Gillius's Programming Forums

Games => Game Theory and Ideas => Topic started by: GwynWynn on February 12, 2008, 12:57:58 AM

Title: Game Idea for Fun and Education.
Post by: GwynWynn on February 12, 2008, 12:57:58 AM
In a time before Internet-time, I used to play a game on a BBS (Bulletin Board System) Door system. Tradewars 2002 is the name and it can be found on many telnet servers today. Today there is a grand feeling of nostalgia that comes over me when I log into one of these telnet games; be that as it may, I have an unrealized dream with regard to this game. I always wanted to see an updated version with 3D ship models and true multi-player capability. Please read over the game outline and post any suggestions / offers of assistance you may have. Thank you, and welcome to my obsession.

The plan:
Make a small system version (as in less than 100 star systems) that would be played in a risk/conquest style over a period of a couple of days.

Control the galaxy.

Movement requires fuel, fuel must be bought or mined. Control planets by colonizing them.

Start conditions:
Player is allotted a standard sum of credits; with which, he or she must buy a ship, armor, weapons, and fuel

Pilot your ship from the starting station, find a planet, install a Space Station and a seed colony. Repeat this until you win or run out of fuel. If you run out of fuel you can send a distress call and in 24 hrs real time the rescue team will jump to your location and refuel your ship if you have enough credits, or tow you to the start station where you can trade gear for fuel. If ever you cannot fuel your ship you lose. When a player looses any other may lay claim to the losers planets by docking with the Planet's Space Station. Game play continues until one person owns all planets or only one player remains. 

Client Interface:
Simple command line window for chatting and ship/station readouts with a viewer window and clickable command buttons.

Ships and Space Stations with 3D mouse scroll aspect control

Server Interface:
Receive and communicate simple commands to game logic and communicate strings between players in "open radio channel" style. Log all commands to server console std out. (optionally record to log file)

Data layer:
Flat-file Hierarchy
Title: Re: Game Idea for Fun and Education.
Post by: Gillius on February 12, 2008, 08:12:11 PM
That's a cool idea. I do remember when Tradewars was a big thing in the BBS days back in the mid 90s, but I never really played it so it's harder for me to relate to the story. The only game like that that I played seriously was crossroads of the elements, which was like LoRD (Legend of the Red Dragon), but... not.

While looking at the wikipedia page on the game to try to learn more about it I saw a link to this site:, looks like a web-based and graphical version.

What I'm wondering is on your game, is this a real-time version or is your vision that it works like the original, which if I remember correctly is more like an MMO where you take your turns for the day, but the game world persists and move on even after you log out, with games taking days or weeks?
Title: Re: Game Idea for Fun and Education.
Post by: GwynWynn on February 13, 2008, 12:53:48 AM
I was thinking more real time game play with direct chat and such. That way you could taunt other players in an effort to delay their progress and such. The only limitation would be the availability of resources. In effect I have no real Idea how long a game would last, but I think a weekend marathon should be able to finish one game. I was also thinking of giving the losing players an opportunity to stay in a star port chat lounge and continue to interact with the other players.

That was the thought anyway.
Title: Re: Game Idea for Fun and Education.
Post by: Gillius on February 13, 2008, 09:29:03 PM
Oh, well if the game is real-time but lasts a weekend you mean to allow logouts and such, right? Making the game is fair to a certain level with time investment I think is important in such a game or people are encouraged to overplay on it. I guess I hit my pet peeve area on that because there are some games out there like WoW and EQ that are based on time and not skill, which I think encourages unhealthy lifestyles. Sorry about going a bit on a soapbox on that one.

But, I don't think that applies to a game that lasts for a finite time and has a limit to what people can accomplish (in time), or alternatively lets their empire take progress while they are away, based on their last commands.
Title: Re: Game Idea for Fun and Education.
Post by: GwynWynn on February 14, 2008, 12:37:30 AM
Yes, I think players should be able to log in and out without forfeiting but the consequence would be leaving your empire open for takeover.

//warning rant rant rant...
Amen brother! Preach on. I was an Eve-online player for about a year. Now there is a game that promotes time over skill accomplishments. As well as an unhealthy lifestyle. I lost a great deal of time and money ($15.00 US/month) playing eve. After playing that social networking hack, I decided that in all the games I created would be player-centric. Meaning that like in chess and such the player must learn the moves and strategy to win.

Most online games today only require the ability to repeat mind numbing tasks infinitely. And we wonder what is wrong with our youths. The power of the mind shall over come. The way I figure it, my audience may be smaller than the WoW Universe, but they will get intellectual value from my creations. That is one thing I try to provide in my Neverwinter Nights module, and the primary reason I started writing it.

I remember RPGs when we used pencils and highly pressed and bleached wood pulp sheets to track the life of our characters. I think the old way made one think more seriously about hacking up the town guards for the "fun" of it. It feels very different when the player has to start over with a blank page and a sharp pencil.

About the only interesting thing in eve-online is the Corporate emphasis, that is until I realized they are programming the youth of today to be corporate lackey followers instead of independent thinking machines.
//end rant
Sorry for the soap-box show, I hope all you readers will forgive my rant.
Title: Re: Game Idea for Fun and Education.
Post by: Gillius on February 14, 2008, 09:08:27 AM
Well, given that, then it makes sense that for a long-lasting game, the players should focus on strategy, with the computer/AI performing the strategy by the player. For example, deciding that you will set aside 70% of resources for colonization, 20% for exploration and 10% for defense, with the player directing what "colonization" means, such as move towards a certain area or build certain types of ships. However, the economics like trading may be hard to do in the TW environment because the player should have inputs on trades that are made. I wish I had more than a superficial understanding of the TW game to be able to comment more, and a better example to explain what I mean. Basically to explain it in another way, the player can queue up actions, and specify desires (because some of the planned actions might fail or require a choice to be made at the time).
Title: Re: Game Idea for Fun and Education.
Post by: GwynWynn on February 15, 2008, 01:47:15 AM
I was thinking of the End Game scenario today. It seems your in the same line of thought here. What I was thinking was that there needs to be a set of triggers that determine when a planet is self sufficient. As you stated, I think the three components are colony, trade, and defense. For a general rule set we could define the requirements of the three parts thusly;
Colony, must buy and transport a seed colony to the planet this will be the command link to the colony decision menus.
Trade, must build a space station for trading planetary goods (fuel, food commodities, Technology) with passing ships.
Defense, build a drone fleet and a drone control network.

The commands you mentioned could be executed on a planet by planet basis depending on the level of development on each planet. The commands would be standing orders until the player revisits the menu for a planet and issues changes. In the case of a dead defense grid the planet could be taken over by other players. When the last planet meets the three criteria the game ends. the player with the most resources (planets + colonists + goods + credits) wins.

The TW example is only the inspiration for this game. I am interested in game design as well as content.
Thanks for the input, I appreciate all your attention to this project.