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DarcReaver

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Let me relax the situation a bit

DarcReaver wrote:
> I can of course submit random tickets changing files. But to be honest: Whats the point if there is noone on the time who says "yes, we'll support the concept and it should be put in place." ?

Just to warn you, this has happened before. Id est I wanted something like a "blank check", a bit of freedom like Ykkrosh (a very talented coder) de facto had, before for exactly the same reason: Gameplay features.
Now that I am somewhat a hardware coder and have been active as C++, JavaScript, XML coder and 3D artist in the Council of Modder + one of 3 of the mod selection functionality coder and yet I failed to get this "blank check" or what it should have been called "guarantee of support for some experiments", be warned that you do not commit the same mistake as I did back then.

In this sense, your work is appreciated. Do not get Hannibal_Barca or others wrong.
It is easy to misunderstand what was said by developers (do not only eye on the "team" label, it's just a label, do not overestimate it, they|most of them are devs like wowgetoffyourcellphone, Agentx, ...). It's a community project with lots of freedom of operation. The team question gives rise to many quarrels and sad community members. It's just unnecessary hierarchies. We are not in battle. Go fork, mod, ... (see next paragraphs for a maybe help to get your planned changes started)

Concerning the trac tickets. In my opinion you are in sync with current potential game developers by the following means:
1) Having surrected the game design document.
2) Reading and considering the existing 0A.D. design docs.
3) Having discussed the made statements openly. (Gameplay Guideline)

Now the next step is to isolate your changes: "sie ins Klare zu schreiben", also einzelne template Änderungen in binaries/mods/public/simulation/templates/
Then you can easily provide these XML patches and I think there are quite some chances to get most of them into the game after some discussion and fine-tuning.

Otherwise you can still copy the files to a mod e.g. gameplay_guideline/ folder within mods/ next to public/ (maintaining the directory structure of course) and distribute the mod until it is polished enough that it convinces players.

To get you started, one such XML patch could be to:
* Reduce the unit diversity in all CC := civic centers within templates/structures/ by searching for civil_centre to get something similar to


public/simulation/templates/structures/athen_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/mace_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/ptol_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/brit_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/rome_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/iber_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/pers_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/maur_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/sele_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/hele_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/spart_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/cart_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/gaul_civil_centre.xml
public/simulation/templates/structures/celt_civil_centre.xml




Look for ProductionQueue and remove the entity template identifiers from the list of tokens.

* Reduce unit speeds in e.g. template_unit_* by searching for UnitMotion within files e.g. on trac or on the github mirror if you prefer it (best of course in the file system, easily possible on UNIX|TNX systems (Linux,BSD,MacOS,...), no idea on windows).


--
Edit:
I do not understand people being unhappy with how formations are coded. It is epic! Exactly the correct approach. We just some tweaks to it, actually my view is pretty much in sync with Yves'. His FormationsWip trac entry gives evidence that his imagination of how it could work is more detailed than mine.

Edited by Radagast.

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5 hours ago, Radagast. said:

I do not understand people being unhappy with how formations are coded. It is epic! Exactly the correct approach. We just some tweaks to it, actually my view is pretty much in sync with Yves'. His FormationsWip trac entry gives evidence that his imagination of how it could work is more detailed than mine.

It's just, I have played rts games with "soft" battalions and rts games with "hard" battalions, and the games with soft battalions made me wonder why they even tried. The combat and behavior of hard battalions in games like Battle for Middle Earth 2 just plain worked, and was very straight forward. That's where I am come from in my views. Maybe others, like Yves, have other experience and have gained a different perspective. Fair. 

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14 hours ago, Radagast. said:

Let me relax the situation a bit

DarcReaver wrote:
> I can of course submit random tickets changing files. But to be honest: Whats the point if there is noone on the time who says "yes, we'll support the concept and it should be put in place." ?

Just to warn you, this has happened before. Id est I wanted something like a "blank check", a bit of freedom like Ykkrosh (a very talented coder) de facto had, before for exactly the same reason: Gameplay features.
Now that I am somewhat a hardware coder and have been active as C++, JavaScript, XML coder and 3D artist in the Council of Modder + one of 3 of the mod selection functionality coder and yet I failed to get this "blank check" or what it should have been called "guarantee of support for some experiments", be warned that you do not commit the same mistake as I did back then.

