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Author Topic: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire  (Read 4386 times)

Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #135 on: November 22, 2013, 01:12 AM NHFT »

hmmm... Are you saying I should maybe learn Inkscape so I can provide you some images and lessen that part of the workload?   I'm willing to try...  Only want to do it if you're pretty sure it will help speed development.     


I don't have a lot to add to what's already written, when it comes to the look of the thing. 
I actually don't have a huge amount of interest yet in how the game looks or sounds; i'm more focused on gameplay.  But I could try to come up with a more specific vision if it will help you.   
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Errol

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #136 on: November 22, 2013, 11:56 AM NHFT »

Just ranting on how collaboration may occur, and thinking about a set of tools that could be used in the event we get more contributors to the project.

At this stage, sound and graphics are less important than getting something working, but just thinking on down the road. There is nothing I can really delegate programming wise at this point. I just need to get back to work on it.



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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #137 on: November 24, 2013, 02:40 PM NHFT »

If you do think of something that I could to to help with the process lemme kno...
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #138 on: November 26, 2013, 06:37 PM NHFT »

In response to you request for a more clarified vision I'm writing something up. this has given me some ideas for simplifying the enhancements I was thinking about.  Getting to "extreme unit specialization and customization" with the least possible work.  The idea is starting to look fairly elegant and really fun.
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #139 on: November 29, 2013, 08:04 PM NHFT »

Errol:

I believe you asked me to lay out a more specific or maybe a more near term vision for the game.  And a summary would be helpful for joiners to refer to as well.  So:

The initial, long term, vision aimed at a sim which comprehensively simulates 2050 Nashua in during a defensive conflict between New Hampshire and post-U.S. invaders. This got pared down to "merely" being an omni-game; i.e. an extreme genre-blender that can be played any way you like. Players would be able to mix and match 15 or 20 genres. That too is so ambitious so as to require perhaps five years. So at first we just created this playable sketch with current objective of making it available for simple online multiplay.  The question now is:  What's the objective we should strive to achieve *between* this early sketch...and "omni game" status?  Where should we be a year from now...in December 2014? 

There is in fact an important objective I have already been gunning toward without really articulating it.  We can't beat other games on graphics or fanciness.  But we can achieve something rare in gameplay: I call it "holistic 2d wargame" status. I'd define an "H2W" as one that incorporates nearly all the basic elements of warfare into gameplay - excepting boredom and physical pain.  It blends genres in the process, taking us closer to omni-game status.  Even incorporating half the elements of real warfare would allow dozens of ways to play and probably blend a few genres.

I'd say that the objective for Dec. 2014 should be for us to be available on at least 1 popular mobile device, marginally profitable and 80% of the way to H2W status. In other words people can at least manually pay us for in-game assets and are starting to do so.  And 80% of the elements below have been at least halfway integrated into gameplay.

) Attrition - Disabling enemy units and bases affects your opponents fighting ability and your score.  No artificial spawns occur; no combat is meaningless, no A.I. unit useless, no grinding needed, no battle instanced. Every "kill' or capture matters, no matter how overwhelming your team's win or loss. An advantage accrees to the side with more players willing to join; no draconian restrictions try to impose perfectly balanced teams. 
) Maneuver - Striking where or when the enemy is weakest...with a superior surprise force. This will be enhanced by adding more static, vulnerable targets.  And adding the element of dropped, capturable assets.  Capturing ships or bases could be possible later.
) Carry-over - Even a weak player's presence or activity has meaningful implications....both short and (eventually) long term.  Nearly everything she does affects a match's final outcome - its score. If only by distracting an enemy plane or two. We see this in the current game, in the sense that even when you lose, the kills you make appear on the team's final score.  That score will eventually "consequence" its way into the metagame. Winning faster generates more positive consequence for your team, losing slower limits the negative consequence.  There are long term shades of grey, and every player affects the shade every time they play.
) Open-endedness - Each match is nonlinear. Like a real battlefield, it lacks a scripted "plot."   
) Speed - Personified by weak fast craft or rapid decision making by members of your team. 
) Action - Flying is a "twitchy," reflex-demanding experience with marksmanship elements.

