Game Design Opportunity

Urban Assault is an old game and its rare blend of FPS and RTS deserves to be seen again. For those of you who want to start/coordinate projects to make an Urban Assault 2, this is a dedicated forum for you!
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leftylink
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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by leftylink » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:54 am

Here are my thoughts about engines...

Not sure why you picked the Unreal Engine 1... that's an old version; the latest version is Unreal Engine 3. Even so, yes, it requires money for licensing.

Are you looking at paying to get an engine? I view my participation in this project (if any!) as something I'm doing primarily for enjoyment and learning, and then if it's successful I'd be glad to make money off of it, but seeing as we're not physically coordinated or formally doing this as a full-time job or anything I would not be comfortable putting out money for an engine. I've taken the liberty of doing some quick research on some game engines. I took a look at Wikipedia and it pointed me to DevMaster, from where I'll be pulling some data.

Since you want to sell the game, using something licensed under the GPL is disadvantageous because you'll have to license the game under the GPL (and therefore distribute the source as well), so I looked only at engines licensed under more permissive licenses such as the LGPL, MIT, BSD, zlib licenses, etc.

This is my preliminary analysis at the top ten reviewed engines on DevMaster...
OGRE - Immensely popular, but keep in mind it's not a full-blown game engine, only a 3D rendering engine... the usage of other libraries is left up to the programmers.
Irrlicht - Probably second most well known 3D rendering engine, provides a strong sound library and world editor, it seems.
Crystal Space - Also a well known 3D graphics engine, and they claim to be oriented toward game design with CEL.
Panda3D - Made by Carnegie Mellon. Has Python scripting fully integrated, so O Y ME could help us out! Hah...
jME - I am leery of using Java to make a game, actually... reviews aren't that good, and finally, it's in alpha... no to this one!
RealityFactory - I don't like how this one is looking - negative reviews say it's outdated, it's a wrapper for a game engine so you're... not actually coding? Whaaat?
Blender Game Engine - GPL, you can't use
Nebula - Ooooh, by Radon Labs, no less! Only works on Windows though :( Edit... ugh, after looking at this one, I'm seeing weak documentation... it isn't looking good...
RealmForge - It's in beta? Yeah, let's not go with this one...
OpenSceneGraph - Reviews say it has bad documentation

Right... if anyone wants to do some research and contradict me on ones I've eliminated, or eliminate some more from this list, or add to it, or suggest that we put down money for another engine, go for it. Our choice of engine can be a collaborative process, and we should put serious thought into it, as we would for... just about anything else!
~Leftylink, the former Useless Bystander Admin.
Retired from UA since university. May play again someday...

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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by Alfa » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:03 am

Question: have you thought of a name for the remake?
://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff34/AlfaGoon/GIMP/cannabitchsig.gif?t=1226184091[/img]

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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by Nothing But Leonids » Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:54 pm

Very Good post LeftyLink. Thank you for the information. I did some research on the Crystal Space Gaming Engine and found I believe it would work the best.

This is a quote from their website at http://www.crystalspace3d.org/main/Main_Page. From what it states it is exactly what we need:
CEL (or Crystal Entity Layer) is a set of plugins and applications built on top of the Crystal Space SDK. CEL provides a set of commonly used abstractions to specifically help with writing games. CEL introduces the notion of an 'entity' which can be any kind of (visual or non-visual) object in a game. CEL also comes with a lot of useful plugins for 3rd/first person camera handling, physics, movement system, quest system, and so on.

Written in C++, CEL can also be interacted with via Python or Xml. Using CELstart it is also not necessary to use C++. This means that since the base code is C++, CEL is fast while being extremely easy to use from within Python and/or Xml.


To me that sounds it is versatile on which coding that can be used. The 3rd/First person camera handling will be of very much use. Since my specialty is graphics and 3d modeling, these programming languages are nearly totally out of my comprehension. I will leave that to your department.

Alfa, responding to your question. I do not know. It is something for the team to decide as this may be my idea, but I am not the only one creating it. Many people will throw in their ideas and the "team"(the people designing the project) will have a discussion on what gets implemented.
As for the name, it depends on the story we give it, how the game is, etc.

