Ship Building HOI style

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

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Geoff the Medio
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#121 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:58 am

Ranos wrote:Do you ignore the things that you don't like in posts? I have stated that fact in at least two other of my posts.
You stating something repeatedly doesn't make it a "fact".
No. None of this developing shields that counter specific weapons. The only shielding counter to weapons should be that the weapon becomes old and obsolete and can no longer do enough damage to penetrate the newer shields.
[...]
Shields should get stronger and be able to take more damage, that is their counter to all weapons.
All weapons would be the same. BORING!!
A bit self-contradictory? Having different weapons have different strengths and weaknesses would be a great way to make different weapons different. Having all shields work the same vs. all weapons seems a big step towards making all weapons the same... (not the only factor, obviously, but a big one)
Having shields that counter a specific weapon or weapon type is pointless. There are still a dozen other weapon types out there and dozens of individual weapons that fall under those categories. Countering one is pointless.
As with facts, you saying it doesn't make it pointless. And clearly it wouldn't be, as people have expressed an interest in a modified rock-paper-scissors (with shields and weapons and other characteristics) system with counters. A well designed system of counters and counter-counters could be very interesting and strategic.

And it's not as simple as developing a counter to a particular weapon someone is using. If someone is using weapon X, and armour Q is strong against weapon X, they'll likely also develop weapon F which is strong against armour Q. But maybe the ships that use use armour Q can be building cheaply with ships that use weapon D, and weapon D is strong against shield V which can be built cheaply with weapon X. And there's also weapon M which is strong against armour Q but weak against shield V, etc... With a well designed system, you'll have to stagger your ship part choices around the web of strengths and weaknesses in order to "cover" your weaknesses... But a slightly different arrangement of choices might have a slight advantage over another setup, but be weak against another. Alternative, having some of everything gives a fleet without weaknesses, but then the fleet is technologically behind the other groups that focus on a smaller set of part types...

Just having newer parts have a higher constant part of their stength, so the lower tech stuff can't do any damage is what would be boring for me.

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#122 Post by Impaler » Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:01 am

Ranos I think the problem here is that you have a complete "system" worked out and yourr attacking each element of our proposal because it would if inserted alone into what you have already planned "be totaly useless and borring". You must consider other peoples proposals in totality not mearly additions to your own plans. IF the visions we have are totaly incompatable (as I fear they may be) then we will have to choose between them at some point. For now lets focus on what we agree on and keep evolving out plans, often they will independently evolve towards the same point.
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#123 Post by utilae » Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:38 am

Impaler wrote: I think you two are getting each other confused in how you name things.
No, not really.
Impaler wrote: Also Ramos you have somewhat distorted my views in your previous posts. I will atempt to clarify.
No, we understand your views and like ours better.
Impaler wrote: First off this term "Mainstream Research" by which I think you mean "Other Aplications". Each "Thing" that can be put in a Ship is the restult of Aplied Reserch. Refinment improves the thing aka Mk1 >> Mk2 >> Mk3...
Um, we already new that.
Impaler wrote: Though its true I want every device to be refinable and usable for the whole game its not true that I want "Hard Beam = Orange Laser with more damage". Thats the last thing I am looking for. Hard Beam should have something to differentiate it from Laser even if its a simple as being Shorter in Range/Higher in damage kind of stuff. Cool abilities are cool and desirable but not strictly nessary.
The differences are not enough. Ooohh slightly more damage, and shorter range. Its really exactly like a laser, though 'orange' and with some stat changes. I want to see differences other than stat changes in weapons.
Impaler wrote: As for Research Paths I prefer the Number 1 aproatch
Mainstream Tech-----Refinement
Laser------------------>Laser Mk2-->Mk3-->Mk4-->Mk5-->Mk6
Hard Beam------------>Hard Beam Mk2-->Mk3-->Mk4-->Mk5-->Mk6
Phasor----------------->Phasor Mk2-->Mk3-->Mk4-->Mk5-->Mk6
Disruptor Beam------->Disruptor Beam Mk2-->Mk3-->Mk4-->Mk5-->Mk6
(Just a few examples form one type)
I don't, because you really just have five different types of lasers, though each is a different colour and has varrying stats. To me, hard beam is more like a refinement of laser, then phasor a refinement of hard beam, etc. I want to remove these redundancies, making weapons of the same type stick together and better versions of the same type being refinements (like option 3 that Ranos proposed).
Impaler wrote: That could work but the Modifier shouldnt be given away with Refinment, it should be a new Aplication that gives you the "Hard" Modifier to put on your Laser to make "Hard Lasers".
No, the only real distingishing characteristic between lasers and hard beams is that hard beams have a different range. It would better to have a mod that increases weapon range. Of course we could find a better characteristic to give the hard beam its name.

