NanoBlobs: Making the Game Design Work - Page 2

NanoBlobs: Making the Game Design Work

WolfeGames and projects headed by Argh.

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manored
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Post by manored » 02 Dec 2006, 02:38

I found an easy way to make territory worth fighting for. In my still being made mod of nanoblobs I created an special explosion for sheeps (ok its just an 2x stronger large unit explosion :wink:), and so if you keep all your sheeps packed togheder and some wolf get somehow past your defenses and kill one of em... BOOM! your energy source and anything in the middle of it its gone!
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Uberleechen
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Post by Uberleechen » 02 Dec 2006, 06:27

The chain-detonations have to go. Particularly for Knights - if you want to kill knights, the most effective way should be either massed units (ya think?) or Demonfire/Squarerook area-effect. I don't really mind the chain-detonations for archers.
Demon explosions are perfect, as-is.
Sheep should have their explosion damage X5'd, and range X2'd.
Combining this with faster (better evading...) wolves would mean that wolf raids upon sheep would be a huge concern, and so both space to spread your sheep out and air defence in depth would become important. Perhaps adding LoS and Weaponrange to the wolves would be necessary as well.


If it is at all possible, the "capture point for +XXX unitlimit" would be awesome. Although, it could turn into a simple "take one more point than your enemy and you can steamroll them through simple attrition." I'm not sure, but I'd certainly like to try it if possible. I think it'd work, if it's technically feasible.
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Warlord Zsinj
Imperial Winter Developer
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Post by Warlord Zsinj » 02 Dec 2006, 07:32

Why not redo the nights as stormtroopers, and the wolves as TIE fighters? Surely that'll solve all of your problems! ;)
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Felix the Cat
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Post by Felix the Cat » 02 Dec 2006, 09:33

IMHO, the problem is, very simply, that there's too many units in play at once. I don't even know if Randy would be able to manage 1000 NB units - and he gets 2x the mouseclicks of us mere mortals :wink:.

The problem is twofold, and each "fold" exacerbates the other one. The first, as you may have guessed, is that it takes more work to manage more units, and that the amount of mental capacity that you have to dedicate to the game is overwhelmed early on if you actually try to intelligently manage your units.

The second problem is one of the Spring engine and the Spring interface itself. Some of it is the limitations of playing a 3D game at such a large scale, using only a three-button mouse and a keyboard - it's very difficult to select only those units you want at the scale that NB is at; inevitably other units make their way into the selection. Some of it is that the Spring engine doesn't run smoothly enough on what seems to be most of our computers to efficiently manage units; the low framerate generated by the Spring engine having so many moving units onscreen at once, and all of the paths and collisions thereof, makes the limitations mentioned before even worse. Remember that, as the number of units onscreen increases in a linear manner, the number of collisions that must be processed tends to increase in an exponential manner; in NB, because of the ease of economy introduced by essentially unlimited resources (as long as you make some intelligent decisions, like always building Sheep), the number of units will increase in an exponential manner, meaning that the number of collisions will increase in a doubly exponential manner. Since collisions mean that units have to repath, the number of pathing operations will increase in a doubly exponential manner as well... and so on and so forth.

So I think that, before you make any balance changes or change units around or add new units, you should try to scale NB up to a point where intelligent management becomes possible at all points in the game. (Note that "build 30 AutoFacs, have them repeat-build Spire Rooks and Square Rooks and Knights and set their rally points in the enemy's base" is not intelligent management.) I have a feeling that it will improve gameplay by a LOT, and it will certainly make those pretty models of yours even more obvious! :wink:
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manored
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Post by manored » 02 Dec 2006, 14:43

I think that one possible solution to this problem is greatly decreasing the building speed, so you must use the units you made strategically because it will take time to make another.
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Licho
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Post by Licho » 02 Dec 2006, 15:56

- introduce economic structure. Huge building (to make land valuable) with economic gain/cost similar to sheeps. (Benefit would be you don't waste unit limit). Similar but much better eco/cost structure can be made for geos.

- increase build times of things that expand economy (sheeps). Problem is that, with exponencial growth I can reach my economic target (at least in income) within first minutes. Within one minute I can be at my target of +50 or +80 metal/s if I keep tasking idle sheeps to build new sheeps. So there is no need to balance between economy and military and there is no real progress in terms of military units used. First wave is usually wolves or knights and then you get the biggest units.

- add more tactical options (cloaked units - for example those black triangles, scout planes, transports with huge HP)

- remove chain explosion from knights and those little climbing death spiders.

- do not add LRPC - because of unlimited and extremely fast economy, both sides would build LRPC and simply shell each other base and economy. I think it's very bad idea for this mod.

- remove unit type limit (demons) .. if you invested into economy (and have reduced unit limit) you should be able to build as many of them as you wish. If demon spam becomes a problem increase cost or build time.


I agree with most Erom's points too (bigger better autofac, larger sheeps etc).
I think that currently, you establish economy quickly and then just send endless stream of units and modify your unit structure to that of enemy. Because you aren't damaging enemy until you get really close, oponent has enough time to react on your new tactics and introduce counter. You should be able to damage economy (but no in LRPC way killing it all from far a way), preferably in some tactical way (cloaked units, air strike, outmaneouver). If you currently hit economy you usually kill oponent, to fix it, introduce need for land (economic structures, large sheep), so that there is some added slippery slope and possibility to damage economy without actually killing enemy.
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imbaczek
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Post by imbaczek » 02 Dec 2006, 17:01

Another SC/WC idea: farms/supply depots. One catch - can only be build on metal. This makes having more territory worthwile and reduces micro problems due to having less units.
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KDR_11k
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Post by KDR_11k » 02 Dec 2006, 17:14

Not possible. You could only implement that via storage and a unit cannot deactivate its storage through the script (which is the only way of checking for metal, you can restrict buildings to geovents but not metal).
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AF
AI Developer
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Post by AF » 02 Dec 2006, 18:46

Make autofacs and twice their size, and then give them a surrounding buiffer space of emptyness for untis to move through and to make theim take up more space, people are forced to expand due to the consideration of the need for more physical space on the map. As it stands its possible to build many many autofacs in a confined space, and holders and quite small.

