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Simultaneous turns on tactics game

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by pakoito, May 23, 2013.

  1. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    Hello codex,

    I'm finished with the tool testing phase, shit moves, animates and responds to user input. Off to the gamebuilding phase. Here's my idea: Fantasy tactics game, K'sB/HOMM/Eador board-type, with the twist of simultaneous turns like Frozen Synapse. The game must be completely asynchronous.

    Each player gets 3-5 toons, and has to declare batches of 5 turns. Every turn all creatures can take one action.
    Actions include moving, skills and ranged attacks. Once the batch is completed and resolved, both players get a new one.

    Sample skills:
    Charge, Fireball, Acid Trap, Magic Missile, Counterspell, Grappling Hook...

    Now, off to the problems:

    There's two approaches here. One is the most common, you choose a target hex, the effect is triggered, on to the next turn. The second approach would be making some spells put a token on the board symbolizing the projectile arriving to its destination so it can be dodged. A spell will include its movespeed.

    Given the simultaneous turn approach I feel the inclusion of the second approach worthwhile to emphasize mobility and zoning tactics. Besides, it forces timing into some spells trying to outsmart the opponent about on which turn you will fire it, and in which direction.


    This one is the most problematic. I thought of an "engaged" state, same as in D&D. If two creatures enter within each other's threat area, their actions are substituted by a rock-paper-scissors(-lizard-spock) system. Creatures have a previously declared "stance" on the RPS(Ls) set and will do that action until the engagement is broken somehow. A implementation of the RPS system would be attack beats flee beats special. Attack is self-explanatory, Flee is a backstep, Special would be a per-character skill to balance the engagement, i.e. wizard-types would get telekinetic push while warriors get grapple.

    The problem are two: first, the creature would carry on with its stance during the whole engagement, and it may be a losing or just a support/nondamagic one. Second, if the engagement is broken by one of the creatures escaping its 5-turn sequence is broken and it may not be able to carry on the rest of the actions.


    I thought about giving them a skill in the fashion of "ready action", where they get a threat area and anything that moves in it gets one attack.


    This one is easy, same as in Yomi or Space Hulk Death Angel, each skill/attack is coded with an initiative number either unique or very specific to avoid draws. In case of draw, randomness is applied.



    How much does the codex hate it?
     
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  2. odrzut Arbiter

    odrzut
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    I like it. Only question - why batches of 5 turns, and not 1?
     
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  3. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    Mostly for mindgames. Where Frozen Synapse had fog of war and instant death resolution, I think timing would be the occlusion mechanic here.

    Instant death was a great balancing mechanic for Frozen Synapse dealing with timing and clashes, but it wouldn't work here.
     
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  4. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Yeah, that was my question as well... the entire challenge of Frozen Synapse was making your tactics work ONE turn ahead, after 5 turns you have absolutly no idea on wtf is happening, how can you even do anything?
     
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  5. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    The system would make more sense if I had said a creature can only move one hex per turn. Single turn and multi-hex movement solves collision problems, but it trumps timing mechanics.

    I'd better explain it as a single turn of 5 actions per character, being either move 1, skill or collision.

    In the end it's the same.

    EDIT: *wearing a spear. Go me and my pierced torso.
     
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  6. baturinsky Arcane

    baturinsky
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    Have you played Brigade E5 or 7.62?
     
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  7. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    No but I'm youtubing them now. How do they resolve collision?
     
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  8. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    I don't think 5 action turns work unless it's more about giving orders for an AI to intepret, than giving very specific input. Kinda like in Dominions 3, for example.



    If you're inputting specific actions, just do 1 or 2 steps at a time. Of course there's still RPS element in timing things, just a less ridiculous possibility space.
     
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  9. odrzut Arbiter

    odrzut
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    With 5 actions of "move by hex" per turn battles will look like everybody's drunk or blind.
     
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  10. baturinsky Arcane

    baturinsky
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    By not having turns at all. Realtime with (smart) pause. May be it's what you need?
     
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  11. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    That's simultaneous but not asynchronous. It's a multiplayer arena game.

    I discarded the AI idea precisely because D3 pisses me off. Reducing the number of steps to 2-3 kind of fixes collision, but it'll allow for less mindgames :/

    That's just a problem with graphics, not mechanics.
     
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  12. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    I think I have it. 2+ creatures can be in the same square. Make skills have an "interruptible" and "causes clash" properties. Movement causes clash but is never interruptible.

    Following initiative every char resolves its action, and if in threat range of any enemy a clash is resolved (RPS or whatever system) with a winner, damage is applied, and if the active char loses and was doing an interruptible action, it won't. There will be a new engagement when the other toon(s) in the hex take their actions, if those actions are marked as "cause clash".

    This solves the following problems:
    Threat range: different toons can affect more "causes clash" actions done around them, Fighter classes can interrupt spells, and turn sequence is never broken. It also melds quite well with the action initiative system.

    For a bit of mindgames but not a lot of molesting problems, a 3-action turn should suffice.


    EDIT: And maybe an extra mandatory clash at the beginning of every action to encourage mages not to stay in place and warriors do.
     
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  13. Johannes Arcane

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    Less moves doesn't mean there's less mindgames, just that the amount of different sensible moves to consider becomes manageable. Ie., less pure randomness and more properly calculated mindgames.
     
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  14. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Codex 2012
    Skirmish.
     
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  15. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    Skirmish sounds better than clash, right? I'm trying to come up with a system that is not random, yet it doesn't make fighting classes always win them.