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#124 Post by Ranos » Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:39 pm

GeofftheMedio wrote:
Ranos wrote:Do you ignore the things that you don't like in posts? I have stated that fact in at least two other of my posts.
You stating something repeatedly doesn't make it a "fact".
I meant that point. You don't need to go and do a little assault on my phrasing of something. If you don't understand, ask, but don't berate me with a vocabulary lesson.
GeofftheMedio wrote:A bit self-contradictory? Having different weapons have different strengths and weaknesses would be a great way to make different weapons different. Having all shields work the same vs. all weapons seems a big step towards making all weapons the same... (not the only factor, obviously, but a big one)
Not at all. Having a large variety of weapons gives the player a wide variety of choices as to how they want to attack opponents. You are also comparing two very different statements. With weapons being diversified, I think they should do damage in a variety of different ways. I don't think that one weapon should do high damage to one shield type and low damage to another. Likewise, shields should not be strong against certain weapons and weak against others. This gets into a complex countering system in which everyone is attempting to figure out how to counter the other players weapons/shields.

Is that more clear?
GeofftheMedio wrote:As with facts, you saying it doesn't make it pointless. And clearly it wouldn't be, as people have expressed an interest in a modified rock-paper-scissors (with shields and weapons and other characteristics) system with counters. A well designed system of counters and counter-counters could be very interesting and strategic.
Have you ever heard the word opinion? It is my opinion that it is pointless. I'm not going to include that with every statement I make. Now I know I'm not heavily involved with the actual programming of the game like you are, but that doesn't give you the right to attack the way I say things. If you don't agree with what I've said, then say so, but if you continue to berate me for the way I say things, I am going to start ignoring you. I'm not attempting to start a conflict here, I just want this to stop.
GeofftheMedio wrote:And it's not as simple as developing a counter to a particular weapon someone is using. If someone is using weapon X, and armour Q is strong against weapon X, they'll likely also develop weapon F which is strong against armour Q. But maybe the ships that use use armour Q can be building cheaply with ships that use weapon D, and weapon D is strong against shield V which can be built cheaply with weapon X. And there's also weapon M which is strong against armour Q but weak against shield V, etc... With a well designed system, you'll have to stagger your ship part choices around the web of strengths and weaknesses in order to "cover" your weaknesses... But a slightly different arrangement of choices might have a slight advantage over another setup, but be weak against another. Alternative, having some of everything gives a fleet without weaknesses, but then the fleet is technologically behind the other groups that focus on a smaller set of part types...
This would be far too complex. Now you'd be having to design a dozen different ships all with a dozen different weapons and then configure them into a TF so that you have a force that can do damage to any type of shields and armor. This means that everyone would be building their ships like this and the diversity of ship designs is lost. It is still a bad idea.
Impaler wrote:Ranos I think the problem here is that you have a complete "system" worked out and yourr attacking each element of our proposal because it would if inserted alone into what you have already planned "be totaly useless and borring". You must consider other peoples proposals in totality not mearly additions to your own plans. IF the visions we have are totaly incompatable (as I fear they may be) then we will have to choose between them at some point. For now lets focus on what we agree on and keep evolving out plans, often they will independently evolve towards the same point.
And how this is different from what you are doing? You have a system that you seem to prefer. If you will also read back a few pages, I was in favor of one system and was arguing against utilae's system. If you compair then and now, you will see that I am now in favor of a completely different system. I don't like some of the things that are being opposed. If you will also notice, I am not attacking everyones total proposals. I would be fine with Mainstream and Reninement researches being completely different. That is similar to the way other games have been and that system seemed to work. What I am opposed to is allowing all tech to be useful for the entire game.

