SuperNova II: Space War Discussion

A space strategy macromanagement game with turnbased battles.
KnockOut
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Post by KnockOut » Tue Jul 10, 2007 1:13 am

I just got a chance to play the one hour demo version of Master of Orion 3. They use sort of a percentage system. However, it's difficult to see how a change in percentage affects the game. The one thing I did like about the game was the spying. That was a lot of fun. In Ant War, when you change the number of nurse ants you can visibily see the change in the number of ants you get whereas when I adjusted the degree of technology percentage in MoO 3 it was hard to tell what happened.

In Space War, I think if you assign a larger percentage to scientists for example, you should just get technology points which you can spend as you chose.

I want to see clearly visible effects from where I put my percentages. In short, don't use anything from MoO 3 except for the spy system which is quite a great deal of fun. Just reading what my spies were doing brought a lot of enjoyment!

As for the board game portion, I read the GameFAQ for Advance Wars and it seems like the right idea however it is extremely complex. I tried looking for board games and computer board games to help suggest ideas to model the game on and I couldn't find any.

The elements to include of course are terrain(black holes, planets, etc.); rock, paper, scissors; movement rates; and unique units.

Other than that I'm out of ideas.

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Post by jack1974 » Tue Jul 10, 2007 12:46 pm

Well you picked MO3 that was a very controversial episode (even amongst the fan of the original serie too). It has too much details and too many menu-submenu :p
And indeed as you pointed out, you had the impression of wasting lot of time to change/adjust the various setting but no real/visible effect. This sux, is exactly how I don't want to make my game. It will have instant changes, once you adjust settings you'll see the effects in next turn.
About the board/wargame don't worry, I think I have some very good ideas on how to make it fun but at the same time not too much complex or based only to "who has more firepower will win" 8)

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Post by Astral » Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:18 pm

It will have instant changes, once you adjust settings you'll see the effects in next turn.
I think you make yet another good point that could translate into Tower of Destiny, in terms of rewards.

Many games give lousy rewards even after a challenging fight. You enter a really big fight, not necessarily against the main boss, and you consume all your special skills, mana, nearly all your HP, and finally win a very tough battle. Then you are rewarded for a long and hard-fought victory with a +5% water elemental amulet.

Oh, Great! For all my efforts and practically depleting all my assets I receive such small compensation. Now, my next fight will give me 5% vs. 0% (on a 100% scale) against water damage. Big deal!

Now suppose I had received a 50% water elemental amulet I would be more happy because my hard efforts were justified by a great reward. Plus, that amulet's effect I will see its impact in helping me in the next fight. I won't see any benefit from the 5% one until many fights later down the line.

I think most gamers like to see some kind of instant effect (gratification) when they receive something, especilally when they worked hard to achieve it. Obviously, you don't want the reward to be too great but something that will be useful in the next few fights, not something that will be useful much later in the game. What's the point of equipping it if it can't help you now?

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Post by KnockOut » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:48 pm

I was thinking about how I really enjoyed the spy element in MOO3 and how I really liked the opprosometer. Well, in your percentage of resource allocations you have two new options Intelligence Agencies and Counter Terrorism Measures. There's a lot of resources that go into highering an effective spy. Agent's Jack Bauer and 007 have a lot of resources and money behind them :P And the computer automatically picks the optimal amount of scientific, economic, etc. spies.

Counter Terrorism measures would be like invasions of privacy etc. They would reduce enemy spy rate success but they would also reduce resource and technology generation.

There's also this game called Balance of Power II by Chris Crawford which is overally complex but showed that playing Cold War's could be a lot of fun. You said in future expansion packs you wanted to introduce ground battles. Think of the Symmetry SuperNova II: Space War, :Ground War, and :Cold War.

There would be six other empires in the galaxy and there would be a galactic senate. The senate could force the blood legion and blue army into temporary peace. You would also try to ratify bills that would favor you, etc. And you would try to change the government to one that would support you by giving money and troops to rebel insurgents. And you would give money and troops to governments that supported you to prevent them being ousted. And, giving too much money and troops could cause problems for the senate.

Again, this is probably something for a expansion pack. But better to think and have it in mind when you're coding than to perhaps put some code in that would make such changes difficult in the future.

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Post by jack1974 » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:27 pm

To Astral: I agree in part, even if there shouldn't always be the rule hard battle=big reward. Depends how the rpg is structured too. If you have to do a specific hard battle to pass a crucial point of the story, that is already the reward. Beside in RPG the real reward is XP, so tougher monsters=more XP.

To Knockout: yes spying would be another good idea for expansion packs. Also other factions as well. For now I have the player choose from only the classic red/blue but indeed I could structure the code already in a way that would be easy to add other factions (green, yellow, etc). Better prepare today the ground for future expansion, indeed 8)

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Post by KnockOut » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:53 pm

Well, I didn't mean other factions as in wars on other fronts. You wouldn't be able to fight the other empires. In fact their planets wouldn't be on the screen. You'd just be able to negotiate with their empires for science, trade, etc and try to sway their vote in the senate. I like the idea of a red versus blue holy war and the other empires don't want to get directly involved. However, trading some resources for their technology and ships is another thing entirely.

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Post by jack1974 » Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:13 pm

Ahh ok now I understand what you mean. Yes that could be interesting, having to trade some resources to get exlcusive technologies or weapons.

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Post by jack1974 » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:46 am

As I posted on the blog, I'm doing the resource screen now. Is taking long because that is the core of the game so must be careful to balance everything. I wrote I will have unlimited resources, but was wondering if I should have a population limit instead. Like with current starsystem you can have max 100 billion population - and if you want to increase it, you're forced to expand.
That could be ok - you could still produce units/research/etc, but you would have a population cap, this way would limit your progress speed until you conquer more planets.

Ahh tough decisions.... :roll:

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Post by KnockOut » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:09 pm

Remember, about starting simple and then gradually becoming more complex is to try to avoid the code becoming a mess. It's a common problem for a lot of games that patch and improve over time such as roguelike's etc. The source code eventually becomes a mess. As a corellary to your painting analogy you used, you want your painting to be as close to an open canvas as possible.

You want it to be easy to add new allocatable resources(such as spying funds, etc) to your science, resources, military, and population model. You want it to be easy to add new planets. You want it to be easy to add spying/diplomacy elements(Use Balance of Power II as the diplomacy model and add as spying as a percentage rather than a seperate tab). You want it to be easy to add new random events.

So remember when coding to think about how to streamline things to make adding future code easy for patches in the future.

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Post by jack1974 » Sun Jul 15, 2007 5:43 pm

Yes, I'm doing that indeed. I think I also found a good way to put the resources, but I'm going to experiment more next week. Meanwhile I am making the starmap with starsystems and the routes you can take to conquer it, a fun diversive :)

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