A few questions

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Casual User
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A few questions

Post by Casual User » April 24th, 2005, 1:06 am

Hello! I have no idea if this is the right forum, so it might have to be moved. A hobby of mine is to make up games i.e. imagine the mechanics and lists of a game. I don't know if this is the right forum because none of these games will ever be made (I don't have the programming, far from it). Anyway, I have recently started to put the finishing touches on a game and rather like the results (slightly similar in combat mechanics to civilization), but I have a few questions:

1. I have drawn a few images for the units in the game. I rather like the unfinished, naive look they have (that means primitive), but I have no idea how to draw horses. My best ones look like dogs, and as for my worst, they look like giant raccons from Chernobyl.

2. What are the biggest differences (in your opinion) between hex-based maps and squares-based maps. I imagine my game in squares, but I wonder why many prefer hex-based.

3. I told you the battle mechanics resemble those of the civilization series, and you can stack units. This allows for good strategies (for example a good mix of spearmen, archers, knights, swordsmen, etc... compensating for one another). But it feels inelegant at times. I have been thinking about making archers/mages attack one square away and removing stacking, but it has a problem:my current system gives strong incentive to put archers in castles (I can explain more if you want), but how could I make sieges so archers shooting one square away be advantaged? Also, how to circumvent the fact that it can lead to archers not putting themselves in enough danger?

Thanks, and sorry about the long post.

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Re: A few questions

Post by Bander » April 24th, 2005, 4:27 am

Casual User wrote: 1. I have drawn a few images for the units in the game. I rather like the unfinished, naive look they have (that means primitive), but I have no idea how to draw horses. My best ones look like dogs, and as for my worst, they look like giant raccons from Chernobyl.

2. What are the biggest differences (in your opinion) between hex-based maps and squares-based maps. I imagine my game in squares, but I wonder why many prefer hex-based.

3. I told you the battle mechanics resemble those of the civilization series, and you can stack units. This allows for good strategies (for example a good mix of spearmen, archers, knights, swordsmen, etc... compensating for one another). But it feels inelegant at times. I have been thinking about making archers/mages attack one square away and removing stacking, but it has a problem:my current system gives strong incentive to put archers in castles (I can explain more if you want), but how could I make sieges so archers shooting one square away be advantaged? Also, how to circumvent the fact that it can lead to archers not putting themselves in enough danger?

Thanks, and sorry about the long post.
That is kind of one of my hobbys too!

1. you can use all of the images from wesnoth as long as your game is under the GPL liscense, or somthing like that. Just let other people use what you've made.

2. Hex based games more accurately re-create the real world, in the sense that people at right angles are closer in hex based games than in square ones. There is more freedom of movement in a hex. To clarify what ive said, In a hex game a unit at (5,5) is 10 spaces from (0,0) but in a hex based game it would be closer than that, closer to the square root of 5^2 + 5^2, which is the real distance in real life. One thing that bugs me about hexes is that roads are not at right angles, and the castles have to be hexagonal. Advance wars is a square based game, and it is great!

3.I was thinking of making a similar game, wher the archers would shoot two squares and infantry would attack only one square away. For this seige units could shoot three squares away giving them atvantage over entrenched units. Another way to do it would be that you would have to break the wall of a castle before melee units could attack. Then only archers could attack out of castles safe from swordsmen.

That's just my two cents, tell me what you think.

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Post by Roots » April 24th, 2005, 1:30 pm

In response to hex versus square, I'm using square tiles in my own game. However, I allow for 8 directional movement, and the game feels SO much less restricting that way. I only use 4 animation sets (up, down, right, left) and when the user wants to travel diagonally, I choose one of the sets so that I don't make my artists have to bust their asses creating double the amount of animation frames. It looks pretty good that way too.


Link Bander wrote, I'm not a fan of hex-based because of "crooked" roads and such. But it really depends on what game you are making and which tile system would work best for it. :)
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Post by Elvish_Pillager » April 24th, 2005, 1:44 pm

Square vs. Hex: In Hex, there are no spaces that can be reached purely by crossing corners. It eliminates the "Diagonal vs. Orthogonal movement only" problem.
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Post by ArtillaryGoat » June 10th, 2005, 11:37 am

I prefer the hexes, because it seems more realistic. With squares that allow movement in 8 directions, you get the 'diagonal south-east, diagonal south-west' is moving just as quickly as 'south, south', and that doesn't sit right with me.

