New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

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YokoZar
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New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by YokoZar »

I've played 4 games of this so far, and I'm quite happy with it.

The way it works is you have two teams of 4-6 players or so, each with 4-6 commanders in different start positions. However, everyone's resources are pooled, and at any time any player can give any order to any unit on their team.

The game is deliberately paused for about a minute at the beginning so players can coordinate which initial commander (if any) they're controlling and work out a basic strategy. After that it plays like any normal game, although while playing you see some obvious differences.

The first thing you notice is that you get alert sirens for every attack, including ones you'd otherwise ignore since they're happening on another part of the map. This tends to make you at least slightly aware of developing problems. It's much easier to have a coordinated attack in this mode, as you can easily take command of all the front units yourself. The resources are different (you have several times what you normally do in your reserve since it represents the entire team), so you need to take a bit of care to not overbuild, especially if you risk energy stalling.

Other, more subtle effects are there as well. It's much more obvious you're working as a team, so players tend to think of what the team needs to do something more than what they need to do something. Things like sharing t2 cons happen very naturally, and since anyone can order any unit to build up a mex/moho you very rarely have issues with open metal patches on "someone else's" space going to waste.

Other strategies become more viable that might just be too boring in a standard team game with limited control - for instance dedicating a single commander to doing nothing but building econ for the first part of a game while other players power the factories. You also tend to have much less econ built in dangerous places (think of how the forward players in DSD always tend to have substantial amounts of energy, even though it would be much safer if it was built in the back).


Being lame

Of course, it's very simple to kill the whole team. You select all and self destruct. But, if we're honest about it, it's also very easy to screw the team over in a normal game as well - just D-gun an ally.

More likely is players being unintentionally bad for the team, like building 12 nanos around their t1 air lab and spending 90% of the teams resources on planes while the front falls to a small force of tanks. But, this isn't so bad, as teammates can simply give an order to the hogging factory to stop - in noncommunist games there's no way of preventing the back players from doing their own thing while the front players fall.

In practice things get a little wonky when both players are trying to control the same unit, although this happens relatively rarely - TheFatController is working on a widget that will tell you when teammates have a particular unit selected.


I was honestly surprised how well it worked. We played 4 games; 3 were legitimately fun, and only one ended after 30 seconds with a team self D (I suspect one of the players didn't quite get what was going on or didn't speak english). If you can play with friends, especially on teamspeak, this could be even better - we were playing with random (albeit high ranked) players, and it worked out well.

Technical way to do this:
First, the host needs to have springlobby. The host puts all of one team onto TeamID 1 and ally team 1, and all of the second team onto TeamID 2 and ally team 2. Then he adds bots (testGlobalAI) equal to the number of extra commanders wanted (generally number of players - 1), and allies them to the appropriate team (but gives them separate ids).

Once everything is set this way, the host goes to the map tab and sets the start positions to "choose before game". He then places the team bots and player on the reasonable start positions. Boxes don't work (since the testGlobalAI bots won't take).

Once the game starts, any player can just click the "take" button and their team instantly has all the commanders to control. Everyone ends up the same color as the initial human team, so the bot colors don't matter (but make sure the human colors are different).


There are a few lobby bugs to worry about, hopefully they can be fixed. The first is that force-assigning arm/core for the bots doesn't always work for some reason, so we ended up setting the humans to core while the bots stayed at arm. This gave each team 1 core comm and 3 or 5 arm comms depending on the game.

Another lobby bug you notice is that sometimes the start positions can get wonky - I think springlobby gets a bit confused by comm sharing. The workaround I found is to only set the start positions after everything else is ready.

Resetting colors can be a pain, since they'll often be auto-reset to what the other people on that team is. This is basically a lobby bug - when I manually change one comm share color to x, it should change it for every one. However, this bug may be due to some users playing with tasclient, since I think it then sends a competing "no my color is this" command right back.

