Author Topic: RTS Mechanics  (Read 1523 times)

Offline lordpalandus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
RTS Mechanics
« on: May 16, 2016, 05:07:42 PM »
I have a few questions, to pose for the people here, to discuss. I had considered doing it in my current thread, Outpost 2-like game, but felt it is a sufficient tangent that it deserves its own thread entirely. The questions are as follows:

1) Do you think (rational brain)/feel (emotional brain) that warfare is needed in a RTS to make it fun? In other words, can a RTS be fun without having warfare at all, and instead focus on pure base building (ie like Sim City) and still remain fun; or would you say something like Sim City wouldn't be a RTS?

(I make the distinction between thinking and feeling as thinking is more dealing with assumptions and facts, while feelings deal more with personal experiences, and what feels "right" to you that isn't necessarily based on facts but could be)

2) Do you think that warfare is needed in a RTS to make multiplayer work? In other words, can you have multiplayer in a RTS without conflict of some kind?

3) Do you think that warfare in Outpost 2 made it better as a game than Outpost 1 was? I know this is a lot like comparing apples to porcupines as one was real-time and one was turn-based, but if Outpost 1 was a real-time game like Outpost 2 was with no warfare would it have been as good? Basically, what I'm asking is was warfare a necessity for Outpost 2 to make it good, that it's colony development mechanics were insufficient to make an enjoyable game if that was all there is?

I ask these questions because it just seems to me that warfare in a RTS is a stereotypical trope and it also seems that without warfare the game stops being a RTS as warfare seems to be so integral to the experience.

Thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2016, 05:10:02 PM by lordpalandus »
BAM! You've been facehugged! Have a great day!

Offline Sirbomber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3160
    • http://
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 08:26:17 PM »
1) Yes.  RTS = real-time strategyStrategy, "the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war; the science and art of military command exercised to meet the enemy in combat under advantageous conditions".  The military component has always been integral to the genre, and if you take that way, you're left with a city-builder or a 4X without combat.

2) Yes.  Without conflict, why are we here?  Without armies, how do the players interact with each other?  It might as well be a single player game with live spectators who are also playing a single player game at the same time.  For most RTS players, the entire appeal is matching wits against other living, breathing humans.  There's a reason SimCity isn't multiplayer; what would you do?  Dump all your garbage in another city's water?  Build coal plants downwind so the smog makes their city crappier?

3) Irrelevant.  Outpost 2 is better than Outpost 1 simply because Outpost 2 was a finished product and actually had all of the features described in the manual.  However, if you took Outpost 1 as it is and gave it combat units, I would suggest it would make the game worse.  With its greater emphasis on colony management, most of which was streamlined or removed by Outpost 2, Outpost 1 is a city-builder, not a strategy game.  Combat would feel awkward and out-of-place.

Ultimately, you can answer all 3 of these questions yourself by starting a multiplayer game of OP2 and have nobody research or build weapons technology.  I don't think you'll like what you find, though.
"As usual, colonist opinion is split between those who think the plague is a good idea, and those who are dying from it." - Outpost Evening Star

Outpost 2 Coding 101 Tutorials

"Outpost 2: The Campaigns Are Okay, But The Novella Just Flames Everyone" progress:
Campaign 1 - 40%
Campaign 2 - 0%
Etc. - (insert arbitrary value here)%

It could only cost you your life, and you got that for free!

Offline lordpalandus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 11:53:21 PM »
1) Okay fair enough. So then what genre is a city builder? A city builder or something else?

2) Again, fair enough.

3) Finally, fair enough.
 
You are right that if no one researched or built weapons technology in a multiplayer game of Outpost 2, then that would be unenjoyable. However, in a multiplayer game, no one focuses on city development, morale, or civilian research, as these are all considered inconvenient for multiplayer. So that begs the question: Since you need strategy for a game to function as a RTS and people play the game without the "civilian" components, then that must mean that the "civilian" components of the game are tacked onto the RTS and shouldn't belong in the game. Thus, the game would make more sense to play like a C&C game, with no focus on "civilian" components as it detracts from the experience, and as people hated those components in multiplayer, then if you removed all those civilian components from the game, then the game would be a far better game.

