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Framework Sneak Peek

Discuss the sequel to Planet Stronghold here
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jack1974
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby jack1974 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:29 pm

We're planning to include both, ammo will take "slot space", so you can't carry unlimited ammo. And each ammo has different "weight" or "space". For example ammo for a big cannon will require more space than a 5mm gun :lol:
As for the ammo abundance outside battles, it will be one of the many factor influenced by the difficulty level, so playing in Easy mode will be basically impossible to run out of ammo, but in Hard/Iron Mode, ammo will be scarce. Of course, talking about "special ammo", since the most basic ammo that does less damage and has no special effects (burning, armor piercing, etc) will always be available (otherwise you couldn't fight lol).

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby Anima_ » Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:49 pm

I am sad to read you were sick. Hope all is well now.

Thanks. It's gotten better but we are checking if it's chronic at the moment.

It's pretty much like Jack said, we don't have something concrete yet and the direction given may change along the way.
Personally I'm partial to your idea to link ammunition to the base building mine game.
On easy less ammunition will be necessary in the first place, since battles will be shorter.
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby Seloun » Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:29 am

Anima_ wrote:Ammunition that is not stored in a weapon or magazine is stored in a container inside the inventory. Each type having it's own container. At the end of an encounter the equipped weapons and magazines are automatically reloaded from the container.


That's actually a pretty elegant way to handle all consumable items, I think - a 'magazine' for combat usage which is refilled from a shared resource pool automatically between combats (e.g. medkits with charges refilled from a pool of medical inventory). A nice abstraction for usable items in general (limited use per fight, fully reusables could just be magazines filling from an infinite pool).

I'd be concerned about the level of micromanaging ammo types could introduce, though, especially given the large number of weapon categories. I suppose Bioshock-type route might be reasonable, with only one or two special types of ammo per category, and specific to the weapon category to accommodate the nature of the weapon. It's somewhat unclear if what's being managed is the ammo or the magazines (e.g. are magazines abstracted? or do you have to actually have a 'flaming small arms magazine' to use the ammo?). I rather like the magazine idea better with ammo being abstracted (maybe some ammos cost more ammo points) since that tends to force more interesting choices about selections (maybe flaming is the best choice, but you've only got two); ammo being the managed element means you could generally swap your entire squad out being fights, which makes ammo choice somewhat less significant. That's probably less of a distinction for the specialized weapon categories, since presumably you'll only have one or two typically with specialized weapons, making the choice of switching out the party ammo pretty much identical to switching out individuals' ammo. Also would discourage stacking weapon types if you knew you only would get one e.g. rapid fire sniper ammo magazine; I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. A mixed approach is always possible I suppose (magazine-based for small arms, ammo-based for specialty arms).

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby Anima_ » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:19 am

Seloun wrote:That's actually a pretty elegant way to handle all consumable items, I think - a 'magazine' for combat usage which is refilled from a shared resource pool automatically between combats (e.g. medkits with charges refilled from a pool of medical inventory). A nice abstraction for usable items in general (limited use per fight, fully reusables could just be magazines filling from an infinite pool).
We do already have a refill mechanic planned. I'm not sure if we'll abstract usable items to that degree, but it's an interesting idea.
I'd be concerned about the level of micromanaging ammo types could introduce, though, especially given the large number of weapon categories. I suppose Bioshock-type route might be reasonable, with only one or two special types of ammo per category, and specific to the weapon category to accommodate the nature of the weapon. It's somewhat unclear if what's being managed is the ammo or the magazines (e.g. are magazines abstracted? or do you have to actually have a 'flaming small arms magazine' to use the ammo?). I rather like the magazine idea better with ammo being abstracted (maybe some ammos cost more ammo points) since that tends to force more interesting choices about selections (maybe flaming is the best choice, but you've only got two); ammo being the managed element means you could generally swap your entire squad out being fights, which makes ammo choice somewhat less significant. That's probably less of a distinction for the specialized weapon categories, since presumably you'll only have one or two typically with specialized weapons, making the choice of switching out the party ammo pretty much identical to switching out individuals' ammo. Also would discourage stacking weapon types if you knew you only would get one e.g. rapid fire sniper ammo magazine; I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. A mixed approach is always possible I suppose (magazine-based for small arms, ammo-based for specialty arms).

We generally work on the level of ammunition. Magazines themselves are only specific to the weapon category (I'm thinking about putting sniper rifle ammunition in the same group and simply create a kinetic weapon ammunition group. The ammunition would then determine the used equipment capacity.) While we discussed the magazine level model, Jack decided that we'll go with the ammunition level.
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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby Seloun » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:19 am

Anima_ wrote:We generally work on the level of ammunition. Magazines themselves are only specific to the weapon category (I'm thinking about putting sniper rifle ammunition in the same group and simply create a kinetic weapon ammunition group. The ammunition would then determine the used equipment capacity.) While we discussed the magazine level model, Jack decided that we'll go with the ammunition level.