Spoiler

 


In this sense, your work is appreciated. Do not get Hannibal_Barca or others wrong.
It is easy to misunderstand what was said by developers (do not only eye on the "team" label, it's just a label, do not overestimate it, they|most of them are devs like wowgetoffyourcellphone, Agentx, ...). It's a community project with lots of freedom of operation. The team question gives rise to many quarrels and sad community members. It's just unnecessary hierarchies. We are not in battle. Go fork, mod, ... (see next paragraphs for a maybe help to get your planned changes started)

Concerning the trac tickets. In my opinion you are in sync with current potential game developers by the following means:
1) Having surrected the game design document.
2) Reading and considering the existing 0A.D. design docs.
3) Having discussed the made statements openly. (Gameplay Guideline)

Now the next step is to isolate your changes: "sie ins Klare zu schreiben", also einzelne template Änderungen in binaries/mods/public/simulation/templates/
Then you can easily provide these XML patches and I think there are quite some chances to get most of them into the game after some discussion and fine-tuning.

Otherwise you can still copy the files to a mod e.g. gameplay_guideline/ folder within mods/ next to public/ (maintaining the directory structure of course) and distribute the mod until it is polished enough that it convinces players.

To get you started, one such XML patch could be to:
* Reduce the unit diversity in all CC := civic centers within templates/structures/ by searching for civil_centre to get something similar to

 

 

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 




Look for ProductionQueue and remove the entity template identifiers from the list of tokens.

* Reduce unit speeds in e.g. template_unit_* by searching for UnitMotion within files e.g. on trac or on the github mirror if you prefer it (best of course in the file system, easily possible on UNIX|TNX systems (Linux,BSD,MacOS,...), no idea on windows).


--
Edit:
I do not understand people being unhappy with how formations are coded. It is epic! Exactly the correct approach. We just some tweaks to it, actually my view is pretty much in sync with Yves'. His FormationsWip trac entry gives evidence that his imagination of how it could work is more detailed than mine.

 

 

Like I said, I'll check out hwo the track system works and will try to submit a couple of concepts that I thought of. I'm fond of .xml editing and already checked out a couple of dependencies within the simulation sub folder in my svn version.

9 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

It's just, I have played rts games with "soft" battalions and rts games with "hard" battalions, and the games with soft battalions made me wonder why they even tried. The combat and behavior of hard battalions in games like Battle for Middle Earth 2 just plain worked, and was very straight forward. That's where I am come from in my views. Maybe others, like Yves, have other experience and have gained a different perspective. Fair. 

I also see it like that. Having a mixture of single units and battalions also contradicts the state of "no tedious/annoying/unnecessary micromanagement" from the design doc. Applying squad based combat is a simple solution to apply more overview and tactical freedom. Especially considering that most units in 0 ad look as small as ants and it's hard to check which unittype looks like what. I frequently have to zoom in very closely to actually see which type of unit is approaching. Having battalions by default makes ´battles less chaotic. There's a reason why many of the "newer" RTS games with large amounts of units use battalions (CnC 3, BFME, CoH) instead of single units.

Edited by DarcReaver
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Concepts are there, lots of them. Concepts for reducing side and rear vision of units, concepts of corralling animals, trample damage, charge damage, ramming, stamina, upkeep

etc.

There is no shortage of ideas of features to be implemented, it is the actual implementation of such things that is the problem. So if you are going to add yourself to the mass of people asking for this feature and that, I don't see how it would further the game. Unless you would actually create patches (after approval) and put them up to be tested and reviewed.

20 hours ago, DarcReaver said:

resource gathering and economy requires way too much individual micro and there are large amounts of unnecessary micro actions required.

Micro is fine, teaches you that without a sound, stable, detailed plan of economy you won't get far. Military could use more features but as mentioned they are already in form of ideas, just waiting for the time when they finally will be accepted or rejected for good.

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1 minute ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Concepts are there, lots of them. Concepts for reducing side and rear vision of units, concepts of corralling animals, trample damage, charge damage, ramming, stamina, upkeep

etc.

There is no shortage of ideas of features to be implemented, it is the actual implementation of such things that is the problem. So if you are going to add yourself to the mass of people asking for this feature and that, I don't see how it would further the game. Unless you would actually create patches (after approval) and put them up to be tested and reviewed.

Micro is fine, teaches you that without a sound, stable, detailed plan of economy you won't get far. Military could use more features but as mentioned they are already in form of ideas, just waiting for the time when they finally will be accepted or rejected for good.

Let me ask the other way around: what does the current market/trading design provide to the game that makes it unique and fun so it's worth keeping it and working on it to fix it with your proposal to "hard cap" caravans?

