Base building or Mothership?
I'm torn on this one guys so you're going to have to help me out, which would you prefer in a fully 3D RTS game?
Well, most RTS follow the multiple individual stations...
Homeworld, on the other hand...
Well, most RTS follow the multiple individual stations...
Homeworld, on the other hand...
Yeah its an interesting one, I should just not be lazy and do both.
Soooo, main, unmobile, safe-ish station, plus some kind mothership carrier?
I'd go for something different myself: a modular mobile structure (is it a ship ? a structure ? a bird ? a plane?).
It is modular, in that the parts can aggregate to produce stuff, but each part is also independent and mobile, so that it can separate from the other parts and go do stuff on it own. So you give at once choice to the player: stay grouped and maximize production and capabilities, or split up to cover more ground, but with increased vulnerability and lower versatility.
Now, it begs the following question: how specific and specialized each part is ? Dunno, matter of choice 🙂 It will be up to the designer's
A single ship is more elegant, for sure, but gameplay wise it polarizes too much the players' production and other capabilities. It works better in cinematic environments than games, I would say.
OR, you could go for a different solution that I would prefer. You could do without bases or motherships completely. Look at how Wake/ Sillage comics did ( http://sillage.wikia.com)_/wiki/Sillage_%28comic_series%29
In this last case, there is this big convoy of ships going through space, only ships. Everything moves like a caravan. A bit like Galactica, you could say. You would add capabilities and stuff by building or modifying some ships in the convoy. The downside is that you will probably end up with more work for your 3D artist and designer (the good news is that the convoy ships can look different). The upside is that it is a FANTASTIC tool story and game-wise: you always have to move-on, protect the convoy, upgrade it and all. Plus more choice: how many ships to protect the convoy, how many to scout, how long do you stay in a sector ?
My 2 galactic cents.
I don't know much about this game at this point and I'm pretty tired, so I have little to offer. That said, I'm in agreement with pavlosg for now - if we're talking about having stations in the game to produce stuff or carry out other functions, it would be quite nice I think to have something along the lines of a "station core" module which has minimal capabilities alone but can serve as an anchor to which additional, specialised structures can be attached.
All good suggestions, i'm limited by the models I have at present (although complexes can be constructed) but it's easy enough to change between mobile bases (such as mothership and that convoy idea) or the static installations.
At the moment i'm leaning more towards static for the short term, having something to defend and create adds to the game a lot. At the moment i'm just creating the core of a 3D RTS and then I can focus on the special bits.
The story FYI is told from the view of a young task force commander who initially gets given missions around the core sectors and finds himself draw further and further towards the outreachs of the empire. You can find out more about the story here ( http://shallow-space.com/press-pack/ ) though it's being fed through our author at the moment who is drawing something more detailed up.
Thanks for the comments, keep em coming 🙂
This question isn't really a case of what is better than the other - both approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages and lend themselves to slightly different gameplay styles. Depends on the story as well... if the long term goal is to conquer and secure sectors one after the other, then stationary or just slightly mobile installations make a lot of sense. If the story is more about the journey of a fleet from A to B (e.g. Homeworld), then mobile motherships might be more feasible. Both variants open up some valuable gameplay mechanics and it's really just a matter of choosing whatever fits the story or intended game feel the most.
I guess I want to say: doesn't really matter to me, both options are fine. Mobile bases might add some additional unique selling point to the game, though. There aren't terribly many games with mobile bases, after all. From the top of my head I can only remember it from the Homeworld series and that one alien race in Universe at War with big-ass screen-filling multi-legged walkers instead of stationary buildings.
... though if you're going for mobile bases, make their mobility a valuable asset. If the player just parks these mobile bases somewhere, treats them like stationary buildings and never needs to use their mobility for anything, then implementing them as mobile bases is just a waste of time and energy. Keeping them on the move for whatever reason needs to more advantageous than parking them in some stationary place.
