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Messages - Praetyre

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Spore: General / Re: What expansion would you like to see first
« on: September 19, 2008, 11:41:18 pm »
I'd like some sort of direct confirmation of scale, such as 1 HP=1 vehicle of that type. Along these lines, an infantry editor, and a system I've mentioned for tiered representation of large scale warfare would be excellent. I'd like the space stage to be more like Galactic Civilizations II, with the capability to design individual spaceships for manufacture and the ability to take over individual ships command, earning things much like U-Drive-It in Simcity 4: Rush Hour. That, and some form of system to acquire technology, so you avoid the bizarreness of jumping from the Stone Age to tanks.

Wouldn't a phase where you can travel between galaxies be an intergalactic phase, not a galactic one? Unless the interaction was only extremely limited. Me, I'd personally rather see a gradual increase of stars, since it's been downgraded orders of magnitude, from a couple million to 500,000 to 45,000. Intergalactic settings feel weird to me, probably since the area isn't so clearly defined, unless the entire local group is inhabited. Only Dune really makes it work, in my view (though, I wonder what those bizarre, huge clouds outside the galaxy in the game intro are).

Spore: General / Re: Things that bother you in the Spommunity.
« on: September 14, 2008, 07:06:35 pm »
Frankly, I'm sick to death of the whole DRM/SecuROM thing. For some reason, the Internet tends to attract extremists on these issues. My complaints with Spore are more my own wants for an "Adult Edition" (not some sort of voyeuristic thing, but more one with the stuff that would only really appeal to the "cuteness" market removed, like single celled organisms with eyes or the seeming vampirism of every critter in the Milky Way).

It's a joking reference, possibly to the Magrathean development projects in HHGG.

Spore: General / Re: Pfff, Amateures..
« on: September 10, 2008, 02:40:39 pm »
This is obviously satire. That said, what's shown in Spore isn't really evolution as much as it is intelligent selection. A real evolution game would take out the editor and just have you controlling a random mutant every now and then, with the progress of the game dependent on the mutant reproducing.

Spore: General / Re: Suggestions for changes to the game - discussion thread
« on: September 09, 2008, 06:15:57 pm »
About scale and realism: the whole planet seems to be about 20k square km. Unless all the creatures and plants are simply giants the size of a large city, then the planet's mass has to be beyond science fiction in order to have gravity relative to Earth.
It's not supposed to be realistic. Cells don't have eyes, let alone irises.

If you are referring to my proposal, it doesn't aim to change the visuals much. You'll have the same number (roughly) of people visually, it's the stats that will be changed and the systems. And if someone comes up with a patch to remove cells with eyes, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd download it. It's true Spore isn't developed on a realistic model, but stranger things have been done. People have made mods about Lord of the Rings in a game originally set in the Classical period. In fact, some people have made Sims-like RPGs out of Grand Theft Auto.

To me, at least, the fact a Roman legion has 6000 men in it is even more important than whether the Macedonian pikemen are using two handed pikes and the phalanx is properly arranged. Scale is a very important part of setting, and it's a lot more noticeable than more hard-to-spot visual things.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 09, 2008, 05:15:10 am »
Indeed, but quite often, games like Civilization will state the scale (for example, I believe it stated 1 civilian/talent/drone equaled 10,000 on Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri). And reductionism is relatively easy in good doses, like Rome: Total War's regions. If you can have 1 tank unit with 10 HP being 10 tanks, I don't see why 1 creature in a city can't be 100, or 1000, or 10,000 for that matter.

Spore: General / Re: Maybe Spore isn't so cartoony after all...
« on: September 09, 2008, 05:12:30 am »
Tis a real photo of a real natural formation in Yellowstone. Goes to show that the landscapes we see in Spore maybe aren't that outlandish.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 09, 2008, 01:00:54 am »
Ah, ok, I see your point now. So n units with stat x are displayed as one unit with stat n*x. But doesn't that hide any visual sense of strength in numbers? Let's your you tanks as an example.

Civilization A send out one Tier 2 Tank.
Attack score: 100
Cost: 5000

Civilization B sends out 10 Tier 1 Tanks.
Attack score: 20
Cost: 700

What it will look like on the battlefield:
1 Tier 2 Tank (Att 100) vs. 1 "Tier 3 Tank" (Att 200), with the only difference being that unlike a real Tier 3 Tank this combined tank's attack value will drop as it suffers damage (sub-units get destroyed).

In the system I'm proposing you would see one big tank face off against 10 small tanks, which apart from being a lot more visual about the difference in quality/quantity also allows for more strategy: The big tank's gun can only be pointed in one direction so be sending 5 units to each side you gain a strategic advantage and will lose less units.

I actually hadn't thought of the dropping attack value, myself, but that's a good idea. The main reason to adopt a more statistical than visual system is because the latter would make it nigh-impossible to get numbers that don't seriously suspend disbelief (1000 men occupying a whole planet, for example). In all honesty, with a 50 unit or so limit, you still wouldn't have anything close to what real battles are like (Kursk, as mentioned, involved thousands of tanks, for an upper limit, and that's just on vehicles. There were battles in feudal China with hundreds of thousands of men), and thus my idea is an attempt to get realistic numbers without having to have a godlike computer to run it.

The formation idea is interesting, though.