Also, the great feel of hexes more than makes up for the crooked roads, which hardly bother me at all anyway. The only thing about hexes that bother me is it is faster to move north or south, that it is to move east or west.

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Post by Elvish_Pillager » June 10th, 2005, 7:11 pm

ArtillaryGoat wrote:The only thing about hexes that bother me is it is faster to move north or south, that it is to move east or west.
It depends how you compare distance in the two directions.
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Post by Dacyn » June 10th, 2005, 9:17 pm

Elvish Pillager wrote:It depends how you compare distance in the two directions.
Bander wrote:Hex based games more accurately re-create the real world
however they still do not re-create it exactly... there is always something different, no matter how you "compare distance".

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Post by Casual User » June 11th, 2005, 2:58 am

Someone resurrected this thread!

I wonder why Dave chose to make Wesnoth hex-based. Any ideas? That being said, it seems to me that a square-based system is the easiest way to re-create the actual distances. It is sufficient to make movement costs 1,5x or 1,4x greater in diagonal moves than in straight moves.

Incidentally, I see no one except Bander answered my other questions. No.1 is no longer useful. My main computer got virused and had to be formatted, and I lost all the pictures... As for No.2, I am pretty sure I will keep the system as it is. On a rather unrelated topic, which feels better to you:

1. A long list of units out of which various types of lords and various magic/religious systems give you access, but which sometimes feels a little clunky by associating similar but not equivalent units (such as, for instance, barbarian horse archers and imperial light cavalry being the same units).

2. Different lists for each type of lord which would create more fitting units but also would greatly expand the number of units, and feel inelegant at times.

I favor 2, but keep switching back. What do you think?

Thanks in advance, and sorry about the long post.

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Post by Dave » June 11th, 2005, 4:23 am

Making moving diagonally take up 1.4 or 1.5 times as much movement is rather ugly and difficult for players to understand. It also pretty much forces you to have decimal movement points, rather than nice integers.

In fact, I don't think I've seen a game which takes this approach: all square-based games I've seen either don't allow diagonal moves, or allow them at equal cost to horizontal and vertical moves; usually games where units might move 1-2 spaces in a turn allow diagonal moves at equal cost, and games where units might move 5-10 spaces in a turn don't.

I think that more important than how 'realistic' something is how well it works as a game. Hex-based systems can work well, and square based systems can work well, depending on all the rules you use.

The reason I tend to prefer hex-based systems is that I think it strikes a good balance between letting units move too freely, and restricting them too much. Square-based systems where units can move along diagonals allow too much, and disallowing diagonals allows too little. Hexes strikes a balance between them.

The movement system you use also makes Zones of Control of varying importance. With a diagonal-move system, ZoCs are almost mandatory because otherwise units can move far too freely. With no diagonal moves in a square-tile world, you don't need ZoCs nearly as much because you can easily enough just block enemy units off.

I have seen a game where attacks can generally only be done in four directions, but units with 'long' melee weapons such as spears or pikes can attack diagonally. I thought that was an interesting use of square tiles.

David
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Post by allefant » June 11th, 2005, 1:12 pm

Or do it like most RTS games, simply have floating point positions, and allow 360 degree movement. Right now I remember only one TBS game which had this.. but they did it bad, it got quite chaotic, and you kept to pixel-move your units to stay outside the enemy radius :P But if done well, I think it can work..

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Post by Dacyn » June 11th, 2005, 1:27 pm

Dave wrote:It also pretty much forces you to have decimal movement points, rather than nice integers.
No, you just use 2 and 3. 3 = 1.5 * 2...
For more difficult terrains, you could make it more accurate... 3-space terrains have 4-cost diagonal movement, 5-space 7, ... In some cases this would make it worthwhile to take the orthogonal path instead.
I think this would be interesting, although the idea of diagonal moves is odd. It is a bit like being able to move 2 spaces east at a time in Wesnoth...

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