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Ballance model, and 3D movement

General

Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby EvilTesla-RG » Sun Apr 17, 2011 4:23 pm

Hey,

I just signed on to these forums.

I love space RTS games, I've played Homeworld and Sins of a Solar Empire. Though mostly I prefer writing my own games in my spare time (also work with 7DS).

Personaly, I liked Homeworld MUCH better than SOASE.

One reason is that Homeworld had a much better ballancing model. Where SOASE relied on a rock-paper-scissors approach (certain weapons are best against certain types of armour). In Homeworld, all ships damaged each other equally.Which made Homeworld develop some very interesting stratigies.

Have you settled on how you're going to ballance Gemini Wars?


Also, I liked the 3D movement in Homeworld. (I don't feel sorry for those that find it confusing). It added SO much stratigy to the game. Sins on the other hand, even if it HAD 3D movement (It did early on, but it was dissabled), was inherently flat, just by the way the maps and defenses were layed out.

Will Gemini Wars have 3D movement?
Will it be usefull 3D movement that adds to the gameplay?

Thanks!
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby Timmah! » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:27 pm

EvilTesla-RG wrote:Hey,

I just signed on to these forums.

I love space RTS games, I've played Homeworld and Sins of a Solar Empire. Though mostly I prefer writing my own games in my spare time (also work with 7DS).

Personaly, I liked Homeworld MUCH better than SOASE.

One reason is that Homeworld had a much better ballancing model. Where SOASE relied on a rock-paper-scissors approach (certain weapons are best against certain types of armour). In Homeworld, all ships damaged each other equally.Which made Homeworld develop some very interesting stratigies.

Have you settled on how you're going to ballance Gemini Wars?


Also, I liked the 3D movement in Homeworld. (I don't feel sorry for those that find it confusing). It added SO much stratigy to the game. Sins on the other hand, even if it HAD 3D movement (It did early on, but it was dissabled), was inherently flat, just by the way the maps and defenses were layed out.

Will Gemini Wars have 3D movement?
Will it be usefull 3D movement that adds to the gameplay?

Thanks!
EvilTesla-RG



Are you sure, that Homeworld was not rock-paper-scissors? IIRC it was, it was something like corvettes>fighters>bombers>frigates>corvettes... or no? I cant remember when i played it last time. BTW i am now talking about HW2, it might be there was a difference between the two in this regard.

When it comes to fully 3D, i would like it to see too, but i do not think its going to happen. You say you do not pity people who cant play it, but do you actually have an idea, how many people lack this "perception of space"? I work as an architect and when we show a groundplan to the clients, most of them wonder, wtf we are showing to them...so we say ok, lets do some 3D renders...and guess what, most of them are at loss again...until you do not build some kind of physical model or take them to the building site to show them "here is the wall and here is the window", they have no idea... so what do you or me percept as a completely natural thing, for lot of people is not natural at all...

Anyway while i agree it was a great feature of HW and gameplaywise it was its main trait, it would be half a game without it, i do not think it was such a loss for SoaSE. They were different games with different scope, i think all the added stuff regarding colonisation,economy,research,diplomacy pretty much made up for the lack of fully 3D environment. With HW it was different, as it was mostly about combat and commanding units, there was only basic research and economy model.
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby EvilTesla-RG » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:15 pm

You are right about HW and SOASE being completely different games. I have to admit, I am a bit drawn to more combat oriented games, (in SOASE the diplomacy, reaserch, and such seemed like extra fluff to me).

I've only play a little bit of HW2, but from what I know it is similar to HW1 in this respect. Yes corvs >> fighters >> capships >> corvs... But with HW, fighters did the same amount of damage to corvs as they did to capships. Corvs only beat fighters becouse they were desinged to beat the fighters, and only marginaly so at that. Someone who is good with fighters could still beat somone with corvs.

SOASE is differnt. Flack Frigates for example do less damage to capships as they do to fighters. Sins has a system where certain weapons do more (or less) damage to differnt kinds of armor. So that if your enemy is building one kind of ship, you have to build a differnt kind of ship to counter it.

You could argue that Homeworld was rock-paper-sicsors like, but it was so on the stratigy level, not at the individual ship level. If someone went one stratigy (not individual ships) you had to use a differnt stratigy to counter it.

My favorite ship class in Homeworld were the Corevettes, I loved how flexable they were. However, using them left me easy prey to anyone who decided to go strieght for capships. In SOASE, I would have been screwed. But, becouse HW ships all damaged each other equaly, I was able to devise a corv stratigy that could effectivly counter a small capship fleet.

Bit of a long post to explain this, hope it makes sence..
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby BigB » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:20 pm

Hello Evil Tester :)
Welcome to the forums.

Let me try to answer some of your questions.

The balancing model of GW, is not yet finished. To be honest, I think we will keep changing it and tweaking it until the game is about to be released.
But how it works at the moment, it's somewhat similar to what you said (each weapon delivers the same amount of damage, although the damage can depend on the skill of the ship) Ships increase skill as they fight, so it's possible to have a frigate that delivers as much damage as a newbie destroyer. There's also special weapons that each ship may or may not have, cruisers for example have flack batteries, while Battleships don't, this makes battleships easy targets to fighters unless they have an escort.
So this is an ongoing process.