Speaking of ideas, I will post my hude idea in a few hours and you tell me what you think.
The topic will consist of:
  • The Game Mechanics
  • The Gameplay
  • How the Interface should look

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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by O Y ME » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:22 pm

Keep in mind everybody that I am having a VERY hard time understanding all the tutorials for Python. I am currently stuck at strings. Hopefully, with some time and patience I can get through this and move on.
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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by Nothing But Leonids » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:13 am

Here is my idea for the game:

The story for it is undefined right now. The game is RTS/Shooter.
I am thinking of 3 factions right now. More can be added. Each faction will have certain expertises that other dont. For now let's start with the basics of the game first.

What do we build with, what is the resources we use and how do we attain it?
You start the game as 1 unit called the Commanding Unit. For this dialogue I am using (CU) for short. You start with a (CU) and a predetermined set of resources. The resources are called gas. You derive all your power to create everything from gas. Gas is produced naturally from the planet. You build harvesting facilities that comes with 1 jet to collect it. You can build more jets to accumulate the gas from the air.

The gas comes out of crevices in the planet's crust or from volcanos. Whether these crevices/volcanos can be destroyed or have building to take direct benefit from it is still disputable. You can only hold a certain amount of gas unless you expand with storage units. I am also thinking of having a higher tech unit being able to drill for the gas for it to be harvested.

What are the victory conditions?
Of course you win the game by annihilating the other factions or destroying their (CU).

What is the building tree and what does it contain? Also what is the process?

As you all know, you start out as a (CU) Commanding Unit. This commanding Unit can build a harvesting facility, a light base defense, a light wall, and a Tier 1 Unit factory. I am not certain if I want 1 factory to do both air and ground units or have one for each. The Tier 1 Unit Factory can produce ground/air/harvesting/construction units. The construction unit is the ladder to Tier 2. As for the tier 1 war units, that will be more of a discussion with the design team.

Construction Tier 1 Unit can build tier 2 wall, tier 2 defenses, tier 2 factory, and a radar. Then we are at Construction Tier 2 unit that builds tier 3 factory and the best regular units are at your disposal. The tier 3 factory can build the last construction unit that builds the best defenses, walls, special buildings, and the Mega Units; abbreviated (MU). The (MU) in themselves are collosal and can take on small to medium forces by themselves.

I have also thought of the Construction Tier 3 unit to be able to build subterranean tunnels at links at a time. Everyone can see the entrances and all ground units except the (MU) can travel between these tunnels. However, if an enemy faction detects the tunnels, they can use the Tier 3 Driller unit to be able to collapse it or the Tier 3 Construction to create a tunnel entrance into it. From there they can send their units straight into your base or wherever the entrance is.

You speak of certain factions having specialties that they stand behind, what are these specialties?
For the sake of not knowing the names of these factions I will use "Faction A", "Faction B", and "Faction C."

Faction A has a superior development of technology for weapony. Lasers, explosive projectiles, and maybe plasma energy.

Faction B has a seperior development on energy defenses and offenses. Force fields, personal armor shielding, the ability to do the opposite. The force field is projected on an enemy unit allowing firing to go into the shield but not to come out. The unit cannot move during that time.

Faction C has developed superior engines and thrusters for greater speeds. They have developed ion thrusters for the air units and the ion engine for ground units for superior speeds. Their ion fueled engines enable them to travel at 1.5-2.0 times their counterparts. This faction's jets can gather the gas much quicker than the other 2 faction which fuels them to advance in their tiers quicker.

The Command Unit(CU) seems to be the most important unit to be kept alive, is there anything special about the (CU) other than its ability to construct?
The (CU) is the most critical unit to be kept alive in the game, if destroyed you lose the game. However, in the multiplayer you can have the parameters to not have the game end when the (CU) is destroyed. When the (CU) is destroyed, a voidsphere is created sucking in surrounding units/gas/buildings/little animals. The voidsphere pulls everything into oblivion in a certain radius. The Voidsphere does not degenerate and will continue to pull matter in from all around it. The only way to get rid of a Voidsphere is to either have a larger one consume it or have the Tier 3 Construction Unit to dismantle it. The whole idea is subject to change, just like everything.