Agree / Disagree?
BAM! You've been facehugged! Have a great day!

Offline Sirbomber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3160
    • http://
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 08:09:36 AM »
The problem isn't with morale and colony management, it's with the way various game mechanics were implemented.  Let's start with the way structures are built.  The Structure Factory is an interesting and "realistic" concept, in theory.  In practice, it means it takes an unreasonably long time to build even the simplest structures.  In most games, this is a one-step process (builder moves from wherever it is to where it needs to go, then builds the structure) that, once started, the player can forget about it and focus on other things.  Outpost 2 stretches this out into 5 steps, each of which requires the player's attention or the process comes to a halt (build kit at factory, move ConVec to factory, load kit into ConVec, move ConVec to deployment site, build structure, possibly build tubes to the new structure).  The Structure Factory also limits you to building one structure at a time.  So now imagine this scenario: you've just started a multiplayer game, morale is turned on, so you decide to build some Residences to keep morale high.  Sounds good so far, but you're quickly going to realize that your enemy's idea to rush a few Vehicle Factories and kill you with Lasers was a much better idea as you're left completely defenseless.  But hey, at least your people will be happy as they asphyxiate on the New Terran atmosphere!

This brings me to my next point; specifically, the way Outpost 2 actually handles morale.  In theory, having high morale gives you bonuses, and having low morale gives you penalties.  But those bonuses really only kick in if morale is above 90; anything lower than that and at best you're breaking even.  More likely you're penalized, and penalized hard.  Not to mention the fact that morale can fluctuate wildly due to circumstances completely beyond your control.  Vortex on the other side of the map?  Morale drops!  A kid died for no good reason other than the population control algorithm decided it was his time?  Morale drops!  Meteor blows up a Med Center?  Your morale drops because of the meteor, because the Med Center was destroyed, because the worker and scientist inside died, and because now you have reduced Med Center capacity!  And all of these contribute to create a negative feedback loop, because if morale is low, people die more often, which causes morale to drop!  So if morale starts dropping hard enough, it can be very difficult to recover from that.  And, again, while you're struggling to keep morale up, your enemy is just shooting all your buildings, killing the people inside and causing morale to drop while he gains morale for doing all of this (assuming he targets only "bad" structures; if he takes out a civilian structure he gets to enjoy a -800 penalty to morale for a looooong time).  And don't even get me started on Recreation Centers.  You're actually better off never researching them, because if you don't have access to them, your colonists will never want them, and morale won't suffer.  This is also true to an extent for Med Centers, but those at least also reduce the death rate while they're active, so they still serve some purpose.  But the Rec Center, a structure whose only purpose is to improve morale, actually makes your morale worse!  But do you see the problem?  Outpost 2's morale system is all about punishing you; and it's so sloppily implemented that even trying to make morale better can make it worse.  Your best bet is just to spam impulse items at the Consumer Goods Factory all game, which requires an extra layer of micromanagement (and again, the resources spent doing that probably went to better use for your enemy, who is now busy shooting you with Lasers).

There may be a few others problems that make morale clumsy for multiplayer, but I feel those are the two biggest obstacles that make it such a turn-off.  The first can be easily alleviated with a different system for building structures.  If I can make a Vehicle Factory and a Residence at the same time, it's not such a big deal.  The tougher nut to crack though is how morale should be implemented, and there has been a lot of discussion over the years about this.  Do we eliminate the idea of low morale penalties?  So if everything is a "multiplier" system, 0 morale would be a 1x multiplier, and 99 morale would be a 2x multiplier, with room for everything in-between?  Do we still have the penalties, but make them softer, or do we just make the benefits better?  How hard should it be to keep morale high?  Ultimately it's up to whoever is making the sequel/remake/OP2-inspired game to answer those questions.  That's not to say that morale needs to be a passive system, though.  Awhile back I proposed that morale should be a resource you generate over time that you can use to spend on "morale bonuses", temporary colony-wide buffs that last for a certain amount of time.  These could be anything from faster build times, increased birth rate, faster research, improved ore yield, increased weapon damage, or maybe you could even use morale to build special units or structures.

