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Work in Progress / Does this concept work? Action/RTS split multiplayer game

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Millenium7
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Posted: 9th Feb 2012 06:05
I've been working on a project but havn't touched it for a while.

It plays out in 2 completely different genres simultaneously. It's a multiplayer game with 2 seperate races, players join a game and choose which race they would like to play on that round
- The first is the Marines. This is played from a top down perspective similiar to http://static.place77.com/pictures-big-700/nation-red-demo-2091-1.jpg
Up to 4 players can be on the Marines team, their strength is in their firepower. But they are relatively weak when ambushed and must cover each other when advancing through the level.
Players can choose different weapons (some of which must be unlocked) such as the shotgun, assault rifle, chaingun, grenade launcher and so on. Each weapon has it's strengths and weaknesses. Whilst the grenade launcher puts out a lot more damage for instance, it's much slower and relies on having another player with say an assault rifle or shotgun to help cover them. Oh and one of the kickers is that marines have a flashlight, some levels are very dimly lit. It'll be difficult to spot enemies behind wall/objects and area's should be scanned thoroughly by players or risk being ambushed

- The second team is the Blight. This race is played from an RTS perspective and can see the level layout even in pitch black. They always know where the marines are. Certain area's on the map permit base building. The job of these guys is either to defend areas of the map, or to assault and kill the marines. While the marines have a lot of firepower, these guys are all about numbers. They recruit mostly weak melee/ranged units, with a few extremely large, powerful units in their arsenal. Units are bought with credits which are accumulated by building more resource generating structures. The downside is if they spend too much on resource buildings and not unit buildings they risk letting the marines get too far ahead in the level, or even allowing them into their base and destroying structures.
The blight never actually die, they can rebuild their base at any time and at any valid point in the map. Some levels are designed specifically for this purpose with the blight choosing to go frontline, or built up at the back of the base. Additionally the Blight have strong NPC bosses at various locations in the map

Maps are designed for an even number of players and up to 4 players on Marines and 4 as the Blight (seperate resources and unit control).
Maps can be played in different game style. 2 of which are
Assault - Marines must progress through the level completing objectives in any order they see fit. And simply get to the exit point
Defend - Blight are given bonus resource income and must continually harass the marines until they are dead. Marines must stay alive for a certain amount of time, and optionally complete objectives to help them, such as restoring power to get defensive turrets online


I'm quite proud of what I have so far, my code is very solid and fast and consists of most of the background stuff done. I have a scripting engine allowing mods, menu system, chat system, netcode done, controls almost done, lighting system getting there (will allow infinite lights, shadows, HDR). But there's very little of actual gameplay at the moment. The groundwork is there just needs working on but that's where i've lost interest

What I need is some motivation to go through with it. So the question is, are there enough people who genuinely want something like this and should I continue with it or shift to another project?
Cheers
Agent Dink
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Posted: 12th Feb 2012 21:15
This sounds like an awesome idea to me. It's like a coop vs AI sort of scenario, except you'll never know what to expect. It will always be different, because the AI is actually controlled by a human player.

I think it's brilliant.

http://lossofanonymity.wordpress.com
MrValentine
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Posted: 13th Feb 2012 00:46
Quote: "because the AI is actually controlled by a human player. "



STICK WITH IT
it reminds me of a slightly similar game fromt he 90's...

I would play this but the model sounds as though you might be looking at a monthly subscription to cope with server costs...

I would only play it on a one time buy it now basis - just saying in case you hadent got to that stage yet... maybe make it so that people could host their own servers? or have you got an alternative system setup for this?

Agent Dink
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Posted: 13th Feb 2012 02:01 Edited at: 13th Feb 2012 02:08
Quote: "Quote: "because the AI is actually controlled by a human player. "
"


The Blight is controlled as if the players are controlling an RTS style game... There would be a certain level of AI controlling those units beyond what the player commands them to do... Actually quite a bit if the game is to be any sort of challenge. I'd imagine you would see the Blight taking general attack and move commands from the player, but beyond that they would work like a normal AI enemy, dodging attacks, taking cover, etc.



http://lossofanonymity.wordpress.com
Millenium7
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Posted: 13th Feb 2012 02:28 Edited at: 13th Feb 2012 02:33
blight are controlled by human players but have AI routines. That is the player can individually select and move units into place. If a blight unit is attacked, or a marine comes within range, then the blight unit(s) will move towards the marines and begin attacking. A human player can of course take over and manually move/attack them

