Monday, March 7, 2011

Ahhh, balance and style in games...

Howdy all!

Still hard at work on the video game (we are at the point where you can load up some AI enemies and watch the game play itself...) and I am running into the trouble of balance.

The game will have three playable factions to start... NATO forces, the Dictator forces, and the Resistance forces.

The NATO force has a pretty good "feel;" lots of vehicles and armor, expensive top-quality troops with a wealth of gear.  An expensive force which will usually not be huge, but VERY tough in combat.

The Resistance force will be interesting in that it does not have a ton of badass units... its only vehicle is a technical, which is a Toyota pickup with a machine gun on the back!  They also don't have any serious combat units like the Spec Ops teams for NATO or the Presidential Guard for the Dictator, and very little access to the different mercenaries.  However, what the Resistance force DOES have is a few units that can infiltrate enemy lines, bypassing the well-manned fronts to get to the soft underbelly of the enemy, where they can disrupt the different resource generations.  A resistance player will need to be tricky... you cannot just fight on the front, but you need to get behind the enemy, sneak into his resource centers, and sabotage him from within with insurgents and suicide bombers (who, by the way, have the greatest animation ever seen.)

But that leads to the "middle" faction... the Dictator.  We are a bit stuck with him.  He cannot obviously be as badass as the NATO force, combat wise, although he has some good combat units... he doesn't have the sneak factor of the Resistance faction... so what makes the Dictator faction tick?  Right now our eyes are on resources... that the Dictator has the best access to oil and money... but is that fun?  Or does there need to be something else?

It is interesting how you have to make sure each side has its own unique play style and fun... and it will be fun, moving forward, making sure that the Dictator side does too!


Ulu Elsomalien said...

Dictator have low tech equipement (outdated tanks,helicopters and light vehicles), reasonnable amount of troop (trained poorly to average).
Dictator and Resistance must have "mob" unit to balance high tech weaponry of NATO forces, unarmed civilians who gave trouble to NATO (Rules of engagement and no cilian killing).
Nato have UAV to collect intel, but Dictator/Resistance have informers.

I have many ideas. Just ask.

Author said...

Hey man!

Yeah, the dictator will have a lot of that sort of stuff... the trick is that, by itself, that isn't necessarily "fun" to play. The idea of a "mob" is interesting... we were going to introduce some restrictions about NATO using some units (like tanks) in certain environments (like dense urban sectors.) Not sure about intel units, although it is an idea... something that cannot be attacked. UAVs may be included as something that is attached to a unit that gives it a bonus.

It is tricky because everything has to be sort of within the engine that my friend has built, and we want to get this done relatively soon... it is a tricky balance:)

MadDrMark said...

Perhaps the dictator can call in reinforcements or some other form of help from the non-active team.

When Resistance attacks the Dictator, he can appeal to NATO to support him (after all, he provides stability in a chaotic region...). When NATO attacks him, he plays the nationalist or jihad card to get sympathy from Resistance groups, who now regard him as a fighter in their cause.

Ulu Elsomalien said...

Dictator could have "instant" reinforcements (I have military bases spread everywhere) and nATO some countdown before getting new forces (logistic from long distances).