View Full Version : Multiplexity: Paper Wars

17-02-2007, 04:48 AM
I see that this competition is more about learning and having fun than winning. So I will follow the example and describe my game; not that I fear that anyone has had the same idea! :)

The following is pretty much all there is to know about my game at this stage. I can see it's a pretty lengthy description, so I'm soon gonna place a link to a downloadable version of the game + source so that you don't have to read it all! :wink:

I am entirely open to all suggestions, ideas and help, but more specifically help with graphics because I have never used OpenGL before! :wink:

The idea of this game originated from a game I used to play with my friends in class while the teacher was not looking...
That already tells of how fun it will be, should I manage to replicate it and add the extras that a computer game must always have. :)

On grid paper, we would set two sets of bases on each end, divide them in as many single bases as we would agree, and fill them up with units, ranging from the ordinary tanks and infantry to ships (in which case we would draw a river across the 'map'), landmines, bazoocas, planes,
helicopters, fixed canons, stealth bombers... :D

Them, each in turn would move a single unit or shoot. Each unit had a number of 'steps' it had to move by. To shoot, we would hold the pencil on the paper with one finger pushing down on it until it slipped and drew a 'line of fire'. If that line hit the opposing unit, the unit would be erased from the game. There were also trees, randomly set up around the map, and when those were hit, the unit that had shot would die (I have no idea why, but that was the rule!).

So when I read the Competition's requirements, I thought of that game because it combined two fairly unusual genres.
I can see now that it is probably look fairly usual since creativity has had a major part in most posts I have read so far, but well...
The title I chose for it, 'Paper Wars', describes the game fairly well because it refers to its origin (a war game on paper).

The first problem to arise is of course the shooting. There is no way to do the same with a computer. I have therefore decided to make it Worms-like, using artillery and other methods.

To make it simpler, I will start by making the shooting like a radar, ie a line that rotates around the unit, and the player presses a key or clicks for it to stop and shoot in that direction. That should allow me to build up everything else before I concentrate on the killing.
The reason for this decision is that the way I see it, each unit would have a different way to shoot, each with its advantages and disadvantages; so it will require a lot of thinking and mostly a lot of time to develop.

Other features will include buildings. One type of unit, soldiers (or whatever else I call them) will be able to move around the map and build things. The point of this is to allow players to 'possess' a part of the map by defending it with towers without having to leave units there.
One of the buildings will be a sort of 'hospital/petrol station/ammunition depot' where the units can go (or be next to) to be refuelled, replenished in ammo and maybe (it will depend on how it will 'feel') to get some life back.

Buildings will probably be easy to destroy so that the game is more dynamic.
I might add weaknesses to units, so that each unit is specially strong against on other unit and specially weak against another. That should allow more strategy.

It was very hard to decide how the turns would work, because being able to move all one's units every turn (like Advance Wars) would make it a very slow game, but making one move every turn (the way the original game on paper was) does not allow much strategy (you wouldn't be able to move and shoot or move several units to circle another,etc). So what I believe would be the most appropriate and fun is to make it dynamic. What I mean is that, depending on how you are playing, your 'movement power' or 'man power' or 'troop morale' will increase or decrease, and define how much you can do each turn. Each action would therefore also have a 'cost', so that moving would not be as 'expensive' as shooting, which would also be cheaper than building. That way, the player will be encouraged to fight (the more you kill, the more your 'morale' goes up, the longer you stay out of combat, the more your 'morale' decreases...) and think about how to use their points wisely.

Eventually I might possibly (lol) add the possibility of purchasing units, but I believe this will not happen because the game I am basing this on did not allow such a thing, only deploying what one had was allowed. Also, nearly all games of this genre allow players to purchase units, my game will be different!

After having set everything up, having an AI (very important here!) and many choices, I will implement several game modes. From pure Supremacy (who kills all the ennemies first wins) to Strategy (each type of action gives a certain number of points, so the one who kills the opponent does not necessarily win) to Capture the Flag and maybe even a Maze mode where each player has to move their units very strategically inside the maze so as to block the opponent around corners (or place artillery and shoot over the walls).
Finally, one thing a game is not captivating without is upgrading. Of course the original game had nothing of such, but because this is a superb machine, I will definitely add upgrades as often as possible. The idea is to ALWAYS make it as dynamic as possible, never twice the same! So there might be upgrades and bonuses when a single unit kills more than 3 opponents in a row, for example, or for a headshot from a sniper, or for being under 10% of health, etc. Then there would be upgrades that would be saved so that each time the player plays, they actually progress in the game. Those would include new buildings to build, new units to choose from, maybe points to add to abilities (strength, accuracy, morale, etc), so that each player would progress differently and eventually two human players would face each other.
Computer players would also improve.

The last thing I will write about today is graphics. I have never made any game with graphics more complex than simple primitives (never made any 3D games before either!), so graphics will be my main challenge. Maybe it would be wise not to spend too much time frustated with graphics and instead develop other features more.
If I ever do develop it, though, in my mind, right now, I can see two ideal 'themes' for graphics:
One would be to make all units as realistic as possible, as well as the ground and the environment, so that it doesn't look and 'feel' like a board game, but more like a war game.
The other would be to do it 'cartoony' styles and make every unit like a sheet of paper folded into shape, like origamis. This would make it very extra-ordinary and give it a personal touch that I would like very much. It would also go with the title and give it a 'funny feel'.
However, as I said previously, I will probably leave it as boxes, circles and lines until someone is willing to help me/teach me more about sprites and designing in 3D.

Now it's your time to post! :lol:

EDIT: here is the link: http://www.uploadtemple.com/view.php/1171691803.zip :wink:

17-02-2007, 07:54 AM

You are living on the other side of our planet and I played exactly this game in my youth, too (pencil version) :)

Cool idea to make it a computer game...

Wish you the best.

17-02-2007, 09:05 AM
Played that one too!
We also had a "racing" variants: first draw a tortuous circuit with the pencil, then use the same method but for movement of your "car". Hitting the border would mean passing your turn. :)

17-02-2007, 08:49 PM
lol :lol:

19-02-2007, 09:36 PM
In the first Stage of the competition, Will commented on the fact that the two genres I chose for it (strategy and artillery) are not well enough detailed. I would like to discuss this here.

I understand that at first it might just sound like some slightly modified Worms or Advance Wars, but it's actually a mix of the two.

The way I see it, all the strategy games that I know can be summed up as consisting in moving, building and attacking. The attacking is always automatic (you don't aim, just tell you unit(s) to attack another unit).

Artillery games, however, usually focus on the aiming. Movement usually plays a small part in it, since choosing the angle and the strength to shoot at are the most important things. I personnally don't know any artillery game that allows players to deploy units or even to move several units at once, and even less to build!

Please consider the above and let me know what you think. I would happily add more things to make it less ambiguous if you do not agree with my point of view.

Cheers :wink:

28-02-2007, 05:53 AM