Ultimately, I don't think you can't have morale/civilian/city-building components in an RTS.  I just think Outpost 2 didn't handle it very well.
"As usual, colonist opinion is split between those who think the plague is a good idea, and those who are dying from it." - Outpost Evening Star

Outpost 2 Coding 101 Tutorials

"Outpost 2: The Campaigns Are Okay, But The Novella Just Flames Everyone" progress:
Campaign 1 - 40%
Campaign 2 - 0%
Etc. - (insert arbitrary value here)%

It could only cost you your life, and you got that for free!

Offline Highlander

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 769
  • Outpost 2 Elder
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2016, 10:49:42 PM »
I do sort of like the Morale system - it is quite realistic I think (At least the items Sirbomber listed, would have a negative impact on people's morale in real life).
Sort of the same with the Structure factory - it's realistic. And while OP2 has a lot of these "many-stepped" processes, those are also part of why I enjoy it, simply because building a certain building wont instantly unlock new weapons and units.


On the other hand, as Sirbomber points out, the balance of Colony Management (Morale) vs Military management is favoring weapons quite heavily. If you use Morale in a MP game, you can keep going for several hundred marks before the neglect of morale kills you off. Neglect of weaponry will usually kill you by mark ~100-150 or so (As by this time your Military focused opponent has all the weapons he needs to take you out).


Though, some of this could be solved by making some changes to Morale itself and how it works (If that can be done from a programming point of view ?)
Lets say we keep the scale of Morale from 0-99, but at the same time introduce some "Levels" to it that is determined by certain things like maintaining basic life in your colony, to maintaining a highly advanced base that secures the needs of the colonists. Based on these levels you either get severely penalized or get somewhat stronger bonuses (and anything in between).

Level 1: "Catastrophic". This is what happens if the player does not manage his colony at all and neglects all aspect of morale. Say what happens in a MP game when you rush weaponry and do not maintain even the most basic building setup (Residences, Agridomes etc..). At this stage construction and research is severely hampered/slowed.
Level 2: "Start point" The basic start point for all games, where colonists are in a stressful situation that can either deteriorate or advance depending on the players action. At this stage construction and research are a bit slowed.
Level 3: "Normal". This is where you get when colonists have their basic needs settled - Residences for all, Agridomes producing enough food, Nursury & University etc.. At this level the colony will break even in terms of colonist growth. Construction and research proceed at normal levels.
Level 4: "Progressing". This is where you get when you start upgrading structures, building more than the basic requirements, do some catastrophe researches etc.. Colony will grow. Construction and Research goes quicker (At the level of todays excellent).
Level 5: "Excellent". When you run an advanced colony, taking care of all the needs of the colonists and have all morale structures in place at an adequate level. Will provide strong bonuses to construction and research times - to a point where it is beneficial to keep your morale high compared to simply rushing weapons.

I know this looks a bit like what we have today, but the main idea is to make the extreme ends more beneficial or punishing.

To this end, one could also increase the time it takes to research weapons a bit more as well, making weaponry a more long time investment, rather than an instant win condition.
There can be Only one. Wipe Them out. All of Them.

Old player still playing. Visit Spark for a game of Outpost 2

Offline lordpalandus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2016, 03:39:53 PM »
@Sirbomber;

Well it is good to know that colony management is possible in a RTS (as I do want colony management in my game I'm working on). Some specific questions from your reply, if you wouldn't mind answering for me. I do appreciate you taking the time to reply to this thread.