If the lobby bugs are annoying enough, you can always just do a 1v1 comm share, pause the game at the start, enable cheats, and have each team give themselves the extra commanders. That way they can pick the faction too.
Last edited by YokoZar on 21 Apr 2009, 03:13, edited 1 time in total.
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CarRepairer
Cursed Zero-K Developer
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by CarRepairer »

Sounds interesting but you forgot one problem. In Communist Mode, game plays you.
YokoZar
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by YokoZar »

CarRepairer wrote:Sounds interesting but you forgot one problem. In Communist Mode, game plays you.
One nice feature is that you can actually go afk for a bit if you have to without pausing the whole thing. Your team might not even notice.
Google_Frog
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by Google_Frog »

Sounds good but I think it would only work with good and sensible players. I can also see a problem with balancing your drains as the best way to play is with some overspending so that you don't excess when you get reclaim.

A more troll proof way would be to split the entire team's income and give an equal part to each player.
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Jazcash
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by Jazcash »

Hopefully this will stay as popular as current com sharing.
YokoZar
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by YokoZar »

Google_Frog wrote:Sounds good but I think it would only work with good and sensible players. I can also see a problem with balancing your drains as the best way to play is with some overspending so that you don't excess when you get reclaim.
On the other hand remember that you have a pooled storage and a bunch of other players watching you hit almost excess so it's much less likely for this to happen.
A more troll proof way would be to split the entire team's income and give an equal part to each player.
That's exactly the way it is without comm sharing. The whole point of this mode is that some people are spending more than others - eg you can be a micro or an econ player if you like and your team as a whole can easily see what's needed.
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Beherith
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by Beherith »

Imo this is the biggest rts gameplay revolution since team games.

Would be best if an autohost could be set up to handle this.
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zwzsg
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by zwzsg »

Sounds interesting. I'd like to play that.
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TheFatController
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by TheFatController »

I'm currently writing a mutator for BA to add extra commanders for com sharing teams (with a per player startpoint chooser) and will merge it with BA when the bugs are all gone, coming soon!
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Argh
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by Argh »

Hey, I really like this concept. There are probably ways to throttle resource percentiles for team members, maybe with a cute slider bar, so that people can edit on the fly.
Of course, it's very simple to kill the whole team. You select all and self destruct. But, if we're honest about it, it's also very easy to screw the team over in a normal game as well - just D-gun an ally.
Both of these should be easy fixes.

Turn off self-D entirely... or hold all self-Ds until you've counted how many are being issued this frame, and if > 1 for a given Team, then return false.
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Peet
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by Peet »

Some form of 'order approval' for big expensive build queues and self-destruction of large numbers of units might be an idea worth considering.
YokoZar
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by YokoZar »

Argh wrote:Hey, I really like this concept. There are probably ways to throttle resource percentiles for team members, maybe with a cute slider bar, so that people can edit on the fly.
Think about this for a minute - what would a "recourse percentile for player 1" actually mean in terms of full shared unit control? If I notice the factory up top is idle so I tell it to build cons, am I spending those resources or is the person who made the factory? Or is the person who then controls those cons and tells them to make resources?

Seriously, try and avoid overengineering it until you've actually played it. At an extreme, if you keep doing things like that and the game ends up no different from just having separate comms.
Of course, it's very simple to kill the whole team. You select all and self destruct. But, if we're honest about it, it's also very easy to screw the team over in a normal game as well - just D-gun an ally.
Both of these should be easy fixes.

Turn off self-D entirely... or hold all self-Ds until you've counted how many are being issued this frame, and if > 1 for a given Team, then return false.
Honestly there are so many ways for intentional team killers to screw the team you're better off not trying. Every single method would require some complex "fix" that could hurt legitimate use. Off the top of my head:
Self destruct all units. Self destruct important units. D-gun allies. Reclaim friendly buildings that are needed. Tell enemy secrets. Target friendlies with force attack. Target friendlies with nuke. Waste team resources. Turn off metal extractors.
YokoZar
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by YokoZar »