You don't like parts of my proposal, I don't like parts of yours. That is what it is to be human. Difference of preferance/opinion. There is nothing wrong with that. And unless I missed it in the rules thread, it isn't wrong to say that I don't like other things. Brainstorming is all about coming up with ideas and then working out the differences. How can that be done without discussion?

Now, I have stated multiple times why I dislike some of the things that are being proposed. I looked back over three pages just to make sure i wouldn't be saying something incorrect. Not once have you said why you don't like my idea. You like yours a lot but why do you think it is better than mine? I have said why I think mine are better. This might help clear things up and help the systems evolve more.
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#125 Post by Zpock » Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:51 pm

I think different weapons having different effectiveness towards shields and armor with perhaps a few special armors/shields is a good compromise here. You know: vanilla weapon plain damage to everything, shield piercing half dmg goes through shield, shield ignoring weapons, armor ignoring weapons, shields that can't be ignored, etc etc.

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#126 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:22 am

Ranos wrote:With weapons being diversified, I think they should do damage in a variety of different ways. I don't think that one weapon should do high damage to one shield type and low damage to another. Likewise, shields should not be strong against certain weapons and weak against others. This gets into a complex countering system in which everyone is attempting to figure out how to counter the other players weapons/shields.

Is that more clear?
Not really. What do you mean by "[weapons] should do damage in a variety of different ways."? Do you just mean having different delivery mechanisms, like beams, expanding rings, missiles, acid sprays, etc? IMO the shape of the eye candy on the battle screen to represent the firing of a weapon is of less imprtance than the strategic value of the weapon in the game. Unless these different shapes of weapons fire have different effects, I don't see why the shapes should be the primary difference between weapons... and if they do have different effects vs. different other weapons / defences, that would seem to be a type of weapons-countering system... wouldn't it?

Why are you (nominally?) against a complex countering system? I skimmed, and saw one reason that you gave (if there were more, I missed them, but I was only skimming), which was that it would make it infeasible to focus on a single type of weapon throughout the game. This could be a valid concern, or could be desirable to a degree (we could set up a tradeoff between flexibility of researching multiple types of weapons and more advanced versions of a single type). Alternatively, it could be avoided by having new "ins" to various types of weapons partway up the tree that don't depend on having previously researched in the category, or having the countering web reorganize itself over time, so what's good vs. one thing might be weak or neutral against it later.
GeofftheMedio wrote:And it's not as simple as developing a counter to a particular weapon someone is using...
This would be far too complex. Now you'd be having to design a dozen different ships all with a dozen different weapons and then configure them into a TF so that you have a force that can do damage to any type of shields and armor. This means that everyone would be building their ships like this and the diversity of ship designs is lost. It is still a bad idea.
You assume much, and ignore or don't understand parts of what I wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:With a well designed system, you'll have to stagger your ship part choices around the web of strengths and weaknesses in order to "cover" your weaknesses... But a slightly different arrangement of choices might have a slight advantage over another setup, but be weak against another. Alternative, having some of everything gives a fleet without weaknesses, but then the fleet is technologically behind the other groups that focus on a smaller set of part types...
To clarify, imagine a 5-way rock paper scissors. The bottom diagram here illustrates:
http://www.freeorion.org/wiki/index.php ... ry_Diagram
In order to "cover" all other options, you only need two of the options. Things could be set up to encourage specialization to some degree (for better equipment), but doing so could also leave you vulerable to a slightly different setup, so spying to find out what your enemies are building is imprtant. It would be impractical, silly or impossible to make a single task force (if such a thing exists) or fleet which ships with every possible kind of weapon. You'd have to pick a subset, and what you pick when and why and how you can get others to pick certain things to your advantage is the interesting strategic stuff.

