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Dawn of War vs. Battlescape
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bla687



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 6
Location: Behind You



PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just looking at the suggestions at the beginning. I think friendly fire is interesting, but what I consider more interesting is the bullets detecting collisions, rather than the standard method of a unit picking a target and damage starts to add up. If bullets detected collisions and the like, cover instantly becomes factored in! The bullets could hit trees rocks, or whatever else may be in the way. On top of this, it opens up the option of getting troops or what have you out of the way of whatever is coming at them, rather than damage being completely unavoidable. The only problem with this is in an RTS there are tons of units firing, so this feature would probably bog down most computers.
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Sorrow



Joined: 16 Jan 2004
Posts: 146
Location: Australia



PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it probly wouldn't keep in mind all a bullet needs to be is an x,y,z,dxy,dz,owner,speed and there might have been somthing ive forgotten... but where talking hardly anything there Razz like 6 int's and a pointer Razz


although it would have to test aganst the terrain and each unit every round.....ontop of a 3d engine...hmmm
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Kythorak



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Starscape RPG



PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe a model?

Unless you're going to have lots of flat sprites for shells, etc. then there are going to be a considerable number of low quality thingies (very low quality models) being lobbed about at various insane (and inane) angles towards the enemy. Machineguns could easily be done with the old "Invisible Bullet" method used by C&C. They did instant damage to a target and spawned an impact effect there. This could be anything from one puff of dirt to several, for a machinegun.

About Friendly Fire;
Things that SHOULD damage allied units;
Artillery, Airstrikes, Large Explosions (much like StarScape's exploding 'roids)
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varus



Joined: 18 Jun 2004
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could friendly fire be implemented as an optional setting? That's the way it was done in War Wind 2 (http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?gameid=2804), and possibly other games. That way, if people get upset when their own artillery blows them to pieces, they can turn the option off, and reload it. And those who get upset when they watch a half dozen flamethrowing tanks all firing on one unit, hitting each other and doing no damage can turn it back on.

One other thing about friendly fire is that it should (and generally does) work both ways. Get the attention of enemy artillery and then charge a cluster of their units should work wonders Smile (And is a usable tactic in lots of games, like Age of Empires)
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remmon



Joined: 28 Apr 2005
Posts: 2



PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't have time to read pages 2 and 3, so I'm just gonna post this anyways Very Happy

In case any of you have every played Ground Control, you'll have noticed they have friendly fire in there. And it's GOOD!

It makes you think about where you're putting your units and what formation they're in.

Sure a square formation infantry unit will be able to attack targets effectively from any direction, but what about that guy in the middle? Won't he hit his own troops in the process? Or putting 2 rows of tanks is great, to bad the back row will kill the front row.

Ofcourse a slightly more advanced AI could tell when it's going to have friendly fire issues and avoid them, but especially vehicles should easily be dealt friendly fire, whereas infantry would probably just move out of the way for the guys behind them, if they know they're there.

that way, rows of infantry/infantry in front of vehicles == no friendly fire.
vehicles in front of other vehicles == either the aft vehicles won't fire/wont't fire a lot (only when they have a clear view) or you'll get a load of friendly fire.

As for firing modes, did anybody ever think of 'fire at will' (engage all enemies, avoid friendly fire for direct-fire weapons, but not arti), 'return fire' (only fire when fired upon, no friendly fire can be occurred this way except for with arti, after all, if the enemy can see you, you can see him!) and 'hold your fire' (Don't shoot unless I, the player, tell you to)

You'd want to keep your arti in hold your fire mode whenever friendly units come close to enemy units, but when you're laying siege to an enemy base, just fire at will.

Perhaps another interesting feature would be a field/cone of fire, which you assign to a unit. It will automatically engage all units in that area, but treat all others according to the 'return fire' or 'hold your fire' command. That would mean you'd give the enemy base a field of fire from your arti and keep your units out of the enemy base, automatic FF avoidance (ofcourse a friendly wandering into the field of fire could get a nasty surprise)

edit, just read the top of page 3: For collisions, use LoS detection for instant/near instant hitting weapons. you only have to draw tracer or otherwise visible shots, your average machinegun will have 1 tracer every 5 or 10 rounds, depending on the rate of fire.

