Creating a new strategy game

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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby makmak » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:31 pm

All the best wishes for your new experiment :)

My 2 cents:
I love Warbarons because of the strategy complexity and time friendliness
I have played MMO like Travian -surviving as a resistance leader in international S6 against all odds- and SHALL NEVER DO IT AGAIN.

You are great in algorithms but failed in marketing
Warbarons game has a target audience of 40+yo hard core strategy players and should be advertised in chess and bridge sites were the target audience is looking.
WB should be advertised as what it is:
A hard core strategy game very difficult and time friendly.

The main reason many people abandon is that new players are not prepared for a hard core startegy game and that they constantly lose from experienced players.

I felt idiot when I lost my first 10 ladder games but I anticipated and aimed for the top, others would have ababndoned...

A good idea would be to create a WB duel game mode that you can participate only if you have below 50 ladder duels or below 40% score on duels.

btw please remove sim start from separate duels so that we can introduce friends more easy.

Campaign mode should also be fun.
Good luck to your efforts.
Last edited by makmak on Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby fantastory » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:44 pm

Yep, marketing is quite weak, a counterpart "Battle for wesnoth" has much larger audience.
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby szymraszyn » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:37 pm

you know "battle for wesnoth"? great game indeed. my third favourite after Warbarons and Warlords :)

I though that single army fights used in wesnoth is thing that could be also used in that new strategy game.
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby piranha » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:23 pm

I haven't tried wesnoth. What have they done to reach a bigger audiance? Is it easier to get into. Do they have a better single player experience?

Simulataneous planning would have to be a different game. Let's say I select to attack your unit at a certain square but you decide to move away. If it's executed at the same time I should arrive and you have moved away by then so should my unit persue your unit as i moves or should it move to the tile that I sent it too where you started?

2Torus:
I've thought about it. I would like to open it up because I think if it would be simple enough to help out there are people within the this community who would be interested in improving it. But it's a bit of a mess at the moment. I would have to put some time on making it accessible but it could be worth doing.

KGB:
I see the thread and that means people long for that experience they had. I think thats what we tried to do with warbarons and it could be improved in many more ways than we have. But a competent AI in JS would probably be among the most important improvements if we want to reach more players.

szymraszyn: Its javascript on this client mostly vanilla with some jquery. Server is in PHP and MySQL. We didn't use any repo while developing, we didn't even have the game running locally on our machines. We just copied the game into a new folder and started working on a next version "live" until it seemed to work and then sent all new created games into that folder instead.


Do you think anything else should change in the game? We had a plan to revamp the hero system and add magic to the game. Sorceress and necromancer was going to have magic. Things like raising dead units as some weaker "undead" version and different spells for the sorceress like vision in a certain far away area or spells in battle. A bit like diablo 2 handled skill trees of heroes. There was a plan to let the dwarf engineer break wall terrain and possibly build bridges.
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby fantastory » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:19 pm

piranha wrote:I haven't tried wesnoth. What have they done to reach a bigger audiance? Is it easier to get into. Do they have a better single player experience?


They have full campaign. Actually several campaigns. I think single player mode boosts whole comunity.
Players from single moves towards a multiplayer game.

Also players clashes somehow faster - there is no neutral battles there.

What warbarons have better then wesnoth is offline game. Both games are turn based, with automatic battles. But in wesnoth you can not do 1 move per day. (Or did it changed?)
Also they lack an automatic ladder. As I remembeer ladder was backed up as external server where you need to upload your game replay.

The wesnoth is an open source which probably helps in enlarging community.

piranha wrote:Simulataneous planning would have to be a different game. Let's say I select to attack your unit at a certain square but you decide to move away...


That is true and the answer depends of the kind of game.
I have in mind two different game ideas.

1. Like a Total War. The world divided by provinces. Battles executed when two armies enter same province or meet when invading each other. Battles resolved automatically and additional variety by managing supplies like food fuel or ammunition, and maybe an ability of bombing other province.
Here If an army goes away they do not fight.

2. A tactial one like xcom apocalipse. But orders executed simulataneously. Units engage and pursue depending on mode you set them (stationary, agressive, runaway, hide-silent)
There is actually a game like this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_Squad_Nemesis
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby Igor » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:58 pm

If to add magic spells may be good to add also the ability 'Cancel spells' to a hero, the same like negative bonus for Devil or Great Archon, may be not all spells but most.
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby KGB » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:09 pm

piranha wrote:Do you think anything else should change in the game? We had a plan to revamp the hero system and add magic to the game. Sorceress and necromancer was going to have magic. Things like raising dead units as some weaker "undead" version and different spells for the sorceress like vision in a certain far away area or spells in battle. A bit like diablo 2 handled skill trees of heroes. There was a plan to let the dwarf engineer break wall terrain and possibly build bridges.


Those things would all be great additions.

The number 1 thing you need is an AI for a solo-player experience.

After that I believe the next important thing you need is:
1) Random map generator (I can code this since I have the random map generator code for War4 and DLR). Along with this you needed hidden maps (all black, have to be explored) and random start spots. Right now the game is too much like Warlords 1 with it's fixed maps/units. This means games tend to play like chess (specific heroes and expansion for each map) which favors veterans who have learned/memorized this. That's fine if you want Warbarons to be more like chess but it makes it less like War2/DLR/War4 which is presumably where you hope to draw players from.

