Author Topic: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?  (Read 808 times)

Offline x4000

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 09:27:52 AM »
Wow I am enjoying this discussion. Lots of really good thoughts. I particularly like the observation that having different levels of winning might be okay. Maybe past a certain point there's an option to create a peace treaty with the AI, and that's a partial victory.  I also really like the idea of outfitting the Ark with the ability to just gtfo and you win by running away. And lastly, I also like the various ideas for not invading thr AI home world but instead playing something more similar to the rest of the game in order to win.

One random thought: some way to aggro the overlords into leaving their home planets and coming after you. It would be stupid of them, so thematically I guess it would have to be a hack.
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Offline Valtiel

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2018, 10:24:38 AM »
There's also zeusalmighty's "Firewall hack" victory, as suggested here.

Offline MaxAstro

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2018, 02:48:27 AM »
I am also a player who often stalled out in the mid-game.

I'm also a really big fan of alt-win conditions, especially as you've implemented them before - the Fallen Spire and the Exodian Blade were both fun win conditions to chase.

I do think it's important that different win conditions use different resources, both so that they play differently and so that the player doesn't get locked out of all of them by the same mistake or the same lack of interest.  For example, if all the alt win conditions are hacking-based that's going to be unfortunate if a player doesn't really enjoy hacking that much.

I do like the "hack the nanocaust" win condition.  I also like the idea of a "turtle" win like the showdown devices - maybe "build, protect, and fire a superweapon" of some kind.  That could even be a "soft win" condition.  For example, it could be a Sins of the Solar Empire style superweapon that gives the player a massive edge in hammering the AI but doesn't instantly win the game for them.

Another option might be that there could be fragments of alien supertech on certain planets - sorta like Ascension Crystals from GalCiv - and capturing all of them nets you a win (maybe after holding them for a certain period?).

I would really like a Fallen Spire-style "summon bigger fish" win condition to still exist, though.  :)

Involving the Ark in a win condition would be cool.  Oh!  You could have a Mass Effect 2 style win, drawing on the old Nebula missions from the AIWC.  Some kind of mission you can send the Ark and a limited strike force on that wins you the game if you win, but it's a one-way ticket; you lose the Ark if you fail.  Would be particularly interesting if, like Mass Effect 2, it's something you can attempt reasonably early but will certainly fail, so it becomes kind of a game of judging when you are strong enough.  Could be another place to implement a "soft win" - like for example the thing the Ark does is destroy the exo-galactic relay, preventing the AI from getting reinforcements (or severely limiting their reinforcements).

EDIT: Can the ascension crystal style win condition be "take control of the Astro Train stations and make those bastards build you a superweapon"?  Please?  That would be so satisfying.  :P
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 02:51:23 AM by MaxAstro »

Offline zharmad

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2018, 03:59:46 AM »
I think there are a couple of other options for lore-compatible alternate finish conditions. You may want to rephrase the entire set as ways to finish the game, rather than the language of win/lose - the player's first priority is the survival of human species, after all. So you want methods to ensure this. So a number of non-military finish conditions might include:

Existing: High-level Ark that leaves the galaxy and goes dark.
Existing: Alliance with a minor faction(s) in some form of a Faustian bargain, and/for forcing a ceasefire with the Overlord.
1. An operation to destroy all connecting wormholes/planets, sealing yourself off from the AI. The player constructs up to four doomsday weapons and activates them at planets of their choice, while the AI spawns assault fleets from systems that are still connected to the player homeworld.
2. Turn your planets nomadic in the sense of being no longer connected to warp grid.

I.e., ideally you want to set it up such that the in-game character can ask: "is this really winning?", and then be able to carry out back-up plans in case one fails. Expand too much pursuing the destruction of AI overlord -> Try to blow up your own systems to seal off their incursion -> Escape in the Ark.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 12:32:46 PM »
Read some of the early posts, but thought I'd note that "survive the slowdown" is just a"cut to the final boss" military victory.

The hack itself is easy and requires little forethought or effort on any metric. Surging the resulting waves is the challenge. And a challenge that is purely militaristic in nature.

Hacking the nanocaust might be non-militaristic, or at least more-so, I'm not sure. I've not actually played in a while ;)

The nomads victory only partially qualifies as smashing a planet doesn't really need that much militarily power...but smashing the right planet tends to be troublesome (how the bollocks do I get this thing over there?) And of course the game slaps you if you try and smash the obvious targets (separating an AI homeworld from the rest of the graph is a loss, separating yourself from the AI homeworlds is a loss...) You can either smash a homeworld (military style defend the thing) or smash an inconsequential planet.

Offline Toranth

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 01:14:38 PM »
AI War is a military game, so most possible win situations are going to be military based.  For that matter, the only lose condition is military based, so it's the only source of risk.

I do like the idea of a "not-quite lose" condition, like escaping in the Ark.  In fact, I'd link it to an AIP value before it even becomes possible.  Something like, when you hit AIP 300, you get a message that says "Captain, intelligence analysts have concluded that we've attracted too much of the AI's attention, and that unbeatable forces are being mobilized even now.  Barring a miracle, we can't win.  Fortunately, they've come up with an alternate plan..."

The point being that while it is an alternate condition, it isn't something you can easily get without the military risk.  So no playing a minimal AIP game and then sneaking out the back without ever being in serious danger.

Offline NickAragua

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2018, 10:02:23 PM »
The only time I won a game of AIW:Classic was by getting the Spire to do it for me. Every time I assaulted an AI homeworld myself, I would just get plastered. I know, there's some trick to it, people have done it, etc. I wasn't one of those people though. Every time I went into one of those systems, my fleet would basically die in the blink of an eye, and then I'd get steamrolled by the counterattacks without a chance to rebuild.

Luckily, I had the Spire victory condition on, so I just built the requisite number of Spire cities and did the "tug the alien artifact back to the base" thing. The AI attacks were pretty brutal, but my elite Spire fleet was able to wipe them out pretty good, and then the main Spire fleet showed up and rolled over the rest of the AI.

So I guess what I'm saying is it would be pretty great to have a way to win without having to do the horribly tedious homeworld assaults.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Dev Discussion: Equivalent of a Cultural or Science Victory...?
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2018, 01:22:03 PM »
My last victory wad before transports had attrition.  :P

The AI homeworlds have gotten stronger and player units weaker since then.