GW won't have 3d movement as Homeworld, it will be more similar to Sins of a Solar Empire. As I understand Sins did had a 3d movement in the begining but it ended up being disabled because in multiplayer matches some players were able to use the 3d movement and other didn't., there was even an exploit regarding mining fields i believe, making them useless as ships could pass over or below the fields, right ?
Very interesting that stuff about your work Timmah!
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby EvilTesla-RG » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:40 am

Thanks for answering!

It wasn't just minefields. All defenses in SOASE where built near the XY plane with only minor deflection.
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby Gauntlet » Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:32 pm

I would like to point out, that SOASE issues with defensive structures was simply because of a lack of implementation. If for example, you could dictate the placement of your structures in the Z axis as well as Y/X you would not have had such difficulties.

Mines were an issue as well, but frankly, rightly so (mines really shouldn't work like we think of land mines), and again could have been made to work easily in a 3d plane (homeworld did).

The decision to remove 3d movement was made very early, as was the decision to remove free jumping from any system to any system, or actual orbiting movement for planets/etc. All of which was deemed too complicated to remain palatable to a larger market.

Personally, I would point people to Ascension... an ancient space empire turn based game. The 3d-ness of space wasn't very meaningful, but the planets orbited stars properly, whilst the Jump Points (for stargates) did not.

This means that you could time jumps from system to system so that a heavily fortified enemy planet would be further or closer to your jump point based on your desire (close distance faster to attack planet or keep distance to outrange enemy or just bypass planet to go further into enemy space).

Similar orbital mechanics were used in O.R.B. which was kind of a homeworld wannabe with poor balance, slow gameplay, and IMO a terrible story line. But it was fun to see asteroids/bases/etc. move in a RTS. Your whole infrastructure was moving slowly towards an enemy or not.
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby Timmah! » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:31 am

Gauntlet wrote:I would like to point out, that SOASE issues with defensive structures was simply because of a lack of implementation. If for example, you could dictate the placement of your structures in the Z axis as well as Y/X you would not have had such difficulties.

Mines were an issue as well, but frankly, rightly so (mines really shouldn't work like we think of land mines), and again could have been made to work easily in a 3d plane (homeworld did).

The decision to remove 3d movement was made very early, as was the decision to remove free jumping from any system to any system, or actual orbiting movement for planets/etc. All of which was deemed too complicated to remain palatable to a larger market.

Personally, I would point people to Ascension... an ancient space empire turn based game. The 3d-ness of space wasn't very meaningful, but the planets orbited stars properly, whilst the Jump Points (for stargates) did not.

This means that you could time jumps from system to system so that a heavily fortified enemy planet would be further or closer to your jump point based on your desire (close distance faster to attack planet or keep distance to outrange enemy or just bypass planet to go further into enemy space).


Similar orbital mechanics were used in O.R.B. which was kind of a homeworld wannabe with poor balance, slow gameplay, and IMO a terrible story line. But it was fun to see asteroids/bases/etc. move in a RTS. Your whole infrastructure was moving slowly towards an enemy or not.


This is actually brilliant idea :o But i cant see that implemented in GW? unless the planets have the same gravity wells as in Sins, meaning your ships inside the gravity well will move alongside the planet toward the stationary wormhole. AFAIK this is not going to be a case, whole star system is going to be one giant gravity well and you can fly (hyperjump) wherever you want to...into the void :) But its a good idea, it would certainly add another layer of strategy to the game with the need to time your movements in dependency to locations of celestial bodies.

BTW by Ascension, do you mean Ascendancy? The one with brilliant music?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AozKultc ... re=related
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby EvilTesla-RG » Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:58 pm

There was a space RTS that tried to do this rather recently.

I don't even remember the name of the game (despite having beta tested it!) It was solar something-or-other.

The game itself was crap, It COULD have been almost Homeworld class epic if it was given anouther year or two of development.

Even so, it had some pretty cool gameplay ideas in it. One of which was that all the planets orbited around the sun, and all the moons would orbit around the planets. This made it so the closest distance between two planets was NOT a stright line. Sometimes your base was on the other side of solar system to the enemy. Sometimes you were right next to each other.

Unfortunatly, becouse velocity isn't normaly relative in games like this (It should be!) the ships had to continually fly to keep up with the planets. Not so much a big deal, as the planets did move relativly slowly.

It's probably too late into Gemini Wars to implement this. But when I write my first space RTS (will be awhile!) I will include orbiting planets and relative motion.


EDIT:
just remembered the game, it is Shattered Suns.
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby Timmah! » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:46 pm

Give me a memo then, ill help you with the ship models :)

Ive made this for SoaSE Babylon 5 mod:

Image
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Re: Ballance model, and 3D movement

Postby EvilTesla-RG » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:12 pm

That's a nice model.

Just started watch some Babylon 5 recently. Although I wouldn't shed a tear if all the Centauri died, thier ships do look very good.



I work with Danman Games (seven deady sins), so if you want to get involved with making games, just get involved there.

I should (waiting on Danman himself), be beginning development on my first game soon. Knowing how 7DS works, we'll need all the help we can get.
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