The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Page 5 of 20 FirstFirst 123456789101112131415 ... LastLast
Results 121 to 150 of 598
  1. - Top - End - #121
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vancouver

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Is there anything specific that you'd like to know more about?
    (Sorry, you just happened to be talking about game programming at the wrong time) Amish, do you have any suggestions/tips/resources when it comes to coding games based on large amounts of rules exceptions? Something with a established core rule set/order of operations that can be heavily altered by player/agent actions or circumstance.


    Also Thanqol, is Twilight Struggle Steam edition worth getting? I just looked at some of the reviews and it seems a recent update borked it a bit, but presumably it will get fixed.
    Devoted artificer of the church of Scorching Ray.

  2. - Top - End - #122
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    From your explanation here, it sounds like the player/AI will know what tech is needed to counter other tech. If your opponent is investing heavily into X, then you'll need Y to counter its negative effects. Is that more what you're thinking?

    There's also the ban/allow system to counter the spread of technologies with negative effects. Is that system relevant here, or are megaviruses/superweapons in a different system altogether?
    So there are two big parts of the game:
    - Research
    - Security and espionage

    Everything else (economics, military conflicts, whatever) is handled by other departments in your sprawling megacorp, these are the bits the game and player focuses on.

    I'm imagining that you have a couple of security agents you can assign to tech a bit like researchers but they just work on hardening your infrastructure against that kind of disaster and penetration. Like, assign this guy to cybersecurity and he'll just work on putting up AI defenses until you tell him to stop. At the start of the game when you don't really know where the threat will be coming from you're making choices at random, but as time goes on and you get a better understanding of what your opponent's capabilities are and what the potential dangers are you start to zero in on what's important.

    You also control the spread of tech with bans and corporate agents. Suits expand the saturation of technology by taking it to market - either to begin the rollout of a tech you've vetted and cleared for your own population, or to push a dangerous tech on the other guy.

    (Mr Johnson might notice you suddenly shuffling around your security personnel, especially if they've been static for a long time, and blindly do the same just in case)

    I've played Invisible Inc, haven't played Crusader Kings II but I have a friend who regales me with tales of her empire, and I've no experience with Twilight Struggle. I'll look into that one.

    XCOM II seems close-ish to this concept as well, given that you're playing against the alien regime. I'm unsure how much the AI can actively work against you there, though.
    XCOM II is a bad example. The alien regime takes no actions to counter you other than random mission patterns in the exact same style of XCOM 1. I was a bit disappointed by that.

    Hoo boy. That's a big question.

    First and foremost; I don't think now is the time to be doing much serious dialogue writing. That comes later. If you start writing a bunch of dialogue right now, odds are the design is going to shift and change and make said dialogue obsolete. Concept dialogue is going to be much more valuable. Think of it like concept art for words. Write until you have something that could appear in the game, something that capture the tone, the feel, everything that you're going for. That'll be a valuable reference for when it comes time to write things for reals.
    Gotcha.
    AI: Hard. Possibly the hardest thing we're doing, now that multiplayer is out of the picture. This game will live or die on the AI. I took some AI programming courses in college, and there's resources I can tap when working on this, so we're not starting blind.
    Great. I'm thinking there are 4-5 (maybe more depending on how hard they are to do) Mr. Johnsons - the Cynic, the True Believer, the Coward, etc - each with the key decision making variables like aggressiveness tweaked slightly like in Stellaris.

    Scene Triggers: Easy. It'll take a bit of planning, and it'd be really helpful to know up front what sort of things will trigger a scene with Mr. Johnson. But the actual implementation should be simple.
    I think the conversations should almost be random - they're things that don't fit in either of your daily schedules like international summits and stuff. He generally doesn't call you up to chat about recent events though they may inform his opinion a bit.

    Response to crisis, dramatically winning or losing a game, catching or losing an agent, anything which might get a head of state to contact another head of state directly.

    Art: Easy-Hard, will require somebody else to make it probably. This depends entirely on how fancy you want to get. Something like Civ's 3D maps with moving units and lots of animations? That's going to be hard.
    3D maps look atrocious.

    Something like DEFCON's 1980s vector graphics? Easier. Art and graphics are always going to be fiddly, much of computer graphics is based on cheatery. If whoever is making the art also knows how to navigate our chosen game engine, that would be a big plus.
    Definitely something extremely stylized and mostly about maps. Cool futuristic maps but maps all the same.

    UI: Easy. Most game engines these days come with UI tools. Difficulty will depend more on if you want to do anything fancy.

    Does that help? Is there anything specific that you'd like to know more about?
    UI is by far the most important thing that we get right. A game like this lives and dies on its UI. Every piece of information should be at most two clicks away, every decision at most three.

    My next question is what's the project's timeflow? What do we need to have for this stage, specifically?
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2016-12-28 at 05:25 PM.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  3. - Top - End - #123
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Alright! Leaving for New Year's vacation early in the morning, so I don't have much time to reply tonight. I'll answer big questions briefly, and can give more in-depth answers later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madcrafter View Post
    (Sorry, you just happened to be talking about game programming at the wrong time) Amish, do you have any suggestions/tips/resources when it comes to coding games based on large amounts of rules exceptions? Something with a established core rule set/order of operations that can be heavily altered by player/agent actions or circumstance.
    That's a bit of a vague description, but here's two suggestions:

    1) If the order of operations is what matters, try making some sort of reorderable list of operations, each one with a doThing() method. Then you just pop the first one off the list and call doThing().

    2) Have you looked into patterns? They take some studying, and are really best learned by looking at an example of their implementation, but they are amazing. Patterns are how you code good. I would wager there's one out there that solves the problem you're looking at.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    3D maps look atrocious.