The elements above have been partially implemented already.  To get fully "holistic," these below are the elements I'll eventually want to add. Mostly this can be done by allowing extreme but simple unit-customization.

) Medic/repair activity:  Mobile EMS-unit options create a niche for weaker players in the game.  They can operate further from the front, without directly confronting human players. 
) Strategy - Players should be able to contribute in both a realtime strategy manner and a "leisurely strategy" manner.  Even if they are new. We could implement this by adding slow production/construction/research elements under player control.  And giving them the ability to create very slow units which they fly AFK or even AFG (away from game).  Economics and player credits will be necessary. And we probably won't be able to make a profit until we implement the latter.
) Reconnaissance/Stealth - Finding things for your buddies, equipping your ship so it is specialized to this job.  Hiding things, or yourself, from you r enemies. We'd have to ensure there is fog of war; enemy units would have to have "eyes on them" for your side to know their position. But your mini map would show every hostile unit your units can see.
   Kind of like the map in the upper right here: http://www.armada-online.com/screenshots/screenshots.html
    Ours would need to be less muddy.  In this example you can barely tell which areas are "black" and which are "grey"
) Strength - Heaviness of armor and firepower...or lack thereof.
) Teamwork - Multiplayer elements. Task forces. Extreme unit specialization/customization. Chat. Forums.
) Rescue activity - Picking up friendly players and A.I. who've been disabled; transporting their "ghost" back to base and back into the fight.
) Resupply activity - Units have limited fuel or ammo; friendlies can bring it to them...or you can return to base for them.   Specializing units for resupply activity.  Specializing units for killing resuppliers.
) Spying/Counterintelligence/Deception - This might happen by itself if players falsely "join the enemy side" and report important chat traffic.   I don't see this as something we should try to ban; spies may help create our holistic warfare environment for us.  Deception can also be achieved by designing and deploying units/munitions which seem more threatening than they really are.
) Concentration vs. Dispersal - Units must ideally be close enough to one another to provide mutual support but not close enough to make a big easy target...especially for area effect weapons.
) Friendly fire - We can't put a lot of this into a 2d game, but probably there could be a tip of the hat toward the concept eventually by making friendly bombs dangerous to friendlies. 
) Geography/Territory - Ground units should be able to use roads for speed, forests for stealth, trenches for defense...etc.. Controlling more space and useful geographical points becomes important.
 
Having even half these elements should create gameplay that is simple to jump into but deep to experiment with.  To get us to that point quickly, I'm gaming out different development scenarios and trying to figure out which ones give us the most elements with the least man hours.  You may see ways to add an element or two with minimal effort... in that case I hope you'll do just that!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 11:21 PM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #140 on: November 30, 2013, 01:39 PM NHFT »

I'm working on a development scenario now that would give players something they can buy from us.  Perhaps within 3 months at current development rates.  I guess that's kind a high priority matter but does have to be balanced with the need to make the game both fun and unusual.  Also I modified the Dec. 2014 strategic objective. It now includes the "availability on at least 1 popular mobile device" element, which I had forgotten to include. 
« Last Edit: November 30, 2013, 01:43 PM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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Errol

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #141 on: December 05, 2013, 04:31 PM NHFT »

Still alive. I've got a simple chat function working. Nothing amazing but it is a baby step in getting the multi-player aspect working. I'll let you know when it is out there to play with (needs some polishing).

Life has been happening so not much else to report. I will hopefully have something by the end of the week.
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #142 on: December 06, 2013, 03:11 AM NHFT »

Thanks Errol!  I've brainstormed two scenarios, for how we might want to proceed after the metagame is implemented and the game is available for multiplay online.