    I'm thinking of a pseudo-random RPS, where a clash requires a certain win% to be won. For example, a simple clash would be BO3, while a skill check would require 33%, 66% or 100% (or 20% increments in case of BO5) victories to be considered 'won'. To balance it the pseudo part is can be made that you know your next 3 RPS moves ahead, and some spell would reveal the enemies' or alter your own's.

    EDIT: This is pretty much a glorified dice. I'll come up with something better. I'm trying to avoid randomness and stats altogether but it won't be easy.
     
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  16. odrzut Arbiter

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    Why shouldn't stronger unit always win? I don't mean unit who lost clash should die, maybe just should be pushed back by stronger unit when they both want to move to one hex? That would make players protect their casters, and would allow your fighters to push enemies to river for example.
     
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  17. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    It breaks turn continuity and screws up the system. Casters cannot always fail, yet I don't want it to be pure random.
     
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  18. baturinsky Arcane

    baturinsky
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    Sorry, if I misunderstood, but why not give initiative to toons too to avoid clashes? Even if chars are standartized, there may be bonuses from stamina, morale, spells, player's traits, etc (don't know what of that you have in your game)

    Also, are all commands exact and simple, or there are conditional ones, like "cast fireball at first enemy you see", "cast Heal at any ally is below max hp"?
     
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  19. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    I'm aiming for exact. Attack this, move there.

    Because that's deterministic. The same people will always win. And I'm trying to keep stats at a minimum.

    Right now I'm leaning towards an invisible "gauge" system, where a char will win some clashes at the cost of gauge until it doesn't. The problem is, it makes the toons deterministically always win/lose its first skirmish.

    Another system would be a betting one, where for an ability you'd bet from your gauge in the planning phase, and when turn is resolved in case of clash the highest bidder wins. The bar would replenish at the end of the turn. Maybe a shared bar from the sum of character's gauge values to accentuate team composition. It accentuates midtricks and puts emphasis on the player. Maybe the bar can empower abilities? SO MANY CHOICES.
     
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  20. odrzut Arbiter

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    Not deterministic means player plans gets much more complicated. At some level of complexity player just won't bother with planning, and just do whatever. Althought I like your "licitation of initiative" idea.
     
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  21. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    I don't understand what "licitation of initiative" means.
     
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  22. odrzut Arbiter

    odrzut
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    Don't worry, it's my poor English. I liked the idea that each unit has some amount of initiative, each turn you can bet some of it to increase chance that particular action succeeds in the event of a clash, and if there is a clash both units participating lose the amount of initiative they bet, and the one that bet more wins. The question still remains - what happens when both bet 0 and there's a clash (this can happen quite often, when players plans a lot of actions that aren't very important).
     
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  23. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    Attacker wins.
     
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  24. pakoito Arcane

    pakoito
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    The betting system doesn't get along well with multiple turns. Everything points that simultaneity and turn planning are very very vvvvvvvvvvvvery difficult to implement without simple culling mechanics like instadeath.

    And given that turns are guided by skill initiative, scrapping clashing, timing and multiturn makes my game pretty much like any other game. Maybe with Urban Rivals stamina system slapped on top.
     
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  25. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    I'm thinking about this and I just can't really imagine how having 3+ actions per turn would work out smoothly. 1 or 2 would mostly suffice for anything reasonable I can think of. For example for ranged combat, be it bows or spells or whatever - you could have combinations like aim-shoot, shoot-move, move-shoot, move-move (could be 3x the amount you can move if you do a non-move action), shoot twice, maybe a dodge without move action... A snapshot beats a still standing guy who aims longer, the still standing aimer will hit a moving target, but a guy who shoots without aiming won't hit if the target moves. And if both move and then shoot, the one who predicted the square/hex where the enemy'd go hits (so with aiming you could pick the enemy as the target whereever it goes, without aiming you target a square), something like that.


    Then figure out similar moves/combinations for melee combat, when people are in adjacent tiles. Say you can combine two of attack, defend, and move. Then decide how the different options interact - let's say my guy goes defend-attack. Then if you go move-?? you get to move away. Or if you go attack-attack against that, then I deflect your first blow (which causes, let's say, me to lose a small amount of hp, but causes your attack and defense values lower significantly for the second tick of the turn) but get a good strike in on the attack - the parry -> attack combo would do more damage than the full out attack pitted against it but gives a chance for the opponent to disengage. So you wouldn't have a betting mechanic but you'd guess and second guess what your opponent wants to do and then stop or counter it. Does he want to disengage, or deal damage quickly, or deal damage with minimal losses, or try to stay alive as long as possible to stall your guy?
    This makes sense in my head, but not sure if I did a good job of explaining it.

    And I don't see it's a problem if guys moving into the same square, that then the guy with weaker relevant stat gets just pushed back - for the positioning part, at least. They could also attack each other automatically, with the stats of their attack not necessarily related to who gets to occupy the target square.



    Now figuring out 5, or even 3 moves in sequence, it simply gets really messy and a bit non-reactive. Seems much better to have more frequent imput. I think it'd just easily lead to people waltzing around in unpredictable but unrealistic and ridiculous patterns, then launching their spells/weapons/whatevers at a random time at a random place where they guess the enemy might be on a given frame. Or maybe I'm not just getting how you intend your 3+ -tick system to work - can you elaborate how a simple bow combat, for example, would work in it? Or any simple example that'd demonstrate the system well and show how it makes for interesting mindgames.
     
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