As of micro: of course it's fine to have micro. However it's clearly stated that repetitive, boring, unproductive micro is to be avoided by the design document. Having to train and micro a multitude of indifferent looking, ant like units is the epitomy of "unecessary, repetitive micro".

Also, hiding behind the "features require coding work" is a lazy excuse. I already said aswell, if the devs would actually setup a road map of how the game should look/feel/play when it's finally done they could hire a coder (or even a couple of coders) with kickstarter money or donations and let them work on the desired features.

But yes, like I stated before I'll start supplying some patches for the game and see how it will work out. But first I need to get the hang on how all structures are connected.

 

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Quote

Having to train and micro a multitude of indifferent looking, ant like units is the epitomy of "unecessary, repetitive micro".

Another main pillar of a civilization is the mass of indifferent looking people who power the whole machine.

 

Anyway, why some of your proposals could maybe fit into the game (after some adjustments to fit into the game), I find that the restricting units trainable from civic centre thing unappealing. It would make the early game much more eco boom centred, which is currently fine. At the moment you can choose to "rush" enemy or concentrate on economy.

Rushing an enemy of equal skill is risky and makes you neglect your home economy. It is also a burden on your growing settlement as wood is needed to train men to fight which could otherwise be used to further economy with farmsteads, houses, more strategically located storehouses etc.

That's my personal opinion on your suggestion for the Civic Centre.

 

Also for example your idea of prolonging fights  and making units into battalions isn't appealing either, one of the fun points of this game (IMO) is the speed, sudden changes and battles that can decide the victor of tiny wars between players or even the whole game.

Anyway, as I feel that the topic has strayed off too much (you might also lose interest in talking with me again) , this is my final post here. I wish you luck in your "concepts", but to tell the truth, I do not see the need for you getting the "Gameplay Developer" official title. You should observe, discuss with other players (since they are the ones who are actually testing and playing this game, people who don't play really shouldn't just start changing stuff without prior discussion with them) and finally suggest changes and maybe even upload a patch if its agreed to by most. There is no need to get a title for all that, if your opinions and suggestions are good they will be heard anyway without people feeling that you are above them.

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1 hour ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Another main pillar of a civilization is the mass of indifferent looking people who power the whole machine.

 

Anyway, why some of your proposals could maybe fit into the game (after some adjustments to fit into the game), I find that the restricting units trainable from civic centre thing unappealing. It would make the early game much more eco boom centred, which is currently fine. At the moment you can choose to "rush" enemy or concentrate on economy.

Rushing an enemy of equal skill is risky and makes you neglect your home economy. It is also a burden on your growing settlement as wood is needed to train men to fight which could otherwise be used to further economy with farmsteads, houses, more strategically located storehouses etc.

That's my personal opinion on your suggestion for the Civic Centre.

 

Also for example your idea of prolonging fights  and making units into battalions isn't appealing either, one of the fun points of this game (IMO) is the speed, sudden changes and battles that can decide the victor of tiny wars between players or even the whole game.

Anyway, as I feel that the topic has strayed off too much (you might also lose interest in talking with me again) , this is my final post here. I wish you luck in your "concepts", but to tell the truth, I do not see the need for you getting the "Gameplay Developer" official title. You should observe, discuss with other players (since they are the ones who are actually testing and playing this game, people who don't play really shouldn't just start changing stuff without prior discussion with them) and finally suggest changes and maybe even upload a patch if its agreed to by most. There is no need to get a title for all that, if your opinions and suggestions are good they will be heard anyway without people feeling that you are above them.

 

1 hour ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Another main pillar of a civilization is the mass of indifferent looking people who power the whole machine.

 

True. Still doesn't change the fact that the mass of indifferent looking people does not necessarily have to be single entities that have to be told to move, sleep and work all by themselves. A more automated system certainly wouldn't hurt and would conflict less with the design guide which I didn't create. All I'm doing is to look at the ingame situation, compare it to the design guideline and then create conclusions out of it from a mostly neutral perspective.

1 hour ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Anyway, why some of your proposals could maybe fit into the game (after some adjustments to fit into the game), I find that the restricting units trainable from civic centre thing unappealing. It would make the early game much more eco boom centred, which is currently fine. At the moment you can choose to "rush" enemy or concentrate on economy.

Rushing an enemy of equal skill is risky and makes you neglect your home economy. It is also a burden on your growing settlement as wood is needed to train men to fight which could otherwise be used to further economy with farmsteads, houses, more strategically located storehouses etc.

