Potential for further integration beyond Armada?

Strategic Mod for Vega Strike with tactical and combat view. Currently set in WC universe, but moddable.

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Potential for further integration beyond Armada?

Postby ag_vertigo » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:05 pm

I was curious and haven't seen it mentioned:

What would be involved in further expanding PiArmada in the future to support multiple playstyles and/or realtime ship movements? (As an example, being able to run a privateer remake style game inside it, possibly having missions affecting either the Terran or Kilrathi capships/fighters as you did blockade running or bounty missions), Possibly going so far as to have realtime ship movements going on, not just jumping between systems, but flying between waypoints, perhaps a few minute 'simulation' of ship manufacture, etc. This part would likely be not be worth the trouble by itself, obviously, but included with the following perhaps less so.

My second half, which could work either way is:
What would be involved in adding support for other capships, multiple capship movements, multiple generations of starbase types, etc. I'm thinking along the lines of a true 'Wing Commander Universe' consisting of every known generation of ship from WC1/WC2/Privateer/Academy/Armada Thus allowing longer and more varied gameplay (Esp if jump drive restrictions were imposed, no more transferring arrows between systems without a capship carrying them, for example.) The other option I would mention would be optional weapon loadouts, based on the missle hardpoints available (For example the as far as I remember unused Epee assault loadout with the two HS's and the one torpedo replacing the two fuselage mounted dumbfires (May have been sans hs and with dumbfires, I can't find my WC2 manual to confirm).

Anyways, I just bring these up because they're large enough features to warrant discussion of the pros and cons of implementation while the project is relatively young and pondering major architectural shifts anyways.

I welcome feedback on these ideas.
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Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:30 pm

Combining strategy and sim style plays is my dream of dreams, but it's probably a lot of work, and this project, it seems to me, is short of developers. If anything like what you describe is implemented, I'd be the first to push for integration with WCU. But someone's gotta code all that, first. And before anyone can code it, it needs to be fully specified, like what are the interfaces like for first person and strategy play, and how the styles are combined or transitioned between, etceteras. I once had a plan for having holographic display tables in capships' command rooms, so that you could watch the strategic situation and issue orders Homeworld-like; but like I said, someone's got to code it.
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Postby legine » Sat Sep 01, 2007 4:06 am

Hmm, basicly I do not want to stick to the Wing Commander Armada concept. If anyone wants to play WC Armada you can do that already.

I think it is a could starting point thought. The startegic concept is useful and nice.

Now looking at beyond current state.

Introduceing more shiptypes and variable weaplayout.
This is in fact an question that has to be discussed in the longrun. I think it would change the game therefor I would like to keep it as option that can be switched off. WC armada has its power on simplicity. So I think to have the basic game in basic and add that with features you wish through a configure gamescreen.

In general I wont touch the current shipconcept as long I dont have support on balancing, artwork and conceptsscreens and stuff.
If you realy are interested I would be happy to read about your concept and comment it. Maybe we can take this to can be developed status then this only is a matter of time.

Multiplayer
is on whishlist and I think I will implement this someday. It is stuck on the point that I need to do integration first.

Missions
If the stuff works as ace123 thought it could work this will be introduced soon. I mean in order to get a new planet you have to accomplish a mission. which can be countered by the opponent. and stuff. I dont know yet how exactly I will do it. but I will comeback to it after basic functionality returns.

I think there are different ways to implement these.
1st.) succeed in battle to win a planet.
2nd) you need to choose one among differnet missions in order to win a planet. That can be countered by own missions by your oponent.
[ concept needed...]
3rd) you need to make little campagne (chooseable as pacage like stealth, open attack, spy) with different outcome. each campagne is 2 to 4 missions long or something.
[ more concept]

again it is IMHO important to modularise so game can be set up as whished. I think this mission thing can be interesting in multiplayer game...
And i would like to package the stuff in small packages soit is easy to concept and developed them. Aim is to introduce new features as soon as possible to make the gamedevelopment interesting to follow. Maybe that makes the project more alive.

ships + tech development
on whishlist. Will need a concept thought. Talk of this with d_ted a while ago. Again this will bring up the ship model question so I think for now this topics are linked. Maybe starting to introduce devlopment sheme only for fighter in game first. I.E starting only with scout ship and you need developing stuff in order to get the other ships. With this approach we get research facility in place without haveing to worry about balanceing. (see above)

maps + interface stuff
Cool 3d Maps is a dream of omega and me. I personly want dynamic maps and possible animations on them. I fear this will be difficult.

At first I thought to hug onto the map system but I will stick with the base Idea that ace123 told me for now. When this is done I try to figure out if these things can be interlinked. I mean haveing same abilities while flight and Strategic phase would be cool.