    Definitely something extremely stylized and mostly about maps. Cool futuristic maps but maps all the same.
    You make me a happy pirate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    My next question is what's the project's timeflow? What do we need to have for this stage, specifically?
    Disclaimer: There's a million different ways to make video games. This is how I was taught, and it makes sense to me, so it's what I recommend.

    Right now, we are in the design/pre-production phase. This is the part of the show where we nail down what our concept is (which we've done in this thread already) and see if it's an idea we can make a full game out of. We have the concept down, what we need next is the first iteration of the design. Take all the concepts we've been throwing around, and make actual, tangible mechanics and systems out of them. Don't worry about making a full tech tree, worry about what a tech tree is, what changes from level to level, what resources are needed to advance it, etc. Content later, mechanics now. Our goal is to make a prototype as quickly as possible that lets us test the core functionality of this game. If the very basic systems - research and espionage, for starters - aren't engaging, then no amount of additional features will fix that. Once the core is solid, then we can start adding more features, and then eventually content, and so it goes. I can talk about the big picture timeflow when I have some more time.

    tl;dr: Right now, you should take your concepts, and make actual mechanics out of them. Focus on core mechanics first.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Madcrafter View Post
    Also Thanqol, is Twilight Struggle Steam edition worth getting? I just looked at some of the reviews and it seems a recent update borked it a bit, but presumably it will get fixed.
    I like it a lot and would love to have someone to play a damn game against.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Disclaimer: There's a million different ways to make video games. This is how I was taught, and it makes sense to me, so it's what I recommend.

    Right now, we are in the design/pre-production phase. This is the part of the show where we nail down what our concept is (which we've done in this thread already) and see if it's an idea we can make a full game out of. We have the concept down, what we need next is the first iteration of the design. Take all the concepts we've been throwing around, and make actual, tangible mechanics and systems out of them. Don't worry about making a full tech tree, worry about what a tech tree is, what changes from level to level, what resources are needed to advance it, etc. Content later, mechanics now. Our goal is to make a prototype as quickly as possible that lets us test the core functionality of this game. If the very basic systems - research and espionage, for starters - aren't engaging, then no amount of additional features will fix that. Once the core is solid, then we can start adding more features, and then eventually content, and so it goes. I can talk about the big picture timeflow when I have some more time.

    tl;dr: Right now, you should take your concepts, and make actual mechanics out of them. Focus on core mechanics first.
    Awesome. I'll start theorycrafting some ideas and drawing some diagrams and stuff during my sketch period and post here whenever I get an insight into how a core system moves around.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  5. - Top - End - #125
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vancouver

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    That's a bit of a vague description...
    Therin is the rub I think, it's not something I've found the search keywords to properly express, despite the fact I think it's probably a common thing (not helped by the fact that "exception" is a keyword). Hence why I've ended up asking someone (lucky you). I'm familiar with the concept of patterns but haven't looked at implementation in a long while (the only one I can remember off the top of my head is a factory, and pretty much only the name) so that's probably where I'll look.
    Spoiler: Example of what I'm thinking of
    Show
    To give a generic DnD style example, say a fighter has a strength score. He gets cursed and gets -2 strength, that's all fine and dandy. But maybe things are more complicated; maybe he has a magic bracelet that suppresses the effect of curses, or maybe the curse only affects his strength for the purposes of attack rolls. It's the latter kinds of situations I'm concerned about, especially in larger numbers. Any one of those situations by itself can be written in specifically, but what's the best practice for large numbers of very specific interactions like those? I can think of a few possible approaches, but they wouldn't scale well and none of them are what I'd call elegant.
    I'll take a gander through the main patterns though and see if something useful turns up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I like it a lot and would love to have someone to play a damn game against.
    I imagine that's probably a little more common a frustration as an Aussie.
    Devoted artificer of the church of Scorching Ray.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Madcrafter View Post
    I imagine that's probably a little more common a frustration as an Aussie.
    For a long time I solved the problem by hanging out with crazy people who never slept ever.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  7. - Top - End - #127
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Core Mechanics: The Mr. Johnson Dialogues

    There are a lot of ways to do dialogue in video games but the most common is of course the humble dialogue tree. I want to play with that concept.

    So, every so often the two superpower heads of state will meet - but the catch is that you're a malicious shadowy conglomerate running multiple nations from the background so you're not actually the President. Instead, the President is a robot built to shake hands and kiss babies and whenever it needs to do anything exotic you and your team assume direct control from your Situation Room bunker. So, every time you meet Mr. Johnson, you are operating a robot with three settings - Statesman, Folksy and Aggressive.

    At the same time, you're not in a mano-el-mano dialogue with the man. You're surrounded by psychologists and microexpression experts who are trying to build up a profile of Mr. Johnson so they can better understand who he is as a person. They have an objective which is completely counter to yours - they want you to get Mr. Johnson worked up because each emotional outburst is valuable intel from their perspective. This often implies torpedoing whatever negotiations you're currently engaged in but hey, them's the breaks.

    To represent the fact that you're not alone and are surrounded by professionals, each time you reach a dialogue branch you get one option highlighted blue - which is what your statesmen recommend - and one option highlighted red - which is what your psychologists recommend. If you go 100% blue you have a very good chance of succeeding at the negotiations, 100% red a very good chance of provoking an outburst, but if you variate between the two then you're in the wild - maybe you get both, maybe you get neither.

    As to Mr. Johnson himself, there's going to be a variety of them and you don't know which one you're up against unless you let your psychologists do their work. As far as replayability goes, there'll be a number of different scenes that'll be shared between different Johnsons - for instance a scene where Johnson displays no emotion whatsoever when directly insulted might be shared between Former KGB Johnson, Reptoid Johnson or Artificial Intelligence Johnson - and the psychologists will narrow the field accordingly.

    This results in gameplay where each conversation you're deciding to trade resources for intel, and gameplay where in the lategame you know that Mr. Johnson is either an Ideological Fanatic or a Cynical Manipulator and that matters because one of them will launch the nukes if you invade and the other one won't.