That's my personal opinion on your suggestion for the Civic Centre.

 

yea. it's completely fine that civs start with i.e. archer cavalry units at the start of the game. It makes total sense to have the strongest raiding units available by default without requiring teching, tech resources or any kind of necessary requirement. Since it's normal for civs to start with their strongest units to raid enemy villagers. On top of that every unit of course is trained in a couple of seconds so the enemy has enough villagers to raid within the first 30 seconds of the game...

1 hour ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Also for example your idea of prolonging fights  and making units into battalions isn't appealing either, one of the fun points of this game (IMO) is the speed, sudden changes and battles that can decide the victor of tiny wars between players or even the whole game.

What kind of "sudden changes" are you referring to? I actually forced myself to play 2 more games yesterday evening against some random dudes. Apart from lagging the game itself was boring as @#$%. 20 minutes of fiddly economy management, followed by forcing 100 ant soldiers through a cliff to meet up against a horde of swordsmen to be slaughtered.

0 Formations, no tactical micro required apart from "right click next to army"  and "set barracks rallypoint", then a manspam train to get the battle going on.
What is the point of having to manage 4 resources if all you need is to mass up one unit type for wood/lumber and then clash up the enemy?

Second game : cavalry rushing around, taking out villagers until the player left after 10 minutes. Even though there was more action in this game it was still dumb. No strategy required, just build 5 women, train 3 horses and start raiding. without any thought or teching or a buildorder.

Sure, it should be possible to rush/boom/turtle in an RTS, but those strategies should require buildorders or teching to differentiate between each other.

Minding that I'm aware that Wc3 is a different type of game with a different game layout. But look at how both players use a specific buildorder, have to do economy management and hero choices before actually starting to fight. Also put a note of how the game progresses toward high level tech units and how they complement the game/overall strategy.

 

Example 2: Look at how the game moves on from the weakest starting units towards a stronger unit setup and stronger support ability the longer the game draws on. Also put some attention towards how formations are used in the game to provide simple bonuses to the affected units.

And now, to put a slower game into comparison: AoE II. Much more drawn out economic situation early on, then military switch to provide an army.

Game 4: CnC 3, more early action, Notice the natural progression of "manspam trains" and how instead of single infantry squads are used to provide a more "mass-of-units" scenery". Also looks how important the correct "build order" is to get the desired strategy into play.

Heck, for completions sake just look at age of empires 1 and look  how the game design evolves from 3 starting workers to armies fighting everywhere.

And now compare this to 0 ad in its current layout: I won't mock the game, I'll just ask to compare how various other AAA franchises handle their gameplay compared to 0 ad in it's current status. Saying that the game just needs a couple of stats fixed, some polishment and has high amounts of suprise, tactical finesse and speed is ... well... difficult to understand. It has lots and lots of potential of course. But potential only matters if it's used.

 

1 hour ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Anyway, as I feel that the topic has strayed off too much (you might also lose interest in talking with me again) , this is my final post here. I wish you luck in your "concepts", but to tell the truth, I do not see the need for you getting the "Gameplay Developer" official title. You should observe, discuss with other players (since they are the ones who are actually testing and playing this game, people who don't play really shouldn't just start changing stuff without prior discussion with them) and finally suggest changes and maybe even upload a patch if its agreed to by most. There is no need to get a title for all that, if your opinions and suggestions are good they will be heard anyway without people feeling that you are above them.

I agree that the topic strayed off quite a bit, but it doesn't matter too much. Main discussion is going on on the other thread anyways.

As for "the need of having a gameplay developer": To have playtests you need a concept first. Okay, 0 ad has a concept. It's called

"let's steal random ideas from AoE II and AoM and split up male/female villagers aswell. Then move all military into the starting building without teching requirements. Then add more easy to code stuff from other games. Even if it's contradicting our own design guideline, np."

 

So, about which matters do you want to discuss?

Raiding cavalry archers in the HQ that can be trained 10 seconds into the game without any requirements?
Broken trade that replaces regular gathering in teamgames?
Naval combat?
citizen Soldiers?
City boundaries that serve no use?
Formations which are largely useless apart from taking up UI space?
4 resources which are centered around the HQ so there is no map control fighting going on and no dynamics in gathering is required?
Units all requiring the same resources instead of having a proper concept for which resources are used for what?

Shall I go on? Or is it enough for starters?

 

Edited by DarcReaver

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1 hour ago, DarcReaver said:

Raiding cavalry archers in the HQ that can be trained 10 seconds into the game without any requirements?

