Slippery slopes and intuitive games - Page 2

Slippery slopes and intuitive games

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Guessmyname
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Guessmyname »

Eh, they just take up so much room that I often manage to wall in factories or units by accident. Plus, I tend to spend more time watching my energy and metal meters rather than watching my Zakus kick Feddie butt. Seriously, I remember a 3x3 where during the first twenty minutes, save for the occasional obligatory raiding, all people did was build up their economies and armies...

EDIT: Actually, I retract all I just said, save for the 'RTS games are about making huge armies fight one another and stomping your enemy to the ground under a hail of rockets etc - those principles I still hold dear. Most, no, all of my comments were based off earlier versions of Gundam. From what Forb has told me, this issue has been mostly fixed (I say mostly because I haven't got a chance to try it yet)
manored
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by manored »

I think that a fun econ system must be the hardest thing to do on a strategy game :)

I think that for a strategy game to have resources that must be conquered while not being so important to give automatic victory to whoever claims then first, it has to have some sort of limitating resource wich groth you cannot increase using the resource you fough for, like population.

Example: In Master of Orion your production is directly related to your population, that grows at a somewhat slow pace that you can only increase with bulding upgrades (that can be bough only once for each planet) or by stoping the production of the planet (what is not very efficient). This way its not win to take many planets in a short amount of time because you wont have population to have then work at full swing immediatly, but its still worth fighting for planets since rich planets produce much more than poor planets.
Warlord Zsinj
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Warlord Zsinj »

IW does have a problem in that it's resources are inherently linked to combat success, given that only infantry can capture flags.

But the problem in IW is emphasized over *A mods because there is no 'middle ground'. In *A if you build a mexx, and your enemy kills it, then nobody is getting resources from that point. However, in IW, it's a zero-sum game - if I capture my enemy's flag, then I immediately gain resources, and my enemy immediately loses the exact same amount. So the slippery slope is emphasized.

What I am trying to do is work out a way to 'buffer' the slipper slope, so that the difference between say, 50/50 and 60/40, even 35/65 of map control is not game-ending. Ways to do this are quite difficult.

Currently we are working on a system of upgrades for flags, where you can invest in an upgrade for a flag which gives you more resources. These work in a similar way to metal makers, which I think are TA's way of 'buffering' the resource economy. The problem with pure metal makers is that because they can be built anywhere, they quickly run away and become the major source of economy, rather then territorial gains. The point with making them flag upgrades (flags are like mexxes), is that they still act as a buffer in the early game, making a certain piece of territory artificially worth more (for an energy fee), they can't run away towards the end of the game, as they are still tied to territorial expansion.

It is a difficult topic, especially with IW's resource system being set up as it is.
Saktoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Saktoth »

As for 'economic limiters', such as population caps/houses/supply depots that many people have brought up- are you guys completely forgetting the other two resources here?

Buildpower and Energy both work as economic limiters on metal expansion. Firstly because you must have equal energy/bp to spend metal and secondly because you must initially plow a lot of your metal acquisition into expanding the energy/bp economy.

Think of solar panels kind of like houses- only they throttle back your total spending of the territorial resource (metal) rather than throttling back your active units.

Edit:
On metalmakers...
The winning player can expand these just as easily as the losing player can. The reason MM's can work to balance the game is in two ways. Firstly, since you need energy to spend metal you will expand your energy economy to meet your metal economy. If your metal economy suddenly plummets (you start to lose) you are left with excess energy, which can be used in MM's, lessening your loss (or the loss of the usefulness of your energy investment).

The second way is to have dual economies working in the game- metal gained from expansion and metal gained from pure investment (mm whoring). If a player loses territory, he will still have the same sized mm economy as his opponent, downplaying the significance of a disparity in territorial acquisition.

