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No. The gameplay is basically 2D (e.g. units only have X and Y coordinates and their height is automatically calculated from the terrain whenever they move), and adding multiple levels would add quite a lot of implementation complexity (more position information to keep track of and to update) for not much benefit.

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well im curious then: would bridges built over water be out of the question, then? and not just flat ground with terrain and buildings to make it LOOK like a bridge, an actual structure that can be built during the course of the game to connect two stretches of land

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Probably.

But it might not be hard to implement something that's sort of like a bridge, which gets built during the game and which looks like a real bridge over water but acts like a flat raised piece of terrain (so ships can't go underneath it etc). It's okay as long as you don't have units that are directly above or below each other.

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Seems logical. A crude way of achieving a bridge effect may be teleportation on the ship level. Is there any way of fooling the path finding algorithm into thinking that a piece of land is water?

Also I was wondering if any RTS game supports XYZ coordinates with such terrain...

Edited by guyboy
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Is there any way of fooling the path finding algorithm into thinking that a piece of land is water?
It doesn't need to be fooled, it just needs to be coded ;). Various units will already have to have different views of terrain passability (some only like water, some only like land, some might cope with shallow water, etc), so it wouldn't be that hard to have the bridge tiles be considered passable to both ships and land units (and then cheat (e.g. with this teleportation) so that the ships don't jump up onto the top of the bridge when passing it, or get meleed by infantry standing above them, etc).
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Well, I don't think we'd need ships to go under bridges. Did ships go under bridges in Age of Kings? No. What we'd do is give a maximum length a bridge could be, so you can't span bridges across the entire ocean. Maybe the width of a screen at typical resolution and zoom could be the maximum length. They would be slow to build and expensive.

Edited by Mythos_Ruler
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Are ports going to be the standard square buildings as seen in every other RTS? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but there is plenty of potential. The port of Carthage, for example, was very efficient and very expensive. I think that should be reflected in the game.

My idea, therefore, is to allow the player to individually place elements of the harbor once he designates a land/water interface as a port. Normal piers could allow loading/unloading, shipwright's piers would be for building and repairing, maritime warehouses in the port could facilitate trade routes, etc. You could make the port idea even more needlessly complicated by having complex interactions between the port structures and land markets, with the forum/agora/bazaar being populated by importers cashing in on the nearby shipping hub.

Yes, I am aware that what I just mentioned is too complex for any game to actually benefit from. Still, it's an interesting thought (variably sized docks, protected harbors, things like that).

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I like Sophokles idea of ports as being substructures. They really should get more attention - in most RTS games many people only remember them on maps with water barriers - maps with water surrounding the edge get no attention whatsoever in terms of ports. This is how I think it should work (building on his idea):

3 port types:

- basic port (can hold up to 3 substructures; upgradable)

- bustling port (up to 5 substructures; upgradable)

- world-trading port (up to 7 substructures; final tier)

- on some maps, you could have an extra tier pre-built (only available from the map editor), historical port. Ports that are historical have a custom number of substructures available, depending on which port you intend to emulate.

Various substructures:

- standard dock (can build fishing and other economic vessels, and scout vessels; can repair only economic and scout vessels for free)

- war dock (can only build higher-tier military units, but can repair all units for free)

- trade pier (builds trade ships exclusively, and repairs only trade ships; enables you to trade with another port that you own - earning you 10 currency per 10 pixels the boat has to travel - or trading with an allied power - earning you 20 currency per 10 pixels the boat has to travel; trade piers must get supplies from a nearby town center, and you can only trade resources for gold)

- mercenary market (a port which periodically accepts mercenary travelers from ships that come and leave the map at random intervals; you can hire mercenaries but only a random few will be available until the next mercenary "restocks" your market)

- defense tower (like the name says; originally starts out as an archer tower, but can be upgraded to fire ballistae or even catapults; has the most health of any substructure but can do nothing except provide defense; maximum 2 per port)

- sailor hiring guild (provides your ships with sailors; each dock comes with one, but having more shaves off ship build-time by 10% each; maximum 3 per port)

