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A complicated spy system

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:52 pm
by Ablaze
This it my system for spies that I am currently working on for my little program. I thought some of you might find it interesting, and perhaps useful if this project ever decides it wants to complicate spying.

In the easy difficulty there will be white hat and black hat spies. White hat spies will be diplomats which can be used to create spin among another empire’s populace, also they can be used to set up treaties and/or trade, provide a foothold for the infiltration of your black hat spies, and can even perform some of the black hat missions (like “stealing” another empire’s map) at about 1/20th the efficiency of black hat spies. Black hat spies are your classic spies, with all the abilities that spies on other games (like MOO) normally have.

In the harder difficulty black and white will be specialized for other empires. If you want to provide counter-spying or spin to your own empire they will have blue and red hats (respectively). Blue hats are security forces which counter black hat activity. Red hats are reporters. A strong reporter network will cause people to be extremely loyal to your empire, which means a larger percent of your population will resist planetary takeovers by another empire and your population will be very reluctant to desert your empire for another one.

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:14 pm
by utilae
Sounds good so far :).

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:25 pm
by Ranos
Nice, this could make for very interesting spying without making it too complicated. I think the counter spying part should be an option in addition to difficulty. That way you could play on easy but with the counter spies.

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:08 pm
by Ablaze
I can see your point, Ranos, and I do plan to do it that way. Each subsystem will have a basic and complex rule set (and perhaps a third level) which can be altered independently by the game creator. There will be preset configurations for easy, medium, and hard though, and before someone can join a game they will have to have completed the tutorial for that difficulty level. That way I can insure that someone who just started doesn’t accidentally join a complex game in which all the controls have morphed into something they don’t understand and quit the game out of frustration.

For instance, take the UI I have planned for controlling which type of spies are created from your spy spending: In the basic version it will just be a line that goes from black to white. In the more complex version it will be a square that fades from red to blue in the x plane and goes from dark to light in the y plane.

So in order to create a basic game with complex spies it would have to be created as a harder difficulty game with all the other systems reverted back to their basic components.

Thank you for your concerns Ranos. I always enjoy feedback.

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:55 pm
by MisterMerf
Sounds fair. Only one thing: what is the rationale for reporters creating solidarity?

By reporters, do we mean propaganda teams?

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:02 am
by Ablaze
Yes, maybe I should call them spin doctors instead.

We are talking about a government controlled network of reporters here.

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 6:52 am
by PowerCrazy
Cool. I like it. Its not really that complicatd as long as we don't clutter it with the lifetime of a spy and make it so we have to check every 10 turns to see if our fucking spies are dead or not and then hire additional ones, etc.

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:53 am
by noelte
PowerCrazy wrote:... we have to check every 10 turns to see if our fucking spies are dead or not and then hire additional ones, etc.
Do i see a moo3 player here? :wink:

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 7:55 am
by noelte
noelte wrote:
PowerCrazy wrote:... we have to check every 10 turns to see if our fucking spies are dead or not and then hire additional ones, etc.
Do i see a moo3 player here? :wink:
Spys are a must have! I would be happy with one type of spy, which can be assigned to different jobs.

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:57 pm
by Impaler
Will spies be defined only by their "color" aka type? Are we talking about just a hand full of unique Hero like Spies with names and portraits or just Generic "Minions" that are manufactured esentialy be cannon fodder for your inteligence services.

I like the very broad scope you have on what the spies do. It seems to me that all this stuff could fall under

Diplomacy - Make them like me
Espionage - Discover something that they try to keep secret
Sabotage - Break something
Propaganda - Sway my people to support me
Insurgency - Get some of his people to rebel
Counter-Inteligence - Stop his spies

As you say their can be a bit of cross over between these jobs. I realy liked the StarWars Rebelion system in which ANY Hero can do ANY task as long as they have the right stats. Their were 4 core stats Diplomacy, Leadership, Evasion, Combat. Evsaion was used for a spy to bypass and "implant" into a place. Combat was used to see if they succeed in Sabotage, Leadership was important in Insurgency ect ect. Princess Leia was ofcorse a great Diplomat but was nearly useless for anything else. Darth Vader had every stat near maximum so he could do anything and do it well.

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:02 am
by Ablaze
Good questions impaler :)

I had planned to just have a spy network in every empire you know of and have unallocated spies waiting in your spy pool that you could drag over to another empire.

However, now that I think about it more maybe I do want discrete spies with a level of skill in each of my four areas. I still wouldn’t want much detail; just a set of stats.

a good spy sistem but have a good anti spy-sistem

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2004 10:15 pm
by Master of Orion III
where there are spys there must be specialist to stop them in the tracks :D

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:22 am
by Kharagh
I like your spy-system, Ablaze.

Its easy to understand and effective at the same time :-)

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 12:20 pm
by Daveybaby
The idea that each subsystem plays differently depending on difficulty level worries me greatly. You do realise that this effectively means that everyone involved in developing the game has twice as much work to do, dont you?

Is this an accepted general policy for FO?
IMO its a very, very, very BAD idea.

Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2004 6:55 pm
by Ablaze
No one is purposing that freeorion do this davey. Freeorion has a much different set of goals then my project does.

I realize how much extra work is involved, and it's not really as much as you make it out to be. The UI system has to be a lot more flexible then it would otherwise. There is a scripting language that will allow anyone who has the patience to do scripting to change any screen. All component functionality will be handled in dlls, which can be easily swapped depending on the complexity of the game.

On the other hand every basic system will essentially be a reuse of the code from its more complex counterpart. The AI implications are virtually nonexistent since there will be no single player version.

Actually, apart from the fact that my project is also a space based strategy game, it's completely different from freeorion. It's not even turn based.