    Additionally, if I pair off the Johnsons into clusters like a tournament bracket (8 Johnsons narrowing to 4 then 2 then 1) then that puts a nice limiter on the amount of writing I have to do and prevents the project from blobbing out infinitely.

    I feel pretty good about this!

    EDIT: Mr. Johnson's personality only really has mechanical effect around the endgame. Early game he's just researching stuff and building up his corp, just like you. Late game when he has to start making decisions about what to do with all the stuff he researched is when he might decide to rollout operation Kill All Humans and if you aren't prepared for a genocidal war then you're in trouble.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2017-01-03 at 11:41 PM.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  8. - Top - End - #128
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    It's interesting that even in the situation that inspired this mechanic - where two rival megacorp leaders cross paths in a hallway - you don't get to make a really personal connection to Mr. Johnson. There's always a layer between you, and fifty experts listening in. Heck, Mr. Johnson probably has fifty experts advising him on what to say too. I bet you could make some interesting scenes where the two of you (covertly) share a moment of mutual understanding. Out of all the people in the world, you might be the only two communicating primarily via Doombot.

    I like that there's a couple of competing mechanics at play here. You have the basic trade-off of intel vs. resources, but there's also the other axis; risk. You can ignore what your team is telling you, and roll the dice. No telling what you may get, but it allows greedy and desperate plays, which keeps this from being a game of "what do the experts want me to do this time?"
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  9. - Top - End - #129
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    It's interesting that even in the situation that inspired this mechanic - where two rival megacorp leaders cross paths in a hallway - you don't get to make a really personal connection to Mr. Johnson. There's always a layer between you, and fifty experts listening in. Heck, Mr. Johnson probably has fifty experts advising him on what to say too. I bet you could make some interesting scenes where the two of you (covertly) share a moment of mutual understanding. Out of all the people in the world, you might be the only two communicating primarily via Doombot.
    I actually quite like the idea that Mr. Johnson in most incarnations isn't a Doombot. Revealing that you are might be one of them maverick moves not recommended by your experts. Some incarnations might be, though, like the AI, but I kind of like the feeling of making the player a little more ruthless than him by default.

    I like that there's a couple of competing mechanics at play here. You have the basic trade-off of intel vs. resources, but there's also the other axis; risk. You can ignore what your team is telling you, and roll the dice. No telling what you may get, but it allows greedy and desperate plays, which keeps this from being a game of "what do the experts want me to do this time?"
    Exactly. It was inspired by the Human Revolution dialogue system which has really good three-choice dialogue fights with an added edge of mind control on top of that. I think those were the dialogue trees I've enjoyed the most in gaming.


    I'm currently thinking about control of countries on the map that aren't either superpower. I'm wondering if it's necessary. See, one of my big priorities is to prevent a victory spiral - success shouldn't lead to more success and you shouldn't quit out because you're winning and just need to continue your death march to victory because that's when so many strategy games become boring. Here are my concept thoughts:

    - I would describe this game as two men armed only with explosives fighting in a structurally unstable building. If you just go ham then the world's gonna end, so the idea is to carefully lay the groundwork so that when you pull the trigger everything happens at once.
    - The endgame is when Mr. Johnson sets in motion his predefined master plan, whatever it is. The game up until that point is about figuring out what it is and being in a position to counter it. This gives a focus on the endgame and your opponent and takes advantage of the 1v1 focus. Your goal is to beat Johnson at whatever he's planning.
    - The player should never be entirely safe. You're up against a superpower who has the same nuclear arsenal as you. Only thing stopping Mr. Johnson using it is Mr. Johnson, so it pays a lot to know his mind.

    For countries, I'm thinking something sort of like this:
    - Countries aren't worth resources. They're things that consume resources. You can spend currency of various kinds on securing countries, and those then give you strategic positions.
    - There are three scales of conflict in a country: Insurgency, Conventional, Superweapon. Conventional forces can only be placed in a country you own and cannot be attacked by conventional forces for fear of starting a world war. An Insurgency slowly destroys stationed conventional forces, depending on financial investment and tech. Defense is more cost efficient than offense, but you need to maintain defenses everywhere you control while you can pick and choose where to attack. Escalating the conflict to superweaponry basically destroys the country.

    Remember, the idea with this game is to emulate 21st century superpower rivalry - which means avaunt guarde I'm-Not-Touching-You invasions and proxy war. Syria and Ukraine are the theatres of conflict here. Various events and tech might allow for conventional invasions.

    - Control of countries isn't worth anything intrinsically but they do sort of represent score. Control of countries will provide benefits in most sorts of Endgame. On the other hand, resources invested in military control represents resources not invested in tech, intel or domestic security.
    - Essentially the idea is that it's impossible to be ahead at everything. There should always be important decisions being made, and while it's possible to attain total lockdown on one or two areas of influence if you've picked the wrong ones for Mr. Johnson's victory conditions you're screwed.

    Examples:
    Drunken Nihilist Johnson will launch an atomic strike if the balance of power remains static for too long, but will capitulate if he loses military control of most of the board.
    AI Johnson needs to be in a position strong enough to launch superweapon strikes on all of your territory simultaneously.
    Cynical Manipulator Johnson doesn't care about territory at all but will strike when he sees opportunities just to throw you off. What he's really after is getting enough influence in your homeland to rig your elections or launch a coup.
    Idealistic Demagogue Johnson wants to own the entire board and eventually gains the ability to launch conventional invasions everywhere.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  10. - Top - End - #130
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Raz_Fox's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Imladris
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    The Mage angle has been lurking in my head since I started this thing. Just quietly sitting there saying, 'I'm not saying it has to be mage, but I'm just going to be here for when you decide to make it mage'. So now it's just a weird gnostic stream of consciousness from Idelle where I'm stylistically ripping off Raz Fox as hard as I can and it's working great.
    I really want to see what it looks like when you rip me off stylistically. The burning, torturous curiosity of wondering what others sound like when imitating your voice, like listening to a recording of yourself and wondering: do I sound like that, or is the phone throwing it off?
    freedom in the flame

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Raz, you scoundrel! You planned this!
    Quote Originally Posted by BladeofObliviom View Post
    Great, and now I'm imagining what Raz's profile on a dating site would look like. "Must be okay with veils."
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasanip View Post
    I don't think there is such a time to have veils that it is not the fault of Raz_Fox.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag View Post
    It's a freaking Romulan dump truck. The Romulans are no more likely to build an unarmed warp-capable ship than they are to become a hippy commune.