Shows you have no game experience at all, only available to ptolemies and considered one of the weakest units
Broken trade that replaces regular gathering in teamgames?

This topic is being addressed and will be fixed by next alpha
Naval combat?

You should put details, this is too vague
citizen Soldiers?

In ancient times men were tilling their land and harvesting crops till a war came and they all went off to fight. In 0 A.D. as this is miniscaled your faction is always at war, hence armed gatherers.
City boundaries that serve no use?

Of course they serve a use, they limit what resources you can harvest in different phases, if you want more you have to expand.


Formations which are largely useless apart from taking up UI space?

Formations were actually officially default-enabled in alpha 18 but devs decided to take them out again.
4 resources which are centered around the HQ so there is no map control fighting going on and no dynamics in gathering is required?

Shows you got no experience at  all, the food and wood provided is not even enough for first 3 minutes. Metal finished by minute 18  or so when you start gathering at at 12. These resources do not hamper fighting for map. Also there are some maps where such are missing if you prefer that mode.
Units all requiring the same resources instead of having a proper concept for which resources are used for what?

This is not true, there are a few basic categories of costs:

skirmisher/spearman 50WF

swordsman 50F 40W 10M

slinger 50F 20W 30S

Spear Cavalry 80F 55W

Skirmisher Cavalry 100F 40W

Sword Champion 125F 75W 100M

Spear/Archer Chamipon 125F 100W 75M

mercenaries of any kind: -50%food +50%metal cost

4 basic unit types :

skirmishers & spears

swords

slingers

Of these only 2 use the same resources, arguably because a javelin and spear composition is similar in resources

While mercenaries require high upkeep, more metal.

 

(I just had to reply to such a detailed post) :P

Edited by Hannibal_Barca

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9 minutes ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

4 basic unit types :

skirmishers & spears

swords

slingers

Of these only 2 use the same resources, arguably because a javelin and spear composition is similar in resources

While mercenaries require high upkeep, more metal.

wood food wood food wood food some alibi metal and stone. wood food. So you require wood food as most used resources for everything. Why don't military units cost a military resource?

Also why are highly skilled cavalry archers the weakest units in the game? Riding horseman archers were forces to be reckoned with in ancient times and feared for their skill in combat and mobility. How can it be that a highly specialized elite unit is a basic unit available from the start?

Why do citizens harvest resources with their spears/pikes/javelins at hand and work in full armour? And why would citizens harvest resources while being at war?

Why are logistical buildings like a farm or granary restricted to city borders? Afaik there were no fields within most city boundaries?

Where is the teching progress from weakest units -> strongest units? Where are basic army composition choices? Why is everything available in the first building without further teching required?

How does it make sense to build towards outer resources with houses to increase city boundaries?

Edited by DarcReaver
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1 minute ago, DarcReaver said:

wood food wood food wood food some alibi metal and stone. wood food. So you require wood food as most used resources for everything. Why don't military units cost a military resource?

Also why are highly skilled cavalry archers the weakest units in the game? Riding horseman archers were forces to be reckoned with in ancient times and feared for their skill in combat and mobility. How can it be that a highly specialized elite unit is a basic unit available from the start?

Why do citizens harvest resources with their spears/pikes/javelins at hand and work in full armour? ---This is just a question of art and animation actually

Why are logistical buildings like a farm or granary restricted to city borders? Afaik there were no fields within most city boundaries?

This could be done, imo you are right but that noone will build outside anyway due to raids.

Where is the teching progress from weakest units -> strongest units? Where are basic army composition choices? Why is everything available in the first building without further teching required?

Only the basic units are available from CC, the base 3 military units of phase I. Further units are unlocked by the Phase II tech itself. To train Phase 3-special units, one has to build unique buildings which cost stone/metal or both to train them (in unique cases research tech to unlock). So a player concentrating on a phase I army will find itself possibly outclassed by a player who went eco boom and gets phase II units. Same for Phase II, III units. Weakest units being the Phase I ones, strongest Phase III ones, meanwhile the "teching" you are looking for is nothing more than the Phase tech itself.

How does it make sense to build towards outer resources with houses to increase city boundaries?

Its not really City Boundaries we are discussing (and some could say that they aren't "city" boundaries), but Territory Influence. If you have "influence" in that territory you can build in it. Houses and other structures give the least, military structures the most territory influence. Also why question this? It is a unique feature of 0 A.D. and noone has ever complained of this, this is the least of problems.