Every (CU) has a main weapon that it attacks with and a secondary more powerful weapon that differs between factions. Depending on the faction determines what "survival" abilities these (CU)s have. Each (CU) has 2 survival abilities. Lets take Faction A's (CU), it has an EMP Blast that hits everything in its radius to shutdown for a short time. That means all buildings/ground & air units, even faction alike, are shutdown except for the (CU). For the (CU)'s second ability is ground to air multiple laser beam sweep that hits every enemy unit in its radius. Each (CU) will have 3 construction orbs that revolve around it that repairs the (CU) and does the building independently from the (CU) allowing the (CU) to move around freely. The construction orbs can each take 1 building task or all go to the same one for increased productivity. Remember the more contruction units on 1 task, the faster it is completed along with the resources with it.

Faction B's (CU) has 1 ability to create a small forcefield around itself for protection. The faction's second ability is the ability to cloak itself for a short while. During this time it can still be hit by firepower(if human controlled), but during this time it should escape to a safe area.

Faction C's (CU) first survival ability is an Ion thrust Jet pack that enables it to move around difficult terrain to escape or to build in an exclusive place. The faction's second ability is the Ion Cannon shot out from the the cannons from the (CU)'s back. The (CU) drops to an immobile position on a 6 point stance as if it was on it's hands and knees and fires a shot that does immense damage to all units's in its path. Range of the beam is long.

Of course all these abilites have a cooldown depending on their power.

Mega Units? Will there be a limit to the number of (MU)s on the field from each faction? How are the (MU)s special abilities compared to the (CU)?
Each faction will have at least 2 mega units to choose from, however, only 1 is allowed to be on the field. Some ground (MU)s will be able to go over terrain that others cannot, depending on the terrain. All (MU)s will have at least 1 special ability.

An RTS/Shooter game, I have played RTS games and shooter games, but how do you implement them both into the same game?
This game will be an RTS like any game is an RTS game. Build your base, go through the tiers to make stronger units, send them out, annihilate your foes. However in this game you have the option to go in and take control of a unit/turret and take full advantage of their weapons/special abilities or just go for a joyride. The shooter part of the game is what provides a new game mechanic that enhances the gameplay of the overall game. When you take control of a unit in this RTS game not only is it more fun to be shooting at them yourselves, but it also allows you to use the full potential of power of the unit. In this game you can have the computer decide when it is the best time to use their special abilities if they have it or for you to do it manually from the Command Menu or from direct control as you drive/fly the machine yourself.


That is my idea, please post your opinions and dont be shy. When you post your opinion, do so with an explanation why you think that way and if you have a suggestion for a better idea for that certain aspect of that idea.

Thank you for reading.
Last edited by Nothing But Leonids on Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:58 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by Happy_Hereford » Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:20 am

Whoo hoo! This is going to. Be. Awesome!
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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by john1352 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:07 am

I can see a lot of things from Total Annihilation in there, personally I'd prefer more UA-like theme. I like some of the concepts though, especially different bounuses for different factions. The void idea is a bit odd, I think it would just be annoying, though it would be interesting to see how it affects gameplay with multiple opponents.
://i529.photobucket.com/albums/dd333/pete_kaboom/FalconUB.png[/img]

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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by Nothing But Leonids » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:49 am

john1352 wrote:I can see a lot of things from Total Annihilation in there, personally I'd prefer more UA-like theme. I like some of the concepts though, especially different bounuses for different factions. The void idea is a bit odd, I think it would just be annoying, though it would be interesting to see how it affects gameplay with multiple opponents.
The only thing that is similar to Total Annihilation and Supreme Commander is the (CU) and the tiers. Everything else is my idea. The void sphere is different, having an explosion when the (CU) is destroyed is cliche for me so why not a void rift, or whatever you want to call it(a freakin blackhole pops out of nowhere, what the hell happened to my base!). This is only my idea, for now I have created the foundation and just need the building blocks.

John1352 thank you for the opinion, any more?

As for the interface goes, I have the idea how I want it to look, but have to put it togethor.

My guess is in time when I have the graphics made, I think I go into Flash and do the animations. How it links to the game from there, I do not know. Our coders should though.

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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by Alfa » Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:48 pm

A faction with stealth tech maybe?
://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff34/AlfaGoon/GIMP/cannabitchsig.gif?t=1226184091[/img]

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Re: Game Design Opportunity

Post by Nothing But Leonids » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:09 pm

Alfa wrote:A faction with stealth tech maybe?
I was actually thinking of that, however not too certain on it. Maybe if it is a special ability that they can use every so often instead of having it on 100% of the time unless detected.

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