Questions: (Assume that we are talking about Outpost 2 for reference)

1) For the structure factory, which of these scenarios do you think would work best:
A] The kit is put together quickly, but is deployed via ConVec slowly.
B] The kit is put together slowly, but is deployed via ConVec quickly.
C] The speed of building kit and deploying kit remain the same, but multiple kits (2+) are built at the same time and stored into various slots as necessary.
D] The speed of building kit and deploying kit remain the same, but there are multiple locations that allow multiple ConVecs to be loaded at the same time.
E] Some other option
{NOTE = For the game I'm making a level of automation will be involved to reduce micromanagement, mainly from the "ConVecs" will seek out the Structure Factory and idle near it until a kit is produced and will automatically grab the kit once finished or grab a kit from the Factory (There is a lot of AI decisions that would be needed to make this and other behaviours possible, but have hashed out all the behaviours I'd want them to do)}

2) Concerning morale, do you think that random events that can fluctuate morale outside of your control (ie Meteor smashes into Nursery destroying it) is a good thing? Or perhaps would it be preferable to also have player created events that could counter-act those random events? ie You announce some kind of acting contest at the Forum, which provides a brief bonus to morale; as an example.

3) Concerning morale, do you think that having morale outside of the player's control is a good thing, or do you think that all morale should be under control of the player, much like how metal mining and storage is fully under the player's control?

4) Concerning morale, do you think it is better to have a "black-boxed" system where the player doesn't really understand how different things affect their morale directly, or would a more "transparent" system be better where the player knows precisely how different actions and structures directly or indirectly affect morale, allowing them to make more informed decisions; ie If a player knew that Recreational Facilities are a double-edged sword, improving morale, but also making morale harder to control, do you think that information should be readily available to the player?
{NOTE: I may not have worded the question properly, so please forgive me for that}

5) Concerning structures under attack, do you think that if a structure dropped below 40% HPs (just picking a number), that colonists would automatically evacuate the structure would be a good idea? So, if a structure is being attacked by the enemy (ie a DIRT) and it drops below 40%, the colonists automatically leave the structure and thus aren't killed when it is destroyed or do you think this kind of mechanic would be frustrating for players and thus should be a toggleable option?

6) Do you think the Morale System is flawed and should be completely redesigned, or do you think its workable, and would just need some minor tweaks?

7) One thing I found with the Morale System, is the "Vicious Cycle" that results when morale is low (as also mentioned in your post). By "Vicious Cycle" I mean that when your morale drops low, it makes death rates go up and food production go down, this in turn produces more negative events, and thus it becomes very hard to get out of a "Terrible" morale, and thus the "Vicious Cycle" of bad morale means more bad morale and thus you get stuck at bad morale. If penalties were made stricter, wouldn't that make the game nearly impossible at bad morale and nearly impossible to escape bad morale? Is that even a good thing?

8] I do recall your suggestion for an alternative morale system. It almost sounds like a "favor" based system. You do good things for the colony, and earn points of "favor" that can be spent later. I mention "favor" because, you could bank the "good will" of the colony, and then in turn request a "favor" from the colony at a later date to provide said bonuses. With this kind of system, do you think it would be overall better than Outpost 2's system, or just an on-par alternative?

====================================

@Highlander

I also appreciate you taking the time to reply. It is very helpful for me to understand the colony management problems Outpost 2 suffered from to avoid repeating those same mistakes.

Yes, realism is important for a game that does go for a realistic feel to it. Though, you do have to wonder how it is realistic that Cargo Trucks can be fully automated, but yet ConVecs are not automated to in the very least return to the Structure Factory after they build their structure. I for one have lost many ConVecs in my base because I get distracted and forget where I left them.

So the question comes up, is there a way to give pros/cons of focusing on colony development OVER military development, while allowing military development instead of colony development. What I mean is that you have First Order Optimal Strategies and the game naturally works best when using this strategy. However, how would you balance it to allow Two, equally valid strategies [1 Colony First, Military Second OR 2 Military First, Colony Second] with benefits and drawbacks for each strategy without either being the obvious best solution?

An interesting idea concerning levels. The question though, is "how long" would the player have to upgrade or degrade their colony before morale level changed? I do agree that the extreme ends would need to be more beneficial or punishing. As I mentioned with Sirbomber, how would you suggest avoiding the "Vicious Cycle"?
BAM! You've been facehugged! Have a great day!

