AuthorTopic: GR#020 - 16-Color Strategy Game  (Read 17812 times)

Offline McClaneGames

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #30 on: March 23, 2010, 07:36:08 pm
I agree with 7321551, replacing the gray with a light green creates too much contrast between the grass and dirt.  I think that gray-area is necessary (no pun intended).

And having different gameplay mechanics for each climate is a great idea - you could have mirages in the desert to confuse troops and, like Jarrad said, footprints in the snow.  The tall grass looks fine to me, but I guess we all have different tastes. ;)

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #31 on: March 24, 2010, 03:23:32 am
Thanks for the feedback.  :)

I'll give the simplistic style on the long grass an attempt, could turn out looking cool, I agree.

edit: Oh, about the different environments: You could take that approach, but it might be more interesting if you gave each environment some unique gameplay mechanic that the others lacked. For instance, no hiding in the snow snow environment, but enemy troops leave lasting footprints & so can be tracked, or something.
And having different gameplay mechanics for each climate is a great idea - you could have mirages in the desert to confuse troops and, like Jarrad said, footprints in the snow.  The tall grass looks fine to me, but I guess we all have different tastes. ;)

Yeah this is something I considered, but the problem is, as soon as you introduce unique gameplay mechanics to each environment, you unbalance the play styles each environment favours. With the example of removing grass (stealth/ambush/evasion) and adding footprints (tracking), you've completely inverted the strength of stealth play, making any player who likes stealth avoid snow maps like the plague. This leads to all kinds of things, like people blaming the map for their losses (discouraging mappers from working with that environment), or the player-base becoming split up based on what environments they prefer (or an entire environment eventually not being played at all), reducing the multiplayer variety. I'd rather have it that each environment offers the same potential for each strategy/play style, so it's an even playing field every time.

I'm avoiding environment mechanics like mirages. Environment mechanics should be things that the player can control and predict. It's difficult to formulate strategies around random events like mirages popping up.

Tracking mechanics like footprints grossly disadvantages stealth units and flanking maneuvers, which will make camping in your base until you mass a tidal-wave army to storm across the map in one big clump the dominant strategy. Also the Machines have hover units which wouldn't leave any tracks, giving them a huge advantage over the other races.

I seem to be shooting down ideas quite a lot. Don't take this to mean I don't appreciate them.  :-*

Worse comes to worst I don't think its too unreasonable to have dead, twiggy grass in the desert and frosty plants in the snow.

Offline Lizzrd

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #32 on: March 24, 2010, 06:16:41 am
In snow you could have huge piles of snow and in the desert huge sandbanks.
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Offline happymonster

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #33 on: March 25, 2010, 06:42:19 pm
The background colours are just a little too vivid for me. I'd be tempted to see what it looks like with a more muted 16 colour version for the foreground and use the vivid 16 colours just for the sprites.

Incidentally if you were going to change the 16 colour palette, but keep to 16 colours, what would you change? :)

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #34 on: March 26, 2010, 02:07:21 am
I liked the idea of weather changing the gameplay. It would be boring if all the environments were exactly the same other than appearance. There should be some sort of balance, like maybe stealthy units leave smaller trails that fade away faster, etc, but some variety would be nice.

Offline EyeCraft

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #35 on: March 26, 2010, 02:50:21 am
In snow you could have huge piles of snow and in the desert huge sandbanks.

Those seem like terrain types that you have to dig into to be hidden, and would impede movement too greatly in comparison to tall grass.

The background colours are just a little too vivid for me. I'd be tempted to see what it looks like with a more muted 16 colour version for the foreground and use the vivid 16 colours just for the sprites.

Incidentally if you were going to change the 16 colour palette, but keep to 16 colours, what would you change? :)

Yeah actually I thought the same thing. Have a terrain palette and a sprite palette. Seems very sensible. Will probably be the way that I go with it.