Spore: General / Maybe Spore isn't so cartoony after all...
« on: September 09, 2008, 12:44:17 am »
Take a look at this:

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 09, 2008, 12:08:04 am »
As for the battles: obviously seeing thousands of troops on the battlefield would be more realistic. However, there are very few games that do this, mainly for technical and to a lesser extent gameplay reasons. Hence my suggestion for armies of up to about 50 units (not an absolute limit, just a rough indication). This is roughly the amount you'll see in most RTS games. It's high enough to have different groups of reasonable size (say 10 artillery, 25 tanks, 10 infantry, 5 helicopters) but low enough to be able to clearly identify and manage them. Basically my proposal comes down to a faster-paced Advance Wars.

Ah, but I'm not proposing to literally have that many troops, as I said. I'm proposing to have it represented statistically through an algorithm for types of units. For example, Civilization A makes Tier II Mainline Tank A, which (assuming the scale is 1 HP=1 tank, and, that the baseline attack is 10, and the HP is 100 as the result of adjustment by the algorithm, 100*10=1000 attack). It appears exactly the same as Civilization B's Tier I Mainline Tank on the field, but it's statistics are dramatically different- Civ B's tank has 10 hp and 100 attack.

It's purely algorithmic, and requires no more units on the battlefield then there already are. Basically, it would be similar to the system used in the Heroes of Might and Magic games, but in the same real-time environment of vanilla Spore.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 08, 2008, 05:44:04 pm »
Good ideas.

Combat as a minigame: I've added an idea that is a bit different from yours, but along the same lines.

Tech tree in Civ game: I considered this, but the problem is that the typical Civilization-like tech tree of bronze age to future as you suggest is awfully earth-centered. Other races might take a completely different path. To quote the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy movie: "a race with fifty noses, and the first to develop the aerosol deodorant before the wheel". This is why I didn't include it yet. For tribal it should be doable, as there is only a limited amount of technology to work with, but for Civ this is significantly more problematic. If anyone has any good ideas for this that don't constrain you to Earth's history I'd love to hear them.

What about a system akin to the Creature phases, with technology cards gained in some fashion (or technologies sold among cities)?

Also, just to make it clear (since the wording was kind of ambigious) what I'm proposing isn't to actually make the units waaay bigger visually. It's to adopt a scale (e.g. 1 hp on a vehicle unit is 1 vehicle of that type, 1 attack point is equivalent to one of that vehicle, 1 HP is 10 men, etc) and adjust units to an algorithm to account for that (higher tiers being unlocked as techs, since supply systems wouldn't be advanced enough to support 1,000,000 men in a civilization using spears and stones, while numbers are subtracted from city population). That way, you can have units with realistic numbers (even in the Bronze Age, they had battles with tens or hundreds of thousands of men on certain occasions, and Kursk had thousands of tanks) without needing an engine that makes the Total War series look like a picnic.

However, it would mainly be infantry that necessitate this. Vehicle battles already work pretty well and realistically if you assume 1 hp=1 vehicle.

Spore: General / Re: Attn Maxis: Suggestions for changes to the game
« on: September 08, 2008, 03:18:04 am »
Hmm.. this is something I've been wanting to see myself. What do you think of this?

I'd like to see an active tech tree in the civilization stage, which researches technologies to unlock vehicle parts and the like, going from the equivalent of the Bronze Age to something akin to BF2142. The ability to design a national flag (or import one from a file) would also be great. And, I'd *really* like it if they made the space stage more like a cross of Sins of a Solar Empire and Galactic Civilizations, with an ability to take command in a Freelancer-esque fashion.

One thing that would be nice for both space and civ would be a government and religion/ideology editor. The former would be akin to Civilization IV's civics tab while the latter would give you the ability to define deity, nature of deity (if applicable), principles, create a symbol and configure various other little things in it (such as the name, if applicable, of it's holy texts, founder/s, antagonistic figure and traits like xenophobia).

About the clothing editor, it is present in game, but curiously seems to lack any form of trousers or sleeves.

Spore: General / Re: What Would You Have Done Different?
« on: September 05, 2008, 04:52:38 pm »
I would have:

Added options for removing "cute" things like single celled organisms with eyes or adding realistic things like blood. The blood option could be parental-locked, like they did with some features on Duke Nukem.

Changed the mechanics of the tribal game a bit, making other tribes members of your own species or very closely related ones.

Wrote something up about what the scale is (e.g. for example, I typically tend to see each health unit in a vehicle as representing a single vehicle of that type). Or in the same vein, write up a bit of fluff about the universe being tiny or something, explaining why planets are the size they are.

Added infantry to the civilization stage, along with editors for them. Also, I would have had some sort of research function, with the civilization stage progressing from Bronze Age technology to something more BF2142 esque. Dividing the units into classes like "Mainline, Support and Elite" and/or "Gunboat, Frigate, Cruiser, Battleship" would be great.

Revamped the space stage a lot. Make it more like a simplified version of Master of Orion or Galactic Civilizations, with you being able to take direct control (ala the U-Drive-It function in Simcity 4: Rush Hour) of ships for missions and the like.

Lastly, I would have expanded the outfits a fair bit. Have them evolve from age to age, technologically wise, and add something resembling trousers. Unless all the people in the Milky Way happen to be from Loony Toons, of course ;)

Spore: General / Re: A serious discussion about mods
« on: September 03, 2008, 05:07:49 pm »
I actually have a concept for a modification myself. I think it would depend on what Spore's files are enclosed in. Best case scenario, it's XML, but it's damn near certain you'd muck up the online component a bit.

Spore: General / Re: No eyes footage
« on: August 31, 2008, 11:01:22 pm »
Reminds me of the curse-tentacle thing from Psychonauts. It seems hydrophobia is extraordinarily common among video game characters.

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