I'd have both modes. base building for say a super large battle over a HUGE amount of space like a sins of the solar empire level of map, and a mothership battle mode for a smaller battle.
Most RTS games have the whole building deals. Different buildings for constructing other buildings and units and stuff. Defensive structures and the like.
Having it like this could add a whole new layer of strategy.
You've got to go out on mining expeditions to haul ore and bring it back to your base to build new buildings and/or ships. So the question becomes, do I go mining myself, or do I attack my opponent's mining excursion, or do both?
Then that also adds the whole attacking a base dynamic. Gotta mount up a large force to attack the enemy stronghold.
That'll also add some length and content to the individual matches. You have to have a bunch of fights to whittle down your opponent's fleet before mounting an attack on their base. Otherwise with everything being ship fights, there's only one fight per match. You fight and you either defeat your opponents or they defeat you. Even if they run, you now outnumber them and chase them down. It's kinda cut and dry. One encounter, and that's it.
I strongly vote for base building.
But at the same time, it could be mostly base building, but then have certain ships be able to build smaller ships. Like carriers could make small ships or something.
Homeworld had mobile resource controllers that you could send out.
I think an approach that you could go is similar to Homeworld 2's with a very modular approach but make it so that each module essentially acts as a new production facility. You might even be able to have some system to detach them from the mothership. Balancing it around a mobile or static approach could be very interesting.
How about industrial ships?
Big slow behemoths that dwarf cruisers heck maybe even battleships.
Those things have a "mobile" and a "static" version.
Once in range of harvestable asteroids the thing "deploys" opening up solar sails, extending docking ramps for harvesters.
Depending on class it could produce fuel capsules for ships, missiles, and ship parts.
Can deploy into an even bigger structure.
Uses the ship parts from the Factory ships and puts them together into vessels.
Armament on both types should be negligible (point defense weapons against micro asteroids and weaker missiles and torpedoes)
When under attack the things could pack up and go into "hedgehog" mode, redirecting all of their ample energy resources into a strong shield emitter.
But while in this mode neither production nor movement is possible.
I know of course that transforming ships will add an probably undesirable additional workload on you guys but its just an idea.
Personally I didn't think that the Homeworld Mothership approach was the best way since especially when you built bigger ships you were constantly wondering: "Now where the heck did that come from?"
Of course the whole Homeworld canon kinda dictated the Mothership since both (or all three games if you take cataclysm into account too which was a great expansion to HW 1) had the exodus idea behind them. The player had to evade stronger military forces that would have and did annihilate static structures.
Which brings me to why I am against static bases.
First concern: Defending various fixed points in space is pretty difficult and requires either large garrison forces or bases capable of defending versus major fleet assaults which on the other hand would eat up ridiculous amounts of resources.
Bases limit the flexibility of the fleet.
It would be difficult to pack up and flee from a much stronger opponent and ships would have to return to fixed points in space for refit and repair.
Of course while I wrote this I remembered your storyline draft which kinda implies that the exodus of the humans led to a colonizable system which OF COURSE had to have potent static defense systems.
Still I like my idea of a small fleet of industrial ships that accompany a battle fleet the most ;P
That is a tough call. Both systems are very good. Traditional base building is a tried and true method that allows for gated progression through a tech tree and gives players a logical path to follow over the course of a game. A mothership system on the other hand connects with the players more, making them feel more attached to it and gives a feeling of personalization, to an extent.
I think it really, really comes down to setting, honestly. The game already has a foundation that supports a mothership system, with all the subsystems and modules and such, so a player would be able to catch on to that fairly quickly. I figure that you would do it ala Homeworld, where you would also be able to call in additional construction ships, like carriers and shipyards, to unlock more advanced and larger hulls? It only makes sense as far as your setting goes though. If the background lends itself to large fleet ships like that, then I would go with that. Otherwise, a more traditional system makes more sense.
I think that a new approach should be taken for this game.
