The Endless War - New gameplay concept

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Ken_Oh
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The Endless War - New gameplay concept

Post by Ken_Oh » February 14th, 2007, 6:44 pm

This is a gameplay concept test campaign.

This thread really got me thinking about the possibility of allowing units to be "knocked out" instead of killed in battle, so they can be recalled in later scenarios just as if they have lived. There are plenty of reasons for this, not least of all never wanting to save/load.

I combined this idea with another idea that cushions the impact of losing: a linear set of scenarios where winning and losing decides which scenario the player passes to next.

Code: Select all

Harder Scenarios                Balanced Scenarios                    Easier Scenarios

              <-------------------Win       Lose------------------->
If you win a scenario, you pass to the next more difficult scenario. If you lose, then you pass to an easier one. You can only totally win the campaign if you beat the hardest scenario and you can only totally lose if you are defeated on the easiest scenario.

The Endless War is a potentially endless campaign that passes you through a back-and-forth war. The interesting thing is that you are building up your army even though you might lose a scenario.

The current version features enemy side continuity, including being able to recall just like you. At the moment rips off of maps from MP and HttT and only has 3 scenarios.

To-do list:
-"homeland" maps for factions (drakes, loyalists, undead done, need testing)
-random mapping for slightly off balanced scenarios, favoring whoever lost last round (favoring will mean a few more villages on that side, maybe some terrain that the faction likes). also, 2 extra keeps with 1 or 2 recruiting tiles somewhere in the middle of the map
-decide if I'm going to use MP maps (with some villages taken away) for the balanced scenarios or not
-figure out if there's going to be a small turns remaining bonus, to discourage xp exploiting

The latest version is attached below and it's also on the campaign server.

Hope you guys like it.
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The_Endless_War 0.5.1.zip
The enemy side can now recall!!!!
(13.15 KiB) Downloaded 339 times
Last edited by Ken_Oh on February 20th, 2007, 11:54 am, edited 11 times in total.

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JW
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Post by JW » February 14th, 2007, 7:06 pm

I just browsedthe post, but I like the concept of winning=harder, losing=easier. Sounds interesting, I might check it out later!

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Post by Karo » February 14th, 2007, 7:42 pm

The only problem I see is that possible repetitiveness may cripple the campaign. From what I read, if you lose one, you go to the easier scenario, if you win, you go to the more difficult scenario. But unless you're going to make several alternates, if you get stuck between two scenario difficulties, playing on two maps without making any progress will get old.

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Post by Ken_Oh » February 15th, 2007, 1:07 am

I thought of that too.

There's a couple things I thought of to help that. First of all, the scenarios are short to the tune of less than 15 turns. Think a short 2 player MP games, because I just used Blitz for the filler "balanced" scenario.

It would also be help if there was a way to set multiple maps for certain "levels," and then have some random way to determine which map you go to instead of always passing through the same maps as you go back and forth.

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Post by Inigo Montoya » February 15th, 2007, 3:55 pm

I happened to be in front of a computer, so I thought I'd drop in...

You might want to have a look at the Mystery Campaign, it seems very close to what you're trying to do.
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Post by NeoPhile » February 16th, 2007, 1:53 am

Here's a version where you can choose between loyalists and elves. I'll leave it to you to expand the faction list and put it all into macros. It's not fully tested, but I was able to recruit elves in The Battle Drum and One Step Forward.

Here's the gist of my method: I changed the starting scenario to a simple map with moveto events. The moveto events set a variable called faction, then [endlevel]. In The Battle Drum's prestart event, I set dude_2 to the appropriate unit, and then [set_recruit]. I've removed recruit= from all side 1 tags, so that you don't have to keep resetting the recruit list.

Feel free to ask any questions.

EDIT: Attachment deleted, Ken Oh's improved version now available.
Last edited by NeoPhile on February 16th, 2007, 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Ken_Oh » February 16th, 2007, 8:00 am

NeoPhile: Thanks a lot. I see what you did. With that much help, it shouldn't be hard at all to expand. I'm probably going to leave that for just a little later, since I'd like to get other aspects completed first.

