New Game Idea. *Input Requested*

Superman2489
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Post: #1
This being my first thread, I'm just looking for info and seeing how good this site is. It looks to be the answer to my dreams so I'll just dive in and throw out my idea. I want to create a Turn-based, action, space stratagy game. This would be fairly easy to do and it would be easier if we held off on some of the more complex (and awsome) battle features until the second installment.. If anyone has any ideas or interest, or even criticism, please, please post. Thanks
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Post: #2
First of all, welcome. I hope you'll stick around and discover how helpful, supportive, and knowledgeable this community is.

Second of all, you're going to have to be a bit more specific. You have to understand: this board gets a lot of people coming in with "great ideas" and "a bit of programming knowledge." Usually this means that they've got a decent idea and want someone to make it for them.

Show us that you're interested in learning, that you have an interest in actual *development* and I'm sure you'll get lots of posts as to what areas to explore. What you propose is reasonable.

Have you tried finding open source versions of what you want to do? Their source code would be a good place to start learning about possible implementation details...
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Superman2489
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Post: #3
Ok. Unfortunately, you're right. I don't have much programming experience at all. I'm learning as much as possible and I've always wanted to learn. All I know now is some HTML, but I've got classes lined up the wazoo. I have no interest in letting other people make this for me, I just need people with experience.

Second, if you want more specifics, I'll be glad to give you a few. I hope to have maps full of solar systems connected by hyper routes. Each player will start on his own planet and begin building fleets and researching technologies. Each planet will have a max population of starship crew members that it can support and they will also have certain amounts of minerals. Players will build their ships and conquer solar systems on their way to conquering the entire galaxy. Technologies like warp engines and gravity wells will allow players to use their strategical genius to outwit opponents.

Think about it.
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Post: #4
Superman2489 Wrote:Ok. Unfortunately, you're right. I don't have much programming experience at all. I'm learning as much as possible and I've always wanted to learn. All I know now is some HTML, but I've got classes lined up the wazoo. I have no interest in letting other people make this for me, I just need people with experience.

Second, if you want more specifics, I'll be glad to give you a few. I hope to have maps full of solar systems connected by hyper routes. Each player will start on his own planet and begin building fleets and researching technologies. Each planet will have a max population of starship crew members that it can support and they will also have certain amounts of minerals. Players will build their ships and conquer solar systems on their way to conquering the entire galaxy. Technologies like warp engines and gravity wells will allow players to use their strategical genius to outwit opponents.

Think about it.
Sorta like a mix between Civilization and Spaceward Ho? Sounds cool.
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Post: #5
Sounds like a solid idea. I also thought of Spaceward Ho - I loved that game.

Go for it! Pick a language and an API and start - you'll quickly discover where you need to understand things better in order to proceed.
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Post: #6
Hello, and welcome. First off, I'd recommend pursuing your idea. What I would do, however, is cut back every single feature you can from the start. Think about the simplest possible ways you could structure the gameplay.

Living within restrictions can have huge creative benefits, and you'll actually keep the project under control. Don't pull an "aarku". ;-)

Additionally, a big hurtle I've noticed with people and their strategy games is communicating the rules. Even communicating simple rules from the game developer to the player can be very challenging. Keep your strategy game as simple as possible while staying within an acceptable degree of your initial vision, and I think you'll find out you will be very successful.

It is possible to make a simple fun turn based strategy game. Just look at some cool board games for examples. I love the type of games you describe, what rang a bell with your description was: Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain.

Cheers,
-Jon
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Post: #7
Josh Wrote:Sorta like a mix between Civilization and Spaceward Ho? Sounds cool.

I was thinking Alpha Centuri instead of Civ. Rasp
hmm, there was also that other game... Maelstrom, i thing? I can't remember whether that was a fighting of strategy game, though it wasn't turn-based.

[edit]Sorry, I forgot what I was going to say. [MAIN SUBJECT, PEOPLE!]A turn based game would be among the easier games to make, because AI would be so much better. The hard part is graphics, in my opinion. There are so many games out there with great potential and game-play, but graphically... challenged.[/main] YOU CAN GO ON TO YOUR DAILY LIVES NOW!!![/EDIT]

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Superman2489
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Post: #8
Thanks all. I'm learning language as quickly as possible. I do need a graphic designer, but the graphics shouldn't be hard. Mostly pictures put together on the main screen. Battle might be a little harder, but I'll probably make battle very, very simple. I thank you for all the tips and I do still need ideas. If you have any further interest, fell free to email me. Superman2489@gmail.com
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Post: #9
Superman2489 Wrote:Battle might be a little harder, but I'll probably make battle very, very simple.
Simple is the way to go. Look at at the Civs and AOE: their battle is just one animation for each sprite/model/thing.

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Post: #10
If you load your graphics from files at run-time, once you have a solid prototype you will be in a good position to attract the attention of an artist to come up with better graphics.

Try to make attributes like cost-to-build-ship, time-to-build-ship, armor, damage, and speed easily adjustable. With a little extra work you could load the values from files at runtime, thus allowing them to be tweaked without recompiling your program (and possibly without even having to quit and restart the game.)

