Idea: Z Mod

Idea: Z Mod

Discuss game development here, from a distinct game project to an accessible third-party mutator, down to the interaction and design of individual units if you like.

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HAARP
Posts: 182
Joined: 06 Apr 2006, 07:18

Idea: Z Mod

Post by HAARP »

Hey,
I just had an idea that would make an awesome mod (fact!). Anybody remember the '96 DOS game named 'Z' ? It's a not-so-serious games, featuring robots, tanks and British humour. That about sums it up, since you didn't need to build any bases, they're there already.

Disclaimer: This is an idea. I'm not planning to start anything (yet) nor do I have the experience/manpower to do it, even if I wanted. I'm just curious about feedback and whether people would be interested in something like this.

I recently discovered there's still a community over at the Z-Zone
Game looked like this:
Image

Basically, you have 2 factions that share the same units. Red vs Blue. You both start with your fort and depending on the map with more or less robots, tanks, maybe an extra building and turrets. There is no fog of war, so you can see exactly what your opponents are doing.
The goal is to destroy your opponents fort by all means necessary. Shoot at it, kill every unit or send an unit to enter the front door.
This is achieved by capturing as many sectors as possible. Some of them contain factories that build either robots or vehicles. Capturing the sector allows you to use the buildings located on it and most importantly, decreases build time in every factory owned by you. Porcing is impossible, since you will quickly be overwhelmed if you decide not to expand. This game is fast. Losing one or two sectors can turn the tide in a matter of seconds. Wasting time at the beginning to send your units will cost you the game.
Robot factories build squads of robots, duh. They're using different weapons like Rocket launcher, rifle, MG, Laser, etc. and have different stats like health, speed, INTELLIGENCE. Depending on type, they're built in squads of 2, 3 or 4. Usually they're working together, but they occasionally will do retarded things like sending one robot off to capture a flag (represents a sector) regardless of enemy presence. They also play a vital role at using unclaimed equipment (vehicles, turrets)
Vehicle factories build jeeps, 3 kinds of tanks, a crane to repair stuff, mobile missile launchers and APCs for robots to hop into and fire out of.
Both factories can also build turrets. These can be placed at any point within the sector they were built in. Also depending on the map there are unmanned turrets on different map locations for a robot to hop in. Same goes for unmanned vehicles scattered around on the map.
Radars show enemy locations on your minimap. Since you can see them on your main screen anyway, this is not really important, but can really help at getting an overview.
Last but not least there's Repair shops. Send a damaged vehicle in, wait depending on damage and out comes a fully repaired one. Easy.
All buildings can be destroyed or damaged by their owner or any enemy. Damaging them increases build time, destroying them results in little factory pieces not being able to build much. Repairing them with cranes is possible (even when destroyed completely).
There also are bridges that can be destroyed and repaired. This is important for vehicles, Robots however can wade through water (and occasionally get eaten by crocodiles and other beasts)

There are no resources except sectors. Claimed sectors decrease build time in every factory. Since you don't need to worry about base building, this game focused on Micro management a lot. Unattended 1vs1s with tanks usually end in both tanks blowing each other up, while players can use erratic movement to evade the small projectile. Smart robots sitting in tanks will evade on their own.
Basically this game just throws you into the action.
There's only a few units for every team, so every single unit will count. Setting your fort to build the heavy tank at the beginning when neither team do have sectors may not be the best idea.
Sectors that get captured while the factory is building something will transfer the factory and the object being built to the capturer. Since everyone can see the ETA (but not the object being built), a common tactic is to capture the sector shortly before the factory is done so the tank rolling out will be yours, even if the sectors gets retaken shortly afterwards.

Robots have kind of a personality. The stupid ones with rifles will rush at everything they can get their camera on, get shot and die. Snipers will try to keep their distance and bring their range advantage to bear.
All Robots (at least those using Rifles, MGs or Lasers) and the jeep can shoot the driver out of any vehicle and use it for themselves. Sending a huge tank after a jeep may not be the best idea if you forget robot escorts that hop into it before the enemy does.

