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.

1 comment:

Alan said...

That was very informative and I am looking forward to seeing the future updates