  11. - Top - End - #131
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    I really want to see what it looks like when you rip me off stylistically. The burning, torturous curiosity of wondering what others sound like when imitating your voice, like listening to a recording of yourself and wondering: do I sound like that, or is the phone throwing it off?
    Urban Shadows Anja is my most successful attempt so far and was directly inspired by how colourful June's writing was (and that was the main reason I decided to get back into that game). Synthesizing your sense of absent digression with my own natural sense of bluntness and clarity through the artificial Practical/Theoretical divide has been working out really well so far.

    It also seems to be solving a lot of problems I've been having with first person lately. I started running two characters, Kirillov and Rickard, doing slightly different first person perspectives at about the same time and I've been very dissatisfied with both. Anja was the result of me triangulating the limitations of those two styles with what I appreciated most about your writing style. I think the result was novel, successful and a new core tool to be added to my writing skillset.

    And learning that stuff is exactly why I game!
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  12. - Top - End - #132
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Brief pre-convention thoughts gooooooooooooooooooooooo

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I actually quite like the idea that Mr. Johnson in most incarnations isn't a Doombot. Revealing that you are might be one of them maverick moves not recommended by your experts. Some incarnations might be, though, like the AI, but I kind of like the feeling of making the player a little more ruthless than him by default.
    That's even better/worse. Imagine the scenes with Idealist Johnson, hopeful that he's making some sort of human connection for once in his time in power, not realizing that he's speaking to you via remotely controlled robot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I'm currently thinking about control of countries on the map that aren't either superpower. I'm wondering if it's necessary. See, one of my big priorities is to prevent a victory spiral - success shouldn't lead to more success and you shouldn't quit out because you're winning and just need to continue your death march to victory because that's when so many strategy games become boring.
    Another two cents; if we don't have countries, the main strategy map is going to be incredibly static and I'm not sure what we'd fill it with.

    - I would describe this game as two men armed only with explosives fighting in a structurally unstable building. If you just go ham then the world's gonna end, so the idea is to carefully lay the groundwork so that when you pull the trigger everything happens at once.
    - The endgame is when Mr. Johnson sets in motion his predefined master plan, whatever it is. The game up until that point is about figuring out what it is and being in a position to counter it. This gives a focus on the endgame and your opponent and takes advantage of the 1v1 focus. Your goal is to beat Johnson at whatever he's planning.
    - The player should never be entirely safe. You're up against a superpower who has the same nuclear arsenal as you. Only thing stopping Mr. Johnson using it is Mr. Johnson, so it pays a lot to know his mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    For countries, I'm thinking something sort of like this:
    - Countries aren't worth resources. They're things that consume resources. You can spend currency of various kinds on securing countries, and those then give you strategic positions.
    - There are three scales of conflict in a country: Insurgency, Conventional, Superweapon. Conventional forces can only be placed in a country you own and cannot be attacked by conventional forces for fear of starting a world war. An Insurgency slowly destroys stationed conventional forces, depending on financial investment and tech. Defense is more cost efficient than offense, but you need to maintain defenses everywhere you control while you can pick and choose where to attack. Escalating the conflict to superweaponry basically destroys the country.

    Remember, the idea with this game is to emulate 21st century superpower rivalry - which means avaunt guarde I'm-Not-Touching-You invasions and proxy war. Syria and Ukraine are the theatres of conflict here. Various events and tech might allow for conventional invasions.

    - Control of countries isn't worth anything intrinsically but they do sort of represent score. Control of countries will provide benefits in most sorts of Endgame. On the other hand, resources invested in military control represents resources not invested in tech, intel or domestic security.
    - Essentially the idea is that it's impossible to be ahead at everything. There should always be important decisions being made, and while it's possible to attain total lockdown on one or two areas of influence if you've picked the wrong ones for Mr. Johnson's victory conditions you're screwed.
    Here's another thought; what about proximity to other countries? You certainly have the resources to act just about anywhere on the globe, but I have to imagine your efforts would be cheaper and more effective if you have a staging point next door to the country you're looking to influence. If the proximity bonuses don't stack, then this prevents a "win more" victory through gaining control over a messload of countries. And perhaps the two superpower nations provide their own proximity bonus, i.e. it's really easy to gain control/fight for control of countries next to your home nation. However, if you can manage to gain control of a country next to your opponent, that could give you a really big boost to spreading tech and the like. Your opponent is going to eventually retake control of that country, but it gives you a great window of opportunity to wreak some havoc. The question is if you can do enough damage/spread enough destabilizing tech to offset the military cost of getting there.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  13. - Top - End - #133
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vancouver

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Here's another thought; what about proximity to other countries? You certainly have the resources to act just about anywhere on the globe, but I have to imagine your efforts would be cheaper and more effective if you have a staging point next door to the country you're looking to influence. If the proximity bonuses don't stack, then this prevents a "win more" victory through gaining control over a messload of countries. And perhaps the two superpower nations provide their own proximity bonus, i.e. it's really easy to gain control/fight for control of countries next to your home nation. However, if you can manage to gain control of a country next to your opponent, that could give you a really big boost to spreading tech and the like. Your opponent is going to eventually retake control of that country, but it gives you a great window of opportunity to wreak some havoc. The question is if you can do enough damage/spread enough destabilizing tech to offset the military cost of getting there.
    From what little I've played of it and without the technology part yet elaborated, this is sounding increasingly like "Twilight Struggle 2050" with a dialogue section at the end of each turn.
    Devoted artificer of the church of Scorching Ray.

