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DarkBASIC Discussion / Real-Time or Turn-Based? Which do you prefer?

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Dr DooMer
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Joined: 22nd Dec 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posted: 23rd Dec 2002 03:13
Hello, people!

I'm working on a squad-based strategy game in DarkBasic; I have been for the past few weeks and have currently got some models done (mainly weapons), lots of technical design and the beginnings of a menu system and map builder/editor. The game was formerly known as "Cold Blood", but a friend soon pointed out that name was already taken, so it's currently unnamed.

Because there isn't a great deal of solid coding, I haven't passed the stage where I can make large design changes. Originally, the game was going to be turn-based and would play in a similar style to the X-Com games. However, I'm contemplating shifting to real-time, as it would probably then appeal to more gamers. I'm putting it to the audience: which you prefer?

I would have some screenshots for you, but I've just figured out how to use IK and how to get it into DarkBasic; so I'm re-doing about a months work of troop animations, as well as remaking a few of the weapon models (My SMG model was particularly naff).
"I am a living, thinking entity who was created in the sea of information."
Shadow
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Joined: 17th Oct 2002
Location: In the shadows
Posted: 23rd Dec 2002 17:53
Real-time is more fun, but it is a lot harder from the coder's point of view (you have to make sure it runs at a good frame-rate for a start)
QuothTheRaven
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Posted: 23rd Dec 2002 23:01
Real time turn based! Starcraft!
QuothTheRaven
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Posted: 23rd Dec 2002 23:01
But turn based is icky
The Darthster
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Posted: 24th Dec 2002 01:03
I only ever played Terror of the Deep from the X-com games, and i thought it was fairly good. Turn based is probably easier to code, the AI doesn't have to respond instantly to ever changing conditions, and the controls will probably be easier, depending on how the game is played. Also you have far better control over your squad members, you can assign them all orders yourself without having to take time from the battle. The downside is that it isn't most people's favourite system, games will take ages and won't appeal to the 10-minute-blaster group.

For a squad command game, I'd have to say..... turn based. There's a lot more strategy and stealth involved, unless you are trying to convert an all out blaster into turn based, which would not be good. Use it for the strategy.
Avan Madisen
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Joined: 12th Sep 2002
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Posted: 24th Dec 2002 01:34
Well turn based is simpler to code, but real time is more popular. However you could go for something inbetween, ever played Panzer Dragoon Saga (also known as Azel: Panzer Dragoon RPG) on the Sega Saturn?

Well in that, the battles appeared to be real time, in terms of timing your attacks it definately was real time, but as the battle played you slowly filled up gauges which you used to attack, some attacks used 1 gauge, some used 2 and some used all 3. The speed of characters controlled how quickly the gauges filled up and when someone was attacking is was basically turn based where everything waited until the attacking character had finished. If this is just a matter of a soldier popping a few shots, the action could flow quite rapidly.

Also, when it came to positioning in PDS, you could move around your target in 90 degree turns, while moving your gauges stopped. This could work for individual soldiers where you can tell them to move at any time but their gauges will pause while they move. Slow moving characters will be affected badly by this whie fast characters can move and attack quite rapidly.

This wouldn't be as easy to code as turn based but will be simpler then real time. I'd love to see another game re-create this battle system because I loved PDS.

On another note, you're working on Inverse Kinetics in DB? If this is true could I see the source code for it at some time? I've been working on an integrated animation/ai system and IK is something that would really be a benefit!

Thanks and hope my suggestion catches you imagination.

Avan

It's all a dream, trust me...
Dr DooMer
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Posted: 24th Dec 2002 02:46
Ever player Panzer Saga!? It's just the best RPG ever made, and I've played through it about six or seven times!

I'm putting quite a lot of effort into the strategic design of the weapons, so it certainly wouldn't be a 'blaster' sort of game. If I do turn it to turn based, I'll give the player to option to pause the game and still issue orders, just so things don't get out of hand if you've got a big squad. As for multiplayer (which figures big in my plans), the game would pause for everybody if just one person pauses to issue orders.

Turn-based was the original idea; mainly because I decided that I was going to try to make a game with email support. If I stick to turn-based, that option, although probably not too popular, would remain. It would also make it practical to have larger squads, as you would have more time to organise them and plan your moves.

As for IK - it's not actually a direct implementation; I've just found out how to use IK in Max and make the resulting animations work inside DB. For the most part, I'm using it to reposition the troop's feet after a torso movement. Because it's so much quicker than FK, I can make my animations look better without taking much longer.

Oh, and I've done my SMG model; it looks a bit like an FN-P90 (are they the right letters?) but it's not textured yet, so I'd better not show it to you.

"I am a living, thinking entity who was created in the sea of information."
Disco Stu
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Posted: 24th Dec 2002 10:46
"Ever player Panzer Saga!? It's just the best RPG ever made, and I've played through it about six or seven times!"
Avan will be pleased with that (big fan).

Based on the description of the game then you really wouldn't want to do real time, sounds like it'd be far too quick and intense. If the games is a FPS then it probably wouldn't be too bad, as long as squad members can act independantly, though your game sounds more like it has an overhead view. The perspective will be a major factor of how the game plays (though you probably don't need me to tell you this).

I for one would really like to see your models, you're using Max right? Should be ok (I never got used to the interface and gave up crying).

Hope I helped,
Sina.

"Maybe if you ain't so good, I ain't so bad."--Tony Manero to Stephanie (Karen Lynn Gorney)
Avan Madisen
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Posted: 25th Dec 2002 00:35
Well, good luck on your project, I'll keep an eye out for a demo in the future. Also, if you want help with particle effects, like gun flares and fire, I'm working on a system similar to the Max Payne effects, it's almost as good already, but still needs work.

I do think a battle system like PDS would work quite well on something like your game. But that's just my opinion.

Avan

It's all a dream, trust me...
Dr DooMer
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Posted: 25th Dec 2002 02:09
I've already made a particle system, as it happens; it looks really good and does weapon sparks, lightning, and various other effects, but needs a lot of optimisation before it becomes useful.

The game's not going to be first-person, but an overhead view instead.

Anyway, here's a render of some of the guns that I've done; shown is the Magnum, Minigun, Shotgun, Plasma Pistol and Plasma Repeater. The SMG isn't shown yet, because it's still missing a skin. If you keep your eyes open you'll probably see some of my models popping up the 3D board. And, uh - sorry, but I don't think there'll be a demo for a while!



And, because they're little, here's some renders of the old troop model. I'm currently making a new base model with more polys and more joints. You can also see the old SMG model if you look closely...





(I hope that these image links work).

"I am a living, thinking entity who was created in the sea of information."
Avan Madisen
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Posted: 26th Dec 2002 01:50
My particle system isn't just for 1st person games, I could get it working in almost anything 3D game, I've been working mainly on a gun flare so far but it can handle fire effects, sparks, blood spurts, dust, breathe, you name it, this system could probably handle it, think Max Payne and that's what I'm basing it on. If you're interested in seeing the current gun flare, I'll see about getting a demo for you.

Hey, those objects are pretty good, poly work and texture work, great stuff there. Be great to see them moving!

Avan

It's all a dream, trust me...
Hell Forged Angel
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Posted: 3rd Jan 2003 18:26
wow those models are brilliant

Darkness will claim us all

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