Inigo Montoya: I think there are some things I can borrow from Mystery Campaign, but, despite what the title might imply, TEW isn't going to be all that similar to a real endless campaign. ;)

I made it now so "knocked-out" units only go back to the recall list during the next scenario. I also added a system where, if you win or if you run out of turns, your units are counted and you get a bonus for each alive (5 if you win, 2.5 if you stalemate).

And, difficulty levels have been added. The easiest "Even" difficulty means that you and the AI both get 150 gold at the start of each scenario. The next two give the AI 180 and 210. I think 180 is still pretty easy, so better players should try the hardest setting.

Next I'd like to give some continuity to the AI's side. I need to make sure the enemy's leader keeps the same stats and give the AI a similar rewards system. The real challenge is getting the AI to recall, or at least giving the illusion that the AI is recalling, since it seems like it doesn't know how to recall. I guess I'll chew on that for a while.

I think I'm going to scour the MP forum for maps now.

EDIT:

On second thought, giving continuity to the AI's side is going to be a real pain. The good news is that I've been able to recall the enemy leader once he has died. The bad news is it still doesn't look like AI can recall.

So, instead I took NeoPhile's help all the way. You can now choose factions for both you and the AI. Thanks, NeoPhile!

Maps are also going to be a pain. I need a bunch of balanced ones, a bunch of maps where either side has a small to moderate advantage, and maybe 6 maps where one side has a really big advantage. Maybe I'll take another look at Mystery Campaign and see if there is some random map-making that I can steal.

New version above and on the server.

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Post by NeoPhile » February 16th, 2007, 8:08 pm

Ken Oh wrote:I made it now so "knocked-out" units only go back to the recall list during the next scenario. I also added a system where, if you win or if you run out of turns, your units are counted and you get a bonus for each alive (5 if you win, 2.5 if you stalemate).
Hm, the problem with that approach is that you're penalized for moving your leader into combat. How about you also gain 2gp (win)/1gp (stalemate) for each XP the leader gains?
Ken Oh wrote:So, instead I took NeoPhile's help all the way. You can now choose factions for both you and the AI. Thanks, NeoPhile!
No problem. I've been doing alot more take than give these days, so I figured I should pitch in somewhere. I might add random to the faction list sometime soon, and I might even port it to multiplayer (but don't count on that one).

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Post by Ken_Oh » February 16th, 2007, 8:25 pm

NeoPhile wrote:
Ken Oh wrote:I made it now so "knocked-out" units only go back to the recall list during the next scenario. I also added a system where, if you win or if you run out of turns, your units are counted and you get a bonus for each alive (5 if you win, 2.5 if you stalemate).
Hm, the problem with that approach is that you're penalized for moving your leader into combat. How about you also gain 2gp (win)/1gp (stalemate) for each XP the leader gains?
That's a good idea too.

What I was hoping to do is to have gold income slope off at a point, and then that's when you would take your leader into combat. The problem is that income doesn't slope off very quickly. I think that has to do with how many villages are on the map (Blitz has too many for this).

The number of villages that are closer to one leader as apposed to the other leader is (going to be more) based on how far down the easy scale the map is. That way if one side is beaten back, it has the opportunity to gain some forward momentum. But when a side is on the offensive, it will be more likely to have negative income early on (better just recruit all your high level units on the first turns), and more useful to have your leader in battle.

That and I figure a lot of maps should have small keeps near the center of the map where you can quickly recruit a couple units.

But, if I can't work that out, then we'll have to see about the XP idea.

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Post by NeoPhile » February 16th, 2007, 8:44 pm

Alright, that was much easier than I thought. Here, you can choose random factions now too (only modified files included).
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endless.zip
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Post by Ken_Oh » February 17th, 2007, 12:12 am

That was simple. Awesome.

