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  Mechanic #036 - Strategy Brawl

Category: Tactics
Posted: 06/13/07

A quick and dirty way to represent a strategic map with 'flowing' units, like the spread of a zombie infestation.



This is an idea of how to implement a game that was strategic on two different levels, not unlike Dynasty Warriors. At the most basic level, you've got the field map, which should be a long side scrolling thing, not unlike [#023 - The Long Road] or a side scrolling beat-em up.


This is the strategic map. It is made up of a bunch of nodes connected by paths. Both the nodes AND the paths are levels (like a beat-em up). You control your character (see Spot in the bottom right) and you can move between these different locations by traveling along one the roads. Each road is a level, and presumably, each location would be as well.

The best way to describe this idea is to think of filling up a glass of water. Each node and path is a container that is filled up by a color. The color is representative of a particular force. Here, the red force is zombies and the yellow force is SWAT. Each one of the P's is a producer that will produce 10 units every turn (or period of time). These units slowly fill up each location, then each road.


This is the same map after a couple minutes. The producers have created enough units to fill up each of their starting locations and has started to move along the connecting branches. Since the lower left producer had less paths to fill, it moved faster and thus has started to fill up the mall location.


Here is the map after a few more minutes. The red threat has definitely taken over. Notice that when the mall was taken over, the input from both paths was funneled to the output, so that there is a +15 every turn - taking over the next location and creeping further from there.. The SWAT team has split its attention between two different fronts, and is fighting a losing battle the hospital (-10 vs +5), but holding even ground to the south (-5 vs +5).

The idea is that the current condition of a zone when you enter it will greatly affect what the zone is like. For instance, if you enter a gray path, it will just be normal towns folks walking around. Enter a path that is half gray and half red and the zombies will be attacking the towns people. Enter that same path when it is all red and it will be a completely destroyed zone teaming with zombies. If you entered that path which was partly gray, with some yellow, and some red, then you'd have the SWAT team protecting the citizens from zombies at a barrier somewhere in the middle.

Another big part of this idea is that you can control the "flow", so to speak. For instance, if you go through a path and kill half the zombies in it, that path will have to refill completely before spilling into the next zone. If you control a location, you can control how much flow goes to each output (so you could have +5 and +5 or +10 and +0). Perhaps you could even introduce barracades to the paths which will stop flow in that direction until a certain number has been reached.




Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.