New faction idea, DRM

New faction idea, DRM

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KDR_11k
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New faction idea, DRM

Post by KDR_11k » 30 May 2009, 21:31

Couldn't find a theme for these that would match KP... That's why I'm posting it publicly first, to get some feedback on whether it would fit into KP at all.

DRM (Devil Reincarnation Machine) for Kernel Panic

A fairly defensive faction that forces the enemy into the offense.

Special mechanisms:

Hellfire: Dead units leave residue (tracked over areas) that remains in place and can be used for some special abilities. Units can be sacrificed to produce more Hellfire. This is only visible to the DRM player.

Souls: Destroyed enemies leave souls behind that can be utilized to summon special units. The souls are only visible to the DRM player and time out after a while. Only enemies killed by the DRM player leave the souls for him, ally kills don't count.

Buildings:

Mark of the Beast: The home base.

Brood nest: A minifac

Shrine of the Elder God: The superweapon. When it's triggered all Hellfire on the map is instantly converted to Spires (the amount in each area determines the number of spires spawned there in random locations).

Spire: A defensive turret that is summoned by the Shrine, it has decent combat power and causes area damage (with no friendly fire) when it's spawned as well as having invulnerability for a few seconds after appearing.

Units:

Hellspawn: Basic spam that can move fairly fast but isn't that strong in combat.

Invoker: A constructor unit with crappy combat power, can summon an Avatar of Despair if enough souls are nearby. This might sacrifice the Invoker, not sure.

Avatar of Despair: Can only be summoned by an Invoker with enough souls around. The Avatar can take a lot of damage and has some limited combat power. While the Avatar exists all enemy home bases take damage but the Avatar is visible to everybody. The Avatar absorbs nearby souls to heal itself, it automatically degenerates over time. Avatars can summon Hellspawn from the surrounding Hellfire.

Devourer Pack: Comes in a squad of five (loose squad). High damage but fairly low ROF fire support unit. When destroyed they leave special souls behind that turn back into new Devourers when enough Hellfire is available nearby. The souls expire after a while though.
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zwzsg
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by zwzsg » 30 May 2009, 23:42

KDR_11k wrote:DRM (Devil Reincarnation Machine) for Kernel Panic
I like!
KDR_11k wrote:Dead units leave residue (tracked over areas) that remains in place

Souls: Destroyed enemies leave souls behind that
Glad to have been of inspiration!
KDR_11k wrote:Couldn't find a theme for these that would match KP... That's why I'm posting it publicly first, to get some feedback on whether it would fit into KP at all.
As long as you give their model the same kind of look and texture as the three others, it would fit graphically.

Gameplay wise, your concepts is so special it's hard to guess how they'd balance without having a build to play test.

While the Avatar exists all enemy home bases take damage but the Avatar is visible to everybody.
Merely existing gives direct damage to the other team's only non-replaceable unit? I don't really like that.
Comes in a squad of five (loose squad).
I don't like squads, I prefer game like TA where you have five hundred individual units.
Hellspawn: Basic spam that can move fairly fast but isn't that strong in combat.
The two first new factions spams already have faster frailer spam, isn't it time for the next new faction to have a spam slower but stronger than the bit?
Destroyed enemies
Having your resources depend on the enemy willingness to lose unit can make a race insanely powerful against n00b and insanely hard to play against pro.

Hellfire, Souls
So the resourceless mod will now have two resources? ;)
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Pxtl
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Pxtl » 31 May 2009, 03:13

I like the use of your own dead, I don't like the use of enemy dead - it creates a positive feedback loop. I'm also not fond of the theme - I'd prefer to stick to technical concepts rather than branching into a bunch of demonic stuff, with the only technical part being DRM. But that's just my opinion - it's your mod after all.

I had a draft for a "reclaim your dead" faction dreamt up, and their theme was the Virtual Machine - a bunch of Java/C# idioms. The mechanism for reincarnating dead units was the Garbage Collector, and each dead object left behind a Tombstone (these are relevant Java/C# concepts)
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by exdeath » 31 May 2009, 06:34

Digital Rights Managment

When I saw the thread name I was thinking that the unit was going to be about that.
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zwzsg
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by zwzsg » 31 May 2009, 07:18

Image
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KDR_11k
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by KDR_11k » 31 May 2009, 08:03

As I said, I don't know what kind of theme I could use. Thinking of something that fits into KP, especially in a way that makes sense (hacker is tricky, network is fast), is really hard.