  14. - Top - End - #134
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Here's another thought; what about proximity to other countries? You certainly have the resources to act just about anywhere on the globe, but I have to imagine your efforts would be cheaper and more effective if you have a staging point next door to the country you're looking to influence. If the proximity bonuses don't stack, then this prevents a "win more" victory through gaining control over a messload of countries. And perhaps the two superpower nations provide their own proximity bonus, i.e. it's really easy to gain control/fight for control of countries next to your home nation. However, if you can manage to gain control of a country next to your opponent, that could give you a really big boost to spreading tech and the like. Your opponent is going to eventually retake control of that country, but it gives you a great window of opportunity to wreak some havoc. The question is if you can do enough damage/spread enough destabilizing tech to offset the military cost of getting there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Madcrafter View Post
    From what little I've played of it and without the technology part yet elaborated, this is sounding increasingly like "Twilight Struggle 2050" with a dialogue section at the end of each turn.
    Ripping off Twilight Struggle is a key design pillar. There aren't any other games about 1v1 strategic superpower conflict that I'm aware of.

    Here's a difference, though: Countries in Twilight Struggle have the links between them geographical and static because the idea was to give the Cold War esque sense of dominoes falling to Communism that have to be strategically roadblocked. A similar thing that I'm currently thinking about that matters in the modern megacorp world is centers of financial gravity. For instance, if you want to have financial influence in Nigeria you go to London because that's where all the elite businessmen and politicians of Nigeria tend to congregate.

    So the connections between countries will, rather than being based on geography, be a hub and spoke model from the big stock exchanges. Gives a nice postnational feel while still having countries be around and interactive.

    Reference video.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  15. - Top - End - #135
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Ripping off Twilight Struggle is a key design pillar. There aren't any other games about 1v1 strategic superpower conflict that I'm aware of.

    Here's a difference, though: Countries in Twilight Struggle have the links between them geographical and static because the idea was to give the Cold War esque sense of dominoes falling to Communism that have to be strategically roadblocked. A similar thing that I'm currently thinking about that matters in the modern megacorp world is centers of financial gravity. For instance, if you want to have financial influence in Nigeria you go to London because that's where all the elite businessmen and politicians of Nigeria tend to congregate.

    So the connections between countries will, rather than being based on geography, be a hub and spoke model from the big stock exchanges. Gives a nice postnational feel while still having countries be around and interactive.

    Reference video.
    So is there a difference between economic influence and military presence/control?
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  16. - Top - End - #136
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vancouver

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Here's a difference, though: Countries in Twilight Struggle have the links between them geographical and static because the idea was to give the Cold War esque sense of dominoes falling to Communism that have to be strategically roadblocked. A similar thing that I'm currently thinking about that matters in the modern megacorp world is centers of financial gravity. For instance, if you want to have financial influence in Nigeria you go to London because that's where all the elite businessmen and politicians of Nigeria tend to congregate.

    So the connections between countries will, rather than being based on geography, be a hub and spoke model from the big stock exchanges. Gives a nice postnational feel while still having countries be around and interactive.
    Mmm... and with the format of a video game you could more easily go dynamic with the connections if desired. Have (or provoke) events similar to Britain this last year or the like, that might reroute some links elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    So is there a difference between economic influence and military presence/control?
    Judging by the earlier post it sounds like yes, but I'd say there is an argument to be made in favour of removing the latter to streamline things. Include military operations in an economic context instead of as their own thing, or include a sort of stability tracker along the lines of the 3 conflict levels mentioned earlier (maybe that can spread?).
    Devoted artificer of the church of Scorching Ray.

  17. - Top - End - #137
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Madcrafter View Post
    Mmm... and with the format of a video game you could more easily go dynamic with the connections if desired. Have (or provoke) events similar to Britain this last year or the like, that might reroute some links elsewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    So is there a difference between economic influence and military presence/control?
    Judging by the earlier post it sounds like yes, but I'd say there is an argument to be made in favour of removing the latter to streamline things. Include military operations in an economic context instead of as their own thing, or include a sort of stability tracker along the lines of the 3 conflict levels mentioned earlier (maybe that can spread?).
    So I haven't entirely figured out how "economy" works so far. I feel like a game's economy is by far the hardest thing to get right because it there are a vast amount of failure states related to difficulty and builds. I think it's better if I start with my principles, which are related to the others:

    - Your economy is the resource that fuels research and international expansion. You have to make tradeoffs between the two.
    - Your economy is reliable, static, and not the focus of the game. If you can invest money into making more money in any game, then you might as well get your slide rules out because the math from there is obvious and solveable once you know enough variables. The game should be about positioning, crisises, and the opponent.
    - Economy can be interacted with by tech, events and espionage.

    In Twilight Struggle the 'economy' in this sense is the cards in your hand and the fact that you can only play one card an AR. I'm thinking something like 'Agents' in the game - skilled dudes you can send places to make new things happen. The obvious places for agents to go are: Your lab, opponent's lab, your controlled country, opponent's controlled country. I still need to work through this idea a bit.

    (I played Plague Inc recently and I think the way that plagues move and spread in that game might be an interesting parallel to how technology spreads once it's released to the civilian market.)
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  18. - Top - End - #138
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anarion's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    In Twilight Struggle the 'economy' in this sense is the cards in your hand and the fact that you can only play one card an AR. I'm thinking something like 'Agents' in the game - skilled dudes you can send places to make new things happen. The obvious places for agents to go are: Your lab, opponent's lab, your controlled country, opponent's controlled country. I still need to work through this idea a bit.
    This kind of system in a game makes your economy time. You're given enough time in one "turn" or equivalent unit of gameplay to do X things and you have X+5 options, so you make a decision about which 5 things are least valuable to you right now.