For non-instantly hitting weapons (arti, missiles, etc.) just assign a point of impact after checking the trajectory for objects and fire off the animation, the moment the animation ends, deal damage to objects in the blast radius you assigned earlier and run the explosion/impact animation.

I'm not gonna say that'll be easy to implement, I know better then that Very Happy
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Kythorak



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Starscape RPG



PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know General's collision system works on the basis that the weapon aims and fires the projectile. The projectile is the cause of the animation, etc. and so, if it hits something OTHER than the target (defined in weapon.ini) that's defined on that thar list, it goes off, damaging the thing in the way and setting off an explosion.

Admittedly, it would use up more processing power, BUT, it would avoid shells clipping other tanks, unless they had collision detection. (like the tankshells of Generals)
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am leery of things like friendly-fire being optional. It can drastically change the balance of units, and it's a near-certainty that one way round is just going to make a worse game. Even in non-entertainment software it's a bad idea to provide too many options, and in something as creative as games that becomes all the more true.

I'm sure I said this before, but I can't find where I said it. Any unit that deals friendly-fire splash damage should either a) have a mode where it either doesn't fire or where it fires a non-splash damage weapon or b) only fire when explicitly ordered to do so. (The latter is more appropriate to units with high-impact abilities that can only be used once or twice in a battle.) At the same time, don't give units too many states to be in, and make sure it's relatively clear which state they're in even if they're not currently selected. If a unit can't accomodate states that allow the player to make it safe, it's better to make it do splash damage that only hurts enemies.

Relevant examples from Starcraft (I know, I know, it's all I ever reference) are siege tanks and reavers. The special feature of siege tanks is that they have two modes - a mobile mode where they fire a regular projectile weapons, and a static siege mode where they fire a long-range splash damage cannon that can hurt friendly units. Each mode is visually distinctive. The special feature of reavers is that you need to pay resources to load them up with their scarab ammo. While it might have been possible for Blizzard to give them an on/off switch to allow tactical decisions about friendly fire, this would have cluttered them up with extra controls, states and indicators beyond those relating to their scarab ammo. It's a much better decision just to have them deal splash damage that only affects enemies.

Given that Battlescape is more combat-oriented, it is probably okay for units to have more features and states, but simplicity still has a lot to say for it.
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OvermindDL1



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 138



PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reasoning givin in SC about Reavers weapons only effecting enemies is that is deals Psionic, not physical damage, although their Psionic abilities are powerful enough to be physical, it can be directed. if you notice, all area effect weapons in that game are like that, if psionic, only enemies, else, it generally effects everyone.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
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Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except for "psionic storm", mind. But this does demonstrate that in a futuristic high-tech game it is quite easy to find the right mechanic for your gameplay and then explain it away afterwards.

(Actually, come to think of it, your theory holds for archons, reavers and maybe corsairs, and of course siege tank arclight cannons, vulture spider mines and infested terrans, but fails to explain lurker spines, valkyrie halo rockets and the damage from psionic storm.)
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OvermindDL1



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 138



PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Psionic Storm is a *raw release* of psionic energy. Does not descriminate etc... etc... It's all in the manual or can be inferred from the histories in the manual.
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Kythorak



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Starscape RPG



PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OvermindDL1 wrote:
Psionic Storm is a *raw release* of psionic energy. Does not descriminate etc... etc... It's all in the manual or can be inferred from the histories in the manual.