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#127 Post by Ranos » Fri Oct 22, 2004 1:52 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:Not really. What do you mean by "[weapons] should do damage in a variety of different ways."? Do you just mean having different delivery mechanisms, like beams, expanding rings, missiles, acid sprays, etc? IMO the shape of the eye candy on the battle screen to represent the firing of a weapon is of less imprtance than the strategic value of the weapon in the game. Unless these different shapes of weapons fire have different effects, I don't see why the shapes should be the primary difference between weapons... and if they do have different effects vs. different other weapons / defences, that would seem to be a type of weapons-countering system... wouldn't it?
Here is a list from the last page of suggestion of types of weapons we would have:
Ranos wrote:Beam (Direct Fire)
Bolt (Direct Fire)
Projectile (Direct Fire)
Subspace (Direct Fire Area Effect)
Distortion Tear/Blackhole (Direct Fire Area Effect)
Area Effect Emission (Area Effect)
Wave Emitter(Area Effect) (this is a combination of my Wave and utilae's ring emitter)
Missiles (Indirect Fire)
Torpedos (Indirect Fire)
Energy Spores (Indirect Fire)
Laser Drones (Indirect Direct Fire)
If you want to know what they each do, look at the first post on the previous page. If the "shape of the eye candy" on the screen as you put it is fairly different, then the strategic importance is different. Missiles can be fired from a ways off meaning any ships doing that can stay out of harms way unless the enemy also has missiles. Beams and Bolts are pretty much the same. Expanding rings of energy inflict damage to enemies all around you instead of just a single enemy. How you can say that what the weapon looks like on the screen and what it does are two different things, is something I just don't understand. No that is not countering. Weapons cannot counter weapons with the exception of PD vs. Missile and Torpedos (Fighters too if you want to include them as weapons). Weapons have different effects from other weapons, but that is hardly countering.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Why are you (nominally?) against a complex countering system? I skimmed, and saw one reason that you gave (if there were more, I missed them, but I was only skimming), which was that it would make it infeasible to focus on a single type of weapon throughout the game. This could be a valid concern, or could be desirable to a degree (we could set up a tradeoff between flexibility of researching multiple types of weapons and more advanced versions of a single type). Alternatively, it could be avoided by having new "ins" to various types of weapons partway up the tree that don't depend on having previously researched in the category, or having the countering web reorganize itself over time, so what's good vs. one thing might be weak or neutral against it later.
Because from the looks of what you suggest, it is far too complex. I'll give details in a minute.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
GeofftheMedio wrote:And it's not as simple as developing a counter to a particular weapon someone is using...
This would be far too complex. Now you'd be having to design a dozen different ships all with a dozen different weapons and then configure them into a TF so that you have a force that can do damage to any type of shields and armor. This means that everyone would be building their ships like this and the diversity of ship designs is lost. It is still a bad idea.
You assume much, and ignore or don't understand parts of what I wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:With a well designed system, you'll have to stagger your ship part choices around the web of strengths and weaknesses in order to "cover" your weaknesses... But a slightly different arrangement of choices might have a slight advantage over another setup, but be weak against another. Alternative, having some of everything gives a fleet without weaknesses, but then the fleet is technologically behind the other groups that focus on a smaller set of part types...
To clarify, imagine a 5-way rock paper scissors. The bottom diagram here illustrates:
http://www.freeorion.org/wiki/index.php ... ry_Diagram
In order to "cover" all other options, you only need two of the options. Things could be set up to encourage specialization to some degree (for better equipment), but doing so could also leave you vulerable to a slightly different setup, so spying to find out what your enemies are building is imprtant. It would be impractical, silly or impossible to make a single task force (if such a thing exists) or fleet which ships with every possible kind of weapon. You'd have to pick a subset, and what you pick when and why and how you can get others to pick certain things to your advantage is the interesting strategic stuff.
I assumed nothing, ignored nothing and understood everything. I over exaggerated the description in to show how ridiculous it could get.

