Monthly Archives: March 2008

Future Plans

Tomorrow is the 1st of April, and almost one quarter of this year has passed. Time flew very quickly for me -maybe because was working so hard to finish Supernova 2 (the final game should be ready very soon) and also pondering what to do after it.

I have still a project on stand-by – Tower of Destiny. However I’m thinking also about learning Flash/Director to make a online game. I have what I think to be a pretty cool idea that all Magic Stones fans will surely like, a sort of online rpg card game. The advantages of a online-only game are lots, for example multiplayer possibility, no need to store the data on your pc, possibility to play the game anywhere (even at work! eheh) and also the micropayment thing, so that you can pay only for how much you play the game (have still to decide the details, but this would allow much more flexibility on payment methods).

However I’m not saying that TOD will become waporware: I’ll resume working on it at same time as the online game. Just don’t ask me release dates, because I really have no clue, it’s going to be a very BIG game 🙂

Supernova 2: ships design

I’m currently doing probably the most complex and difficult part of the game, that is balancing the two armies units types. Usually we have in normal games the also known “rock-paper-scissors” theme.

For those that don’t know what it means, read this quote directly from Wikipedia related entry:

“Combat or strategy-based video games often feature RPS-like cycles in their characters’ or units’ effectiveness against others. These often attempt to emulate cycles in real-world combat (such as where cavalry are effective against archers, archers have an edge over spearmen, and spearmen are strongest against cavalry), or simple elemental trinities such as fire, water and air. Such game mechanics can make a game somewhat self-balancing, by preventing any one simple strategy from dominating gameplay.”

In my game, I have this scheme so far:

Scout: strong against Battleship, weak against Interceptors
Transport Troops: strong against Cruisers
Cruiser: strong against Interceptors, weak against Transport
Interceptor: strong against Scouts, weak against Cruisers
Battleship: weak against Scout

the transport are strong only against Cruisers because they can board the ship and kill all the crew. This operation is not possible vs other ship classes because they have much more crew onboard and the assault would be ineffective. They have no weaknes vs a specific opponent because they are actually vulnerable vs anyone’s attack 🙂 they get dangerous only if they can go nearby a Cruiser or a Planet to conquer.

The Battleship on the other hand is strong vs anyone, since they have both long and short range weapons, but are weak against Scouts because they are hard to target in short range. Of course a single Scout can’t destroy a Battleship in few turns, but without any help from support units like Interceptors or Cruisers, they can have hard time killing the Scout while it keeps shooting on its tail, doing slow but constant damage…

Then of course there is the Mothership. It is by nature is the most powerful ship of each army, so doesn’t have any particular weak point, but is strong against anybody. Indeed will be quite hard to destroy it during a tactical combat 🙂

Supernova 2: unit balacing

Ok now that the battle is working completely, I have to start doing a simple process, but long: assigning all the units statistics, weapons, armor, devices and so on. Simple because I’m only editing a spreadsheet, not writing complex C/C++ code (I’ll then import the values inside the game at runtime). Long, because even if I plan everything “on paper”, of course when I test the data inside the game itself I always find that one side is more powerful than the other 🙂

I’m going to put emphasys on the fact that the Red Legion is more aggressive, has more damaging weapon and stronger armor, while on the other side, the Blue Army has more range of view / fire, faster and maneuvrable ships.

Some games solve the problem by having almost identical units from each side, but I think that while this ensure balancing, since in my game there isn’t going to be multiplayer, is better to have 2 very different playing styles based on which faction you choose 😉

Here I go, more time on my game spreadsheet…