Unit summary:
Robots:
Grunts: 3 in squad. Rifles. Stupid, will charge at enemy and usually die
Psychos: 3. Rapid-Fire MG. Good for taking out drivers in vehicles
Toughs: 2. Rocket Launcher. Vulnerable to Rifles/MGs, will take out vehicles tho
Snipers: 3. Sniper Rifle. Excellent for taking out any kind of driver/Robot from a distance
Pyros: 4. Destroy buildings, vehicles, bridges and generally wreak havoc
Lasers: 4. All round anti-Robot anti-driver units

Vehicles:
Jeep: Fast and deadly against smaller groups of robots. Occasionally will manage to kill drivers in their seats.
Lt. Tank: All-rounder. Quite fast, small gun that will at most take out a jeep with one shot. Cheap
Med Tank: Heavier version of the Lt.
Hvy Tank: Superior range and firepower. Very slow but capable of attacking units that still are out of range themselves.
M. Missile Launcher: Extremely slow and expensive (buildtime is currency!) Good for killing slow objects / buildings
APC: Fast. Units enter and shoot out of it. Good armor. Put snipers in it and harass some Lts!
Crane: Repairs stuff.

Turrets:
Gatling: Attack smaller groups of robots. Cheap, generally useless
Gun: Will kill a Lt. in 1on1 at the cost of almost all of its health.
Howitzer: Extreme range. Kill stuff that can't shoot back yet. Slow projectile, low ROF
Dbl. Missile: Slightly superior range, damage dealer against armor.

Well, that's Z summed up. Go fire DOSBox up and play it. Seriously, it's fun.

Facts:
- Some aspects of the original game surely won't be possible in Spring or only by using workarounds. (Every sectors gets a fake stealthed cloaked small resource-producing unit and stuff like that). LUA will be necessary a lot.
- There's only a few models (5 buildings, 6 robots, 7 vehicles, 4 turrets), so this should be done easily (if someone decides to do it). Animations can be choppy, just adds to the old Z atmosphere.
- Stuff like sounds can be used from the old game. No, really, it's from 1996, this is Abandonware.
- Once again, this is an idea. I'm not searching for people to do any work for me. I just want opinions.

So. Whaddya say?
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Das Bruce
Posts: 3544
Joined: 23 Nov 2005, 06:16

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Das Bruce »

Apparently that game suffered heavily from slippery slope.
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Pxtl
Posts: 6112
Joined: 23 Oct 2004, 01:43

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Pxtl »

Das Bruce wrote:Apparently that game suffered heavily from slippery slope.
It did, yes, but the speed of the game made it fun anyways. Most "slippery slope" games ended up being 30 minutes of build up, 5 minutes of fun, and 30 minutes of cleanup. Z was fast-enough that the build-up and clean-up were negligible.

Hell, TA has the same slipperly slope.

Plus, Z's maps were designed with that in mind - most had a hard-to-hold middle that resulted in a lot of jockying for control... but once you secured the middle, you'd rapidly crush your adversary.

It was a wonderful game, and would be a good project for anyone to pick up... but this is modding. If you don't pick it up yourself, nobody will. So OP either needs to start working or stop talking.
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Sleksa
Posts: 1604
Joined: 04 Feb 2006, 20:58

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Sleksa »

Das Bruce wrote:Apparently that game suffered heavily from slippery slope.

you can read minds ~~
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Guessmyname
Posts: 3301
Joined: 28 Apr 2005, 21:07

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Guessmyname »

I've got Z: Steel Soldiers. I gotta admit it is pretty fun...
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Pxtl
Posts: 6112
Joined: 23 Oct 2004, 01:43

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Pxtl »

Hey, I just found out that Starcraft.org still has my SCMS map that implements Z's gameplay in Starcraft!

http://www.starcraft.org/maps/scums/Mel ... Road+War+Z

Neato.
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SinbadEV
Posts: 6475
Joined: 02 May 2005, 03:56

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by SinbadEV »

TL;DRE but, you should talk to sheekel and/or Cadyr because they were talking about making a mod based on the Advanced Wars series of games that would implement a similar form of game play.
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zwzsg
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Joined: 16 Nov 2004, 13:08

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by zwzsg »

I'd like a poll about how many people here know Z. Because I don't believe it's as little-known as HAARP made it sound.