A big problem with this is that mm economy expands constantly over the course of the entire game, meaning territory becomes less and less important as the game wears on (If MMs = mex upgrades though, this caps it, ties it back to territory, and prevents it getting out of control). What you really want is a system with the opposite effect, one that starts with territory as only a smaller portion of your income and then makes it more important as the game continues- it becomes easier to finish the game later, harder earlier.

As for gundam...
Remember this is a private discussion Smoth. Im not doing an in-depth critique here. I was just making an offhand remark.

I dont think gundam is slippery slope, the second time KDR mentioned Gundam i was just continuing my train of thought about other games.

My point was:
<KDR_11k> Try Gundam, you can't do much in that during the early game :P
<[LCC]Saktoth> Ya but its also boring.
Not being able to do much during the early game = boring. I want to have active and constant interaction between the players, aggressive territorial acquisition, raiding and expansion denial. I want map control to be important and combat meaningful. But i dont want the game to be over in a single engagement. Its a delicate balance.

The discussion was mostly about 'How to solve the problem with games based around territorial resources being slippery slopes?'. 'Remove territorial resources entirely' isnt a solution to this problem in the system, its replacing the system with a different one

As for adding an incredibly strong commander to downplay the importance of early military victories, this can either make early interaction seem pointless, or only help the losing player hold on to his final 10% of the map, delaying the game once its already over.
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SwiftSpear
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by SwiftSpear »

I'm gonna make a wall of text, because frankly, this topic is super fun.

On Slippery Slope: Slippery slope is actually a phenomena tied into a somewhat different element of game design. Slippery slope is an element of pacing. All games will inevitably have a build up of action, a climax, and a wind down, your slippery slope is simply your wind down period. The goal of good game design should be to make the build up as dynamic as possible, the climax as dramatic as possible, and the wind down as satisfying as possible. It therefore goes without saying IMO, that we should be striving for short, and explody periods of slippery slope.

Saktoth hit a couple nails on the head. In terms of game design prolonging the inevitable is bad. It is boring for both players, the winner feels like they are slamming headlong into a brick wall, and the loser has the frustration of being stuck in a position they cannot escape. Things like obscenely powerful comms, or unbreakable inner bunkers that will sit around long after the economy structures are all dead, they are bad. Simply put.

The point that seems to be a point of confusion is the counter to slippery slope... IE, how do we shorten and steepen the slippery slope. Frankly, the answer is simple. Counterplay. This isn't to say that every unit in your game must have an RPS relationship with every other unit, but the primary requirement for prolonging the climax of the game is giving the player as many opportunities as possible to do more damage to their opponent while spending less then their opponent does. That can mean beating your opponent to nuke while your opponent doesn't expect it, or surprizing his defense line with a huge artillery bombardment that allows an attack force to get through after the primary defense structures are down. And ya, it can mean rock paper scissors gameplay mechanics as well. Lets just admit it... it's the way real war works. The question is always how can I do more damage with spending less money, and the answer is always attacking the enemy where he's weak. If my enemy spends tonnes of money on high tech jets, I shoot them down with high tech missles, if my enemy spends tonnes of money on high tech missles, I send in foot troops to take out his missle platforms at relitively little cost. If my enemy sends in foot troops, I kill them with tanks and APCS... which likewise will be defenseless against high tech jets.

Good counter mechanics should do two things in the game. Give a good scouting player an advantage, and give a desperate player a gamble. Both of these things ultimately mean I have the ability to spend less money than my opponent does and still kill him, and both of them therefore mean I have pushed my slippery slope farther into the end of the game.

On new players:
This is something you guys discussed heavily, but hasn't been talked about in this thread. The reality is, is that new players will do stupid things, and therefore they will lose. I don't think any game developer should try to jump through hoops to get around that, because even if you make your game as simple, intuitive, and brain numbing as possible, new players are still not going to immediately get it, and they still will do things that ultimately result in them losing.

The trick therefore really isn't to make the game simpler for a new player to figure out with no previous knowledge... the trick is to make the new systems fun to learn.

