Space Combat (madness)

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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noelte
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#196 Post by noelte » Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:09 pm

it's a strategy game!!!
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#197 Post by Ranos » Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:23 pm

Forgive me for my ignorance noelte, but what does that comment have to do with what is being discussed at this time?
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noelte
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#198 Post by noelte » Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:43 am

Ranos wrote:Forgive me for my ignorance noelte, but what does that comment have to do with what is being discussed at this time?
ildoge25 wrote:I prefer realtime too. Full 3D immersive. Basically as Homeworld but without production and research.
Hmm, maybe i got it wrong? Maybe i should qoute more. At least i'm repeating myself without adding something new, which is bad on it's own!
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ildoge25
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#199 Post by ildoge25 » Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:06 pm

It's a strategy game!!!
And...?

Are you implying that a strategy game cannot have a real time component to resolve battles?

Success strategy games like the total war series go exactly along this line...
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pd
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#200 Post by pd » Tue Nov 02, 2004 6:20 pm

noelte just worried about this:
ildoge25 wrote:I prefer realtime too. Full 3D immersive. Basically as Homeworld but without production and research.

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#201 Post by emrys » Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:24 pm

haravikk wrote:
emrys wrote:"Haravikk-style order phases" - rather than have order phases at fixed intervals
or at player demand, the Game engine determines when the player's are allowed to give orders, based on when the ship/taskforce AI's think they need new orders. (generally not very popular).
This one is a bit wrong, my idea was an addition to real-time to make it easier to manage for slower clicking players. Basically it's real-time, but as the AI Task-forces encounter problems they pop-up a little item (perhaps on a list of pending problems to one side) which allows the player to quickly assign the AI new orders, without actually moving over to that part of the map and moving it themself with the normal real-time controls.
In this way a player could pretty much just sit back and only give orders when a TF perceives itself to be in trouble, or requires new orders.
Think of it like Real-time but with AI that knows it needs a player decision and so asks for one, rather than doing dumb stuff until the player notices. But the player can still give real-time orders as normal, if they change their mind about attempting a flanking manoeuvre for example.
Ah, good. That's what I thought you meant originally, and was why I was keen on the idea; but then there was a discussion (not sure with whom) that confused me, and led to me thinking you'd actually meant what I wrote above. Hence the two versions of that I listed (since I liked the version I'd first thought you'd meant better).

Glad that there we were actually thinking of the same thing. I've edited my summary to remove the wrong-headed version.
discord wrote:haravikk: did not even have to read through all of your post to know the answer, not possible.

why you ask? because it is hard as hell to make a actual inteligent AI that knows what it is doing(as compared to just following some preset methods.), and for your side to know when it encounters a problem, it has to understand what the hell is happening, otherwise it cant know when it encounters a problem....and at that point, the development team has created a true AI....wich scientists have been trying to do for the last....20-30 years or so...still without much success.
Speaking from a coder's perspective, I'd say it was much easier to write an AI that was allowed to give up when it couldn't work out a decent answer. After all, it's generally easier to work out you don't know an answer than to work out the answer.

Typically the problem in game AI is having to make a choice, even if that choice is a) only marginally better than the alternatives or b) likely to lead to a situation where you need to make the opposite decision a few seconds later or c) going to take a ludicrous amount of time and effort to determine.

Classic examples of include attacking a weaker unit when low on health. You should be able to kill them, so you should attack, but you're low on health so you should retreat. Or choosing whether to defend a position as orders, even though you face overwhelming odds. In both cases the AI can easily detect there is an issue (it has two strongly compelling and opposing factors). Choosing one over the other stands a strong chance of annoying the player, the right decision there is to ASK, but usually game helper-AI's aren't given that option, in fact Freeorion could even be the first to think of it! (anybody who knows better,yell).

The third type, taking way too long to work out the answer is also helped, if you're Ai routine is taking too long and not getting a good answer, just bail out to a default minimal annoyance solution (i.e. sit still and defend) and ask the player for help.

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#202 Post by emrys » Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:40 pm

pd wrote:noelte just worried about this:
ildoge25 wrote:I prefer realtime too. Full 3D immersive. Basically as Homeworld but without production and research.
Surely not, since it was fairly obvious that this simply referred to a preference for the Battle engine, in exatly the same way as the Total War series (and Moo3, and ...) have a turn based strategic engine, and a 3D 'realtime' combat engine between turns.

The without production and research would apply to within the combat engine, obviously.

As for an alternative interpretation, that a strategy game can't/shouldn't have graphically pretty tactical component, why the heck not? I'm assuming even if we did implement a 3D tactical component that was involved, pretty and fun enough to qualify as Homeworld 3, we'd still need to stick in a simple autoresolve option for those groups of players who prefer to skip the fights and concentrate on the grand-strategy (or jst don't have the time today). The best option would seem to be aiming to have a scaleable complexity to the combat engine (e.g. numbers only autoresolve->battle VCR style autoresolve->simple battle plans and large scale tactics -> individual task force/unit control and complex hands-on control). This might be able to fight in well with the progressive release strategy of Freeorion, first we get something the allows fixed designs of ships to fight out in numbers only autoresolve (e.g. v2 :) ), then we have pure dumb AI on both sides control a first cut version of our combat engine with placeholder models in a battle VCR type autoresolve (let's us get the code for the combat framework in place). Then we add in progressively more control and complexity to ship design and combat features till we feel it's about right. As we finish each layer of complexity, that becomes an option for resolving battles in the final version of the game.