Scenario 1 - Focus primarily on enabling players to create their own a.i. units. This could happen at the end of each match. Setting it up that way should mean we can implement player-created a.i. before implementing player registration.  These units would represent players in the game while they are offline, or at least fight for their chosen side.  Maybe they could choose to build 3 "a.i. reps" and the units would appear one at a time over a period of maybe three hours?  The first one appearing an hour after the win maybe... So hours later even if they player had logged off, his "representatives" would be there to challenge the other team.  These units should probably disappear from the game when disabled, as opposed  to flying home for rebirth.  But if for some reason your a.i. lasts an hour and is still there when your next a.i. appears....well now you'd have 2 of your a.i. in the game at the same time.  I imagine players could be in the game while there a.i. is in the game.

Whatever interface you've been using to set the rules of engagement for the current (Nov 2013) A.I....maybe you could make that interface available to the players who make the a.i. units.    Later game improvements, which we have to make anyway, could provide player-created a.i. wide options in terms of weaponry, speed, etc.  And at some point we'd set things up so players can buy a.i. from us with real money.

Advantages of Scenario 1: This scenario could immediately leverage your existing a.i. creation interface to the benefit of players.  As opposed having to build a feature from scratch for them.  It would create a reward for staying in the game to the end.  It would also create an important asset for opposing players to destroy after the creating player logs off.  We'd have more meaningful game play during the early days when there will usually be just one person logged in at at time.  It might be quick to implement and might not require implementing other things first.  It's an unusual gaming feature, indirectly recommended to me by someone who's been observing our progress.  Also it would be a fairly quick step from implementing this to implementing a payment regimen.  The a.i. creations are something players might pay for, so maybe it takes us closer to profitablity by itself.  Probably could be implemented in 3 months at current development speeds.

Disadvantages: It only brings about 1 H2W (Holistic 2d Wargame) characteristic into to the game:  That characteristic is Strategy.  In this case, production and  a.i. programming strategy. And it may not make the game that much funner by itself

Scenario 2 - Focus primarily on the implementation of ship specialization. We'd introduce simple enhancement slots or hardpoints on each player-controlled. ship. Players could then mount systems and supply packs that let them hyper-customize their machines.  Repair weps, speed increasers, aerial mines, etc.  We could later sell them the enhancements for real money.  Advantages:  It's a core element of the game, specialization.  It may be the fastest path to funner non-repetitive game play.  These current generic units are going to seem vanilla to people pretty fast.

Disadvantages:  Many of the new systems and supplies that would go in the enhancements slots... will require other game improvements to precede them.  So implementing even half of the enhancement options would probably take at least 8 months at current development speeds. 

Any thoughts?  Should there be an option 3 and if so what?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 10:09 PM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #143 on: December 08, 2013, 10:25 PM NHFT »

Oh and I guess there is

Scenario 3:  Concentrate instead on setting up an app through which people can play from their I-pads and/or Androids.
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #144 on: January 08, 2014, 10:48 AM NHFT »

Errol in response to your request for graphics help we have two new volunteers:   Andy Ringo and Karen Gorst.  Thanks guys!  I understand they are the IT and Graphic Design team from The Gorst Studio

I'll let them lay out exactly how they want to contribute. I'll invite them to post here.  Sometimes there is a delay as the admins approve new members on this forum.   

I'm going write up a summary of where things stand and direct them to the summary so they don't necessarily have to wade through all the previous traffic.

I showed the current version of the game to a relative over the holidays; like many people unfortunately he'd been having trouble running it on his machine.   However when he opened it on mine he just played game after game and absolutely loved it despite the very early stage of development.  Your AI kicked his ass too!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 11:07 AM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #145 on: January 08, 2014, 11:06 AM NHFT »

Message me on Facebook if you'd like to work on the game, "Free State" 
https://www.facebook.com/ridleyreport

Play the pre-alpha demo here
http://www.errolpelchat.com/DroneGame/


Overview: 

Ridley and friends are building a 2D MMO computer game that blends genres.  Here's a summary of its status and history as of January 2014.