I'm going to use NS as an example here, because this game is probably the most difficult to figure out game for a new player you will ever see... with just a ludicrous skill curve separating the best players, who will regularly average 20 kills per single death, from the new players who will regularly fail to get a kill. The thing is, the game is still fun for new players though. The structure of the game requires groups of players to work as teams, the maps are brilliantly and gorgeously designed, and the game in general seeps with immersion. Even if you are totally letting your team down and probably pissing off all your team mates, you are still having fun just running around, and trying futilely to contribute. Aliens jump off the walls and eat you FFS!

Now, this isn't an attempt to discourage game developers from trying to improve their interfaces... stuff like spring's self D, with no button or otherwise indicator of how it's performed, that's just bad. A player shouldn't have to read a manual to figure out that a feature exists. But a developer should also not have to dumb down a game to make it easier for a player to learn. The challenge is to make the game fun to learn, not to make the game easier to learn. So ya, put effort into making your interface intuitive. Give players a tutorial if you think it will help. But always keep in mind. Even an easy to learn game can still be boring to learn. Your job is to make it fun, not easy.
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KDR_11k
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by KDR_11k »

To be fair, self-D is never a button in any game though it's usually bound to delete or something.

I don't expect pro play during the first match, I said that in the discussion already but I think some if not all mods for Spring are needlessly hard to learn with many crucial mechanics being non-obvious and pretty much requiring someone to instruct you on them before you can handle them (e.g. fac assisting is seriously counterintuitive because of the knowledge most people bring into this). It's about helping the player learn, most mods are really unhelpful for that.

Careful with RPS gameplay. If you make that depend on unittypes you pretty much shift the inclination of the slope to the build process instead of the actual battle. I don't think any real life battles were really won by one side having the counter unit to the other side (e.g. real life antiair sucks pretty badly and doesn't really counter air, only fighters can really fight air effectively). How did the 300 Spartans defend Termopylae? Not by having their spears counter Persians or something, they won because of superior tactics. Having victory depend on who made which units (though you'll probably just see equal amounts of every unit) is stupid, it means the battle is decided before it's even fought. The battle should be decided by the battle, by the tactics players exhibit during the battle and by the terrain it's fought on.
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SwiftSpear
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by SwiftSpear »

Unit sharing should also be documented somewhere ingame. And d-gun is just criminal.
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Sleksa
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Sleksa »

farms may be a good idea if they have to take a lot of space, so you can't just porc them up in a corner.
This argument is seen in every topic regarding balance or game suggestions. Please think of something new
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KDR_11k
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by KDR_11k »

SwiftSpear wrote:Unit sharing should also be documented somewhere ingame. And d-gun is just criminal.
DGun isn't that bad, it's pretty straight-forward, just a big gun. Could maybe use a better tooltip listing the cost and that it destroys absolutely everything but it's fairly intuitive otherwise since skills aren't that uncommon in RTSes. Load/unload is stranger, having to select the transport and click on the transportee instead of selecting units and entering the transport. Build spacing is pretty obscure, as is the draw and marker functionality.
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by 1v0ry_k1ng »

the easiest way to prevent the expodential growth economy is have an upkeep for every unit, which means as your unit count grows your ability to produce more units fades. that could be done with a simple system; all units use resources equal to 1/2000 of their metal cost; a 100 metal unit requires 0.05m to function. If you applied this to every single unit that is not a metal extractor, your economy would quickly be limited to a certain metal cost of units, then making expansion decide upon your unit cap rather than total income
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Guessmyname
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Guessmyname »

Maybe one way of unlinking economic success and territory would be to not have the player gain any economic benefit from capturing points. Instead, whoever has the most at the end of the game, wins.
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Tobi »

One solution (or not?) to the exponential growth is built into spring already: diminishing metal maker returns. I've never actually seen it used in real games, but it was made to do exactly that: limit the exponential econ growth from MM economy.