Indeed. It's point and click, anyone stupid enough to be caught in the way is buggered, pardon my french. The storm doesn't discriminate between friend and foe, as it's not being controlled. The Templars just let it loose and it does it's thing.
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Sterra



Joined: 20 Dec 2003
Posts: 3



PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While this wasnt strictly a rts I knew I was terribly dissapointed in neverwinternights compared to bg2 when I found out you couldn't do splash damage. My favorite part of the game was probably figuring out the best ways to do splash damage with it only hurting my people a little or not at all.

However, in that game there was a lot of splash damage and using the right spells would drastically change a battle whereas rtses tend to be more about having more units of a favorable type. If you don't have splash damage that can change who is winning (similar to the sleep gas, paralyzing spell, fireball, etc, etc, etc) I don't think it really matters.

Like in starcraft it got to a certain skill level where you could always simply outproduce the area of effect users because it was much easier to expand and defend things.
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Deraldin



Joined: 01 May 2003
Posts: 48



PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I swear that reavers can cause splash damage to your own units. If not your units then they can atleast do damage to your allies units.

Anyway, would it be possible for when an artillery unit automatically targets an enemy unit for it to check for friendlies in the area of effect and then if yes choose another target within range that doesn't have friendlies in the damage radius? Or would that add too much work to justify it?
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Fost
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deraldin wrote:
would it be possible for when an artillery unit automatically targets an enemy unit for it to check for friendlies in the area of effect and then if yes choose another target within range that doesn't have friendlies in the damage radius? Or would that add too much work to justify it?


Anything can be done - so, what you are asking for here, is a unit that will never fire if it will harm your own units. That kind of makes sense, and would have tactical play to it. The criteria I use to justify backing any idea for Battlescape, is what will the player be able to do with this feature, to gain an advantage. Ideally, the game isn't a case of dragging groups of units round the map en masse.

To be honest though, I'm still not that sold on the idea of splash damage - but I think Poo Bear is the person you'd have to convince. Sounds like something we could have a play with though and see if it has any uses.
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Poo Bear
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Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to be careful with in-game tweakable unit options, a little bit of micro management allows for reasonable control and skill, but it can easily kill the fun if it becomes work. With artillery you already have to remember:

1. are slow to move.
2. cannot fire while moving, waiting or digging-in.
3. take time to dig-in and dig-out.
4. need a supply vehicle within a certain distance to work efficiently.
5. cannot fire within a certain range.
6. maximum range can only be achieved either by placing them on the top of a hill where they make a great target or by using other units to spot for them.
7. cost a fortune.
8. almost everything else can easily kill them at close range.

All that to think about and no unique unit options to click on so far, the normal set that applies to all units is all it needs (go here, stop, dig-in, don't fire, fire at will, return fire, shoot here).

I like simplicity, I like units that aren't just better than everything else but have specific uses and disadvantages. I'm leaning towards making artillery damage friendlies full stop, the more caveats and disadvantages there are to something the more decisive it can be and I think that can make a game more interesting. You don't want every unit like that, you need your jack-of-all-trades master-of-none units too. You can control artillery using generic commands anyway i.e. select a bank of artillery, assign all to F1, when you're ready to send in the troops just hit F1 and select "don't fire". Sure there will be times when finer control would have been better, but the less time it takes to set things up and the fewer clickable options there are to remember then the easier it is to keep an eye on the battlefield and manage things.

I don't like the idea of someone just adding a few artillery to his mix of units and dragging them along with him. Wouldn't it be better if artillery were expensive, needed support vehicles, needed protection, had to be used in large numbers, were a threat to your own units and worked best when concealed using hidden snipers as spotters but when they open up they can annihilate the enemy.

All those disadvantages would mean they would only really work with certain missions in certain landscapes. It would mean that decisive victories with few if any losses were possible if the battle went as expected. It should also mean things could go very badly wrong i.e. the enemy use a lot of cheap scouts and discover the artillery before they are setup, you're covering a valley where you think they will come but they cut around the flank instead, you don't bother with AA-missiles and the enemy bring in hordes or remote spotter drone aircraft, a hidden enemy jumps your assault force and are too close for your artillery backup to fire without killing your own men.
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