Nature of the Combat map

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Impaler
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Nature of the Combat map

#1 Post by Impaler » Mon Aug 04, 2003 7:25 am

The idea of having all the planets, asteroids, starbases ect ect. all displayed on a Single system wide battle map has gotten some support so I have started this thread to discuss specifics of what such a map could look like and how combat could be conducted on it.

First off an analysis of the Moo2 map, it measures ~75x75 squares and holds one planet. A map that can hold the numerous planets and moons found in an entire system will need to be much larger. I would propose the map be roughly circular with the star in the center and have a radius of 100-150 squares if they are of a Moo2 scale. This would make the total battle area more then 10 screens wide and tall. Along the Rim of the circle would be the "Rim Zone", this is the area ware ships drop out of and enter warp speed. Ships entering the system start in the Rim Zone but have the advantage of chossing ware in the zone they start (we can say the gravity well of the star makes warp drive unstable or something).

The sublight engines on ships would generaly be fast enough to carry them across the map much faster then was common in Moo2.

The planets would be in fixed locations on the map as having them orbit is just too complicated. The scale of the system would have to be quite unrealistic inorder to keep the inner part of the system from beind supper tiny. We can just say that the map is representational of the orbital manuvering that occur because of higher gravity at the center.

Another cool idea I had, It should be possible to use Tractor beams or Repulsor weapons to push an opponents Ship into the Star at the Center of the map. BURN BABY BURN!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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#2 Post by krum » Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:50 pm

Impaler wrote:The planets would be in fixed locations on the map as having them orbit is just too complicated. The scale of the system would have to be quite unrealistic inorder to keep the inner part of the system from beind supper tiny. We can just say that the map is representational of the orbital manuvering that occur because of higher gravity at the center.
We clould just say the timeframe of a battle is too small to see any effect of the orbiting of the bodies. And just move them a bit in the next turn.

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#3 Post by drekmonger » Mon Aug 04, 2003 1:55 pm

re: dragging ships into suns or other collision courses via tractor beams.

This sounds like an idea from an old mutliplayer game (pre-windows machines on the internet, never seen a non-Unix version) called Nettrek Paradise.

I like it.

Another idea to borrow from Nettrek paradise would be In-system warps...when you engade there's a delay while you gather enegry giving the enemy a chance to take potshots at your manuever-stymed ship. Plus it eats energy like crazy.

The upshot is you can cover long distances in a short time. (such as the distances in a map featuring an entire solar system)

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#4 Post by discord » Mon Aug 04, 2003 6:59 pm

i'd suggest the removal of 'squares' in the classic tb style, cause it's so limiting....and simple.

//discord

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#5 Post by tsev » Mon Aug 04, 2003 7:18 pm

I also think we shouldn't use squares, as discord said. We can do everything with absolute positioning.

Also, I think we should put the star on one side of the map and the planets can be at the orbital position to the right in a quasi-semicircle. See another of my cheesy ascii diagrams below:

Code: Select all

                             IV
        I                 
                   III                      V
S         II       



Here is what was originally proposed:

Code: Select all



         IV
                                            III

                        S      I

             II
 


                                    
                                  V
Legend:
S = Star
I - V = Planets 1 - 5

Edit:

I guess either way would be fine now that I can visualize it better....just a matter of preference, or maybe we could do either...randomly determined at runtime
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#6 Post by utilae » Mon Aug 04, 2003 8:41 pm

tsev wrote: I also think we shouldn't use squares, as discord said. We can do everything with absolute positioning.
Yes, so you cold just move a ship to a point (X, Y) rather than a square. That's what I support in my space combat proposal, ie click a destination point and it makes a move path from the ship to that point, ship moves along and fires during real time part of battle.

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#7 Post by Impaler » Tue Aug 05, 2003 4:05 am

I favor Hexagons myself but it seems most folks want neither squares or hexagons. A map as yall propose is very complex to balance and design. A map consisting of some kind of "tile" is simpler more easily balanced and understandable to players. Its more war game oriented which is the direction I would like to see the combat go rather then the RTS game consepts that have so latly been in vogue here. This game will fundamentaly be a TURN based game. Why would thouse who engoy a turn based game like to have non turn based combat. Almost every single attempt to combine a turn based space strategy game with Real time combat has been a disaster. Lets everything turn based.
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#8 Post by discord » Tue Aug 05, 2003 8:47 am

impaler: try imperium galactica, they managed to pull it off rather well...and squares being simpler to balance? how do you figure?

and the rts thing i proposed, would prolly use a squareless system, but really, the 'squares' are just a hell of alot smaller.(since what i would prefer would be some kind of 3d RTS, something closer to homeworld then classic moo, wich CAN be done well, just not easily so.)

//discord

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#9 Post by PowerCrazy » Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:13 am

Simply because the merger between Real-time and Turn-based has never been done does not mean we should not attempt it. However do we WANT real-time combat? As this has not been decided yet, we can only debate from a gameplay point of view. As far as Squares vs Hexagons... Thats to be decided when we determine the combat engine. If we go with a RTS engine, then Hexagons will be the logical choice.