Offline Sirbomber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3160
    • http://
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 02:55:52 PM »
I'm limited to one essay per thread so I'm only going to respond briefly to a few points.

Just make ConVecs capable of building structures; there's no reason not to other than "realism" and frankly OP2 has too many "you lose if this gets destroyed" structures.

Disasters shouldn't impact morale; especially if they don't even impact the colony.  When was the last time you threw a hissy fit and refused to work for a week because of a rainstorm on the other side of the planet?

The morale system and the way morale is calculated should be easy to understand so players feel like they can work with it, rather than struggle against it.

Structures already get disabled due to damage.  The people in them still die.  Even idling them sometimes isn't enough; it seems the colonists need a few marks before they've actually "left" the building.  I would suggest getting rid of the "disabled - damaged" effect and also not killing the colonists inside a structure.  The story talks about how there are emergency shelters in the structures and the tube network - why can't we benefit from those in-game?
"As usual, colonist opinion is split between those who think the plague is a good idea, and those who are dying from it." - Outpost Evening Star

Outpost 2 Coding 101 Tutorials

"Outpost 2: The Campaigns Are Okay, But The Novella Just Flames Everyone" progress:
Campaign 1 - 40%
Campaign 2 - 0%
Etc. - (insert arbitrary value here)%

It could only cost you your life, and you got that for free!

Offline Vagabond

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2016, 01:24:51 AM »
Concerning disasters, I always thought it was inappropriate for disasters not directly affecting the colony to lower morale. If you already lower morale when colonists die, then why even worry about disasters affecting morale at all? If the disaster is bad enough and kills some of your colonists, the morale would automatically start lowering anyways. Plus it makes playing games with high numbers of disasters too difficult because morale never leaves the doghouse due to spammed meteor showers.

I think directly tying the population to their general fussy-ness would be better than the current Outpost 2 morale system. There is no reason to research things like the forum or recreation center. In fact it is really more of a penalty since you become stuck with building and manning the structures. It would be interesting if exceeding certain population tiers triggered colonists demanding things like recreation centers, GORFs, DiRTs, Medical Centers, Disaster Warning Systems, etc. This way if you researched leisure studies early in the game, your 60 colonists who are supposedly struggling to survive aren't angry at the lack of ping pong. But if you have say 160 colonists, then morale starts dropping if you don't research and staff the rec centers or a similar morale boosting structure.

Offline Hooman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3734
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 10:11:17 PM »
I rather like the points brought up in this thread, and have to agree with much of it.


I don't think warfare is strictly needed for a real-time game. You do need some time based element of challenge though for the real-time part to be meaningful. In Sim City you had disasters, and also a time based budget, along with debt payments that could bankrupt a city. Sim City wasn't particularly hard in that you could leave a city unattended and there's a good chance it wouldn't all burn to the ground. You could also adjust the rate of time progress, and even pause the game while still entering commands. I'd say the real-time aspect to Sim City wasn't particularly strong, and you could more or less play it turn based if you wanted.

Besides the decision to have warfare or not, there's also the aspect of whether gameplay is competitive or cooperative. Think of the new Survivor scenarios for Outpost 2. In another genre, while most board games are competitive, you can take Pandemic as an alternative example where players play cooperatively. I'm sure if you thought about it, you could come up with a time based element of challenge that wasn't your typical competitive warfare game.

For the morale system in Outpot 2, I think there needs to be more time based factors to push the civilian/morale aspect of colony management. Rather than have demand for morale structures hit you once you research them (and only once you research them), there could instead be a time progression based on the time mark. As the game progresses, your colonists will automatically expect more out of the colony management. If you fail to research or build to their needs, then morale should suffer.

I feel Outpost 2 could do with a bit less micromanagement. I would be willing to accept research that helps automate colony management. Ideas I had were automating cargo truck routes, recovering from EMP, assigning of vehicles upon construction, marking of regions to bulldoze or tube without needing to select the vehicle that will do it, placing of structure plans causing kits to auto build, and a convec to deploy completed kits at the marked location, auto balancing of workforce when workers/scientists are trained or die, or general assignment of research direction separate from the actual labs or scientist allocation.