Hmm - so you should be able to switch out the entire party's ammo types between fights as soon as you can access them? Assuming the ammo pool will support that usage, that is. That seems to raise the balance range based on min/maxing ammo, and thus the how much impact ammo should have on the fight to be somewhat lower than if it was magazine based. Alternatively means knowing enemy weaknesses or comp becomes even more important.

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby jack1974 » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:32 am

Yes magazines was more realistic, but was an extra layer of difficulty in coding and also for the interface, and besides I don't think it was really needed. If I remember correctly most recent games using weapon+ammo works the same (XCOM, Borderlands 2, etc).
Seloun wrote:That seems to raise the balance range based on min/maxing ammo, and thus the how much impact ammo should have on the fight to be somewhat lower than if it was magazine based.

well since even the ammo containers take space, you won't be able to carry ALL the ammo you want in the battle. So you'll have to choose. More ammo for the machineguns, or more missiles for the bazooka, etc. Of course as I said, the basic ammo will be unlimited but that will be the most low damage ammo available.

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby Seloun » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:44 am

jack1974 wrote:Yes magazines was more realistic, but was an extra layer of difficulty in coding and also for the interface, and besides I don't think it was really needed. If I remember correctly most recent games using weapon+ammo works the same (XCOM, Borderlands 2, etc).
...
well since even the ammo containers take space, you won't be able to carry ALL the ammo you want in the battle. So you'll have to choose. More ammo for the machineguns, or more missiles for the bazooka, etc. Of course as I said, the basic ammo will be unlimited but that will be the most low damage ammo available.


What I meant is that you could for example bring all fire ammo for fight A, then bring all shock ammo (or whatever) for fight B - that is, you can switch out the entire party at once as long as your stores are sufficient. This would be contrasted by e.g. having 2 fire magazines, which limits over the entire party how much ammo of that type you can bring per fight; assuming the magazines are placed like guns (you can't arbitrarily make more, just refill them) this provides some hard limits on things that have to be considered for balancing encounters (e.g. you can know that the party will not have more than 2 magazines worth of fire ammo in a given fight). I seem to remember this sort of system being used before in similar games, though I can't think of an example offhand (where ammo type is treated as effectively as a discrete mod rather than as 'loose' ammo).

I'm not saying either system is better, just highlighting what I see as the consequence - being able to switch out the entire party at once readily will generally mean that correct ammo selection will be more important than if it was artificially limited like in the magazine model (although this is not the only way to limit it) => raises the player's skill cap.

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby jack1974 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:38 am

Yes I understand what you mean. In the game will be more like, there's mission Y, what do you bring with you? then I'll probably offer a mission briefing with some info (maybe some unlocked through quests or items or skills) but in the actual battlefield there could be unexpected events (side missions and more) that will mess up your original plan, to add an element of surprise.
An example of the magazine system is the excellent Silent Storm game (one of the best tactical RPG I've played).

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby Seloun » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:47 am

jack1974 wrote:Yes I understand what you mean. In the game will be more like, there's mission Y, what do you bring with you? then I'll probably offer a mission briefing with some info (maybe some unlocked through quests or items or skills) but in the actual battlefield there could be unexpected events (side missions and more) that will mess up your original plan, to add an element of surprise.
An example of the magazine system is the excellent Silent Storm game (one of the best tactical RPG I've played).


Well, I don't think Silent Storm's system was what I was thinking about regarding a magazine system (though yes, the game was pretty amazing). What I was referring to is more like Mass Effect 1's system where the ammo is actually essentially a gun upgrade component and non-fungible. The important part is not that the ammo is grouped as magazines, but that you only can have N magazines of a specific type of ammo (where N is much less than your maximum magazine capacity). E.g. if you have two fire ammo magazines, that's the most fire ammo you can bring, even if you have plenty of fire ammo and plenty of item slots to bring magazines.

The possible issue (and this may not actually be an issue) is that with loose ammo will generally result in a wider variance in the party performance since you can make a much more drastic switch in ammo selection than if your ammo selection is limited. That means that the gap between min-maxing and not min-maxing will be larger. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the consequence is likely that the skill cap will be higher with loose ammo (fungible) versus limited selection.

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Re: Framework Sneak Peek

Postby jack1974 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:02 am

Ah OK I understand what you mean now. Well the "container size" or basically "how much special ammo of each type" could change based on the difficulty level maybe ? Right now is still in the early stages, for example I haven't decided how many different ammo types there will be in the game. Maybe it would be better if ammo wasn't reusable between weapons categories? like for example, there would be Laser Pistol Ammo, Laser Rifle Ammo, and so on? Maybe this way would make more sense since some weapons would be better used by specific Classes?


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