    I would note that this is equally solvable. Think XCOM, for example. That uses money, but ignore that for a moment. At the start of the game especially, you have the resources to do a few different things and as quickly becomes clear after you play the game, some of those things are optimal and the rest are not (satellites first in the case of the first XCOM). If it is not solvable, this is for one of two reasons:
    1) all options are equally effective, the player is choosing a style preference rather than being given a choice between two or more unequal actions.
    2) The randomness of the game makes it impossible to know which choice is optimal given current information.

    Both are valid. The first is often considered ideal but is hard because making all options equally effective can be a bitch to get right. The second is fine if it makes sense, but runs the risk of making the player feel impotent.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  19. - Top - End - #139
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    This kind of system in a game makes your economy time. You're given enough time in one "turn" or equivalent unit of gameplay to do X things and you have X+5 options, so you make a decision about which 5 things are least valuable to you right now.

    I would note that this is equally solvable. Think XCOM, for example. That uses money, but ignore that for a moment. At the start of the game especially, you have the resources to do a few different things and as quickly becomes clear after you play the game, some of those things are optimal and the rest are not (satellites first in the case of the first XCOM). If it is not solvable, this is for one of two reasons:
    1) all options are equally effective, the player is choosing a style preference rather than being given a choice between two or more unequal actions.
    2) The randomness of the game makes it impossible to know which choice is optimal given current information.

    Both are valid. The first is often considered ideal but is hard because making all options equally effective can be a bitch to get right. The second is fine if it makes sense, but runs the risk of making the player feel impotent.
    So option 2 about the randomness is a good point worth avoiding, but the satellites thing I also want to avoid. The reason why satellites are so blindly optimal is because they're an investment that produces more money. Any game where that decision exists pretty much brings us to the question 'what is the minimum amount of security I need to fuel maximum amounts of economy' which means a kind of rough early game and then a snowballed endgame (or if the endgame is built around this concept, insufficient investment leaves you dry). It's pretty much the StarCraft question, and while I love SC it's not the experience I want for this game.

    (The Negazone investment economy comes from Shogun 2 where there are a bunch of buildings that'll never produce a positive return unless the game goes on 100+ turns, which is Also Bad).

    My objective is to make the correct response situation based, depending on the random distribution of tech and the personality and agenda of Mr. Johnson. I've got some ideas on how to do that but I'll get to them in another post.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  20. - Top - End - #140
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vancouver

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    So option 2 about the randomness is a good point worth avoiding, but the satellites thing I also want to avoid. The reason why satellites are so blindly optimal is because they're an investment that produces more money. Any game where that decision exists pretty much brings us to the question 'what is the minimum amount of security I need to fuel maximum amounts of economy' which means a kind of rough early game and then a snowballed endgame (or if the endgame is built around this concept, insufficient investment leaves you dry). It's pretty much the StarCraft question, and while I love SC it's not the experience I want for this game.

    (The Negazone investment economy comes from Shogun 2 where there are a bunch of buildings that'll never produce a positive return unless the game goes on 100+ turns, which is Also Bad).

    My objective is to make the correct response situation based, depending on the random distribution of tech and the personality and agenda of Mr. Johnson. I've got some ideas on how to do that but I'll get to them in another post.
    The satellite strategy dominates because that money is valuable in that situation, it isn't inherent to the method. There is more then one place you can change that around. Lots of games have similar investment mechanics that are intransitive using methods like those Anarion put forward.

    Though I would argue that two needs expansion. Hidden information is more generally applicable then randomization (which is a subset), and in many cases, doesn't necessarily make the player feel impotent. I would say that option two is actually more preferable in this form, since perfectly applying option one leaves you without much of a game at the end.
    Devoted artificer of the church of Scorching Ray.

  21. - Top - End - #141
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    So option 2 about the randomness is a good point worth avoiding, but the satellites thing I also want to avoid. The reason why satellites are so blindly optimal is because they're an investment that produces more money. Any game where that decision exists pretty much brings us to the question 'what is the minimum amount of security I need to fuel maximum amounts of economy' which means a kind of rough early game and then a snowballed endgame (or if the endgame is built around this concept, insufficient investment leaves you dry). It's pretty much the StarCraft question, and while I love SC it's not the experience I want for this game.

    (The Negazone investment economy comes from Shogun 2 where there are a bunch of buildings that'll never produce a positive return unless the game goes on 100+ turns, which is Also Bad).

    My objective is to make the correct response situation based, depending on the random distribution of tech and the personality and agenda of Mr. Johnson. I've got some ideas on how to do that but I'll get to them in another post.
    As I understand it, your - our? - answer here is a third option, kind of a twist on option 2. At the start of the game, your goal is effectively unknown. You don't know what you'll have to do to stop Mr. Johnson. The tools available to you are also partially unknown. You don't know what the various technologies will do when you release them. The game is about gathering enough information to make the correct decision that defends your interests, while steering yourself towards what you believe is needed to stop Mr. Johnson.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  22. - Top - End - #142
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Vancouver

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    As I understand it, your - our? - answer here is a third option, kind of a twist on option 2. At the start of the game, your goal is effectively unknown. You don't know what you'll have to do to stop Mr. Johnson. The tools available to you are also partially unknown. You don't know what the various technologies will do when you release them. The game is about gathering enough information to make the correct decision that defends your interests, while steering yourself towards what you believe is needed to stop Mr. Johnson.
    Actually that has been kind of unclear so far. What exactly is the victory condition you're planning on Thanqol, if you know yet? From what you've written so far it seems to vacillate between stopping Mr. Johnson's plan and having some sort of controlling presences in the world (however that manifests). Either one of those could be incorporated as a contributor to the other though, so what exactly do you have in mind?
    Devoted artificer of the church of Scorching Ray.

