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[Proposal]: Clearly (Re)define The Core Gameplay


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11 hours ago, shieldwolf23 said:

 

@Prodigal Son - I think focusing on your mod's ideas would, for me, be the best course of action. Don't expect those ideas to transfer to the base game, since a lot of threads proposing changes to the core game have been presented, deliberated, and dismissed. 

As I've said in a prior post working on the mod is not a priority for me at this point. This can change with my mood, especially if the game reaches a more stable phase. That said, I'm not trying to turn the game into my mod, which anyway doesn't have a concluded gameplay core for a while now. Instead I'm saying that the team should conclude on something cohesive and doable, be it ispired by some of my various (and conflicling) ideas or not (see this tread). 

 

10 hours ago, sphyrth said:

We're at this point of the discussion again? Woohoo!

Asides from the lack of staff to spearhead this thing, I think the biggest hurdle for the Gameplay Feature is this: the current playerbase. The current playerbase like the general gameplay as is. And they'll fight tooth and nail when that balance gets broken.

Now for my continued hibernation because I have yet to get over the Holiday Hangover. 

I remember the game being at this point in discussion forever and up to now, so I don't think I should be singled out by anyone as making unwanted noise. Besides that, ideas and brainstorming by anyone should be welcome. The current playerbase is indeed another factor to take into account, but the end goal shouldn't be just clinging to their (varied, anyway) demands.

Forthermore, I've seen several specific ideas worth discussing in the comments, but I'll refrain from doing it as this wasn't the point of this thread.

Edited by Prodigal Son
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1 hour ago, stanislas69 said:

I can split this discussion as needed if for some reason we need to keep it organized :)

It was more of my way of saying "hey, I don't ignore you" to some people or parts of what they say and an encouragement to stay on topic rather than a call for radical action:)

To clarify a bit on my views on battalion/formation vs single unit combat since this seems to be a key point of the discussion  for many people.  Battalions could be added, but that means much extra codding work, especially if their they are not meant to be a simplistic "one unit, many actors" entity. Imo they fit well with a more complex approach with morale and/or stamina, running/charging, directional bonuses etc. But that would make the combat more complex so it fits with a simpler economy. Several people argue that you would actually control less units. It's true but those units would need far more babysiting to be effective (while single units with a basic "stats" combat system are relatively effective even left on their own). See again my previous example, try playing an Age Of Kings economy and a Total War battle (say just 20 units instead of 100 or 200) at the same time.  An intermediate balance between combat and economy, adding features to one while removing features from the other is an option, but not necessarily better until tested (and ofc subject to personal preferance to a large degree). What would be boring in the end, imo is having squads that just work as simple, single units without realistic combat tactics, because we needed to tunedown the combat too much to fit current economy, or we couldn't get enough code in. I hated this approach in several games (rise of nations, rise and fall: civilzations at war and to a degree cossacks among others) and found it far inferior to single units. If a fully functioning squad system is possible, while striking a right balance with the economy, I'm all for it.

Edited by Prodigal Son
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14 hours ago, sphyrth said:

Asides from the lack of staff to spearhead this thing, I think the biggest hurdle for the Gameplay Feature is this: the current playerbase. The current playerbase like the general gameplay as is. And they'll fight tooth and nail when that balance gets broken.

 

We don't know how would react the player base with a major redesign. For sure always there would be conservative people, but maybe a lot of people will welcome changes, and some other will just accept. I don't know.

BTW, another great problem is the coding side. Is not the same designing the game with some key features that condition all debates, because they could drastically change the gameplay (I'm thinking in run/charge, formations/battalions movement and fighting, and directional damage), and isn't the same redesigning the game with the current stats of things that the engine can handle.
 

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I think most historical strategy gamers have been waiting for an epic marriage of historical city builder/civilisation management, with Real Time combat mechanics. Something in between a simulator and classic RTS. 0AD probably has the most potential in this regard

Yes always since I played AoE 1. the only one to try this was Stronghold Crusader 2 but still simple. you need basic resources. is more simplistic than average city builder.

