Metal Factions

Metal Factions

Total-Annihilation-esque RTS game with four original factions.

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raaar
Metal Factions Developer
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Metal Factions

Post by raaar » 06 Nov 2010, 16:18

Image

Far into the future, different factions fight throughout the galaxy for control of resources using armies of advanced machines...

"Metal Factions" is a game for the spring engine with four original factions: AVEN, GEAR, CLAW and SPHERE. Many units are similar to the ones from Total Annihilation (this started as a TA mod), but there's different balance and some new mechanics.

It should favor small to medium battles and micromanagement as economy growth depends on map control and units are relatively expensive.


Image

Check the web site at http://www.metalfactions.pt for more information!


--------------- EARLY DEVELOPMENT NOTES ------------


In the early 2000's i started dowloading and making units for the original total annihilation game. Over time i made dozens of units, not nearly as polished as many i've seen, but had fun playing on lan with friends. Despite playing Starcraft and mostly warcraft III expansion online for years, I never tried Total annihilation. I saw Spring but didn't try it until late 2009, when i started playing XTA.

It was fun, but somewhat frustrating. And part of the frustration was common to other *A mods, and resulted from the confusing role of the commander. In my opinion, the concept of the commander exploding and taking most of the surrounding friendly units with him is broken (it already was on the original TA). Although often seen as dishonorable, using the commander as a walking bomb to gain the upper hand is often the best use you can give him....Having your commander around should never be a liability. The fun factor of the game also suffers for players when they lose their commander. I think the way commanders (heroes) were implemented in warcraftIII leads to more interesting gameplay:
- they get stronger as the game progresses
- they can be easily ressurected when killed
- they can evolve in different ways
- they are always good to have around (not a walking bomb)

For the fun of it, I had made a program to parse my old OTA mod files and try to get balance information from it (evaluating units based on what they can do for their cost). I changed the program to parse Spring mod files (fortunately they were mostly the same). The usage of automatic unit evaluation and pricing means that costs can vary slightly for most units from one patch to another.

I used XTA 9.6 as a base for a mod called "TA Factions", so it has some of the models and effects Noruas and earlier developers put into it (although i reworked most explosions to make them more consistant and less resource-intensive). I also imported some of the later changes made to it by Deadnight Warrior (some script changes, collision fixes and gadgets). Also, some units were remodelled and others repurposed. I still use 3do and cob instead of lua, so i won't make super-detailed units (i put more effort in improving animations and design consistency). I polished some of the original 3do models though.

Since 2014, I've replaced most textures, replaced ARM and CORE factions with AVEN and GEAR and changed the game name to "Metal Factions". Check the website for more information.

WARNING : I changed this post long after its creation which means that the following posts may be out of context


--------------------- NEWS / RELEASE NOTES ----------------


you can read the changelog at http://metalfactions.pt/changelog.html
Last edited by raaar on 18 Mar 2013, 00:44, edited 14 times in total.
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KDR_11k
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by KDR_11k » 06 Nov 2010, 16:24

Mathematical balancing pretty much falls apart the moment it meets expert players.
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Karl
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Karl » 06 Nov 2010, 18:02

Jazcash wrote:People are so creative these days.
*A Mods get slowly old/boring
how about Remakes?

i think this is more welcome then just another *A Spinoff
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Beherith
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Beherith » 06 Nov 2010, 18:36

I do like some of the ideas, especially those that result in a more transparent ruleset.

Best of luck on it!
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smoth
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by smoth » 06 Nov 2010, 18:59

GA was already taken :P
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Jazcash
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Jazcash » 06 Nov 2010, 19:04

Another already? Good God...
Let this be a message to all current *A Devs and future *A devs to be:

Please will people get the idea into their brains that TA Mods are dying and if they aren't, sure should be. I don't care how distant from TA your mod is, if you decide to called it something "Annihilation" it's a TA spinoff to me, and is to most people.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the work some of you guys put into your projects, but it just seems like wasted effort as BA is the only *A mod left standing with an acceptable playerbase and it's been that way for some time now. No matter how awesome you game is, name it *A and you've already dug your own grave.

Do you not realise people are now so entangled into BA's unit properties, systems and mechanisms that there is no possible way for a significant number of players to convert to a different TA mod.

Also note that we as a community, are trying to move away from TA based games and use the Spring Engine to the best of its potential instead of having it render 10+ year old materials. It used to be Spring's goal to have the Engine replicate TA gameplay as much as possible and the Engine took a lot of hits because of that goal.