  23. - Top - End - #143
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    As I understand it, your - our? - answer here is a third option, kind of a twist on option 2. At the start of the game, your goal is effectively unknown. You don't know what you'll have to do to stop Mr. Johnson. The tools available to you are also partially unknown. You don't know what the various technologies will do when you release them. The game is about gathering enough information to make the correct decision that defends your interests, while steering yourself towards what you believe is needed to stop Mr. Johnson.
    This is correct. The game begins with zero information but many options; as the game develops and you gain more information your moves become ever less risky and more strategic.

    Incidentally, the UI and such needs to make this dynamic crystal clear. It needs to be up front exactly what risks you're taking with each decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madcrafter View Post
    Actually that has been kind of unclear so far. What exactly is the victory condition you're planning on Thanqol, if you know yet? From what you've written so far it seems to vacillate between stopping Mr. Johnson's plan and having some sort of controlling presences in the world (however that manifests). Either one of those could be incorporated as a contributor to the other though, so what exactly do you have in mind?
    I'm zeroing in on thwart Mr. Johnson's plan. Whatever his endgame is, thwarting it leaves you in control of the world. He's gonna stake his megacorp on it.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  24. - Top - End - #144
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anarion's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    As I understand it, your - our? - answer here is a third option, kind of a twist on option 2. At the start of the game, your goal is effectively unknown. You don't know what you'll have to do to stop Mr. Johnson. The tools available to you are also partially unknown. You don't know what the various technologies will do when you release them. The game is about gathering enough information to make the correct decision that defends your interests, while steering yourself towards what you believe is needed to stop Mr. Johnson.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    This is correct. The game begins with zero information but many options; as the game develops and you gain more information your moves become ever less risky and more strategic.

    Incidentally, the UI and such needs to make this dynamic crystal clear. It needs to be up front exactly what risks you're taking with each decision.



    I'm zeroing in on thwart Mr. Johnson's plan. Whatever his endgame is, thwarting it leaves you in control of the world. He's gonna stake his megacorp on it.
    I think you're looking for a combination of things here. If you start completely blind, but it turns out that sacrificing your first three deals to get a superb psych evaluation is always the optimal strategy, there isn't a game either. You just always throw away your first three deals. Similarly, if building economy early to give yourself a cushion is always best, then that's what you'll do. I think what you want, and this sounds to me like the real core of the game, is to allow the blind player to do what they think is best to establish themselves. Some folks are conservative deal makers. Others are willing to run roughshod over everything to get one specific thing they want. Others will try to balance their competing interests on a knife edge. What should happen is that whatever strategy is selected, additional developments provide new information that a canny player will use to change their strategy so that the true "optimal" choice is to start with what you like and then adapt intelligently to the Johnson you're encountering.

    For a comparison, think chess openings (and assume we're not against a perfect supercomputer). White's first move as between Queen's pawn d4, King's paw e4, and Bishop's pawn to c4 are all (approximately) equally viable, it's a matter of what sort of game white prefers. The queen's pawn allows for aggressive gambits, the King's pawn is safe and plodding, the bishop's pawn develops a powerful flank while giving up the center. But, once black has responded and they've each played a few moves, white has to look at the board and adapt to black's defense, looking for opportunities and finding new lines to create a winning position. These are not predictable in advance because white can only express their preference and has no way of knowing whether the black player will respond to aggression with aggression in turn, or with a careful defense.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
    Oscar Wilde Writer & Poet (1891)

  25. - Top - End - #145
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    This is correct. The game begins with zero information but many options; as the game develops and you gain more information your moves become ever less risky and more strategic.

    Incidentally, the UI and such needs to make this dynamic crystal clear. It needs to be up front exactly what risks you're taking with each decision.



    I'm zeroing in on thwart Mr. Johnson's plan. Whatever his endgame is, thwarting it leaves you in control of the world. He's gonna stake his megacorp on it.
    Adding on to what Anarion said above, we should ensure that there's strategy enough to make the game engaging even when Mr. Johnson is figured out. You mentioned earlier how the player should only be able to dominate in a few areas, and if they pick wrong then they're in serious trouble. If the act of dominating a given area isn't engaging, then the endgame where you know what you have to do to stop Mr. Johnson isn't going to be very engaging either.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  26. - Top - End - #146
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    New game absorbing majority of brainzone, more system designs next week hopefully.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  27. - Top - End - #147
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Okay, so, after thinking about it some more, here are my thoughts for the basic structure of the world map:

    Reiteration of basic concept: 21st century superpower rivalry, where the arenas are technology, influence and economics against a rival with uncertain motives.

    BASIC MAP LAYOUT + GAME PIECES

    Each country has a trade node with a maximum of four connections. These trade nodes represent the flows of trade and diplomacy that allow countries to influence each other. The nature of these connections can be changed in play through the negotiation or breakdown of trade deals or other influential events. Units can only move between one node connection at a time by default.

    Taking control of a country represents a risk because you are spreading yourself more thinly. The two competing paradigms are thinly-spread global empire or extremely powerful clout in the near abroad. Open military conflict is off the table but conflicts can occur through insurgencies and proxy warfare - far more effective on a spread out superpower than a narrowly concentrated hegemon.

    Countries also present rewards - various nation-specific bonuses or penalties to offset the risk of overextension. These are highly individualized and can make some areas of the board more tempting than others - particularly the center areas far from either superpower, i.e. the Mideast.

    Military control over a region is attained by moving a conventional army into it. Armies represent raw, massive industrial military power taking and holding territory. Armies cannot be opposed by other conventional armies. An army can be contested by funding an insurgency. An insurgency has a chance every interval to destroy an army garrisoned in its province - better armed and funded insurgencies have higher chances and a chance to destroy multiple armies. One army stationed in a territory represents a risky, tenuous connection. Two is more stable against anything but the most severe insurgencies and three represents total lockdown.