Space stations and land based coloniesmines should be possible for more efficient permanent large scale operations.
However a fleet should not be tied down by having to protect static stations unless you want to make it so you can jump between maps.
Basically the homeworld resource model should be base and minimum. After that consider adding permanent mining or other installations.
What is the storyline for this game anyway? Without a storyline most of these games are very samish.
What is the storyline for this game anyway? Without a storyline most of these games are very samish.
You can read about the general world/storyline on the About Page.
Hi all, I'm Lord Baal, system Lord and aficionado of this game ever since I put my eyes over it. Honestly is refreshing to see a game made with so much heart and detail on this day and age of "one night gaming relationships" and horrible software industry practices like "let's charge right away, we'll promise to try to fix it latter but we simply won't". But I digress.
Now on topic. I know that for easiness of game play and sake of old times some people do find the concept of a mother ship both entertaining and practical, and it is. On the other hand bases made up by individual stations and such are also appealing for people that are drawn to the kind of games like Starcraft and others... on the gripping hand... personally I like them both and none at the same time (see, I might be kind of a complex dude).
The thing is, I'm a strategist, and even as I find the tactical battles fun, mesmerizing and ultimately both the result of previous strategy and cornerstone of the following one, I find myself always gravitating towards the need of better real strategy elements in games. For example, the aforementioned Starcraft, a game of cult status, a eternal classic and..... not exactly a "real" strategy game. The same can be applied to C&C, and yes even Homeworld and others. Why you might ask? This dude is crazy you might exclaim! And perhaps you are a tad right.
However the explanation to the above paragraph is perhaps a tad harsh and it's like this: You can't simply trow in base building and resource gathering and call a game a strategy game because of it. Or as the page tv tropes names it, Command and Conquer economy, in "real life" makes no sense. All this timeless strategy classics are far more tactical ones with a little strategy cram in for a variant.
No, I'm not denying they can be considered strategy tittles, just that the strategy represented is very awful in the best cases, and right suicidal in most ones. Let's say I'm going to invade a planet, what do I do? Do I prepare a whole invasion fleet, raise an army, transports, hoard supplies and then launch myself to the conquest? Nah, too much work, we better send in a few civilian workers and let them build up the forces in the middle of a warzone, what can go wrong with that strategy??? It's like saying the Allies instead of mustering their armies on England to D-Day on the Nazis rear's, only bothered to send a few engineers and construction workers to Europe and ended up liberating France just the same (knowing how a retarded jerk Hittler was, probably it would have worked).
Now, I know, I know, most of those things are compromises for gameplay sake's. I'm aware of that, and as an avid fan of Starcraft, all the 3558690 iterations of Command and Conquer (except generals for some irrational issue), Homeworld, Age of Empires and many, many others be sure that I do enjoy those games and play them by what they are. Even some of those games go so far as to explain how those game mechanics actually represent the reality lore of the universe in which is set the game (ie Tiberium being used for really quick fuel/construction material).
But I'll be lying if I don't tell you I have dream too many times of a sandbox, totalwaresque map of the Koprulu sector where you can plan out a real strategy with and instead of spewing marines from huge flying toasters you actually assemble an army from the assets at your command (both material and human), set your shipyards to build those behemoths Battleships and fight your way to victory trough a thick sea of chitin and ichor like nobody's business, both in true space and land battles, all the while having to maintain an eye on my resources and avoiding losing planets or at least important regions of said planets to the advancing alien hordes. Sadly that game doesn't exist and it's unlikely I will ever see it.
And what do I mean with real strategy you might ask? (those few that are still reading to this odd guy ramblings anyway). Well, strategy is all that you do before battle, and it means in the very basics build up an army prior and not in the middle of the freaking battle, just like you did in school when you were praying that your teacher would keep talking to the janitor on the hallway just a little longer while you franticly tried to finish that paper due to five minutes ago. But that's not the end of the history with strategy (neither that C- minus you got for that paper), you don't have to only muster an army, but plan ahead to make up possible loses, mobilize it towards the points where they will be needed and after each battle plan accordingly with the outcome (be it positive or negative for you) what would you do next. Also there are so many things like supply, morale, and other stuff that can be taken into account.