Here is formula spring uses for calculating this:

Code: Select all

metalMakerEfficiency = 8 / (8 + max(0, sqrt(metalMakerIncome / gs->activeTeams) - 4));
MM income is multiplied by this metalMakerEfficiency, and metalMakerIncome is twice the total MM income from everyone in the game (before metalMakerEfficiency was applied) (I guess the "twice" part is a bug ;-))

To me, it seems a bit silly way to limit things, since if one guy makes lots of MM this also influences the output of your single MM.

(Btw for those that like visualizing stuff; the total actual metal income - metalMakerEfficiency * metalMakerIncome - comes out as a square root curve, if you disregard the +8 and -4)
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zwzsg
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by zwzsg »

KP being a slippery slope is not an issue, because games are so short! It's not like a *A games where you know you will lose but game still drag on for two more hours. Adding any defensive structure to KP would instantly turn it into boring-long-porcing slippery slope game, instead of a fun action-packed one. No really, think about it, if you could secure a territory by building turrets on it, how does it help the other play to make a come-back? If you make some armed unit immobile, how does it help fluidify the game? To the contrary, having no defense is what allows bypassing to attack in the rear, and finding yourself defenceless if you were too confident.


Currently, in *A mods, when a player gains more territory, the opponent can still win by building fusion and metal maker, and lots of factory with loads of assist (so he has powerful economy in small place). So why removing that and forcing people to build fields of farm would help fight the slippery slope?


Reclaiming wreckage helps for comeback, because a player with the upper hand and knowing it will be more willing to sacrify his unit, knowing he can replace them with ease, while the losing player will be so short en metal the pressure to retrieve every scrap of metal will be higher. Also, if a player is losing, the front is closer to his base and cons and def.

Like SwiftSpear said, to make the end game less boring, you need to add gambles possibility to the losing player. So even if he's probably doomed, he can at least try something. And yeah, Rock Paper Scissor is how you can prevent economic advantage from directly resulting in steam rolling.


As for helping newb with the complexity of Spring: Tutorials and single player!!
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KDR_11k
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by KDR_11k »

GMN, you mean like Evo? Yeah, that works, a control point victory is more like a cliff than a slope, you aren't crippled by not holding the points but if you let your points run out you lose instantly.
manored
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by manored »

1v0ry_k1ng wrote:the easiest way to prevent the expodential growth economy is have an upkeep for every unit, which means as your unit count grows your ability to produce more units fades. that could be done with a simple system; all units use resources equal to 1/2000 of their metal cost; a 100 metal unit requires 0.05m to function. If you applied this to every single unit that is not a metal extractor, your economy would quickly be limited to a certain metal cost of units, then making expansion decide upon your unit cap rather than total income
This would only prevent players from preparing very large attacks... since the losing player would have the same limitation on his defense building, it wouldnt really help the issue...
Saktoth wrote:As for 'economic limiters', such as population caps/houses/supply depots that many people have brought up- are you guys completely forgetting the other two resources here?

Buildpower and Energy both work as economic limiters on metal expansion. Firstly because you must have equal energy/bp to spend metal and secondly because you must initially plow a lot of your metal acquisition into expanding the energy/bp economy.
But they only prevent players from creating a huge arm in a short time if they get a lot of metal in their storage. The creation of more energy and build power needes metal, so it doesnt really slows down the player with a lot of territory, as the player with less territory will have less metal to build the little energy/build power he will need, and thus take around the same time to do so than the player with a lot of territory.
Saktoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Saktoth »

On KP: Its kind of meant to be a 2-5 minute slippery slope thats over in a couple of engagements. This discussion isnt really about fixing KP. Other mods might not want this though, and examining why it happens in KP is helpful, thats all.

Tobi: Diminishing MM returns only helps for the MM economy, not for mexes. Diminishing mex returns (per player, naturally) could work i guess. Diminishing MM's would solve the issue of mm's making mexes redundant in late game though as would any kind of hard or soft unit cap (which is what a territorial restriction on mexes is, sort of).

