Collaborative Lemmings/Worms RTS ideas

w_reade
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Post: #31
I'd actually be rather tempted to just write our own CopyBits/Mask replacement, since I've noticed that it spends over 80% of its time in a routine called "Stretch" or something, which suggests to me that it's doing an awful lot of superfluous checking of bounding rects and suchlike, when (in my case) 100% of the time I had to draw things precisely 1:1, otherwise it'd look bad.

I drew directly into GWorlds for the fire in MAFFia, and it's really not too taxing, and we could always write a CopyStretch function or something for those other 0% of cases Smile.

I see the real challenge here being the terrain engine - if we can construct that right I think we could reap the benefits when it comes to the pathfinding and AI. I have very nebulous thoughts there, I'll let you know when they firm up. Certainly I suspect this part may be more of a processor worry than the graphics.

I think we'll need to expand the patrol idea a bit, so we can order strings of commands, and we don't want the AI sending your own lemmings on a route that'll collapse some cunning trap you're building yourself.

Probably lemmings should never use terrain-damaging abilities uness they're specifically told to, or they get into a fight.

Ögot to go againÖ

Ölater.
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furballphat
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Post: #32
Quote:Originally posted by w_reade
I think we'll need to expand the patrol idea a bit, so we can order strings of commands, and we don't want the AI sending your own lemmings on a route that'll collapse some cunning trap you're building yourself.

We could make it so you could specify places as "no go area", which the pathfinder treats as an unpassable wall.
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Post: #33
The "don't go here" area would be nice. But I think that w_reade is right and it should also never engage in destructive bahavior unless told to do so. It would be a pain if you forgot about your own trap and your lemmings sprung it for you (but then you would have only yourself to blame......)
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ededed
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Post: #34
Nice dancing Agent 'Da Falcon

I can't imagine how we could possibly make an AI for this game, but a really well made engine would be good. That's sort of what I meant in the first place. A great engine then ObjC plugins/bundles to control the graphics, gameplay, triggers, objects etc.

Whatever happens someone MUST remember to put in Grappeling hooks that you can swing off and bend round obsticals.
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w_reade
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Post: #35
I had a (maybe) excellent idea last night: a mana transponder network.

As you explore, you plant mana transponders. As long as two MTs have line of sight to one another, and are within a certain range, they are connected, and if a lemming has LOS and range to a MT, the lemming is also connected.

If a lemming is connected to the superlemming by the MT network, the lemming can have its abilities and orders changed, and the mana released will be sucked up by the MT. The MT net will recharge the superlemming's mana whenever he is in range, and will distribute the excess evenly among its nodes, which cannot be too close together, forcing the player to expand to store a big stock of mana.

There'll therefore be a strong incentive to build a good MT network, which then functions for us as a system of pathfinding nodes, on whatever random map we get. We'll need to be a bit clever with nodes that are visible but not easily accessible, but I reckon finding our way round that problem will be easier.

We'll also need to be clever in cases where collapses cut parts of the network off from one another, but I bet we could convincingly fake reasonably intelligent behaviour.

Other thoughts, about abilities: I reckon a 3-tier system would work well for most abilities, with some single-level and maybe some more-upgradeable ones as well. Each extra slot you fill levels the ability up. So:

Pickaxe < Blowtorch < Laser torch (tunneling with a sideways component)
Shovel < Drill < Laser drill (tunneling straight down)
Ladder/reinforcing strut x3 (get stronger)

Uzi < Tommy gun < Minigun
Grenades < Cluster bomb < Flea bomb
RPG < Bazooka < Machine bazooka
Dagger < Katana < Lightsaber

Jump < Double jump < Jetpack

and so on. Single-strength ones like:

Grappling hook
Armour plating (possibly have as many as you like but no cumulative extra effect)
Heartbeat bomb (explodes on death, but not as powerful as suicide)
Parachute

etcetera.

More ideas as they come.
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Post: #36
I think we're unanimous (even if I can't spell the word) on the grappling hook :-)

Great ideas, w_reade!

The Mana Transporter (for some reason I keep thinking "mana transporter pod" (MTP) which could be upgraded to some kind of "smart mana transporter pod" (SMTP) ...) is a good way to balance the superlemming being in one place at once with getting abilities to the lemmings.

Questions:
If the enemy destroys an MT, does its mana dissapear? How can MTs be destroyed? Suiciders only? This sounds good to me, because unguarded MT Networks can still easily be broken up by digging an MT into a hole. Are MTs attatched to the floor? Can they optionally be attatched to a ceiling (for slightly better protection and easier LOS connections)?

As for the Three-Tier system, it makes perfect sense to me :-) What added advantage does a Light Saber have over a Katana in the context of the game? Can it slowly carve walls? Or does it deal more damage? Speaking of which, will lemmings have hit points? I think it would be more interesting to have hit points rather than having them die from a single stab/shot/explosion (though just as in worms, a well placed cluster bomb can easily drain all the hit points from a group of lemmings)...

love the ideas, keep 'em coming Smile
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ededed
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Post: #37
It's got be-eee OpenGL, OpenGL it will be.
I will upload a demo soon, very soon keep your eye's on the skys.
With OpenGL we can have a ripple effect for the water when an agent falls in, we can have really really cool particle effects and the rotation for spinning agents will be very fast.