Wow, that was a huge rambling. Anyway, what I'm convolutely trying to say is that strategy games can aspire to something better rather than the fest click many modern games have become. And from now on I will try to keep on topic.
A few minutes back I shared my hate-love relationship with both base building on the battlefield (be it one mothership or several stations). If you went trough all the previous paragraphs by now you should get what I don't like. But what I do like then? Let me elaborate on it. I think both of the options on the poll should be used.
I know right? This Lord Baal lost all his marbles, first he waste half an hour of my life explaining his crazy theories about strategy games and now he seem okay with what he said was wrong. Why??? Let me elaborate further.
For one, the concept of a mobile, powerful (economically and perhaps even tactically) mothership have it's use if you apply it to a mobile faction, kind of like the "Huns IN SPACE!". Ever wonder why it worked so damn well on Homeworld? Because it was in tune both with gameplay AND the lore. It worked perfectly for the enemies on Homeworld 2 precisely because of it, there were damn right supposedly to be Attila on space or something like that. Hence if you fashion a faction over that concept, a wander faction that can be benign (space traders, explorers, refugees) or malign (invaders, space locusts, whatever) the concept of a huge and powerful but highly mobile hub (or series of hubs) can be both fitting lore wise and appealing in the gameplay sense.
Now, what about the series of stations. Let's assume a grand campaign map again. Let's keep it simple and imagine it expands a few stellar systems (with they correspondent planets and moons), each one divided on sectors or quadrants or in relevant places. I don't really know how the strategy map of this game is going to be laid out, (regardless if it's like this or not, considering the quality of what we have seen so far I'm trusting it will be very well done). Ok, now imagine the Solar System as one of those, with a map for the orbit of Earth, one for Mars, the Asteroid Belt... you get the drift. On the strategic level you should then be able to build different stations on each of this maps. Perhaps Mars is a massive shipyard, the asteroid belt is a fuel and/or research station and so on. Then on battle those are the facilities you see on the map, those are the one in risk and if the enemy takes out all your fuel producing complex, well then you'll be in trouble. Of course I'm talking only the campaign, as for a skirmish mode, a more casual, building up in the battlefield can be done to balance out against the "mothership factions".
One example of the above is Starwars Empire at War. If you wanted to play as skirmish your space station acted just like a immobile mother ship, but in the campaign, while attacking or defending your mainly counted only with what was there, as it should be on a "real strategy" game. I found this balance to be right bullseye.
Resuming you could potentially employ the mothership style to some faction(s), they moving they mothership(s) across the strategic map along with their main forces and the static bases for other factions. That's the kind of asymmetry that makes a game more salty and defined in the style of how different people play them, also giving you a high replay value.
That's my bag of cents and humble opinion, which goes without saying it's obviously very subjective and biased towards my tastes.
Also replied but for your convenience:
Oh don't worry about it. Let me say this, every master piece of art is indeed fucking hard to accomplish, but very well worthy!
I completely understand and in fact that makes me want to support the game even more in the hopes it eventually grow large enough. In fact is better to do it that way, you need to learn to walk before running.
Regardless of the final product be sure, I will play it anyway, just like I wrote, I do like Homeworld a lot (used to play it like a mad man). Be sure, I'm not put off or disappointed! I'm 100% sure this game will be gold!
Thanks on complementing my English, my translations skills(Spanish)are at your disposal whenever you get that bridge. As well as my basic programming skills.
Base Building would be fun while Mother ship is a lil' bt more like Homeworld and it's really hard. I agree with pavslog.. why not modular base? which could be Mother Ship and Stationary Base which could Cling to Asteroids or objects in space?? It would be Fun..