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rasqual
08-13-2005, 02:39 AM
There's something weird about being able to have armies that can't be attacked. I can pull a lot of 'em out of cities -- or all of em! -- and no one can attack me. Nor I others.

What's this with having armies that I can deploy on earth, but they're beyond the reach of anyone's attack? Where ARE these armies? Space?!

;-)

The game definitely needs something that Risk has -- the need to have actually moved armies adjacent to the area you're attacking, before being able to attack. There's just something WRONG, with due respect to the developers, with being able to "beam armies down" anywhere and have 'em wreak havoc.

Having warning that someone is coming to get you makes the game potentially a LOT more interesting, too. Being broadsided by dudes like something out of Starship Troopers is a bit much for a game whose platform is so . . . so . . . terrestrial!

I seriously think the Risk element needs to be brought in, and that it would end up looking a lot like risk. Extrusions for surrounding armies could be advanced , and would have to predate an invasion by some period of time. Moving the pieces around the globe would take TIME. They could travel en masse by ship (slow but cheap) or by air (fast but expensive). Furthermore, all the complications of fly-over permissions should come into play. This would certainly relate to alliances and what-not.

Seriously. This has to happen, or something like it. Otherwise, strategy will continue to consist of wondering when an entire division is going to beam down and blow you away. That's not a sufficient space witihin which to conceptualize tactics, much less strategy.

Something has to allow for smarts, and not brute force jewel acquisition, to be the determinant of superior power in the game.

This game is going to be HUGE if you guys take it all the way. Dudes.

Appletom
08-13-2005, 02:45 AM
Something has to allow for smarts, and not brute force jewel acquisition, to be the determinant of superior power in the game.

This game is going to be HUGE if you guys take it all the way. Dudes.

DITTO!

Mickey
08-13-2005, 09:01 PM
What's this with having armies that I can deploy on earth, but they're beyond the reach of anyone's attack? Where ARE these armies? Space?!
This is a great point. I've been trying to think how to solve it. It's like we need to assign a "home base" for each team, which can be attacked by other teams. I'm thinking that if you keep armies in your "home base", they are free to occupy/attack, and they're harder to kill, but they give you zero "value".

The problem is - where do we put these? I want the game to be able to scale almost much larger, so we can't have people using current cities as their "home base". We also can't create a separate home base manually for each player, as that would take forever.

I have two thoughts so far. One, I find an area of the map, calculate a grid out of it, and give each player a block. If I create a 100x100 grid, that would create space for 10,000 players - a number I don't see us going over for quite a while, if ever. The problem there is realism.

The other thought is to randomly assign a block to user somewhere on the planet. The issue there is that it might randomly put it in the middle of an existing city, or it would likely put it in the middle of the ocean. Maybe have a "randomly choose new home for my army" button that they can use until it finds a suitable location? Hmmm...



The game definitely needs something that Risk has -- the need to have actually moved armies adjacent to the area you're attacking, before being able to attack. There's just something WRONG, with due respect to the developers, with being able to "beam armies down" anywhere and have 'em wreak havoc.
I agree. I've been trying to think through this one and I haven't gotten very far with it yet. I need a way to automate determining which cities are close enough for an attack so I don't have to plug all of that in manually every time I add a city. The problems I see:

- Where can you start? You need to be in one city in order to be close enough to attack another.
- Across the ocean? I can see attacking from one US city to another, but how to determine if one is across the ocean? Is it too far (mathematically)?

It's a messy issue, but one that would make the game much better. More thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.


I seriously think the Risk element needs to be brought in, and that it would end up looking a lot like risk. Extrusions for surrounding armies could be advanced , and would have to predate an invasion by some period of time. Moving the pieces around the globe would take TIME. They could travel en masse by ship (slow but cheap) or by air (fast but expensive).
Hmm, interesting. I like the idea - I just don't know how to do it. I'll have to think about it. Maybe create a "ring" around each city that attacking armies need to go into first, then sit for at least xxx minutes/hours before they can attack? While they're sitting there, they could be pre-emtively attacked by armies from the city. Something like that maybe?


Furthermore, all the complications of fly-over permissions should come into play. This would certainly relate to alliances and what-not.
That would be cool. Complicated, but cool.


Something has to allow for smarts, and not brute force jewel acquisition, to be the determinant of superior power in the game.
Agreed.


This game is going to be HUGE if you guys take it all the way.
That'd be awesome. We'll see...

rasqual
08-14-2005, 12:40 AM
The problem is - where do we put these? I want the game to be able to scale almost much larger, so we can't have people using current cities as their "home base". We also can't create a separate home base manually for each player, as that would take forever.

How about people choose their own locale? It can't be closer than some sensible distance from a capturable city.

Well, better yet -- any bloomin' place on the planet is "capturable." You stake out your space, which is determined by how many armies you're garrisoning there. If there's already a population, such as a city, then the area is the population of interest plus some factor for how many armies you have there.

BTW, it might be time to start using military terms -- battalions, divisions, regiments, etc.

Anyway, the area you occupy is determined by how many people you're packing in there. If you have 200 armies, by golly they take up some space. If you have 10 armies occupying Cairo, then although the 10 wouldn't take up the entire urban area, if what you're doing is genuinely occupying Cairo, then your area is that big. If insurgents have you hemmed into some quadrant of the city, that's a different story.

What you want to do is have "homesteaders," where people stake out somewhere and move from there.

Heck, I'm not sure it matters. Do a land rush thing. Wagons stormin' across the plains as the settlers head off to claim their stake. It doesn't matter where they start. If I want New York and get it, well, the game will probably only allow occupation of the entire city based on some ratio of armies to population.

