Sooo… I started the (very early) first work on a new campaign mode for the game today. Given that there will be a (limited) campaign, I thought it made sense to do a bit of re-organizing. So right now, the plan is that the main menu for the game to have a ‘battle’ button but no custom battle or challenge any more.
That button will take you to a new screen which has options for a one-off battle as normal, a challenge, a custom map, or to play the all new and exciting campaign mode.
I think this system makes more sense, as people often got confused wondering where challenges was, and it makes sense to have these options all together.
So as for the actual campaign design:
I’m planning a screen with a linear string of battles, one after the other. The first battle is the one where you pick the whole fleet that you will use throughout the campaign, forcing you to pick a fairly general purpose all-round fleet. That battle then fights as normal but…
At the end of that battle, you then go on to the next one, and this is where the deployment screen will change slightly. You are now not picking icons for designs, but actual individual ships, and those ships are the ones that survived the previous battle intact (assuming you won!).
All damaged (but not destroyed) ships get repaired between battles.
Hopefully you make it through every battle up to the end, at which point you probably have a much smaller fleet
This is my basic design, which I intend to work on and ship in a matter of weeks. When that’s done, I can take feedback on what people would like added or expanded upon.
Not sure if a general purpose fleet would actually be ideal in those constraints - given that later fleets would have to be smaller to be fair to a reduced player fleet, it might actually be optimal to make a fleet designed to crush the first two encounters so that it can brute force its way through the remainder of the campaign with minimal losses.
Aha yes good point, although I also hope it will encourage people to use more repair modules and cautious orders, as even a ship with 1% health and in a ball of flames is now very worth keeping for the next battle.
Will these be player designed opposing fleets?
Well, that might work. OTOH, it sounds insanely hard to balance.
So the first battle is the biggest battle, and then is you suffer losses anywhere, you will almost certainly lose the next battle?
Yes, I proposed something more in depth and you didn’t comment!
Take a look at this and see what you think.
As an alternative scheme, how about something that starts small and gets big later (a kind of normal trend).
So you start with the CORE of your fleet, and maybe even the key designs, but can add to it later with more credits. This solves the problem that casualties in one battle will decide the result in later battles.
In the ideal world, battles might start very small. How small? Maybe 1 fighter each? OK, they can get larger quite quickly after that, but I could imagine having fun with fighters for quite a while, before introducing Destroyers, then Frigates, Cruisers, etc.
You could still have the idea of the core of your fleet being retained and fighting again, but with reinforcements as required. And the challenge of shaping those reinforcements to meet emerging threats.
There is still lots to be worked out. I quit like the idea of being able to add to your fleet mid-way through a campaign (in a limited way perhaps). For now, I’m just trying to get the basic GUI and code worked out. Anyway…here is a progress report.
This is the new ‘battle’ screen shown from clicking battle on the main menu (images not final ( I used the current single battle thing for the campaign :D…)
And clicking campaign now takes you to this sort of thing. It shows 3 campaigns (and scrolls for more), but I suspect I’ll ship the feature with just 1 to start. (Easily moddable…). You fight through missions from left to right, and can save games at any point. In time, I’ll add a ‘load’ button to each planet you’ve got as far as and you will be able to choose save games from those points and continue onwards!
On the far LHS there is now a text field (gibberish for now) to describe the background to the campaign.
Thoughts so far?
drags Cliffski over to the thread
What you’ve got, then add what I suggested on top, and there’s a winner in that. I still think there’s scope to expand outwards past the simple string of battles with a persistent fleet, but I’d go with a board game concept as opposed to the 4X concept of before.
I really like this setup actually. It’s like an actual campaign, where the general typically has only what they start out to work with and you need to plan on how to achieve your objective with that, since you may not get resupply or reinforcements.
I like the general idea of a string of missions as a campaing, this allows some storytelling as well as making nice scenarios, but I would like to see an optional mission in there or maybe where you have to choose one of two missions or where the campaign completely forks. It could be a choice in the campaign, like intercepting or waiting for the enemy fleet. And the optional missions could give you a few extra, pre-made ships. Of course there’s a risk in the optional missions to lose more that you would gain or those ships not fitting into your fleet really, but that’s the gamble with optional battles. Some campaigns could run on pre-made ships that you have at your disposal to make a fleet with against pre-made fleets, while others are more traditional and close to the normal scenarios, where you have to minimze losses and repair, resupply and replacements are limited and have to be earned.
All in all I am very much looking forward to it, there is a lot of potential in it, let’s hope it will be realized
OK, interesting conceptual start.
Perhaps add the conditions that apply to each battle at the start, so you can see in the 6th battle that you won’t have shields, and in the 7th, no Dreadnaughts (so don’t spend ALL your points on them, or you will not win that fight).
Similarly, Battle 3 is +10,000 points, Battle 5 is +50,000 points, etc, so you can see where reinforcements come. You might be able to make this all a bit more poetic than just numbers, but that is the guts of it.
By just changing the battles around as an editor, you will make a different campaign. A strategy for one as player might be to get through the “no DN” battle, then add them to your fleet. Or whatever.
Yup, branching and reinforcement points are all very valid ideas. I want to get this in, and working, and released to get some feedback, then consider how best to improve it to add refinements like that.
am I the only one who likes the galactic conquest idea? (as it was in gsb1)
even though it had some weaknesses, I also liked the concept of GSB1’s Galactic Conquest add-on. In several ways it was a bit too incomplete for my liking, especially since its actual implementation felt to me like it only provided perhaps 80% of the kind of gameplay that I was hoping for. The inability to insert entire modder-created race/faction mods into Galactic Conquest - whether as human-controlled forces or as A.I.-controlled “threat force” opponents - was, to me, a disappointment. Some other players might feel differently about that, but c’est la vie.
I know that cliffski built the very best campaign game that he knew how to build at the time, and I’m sure that there are other things he would have liked to include with it IF adding those things wasn’t such a mountain of work.
Which leads us to…
Based on various scattered statements from Cliff, the workflow of coding an improved, fully-featured, truly worthy successor to GC for GSB2 is much more complex and time-intensive by a large amount than coding GC for GSB1 was.
As of now, it seems that Cliff thinks that it’s not feasible to include a new GC as a feature for DLC-style inclusion within GSB2. I’m unsure where that situation may take us to. Whether GSB2-tier GC never ever exists at all, or maybe appears years from now as a stand-alone product that’s entirely separate from GSB2, is yet to be determined.
For now, this version of Campaign Mode is where the action’s at and we’ll look at it from all angles in order to help it become the best that it can be.
If I could just press a button and make GC work with GSB2 I would!
However, I’d like to slowly build up a campaign worthy of the name in stages.
A completely linear series of battles is stage 1. I’m pretty sure other improvements will happen once that is added, if it proves popular.
in that case i have suggestion for long ways down the road, i know i’ve mentioned this before, when (and if) we get to the galactic conquest i hope that we can have territories controlled by other factions rather than random fleets, and mods for the ai
Ok, here is an updated screenshot. Still developing this…