    Use of a superweapon destroys all armies in a province, destroys the province's strategic resource, crashes all trade networks and shuts down any insurgencies. Side effects may occur!

    Various map-altering actions are undertaken by Executives who represent combined diplomatic and corporate ambassadors. Executives can re-wire trade networks, locking opponents out of vital regions or opening new fronts. They can spread technologies, though their success can be limited by legislation. They can improve countries, even helping devastated regions eventually recover. They can perform a variety of other actions to gain influence over the shape of the map and other actions which aren't directly hostile.

    Various direct conflict actions are undertaken by Agents who represent elite military, special forces, and espionage efforts. Agents can start insurgencies, infiltrate labs, infiltrate governments, counter other agents and perform various other hard intelligence operations. Agent actions can help gain insight into Mr. Johnson's agenda if the player is not interested in engaging him in conversation.


    I am currently imagining a rough parity between the value of an army, a executive and an agent. The end result of this is a board that constantly changes, opening up new opportunities and threats, where there is dynamic and constant motion and redeployment of the three types of pieces. Players customize their playstyle by deciding on their favoured balance of executives, agents and armies, as informed by how shifting technological advances changes the effectiveness of all three.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2017-01-16 at 11:02 PM.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Technology Refinements:

    There are two types of lab: Military and Civilian. Military labs will investigate or advanced research the military applications of any given tech, civilians vice versa. Everyone starts with one of each, building new ones is roughly the same in cost as a new agent, army or executive.

    Each technology has four regulations: Allowed for military, allowed for civilians, allowed for both, banned for both. All these start at 'banned' at game start. Most technologies will have % impacts on the success or failure of various missions but the actual amounts are hidden until they're investigated by your labs. Banning a technology is way, way harder than legalizing it so randomly unbanning things at game start is a high risk-low/medium reward play.

    Civilian tech spread is per country. Military tech spread is per army. Agent tech spread is per agent, governed by military laws. Executive tech spread is per executive, governed by civilian laws. If your units spend long periods of time in countries with high levels of tech spread they may absorb it even if it is banned, especially if an enemy executive is pushing it.

    There are 12 key future technologies. Each tech has three hidden traits that are in effect from the game start - one military trait, one civilian trait, and one emergent effect that can only be discovered after researching the other two first. Each tech also has 'advanced research' slots where you can add traits to the technology. You can engage in advanced research without discovering the technology's basic traits first. When an advanced research trait is added to a technology it is hidden from the opponent until investigated in the same way as an ordinary trait.

    Essentially, this means technology is dynamic, mutable and responsive and filled with risk. What was once an amazing technology can have counters designed by your opponent, and therefore become a liability. Seeing your opponent start a massive push for a certain kind of technology in his territory may be a sign that you should blindly copy him without actually understanding what the consequences of that will be - or maybe you're walking into a disaster because he already built up the infrastructure to offset the looming downside of the technology he's rolling out.

    Example: You perform civilian research on social media and discover it gives a big + to environment (by way of massive awareness campaigns), so you make them civilian only and send an Executive to push them on your controlled territories. Because of the Ban on military use the soak through of saturation to the military is much slower.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Johnson does advanced research on social media, and he knows that it's achieved total saturation in your territory, so he adds a trait to the technology that gives it a big - to Army strength (Addictive Updating: Your soldiers keep posting damn selfies from the battlefield in violation of opsec procedures!). So he sends through his own Executive to start pushing the compromised technology on your military industrial complex - meaning you'd need to send an Agent to try to roll back the spread of the compromised technology.

    Neither of you know the original hidden military or unique effect of social media. You're both surprised when an event chain starts as social media begins circulating rumors that the president is a robot, causing massive instability in your own superpower...
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2017-01-16 at 11:21 PM.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    A thought that struck me just before bed: If you have the ability to design or designate downsides to technology, that makes it a powerful counter. However, if you spend a lot of resources exclusively on countering your opponent's tech, that means you're not spending resources on getting ahead. You - and Mr. Johnson, by extension - can't win by sabotage alone.

    And a second thought that struck me as I was typing up that first thought: Any advanced research slot you fill is a slot you deny your opponent. Incubating a tech gives you information on what will happen when it's released, but it also reduces the amount of damage your opponent could hypothetically do with it.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Thanqol's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    A thought that struck me just before bed: If you have the ability to design or designate downsides to technology, that makes it a powerful counter. However, if you spend a lot of resources exclusively on countering your opponent's tech, that means you're not spending resources on getting ahead. You - and Mr. Johnson, by extension - can't win by sabotage alone.

    And a second thought that struck me as I was typing up that first thought: Any advanced research slot you fill is a slot you deny your opponent. Incubating a tech gives you information on what will happen when it's released, but it also reduces the amount of damage your opponent could hypothetically do with it.
    Exactly - but releasing a 100% tested and proven safe technology to market means that Mr. Johnson can just legalize it on his side of the pond as well and coast off all your hard work. Or if you poison the well of a tech then your opponent can just turn around and shove it right back at you.

    The real tension in this game is in the information asymmetry. Mr. Johnson abruptly banned solar power - why? What does he know that I don't? I start pushing a purely benign tech really hard - Mr. Johnson bans it until he can figure out wtf is going on, thus losing an edge. You get a note that Mr. Johnson just added a trait to Nanomachines, but you have them military-only and he has them civilian-only - what the hell do you do then?

    I described this game as being two men fighting with demolition charges in a massive, crumbling apartment complex. To lure the other guy into your kill zone you might have to stand uncomfortably close to the explosion yourself...
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2017-01-16 at 11:32 PM.
    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Omae wa mo shinderu

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •