Monday, May 28, 2012

How we design a unit

First, directly below this post is a link to the latest version of the Mod RC.  GO GET IT NOW!

Are you back?  Good.

As we are gearing up for work on the Seed aspect of the Earth Federation I thought it would be cool to do a post explaining how we design the units that we end up putting into the game.

Once we have a mobile suit or vehicle that we want to put into the game picked we fill out a design sheet that covers the basics of the unit and what stats we need to code in.  Then based off of the information we figure out the general cost/time that such a unit would have.

This is a list of the variables and how we work them out.

HP : This is typically decided by the type of unit.  A unit that is heavily armored will have a higher HP.
Speed : A standard tank now moves at a speed of 60.
Locomotor : This determines how it moves.  The 3 standards are Ground / Hover / Air.  A ground unit moves on the ground like a Predator Tank.  A hover unit flies but can hover like an Orca.  Finally an air unit must always be moving while in the air like a Firehawk.
Sight : How far a unit can see.
Special Attributes : Additional abilities that make the unit more useful on the battlefield.

Weapons -  The weapon section is much more complicated.  We sub-divide this category into it's own stats to determine a units weapons.  A unit with multiple primary weapons have each one calculated into the final cost at full value where a unit with multiple defensive weapons get these added on at a discounted price.

Weapon Subsection :

Fire Rate - Determines how many shots per clip
Fire Type - Determines what kind of damage it does
Miss Rate - Determines accuracy
Damage - How much damage is done per shot
Blast Radius - Determines the radius of the shot for possible splash damage
Shot Rate - How much time in between shots
Clip Rate - How much time to reload clip
Range - How far can it fire
Other - other attributes that can add bonus's or other effects to a weapon, like continual burn / artillery / double barreled / gattling / or overcharged.

Armor - Finally we have armor.  Armor is used as a way to help show certain weapons as being far superior to other types of weapons.  There are many types of weapons in this mod, and as such certain armors are preferred against certain enemies.  Take SEED Gundams for example.  Their Phase Shift armor is going to be great against enemies like GDI early to mid game thanks to GDI's reliance on projectile weapons.  However against Nod and Scrin who like to use Lasers and Plasma it won't be as useful.  Later though when you get units with Tans-Phase Armor Nod and Scrin will have a harder time against these targets.  GDI however will be sitting pretty with their Rail Cannon Technology.

The weapon/armor types are as follows.


I probably forgot a few but off the top of my head those are the most used ones.  Keep in mind that one of the major things we decided on at the very beginning of the the designing of the game was that Rail Technology would be considered the "ultimate" type of weapon.  This means that there will be NO armor that grants a protection against Rail Weapons (unless the armor grants 100% protection in some way).  Also some weapons may not technically be a Rail weapon but we use that damage type to show that it has the same effect as a Rail Weapon.  An example of this would be the Gundam Strike Launcher's main particle beam cannon.  In game it's being considered a Rail Weapon because it's just so bad ass it's hard to argue that you can defend against something like that with "armor".

Finally we come to "cost/time".  How we figure this out is based on the HP of the unit (rounded to the nearest 1000'th and then divided by 1000) + average primary weapon damage per 2 seconds divided by 100 + 100/1S per bonus/defensive weapon.

So what does all of this look like once done?  Here are 2 examples from the upcoming SEED side.

Name : Dagger
Cost : 900/9S
HP : 2200
Speed : 60
Locomotor : Ground
Other - None

Weapon - Primary Weapon

Fire Rate - 3 Rounds
Fire Type - Cannon
Miss Rate - 10 miss
Damage - 200 Dmg
Blast Radius - 1 Radius
Shot Rate - .2 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 1.4 seconds to reload
Range - 300 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air

Weapon - Defensive Weapon (Head Vulcans)
Fire Rate - 1 Round
Fire Type - Gun
Miss Rate - 0 miss
Damage - 35 Dmg
Radius - 1
Shot Rate - .1 seconds
Clip Rate - 0 (unlimited clip)
Range - 300
Other : Only targets infantry

Armor -
Gun : 10
Grenade : 25
Fire : 10

As you can see it's a very basic unit.  It takes full damage from all but the most basic weapons and it has a decent chance to miss.  Its cost comes from being able to deal 600 pts of damage every 2 seconds (equaling 600/6s for cost) + 200/2s for it's hp (2200 rounded to 2000 then divided by 100/1000) + 100/1s for having a defensive weapon.