This combined with some expensive longrange artillery should unbreak the gameplay stalemate.


Also, I have a feeling that none of this is necessary once the second race is done. You've designed this in mind of the opposing race but fallen into the trap of only having 1 race available despite the counter balance for the nanos being the race the players cant play.

I would also suggest you make a few horde friendly feature requests to the spring devs, such as allowing hordes of knights to clip eachother and use some less effective collision detection that emphasises performance, and perhaps instead of 1 knight 1 model, or trying to create the illusion of squads by scripting 5 knights as 1 unit.

LUA ui stuff would help too, such as a simplified control panel and GUI, and little features such as one click quick group assignment and selection.
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PicassoCT
Journeywar Developer & Mapper
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Post by PicassoCT » 02 Dec 2006, 20:25

How about making Shooting for all Units expensive, so that you have to decide between a full runing production or a full firing Battleline... If you decide wrong, all your beautifull Toys remain silent...
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KDR_11k
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Post by KDR_11k » 02 Dec 2006, 20:30

Oh, Perimeter, eh?
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Uberleechen
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Post by Uberleechen » 02 Dec 2006, 20:37

Actually, AF, that sounds great. I'd love for autofacs to double in both dimension (4X footprint...) and for sheep to do the same. It'd make territory *much* more valuable.

And...actually, LRPCs, if done properly (eg. hard to spam, high firing resource requirements, bad accuracy, sort of like the Big Bertha...) could be quite awesome. It would, again, reinforce the need to spread out, and produce "open" formations that would not be as vulnerable to shelling. It would also mean that you would need to be constantly rebuilding your economy, which would reduce the stalemate-prone behavior we've been seeing.
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Licho
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Post by Licho » 02 Dec 2006, 23:50

Also making unit's more specialized "counter" might improve gameplay by adding tactics.
(For example making laser bots dedicated counter for air and decreasing effectivity of other units against air).

Right now, holders or spires can deal with air quickly.

Also in the current version game often becomes archer spam and i't nearly impossible to attack base, if it has archers on high ground (nanoarena base) shelling incoming troops.

I played one such game today I eventually got next to slope of enemy base and my archers killled factories and holders on slopes, but they couldnt kill archers on the top of hill which were constantly killing mine archers and all troops I got into range.

Eventually his archers killed my advanturous lord and with radar gone I gave up (I think stalemate lasted for nearly 2 hours)
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Lippy
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Post by Lippy » 03 Dec 2006, 14:32

KDR_11k wrote:Not possible. You could only implement that via storage and a unit cannot deactivate its storage through the script (which is the only way of checking for metal, you can restrict buildings to geovents but not metal).
I think i may have a solution to this unit limit problem (albeit a very dirty one). I remember reading a few weeks ago about this. If we get units to use up energy; with bigger units using up more e, and smaller units using up less; and then use geos/metal to get a flow of E. This would mean that the more territory you have, the more units you can have up and about as well as more sheep. The problem was that units would not stop moving when E ran out, but as far as i can remember there was a way to fix this.

Another way would be just to add Energy as a resource; make all units need some E, and then you have to build geos to increase your output (i.e. spamming) speed.


Also I would recommend Argh to create a few versions, each with a different idea behind it, so we can compare in game. You can then choose ideas you like and implement them into an uber version
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1v0ry_k1ng
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Post by 1v0ry_k1ng » 03 Dec 2006, 15:10

manored wrote:I found an easy way to make territory worth fighting for. In my still being made mod of nanoblobs I created an special explosion for sheeps (ok its just an 2x stronger large unit explosion :wink:), and so if you keep all your sheeps packed togheder and some wolf get somehow past your defenses and kill one of em... BOOM! your energy source and anything in the middle of it its gone!
I like this one this best. you can porc sure, but if you do... KABOOM!
sure fire method of enforcing the basic rule of spring: porcing = death
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Maelstrom
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Post by Maelstrom » 03 Dec 2006, 15:51

Massing sheep already means that sheep die if you get in. One of my favorite strategies is using a demon with radar to look for large clumps of units. Invariably these are sheep. One demon missile later, half their economy is gone.

But i support making sheep larger, forcing people to expand. Also, how about making a resource structure (or slow unit, either way) that explodes HUGE hurting any other of that unit around it. Making this unit quite large as well would force people to expand, as if you dont, you cant possibly make as much income, and therefore units, as your enemy.
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AF
AI Developer
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Post by AF » 03 Dec 2006, 19:21

Making sheep larger would hurt performance, more collisons etc.

holders and autofac should be made much bigger
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Erom
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Post by Erom » 03 Dec 2006, 20:03

AF wrote:Making sheep larger would hurt performance, more collisons
Wait, wouldn't there be less collision per unit map area, because there are less actors in play? I mean, sheep are pretty much colliding all the time anyway, now there would be less of them...

And anyway, the sheep would have to have increased resource production (at a level less than their size increase) so you would have less units overall to colide.
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Tobi
Spring Developer
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Post by Tobi » 03 Dec 2006, 22:41

Since the CQuadField code uses a constant quad size, making sheep larger while keeping everything else constant will most probably increase performance because the number of potential collisions to check would decrease (less sheep per quad).
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