Swift: I have to agree a counter system is a good way to ensure there is a way to make a comeback. A player who spreads himself too thinly and tries to counter everything is weak vs an enemy who focuses just on one single unit, which is weak to its counter unit if the enemy makes enough of them.

As to KDR's point that winning should depend on 'unit use', ensuring that you engage him with the units that are best vs the units he is using is a large part of micro tactics. You attack his artillery/ranged units with fast units rather than heavy slow units. Avoid his AoE units with your swarm units, and instead using them to attack his low-rof-high-damage units (which you, in turn, avoid with your heavy units). All this, of course, requires that you actually have those units, and have built them in sufficient quantities to be able to field them against the enemy.
I don't think any real life battles were really won by one side having the counter unit to the other side
Ill have to disagree here though its a tangent, war is verymuch about being prepared and having the right technology. As demonstration, the Romans vs Cavalry, and Romans vs the Phalanx.

How many times has an army lost due to being prepared poorly for the enemies tactics? Things like the Phalanx, skirmishing, cavalry archers and archers in general, even drill practice- This is preparation, training, equipment. If your men are not trained and equipped for a tactic, you cant employ it- there is only so much a general can do in the heat of battle.

On Upkeep:
TL;DR: Upkeep or unit caps only limit the number of troops you can field at one time, not the amount of troops you can produce.

This is logistical imposition. It requires that you get your units into battle as quickly as possible and then replace them as soon as they die. Centres of production must be as close to the enemy as possible for minimum walk times, and massing should be kept to a minimum (or none at all, just pour them into the meatgrinder).

In Age of Empires 2, with its 200 unit limit, in larger team or FFA games (obviously, smaller competative games would end in rushes and never get to this point) you would cover the whole map in barracks and spam units that only take the replenishable resources (wood and food). As you gain territory from the enemy, you fill it up with barracks and get them producing, letting your further back barracks go idle. As the enemy gets territory from you, you start your auxillary barracks churning. All barracks waypoints are naturally set to pour your units directly into the quagmire meatgrinder battlefield. You would be losing and replacing your 200 unit cap continuously every minute or so (actually 100 units or so, half is taken by resource gatherers).

All these kind of unit caps require are more effecient logistics. Soft caps are a little better, as this requires investment in order to increase the cap, meaning less resources are spent on units in order to allow you to field more units- but this is nothing more than an economic throttle, it works very similiar to the way Energy does in most spring mods. The more units you spam and the larger your economy grows, the more you must invest in energy/houses.
Maybe one way of unlinking economic success and territory would be to not have the player gain any economic benefit from capturing points. Instead, whoever has the most at the end of the game, wins.
KDR and i were talking about this in the 'team RTS' thread, its a very interesting concept, but again its replacing one system with another, not tackling the problems in the first.
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by manored »

Saktoth wrote: in Age of Empires 2, with its 200 unit limit, in larger team or FFA games (obviously, smaller competative games would end in rushes and never get to this point) you would cover the whole map in barracks and spam units that only take the replenishable resources (wood and food). As you gain territory from the enemy, you fill it up with barracks and get them producing, letting your further back barracks go idle. As the enemy gets territory from you, you start your auxillary barracks churning. All barracks waypoints are naturally set to pour your units directly into the quagmire meatgrinder battlefield. You would be losing and replacing your 200 unit cap continuously every minute or so (actually 100 units or so, half is taken by resource gatherers).
It must suck to reach that point of the game :) And its even worse cause age of empires has very little options of tactics to use with units if I remember well... (Diferences between units are mostly in their power level and small bonuses against others, not really something you can use in tactical combat)
Saktoth wrote:
Maybe one way of unlinking economic success and territory would be to not have the player gain any economic benefit from capturing points. Instead, whoever has the most at the end of the game, wins.
KDR and i were talking about this in the 'team RTS' thread, its a very interesting concept, but again its replacing one system with another, not tackling the problems in the first.
Beside having no economic growth makes the game more like a tactical game rather than a strategic one...
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Pxtl »

KDR_11k wrote:Farms/overlords cap army growth but I don't think they do anything about slopes unless it's so easy to hit max units that your res income stops mattering.
I guess what the farms accomplish is make it such that replacing units is easier than building new ones, which means that regrowth is easier than expansion, so comebacks between battles are better. Sounds like a laudable goal to me.

