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Socoder -> Off Topic -> Help in solving design/theory ideas in my game

Mon, 30 Jul 2012, 15:33
Hi all.

It must have been months, if not years since I've posted here.

Way back when I did start on a Blitz Basic game, but I never actually completed it but moved into iPhone stuff.

I've spent a lot of time on a game I am building, but I'm hitting a problem and hopefully socoders can help me. The game is aimed to be on iPhone and ideally I'd like to keep things simple.

In my game, you hire "goons" as part of your criminal empire. There are several cities, each with a number of rackets you can takeover. So far so good.

I'd like it if you could add guards to each racket you take over. Sounds simple enough.

Except that, if I run the numbers the number of goons I need in the game are very high.

For example.
4 players
Each player can hire say goons to be part of the family.

4 cities
Each city holds 10 rackets
Each racket can hold 5 guards.
4x10x5 = 200

Since you need to be able to take over a racket, each player must be able to have the same number of goons = another 200.

This means the most I need in the game is round about 400. I don't think people would scroll or care about a list 200 or so deep.

So, it is my intention to make it simple.

The only way I can think of, short of removing the whole concept of guards, is to make each "goon" have a crew.

Bob Smith has a crew of 10 men with him

This makes things easier for me, I don't need to store as much and the amount of scrolling is reduced a lot.

In addition, the "guards" at a racket can also be a number or at the very least be part of a "goons" list of protected rackets; and thus further reduce the load on the interface and stuff.

The problem I have with this is -- attributes.

If each goon has some kind of attribute, say for example Firearms or Atk and defence.

I do not know what valuation or attributes I can put onto a team/army of men?

Should each person within the crew have their own attributes?
Should I even put any value at all on a crew?

This causes me a feedback loop. If I put attributes on a goon (parent), I must also put attributes on any children; otherwise the children don't actually do or mean anything.

Thus, I'm thinking there must be another way -- another way which allows you to have a set-up where you can have guards a location

Here's a visual representation

"Shop A"
"Guards: 10"

Okay, so what is the valuation/attributes of the guards? How would you evaluate whether your "team" can win the location or not?

I like the idea of a "goon" having his own personal "crew" or mini-family; this puts more value on them, and makes it interesting; do you go with a large crew or a small one.

However, my issue is -- what value to put on the team, and if so how would this affect things like fights against guards of a shop?

Any help on this would be helpful.

Tue, 31 Jul 2012, 00:19
I think, to make it easier,

Parent goon has attributes, ie,
Business, Firearms, Intimidation, XP, things like that.

The goon's crew (children) and racket guards should share these attributes,
Atk, Def, XP

You can add guards to a racket, but only if you pin it to a goon. A goon can be pinned to multiple rackets (depending on business skill). This would be cool as you could be cutting deals with goons on % of business profits they get.

Thus, a goon has a crew and guards.

I'm not sure about it because I don't know if it will work, except to test my theories in code.

I am interested in other viewpoints too.


Tue, 31 Jul 2012, 04:37
This is still a tad too complex. Perhaps there is another route?

Perhaps even getting rid of guards altogether?

I'm going to look and see how board games do it.

I'm sure I will get there.
Tue, 31 Jul 2012, 06:27
IMO, going a board game route would probably result in even more complex rules. Board games tend to allow for humans to work with the rules, and formulate the gameplay as they play.

I like the idea of giving each guard his own group, but only as long as there's some kind of penalty for having too big a group... Say the larger the group, the slower they attack, or something to that effect....?

''Load, Next List!''
Tue, 31 Jul 2012, 08:53
I agree. A board game route would make it very confusing, esp on a mobile device.

The idea is, you can pick a team, pick what to do with it.

The closest I can find is:

Gangstersrganized Crime

However, there are no guards; and every character pretty much shares the same attributes.

I was hoping to get away with just using numbers, but it looks like I have to actually make them structs/objects with actual attributes.

I'm sure I'll get there. I'll talk to a design friend of mine to see if he can help.

Sorry for all the messy text
Tue, 31 Jul 2012, 10:35
I'm just going to leave it for now. Code everything else and work it out later.
Tue, 31 Jul 2012, 15:14
4 players, 4 ciies - have you considered designing the game for many players, making it into an MMO?

Afr0 Games

Project Dollhouse on Github - Please fork!
Thu, 02 Aug 2012, 13:17
MMO is not on my radar right now. I would need a server, PHP code, database, all that jazz -- also some way to limit people's actions. Other games do this using grinding, using energy or man hours or some other mechanic.

I actually hate grinding games, although I do like the idea of a MMO or something you can play with up to 4 players on the map/game -- but the problems is three-fold.

1. I don't want to spending lots of time programming the website side of things

2. I don't know how to do GameKit, or know the intracitcities of multiplayer gaming.

3. I don't know how to force limit people's actions without it ending up like a grinding game/mechanic.

I'm just going to get the basic underbelly of the game working, then worry about this kind of thing in the sequel.

I'm sure I'll get there.