The idea behind all that residue stuff is to have the DRM player get an advantage in areas he has already fought in (or deliberately prepared with sacrifices) but his units should be weak when there's no hellfire around. The souls are only useful for the Avatar of Despair, the idea for that was that DRM can win the game by remaining defensive but must keep fighting. If the enemy doesn't come to you you'll have to think of a way to come to him.

Yeah, a defensive faction may be too powerful against someone who doesn't know how to cope with its home territory advantage...

As for positive reinforcement, not much IMO. The souls cannot be turned into much combat power and since they decay you can only use a certain number of them in most cases so I don't think they're going to add much to the problems you already have from losing all those units.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Pxtl » 31 May 2009, 08:28

Thinking it over, how about this, just to make it a little more personal:

Avatar is super-long-ranged mobile stockpile artillery unit that can only hit datavent buildings and home-bases. Can't hit mobiles. Built like any other unit at the main factory.

Now, rather than souls being an ambiguous resource, make them local - skirmishers that kill units carry the souls of their victims. Souls on Spires are automatically transferred to nearby skirmishers. Every skirmisher has a "return" button - this makes them take their payload back to the nearest Avatar. So, to make your supply-lines short, you want to keep your avatars near the front line, but that makes them vulnerable. Souls carried to avatars give the avatars payload for their artillery. Avatars aren't exposed on the map until they open fire.

There becomes an issue with when to return your skirmishers to their local Avatar - when they have one kill? Two? Five? An "auto-unload" toggle would be handy. To play it safe, you could make multiple avatars - a few near the front line, and a few in the rear to do the firing, and swap them out when the ones in the back are running empty. After all, only the ones firing are exposed.

You could make the faction "Genetics", a faction based on Genetic Optimization.

The command building is the Algorithm. The skirmishers are Genes, built by the Population (the datavent factory). When they kill something, they get a Success. When they die, they become a Failure. Successes are taken back to the Fitness Function (the Avatar). Failures rot on the spot. The datavent superweapon is the Generation. The Generation, when fired, will convert all the Failures into Mutations, aka your Spires.

For the Devourer Pack: Termination (that is, the function that defines the end of the process). Built at the home base instead of any magical summoning process. Make it simply eat Failures for more health, and you can sacrifice Genes or nearby Mutations to a decaying Termination corpse to resurrect one.

So the resourceless mod remains resourceless, see? The "souls" become a resource that flows through your army, not a universal numeric count. The "hellfire" is simply corpses (failures) that you either reincarnate into Mutations or consume by the Termination. To reincarnate dead Terminations, you just sacrifice Mutations and Genes. See? No resources but the units you already have and the payloads of your Genes and Fitness Functions.

edit: thinking it over, Fitness Function and Termination should swap names. In genetic programming, Fitness Function is how you eliminate the failures. Termination occurs based on the quality of your successes. So the unit that eats Success is the Termination, while the unit that eats Failure is the Fitness Function.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by zwzsg » 01 Jun 2009, 02:54

Your idea of DRM = Evil doesn't extend past the faction name, which is sad, because there's plenty of opportunity for the DRM evil deeds to be represented ingame, and the lulz would be far greater if the evilness of DRM was demonstrated by the ingame mechanics instead of merely having all their unit bearing daemonic names.

Here's what I would do (if I churned out models as fast as you):
- Make sure DRM units are named like they're made to counter hacker, while in fact they are much more devastating against system.
- Failing that, give them names that sounds extremely reassuring, while they are in fact a painful plague.

For exemple:
- The homebase would be the rootkit.
- The spam unit would be call "Protection" or something, while it would be a kamikaze: no weapon, only damage units by ramming them and exploding. Think OTA crawling bomb, but faster.
- The special bulding would be the "Safe Copy", it would cast a zone in which no units can be created (socket not producing bits, port not bufferising, connection not dispatching ...)
- The arty secondary fire would be the "Consummer Security" or something, and it would shoot a pointer-like shot that instead of damage, would make the target, as well as all the descendant of target, always visible for a couple minute or so.