For the record, I actually like the kit+deployment process in Outpost 2. In Command & Conquer, you can go on the offensive with your construction yard, which seems a bit strange. Why have already complete weapons systems just sort of pop out of the ground? Granted, I did love it, and had a lot of fun playing like that. In games like Warcraft, or Starcraft you can pretty much build a base with a single builder (especially for Protoss). Come to think of it, I loved playing as Protoss because of that. I guess what I'm actually saying, is despite liking the hybrid system that Outpost 2 uses, I also loved the build systems from those other games. I think early game, I find the Outpost 2 system fun, but late game it's a bit too manual and tedious. With better late game automation, for when your base gets bigger, and farther away from the structure factory, there needs to be an easier way to keep building, and to also expand the rate of building.

I also think it's strange for morale to be affected by a disaster on the other side of the map. I suppose there is a grain of truth in that behaviour, but you'd think the affect on morale would be tied to proximity. If a disaster affects or nearly affects your colony, it should have a much greater impact on morale than something on the other side of the map. Hmm, it might even be reasonable to have a disaster affecting the enemy colony having an alternate impact on your morale. ;)

Actually, if you subscribe to thoughts like that expressed by Gore Vidal, "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.", perhaps have an alterate affect on morale if a disaster hits an "allied" colony. ;)

Offline lordpalandus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2016, 08:29:47 PM »
@Sirbomber;
But I love walls of text! :) [NOTE: I actually do like walls of text, its a weird thing I know, but I do like them]

Well, since ConVecs are able to repair structures without loading up on metals, it would be feasible to have all available structure kits loaded into the ConVec and thus it builds the needed structural components on the fly. Could work. It would get the annoying issue of Structure Factory to Convec complex process removed, and replace it with something still interesting (the interesting thing being the way it builds structures)

Well, the only time a disaster would cause me personal discomfort, would be either if it directly impacted me or impacted someone I cared about, ie a relative. But, I can definitely see your point, and a disaster shouldn't affect colonist lives unless it directly impacts them.

An easy to understand morale system could be feasible.

There is a lot of things in the lore that we can't benefit from ingame. Things like containment protocols to prevent said massive explosions from Advanced Labs or Spaceports blowing up. Or hover cars (or was it MagLev?) in the tube network providing transport, but yet a similar system can't be setup above ground for combat units for quick travel across long distances. Or underground consumer markets. Or holographic projection technology (who needs recreational centers and forums when you can have virtual reality). But, I do see your point and it would make sense to have emergency shelters in case of attack or disaster, to provide temporary protection... at least until the DIR Team (as the T in DIRT stands for team anyway).

@Vagabond;
That is a very good point. By having both, you have basically a double whammy of negative morale, when really, morale should only drop due to injuries or death, and anything beyond that shouldn't likely affect morale.

That would be a more appropriate way of doing things; have the colony require specific structures as the colony grows and thus are encouraged to provide those facilities. Though, if I were to go that route, I'd want to ensure that if the player did provide those structures, then they would get a strong morale boost by providing them and a strong negative morale incentive to avoid if they didn't provide those structures.

@Hooman;
Okay, so some kind of real-time challenge is needed.

I have been thinking lately of a unique time-based challenge, that I'd be happy to share when its more fleshed out. Or unique in that I haven't seen other games do it before.

What kind of morale events could be done than what is currently available in Outpost 2? (Disasters, Birth/Death/Training, Kill Civilians, and Temporary Buffs)

Well, I feel that some micromanagement in the early game would be beneficial as then the player really appreciates the automation based technologies researched later on, and could provide an internal goal of reaching that technology to gain access to the automation sooner when they create a new game. But, as a colony gets bigger, if no automation is available, it becomes a real chore to manage; ie the situation that happens with an Outpost 2 colony, when you have 150+ colonists trying to manage morale, food production, research, and defense all at once. So yes, automation would be needed.