Luckily, the Engine has finally starting driving away from that and now supports many other non-TA games that use their own, unique units, systems and mechanisms.

Of course, I don't have a problem with you making more *A mods as long as its not too intrusive and desperate. Consider this advice rather than criticism. Again, people will not play or even want to try your mod, no matter how non-TA it is if it's named something "Annihilation". We've already been provided with enough TA Mods for each player to have one belong to them. Please, just give it a rest and make something new.

And to Beherith specifically, don't ban me for this, I'm just trying to warn people. Although, I'm sure you'll delete this post anyway ¬_¬

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Beherith
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Beherith
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Beherith » 06 Nov 2010, 19:08

Actually, no harm in that post Jaz, the previous one was the one I had an issue with, which is why I PM-ed you.
Sorry about the offtopic.
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Jazcash
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Jazcash » 06 Nov 2010, 19:28

Beherith wrote:Actually, no harm in that post Jaz, the previous one was the one I had an issue with, which is why I PM-ed you.
Sorry about the offtopic.
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Beherith
My heart actually sank to the depths for about 5 seconds. :oops: I hope you're happy! :cry:
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Wombat
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Wombat » 06 Nov 2010, 22:52

I hope you're happy!
i am.

good luck with game ;)

btw
Please will people get the idea into their brains that TA Mods are dying
ive stop reading after this :D
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raaar
Metal Factions Developer
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by raaar » 06 Nov 2010, 23:01

Jazcash wrote:Another already? Good God...
Let this be a message to all current *A Devs and future *A devs to be:

Please will people get the idea into their brains that TA Mods are dying and if they aren't, sure should be. I don't care how distant from TA your mod is, if you decide to called it something "Annihilation" it's a TA spinoff to me, and is to most people.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all the work some of you guys put into your projects, but it just seems like wasted effort as BA is the only *A mod left standing with an acceptable playerbase and it's been that way for some time now. No matter how awesome you game is, name it *A and you've already dug your own grave.

Do you not realise people are now so entangled into BA's unit properties, systems and mechanisms that there is no possible way for a significant number of players to convert to a different TA mod.

Also note that we as a community, are trying to move away from TA based games and use the Spring Engine to the best of its potential instead of having it render 10+ year old materials. It used to be Spring's goal to have the Engine replicate TA gameplay as much as possible and the Engine took a lot of hits because of that goal.

Luckily, the Engine has finally starting driving away from that and now supports many other non-TA games that use their own, unique units, systems and mechanisms.

Of course, I don't have a problem with you making more *A mods as long as its not too intrusive and desperate. Consider this advice rather than criticism. Again, people will not play or even want to try your mod, no matter how non-TA it is if it's named something "Annihilation". We've already been provided with enough TA Mods for each player to have one belong to them. Please, just give it a rest and make something new.

And to Beherith specifically, don't ban me for this, I'm just trying to warn people. Although, I'm sure you'll delete this post anyway ¬_¬

User was banned for this post.
Beherith
I was in doubt about the mod name, might have called it "Galactic Factions", but since i use the two TA factions, i put "Annihilation" in the name. So people will consider it another TA spinoff, well....the familiarity aspect might turn some off but also draw some players to try it.

About people being so into BA that it's not possible for them to convert to another *A mod, i think you are wrong. It's not that simple. Imo one of the reasons they didn't catch players was because they simply weren't good enough. OTA was far from perfect. Some of them try to emulate OTA better than BA, partially by removing some of the new units, that's their problem. I'm going to go in a different direction. I partially agree with the argument that there are too many "personal" flavours of OTA, and that it can be bad to have people trying to segregate the small gaming community Spring mods have. But, considering how many units, factions,etc. were made for Total annihilation over the years, some of them looking pretty good. I find it weird that 5 years later the Spring engine is being used to run mods like BA, with only a dozen new units, and many models remaining the same 10 year old ones (that could easily change). Someone needs to shake this.

Most projects fail. I'll give it a try.

