General Category > Bionic Dues


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The queued movement solution would be lovely for the main game as well - I've often wanted to say "go move over there" and have it actually walk there, only stopping if an enemy decloaks or is revealed, that sort of thing.

Regarding the 'combat zones' potential solution though - how about this: If there's an alerted bot within a floodfill distance of: max(player's longest range weapon, enemy team's longest range weapon, 20) then everyone has to play in turn based.  Otherwise, everyone can move whenever they like.

This is pretty much what already happens (to a lesser degree) in singleplayer - try walking down a 30 tile long hallway when half the map is alerted, and it takes ages as every bot gets to move between each of your moves... so, if you don't feel like waiting, don't alert a lot of people.

I think this sort of shifting between turn based and free-move system would be the one I prefer, but I'd certainly also play a mode where one or more players fold into/attach onto the main player.  Perhaps there would be bonuses for being all attached together - hopefully you'd still get actions if stuff was in range, so you could fire more than one weapon per enemy turn, but of course you are one big target and damage would be... shared I assume? Something to consider anyway.

I'd like to try some implementation of co-op for this game for sure.

The way I'd do multiplayer is to instead have all players simply complete individual missions at their own pace.  If a player is "on mission" no other player can attempt it.  When the mission is over, it is cleared like normal, but all the players can be spread out doing different parts of the map.  Similar to A Valley Without Wind if you never do the same mission.  Level Ups and Level Downs happen in (semi) real time.

This does add the possibility of multiple missions being open during the final day, but I don't think that actually matters much - no harm in going into overtime.

One problem though is the final mission would be dreadfully lame, and you technically would never be actually playing "together", but it also means you can go through 50 days worth of missions in half the time.

On the other hand, this means you could have 8 players doing their own missions at their own pace without interference.  Items can be traded by adding items to the Buyback menu, and a group Credits pool... the store only resets on your end when you do a mission.

I think the combat zones bit deserves another look. 

Though instead of dividing the map up into zones just make it collective, so the entire map is one zone.

By which i mean you  have exploration and combat modes.  Exploration is basicly real time (for traveling down hallways, seting up traps, and the such), in combat mode everyone takes their turns in order.  If there are active bots within x (something relitively signifigant like 25) range of any exo the game sets to combat mode for everyone, if there are no active bots within that range its exploration mode.

active bots that are too far away to start combat mode (aka the game is in exploratoin mode but has active bots) make a move every 2 player actions, no mater which player makes those action (or 3 player actions for 3 players and 4 player actions for 4 players)

And what the hey, give each player a teleport action, it forces them to wait for 3 or 4 actions and then teleports them to the nearest other exo (the forced wait is to prevent it from being a get out of jail free card if you overextend).  as a shortcut to working together if you find yourself in combat mode and seperated by a 30 square halway (which would be a pain to move through)

And finaly increase bot levels to help compensate for the extra amount of player actions. 

What's on my mind is this:
-Each player (max 4) gets to choose 1-2 exos (2 player: 2-2, 3 player: 1-1-2, 4 player 1-1-1-1).
-Only the host's pilot skill is active; other players are "guests".
-All players vote on a mission; majority rule. If there is a dispute (equal votes on different missions), whatever the host has voted for will be chosen. This can be disabled, and host can be granted "power" over mission choice before loading a saved game / starting a new one.
-EnemyBots gets buffs, some new co-op stuff are introduced (discussed/explained below *1).
-"Guest" status may also expand to inventory management, exo customization and shopping too. Host can decide what guests can / cannot do while loading a save / starting a new game.
-All Exos that each player control are spawned at the same time, game requires players to commit their actions (gameplay example below *2).
-Host can choose between shared and private inventory which cannot be changed after a game is started. If private inventory is chosen, all players get full single-player rewards, can access shop, and customize their exos. No trading between players (?). Individual loot follows a round-robin rule to get distributed. If shared inventory is chosen, it is like single player, but with one difference; more rewards are gained at the end of the mission, depending on how many people are playing the game, customization and shopping depends on the game setting.

*1 Co-op pitfalls, suggested mechanics, and stuff:
There are possible problems with the enemies scaling with player count. Increasing the HP and damage of the enemy is not really the answer to balance the game for a co-op experience. An example game: Borderlands. I really don't like Borderlands, because it does whatever it can to discourage co-op. The kill skills, which activate after you kill an enemy are a direct contradiction to the nature of co-op. Also, enemies becoming incredible hulks with each player; becoming "Bullet sponges" is another pitfall to be avoided. Or, enemies suddenly destroying you since you are trying to play the game with more people.

While they should become tougher and their numbers should increase, it shouldn't be too much. Other mechanics that encourage co-op should be explored in addition to those. For example, a bot that only appears when you play in multiplayer (Co-opBot lets call it for now) is a way to do it.

Example Co-Op mechanics:
-Exo disable: Players have certain amount of repair kits (just 1-2); if an exo gets hit by a shot that'd kill it in single-player, it instead gets disabled, before going critical and "die" in a few turns. If a player reaches the disabled exo, it gets re-activated with a portion of HP, and that player's repair kit is expended. Like in many co-op games, you are helpless on your own, and you wait for someone to get to your aid (L4D, L4D2, Warframe, etc...)