OpenGL Demo coming soon...
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furballphat
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Post: #38
OpenGL sounds good, but I don't know much about the alternatives (quickdraw, gworlds) so I couldn't pass a judgement.
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Post: #39
Yep, OpenGL would let us use some pretty spiffy effects. Not too good with it but I suppose it is time to learn... Cool
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w_reade
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Post: #40
I was thinking that when an MT was destroyed its mana would simply waft into the air and wait to be collected; however, the idea clearly needs a bit of refinement before we have it absolutely nailed down. I like the idea of being able to steal mana from enemy networks, basically, but I'm not sure how it should be done.

Perhaps MTs could simply be fixed to any piece of terrain?

I wasn't sure quite how a lightsaber would be better, I just felt that any game where there's an opportunity for a lightsaber is improved by having one Smile.

Grappling hook lemmings could trail ropes behind them and affix them at both ends, and other lemmings could crawl along the ropes, if we wanted normal lemmings to be able to follow them.

OpenGL is a good thing, certainly for sparkly effects, but I'm not sure how well suited it'd be to the terrain ideas. This area certainly needs more discussion - how we determine when walls etc. collapse, and what exactly happens when they do, all tie in here.

Another ability, perhaps:

Cloak < Invisible < Silent (& invisible)

where 'cloak' keeps the lemming visible etc, but you can't see its abilities. Just an idea, but it could be interesting.
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Post: #41
I like the rope idea if we want lemmings to follow grappling hookers (uhm, that doesn't sound quite right), it sounds like it could work fairly well. Perhaps the rope could be frail and thus temporary ... enough for a small group of lemmings to follow, and then the ropes break...

Lightsabers, like ninjas, should indeed be in any game where it could make any kind of weak plausible sense :-)

MT's being able to be affixed to any terrain sounds ideal.

When an MT is destroyed, it would make sense for the mana to stay, sparkling in place. It allows for mana to be harvested from the enemy, but is still somewhat difficult. If we stick with the idea of having mana "in use" when there is an ability in a lemming, then lemmings themselves would be another way of storing mana :-) You could even have a "mana storage" ability that costs very, very little but 'uses' a larger amount of mana. You could create a room full of the little guys and hope the enemy doesn't rush in and destroy them with a cluster bomb. When you need the mana back, you just 'release' the ability and send the mana back to the network, and you've got a lemming ready to crawl out of its hole and become a ninja. I think the reason I like this idea is because of the book series I'm reading, The Runelords, in which commoners can grant 'endowments' of strength or metabolism to their lords, and then they are weak or always sleep and they need to be protected in some tower of the castle while thier lord is now stronger for it.

As for OpenGL vs. a custom copybits replacement, I'm staying out of that one since I am no programmer :-) But I do think that rotating sprites won't be a big gain because 2D sprites of something like a lemming/agent probably wouldn't look great rotated anyway. I guess maybe if they were climbing a slope, but it would still be best to have a separate animation for that. What we need is good collision detection, a good terrain engine, and the ability to manipulate lots of little sprites all over the screen. Being able to zoom in and out of the playig field would certainly be a cool feature that I think OpenGL would provide, but again I don't really know about these things :-) Some way to automatically "tint" the color of a sprite would be desirable so that we wouldn't need 200 different sprites in each color, and it would allow the user to chooze his/her own color from any possibility. I've seen this in the TNT BASIC Beans, albiet in a simple form. I know its existed elsewhere.

I like the cloak ability as described :-) "Hah! You puny grunt lemming! Hey! How did you just chop off my head?!" ... I prefer stealth to invisible because I'm always so annoyed by invisible enemies, and at least you see a stealth character if he gets close enough to you :-) ... Silent seems like it would be a very slight upgrade to invisible, but maybe if very large combi-lemmings made 'loud' footsteps, then it would come in quite handy.
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #42
Quote:Some way to automatically "tint" the color of a sprite would be desirable so that we wouldn't need 200 different sprites in each color, and it would allow the user to chooze his/her own color from any possibility.


I did this in OpenGL for Smiley Tag. You can download it and look in the application package for the graphics I used if it interests you...

It would, of course, also be trivial to do with CopyBits or a custom replacement... maybe SpriteWorld is what we need here?
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ededed
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Post: #43
Here is the OpenGL tests I did.

http://www.geocities.com/ed72678954/index.html

I used Jpegs so the masking looks worse tan it would if you used tiffs.
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Post: #44
Wow... deja vou. I will check it out as soon as I can. Oh wait... Cocoa OpenGL doesn't work for me, nevermind.
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Post: #45
Thinking again about it... I think I would vote for using CopyBits/CopyMask (or a custom replacement) instead of OpenGL.
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