you can group select units and select a group of units to attack (rather than a single unit). The idea is to avoid giving orders to each single ship (when you have too many ships it gets time consuming).