- ship research guild (researches ship upgrades and provides access to "super ships", similar to land-based "super units"; one maximum per port, and upgrades take time to research)

- black market (similar to the trade pier, except this market sells your goods at a higher price; one trade off: you can only trade with enemy ports; the market provides disguised merchant ships for a high price, but the enemy will have to manually order his units to kill them - he can attack the ship, but his units will ignore it by default; black market ships provide 50 currency per 10 pixels the boat has to travel, and they provide you with a map of the area surrounding the enemy's dock - up to 30 pixels away).

- water temple (allows you to offer gifts to any water gods your civilization may worship; only available to select civilizations that historically had water gods; when you offer gifts, ships gain a tiny amount of experience - the more lavish the gift, the better the experience)

- solar deck (available to civilizations that do not have the water temple; provides better defense than a defense tower by reflecting heated sun towards enemy ships; only works in a limited arc)

- lighthouse (illuminates all sea areas of the map, but requires TWO substructure spaces in order to be built, and it takes a very long time; builders are automatically provided by lighthouse staff, but it will take a while to be completed; once finished, everyone can see your lighthouse and will probably do their best to destroy it)

- Lighthouse of Alexandria (illuminates all sea areas AND also illuminates an arc of up to 60 units around enemy docks; takes even longer than a lighthouse to complete and you must provide your own builders; once finished, no one else can build it and you get bonus score if you win the game)

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In a game design with that much focus on ports, presumably it also needs a lot of focus on ship movement and combat - it's not good when ships act exactly like floating infantry, with instant turning and no momentum etc. How do you envision them working (in an ideal world where implementation complexity is not a concern)? ;)

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In a game design with that much focus on ports, presumably it also needs a lot of focus on ship movement and combat - it's not good when ships act exactly like floating infantry, with instant turning and no momentum etc. How do you envision them working (in an ideal world where implementation complexity is not a concern)? ;)

My dream would be something similar to Rise and Fall: Civilizations at war (don't know if you have heard of it). In my opinion it features one of the best ship systems i've seen in a traditional RTS game.

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1. There is a Rise and Fall post somewhere

2. Solar deck? Epic.

3. In addition to substructures, as you mentioned, I also meant more complex docks. Longer docks can logically moor more (no rhyme intended) ships at the same time. Don't forget drydocks/launching platforms. Shipwrights, at that time or at any time, didn't launch ships by the sides of commercial docks.

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True, true Sophokles. Expanding on the ideas above, each dock can moore more ships for repair.

- dry dock (repair area that comes attached to war dock and basic dock; can build additional ones for more repair ability; able to repair 3 ships at a time)

A basic port can hold maximum 1 drydock; an improved port can hold 2; a world port can hold 3; a custom port can hold a various number, though the maximum is 5 drydocks per port (don't wanna upset game balance).

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Naval warfare and RTS games: not always a good combination ;) . Rise and fall had original ideas that worked out quite well but it would take a long time probably to implement these into 0 AD.

Naval warfare needs more love, I think. But my ideas depend on what is possible in 0 AD. Can two ships 'board' each other? Can a ship get rammed? If so... a lot of possibilites are possible.

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Imagine this:

You can choose between different (historical) upgrades for each trireme.

Building a wooden tower as an archer platform increases their range a little, ( as an animation you could use the viking longship like in AOK , with multiple arrows) and enhances their accuracy.

Building a 'wooden (draw)bridge' ( this is historical, don't know the name though) allowed the romans to lower the bridge on the deck of an enemy (carthaginian) ship in order to board.

Adding a ballista to the front ( bow?) adds a siege attack to the trireme...

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I agree, naval warfare in Rise&Fall was the best i ever saw. But realistic naval warfare (such as ramming, boarding, loading units etc.) is someting the 0 A.D. team wants to achieve anyway, right?

Can you tell something detailled about naval systems in 0 A.D.? For i found nothing in the design document that was detailled enough.;)

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