Another unit.

Name : Slaugher Dagger Launcher
Cost : 2300/23s
HP : 4600
Speed : 90
Locomotor : Ground
Other - None

Weapon - Primary Weapon (Launcher Cannon)

Fire Rate - 1 Round
Fire Type - Rail
Miss Rate - 0 miss
Damage - 1000 Dmg
Blast Radius - 1 Radius
Shot Rate - .0 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 6 seconds to reload
Range - 450 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air / Pre-Attack Delay of 1s

Weapon - Primary Weapon (Gattling Cannon)

Fire Rate - 6 Round
Fire Type - Cannon
Miss Rate - 5 miss
Damage - 100 Dmg
Blast Radius - 1 Radius
Shot Rate - .01 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 3 seconds to reload
Range - 300 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air

Weapon - Primary Weapon (Rocket Pod)

Fire Rate - 2 Round
Fire Type - Missile
Miss Rate - 0 miss
Damage - 250 Dmg
Blast Radius - 5 Radius
Shot Rate - .05 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 2 seconds to reload
Range - 300 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air

Armor -
Gun : 5
Grenade : 20
Fire : 5
Cannon : 80
Missile : 80

Other : EMP Shielded

As you can see this is a very expensive unit.  However the amount of firepower that this thing can deal out is quite extensive.  Trying to build an army of these things will make you go broke but having a few in there behind a bunch of Daggers to use as a shield will end with great results.  Also because it uses 3 primary weapons it can fire all 3 at the same time with no delays vs a secondary weapon only firing during the reloading of a primary weapon.  Finally because we gave it 3 primary weapons each one after the first one adds a +1, then a +2 and so on to the cost.  So having 3 primary weapons gave it a +300/+3 to it's cost/time.

So now I hope you guys have an understanding of how we develop the units.  This formula gives us a great rough start as to where a unit should stand when we first put it into the game and then from there we move forward with tweaking it to make it cost more/less and be more/less effective in it's designed roll.  With the Dagger it's ment to be a front line basic unit.  With the Slaughter Launcher Dagger it's ment to be a direct firing fire-support unit.

Fire away with any questions you may have.

Release Canidate 2 of Xeno 03 + 9E

Here's the release candidate v2

Saturday, May 26, 2012

An preview update for tomorrows update.

Ok, I'm going to be posting up another update to the release candidate tomorrow with some of the fix's that people have brought up.

Some of the changes include changing GDI's powers for teir 3 support drops to not be available right away and for them to have different timers as well as AI fix's to GDI and Nod.  Hopefully I will also get some of the descriptions fixed as well.

I will also try to get a post up tomorrow night or Monday about how we design a unit with some SEED vs UC comparisons so that you guys can get an idea of how these units SHOULD work out against each other in a theoretical matchup.  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Something for the weekend.

Here is a link to the Xenoforce O3 + 9E that Doug has been playtesting.  I'm not going to be able to get much of any work done on the mod this next week so I thought now would be a decent time to give you guys this taste.  Enjoy it.

There are a few bugs present (not sure what bugs but I know they are there) as well as missing or wrong descriptions for a few things (not sure about AW for example) so keep that in mind.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sorry for the lack of updates.

Getting sick is never fun, especially when you think your over it and then it comes back two weeks later worse than ever.  Now hopefully I truly am over this and can get back to work.

I promised a design workup for SEED and have come up with something that I think will work well.  Here it is.

After choosing the SEED construction yard you will have access to the SEED War Factory, SEED Airfield Support, and SEED Experimental Factory.  The way it will work is the War Factory will build the basic units, the Airfield will build a few important support units for when a player needs additional cheap air support, and the Experimental Factory is where the Unique units will be built.

Starting with the War factory there will be 4 teirs to build.  Each Teir is linked to the experimental teir as well.  There will be 3 units available per teir to build.  Each unit that is available to the player to build is linked to the following categories - Tactical - Offense - Assault.