Well, I need to read up more about DRM to snatch some true DRM names for greater effect. Names like FairPlay, SecureSharing, TrustedFlash, Protected Streaming, PlayReady, PlaysForSure, Software Service System, Protected Media Path, SafeDisc, Advanced Access Content System, OpenMG. Yah, Newspeak is a never ending source of icy funny.

Since the spam unit would be a kamikaze, it would fit to have them leave lingering trace, that another unit (the cons or the tank) can leech and turn into new spam units: For other faction, when they win the fight, they keep their units. But a faction that can only attack by kamikazing has to lose units even when it wins. The ability to remake new units from the souls of kamikazed could compensate for that, since, just like other factions, it would then be able to keep units when winning the combat, but lose units forever when the fight is lost.
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Argh
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Argh » 01 Jun 2009, 04:41

the lulz would be far greater if the evilness of DRM was demonstrated by the ingame mechanics instead of merely having all their unit bearing daemonic names.
Give DRM "copy protection"- the ability to stop other factories from operating and stop / freeze Units that can copy themselves / build each other.

Neat, fits concept, would be a bear to balance.

Give DRM the ability to "corrupt installs"- if DRM spends (some resource) then all enemy Units take damage randomly, at random intervals. Could get worse and worse, as DRM get stronger.

Probably easier to balance, and gives them a non-superweapon win.

Give DRM "C&D"- a game-ending superweapon that simply obliterates all enemies.

Easy to balance- just make it nearly impossible to achieve, and the reward for a successful defense.

Give DRM "Karnivore"- the ability to see other players' Units for X seconds.

All powers that fit the evil theme, and fit DRM's joke. Good stuff ;)
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Pxtl » 01 Jun 2009, 04:47

Ooh, I like the idea of a passive-aggressive bitch faction - a whole army of polite little lies.

@argh, I like the idea of global spells... but being able to damage everybody _else_ is a little overpowering. Giving them the ability to damage _everyone_ would be more fun - a power that is an order of magnitude beyond most "superweapon" buildings, but with the drawback of its indiscriminate nature. Would be amusing that the Network could dodge this effect by keeping units hidden in the buffer.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by zwzsg » 01 Jun 2009, 04:48

Argh wrote:Give DRM "copy protection"- the ability to stop other factories from operating and stop / freeze Units that can copy themselves / build each other.
That's what DRM are supposed to do, but they often fails at that while having much more crippling side effect.

Edit: Oh, while I was typing that you enlarged your post. Well, still, the anti-copy and the "see enemy units" concept, I had already posted about. Which doesn't mean you suck, but that since two people thought about them, they so it must be done! :P

Pxtl wrote:Would be amusing that the Network could dodge this effect by keeping units hidden in the buffer.
Just like any protection scheme fails in the age of global internet connectivity.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Argh » 01 Jun 2009, 04:52

@argh, I like the idea of global spells... but being able to damage everybody _else_ is a little overpowering. Giving them the ability to damage _everyone_ would be more fun - a power that is an order of magnitude beyond most "superweapon" buildings, but with the drawback of its indiscriminate nature. Would be amusing that the Network could dodge this effect by keeping units hidden in the buffer.
It's not that big of a deal. No different than artillery erosion in more traditional games. Just needs balancing- not insta-gib, just little niggles here and there, with the very-occasional "ouch". Most of the time, it'd be fairly useless, unless it hit a factory or another really important thing.

That said... universal cripples might be enjoyable.

Oh, another idea... "Read-Only Access"... would make Units obey their last two Orders, with Repeat on, and ignore user input... heh...
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by zwzsg » 01 Jun 2009, 04:58

Argh wrote:Give DRM "C&D"- a game-ending superweapon that simply obliterates all enemies.
Simply obliterating all enemies gives very unsatisfactory game ending. RTS games should end in an orgy of mayhem and destruction, not just a "game over" printed in your screen out of the blue. For instance, firing the "C&D" could fill the map with untouchable "lawyer" units that hit for 90k crits. Except KP takes place inside the computer, and lawyers don't exist in the same level of reality as bits, packets, and data streams.
Argh wrote:Oh, another idea... "Read-Only Access"... would make Units obey their last two Orders, with Repeat on, and ignore user input... heh...
Again, the game must remain fun for the players. Such affliction, while it would indeed convey well how painful DRM can be, would likely be interpreted as a frustating bug by new players. But maybe some sort of paralysis where unit keep firing but can't be selected or moved, as long as the interface make it clear it's a DRM-caused cripple spell, not a bug.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Pxtl » 01 Jun 2009, 05:05

@zwzsg

I agree - a "everybody dies" nuke is less fun than watching God walk over the map and omgwtfpwn everything.