Alternatively, if it remained at 16 colours, it's hard to go past the balance of hue and contrast variety that Arne's palette affords. The specific needs of this game are thus:

- 3 unique race colour schemes (high contrast)
- 4+ strongly identifiable team colour schemes (ideally high contrast, but perhaps not as necessary as the race colours)
- As many low-to-moderate contrast terrain colours as possible. Must be able to render ground, water, cliffs, trees and tall grass at a minimum.

The approach I took with trying to keep low value colours for the terrain and high value colours for the units was an attempt to keep myself free for being able to do things like mute the terrain colours without affecting the identity and pop of the units. It may be possible to simply mute that brown and green being used for the dirt and grass to clear up a lot of the problems.

I liked the idea of weather changing the gameplay. It would be boring if all the environments were exactly the same other than appearance. There should be some sort of balance, like maybe stealthy units leave smaller trails that fade away faster, etc, but some variety would be nice.

This is interesting, because after I made my statement about the environments needing equality, I read a book on game design, which had some pretty solid arguments for having something like game mechanics unique to each environment.

The emphasis on process intensity (meaningful choices and "verbs" available to the player) over data intensity (lots of graphics/environments/levels/sounds/story) is paramount, since the former adds to the actual interactivity of the game, whereas the latter is just kind of frills.

So considering the idea of map equality from that perspective, keeping all the mechanics the same across all terrain types essentially puts the role of maps in the data intensity zone. So to make each environment have different tactics, that would be good, as it makes the game more interactive. The question thus becomes, would the benefit of the increased interactivity outweigh the negative effects of unequal maps?

This assumes, of course, that really cool environment mechanics can be thought of for each environment type. I've already stated some of the big issues I see with the snow tracks idea (mainly the massive advantage the Machines have over the other races with it). I thought something like what was in Tiberian Sun could be cool, where you could shoot the ice an enemy was standing on to make them plummet into the water. I get a feeling this would make AoE units and abilities massively overpowered though, since they have the potential to insta-kill entire groups of enemies, and since 3/4 of Human's units have AoE, it might potentially give Humans too much of an advantage.

But I do still like the idea of say, a map with ice bridges in the middle. Wait for the enemy to cross, then destroy the bridge behind them, cutting them off from retreat, then para-drop troops into their base. Pretty cool.

Also, as I think of it, the bread-and-butter Machine units aren't hover, only the more specialised units. So it's possible there isn't TOO much of an advantage to Machines with snow/sand tracks. CrazyMLC's idea for different length tracks could work, too. The large, heavy units like Hulks and tanks could leave long trails, but light units like infantry could leave shorter ones. Thus stealth units are still less effective than on other terrain types, but they still pose advantageous use in the snow. Also this creates a choice for the player: do I take my tanks across the snow and risk being intercepted, or do I take them across the ice and risk possible losses or being stranded? Very cool.

It's possible this is just the kind of thing that has to be play tested to really see how un/balanced it is. Given that, I'll write a list of plausible environment mechanics and at some point they will be implemented and play tested. If they are good, they will stay.  :)

This is exciting!  ;D
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 02:55:34 am by EyeCraft »

Offline CrazyMLC

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #36 on: March 26, 2010, 03:25:24 am
Sounds fun already! :D

I'm glad you like my general idea, and yeah, I'd imagine a tank would leave a much larger trail than a some infantry.

I always thought the main feature of hover tanks was being able to go over any terrain. That doesn't necessarily mean they wouldn't leave tracks of some kind...

Differing palettes for terrain and units sounds like a good idea, since it would separate the units from the terrain, and make them stand out a bit more, like they should.


Perhaps each faction could have their strengths for each weather condition?
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 03:34:43 am by CrazyMLC »

Offline Lizzrd

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Re: [WIP] 16 colour strategy game

Reply #37 on: March 26, 2010, 09:40:57 am
Maybe some weather changiy machine thingie for last thing you research/get?
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