The core dynamics of the game is that the Blight are strategists, they need to manage their economy somewhat (quite simple, one form of money, only need to decide between upgrading income rate, or spending on units) whilst also attacking the marines. Because most blight units are rather weak they work best in ambushes by positioning them directly behind doors/walls or in corridors. And then letting the AI/player attack when the Marine's come through at close range. Blight's income is determined by structures, and can be reduced by destroying their structures. Some maps are designed around this, blight can only build in certain areas of the map and marines may optionally be able to access that area and destroy their structures
Blight always have unrestricted vision over the map

Marines are very action oriented. Much more fast paced and they have a fixed camera over their head. They also suffer from limitted vision, they can't see behind walls and some maps are very dark so rely on their flashlight to see, or bringing generators online (optional objectives) in order to boost their vision. They don't walk as fast as blight but have a lot of firepower. In open ground they will win as long as they don't get surrounded

Maps have main and optional objectives. A main objective for a map might be to simply get a generator back online and then head for the exit. But optional ones might be to activate a control panel which opens up (or closes) paths in the map. Or bring turrets online, or do something which either makes it easier for the marines, or restricts the Blight. These take more time to do, allowing the blight to grow in numbers but can pay off

Quote: "I would only play it on a one time buy it now basis - just saying in case you hadent got to that stage yet... maybe make it so that people could host their own servers? or have you got an alternative system setup for this?"


At present it's a user hosted server/client setup, run from the same .exe file. I will be adding a master server list once sufficient gameplay is in place
MrValentine
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Posted: 13th Feb 2012 02:35
cool...

I have a few concerns...

can the Blight prevent say a c4 explosive or the means of which the humans have to destroy buildings?

also do not make the levels tooooo big as then objectives would become boresom and a bit like red faction........
Quote: "Ronly"


Millenium7
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Posted: 13th Feb 2012 04:00
Quote: "can the Blight prevent say a c4 explosive or the means of which the humans have to destroy buildings?"


depends on the objective

Generators and repairables - require holding down the action key until it's done. Can't fire or move during this time but can let go, will resume from where you left off

Certain buttons/switches/activators - only have to be pressed once, warns the Blight when activated and has a built in countdown before the desired effect is achieved. I.e. calling an elevator

Bosses - very high health and must be killed before advancing

Destructable objectives - low/moderate health, no countdown, just need to be destroyed for things to work, i.e. opening a door or closing off an area

C4 would classify as either an activator or repairable depending on the map
MrValentine
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Posted: 13th Feb 2012 04:02
hmm...


Bosses?

Millenium7
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Posted: 13th Feb 2012 06:15 Edited at: 13th Feb 2012 06:20
Quote: "Bosses?"


They are used to slow the pace of a map and add in an extra element
One map i'm working on is aboard a powered down ship, marines start in the airlock, immediately upon exitting the room they'll run into some Blight but nothing major. The first mandatory objective is to get the get the generator up and running, it's very close to the airlock and is the only valid path to begin with. There is a main blight spawn in the center of this map (which has access to all objectives, but marines can't go into this room)

Marines need to get the generator up, blight should be harassing them constantly but the generator room is easily defended, it has 2 entrances but both lead to a corridoor so the marines only need to defend from 1 side. While this is happening the blight have the option to build or spawn in the top left (above the airlock), currently this room is sealed off, but if the blight choose to also build here they can rush the enemy once the generator is up and running

When the generator is working, 2 doors in the room outside the airlock open up, one leads to the blight room (an optional side mission, marines may destroy this area), or head straight to level boss. The boss is just a high health unit in a large room from which the blight also have several points of entry. Marines need to cover on all sides. Without the boss the level would progress too quickly and not give the blight enough time to build up a larger force, since they need to start harassing quite early but also have strength later on. After the boss is defeated another door opens up leading to a bunch of destructables and some switches. This opens the final door which leads to the elevator room. Marines only need to activate it and wait for it to arrive. Blight can harass from 2 sides but it's a bit tricky to defend since the room is kinda small and the elevator shaft is in the middle so marines can only move on the outside.

The level should take approx 15 minutes. The boss in this level gives the blight a chance to build up if they havn't really succeeding in harassing them before they get to the generator

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