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Re: [gamedesign-l] 1 build per turn

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  • Ismo Kärkkäinen
    ... If units require support, then each turn you ll have less free resources and thus you ll produce worse and worse units, until you re out of free resources.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 1, 2000
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      On Thu, 29 Jun 2000, Brandon Van Every wrote:

      > What happens if you make one of these 4X games, and every city builds at least 1
      > unit per turn? It could be 1 really good unit, or several not-so-good units,
      > owing to available resources. If the resources are pathetic, then you produce 1
      > really pathetic unit. But you are not allowed to sit around for multiple turns
      > waiting to build a much better unit.
      > "Available resources" is a big question. If the number of units you can have is
      > limited by available supporting resources (minerals, food, etc.) then there's a
      > strong incentive to treat all units as cannon fodder. Send 'em out, watch 'em
      > die, make new and better ones. But if units don't have any ongoing resource
      > costs, then the cities would just keep cranking out the best possible unit(s)
      > each turn.

      If units require support, then each turn you'll have less free resources
      and thus you'll produce worse and worse units, until you're out of free
      resources. If no support is required, having mega-cities with huge
      production is obviously a winning tactic (i.e. specialize, if one city can
      support another with food, the supported one can make minerals, I'm
      thinking CivII and SMAC-like resources here).

      If support is required, then using the newest units (the ones made with
      least resources) as cannon fodder and keeping the first ones (made with
      most resources) for special use is probably the best.

      How about no support, but limited lifetime (see the ant wars -comment
      below). That way the lifetime will limit the magnitude of the army. Cities
      might have something that affects the lifetime so that the resource
      production isn't the only factor in having a large army. You can produce
      less units but have them live longer.

      > If you allow resources to be stockpiled instead of forcing a unit to be created,
      > then the player has a way to take multiple turns to produce 1 unit. Maybe this
      > should be disallowed, to keep the purity of the vision.
      > The game would be about moving hordes of units. It might end up looking like a
      > particle system. I'm wondering what high level commands would be required to
      > keep it playable.

      How about some sort of "region" commands that the units try to fulfill the
      best they can, e.g.:

      Guard: specify a region and tell how many units should guard it. If the
      game has a concept of borders, then your homeland could be automatically
      guarded by number of units that is n% of the area in some units (squares,
      square kms). Basically this would make units patrol the area and attack
      intruders. Add rules for diplomacy (don't attack unless war declared etc.)
      if needed (units might try to block the offending units if no war

      Attack: move to specified region and kill enemies.

      Stockpile: to avoid the units to move one by one to strongly fortified
      region and getting slaughtered it would probably be good to specify a
      region where units gather and when there are enough units they perform
      some command (attack, I guess) associated with this stockpile command.

      Strike: like attack, but just go to the target, wreck any terrain
      improvements (still thiking of CivII and SMAC here) and come back. Would
      be handy for harassing the enemy near the border while getting ready for

      Priorities between commands would determine which one gets the new units
      when there aren't enough (e.g. during a war). Put guard in high priority
      and units aren't stockpiled nor do attacks/strikes happen until the
      requirements for defence are fulfilled. Lower the guard priority and you
      can get more units for attack.

      Priorities should probably be set region-wise, so that it is possible to
      give lower priority for guarding regions next to friendly neighbors while
      maintaining the normal level of guard close to your enemies.

      I think also some way of associating stockpile with attack and strike is
      needed. E.g. after a region has enough units, those units perform some
      specific attack or strike order. Thus they wouldn't start wondering
      accross the land to make an attack to a far-away target when there's
      targets nearby (might happen if far-away target has high priority). Maybe
      put different stockpiles on sets and associate a set of attack/stike
      commands with each set. Also a way to carry out commands simultaneously
      would be needed. E.g. one group of units would perform a strike or attack
      to a region surrounding enemy city and another group attacks the city.
      First group tries to ensure that no reinforcements arrive and it could
      possibly disrupt resource production so that the city won't be able to
      make more defenders. First group wouldn't touch the city, so a way to
      exclude an area from a region (maybe just cities) is needed. That'd allow
      siege. Second group attcks the city when first group has cleared the path.

      > Ant wars, basically.

      Perhaps some building orders would be needed, e.g. when making units, make
      worker, soldier, worker, soldier etc. If number of units gets very high,
      just set percentages of units to produce (50% workers, 50% soldiers) or
      specify the percentages of existing units that should be maintained
      (increase % of soldiers when preparing for war). If available resources
      only determine the quality of unit, then a way to set the unit the city
      will preferably produce is likely needed. That way you could get
      high-quality soldiers at the expense of workers. Or vice versa, if
      high-quality worker produces more resources.

      Ismo Kärkkäinen

      iak@... |
      Tel:(013)251 5329 |
      GSM: 040 774 3722 |
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