Fundamentally, though, all strategy games are predicated on slippery slopes. Even the most basic concept (fixed unit counts) would still be a slippery slope, as anyone whose played such a game will tell you - when 2 equal units engage 1 equal unit in most RTS games, that one unit dies twice as fast so it deals only half the damage it would've dealt against one unit at a time. All other things being equal, it after the battle, the 1-unit-team will be left dead, and the 2 unit team will be left with 1 unit at full health and one unit at half health that it can heal later anyways.

This means that losing a unit puts you on a slippery slope very quickly. Anybody who played the earlier MechWarrior games (when locational damage was much easier to get) will have experienced that too - the first thing you want to do is blow off an arm or a leg to cripple your enemy, and if you do so the battle is easy from then on out. Because of this, if you stay at the top of the slop and win all your fights in the first few shots, you spend most of the game pulverizing cripples.

Honestly, I think one of the best games for handling the slippery slope was Z - the slippery slope was so heavily exaggerated that once a player took the advantage, the game was over very quickly. Z's slippery slope was like KP squared - most bases had a factory, and each base also added to the production capacity of every other base. While this might sound bad, it means that there isn't a long, tedious endgame... once the game was heavily tilted one way, the game was effectively over and would end within a minute or two.

Could you imagine a rush-based game like KP, except if the home base had a mass of defenses that had been built up over the game? It would be so pointless - on player outnumbers his enemy 10 to 1, but still has to slowly smash through defense after defense while the defender sits around and waits to die.

edit:

consider that there IS a way to make a slopeless RTS.

First off, you make some mechanism that players keep their armies at constant strength, relative to other players. Players regenerate their units nigh-instantaneously, or alternately, all units are kamikaze, or have fixed lifespan, or require upkeep that is available at a fixed rate. no research, no tiers, unless they're distributed to every player so they're all at the same rate. This means that everybody is generally at the same powerlevel.

Second, obviously, the problem at this point is that eliminating the enemy is no longer a viable goal. So, you need a non-elimination goal. Score X kills, or build X of special scoring building, or capture the flag.

Actually, when Smoth finishes his Tower Defense game, I've a plan to make a non-slippery-slope game that filches his resources (if he allows it). The idea is that you have a fixed income of mostly-kamikaze units, and a fixed income of defensive resources. You use the defensive resources to either build defenses or build objective buildings - and objective buildings are so huge that they require you to heavily expand your base to defend them. So the game is a gamble - do you defend lightly and expand aggressively, or defend heavily and expand slowly - meanwhile, you use your offensive allotment to probe for weak-spots to take out his objective-buildings.
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by SecurE »

One thing that is worth restating is that ultimately every balanced game will have a slippery slope. It is rather a matter of trying to shape it in such a way that the balance isn't on a tall peak with steep sides, but more of a plateau.
Well that's all fairly obvious, I suppose.

There are several different ways of tackling the problem, but it can be hard to solve in an intuitive way for certain kinds of gametypes/themes. If you are going for a reali
Some of the things you can use (put in very general terms) that I can think of, all have their own problems and are perhaps outright bad:

Retained damage potential
The idea is that you through one way or another keep your ability to deal damage at a constat level until you are fully wiped out from the map. It is a simple idea, and it is easy to make a mod based around it (fun or not).
A good example would be Battleship (that's the english name, I hope). It doesn't matter if you so only have one square of ship left, or all left, you still fire a single shot every turn. In other words, you don't lose any firepower until you are utterly defeated.

