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 Post subject: How to do city simulating in MP?
PostPosted: 06 Mar 2007, 14:05 
Knight
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Well some things are important:
How on earth do you want to make it MP?

My ideas. Every building has a building time, you might know games like Ogame and such, games in which you build nations. Well make it something like that I say. Games you can easely leave for 24 hours, so you won't have to commit 4 hours in a row to it (no-one can find that time).

PvP (player vs player), that's important. I'd say make a map on which a player start in every corner. His goal is to become the most important player on the map. No warfare is involved (sorry Bio), so every player has to expand his city, make money (Ports, Roads, etc).

I'd say that games shouldn't take too long, that would make them boring.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 06 Mar 2007, 14:18 
Game Developer
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Quote:
How on earth do you want to make it MP?

good point!

Quote:
My ideas. Every building has a building time, you might know games like Ogame and such, games in which you build nations. Well make it something like that I say. Games you can easely leave for 24 hours, so you won't have to commit 4 hours in a row to it (no-one can find that time).

real-time vs. turn-based! which one is preferrable?

Quote:
PvP (player vs player), that's important. I'd say make a map on which a player start in every corner. His goal is to become the most important player on the map. No warfare is involved (sorry Bio), so every player has to expand his city, make money (Ports, Roads, etc).

limited warfare! no troups.

Quote:
I'd say that games shouldn't take too long, that would make them boring.

Good point!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2007, 01:21 
Knight
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You can make it turn based, however with that you quickly get long games.
I think you can keep peoples attention for one game for 1-2 weeks, after that that single game becomes boring. After that someone decides if the game is addicting or not (ie. he continues or stops). Having fast games is important, however when you want a fast turn based game (6 hour timelimit in AO) you miss turns. And you don't want that as that is irritating. So I'd say that real time, drop in drop out mode is the best. Make it so that later in the game you can build faster (you have more "builders").

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2007, 02:45 
Knight
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i'd preffer the realtime version, and can live with corporate espionge

base your turn points on cash you have you can only bulid destroy or invent with money in your hand you run out up become unable to expand

as you grow your income grows and so does what you can do

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2007, 09:00 
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not so sure what you mean by real time? I would prefer a system for the game where you do not have to be online at the same time as the other players, but still you can if you like. That makes it flexible. Also, there could possibly be different "real-time" variants?

  1. Real-Time (Original): the original one where everyone is online and a game lasts from 1-4 hours.
  2. Real-Time "Turn-Based" (alas Blitz): It's turn-based with turns from 1-15 minutes per turn
  3. Real-Time "Accumulating": You can login anytime - the time constantly progresses. You usually get 1 point per hour which will allow you to slowly build your city. You can login once a day or multiple times a day to build your city etc. You need points/money to submit orders (commonly used in massive multiplayer web-based games)
  4. Real-Time Other?

Which one should it be? 1 & 3 could both be possible at the same time!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2007, 09:57 
Knight
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#3, as that's the best for players who want to be active and for players who don't always want to be active

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2007, 10:02 
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what about turn based? would that make sense?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2007, 10:04 
Knight
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Nah, not with this kind of a game. AO is over in 20 turns, and that can be long. In games like these I don't think you even have a proper village by the time you have reached 20 turns. You could always try tho

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Mar 2007, 21:50 
Mercenary
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Quote:
I'd say that games shouldn't take too long, that would make them boring.


u could offer an option for an endless game ("sandkasten"?) where peaceful builder fetishists can have their fun as long as they want... would also be good for noobs to experiment a little...

Quote:
#3, as that's the best for players who want to be active and for players who don't always want to be active


hmmm, maybe you�re right, but all online games with this make up i started playing failed to keep me motivated. (but maybe that happened only because i found ao... ;) )
:???: for a build up game it may be the only way that makes sense.
could u offer two speeds? like, so that a player who does not want to check every day and one who has time to check every hour would both be satisfied? (specification: a game style with 1 point per hour and one with, let�s say 2, or 5 points per hour, or a blitz game with 10 per hour... you got the message.) ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2007, 00:06 
Knight
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3 for me too, view poll post

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2007, 04:02 
Freeman
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Joined: 03 Feb 2007, 10:32
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i agree on #3

i would never be able to successfully play only the realtime version, let's say, 2 hours a day (they don't pay me for this ;) )

i think the best would be some mechanism to let you login and play whenever u want, then the progress will go on its own.

maybe an order queue would help. let's say, i plan not to login for a week, so i create a long order queue. when logging in again, i'd like to be able to modify my order queue.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2007, 22:17 
Mercenary
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an order queue, yes, or even a simple auto pilot...

let�s say you prepare for a technological breakthrough, you�ll just activate an a.i. focused on research an it will build up a beautiful it-sector for u whenever there are building points available. that way you could go on holiday for two weeks and your endless game will not be messed up... (a.i. should not be able to do special operations like spy on other�s tech or sabotage or whatever u may think of).

the idea is like in imperium galactica II: you put in a "governor" for

-civilist buildings (or social)
or
-technology
or
-industrial stuff (may be specified)
or
-intelligence centers

...you get the idea.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 08 Mar 2007, 23:51 
Freeman
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Joined: 03 Feb 2007, 10:32
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yes, something like this... anyway, the principle should be to allow "ordinary" progress go ahead unattended, otherwise one could not leave the game for some days....

maybe an alert system would be nice. in case of a dramatic event (your opponents attacking you, earthquake, whatever) an email will be sent by your governors ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2007, 18:10 
Freeman
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006, 18:23
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My ideas on this.

First, game mechanics:

Behind the scenes (things the computer sees and the players don't), there's no difference between realtime and turnbased. Every T realtime seconds/minutes/hours/days/... the clock ticks, the game time advances one unit, all introduced orders (build/move/attack/...), multi-turn orders (things already building/moving/attacking from previous orders) and game events (weather, outside influences, god events, etc) are processed.

The difference between Realtime and Turnbased games is that for the former a turn happens every few seconds/minutes and there's no waiting for player orders while for the later a turn happens at longer intervals and the game may (or may not) wait for all the players to introduce their orders.

Note that for realtime games, more powerfull servers will be needed as game turns happen much more frequently.


So, my .02:

- Realtime game with longhaul and blitz variants. Longhaul: 1 hour realtime = 1 year game time. Blitz: 1 minute realtime = 1 year gametime (or whatever the game time units are). In this way, blitz games go fast and longhaul go slow.


- For player orders we have two possible scenarios:

1. The AO model: each order has a specific spending point cost, if the player has spending points he can introduce an order. The player receives spending points each T time, according to the game rules (number of buildings owned, number of employees/thugs, etc). In this case, spending points accumulate with time, maybe with some being lost with attrition so that the player doesn't accumulate a zillion spending points.

2. Every order costs a specific amount of money, the player can introduce a new order if he has the money for it. The player receives money according to the things he owns, etc. 'nough said.


I think I prefer the first option, but the second one can also be workable (alltough game balance may be more difficult).


Next post, the meat of the game: what can the player do. This is what makes or kills the game (makes the game interesting or dull).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2007, 18:25 
Freeman
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006, 18:23
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Bolder wrote:
an order queue, yes, or even a simple auto pilot...


Order queue yes, and it's standard in this kind of games. You usually can say what to build and in what order. Even sometimes build several things at the same time...

Auto-pilot not, at least until the game is very advanced. An auto-pilot needs a good AI and that's a very hard thing to make.

An option I've seen in some games (age of empires for example) is a scriptable AI. The user can make a script (program) that auto manages production/combat/..., and a few default scripts (usually not very good:) ) supplied by the game.

That would make the game attractible to some nerds :)

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