For both images and attributes, the files in question can be bundled inside the game itself so that they aren't immediately visible to the user. Since you are just starting out you can worry about that later on. Just realize that it's not hard. Making a fun game involves a lot of playtesting and tweaking, and you can make it easier on yourself.

Have you already picked a programming language?
What platforms are you targetting? (Browser-based, Mac, Mac+PC,...)

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #11
Welcome to the forums Smile

Superman2489 Wrote:Second, if you want more specifics, I'll be glad to give you a few.

Never be afraid to share details of a design or even an early test version of your game here- the more you share the more of us you can get on the same page design-wise as you are. People here have been very respectful of other people's ideas. Most already have their own designs, and more still realize they're a dime a dozen.

Anyway, design-wise, I think it would be cool to have a game that uses the folding of space-time- basically the theory that if space-time was a piece of paper, and you wanted to get from point a to point b, you could fold it so the two points overlap, and you'd go through the paper. (Check out the movie Event Horizon to see what I'm talking about.)

It might be too complicated, but you could have a two-dimensional board to start out, like Spaceward Ho. But then someone folds space-time and opens up a wormhole, making the playfield into a 3D globe (or other shape.) It could be used as a sneak attack, or a quick escape, or whatever. You could even have it be unfoldable again, causing any units still in the wormhole to be stuck or even lost.

Definitely not something to start off with programming wise but just a thought for the design notebook. Smile

Justin Ficarrotta
http://www.justinfic.com
"It is better to be The Man than to work for The Man." - Alexander Seropian
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Post: #12
Nayr Wrote:I was thinking Alpha Centuri instead of Civ. Rasp
Oh yeah. Ninja I didn't like that one as much. Sneaky
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Superman2489
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Post: #13
JustinFic Wrote:Welcome to the forums Smile



Never be afraid to share details of a design or even an early test version of your game here- the more you share the more of us you can get on the same page design-wise as you are. People here have been very respectful of other people's ideas. Most already have their own designs, and more still realize they're a dime a dozen.

Don't worry. If someone wants this idea, they can have it, as long as they make the game for free, no royalties, and make it for mac. Just tell me.

Second, I'm taking features from pretty much everything. If any of you have ever played Galactic Core, that's another good (old, but good) turn-based game. I'll probably be using the fleet system from there, except with numbers and such and more ships-per-fleet. However, like Civ, the map is tiled. My map will probably be more like Spaceward Ho (Some good features, but seemed like a kid game). But I do also plan to have the Workshop feature from Alpha Centauri. This will enable players to build new ship classes and from there, new stratagies. I'm not sure how I'll do the research yet, but I was thinking that GC had a good one (almost exactly like Civ's). If anyone has ever played Escape Velocity: Nova by Ambrosa (another good game), my main screen will look a lot like their map feature, except with planets instead of little white circles. For the rest of you, it's pretty much a galaxy map with planets connected by pre-established routes. The fleets will be represented by little circles (color depends on your faction/race) with a number in it. This will decrease confusion about which fleet is which (though you'll be able to see everything you ever want to know about a fleet by clicking on it). I wanted to have battle be very complex, but I think I'll make it very simple for my first version. Each ship has one type of weapon, one range, health, and shields. This map will probably be tiled (not 3D yet).

I love the idea of tesseract theory (that's the folding of time and space) That could be a very powerful ship engine type that costs a pretty penny to research and a few more pennies to buy. This would, however, enable raids deep into enemy territory. It would give the whole game a twist. I'd have to make it limited, such as only 10 hyperspace jumps, or it'd just wipe out the enemy core and leave ever defensive fleet on the border. *shrugs* you're right though, I'd better put the game together first.

Answering another question, I plan on making the game for mac, though that might change if I get a windows laptop (not saying windows is better, it's just that I have more experience on a windows and it makes it easier to have more people work with it. I hope to make it popular enough that someone will make it cross-platform. We'll see. Thanks
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Sage
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Post: #14
Superman2489 Wrote:Answering another question, I plan on making the game for mac, though that might change if I get a windows laptop (not saying windows is better, it's just that I have more experience on a windows and it makes it easier to have more people work with it. I hope to make it popular enough that someone will make it cross-platform. We'll see. Thanks

If you make it using SDL and OpenGL, you won't need another person to port it to Macs, PC, or Linux. You just change a few headers and some minor details and SDL handles the rest. That way if you decide to sell it, you can get all profits from all platforms.
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Post: #15
Superman2489 Wrote:[...] I don't have much programming experience at all. I'm learning as much as possible and I've always wanted to learn. All I know now is some HTML, but I've got classes lined up the wazoo. I have no interest in letting other people make this for me, I just need people with experience.

[...] I hope to have maps full of solar systems connected by hyper routes. Each player will start on his own planet and begin building fleets and researching technologies. Each planet will have a max population of starship crew members that it can support and they will also have certain amounts of minerals. Players will build their ships and conquer solar systems on their way to conquering the entire galaxy. [...]

Based on your lack of programing experience, and on the description of your game idea, I think it would be best for you to star with something as simple as possible.

Simple game rules can originate very complex game play strategies. The more variables you add the harder it will be not only to program, but also to balance gameplay.

Take a look at this game - Simple rules, great but still manageable graphic assets, fun and with quite a bit of strategy required for the more complex levels.

Think simple Smile
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