Really? I have heard of the StarCraft tactic of rushing your SCVs to kill their SCVs before they have marines (or zerglings/zealots), but never heard of rushing your MCV in C&C to another base, as it is so much easier for the enemy to build base defenses quickly and thus defeat such an assault quickly.

As for the kit/development process, I think Sirbomber's approach sounds better. The ConVec may need to revisit a structure when new kits are made available to update it's computer system, but I don't see the value in basically building the structure twice (once in the factory and once by the ConVec).

An interesting idea of improving your own colony morale when the enemy suffers a disaster. As for the other point by Gore Vidal, could you explain that a bit better? I don't really understand it.
BAM! You've been facehugged! Have a great day!

Offline Hooman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3734
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2016, 06:54:13 PM »
For the morale events currently used in Outpost 2, you can check morale.txt:
Code: [Select]
KID_DIES		-8
ADULT_DIES -6
KID_BORN 2
GOOD_BUILD_DIES -16
REG_BUILD_DIES -12
NEW_TECH_BORN 6
DISASTER_NO_WARN -6
DISASTER_WARNED -3
CONSUMER_GOODS_1 8
CONSUMER_GOODS_2 14
CONSUMER_GOODS_3 20
ENEMY_GOOD_DIES -800    // This is why completely destroying an enemy base is so bad for your morale
ENEMY_BAD_DIES 20
ENEMY_VEH_DIES 2
TECH_SCHOOL 2
PHD_TRAINED 2
CC_BORN 10

For the C&C (Red Alert) comment, I didn't mean rush with an MCV, although that is an option, particularly if someone is on a different island. You also wouldn't deploy right inside their base if using an MCV. Instead, you'd deploy a little outside their base and build defenses that slowly encroach on their base. Alternatively, if on the same island, you can build a string of turrets over to their base, and then buildup on the edge. If they're far away, and you want to build your string of buildings faster and cheaper, you can use silos instead (I'm thinking Red Alert here), and then switch to turrets once you're close to their base. The more usual approach though, is to use an engineer to take over a building in their base. It doesn't matter what, you just need an established presence there, and then you can begin deploying turrets around that building. It works great as a surprise assault when you can get some fortifications up before they realize what's going on. The first turret can be pre-built, waiting deployment, when you take over the building. It's also great for multiplayer levels with islands since you can use the Chinook helicopters to transport infantry, and so pop into some unexpected corner of their base with a load of engineers. It's a dirty underhanded tactic, but that's what makes it so fun.  ;)

As for simplifying the structure build process, why not make it more complicated instead? You could have a cargo truck deliver the kit to the construction site, while the convec shows up to build it. ;)

As for the Gore Vidal quote, it's classic envy of the worst kind. You want all the successes to be your own, and relish in other people encountering setbacks. It's taken to the point where even the successes of friends can't be celebrated, while setbacks are celebrated (secretly). It was a cynical comment about human nature. For instance, a disaster hits an allied base instead of your own, and so your morale goes up. ;)

Offline Sirbomber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3160
    • http://
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2016, 10:07:33 PM »
The ConVec may need to revisit a structure when new kits are made available to update it's computer system

What, we won't have wireless communication in the future?
"As usual, colonist opinion is split between those who think the plague is a good idea, and those who are dying from it." - Outpost Evening Star

Outpost 2 Coding 101 Tutorials

"Outpost 2: The Campaigns Are Okay, But The Novella Just Flames Everyone" progress:
Campaign 1 - 40%
Campaign 2 - 0%
Etc. - (insert arbitrary value here)%

It could only cost you your life, and you got that for free!

Offline lordpalandus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 401
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2016, 11:25:40 PM »
@Hooman;

According to the list I'm assuming that:
GOOD_BUILD or ENEMY_GOOD_BUILD refers to civilian structures
REGULAR_BUILD or ENEMY_BAD_BUILD refers to non-civilian structures. Maybe Military structures as well

but...
What does CC_BORN mean?