Peet wrote:Some form of 'order approval' for big expensive build queues and self-destruction of large numbers of units might be an idea worth considering.
Do you really want to spend your in-game time negotiating built in bureaucracy? If you can't trust your teammates... don't play communist mode with em!
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Argh
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by Argh »

Self destruct all units. Self destruct important units.
Intercept it, return false. Designate certain units as "important" when built, require a UI command to be pushed on the building before it can be self-d'd, which tells all allied team members it's happening.
D-gun allies. Target friendlies with force attack. Target friendlies with nuke.
TeamDamage Gadget code in P.U.R.E., just plain don't let them do it, or only do it with stuff like nukes at the high end. Yeah, this will change game balance. It's all right, this whole concept screams mutator anyhow.
Reclaim friendly buildings that are needed. Turn off metal extractors.
Auto-designate certain buildings as "needed" by default, and add a command to remove them from the "needed" table, that informs everybody on the AlliedTeam what's happening. No need for a veto or any complex crap, just make sure people stay informed about what's up.
Tell enemy secrets.
Intercept attempts to chat and redirect as whisper to all Allied team members.
Waste team resources.
See first suggestion.

I'm not saying that there are perfect solutions- some things are tradeoffs between micro fussiness and sheer annoyance vs. keeping griefers in check. But most of it's solvable, imo. "Just trust your team" is one of the major problems with things, though. I think that this mode really solves some of the biggies, like "that's my mine, nub", etc., but it needs to solve some of the others to really become a viable alternative game mode.
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JohannesH
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by JohannesH »

If someone wants to screw the team over, it's easy to find a way no matter what. No need to get all KGB over it.
BaNa
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by BaNa »

First of all, fucking awesome. I loved playing starcraft with shared unit control.

Second, you should play with teammates you can trust (maybe set this up on autohosts with smurfs working, and a rigorous pest control).

IMO you cant really do anything about griefers, and it is probably better if they do a quick selfd at start so we know about it, than some elaborate selfnuking which ruins a game with much more time invested in it. If you do have gadgets working against stuff like mass selfd, important unit selfd, their role would be more noob control :). And they should be totally unobtrusive, just a chat message about the issue.
YokoZar
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by YokoZar »

BaNa wrote:IMO you cant really do anything about griefers, and it is probably better if they do a quick selfd at start so we know about it, than some elaborate selfnuking which ruins a game with much more time invested in it. If you do have gadgets working against stuff like mass selfd, important unit selfd, their role would be more noob control :). And they should be totally unobtrusive, just a chat message about the issue.
Seriously. I'd like to see Argh write the widget that stops griefers from intentionally playing poorly.
YokoZar
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by YokoZar »

Argh wrote:But most of it's solvable, imo. "Just trust your team" is one of the major problems with things, though."
If the lobby software were better at letting you find and play with players you trusted, this really would be an acceptable option.

Improving springlobby is only a partial solution - many of my friends who I'd like to play with may not even have it open, or may not know how quick it is to install, or that it'd be real easy to speak with teammates over voice chat while playing the game. That's one reason why I'm excited about the newly announced Glou project: http://apps.sourceforge.net/mediawiki/g ... =Main_Page
jellyman
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by jellyman »

Communist mode: as originally proposed, but with lots and lots of restrictions to what you can do so no one can spoil things. Because the rules spoil things first.

Hippy mode: as originally proposed, with love and trust of your team mates.
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Teutooni
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Re: New gameplay style "Communist Mode" (multiple comm share)

Post by Teutooni »

Simpler way of enhancing teamplay (so that team games were not several simultaneous 1v1's) would be faster and more intuitive unit sharing. Something like a 'give selected units' -button next to each teammates name in adv. playerlist. Should be simple enough to implement, I guess. Harder part would be to make people notice and use it. :P

OP's method sounds a lot of fun, though. I guess voice chat would be almost mandatory for the amount of coordination required. Restricting stuff like self-d, turning off mexes, manually turning on too many mmakrs or d-gunning thin air, etc. is implausible and would hinder legit gameplay imo. +1 for Hippie Communist mode. ~~
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