About TA-based content being a burden to the Spring engine...I disagree, and also disagree with the whole TA IP "problem". But that's stuff for another thread (there are probably some).
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smoth
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by smoth » 06 Nov 2010, 23:12

just saying GA was already used.. might want to get a different name so you do not get confused with Gundam Annihilation for ota.
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Wombat
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Wombat » 06 Nov 2010, 23:16

just do whateve u want, u can change everything during the creation process
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Jazcash
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Jazcash » 06 Nov 2010, 23:26

Wombat wrote:just do whateve u want
Solid advice.
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Wombat
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Wombat » 06 Nov 2010, 23:33

indeed, indeed, its his game in the end ;)
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raaar
Metal Factions Developer
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by raaar » 07 Nov 2010, 00:53

smoth wrote:just saying GA was already used.. might want to get a different name so you do not get confused with Gundam Annihilation for ota.
I'm thinking...
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Wombat
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Wombat » 07 Nov 2010, 00:59

work on content and coding, name is least important ;)
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PicassoCT
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by PicassoCT » 07 Nov 2010, 20:07

How about [Placeholder]Annhilation or AnythingAnnhilation? Or how about InhalationAnnihilation? Could be a mod that advertises for the pharma-industry.

Or you combine some buzzwards, and set a large number at the end.
Liek WarFutureKill of TerrorFightExtreme 4
Or how about Scotts from outer Space? Kilted Core would be full of joy.
But you need a A as first letter, to get on top of every alphabetical list.
So how about ABC-Annhilation? Still better 0A-FirstAnnhilation.
Or how about jumping on some meme-wagon from 4chan with your game, so that everybody who uses the meme and knows of the game, has to add, i mean the meme and not the game.
The Game Annhilation. Or how about An Hillbilly Nation.
No? Nothing yet? Difficult customer.
How about Noitalihnna?
Okay, that one was cheap. Also revealing that Chris Taylor has something against italians. Racism, thats the original sin, if you read the title backwards, using your senses.


Dont mind me, im just following smoths path of destruction, looting the dead, wounded and nearly dispossesed.
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Axolotl
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by Axolotl » 07 Nov 2010, 22:13

I find this interesting.
raaar wrote: - Resource gathering units don't improve as much with teching as in other mods, and the ability to convert energy into metal has been sharply reduced... Want more metal? Grab more metal spots from your opponents.
Good idea. Consider also making mexes significantly more expensive, so that building one is a weighty decision rather than an automatic reflex.
- three armor classes:
1.light (most tier1 units, air units, some tier2, low tech economy buildings)
2. medium (some tier1 units and buildings, most commanders, some tier2 units)
3. heavy (heavy tanks, ships and turrets, krogoth, etc.)

- three weapon hitpower classes:
1. light (-66% damage to heavy, -33% to medium)
2. medium (-33% to heavy)
3. heavy (deals full damage to all armor classes)
Also a good idea. This produces some Rock-Paper-Scissors type unit dominance, which is very helpful for balance. Another poster made a snark about mathematical balance falling apart, and he is mostly correct. Formulas that look at unit data will always fail, but you *can* analyze balance from the abstract. Rock-Paper-Scissors unit dominance can be engineered to be balance-able.

Have you put any thought into what kinds of micro are worth having in your game, or how to make sure that players actually do them? I have a short list of common micro mechanics, my opinions of whether they are good/bad, and suggestions for how to make sure they are in/out of the game. I'll PM it to you if you want.

Good luck
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CarRepairer
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by CarRepairer » 08 Nov 2010, 01:46

raaar wrote:About people being so into BA that it's not possible for them to convert to another *A mod, i think you are wrong. It's not that simple. Imo one of the reasons they didn't catch players was because they simply weren't good enough.
No need to outright insult other people's projects, especially since many of your ideas are not new and have been tried in other *A mods.
raaar wrote:Most projects fail. I'll give it a try.
That's all that you needed to say. Good luck to you. Let us know if you want your mod on the rapid system.
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raaar
Metal Factions Developer
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Re: New *A mod, Galactic Annihilation : Factions

Post by raaar » 08 Nov 2010, 02:21

Thanks for the support.

I criticised some mods but i don't mean to insult them. I know people put lots of work in them, and a big part of what i'm using comes from that work(XTA uses some CA models and effects, for example), i have to thank the community for that. I would never even try this if i had to do everything from scratch.

Don't know much about what was tried over the years as far as Spring mods are concerned. There's not even an exaustive mod list. The info seems to be scattered.

Want to make something that's easy to play. Making a mex shouldn't be a weighty decision, so i think it's a bad idea. If the gameplay is too complicated people won't bother to learn. I'll try to follow "Easy to learn, hard to master" philosophy.

I'll probably dump the "Annihilation" and call the mod "Galactic Factions", or GF.
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