Ahh that strategy in C&C. KK, thanks for clarifying.

Hmm, that is also a possibility, and may be worth looking into also. However, then you'd need twice as many Cargo Trucks, so that you'd have enough doing mining, and enough delivering kits. Probably why they put that feature directly into a ConVec instead, when you think about it.

Yep. That does sound like human nature... especially in a highly competitive workplace. Thanks for the clarification.

@Sirbomber;

Sure, I expect wireless communication in the future. However, considering that:
1) Microwaves are primarily used for long-distance communications.
2) Wireless download speeds are much less than Direct connection speeds.
3) The download size for an entire structure kit, added to the database, would be a massive download size; ie in the several thousand TBs.
4) Power is beamed via microwaves to structures.
5) Communication between units is beamed via microwaves.
6) Plymouth uses weaponized microwaves.
7) Thus, if we with our current technology, are nearing the point of no more microwave bandwidth room, with all the various things in the game world competing with eachother for microwave bandwidth, I doubt wireless communication would provide a significant enough bandwidth speed to download a massive file in a short period of time. Thus, I'd see them returning to base to upload the new structure to their database as it would be overall faster, in the grand scheme of things, and would prevent data loss from competing microwaves.

Unless of course I'm missing something XD.
BAM! You've been facehugged! Have a great day!

Offline Vagabond

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 292
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2016, 03:00:09 AM »
I took the computer system upgrade to mean hardware and not the software... ? It would be appropriate to force manual upgrades of buildings and vehicles when new upgrades are made available as opposed to the technology magically refitting everything. The garage would have another use. Although it would be easier just to ignore the upgrade then lining all the vehicles up for the garage.

You could also force the player to manually bulldoze a building's footprint before construction starts. It is cheap that all building footprints magically doze when construction starts.

With all these changes, there would be even less time for actual combat.

Side note, the problem with sophisticated AI is that it is time consuming to program. It would be great if the computer could autobuild and assign trucks to new ore routes, build large wall sections only when there was a specificed amount of excess ore, maintain certain numbers of combat vehicles, automatically dispatch combat units to defend the base, etc. But who has time to create and test all the code required? It is much easier to force the player to do it manually and just script the AI.

Second Side Note: It would be nice if that morale.txt file was attached to individual scenarios and not the entire game. That way, you could do stuff like turn off the effect of disasters on morale for just certain scenarios.

Offline Hooman

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3734
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2016, 07:58:04 AM »
CC_BORN is when a Command Center is newly built.

Quote
Hmm, that is also a possibility, and may be worth looking into also. However, then you'd need twice as many Cargo Trucks, so that you'd have enough doing mining, and enough delivering kits. Probably why they put that feature directly into a ConVec instead, when you think about it.
I wouldn't actually seriously recommend this. Mind you, a convec should take longer to build a structure than it takes a cargo truck to deliver a kit. You can probably do with less than double the cargo trucks. Maybe just an extra one. I'm not tempting you with a bad idea, am I? ;)

As for the communication plot hole, you can always solve that with a one-liner: "Interference caused by ore deposits in the New Terrean soil..."  ;D

But yeah, I would have thought garage for a hardware upgrade, rather than a software upgrade. Besides, I think you're overestimating the amount of data a convec would need to deploy a pre-prepared kit.

The instant bulldozing does seem a bit cheap, but I suppose you don't want things too complicated. It does affect the build rate.

Offline Sirbomber

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3160
    • http://
Re: RTS Mechanics
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2016, 01:28:28 PM »
The garage would have another use.

The only thing the Garage is good for is target practice, and cheap AI unit spawns.
"As usual, colonist opinion is split between those who think the plague is a good idea, and those who are dying from it." - Outpost Evening Star

Outpost 2 Coding 101 Tutorials

"Outpost 2: The Campaigns Are Okay, But The Novella Just Flames Everyone" progress:
Campaign 1 - 40%
Campaign 2 - 0%
Etc. - (insert arbitrary value here)%

It could only cost you your life, and you got that for free!