  • The farms only works in farmland terrain, so this is realistic thing.
  • You can produce weapons from basic resources. wood for arrows.
  • You lose if you lost your warlord/hero/character
  • Water is basic necessary to repair buildings, because the fired.
  • Gold, while cannot be mined on its own, is a means of wealth and used for many services and purposes throughout the game. It can be spent on either military or economic purposes.
  • Buying and selling resources: batches of materials can be bought or sold in exchange for gold.
  • Other interesting mechanic is the difference of kind of houses.
  • image.png.32f6d5fa96b2319436846c5cc970b93c.png
  • The stockpile is physically inside of game.http://stronghold.wikia.com/wiki/Stockpile
  • Others are traps devices. http://stronghold.wikia.com/wiki/Killing_
  • They divided their armory industry in 5 building each a prerequisite for each kind of units, like maceman, crossbows, Pikemen..etc.
  • They have Apothecary building to recruit healers.

 

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One thing that has to be considered that is important is that while adding features that come of as cool is nice, a streamlined intuitive system is necessary for an RTS when people have a limited timeframe to make decisions.  If we want to have battles that are rewarding to micromanage, it is necessary to automate other types of systems.  That is what made games such as Call of Duty so great to play; players, in focussing on the battles could boost their economy since their basis of supply was built entirely around how much territory they controlled.  Age of Mythology also, in making its game, realised that adding favour as a resource required another resource to be cut from the system.  

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Thorfinn is right , if something isn't necessary ... we can see this AoE DE failed to bad, because trying to focus in two different target and fail both.

They try their success keeping their nostalgic mechanic but at this point is outdated. 

By the way why no try to improve battle mechanic without lost the simplicity?

Make longer battles , making micromanagement more easy. the troops hold the line with using ranged units and mobile faster troops keeping the support of infantry.

Many mechanics still missing...

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5 hours ago, av93 said:

We don't know how would react the player base with a major redesign. For sure always there would be conservative people, but maybe a lot of people will welcome changes, and some other will just accept. I don't know.

BTW, another great problem is the coding side. Is not the same designing the game with some key features that condition all debates, because they could drastically change the gameplay (I'm thinking in run/charge, formations/battalions movement and fighting, and directional damage), and isn't the same redesigning the game with the current stats of things that the engine can handle.
 

True and there's many people who prefered the older combat system from some alpha's ago. It's impossible to please everyone, hard to guess what path would have been more popular in the end, and popularity doesn't mean "betterness" anyway.. it can be shaped into people's minds by conditioning (familiarity, promotion/brainwash, WOW! factor etc). That said any gameplay style can be done right and functionality/quality can find a numerous player base for the game no matter which style is chosen. It's free, good and authentic looking, mod-friendly, waiting to be fleshed out. 

The coding side is what makes me lean towards simplicity without expecting radical additions, even possibly cutting some of the unready features and shapping the game accordingly. But in the end the programmers and decision makers could surprise us adding even more than "promised", which has happened already, with mixed effects so far. By mixed effects I mean that adding extras pushed for adding more and more, generated discussions on adding even more, to make a more complex and unique game, while delaying production and causing indecision.

1 hour ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

One thing that has to be considered that is important is that while adding features that come of as cool is nice, a streamlined intuitive system is necessary for an RTS when people have a limited timeframe to make decisions.  If we want to have battles that are rewarding to micromanage, it is necessary to automate other types of systems.  That is what made games such as Call of Duty so great to play; players, in focussing on the battles could boost their economy since their basis of supply was built entirely around how much territory they controlled.  Age of Mythology also, in making its game, realised that adding favour as a resource required another resource to be cut from the system.  

