Concept idea for a strategy game, need some advice


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#1 Danimal

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Posted 09 November 2016 - 04:28 PM

Hi guys, i have had an idea for a game for quite some LONG time, but i think one aspect of it can get boring fast, so i would like to know your opinion. Would you play this?
Style:
- 3D with low poly pixel style models
- Unity3D as engine.

The story: (fantasy setting)
The intro relates how the undeads come and conquer most of the country, they are defeated into a big battle but the king dies on it and its heir is betrayed by all of his "loyal" followers. He is saved from certain death on a way, depending of what faction you want to control.
The nobles cant agree on a new ruler due to their greed and so they break down into many provinces ruled by a human faction (knights, church, mages...), but the undead are far from defeated and with the human union shattered the war is at a stalemate.

Gameplay mechanics: (simplified)
The game would put you in charge of one minor faction out of three (humans, undead and goblins), the goal is to conquer the country.
To do so, you are put in control of a capital, where you can recruit basic units, build different buildings and research (resembling Xcom a bit).
All your units start as a basic class, and then when they get enougth XP are promoted to higher ones, if you have the related contruccion built at the capital and can affort the upgrade cost (militia->squire->knight \ militia->apprentice->mage). Kind of like "Disciples 2".

The world map would play like "mount and blade", you assemble an army (size depending on your ruler level/skills and units quality) and get to roam freely on real time, killing whatever crosses your ways and running away from stronger foes. The different factions would be at each others throats meanwhile and from time to time agree to throw a holy/dark crusade agaisnt the undeads/humans. Enemy units also move in squads that can engage with whatever they consider a menace (enemy factions or dungerous critters/neutrals), run away while patrolling or be performing a mission like attacking a city or hunting down enemy armies.

When you are strong enought you can start taking provinces from any side, until you have conquered everything and ultimately win the game. This would be tied to certain events/researches that allow you to get stronger and stronger.

Cities would have a pseudo-economy where they get resources from nearby buildings likes mines/villages/farms... that allows them to replenish troops and field armies faster with number and quality depending on city level. With enought time and resources cities can upgrade their levels, so crushing their economy by attacking resources spots is an option to weaken a future capture.

With time you will graduate from being a lone warband and will be able to deploy and order your own fields generals to defend/patrol/attack provinces to lessen the burden on the player to be everywhere at the same time.

Your leader doesnt participate in combat, but can master one of a few magic schools and cast spells in battle/provide bonus to troops, fields generals would also get bonuses depending on which class they are (Warrior, Guerrilla, Magi)

The combat (PROBLEM HERE), would be played in turns on a hex map, "Battle for wesnoth" being a clear inspiration of what i want it be. Units have differents skills resistances and attributes. Each cell has a terrain type that affects battle, Melee cant attack fliers, fliers ignore terrains, ranged and magic are weak agaisnt flanking troops like calvary, forest terrain protects against arrows but are to travel except for tracker units, undead have bonus at nigthtime, faster units attack and move first...

Regarding units you would have to recruit them one per one, at their basic form at first, with random characteristic on creation to each one, that would affect their stats growth (like strong, stupid, sneaky) so they are not generic troops of the same kind, making them somewhat unique.
I plan to make it  fast paced and adding an autoresolve option at combat start.

But since im also planing to make your units "inmortal" (they can be resurrected on cities) losing a combat isnt a matter of life and death, its a grindy mechanic im inserting to get the player to engage and level up their troops, losing will have its penalties of course, you will have to wait until the units you took are healed back and forced to take others meanwhile(possibly lower level or class), loss of materials....
So, i am conflicted about adding a grindy gameplay mechanic in there, you need the grind to upgrade your units and get a nice rooster troop (heavies, lights, fliers, siege...) ready for each occasion, my way to fix this is unlocking the class promotions by research and trying to give the progression a nice pace.


Thanks to anyone who wastes his/her time reading this. And i repeat it; Would you play this?