Compiled version posted above and on server.

Also, after looking at Mystery Campaign, I don't think making maps will be all that hard.

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Post by Casual User » February 17th, 2007, 4:54 am

Ken Oh wrote:It would also be help if there was a way to set multiple maps for certain "levels," and then have some random way to determine which <map you go to instead of always passing through the same maps as you go back and forth.
I can't think of an elegant way of doing it, but I can think of a dumb one.

Just make more scenarios for each "level", each being the same basic scenario but with a different map>. Then, in the 'victory' event, randomly choose the next scenario using [endlevel].

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Post by Glowing Fish » February 19th, 2007, 4:29 am

So far, I think:

Good concept, good execution, probably a few things that need to be worked on.

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Post by Ken_Oh » February 19th, 2007, 6:48 am

Thanks. If I can get AI recall working right (hint hint: http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15226 the AI can currently recall just a little, but it's kind of random and doesn't make much sense); then I can work on maps and call it a finished product.

I was scared of the maps before, but I'm pretty hopeful now. I think each faction will have their own homeland map. I think I'll keep Loyalists on the modified Elensefar (I really love that map), and then everything else will be somewhat modeled after it, according to what terrain the faction favors (i.e. Rebels will have plenty of forests, Knalgan Alliance will have plenty of mountains, etc.).

In between, there will be random maps (going to steal some Mystery Campaign code) with increasing lack of balance favoring which side is losing, depending on how "close" the map is to one side's homeland map. Maybe the most balanced maps will randomly include a modified MP map too.

Anyway, I'm currently very stumped on the recall issue, so I'm hoping someone can help me out with that.

EDIT: Enemy recalls are now kind of working. Not exactly how I'd like them to be, but they're close and I'm tired of doing that part.

Uploaded to server and above. Now it's time to get to those maps!

EDIT #2: Seems like I've finally got recall to work all the time. I could make a somewhat "intelligent" system that checks for the recall's xp, takes a bunch of other things into account and then makes a value judgment to see if recalling is worth it, but I think recalling every time might just be better when you take into account that the AI always gets more gold anyway.

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Post by Ken_Oh » February 23rd, 2007, 12:19 pm

If anyone cares, after much trial and tribulation (and thanks to zookeeper), I've started putting maps in for the various factions' homelands. Currently Drakes, Knalgan Alliance, Undead and Loyalists (still using Elensefar) have those maps.

I really like the Elensefar map and am pretty much basing every other homeland map off of it. But, I don't like what I've currently done with them. Their styles might be OK but they need some major rebalancing. The fact is that Elensefar isn't all that difficult of a place to siege, so I need to tone down the attacker's difficulty for every other map I've made so far.

I also want to retool the reward system (again). I haven't done anything with it yet, but here's what I'm thinking:

I really don't like having turn limits for games, but it's a great way to make sure players don't exploit exp from a weakened enemy. Yet, it also prevents sides really digging in their heels for a drawn-out fight if it is really needed.

The "units left" idea kind of worked out, but it sometimes payed out too little when needed.

Here's what I'm thinking I should do. I'd love to get some feedback on it.

-Set turn limits to something like 30, which should be more than long enough for any map. Then give the winning side 1 or 2 gold bonus for every turn left.
-Give a 1 or 2 gold bonus for every unit left on the battlefield (maybe 1 gold per level of the unit, so a level 3 unit gives you 3 gold).
-Give a gold bonus based on every enemy unit defeated (again, maybe 1 gold for every level of the unit).
-Give a gold bonus based on how much exp the leader gains (maybe 1 gold per 2 exp?)

The point is that I really want the winning side to have momentum, because they are going to have to face a harder scenario every time they win, and all the losing side has to do is be a good defender long enough for gold to eventually come in.

I'm not uploading this version to the server yet because it sucks and I'm not even going to put it on the parent post. It's simply for those who are curious.
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The_Endless_War 0.5.2a.zip
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