As I’m sure everybody is aware, the Mission Editor is not currently maintained. This is because Quantum believes that missions are not a worthwhile investment of time. His creation of the editor was, in his opinion, a mistake. I will not post the entire discussion, but his argument boils down to this… single player campaigns are sometimes upwards of seventy percent of the game development (He said something like ninety) and no team has the time and personnel to provide a professional level campaign with a static engine. In Spring, the engine continuously changes, thus the mission system must, thus the missions must - so a campaign requires even more work to maintain as time goes on.
My dissenting opinion is based on the following…
Without single player most people will never become invested in a real time strategy game. (Est. 99.7% of 1944 downloaders)
Without single player most people will never play a real time strategy game. (At times, 96 to 99% of 1944 downloaders)
Without single player, a real time strategy game looks quite amateur, because most people have no idea that this is a supermajority of the work put into said type of game.
Now, we’ve discussed single player campaigns, missions, and a multiplayer campaign for years, off and on, but beyond a few missions by Nemo and third party contributors, nothing has happened. I don’t believe the missions made do work with the present version of the engine.
Quantum believes that some AI-based subgames, such as chicken in the case of CA, can fulfill the requirement for a single player experience, I respectfully disagree.
Following the release of Market Garden I want to plan and execute some form of additional single player support. Whether campaign, some elaboration of skirmish with C.R.A.I.G, Zombies, deployment… I don’t care, but this is holding the game back and I know we’ve done most of the thought work.
Well, I for example only bought CoH just for the great MP I wasn’t really interested in a SP because its nothing new what you get explained in a WW2 game. Just what happened. You could rather read the wiki article about ww2. Anyway… I love Coop games against Bots its great to play together with people and helping each other to defeat the Computer.
I think we should try to make one Single-player Mission (best would be a Tutorial… how to build and attack) and then we will see how much work it will be if the engine gets updated and stuff.
Otherwise i agree that it will cost a lot of time to work and update constantly Missions to fit in the Engine updates. Especially if you have for example around 26 missions.
So my idea:
-Trying out a SP-Mission how it does… best would be a Tutorial Mission.
-Coop-modus based games against bots.
So I don’t know how far you guys are in development of SP-missions I just know that someone did one mission already?
For a set of missions like those that are found in the earlier C&C games (Tiberium Dawn, Red Alert) I think quantum is right. It would be a pain to keep those updated as the game/engine evolves, because they have to be carefully balanced so it isn’t too easy to win and so it’s still possible to win.
However I think the type of mission that has a wider allowed ‘bandwidth’ for balance changes should be possible to maintain. Also simple tutorial missions would be good for training new people.
(Just kill all enemies but not with all elements of the game included yet, i.e. first mission only infantry, second mission also vehicles, third also arty. This kind of missions could even work on any map if the enemy is controlled by an AI.)
I am reasonably certain this won’t prove engaging enough for most players, but I agree with the points set forth by both of you. I was also thinking, with Spiked’s rejuvenation of the Deployment system, a historical sort of mission becomes possible - where regardless of balance, we drop the player in with X soldiers and equipment on Y real battlefield and see what happens. This reduces the balance effort from version to version, and requires really only the map + features and the relevant equipment/models.
We definitely need some sort of single player, as not having a sandbox to poke around and explore the tech tree, unit handling, and other such things under good test conditions is the primary reason I spend more time talking development with Neddie than actually playing. Having to pick up a game from scratch and stand toe-to-toe with other players is daunting even for those already invested in the product. Not having a tutorial mission and at least a few “practice building a base and stomping on things / defending your base” missions is basically making the learning curve a vertical line.
That said, some historical recreations, basic zombie waves, and a straightforward breaking of a defended position is basically perfect and won’t really need any scaling based on updates to balance. Historical things just need to be accurate, zombie waves are self-balancing if you slowly ramp up the difficulty of each wave (then the balance becomes what’s attainable at each revision instead of having to rework each wave), and a highly-defended base that takes a huge swarm of units to break will pretty much always take a huge swarm of units to break unless you manage to horrifically nerf defensive structures.
Full campaigns can be developed once there’s a more solid engine to build them on.