I am also ponding to take a look into the OGRE framework and maybe take the stuff from there. But again that is realy beyond momentary scope.

For now focus is on integration.
I take one small chump to swallow at a time. There will give no release times ever. (Even if I know that this could be done fast) because I want to keep my pressure low. I have enough pressure at work and for now I got the green lights from my boss when this here wont interfere with my work. And I love my work so I will make sure all lives in harmony. If you realy want something join up. I support you as good I can, as the others do I am sure. So far the support of developers what all I can think of. Very kind and helpfull. :D Thanks a lot at this point.

so much for now.
Cheers
Peter
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Postby Dilloh » Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:34 pm

legine wrote:I think it is a could starting point thought. The startegic concept is useful and nice.
I'm sorry to jump into this, Legine. I'm no dev but I've been playing armada via LAN in my youth against some friends of mine. I hope you're open for general criticism (towards the original Armada of course). I think the original concept is poor, both concerning strategic as well as action elements. To clarify my thoughts
  • The resources are ending. That's a general problem with many games, like WarCraft for instance. You're forced to exploit all planetary ressources as soon as possible. Star Trek Armada solved this by having some moons with unlimited dilithium. I'd suggest to go this way, or make resources only deplete when you switch to the exploit modus in hard times.
  • No matter how many ships you throw into a battle, the maximum number of ships per side participating in the battle is two. At the time a ship is being destroyed, another ship summons from your fleet. This concept makes battles senseless, for two ships can face a whole armada, technically. I guess this was a technical limitation for Armada was a "demo" of WC3's ingame engine on low-end PCs.
  • All ships are totally unbalanced. An Arrow is no Match to a Banshee, though it should be agile enough to outrun a bomber and eventually beat it. But with an Arrow, you simply cannot break the shields of a Banshee. I'd suggest to give ships better roles, and yes, more available ships could fill some gaps. So you could also have sensor arrays to detect the enemy carrier, or orbital weapon arms to defend yourself against enemy troops (in case there's something like this in wc-canon).
  • If you're heading for multiplayer, make sure that more than two people can participate, and that there's a chance for a coop-mode.
I would like to keep it as option that can be switched off.
Good idea!
WC armada has its power on simplicity.
I fear I must disagree, to me armada was disappointing. Go for the Banshee, exploit all planets, nuke the enemy carrier, game over. No chance to develop a strategy for this was the only one. I played this game against guys who solely kicked up to seven enemy asses in games like C&C or WarCraft II, but in Armada we were all equal. Just too simple, IMHO.
I mean in order to get a new planet you have to accomplish a mission.
Just an idea, instead of inventing new missions, I think you could attract a lot of players to the singleplayer-campaign by using WC canonity as a background. You could let the player "replay" the WC3 part of the war, use the missions as your drawboard, and smoothly push the player into this direction. It could be a "race": You start the single player campaign e.g. for the feds, and your first mission is to attack some Dralthis around planet x. The AI-controlled cats also have a mission 1, it could be to destroy a base in planet y. As soon as a side got enough resources and ships, it attacks, and proceeds to level (mission) 2, while the other player is still stuck at the first mission. The more successful side conquers more and more planets, gets more resources, and ultimatively destroys Kilrah or conquers Earth.
ships + tech development
If you decided to go for the mission race concept, technology could be a matter of how fast you approach. Mission 5 enables the Arrow, as an example. Or, make technology a matter of sideplots, so you need to evade from your ultimate goal (nuke Kilrah) and instead defend a strategic unimportant system - either they say just "thank you", or they give you something: a new weapon, a new ship; or you even just go out and defend a firekkan transport and therefor they'll help you out later.

Again, those are just some ideas of mine. 80% of this is already doable within the current engine.

Uhm, and sorry if this thread wasn't meant to place comments... just move my post then
:oops:
Last edited by Dilloh on Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby legine » Sun Sep 02, 2007 3:01 am

Dilloh

'm sorry to jump into this, Legine.
I'm no dev but I've been playing armada via LAN in my youth against some friends of mine.

Beeing not a dev is not bad at all and makes you not less equal then me ;).
Your opinion is most welcome since you did multiplayer back then (well every constructive comment is welcomme, but someone who still remeber how it was is worth to me :P ). I always considered Armada more as a multiplayer game then a single player. I just remember that Armada was to simple for me. So I did not played it very long because there was so view things to explore! (With other words Long time gaming motivation was pretty short on singleplayer side)

Lets go to your points.