#2 NKF

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:12 AM

In my spare time I often find myself designing games in my head. One that I keep coming back to is, like your idea, a fantasy X-Com-like party management game.

Our ideas will quite likely diverge quite a bit as some of the things I've cooked up lean towards the absurd. One semi-rejected idea is a class that disbelieves mythical races and creatures out of existence.by virtue of concentrated disbelief and (likely unjustified) logic. ;)

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Would you play this?

It's a bit of a generic answer, but a big part of game design is of course to find a way to hook the player in to keep playing. If you can come up with a fun game to play, then most definitely.

However if it's it's overly dark, grim and gritty with taupe as the primary colour scheme - then I might pass. Posted Image

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But since im also planing to make your units "inmortal" (they can be resurrected on cities) losing a combat isnt a matter of life and death, its a grindy mechanic im inserting to get the player to engage and level up their troops, losing will have its penalties of course, you will have to wait until the units you took are healed back and forced to take others meanwhile(possibly lower level or class), loss of materials....

One idea would be to provide some handicaps to the returning unit that will gradually disappear over time or after a certain number of battles. Imagine a fighter with one arm in a sling who is still able to fight with the free hand but cannot wield large weapons or a shield. Or has a sore leg that causes movement to drop by one hex. Injury dependant on what caused the character to fall in the first place.

A more severe penalty would be to lose an entire character level after being revived.

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So, i am conflicted about adding a grindy gameplay mechanic in there, you need the grind to upgrade your units and get a nice rooster troop (heavies, lights, fliers, siege...) ready for each occasion, my way to fix this is unlocking the class promotions by research and trying to give the progression a nice pace.

It should be fine as long as what you come up is balanced and works consistently within the scope of your game.

It's not for everyone but some gamers like myself quite enjoy games that involve a bit of grinding. One of my favourite go-to strategy RPG series being the Disgaea series which has grinding as one of its core game mechanics, at least for its post-game content.

However grinding has to be meaningful and reward the player for their efforts. If the grinding is reduced to just churning the numbers with minimal or inconsequential effect, then it's not enjoyable at all.

How much customisation are you planning to allow for each character as far as their abilities and skills go as the characters grow in experience? If there is going to be grinding, you could use it as a means of developing a variety of different skills on top of the profession specific abilities. Such as mastering specific weapons, first aid, foraging, riding, equipment maintenance, etc.

- NKF
NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.

#3 Danimal

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 03:06 PM

NKF thanks for taking some time reading this:

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One semi-rejected idea is a class that disbelieves mythical races and creatures out of existence.by virtue of concentrated disbelief and (likely unjustified) logic.

The religious troops eventually branches into witch-hunter and inquisitor, i guess those count? they would be just above-average warriors with nice bonus agaisnt  monsters and magicians.

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However if it's it's overly dark, grim and gritty with taupe as the primary colour scheme - then I might pass. Posted Image
I though about making it dark&gritty and realistic at first, but i realized that if im going to add lots of different creatures i cant make them super detailed 10K+ poly models nor devote myself to gothic drawing like Disciples 2 does. Its going to be low poly models with brigth colours. Im debating myself between pixel texturing or simplictic textures.

For now i think the penalty for dying will just be monetary and the time they take to recover.


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One of my favourite go-to strategy RPG series being the Disgaea series
I also love disgaea Posted Image

About character customisation i didnt plan further than their class skills/attributes and some random "birth" perks (that would affect their stats growth like strong, stupid, sneaky...) so when a squire becomes a knigth he just jumps into a horse and becames almost the same as the knigth rigth besides him.

With battles that i think could have over 25 units max per side at some point, individual customizations would became cumbersome. It would be good for a game focused on very small squads but i guess im taking a chess like stance toward units, if you know how a bishop or tower can move you know them all. A simple fix would be to allow to choose a unique perk every X levels (fleet footed, extra armored, nimble...) that boost some stats and would allow to make an extra-hard knight, a mobility focused one or some mix.




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