I for one favor a turn-based system. I've played many fleet command RTS games and they inevitably turn into clickfest OR I feel i have a total lack of control over them (MoO3). RTS is a misnomer as the 'S' is non-existent. However with a turnbased game tactics play a KEY role, and the better player ALWAYS wins. Now all we have to do is avoid the MoO2 problem with 60+ ships each moving individually. Once we solve that problem the combat system is done. :)
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#10 Post by krum » Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:50 am

Let's not turn this thread into another RT versus TB battle :) Let's talk only about things that don't depend on undescided features. The size and shape of the tiles is also irrelevant for a lot of things. Like I for one think the star should be in the center and the planets should orbit it, changing their position between game (not combat) turns.

Other things we could discuss is whether the player should be able to place his fleet anywhere on the combat map at battle start, or place some restriction. Also should we represent the ends of the starlanes on it. How would retreats be handled.

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#11 Post by tsev » Tue Aug 05, 2003 11:42 am

whether we do real-time or turn based, it really doesn't matter whether we use squares, hexes, or dodecahedrons. I would prefer using absolute positioning just because then the screen doesn't look like a checkerboard. I also want to see animation....and not like Civ where a piece slides from one map-tile to the next. Whether turn based or real time, I'd at least like to see ships moving and shooting, and this is best achieved by absolute positioning.

Of course, I'm for a real-time-strategy approach....and as much as I'd like to put to rest the argument that real-time and strategy don't mix....I'll bite my tongue as this is not the place.
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#12 Post by Zanzibar » Tue Aug 05, 2003 3:06 pm

han_krum wrote:Let's not turn this thread into another RT versus TB battle :) Let's talk only about things that don't depend on undescided features. The size and shape of the tiles is also irrelevant for a lot of things. Like I for one think the star should be in the center and the planets should orbit it, changing their position between game (not combat) turns.

Other things we could discuss is whether the player should be able to place his fleet anywhere on the combat map at battle start, or place some restriction. Also should we represent the ends of the starlanes on it. How would retreats be handled.
Why not place the invader on one edge of the map, relative to what direction they are coming from?? The defender of course, would be evenly distributed through out the system (with the exception of orbitals and space stations (space stations would be placed just like planets)). Or, alternatively, the defender could start in orbit at the nearest colonized planet to the invader (that sounds more realistic, if the invader is not using stealthed ships). So yeah... that works... if stealthed and not detected, defender ships get randomly distributed around colonized planets. If not stealthed or stealth ships are detected, then they start around the nearest colonized planet towards the edge of the map where the invader is coming from. Works for me!!

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#13 Post by Impaler » Tue Aug 05, 2003 4:00 pm

How about this, if the attacker is detected before he enters the system like when he is still on the star lane then the attacerk must place his units in the "entry zone" (what ever that area turns out being). Then the Defender looks at it and gets to place their forces anyware in the "Defend zone" (most of the rest of the map)

If its the reverse and the attacker achives a "suprise attack" then the defender must place first (not knowing ware the attacker is coming from). And the attacker gets to see ware the defender has placed their forces and also gets a larger "entry zone" the more stealth their ships are vs the sensors defending the system the more the entry zone expands.

I am imagining the Entry zone as a ring at the outer edge of the map, or if we have a large Worm hole like Entrace to the Space lane on the map the Entry zone would be an area around that Hole. Ships can retreat by entering the hole or escape into off starlane/deep space travel anyware along the edge of the map. Ships attacking a system by off lane travel can enter the same way. This would provide a bit of an advantage to off lane travel.
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#14 Post by Pembroke » Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:06 pm

Impaler wrote:How about this, if the attacker is detected before he enters the system like when he is still on the star lane then the attacerk must place his units in the "entry zone" (what ever that area turns out being). Then the Defender looks at it and gets to place their forces anyware in the "Defend zone" (most of the rest of the map)
I like this. Especially when you think about the multi-player problems a completely random placement would create.

With random placement, even if it's just the outer ring, the defending player would not know where the attacking fleet is because they very probably would start outside sensor range (I assume the game will have a fog of war...) whereas the attacker would very much know where the planets are. Result: attacker can send his long range weapons towards the right place while defender can't tell which way to send his missiles. This is a big problem in multiplayer MOO3. If the battle map contained the entire system this problem would be even more severe.

Expanding on the entry point idea: How about making the star lane end points be real fixed locations on the battle map? E.g. if a system had 3 star lanes leaving it there would be 3 marked locations on the map somewhere in the outer rim. Sort of like the Anderson points in Pournelle's Dominion books.

This would have a huge strategical impact on the battles.

The obvious place to station your system ships would then be near the star lane exits, or if your sensors detected them coming you could move your entire fleet to the right place waiting for the invasion fleet. This would move the advantage back to the defending player which IMO is just where it ought to be.

As a side thought if the star lane exits are fixed locations on the map then the rule could also be that your ships have to actually move to an entry point before they can retreat back to hyperspace if things go sour... :)

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#15 Post by jbarcz1 » Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:19 pm

I dont like the idea that the defending player can detect you and just mass in the right place to crush your fleet as it jumps in.

Perhaps we could incorporate the 'exit-narrow' 'exit-wide' idea that was cut from MOO3. This way, the defender can mass if they want, but there's no guarantee the attacker will be where they're expected to be. Adds some uncertainty to the equation.
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