The resources are ending.
I know that feeling. I usually win my battles by outliving my enemy :P
I think unlimited resources are not a good way to get a good balancing. If we unlimited the resources then the resource gain is the most strategic factor in the game.
But basically you are right. Having limitation on resources can be very annoying in long time games.
I do not know if anyone ever played the Japanese chess called shogi. In this game you have similar units to the europe chess. If on unit is lost on battlefield you get that unit in your reserve and you are allowed to place it again on the battlefield as a turn. We could use the same principle by adding the losses in a battle to the planets resources. So overall resources aviable stays the same (which would mark a natural unit limitation.) but you can always build something as long as you are winning your battles. I think Star Craft had this salvage model too. Which is far better to balance from my point of view then pushing more and more resource in the game as time is advancing.
What do you think?

No matter how many ships you throw into a battle, the maximum number of ships per side participating in the battle is two.

Now that you mention that I remember this was one of the things on the game which made it boring. I was a pretty good pilot back then against the computer and I was able to win complete battle with a minimum of ships and losses.
I wont implement that. Ships you throw in battle will show up there too.
You have a point.
All ships are totally unbalanced.

Well. I had my own preference but I didnt know maybe I build banshees too. But remembering right, balancing wasnt the Issue in wc2 either. A heavy fighter Sabre was god while driving a bomber was pain in the bud.
I will start off with balancing of the VS game itself. But I want to see that the overall balancing works and the fighters can take the role they are supposed to have and that they are useful in a way or the other.
If you're heading for multiplayer, make sure that more than two people can participate, and that there's a chance for a coop-mode.

Wow wow wow. That is not totally my restriction. I will use the multiplayer interface of VS. Of course I hope you can set all up in various ways, but I do not really know.
But in general piArmada multiplayer should allow coop mode and more then 2 participants to the game because it is normal to day to have this functionality.
I fear I must disagree, to me armada was disappointing. Go for the Banshee, exploit all planets, nuke the enemy carrier, game over. No chance to develop a strategy for this was the only one. I played this game against guys who solely kicked up to seven enemy asses in games like C&C or WarCraft II, but in Armada we were all equal. Just too simple, IMHO.

Cant disagree. Thats why I do not want to remake it. i want to take it beyond. I like the simplicity, because you have non. Not everyone is a strategic mastermind, but if two want to play, simplicity can help to give them the 1h fun they would invest in a strategic game anyways. Low entrance point. Complicity as you gain experience and you can memorize more features... Thats the Idea.

Just an idea, instead of inventing new missions, I think you could attract...

Well I think I know what you mean. Lets take it low. In general yes I would like to get the game in this direction. Well not exactly but kinda :twisted:

The Idea is on more difficult levels you do not control the macro economy directly (like in the easy setup) the economy can be influenced more and more indirectly. For example you wont be able to build a mine on a planet, thats out of your control, instead you have to secure the trading routs so resources and people can get on the planet. After some rounds you get resources as military funds... (Maybe the thought of limited resources has to be changed, and the gain of resources is the factor that matters then.

I like the Idea with the technology thought.

For now it is the simple game like introduced with Armada with the lone goal to destroy the enemy carrier. If you wish with better balancing and multiplayer. but for now thats what I can realistically do. the other stuff and most of this stuff are dreams. In order to realize them I need help!
We will see what this becomes. I hope I have made the right decisions and the game will move in the right direction.
If you have any Ideas beyond the scope of the game plz continue. I will keep commenting them in order to collect Ideas I can pick later on.

Hope my english isnt to bad ... :(

cheerio.
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Postby Dilloh » Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:35 am

The resources are ending (...) What do you think?
:) It's your baby, I'm just trying to reflect a player's point of view. But I just recalled Star Trek: Birth of the Federation. It has unlimited resources, but a clever trick to limit your fleet: The number of ships supportable is being restricted by your empire's population. More ships cost an awful lot of money then. You could make use of this too, so rocky resource planets would be an advantage for getting production units, whereas class m planets are needed to put in your people.
I will start off with balancing of the VS game itself. But I want to see that the overall balancing works and the fighters can take the role they are supposed to have and that they are useful in a way or the other.
Good. The WCU ship pack should have most of the Armada ships, as well as a basic balance.
I hope I have made the right decisions and the game will move in the right direction.
As I said, Armada was boring and sort of a demo. You cannot mess it up any further :lol:
Hope my english isnt to bad ...
I'm german too, so no problem :roll:
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Postby legine » Sat Sep 08, 2007 12:09 am

Isn't the players point of view all that counts?
I haven't made up my mind yet what to do. So any opinion is helpful even if I give massive arguments against it I may change my mind. I seldom carve things in stone.

It has unlimited resources, a clever trick to limit your fleet: The number of ships supportable is being restricted by your empire's population.


Yea I know. The similar Idea is used by Battle for Wesnoth. It is a good approach. Will think about that.
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