2) Differing/upgradable units. I and others have long asked for this. This was the extra strength/move/less turns that some cities had in War2/DLR for making units. It would better if this was upgradeable rather than random (ie upgrade city via gold to build better units). Also units getting further upgrades from winning fights (the medals in War2/DLR).

3) A quest system for heroes. A very simple one like War2 or a bit more complex like War3. Players have always loved this.

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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby szymraszyn » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:37 pm

I have one more idea

in warbarons you get income, units and defence form cities. it makes them all the same, and too powerfull.

I have an idea to create:
-barracks - 1x1, only producte units
-farms - 2x2 - gives you gold
-strongholds - 3x3 gives you defence
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby piranha » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:01 am

I started constructing a list of the upgrades that we have talked about as well as thinking thorough the work required to make them possible. The more I think about it the more I realise that it's a much bigger task than it first would appear to be. Single player locally is a very big job as it would require almost every part of the game to be rewritten in some way since it relies on calls to backend where all the work is performed and then returned to client.

As I write I start to think that it might be better to start from scratch and take what code can be taken from current game. Which of course is a huge task as well but would get rid of legacy and an improved design could be set. Phew it's not a small mountain to look at :-). It's not something I could do by myself (kids and family these days compared to when we made warbarons)

Here is the list which is not completed but as far as I got before I started to question myself.


SUPER MAJOR
Create a local single player in javascript.
- Requires every action to be updated since they are validated by the server currently and instead would have to be validated if it’s a multiplayer game but not in a singleplayer game.
- AI in multiplayer would still have to be same as now while AI in real singleplayer would have to be done on local machine.
- All the data about the game is stored in our database. For single player games this would have to be stored locally in indexedDB or local storage on client machine to make it possible to play without connection.
-Many parts of the game would need to be written in javascript such as battles or the AI would still not be able to run whiteout contacting our server making it slow and server costly.
-Take current PHP code and turn it into javascript and improve the locally run AI.
*Extra improvement option Ideally a player who press end turn and next player is AI in a multiplayer game could get a “wait for AI” sign and let the improved AI do its thing locally but if player closes client before the AI must instead run the server version to progress the game. Would require a lot of variation work on the server for the local AI.

MEDIUM SMALL
Units gain experience from battle.
-Units would need an EXP data and a levelling ladder as the gain experience.
-Battles would have to calculate exp for each unit after battle.
-Not required but if there would be an option to have the fight order also take exp into consideration which units fight first.

MAJOR
Quest system
-Would require upgrades to the map editor so quests can be designed by the map maker.
-Would require updates in game client to handle quests.
-Could require AI updates to make the AI consider quests.
-Could require work on the replay to store that data and show it during reply.

MEDIUM SMALL
Black map
-Add another layer on tiles with black that is permanently removed as the tiles come into vision.
-May be problematic for creating a decent AI or it can cheat and see the map.

MAJOR
Turning the game into an executable and possible add it to steam and make a phone / pad client.
-Everything except the actual game (community, mapeditor as well as replay) are still generated on the backend. They would have to be rewritten in javascript and separated from the backend to make it a good experience.

MAJOR
Other general improvements to consider
-Replacing our DIV-engine with a GPU based engine such as PIXI would improve render performance and make it possible to do smooth animations of units, sliding the view over the map smoothly.
-Right now real time data is sent using pusher which we pay for monthly. Could be replaced with our own nodeJS, socket.IO server but that requires work.

MEDIUM - MAJOR
-Just like there are resource houses we have art for 1 tile location where units could be produced that does not have a wall or possibility to stack ore than 8 units.

Other improvements that should be done if the rest is done
-Server has not be updated since 2010. Running old software versions with possible bugs. For example after 200 days online it will crash if not restarted because of a bug in linux kernel. Best option is probably to move game to Amazon web service or similar instead of running our own server.
-HTTPS is broken and needs to be fixed to get rid of insecure warnings on browser and to make integrations with Facebook, PayPal and other platforms possible again.

Other updates / improvements that we had written down to work on.
List maps in a better way. Currently its cumbersome to go through the maps.
Easier to find replays of specific maps for example
Give names to resource buildings, towers and watch towers
Coordinate button like there is in the map editor
Allow single player games to be started in odd teams. 1 vs 7 and so on.
AI improvements, for example trying to attack crow on mountain.
Allow you to see a replay of the previous turn that the enemy did when you open your turn.
Market for buying / selling items at a premium
Achievements to show on your page that you get for doing certain things. Like playing 5 games or winning certain number of games or doing interesting things within the game.
Make it possible to unregister from the game.
Instead of NAPs being enforced the way it is now there could be a different system where a NAP could be broken but it would be at a certain cost, either cost in gold that the player agreed on when signing the NAP or ir could be some sort of point system where a player who break NAPS lose reputation points that are carried between games making it hard for a unreliable player to get NAPs.
Make it possible to buy credits for other players.
Make it possible to add photo portraits to make it more personal
Heroes that step on a dock should not auto convert into ship and lose all their move points.
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Re: Creating a new strategy game

Postby Chazar » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:38 pm

Great ideas!

About Wesnoth: not the best comparison, since it has a different setting. I remember this being shipped with my Linux distribution for as long as I remember, hence it had a lot of time and resources to develop.

Personally, I find Wesnoth much too complicated with leveling every single unit. The whole game becomes too tedious if your time is limited.

The appeal in Warbarons for me is that the focus is on the strategy, ie having the right unit combination in the right place at the right time.
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