And as for the Read Only Access - obviously you'd need a graphical effect to convey to the player that something wonky has happened to the units. Give them dizzy-stars or ear-plugs over their heads or something.

Thinking over Read Only Access, that would be fun as another "global spell" that applies to everything including the caster for a limited amount of time.

Maybe that would be a good way to go for DRM? Since we're all having so much fun coming up with crazy spells, just make it more of a "master of magic" type faction.

A general a "wizard" faction with nothing but skirmishers and a grimoire of mad magic would be wicked fun. The main base builds 3 units - skirmishers, the usual constructor, and mana, and the only datavent building is the typical minifac. Thus, the bare-minimum faction... and then give the main base a list of spells it can cast which cost Mana to use. Skirmishers are dead simple no-special-powers units. Spend mana for buffs and curses, for global effects, to call down lightning, whatever. Like an area-bombardment spell - you draw a target-circle and every skirmisher in the vicinity fires an artillery shot (which they normally do not have) at a random point in the circle.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by zwzsg » 01 Jun 2009, 05:09

I really don't like global spells in RTS.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Pxtl » 01 Jun 2009, 05:10

zwzsg wrote:I really don't like global spells in RTS.
I fell in love with them playing Master of Magic. Fun, fun game. But yeah, never seen an RTS do them right. Either way, they wouldn't be necessary for a "wizardish" faction. Plenty of fun to be had with local effects - some could be related to your skirmishers, some could be just "cast anywhere" stuff, which would offer a poor cost-benefit but allows you to meddle far outside of your turf, and some could require the proximity of a minifac or constructor, thus giving the enemy a focal target to stop the spell.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Argh » 01 Jun 2009, 05:17

Well, Ok... giant glowing lawyers that smack a very large area with giant briefcases for Massive Damage, then ;)

If you want to do that... I'd even do a spooky faux-TRON lawyer for you. Seriously. That would be fun- haven't done a human in ages. Just don't expect it for a week or two, I'm still too busy even for fun things like that.

And yes, of course you'd need to show the spell effects. That's just basic polish, though, use a unit shader to depict it, turn them some sickly shade of pink or green or swirls of digital dots that constantly flow or something.

Global effects are different. Differentiation is what makes sides interesting to play. It's just an idea, though. Something to make DRM more interesting and fit its meme.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by zwzsg » 01 Jun 2009, 05:21

Argh wrote:"Read-Only Access"
To keep up with the DRM theme of Newspeak / polite little lies, it should be named EasyAccess(TM) Unless we use that name for a DRM-only wall.
Argh wrote:haven't done a human in ages.
Thing is, there should be no human models in KP. Can't have Touhou for that reason. Must think of how lawyers actions are translated electronically, then model that.
Argh wrote:Differentiation is what makes sides interesting to play.
Having kamikaze as spam, having spam death leaves "Hellfire" resource, should be different enough.

Plus being focused on non-damaging affliction (SeeAll, can't produce, can't give orders).
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by Argh » 01 Jun 2009, 05:26

Why no humans?

I mean... it's not like it breaks immersion, the game's abstract and in-jokes anyhow. No reason not to include sly references to stuff outside the "digital world". Just no realism. I was thinking up how to do a nice glowing semitransparent RoboLawyer... easy Lua, really. Ah well.

But if you need another visual metaphor... show digital anvils falling from the sky (double entrendre there, although I'm the only person who'd get it), or show a robotic Hand of God reach down with a giant eraser and wipe things out... or whatever. Make it dramatic and fresh. It's a superweapon.
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Re: New faction idea, DRM

Post by lurker » 01 Jun 2009, 05:39

So clearly DRM is not a good name for KDR's idea.

The game has plenty of immersion, and yes that would break it.
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