Agreed. More choices, complexity, impressiveness and realism are good as long as they have a meaningful focus and don't become overwhealming to the player and hard to balance. I think we could go on adding examples forever, as releases mostly show us that successful games stroke the right balance and recklessly ambitious games failed or ended up being released incomplete and more or less failed.

29 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Thorfinn is right , if something isn't necessary ... we can see this AoE DE failed to bad, because trying to focus in two different target and fail both.

They try their success keeping their nostalgic mechanic but at this point is outdated. 

By the way why no try to improve battle mechanic without lost the simplicity?

Make longer battles , making micromanagement more easy. the troops hold the line with using ranged units and mobile faster troops keeping the support of infantry.

Many mechanics still missing...

I think where AOE DE seems to have failed is in being yet another buggy official release (becoming the "industry standard" these days...). It never promised more than new graphics and slightly more modern controls as far as I know. It also has some ridiculously high requirements for what it is, so I guess terrible optimization. On the Stronghold thing, indeed it has very detailed economy and city building, but it's combat system is even simpler than AOE's.

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15 hours ago, Prodigal Son said:

Instead I'm saying that the team should conclude on something cohesive and doable, be it ispired by some of my various (and conflicling) ideas or not (see this tread). 

THAT call has been made a lot of times in different threads all around the forum. Most are debated, but almost every one of them have been ignored at the end. Discussions are good though. We can always dream about them. 

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I think someone should make a thread to determine players preference. Listing all RTS games and their pros/cons. Games that have Ancient, Classial or Medieval must state the reason why switching to 0AD is better or not in terms of SP or MP mode. 

I think I’ve been consistently playing PC games for more than 25 years now but more on SP and the only games I play on MP is RoN (best strategy game for me ever) and now 0AD.

@Lion.Kanzen I really love Stronghold games that until now I’m trying to buy any version except the steam one. The things I don’t like is the insta build/train structures/units then they remove the moats on the Stronghold 2. Also no unit promotion and wood reseeding is gone too. With infinite important resources the AI will attack you without let up. Big cons spamming units like 0AD. 

For my list as far as taste and immersion:

1. 0AD The walls, promotion and Single unit and can combined in formation. Tougher units and huge army attacks. Needs the AI fight for sea supremacy but not as like AoE 2 and RoN that they are too dominant.

2. RoN Thrones/Patriots  or RoN EE. My best Strategy game ever in terms of military, economic and probably technology 

3. Stronghold 1 & 2

4.  Civ 5, I could have bought Civ 6 but cartoonish. Big con is game doesn’t stop on ages.

5. BFME 1,2 & 3. Con is fantasy same as Warcraft 

6. AoE 2 No unit promotion and maps are mostly flat/plains  

7. EE 1, EE 2 is ok except that units are jumping. 

8. C & C Red Alert 2 & Generals

9. Sudden Struke 1&  just bought the 4  

10. Tiberean Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, shieldwolf23 said:

THAT call has been made a lot of times in different threads all around the forum. Most are debated, but almost every one of them have been ignored at the end. Discussions are good though. We can always dream about them. 

True, but that is normal, not every idea can get it's way in because of work needed, incompatibility with other incorporated ideas or distaste by influential people. However, a minority of proposed, previously unplanned ideas have made it into the game and to my knowledge others like advanced combat/formations are still considered. A purpose of this thread is to understand where the gameplay could be heading and maybe influence it in meaningful games. I guess I could just ask team members in private, but I doubt that I would get the same answear from everyone, or that each of them is sure about it. Worst case, even if this discussion is a waste of time towards it's goals, it has some value in understanding parts of gameplay design.

@Servo @stanislas69 A poll like that would need to be extremely detailed and well writen and even then I doubt every participant would have the knowledge or the will to evaluate the effects of each option. I'd say that actually none of us can 100%. Picking what we like in each game (as a majority or as individuals) and throwing it together would end up in a messy game. It could have the value of knowing which features are most desired by those who happened to participate, which could have some limited use though.

 

Edited by Prodigal Son
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  • 2 years later...