That image that you showed was ships, not weapons and it isn't even very accurate. It shows Capital ships being weak against Fighters, Missiles and Torpedos but put some PD on the ships and they are back on top. To make a system that does the same thing, you would have to make a very complex system.

You left out part of your quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:And it's not as simple as developing a counter to a particular weapon someone is using. If someone is using weapon X, and armour Q is strong against weapon X, they'll likely also develop weapon F which is strong against armour Q. But maybe the ships that use use armour Q can be building cheaply with ships that use weapon D, and weapon D is strong against shield V which can be built cheaply with weapon X. And there's also weapon M which is strong against armour Q but weak against shield V, etc...
This single paragraph shows how complex the system would have to be and it only lists 6 different items. This is like this so if you put them together they are cheaper and this counters this, which counters this, which counters this and it just goes on forever. How is the player supposed to keep track of it all? Are you going to send everyone a manual who wants to play the game? Are there going ot be details about this in the ship design screen? Answers: The player can't keep track of it all because you won't send manuals since this is freeware and puting all the details in the ship design screen would clutter it up with information and make designing one ship and hour long process.

Even if you just did the counters with the general weapons types I listed above, to make it effective, you would need to include shields and armor if not sensors and hull sizes too. With 10 weapons types, 10 shields and 10 armors, thats 30 different aspects to put in this little circular mess. If you want to include sensors and hull types, thats 5 more for sensors and 10 more for the hulls bringing it up to 45 and this is just estimated numbers. Now if you want to include each individual weapon in this, change that first 10 to around 50 or 60. How are you going to organize all of that and more importantly, how are you going to help the player understand the whole system?

Why does there have to be a huge, confusing, roundabout system of counters in the game? People would be so busy trying to couter everbody else's fleets that the point of the game would be lost. The point is for it to be an empire building strategy game incorporating different elements to add challenge to the whole thing. How is somebody supposed to juggle their research, diplomacy, expansion and have this huge countering system to take into consideration while building their ships? If you make the game too complex, people aren't going to be interested in it. Can anyone here answer what the main problem with MOO3 was? The answer: a highly complex system of diplomacy, monetary control, research, government management and colony management, without any documentation!! Most people don't like complex systems they can't understand. Even with documentation, people will lose interest because it is too complex.

Bottom line: KISS.
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#128 Post by Impaler » Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:24 am

Ofcorse we will produce documentation, it will simply be Digital not Paper.

I agree with Geoff counters are important and should have a lot f variety. Every good strategy game has counters of some sort. StarCraft produces its counters by adjusting the Damage/rate-or-fire/unit-size/Health/range/cost/Speed of its Units in a clever way. SEIV has stuff like "Polarized Sheilds" and "Polarized Beams" to counter them. Even Moo1 had Nutron Pellet guns and Mass Drives which cut an oponents effective shield level in half.
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#129 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:49 am