Isn't it kind of crazy that one army can occupy New York? ;-)

Make it one of the burroughs, man.


I have two thoughts so far. One, I find an area of the map, calculate a grid out of it, and give each player a block. If I create a 100x100 grid, that would create space for 10,000 players - a number I don't see us going over for quite a while, if ever. The problem there is realism.

Each "army" would take up space.

Also, I urge including a logistics requirement for each army. These guys need to be supplied. Jewels should be required for every freakin' day these armies have to be fed. If you buy an army into existence, you should have to feed them. And that should cost.


I agree. I've been trying to think through this one and I haven't gotten very far with it yet. I need a way to automate determining which cities are close enough for an attack so I don't have to plug all of that in manually every time I add a city.

Come up with a way of automating migration of armies, the speed at which they can migrate (moving armies costs jewels too). You won't have to worry too much about control if you think BIG, cause if you think huge you'll have to build it to handle a LOT of things automatically. Don't create patches for things. Architect this big, and these other things will fall into place.

Better yet, come up with a way where you don't have to "add" cities. Tap into Google itself for that. Get permission. Put up google ads if you need to. Whatever it takes.

Everyone's talking about "Geotagging." Good grief, it'd be nice if the Wikipedia were "demotagged" -- demographically tagged in some standard (xml) way. For all cities. What the heck is a guy supposed to do, SCRAPE the blasted thing? Good grief, you'd go nuts.

Earth may be ready for your game, but the world's not. ;-)


- Where can you start? You need to be in one city in order to be close enough to attack another.

See that's the thing -- you're thinking too small. How can you scale a game if you have to deal with discrete cities? Deal with the whole planet. Cities are merely data about a particular location on the planet. If you're within a city's boundaries, you're in the city. That's how you work with collocation issues.

You don't need to be "in a city" to attack a nearby one. You need to be on the surface of the earth, in proximity to another location on the surface of the earth which also happens to be tagged by human beings as what we call a "city."


- Across the ocean? I can see attacking from one US city to another, but how to determine if one is across the ocean? Is it too far (mathematically)?

Use the Earth water layer. Any time an army goes "on" the water, they must have already obtained ships to transport their troops. Their costs and rate of conveyance will have different requirements where water's involved.

You might have to customize your own water.

Also, there's little reason you couldn't transport troops by air. In fact, these movements could be depicted in "real time" by having 3D objects at altitude. I mean, they could literally be seen flying. The simplest thing might be to have an aerial object trailing a direction vector -- for each army. Now THAT would look cool. I mean, you could Ctrl+G and fly around 'em in real time.

This is insane. That's actually possible. Good grief.


Hmm, interesting. I like the idea - I just don't know how to do it. I'll have to think about it. Maybe create a "ring" around each city that attacking armies need to go into first, then sit for at least xxx minutes/hours before they can attack? While they're sitting there, they could be pre-emtively attacked by armies from the city. Something like that maybe?

Boundrary detection. You have lat & long. You have to be able to identify and work logic against "collisions" between spaces determined by location. So if an army's "space" and a city's "space" coincide, it's either an occupation or a friendly visit. ;-)

Everything needs to take up space on the surface, so their concurrence in space can be prevented or acted upon. When do two armies attack? Well, if you start your model simple (no stand-off weapons allowed -- though ironically, just now it's all nothing but stand-off weapons, with the "beaming to anywhere" thing ;- ) you'll want to have the area where they overlap (think of a Venn diagram) be the intensity of the engagement. If the "space" taken up by two collections of armies (again, it'd be nice to use the military terminology) is, say, a 10th of one collection's space and a 5th of the other guy's, then if the first one has 20 armies and the second has 40, they're matching 2 armies against 2, and it'd be a pretty even fight. How much space a collection of armies (a division, doggonit!) takes up would depend on things like whether they're occupying an urban area (as I've mentioned). If so, those armies take up more space, and if someone comes conquering in, their area will also expand, but the potential number of armies engaging each other will be dilluted by the urban area's necessary spreading out of human life. Something like that.

Just think of what happens when things try to occupy the same area of land, as you think about this game. Armies in the African deserts and armies in European cities will engage differently. How can you make that work? Think about involving other layers, other KML, that map the earth for things like growing season (if you're in an area at the start of a short growing season, you'll have to bring food with you, instead of provisioning locally). How about mapping oil refineries? Armies need fuel. Do they have to bring it along to this place, or that? Proximity of their current area to such resources would give some idea of their logistical expenses and the limits on movement and action that these issues entail.


That would be cool. Complicated, but cool.

Well, that's the issue. Maybe you guys don't quite know, yet, what you're sitting on. This could be a distraction -- something to amuse everyone and give us all ideas of Earth's potential. Or -- doggonit -- you'd see that only "whether you don't do anything" is the only limit on what this could be. I have no idea what kind of a business model could come of it, but if you want to have a very busy life, I suggest you talk with Google (seriously), poll your MBA friends, and start casting about for capital.

No, I'm not kidding. You're going to be kicking yourself in the *** until the day you die if someone else runs with what you could've done.

If you do this, you'll need a serious, creative, technically solid team. And no, I'm not hinting or fishing for involvement. Wrong time of life for me, for that (my first of four is starting his second year of college). Seek solid advice from solid, proven people.

Or, of course, "weekend warrior" this thing until you realize you've spent too much time on something you're not going to take further, and then hope someone'll buy it from you and take it further (that's a realistic prospect too, but even then you'll need to have a well-architected product to sell 'em).

Fun stuff. And again, I'm impressed with how quickly you guys are implementing and turning things around. And I'm envious that you have the opportunity to explore the "possibility space" Keyhole and it's future with Google have offered such creative people.

Best of luck!

- Scott