I'm also quite sure there are already half a dozen exactly similar threads ("Hi! I would like a Z Spring mod"), but searching would fail on a single letter.
HAARP
Posts: 182
Joined: 06 Apr 2006, 07:18

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by HAARP »

Guessmyname wrote:I've got Z: Steel Soldiers. I gotta admit it is pretty fun...
Didn't like that one. The original still was the best IMO
zwzsg wrote:I'm also quite sure there are already half a dozen exactly similar threads ("Hi! I would like a Z Spring mod"), but searching would fail on a single letter.
Indeed. I actually tried to search before making this thread but it's pretty much impossible.
Pxtl wrote:It was a wonderful game, and would be a good project for anyone to pick up... but this is modding. If you don't pick it up yourself, nobody will. So OP either needs to start working or stop talking.
I may at some undefined future point be motivated and have enough time to try myself at some aspect of modding. Until then, this remains an idea ;)


wtf is a slippery slope in this context?
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SinbadEV
Posts: 6475
Joined: 02 May 2005, 03:56

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by SinbadEV »

slippery slope means when you start winning, you continue to win, so the game is decided long before the game actually ends by who got the best start.

Basically, when you hold 60% of resources it's trivial to gain control of the next 40%... so the game kind accelerates towards the winning players advantage...

or something like that.
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Felix the Cat
Posts: 2383
Joined: 15 Jun 2005, 17:30

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Felix the Cat »

SinbadEV wrote:slippery slope means when you start winning, you continue to win, so the game is decided long before the game actually ends by who got the best start.

Basically, when you hold 60% of resources it's trivial to gain control of the next 40%... so the game kind accelerates towards the winning players advantage...

or something like that.
That's pretty much all strategy games.

See also *A mods... or any mod in general. Some are more slippery than others, and some have a different "point of slipperyness". I'd say that if you hold 75% of the resources in ANY Spring mod/game that implements resources dependent upon your territory held (aka metal), the game is essentially won in most common situations.
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yuritch
Spring 1944 Developer
Posts: 1018
Joined: 11 Oct 2005, 07:18

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by yuritch »

Well, Z actually allows one to win even if they are controlling less ground that the opponent. All you have to do is to get 1 APC (the fastest unit) to enter the enemy fort, and it's done. There was a 4 turret per sector limit, so the fort won't be that much protected to stop an APC loaded with a squad of Lasers (unless the enemy diverts a part of his mobile forces to guard the fort, of course).
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Boirunner
Kernel Panic Co-Developer
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Joined: 05 Feb 2007, 14:24

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Boirunner »

I love Z. The original Kernel Panic is based on it.
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Pxtl
Posts: 6112
Joined: 23 Oct 2004, 01:43

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Pxtl »

Boirunner wrote:I love Z. The original Kernel Panic is based on it.
This. If you want to play a Z-like game, KP is there for you. Obviously, KP is not an exact replica (only one type of "sector", and you don't use infantry to claim) but it still has the "mad rush of land-grab" that Z had.

Z2 was forgettable - it was nice, but the gameplay was the same thing we've seen over and over again. Z1 was unique.

And as I posted before, Z had a slippery slope, yes - but ALL rts games do. Z's was a little steeper, that's all - and in Z's case, this was actually an asset. In most RTS's, it still takes time to run the endgame after you've broken the back of your opposition. In Z, once you have victory in the middle sectors, it's trivial to then rush through and crush his home base.
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KDR_11k
Game Developer
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006, 08:44

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by KDR_11k »

All I remember about Z is that tanks had huge AOE shots that killed everything in the area.
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Guessmyname
Posts: 3301
Joined: 28 Apr 2005, 21:07

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Guessmyname »

Pxtl wrote:Z2 was forgettable - it was nice, but the gameplay was the same thing we've seen over and over again. Z1 was unique.
Unless you hadn't played Z1, in which Z2 was awesome
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Pxtl
Posts: 6112
Joined: 23 Oct 2004, 01:43

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by Pxtl »

What I mean is that Z2 was a far more conventional RTS than the original Z. I mean, you actually build your structures in Z2 (instead of conquering them or rebuilding them when smashed).
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1v0ry_k1ng
Posts: 4656
Joined: 10 Mar 2006, 10:24

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by 1v0ry_k1ng »

Z1 was the best rts of its time imo
"ARRRRRRRRRRRGGHHHHH DO SOMTHING!"
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KDR_11k
Game Developer
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006, 08:44

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by KDR_11k »

We really need a widget that insults bad players :P
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TheMightyOne
Posts: 492
Joined: 26 Feb 2007, 14:32

Re: Idea: Z Mod

Post by TheMightyOne »

yay, Z-mod for spring would be cool
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