Reinforce the loser, punish the winner
Help the player that is losing by giving him more resources, more units, higher production rates and so on. The tricky thing here is to boost him enough to keep him in the game and with a shot at victory, while you still want the attacking player to actually gain something from it. You don't want the game to be reduced to a level where the player only dares to be on the offensive when he is fairly sure that he will steamroll the opposition.
The same idea but on the opposite side is to reduce production rates, reduce firepower and so on for the stronger player. Reclaiming in OTA (and thus *A mods) could probably fit in this category, although it isn't strictly the same.

Territory control
Create an upkeep for the territory you control. You can as an example require the player to constantly keep a certain amount of units in any territory he captures to actually gain any benefit from it. This would potentially spread him thin and allow the defending player to strike back.
A more severe version would be to actively punish him for taking control of territory without securing it, such as spawning opposing forces in the area (think of it as partisans).

Logistics
Require some kind of link back to your production centers from your outlying resource production areas (ie mexxes). This would allow players to cut the income from large areas without outright capturing them, but by instead disrupting the links between these areas and the production centers.
The same idea can be applied to combat forces with a similar effect, where there is a requirement on actively defending your supply chain or making offensive forces vulnerable to being cut off by even small forces.

Scale of forces, force concentration and maneuvering
The general idea would be to prevent the player from concentrating all his forces at a single spot, and at the same time you want to keep both sides at a scale where the loss of at one position isn't devastating. You also don't want the players to be able to quickly reinforce areas unless he has a local reserve, in other words you want to increase the time of maneuvers.
I'm lousy at clarifying it, but the result you want is something along the lines of, say, Sid Meier's Gettysburg.

Those are only some general ideas on how you might reduce it, there are surely more and probably better ones out there.
Beside having no economic growth makes the game more like a tactical game rather than a strategic one...
The difference between strategy and tactics are very blurred. I don't think economy is a requirement for something to be strategic either way.
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Saktoth »

Fundamentally, though, all strategy games are predicated on slippery slopes.
There is always a slippery slope, obviously though, its about how slippery you want the slope to be, and where the slope starts. As discussed, a mechanic like a powerful command unit doesnt help slippery slope it only prolongs the inevitable, its been said several times that a swift victory once the game is genuinely over is good- its preserving that evenly matched stage of the game where both players are still in it thats the goal.

That game sounds interesting though, i wanna see it.

On Intuitive Games...
An easy to use interface is important, yes, but this is really a peripheral issue. Making the underlying game data available to the player, through visual cues (weapon effects colour/size/intensity representing damage/aoe/etc) and direct access to the values (Tooltips, Modit, CA's Unit Help) helps the player understand the game, but the underlying game itself must follow rules and laws that are easy to understand.

A lot of people are talking about noobs here, but bad players are only bad players because they dont understand how to play the game. Make your game itself (its gameplay!) Intuitive- easy to grasp, easy to play the correct way and based on a few core principles that, once learnt, can be applied universally to understand the whole game.

A good game should have emergence, based on consistent internal systems, so that one aspect of the game can be understood from having learnt similar parts of the game. This isnt to say reduced complexity, just that rules should apply universally in a similar fashion.

I think im a relatively experienced player and modder, with a good grasp of the games i make and play- but there are obscure little quirks here and there that fit nowhere into the other systems of the game and still surprise me (And usually make me go 'But thats dumb! It makes no sense!'). This isnt just something that afflicts noobs but all players at all levels.
manored wrote:It must suck to reach that point of the game :)
Actually it was quite fun and is something id like to make as a proper mod. You have this macro element of massive armies pushing against eachother in a general combat line, and then you have your units that take gold (relatively finite resource) such as heavy cavalry and siege engines, that you use in a more careful micro fashion, doing deep strikes against vulnerable positions, taking out defensive structures etc. It was quite fun.
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