Ranos wrote:If the "shape of the eye candy" on the screen as you put it is fairly different, then the strategic importance is different. Missiles can be fired from a ways off meaning any ships doing that can stay out of harms way unless the enemy also has missiles. Beams and Bolts are pretty much the same. Expanding rings of energy inflict damage to enemies all around you instead of just a single enemy.
What's so great about being able to shoot from far away, or being able to shoot in a circle rather than a line, or having little drones attach to other people's ships? Those options are not, in of themselves strategically different. There's no reason to pick one over the other, as things will need to be balanced so that the net benefit of any option is proportional to its cost, so they will all have X combat effectiveness for Y cost (unless there's some other differences you're not mentioning). If things aren't so balanced, then everyone would always pick the best option. Whether it's an arbitrary choice with no consequences, or an obvious choice with no real alternatives, there's no "strategy" involved.
I over exaggerated the description in to show how ridiculous it could get.
Almost any system can be made ridiculous by extreme example. That such an example can be contrived is not a valid argument against a system. Whatever system is chosen, it will be carefully balanced to give interesting, meaningful, "strategic" and/or fun choices to the player.
That image that you showed was ships, not weapons and it isn't even very accurate...
You miss the point. The diagram was to illustrate the shape of 5-way rock paper scissors, and how it's not necessary to have some of every kind of equipment to cover all your weaknesses / have a winning / optimal fleet / task force. The specific words that were put into the nodes of the diagram are irrelivant.
You left out part of your quote:
I prefaced the part that was included with:
You assume much, and ignore or don't understand parts of what I wrote:
(bold added now for emphasis). I was quoting the specific "parts of what I wrote" which you had apparently ignored or not understood. I felt the bolded text would be sufficient to indicate the edited nature of my self-quotation.
This single paragraph shows how complex the system would have to be and it only lists 6 different items. This is like this so if you put them together they are cheaper and this counters this, which counters this, which counters this and it just goes on forever. How is the player supposed to keep track of it all?
I guess nobody would ever play chess or WarcraftIII, since there are just so many different counters for every move/unit that it's impossible to keep track of then...?

The whole point is to make it complex enough to be interesting to the player... without always having obviously right, wrong or best choices. The player will need to plan and weigh the options.
Are you going to send everyone a manual who wants to play the game? Are there going ot be details about this in the ship design screen? Answers: The player can't keep track of it all because you won't send manuals since this is freeware and puting all the details in the ship design screen would clutter it up with information and make designing one ship and hour long process.
You don't need a huge manual. A diagram showing graphically what's strong and weak against what would be easily understood. The player would note what the other empire has, what the player already has, and look for something that gives a net advantage by being strong against what the player is currently weak against, or is strong against what the enemy has, and not weak against what the enemy has.
How are you going to organize all of that and more importantly, how are you going to help the player understand the whole system?
By restricting the complexity to workable levels, and designing understandable patterns or rules into the system. Possible ways include using concepts like "damage type" (kinetic, energy, chemical, explosive...), that determines how much and what kind of damage will be done if a weapon hits, "delivery mechanism" (fighter, beam, missile, spray...) would determine range and how likely things are to hit, or "defence type" (armour X, armour Y, shielding Q, really fast ships that outrun anything). Alternatively, we can just keep the number of distinct weapons, defences and other ship properties to manageable levels, so a web showing all the strengths and weaknesses the individual options is readable. This needn't be much more complicated than unit-countering in an RTS, and people seem to be able to understand that well enough.

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#130 Post by Zpock » Fri Oct 22, 2004 12:55 pm

Ranos opinion:
Why does there have to be a huge, confusing, roundabout system of counters in the game? People would be so busy trying to couter everbody else's fleets that the point of the game would be lost. The point is for it to be an empire building strategy game incorporating different elements to add challenge to the whole thing. How is somebody supposed to juggle their research, diplomacy, expansion and have this huge countering system to take into consideration while building their ships? If you make the game too complex, people aren't going to be interested in it.
VS

Geoff the Medios opinion:
I guess nobody would ever play chess or WarcraftIII, since there are just so many different counters for every move/unit that it's impossible to keep track of then...?

The whole point is to make it complex enough to be interesting to the player... without always having obviously right, wrong or best choices. The player will need to plan and weigh the options.
In short, dumbed down average joe just play the game type of game vs abyss deep you-will-never-master-it gameplay that forces you to THINK THINK THINK more and better then your opponent.