The Cavalry Archers from CC of Ptolemies (only civ with cavalry archers from civic centre) aren't horsemen, they are camelry (or whatever you call those).

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17 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

It's just, I have played rts games with "soft" battalions and rts games with "hard" battalions, and the games with soft battalions made me wonder why they even tried. The combat and behavior of hard battalions in games like Battle for Middle Earth 2 just plain worked, and was very straight forward. That's where I am come from in my views. Maybe others, like Yves, have other experience and have gained a different perspective. Fair

 

8 hours ago, DarcReaver said:

I also see it like that. Having a mixture of single units and battalions also contradicts the state of "no tedious/annoying/unnecessary micromanagement" from the design doc. Applying squad based combat is a simple solution to apply more overview and tactical freedom. Especially considering that most units in 0 ad look as small as ants and it's hard to check which unittype looks like what. I frequently have to zoom in very closely to actually see which type of unit is approaching. Having battalions by default makes ´battles less chaotic. There's a reason why many of the "newer" RTS games with large amounts of units use battalions (CnC 3, BFME, CoH) instead of single units.

 

I do not disagree on that fact. That's why - in the Gameplay Guideline topic - I proposed the button to hard lock a formation. Add another one for hard locking every formation and to only produce formations (batch train + code [1]) and there you have only formations and no mix anymore.

Yves conducted research into that direction and that I know the code well enough to support his findings. I am a proponent of an soft formations code because:
soft -> hard formation is way easier than hard -> soft

[1] Restricting the entire gameplay to hard formations:
* Only allow batch "production" > formation_member_count_minimum,
* Add code to put them into a predefined formation directly after on TrainingFinished event.
* Lock it (and prevent unlock globally to not have it dissolve).
* Allow formation gathering | propagate build orders, ...
* (Of course this will only become really useful when what Yves' FormationsWip proposes or improved formation handling and pathfinding is added.)

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Do you think it would be possible to implement your suggested changes in a proof of concept mod/branch in relatively short time of around 3-6 months? The scope would have to be limited as much as possible without leaving out anything that is crucial for the gameplay as a whole. For example, it could only focus on one civ, placeholders could be used instead of new artwork and workarounds or hacks for difficult features are OK. What tasks would have to be done exactly and how much help would you need from the team?

We are still discussing your application in the team and I can't give you an official answer yet, but such a proof of concept implementation seems to be well supported. The tasks required for it (further work on the concept, setting priorities, defining tasks) are the next step anyway, so it should be ok to get started with it.

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I already spent a couple of hours with the svn version, downloaded a .js viewer type program and used notepad ++ to checkout file structures on 0 ad. I tried modifying some files and see how it's affecting the game. The stuff I'm doing is of course merely just some random testing to get a "feeling" how the game works behind the curtains. From what I've seen so far, a lot of stuff can be done by simple xml modificiations without having to mess around with scripts. So the "mod-friendlyness" of 0ad is really good, congratulations on that one.

Unfortunately, not everything is possible with xml editing, and that's the aspects I'll need help with. The actual "coding", creation and modifications of the scripts. I can try to modify existing scripts with some advice, but it's unlikely that I can create large scripts from scratch, as I'm not that experienced nor talented with creating java or c++ code. At least not now. Idk how far I get with "learning by doing" but there is stuff I'm certainly better at than coding. I can of course help out with creating layouts with tasks and breakdown issues to make them easier to solve.

Art is an entirely different matter. I'm not a big supporter of the "do art first then find a gameplay for it" approach, so I'd support using placeholders. I've always used gameplay with placeholders first in Eastern Front, unless the required artwork was available anyways. In that case both artwork and scripts were included at the same time. I general I prefer minimalist and easy solutions to complicated concepts that require extensive work, unless it's really worth the effort.

One thing I'm decent at is 2d art, so I can provide icons/buttons, symbols etc. myself if needed.

So yes, I think that this would be possible.

 

 

Edited by DarcReaver
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14 hours ago, Radagast. said:

 

 

I do not disagree on that fact. That's why - in the Gameplay Guideline topic - I proposed the button to hard lock a formation. Add another one for hard locking every formation and to only produce formations (batch train + code [1]) and there you have only formations and no mix anymore.