-Exo link: Active exos could provide bonuses to other players' active exos, a Sniper exo could increase the range of the other exos, etc... IF both exos are within close range (5-7 max). While enemies get a boost, players will also get a boost as long as they stay together. Sensor data is also shared when exos are linked to each other.

-Abilities (below), visual cues to plan a turn (mentioned above; pinging a tile/exo, seeing which player is attacking who, and dealing how much damage beforehand, etc...)

Example Co-opBot X abilities:
-Deflective Shield: Deflects any number of shots or damage unless gets focus-fired. Lets say me and a friend are playing, and we faced a bot with this ability. The bot has a deflective shield. Unless we both fire at the same target, it will deflect all but one point of the damage. This means, we need to stay together to deal with these enemies (ignore the sentries & hacked bots for now). AoE weapons are a different story, deflective shields deflect a big portion of the AoE damage, but does not reduce it to one point.

However, there are sentries and hacked bots that interfere with this "idea"; one way to deal with it is simply ignoring them altogether when it comes to dealing with deflective stuff. Another way to deal with this is, giving an ability to exos to break this deflective shields, although only when fired by multiple exos. When this ability is used on the same target on the same turn, deflective shields will be broken and the bot in question can be damaged on the next turn. The deflective shield recharges on the turn after that if the bot didn't take any damage.

-Hardened Armor:
Well, as the name suggests, bots having this ability will not take any damage from one side (most possibly front), or just take a portion of it. But this idea is inferior to deflective shield, as it will slow the game down, and may force the players to spend a lot of time dealing with this. Another approach to hardened armor; Some (all?) exos could have a target-painter, a whistle-like infinite amount ability to mark weak spots of the enemies with hardened armor. Other exos could fire at this target, dealing full damage. This 2nd approach promotes co-op even more, similar to deflective shield, but treated in a different way.

-Overload (?):
Similar to EMPBot; but it has a different mechanic. It is a very short range ability. An overloaded exo will take 5-10% damage each turn, regardless of damage reduction, and cannot regen. The bot having this ability will keep using this ability till its target is disabled. An overloaded exo will not be targetted by other enemies. It is a temporary disable so to speak. Think of special infected from L4D series. Unless the bot having this ability is destroyed, the overloaded exo will get disabled, and a repair kit will be needed to reactivate the exo. If the aggressor has been dealt with, overloaded exo will reboot on next turn. Overload will not affect the last remaining player; if all other exos are overloaded, or disabled, or exploded, the last player will not get this ability cast upon (otherwise, it'd be a mission over each time you got "unlucky").

*2 Gameplay Example:
Lets say I'm playing with a friend. First, I choose a pilot. We each pick 2 exos, and we vote on a mission, and mission begins. 2 bots spawn next to each other, and we play at the same time; we do something, then we commit our actions, and then watch the results. This has one big problem: game will be slowed down. Immensely. So, how can this be avoided? If there are no alerted enemies, no skills currently being active (stealth) no commit would be required. When there is a fighting going on, when I click on an enemy, my exo will point a green laser on that enemy, and a damage number will be shown over its head, so my friend can decide whom to shoot, or not without having to go through chat fast(er). Also, I can click a button to ping a tile or mark an enemy for my friend with ease. Any AoE effects that'll happen will tint the tiles slightly to red to warn me / my friend, so we can avoid it. Whenever a turn is committed, our actions are the first to be executed (like in single-player), followed by AoE and enemy actions.

I selected shared inventory, and since we've won a mission in co-op, we got more loots than usual. The same mark button can be used on inventory/shopping panel to "mark" items, my friend cannot unequip items on my exo, but he can mark them to tell me if he wants to try it or not. If I was playing with someone else that I don't know really well, I would've set the lobby with private inventory enabled, but this is not the case. And game goes on like this...

----Excuse my english, haven't slept, did a lot of re-writing, and forgot some stuff while writing. Any numbers are for example.

How about making multiplayer predominantly "speed bionic" (real time treadmill) with free actions for any time the players aren't engaged in battle, and an additional tweak.


If no enemies are alerted: players can move freely
Enemies are alerted: speed bionic is activated
Additional tweak: give each of the players a bullet-time button

The bullet-time could be activated by either player. Once activated, the treadmill would slow down considerably, allowing the player more time to make critical decisions, plus it would also be matrixy cool.

Walking down a corridor together -- should be solved.

Fighting together -- this would result in a frenetic battle with both players engaged, interspersed with occasional bouts of bullet-time for those "see you in hell, candy boys!" moments.

Players not in the same area -- the non-engaged player would be temporarily slowed to the treadmill pace with occasional bouts of bullet-time, which is not quite as bad as it might sound. If the non-engaged player were to suddenly be overcome by bullet-time this would at least add some drama to the proceedings as they consider what scrape their unfortunate compadre has gotten themselves into. Once battle is over it might then soon be the non-engaged players turn to engage in combat, so at least there would then be a bit of a see-saw effect of one player skirmishing, then the other etc. Corridor walking would still result in free movement (or at least treadmill speed if the other party is engaged).

This actually sounds pretty decent to me, and would be a multiplayer mode that I would like to play. If it were possible to prototype this without significant problems then I'm pretty sure that the first tests would reveal it's fun-ness, or lack of.


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