Thursday, 25 August 2011

Strategy Gameplay CivLite Hexagon Hell also Dirigibles

Does exactly what it says in the title ... I think ... Behold the wonder of hexagons! Behold not very good mathematics for procedural placement. Also behold Dirigibles. Have you beheld? Then good.

The idea is StrategyLite-TacticalHeavy ... to be honest I just made that up right at this moment - which is probably exactly how marketing departments work in huge, lumbering, faceless multinational corporations ... maybe I'll patent it ... and then sue everyone who ever used a hyphen ...

I'd ummed and ahhed about how to make a world map for the strategy campaign section of my squad tactics game idea - and after about 30 seconds decided on hexagon models, mostly due to them having less sides than octogon models. I proceeded to quickly make said models because I had nothing hexagonal to use as a placeholder. Then a slapped a load of them together to see how it looked.

Each area is supposed to give a random amount of resources (agriculture, population, natural resources) based on geographical type of Temperate, Urban, Mountainous, Arid and Jungle. It works in a simple rock/paper/scissors (don't run with the last one!), so agriculture feeds population, population gathers natural resources, natural resources = spending money from your chosen Regime.

Obviously having a manually placed campaign world isn't terribly interesting for replayability, so I came up with a half-arsed procedural generation scheme, which after much bafflement of mathematics and only one cup of tea since stumbling out of bed, gave me a fully randomized giant hexagon of hexagons. With it being a giant hexagon I thus had 6 corners to place the starting garrisons of each of the 6 factions/regimes I'd decided on.

Majestic ... and that's just the Ambient Occlusion map! Textures to come ...

I knocked out the basic idea of gameplay for this section, with the player's vehicle moving around in a Pac-Manesque manner, eating up unoccupied groups of hexagons, and slapping his sponsor's flag on it. The idea is that when the avatar hits a blank hex, it lays claim to all free hexes that are touching. Eventually they'll come across a hex which is occupied by a rival faction or get raided by dastardly zeppelin pirates, and then it's combat in the squad tactial gameplay bit. Troop numbers for defenders will depend on the population of the hex under attack, and bonus troops if it's in protective range of a dirigible or garrison. The attacking troop numbers will depend on what type of dirigible is attacking the area. Rinse and repeat until each Regime has had all of it's garrisons blown-to-buggeration and only one Faction is left.

Still a fair bit to finalize, I've got to sort out various Ai strategies for this gametype, the whole cash flow thing, creating new garrisons (game over if you lose them all!), and obviously some save system is rather neccessary. Also I need to work out the ins-and-outs of moving from the strategy zone to the tactical zone and back again, with the score, character losses, promotions, etc.

And of course all of the finalized art for this ...

In other news, back to the tactical zone for a moment as I decided it would be fun to have secondary explosions. So if any cache of weapons/ammo that's been dropped has an explosive (eg: grenade) in it, and then it gets caught in a blast - it'll go bang too.

In the end, I'm sure it'll all be ...

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