So since I feel that single player is one way we can probably get a lot more people interested, I started throwing ideas together for a small campaign (I figured 3 missions long, but with lots of branching…will be explained).
My basic idea is essentially Deus Ex the RTS in WWII. I’m thinking a heavy RPG influence, and with as much player freedom/options for dealing with problems as we can manage, and thus, re-playability.
This is how I somewhat ‘dreamed’ it, as an ideal.
- RPG elements
[list][*]player character specialities (linguist, radioman, engineer, political connections, intelligence - pick one at game start, that character trait changes how you approach problems)
- Persistent unit stats from map to map, unit names
- Player “reputation” or “morality”; affected by player responses
- Command points earned by accomplishing objectives
- Orders to units issued from player avatar - got to be near them to issue commands, otherwise they stay still or follow queue. Radio allows commands from far away (hence, radioman specialty provides a rather different gameplay)
“Depot” map that can be loaded between games to spend your command points and get new recruits[/:m]
Heavy emphasis on player freedom/consequences of choices. Blowing up a bunch of buildings to deny enemy cover or remove a sniper keeps your casualties low, but negatively impacts your ‘reputation’ and thus other player characters will be more hostile (ie, if you are forced to surrender, heavily negative rep players will be executed out of hand and the game ends there, neutral or positive rep might end up in a POW camp escape level). I want the game to feel like it reacts to what people decide to do (and in ways that make clear that there’s no clean or “moral” way to progress).[/:m]
Interactions with ‘locals’ with no really clear answer
- Using a house for cover (eject family and keep low casualties, avoid house and sustain more casualties?)
- Plant mines near a house?
- Demolish buildings to kill a sniper?
- Hijact an aid convoy?
- Tote around captured enemies or ‘eliminate’ them?
“Branching” progression structure based on those player choices - choice of initial character, approach to various ingame problems, which objectives get completed and how, how many casualties sustained…so on and so forth.[/*:m][/list:u]
This is all just by my initial estimation.
- Adapt Zerg’s Exp tracker to store surviving units, health, other stats - done, I’ll commit game_persistentUnits.lua soonish. Only bad part is that its a widget, and thus disabling it would break this aspect of gameplay. I still need to code mission spawner (adaptation of hq spawner) to grab units from persistentUnits’ output and spawn them with appropriate stats.
- Garrisonable buildings (neutral units placed on the map that switch teams when units are ordered into them, I’d imagine).
- Conversation system (click on NPC, they say something, you have 1-4 options to respond, they respond based on what you pick)
- “Talking head” message system - so you can receive messages from HQ/nearby characters without stopping the game (think a picture of the character next to text in the message box + voiceover)
- Player tracker/game master code - tracks conversations choices, important action choices, various stats like what units you own, kills, casualties sustained)
- World interaction menu (click, options: converse, order to surrender,
- Surrender functionality (player and bot) - done, just call GG.Surrender(unitID, escapeTime) in whatever situation you like and that unitID will be set to GAIA team on hold position and hold fire. If they are left alone for longer than escapeTime, they will revert to their original team. “left alone” means no unit in a 500 elmo radius (1.5 SMG range)
- Goal/objective list, updated in-game
- Set up AppLauncher (or something similar) to read from a text file and pick the appropriate next mission - Spring.Rehost is coming next engine version, which can do the same thing (but better!)
- Command radius; orders only go when you’re (your avatar) within ‘earshot’ of your units, or they’re near a radioman. - done, just need to adapt one of the ‘range’ widgets to show said radius.
[size=150]Required content [/size]
- Voice acting. Lots.
- A player avatar skin (modified engineer)
- Dialogue/script writing
- More civilians/animals/building features would be gravy.
This is WIP, of course. Any ideas/feedback/input most appreciated. I’d really like to keep the duration of the campaign fairly short, but go very ‘deep’ in terms of different ways to play through.
Edit: a brainwave to tie into that web-based thing that tobi and journ and I discussed a little while ago; we could do small ‘installments’ of 2-3 missions, upon finishing them our AppLauncher or whatever goes over the player choices and stats and spits out a code. Said code would be a password to a subforum here, which would contain the next ‘pack’ for that particular set of choices.