In 2012 I made some videos articulating an idea for some sort of 3d MMO game that would simulate 2050 Nashua, New Hampshire.   Though that is still the long term goal, one must start small.  We're developing a much simpler version of game first.  The game is currently a 2d demo with an arcade feel; plays a little like a much deeper version of asteroids.  The later 3d version of the game would probably be called "Free State 2." 

Anyway in Free State 1, we're aiming for uniqueness and variety.  The ships already shoot out the side instead of the front.  The plan is to add various features which add immense gameplay depth while preserving simplicity.  I want every element of warfare, save the boredom and pain, to be present.  Recon, attrition, maneuver, twitchiness, leisurely strategy, real time strategy, healing friends, etc.   This concept is summarized in more detail at

http://nhunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=24297.msg352370#msg352370

It lets each player decide what type of game they like to play, and play our game that way. Or she mixes and matches her favorite types.   No game I know of currently provides this. 

It appears to not work well yet on mobile or apple devices.  It works on my Windows XP and 7.
The final version of "Free State 1" would differ from this playable demo in the following respects:   It would have much more variety of gameplay, extreme ship customization, a long-term meta-conflict where all of a player's actions and scores carry over toward their team's ultimate victory or defeat...and the degree thereof.   It would be massively multiplayer with chat, radar, and...as I indicated...nearly all the aspects of warfare in simplified form.

The current top priorities for improving the demo are summarized at
http://nhunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=24297.msg351565#msg351565

If you like reading and want to get a full sense of what's going on, you can always look this thread over from its beginning. All the relevant info about our project is right here in the thread.  Would you guys be willing to register here at this web forum and post essentially all communication here?  And...what are your thoughts and ideas?
« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 06:45 AM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #146 on: January 11, 2014, 06:11 PM NHFT »

Errol you'd indicted you are running into a wall with the chat interface.   although chat is fairly important I tend to think if there's a wall , then it's probably better to skip it at first than try to go through it.  Chat we can live without for a bit.  Also how can our new volunteers best help you?
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cardman

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #147 on: January 17, 2014, 08:51 PM NHFT »

Karen and Ringo are ready to vectorthingy your artwork, or start making original images from your ideas for the game. Same for the soundscape.
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #148 on: January 19, 2014, 04:42 PM NHFT »

Cardman aka Andy will I think be sending his communications mostly via e-mail to me, but he will be viewing this thread.  I'll be forwarding his emails, posting them here.    This is his most recent e-mail:

----

"So send the info/files and let's start already!

Any graphics you already have (or ideas, sketches ) can be turned into Vector Graphics.
Any background tune you hum, any sound effect or onomatopoeia you want recorded, looped, etc.... And feel free to share the communications email with the group.

Regads,
Andy Ringo"
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Dave Ridley

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Re: "Free State" game would simulate 2050 New Hampshire
« Reply #149 on: January 19, 2014, 04:53 PM NHFT »

This is where Errol explains how he feels a graphics person could best help him.  http://nhunderground.com/forum/index.php?topic=24297.msg352109#msg352109

I don't really have that much interest in the graphics look and prefer to delegate it... I'm more focused on gameplay.  That is what's going to set us apart; graphics I tend to view as icing on the cake.  So...Errol I guess let Andy know here how he can help you with graphics and Andy please inform us if you see any pitfalls in Errol's graphics plan.  Andy if you can come up with a way to help move us forward in terms of gameplay, access or interface ....that will be even more helpful than graphics work and we're all ears...

I noticed you had requested a storyboard errol and I'm thinking about that.  I like the way your stuff looks already but maybe it would speed things up if I made pictures.  They're worth a thousand words.  Looking for crayons!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2014, 05:55 PM NHFT by DadaOrwell »
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