Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

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yanom
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Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by yanom »

Most factions in most games produce units at factories, and they have builders that produce turrets and factories and mexes, etc. I've got one faction in my game that does this. However, I'm looking for something more creative and interesting for the other faction in my game. This faction does not have any bases or permanent structures. So far I've explored several ideas

>Builders construct units directly, like the Athena in Zero-K
- workable but meh.

>Builders construct large walker mechs (think War of the Worlds), and each mech controls a swarm of smaller units
- was a great idea, but even with a rewritten swarm-control gadget (is there any place i can post source code of neat lua i've written?), the control was clunky. The swarm kept bumping into itself and getting all separated. I could maybe refine this method a bit... has anyone else used swarms/squads successfuly in a game? how so?

>A single "stem cell" unit is capable of self-replication, and also capable of morphing into builders and soldiers
- this was my most interesting idea, but managing the morphing and cloning of the stem cells was too micro-intensive. If there was a way for some of this to be handled automatically, that would be interesting, but an auto-replication gadget would probably exhaust the team's resources in replication.

So, does anyone else have interesting methods of production they've used in their games? Given that this faction is supposed to be almost biological in nature (like the Zerg), a system based on morphing and cloning would be nice - if i could make it work.
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SinbadEV
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by SinbadEV »

yanom wrote:So, does anyone else have interesting methods of production they've used in their games? Given that this faction is supposed to be almost biological in nature (like the Zerg), a system based on morphing and cloning would be nice - if i could make it work.
Have all units mobile and able to stock/build eggs (like missile silos stock ammunition)... and you choose what the eggs turn into when they are laid.
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knorke
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by knorke »

Eggs!
A unit that lays eggs, but then is free to move away from the eggs.
After some time, units come out of the eggs.
Pro zip: The eggs are invisible or underground.

But one general problem with those fancier ways of unitproduction is, how do you handle waypoints? The usual spring gameplay of "factory on repeat, waypoint to front" does not work so good if the units spawn all over the place because their builder is mobile.
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SinbadEV
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by SinbadEV »

knorke wrote:Eggs!
A unit that lays eggs, but then is free to move away from the eggs.
After some time, units come out of the eggs.
Pro zip: The eggs are invisible or underground.

But one general problem with those fancier ways of unitproduction is, how do you handle waypoints? The usual spring gameplay of "factory on repeat, waypoint to front" does not work so good if the units spawn all over the place because their builder is mobile.
Yeah... that would be tricky... and I would expect this type of team would have a lot of units... that "waypoint to the enemy base on repeat" tends to be an endgame type of thing though right?... if so, two possible Ideas...

One would be for units to be deployable and when deployed they would automatically pop-out eggs as they are built and you could assign an order just like a factory... there would be space for an infinite number of eggs if they were "underground"...

Second would be to have some kind of "beacon" which would be a static structure or deployed unit and any newly hatched units in it's range would be given an order queue.

Another nifty thing would be to have some eggs work like mines... they are lain and then after they mature they stay submerged until disturbed by an enemy.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by PicassoCT »

If you walk down that road, be carefull, you run headfirst into the "hidden-MicroManagmentTime-Cost" Wall.

I have some units that reproduce via enemy units(swiftspear). I have units that spawn other units (and found it most usefull(mtw,hivehounds) when it works in a carrier way - so it has less micro work for the players). I have factories that can walk, although they still deploy for production. I also have the SporeFactory for the Journeys, which can build (with stealtbuildersupport) units behind enemy lines.

What has rarely been tried is.. casting people just into existance. Meaning, you say, i want soldiers there, there and there, and they drop from orbit, if not fended off by flakUnits. Also, not tried yet, is units getting pregnant via combat-experience- with copys of themselves. It leads to battles becoming actually battles for "The Kill"..

Another actually un-tried concept, is having actually neutral factorys (micronwars, had those), that need to be captured- and are mobile, trying to escape from you. Basically sheparding everything not basic towards your base, and stoping the enemy from stealing them. Also options for no-respawn.

Or you have neutral factorys, only able to produce basics, and who need research "sample" specimens- in a recipe to transform into lvl2. So get out and capture 3 zeus and 2 peewees if you want that spiderfactory.

Still untried (although i want the journeys to work out that way) is also a actually guerilla warfare faction. A faction whos whole strenght is to remain hidden, and trick the enemy into expensive, useless, and morally costly counterattacks on fake potemkin-villages. Nothing like the LBA in Generals.. i rarely felt this thrill of the hunt with them.

Also not used yet... comon factories. If you could build units, and just could hide them in the crowd, till your time comes.. what a concept. Loyality checks at all base exits!
yanom
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by yanom »

Is there a way to make one unit morph into multiple units? I was thinking maybe of this one "Swarm egg" structure that, once built, you select one of multiple "platoon" options (think Basic platoon, Air platoon, Artillery platoon etc), and then the egg transforms and turns into that selected group of units. doable?
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PicassoCT
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by PicassoCT »

all you can do, knorke has certainly luad before you!

that should be doable.. but it has lots of micro, meaning its to expensive for new players, and can get quickly exponential out of hand with experienced and gadget-gimicky players!
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zwzsg
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by zwzsg »

When playing EE, I would set cloning aliens on repeat.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by PicassoCT »

making them mobile exponential factorys, thus actually something that has allready been explored?
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SinbadEV
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by SinbadEV »

PicassoCT wrote:all you can do, knorke has certainly luad before you!

that should be doable.. but it has lots of micro, meaning its to expensive for new players, and can get quickly exponential out of hand with experienced and gadget-gimicky players!
you could mitigate the micro if they have to stay as squads and are controlled as a single entity (a few games have stuff like this so you should be able to find an example that meets your needs). That way you might have 500 units in play but only 50 squads to worry about... though I'm not sure how that would work out if all the units could lay eggs... you might need the egg layers to be non-squad units.
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knorke
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by knorke »

agree that too much micro is problematic.
imo there should be always be a way to quickly do the same stuff that normal factories can:
iirc cloning aliens were either "1 new unit" or "endless cloning on repeat", there was no way to order "make 5 units."

I think it would be cool to have some faction that uses land & water for reproduction. For example the eggs have to be laid in water, then a larvae hatches. If the larvae goes onto land, it becomes something else. Would really get the organic part across.
Interaction with trees and plants might be interessting too.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by PicassoCT »

knorke wrote:agree that too much micro is problematic.
imo there should be always be a way to quickly do the same stuff that normal factories can:
iirc cloning aliens were either "1 new unit" or "endless cloning on repeat", there was no way to order "make 5 units."

I think it would be cool to have some faction that uses land & water for reproduction. For example the eggs have to be laid in water, then a larvae hatches. If the larvae goes onto land, it becomes something else. Would really get the organic part across.
Interaction with trees and plants might be interessting too.
Wow.. never thought of that... Bravo, Sir.

Screw this, im going to implement this for the journey infantry..
Google_Frog
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by Google_Frog »

yanom wrote:>A single "stem cell" unit is capable of self-replication, and also capable of morphing into builders and soldiers
- this was my most interesting idea, but managing the morphing and cloning of the stem cells was too micro-intensive. If there was a way for some of this to be handled automatically, that would be interesting, but an auto-replication gadget would probably exhaust the team's resources in replication.
I have wanted to implement something like this for a while. The challenge is writing a good UI for it because the implementation of the mechanics should be relatively easy. Additionally units could locally gather resources then morph, basically I would implement the mechanics of the aliens in Earth 2160.
yanom
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by yanom »

PicassoCT wrote: that should be doable.. but it has lots of micro, meaning its to expensive for new players, and can get quickly exponential out of hand with experienced and gadget-gimicky players!
micro is certainly my concern. This is supposed to be a faction easy for noobs (and the AI, my AI skill is not great) to control, so I was looking for something creative but manageable.

I just thought of something - now that i've removed factories, engineers are starved for roles. What if I made them the builders? Engineers could be able to clone into other soldier units (i just now realized that "clone" can clone into some unit of a different type than the mother unit) and self-replicate. Clone is also a shift-queueable order.

To make things even more noob-palpable, is it possible to make a button on the control pannel that queues up multiple orders?
Like, "push this button to make a basic squad with 4 warriors and 1 AntiAir cannon". But advanced users and the AI would select units individually to make unit mixes to their own taste.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by PicassoCT »

the problem is that you will get snatched on one leg by noobs, claiming that you should remove this "useless over-complicated unit" and on the other leg by pros moaning "that this unit is ridiculous overpowerd in the right hands" and they will try to tear you in to. And the pros beeing the staying, louder audience will be victorious. Ending you up with a game that is ridiculous hard to learn, and has absolutly no "small-sucess" experience while battling a master.

I for once favour a dualistic game approach. Basically having parts of the game, that work enough by themselves, giving the noob a "Learning Window".. - basically a tutorial time in every game, were even the Mega-nil can try and get catched.


Take the jw-geohive.. it spawns critters, who auto-attack the nearest enemy. Thus, even if you have the ultimate noob - you basically have a towerdefense AI on your side, and even if you dont get a base up, the comEnder(Hero) should keep you entertained for a while.

I cant say though if this will work out. Maybe people will detest this "I want 1 vs 1- but chicken-towerdefense and a dota of attrition is all i got" moments. Im gamblin like everyone else, with all in, not knowing if it will be zero, red or black.
Last edited by PicassoCT on 08 Nov 2012, 16:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Anarchid
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by Anarchid »

Some more interesting unit creation mechanics i've encountered or considered elsewhere, not specifically inclined anywhere for a biotech-based faction:

1) Dropships.
* As seen in: Ground Control, Dune 2
* You have an unit-delivery channel that works with packets, so if you order just one unit, you'll have to tolerate that you don't get to order new units until the ship returns to "base". Summoning or raising units on specific control points also files under this, so technically, while not an RTS, Battle for Wesnoth uses this.

2) Sorties.
* As seen in: Spring1944, several castle games.
* Some of your units just come off the map for a cost and then do something on your behalf but not necessarily under direct control. After you stop paying for them, they go away.

3) Merging and Dissolving
* As seen in: Ground Control 2, Starcraft, Tiberum Wars*
* You can turn several units of one type into an unit of second type, and vice versa. When used in extremes, can be very fun: imagine a heavy fighting unit morphing into a pack of raiders. Pretty much a many-to-many morph relationship.

Extra fun: merged unit maintains properties of merger subjects - this is the TW reference, where Avatar can get a cloak, second ray, flamethrower, and a scanner by cannibalizing allied units.

4) Random spawning
* As seen in: Dota*, Settlers?
* You get some population quota within which the basic type of your units spawn, later to be used with other acquisition methods. Quota factor examples: number of supply depots, territory under control. Tech structures or similar can alter types of newly spawned units.
* Spawned units can be neutral, so you'd keep patrols to harvest them or something like that.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by PicassoCT »

You know what nobody ever has tried? A reversed RTS.. you start with a battlefield full of scrap, and then you basically reverse engineer the perfect battle, trying to make sense, and if it doesent your unit vannishes

Bad Vid, but it transports the idea.. just this time you micro for the interpretation of the past.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSKTXLwnyUA

You dont know, how it went from the scrap alone. Guess as ressource i would use something like grace - if you do good - like in a honkong movie you get new scrap you can revive. Sorry.. this is madness. but good one.
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smoth
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by smoth »

Reclaim maps existed in ota Picasso
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PicassoCT
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by PicassoCT »

Eggs are now ingame... yep, and i make a seperate alienversion for pepe Ampero..

Stuff(especially the tiglil-egg) would benefit endless from real transparency..

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Jools
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Re: Ideas for creative/interesting modes of unit production?

Post by Jools »

How about Communism? You disband the state as the agent in charge over the means of production. Instead, the organisation in charge of production shall be the central committee.
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