 

Spoiler
On 28/06/2018 at 11:28 PM, Stan` said:

Those are good ideas. Maybe @Prodigal Son could consider some of them for the design document.

It's missing sockets :P

I wish you had a coding team working on DE as well. 

On 16/07/2018 at 1:47 PM, Stan` said:

Well currently remaining active devs ( I'm counting an average of 2.5 these days) are trying to make the game compliant to European law to at least have the opportunity to be able to fix those.

For everything gameplay related ask both @Itms and @Prodigal Son directly (by Pm for example) as they are rewriting the gameplay document to make it a versionned contributable way of discussing gameplay. They'll know more about it than any of us here. Even though : "its a bug that needs to be fixed"

If you have suggestions for Delenda Est which for now is basically the most popular gameplay mod there is ( according to download stats) you can go in the relevant modding section.

For the matter here patches are better than words. Minor bugfixes are easy heh.

 

Thanks for coming back and contributing in your own way.

On 18/08/2018 at 5:08 PM, Stan` said:

Of course this will have to be added edited by @Itms and @Prodigal Son in their documents. If it is to be included of course.

But to me:

A Stunnable entity is an entity that instead of dying when its health reach 0 just falls down on the battlefield. When friendly units arrive nearby a bar charges with a given timeout and if they stay around for enough time the unit goes back to life. If you don't stick around the bat discharge to 0.

This ability will be configurable. The timeout will be variable, and the unit can have a limited or an unlimited amount of revival for potential scenarios. An entity can be optionally dropped on knockout like a grave.

The bar charging could be a bar or stars filling up as long as the feeling of progression is conserved.

 

On 11/09/2018 at 10:42 AM, Stan` said:

Actually the fact that it isn't planned isn't true. There is work being made on a design document to help us tackle features and mechanics. It is being worked on by @Itms and @Prodigal Son behind the scenes.

On 08/01/2019 at 8:04 PM, Stan` said:

@DarcReaver:  @Prodigal Son is. His current task is to scrap everything from the old design document and make it usable again.  He has been working on it for a few months now, because the old one was a mess, and there were a lot of outdated stuff, stuff that didn't belong etc. From what I understood at the last conference I did with Itms, we will release it publicly when he is done. I'm not in touch with @Prodigal Son, only @Itms is, so if you want more informations about the ETA or the global plan you'd have to ask either one of them.

This document will be a GitBook Markdown document, where everyone can submit patches to make it evolve. As to who can review such patches, I don't know so I can't give an answer.

 

@Prodigal Son@Itms@Stan` Are there any news on this?

I don't know about your internal plans (though I would like to :rolleyes:) so thought it would be a good idea to encourage you tackling this before entering Beta, otherwise I fear there won't be a major reform to overall gameplay of 0 A.D. ever. Just referring to the post of feneur when announcing the switch at the project leader position, because already at that time it seemed Beta is on the horizon - however I have the impression that I'm not the only person who prefers the necessary overhauls before going forward...

On 13/11/2016 at 7:37 PM, feneur said:

[...] Now I've found the perfect replacement: Nicolas Auvray, also known as Itms on the forums and in the IRC channels. He has been a part of the project for several years now, and has proved to be a valuable contributor, a sensible and thoughtful leader, and a good friend. I asked him whether he wanted to take over the leadership, after careful consideration he said yes and we presented the possibility to the team who agreed it was a good choice to move forward with Nicolas as the leader.

I have confidence he will revitalize the team and work to guide 0 A.D. through the Alpha process and into Beta and beyond. [...]

Edited by Palaxin
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  • 2 weeks later...

So it is decided this game removes all arcadeness and goes for "realism" instead of "ability to play a game"?

 

That's sad, I'd like to see more into individual units and where each unit has special abilities that are relevant to the battle. With only 20-30 units in total and you feel each loss dearly. Instead of a group of units and making "big fake numbers".

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