Yves conducted research into that direction and that I know the code well enough to support his findings. I am a proponent of an soft formations code because:
soft -> hard formation is way easier than hard -> soft

[1] Restricting the entire gameplay to hard formations:
* Only allow batch "production" > formation_member_count_minimum,
* Add code to put them into a predefined formation directly after on TrainingFinished event.
* Lock it (and prevent unlock globally to not have it dissolve).
* Allow formation gathering | propagate build orders, ...
* (Of course this will only become really useful when what Yves' FormationsWip proposes or improved formation handling and pathfinding is added.)

Excuse my double posting, but I can't include the quote into my top post for some reason..

I'd also support this system. One sidenote: if the pathfinder creates problems - cnc and bfme both used "unit clumping" which removed the unit internal collision to move around obstacles. So if the formation hit a building, simply the units would go around it and clump up. It looks a bit weird, but at least it worked. I guess this could be a temporary solution to the path finding issues until the final working code was included.

Edited by DarcReaver

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You answered my question only partially. ;)

So far you have identified most issues with the current gameplay and you have outlined some possible ways for fixing them. That's a good start, but it's still quite far away from a concept that can be implemented. Decision have to be made where multiple alternative solutions have been suggested, dependencies between features have to be identified and clarified, detailed descriptions have to be written per feature etc. If developers want to help, they need very specific and detailed information how a feature should work. Do you think it's realistic to design such a concept, write it down and then also implement it in roughly 6 months (I guess 3-6 is too ambitious)? As I said, it would not be complete yet, but it should be complete enough to give a good impression of the final gameplay. If you don't know how long it would take to implement something, that's fine. you could still estimate how long it would take until the first parts of the concept are finalized enough so that someone can start with the implementation and how long you'd need for the whole concept.

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1 hour ago, Yves said:

You answered my question only partially. ;)

So far you have identified most issues with the current gameplay and you have outlined some possible ways for fixing them. That's a good start, but it's still quite far away from a concept that can be implemented. Decision have to be made where multiple alternative solutions have been suggested, dependencies between features have to be identified and clarified, detailed descriptions have to be written per feature etc. If developers want to help, they need very specific and detailed information how a feature should work. Do you think it's realistic to design such a concept, write it down and then also implement it in roughly 6 months (I guess 3-6 is too ambitious)? As I said, it would not be complete yet, but it should be complete enough to give a good impression of the final gameplay. If you don't know how long it would take to implement something, that's fine. you could still estimate how long it would take until the first parts of the concept are finalized enough so that someone can start with the implementation and how long you'd need for the whole concept.

I've been messing around with the xml files and scripts which are in the svn at the moment. I do tests to see how my proposed changes influence the early game and I'm still in a conceptual phase about resource usage, teching phases and building arrangements.

From my observations following stuff is easy to do (requires no art/scripts):

- teching requirements for units
- adjustment of gathering speed, construction speed, unit/building costs etc.
- creation of teching paths for unit types
- building restrictions (i.e. creating storehouses/farms in neutral or civic centers earlier)
- switching unit types from buidings to other structures
- Aura editing for morale effects (seems to be pretty easy actually)
- tweaks to the territory system to make it a better game feature

I'd estimate that those things can be done in a couple of days, as long as the design is mostly set. I can do quite a lot of that myself without help from others. The tricky thing is that I need to combine aspects from my initial guideline into a more detailed concept. I have to spend some time on that, and I can't estimate how long that takes. Maybe some days, maybe some weeks.

Stuff that requires more work (create a script or some 2d editing on existing models):

- adding metal/silver resource split
- creating different damage types for balancing unit types against each other (imo having only hack/pierce/crush is not enough)
- creating building dependencies (right now only possible with techs as a workaround)
- unit production in batches instead of single units (as a first step into the hard lock battalion system)
- adjustment of bad game content (like the current trade. Depending on the solution new Art might be required or additional or edited scripts that affect trading)
- hero abilities apart from inspirational auras

My guess is that this will require more thought initially but also be relatively fast to be put in the game. As I'm not a talented coder I can't estimate the time it takes to modify a script, but my guess would be that stuff like above could also be done in a couple of weeks.

Stuff that will require the most work (below again a selection of features I could think of):

- hardlocked formations

- unit combat: depending on how tactical the combat should be (and what can be done within the game engine limits) there are entirely new features to be implemented (below are examples):

- unit turning & flanking bonuses
- charge/trample system for cavalry/chariots/Elephants
- sea combat with capturing (in case it's wanted)
- unit vision/truesight
- varying accuracy over distances 

- map control elements like neutral Provinces, markets, mercenary camps

- in general features that are not present in the current game and have to be created from scratch.