Both views are of course truly legit, 99.8% of todays commercial games are of the first type. There are obviously more average joes out there then people who enjoy trying to master thinking games. People are generally dumb, so to make your game fun for the most people possible it's best if it's really simple and you don't need to think so much to win.

Of course, too much complexity in the game itself isn't good. But you will need some of it to get a lot of complexity in the strategies used for the game. It needs to be just right, the complexity of the game. The more complex strategies for the game on the other hand, the better.

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#131 Post by tzlaine » Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:26 pm

Zpock wrote:Both views are of course truly legit, 99.8% of todays commercial games are of the first type. There are obviously more average joes out there then people who enjoy trying to master thinking games. People are generally dumb, so to make your game fun for the most people possible it's best if it's really simple and you don't need to think so much to win.
This is about as wrong-headed as it gets. We are not trying to appeal to an audience of potential customers. We are not making this game for anyone but *us*. We are smart people who can handle a little complexity, or we wouldn't play TBS games.

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#132 Post by Zpock » Fri Oct 22, 2004 5:47 pm

Uhm, I didn't say I like such games, just that it's a good idea for appealing to the masses (something commerical games always try to do). Of course the purpose of FO is to appeal to the later type of rare gamer!!

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#133 Post by Impaler » Fri Oct 22, 2004 7:02 pm

To me its the RATIO between the Complex Mechanics and the Complex Strategies that is most important. Esentialy I want to maximize the Bang for my Bucks, for each bit of Complexity in the games mechanics I should see lots and lots of strategic depth. This is above all the most important factor in my enjoyment. Secondary is total Raw complexity, we all have our own preferences for how complex the game should be and but I can enjoy any game that has a good ratio regardless of the total complexity. Because of the wide range in preferences its wise to include options that alow people to reduce overall complexity yet still keep a good ratio from what remains. Unguided Reserch in SMAC would be a good example as would the various rule sets for Mancala (traditional African Board Game with 3 progressivly more complex sets of rules).

The whole notion that a game must be made for "the masses" OR "the Elite" is bogus, with scalabile complexity a good game can literaly be "all things to all people". Furthermore by letting the player master the simpler elements first you very naturaly lead them into the more complex elements and they can "switch back" up bit by bit what would otherwise be a "Learning Cliff".
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#134 Post by Zpock » Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:16 pm

Yeah about the ratio that was what I was trying to say about complex game - complex strategy. I think moo3 is a good example on a really bad ratio, game complexity was "washed out", too much little details that didn't make any real difference.

Ok, you can use a load of customizability to get around the simple game or not problem. But it's not like you see this all too oftenly. A lot ofl games coming out today are dumbed down and more accesible to average people then their predecessors so that they will sell more. Of course I don't like this. It's just a hard cold fact we all have to live with. This is also why there's not as much interest in TBS in general at the commerical guys. They make FPSes instead, that sells more.

About the options for everyone -> everyone's happy. I prefer having one set of rules and sticking with that. That is because I think getting the "big picture" right is more important then making everyone able to pick and choose what they want. Strategy also stays consistant, it's not "Im really good at playing with option #1,4,54 and 99 turned on but I suck if you turn on #75". Chess for example has strictly one set of rules. I don't think that's just coincidence.

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Impaler
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#135 Post by Impaler » Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:57 pm

Think progressive layers of effects that tie into everything below them. You can turn layers off one by one and strip the game play down to its most basic elements at layer zero. Once you know how to play at one level going up to a more complex one will simply add another rule and set of effects that were previously not present. Another intersting game that takes this aproatch is Balance of Power which had 4 levels of detail.

And as for the example with Chess first many many variations do infact exist for Chess and Mancala is for Africa what Chess is for the West, same with GO and Asia. Both of these games have quite a lot scalability compared to Chess as the playing field can be of nearly infinate variety in both and Mancala has layered rules as I described.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

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