A tactical unit is a standard unit with little to no real upgrades.  These units are not the fastest or the strongest choice but they are the most cost effective.   And Offensive unit is one designed for speed and deployment.  Typically this means they are equipped with a special 'pack' for flight making them faster and increasing their offensive capabilities while increasing their cost.  Finally an Assault unit is one that is designed for sieging an enemy base, typically this means they are equipped with heavy weapons or artillery of some sort.  This also makes them one of the most expensive types of units to build.

Once a player has purchased a regular unit of a given teir (it can be any of the 3) they can then build an experimental unit of that same teir.  Experimental units are very expensive and time consuming to build but are very powerful.  There are 3 experimental units per teir and they also follow the Tactical - Offense - Assault design.  Once the experimental unit is built the next teir of basic units are available to build.

This leads to a going back and forth between basic and advanced units.  A player could spend their early game simply advancing their tech and saving their money for later use but if they do this they would end up having access to their entire armory of units but without an army to help defend their base.  They could alternatively spend a lot of time building their basic force up early and then end up with less cash then expected come the end because now they have spent all their money on their units and can't afford the better stuff later.  It will be up to the player to determine how best to deal with their balancing of the economy vs tech race.

These are the tentative build trees that we're looking to use.

Mobile Suits -

Teir 1 :  Dagger - Jet Dagger - Launcher Dagger
Teir 2 :  Dagger L - Jet Dagger L  - Doppelhorn Dagger L
Teir 3 : Slaughter Sword - Slaughter Aile - Slaughter launcher
Teir 4 : Windam - Jet Windam - Doppelhorn Windam

Experimental Suits -

Teir 1 : Duel Gundam - Buster Gundam  - Strike Gundam
Teir 2 : Chaos Gundam - Gaia Gundam - Abyss Gundam
Teir 3 : Blu Dual Gundam - Verde Buster Gundam - Strike Noir Gundam
Teir 4 : Gells Ghe - Zamza Zah - Destroy Gundam

Air Support Units -

Teir 1 : Gunbarrel Striker (Unlimited Build)
Teir 1 : Moebius Zero (Limit 1 Build)
Teir 2 : Sky Grasper (Unlimited Build)
Teir 3 : Exus (Limit 1 Build)

Finally for the differences in the basic units.  A Dagger will be a very simple straight forward unit.  It is equipped with a single head vulcan and a machine gun typically unless otherwise noted (Like the Launcher Dagger is equipped with it's beam cannon and not a machine gun).  A Dagger L costs more but has double the head vulcans, a beam rifle, and EMP Shielding.  A Slaughter dagger has specialty weapons and greater speed.  Finally the Windam has the speed of a Slaughter, the cost and armaments of the Dagger L, as well as having greater accuracy.

For the final bit we have the "Allies" support power.  The player will have access to a structure near the end of their Structure Build tree called the "Allied Defense Coordination Center" (name pending).  This structure will give access to 3 powers.  Each Power will give you access to support from one of the 3 "choices" that a player will have.  The choices are "Three Ship Alliance", "Orb", and "Blue Cosmos".  No matter what one you pick it will cause a structure to "land" where you tell it to (I suggest in a defend-able position in your base).  Depending on what ally you go with will grant you not only additional powers on the side but also additional resources on the map.  So if you go with the Three Ship Alliance for example every 5 minutes the ArchAngel will fly in and drop in 10,000.  If you go Orb you will get the same 10,000 every 4 minutes.  Finally Blue Cosmos gives 10,000 every 4 minutes.  Also you will unlock additional powers on the side.

The Three Ship Alliance grants access to only 2 new units but they are the strongest units you could ask for.  They are obviously the Freedom and the Justice.  These units come in for free once their build timers are over and if destroyed still will go nuclear.  What fun!

The Orb Alliance will give you access to the Astrays, Murasame, Strike Rouge, and the Akatsuki units.  Where the Three ship only drops off money on its drops the Orb will also drop in Astrays for free!

Finally we have Blue Cosmos.  Where they are different is in the fact that you don't get any new "units" per-say but can now deploy additional "Gells Ghe", "Zamza Zah", and "Destroy Gundam"'s effectivly removing the 1 limiter that was on them.

So thats the design I think I'm going to try.  I don't plan on starting this design any time this month (still want to finish and get a build out to you guys of the UC/AW with the new O3 first with improved audios) so there is time to talk about this design.  Let me know what you think!