I can't estimate the amount of time necessary for new features to be implemented. That's why I'd like to first determine which features are required for the gameplay core to be implemented first. i.e. I'd settle Battalions and a Charge/trample system very high on the priority list, as those will be useful in any case, regardless how detailed the final economy will look like or how unit combat and teching will look like.

I've stated earlier I'll try to break down the global concept into smaller steps so they can be implemented one-by-one. I won't go as far as "unit X has Y hitpoints, Z crush armour, buildtime blah (...)" - stuff like this can be done at a later stage when more important features have been implemented and the civ layouts work as intended.

There need to be people on the team who can estimate the consequences of design decisions - if the people responsible for the gameplay design have no sufficient experience the decisions might be wrong or result in disastrous weaknesses that destroy the game flow in its very essence.

And that's why I applied to take over such a role, to work out an official gameplay guideline A guideline to finish the core game - to make it really unique and independent from other games. Being a copy of AoE II (even if it started as a mod for AoE II) is really not something desirable. There are lots of clones on the market already, and AoE II HD already covers players who like the AoE II game style. Some aspects of AoE II are (from my perspective after watching and playing RTS since over 15 years) simply outdated and should be replaced with modern approaches.

 

Edited by DarcReaver

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On 3/13/2017 at 12:41 AM, DarcReaver said:

Stuff that requires more work (create a script or some 2d editing on existing models):

- adding metal/silver resource split
- creating different damage types for balancing unit types against each other (imo having only hack/pierce/crush is not enough)
- creating building dependencies (right now only possible with techs as a workaround)
- unit production in batches instead of single units (as a first step into the hard lock battalion system) ------ I hope you know batch production is already there, just the hard battalion stuff to add
- adjustment of bad game content (like the current trade. Depending on the solution new Art might be required or additional or edited scripts that affect trading)
- hero abilities apart from inspirational auras

My guess is that this will require more thought initially but also be relatively fast to be put in the game. As I'm not a talented coder I can't estimate the time it takes to modify a script, but my guess would be that stuff like above could also be done in a couple of weeks.

Stuff that will require the most work (below again a selection of features I could think of):

- hardlocked formations

- unit combat: depending on how tactical the combat should be (and what can be done within the game engine limits) there are entirely new features to be implemented (below are examples):

- unit turning & flanking bonuses
- charge/trample system for cavalry/chariots/Elephants  --- Already planned for alpha 24.
- sea combat with capturing (in case it's wanted) --- Already planned for alpha 24.
- unit vision/truesight
- varying accuracy over distances  --- Already in.

 

Edited by Hannibal_Barca
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44 minutes ago, Hannibal_Barca said:

Stuff that requires more work (create a script or some 2d editing on existing models):

- adding metal/silver resource split
- creating different damage types for balancing unit types against each other (imo having only hack/pierce/crush is not enough)
- creating building dependencies (right now only possible with techs as a workaround)
- unit production in batches instead of single units (as a first step into the hard lock battalion system) ------ I hope you know batch production is already there, just the hard battalion stuff to add - I know that batching is possible already. But I mean default batch production by default instead of single unit queues.
- adjustment of bad game content (like the current trade. Depending on the solution new Art might be required or additional or edited scripts that affect trading)
- hero abilities apart from inspirational auras

My guess is that this will require more thought initially but also be relatively fast to be put in the game. As I'm not a talented coder I can't estimate the time it takes to modify a script, but my guess would be that stuff like above could also be done in a couple of weeks.

Stuff that will require the most work (below again a selection of features I could think of):

- hardlocked formations

- unit combat: depending on how tactical the combat should be (and what can be done within the game engine limits) there are entirely new features to be implemented (below are examples):

- unit turning & flanking bonuses
- charge/trample system for cavalry/chariots/Elephants  --- Already planned for alpha 23. Just in case: I mean a "real" trampling/charge system with slowdown and crush resistance, not something like the AoE II cataphract that simply does splash damage on attacks
- sea combat with capturing (in case it's wanted) --- Already planned for alpha 23.good to know
- unit vision/truesight
- varying accuracy over distances  --- Already in. I know there is an accuracy value for ranged weapons, but it's sort of hard-coded for the most part. It could be improved to deliver more values that can be tweaked.

Answers in purple.

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On 3/11/2017 at 8:09 AM, DarcReaver said:

I'm decent at is 2d art, so I can provide icons/buttons, symbols etc. myself if needed.

you have an idea what you need? or make an sketches... the symbols are my best.

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