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solartrix
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#203 Post by solartrix » Sat Nov 13, 2004 2:51 pm

This thread may be dying, but I wanted to 2nd the Medieval Total War system. If you haven't played it, you really should. It has a fantastic way of dealing with both the strategic and tactical levels and I think it would be a good parallel to what we're trying to do with freeorion. The strategy is turn based, the combat is real time (with a pause key if you need it) where you give orders to your units (groups of guys) and they charge out and engage the enemy units. A very similar system would work well for controlling task forces of ships.

I'm starting to warm up to the system combat arena idea, too. I'll try to put some thoughts into 3ds and come back with some "sketches" of what I come up with.

Oh, almost forgot, kudos on the little movie clip. Looked sharp!

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solartrix
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#204 Post by solartrix » Sat Nov 13, 2004 6:38 pm

Built a simple system model in 3ds and then photoshopped it to look like a screenshot (actually turned out pretty well if you don't mind the simple ship graphics). Makes wish the game was ready...

Anyways, this is just an idea I had of how you could do whole system combat and still see the ships engage each other via little task force windows. You could also zoom right in on the ships themselves, I guess. Take a look:

http://www.pbase.com/solartrix/inbox

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utilae
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#205 Post by utilae » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:05 pm

Let this thread live!!!!!!!!!!!
---

Those are some cool screenies, but I am not sure that the window system would work as well as you think. You can't have a window for each unit or taskforce, so it would be limited.

I think the best combat system would be to use the Phased-Real Time system wide combat system.

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#206 Post by johnsje » Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:38 pm

ok, I am not sure if this has been suggested or this is what the phased combat is supposed to be. I did not have time to read all the posts.
for combat to be fair and enjoyable for everyone it needs to be phased. My version of phased is this.

2 or more fleets face off. Wether they are single ships or task forces really don't matter. At the start each ship from each player picks their location they want that ship to move to and who to fire at, and hits go, after each player has made there selection the fight begins. Once every ships has moved and fired combat stops and you are then able to reevaluate the state of the battlefield and adjust your stratagy. Then you do the same as the first round. you do this untill there is a victor or until the predetermined amount of time for that round is over.

This is basically an upgrsded version of MOO2, but done in a fair way.

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Idea for ship combat. Period Warfare.

#207 Post by guiguibaah » Fri Oct 21, 2005 5:40 pm

I was reading today's Wikipedia Entry at en.wikipedia.org about the "battle at Trafalgar" where a small well-trained fleet of english ships defeated a large fleet of spanish and french ships. Most of the description in these large ship to ship battles showed that even a crippled ship could be a formidable force if her crew could emerge and board a well-working enemy ship.


...

To that effect, I think it would be a nice touch to add something similar to free orion. How, you might ask? Well, to simulate the effects, there could be a period where one researches a certain ship armour in technology that makes it so that the weapons of the time have little effect on it.

As a result, in order to win a battle, you resort to using weapons that have a negative impact on the crew. You would also construct special ships that would make a beeline for enemy ships in the attempt to board them.

. . .

Naturally, like the introduction of the ironclad, this strategy changes when a new technology appears. Perhaps you can discover a repulsor beam that makes it nearly impossible for ships to board you. Or, you research long-range plasma cannons (like the Druuge ships in SC2) that repel enemy ships away from you while dealing a lot of damage to the armor component of your enemy.

. . .


This is somewhat similar to the period in Civ3 when you get infantry. During that period, the highest attack unit had a value of 6, while infantry had a value of 10. So you ended up using a lot of artillery and forming "lines" and trenches, just like what happened in WW1.
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#208 Post by Sapphire Wyvern » Wed Nov 09, 2005 8:51 am

Zpock wrote:...and I don't know of any games with phased realtime combat. So I'm very interested in seeing how it turns out.
Laser Squad Nemesis, a moderately brilliant turn-based squad tactical game from the people behind X-COM. This game uses 10-second fixed duration real-time turns with orders being assigned at each ten second interval. It's intended for internet and Play-By-Email play. The demo is both free and tiny, for those who are interested in checking out a pretty darn good implementation of 2d phased-time turn-based combat.

To a somewhat lesser extent, the modern 3d remake of Scorched Earth, Scorched3d, also fits the bill when played multiplayer. Each player picks an angle, elevation, power, and weapon setting; when all decisions are received by the server or the turn clock runs out, all tanks fire together, with realtime resolution of the results. This uses a variable-turn duration where the real-time turn lasts for exactly as long as it takes for all the consequences of the last set of orders to be resolved. The game is freeware, available on most platforms, and highly recommended.

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#209 Post by hasoos » Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:15 am

One topic that I didn't see covered here, although I may have missed it reading and skimming through some sections, is one of the things that jumped out to me that also made Moo3 a failure. A lack of special technology/weoponry in the combat. Moo3 lacked the weopons/equipment such as the Gyro Destabilizer, the Black Hole Generator, Time Warp Facilitator, Energy Pulsar, etc that gave the ship design and combat phases of the game a feel of a true science fiction game. Games with mass combat using beams and missiles are a dime a dozen. It usually does not matter the tactics so much as to who carries more firepower into the fight. Special weapons allow for special strategies, unaccounted for surprises, and bring a fun feeling to the game. Special weapons allow players imaginations to be sucked in more into the gaming environment. These types of special weapons could easily be integrated into any combat system, real time, phase time or turn based. The key thing they are there to make the game more cool, and immersive.
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utilae
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#210 Post by utilae » Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:20 am

Even a basic thing like area effect weapons need to be incorperated.

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